116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Podcasts / Gazette Daily News
Gazette Daily News Podcast, September 22
It’s the Autumn Equinox on Thursday, and it’s certainly going to feel like Autumn. According to the National Weather Service it will be mostly sunny Thursday in the Cedar Rapids area with a high near 64 degrees. On Thursday night, it will be partly cloudy, with a low of around 48 degrees. A mild wind will calm as the day goes on.
Just weeks ahead of the start of the busy holiday shopping and shipping season, Nordstrom sent emails to employees at its Midwest Fulfillment Center in Cedar Rapids saying the corporation planned to “adjust the size” of its workforce there.
The Seattle-based department store chain filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, for 231 employees at its southwest Cedar Rapids facility, signaling the elimination of their positions.
In the Monday email to employees, Jason Bell, Nordstrom’s senior vice president said the company is moving away from a national fulfillment model to a regional model. Nordstrom is also sunsetting its Trunk Club offering, which will reduce mail volume, Bell wrote.
A Nordstrom spokesperson confirmed the email to The Gazette on Wednesday. The spokesperson said the fulfillment center employed more than 1,100 workers before the planned changes.
Iowa this week surpassed 10,000 deaths from COVID-19.
As of Wednesday, the pandemic’s death toll reached 10,051 in Iowa, after another 57 deaths were confirmed in the past week. That weekly total is more than double the previous week’s 26.
The virus has claimed more than a million lives in the United States in the past two-and-a-half years. And while it’s not the crisis it once was, hundreds of people are still dying each day from COVID-19.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has loosened COVID-19 guidelines in the past months — issuing the same guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and cutting the quarantine period from 10 days to five — it has not declared an end to the pandemic.
New COVID-19 booster shots targeting the omicron variant have been available to most Iowans 12 and older for a few weeks now. The newer shots are bivalent, meaning they target both the original strain of the virus as well as targeting the omicron variant of the disease that has been causing many of the breakthrough infections in the last year.
More than 400,000 Iowa borrowers are expected to see their student loan debt reduced or erased under President Joe Biden’s debt forgiveness plan, according to estimates the White House released this week.
According to the White House fact sheet, 408,700 Iowa borrowers will see some federal student loan debt forgiven.
Of those, 248,900 are Pell Grant recipients and are eligible for up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness. Other borrowers are eligible for up to $10,000 in debt forgiveness. Pell Grants go to students from low-income families.
The U.S. Department of Education is expected to open an application for borrowers to apply for debt forgiveness in early October, according to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.
The plan has not been without its critics. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed onto a letter with 21 other Republican governors this month calling on Biden to withdraw the plan and saying it puts the burden on lower-income Americans. There also is a Republican led plan in the works to challenge the loan reductions in court.