116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Podcasts / Gazette Daily News
Gazette Daily News Podcast, January 31
The last day of January will continue the cold trend, with some hope for warmer weather to come later this week. According to the National Weather Service it will be partly sunny in the Cedar Rapids area before gradually becoming less cloudy. The high will settle in at around 12 degrees, with wind chill values as low as -15 degrees. On Tuesday night it will be clear, with a low of around 3 degrees. Wind chill values will be as low as -10 degrees.
A snowmobiler fell through the ice Sunday on Coralville Lake and was rescued by the North Liberty Fire Department, according to the city on Monday.
The firefighters and Johnson County Ambulance Service were dispatched at 5:07 p.m. Sunday evening to an area just south of the Mehaffey Bridge Road Bridge, where they found a person in the water holding onto the ice.
Firefighters used ice rescue suits, a rapid deployment craft and ropes to rescue the individual from the water. One firefighter was injured in the rescue and was transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, along with the snowmobiler.
The fire department said that because of widely variable weather conditions across Iowa, ice on the reservoir and in the Iowa River has deteriorated and refrozen quickly, which creates dangerous conditions for recreation.
Just three years into the University of Iowa’s landmark 50-year deal for the private operation of its utility system as a way to raise money for education, cracks are emerging in the $1.165 billion agreement, with the operator accusing the UI of “breaching its obligations.”
In a federal lawsuit filed Thursday, the UI Energy Collaborative outlined four main ways the UI was reneging: refusing to pay money it owes; rescinding approval to repair the utility system; refusing to file casualty insurance claims; and demanding payment for “unplanned” utility outages “even though the university’s representatives participated in the very meetings and discussions planning for those events.”
UI spokesman Steve Schmadeke said the UI and its public-private partners “have a disagreement regarding some of the terms and conditions” of the deal.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is asking for more state money to prepare for and respond to foreign animal illnesses.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig asked a budget subcommittee Monday to double the state appropriations going to that cause from $750,000 to $1.5 million.
The boost would allow the department to better respond to threats like bird flu and African swine fever, Naig said. With the new money, the department would hire more employees and buy equipment for responding to African swine fever, Naig said.
The department also is asking for increased funding for meat and poultry inspection, weights and measures, pesticide investigations and the soil and land conservation cost share.
Gov. Kim Reynolds’ proposed budget would keep the general fund appropriations to the agriculture department the same but would add $500,000 from a separate fund to cover the equipment costs for foreign animal illness response.