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Eric Hawkinson

Librarian looks to inspire love for reading

Carey Major feels privileged to work in community

SOLON– Building castles out of Legos® isn’t a typical activity during most everyone’s workday, but for Solon Public Library’s children services librarian, Carey Major, it’s part of the normal job description. Major spends many of her days telling story-time to preschoolers, creating finger plays, interacting with students of all ages, and building Lego® creations.
“Basically my job is to make a fool of myself, and I love it,” Major said with a chuckle.

NL resident finds solar power a hot commodity

Jason Hall building his energy business across the state of Iowa

NORTH LIBERTY– Although solar power is not a novel idea, successfully harnessing the power of the sun requires sleek, cutting-edge equipment and software; and it’s not cheap. Markets in sunny California, Arizona, and Hawaii have become inundated with solar power industry, but the Midwest has yet to reach the same saturation.
North Liberty resident, and CEO of Moxie Solar, Jason Hall believes now is the time for his home state to begin utilizing the sun’s power for energy.
“We’re assuming now that Iowa is now ready to adopt this technology,” Hall said. “It makes sense.”

Aw, shucks!

Solon schools lunchrooms to serve local farm food

SOLON– Corn means something more to us here in Iowa, and nothing shows it off better than events like the corn-shucking party at Solon High School Aug. 25.
The party, which ended when the work was done, was expected to take place from 2 until 5 p.m. Surprisingly, though, it finished an hour and a half after the fun started. The corn was served to students during the first week of school during lunch.
“It was great to see everybody working together,” Laurie Broghammer said as she cleaned up the last bits of corn from the cafeteria kitchen.

America’s fastest growing sport you’ve never heard of

NORTH LIBERTY– Ron Stiers rarely leaves the house without donning a shirt that represents his favorite sport, Pickleball.
The rear window of his truck spells “USA Pickleball Association” in large lettering, and he has personalized cards that passes around to anyone he meets. For Stiers, it’s all for the love of the game.
“It’s the most popular sport that nobody’s ever heard of,” Stiers said.

Scherf raising birds of courage for your table

Love of nature, respect of farmers leads to poultry-raising

SOLON– The Bald Eagle has been the natural representative of the United States since 1782, when congress adopted the gallant bird onto the centerpiece of the great seal. It is now an unmistakable figure of America, but founding father, Benjamin Franklin never agreed with the choice– he liked the turkey.
In a letter to his daughter, Franklin said the turkey, “is besides, though a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage…”

Advocates honor Stinochers for 60 years of service

Decades at the Legion and Beef Days with Bob and Jean

SOLON– Jean Stinocher had no clue how to bake a kolache when she first moved to Solon– but if anyone knows a thing about kolaches, they know the Czech pastry is difficult to make just right on the first try.
“The first ones were hockey pucks,” Jean said with a grin. “But I’ve got it mastered and I make pretty damn good ones right now.”
“And pies,” barked her husband, Bob Stinocher, who said he stashes a slice away before others eat the rest. “If you don’t believe it just ask some guys at the Legion.”

Board accepts internal report on SBG

Board and administration continue to plug away on best implementation

SOLON– Lianne Westcot, Dick Schwab and Matt Townsley left smiling after the latest Solon school board meeting on July 8. The school board unanimously approved the group’s report on Standards Based Grading (SBG).
The trio had spent hours in meetings over the last weeks synthesizing recent public comments (including the June 3 public hearing), as well as information from throughout the school year. Board member Dan Coons shared his appreciation during the short, 35-minute meeting, held at the central office conference room, 301 S. Iowa St.

Public speaks out against possible school closures for ICCSD

Presentation by facilities committee sparks remarks

IOWA CITY– The message from the public at the July 9 Iowa City Community School District ICCSD) board meeting can be summed up with these resounding words.
“Don’t close neighborhood schools.”

Finally...a location for new high school?

After years of school board deliberation, location studies, public hearings and sometimes hot debate, North Liberty and some of its residents await to see if the community will finally gain its own high school facility.

School board hopes to have direction on SBG

SOLON– A Standards Based Grading sub-committee, led by Matt Townsley, Dick Schwab and Lianne Westcot, presented its findings and research to the Solon school board Wednesday night in the district’s central office conference room last Wednesday, June 26.
The meeting was a work session, which was open to the public, but public input was restricted– the session was intended for the board and administration to formulate ideas for a later decision point surrounding Standards Based Grading (SBG).

Proud to be part of NL’s Garner Elementary School

NORTH LIBERTY– School is out of session and summer is in full swing, but back-to-school preparation has already started for some.
Educator Nick Proud, the new principal at Garner Elementary School in North Liberty, has been working tirelessly over the last weeks to get ready for the upcoming school year– his first year as a principal.
Proud’s daughter, Ainsley, is starting a first of her own this year as she enters kindergarten at Garner Elementary.
“It’s both of our first day at school at Garner this fall. We’re excited about that,” Proud said.

The final two

ICCSD facility committee moves forward with two scenarios

IOWA CITY– The facilities semi-finals began early Wednesday evening– four scenarios entered the boardroom, and in a late heat, two emerged as the favorites.