Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was up late last night as the end of the 2021 Iowa Legislature session was coming to an end. Right before this year's session was adjourned, Reynolds signed a law that was pretty straight to the point. Schools can no longer require masks effective immediately.

The 2020-2021 school year is coming to an end in about two weeks. Even though most school districts throughout the state of Iowa have required students and staff to wear a mask while in person this year, when the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced their new guidelines, the "masks debate" was risen from the grave.

Schools throughout the Quad Cities and the states of Iowa and Illinois are being faced with parents complaining on both sides, contradicting state and federal guidelines, and trying to just finish the school year in peace.

Iowa school districts facing the tough decision on whether to require masks or not for the remainder of the school year got a crystal clear on whether they should or not early Thursday morning from Governor Kim Reynolds. The simple answer: Schools can't require masks.

According to Radio Iowa, Reynolds signed the bill shortly after midnight to ban mask mandates in all Iowa schools. The bill also bans mask mandates in cities and counties. Since Reynolds signed the bill shortly after midnight and it became law immediately.

Governor Reynolds said in her social media post at 12:57 a.m. this morning,

"The state of Iowa is putting parents back in control of their child’s education and taking greater steps to protect the rights of all Iowans to make their own health care decisions."

The Bettendorf Community School District released a statement to parents Thursday morning following the news of Reynolds signing the bill. The letter sent to parents said,

"Dear BCSD Parents/Guardians,

Overnight Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law legislation that prohibits schools from mandating masks as well as cities and counties from mandating masks in businesses. This new law is effective immediately.

This means parents, students, and staff will make their own decision about mask usage. As we finish the school year, we strongly encourage students and staff to wear face coverings in our buildings until they are vaccinated. Our staff will work will visit with their students today about this change, and we encourage you to discuss this with your student(s). We will continue to practice other current mitigation measures.

If you have questions, please call your building principal.

We are committed to continuing to support and care for each other as we finish the 2020-2021 school year.

Warm regards,

Dr. Michelle Morse"


In short, your child no longer is required to wear a mask at school if they don't want to. If the school has a mask mandate, it is officially nullified. Cities and counties can't create a mask mandate, but private businesses can.

Iowa's Island City

There is something unique about every town, but there is really something special about Sabula, IA. Known as "Iowa's Island City," Sabula is the only town in the state of Iowa that is entirely on an island. While not a lot of people have been to, or live in Sabula, it is a quaint little town nestled right on the Mississippi River.

Before we show you around "Iowa's Island City," let me give you the history of Sabula. Sabula was established in 1835, according History of Jackson County, Iowa, Volume 1 by James Whitcomb Ellis. Isaac Dorman and a man named Hinkley crossed the river from the Illinois side on a log and decided to settle on what is now Sabula. An Ohio couple, James and Margaret Woods would settle on Sabula about a year later in April of 1836. Their son, Dr. E. A. Woods would purchase Hinkley's interest in the claim. Charles Swan and W. H. Brown would soon purchase Dorman's interest. The three men, Woods, Swan and Brown later had the land plotted in 1837.

The idea behind plotting the land was because there was no town between Lyons (north Clinton) and Bellevue. The plot of the new town was recorded in Dubuque as this area was part of Dubuque county at the time, according History of Jackson County, Iowa, Volume 1 by James Whitcomb Ellis.

According to Island City Harbor's website, Sabula went through a few names before landing on the official town name. In 1837, Sabula was first called Carrollport. Residents of the town didn't like the name because there was a man's name who was Carroll who had a bad reputation. The town changed its name to Charleston, after early settler Charles Swan. The only issue was that there was already a town called Charleston in Iowa which caused much confusion.

In 1846 the settler’s decided to find a name. Island City Harbor's website says that because of it’s sandy soil, William Hubble suggested the town be called "Sabulum" which is Latin for sand. A party was being held around the time the town name was being discussed, when a woman, supposed to be Miss Harriet Hudson, suggested the town be called Sabula as it was easier to pronounce and sounded more elegant, according History of Jackson County, Iowa, Volume 1 by James Whitcomb Ellis.

Sabula did not actually become an island until 1939. According to Wikipedia, in the 1930's, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed the lock and dam system. In 1939, Lock and Dam No. 13 between Clinton, IA and Fulton, IL was built which caused the bottomlands west of the town permanently flooded. With the Mississippi River east of the town, this created the "Island City." A levee was built around Sabula in 1957 for protection, according to Island City Harbor's website. This also allowed for the south sand pit to be turned into a boat harbor.

I would like to thank my mom Beth, her fiancé Matt, my brother Nolan and my wife Ellie for accompanying me to Sabula. We always have a blast on our trips and this one was no exception.

It's now time to introduce you to Sabula, Iowa, Iowa's Island City.

KEEP READING: Here are the most popular baby names in every state

Using March 2019 data from the Social Security Administration, Stacker compiled a list of the most popular names in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to their 2018 SSA rankings. The top five boy names and top five girl names are listed for each state, as well as the number of babies born in 2018 with that name. Historically common names like Michael only made the top five in three states, while the less common name Harper ranks in the top five for 22 states.

Curious what names are trending in your home state? Keep reading to see if your name made the top five -- or to find inspiration for naming your baby.