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This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Tuesday, June 8.
There have been some ominous clouds in the sky the past few days. But Tuesday they might actually do something. According to the National Weather Service there will be a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mostly after 1 p.m. and before 8 p.m. Tuesday. In and around the potential showers it is predicted to be mostly sunny, with a high near 88 degrees.
The state of Iowa agreed Monday to pay $5.7 million to offer compensation for, or settle, eight separate accusations of discrimination and negligence at its public universities — including payments to former University of Iowa police officers who sued for age discrimination, a sound tech hurt at a University of Northern Iowa concert and a UI student who crashed her moped after slipping on Cambus fuel.
So far this budget year — which ends in just a few weeks on June 30 — the state has paid $4.67 million from its general fund to settle lawsuits or comply with judgments against state entities. Of that, $4.1 million — or 88 percent — is related to Board of Regents institutions
Iowa transportation officials are expecting a fairly status-quo highway improvement program over the next five-year planning period, with about $3.6 billion targeted toward projects aimed at enhancing safety and modernizing and maintaining Iowa’s current network of roadways.
Assuming federal funding continues at current levels, state officials have earmarked more than $2.8 billion for modernization of Iowa’s existing highway system over the next five fiscal years and for enhanced highway safety features that focus on Iowa’s initiative to lower traffic fatalities below 300 deaths annually.
In another return to normalcy, the Iowa Department of Corrections will resume in-person visits for inmates in early July, provided the offender is vaccinated against COVID-19.
Department spokesman Cord Overton said officials have been looking at other states and talking with public health officials about how to allow visitors again for the first time since March 2020.
More than 58 percent of people incarcerated in Iowa’s prisons are fully vaccinated, while 62 percent have had one shot. The full vaccination rate among prison staff is 56 percent.
After two large groups got into a confrontation early Sunday and fired over 80 gunshots, Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said Monday he has asked Iowa’s governor and U.S. senators to help the state’s third-largest city deal with the gun violence surge.
The violence was captured on video surveillance atop a parking garage. Davenport police recovered nearly 80 spent casings of different calibers from the top floor of the Redstone Parking Ramp, 129 N. Main St. after the incident about 2 a.m. Sunday No one was known to be injured, but Sikorski said those involved aren't cooperating with police.
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.