KXEL Morning News for Thu. Jul. 02, 2020

KXEL Morning News for Thu. Jul. 02, 2020

A total of 15 people, including 2 juveniles, were arrested on the state capitol grounds in Des Moines yesterday afternoon. Our coverage partners at KCCI-TV say this followed a demonstration where protestors demanded the governor sign an executive order allowing felons to vote by Saturday. Several of the demonstrators were arrested and led away in a police van. Iowa State Patrol and Des Moines Police officers participated in the arrests. Des Moines police say several arrests were made inside the statehouse due to prior incidents. Other arrests were made outside after those initial arrests were made. Some demonstrators resisted arrest and were taken to the ground by law enforcement, with other demonstrators trying to pull them off. Some pushing between demonstrators and law enforcement is also seen. Police used pepper spray to help disperse the crowd. The crowd did eventually leave after deputies ordered them to do so in an announcement, saying they were unlawfully assembled. Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said the demonstrators’ attempts to separate law enforcement from those they were arresting was, in his words, “probably one of the most violent attacks I’ve seen on police in a long time.” That included some demonstrators using choke holds on police. Demonstrators said that the police’s handling of arrests was to blame for the confrontation

The IBM Client Innovation Center in Dubuque will close within four months, taking nearly 350 jobs with it. Word of the closure first came from Greater Dubuque Development Corp. CEO Rick Dickinson, who said an IBM official called his office yesterday morning to inform him that the facility will close by November. IBM confirmed that later in the day, saying the company will consolidate the Dubuque tech support and outsourcing center with its center in Columbia, Missouri. Most employees in Dubuque will be given the opportunity to relocate to the Columbia facility or take a severance package.

A new survey of business leaders released yesterday suggests the economy has begun to recover as businesses reopened in the past month in Iowa and eight other Midwest and Plains states. But Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said the region’s economy remains weaker than before the coronavirus outbreak began. On the bright side, business leaders expect the economy to continue improving over the next six months. The region’s overall index jumped into positive territory at 50.3 in June from May’s 43.5. Any score above 50 suggests growth, while scores below 50 suggest decline.

Linn County officials held a news conference yesterday on COVID-19…the first such briefing in some six weeks. That’s because of a significant increase in the number of positive cases over a two week period. Officials say between June 7th and 21st, the number of cases increased by 189 percent, mainly among 18 to 25 year olds. Officials caution residents, especially with the Independence Day weekend approaching, to maintain mitigation strategies such as hand washing, wearing masks, and employing social distancing.

A large Cedar Rapids employer closed temporarily yesterday following an employee being diagnosed with COVID-19. Nordstrom Direct’s fulfillment center implemented an enhanced cleaning procedure. The facility plans to reopen with normal shifts on this morning. The company said the employee had not been at work since last Friday. They said they will be contacting other workers who may have had exposure to the virus. The company followed a similar procedure earlier this year when another employee tested positive for the disease.

The St. Louis Cardinals have replaced the New York Yankees as the opponent for the Chicago White Sox in the Field of Dreams game on Aug. 13 at Dyersville, Iowa. The schedule change caused by the coronavirus pandemic means the White Sox will not play the Yankees at all this shortened season. The new opponent was confirmed to media outlets by a person familiar with the arrangements who spoke on condition of anonymity yesterday because the matchup has not been officially announced. Major League Baseball hopes to announce its new schedule next week.

The 10th annual Zach Johnson Foundation Classic golf tournament was cancelled yesterday. The charity event, hosted by Cedar Rapids native and PGA Tour golfer Zach Johnson, was scheduled for July 27, but would be closed to the public and have no spectators, volunteers or vendors. Now it’s officially canceled. The tournament supports Kids on Course, a program that serves students in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. News/Talk 1540 KXEL is the official radio sponsor of the annual event. The foundation recently raised more than $180,000 during a virtual gala on June 6. The foundation said the modified gala and cancellation of the tournament will leave a significant revenue gap, but the board of directors and staff are working on ways they can raise money to make up for the loss.

The Waterloo Center for the Arts announced yesterday the cancellation of the “RiverLoop Rhythms” Friday night concert series for the summer. Meanwhile, the two July FridayLoo events in Waterloo were cancelled yesterday, and the Cedar Falls Live to 9 music series cancelled most of its July events…they do hope to hold a concert on July 31st.

Since Independence Day falls on a Saturday this year, many government offices and businesses will be closed tomorrow, Friday. City of Waterloo offices will be closed tomorrow…so tomorrow’s garbage and yard waste collection will be picked up on today…along with garbage and yard waste collection for folks who normally have pick up today. In Cedar Falls, City Hall will be closed Friday. The Hearst Center for the Arts will be closed Friday, and as is normally the practice, on Monday. The public library will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday with no curbside pick-up or phone assistance. And the Cedar Falls Visitors Center will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday.