116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Saturday, May 15th and Sunday, May 16th.
There will be a chance for showers pretty much all weekend, but it appears it will be spotty. According to the National Weather Service there will be a 60 percent of precipitation in the early morning hours Saturday, a 30 percent chance of showers in the mid afternoon, and a 10 percent chance of rain Saturday night. In between all that it will be mostly cloudy in the Cedar Rapids area, with a high near 65 degrees.
Sunday it should be warmer, with a high near 73 degrees and partly sunny skies. There also will be sporadic showers, with a 30 percent chance of rain after 1 p.m. and a 40 percent chance Sunday night.
Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart on Friday again eased the city’s mask mandate, effectively repealing the order for fully vaccinated people based on recent changes to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on curbing the spread of COVID-19.
The modified CDC guidelines and city mask mandate advise that fully vaccinated people may take off masks while indoors and resume most pre-pandemic activities without physically distancing themselves from others. Masks still should be worn on public transit and in certain other crowded indoor settings, the CDC recommends. Full vaccination is considered to be two weeks after a vaccine regimen is completed.
These changes are in addition to other recent updated guidance that fully vaccinated people may gather or conduct activities outdoors without masks. Hart on May 3 modified the city’s mask mandate in line with those revisions.
The Iowa Department of Public Health, as has been its custom, has stepped further along than what the CDC has recommended. On Friday it sent out a letter to educators suggesting that masking should not be required in schools, although it did urge schools to have masks on hand in case students decided they wanted to wear them. Also, the department loosened its quarantine requirements for students who test positive for COVID-19, saying that those who come into contact with them should not be required to quarantine, and also appeared to give some wiggle room for what parents should do when students are found to be positive with the virus.
The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday unanimously rejected the appeal of a man who said the state should refund a $465 fine he paid for a speeding ticket on the heels of an earlier high court ruling that said commercial vehicle patrol officers could not issue such tickets.
The high court’s ruling likely means the state is off the hook for refunding millions of dollars in fines collected from tens of thousands of drivers wrongly ticketed over several years by Motor Vehicle Enforcement officers employed by the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Finally, I am happy to report that a 7-year-old orange tabby cat that was tossed into the Cedar River on Monday from the Third Avenue Bridge is resting comfortably at Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control, according to the shelter’s program manager, Ronnie Schlabs.
The cat, named Julie Ann by her former owner who was arrested and charged with animal abuse, spent most of her first day in the animal shelter’s care at a vet’s office, where she was treated for hypothermia and checked for injuries, according to Schlabs. The cat spent several hours at the vet being warmed with a heating pad and snuggled in extra blankets until her temperature returned to normal.
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