116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
In the news
Public health says Pedati stepping down: Without explanation, the state Department of Public Health abruptly announced the resignation of Dr. Caitlin Pedati as Iowa’s medical director and epidemiologist. Pedati, one of the central figures in the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to leave the agency in late October, according to an Iowa Department of Public Health news release, which included comments from Gov. Kim Reynolds and interim state public health director Kelly Garcia, but not Pedati.
Mask argument: The lawyer representing Gov. Kim Reynolds in a federal lawsuit over mandatory mask use in schools has asked the judge to allow a temporary order that has allowed schools to implement mask mandates to expire next week, citing testimonials from mothers of school-age children who make unproven assertions that masks can harm children.
COVID strain: Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, said he’s worried a surge in coronavirus cases is burning out many nurses and other staffers. Gunasekaran said the hospital has hundreds of openings in nursing, food service, housekeeping, maintenance and nursing assistance.
Immigration letter: Gov. Kim Reynolds joined 25 other Republican governors in requesting a meeting with Democratic President Joe Biden to “bring an end” to what they view as a national security and humanitarian crisis at the U.S. border with Mexico.
They said …
“(The nurse) said, ‘They found your lungs.’ I was crying; she was crying.”
— Randy McIntyre, of Andalusia, Ill., who became the first person in Iowa to receive a double lung transplant
“When you look at everything that was done … I don’t think you could ask for a second map to look any better.”
— Amy Campbell, a lobbyist whose clients include the League of Women Voters of Iowa, on proposed redistricting maps
Odds and ends
Successful students: Iowans ranked the highest for the percentage of individuals who passed a high school equivalency exam administered in 25 states and four U.S. territories, state officials said.
Indicators improving: State officials said Iowa’s leading indicators index increased slightly to 109.1 in July — marking the 12th monthly jump in the last 13 months, with four of the eight components contributing positively.
District judge: Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday she has appointed Valerie Clay of Marion to serve as a district court judge in Judicial District 6, which includes Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn and Tama counties.
The water cooler
Voter registration: To honor National Voter Registration Day, the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office is sending postcards to about 50,000 Iowans who are eligible to vote that includes instructions on how to register.
Secretary of State candidate: Citing a lack of leadership that he believes is eroding trust in Iowa’s election process, Linn County Auditor Joel Miller is running to be secretary of state to “make voting easy, again.”
Congressional candidate: Joseph Kerner filed a statement of candidacy this past week with the Federal Election Commission, giving notice of his intention to run as a Democrat in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District.
More in the news
Supreme Court hears Liggins arguments: The future of thrice-convicted murderer Stanley Liggins now is in the hands of the Iowa Supreme Court. The high court justices heard arguments related to testimony of witnesses in the 1990 murder and sexual assault of Jennifer Ann Lewis, who was 9 when her remains were found burning in a field near Jefferson Elementary School in Davenport. Liggins’ first two convictions were overturned. A third trial ended with a hung jury, and he was again convicted in a 2019 retrial.
Tom Miller running: Democrat Tom Miller, 77, already the longest-serving state attorney general in U.S. history, announced his intention to seek re-election in 2022 to an 11th, four-year term as leader of Iowa’s Department of Justice.
War memorial: Despite a setback, combat veteran and Iowa U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst continues to push for a memorial on the National Mall to honor the men and women who have served in the nation’s longest war, the global war on terrorism.
Unemployment levels: Iowa’s unemployment rate for August held steady at 4.1 percent as the number of unemployed residents increased slightly, a state agency reported. The number of unemployed Iowans increased by 300 to 67,900, according to Iowa Workforce Development. The number of residents with jobs dropped by 1,600 to stand at 1.59 million. Iowa’s unemployment rate is ranked 17th nationally.