Gazette Daily News Briefing, November 3

3:36
 
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This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Thursday, November 3.

One last day of sunny and pleasant weather for the week. According to the National Weather Service it will be sunny with a high near 73 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area on Thursday. It will be breezy, with a wind of 15 to 20 mph gusting as high as 35 mph. On Thursday night there will be a low of around 60 degrees. A chance for rainfall will increase as Thursday heads into Friday morning.

A new ramp and exit change are coming Thursday morning for drivers traveling south on Interstate 380 to Interstate 80, as work continues on the massive reconstruction of the Interstates 80 and 380 interchange.

The new I-380 southbound to I-80 westbound ramp is opening, which will simplify the interchange, according to an update from the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Earlier this year, in August, the last loop ramp closed and the flyover ramp from I-380 southbound to I-80 eastbound opened.

Come Thursday morning, southbound traffic on I-380 to will use one exit — Exit 0 — to travel in either direction on I-80. The exit point for Exit 0 will be about a quarter mile earlier than expected.

After exiting, traffic will split into two depending on which direction they plan to travel on I-80. Drivers heading east toward Davenport should keep left and use the new flyover ramp that opened in August. Anyone heading west on I-80 toward Des Moines should keep right.

A judge has denied a motion to dismiss the first degree murder charge against Dimione Walker — one of two men accused in April’s fatal shooting inside the Taboo Nightclub & Lounge.

The motion, filed earlier this month by Walker’s attorneys, claimed that his right to a speedy trial was violated because his trial did not take place within 90 days of the trial information being filed. Sixth Judicial District Judge Andrew Chappell heard arguments Monday during a hearing and denied the motion Wednesday.

Walker, 28, of Coralville, is accused of killing Michael Valentine, 25, in the April 10 shooting at the downtown Cedar Rapids club. Police said another man, Timothy Rush, 32, of Cedar Rapids, killed two others. Ten people were injured.

Judge Chappell argued in favor of the prosecution having good cause for the delay for the trial, as authorities in Illinois had delayed Walker’s extradition after he had been arrested there.

Iowa schools must consider the requests of families with medically vulnerable students who wish to have teachers and classmates near the students wear face masks, a federal judge ruled this week.

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday said she will appeal the ruling.

The ruling comes from a lawsuit in which 11 Iowa families from 10 school districts asked the courts to block a state law passed in 2021 that prohibits schools from requiring staff and students to wear face masks, a common mitigation practice early in the global COVID-19 pandemic.

What the ruling means is Iowa law still prohibits schools from requiring all staff and students to wear face masks but that districts must consider accommodating medically vulnerable students who request staff and students near them wear masks.

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