200 episodes

A bite-sized dose of weather, local news and national news from The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. You can also subscribe via your Amazon Alexa by saying "Alexa, enable the Gazette Daily News skill," then you can listen daily by saying "Alexa, what's the news?"

The Gazette Daily News Podcast The Gazette

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    • 4.2 • 9 Ratings

A bite-sized dose of weather, local news and national news from The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. You can also subscribe via your Amazon Alexa by saying "Alexa, enable the Gazette Daily News skill," then you can listen daily by saying "Alexa, what's the news?"

    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 13 and August 14

    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 13 and August 14

    Welcome to the weekend.
    This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Saturday, August 13th, and Sunday, August 14th.
    We will return to above 90 degrees for a day with Saturday’s weather. According to the National Weather Service there will be a high near 91 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area. There will also be a 20 percent chance for rain between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Besides that it should be partly sunny for much of the day. Saturday night there should be increasing clouds, with a low around 66 degrees.
    On Sunday the cool weather will return, which will set the trend for much of the week to come. The high is predicted to be near 82 degrees during the day with partly sunny skies. On Sunday night it should be mostly cloudy, with a low of around 61 degrees.
    The Cedar Rapids school district paid a ransom in hopes of keeping personal data compromised in a cyberattack last month from being released, the school superintendent has told parents.
    “As part of the process to resolve this matter, CRCSD made payment to a third-party entity to ensure critical information that may have been accessed was not released,” Superintendent Noreen Bush wrote Friday in a letter to parents. “We made this decision after consulting closely with cyber security experts and legal counsel and determining it was in the best interest of our school community.”
    Her letter did not disclose the amount of ransom that was paid, nor provide the name of the group that launched the attack.
    Both Cedar Rapids and Linn-Mar school districts experienced disruptions in their computer systems within a month of each other starting in July, shutting down some operations for days as the start of the new academic year approaches Aug. 23.
    The City of Cedar Rapids late Thursday night dropped the requirement that staff and visitors wear masks inside city buildings and vehicles to curb the spread of COVID-19.
    An email from City Manager Jeff Pomeranz to staff noted the mask mandate would be lifted, effective immediately, because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had updated its COVID-19 community transmission levels to “medium” for Linn County.
    Cedar Rapids’ mask requirement for city buildings took effect in mid-July as COVID-19 cases were on the rise again, fueled by new omicron subvariant, BA.5, the dominant variant within the United States that is highly contagious, even among those who are vaccinated or have previously been infected.
    At the time, Linn County was at a “high“ community transmission level, when the CDC recommends wearing masks indoors. .
    A warehouse once owned by ACT will become Iowa’s newest medical marijuana manufacturing facility, with its products expected to reach the market in early 2023.
    The Iowa Cannabis Company expects to spend $10 million to adapt the 120,000-square-foot space at 2727 Scott Blvd. to grow marijuana plants and produce products for Iowa’s medical marijuana program.
    “As we approached our build out, we recognized we needed to relocate our facility to a much larger space to meet the economies of scale,” Iowa Cannabis Company Owner Aaron Boshart on Friday told the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board.
    The number of patients certified to buy medical marijuana products in Iowa has https://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/userfiles/234/Files/2022_07%20Monthly%20Website%20Program%20Update.pdf (gone up more than 70 percent) in the last year, from 6,831 in August 2021 to 11,676 in July. A big part of that increase is the rise of online medical providers who will certify a https://idph.iowa.gov/omc/For-Patients-and-Caregivers (qualifying medical condition) needed to get in the program.
    Have a good weekend everyone.

