Alison Gowans

Features reporter for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and Hoopla.



Running with a little star power: Girls on the Run celebrates 10 years in Eastern Iowa

Grace Fincham is in fourth grade, and she loves to run.

Specifically, the 10-year-old, who attends Lincoln Elementary School in Iowa City, loves to run with her teammates and coaches at Girls on the Run.

The program, which is marking 10 yea ... »

Caffeine with a healthy kick at Marion’s ‘Innovative Protein & Coffee Bar’

Going on a diet is never easy. Add in giving up coffee drinks, and for some it can feel impossible.

That's where Innovative Protein & Coffee Bar hopes to help.

The coffee shop, owned by Innovative Aesthetics, opened Sept. 14 in Marion as par ... »

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library exhibit puts everyday accessories in spotlight

Walking into the Petrick gallery at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, visitors are surrounded by glittering jewels, colorful beads and elaborate costumes.

The #x201c;Art of Accessories#x201d; display, on view now through Feb. 11, explo ... »

Estela’s Fresh Mex in Iowa City honors grandmother

When Tyler Tiecke, Jerry Vasquez and his mother, Elsa de La Paz, wanted to expand their Iowa City restaurant, Mami's, they knew they wanted to keep one thing the same: They still wanted the name to be in honor of de La Paz's mother, Estela.

"Eve ... »

From boy band to Broadway and back: 98 Degrees performing at Riverside Saturday

Twenty years since they first crooned their way into fan's hearts, 98 Degrees is back - although this time their music focuses on snow more than heat.

The four-man vocal band, which includes brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre and Jeff ... »

Charity Halloween party becomes a Cedar Rapids smash

When Kelli Sutterman and Mike and Molly Schulte decided to throw a Halloween party three years ago, they thought it would just be their friends and acquaintances. They would offer a chance to put on costumes, listen to live music and raise a little mone ... »

Sushi, sake and coffee on menu for new Iowa City restaurant Soseki Sushi Cafe & Sake Bar

Until recently, Kevin Wu never intended to open a restaurant.

He grew up watching his parents, immigrants from Taiwan, work long hours in restaurants, most recently at Sushi House in Cedar Rapids, which their family opened in 2004. He didn't want ... »

In Iowa: Progress addressing ‘me too’ must come from ‘men too’

Me too.

If you haven't seen those words written across your social media timelines yet, let me fill you in. They are part of a campaign spreading rapidly and widely as thousands of women write #x201c;me too#x201d; if they have experienced sexual h ... »

Coralville inmates train dogs from shelter for adoption

When Vader, a rambunctious Labrador mix, came to the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center at 9 months old, the dog had little self control. He would tear packages of treats out of staff member's hands and had to wear a chain leash when he went out, ... »

Late Night Cake Company owner bakes up a business in North Liberty

Tara McMorris didn't set out to start a successful home baking business.

The journey from her life working for a law firm to baking elaborate cakes as the owner of Late Night Cake Company includes the birth of her daughter, roller derby, insomni ... »