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 (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 (qualifying medical condition) needed to get in the program. Have a good weekend everyone.