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The Week in Social 8/23 - 8/27

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.

Five Iowa Athletes Compete in the Tokyo Paralympic Games

Five Iowa athletes will represent Team USA at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Jessica Heims of Swisher competed in the 2016 Rio games and is the U.S. record holder in the f-64 discus throw. Heims is accompanied by her University of Northern Iowa teammate, Erin Kerkhoff. Kerkhoff is ranked fifth in the word in the t-13 400-meter dash and is making her Paralympics debut. Matt Stutzman of Fairfield uses his feet to compete in archery in his third Paralympic Games. Josh Turek of Council Bluffs competed in his first Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, in 2004. Turek, who competes in wheelchair basketball, is a two-time Paralympic medalist, winning gold in Rio in 2016 and bronze in London in 2012.

“At this point, I’m going to do this for me to better myself because I want to. Not because anyone told me. Because I want to,” said Justin Phongsavanh who quickly took to javelin after a shooting in a McDonald’s parking lot left him paralyzed below the waist. Within four years, he was competing in international events. To cheer on these skilled athletes, see the NBC broadcast schedule.

New Techie Taproom Opens

Tech meets craft beer at the new Craft Bru taproom opening September 3 in downtown Des Moines. Using a mobile app developed by software developers Dennis Dix and Tracey Schlueter, Craft Bru will provide a whole new brewery experience by utilizing a unique flavor profile system that allows users to rank each beer and receive personalized suggestions for future drinks. The menu on the app will also change daily and largely focus on seasonal or experimental beers so users always receive a unique and personalized experience. As the business starts in Iowa, the app software will be marketed to breweries across the world.

Breaking Ground of Thousands of Bike Trails

Although RAGBRAI is over, Iowa cyclists have some exciting things to look forward to. Norwalk recently broke ground on a 2.4-mile paved trail that will connect to the Great Western Trail and more than 700 connected miles of Central Iowa. According to local government officials, these projects could potentially stimulate business to all communities adjacent to the trails.

“Once Norwalk connects to the Great Western Trail it will add recreational and commuting use,” said Robin Leaper, the director of Norwalk Parks and Recreation.

Visit Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a colorful, seven-acre public garden in the heart of downtown Des Moines. There is much more to do than simply walk around and look at plants. The Botanical Garden is known for entertaining guests with progressive designs, innovated programming and dynamic exhibits.

Join specialized gardening classes to learn how to make your own garden bloom beautifully or learn traditional outdoor painting techniques while gathering inspiration from the garden. Enjoy peace and tranquility in the Wellness in the Garden Series with Tai Chi, mediation, yoga and Zumba classes fit for all skill levels. In the summer months, attend the Music in the Garden Series to see local bands light up the stage.

Published August 31, 2021

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