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Featured

Cider house showcase

New Rapid Creek Cidery to showcase craft brews at Wilson’s Orchard

IOWA CITY– You might call him the Johnny Appleseed of Johnson County. Spend a little time talking apples with Paul Rasch and you easily imagine him sitting down with that iconic apple evangelist of the 19th century, quaffing hard cider and striking up a spirited conversation on the relative merits of heritage fruit trees and the ripening schedules of various cultivars.

Cedar Ridge wins Single Malt Gold

Unique crafting nets multiple wins for Swisher distillery

By Chris Umscheid
Solon Economist
SWISHER– About a year ago, Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery started entering their more-aged products into prestigious contests in order to build credibility with the brand.
“We came into 2016 hoping to get four gold medals in international competitions,” Cedar Ridge owner Jeff Quint said. “As of last week (week of Oct. 3) we had earned 11, and we still have one competition left. The results this year have been very solid, very overwhelming for us.”

Lead2Feed

SHS business students use problem solving

SOLON– The Solon Community Food Pantry recently received an exceptionally large, 1,425-pound food donation from a very unique project. Four students in Jodi Leimkuehler’s Business Management class at Solon High School did not just talk about management, they actually became managers. Cael Starr, Clay Gerdin, Colton Spellman and Lucas Walker helped organize a competitive food drive between classes at Lakeview Elementary as part of Jodi’s Lead2Feed Service Leadership program.

Let it wave

A Penn Elementary kindergartener raises his flag during the school’s Veterans Day assembly Friday, Nov. 11. (photo by Shianne Fisher)

An unfortunate three-peat

Women of Troy fall 3-1 at state volleyball in quarterfinal round

CEDAR RAPIDS– A pair of “three-peats” marked Iowa City West High’s appearance in the 2016 State Volleyball Tournament Tuesday, Nov. 8, at the U.S. Cellular Center, in Cedar Rapids. It was the third consecutive appearance for the Women of Troy, and sadly, the third consecutive year eliminated in the first (quarterfinal) round. The Jaguars of Ankeny Centennial knocked West High out of the Class 5A championship hunt, 3-1 (26-24, 16-25, 14-25, 23-25).

A weekend for heroes

Solon Legion helps veterans gather to hunt and to heal

LAKE MACBRIDE– Nine disabled veterans spent three days bow hunting deer last month in the Sugar Bottom Campground and Coralville Lake area thanks to an extensive cooperative effort. It was the second such hunt, with the first being a shotgun deer hunt last year.

Everybody Plays!

Courage League brings adaptive sports to Eastern Iowa

NORTH LIBERTY– Jolene and Chad Darter traveled nearly four hours to give their daughter one hour of giant bowling, noodle hockey and aerobic drumming– activities that may seem more like fun and games than sports.
But Melissa Clarke-Wharff, founder and executive director of Courage League Sports based in Central Iowa, believes her organization provides just what kids with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities need.
“It’s more than just sports,” she said.

Trojans, to the Dome!

West High makes first state semifinal appearance since 2002 with win over CR Prairie

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
CEDAR RAPIDS– After baffling the pundits with an upset win over Bettendorf on Oct. 28 in a Class 4A first round battle, the Iowa City West High Trojans made another statement a week later as they knocked off Cedar Rapids Prairie, 38-21, on Prairie’s John Wall Field in the quarterfinal round Friday, Nov. 4.

Cider house will rule

Rapid Creek Cidery to showcase craft brews at Wilson’s Orchard

IOWA CITY– You might call him the Johnny Appleseed of Johnson County.
Spend a little time talking apples with Paul Rasch and you easily imagine him sitting down with that iconic apple evangelist of the 19th century, quaffing hard cider and striking up a spirited conversation on the relative merits of heritage fruit trees and the ripening schedules of various cultivars.

Spartans take round one

Win over bobcats advances Solon to face No. 1 Pella Friday, Nov. 4, at home

SOLON– After several dreary days, the sun peeked from the heavens and shone favorably on the Spartans.
Benton Community’s Bobcats traveled to Solon for the first round of the Class 3A football playoffs and the Spartans’ responded with an offense that wracked up 49 points and a defense that limited the Bobcats to just 14.
That effort places the Spartans on a collision course with No. 1-ranked Pella on Friday, Nov. 4, at Spartan Stadium, starting at 7 p.m.

Iowa City West upsets Bettendorf

Trojans live to fight another day with 24-17 win in first round of 4A playoffs

BETTENDORF– They puzzled the pundits and baffled the Bulldogs as Iowa City West High’s 10th-ranked Trojans pulled off a 24-17 upset over No. 5 Bettendorf Friday, Oct. 28, in the Bulldogs’ kennel to survive the first round of the Class 4A football playoffs.
Bettendorf has often been a wrench in the gears of the Trojan football juggernaut, having knocked West out of championship contention in 2011 with a 45-13 pounding, and again in 2013 (27-24) as well as during the regular season in 2014 and 2015.

Little Hands on the Prairie

Annual Kent Park prairie seed harvest Nov. 5

OXFORD– Play a role in expanding the native prairie areas throughout Johnson County. Johnson County Conservation (JCC) hosts its annual prairie seed harvest on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to noon at F.W. Kent Park. All volunteers, including individuals, groups and families are welcome to attend, no prior experience is needed.