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Reinventions, new locations and a ‘secret’ from long ago: The restaurant scene in 2018

Transformation was a major theme on the local restaurant scene in 2018. Early in the year, the owners of downtown fixture Atlas announced they were remaking the restaurant into the Saint Burch Tavern (named after Burch, the bear who served as the University of Iowa’s mascot at the beginning of the 20th century), and as […]

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Goodbye Paul’s, farewell University Camera, so long Sears: Notable business closings in 2018

There were major changes to the retail landscape of the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area in 2018 as long-standing businesses closed their doors for the last time. Neither a specialized business like University Camera or Family Video, nor the store where you could find almost anything, Paul’s, were immune from the major shifts in the retail […]

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Hatchets, trampolines, a mountain of garbage and retired rides: The evolution of recreation in 2018

After 66 years, Iowa City’s much-loved children’s train made its final run this fall, after the Iowa City Department of Parks and Recreation decided to close down and dismantle the amusement rides in City Park. It had become increasingly expensive to repair and maintain the aging rides, and the amusement rides area also isn’t fully […]

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Cedar Rapids City Council considering restrictions on smoking in city parks

On Tuesday, the Cedar Rapids City Council will consider taking introducing restrictions smoking in the city’s parks. It would not be a total ban, like the one passed by Iowa City in last year that prohibited the use of smokeless tobacco, smoking or vaping in all city parks.

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As Iowa’s first medical marijuana production facility opens, severe restrictions remain on the program

Iowa’s still developing medical marijuana program reached an important milestone on Thursday, as MedPharm Iowa held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its Des Moines facility. “It’s about the patients, the kids, the patients who are going to benefit from these particular products,” Dr. Christopher Nelson, MedPharm’s owner, said at the ribbon-cutting. […]

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Iowa City and Cedar Rapids will offer free bus rides on Election Day

Bus rides in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids will be free all day on Election Day, as both cities try to make getting to the polls easier for voters. These well-intentioned efforts, however, highlight the limitations of both cities’ public transit systems. Polls will be open statewide for the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, […]

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Early voting for the November general election has begun

Early in-person voting for the Nov. 6 general election began on Monday. Voters will be at the county auditor’s office during business hours, until Nov. 5. The Johnson County Auditor’s Office is open Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Voters in Linn County have a slightly narrower window — its auditor’s office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. […]

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Sen. Cory Booker will meet with voters in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday

Sen. Cory Booker will be in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday morning, for a “meet and greet” with local Democrats. According to the Linn County Democratic Party, the event is supposed to draw attention local Democratic candidates, but it’s likely that many of the people Booker meets and greets will want to talk about Brett Kavanaugh. […]

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