116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Be sure to subscribe to The Gazette Daily news podcast, or just tell your Amazon Alexa enabled device to “enable The Gazette Daily News skill" so you can get your daily briefing by simply saying “Alexa, what’s the news?
If you prefer podcasts, you can also find us on iTunes.
This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Thursday, June 17.
Thursday’s weather is going to be very hot again, with a chance for rain. According to the National Weather Service there will be a high of 95 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area with mostly sunny skies. Then, showers and thunderstorms will become increasingly likely Thursday night, with a chance of rain increasing to 60 percent Thursday night after hovering at 30 percent for most of the day.
20-year-old Alexander Ken Jackson faced his first court appearance Wednesday on charges he murdered his parents and sister in their northeast Cedar Rapids home the day before. Jackson, who was found with a gunshot to his foot, told investigators that he woke to the sound of gunshots and struggled with an intruder, causing him to get shot. But prosecutors said Wednesday there was no evidence corroborating his story. The three people Alexander Jackson is accused of killing are his 19-year-old sister Sabrina and his parents Melissa and Jan.
Alexander and Sabrina were students at the University of Iowa in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, according the Associated Press, and both had attended Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids. Alexander Jackson had no criminal history prior to this incident.
With tears flowing and candles glowing, several students gathered Wednesday night outside Kennedy High School for a vigil to honor their friend and former classmate, Sabrina.
Following brief prayer, the students lit candles and sang “Amazing Grace.” Afterward, students stepped forward to share their memories of Sabrina and their profound grief.
With demand for COVID-19 tests waning, sites for Test Iowa — the free, statewide testing program — will be shut down by next month, Iowa public health officials announced Wednesday.
All five state-operated drive-through locations will stagger closures over the next five weeks before the program, which launched in April 2020, ends July 16.
Linn County’s site, on the southwest side of Cedar Rapids, will close at 4 p.m. June 24.
As COVID-19 vaccines have become more widely available, state officials say demand for testing is at its lowest in more than a year. Approximately 400 tests per day currently are being conducted across 17 drive-through and clinic sites, according to state officials.
All ideas are on the table when it comes to future state tax reductions, including the elimination of the state’s income tax that is responsible for nearly half of all state revenue, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday.
Reynolds made the comments Wednesday moments after signing into law a package of state tax reductions and reforms, including a reduction in the state income tax rate from 8.5 percent to 6.5 percent.
As she signed that legislation into law during a public ceremony, Reynolds pledged to work on more state tax reductions in the coming year. After the ceremony, she expanded on that pledge while fielding questions from reporters.
The Iowa Ideas 2021 virtual conference will be here before you know it, and we would like you to be our guest on the house. The Gazette is providing free access to this two-day gathering with more than 50 sessions- filled with thought-provoking local, and national speakers-- all ready to engage you on a variety of important and timely Iowa-issues. Join us October 14th and 15th for this can’t miss, idea-exchange experience. Learn more and register for the event at iowaideas.com.