116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Welcome to the weekend.
This weekend will feature a dip into some slightly cooler weather, and then a return of the heat that will turn super hot again on Monday. According to the National Weather Service, on Saturday it will be sunny in the Cedar Rapids area with a high near 83 degrees. The low will drop to 58 degrees Saturday night with clear skies. Then on Sunday it will be sunny, with a high near 90 degrees and the low will also pop up to 67 degrees. The wind will remain mostly light most days, hovering at 5 to 10 mph with wind gusts as high as 20 mph.
The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday cleared the way for lawmakers to severely limit or ban abortion in the state, reversing a decision by the court just four years ago that guaranteed the right to abortion under the Iowa Constitution.
According to the Associated Press, the court, now composed almost entirely of Republican appointees, concluded that a less conservative court wrongly decided abortion is among the fundamental privacy rights guaranteed by the Iowa Constitution and federal law.
Friday's ruling comes amid expectations that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide, which would turn the decision to restrict abortion back to the states. If that happens, Iowa lawmakers could ban abortion without completing the lengthy process of amending the state constitution.
The Iowa decision stemmed from a lawsuit filed by abortion providers who challenged a 2020 law that required a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion, so that waiting period requirement would now go into effect.
There will be no casino in Cedar Rapids for at least two years after Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law Friday a provision that places a moratorium on new casino licenses.
An amendment to a larger gambling bill means regulators cannot issue any new licenses in Iowa — including plans for a potential $250 million, 160,000 square-foot entertainment and cultural arts complex at the site of now-demolished Cooper’s Mill near downtown Cedar Rapids — until June 2024.
Citing “gambling fatigue,” the Republican-led Iowa Legislature this year approved the two-year moratorium on new casinos, essentially taking action on a matter that traditionally has been conducted by the state’s Racing and Gaming Commission.
The new law jeopardizes Cedar Rapids’ third try for a casino. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission previously denied a gaming license to Linn County in 2014 and 2017, both times citing studies showing it would “cannibalize” revenues from other casinos, particularly Riverside Casino & Golf Course in Washington County.
Cedar Rapids casino backers were hopeful the current commission would be receptive to a Linn County casino, as previous opponents had cycled off the panel.
Cedar Rapids-based Kirkwood Community College has announced plans to close two of its eight regional and county centers due to declining enrollment and a “significant decrease” in use of the locations.
The college’s 28-year-old Tippie-Mansfield Center in Belle Plaine and its 31-year-old Cedar County Center in Tipton will permanently close June 30, according to a Kirkwood news release.
The closures will reduce Kirkwood’s Eastern Iowa locations from 14 to 12 and eliminate its physical presence in Cedar County, one of the seven counties in its service area.
The announcement this week comes less than a month after Kirkwood announced plans to re-evaluate use of its 97,000-square-foot Iowa City campus, possibly downsizing and moving it, per a consultant’s recommendation.
According to an April report on the demographics of Kirkwood’s seven-county service area — Linn, Johnson, Jones, Washington, Iowa, Benton and Cedar counties — Linn and Johnson account for most of the school’s population, at a combined 78.6 percent.
Have a good weekend everyone.