Gazette Daily News Briefing, October 25


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This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Tuesday, October 25.

Monday's rainfall could continue a bit into Tuesday morning, but it should be more sparse overall. According to the National Weather Service there will be a slight chance of showers before noon, and a small chance of rain after 3 p.m. Other than that, it will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 51 degrees. On Tuesday night it will be mostly cloudy with the clouds gradually clearing. There will be a low of around 37 degrees.

Iowa City police have identified the man who was fatally shot outside a bar early Sunday morning.

Waymond Thomas, 36, of Iowa City was struck by gunfire outside of H-Bar, at 220 S. Van Buren St.

At 1:59 a.m. on Sunday, police were dispatched to the H-Bar for a report of multiple shots fired in the alley. The police activity log says “about 6 shots” were heard.

Thomas was transported to the hospital, where he died.

According to records provided to The Gazette, there has been a sharp increase in the number of times police were called to H-Bar this year.

The logs show there were no calls to 220 S. Van Buren St. in 2021. However, between Jan. 1 and Oct. 23 of this year, there were 173 calls for service at the address.

“We increased our patrols around H-Bar this summer and will continue to do so,” said Lee Hermiston, ICPD’s public safety information officer. “We have also increased patrols around Downtown in order to keep community members safe.”

The COVID-19 pandemic spared no state or region as it caused historic learning setbacks for America's children, erasing decades of academic progress and widening racial disparities, according to results of a national test that provides the sharpest look yet at the scale of the crisis.

Those are findings from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the "nation's report card," which tested thousands of fourth and eighth-graders across the country. It was the first time the test had been given since 2019, and it's seen as the first nationally representative study of the pandemic's impact on learning.

Across the country, there were the largest decreases to math scores since the numbers have been tracked. Reading scores dropped to 1992 levels. Nearly four in 10 eighth-graders failed to grasp basic math concepts. Not a single state saw a notable improvement in their average test scores, with some like Iowa simply treading water at best.

Even though Iowa fourth-graders were only holding their own on math, they still did significantly better than the nation as a whole. Iowa is one of 16 states — including neighbors Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota — that outperformed the nation in fourth-grade math.

The test is typically given every two years. It was taken between January and March by a sample of students in every state, along with 26 of the nation's largest school districts. Scores had been stalling even before the pandemic, but the new results show decreases on a scale not seen before.

Iowa football has not publicly named a starting quarterback yet for its upcoming game against Northwestern.

Monday’s depth chart lists the starter as Spencer Petras or Alex Padilla. It’s a change from past depth charts, which listed Petras as the first-team quarterback and Padilla as the second-team quarterback.

Iowa sidelined Petras after he went 6-for-14 for 49 yards and had two interceptions and a fumble against the No. 2 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Padilla went for a somehow comparatively better 5-for-10 for 32 yards, with one interception, after he was subbed in.

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