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The Week in Social 8/2 - 8/6

The Week in Social rounds up the best of Iowa’s uplifting stories, exciting initiatives and fun events from all 99 counties discovered through social media. In a time where every bit of good news is cherished, this series is devoted to being a fun, lighthearted way to stay informed about Iowa’s good news.

Council Bluff Native Wins Bronze in Tokyo Olympics

Council Bluff native and former Hawkeye wrestler Thomas Gilman is known as a takedown machine, leading him to four state titles at Omaha Skutt Catholic, three All-American finishes for the Iowa Hawkeyes and a freestyle world silver medal for the United States.

This year, Gilman continued his impressive wrestling record by winning bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics posting a 2-1 record at 125 pounds. In addition to his new bronze medal, Gilman will receive $25,000 from USA Wrestling and a spot at the 2021 World Championship in Oslo, Norway. Gilman became the 10th former Iowa wrestler to win a medal at the Olympic Games.

Ottumwa Hosts Babe Ruth 14-Year-Old World Series

In 1951, passionate baseball enthusiasts created the Babe Ruth League as a program to develop the skills of young baseball players ages 13-15, a tradition that still carries on today.

This year, Ottumwa will host nine teams from across the country for the Babe Ruth 14-Year-Old World Series August 14-21. The series features 24 games, and players will compete in a special Downtown Ottumwa Scavenger Hunt on August 13. The visiting teams will be paired with Ottumwa players to find a list of local attractions and post pictures on social media. The winning team will be treated to dinner at Warehouse Barbecue. Wanting to get in on the special events? You can purchase tickets to the games or assist the players on their scavenger hunt downtown.

The History Behind MLB Field of Dreams Game

The MLB Field of Dreams Game will premiere August 12, 2021, but the making of the game started years ago. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred shared that the idea of the game started when he made a visit to the movie site for an MLB promotional tour. As he approached the big window of the rural Dyersville house and looked out the window to the field, his gut confirmed that someday there would be a regular season game in Dyersville.

Even if you don’t have tickets to the game, you can still celebrate the historic game in Dyersville! Check out Beyond the Game for a schedule of free events including a public watch party downtown and read about these additional things to do in Dyersville to make the most of your trip.

Historical Walking Tour to Celebrate 175th Statehood Anniversary

Step into Iowa’s rich history at the Iowa State Fair with a self-guided historical walking tour created to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Iowa’s statehood. The tour will showcase pivotal locations including the place where lumber from a roller coaster was repurposed to build several local houses, the training location for soldiers preparing for World War I, and where Amelia Earhart likely saw a plane take flight for the first time.

“The history of the Iowa State Fair reflects the history of Iowa itself, which is full of innovative leaders and hard workers from all walks of life,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “This walking tour offers a unique opportunity to learn about Iowa’s extraordinary march through time.”

The tour will kick off the fair with a rally at 8 a.m., August 12, in front of the DNR building and lead to the opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Bring your smartphones and scan QR-coded sidewalks to learn about Iowa history while getting some steps in.

Iowa Leads Renewable Energy Push

The Electric Power Research Center (EPRC) at Iowa State University, in partnership with SunCrate Energy, received a grant of $172,200 from the Iowa Economic Development Authority to develop a solar power crate. The solar power crate will function as a portable energy source that will increase the access to power during a disaster response. This is particularly important as strong winds, floods and tornados can leave thousands of people without power and communications. The innovation would allow the Iowa Army National Guard to respond quickly and restore communication lines.

This development is one of many ways that Iowa continues to showcase innovation in developing renewable energy sources. The American Clean Power Association reports that nearly 58% of electricity generated in Iowa in 2020 came from renewable sources.

Published August 10, 2021

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