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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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UI track and field champion Lake Kwaza is chasing Olympic dreams, this time in a bobsled

What do you do if you are a school record holder, Big 10 champion and an All-American in track and field, still have that urge to compete after graduating from college but are uncertain about switching sports? Well, if you are 2016 University of Iowa graduate Lake Kwaza, you turn down an offer from one of the U.S. Bobsled coaches, and when he calls you back a year later you answer him with a resounding, ‘Yes!’ […]

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Celebrating the jólabókaflóð tradition this year? Here’s how!

Jólabókaflóð, roughly translated as “Yule book flood” and pronounced (again, roughly) /yo-la-bok-a-flot/, originated in Iceland during World War II. Paper, unlike many other commodities, was not rationed during the war, making books a perfect option for gift exchanges. […]

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Adoptable Pets of the Week: Kitty carolers of the Iowa City Animal Center

After a successful Holiday for the Hounds party and donation drive last week, the cats of the Iowa City Animal Center are enjoying their new gifts, including a festive Christmas-y collar complete with jingle bells. Well, the staff and volunteers are enjoying it, at least. […]

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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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LGBTQ rights advocate Zach Wahls announces Iowa Senate run

Iowa City-native Zach Wahls, an advocate for LGBTQ rights and author of a bestselling book ‘My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family,’ announced his campaign for the Iowa Senate today with a series of social media posts as well as an event in Coralville. […]

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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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