116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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This is John McGlothlen with the Gazette digital news desk and I'm here with your update for Monday, May 24th.
Today we’ll have a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms. It will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. Winds from the southwest 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Tonight, there is a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1 a.m. The low should be around 66.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Iowa reached their lowest level since last June, and the seven-day case average continued to decline as more Iowans get vaccinated. Nearly 48%, or 1.27 million, of all Iowans eligible for a COVID vaccine — ages 12 and older — are fully vaccinated as of 1:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Iowa Department of Public Health data. Of the entire state population, more than 40 percent of Iowans are vaccinated. COVID hospitalizations dropped to 131 as of 11 a.m. Sunday, the lowest since June 29 of last year. And the seven-day average declined for the 11th consecutive day to 180, the lowest since April 18, 2020.
The state is acting on “credible intelligence” that Anamosa inmates planned a bomb. According to the Iowa Department of Corrections, the State Fire Marshal’s Office is analyzing a “household substance” that could be used to make a bomb after an investigation led to its discovery last week in an inmate’s cell at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. The seizure comes nearly two months after two inmates attempting to escape from the same prison used hammers to bludgeon to death nurse Lorena Schulte and Corrections Officer Robert McFarland. The murders have prompted multiple investigations and brought sharp criticism from a public union representing workers in Iowa penitentiaries that the state has allowed staffing levels to dip to dangerous levels. Authorities with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation on Friday went to the Anamosa prison “to begin interviews of inmates suspected of planning to use an explosive device,” according to Corrections Department spokesman Cord Overton.