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Top 9 of Iowa: From Ron Paul to Mitt Romney to Gabby Douglas, Giant Sand Castles and Little League World Series

In Cedar Falls, friends, family and colleagues gathered to remember popular University of Northern Iowa professor Drake Martin, who died while hiking at Backbone State Park.

Why nine? Because the Patch community includes nine sites in Iowa: AnkenyAmesCedar FallsIowa CityJohnstonMarionUrbandale, Waukee and West Des Moines.

9. Ames Patch has a profile of a local GOP activist who has come around to .

8. Johnston school district leaders presented the media with a rendering of the proposed at a meeting Monday regarding the upcoming bond referendum. Residents who attended a public information meeting later in the week raised questions about the cost and need for the school.

7. Friends, family and colleagues gathered in Cedar Falls to remember popular University of Northern Iowa professor, Drake Martin, who .

6. The Ankeny is seeking the public's help in identifying two men who and a construction trailer early in the morning of Aug. 3.

5. Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The Family Leader, used the Family Leadership Summit in Waukee to launch an effort to , who is up for retention in November.

4. A growing community unfortunately means more garbage, which has prompted officials to approve in Marion, with more additions to come. Marion officials have also explored vaporizing the waste.

3. The Urbandale landed a spot in bracket play Wednesday at the Region Tournament in Fort Wayne, IN, which sends a team on to the Little League World Series in Michigan.

2. The fourth annual Sand in the City has kicked off in Iowa City. This a fun community event where organizations and businesses design and build intricate sand castles. Check out photos from Sand in the City. The theme this year is sculptures of buildings from around the world.

1. Friends and coaches of gathered in West Des Moines to watch the Olympics. 

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