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June 8th

Update on Penn playground expansion, goats

NORTH LIBERTY– Goats on the Go did their job during their stay at Penn Elementary Saturday, May 14, through Tuesday, May 17. The school grounds crew also cut out all of the smaller woody vegetation and applied a type of grass seed that will grow quickly and help keep back weeds. This type of grass will only survive one year. In the next few weeks, a tree company will visit Penn to remove large “junk” tress– primarily ash trees. Throughout the summer, the grounds crew will continue to work on small projects, such as leveling low spots, removing stumps and cleaning the fence.

NLCP volunteer spotlight: Susan Barrett

NORTH LIBERTY– Susan Barrett started volunteering at the North Liberty Community Pantry (NLCP) because she heard about it from another volunteer’s spouse. Barrett has been a volunteer at the pantry for nearly five years.

Saving St. Mary’s

130-year-old church needs new roof, siding

NEWPORT– There used to be a village of Newport along the road halfway between Solon and Iowa City.
St. Mary’s Church of Newport is just west on Newport Road, and if funds for its preservation are not raised, it may soon become a memory from the distant past, too.
The 130-year-old structure no longer serves a Catholic congregation as it did for the first 110 years of its existence. Even its role as a precinct polling place has fallen along the wayside.
The church bell, added in 1891, now tolls only a few times a year to mark the consecrated nuptials of a just-wedded couple.

City-wide garage sales June 9-12

NORTH LIBERTY– Local organizers have selected the weekend of June 10 for city-wide garage sales in North Liberty and have set up a website with information for sellers and buyers: northlibertygaragesales.com.
In addition to the website, garage-sale-goers will be able to pull up a mobile-friendly Google Map and find nearby sales by item categories.
Questions about sales can be addressed to the organizers at questions@northlibertygaragesales.com.

NL lays bedrock for soil quality restoration

A rich investment

NORTH LIBERTY– Dan Harbit bought an “Earth and Turf,” a few years ago, on a whim. Now, he owns three of them.
“During the sale nobody bid on it because they thought it was broken” Harbit said of his first topdresser purchase. He ended up buying the piece of landscaping equipment for $850– a whopping 88 percent off its retail value of around $7,000.

Spartans split with Beckman, sweep Independence

DYERSVILLE– The Solon Spartans split a baseball doubleheader on the road at Dyersville Beckman June 6 in a pair of close games.
Sophomore Luke Ira’s triple brought home Spencer Wegmann in the top of the fifth for Solon’s only run in a 2-1 loss. Zach Wegmann had two of the Spartans’ six hits. Dillon Drake suffered the loss on the mound.

Nearad NJCAA Division II Player of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– Taylor Nearad of Solon, a freshman at Kirkwood Community College, was honored by the NJCAA Division II Softball Committee Tuesday, receiving the title of 2016 Dudley® NJCAA Division II Softball Player of the Year.
Saturating the national leaderboard with her numbers, Nearad cemented her name at or near the top of every offensive statistical category this season. The freshman’s 145 hits, 129 RBI, 30 home runs and 114 runs scored all led the nation. Nearad’s .602 batting average was the third-highest in the country, while her .622 on-base percentage ranked fourth.

Homers power Solon in home Classic

Heick, Bevans go yard in wins over Wilton and City High

SOLON– The Solon softball program graduated three key seniors from the team that won the 2015 Class 3A championship.
Taylor Nearad, a freshman at Kirkwood Community College, was just named Division II Player of the Year by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Ali Herdliska, at South Dakota State, was named Freshman of the Year for the Summit League.
Pitcher Emily Ira was second in the Summit League in strikeouts while playing for Western Illinois and was named to the Second Team of the All-Summit League.

Lady Spartans fall to Assumption

DAVENPORT– The soccer season came to a close for Solon’s Lady Spartans Monday night.
No. 1-ranked Davenport Assumption shut out Solon in a Class 1A regional final June 6 in Davenport, 5-0.
Assumption players recorded 25 shots on goal for the evening while keeping the Solon offense limited to a single attempt at Assumption’s goalie
Assumption came into the regional final sporting a 13-2-1 record, with the losses coming at the hands of North Scott and Pleasant Valley.

Beef Days seeks parade route security

SOLON– The Beef Days Committee has rotating groups responsible for different activities during the annual event. The committee is looking for a group or a combination of individuals who would be interested in working as “parade security.” Nine or 10 people are needed to work from 9:15-11:30 a.m., Saturday, July 16, the pay is $10 an hour. The job is basically standing at intersections and making certain vehicles don’t drive through the parade route during this time.