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This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Friday, July 23.
There could be a hazy start to your Friday morning. According to the National Weather Service there could be widespread haze and the smell of smoke tied to wildfires on the west coast. Afters this, it should be sunny and humid, with a high of 91 degrees.
Former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer said Thursday that she still sees “a lot to fight for” and this time she hopes to take the fight to U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley.
Finkenauer launched her Democratic campaign on Thursday, challenging for a senate seat in 2022. Grassley, her presumptive opponent, has not said yet whether he’ll seek an eighth term in 2022, but if he does he will likely be the favorite in the coming race.
Earlier this year Jim Carlin, a Republican state senator from Sioux City, announced he would be running for Grassley’s spot, but this also will likely be affected by Grassley’s decision.
Finkenauer was defeated after one term in congress last year in Iowa’s northern 1st congressional district. It was a historically bad election year for Democrats, with a bungled Iowa Caucus to start the year and election defeats at nearly every level. Finkenauer hopes she can be part of a return to success for Iowa Democrats in what has traditionally been considered a swing state.
Finkenauer joins two other Democrats who want their party’s Senate nomination in the statewide race — Manning farmer and cattleman and former county Supervisor Dave Muhlbauer and Glenn Hurst of Minden.
According to the Associated Press, one of two Iowa prison nurses fired for giving dozens of Fort Madison inmates large overdoses of the coronavirus vaccine is appealing her termination, arguing she is “blameless" for the mix-up.
The Iowa Department of Corrections fired Amanda Dodson, a registered nurse at the maximum-security Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, after an investigation found 77 inmates received shots containing up to six times the recommended dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Dodson’s termination letter, obtained by the Associated Press through an open records request, blamed her for “improper COVID vaccination procedures” that resulted in inmates receiving overdoses on April 20. Although some inmates suffered negative symptoms, all of them eventually recovered without long term effects.
The union helping Dodson with her appeal said that the mixup occurred when the prison abruptly switched from the Moderna vaccine to the Pfizer vaccine, without properly training staff about the change in dosage.
We’ll end with some good news.
Marion’s cost of recovery from last year’s derecho is $11 million less than an earlier estimate.
In late January, the city estimated the cost of derecho cleanup would be up to $43 million.
This week, a new estimate put the cost at around $32 million. City officials said Thursday that they are considering borrowing less money than they initially planned, which will help their financial flexibility long term.
Big Ten football media days started on Thursday, and there will be more Hawkeye news to come soon. If you want to have the latest football insights emailed directly to you, sign up for Leah Vann's exclusive weekly Talkin' Hawks newsletter at thegazette.com/hawks.