Gazette Daily News Briefing, November 26 and November 27

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Welcome to the weekend!

This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27.

There is a chance for a little bit of rain this weekend, but it mostly looks to be pleasant fall weather. On Saturday there will be increasing clouds and a little bit windy, with a high near 55 degrees. There will be a 40 percent chance for rain after midnight. It will be cloudy, with a low of around 36 degrees. On Sunday there will be a 40 percent chance of rain before noon. It will be mostly cloudy again, with a high near 42 degrees. On Sunday night it will be partly cloudy, with a low of around 26 degrees.

An annual spring marathon connecting Iowa City and Cedar Rapids will not return in 2023.

Jim Dwyer, the race director and Corridor Running co-president, said organizers are discontinuing Run CRANDIC due to logistical and staffing issues, including getting enough volunteers and public safety officers to work the race.

Dwyer, who also co-owns Iowa Running Company in downtown Cedar Rapids, said the marathon requires about 75 to 100 public safety personnel from six agencies to secure the race route.

“It’s not ability to pay. It’s more of a staffing issue, really,” said Dwyer, who said a portion of the race entry fee covers street closures and the cost of providing for off-duty police officers, sheriff’s deputies and other security personnel.

The city of North Liberty continues to work on plans for a new park in the northwest part of the city.

The Northside Community Park Project is among the initiatives identified in the city’s 2022-24 goals report. The city is negotiating with a property owner to acquire the nearly 45 acres of land, which would make this one of the city’s largest parks.

The land — owned by the Meade Family Real Estate Limited Partnership — is located above West Penn Street between N. Jones Boulevard and Highway 965.

The city has more than 20 parks, including Centennial Park, which is the city’s largest park. A map from the city shows each of the city’s parks, along with service areas and where gaps exist.

A moratorium on new utility-scale solar installations will be extended through March, the Linn County Board of Supervisors decided this week.

The supervisors originally adopted the moratorium in October to last through Dec. 31 with the idea that it could be extended up to three times through 2023 while the county ordinance governing the solar projects is reviewed.

The moratorium does not affect the already-approved solar projects near Palo and Coggon, which will continue. But applications for new projects will not be considered until the pause is over.

“By the March deadline, we will have a better idea of how much time is actually needed,” Planning and Development Director Charlie Nichols said. “It won’t be open ended like now. We should be close to completion or at least developed enough to know how much time we need.”

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