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 Thursday, October 21.
Whereas Wednesday’s weather featured the happy, sunny weather of early fall, Thursday will feature the cold and cloudy offerings of late fall. According to the National Weather Service it will be cloudy with a high near 55 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area. A wind of 15 mph will gust as high as 25 mph. Thursday night there will be a low of 36 degrees, and this will come with a chance for frost.
One hundred Iowans died this past week of COVID-19, the most deaths confirmed in a one-week period since April, though the number of new COVID-19 cases has decreased for the fourth consecutive week.
State public health officials reported 6,907 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, compared to 8,167 cases the week before.
The under 17 age group, one of the least vaccinated age groups, was again the largest age group with new cases. When factored in with the fact that those not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 account for 77.2 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, it continues to bear out that vaccines not only slow down the spread of the disease, they reduce the severity of symptoms for those who have breakthrough infections.
Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker said Wednesday he will not seek re-election next year after serving six years on the board, instead taking what he calls a “leap of faith” into new endeavors that include helping progressive candidates get elected.
Walker, 33, the board’s current chair, was first elected in 2016. His seat will be up for election in 2022 with the term ending in January 2023.
The Linn County Board of Supervisors now consists of Walker and Ben Rogers, both Democrats, and Louis Zumbach, a Republican. They each earn just under $120,000 a year.
According to the Associated Press, unemployed Iowans would be required to meet weekly with state case managers, conduct twice as many weekly work searches and undergo audits to prove they're actively looking for work under a new proposal announced at a news conference Wednesday by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Unemployment payments could be frozen if unemployed workers fail to meet the new criteria. Reynolds said some of the changes will require legislative approval but didn't elaborate.
Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said more than 86,500 job openings are posted on the Iowa Workforce Development website spanning all industries statewide. She said nearly 68,000 Iowans remain unemployed.
Iowa State Patrol Trooper Ted Benda died Tuesday, five days after crashing his patrol car while responding to a call in northeast Iowa.
Benda, 37, was assisting the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office with a call for service around 11:30 p.m. last Thursday when he was involved in a single-vehicle crash on Highway 51, about six miles north of Postville, the State Patrol reported last week.
Benda was airlifted to Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis., where he was in critical condition for several days.
The accident remains under investigation.