Gazette Daily News Briefing, December 2


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This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Friday, December 2.

The good news is it's going to keep getting warmer Friday, the bad news is it will get windier as well. According to the National Weather Service it will be increasingly cloudy with a high near 51 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area on Friday. It will be breezy with wind gusts as high as 35 mph during the day, and 45 mph during the evening. On Friday night it will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 16 degrees.

If you are a fan of the Iowa caucuses leading the nation for the election of Democrats, there was bad news for you on Thursday.

President Joe Biden has asked leaders of the Democratic National Committee to make South Carolina the nation's first presidential primary state, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada a week later, and subsequent weekly primaries in Georgia and Michigan, according to Democrats briefed on the plans.

The plan essentially swaps out Iowa as the Midwestern state of the first four states to help the country select its Democratic candidate for president. There may be some jockeying for order, and Iowa state Democrats may protest, but the momentum is clearly against Iowa remaining in its position as the state that kicks off presidential elections. It has held the position of first in the nation since 1972. There will be further deliberation by the party on Friday.

The Republican party has still committed to keeping Iowa first when it nominates its presidential candidates.

The parents of a nurse murdered by two Anamosa prison inmates last year is suing the Iowa Department of Corrections, Iowa Prison Industries, Anamosa State Penitentiary and the former warden, saying their negligence led to her death.

Lorena Schulte was working as a registered nurse at the prison on March 23, 2021, when inmates Thomas Woodward and Michael Dutcher attacked her and a correctional officer, Robert McFarland, with hammers that they had checked out as part of a work program.

Their daughter suffered severe injury leading up to her death as a result from the attack, and died from those injuries, according to a wrongful-death suit filed by her parents, Stephanie and George Schulte, in Jones County District Court.

The lawsuit contends Jeremy Larson, who was the Anamosa prison warden at the time, was “grossly negligent” in several areas including providing a safe working environment, sufficient staffing and training and safety protocols. He also failed to appropriately screen inmates for eligibility in the prison industries program and to respond to employee complaints regarding safety, the suit states.

I mentioned an Iowa Hawkeye football transfer earlier this week, and just for consistency I am going to mention a few more. But I have a feeling this will only be the beginning for multiple teams.

Former Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara has committed to Iowa, he said Thursday evening in a tweet.

McNamara, who started all 14 games in Michigan’s 2021 run to the College Football Playoff, provides an instant upgrade to the position.

At the same time, Iowa’s top receiver, Keagan Johnson, announced he will be transferring out of the program.

Johnson had an impressive debut as a freshman last year, but barely played after an injury this year.

Wide receiver has especially been an area of attrition for Iowa recently. Four scholarship wide receivers left the Hawkeyes via the transfer portal after the 2021 season, and Iowa did not gain any scholarship players at the position via the portal to replace them.

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