    • 4 min
    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 12

    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 12

    This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Friday, August 12.
    It appears all of the rain chances for Thursday got shifted back to Friday morning. According to the National Weather Service showers and thunderstorms will be likely in the Cedar Rapids area, mainly before noon. It will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 75 degrees. The overall chance for rainfall is listed at 60 percent. Friday night it will be partly cloudy, with a low of around 67 degrees.
    There was some great news for a local arts organization.
    The IRS has notified iconic Cedar Rapids arts organization CSPS that it has reinstated the group’s tax-exempt status, opening access to more funding sources as the nonprofit grapples with charting a long-term path toward sustainability.
    “This is wonderful news for this important community arts organization as we enter a full season of programs to inform, entertain and transform,” CSPS board President Monica Vernon said in a statement.
    CSPS previously was notified in July 2021 that its 501(c)(3) status, which allows the group to receive charitable contributions and access to certain grant funds, washttps://www.thegazette.com/local-government/cedar-rapids-arts-organization-csps-loses-tax-exempt-status-for-not-filing-tax-returns-for-3-years/ ( automatically revoked) for failing to file tax returns for three consecutive years from 2018 through 2020.
    The failure to file those tax returns happened under previous CSPS staff and board members, after leadership changes and COVID-19 disruptions already had dealt the group a blow it worked to pay off more than $100,000 in debt.
    Abortion would be illegal in Iowa after six weeks of pregnancy — often before the woman knows she is pregnant — if Gov. Kim Reynolds’ request to the Iowa courts is granted.
    Reynolds filed a motion Thursday asking a state court to lift an injunction on legislation passed in 2018 that would have banned abortions in Iowa at six weeks. That bill, passed by the Republican-led Iowa Legislature and signed into law by Reynolds, was halted at the time by a district judge who cited a previous Iowa Supreme Court ruling that negated a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion.
    But since the https://www.thegazette.com/health-care-medicine/with-roe-overturned-iowa-poised-to-restrict-abortion-access/ (U.S. Supreme Court) and https://www.thegazette.com/crime-courts/justices-abortion-not-protected-by-iowa-constitution/ (Iowa Supreme Court) earlier this year issued rulings that effectively repealed a pregnant person’s right to abortion access, Reynolds is asking the state courts to now lift the injunction on the six-week ban.
    Currently, abortion is legal in Iowa through 20 weeks of pregnancy.
    The Iowa Capitol Dispatch reports that drought conditions may be imminent for swaths of Iowa during an important period for corn growth.
    Drought conditions are likely to develop over the southern half of Iowa in August as the month starts with a string of abnormally hot days with little chance for rain, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
    The portion of the state that is abnormally dry or in varying degrees of drought expanded last week to more than half of the state. It’s the first time the dry area has been that large since April, when persistent rains delayed corn planting.
    The latest Drought Monitor report released last week showed an expansion of severe and extreme drought in northwest Iowa and the extension of abnormally dry conditions across much of southern Iowa.

    • 3 min
    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 11

    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 11

    This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Thursday, August 11.
    It'll be another sunny day Thursday, with some random rain chances to mix things up. According to the National Weather Service, there could be isolated showers and thunderstorms in the Cedar Rapids area over the lunch hour, then again at night. Otherwise it will be partly sunny, with a high near 81 degrees. The low Thursday night will be around 60 degrees.
    Just over a week before classes are scheduled to resume Aug. 22 for the fall semester, Kirkwood’s Board of Trustees will consider Thursday approving an operating budget for the upcoming year that includes the in-state increase of $14 per semester credit hour — from $186 to $200.
    The estimated cost of a full course load of 15 credit hours for an academic year is $6,000 for in-state students and $8,040 for out-of-state students. In-state students at Kirkwood paid $4,860 for a full course load five years ago.
    Kirkwood’s rate hike is the steepest among Iowa’s 15 community colleges.
    “The substantial increase is due to the high inflationary period that we are in,” Kirkwood Chief Financial Officer Jim Choate told The Gazette.
    The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Iowa increased for the second week in a row, while the number of new virus cases continued to decrease.
    In the past week, 323 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, up from 309 patients the week before.
    In the past week, 5,660 new COVID-19 cases were reported, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Last week, that number was 5,768.
    Students returning to school is traditionally a point at which case numbers start to climb again, the numbers could change quite a bit in the coming weeks.
    A “massive new family entertainment center” including an IMAX theater is coming to fast-growing Tiffin.
    Des Moines-based Fridley Theatres this week announced its newest project — The Palms Theatres, IMAX and Family Entertainment Center. It will be part of the Park Place development just off Interstate 380.
    In addition to the theater and large IMAX screen, the Tiffin complex will feature arcade games, bowling, a restaurant and bar. The IMAX screen will be 70 feet tall and 90 feet wide, https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1004793670162035 (according to a video posted on Facebook) by Fridley Theatres.
    The city of Tiffin https://www.thegazette.com/local-government/tiffin-focuses-on-staying-ahead-of-its-rapid-growth/ (anticipates a significant amount of growth) at Park Place. The 265-acre development is being planned by Ders Group of North Liberty. It will include entertainment, restaurants and shopping, as well as apartment and lots for houses.

