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Featured

A passion for wrestling

Hayden Taylor is making a name for himself on the mats

SOLON– Hayden Taylor lives for wrestling.
For six years, it’s been his passion and he’s got five state titles and numerous other awards to show for it.
Hayden, a sixth-grader in Solon, was introduced to the world of wrestling at the age of 6 when his dad, Jason Taylor, asked if he was interested in wrestling and said he could hang out at Spartan (varsity) practice as long as he didn’t get in trouble grade-wise with his school work.

Local scouts, parents clean up Muddy Creek

Scouts get their feet wet for water quality

NORTH LIBERTY– It doesn’t take much to convince a bunch of Boy Scouts that splashing around near a creek can be fun. It’s the adults you have to worry about.
“For the kids, everything’s fun,” said Ray Bennett, Cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 275. “It’s the adults that see this as work.”

Clippers run with the Tigers in Tipton

Tener and Barker dominate the 3,200 and 3,000-meter races

TIPTON– The Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers track and field teams opened the outdoor portion of the 2016 season with an appearance in Tipton’s Early Bird Co-ed Meet on Tuesday, March 29.
The Creek Girls were sixth in team points with 27 behind Solon, North Cedar, the host Tigers, Dyersville Beckman and West Branch, while the boys were seventh with 38 points behind Mount Vernon, Anamosa, West Branch, Solon, Iowa City Regina and Cascade.

Rural home destroyed

Firefighters battle blaze at house on Starry Night Ct. NE

SOLON– A large, rural Solon home in a secluded, wooded area in western Newport Township was destroyed by fire Monday, March 28.
Firefighters from Solon and surrounding departments were called to 3990 Starry Night Ct. NE at approximately 6 p.m. to find a home belonging to the John and Tami Mergen family fully engulfed. The fire had spread from the garage to the roof and attic of the house, preventing firefighters from entering, according to Assistant Fire Chief Scott Wolfe.

Eagle eyes

Another successful Bald Eagle Watch & Expo

NORTH LIBERTY– They came to learn about the birds and the bees– as well as the spiders, snakes and other Iowa wildlife, at the fourth annual Bald Eagle Watch & Expo, held Feb. 6, in North Liberty and along the Coralville Reservoir.
The free annual event, co-hosted by the Iowa City Bird Club, Iowa Audubon Society, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Diversity Program and the Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District, provides kids’ activities, guest lecturers and an opportunity to join others in sneaking peeks at the bald eagles roosting and flying near the Coralville Dam.

Everyone’s an inventor

STEAM Room Fab Lab offers possibility to create anything

IOWA CITY– If you could make anything, what would you choose? A bicycle? A new chandelier? A life-saving medical device? What would you do if there were no limits?
Kirk Cheyney invites you to find out. Cheyney is the founder of the STEAM Room Fab Lab, a digital fabrication laboratory full of machines, equipment, and possibilities.

You can come home again

All-time Spartan scorer Lesan on the JV bench

By Doug Lindner
Solon Economist
SOLON– The high school hasn’t changed that much since 2007.
“There’s some small things here and there, but it’s still got some of the old marks I remember,” said Matt Lesan. “I went down to my old locker and it’s still got the green ink stain that happened in 2005.”
Lesan, 27, the leader in career points for the Solon boys basketball program (1,841), returned to his old team last year, this time as the coach of the junior varsity (JV) squad.

One voice

North Liberty resident wins human rights award for community work

NORTH LIBERTY – RaQuishia Harrington has only one voice.
But she uses it to speak for thousands.
Harrington, who lives in North Liberty, is the site director for the Broadway Neighborhood Center in Iowa City, part of the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County.
As a social worker, the concept of human rights is immensely important to Harrington’s day-to-day responsibilities. To her, human rights means everyone should be guaranteed the opportunity to do, to be, to exist– equally.

Trojans roll to sixth consecutive state tourney appearance

West High wins, 50-30, in substate final

CEDAR RAPIDS– The West High Trojans punched their ticket to the 2016 Class 4A State Basketball Tournament with a 50-30 win over rival City High Tuesday, March 1, at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. It will be the sixth consecutive state tourney appearance for coach Steve Bergman and the Trojans with championships in 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Coach Ottoson bids farewell

Xavier Saints bring down the curtain on CCA’s season;

CEDAR RAPIDS– When the final horn sounded Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Cedar Rapids Prairie High School gym, the Cedar Rapids Xavier Saints walked off the basketball court as the Class 3A District 9 Champions. The Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers walked off the floor with their season over.
Their coach, Steve Ottoson, walked off the court for the final time as a 40-year career (with 21 at the helm of the CCA program) came to its end.
Xavier (15-8 overall) took the contest, 53-42, and advanced to the 3A Sub-State No. 5 Final Monday, Feb. 29, at Iowa City West against Mount Pleasant (18-5).

Third time the charm for Solon

Spartans earn state tournament berth with 49-42 substate win over Mustangs

CEDAR RAPIDS– Solon Head Coach Jason Pershing doubled down and won big.
In the first two meetings of the regular season between the Solon and Mount Vernon basketball teams, Mustang senior Connor Herrmann scored 24 and 29 points. Both were lopsided losses for the Spartans, who were outscored by a combined 44 points in the two games.
“He destroyed us the first two games,” Pershing said.
In the Class 3A Substate 4 final Monday night at the U.S. Cellular Center, Pershing was determined not to let it happen again.

Spartans hitting the bullseye

Solon Archery Team heads to Des Moines this weekend for state tournament

SOLON– Another Solon team is heading to state.
A good portion of the Solon Archery Team will head to the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines this weekend to participate in the 2016 Iowa National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) State Tournament.
“This is our third year and it’s really gone great,” enthused head coach Gary Mechtensimer. “These kids are fantastic.”