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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
In the news
C.R. SUPERINTENDENT TO RESIGN: Cedar Rapids school Superintendent Noreen Bush will resign at the end of this school year.
Bush, who went on medical leave Monday, will remain superintendent during the remainder of the school year, according to a letter to the community Thursday afternoon.
The letter said a national search will be undertaken to hire her successor.
Bush was diagnosed with cancer two-and-a-half years ago while she was superintendent of the 16,700-student district.
UNWANTED KISS?: A police incident report surfaced last week detailing an accusation that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mike Franken kissed a former campaign staffer without her consent in March.
Franken denies the allegation — “It never happened,” he told The Gazette on Monday — and his campaign has focused on the fact that police found no criminal act had occurred and closed the case as unfounded.
Republicans have called for Franken to release the woman, Kimberley Strope-Boggus, from the non-disparagement agreement she told police she signed. Franken’s campaign denied former employees of the campaign — Strope-Boggus was fired in March — are barred from speaking about their experience.
PENCE TO EASTERN IOWA: Former Vice President Mike Pence will make another visit to Iowa this week, campaigning alongside Republican Rep. Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton at the annual Kaufmann Family Harvest Dinner on Sept. 29 in Wilton.
The visit marks another swing through the state and bolsters speculation that Pence, 63, is considering running for president in 2024. He was last in the state at the Iowa State Fair in August, campaigning alongside incumbent U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, who is seeking re-election in November.
SECRETARY OF STATE CONTEST: Iowa’s candidates for secretary of state sparred over voting rights, misinformation and other topics in a Sept. 16 taping of “Iowa Press.”
Joel Miller, a Democrat and the Linn County auditor, said many of Iowa’s new voting laws are unfair and make voting more difficult, while incumbent Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate said he supported some and was more ambivalent about others.
New voting laws, passed by the Republican-led Legislature and signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds in 2021, shortened the window for early voting and reduced the time the polls were open on Election Day. Republicans said the laws were about improving Iowa’s election security, while Democrats argued they made voting more difficult.
While Miller said Pate has not disavowed former President Donald Trump’s election misinformation, Pate said he has made several statements pushing back against lies and misinformation about Iowa’s election.
STUDENT LOAN RELIEF: More than 408,000 Iowans will be eligible to have up to $20,000 of their federal student loans forgiven, the White House announced last week.
That accounts for 95 percent of all student borrowers in the state, who owe a combined $13.3 billion in student loans, according to Department of Education data.
President Joe Biden’s loan forgiveness program applies only to borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year, or $250,000 for a married couple.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds joined other Republican governors earlier this month in calling for Biden to rescind the plan, arguing it shifts the burden onto low-income Americans who didn’t take out college loans.
They said …
"We need to make voting easier. It became harder after the 2021 election laws were passed, and that was an attack upon vote by mail and early voting." — Democratic Secretary of State candidate Joel Miller
“I would remind people as the secretary of state you don’t get to wear a team jersey; you’re the referee. So you follow the laws and the rules that you have on the books. And when you look at the last presidential election, if we follow the laws on the books like we did here in Iowa, then we have a legitimate winner, and we need to recognize that.” — Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate
Odds and Ends
ISU PLANS "CYTOWN": Iowa State University has unveiled plans to develop an area near Jack Trice football stadium into “CyTown,” a destination entertainment complex.
The proposed district includes a medical facility, retail space, offices and outdoor and indoor event spaces. The cost is slated at $200 million.
OPIOID HELP WEBSITE: Iowans looking for treatment for opioid use disorder have a new resource to find help.
IowaOpioidHelp.com was set up by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office to point Iowans to places where they can find medication-assisted therapy, using FDA-approved medications that curb withdrawals and cravings, and other services to treat addiction.
1ST DISTRICT DEBATE: Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Democratic challenger Christina Bohannan will have their first debate Monday.
The two candidates, running to represent Eastern Iowa's 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House, will face off on Iowa PBS at 7 p.m. The debate also will be livestreamed on Iowapbs.org and YouTube.
In Eastern Iowa’s new 2nd District, Rep. Ashley Hinson, a Republican from Marion, and challenger Liz Mathis, a Democrat from Hiawatha, are scheduled to debate on Iowa PBS debate at 7 p.m. Oct. 18.
In the race for governor, Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds will debate Democratic challenger Deidre DeJear at 7 p.m. Oct. 17.
IOWA SURPASSES 10,000 COVID DEATHS: More than 10,000 Iowans have died of COVID-19 as of last Wednesday. The 57 deaths recorded in the past week pushed the pandemic’s death toll to 10,051.
The state on Wednesday also reported 2,908 new COVID-19 cases, down almost 30 percent from the previous week’s 4,109 new cases.
TAIWAN BUYING IOWA GRAIN: Taiwan is set to buy more than $2.6 billion in Iowa soybeans and corn after signing letters of intent during a ceremony at the Iowa Capitol last week.
Gov. Kim Reynolds said Iowa has spent years cultivating a strong relationship with Taiwan, and the agreement will build upon that relationship.