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Siblings Paul and Catherine Williams graduated from North High School in th 1930s. Photos courtesy of DMPS

A brother and sister who graduated from North High School in the 1930s left an estate of nearly $560,000 for a new scholarship for students of color, school officials announced last week.

Why it matters: Minority and low-income students in Iowa are less likely to earn a college degree. This will help close financial barriers for students at North.

The backdrop: Paul Williams was a psychiatrist and World War II veteran who died in 2017.

  • Catherine Williams had a dance career early in her life and ultimately retired as the deputy commissioner for the Iowa Department of Social Services. She died last year at 105.
  • Paul left his estate to Catherine, who used their combined assets to create the scholarship.

The bottom line: "The gift will absolutely and undeniably change the lives of current and future Polar Bears,” principal Ben Graeber said.

This story first appeared in the Axios Des Moines newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutor to seek hate crime charges, death penalty in Atlanta shootings

In Hopkinton, Mass., the Rally & Run To Stop Asian Hate is held to show solidarity in the wake of deadly Atlanta shootings and to mourn the loss of eight lives including six Asian women. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Prosecutors unveiled murder charges against the white man accused of shooting and killing eight people, six of whom were Asian women, at Atlanta-area spas, AP reports.

Driving the news: A prosecutor filed notice that she plans to seek hate crime charges and the death penalty in the case. Two separate grand juries have now indicted the suspect on murder charges.

America's pandemic coin crunch returns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An early pandemic problem that plagued businesses is back: not enough change to go around.

Why it matters: The pandemic broke America's coin flow. It has repercussions for millions that rely on it for daily transactions.