CR School Facility Plan Approved - The Cedar Rapids school board unanimously approved a facilities plan Monday night that calls for eight elementary schools over the next two decades to be closed. Each of the seven members voted “yes” after about 90 minutes of public comment, during which the majority of speakers asked the board to delay the vote. At one point, dozens of people in the audience held up sheets of paper covered in signatures — those of more than 600 people who signed a petition urging the board to wait another 90 days. Read the full story about this vote and plan here.
Water plant Improvement up for Vote - Cedar Rapids officials say nearly $14 million worth of improvements are needed as part of a larger plan to extend the life of the 89-year-old water treatment plant on J Avenue NE. This would be the second part of a five-phase, 10-year project to modernize the aging plant at 761 J Ave. NE that supplies about two-thirds of the city’s water.
“It’s a major redo,” said Scott Olson, a City Council member and chairman of the city’s infrastructure committee. “We are taking this decades-old plant and gradually rebuilding to make it more energy efficient and up to today’s standards.” Continue reading the story here.
Eastern Iowa Airport breaking records - The Eastern Iowa Airport set a new passenger record with 1.14 million people this past year. According to a Monday news release, the airport in 2017 surpassed the previous record for passengers — 1.13 million — set in 2014. Last year marks the eighth time in airport history to see ridership surpass one million passengers. Read a full story with reactions to the record breaking here.
Iowa preps to host Wisconsin - If the current men’s basketball declines of Iowa and Wisconsin have any significant difference, it’s that the Badgers have fallen further.
If the expression about misery loving company rings true, the Hawkeyes will embrace the Badgers when they meet Tuesday night at 6 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (ESPN2). Wisconsin is 10-10 overall, 3-4 in the Big Ten. Iowa is 10-11, 1-7. Those aren’t numbers you normally would associate with either program at this point in the season. Read the full preview story here.
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics CEO steps down - Just weeks after longtime head of University of Iowa Health Care Jean Robillard stepped down, his pick nearly a decade ago to lead the UI Hospitals and Clinics has announced he’s retiring.
Ken Kates, 62, who has served as chief executive officer for the state’s largest hospital system since 2008, plans to leave his post in the summer — although a specific date hasn’t been announced. His departure follows that of Robillard, who was named UI vice president for medical affairs of UI Health Care in 2007 and stepped down Nov. 30. Continue reading here.