Waterloo Schools announced Friday submission of the district’s initial Return to Learn plan for the 2020-2021 school year. The initial plan, which was submitted on Wednesday and approved by the state on Thursday, offers a hybrid option for students. That manes both in-person and virtual instruction will be offered. District officials say they’re receiving new information about health and safety standards every day, including new guidance from the Iowa Department of Education. Online registration will give families an opportunity to share their feedback about how comfortable they feel when it comes to in-person instruction and transportation needs. Next month, a draft of the detailed Return to Learn plan will be shared with various groups, including staff, families and community members to get their input before a final plan is shared with the public in early August.
A man drowned in Linn County around 9:30 yesterday morning. It happened at the Martin Marietta Quarry. According to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the man was fishing and attempted to swim a short distance when he went under the water and did not resurface. Emergency personnel did not locate the victim when they first arrived on scene and a search was conducted with boats from the Cedar Rapids and Mount Vernon Fire Departments. Other friends and family members were identified at the scene who witnessed the drowning. After about a 90-minute search, the victim was located under the water and pronounced deceased at the scene. The identity of the drowning victim is being withheld pending notification of family members.
American Airlines has notified Waterloo officials that twice-daily airline service to Chicago O’Hare Airport will resume on Tuesday, July 7. The service had been reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Flights will leave Waterloo at 6:30 a.m. and 12:52 p.m. seven days a week; departure from Chicago will be at 9:56 a.m. each day, with an evening return flight leaving Chicago at different times depending on the day.
Charges have been filed nearly two years to the day after a hit-and-run incident killed 14-year-old Kaiden Estling of Maynard. 26-year-old Kelli Jo Michael of Des Moines was arrested Friday and charged with homicide by vehicle-reckless driving, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Authorities say Estling was driving a moped along Highway 150 southbound when he was hit by a vehicle two-and-a-half miles south of Fayette. Police say the driver who hit him fled the scene. Estling died despite multiple life-saving attempts by others. Michael was held in the Fayette County Jail on $50,000 cash only bond.
An early-morning house fire yesterday was caused by a cooking incident. Just after 1:30 yesterday morning, the Cedar Rapids Fire Department was sent to a single-story home in the 1200 block of 11th Street NW. Firefighters arrived and saw fire coming out of the backside of the home. They were able to contain the fire using hose lines and ventilation. A resident in the home was cooking egg rolls which led to oil splattering, which likely started the fire. An attempt to put out the flames using a fire extinguisher had failed. No one was injured. Fire damaged the kitchen and living room, while smoke caused additional damage throughout the house.
A late-night collision on Interstate 380 near Waterloo injured both drivers. It happened just before midnight late Friday night near mile marker 66 along Interstate 380. They believe that a pickup truck was traveling south in the northbound lanes, colliding with a vehicle that was traveling north. Both drivers, the sole occupants of the vehicles, were injured and taken to hospitals with what were described as non-life-threatening injuries. The vehicles involved sustained significant front-end damage. Interstate 380 was closed for nearly two hours early Saturday morning while crews attended to the scene.
The former office administrator for the Family & Children’s Council in Waterloo has been arrested and charged with stealing from that nonprofit. Waterloo Police arrested 65-year-old Cynthia Jean Gryp of Jesup on Saturday. She is charged with felony level theft in the second degree. Gryp is accused of writing fraudulent checks to herself while working as the office administrator for the group. The amount allegedly stolen is less than $10,000. The financial irregularities were discovered after Gryp left her job at the agency.
A nurse accused of taking painkillers from hospital patients’ IV lines and injecting herself has been sentenced to four months in federal prison and to pay a 55-hundred dollar fine. 43-year-old Kelly Postel of Anamosa was sentenced Friday. She also was ordered to pay restitution and forfeit her nursing license.
The Black Hawk County Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with the American Red Cross and Salvation Army, is providing clean-up kits to assist Black Hawk County residents in cleaning up their homes after this past week’s flood issues. They are available at the Main Fire Station on East Third Street in Waterloo, and in LaPorte City at the police station.
Cedar Rapids police officers made two arrests in two separate robbery incidents that occurred within one hour of each other yesterday morning. The first incident was reported at approximately 6:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton downtown. According to police, a suspect forced entry into the employee entrance of the hotel while displaying what appeared to be a handgun. The suspect, identified as 41-year-old Juvernal Habyarimana, said he wanted the manager. An employee was able to contact police and officers took the suspect into custody. He was charged with Robbery-1st Degree and Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine. No injuries were reported, and the weapon was determined to be a replica firearm. The second incident occurred less than an hour later, just before 7:30 a.m., when a 45-year old female reported that a suspect displayed a box cutter while she was stopped at a red light near 13th Street and 1st Avenue East. The suspect opened a car door and entered the victim’s vehicle. The suspect then made the victim drive her vehicle to the FasFuel at 1430 1st Avenue SE. The victim, who had cash stolen, was able to safely escape and notify police, who arrived on the scene and charged 32-year-old Shevonald Lee Gibbs with Robbery-1st Degree. The victim was not injured.