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.
If this weekend is any indication, we are moving into the warmer and rainier part of spring.
According to the National Weather Service on Saturday it will be sunny with a high near 85 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area. It could get quite breezy Saturday, with winds reaching as high as 20 to 25 mph and gusting as high as 40 mph. Then on Sunday it will be partly sunny with a high near 81 degrees. After 1 p.m. there will be increasing chances of showers and thunderstorms, with the chance for precipitation reaching 80 percent by Sunday night. Showers could continue through next Tuesday.
In contrast to her predecessor, who was chosen for his work in private business and his outside perspective, the University of Iowa’s next president is a seasoned academic leader with a doctorate and nearly two decades of administrative experience in academia.
Barbara Wilson was named as the next University of Iowa president Friday. She has served as second-in-command for the last five years over the sprawling three-campus, $6.74 billion University of Illinois System
She takes the reins July 15 from retiring UI President Bruce Harreld, who started in September 2015 and wraps his tenure May 16. Harreld felt the pros and cons of his outsider status, as he was never quite accepted by several members of the university community, who were critical of his hiring and his decisions. Outgoing Graduate College Dean John Keller will serve as interim during the two-month gap.
Wilson will become the university’s third female president — following Mary Sue Coleman, who served from 1995 to 2002, and Sally Mason, who served from 2007 to 2015.
Sticking with University of Iowa news, all seven Iowa Supreme Court justices have agreed the University of Iowa and Board of Regents must hand over extensive financial details and documents about their $1.165 billion public-private partnership with a Paris-based collaborative to operate the UI utilities system for the next 50 years.
Specifically, the board must disclose the names of investors — including the 21.5 percent of Iowa investors it reported chipped in financing to make the deal happen, according to a Supreme Court opinion released Friday.
“Taxpayers of Iowa, who bear the ultimate financial risk for this transaction, are entitled to know if the (regents) got the best deal available and if anyone had a conflict of interest,” according to the Supreme Court ruling.
The University of Iowa in December — after a nearly yearlong inquiry and search process — agreed to partner with Paris-based global energy provider Engie and infrastructure investment firm Meridiam for 50 years of private operation of its $1 billion utility system.
In exchange for their upfront lump sum payment of $1.165 billion, the partners landed five decades of guaranteed revenue — as the UI must pay its new partner a $35 million annual fixed fee while also covering all utility expenses, employee costs, maintenance and upgrades, fuel and other items.
Iowa City West High School student Shreya Khullar was inaugurated as Iowa’s first Iowa student poet ambassador Friday in the state Capitol in Des Moines.
The program --- inspired by presidential inauguration poet Amanda Gorman, the youngest to read her poetry at the Jan. 20 inauguration for President Joe Biden — operates out of the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa.
Khullar, 17, a junior at West High, was chosen as the first Iowa student poet ambassador from more than 300 creative writing entries. She was inaugurated on the last day of National Poetry Month.
Want updates on these and other stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for free today at https://www.thegazette.com/newsletters/. From news, to sports, to kid’s activities, Gazette newsletters have something for everyone.