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Featured

Big Rain

Flash flood causes damage to Solon homes, facilities

SOLON– It was a pretty helpless feeling for Public Works Director Scott Kleppe.
Between 6 and 8 inches of rain fell on Solon in a matter of hours Thursday evening, Aug. 11, sending local creeks surging out of their banks and over roads to a level Kleppe had never seen before.
Coupled with a power outage, the flash flooding that followed caused extensive damage to a number of Solon homes and prompted the city to declare a local disaster declaration

Party on the turf

Annual kick-off event raises money for CCA football

TIFFIN– The 2nd annual Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Football Kick-Off to Friday Night Lights was held Friday, Aug. 12, at the high school stadium in Tiffin. The event serves as a fundraiser for the football program as well as a way to build excitement for the coming season.
Headlining the event again this year was contemporary country music artist Jake McVey, who had the students dancing on the sideline. McVey and his bass player even jumped off the stage and rocked out among the students at one point.

The Great Race

Rural Shueyville man completes cross country road rally

SHUEYVILLE– For Shueyville’s John Williams, the third time was not only the charm, but also charmed.
Williams, a retired teacher from the College Community School District’s Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids, participated in the 2016 Great Race cross-country road rally and made it all the way from near the California coast to Moline, Ill.
This was Williams’ third attempt at the event, held annually since the early 1980s, and the first time he made it from starting line to finish line.

Room to “grow something”

Lowe’s donates $2,800 to renovate Penn student gardens

NORTH LIBERTY– Penn Elementary students will notice a little something different about their Grow Something garden when they return to school this month.
With help from the Lowe’s Heroes project, parent volunteers and even current Penn Panthers, the greenhouse area was transformed into a garden patio last week, complete with raised beds, new planters and two arbor entrances.

Stop and sell the flowers

North Liberty woman in year one of backyard floral operation

NORTH LIBERTY– A quiet, floral oasis lies undiscovered in the heart of North Liberty but flower enthusiast Jennifer Hobbs hopes to change that.
Disturbed only by the occasional hum of a lawnmower or barking dog, Five Petal Farm is in its first official year selling fresh cut flowers, dried bouquets and more– all grown on less than an acre of urban dirt.
“There’s so much you can do with your yard instead of going out and mowing grass,” said Hobbs, who has very little lawn of her own to cut.

Parish wrestles with decision

Fate of former St. Mary church building hangs in the balance

SOLON– Although it’s been rarely used in the last 20 years, there are still a lot of memories for Solon residents in the former St. Mary Catholic Church.
But the need for cemetery space and concerns about the continuing dilapidation of the building have prompted a church committee to recommend its demolition, which led to an informational meeting held July 26 in the church’s parish hall.
Close to 100 people attended the meeting to listen to Father Tim Sheedy and architectural consultant Alan Wieskamp describe the condition of the church building and discuss potential next steps.

School board approves $1.4 million property acquisition

New elementary school on the horizon

NORTH LIBERTY– Land on the outskirts of North Liberty could be home to a new elementary as early as the 2019-2020 school year, according to Iowa City Community School District officials.
However, the construction would likely push back development at another proposed elementary location.
At its July 26 meeting, the Iowa City School Board unanimously approved the $1,403,350 purchase of 21.59 acres on the northeast side of North Liberty near South Slope Cooperative Communications and just south of the Cedar Springs subdivision. Board member Lori Roetlin was absent from the meeting.

Trojans’ luck runs out

Prairie hands West its fifth state runner-up trophy

DES MOINES– The West High Trojans entered the 2016 Class 4A State Baseball Tournament as the No. 2 seed and with hopes of earning their first championship in the school’s 11th appearance in Des Moines.
However, a six-run inning by the Hawks of Cedar Rapids Prairie in the title game dashed those hopes and led to West’s third consecutive runner-up trophy and its fifth overall since 2009.

50 years at the church organ

ELY– The congregation of the First Presbyterian Church near Ely held a special celebration in June to commemorate the 50th anniversary of church organist Sharon Furler, of Ely.
Furler started playing the organ at weekly church services when she was just 14 years old. She accompanied the church choir on piano for a few years prior to becoming the organist.

Why not us?

Solon upsets No. 1 seed Wahlert

DES MOINES– Well, why not?
Solon absolutely thumped the No. 1 seed in the opening round of the 3A baseball tournament Tuesday, advancing to a semifinal against Harlan (28-5) Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Principal Park in Des Moines.
The Spartans shelled Dubuque Wahlert, 12-2, in a game shortened to six innings by the mercy rule.
Solon jumped out to a first-inning lead right off the bat, but salted the game away with four-run spurts in the fifth and sixth innings. The Spartans loaded the bases with no outs in each of those innings.

A habit of volunteerism

SOLON– For Marcy and Larry Olson community service is just the right thing to do – whether it takes the form of Marcy’s food deliveries to seniors in Solon or Larry’s route transporting children with special needs to and from school.
If you ask them why they do it, they’ll reply: just because.
“I don’t really think about it, I guess,” Larry said. “It’s just something I do.”

Solon’s one run holds up in district baseball final

Ira deals two-hit shutout to Mount Vernon

SOLON– They were two Cool Hand Lukes.
But Solon’s Luke Ira got the better of Mount Vernon’s Luke Eldred and the Spartans advanced to a substate baseball final July 20 against Fairfield.
Ira threw a two-hit shutout and a single first-inning run held up as the Spartans upset the Mustangs, 1-0, Monday, July 18, in Solon.