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Solon Economist

Farmland values fall from historic high

Land value survey shows decrease in value of $773 per acre

By Michael Duffy, Karen Kovarik, Iowa State University Extension
AMES– Average Iowa farmland value is now estimated to be $7,943 per acre— a drop in value of $773, or 8.9 percent, per acre. Land values were determined by the Iowa Land Value Survey, which was conducted in November by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University (ISU). Results from the survey are similar to results found by the Realtors Land Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Confectionary construction

SOLON– It doesn’t take much to build a seasonal tradition; just some graham crackers, fluffy white frosting and a few well-placed candies.
Children and their families gathered at the Solon Public Library Nov. 17 to decorate take-home gingerbread houses, just one of the seasonal offerings the library serves up from year to year. The library provides the pre-fabbed graham cracker huts, frosting and candy items, while the kids provide the creative design. Youth Services Librarian Carey Major said the activity has been a library favorite since at least 2009.

Free Christmas meal at Our Lord’s Church in Solon Dec. 25

SOLON– Our Lord’s Church will be serving a free Christmas meal Thursday, Dec. 25. All are welcome. Reservations are not required but would be helpful. The meal will be served at noon at the church, 131 N. Market St., Solon. Rides and deliveries are also available. Call Duane and Anna at 319-841-2243 (a local call from Solon) with questions or reservations.

SHS preparing for classes at new Kirkwood center

Johnson County site to open in fall 2015

SOLON– Preparations are in the works for a project that will have a big impact on Solon High School in the fall of 2015, and it’s not an auditorium.
The Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa is scheduled to open in Johnson County next fall, and Solon school staff is working to develop a plan for the long-range partnership.

Solon United Methodist Family Life Center to host blood drive Tuesday, Dec. 23

SOLON– Solon will host a community blood drive from 2:30 until 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 23, at the Solon United Methodist Church Family Life Center.
To donate, please contact the Blood Center at 800-747-5401 ext. 1281 or visit www.bloodcenterimpact.org and use code 682 to locate the drive.

Solon Booster holiday store adding hours at home basketball games

SOLON– Still looking for that perfect Spartan gift? By popular demand, the Solon Athletic Boosters are offering more opportunities to shop our holiday inventory. Come shop for colorful sweatshirts, digital camo hats, state championship volleyball T-shirts, teacher gifts, stocking stuffers and other Spartan clothing. The Booster shop will be open Friday, Dec. 19, in the Solon High School commons during the boys’ basketball game against West Delaware. If you have any questions, please contact Kim Hawkins at 319-331-0758.

Pantry seeking ingredients for Christmas meal boxes

SOLON– The Solon Community Food Pantry will provide Christmas boxes with all the fixings for a meal to families struggling with food supplies this year. Boxes may be picked up during regular hours Monday, Dec. 22, from 2-6 p.m. All those interested who have not registered, please call 319-430-8655.

Maintaining the Spartan tradition

TJ Bevans steps up and starts a new chapter in Spartan wrestling history

SOLON– Tradition matters in Spartan athletics.
Travis “TJ” Bevans knows it first hand from his time on the wrestling mat in the uniform of a Solon Spartan, as well as from his eight years as an assistant coach for the wrestling program.
When Brooks McLaren stepped down earlier this year, Bevans knew it time to step up.
“I felt it was time to step up and give it a shot,” he said. Bevans graduated from Solon in 2002 and has been a part of the community since 1995. “I know the tradition, the history, my brother wrestled here, too.”

Lady Spartans move to 6-0 with wins over Maquoketa, Anamosa

SOLON– The Lady Spartans are undefeated, but a couple of tough basketball teams are waiting in the wings.
Solon’s girls moved to 6-0 last week with home wins against Maquoketa and Anamosa. That was enough to bump the Lady Spartans into the rankings released by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Dec. 11. Solon, previously unranked, became the No. 13 team in Class 3A.

Boys pick up first loss of basketball season

ANAMOSA– Solon could not stop the Anamosa Raiders.
The boys varsity basketball team suffered its first loss of the season, 81-56, Friday on the road at Anamosa.
“We did not stay committed and focused on our game plan,” said Solon head coach Jason Pershing. “We lost our discipline on defense and had to fight back from an early deficit.”
Anamosa had four players in double-figures, but also went to the foul line 28 times, connecting on 21 attempts. Solon was called for 28 fouls, and three players– Dylan Doyle, Brandan Childs and Jacob Coons– fouled out of the game.

Ely woman killed in school bus accident

SOLON– An Ely woman was killed and her husband was airlifted to the hospital after her car collided with a school bus carrying approximately 30 Solon Community School District students at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at the intersection of Highway 382 and Ely Road west of Solon.
According to a report by the Iowa Highway Patrol, Patricia Howell, 73, of Ely was driving a 2010 Ford Fusion when she turned east into the path of the westbound school bus. Bunyan Howell, 75, Ely, was airlifted to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the report said. Both were wearing seatbelts.

Solon City Council seeking applicants interested in vacancy

SOLON– On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the Solon City Council voted to fulfill by appointment a vacancy on city council created with the resignation of Brad Kunkel who has moved outside the city limits. The city council is asking for those interested in completing the council term through Dec. 31, 2015, to send a letter of interest to Solon City Hall at 101 N. Iowa St., Solon IA 52333, by Dec. 16, 2014.