116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Be sure to subscribe to The Gazette Daily news podcast, or just tell your Amazon Alexa enabled device to “enable The Gazette Daily News skill" so you can get your daily briefing by simply saying “Alexa, what’s the news?
If you prefer podcasts, you can also find us on iTunes or wherever else you find your Podcasts.
This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Tuesday, September 14th.
After some spotty showers clear out early Tuesday morning, the rest of the day will remind you a lot of last week’s weather. According to the National Weather Service it will be partly sunny in the Cedar Rapids area Tuesday with a high near 81 degrees. The winds should be moderate, at 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night it will be partly cloudy, with a low around 54 degrees and calming wind.
It is too soon to tell how long it will last, but a judge’s ruling will shake up school masking policy in Iowa for this week at the very least.
A federal judge ordered Monday that the state of Iowa immediately halt enforcement of a new law that prevents local school boards from ordering masks to be worn in classrooms to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Judge Robert Pratt said in an order signed Monday that the measure passed in May by Republicans in the Iowa Legislature and quickly signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds substantially increases the risk of children with existing health conditions of contracting COVID-19.
Two things happened after this ruling was revealed late Monday afternoon.
Almost immediately, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds vowed to appeal the ruling, saying she will use every legal means at her disposal to try to restore the law banning mask mandates in Iowa schools.
Not long after that, several urban school districts announced that they will mandate masks or will at least consider it. Des Moines declared that they will mandate masks, the Iowa City School District indicated that they will likely adopt a mask mandate, and the Cedar Rapids school district dipped its toe into the water, indicating interest in instituting a masking mandate but wanting to check with state officials first.
After University of Northern Iowa and Des Moines Area Community College in 2020 debuted a streamlined path for DMACC students seeking a four-year UNI degree, the pair have announced a new “tuition equality” initiative allowing the students to get their Panther degrees for a Bears tuition rate.
The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Catalyst Circle is making the initiative possible through a $250,000 grant to fund scholarships for DMACC graduates seeking UNI degrees.
The need-based scholarships “will effectively allow students to complete a UNI degree for the cost of DMACC tuition,” creating “one of the most affordable” paths to a four-year degree in Iowa.
The grant-supported scholarships will help bridge an average tuition gap of about $1,000 per semester for UNI@DMACC students — at a time of increasing need, as COVID has cramped family finances and forced tuition increases across Iowa’s public universities.
Also in high education, the University of Iowa has made among the biggest year over year gains nationally in the “2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges” rankings made public today.
The UI had slipped last year from No. 84 among national universities to No. 88. But it jumped five spots to No. 83 in the new rankings — earning it recognition from U.S. News, which in its 37th year of ranking colleges evaluated 1,466 bachelor’s degree-granting institutions on 17 academic quality metrics.
Among only public and not private schools, the UI inched up one spot to No. 33 from No. 34, where it had been for two years.