KXEL Morning News for Tue. Nov. 24, 2020

KXEL Morning News for Tue. Nov. 24, 2020

Iowa surpassed 211,000 coronavirus cases and 2,200 deaths, and the state remains ranked third-highest in the nation for virus positivity rate. The Iowa Department of Public Health reports there were 1,661 new confirmed cases in the previous 24 hours Monday morning and 13 additional deaths. That raised the total number of cases in Iowa to 211,722 and the total deaths to 2,205. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows Iowa’s seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate was 44.7% on Nov. 22, ranking third-highest in the nation behind Wyoming and South Dakota.   

Two teenagers have died after a car accident near Chariton. The Iowa State Patrol said the accident happened just after 5 p.m. Sunday when a Jeep turning from Highway 34 onto a street struck a pickup truck, ejecting everyone in the Jeep. Two Jeep passengers died. They were identified as 15-year-old Katilynn Spicer of Des Moines and 16-year-old Chase Lavely of Chariton. The 18-year-old driver is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. Both occupants of the pickup, both age 55, are hospitalized. Their conditions were not immediately released. The patrol’s investigation is ongoing. 

Twin Iowa girls who faced long odds when they were born around the 22nd week of pregnancy are celebrating a miracle milestone – they turn 2 today. Guinness World Records has recognized Kambry and Keeley Ewoldt as the world’s most premature twins. Jade Ewoldt of Dysart gave birth to the girls on Nov. 24, 2018. Kambry weighed nearly 1 pound and Keeley weighed a little over 1 pound. The girls spent the first four months of their lives in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Today, we’re told the girls love singing “Baby Shark,” doing the Chicken Dance and painting pictures. 

A slim lead held by a Republican candidate for an open congressional seat in Iowa has gotten even smaller as counties recount their votes. Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks led Democrat Rita Hart by 47 votes in the race for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District in unofficial results before recounts began last week. The Iowa Secretary of State’s office says Miller-Meeks’ lead has shrunk to 36 votes out of more than 394,000 cast as the recount continues. So far, 15 of 24 counties have completed recounts and sent their new unofficial totals to the state. None of the four counties Hart carried have reported new totals, including Scott and Johnson.

The Cedar Rapids Civil Service Commission yesterday upheld the decision to fire former Cedar Rapids police officer Lucas Jones. The commission met for less than an hour yesterday afternoon and upheld the decision to fire the former sergeant. Jones was fired in June in connection with an October 30, 2016 traffic stop where he told investigators he let a mother who was driving on a suspended license go without arrest. In a termination letter, Jones is accused of admitting to intentionally turning off his body camera, violating rules by not arresting the driver, and lying about his actions in multiple meetings. The traffic stop Jones was fired for came two days prior to a separate traffic stop that left Jerime Mitchell of Cedar Rapids paralyzed.

Major League Baseball has announced its tentative plans for the 2021 Field of Dreams game in Dyersville. This year’s game between the Chicago White Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals was not played because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 game is scheduled for Thursday, August 12th and will be played between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees, which was the original match-up announced in August 2019, before the pandemic caused a switch of plans. It will be broadcast on FOX. The MLB says plans will remain contingent upon the status of public health next summer, and the feasibility of ticket availability will be evaluated in the months ahead. The Field of Dreams game will be the first regular season MLB game to ever be played in Iowa. MLB built a temporary ballpark next to the original movie site, with a capacity of up to 8,000 fans.

A collision between two large vehicles resulted in one driver being hospitalized and another receiving minor injury. Just before 11 yesterday morning, the Cedar Falls Police Department was sent to a report of a collision near the corner of Hudson Road and Viking Road. Officers arrived to discover a transit bus and a truck used for carrying scrap metal had collided at the location. As a result of the accident, the bus also struck a Cedar Falls Public Works vehicle that was parked on the side of the road. The driver of the bus required the use of mechanical extrication techniques to free them from the wreckage. They were taken to MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center via ambulance for what officers described as “severe injuries.” The other driver sustained minor injuries and declined transportation to a hospital. The bus was not carrying any passengers at the time of the accident.

An officer with the Ottumwa Police Department was arrested after an incident in a nearby town. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said 23-year-old Jordan Woodward of Albia was arrested and charged with domestic assault while impeding airflow and criminal mischief. Officials were sent to investigate a report of a domestic incident in Albia around 1 p.m. last Thursday. A woman at a residence told Albia police officers that she had been assaulted and choked by Woodward. Officers said that Woodward told them that he put his hands on the women’s neck. Woodward was held at the Monroe County Jail but has been released on bond. He is on administrative leave with the Ottumwa Police, pending an investigation.

The University of Iowa announced yesterday that Marissa Mueller, a biomedical engineering student and member of the Iowa women’s track and field team, has been named the university’s 22nd Rhodes Scholar. She’s a native of Ontario, Canada, and is only the second female student from the University of Iowa to receive the honor. She is on track to graduate in May and will then spend two years studying stem cells and regenerative engineering at Oxford University in England in the fall.