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New restaurants and other changes on the local food scene in 2017

Fifteen restaurants — serving everything from burritos to bao — opened in the Iowa City area this year. Some were entirely new ventures, some belonged to local favorites that expanded (you no longer have to go downtown to get a pie shake). Taking a big step beyond its NewBo District coffee shop in Cedar Rapids, Brewhemia started distributing its nitro coffee throughout the corridor. And in Iowa City, a new, locally-owned food delivery was launched, to provide an alternative to big, national services like GrubHub. […]

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Community forum will focus on the impact of proposed Cedar Rapids school closures on neighborhoods

A forum on the Cedar Rapids Community School District’s (CRCSD) plan to close eight elementary schools, and the potential impact of those closing on the city and its neighborhoods, will be held in the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s Whipple Auditorium on Tuesday. “We’re concerned that there are so many people who don’t really know about the plan,” Cindy Hadish of Save CR Heritage told Little Village. “That’s why we’re having this public forum — to raise awareness, and hopefully to get the school board to pay attention.” […]

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Ten ways Iowa City changed in 2017

Every year brings changes, and 2017 saw the start of construction on a major new public park and progress on a new approach to community living in Iowa City. A new co-working space for entrepreneurs opened on the Ped Mall, and the sale of an important Ped Mall building revealed a strange world of art that had been hidden from public view for decades. Plans for major improvements to the Ped Mall were finalized, as were the plans for new building for the University of Iowa Art Museum. […]

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Seeing red and getting called ‘unhinged’: Iowa politics in 2017

Republican took full control of state government in Iowa in 2017, and moved quickly to enact an intensely ideological agenda, making major changes that reduced women’s access to health care, reduced union bargaining rights, expanded access to guns and decreased support for public education. But it was liberals Gov. Kim Reynolds called “unhinged,” at her first campaign fundraiser. Public statements by Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst called in question how well-hinged Iowa’s two U.S. Senators are. Meanwhile in the Iowa State Senate, Senate Majority Leader Bill tried to convince the public there’s no problem with sexual harassment in the Republican caucus (a jury disagreed). The Democratic state Senate caucus, on the other hand, made news by replacing Cedar Rapids Sen. Rob Hogg as its leader, even though Hogg had held the position for less than a year. […]

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Coping with Trump, replacing Corbett and Iowa City makes history: 2017 in local politics

The year started with reactions to the new Trump administration — some involving careful city council deliberations, one involving fire — and such reactions continue throughout 2017. The year also saw elections for the school board, followed very quickly by a major change in leadership after the new board was sworn in. There were also city elections. In Cedar Rapids, voters had to choose a replacement for Mayor Ron Corbett, who decided to run for governor, instead of reelection. Iowa City made history by electing Mazahir Salih to the city council, the first Muslim to serve on the council and likely the first Sudanese-American woman elected to office in the entire country. In a preview of what is to come in 2018, Iowa City native son and LGBTQ activist Zach Wahls announced a run for state senate just before Christmas. […]

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Project Holiday has helped those in need enjoy a holiday meal for 30 years

Once again this year, the Crisis Center of Johnson County’s Project Holiday is helping those in need to enjoy an important part of the season: a special meal with their loved ones. “This is our 30th year for Project Holiday,” said Sara Sedlacek, the Crisis Center’s communications and development director. […]

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University Camera is closing, after more than four decades in Iowa City

University Camera, a downtown Iowa City fixture and the only full-service camera shop in Johnson County, will be closing in the Spring. “I’ve given my landlord a final termination date of no later than the first of May 2018,” Roger Christian, the store’s owner, told Little Village. “And I’m really hoping to be out of here no later than the first part of April.” […]

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Your Village: What’s the story behind an Iowa City crossing guard who waves at every car?

I drive by the corner of Ashwood Drive and Rochester Avenue in the mornings on my way to work and there is a crossing guard who waves at everyone passing car in the morning. He seems to be one of the most cheerful people in Iowa City. Who is he? What’s his story? – Kieran, Iowa City, via email.
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UI research helps win FDA approval for a breakthrough genetic therapy for a rare form of blindness

On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a breakthrough genetic therapy for a heredity condition that causes blindness. The treatment, Luxturna, was approved ahead of schedule, thanks, in part, to work done by researchers at the University of Iowa. Prior to the approval of Luxturna, there was no treatment for the rare condition, known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). About 6,000 people have LCA worldwide, including 1,000 to 2,000 people in the United States. […]

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Sanctuary Pub announces new ownership

Another fixture on the Iowa City scene is changing hands as 2017 draws to a close. On Sunday, Sanctuary Pub owner Daryl Woodson announced on Facebook that he is retiring from the S. Gilbert St. pub. Earlier this month, it was announced that a new owner is taking of Devotay at the beginning of the new year. […]

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Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner ‘The Square’ rewards extreme patience

At some point, Christian’s life must have gone very right. Well-heeled, well-groomed, well-respected, he’s the chief curator at the X-Royal Museum in Stockholm. He’s been moving easily through life, having mastered the ability to fake both sincerity and spontaneity. But The Square is not about things going right for Christian (played by Claes Bang). The movie follows him as his life slips out of his control. […]

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