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Featured

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.

Backing the Blue

North Liberty artist honors law enforcement with “Thin Blue Line” paintings

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– It’s not an easy time to be in law enforcement.
Some feel there’s a “war on cops,” with assaults and outright ambushes seemingly on the rise. Ninety-nine officers have died in the line of duty as of Monday, Oct. 10, and there will undoubtedly be more as well over 100 officers are killed on average every year.
Supporters of law enforcement officers (LEOs) have taken to displaying a thin blue line: a simple blue line symbolizing cops standing between the civil society and chaos; law and order vs. lawlessness; prey and predator.

XC Girls on to state

Justus just misses qualifying for boys

“I’m so excited for the kids.”
– Solon coach Emy Williams.
“We wanted to do it for Emy.”

–Solon runner Erin Kerkhoff.

SOLON– When both parties are that excited, something good has to happen. As results went up near the finish line of the Oct. 20 Class 3A state-qualifying cross country meet, it became official. Solon’s girls will be in the starting box at the 2016 state meet.

Construction continues at Clear Creek Amana

CCA’s construction manager updates projects

OXFORD– Work continues on three construction projects in the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District.
Voters in the district approved a $48 million bond issue in 2014, which built Tiffin Elementary, added onto the middle school in Tiffin and is currently helping to renovate the original part of the middle school and adding onto the high school. District Construction Manager Ray Willoughby presented an update on the projects to the district’s school board of directors Monday, Sept. 19, during the regular monthly meeting at Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford.

Solon clinches 3A District 5 top spot

Spartans cruise past Falcons, 42-0

WEST BURLINGTON– The Spartans made it look easy on Friday, Oct. 14, as they cruised past the West Burlington/Notre Dame Falcons, 42-0, on the road, moving to 7-1 on the season and clinching the number-one spot atop Class 3A District 5, assuring home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Spartans’ postgame chant of, “We are who we are,” reverberated loudly on Bill Nelson field, the only brightly-lit spot in the corner of West Burlington, as the Solon boys put an exclamation point on the rebound from last season’s 6-5 Spartan record.

­Let’s play two!

North Liberty youth fall ball expands on summer’s success

NORTH LIBERTY– Some kids don’t know when to quit. For the North Liberty Youth Baseball and Softball league, that’s a good thing.
A 900-plus player operation in the summer, the league has been seeing more turnover into the fall season, when a five-week clinic is offered through the Diamond Dreams Sports Academy.
“Obviously the partnership is working because kids are coming back, for one, and new kids are signing up,” said Diamond Dreams’ general manager Kyle Sherman.
After a 998-player and 83-team summer season, NLYBS had 140 kindergarteners through eighth graders sign up for fall ball.

Reach out. Cook out.

No-pressure events lead effort to share with the community

SOLON– It’s a bridge to the community.
As part of a prescription for a healthy congregation, the Solon United Methodist Church (SUMC) has been reaching out this year.
In April, the church kicked off a series of events aimed at bringing residents together in a no-pressure atmosphere. The first was the environmentally themed Kick Off to Earth Day at the Timber DOME Lodge; the second, a family movie night in August.

The Great Race

Third time the charm for Shueyville man

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.

9th Ely Fall Fest

Ely Fall Fest attendees take a spin on the hayride at the city’s annual event, held Saturday, Sept. 17, featuring pumpkin decorating, sports tournaments, local vendors and more. (photo by Shianne Fisher)

Never before

CCA earns first-ever 6-0 record with 30-14 win over West Delaware

TIFFIN– The father-and-son coaching duo of Ronnie and Matt Hughes have a simple philosophy for getting through the varsity football season at Clear Creek Amana (CCA).
“Every week, we want to be 1-0,” Matt Hughes said. “If we get enough 1-0s, at the end of the season, we’ll be happy.”
So far the Clippers have racked up six, surpassing the 5-0 mark which hadn’t been attained since 1999, and now establishing a new team-best benchmark after defeating West Delaware, 30-14, Friday, Sept. 30 in Tiffin.

Crest just under 2008

By Nathan Countryman
and Jake Krob
Mount Vernon Sun
SUTLIFF– Sutliff was one of the areas preparing for Cedar River flooding.
On Friday, Sept. 23, Rod Sullivan, chairman of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors and a Lisbon native, was at the site to investigate the potential impact of floodwaters on the Sutliff Bridge.
“At 24.1 feet of water, the water level will touch some of the metal at the base of the bridge,” Sullivan said. “It won’t be as high as it was in 2008, though.”