116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday that she’s committing $100 million in federal funding to help overcome the state’s housing shortage. The money is allocated to Iowa through the American Rescue Plan Act to help states recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The $100 million will be on top of the $230 million the Iowa Legislature passed earlier this year for housing growth over the next five years.
The governor called it “one of the most ambitious plans for housing growth anywhere in the country.” She spoke Wednesday during the HousingIowa Conference in Cedar Rapids. Reynolds says the investment in housing will directly help Iowa’s workforce, allowing Iowans to live in or near the communities where they work.
Not-for-profit organizations in the Cedar Rapids area would receive 8 percent of net revenue from any casino potentially developed in Linn County, under an agreement announced Wednesday. The Linn County Gaming Association and longtime partner Peninsula Pacific Entertainment made the announcement in trying to rally support for the passage of the Linn County gaming referendum on the Nov. 2 ballot. If passed, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment would again seek a license from the state to develop a casino in the area.
In promising the 8 percent in profits, the gaming association said it wants to give local organizations a boost considering the financial challenges faced from the 2020 derecho and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That allocation is more than double the 3 percent Iowa law requires casinos to give to nonprofits.
Students who take college credit courses in high school are more likely to enroll in postsecondary education after graduation and earn a college degree or credential, a new Iowa Department of Education report released Wednesday found.
State officials looked at data that tracked 29,000 high school graduates from the class of 2011 over an eight-year period. More than 75 percent of the over 17,000 high school students from the class of 2011 who earned college credit in high school enrolled in college immediately after graduating, and 59.1 percent of those students achieved a degree within eight years.
In comparison, just over 50 percent of students who did not earn college credit in high school immediately enrolled in college. Of those, the report found that nearly 33 percent completed a degree within eight years.
Iowa had a record number of high school students enrolled in college courses during the 2019-20 academic year, Iowa’s director of the state Education Department Ann Lebo said in releasing the report.
The Iowa Department of Public Health updated some of its COVID-19 data on the state’s website Wednesday. In Iowa hospitals, there are 578 COVID patients, with 79.4 percent of those patients unvaccinated. In Iowa’s ICUs, 88 percent of the 158 COVID patients are also unvaccinated.
The state also reported 30 more deaths since Sunday, for a total 6,337 COVID deaths since the pandemic began.
Today will be sunny, with a high near 78 and northwest winds 5 to 10 mph. Thursday night will be mostly clear, with a low around 51 and a north wind around 5 mph.