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 Friday, June 4.
It’s going to be sunny again on Friday, but it will come with more heat and humidity. According to the National Weather Service it will be sunny with a high near 91 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area. A wind of 10 to 15 mph will gust as high as 20 mph.
State Auditor Rob Sand, who is eyeing a run for governor next year, says Gov. Kim Reynolds violated Iowa law by using federal funds to pay for a public service announcement to raise public awareness about COVID-19.
According to his Thursday report, about $500,000 in federal coronavirus pandemic relief funds were used on the “Step Up, Stop the Spread” public awareness campaign. Another $17,000 spent producing the videos may have violated the law. Reynolds appears in the one-minute video for about 10 seconds, according to Sand and his staff. She said she is proud of the public awareness campaign and said Sand is misreading the state law.
The governor’s office said his accusation ignores the opening clause of the law that refers to an exception in the law that applies to the power and authority of the governor during a public health disaster emergency. If you enjoyed that back and forth, get ready for 2022.
University of Iowa researchers and public health groups have received a $500,000 federal grant to find ways to improve the COVID-19 vaccination rates in Iowa’s smallest communities.
The yearlong project will focus on 17 communities, with researchers working with community residents in creating strategies that overcome barriers and encourage residents to seek the vaccine.
In the first phase, UI researchers will collect data to understand who is not getting vaccinated in 17 “micropolitan” cities — those with a population between 10,000 and 49,999. The cities include Fairfield in Jefferson County and Ottumwa in Wapello County.
Just under 42 percent of the state’s population has been fully vaccinated. But this lags behind most of Iowa’s more populated urban counties where vaccination rates are closer to 50 percent.
With Barbara Wilson just over a month away from starting as the next University of Iowa president with a base salary of $600,000, the Board of Regents voted Thursday to raise Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen’s base pay to match.
Wintersteen had been earning an annual salary of $590,000, on par with former UI President Bruce Harreld, whose last day of his nearly six-year stint was May 16. After a national search netted four finalists, regents on April 30 chose Wilson to succeed Harreld starting July 15.
The board Thursday did not change University of Northern Iowa President Mark Nook’s compensation. In 2019, it extended his contract through 2025 — with an option to renew through 2027 — but did not increase his base pay of $357,110.
A Cedar Rapids man is facing an attempted murder charge in connection with a shooting last year at a commercial property in southwest Cedar Rapids.
Tyler John Koob, 34, also faces charges of intimidation with a dangerous weapon, assault going armed with intent, and carrying weapons.
Cedar Rapids police were called to 1027 Ninth St SW just before 10:30 p.m. Nov. 18 on reports of a shooting.
Officers found Koob, who had been wounded by gunfire, near the building. He was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, police said. According to the criminal complaint, a 49-year-old man told police Koob had knocked on the door of the building and, when the man answered the door, “fired several shots barely missing” the man.
Unfortunately for Koob, the man also was armed with a gun, and he had much better aim.
According to the complaint, police interviewed Koob about the incident afterward. He told police he had gone to the property because he’d heard people were badmouthing him. He told police he had fired his gun in the air.
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.