    • 3 min
    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 10

    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 10

    This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Wednesday, August 10.
    This week’s theme of fog in the morning leading to a pleasant, sunny day will continue on Wednesday. According to the National Weather Service there will be a possibility for patchy fog in the Cedar Rapids from 5 a.m. until 8 a.m. After that it will be sunny, with a high near 86 degrees. Wednesday night will be mostly clear, with a low of around 64 degrees. The wind will again remain calm for much of the day.
    A Cedar Rapids man was charged Tuesday with assaulting protesters as he drove his vehicle “aggressively” toward the group who were on foot crossing the street near the federal courthouse on June 24.
    The protesters had been protesting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade striking down federal abortion protections.
    David Alan Huston, 53, was charged with assault by use or display of a dangerous weapon — vehicle, an aggravated misdemeanor; and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. If convicted, he faces up to two years in jail.
    Huston will be prosecuted by the Black Hawk County Attorney’s Office following an investigation by the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
    https://www.thegazette.com/crime-courts/prosecutors-reviewing-case-for-possible-charges-in-cedar-rapids-rally-for-abortion-rights/ (Black Hawk County Attorney Brian Williams said last month) he was reviewing the case because at least one member of the Linn County Attorney’s Office was present during the incident and could be a witness.
    Iowa Republicans jumped to former President Donald Trump’s defense after the FBI’s search for documents as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to his Florida estate.
    Some quickly denounced the Monday search by the FBI of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, where agents executed a search warrant for classified documents, https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-mar-a-lago-fbi-search-99097089194e736315c366a0e8fbafee (the Associated Press reported).
    “The Department of Justice must immediately explain their justification for this unprecedented raid,” Marion Republican U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson tweeted Tuesday.
    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article264310461.html (The Miami Herald) reported agents obtained a search warrant from a federal magistrate judge in West Palm Beach to get dozens of boxes allegedly containing classified material that Trump had taken to his home when he left the White House.
    A source close to the investigation told the Herald the FBI was able to show probable cause because Trump and his lawyers had already turned over classified documents sought by the National Archives and Records Administration that he was not supposed to have taken, and investigators suspected the former president may have more.
    Times they are a changing, and college football is no exception.
    The Big Ten's next round of media rights contracts will not include a deal with ESPN.
    Two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Big Ten was looking for a seven-year deal worth $380 million per year from ESPN, and the network declined.
    ESPN has held television rights for the Big Ten since the mid-1980s. The network has shared Big Ten rights with Fox in the latest contract.
    ESPN and ABCs exit from Big Ten broadcasting opens the door for NBC and CBS to negotiate their way as new broadcast partners.

    • 3 min
    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 9

    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 9

    This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Tuesday, August 9.
    Tuesday will start a bit foggy, but the weather will be swell after that. According to the National Weather Service there will be patchy fog before 8 a.m. in the Cedar Rapids area. Otherwise it will be sunny, with a high near 81 degrees. Tuesday night it will be mostly clear, with a low of around 59 degrees. The wind will remain calm all day.
    City High School in Iowa City will honor a 17-year employee and “wonderful human being” who https://www.thegazette.com/news/coralville-man-dies-while-trying-to-save-child-in-iowa-river/?utm_campaign=snd-autopilotandfbclid=IwAR1f01YQ3X8yP3OCBdTIvl9rqgDCJuXRjUUNVHO9-i1Kn0JZPo-RF1WNg-k (drowned Friday while trying to save a child from the Iowa River) in southern Johnson County.
    42-year-old Wegayewu Faris,, had been a custodian at City High since 2005, according to Principal John Bacon. The school will honor him with a plaque highlighting his story.
    Faris was fishing Friday in the Iowa River at River Junction Access near Lone Tree when an 8-year-old boy, who was not related to Faris but was also fishing with family, went into the river and began struggling. Faris entered the river to try to save the child.
    With the help of Faris and a nearby kayaker, the boy got safely out of the water, but Faris became submerged. His body was found by law enforcement an hour later.
    A major part of Coralville’s Fifth Street — an area described as the city’s “civic center” — will be getting a $5 million upgrade starting next year.
    The portion of Fifth Street to be reconstructed starts at 12th Avenue and goes through the 20th Avenue intersection. The 12th Avenue intersection will not be impacted.
    The “total reconstruction” includes tearing out the pavement and replacing the sidewalks, as well as new water main and storm sewer. New trees, lighting and landscaping also will be added. Fifth Street will remain two lanes, but an 8-foot shared-use path will be added along the north side of the street out to 20th Avenue.
    Work is planned to be done in phases starting in the spring and continue over the next couple of years.
    According to the Associated Press, the FBI searched Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to his Florida residence, people familiar with the matter said Monday. Even if it doesn’t lead to a trial, a search of a former president’s home is unprecedented.
    Trump, disclosing the search in a lengthy statement, asserted that agents had opened up a safe at his home and described their work as an “unannounced raid” that he likened to “prosecutorial misconduct.”
    The search intensifies the months-long probe into how classified documents ended up in more than a dozen boxes located at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year.
    It occurs amid a separate https://apnews.com/article/capitol-siege-donald-trump-presidential-elections-election-2020-subpoenas-54fcade9ac0e15faf544b615f8f45902 (grand jury investigation) into Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. It also complicates his potential run for president, which is almost certainly still going to happen.

    • 3 min
    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 8

    Gazette Daily News Briefing, August 8

    * Cedar Rapids area weather today
    * Coralville man drowns during rescue of unrelated 8-year-old child
    * Shooting outside H-Bar in Iowa City seriously injures woman

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

christophtrappe ,


I also would recommend that the team focuses less on the weather because I just look at the weather app for that. But I do appreciate the quick updates on the latest news stories. Sometimes I think it’s too quick even. Keep it up please.

ghyson ,


I like the idea of a bite sized daily news update that focuses on news that is specific to where I live. So I think there’s potential here. But many of these are barely more than a daily weather forecast and who needs that when you can just ask Siri? Even when actual news is covered the readers often struggle to make it through a single sentence without butchering the delivery. Finally, the sound is mixed unusually quiet compared to every other podcast I listen to.

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