116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Thursday, November 24.
There will be a small chance for rain on Thursday, but the temperatures will remain pleasant. According to the National Weather Service it will be mostly with a high near 52 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area on Thursday. There will be a 20 percent chance of some rain before 1 p.m. On Thursday night it will be partly cloudy, with a low of around 29 degrees.
Let’s take a brief look at the origins of Thanksgiving in Iowa, thanks to the Gazette a Time Machine article, a series I incidentally recommend you check out on the website if you’re a history fan.
According to the article, Iowa's first territorial Thanksgiving is generally believed to have been proclaimed by Gov. Robert Lucas, who served from 1838 to 1841. The holiday's celebration was common in New England, and settlers who came west were believed to have continued the tradition.
But the first recorded gubernatorial proclamation of the celebration came from Iowa's second territorial governor, John Chambers of Kentucky, who was appointed in 1841.
Chambers' Thanksgiving proclamation, signed in the territorial office in Burlington 'at the requests of many of my fellow citizens,” declared Dec. 12, 1844, as a day of thanksgiving.
The day Iowa became the Union's 29th state - Dec. 28, 1846 - Ansel Briggs, elected the state's first governor on Dec. 2, gave his inaugural address. The following November, Briggs signed his first Thanksgiving Proclamation, setting aside Thursday, Nov. 25, 1847, as a day for giving thanks.
Back to the present, COVID numbers are on the rise again in Iowa just in time for holiday travel.
The state added 2,302 positive virus cases this week — the highest weekly total in more than two months. Last week, the new positive case count was 1,980. The actual total is likely higher, given the availability of at-home test kits, which are not reported to the state.
Hospitalizations from the virus increased by 26 percent in the past week after decreasing by 24 percent the week prior. The number of hospitalized patients increased from 137 to 172. ICU patients increased from 16 to 19.
These hospitalizations numbers are still relatively low compared to the overall history of the virus. COVID is just one of many viruses causing crowding at area hospitals.
In fact, hospitals across the United States are overwhelmed. The combination of a swarm of respiratory illnesses (RSV, coronavirus, flu), staffing shortages and nursing home closures has sparked the state of distress visited upon the already overburdened health-care system. And experts believe the problem will deteriorate further in coming months.
So get vaccinated if you can, wash your hands, and cross your fingers.
Ending with some happier news, Marion arborist Mike Cimprich has won a national award for derecho recovery efforts.
City arborist Mike Cimprich got an email last week announcing he was the recipient of the Merrell Changing Nature of Work Award.
He was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the award from the National Recreation and Park Association. The award recognizes an individual, or team, who has responded to natural disasters with a spirit of teamwork, community and perseverance to clean up, rebuild and advance the resilience and well-being of their community.
It comes with $10,000 to go toward a project. Cimprich told the Gazette it would go toward tree replanting in some way, whether that’s obtaining more staff or equipment or the actual tree planting itself.
Marion lost over 40 percent of its public tree canopy in the August 2020 derecho. Cimprich was integral in leading the response.