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Its retirement day!

Four men and 130 years of law enforcement experience retire from the sheriffs office

IOWA CITY The Thin Blue Line (which represents the men and women of law enforcement standing between the civil society and chaos) is thinner today in Johnson County. Four longtime members of the Johnson County Sheriffs Office (JCSO): Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek, Major (Chief Deputy) Steve Dolezal, Captain Gary Kramer and Lieutenant Brian Adolph, all retired as of Thursday, Dec. 31. Combined, the men add up to over 130 years of law enforcement experience.

Start the New Year with a hike

Lake Macbride among 50 State Parks participating in First Day Hike Challenge

SOLON Last New Years Day 4,358 people hiked trails in Iowas state parks in an annual First Day Hike event, the highest number since the start of the program in 2012. A reported 145 (also a record amount) of them hiked the nearly 2-1/2 mile round trip on Lake Macbrides Beach to Dam Trail from the main lodge to the dam.
The hike is still on to start out 2021 on the right (or left) foot, but the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making some substantial changes due to the ongoing pandemic.

Beat the Bitter offers free and safe events folks can count on this winter

NORTH LIBERTY– North Liberty’s Beat the Bitter returns for its sixth year with safe activities to look forward to and brighten up this long and isolated winter.
The schedule for Jan. 30 through Feb. 6, 2021, is now available at beatthebitter.com. All programming is free. Highlights include family fun and fireworks in Penn Meadows Park, a virtual Snuggie Crawl, and a twist on the annual 5K-ish Obstacle Run.

December 23rd

Spartan wrestlers 4th at packed Ft. Madison invite

Dual wins against Clinton and Maquoketa

FORT MADISON– Solon crowned two champs and came away with fourth place at a crowded Fort Madison Invitational Dec. 19.
Hayden Taylor (160 pounds) and Gage Marty (220) captured first place, while Lucas Kampman (170) took second and Caleb Ebert (152) came in third.
Dubuque Hempstead walked away with the team title, rolling up 248.5 points. From there, it was the best of the rest with Cedar Rapids Kennedy a solid second with 169.5 and Burlington Notre Dame third with 145.5.
The Spartans’ 141.5 points edged out host Fort Madison (141) for fourth.

Lady Spartans trample Trojans, 63-24

SOLON– The Lady Spartans varsity basketball team continued its win streak on Thursday, Dec. 17, at home, trampling the South Tama Trojans, 63-24.
The Lady Spartans took to the court with a different swagger on Thursday against the Trojans, shooting with confidence and maintaining the defense that provided them with their Tuesday win over the Marion Indians.
Solon shot out to a 14-4 lead by the end of the first quarter and held the Trojans to single digits with a 29-9 halftime lead.

After eight years, Lady Spartans best Marion, 55-43

SOLON– “Marion is Marion,” said Lady Spartan Head Basketball Coach Jamie Smith.
For the first time since the Solon girls’ varsity basketball team defeated the Marion Indians, 64-50, on Feb. 13, 2013, the Lady Spartans summited that lofty precipice again.
The Lady Spartans bested the defending WaMaC East Division champion Marion Indians, 55-43, on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at home. It was Solon’s third straight win since opening the season 1-2, and includes a win over 3A’s fifth-ranked Center Point-Urbana, catapulting them to the top of the East Division standings with a 4-1 record.

Spartans take down Indians

Solon edges Marion, blows out No. 3 Camanche late

SOLON– Chalk up two more quality home wins, both against Indians.
Solon’s varsity boys’ basketball team pulled out a 49-48 thriller against Marion then clamped down on Camanche (third-ranked in Class 2A) Saturday, Dec. 19, for a 68-44 win.
For Camanche, it was the first loss of the season.
The Spartans won the game in the final period.

Bill Bryson’s “The Body” discussed Jan. 7 and 14

SOLON– Students enrolled in the Anatomy and Physiology class at Solon High School will facilitate small group discussions of Bill Bryson’s book, “The Body,” on Thursday, Jan. 7, and again on Jan. 14, from 12:30-1:30 p.m., as part of the Community Read program organized by science teacher Dawn Posekany.

Lone rangers: Number of state park officers declines despite growth in visitors

DES MOINES– Iowa’s state park rangers, certified peace officers safeguarding the state’s premier outdoor recreational areas, are confronting an increasingly endangered species: themselves.
Budget cuts severely thinned the ranks of state park rangers over years, to 35 this year from between 45 and 55 in the late 1990s, State Parks Bureau data shows.

Kunkel ready for sheriff’s role

Priority on domestic violence, technology investigation

SOLON– You don’t get to say it very often in Johnson County.
There’s a new sheriff in town.
Brad Kunkel will take the reins from retiring Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek with the end of the calendar year.
The rural Solon resident and former city council member soundly defeated Al Fear in the June primary and was unopposed in the Nov. 3 general election.
Now he’s prepared to make good on his campaign pledges and is working with Pulkrabek on a smooth transition.