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Solon Economist

Two men battle at the ballot box for Johnson County Sheriff

Winner of June 2 primary will likely be the next sheriff

JOHNSON COUNTY– Two men will be on the June 2 Democrat primary election ballot for the position of Johnson County’s Sheriff. And, with nobody on the Republican ticket, the winner will most likely become the successor to retiring Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek.
Pulkrabek, a Democrat, announced his retirement last year along with his intention to challenge Republican Bobby Kaufmann for Iowa House District 73, which includes Solon, the easternmost part of Johnson County, and all of Cedar County.

Waiting for the green light

Coberly ready to start cutting hair again

SOLON– Lisa Coberly is anxious to go back to work.
But she’ll have to wait until Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health decide it’s safe.
Coberly’s Solon Barber Shop has been shuttered since a March 22 proclamation in which Reynolds closed a slew of retail businesses.
“I saw it coming,” she said. “I was expecting it. It still kind of broke my heart when it actually happened.”
Coberly admitted she’s happiest when working. It’s been hard not seeing her customers.

Graduation May 17 and July 19

Beef Days Sunday pegged for traditional graduation

SOLON– There will be two graduation ceremonies for Solon High School’s seniors.
A modified event will take place as originally scheduled, Sunday, May 17, in the Solon High School (SHS) parking lot.
The second, a traditional graduation ceremony, is set for Sunday, July 19, at 2 p.m.
The Solon Community School District (SCSD) Board of Education is expected to approve the plan at a special meeting May 7.

Lucas Stanton to succeed Miller as SHS football coach

SOLON– Pending school board approval, Lucas Stanton will be the next head football coach at Solon High School, according to Activities Director Casey Hack.
Stanton, a Mount Vernon High School graduate, has been the head football coach for Anamosa High School the last three years.
“We are excited to have Lucas on board,” Hack said in announcing the selection.
Stanton will succeed Kevin Miller, who resigned the position March 11.

Changes on hold

Supervisors’ UDO amendment discussion delayed until July 9

IOWA CITY– Throughout the development of Johnson County’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan and its companion Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), the Johnson County Farm Bureau and the County’s Planning, Development, and Sustainability Department (PDS) have been at odds with each other.
On Thursday, April 9, both entities were in complete agreement.

Williams walks off the mat

A positive influence Solon wrestling head coach decides it’s time after 23 years

SOLON– He’ll miss the daily connection with the kids the most.
You get pretty close to those high school wrestlers over winter.
“You’re spending more time with them than you probably are your own kids,” Solon Head Wrestling Coach Blake Williams said. “And they become your kids.”
Williams, 45, announced April 30 he is stepping down from the head coaching position, although he will continue as a physical education instructor for the intermediate and middle school.

Fisher selected for 2020 Iowa Governor’s Scholar Program

DES MOINES– Kenji Fisher of Solon is among 424 seniors from across the state chosen for the 2020 Iowa Governor’s Scholar Program.
The Governor’s Office, the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), and title sponsor, the Iowa Farm Bureau have recognized Iowa’s top academic students since 2003. The seniors being honored were selected by their schools as the highest academic achievers and will receive a recognition plaque and certificate. In addition, each student’s most influential teacher will also receive a certificate of appreciation.

Meals on wheels

Big Grove donates 60 meals for shut-ins

SOLON– They were thinking of each other.
And it ended up helping the community.
Solon Community Food Pantry organizer and senior activist Sandy Hanson had been contacted by several people wanting to donate money to help furloughed restaurant workers.
She called every restaurant in town to see how they were doing.
After leaving a message with Big Grove Brewery managers Andrew Mitchell and Doug Goettsch, she learned they were wondering about her.

Lakeview teachers flip for students

Reverse parade packs SRNA parking lot

SOLON– Solon is known for hosting long parades.
Vehicles lined up in the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA) Saturday, April 25, and stretched out north and south on Racine Avenue as Lakeview Elementary teachers and students connected from a safe distance in a “flipped” parade.
Lakeview staff lined the SRNA parking lot with their vehicles and stood by with signs, balloon wands and happy waves as students and their families drove through with their own signs and decorations.

Rickels recognized by state professional association

SOLON– Jodi Rickels was a finalist for the 2020 Iowa Elementary Principal of the Year award, sponsored by the School Administrators of Iowa (SAI).
"We are pleased to recognize school leaders who provide high-quality learning opportunities for students in Iowa," said SAI executive director Roark Horn.
Her peers nominated Rickels for the award, and she will be recognized at SAI's regional district meeting.

A request for assistance

Solon firefighters ask county supervisors to help build the house

IOWA CITY– Solon’s volunteer firefighters have been working for roughly two years to build a new fire station on the south side of town.
The firefighters have received donations from young and old, from local businesses and various corporations, and from across the country via online donations.
Now they are turning to the county government.

Play and Learn to close

Longtime preschool center to cease at the end of May

SOLON– Play and Learn Preschool and Daycare has provided a quintessentially Solon early childhood experience for generations of families.
But not for much longer.
In a letter to families, Director Lisa Kaefring announced the center will be closing at the end of May.
Kaefring has been director since 2008, succeeding her mother Ellen, who started Solon’s first preschool and daycare center 50 years ago.