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Community

City tags dog park as high priority

Revised parks plan under review

NORTH LIBERTY– North Liberty will officially join the hunt for land on which to place a dog park.
North Liberty Parks and Recreation Board members and the North Liberty City Council met in a joint work session Dec. 3 to review a draft of an updated Parks Comprehensive Plan, and informally added an off-leash dog park as a priority.

On track for Christmas

Luke Stevenson of North Liberty watches the toy train set, operated by Eric Auran of Art & Antiques, at the North Liberty Community Center’s Breakfast with Santa event Dec. 5. Stevenson was one of about 350 children who came to the 10th annual breakfast co-sponsored by the city’s recreation department and the North Liberty Lions Club, which provides area children the chance to take photos on Santa’s lap, eat a pancake breakfast and enjoy holiday activities. (photo by Lori Lindner)

Liberty High transition team looks to build athletics community early

School won’t likely include varsity football in first year

IOWA CITY – The Liberty Lightning will strike a year early for some North Liberty student athletes.
The Liberty High School transition team outlined its plan for athletics for the Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors on Dec. 8. Under the plan, Liberty-bound students involved in athletics will be able to practice as Lightning Bolts in the 2016-17 school year—a full year before Liberty High School actually opens.
Matt Degner, the district’s director of schools, presented the update to the board.

NLFD: keep your holidays from going up in flames

NORTH LIBERTY– For most of us, the holiday season represents a time for family festivities and good cheer. What few consider is the holiday season is a time when there is an increased risk of home fires. According to North Liberty Fire Department (NLFD), many households engage in holiday activities that serve as some of the leading causes of U.S. home fires, including cooking. Christmas trees, candle usage and holiday decorations significantly contribute to the seasonal causes of home fires.

Blue Christmas worship to be held in Tiffin Dec. 20

TIFFIN– The Christmas season can be challenging for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. It may not be easy to sing, “Joy to the World,” when you are feeling lonely. Tiffin Grace United Methodist Church, 300 W. Marengo Rd. in Tiffin, is holding its annual Blue Christmas Worship Service on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 6 p.m. This quieter Christmas worship service is designed for those struggling to celebrate the season due to grief or loss.
For information regarding this special service, contact the church office at 319-545-2281 or revbev@southslope.net.

North Liberty recognizes outstanding employees

NORTH LIBERTY— The City of North Liberty recognized three employees for their outstanding service.
Director of Parks, Buildings and Grounds Guy Goldsmith was named Employee of the Year. He was cited for his commitment to excellence, willingness to work across departments to achieve goals, as well as finding creative ways to save taxpayers’ money.
“He doesn’t seek recognition. He doesn’t receive the accolades he has worked so hard to be worthy of. He’s just always there ready to lend a helping hand. He simply makes it happen,” said City Administrator Ryan Heiar, who presented the award.

Trojan varsity wrestlers fifth at Five Seasons High School Duals

North Liberty Leader
CEDAR RAPIDS– The West High varsity wrestlers finished fifth in the Five Seasons High School Duals held Saturday, Dec. 12, at Kennedy High School. Cedar Rapids Prairie won the tournament by defeating Alburnett, 40-34, in the first-place match. Cedar Rapids Kennedy defeated Linn-Mar, 41-36, for third place and the West High Trojans took down rival City High, 46-31, for fifth place. Bettendorf defeated West Delaware, 47-21, for seventh place and Urbandale knocked off Pleasant Valley, 48-36, for the ninth and 10th places respectively.

County to allow poultry processing on more agricultural parcels

IOWA CITY– The Johnson County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance amendment to allow for up to 999 birds to be raised, slaughtered and processed annually on agriculturally zoned parcels for sale to household consumers only. The change was made in response to a recommendation from the Johnson County Food Policy Council and research conducted by County Planning, Development and Sustainability staff.

Annie

Orphans, billionaires, the President and a charming little dog

SOLON– There are no hard knocks when it comes to the Solon High School (SHS) drama department; only rave reviews.
Roughly 60 students comprised the cast, crew and orchestra of SHS’s production of “Annie, the Musical,” a Broadway adaptation performed Nov. 13-15 to nearly sold-out crowds at each show. With the help of several volunteers to help with set decoration and props, director Jessica Frerich said the community came together to create another successful show.

Neuzil’s replacement to be selected in Jan. 19 special election

Opponents worried about voter fatigue

JOHNSON COUNTY– There will be a special election to fill a vacancy on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors.
Supervisor Terrence Neuzil resigned his position to take a job in Kalamazoo County, Mich., effective Dec. 20, leaving an unfulfilled term that expires Dec. 31, 2016. According to Iowa law, the decision to either appoint someone or hold a special election to fill the reminder of Neuzil’s term falls to a committee of three.

City tightens TIF belt

Pending budget impacts cause caution for council

By Doug Lindner
Solon Economist
SOLON– The city could handle $25,000 all at once, but it couldn’t handle $131,388 over five years.
The Solon City Council took no action on a request by the Solon Retirement Village to extend a five-year Tax Increment Finance (TIF) agreement for its assisted living facility, but it allowed Red Vespa Pizzeria to trade its 10-year tax abatement plan for a one-year kickback.

Free Christmas meal at Our Lord’s Church Friday, Dec. 25

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