116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
In the news
Guilty plea in Trump rally shooting: A supporter of former President Donald Trump pleaded guilty to felony charges for firing his handgun into a car full of Black girls who were arguing with pro-Trump agitators near the Iowa Capitol last December, injuring one. Michael McKinney, 26, pleaded guilty to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and willful injury, charges that each carry up to 10 years in prison. Under a plea agreement that a prosecutor called “generous,” the state will dismiss four charges including attempted murder and won’t seek sentencing enhancements that would require McKinney to serve a mandatory minimum of five years on each count before becoming eligible for parole.
COVID testing: The state of Iowa is ending its coronavirus testing program next month, saying demand has fallen for testing at the state-funded drive-thru and clinic sites. Health care providers, pharmacies and other retail testing sites will continue to offer tests.
Business destroyed: Fire destroyed Dobson Pipe Organ Builders in Lake City, a western Iowa business that made pipe organs for churches, schools and customers from around the world. Firefighters found the building engulfed in flames that caused its exterior walls to collapse.
Gambling revenue: Iowa casinos are on track to have their most profitable year ever, with officials crediting “pent-up” post-pandemic demand among Iowans eager to spend money at entertainment venues as a key factor in the fiscal 2021 revenue surge.
They said ...
“This is going to put the state of Iowa in the pole position in terms of de-carbonization.”
— Navigator CO2 Ventures CEO Matt Vining, on a proposed $2 billion, 1,200-mile carbon sequestration pipeline
“We’re in a bad place in this country. We need to find ways to get beyond political labels.”
— Rob Sand, Democratic state auditor who is mulling a run for governor
Odds and ends
New leader: Iowa House Democrats elected state Rep. Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights to be their new caucus leader — making her the first woman to serve in that capacity.
Safe haven: A baby boy born April 23 was released to Iowa Department of Human Services custody under the state’s Safe Haven procedure — the 48th time it’s been used since the law was established about 20 years ago.
Burning fine: A northwest Iowa man was ordered to pay an $80,000 fine for burning thousands of railroad ties on his property despite being told it would violate the law.
Possible candidate: State Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Hiawatha, said she is “seriously considering” a bid next year for the 1st Congressional District seat currently held by Republican U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson.
Stepping aside: State Sen. Rob Hogg, a Cedar Rapids Democrat who has been in the Iowa Legislature for nearly two decades, announced he will not seek reelection in 2022.
Supreme Court: U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst called it a hypothetical, but did not rule out the potential for a Republican-controlled Senate to once again block a Democratic president’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee at any point in 2024.
More in the news
Iowan arrested over Capitol attack: The FBI arrested an Iowa man and his adult son after they discussed on social media their involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, court records show. Daryl Johnson, 50, of St. Ansgar, and 29-year-old Daniel Johnson of Austin, Minn., were arrested separately by agents. An FBI affidavit quotes Daniel Johnson as writing “We stormed capitol hill” to a contact on Facebook on Jan. 6. The two are charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct, violent entry, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
Tax law changes: Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a package of tax provisions that includes a reduction in the state income tax and tax brackets, and a new method for funding mental health care services across the state. Mental health care advocates and stakeholders were on hand to celebrate the new law.
Reynolds sued: Jerry Foxhoven, the former head of the Iowa Department of Human Services, alleges in a lawsuit against Gov. Kim Reynolds that he was ousted because he raised concerns that one of her aides was being paid with federal Medicaid money.
Tax proposal: Gov. Kim Reynolds said all ideas are on the table when it comes to future state tax reductions, including the elimination of the state’s income tax that is responsible for nearly half of all state revenue.