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North Liberty Leader

$37 million in TIF debt

NL files annual report with state

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– As per Iowa’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) law reforms, cities are required to file a comprehensive report each year outlining their TIF obligations, TIF revenues and how they spend them.
The City of North Liberty just filed its 2013 report, which indicates the city has $37,159,359 in outstanding TIF debt. That amount is down from the previous year, when North Liberty reported a total of $44,598,591 in outstanding TIF debt.

How things change and stay the same

North Liberty City Council member and centennial committee chairman Terry Donahue (left) helps to unveil a new mural in the North Liberty Community Library. The piece was created by artist Bounnak Thammavong (right) to commemorate the city’s 100th year of incorporation, and revealed to the public Nov. 16 as part of the community’s centennial celebration finale. (photo by Lori Lindner)

UI Recreational Services offers Snowy Owl Camp in December

IOWA CITY– The University of Iowa Recreational Services will offer their Snowy Owl Camp to first through sixth graders on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, on Dec. 23, 26, 27, 30 and Jan. 2 and 3, 2014. Camp days will begin supervision at 7:45 a.m. and will be provided until 4:15 p.m. Snowy Owl Camp will take place in three main facilities: Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex, Macbride Nature Recreation Area and the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. The camp is broken down into three program areas:

Iowa City-area schools benefit from Mediacom’s ‘Shoes That Fit’ campaign

IOWA CITY– School age children from six Iowa City and North Liberty-area elementary schools will benefit this year from the annual “Shoes That Fit” campaign that supplies need-specific shoes and clothing to local children. The non-profit community outreach program is led by Mediacom, along with Iowa City business partner Scheels.

A smooth move for new nutrition shop

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader

NORTH LIBERTY– A new North Liberty business gives patrons a unique opportunity to have a nutritious meal and shop at the same time.

Swenka files appeal with Supreme Court

Separate motion asks court to reconsider prison sentence

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader

IOWA CITY– A new attorney representing Zachary Swenka has filed an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court and a motion for reconsideration of sentencing in Swenka’s criminal case.
Last Thursday, Nov. 21, documents were filed with the Sixth Judicial District Court and the Iowa Supreme Court by attorney Leon Spies, of Mellon & Spies of Iowa City. The motion requests that the two-year prison sentence imposed upon Swenka, after he pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter on Oct. 24, be reconsidered.

Souped up support helps some stretch weekly food budgets

Pantry hosts fourth annual soup supper fundraiser

NORTH LIBERTY– In a community as rich in commerce and growth as North Liberty, it’s hard to remember there are people here who deal with hunger and food uncertainty every day.
It’s why the North Liberty Community Food Pantry just saw a record number of visits in one month; this October brought 837 visitors to the pantry. Its previous peak was 678 visits in a single month.
It’s also why participating in the organization’s fundraisers is more important than ever before.

Marijuana found growing in NL couple’s basement

NORTH LIBERTY– A North Liberty couple has been charged with possession of a controlled substance after law enforcement officers allegedly found marijuana plants in their basement.
On Sept. 16, at approximately 1 p.m., detectives of the multi-jurisdictional Johnson County Drug Task Force knocked on the door of the residence at 140 W. Zeller St. in North Liberty, based on a tip. Occupant Debbie Jean Kennel-Waechter, 53, wife of Kevin Waechter, 56, consented to a search of the premises.

Special election to replace Swisher mayor

Election in January, Gudenkauf remains mayor pro tem

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader

SWISHER– The bomb was dropped Monday, Nov. 11, but the shock waves continued to tremble in this northwest Johnson County community a week later.
Mayor Tim Mason, and city clerk Connie Meier both resigned suddenly during the Nov. 11 meeting, making council member Mary Gudenkauf the mayor pro tem and leaving the city of just under 900 without a city clerk.

Local businesses work together to help feed their neighbors

JOHNSON COUNTY– At a time of year that emphasizes giving and good will, a group of local businesses have joined together to make a difference for those who may be struggling.

Public invited to Corridor Christian Counseling Center open house Dec. 6

NORTH LIBERTY– Corridor Christian Counseling Center is celebrating its third holiday season in the Corridor. To honor the occasion, the public is cordially invited to join them for a Holiday Open House at 655 Liberty Way, Ste. 6, North Liberty on Friday, Dec. 6, from 4 until 6 p.m. Stop by to meet the staff and enjoy some festive refreshments.
For more information, call 319-665-2137, email counseling@southslope.net, or website www.corridorchristiancounselingcenter.com.

Making beautiful portraits is a snap with

Ruby Ellen Photography

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader

NORTH LIBERTY– Robyn Rasmussen has come a long way from the $300 Minolta film camera she had in 1996.
She was still in high school at that time, but the investment she made to accommodate her interest in photography proved to be much more than a flash in the pan.
Rasmussen, of North Liberty, is now the owner of her own business, Ruby Ellen Photography. Since officially launching her venture in October 2012, she has been busier taking photos than she ever dreamed.