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Community

Busier than ever

NL Pantry sets records in 2019

NORTH LIBERTY– 2019 was a record-setting year for the North Liberty Community Pantry, according to Executive Director Kaila Rome.
“It was the first year we gave out over 400,000 pounds of food, and it was the first time we had over 10,000 visits,” she said.
To be exact, it was 427,000 pounds, and 10,591 visits, an increase of about 1,000 visits over 2018’s tally.
“We served 763 families, an increase of 6 percent, so we’re seeing the need has definitely gone up,” Rome said.
Many of those visits were from people who had never turned to a pantry for help before, she added.

An effort to protect vulnerable renters

Johnson County Mobile Home Task Force calls for legislative changes

NORTH LIBERTY– Last April, Havenpark Capital, a Utah-based investment firm, purchased the Golfview Mobile Home Park in North Liberty, along with Midwest Country Estates in Waukee, Sunrise Village Mobile Home Park in Iowa City, Western Hills in Coralville and West Branch Village in West Branch.
Havenpark Capital raised the lot rent from 69 percent (Waukee) to 28 percent (Sunrise).

They can’t finish it soon enough

North Liberty’s new police station is coming together slowly

NORTH LIBERTY– They’ll have to wait just a little bit longer.
While construction work progresses slowly on the new North Liberty Police Department facility (across from the fire station on Cherry Street) Chief Diane Venenga and her officers and staff continue to work out of their cramped quarters at 5 E. Cherry St.
It could be worse. The department, founded in 1999, started out across North Main Street in what was at the time home to the police department, city hall, and the fire department.

Capitalizing on partnerships

Tiffin’s new Rec. Center could lead to new opportunities for area schools

TIFFIN– A new recreation center being planned by the City of Tiffin has the potential of forging partnerships between school districts and the city, and providing facilities for high school swimming and diving teams (as well as other competitive swim clubs/teams).
Tiffin City Administrator Doug Boldt gave an update on the project during a joint meeting of the Tiffin City Council and the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District’s School Board of Directors Wednesday, Jan. 8, at Oak Hill Elementary School in Tiffin.

Decision time grows near

CCA presents three options for handling continued enrollment growth ahead of a bond referendum this fall

TIFFIN– There is little doubt the Clear Creek Amana Community School District (CCA) will need to ask the voters to approve another bond referendum in September in order to provide space for continued enrollment growth. The question, though, is how much money the district will ask for, and how much new space it will be able to build.

Records set locally and statewide for First Day Hikes

145 people ply the trail at Lake Macbride

SOLON– At least 4,358 people participated in “First Day Hikes” in Iowa’s State Parks on New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported it was the highest attendance since the start of the annual event in 2012, and coincided with kicking off the Iowa State Park Centennial Year (2020).

Bringing kids together

Students helping students in the CCA Middle School’s Peer PE program

TIFFIN– Seventy Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Middle School students have taken on a role typically more mature of seventh and eighth graders, and their classmates with special needs are the beneficiaries. The students, led by Physical Education (PE) Teacher Nick Boeset, spend time each week in a Peer PE program working one-on-one with their classmates in an open gym format.

Hoping for less bitter this year, Beat the Bitter returns this month!

A full week of outdoor activities kick off on Jan. 25

NORTH LIBERTY– Winter in Iowa can be rough. Once green cornfields resemble a windswept Arctic tundra from Siberia. Most people huddle in their homes, grumbling about the cold, the wind, the snow, the ice, and whatever reason it is they continue to live in Iowa.
However, there is another group of people who grin rather than grumble and embrace winter rather than curse it. For those special folks, there is Beat the Bitter, a week full of activities designed to get people out from under their comforters and into the great outdoors for fun, adventure and good cheer.

Helping non-profits do great things

Team 218 Web Design donates services annually

NORTH LIBERTY– Team 218 Web Design is not your typical website designer.
“We’re not out to be the biggest or have the most clients,” explained co-owner Chuck Hersey, of North Liberty. “We’re a little more selective in the projects we get involved in. We like getting involved in projects that are interesting to us.”
And once a year, that includes offering free services to a non-profit organization.

Free family fun returns with Fire & Ice Jan. 26

Fireworks and Carnival Rides accompany Fire & Ice Jan. 26

NORTH LIBERTY– Fire & Ice presented by GEICO Careers is the North Liberty Beat the Bitter’s free family day and it’s all about the fire and the ice. For this year, Fire & Ice is moving to the weekend and is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 26, from 3-7 p.m. in Penn Meadows Park, located at 170 N. Dubuque St.

CCA reviews future facility plans and requests public input for elementary facilities Jan. 7

OXFORD– Clear Creek Amana officials spent the last few months reviewing and updating the district’s long-term facilities plan. The most immediate concern is addressing aggressive elementary growth on the east side of the district and how to accommodate for it. Future forecasts show Tiffin Elementary at full capacity by 2022-23 and North Bend Elementary by 2023-24, bringing total district enrollment to 3,380. Current CCA enrollment is 2,750.

Filling bellies and warming hearts

CCA Middle School students hold Holiday Food Drive for the NL Pantry

TIFFIN– The holidays will be at least a little bit brighter for some thanks to a group of Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Middle School students, and a lot of generous individuals. Ten eighth graders at the school in Tiffin are participating in a service learning elective class called “Me to We.” According to their teacher, Leif Asper, the students organize local and global service campaigns in coordination with an organization called WE.