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Gazette Daily News Podcast, January 26
Thursday could start with a bit more snow before heading toward a mostly sunny day. According to the National Weather Service there could be a 30 percent chance of snow before 7 a.m. in the Cedar Rapids area. It is predicted to be cloudy to start before gradually becoming sunny. The high will be a bit chilly at 19 degrees, a hint of colder temperatures to come. The low will bottom out at 9 degrees.
A Linn County jury Wednesday convicted Alexander Jackson and he faces three life sentences without the possibility of parole for what a prosecutor called the “execution” of his father, mother and 19-year-old sister in 2021.
Jackson, 22, was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. He stood accused of shooting his father Jan Jackson, 61, mother Melissa Jackson, 68, and sister Sabrina, 19, in their northeast Cedar Rapids home on June 15, 2021.
He showed no reaction when the verdict was read and his lawyers attempted to shield him from television and still cameras in the courtroom. When deputies handcuffed him and led him out of the courtroom, he seemed to tear up.
The jury deliberated about five and a half hours over Tuesday and Wednesday.
Sentencing is set for March 3 in Linn County District Court.
As Hawkeye Downs looks to refresh its property and find new ways to draw residents and visitors to the racetrack amid financial woes, the nine-member Cedar Rapids City Council was split but ultimately advanced a rezoning to make way for a salvage yard on the property.
Roger Cassill, the owner of Sunline — an auto salvage company — and Hawkeye Downs, requested rezoning the approximately 94-acre property at 4400 Sixth St. SW from light industrial to general industrial district.
Proposed rezoning would keep the car racing center, convention hall and storage on much of the property and add a salvage yard to the northeast nine acres. Sunline would be relocated from offsite to this property.
The intention when purchasing the salvage yard more than a year ago was to clean it up and turn it into a late-model facility instead of a site for old junk cars, Cassill said.
A case of avian influenza has been confirmed at a commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County, the state agriculture department reported Wednesday.
It is the first confirmed case of 2023.
The state confirmed 30 cases of the bird flu in 2022, including 12 in March and seven in December. When a case is confirmed, the entire flock is destroyed as a way to stem the spread of the virus.