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Lynn Parker gives friend Baley Brown, both of Savanna, a hug after Brown rode the ferry across the Mississippi River to Sabula, Iowa. It was the maiden voyage of the ferry, which carries a maximum of 15 vehicles and runs on the half hour daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The vessel is being used to relieve commute times while the only bridge from Sabula to Savanna is being replaced.

Some have never heard of it.

Many have merely driven through.

Others make a point of stopping by.

Quad-Citians have varied experience with and knowledge of a unique regional neighbor.

What's a Sabula?

Answer: An island city on the Mississippi River — Iowa's only one. It is small, friendly and possesses an oddly ordinary natural beauty.

And it's in trouble.

The islanders' struggles are Sunday's Big Story.

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