Gazette Daily News Update, May 26

Today will see some sun with a high near 84, but there’s a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. The chance of storms continues tonight and the temperature will drop to 65.

The number of coronavirus cases in Iowa rose today to 17,561 total cases and is now in 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties. The number of statewide deaths attributed to coronavirus has risen to 458.

Memorial Day was fairly quiet for most Iowans, although many found ways to recognize the day in an adapted form to maintain (some) social distancing, although restrictions in many areas have begin to ease.

On a typical Memorial Day in Earlville’s Fairview Cemetery, hundreds gather by the flagpole in “ceremony square” and listen to messages on the day’s true meaning. A high school band plays. Community awards go out, like to the Boy Scouts or the fire department. Instead, the American Legion got creative, organizing instead a caravan through town.

The Toddville Legion had planned on a weekend fish fry to raise money for its Memorial Day flags and other yearly activities. Then typically, on the holiday, the community would participate in events across the cemeteries including at Lafayette and Dunkard.

Instead, Louis Zankowski — a Vietnam veteran — visited each cemetery and played a recording of taps before returning to his Anamosa home, where he played it for the final time of the day.

Although the warm weather drew people outside Monday, Johnson County sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Montz still characterized it as a “fairly quiet” Memorial Day. On patrol, Montz noticed more people out cycling or walking. But the sheriff’s office didn’t respond to any reports of large gatherings or any other issues during the day Monday.

Montz seeing more people out cycling is no coincidence. Spring typically is a busier time for local bike shops. But this year, because of the pandemic, shop owners said they are busier than perhaps they’ve ever been. Logan Orcutt, owner of Goldfinch Cyclery says sales this month alone his shop is double its average for the past two years.

The demand is slimming the selection in some bike ships, and also increasing the workload for service and tune-ups. Local bike shops are encouraging customers to reach out with requests, but to be patient due to the high demand.

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