15 Stories That Had Cedar Rapids Talking in 2015
As 2015 is wrapping up, it's time to reflect. And while we've seen plenty of stories of the top things all over the news and the internet this past year, we figured it'd be a good idea to look back at the 15 top stories that were the buzz around town in 2015.
Click each title to see the original story.
Late May, a sign appeared on the US Cellular Center advertising something big was coming, and thus a big mystery started, with plenty of speculation. It was eventually revealed that Cedar Rapids was getting their first Professional Indoor Soccer team, which would later be named the Rampage.
The band One Direction is huge. And 2015 was a big year of change for them. But back in March, we met Marion's Brett Wheeler. Brett is blind, and has had his struggles in life. However, the music of One Direction changed everything for him, and his classmates started a viral campaign to get him to their show in Chicago this summer. A listener eventually donated tickets for him, but the story didn't stop there. The fan club got involved and bumped him almost up to front row. His entire family got tickets, and the original donor got bumped into better seats as well. It was one of the best local feel good stories this year.
In October, we heard the story of Davis County's Zach Hougland. He was a cross country runner who gave his school their first ever district championship. But shortly after crossing the finish line, he looked back to see fellow competitor Garret Hinson of Mediapolis collapse just short of the the finish line. Zach hopped up and helped Garret up, helping him finish the race. For his actions, he was disqualified, much to the uproar of social media.
A report from SmartAsset published in September had great news for Cedar Rapids families. Based off numerous features, the city received the highest score on the ranking for best US cities for children. The report looked at 13 different benchmarks and was focused on metro areas with populations of more than 200,000.
For those who grew up in Cedar Rapids, there was nothing quite like this list of 26 items of nostalgia from being raised as a Cedar Rapidian. This November article was a great trip down memory lane.
In May, as we were getting ready for summer, we discovered sad news regarding one of our favorite summer festivals: Hog Wild Days. The Lions Club, who hosted the event for 30 years, decided that they will no longer hold the event, as it has outgrown their size. There were rumors of other underlying issues as well. The City of Hiawatha hosted a RAGBRAI stop this year, but vowed to possibly pick up the event for future years. We'll see if that holds true in 2016.
Earlier this month, we were very excited to find out our Hawkeyes were headed back to the Rose Bowl for the first time in many years. And then we rediscovered this bit of nostalgia from their first appearance back in 1980. It sure is a sign of the time, but stirs up so much Hawkeye Pride in all of us.
With all the excitement about the Hawkeyes incredible season, and their pending trip to the Rose Bowl, the crowning jewel came just weeks ago, as it was announced Coach would be taking top National honors. Well deserved Coach. GO HAWKS!
As Award season hit, and the Oscars were awarded, many of the normal, well known names graced the stage. But then we learned of a local connection, as Don Hall, a Glenwood, IA native, and Disney employee for the past 20 years, received an Oscar for his work on the Best Animated Film Feature for "Big Hero Six". Congrats again Don.
Long before we found out Cedar Rapids was the best city for kids in the US (see #12), we learned which counties were the best in Eastern Iowa for raising kids. The study looked at what your salary would be by age 26 if you grew up in these counties. You definitely had mixed reviews on the findings of this study.
As summer approached, there was plenty of buzz about a 1 day concert festival that was to happen on the front lawn of NewBo City Market, bringing local and National acts together. There was plenty of excitement for the event, and you flocked to the event's homepage to soak in all the details.
Just a few weeks ago, we learned some big news that had everyone salivating: Zombie Burger was expanding to Iowa City, meaning you'd no longer have to drive to Des Moines for the experience. Almost everyone you talked to that day was saying, "Did you hear...".
Many of us get extremely excited about the Great Jones County Fair, as it always delivers on great talent. (In 2016, we get Carrie Underwood!) And this past summer, Tim McGraw was in here. While that was exciting, it was what our Intern caught on camera that had the area (and the nation) buzzing. Tim is an avid fitness guy, and has a rigorous pre-show workout, that is usually in private. However, it was difficult to seclude him in Monticello with the hills and all, and our Intern was able to use a great zoom lens to get some unforgettable shots, right ladies?
If you've ever been on Urban Dictionary, there's quite a few funny articles. The review of Cedar Rapids was not so funny however, and was quite insulting. If you haven't seen this yet, it's worth a read.
Who would've guessed the Hawkeyes would take top honors on this list of 2015 stories? It was easily a year of Black and Gold fever. And while we're all abuzz about Hawkeye Football in the wake of the Rose Bowl, earlier this year, it was the Hawkeye Men's Basketball team that had everyone feeling the fever. So, one of our own DJs decided to pen an open letter to star Aaron White on behalf of Iowa fans everywhere, thanking him for what he did to restore our passion for the program. It's a great read that so many shared across social media. We're hoping Aaron read it too!