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News

Limbo, akimbo

Penn Elementary student Brady Dauber laughs as he goes to the floor during a limbo session on roller skates. Penn P.E. teacher Tiffany Fishman introduces a roller skating unit in her classes each year as part of the physical education curriculum. For more photos, see page 20. (photo by Lori Lindner)

Sommers witness to American tragedy in Boston

Local woman shares marathon experience

NORTH LIBERTY– A runner for 13 years, none of the races previously undertaken by Iowa City pharmacist Stacy Sommers ended quite like the one on April 15, the most prestigious of America’s footraces, the Boston Marathon.
Moreover, this was Sommer’s very first Boston Marathon.

Petition pushes for supervisors to be elected by district

JOHNSON COUNTY– Petitioners pushing for a new way to elect county supervisors are getting closer to their goal.
According to Debra Thornton, chair of the Johnson County Republicans, members of the Committee for Fair Representation– the group that organized the petition drive– are “well on their way” to gathering the 7,619 valid signatures required to call for a public vote on the matter.

Boston strong

North Liberty woman returns safely from site of American tragedy

NORTH LIBERTY– North Liberty chiropractor and runner Dr. Sheri Giese, DC, has already made up her mind.
In 2014, Giese will once again be among the nearly 30,000 people who don bib numbers and beat feet along 26.2 miles of Massachusetts roads that are part of the oldest annual marathon in the world. It’s a traditional event with an international luster that was blackened this year in a matter of seconds by two terrorist-planted bombs that killed three people and left more than 200 injured.
“People have asked me if I’ll run next year,” she said. “Yeah, I’m running next year.”

A matter of perspective

County’s Planning & Zoning administrator explains Rural Cluster zoning for development

IOWA CITY– Opponents of a proposed housing development on Newport Road and the Johnson County Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Department agree on one thing.
“Urban sprawl is not good.”
So said RJ Moore, assistant administrator of the department.
The development on land owned by Sharon Dooley at 2915 Newport Road, has sparked controversy and put the spotlight on urban-style housing in rural areas. It has also brought the term “Rural Cluster” (RC) to the forefront.

A matter of perspective

County’s Planning & Zoning administrator explains Rural Cluster zoning for development

IOWA CITY– Opponents of a proposed housing development on Newport Road and the Johnson County Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Department agree on one thing.
“Urban sprawl is not good.”
So said RJ Moore, assistant administrator of the department.
The development on land owned by Sharon Dooley at 2915 Newport Road, has sparked controversy and put the spotlight on urban-style housing in rural areas. It has also brought the term “Rural Cluster” (RC) to the forefront.

ICCSD updates local governments on diversity and facilities plans

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– Johnson County Supervisor Janelle Rettig provided a little history lesson Monday, April 29, as representatives of the county, municipalities and school districts of Johnson County prepared to hear an update from the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD). The quarterly meeting between the governmental entities is referred to as the Joint Cities meeting, though county and school district officials are also participants.

Jail or no jail: voters decide May 7

Retooled proposal goes back in front of county voters

JOHNSON COUNTY–Certain Johnson County officials hope $3.3 million in reductions to the design for a proposed justice center will be enough to swing public sentiment in their favor.
In the November 2012 general election, a $46.8 million bond issue for the project was defeated, receiving only 56 percent voter approval when 60 percent was required. Proponents went back to the drawing board almost immediately to revise the plan for a combined jail and improved Johnson County courthouse, and get it back in front of the public as soon as they thought feasible.

MS schedule works- if you’re in band or choir

Administrators lament lack of flexibility for non-music students

SOLON– Sixty-four percent of Solon’s middle school students participate in either band or choir.
But for the remaining 35 percent, there are no options except study hall.
The scheduling dilemma was discussed at the April 8 meeting of the Solon school board and options will be explored in the coming months as administrators attempt to align possible academic changes with a long-range facilities plan.
The Solon Middle School operates on an eight-period day, but the periods are now arranged in a adjusted block to allow for a transition to the high school’s block schedule.

Voters to decide on jail, courthouse revision

Special election to be May 7

JOHNSON COUNTY–Certain Johnson County officials hope $3.3 million in reductions to the design for a proposed justice center will be enough to swing public sentiment in their favor.
In the November 2012 general election, a $46.8 million bond issue for the project was defeated, receiving only 56 percent voter approval when 60 percent was required. Proponents went back to the drawing board almost immediately to revise the plan for a combined jail and improved Johnson County courthouse, and get it back in front of the public as soon as they thought feasible.

NL scratching out a chicken ordinance

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– As North Liberty continues to grow into a larger city, there are at least a few people who hope it will maintain at least one tie to its country roots.
A handful of residents have come forward to request and support a city ordinance to allow raising chickens within city limits.
The North Liberty City Council briefly discussed the request at the Tuesday, April 23, meeting, but no action was taken on the item.

CCA needs more time, more information

OXFORD– Recommendations from the district’s facility committee were presented to the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) School Board of Directors Wednesday, April 17, during a work session preceding the regular monthly meeting at Clear Creek Elementary. Many of the board members had been in attendance at the Wednesday, April 10, facility committee meeting where the options had been determined, making a presentation by middle school principal Brad Fox something of a repeat.