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Featured

East-coast chef returns to his roots

Amos Dean’s catering offers produce, private dining in Solon

SOLON– Michael Lipcamon remembers strolling the rows of his grandparents’ garden at a young age. He’d pull peas from the vine, chew on rhubarb stalks and stain his hands with mulberries fresh off the tree.
“I spent a lot of time out here as a child,” he recounted. “I have a lot of baby pictures out in the garden with my grandma. She was a great cook.”

Just Tri!

Fun, fitness and a flashy medal

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– Eighty-eight kids swam, biked and ran in the sixth-annual Just Tri Youth Triathlon put on by the North Liberty Recreation Department on Sunday, July 30. The kids (divided by age group) swam in the rec center’s indoor pool then biked around the surrounding neighborhood, and finished by running around the pond at the Liberty Centre commercial development before being presented with a medal for their efforts. Last year 69 area kids participated in the non-competitive event.

Roundabout detour

Construction of 382/Ely Road intersection to begin Aug. 7

SOLON– Construction is set to begin on a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 382 and Ely Road, west of Solon.
According to Assistant Johnson County Engineer Ed Bartels, Peterson Contractors Inc. (PCI) will begin work on the project Monday, Aug. 7, with completion in mid-November. PCI’s winning bid of $982,202.55 was approved by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors at a July 13 meeting.
Regular users of Highway 382 can expect several months of construction traffic and a detour of Ely Road.

Making life sweet for pollinators

“To Bee or Not to Bee”

SOLON– “As market goes, that’s about a premium,” Ron Puettman said as he inspected a frame of comb honey pulled fresh from a hive that currently resides on the North Liberty pumpkin farm of Dean and Katie Colony. “When the bees put honey into a comb and cap it off, it’s at its purest and most perfect form,” Puettmann noted.

For the birds

Area naturalists band together for feathered fun

OXFORD– Bird nerds– they’re everywhere.
According to a 2011 survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 46 million Americans enjoy bird watching. Twenty-two percent of Iowans over the age of 16 are birders. And Johnson County is host to a thriving intergenerational and growing birding community.
Sophia Davis, who recently finished eighth grade at Northwest Junior High, was a member of the Iowa City Bird Club for four years.

Looking for ideas

District open to all options for middle school use

SOLON– What are you going to do with the vacated middle school?
It’s not a question the Solon Community School District is in a hurry to answer, but it’s been posed and was discussed at a joint meeting of the city council and school board July 10.
“We’ve been wrestling with that and discussing it as a board ever since a decision was made that we were going to build new,” Superintendent Davis Eidahl told city council members. “Right now we’ve just been ears open and gathering suggestions for use of the facility we’re vacating portions of.”

Riding high

You could hear Makayla Keller of Solon screaming a block away from the Rock Star ride at Solon Beef Days Saturday, July 22. Keller was among the throng of people who took to carnival rides, participated in contests like the bean bag tournament and the hay bale toss, or took in the free entertainment at the 2017 edition of Solon’s annual summer event. Look for parade photos and more in next week’s edition. (photo by Doug Lindner)

Conserving the heart of Tiffin

Consultant presents council members with an opportunity

TIFFIN– It could be dubbed Potterfield Park, if the City of Tiffin can procure the land in time.
At a Tiffin City Council work session Tuesday, July 18, a consultant explained a one-of-a-kind chance for the city: the acquisition of 11.13 acres for a future nature area.
“It’s pretty black and white that it should be a park,” said Sandy Steil, land planning and development consultant at Steil Consulting LLC.
Steil, a member of the Bur Oak Land Trust’s board of directors and its land acquisition committee, said she’s never seen a property so well maintained.

Grand slam punches Trojans’ tickets

IC West returns to Des Moines with 11-1 win over Davenport West

IOWA CITY– Izaya Ono-Fullard punched the ball over the fence, and in so doing, punched Iowa City West High’s ticket to the 2017 Class 4A State Baseball Tournament in Des Moines.
Fullard, a senior, drilled a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning Wednesday, July 19, at home, in the substate final against the Davenport West Falcons. The four-run homer gave the Trojans an 11-1 lead, ending the game under the mercy rule.
The Falcons threatened, in the top of the second inning, with two men on and one out, but a pair of strikeouts from Braden Houston stopped the threat.

Banding together

OXFORD– Bird nerds– they’re everywhere.
According to a 2011 survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 46 million Americans enjoy bird watching. Twenty-two percent of Iowans over the age of 16 are birders. And Johnson County is host to a thriving intergenerational and growing birding community.
Sophia Davis, who recently finished eighth grade at Northwest Junior High, was a member of the Iowa City Bird Club for four years.

Colony Pumpkin Patch campaigns for its corn cannon

Conditional use permits for nighttime flashlight maze, zombie paintball required by Johnson County

North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– Patrons of the Colony Pumpkin Patch in North Liberty might have to go without– or at least see less of– one of the farm’s regular attractions this season.
At a North Liberty City Council meeting Tuesday, June 27, owners Dean and Katie Colony requested support of their efforts to keep the “Shootout Shack,” which includes a corn cannon and paintball guns, in operation this year.

Xavier denies the Bolts

Saints sweep Liberty High freshman baseball

North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– The Saints from Cedar Rapids Xavier swept Liberty High’s Lightning Bolts in a freshman doubleheader Monday, July 3, at Penn Meadows Park, in North Liberty. Xavier took the midday contests, 3-0 and 7-1, handing the Bolts rare losses.
Xavier scored in game one on an RBI single in the top of the second inning and put two runners across in the sixth on an error and an RBI double. Nolan Frey drove a line drive single to right field in the bottom of the second for Liberty, while Tyler Dahm singled and stole second base in the fourth.