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Chris Umscheid

Freshmen shine in West’s 3-1 win over Prairie

CEDAR RAPIDS– The curtain came down on the regular season for the West High Women of Troy varsity volleyball squad with a 3-1 win over Cedar Rapids Prairie in the birds’ gym Tuesday, Oct. 22.
A tooth-and-nail 25-22 first set win by West turned into a reversal of fortunes and a 22-25 loss in the second set. The Women of Troy dominated the third set 25-15 and put the birds away in the fourth 25-14. After the match, the unflappable coach Kathy Bresnahan was a bit surprised at how things turned out.

A mission of love

One veteran’s quest to help his fellow veterans win the battle against PTSD

CEDAR RAPIDS– “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
It’s a quote of uncertain origin, but there is no uncertainty about whom it was said.

Ya gotta have heart– and guts– to go for the Spike

Women of Troy gut out 3-2 win over City for the Spike trophy

IOWA CITY– West High varsity volleyball coach Kathy Bresnahan can be blunt, doesn’t mince words, and gets right to the heart of it. Tuesday, Oct. 8, during the annual battle with City High for The Spike, she went to the heart of her team and made them take a look inside themselves.

Booted!

West High suffers first 2013 loss, loses the Boot

IOWA CITY– It had to happen sooner or later. However, the West High Trojans probably would’ve preferred to suffer their first loss of the 2013 season after The Battle for the Boot.
The City High Little Hawks stymied and denied the Trojans with a 14-7 win Friday night at City, taking the golden Boot in the process. West captured The Boot last year in a 44-0 shutout at home, ending a City streak. The night started out on a promising note as the sophomores pounded out a 48-20 win.

Girls get dirty, too

Solon’s Jada Murphy tears up the motocross tracks

SOLON– She’s been called, “The Wild Child,” and “The Rabbit.” You can call her Jada.

CCA to ask for PPEL extension in September

Measure will be on school board ballot

OXFORD– The Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) school district expires in December 2015, and superintendent Tim Kuehl wants to ask voters to extend it. Kuehl spoke with the district’s board of directors during their monthly work session and business meeting Monday, July 29, at Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford.

Option tax expires, but some retailers still charging

JOHNSON COUNTY– Maybe they didn’t get the memo. Perhaps they couldn’t believe that a tax could actually expire.
Whatever the reason, some retailers in Johnson County are still charging the one-cent Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) for flood relief. The tax, passed by voters in May 2009, was to be in effect for four years and ended on June 30. Iowa City, Lone Tree, Oxford, Solon, University Heights, Hills, Swisher, Tiffin and Shueyville voters approved the tax while residents of North Liberty, West Branch and Coralville rejected it.

Plea deal reached in fatal 2011 crash

IOWA CITY– Nearly a year after charges were filed and a little over a week from when his vehicular homicide trial was to begin, 20-year-old Zachary Swenka agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. Swenka, the driver in an October 2011 wreck near the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) High School, will formally enter his guilty plea and be sentenced on Friday, Sept. 6.

Decision time for CCA

New superintendent urges board to make a facilities decision

OXFORD– Clear Creek Amana (CCA) superintendent Tim Kuehl said it’s a no-brainer.
“We need to get going on something. We have the money, essentially, so we don’t need that approval. We have overcrowded facilities, now we need to figure out step one and take care of that.”

Challenges ahead at CCA

Kuehl assumes superintendent duties at Clear Creek Amana

OXFORD– After three years as superintendent of the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) school district, Denise Schares announced her retirement in February, setting in motion a short but intense search for a replacement.
“It’s a transition point, and I think for the district it’s a good time to bring somebody in on this really, really tremendous opportunity and challenge of enrollment growth,” Schares said at the time. Reluctantly the school board of directors launched the search, hiring G. Tryon and Associates and charging the firm with finding a highly qualified individual in two months’ time.

Connecting to a higher power

Former engineer now guiding the flock at Solon United Methodist Church

SOLON– Scott Keele Kober used to design power lines to connect communities to the electrical grid. Now, as the Pastor of the Solon United Methodist Church (UMC), he connects people to become a community, and to connect that community to the highest power: God.

State hopes dashed in the dust

WILLIAMSBURG– The 2013 baseball season came to a sudden end last week for both the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers and Iowa City West High Trojans in substate action.
The Clippers fell 11-3 Tuesday (July 23) on the road in Williamsburg against the rival Raiders. The class 3A Substate 5, District 10 game was a continuation of Monday’s suspended game, which was halted at the end of four innings due to lightning. The contest was tied 3-3 at the time.