Coronavirus in Iowa, live updates for April 9: Cedar Rapids, MidAmerican Energy donations to relief efforts

Mary Jordan (left) and Jessica Miersen (right) grill burgers outside Nelson's Meat Market in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, A
Mary Jordan (left) and Jessica Miersen (right) grill burgers outside Nelson’s Meat Market in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, April 4, 2020. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

MidAmerican Energy donating $500,000 to local relief efforts

MidAmerican Energy announced it is donating a half-million dollars to local COVID-19 relief efforts throughout our service area.

In the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City area, that includes:

Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation — $25,000

Linn County Community Food Bank — $2,500

Salvation Army — $2,500

Coralville Community Food Pantry — $2,500

Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP) — $2,500

Community Foundation of Johnson County — $25,000

CommUnity Food Bank — $2,500

North Liberty Food Pantry — $2,500

Solon Community Food Pantry — $2,500

Hy-Vee offering curbside meals-to-go online

Hy-Vee, Inc. announced Thursday that, at more than 200 locations companywide, customers will be able to order curbside meals-to-go online.

Through Hy-Vee’s Mealtime To Go offerings, customers can order hot, prepared foods along with take-and-bake meals. Meals will be available for free pickup in as little as 30 minutes or can be scheduled for a future pick up time.

Customers can order online at and can also access ordering via Hy-Vee’s Aisles Online app. Options will vary based on offerings available at each Hy-Vee store. Meals will include selections from Asian, Hickory House, sandwiches, breakfast, sushi and take-and-bake items. Several meals will come with one side option included. Customers may also choose to add on additional food items to their orders.

Customers will call a designated phone number provided in a confirmation email once they arrive at their store location for pick up. Employees will deliver food orders directly to customers’ vehicles.

Gary Allan concert in Cedar Rapids rescheduled

The Gary Allan concert that originally was scheduled for June 13 at the McGrath Amphitheatre in Cedar Rapids has been rescheduled for September 10 at that venue.

Those with tickets to the original date should hold on to their original tickets and they will be valid for the new date. No other action is needed.


Guests should contact the U.S. Cellular Center ticket office with questions. People are encouraged to visit for updates on events.

Summer Iowa Games still plan to be held

The 34th annual Summer Iowa Games, scheduled from July 11 to July 26, are still scheduled to be held. Registration is open at the Games’ site.

In the event a sport people have signed up for is canceled and can’t be rescheduled, the registration fees will be refunded or you can opt to get a credit for a future event.

Iowa gifted 5,000 gallons of ethanol for hand-sanitizer project

JOHNSTON — Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) member Green Plains Inc. donated 5,000 gallons of ethanol to the state of Iowa Thursday for its hand sanitizer production project with Iowa Prison Industries (IPI).

This week’s donation follows donations of ethanol from Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy and Absolute Energy and a donation of glycerin by Western Iowa Energy. IPI has already produced over 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and is producing approximately 4,500 gallons a week.

The hand sanitizer IPI produces is being distributed for free by the state for priority use in locations such as the Iowa Veterans Home and DHS child care facilities.

CSPS virtual portrait show

CEDAR RAPIDS — CSPS is putting out an artist call to help create a virtual portrait gallery to give an outlet for artistic expression during this time of social distancing and self-isolation. Unlike a traditional portrait show, you, the artist, decide the medium, subject and how you interpret a portrait.

Submission guidelines: If your portrait is a video, keep it to under one minute. All submissions must follow Instagram’s rules regarding content. Include your name, medium used, and title of the work.


Submit work on Instagram by tagging @CSPSHall and using the hashtag #CSPSVP

Submission will be accepted until social distancing and self-isolation protocols have been lifted. Don’t have Instagram? Email your submission to

Pork Tornadoes concerts online

CEDAR FALLS — The Pork Tornadoes, the popular Eastern Iowa cover band that is making a habit of selling out the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, is sharing videos from past live performances through Facebook events on Saturdays at 7 p.m.

A live acoustic show on April 4 drew 30,000 views. This Saturday the band will be airing an hour of full-blown concert footage from an Oktoberfest show this past year. April 18 features vintage, never-before-seen Pork Tornadoes videos, and April 25 brings footage from a Veterans Memorial Stadium concert on Aug. 17, 2019.

The money raised from fan donations of these broadcasts is being donated to the band’s crew, technicians, management and production teams, all of whom are out of work, as well as to some of the Tornadoes’ favorite music venues and their employees.

To receive an event notification, RSVP here or go to that site Saturday night to watch the band in action.

Cedar Rapids, Marion City Council meetings to be hosted virtually

The Cedar Rapids City Council meeting for next Tuesday at noon will be hosted virtually. The meeting will be streamed live on the City’s Facebook page and indexed videos will be available on the City’s website.

The public is invited to provide comment by sending written comments to before the scheduled meeting or by participating in the Zoom conference call. Written comments received before 11 a.m. on April 14 will be provided to the members of the City Council before the meeting. Residents wishing to comment during the meeting must register using this Zoom link. After registering, you will receive an email with instructions on how to participate in the call.


The public will only be invited to speak during designated public comment sections of the meeting. City Hall remains closed to the public. No in-person participation is available.

Today’s 5:30 p.m. Marion City Council meeting also will be online. Audio only can be heard by calling 1-929-205-6099 and enter the meeting ID# 991 850 601

Anyone who wishes to comment on an agenda item, including public hearings, may submit the question or comment to the City Clerk by 4 p.m., today, or email. Comments can also be provided during the Zoom meeting by clicking on the Q&A option and entering your comment. All comments will be acknowledged during the meeting.

Iowa City Farmers Market postpones opener until June 6

The Iowa City Farmers Market is postponing its opening until June 6. The decision is based on information provided by the CDC regarding limiting social gatherings to no more than 10 people.

The date and format could change depending on the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market is usually held Wednesdays and Saturdays at Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp the first week in May through the last week in October.

To help customers and vendors, information about how to contact vendors directly for their goods and services can be found here.

Biking Single Track Trails video

As part of the Things to Do in the Iowa City Area While Social Distancing series, Josh Schamberger and Luke Eustice share a video from the Woodpecker Single Track biking trail in Coralville, near the Tom Harkin Trailhead on Camp Cardinal Boulevard.

This is a link to the video.

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Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.