116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Racist remarks interrupt Zoom event: Racist images and remarks interrupted a virtual political event hosted by Iowa Democrats. During an event conducted over Zoom on Jan. 7, individuals shouted and drew a racial epithet and posted an image of a monkey on the shared screen for all participants to see. Among the event’s participants were three Black state lawmakers and two Black leaders in the Iowa Democratic Party. “What happened (that night) was absolutely disgusting, unacceptable, and far too common,” said Rep. Phyllis Thede, a Democrat from Bettendorf and a Black woman.
Tax cuts: In her Condition of the State address Tuesday night, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds proposed that Iowa cut taxes by nearly $2 billion by moving to a 4 percent flat income tax phased in over four years and repealing all state taxes on retirement income beginning next year. The proposal would reduce state revenue by an estimated $1.58 billion by tax year 2026, when it would be fully implemented.
‘Sinister agenda’: Iowa’s Senate President Jake Chapman, a Republican from Adel, opened the legislative session Monday with an attack on the media and claims of a “sinister agenda” to normalize deviant behavior against children. “The attack on our children is no longer hidden,” he said. “Those who wish to normalize sexually deviant behavior against our children, including pedophilia and incest, are pushing this movement more than ever before.”
Omicron’s surge continues: The ongoing spread of the omicron variant has driven new COVID-19 cases in Iowa to near-record levels, putting a strain on testing capacity and hospitals.
Traffic accident: Authorities say a western Iowa police officer struck and killed a 12-year-old child with a patrol vehicle while headed to an apartment fire. Authorities identified the child as Vana Marie Redd and the officer as Reece Anderson, 22, of Red Oak.
They said …
“If a patient comes in for treatment who is unvaccinated, we worry, are they going to make it out the door again?” — Kelly Richards, chief nursing officer at MercyOne Waterloo, on the COVID surge
“Iowa loves football and betting on football.” — Russ Mitchell, industry analyst, on the state’s skyrocketing sports betting
Odds and ends
Pigs die of neglect: A rural Cedar Falls man has been arrested on animal neglect charges after hundreds of pigs died at his farm in December. Black Hawk County sheriff’s deputies arrested 38-year-old Nolan Otto Dewall on Monday on one count of livestock neglect. Authorities allege 800 of the 2,500 baby pigs he’d been hired to raise died of malnutrition and dehydration. A consultant found that the pigs didn’t have ready access to water and food.
RAGBRAI director: Matt Phippen was hired as director of operations for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. He will oversee route planning and logistics, town planning, and partner relationships with governments, law enforcement and medical personnel. Phippen replaces Dieter Drake.
Librarians honored: Two Iowa librarians were among the 10 recipients of this year’s American Library Association’s I Love My Librarian award. Renee Greenlee of the Marion Public Library and Shannon Horton of the Decorah middle and high school libraries will each receive $5,000, along with a $750 donation to their respective libraries.
Watering hole: The Mill, a longtime downtown Iowa City nightlife fixture, will be demolished soon. The popular bar and restaurant was in business for nearly 60 years.
Unsung hero dies: A Waterloo woman who was in a top-secret codebreaking unit during World War II died Jan. 7 of COVID-19, just 11 days shy of her 101st birthday. Delores Schaack Burdett had been a Navy intelligence specialist, intercepting and decoding Japanese messages during wartime. In 1945, she received a Navy commendation award, with instruction to tell no one of the award for 50 years.
Lucky break: A lottery ticket worth $2 million was sold at a Casey’s in New Hampton, the Iowa lottery announced Tuesday. The lucky ticket holder has 365 days to claim the prize.