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Chris Umscheid

Bolts top the field in Anamosa

Sartain, Schmidt, Kinzer, Woody, 4x100 & sprint med win for Liberty High

ANAMOSA– The Liberty High boys track and field team won Anamosa’s coed meet Tuesday, April 23, with four individual winners and two winning relay teams. The Lightning topped the nine-team field with 139.5 team points, with Mount Vernon taking the runner-up spot with 129. The host Blue Raiders were fifth with 79.5.
Individual winners for Liberty included Ryan Sartain in the 110-meter hurdles, Dylan Schmidt in the 1,600-meter run, Drake Woody in the 400-meter hurdles and Jack Kinzer smoking the field in the 3,200-meter run.

Solon Fire Dept.’s new EMS truck has already gotten a workout

SOLON- The Tri-Township (Solon) Fire Department’s fleet expanded recently with the addition of a new medical response truck.
Solon 139, a 2019 Ford F-350 pickup with modular service body, entered service roughly one month ago, and has already gotten a workout as EMS (Emergency Medical Services) runs make up the majority of the calls for service for the 35-member department.
“It’s been nice with the call volume,” Captain Rick Childs said, noting at least 85 percent of the all-volunteer departments calls for service are medical emergencies.

Dudes and Donuts combine for breakfast at North Bend

Connecting families with their school

NORTH LIBERTY– Friday, April 19, was supposed to be a day off from school for students at Clear Creek Amana’s North Bend Elementary, in North Liberty. Instead, it became a regular school day due to so many snow days this past winter.
However, the bitterness of having to go to school to kick off the Easter weekend was sweetened.
Literally.
The school held its fourth annual Dudes and Donuts breakfast the hour before the start of classes, giving the kids a sweet start to their school day.

Nearly double

Liberty High’s second Dance for a Difference raises $43k for the sickest kids

NORTH LIBERTY– Nearly double last year’s total.
Liberty High’s second annual Dance for a Difference managed to accomplish it in just a few hours Sunday, March 3.
The school’s “Difference Makers,” a student-run organization, started the Liberty High tradition last year in an effort to raise money to help the sickest kids: those battling cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.

CCA’s latest enrollment projections show more students, and more buildings

OXFORD– Rob Schwarz, CEO of RSP, an educational planning firm under contract to the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District, got right to the point.
“Surprise, surprise, you’re enrollment is going to continue to increase, and it’s going to continue to increase at a rate greater than what we saw last year,” he said.

A financial boost for the Bolts

A look at how the Liberty Fund helps organizations and students

NORTH LIBERTY– Parents of high school kids, as well as co-workers, friends and neighbors of parents with high school kids are no stranger to fundraisers for various student activities; from candy bar and fruit sales to car washes and even painting the school logo on driveways, students spend time every academic year generating cash for a special trip, extra equipment or something else not provided for in the budget.

A plan for the future

NLFD’s Chief Platz lays out a Strategic Plan to the city council

NORTH LIBERTY– The North Liberty Fire Department (NLFD) has been grappling with how best to meet the challenges of a constantly growing community, while also facing recruiting and retention issues coupled with an increased demand for services, for several years. Chief Brian Platz presented a five-year strategic plan for the department to the North Liberty City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 11, outlining how the predominantly volunteer department is addressing the challenges it faces, and is changing to meet the projected demands of the future.

Study and recommendations

Stratton reaches 1,000 points

TIFFIN– Clear Creek Amana’s (CCA) multi-sport standout, Karsyn Stratton, hit the 1,000-point mark Friday, Jan. 4, at home against the South Tama Trojans. Stratton, a junior, reached the milestone in the second period with 14 points already on the board, and finished the night with a game-high 22 as the Creek Girls disposed of South Tama 47-36.

Waves of uncertainty

Backlash prompts further discussion of CCA’s ’19-’20 preschool plan

OXFORD– The School Board of Directors for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District approved a significant change to the preschool program for the 2019-2020 academic year. Currently the district offers a full-day program with state grant money paying for the morning session (aka “Voluntary”) and families paying tuition for the afternoon (aka “Enterprise”). However, CCA has been accumulating a surplus balance on the state-funded portion while routinely running a deficit on the private pay.

Second sight

Katie the Service Dog brings renewed hope to Solon man

NORTH LIBERTY– Two friendly, furry creatures were spotted at the annual Breakfast with Santa event at the North Liberty Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 8. One was the North Liberty Lions Club’s mascot; a six-foot tall lion who greeted kids and adults alike, freely dispensing hugs and posing for pictures. The other was a ten-year old German Shepherd named Katie who, despite being on the job and in her uniform (service dog vest), graciously accepted petting and pats from complete strangers.

Hotcakes and holiday wishes

Santa returns to North Liberty for his annual breakfast with children

NORTH LIBERTY— A Christmas tradition continued in North Liberty as Santa Claus appeared at the Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 8, for the annual Breakfast with Santa event. Between 250 and 300 kids spent a ltime with the Jolly Old Elf discussing their hopes and dreams for Christmas presents, as well as their behavior over the past year.
The event has grown over the years, since starting in 2006, said Recreation Supervisor Matt Meseck.

No job too large or too small

North Liberty’s Home Repair Team builds on 20 years of excellence

NORTH LIBERTY– What started out as a simple handyman service 20 years ago has grown into an award winning, full-service design-build, handyman and remodeling business.
Home Repair Team (HRT) started in 1998 when Rob Hajek and his father-in-law Dale Steffen started doing small home repair projects and improvement jobs. His wife Julie came onboard in 2001 to handle the administration side of the business, and his father Dick Hajek joined the company in 2005. Dick Hajek and Dale Steffen both retired in 2009.