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Gazette Daily News Podcast, January 27
We'll get another day with temperatures above freezing Friday before things nosedive over the weekend. According to the National Weather Service, there will likely be a small amount of snow Friday morning before the day gradually turns sunny. The high temperature will be 36 degrees. The low will settle in at around 16 degrees, with a 30 percent chance of snow after midnight.
Tawana Grover, the leader of a school district in Nebraska, was named Thursday as the next superintendent of the Cedar Rapids Community School District, becoming its first female Black leader.
Grover — who made history as the first Black superintendent in Nebraska and the first woman superintendent at Grand Island Public Schools — was unanimously appointed by the Cedar Rapids school board after a two-month search led by Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates. Her first day will be July 1.
As of Thursday evening, the district had not provided The Gazette with a copy of Grover’s three-year contract, including her salary and benefits. Former Cedar Rapids Superintendent Noreen Bush, who died last year of cancer, earned $270,746 a year.
As superintendent, Grover will oversee the second-largest school district in Iowa and an annual budget of about $315 million. She will report to the elected officials on the Cedar Rapids school board.
Once again, the University of Iowa has lost a legal battle with a Cedar Rapids contractor that worked on its Stead Family Children’s Hospital — adding millions to the UI’s swelling legal tab and further ballooning the total hospital project cost to more than $420 million.
A Johnson County District Court judge Wednesday denied the UI’s request that a judge either override an October verdict, order a new trial, erase the $12.8 million jury award or lower it.
This week’s court order relates to an Oct. 27, 2022, jury verdict against the UI, ordering it pay Cedar Rapids-based Modern Piping another $12.8 million for “wrongfully” blocking in 2016 the contractor’s ability to arbitrate a dispute over payment for its work.
A judge first ruled in Modern Piping’s favor in January 2017 and again in April 2017. The UI spent years appealing in various capacities — culminating with a jury trial Oct. 25.
A Johnson County jury convicted an Iowa City man last week for attempting to kill his former girlfriend, her boyfriend and three children in 2021 when he poured lighter fluid under her apartment door, igniting a blaze that trapped them inside.
Ishmael S. Carter, 32, faces up to 150 years in prison. He was found guilty of first-degree arson and five counts of attempted murder. Each offense is a Class B felony with a prison term of 25 years.
Jurors deliberated more than four hours following the three-day trial, which started Jan. 17, according to court documents.