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A brief history of Judaism in Iowa

The first Jewish mayor of an American city, by some accounts, was Iowa City’s Moses Bloom. Bloom left his native Alsace, France in 1850 and arrived in Iowa City in 1857, where he soon took over ownership of a clothing store on South Clinton Street (in the space currently occupied by Ewers Men’s Store and […]

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The original Paul’s Discount in Clinton is closing

When it was announced last April that Paul’s Discount was closing, the Cassidy family, which owned the store that had become an Iowa City institution, said they would be keeping the original Paul’s location in Clinton, Iowa open. But on Tuesday, the Clinton Herald reported that city’s Paul’s will close by July 31. “It has […]

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‘People are ready for a new generation of leadership’: 2020 presidential Julián Castro on his path to politics, immigration reform and more

Julián Castro was candid about his place in the large field of candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination during his live Political Party Live’s podcast interview at The Mill Sunday. The former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, who also served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration, is still slowly […]

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Dave Loebsack will not run for reelection in 2020

Rep. Dave Loebsack announced on Friday that he will not run for reelection in 2020. “I have enjoyed beyond my expectations serving the people of Iowa’s Second District for the past 13 years,” the Iowa City Democrat said in a statement. Loebsack was first elected to Congress in 2006, when he defeated Jim Leach, a […]

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Kamala Harris in Iowa City: ‘Our fight is born out of what we know can be, unburdened by what has been’

What wasn’t said at Sen. Kamala Harris’ town hall-style campaign event at the Iowa Memorial Union on Wednesday night was almost as interesting as what the 2020 presidential candidate did say. She never mentioned Donald Trump’s name or used the word “Republican.” But the California Democrat wasn’t ignoring the impact of Trump’s actions or Republican policies. […]

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Grassley on Trump’s tax returns: ‘I don’t want to see them’

During a Monday morning appearance on Fox News, Sen. Chuck Grassley was asked about the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee (or as the Fox host put it, “the Democrats”) requesting copies of President Trump’s tax returns from the IRS. Grassley began his reply by pointing out that as chair of the Senate […]

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Julián Castro, 2020 presidential candidate, will be at The Mill Sunday for a ‘Political Party Live’ interview

Former San Antonio mayor and current presidential candidate Julián Castro will sit down for an interview on the Political Party Live podcast recording live at The Mill on Sunday. Castro is the fourth 2020 Democratic candidate to be interviewed by Political Party Live hosts Stacey Walker and Simeon Talley. […]

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From eating at Hamburg Inn to digging into the issues: Beto O’Rourke makes his first campaign stop in Iowa City

The music that blasted through the second-floor ballroom at the Iowa Memorial Union on Sunday was the first indication Beto O’Rourke was incorporating local color into his first campaign stop in Iowa City since declaring his candidacy last month. Instead of his standard walk-up music, “Clampdown” by The Clash, the former Texas congressman bounded onto […]

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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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Guerilla Toss on their chaotic origin story and psychedelic new album, ahead of Mission Creek

For a band that creates frenetic, rhythm-charged, psychedelic music, Guerilla Toss’s absurd origin story is perfectly on-brand. Back when Kassie Carlson first crossed paths with the group at a DIY basement venue named the Smokey Bear Cave, they initially had a saxophonist instead of a vocalist. Meanwhile, she was singing in a hardcore band […]

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