116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
In the news
State pares back COVID data reporting: Starting this week, Iowa public health officials will update COVID-19 data on a weekly basis, as opposed to the current method of several times a day. This change and other adjustments will be implemented ahead of the state’s plan to transition COVID-19 reporting to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website and decommission Iowa’s public-facing coronavirus website, coronavirus.iowa.gov, by late summer. State officials had been detailing cases, hospitalizations, long-term care facility outbreaks, deaths and other key metrics to measure the course of the pandemic in Iowa. Data on long-term outbreaks, serology, occupation data, underlying health conditions and Test Iowa assessments will be removed from the live website.
Pandemic relief: Iowa small cities are planning to take advantage of nearly $222 million in federal coronavirus pandemic relief funds for cities of less than 50,000 people. In Iowa, that’s all but 11 of the state’s 900-plus cities. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement alleged the state is dragging its feet on distributing the funds.
New laws: Dozens of new laws went onto Iowa’s books Thursday. Earlier this year, 153 pieces of legislation were passed by state lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds with an enactment date of July 1, according to the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.
Historical mayor: LaMetta Wynn, who in 1995 was elected to become Iowa’s first Black female mayor and served for three terms as Clinton mayor, died June 24 at High Plains Specialty Care Center in Lincoln, Neb. She was 87.
They said …
“I feel damaged. I feel my integrity has been questioned.”
— Robert T. DeNormandie Jr., after an expert disagreed that his double bell euphonium was one used during filming of “The Music Man”
“There is no reason America should go along with the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.”
— Nikki Haley, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, during an Iowa GOP fundraiser
Odds and ends
Unemployment boost: Beginning Sunday, there will be an increase in the maximum weekly benefits paid to unemployed Iowans and to workers injured on the job, according to Iowa Workforce Development.
Lottery boom: Iowa Lottery officials said they are on track to smash all their annual records, having already surpassed $417 million in sales with a month still left in the fiscal year.
Eviction fears: Nearly 41,000 Iowans fear they face eviction or foreclosure once a federal moratorium is lifted, according to federal census survey data.
The water cooler
Supreme Court: The Iowa Supreme Court 2020-21 adjudicative term ended with the court having rendered opinions on 120 cases and held one over for resubmission.
Judges nominated: A state panel recommended three judges for appointment to the Iowa Court of Appeals: Mary Chicchelly of Cedar Rapids, Gina Badding of Carroll and Joel Barrows of Bettendorf.
Judge apologizes: A federal judge in Iowa admitted wrongdoing and publicly apologized for comments ridiculing former President Donald Trump for issuing a series of pardons to well-connected Republican officials.
More in the news
High court upholds abortion law: The Iowa Supreme Court upheld a 2019 law that blocks federal funds from Planned Parenthood to provide young Iowans with sex education curriculum, overturning a district court decision that ruled the law unconstitutional. In a 6-1 ruling, the justices said the law preventing Planned Parenthood of the Heartland from receiving two federal grants to support sex education and related services does not violate the organization’s equal protection rights. A previous ruling by a Polk County district judge, who issued a permanent injunction on the law, has been reversed and remanded, the Supreme Court said.
Ruling reversed: Overturning a landmark $1.5 million jury verdict, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that former Gov. Terry Branstad did not illegally discriminate or retaliate against a gay state official. The court found no evidence that Branstad had knowledge that then-Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey was gay when his administration tried to push Godfrey out of state government in 2011.
Border patrol: Up to 30 Iowa State Patrol officers will be redeployed for about two weeks to the U.S.-Mexico border to help law enforcement and border security efforts there, Gov. Kim Reynolds and the state Department of Public Safety announced.
COVID lawsuit: A lawsuit brought by relatives of two Tyson workers in Waterloo and Independence who died days apart of COVID-19 has been transferred to federal court. It’s a move that hasn’t worked for other coronavirus lawsuits against the meatpacking giant.