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All the news you didn’t know you needed to know.

Merging of the minds

CEDAR RAPIDS — A new Cedar Rapids Area Chamber

of Commerce program will merge The Next Generation Commission and Access Iowa to create a new organization devoted to the attraction, retention and advancement of young talent in the community. A transition team has been put in place to guide the merger. The team also has the responsibility of creating a new name and brand. The chamber also is hiring a Director of Leadership Development to coordinate the new group as well as the existing Leadership for Five Seasons programs. For more information, go to

Taking the plunge

Residents took an icy bath over the weekend in Palo and at the Coralville Lake to raise money for Special Olympics Iowa athletes. Fourteen plunges are held across the state throughout the year to raise money for Special Olympics. Supporters can donate funds to Special Olympics online at www.firstgiving. com/soiowa So far, Special Olympics Iowa has raised more than $61,000. For more information, go to

L iz Martin photo

Members of the Linn County Sheriff’s Office run into the water in the Polar Plunge at Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area in Palo. Fourteen plunges are held across the state throughout the year to raise money for Special Olympics.

10 projects competing for limited funds from the Economic Development Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

A new look

CEDAR RAPIDS — Plans to spend an estimated

$50 million to modernize the U.S. Cellular Center and to add a 60,000-square-foot convention center and exhibition hall next to it were revealed last week at a city council meeting. The refurbishment would not enlarge the arena but would add luxury seating and new concession areas. This project is fifth on a list of

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Perfect fit

CEDAR RAPIDS — Goodbye Dale and Thomas Popcorn

Field (and its prepackaged popcorn). Hello Perfect Game Field. The Kernels announced last week they have agreed to a naming rights contract with

Perfect Game USA, although no details were disclosed. Welcome to Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Perfect Game USA is a local baseball club and nationally renowned scouting service located across the street from Memorial Stadium and the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Rockford Road SW. These neighbors seem to be a perfect fit. Make that a Perfect fit. SOURCE: THE GAZETTE

by Greg Dietzenbach

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April 2, 2009

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