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News

Aiming for excellence

Swisher American Legion program promotes responsible firearms, developes young minds

SWISHER– In an era of tense controversy over the use and possession of firearms, one group in this northwest Johnson County town is learning to respect guns, rather than fear them.
And they’re learning life lessons while learning to shoot.
For two years, the American Legion Post 671 in Swisher has sponsored a Junior Shooting Sports Program, one of the legion’s many family and youth programs. Participants from ages 12 to 18 use an air-powered rifle shooting a .177 caliber pellet as they learn gun safety and marksmanship.

A cluster of controversy

Supervisors give initial approval to Dooley subdivision

Off road

Bruce Koffron trails behind Jana Holmes and Michelle Lobeck as they slog cross country through farmland southeast of Solon as part of the Solon Survivor Extreme 5K, held Saturday, March 9, as a fundraiser for the Solon Sluggers 12U baseball team and the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. See next week’s edition for more photos and results. (photo by Doug Lindner)

District deals with legislative uncertainty

CCA approves 2013-2014 budget

AMANA– Every spring, school districts across Iowa draw up a budget for the next school year and certify it. It’s the art of speculation coupled with the science of fiscal reality.

NLPD’s Venenga born to serve, strong role model

NLPD interim police chief is also city’s 2012 employee of the year

NORTH LIBERTY– In December, the City of North Liberty named police lieutenant Diane Venenga as its 2012 employee of the year. Venenga was cited as, “a solid role model for every officer,” in the city’s press release. Mayor Tom Salm and city administrator Ryan Heiar made the selection, which was open to all city employees.
Since then, Lt. Venenga has been named interim police chief in the wake of chief Jim Warkentin’s resignation earlier this year.

Tiny twirlies

The Tiny Kix class from Just For Kix dance studio in North Liberty finishes a routine at the Solon Dance Spectacular 2013 on Feb. 15. The 4- and 5-year-olds pictured are Olivia Fuller, Addison Wagner, Rachel Mundt, Kynzly Farr and Ella Keune. (photo by Lori Lindner)

For the love of it

Ellis honored for 20 years as “The Voice of the Spartans”

SOLON– Don Ellis loves sports. He loves Solon. He especially loves Solon Spartans sports. For 20 years, he’s been the guy sitting next to the official scorekeeper and the scoreboard operator with a microphone in his hand doing the announcing at Solon High School sporting events.

show case

Solon’s instrumental and vocal music programs take the stage in a group concert

Solon’s instrumental and vocal music programs take the stage in a group concert

Solon robots rule

NORTH LIBERTY– Minions, Raging Infernos and robot Domination.
It sounds like the stuff of the latest blockbuster sci-fi action movie, but it’s really the team names Solon’s robotics students have crafted to intimidate their rivals.
Even the Stale Marshmallows pack a punch when it comes to showing off their engineering acumen. On Jan. 26, Solon middle school and high school students hosted a robotics competition at the North Liberty Community Center to do just that.

Solon district waiting on state’s allowable growth decision

SOLON- School districts around the state receive a per-pupil amount that mostly comes from the state, about 88 percent, with local property taxes making up the remaining school revenues. That amount is set at about $6,000 per student this year.
Whether it grows or not– the allowable growth– is determined by the Iowa Legislature, and school districts are often left waiting on the state to agree on a number so local districts can set budgets.
Democratic state senators, with a narrow 26-24 voting edge, passed a four percent increase for the next two years.

Long list of ideas for shortage of space

Facilities committee holds brainstorming session

OXFORD– The facilities committee tasked by the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) School Board of Directors to explore options for dealing with the district’s continued enrollment growth took a major step toward making a recommendation.

Tie council vote results in lower return on investment

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
TIFFIN– Some on the Tiffin City Council don’t agree with putting most of the city’s eggs in one basket, even if it is the best basket around.
At the council’s Feb. 13 meeting, a tie vote shot down City Administrator Michon Jackson’s suggestion to amend the city’s investment policy in order to keep a balance of about $7 million in Solon State Bank until bond proceeds designated for capital improvement projects could be spent down. The current policy puts a cap on deposits of no more than $2.5 million in any one of three local financial institutions.