KXEL Morning News for Thu. Jul. 30, 2020

KXEL Morning News for Thu. Jul. 30, 2020

Two candidates are left from an original field of five, seeking an at-large seat on the Cedar Falls city council…voters will go to the polls Tuesday in the race. Kelly Dunn told KXEL News that the city has a good staff, which should be allowed to work without council interference. Listen to KXEL’s Tim Harwood speak at length with candidate Kelly Dunn today in the 9 a.m. hour of KXEL Live & Local. You heard Dunn’s opponent, LeaAnn Saul, yesterday…both interviews will be podcast at kxel-dot-com.

The Iowa Department of Education says it will rule next week on appeals filed by districts opposed to fully opening schools to in-person classes when the new school year begins next month. Gov. Kim Reynolds said she is requiring students to spend at least half of their education time in classrooms this upcoming school year, although school-by-school waivers can be granted. The governor is holding a news conference today at 11 a.m. on Return to Learn, so we’ll keep you updated on any policy change.

The Iowa City Community School District says it’s considering delaying the start of the school year by two weeks. It’s waiting on an Iowa Department of Education waiver request, as Iowa City wants to allow all classes to be online. The district said the delay means the academic year would end in June, and would give the district more time to incorporate parents’ choices and see how students returning to the University of Iowa impacts virus activity in the city.

A driver was found dead in an overturned box truck resting against a tree Wednesday morning. The La Porte City Police Department says the county communication center received several 911 calls about an accident in the 800 block of Commercial Street in that city. Officers found a white box truck was sitting on its side near a tree…and found the lone occupant of the vehicle, the driver, was unresponsive. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. La Porte City police say initial investigation shows the driver was heading north and went off the road, lost control and struck the tree.

Cedar Rapids has been selected to host the U.S. Figure Skating Midwestern Adult Sectional Championship. This will be the first time the event will be held in Iowa. The competition will be held at the ice arena in Cedar Rapids, in partnership with the Eastern Iowa Figure Skating Club, from March 4-6, 2022. A total of 85 athletes and officials are expected in the community, generating more than $30,000 in visitor spending.

UNI guard A. J. Green has withdrawn from the 2020 NBA draft and will return to the university for the 2020-21 season. Green was the Missouri Valley Conference player of the year last season, averaging 19.7 points per game and leading the Panthers to a 25-6 record and a conference regular reason title. Green said he’d have needed a near guarantee of being an early pick to stay in the draft.

The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) has canceled ‘The Great Iowa Fall Ride’ after speaking with officials in Iowa Falls. The event was scheduled to take place there October 2nd-4th, with biking events planned throughout the 3-days. They say the decision comes as several key planning deadlines were approaching, with continued uncertainty about the wisdom of large gatherings due to COVID-19.

Firefighters spent hours battling a fire that broke out at John Deere’s northeast site just after 9 o’clock Tuesday night. The fire started with a filter in the ventilation system in the plant at 3828 Newell St. and spread to an air-handling room on the top of the main building. Officials say the high elevation made it difficult to move water to the fire’s location…high heat and thick smoke were also factors. The fire was under control in about 45 minutes, and firefighters remained on the scene until around 1:30 in the morning. No injuries were reported. At the time of the fire, the building was closed for maintenance, and a contractor was on the scene.

The Iowa Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 data is showing an increase of 458 confirmed cases of the virus from 10:00 a.m. on July 28 to 10:00 a.m. on July 29. Three more deaths are being reported over the last 24-hour stretch…meaning 839 Iowans have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic. The test positivity rate is 9.31%.

Cedar Falls residents will decide Tuesday who will hold an at-large seat originally vacated when Rob Green became mayor earlier this year…citizens filed a petition seeking a special election…and when no candidate got a majority earlier this month, a runoff election between LeaAnn Saul and Kelly Dunn was set for Tuesday. Dunn told KXEL News despite the long process, she had no objection to how things are progressing. The full interview with Kelly Dunn is today during the 9 a.m. hour of KXEL Live & Local; we heard from LeaAnn Saul yesterday…both interviews may be found as podcasts at kxel-dot-com.