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Lori Lindner

A circle of support

Prison Ministries provides volunteers who serve as individual mentors

JOHNSON COUNTY– Tammy has been in and out of prison five times.
Raised in an impoverished household with three younger siblings and a mother who would disappear for weeks at a time, stealing food, diapers and formula at the neighborhood grocery store became a regular necessity. When Tammy’s mother was around, she was frequently accompanied by men, each more violently abusive than the last. By the time Tammy was removed from the home, after she and her older sister had been sexually assaulted, using drugs to ease the pain and smooth the scars had become a matter of survival.

NL reduces projected shortfall

Administration presents budget that is $57,000 below revenues

NORTH LIBERTY– North Liberty’s budget picture is much rosier than the last time it was presented.

Expect miracles, droll humor in collection of tales

NL author releases book

NORTH LIBERTY– Local author Patrick Irelan doesn’t expect everyone to believe in miracles.
But if he piques your imagination or wonderment, he will consider that praise enough.
Miracles– of both the everyday and inexplicable sorts– intertwine Irelan’s recently-released collection of short stories, “The Miracle Boy,” published by Ice Cube Press.

What we have is a failure to communicate

Stalled labor negotiations lead to public blame, dispute, union rally

North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– While workers have returned to their positions at South Slope Cooperative Communications, they have done so under a company-crafted contract that has not been adopted by the workers’ union.
The lack of a negotiated agreement has created mounting tensions between union bargaining representatives and management since the previous contract expired at midnight on Oct. 31, 2013.
Last Thursday, Jan. 23, employees organized a rally and press conference at the North Liberty Community Center, to bring public attention to the situation.

Committee announces big-haired entertainment for TiffinFest 2014

North Liberty Leader
TIFFIN– Expect TiffinFest 2014 to be a bit bigger this year.
Bigger crowds; a bigger carnival.
Bigger hair.
Melissa Fontanini and Lyndsie Schnoor, co-owners of Bella Sala in Tiffin, and council member Mark Petersen announced last Wednesday that the headline act for this year’s TiffinFest will be Hairball, a 1980s rock tribute band.

New city hall to open inTiffin

North Liberty Leader

TIFFIN– The City of Tiffin is ready to move.
City offices will close at noon on Thursday, Feb. 6, and remain closed all day Feb. 7 in order for staff to move into the new city hall, located at 300 Railroad St. The new facility will be open for business to the public beginning Monday, Feb. 10.
The Tiffin City Council’s next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 12, will be held in the new city hall building.

Inquiring minds want to know

Students participate in Solon High School fall science fair

SOLON– Students in Solon High School’s Biology and Scientific Inquiry course put theory into practice at this fall’s high school science fair.
A mandatory requirement for the students, 97 freshmen and sophomores launched experiments of a scientific nature in order to participate in the event. The goals include choosing and conducting an experiment independently, communicating and defending the results in a public forum to adults in the scientific community, and manage a long-term project.

The kids who pray

Grace Community Church members carry essence of Christmas through the year

CORALVILLE– They have become known as the kids who pray.
When residents at Lantern Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center see them coming, something changes; an energy that is almost palpable suddenly fills the air.
Members of Grace Community Church in North Liberty have always done community outreach and service projects; it’s part of the church’s overall mission. But there is something a little special when a group of children and a group of aging seniors come together to share fellowship.

Changes on tap for Old Gold

Solon Retirement Village to provide meals beginning in 2014

SOLON– Solon’s Old Gold Dining began providing congregate meals to area seniors in May 1980, the year after the Solon United Methodist Church built its fellowship hall. In the three decades since its inception, the program has undergone various changes, from cooking meals on-site to contracting with a meal provider, serving a fluctuating number of people throughout the years to a current roster of 93 participants age 60 and older.
Over time, Old Gold Dining has become much more than a place to get hot food once a day for the price of a free-will donation.

The Dock asks for a second date

SOLON– The owners of the Dock want you to take a second look.
John and Kristen Ahlf opened the restaurant at 101 Windflower Ln., in June with the intent of providing a dining experience to satisfy the most refined tastes.
“The reviews were about 60-40,” said John Ahlf, referring to the comments several early customers posted online; sixty percent being positive, and the rest, not so much. “We read every single comment, good and bad.”
That’s what inspired the Ahlfs to make changes to the restaurant’s décor, menu and staff.

Souped up support helps some stretch weekly food budgets

Pantry hosts fourth annual soup supper fundraiser

NORTH LIBERTY– In a community as rich in commerce and growth as North Liberty, it’s hard to remember there are people here who deal with hunger and food uncertainty every day.
It’s why the North Liberty Community Food Pantry just saw a record number of visits in one month; this October brought 837 visitors to the pantry. Its previous peak was 678 visits in a single month.
It’s also why participating in the organization’s fundraisers is more important than ever before.

Swenka given maximum sentence

Judge accepts Alford plea, Swenka to serve two years

IOWA CITY– Twenty-year-old Zachary Swenka has been sentenced to two years in prison for causing the death of 14-year-old Mackenzie Lown.
Swenka was charged with vehicular homicide and involuntary manslaughter when Lown was killed in the car Swenka was driving on Oct. 17, 2011, on U.S. Highway 6 near Tiffin.
Swenka’s plea hearing took place at the Johnson County Courthouse on Thursday, Oct. 24, presided by Judge Stephen Gerard. Swenka submitted a guilty plea to the charge of involuntary manslaughter.