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This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Tuesday, June 22nd.
There will be a chance of more rain the next few days, and we certainly still need it. According to the National Weather Service there will be a 20 percent chance of showers after 4 p.m. Tuesday. Then showers and thunderstorms are likely Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Before all that rain business happens it should be another nice, sunny day, with a high of 80 degrees.
Climate experts say that despite some rain over the weekend a significant part of the state of Iowa remains in drought conditions, some of them extreme, as corn and soybeans enter a developmental phase. In some good news, climatologists are predicting that July will bring with it some cooler air, and with that some potentially strong storms.
An overnight manhunt for an assailant authorities say shot and wounded a Linn County deputy responding to an armed robbery at a Casey’s General Store in Coggon ended quietly Monday afternoon after a TV news crew spotted the suspect walking less than a mile away.
The deputy, whose name was not released, was described as in serious but stable condition despite being struck with several rounds by the robber. This marked the first time in nearly five decades that a Linn County deputy was shot in the line of duty, said sheriff’s Second Deputy Chad Colston.
Authorities identified the gunman as Stanley L. Donahue, 36, of Chicago. He faces charges of attempted murder, first-degree robbery, willful injury, disarming a peace officer and possession of a firearm as a felon, the sheriff’s office said. He was being held in the Linn County Jail.
After a shooting Sunday night triggered a manhunt, a KCRG-TV crew noticed a man matching Donahue’s description and alerted police.
Students going to state schools will likely be paying higher tuition this year. Two months before the fall semester starts at Iowa’s public universities, the Board of Regents this week will hold a first consideration of raising tuition at all three of its institutions — with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University proposing a 3.5 percent hike for state resident undergraduates.
The University of Northern Iowa, which for the past two years has kept tuition rates frozen, is seeking a 1.5 percent increase for both resident and non-resident undergrads.
All three campuses held tuition and fees flat during the unprecedented 2020-2021 academic year compromised by the pandemic. The pause came despite the regents rolling out a five-year tuition plan in 2018 promising stepped annual increases at the UI and ISU of at least 3 percent, possibly more.
We’ll close with some good news and bad news on the COVID-19 front in Iowa.
In good news, Monday featured the lowest hospitalization numbers for people being treated for the disease since the pandemic started in March of 2020.
In bad news, Iowa health officials are indicating that parts of Iowa may never reach herd immunity. This is especially true of rural counties, where demand for vaccines is low despite efforts to reach out to the public.
Experts have placed estimates for the threshold needed to reach herd immunity somewhere between 70 percent and 90 percent of the population. The overall rate of immunization in Iowa for those above the age of 12 is 52 percent at the moment, but some counties in Iowa are as low as 30 percent.
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.