Hey, Thursday.

  • 🔥🔥🔥 Triple digits today. Happy 100°.

End of an era: After nearly 644,000 people got swabbed, TestIowa is officially closing its COVID-19 test sites by July 16, the state Department of Public Health announced yesterday.

Today's Smart Brevity™ count is 784 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Ransom lessons from DMACC

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Des Moines Area Community College will resume online course instruction today, two weeks after a ransomware attack brought classes to a halt.

  • No ransom has been paid but talks with the "threat actor" continue, DMACC president Rob Denson told us yesterday.

Why it matters: It's yet another wakeup call about our widespread vulnerability to hacks and the importance of investing in cybersecurity.

Catch up quick: DMACC's online courses were canceled June 3 and the college fully closed the following day because of the attack.

  • In-person instruction resumed June 9.
  • Investigators don't believe the hackers have "anything significant," but they continue talking with them as part of the investigation, Denson said.

The big picture: Ransomware is a national crisis that FBI Director Christopher Wray this month likened to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Be smart: DMACC's public transparency and its resistance in paying a ransom is a show of leadership that should be commended, Sen. Zach Nunn, the past cybersecurity director for the White House National Security Council, told Jason.

  • Attacks are underreported because businesses and governments fear their reputations will be damaged if they publicly acknowledge them, Nunn said.
  • Paying ransoms can make an institution an even bigger future target, he added.

What's ahead: Iowa lawmakers have recently pushed to standardize the reporting of cyberattacks against governments.

  • The requirements may help avoid the most dire consequences and better protect taxpayers, Nunn said.

2. Landslide vs. Lookout: A $1.2 million fight

The overlook was completed in 2019. Photo courtesy of Des Moines Parks and Recreation

The EMC Overlook needs a new retaining wall and anchor system because a landslide is putting its footing at risk, DSM Parks director Ben Page told us.

  • The fix estimate: $1.2 million.

Flashback: The overlook was completed two years ago and cost about $1 million, paid primarily by donors.

  • The triangular structure jets out from a bluff over Thomas Beck Road, providing a cool view of downtown.
  • It's part of an ongoing multi-million dollar phased project at MacRae Park.

What's happening: Erosion around the overlook has become more severe in the last year.

  • But there's not an immediate danger. The overlook is drilled into bedrock below the soil.

What's next: The DSM City Council this week agreed to seek bids for the fix.

  • Construction is expected to begin this fall and be completed by the end of spring 2022.
A photo of the  EMC Overlook erosion.
Erosion threatening the EMC Overlook. Photo courtesy of Des Moines Parks and Recreation

3. New diner in town

Latke eggs Benedict with house-made lox, crispy capers and herbed hollandaise. Photo courtesy of R+C's Diner

R+C's Diner is opening soon in Windsor Heights and its menu is courtesy of restaurant veterans Joe Tripp of Harbinger and Simon Goheen of Simon's.

The big picture: Both owners are dads who want their latest creative endeavor to become a family favorite. Expect to see a breakfast menu from Goheen and a dinner menu from Tripp.

  • Also take note of influences from Tripp's Jewish heritage.

Breakfast: A creative play on morning favorites, including liege Belgian waffles, latke eggs Benedict and stuffed bialys.

Dinner: Chow down on some comfort foods like corned beef, latkes and matzo ball soup.

Dessert: Tripp's wife, Alexandra, is also leaning into the diner-style with decadent shakes, cakes, cookies and brownies.

Brined chicken wings
Dill pickled brined chicken wings with hot honey. Photo courtesy of R+C's Diner

Hours: Opens July 13. Tues. 4-9pm; Wed.-Sat. 7am-1pm and 4-9pm; Sun. 7am-2pm.

6587 University Ave., Windsor Heights

4. Allergies kicking up

A bee searching for nectar on a flower. Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

If you're feeling more congested right now — there's a drought to blame.

  • Rain brings down our pollen counts and gets allergens out of the air, said Tim Simplot, an ENT physician at ENT Clinic of Iowa.
  • But it's been dryer than a burnt corn dog around here.

His advice: Try different over-the-counter allergy medications and don't be shy with the nasal spray, Simplot said.

  • As for your face mask, while the science isn't clear, some studies suggest they can filter airborne allergens.

5. A guide to Juneteenth in Des Moines

The Isiserettes Drill and Drum Corp will be performing for Juneteenth: The Movement. Photo: Handout/Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

Juneteenth, the annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S., is this Saturday.

  • Backstory: On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers told enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, that they were free — more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

It'll be a big weekend of celebrations in Des Moines. Here are some highlights:

  • Neighbors Day, a free, family-friendly festival with music, art and history from 11am to 10pm Saturday at Western Gateway Park.
  • Juneteenth: the Movement is a live multimedia event between IPR, Iowa PBS and xBk Live. Watch or listen to live performers 7-9pm Saturday or get tickets to the Des Moines event.
  • Des Moines Black Liberation Movement is hosting a celebration with free food and a basketball tournament from 4-9pm Saturday at the Willkie House. Register for the tournament online.

Go deeper: Read a full Juneteenth guide from the Register here.

6. Pic du jour: Here's the scoop

People waiting for ice cream outside the Polk County Health Department. Screenshot via Twitter

What better perk is there to getting vaccinated than free ice cream?

  • The Polk County Health Department offered sweet treats from Outside Scoop on Wednesday for people who got their COVID-19 vaccine shot.

🍻 Cheers to that: On this hot day, Linh is biking to Kinship Brewing with her cycling team.

🛫 Jason is dreaming about vacation and trying to win flights for a year.

Thanks for taking time out of your day to join us.