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Featured

To a festive Fat Tuesday and five great years

Augusta Restaurant co-owner Jeri Halperin and Ben Black raise a toast to Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 12, during the New Orleans-themed restaurant’s sixth annual Mardi Gras party. For more photos of the event, see page 20.

Severance package approved for North Liberty’s former police chief

NORTH LIBERTY– North Liberty’s former police chief has accepted a severance package after his abrupt departure from the city’s employ Feb. 1.
The North Liberty City Council unanimously approved a resignation agreement between the city and former North Liberty Police Chief Jim Warkentin at the council’s Feb. 12 meeting. The agreement grants Warkentin $37,647.46 for severance pay, overtime and paid time off due as of his departure date of Feb. 1, as well as providing insurance benefits until March 31, 2013.

Delays ahead

Construction on Mehaffey Bridge to begin in April

JOHNSON COUNTY– Travelers between North Liberty and Solon, prepare for delays ahead. Mehaffey Bridge will be under construction for the next two years.
At its Feb. 7 meeting, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors approved a bid for replacement of the aging structure spanning the Coralville Reservoir between the two communities. The wining base bid of $8,865,974 was offered by Iowa Bridge & Culvert of Washington, Iowa. Lookouts along the bridge’s separate multi-use trail will also be included, for an estimated total project cost of $8,904,245.

Fighting to a bitter end

Dowling derails Trojan grapplers’ run for State Dual Meet

IOWA CITY– Two “firsts” occurred Wednesday night in the West High gymnasium.
One, the Trojans won’t be going to the state dual meet in Des Moines for the first time in a decade.
The other, the West Des Moines Dowling Maroons will be going for the first time since 1993. The Maroons bested West by one point, winning a Class 3A Regional Dual Meet, 35-34.

Local cats get scattin’

California vocal artist drops by for bebop vocal sessions

SOLON– Bringing the American tradition of jazz to the center stage of the Solon high school, Kerry Marsh sat in for a couple sessions with vocal groups at Solon High on Friday, Jan. 11.
Marsh was in Iowa for several dates, including at Waukee and Pleasant Valley (North Scott) high schools.
Talking music history and driving out cool sounds from his own voice box instrument, Marsh played piano and led the clinic with his own jazz improvisation, singing “scat” style (think Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway or Mel Torme).

Holding down the fort

Six inches of snow for Solon

Lucas TePoel and Zach Harp took advantage of last Wednesday’s snow to dig a hideaway in a large pile of snow just off Main Street in Solon. An arctic air mass was followed by about six inches of snow last week, prompting the cancellation of area schools. (photo by Doug Lindner)

Three Solon wrestlers advance at sectional

TIFFIN– The Solon varsity wrestling team crowned two champions and earned a third berth in the district tournament to be hosted by Solon Saturday, Feb. 9.
Individual champions for Solon at the sectional meet in Tiffin included Louis Gnida at 113 pounds and Lance Evans at 195 pounds. Logan Linderbaum took second place at heavyweight.
Gnida pinned Mount Vernon’s Levi Wade and earned a 9-5 decision over Keaton Sherwood of Benton Community. Evans pinned one opponent and took a 9-0 major decision over Conner Welch of Mount Vernon.
Other results for Solon included:

Book fest readings bring storybooks to life

NORTH LIBERTY– Storybook professions came to life at the One Book, Two Book Festival held concurrently in Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty on Jan. 13.

Justice center redux

Bond referendum likely to go before voters (again) in May

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– They’re going to try again.

It takes a team to make a village

Switching SEATS?

Supervisors hoping cities will help fund service

Big OT win for girls

Lady Spartans take down Mid-Prairie, 49-46

SOLON– That was a good win.
The Solon Lady Spartans upended the No. 8 team in Class 3A over the weekend, taking the Mid-Prairie Golden Hawks to overtime for a 49-46 win Saturday in Wellman.
Solon used a second quarter surge to take an 8-point lead at half, 29-21, but was held to 15 second half points and the two teams were knotted at 44 after regulation.
The Lady Spartans outscored Mid-Prairie 5-2 in overtime to seal the victory.