Wednesday morning read: Civil rights investigation underway in Cedar Rapids school district, Vagina Monologues coming to Eastern Iowa, presidential hopeful to air ad targeting Iowa

Cedar Rapids Community School District buses at the Education Leadership Support Center in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, August 7, 2014. (File photo/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Community School District buses at the Education Leadership Support Center in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, August 7, 2014. (File photo/The Gazette)

Civil rights investigation underway in Cedar Rapids school district - The Cedar Rapids school district again is under federal investigation following a complaint that a teacher discriminated against African-American students.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights will investigate the complaint, according to a letter from the agency dated Jan. 24 and obtained by The Gazette.

School district spokeswoman Akwi Nji, in response to a question, said the district was made aware of the investigation Tuesday.

“The district, through legal counsel and its insurer, will cooperate fully with the investigation,” Nji said. “However, given the fact that confidential student and personnel records may be implicated and given the fact that the district just received the complaint from OCR, the district will not offer further comment on the matter.” Read more...

Vagina Monologues coming to Cedar Rapids stages - A group of Eastern Iowa women are coming together to present “The Vagina Monologues,” a play that brings attention to women’s sexuality and social stigmas surrounding rape and abuse.

Producer Erin Owen said though the show is over 20 years old, the themes it addresses are as relevant today as they were when it debuted. And as the #MeToo movement draws attention to sexual harassment in the workplace, many of the topics it discusses are front and center in the news.

In fact, Owen said that is part of what spurred her to stage the show, along with a desire to expose a new generation to the production.

“Giving women a voice and a platform during this time when people are trying to take away their reproductive rights and assaulting their bodies is important,” she said. Read more...

Presidential hopeful Delaney to air ad targeting Iowa during Super Bowl - Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful John Delaney has already been to Iowa five times.

Now, he’s hitting the airwaves.

The U.S. representative from Maryland is going to run a 30-second ad on Iowa televisions stations Sunday during the Super Bowl. The spot will run in the Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Sioux City television markets.

The spot is part of a $1 million monthlong ad buy, according to his campaign. Read more...

Update: Wrong-way driver on I-380 kills 'creative' hospital supervisor on her way home - The president of a Cedar Rapids radio station drove the wrong way for more than 3 miles on Interstate 380 Monday night before crashing head-on into a car driven by a hospital supervisor returning home from doing yoga, killing them both, authorities and others said Tuesday.

Cedar Rapids police identified the wrong-way driver as Robert K. Norton Jr., 69, of Iowa City, and the woman he struck as Jennifer R. Koenighain, 28, of Cedar Rapids. Both died at the scene of the crash.

“The intrusion on both vehicles was so severe the injuries were not sustainable with life,” said public safety spokesman Greg Buelow. Read more...

Iowa's finishing moves came from just about everyone against Minnesota - The Hawkeyes played well enough for their fans to debate what the finishing move was Tuesday night against Minnesota.

Was it the Luka Garza rebound and dish to Jordan Bohannon for a 3-pointer? Was it Cordell Pemsl coming alive with 10 second-half points, including a mess down the stretch? Was it Isaiah Moss’ 3-pointer for a 13-point lead with 4:31 left in the game?

Let’s give the Five-Point-Palm Exploding-Heart-Technique punch to Moss. It doesn’t really matter who you give it to, you’re just happy to be entertaining these thoughts after the Hawkeyes’ 94-80 victory before 10,371 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Read more...

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