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News

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.

A hard knock life

TIFFIN– It started as a comic strip in the 1930s, became a Broadway smash in the 1970s and 80s, and in April 2013, it hit the stage at Clear Creek Amana High School.
It’s “Annie,” a classic American Broadway smash chock-full of optimism, hope and catchy tunes that stick in your head for days.
Jenna Tackaberry donned the curly red wig for the title role in the CCA High School production, which ran April 4, through April 6, in the CCA Performing Arts Center. Sage Spiker took on the role of Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, the hardened billionaire who opened his heart to the plucky orphan.

North Liberty’s got talent

Mike Ogoli fine-tunes his guitar shortly before the start of the “North Liberty’s Got Talent” program showcasing the talented youth of the community Saturday, April 6, at Grace Community Church. The talent show was one of the monthly activities held as part of North Liberty’s year-long centennial celebration. For more photos from the event, see page 20. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

Don’t get cross over the bridge

Plans for Mehaffey Bridge reconstruction laid out for public

NORTH LIBERTY– Johnson County Engineer Greg Parker has made a promise.
“Once we’re done, you’ll love it.”
Parker issued the vow Monday, April 15, at a public meeting held at South Slope Communications in North Liberty regarding the replacement of the aging Mehaffey Bridge. A packed crowd sat through a brief presentation, then directed over 20 questions at Parker, assistant engineer Ed Bartels and representatives of VJ Engineering and Iowa Bridge and Culvert about the nearly $9 million project.

Divisible by five?

Petition pushes for district representation at county level

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.

Investigation into fatal shooting clears NLPD officers

Report concludes police had “no lesser course of action available”

NORTH LIBERTY– Three North Liberty police officers placed on administrative leave after a fatal shooting on March 10, 2013, have been cleared through an investigation of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness issued a press release last Friday with the findings of the investigation. It stated the officers acted with reasonable force in returning fire after being shot, and that they had no lesser course of action available to them at the time.

Voters in NL precinct 03 to have temporary polling place May 7

NORTH LIBERTY– Due to a scheduling conflict with the normal polling location for North Liberty 03 voters, North Liberty 03 voters will vote at a temporary polling location for the May 7 special election regarding the Johnson County Justice Center issue. On May 7, North Liberty 03 voter who normally vote at the South Slope Communications building on 980 Front Street in North Liberty will vote at the South Slope Communications Video Conferencing Center at 645 Liberty Way, only for this election.

FLASH

Below, Solon High School students wait for more sandbags at the city wastewater treatment facility Wednesday. Students barricaded two buildings at the sewer plant to protect from the rising waters of Mill Creek.

Heavy rain threatens Solon sewer plant, closes roads

SOLON– Residents of Solon continued to sandbag Wednesday evening as rapidly rising waters closed in on the city’s sewage plant.
But by Thursday morning, things were looking up.
Solon Public Works Director Scott Kleppe reported Mill Creek had withdrawn to its banks after being as close as 3 feet from a building at the wastewater treatment facility.