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Chris Umscheid

Referendum likely this fall, but new jail won’t be on it

IOWA CITY– The dilemma over the Johnson County Jail and Courthouse had the board of supervisors in meetings that at times were contentious late last year. After another failed bond issue last May, which would have built a justice center, combining additional courthouse space with a new jail, the supervisors have continued to battle over a variety of options.

NLFD recruits: training the best, for the worst

NLFD recruits learn to save themselves

NORTH LIBERTY– Firefighters work in some of the most hostile environments on Earth, where extreme heat and near zero visibility are normal in a setting most definitely “Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH).” It is in these situations where the ability to remain calm and rely on training and experience are vital, particularly when things go from bad to worse. While firefighters go into burning structures to save others’ lives, sometimes they end up having to save themselves.

CCA to reduce district tax levy

OXFORD– The board of directors for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) community school district approved the certified budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year as well as Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) and School Improvement Local Option tax (SILO) budgets.

Women of Troy put away J-Hawks

4-1 win keeps West perfect

CEDAR RAPIDS– The Iowa City West High Women of Troy had little trouble last Thursday (April 17) with the Cedar Rapids Jefferson J-Hawks, beating the bluebirds 4-1 in varsity action on the field below Kingston Stadium.

He did it HIS WAY

Randall bows out with few regrets

SOLON– Typically, when a long-tenured coach leaves an athletic program under a cloud of controversy, they say they want to focus on the positives and not dwell on the negatives.
Brad Randall, now the former Solon High School varsity boys’ basketball coach, is no exception.
With a winning record full of accomplishments, it’s easy for him to emphasize the highlights.

The Retreat: seriously good coffee in a relaxed atmosphere

A break from the hassles of life

ELY– “We take our coffee very seriously.
Mark Banowetz, co-owner of The Retreat in Ely, and his wife Kathleen opened the coffee shop and bakery in a renovated house along State Street in January 2013. In just one year, it has become a daily destination for many, and a new discovery for many more.
“We already had the house and Mark was using it for his own business (Great American Shed Co.),” Kathleen said. “We always kind of wanted to do a coffee shop so we started thinking about it and doing research, and one day, we decided we could do it here in this house with a little extra work.’”