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 8 and Sunday, May 9.
Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!
I bear bad news if you were hoping for a sunny and warm holiday weekend. According to the National Weather Service, rain will be likely in the Cedar Rapids area Saturday, with the probability of rainfall increasing greatly after 5 p.m. There will be increasing cloudiness as the day goes on, with a high temperature of about 59 degrees. Also increasing will be the wind, rising to 15 to 20 mph with gusts of 35 mph as Saturday gives way to Sunday.
Rain and possibility a thunderstorm will continue into Sunday, with the rainfall mostly ceasing by 7 a.m. Sunday. There will be some chance of scattered showers on Sunday, but otherwise it will be cloudy and windy with a high near 57 degrees.
The Iowa Department of Corrections is seeking a vendor to review all parts of its prison system, from staffing and inmate classification to the safety of buildings where more than 8,000 criminal offenders are housed.
The request for proposals, which closed Wednesday, says the vendor that is chosen will provide a final report by Dec. 1. But the Corrections Department won’t confirm whether the findings will be available to the public.
The institutional review follows the March 23 attack in which two offenders at the Anamosa State Penitentiary are accused of bludgeoning to death correctional Officer Robert McFarland and nurse Lorena Schulte in an escape attempt.
It was also determined this week that those two inmates will be tried separately.
Thomas Woodard, 39, will remain set for trial June 22 because he demanded a speedy trial.
Michael Dutcher, 28, will be tried at a later date to be determined by the court, according to a Friday status conference in Jones County District Court.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to charges of two counts of first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and attempted murder.
The three candidates who have launched their bids for Cedar Rapids mayor will be pressed Saturday on their visions to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the city in the first sponsored forum of the campaign cycle.
The African American Professionals of the Iowa Corridor will host a forum from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Coe College’s Sinclair Auditorium, 1220 First Ave NE. All three candidates — Advocates for Social Justice board Vice President Amara Andrews, Mayor Brad Hart and nonprofit Women Lead Change CEO Tiffany O’Donnell — will participate.
The livestream of the event will be available at the AAP Iowa Facebook page.
A seven-month process, in which Marion High School has tried to identify a new nickname for its athletics teams, is expected to reach a conclusion in the coming days.
“We will have the final vote completed by Sunday night, with board approval Monday night,” athletics director Mike Manderscheid wrote in an email to The Gazette on Thursday.
The three candidates to replace the long-standing Indians nickname and mascot are Storm, Wolves and no nickname at all. Red Storm and Red Wolves were finalists in a previous district-wide survey, in which voters chose Mavericks.
In March, the decision to adopt Mavericks was overturned because the district learned the origin of the term Maverick is from Samuel A. Maverick, an early 1800s Texas rancher and slave owner.
I’ve got another event to tell you about.
For change makers. Solution seekers. For all Iowans who care about our state. The Iowa Ideas 2021 virtual conference is your must-attend event. The Gazette is providing free access to this two-day gathering of 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. The future of Iowa is counting on you. Join us October 14th and 15th for this can’t miss, idea-exchange experience. Learn more and register for free at iowaideas.com.