KXEL Midday News for Thu. Jul. 30, 2020

KXEL Midday News for Thu. Jul. 30, 2020

MORE GUNSHOT VICTIMS ARE ARRIVING AT CEDAR RAPIDS EMERGENCY ROOMS. MERCY MEDICAL CENTER’S DR. MATTHEW AUCUTT TALKED WITH OUR COVERAGE PARTNERS AT TV9. AT LEAST FIVE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TO MERCY MEDICAL CENTER AFTER SHOOTINGS IN JULY ALONE. AUCUTT SAYS GUN VIOLENCE INJURIES ARE GENERALLY CLASSIFIED AS LEVEL ONE TRAUMA. THAT MEANS THEY BECOME A TOP PRIORITY IN AN EMERGENCY ROOM SETTING AND DRAW A GREAT DEAL OF THE DEPARTMENT’S ATTENTION.

WATERLOO CITY COUNCILMEN JONATHAN GREIDER AND PAT MORRISSEY SUPPORT A LOCAL MASK MANDATE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. A FORMAL PROPOSAL IS EXPECTED DURING NEXT WEEK’S CITY COUNCIL MEETING. MASKS ARE ALREADY REQUIRED FOR CITY STAFF AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC IN WATERLOO PUBLIC BUILDINGS. THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE WOULD EXPAND THE MASK ORDER TO COMMERCIAL BUSINESSES AND OTHER SITUATIONS WHERE PEOPLE INTERACT. SOME CITIES IN IOWA HAVE ALREADY ISSUED SUCH ORDERS, BUT STATE OFFICIALS – INCLUDING GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS AND ATTORNEY GENERAL TOM MILLER – SAY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS DON’T HAVE AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE THEIR MASK MANDATES.

THE IOWA BOARD OF REGENTS FOLLOWED THROUGH ON MORE THAN $65 MILLION IN CUTS TO THE STATE’S PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES. THE BOARD UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A $1.5 BILLION OPERATING BUDGET FOR THE SCHOOLS WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. THAT INCLUDES $170 MILLION FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA. REGENTS BUDGET REDUCTIONS ARE ON TOP OF AN $8 MILLION CUT IN STATE FUNDING FROM THE IOWA LEGISLATURE LAST MONTH.

TYSON WILL INVEST MORE IN SCREENING FOR COVID-19 AT ITS MEAT PROCESSING PLANTS. THE COMPANY SAYS IT PLANS TO HIRE A CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER WHILE ALSO ADDING SCORES OF HEALTH STAFF AT PACKING FACILITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. TYSON CLOSED ITS WATERLOO OPERATION AND SEVERAL OTHERS THIS SPRING DUE TO CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAKS AMONG EMPLOYEES. MEANWHILE, MANY IOWA COUNTIES ARE STILL SEEING FIVE TO TEN PERCENT OR MORE OF COVID-19 TESTS COME BACK POSITIVE. THAT HAS LANDED THE STATE ON THE WHITE HOUSE LIST OF RED ZONE AREAS FOR CORONAVIRUS SPREAD. A DOZEN OTHER STATES ARE ALSO RECEIVING SIMILAR FEDERAL ATTENTION IN HOPES OF CHANGING THE TREND BEFORE SERIOUS CASES START TO STRETCH HOSPITAL RESOURCES.

CEDAR FALLS CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE KELLY DUNN DISCUSSED HER PERSPECTIVE ON THE COMMUNITY’S PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER VERSUS FIREFIGHTER SITUATION THIS MORNING DURING KXEL LIVE AND LOCAL. CONCERNS ABOUT THE HARASSMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER SPURRED DUNN TO ENTER THE RACE. CONFLICT OVER CROSSTRAINING OF PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS FOR BOTH POLICE AND FIRE OPERATIONS LED TO MASS FIREFIGHTER RESIGNATIONS THAT DIVIDED COMMUNITY OPINION. DUNN FACES LEAANN SAUL IN AN AT-LARGE CITY COUNCIL RUNOFF ELECTION ON TUESDAY.

WEDNESDAY EVENING A TORNADO WARNING WAS ISSUED FOR BENTON COUNTY. RESIDENTS OF VINTON, KEYSTONE, VAN HORNE, BELLE PLAINE, AND MARENGO, ALL SAW A FUNNEL CLOUD IN THE SKY, AND THERE WAS ONE REPORT OF A TOUCHDOWN. THE STORM DID NOT CAUSE SERIOUS DAMAGE.

AT LEAST 250 IOWANS WILL BE PART OF A 30,000 PERSON STUDY OF A POTENTIAL COVID-19 VACCINE. UNIVERSITY OF IOWA’S CARVER COLLEGE OF MEDICINE WILL BE PART OF THE TESTING OF THE DRUG MADE BY PFIZER AND BIO-N-TECH. TEST SUBJECTS SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN ACTIVITIES WHERE THEY WOULD BE MORE LIKELY TO COME IN CONTACT WITH THE VIRUS. STUDY VOLUNTEERS WILL RECEIVE EITHER THE VACCINE OR A PLACEBO. BESIDES LOOKING AT THE VACCINES EFFECTIVENESS, RESEARCHERS WILL ALSO BE LOOKING AT POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS.

SOME RESTAURANTS AND OTHER BUSINESSES ARE ADDING ULTRA VIOLET LIGHT FIXTURES IN HOPES OF ELIMINATING GERMS ON SURFACES. RICHARD ALLEN IS AN ENTREPRENEUR BRINGING UV COMPONENTS TO RETAILERS, AND HE TALKED WITH OUR COVERAGE PARTNERS AT TV9. UV LIGHTS CAN’T BE USED WHEN PEOPLE ARE PRESENT, BECAUSE EXPOSURE TO UV RAYS CAN CAUSE SKIN CANCER.

CEDAR FALLS HAS SEEN RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL EXPANSION. AHEAD OF A CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL ELECTION RUNOFF VOTE NEXT WEEK, CANDIDATE KELLY DUNN QUESTIONED THE APPROACH TO FUTURE GROWTH IN THE COMMUNITY DURING KXEL LIVE AND LOCAL. DUNN AND OPPONENT LEAANN SAUL ARE ON TUESDAY’S ELECTION BALLOT HEAR MORE FROM BOTH CANDIDATES AT KXEL.COM