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‘It rocked my world’: Catching up with the Grays, one of the first lesbian couples married in Iowa

Decades before Lois and Karen Gray became one of the first same-sex couples in Iowa to legally marry, they were Iowa farm girls, courting each other on the campus of Grand View College (now University) in Des Moines. In the mid-1980s, in fairly quick succession, the women became friends, then roommates, then girlfriends. This evolution […]

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A conversation with Kate and Trish Varnum, 10 years after Varnum v. Brien

Cedar Rapids couple Kate and Trish Varnum celebrate their 18th, 15th and 10th anniversaries this year: they’ve been together since 2001, had a religious marriage ceremony in 2004 and were legally married in 2009, after a landmark Iowa Supreme Court case that bore their name. Since the April 3, 2009 ruling in Varnum v. Brien, […]

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The BarbouRoskes, plaintiffs in Varnum v. Brien, reflect on Iowa’s fight for marriage equality

The day the Iowa Supreme Court announced they’d made a decision in Varnum v. Brien, the landmark case that would determine whether to legalize same-sex marriage in Iowa, Dawn and Jennifer BarbouRoskes’ two young daughters had covered their faces in temporary tattoos. “Jen’s at work and I’m scrubbing their faces,” Dawn recalled. “Bre had fallen […]

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Homecoming planned for Iowa women’s basketball team today after Elite Eight loss

There is no more exciting time for basketball than March Madness — even when it means all but one team in the tournament goes home on a loss. After a red-letter season, the Iowa women’s basketball team fell to Baylor in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament Monday night, 53-85. The Hawkeyes are heading […]

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Hashtag (and NCAA tournament) prompts locals to list their top 10 Iowa City-area eateries

After clinching the Big Ten championship over Rutgers on March 9, the University of Iowa women’s basketball team — led by coach Lisa Bluder and Big Ten Player of the Year Megan Gustafson — will enter the NCAA Tournament Friday with the home-court advantage. Carver Hawkeye Arena will host the Hawks’ first-round game against the […]

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Sunshine and rainbow dogs: FilmScene hosts a new doc showcasing creative dog grooming

Canine cosmetology isn’t always shallow or abusive. A new documentary combats stereotypes associated with exhibitionist dog owners while focusing on, arguably, their epitome: competitive creative dog groomers. FilmScene will screen ‘Well Groomed’ on Sunday as part of their Vino Vérité series, co-presented by Bread Garden Market and Little Village. […]

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Lion Bridge Brewing Company celebrates five years in Cedar Rapids

In the shadow of Czech Village’s distinctive orange-roofed clock tower, across the street from the old Kosek Bandstand and complementing the stone lions scattered along 16th Avenue in Cedar Rapids is a small craft brewery (with a spacious taproom) that feels as integral to the area’s history as most any business in the neighborhood. […]

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RaMell Ross and Bing Liu, two guests of FilmScene’s Vino Vérité series, will compete for an Oscar Sunday

Most of the 2019 Oscar-nominated films have screened at FilmScene in the past year, including four of the five nominees for Best Documentary Feature. The filmmakers behind two of these acclaimed and ambitious docs joined FilmScene audiences months before the Academy Awards lauded their achievements. Bing Liu, director of Minding the Gap, and RaMell Ross, […]

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Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers opens in Old Capitol Town Center

Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, a national chain serving classic American diner food, opens in the Old Capitol Town Center Tuesday. Facing Clinton Street and sandwiched between Noodles and Company and what will soon be a Panera Bread, the first downtown Iowa City Freddy’s location seats 110 guests, with additional patio seating in warm weather […]

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Death, rescue, racism and menstrual pads: A rundown of the Oscar-nominated documentary shorts

Plenty of politics play into the Oscar nomination process (often leading to some dubious selections in the Best Picture, Director and acting categories), but there’s one aspect of the Academy Awards circus that consistently feels pure and even altruistic: the spotlighting of short films. FilmScene is screening the Oscar-nominated short films in the animation, live […]

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Hozier, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit announced for 2019 Hinterland Music Festival

The fifth annual Hinterland Music Festival announced its headliners today, which include Irish folk rocker Hozier, Alabama alt-country group Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, Americana artist and Hinterland alumna Brandi Carlile, country singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves, eight-piece soul group St. Paul and The Broken Bones and more. […]

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An overly in-depth and totally not bitter alternative Best Picture list

After dozens of forays to FilmScene and local multiplexes in 2018, crunching countless popcorn kernels in anticipation of celebrating the best of the best come February 2019, it was both anticlimactic and disappointing to see a line-up of Best Picture nominees that included the likes of Bohemian Rhapsody, Vice, Green Book and Black Panther. […]

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