This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for October 28th.
Your Wednesday weather is looking mild in temperature and calm in development. According to the National Weather Service, it should be sunny with a high of 49 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area on Wednesday. Then on Wednesday night, there will be some increasing clouds with a low of 33 degrees. The wind, deciding to stick with the theme, will also be mild, staying at 5 to 10 mph.
In many ways Tuesday was one of the worst COVID-19 data days in Iowa since the pandemic started, and the numbers continue to have a negative trend. The state set a record for the number of people hospitalized with the virus, at 564 as of Tuesday morning. This was the 10th time this month the state has set a new record for number of hospitalizations. The rolling 7-day average for cases in the state hit 1,329, the highest ever since the pandemic began. There also were 21 deaths reported in the 24-hour period ending Tuesday morning, one of only a few times the state has exceeded more than 20 COVID-19 deaths in a 24-hour period. 1,662 Iowans have died from the disease so far.
Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids’s largest employer, saw a 94 percent drop in adjusted operating profit in the third quarter this year compared to the same time period in 2019.
That decline comes as parent aerospace and defense company Raytheon Technologies continues to seek to “significantly reduce structural costs” during the coronavirus pandemic. Collins Aerospace’s adjusted sales were down 34 percent in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. Adjusted defense-industry sales were up 4 percent, but that was not enough to negate the lack of commercial sales, Raytheon Technologies officials said Tuesday morning in its quarterly earnings call with investors.
There was some potential good news, however, for the Corridor. Some circuit card production will move from Massachusetts to Coralville as part of Boston-area-based Raytheon Technologies’s pivot from high-cost to low-cost manufacturing sites, Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes said.
After being referred to as a “hate group” and likened to a “white supremacist group,” Students for Life of America now is a “fully recognized student organization” on the University of Northern Iowa campus thanks to an intervening ruling from UNI President Mark Nook. The university’s student government rejected the organization’s application in early October.
Nook’s finding that Northern Iowa’s Student Government was not content-neutral in denying the Students for Life of America application upended the rejection and granted it student org status and thus access to student government funding and promotional methods.
Nook — in an eight-page ruling that found, if left to stand, the student government’s decision would have violated the First Amendment rights. He wrote: “Universities exist to give students and all members of the university community an opportunity to wrestle with a vast diversity of ideas and opinions, to challenge their perception of their own identity and the beliefs and opinions of others, and to grow in their understanding of natural and social systems.”