116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
We should get a break from rain Thursday, but the clear skies won’t last long. According to the National Weather Service it will be mostly sunny with a high near 86 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area. The wind will pick up and clouds will gather as the day goes on, as showers and thunderstorms are expected to return early Friday morning. It will be mostly cloudy Thursday night with a low around 62 degrees.
It will cost over $200,000 to rebuild a Vinton park that was burned down this past weekend in an apparent arson, according to a video posted to Facebook by the director of the Vinton Parks and Recreation Department.
The fire happened early Saturday morning, according to a news release from the Vinton Police Department. Vinton police and firefighters responded just before 3 a.m. and found the main playground equipment engulfed in fire as well as a Vinton Parks and Recreation vehicle. There also was a trampoline on fire in the area.
The playground equipment, vehicle and trampoline were all a total loss.
Two juvenile suspects were identified by police as part of the investigation and charges are pending. Chief Ted Paxton said Wednesday the police department still is gathering information as the investigation continues and police hope to have official charges filed before the end of the week.
Mandatory masking is returning to local hospitals as COVID-19 transmission rates continue to rise in Iowa.
On Wednesday, Iowa reported 3,847 new coronavirus cases in the past seven days, continuing the recent trend of increasing case counts statewide, according to new data from the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Last week, the state reported 3,172 new cases. Four weeks ago, the state added 1,063 new cases in a seven-day period. Hospitalizations from the disease have also increased for four straight weeks.
As a result, after scaling back some requirements a month ago, both Cedar Rapids hospitals have recently implemented universal masking rules within their respective facilities.
The upturn in new cases is driven by the highly contagious omicron subvariant, BA. 2, which has become the dominant coronavirus strain in the Midwest and the rest of the country.
The next, roughly $8.2 billion state budget is being crafted as state lawmakers returned to work Wednesday for the first time in more than two weeks. If all goes well, the budget should be submitted on time.
It’s a signal that state legislators are preparing to finish their work for the year and adjourn the 2022 legislative session.
Still unknown is the fate of one piece of legislation hanging over the session: Gov. Kim Reynolds’ proposal for taxpayer-funded scholarships for private school tuition assistance.
Reynolds and Senate Republicans, who passed the bill in late March, have been delaying the end of the legislative session with hopes of convincing enough House Republicans to vote for the bill to pass it there, too, and get it to Reynolds’ desk for her signature.