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Chris Umscheid

Business as usual, for now

CCA board approves application for online education waiver, if needed

OXFORD– It is business as usual, or at least as close to “usual” as possible, in the era of the COVID-19 virus for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District– for now.
The CCA Board of Directors met in a special session Friday, Aug. 28, to approve a request by Superintendent Tim Kuehl for the authority to submit an application with the state to move to 100 percent online, virtual learning if it becomes necessary.

All virtual, and a hiatus for fall sports

ICCSD receives waiver allowing two weeks of online education to start the school year

IOWA CITY¬– The “Friday Night Lights” will be turned off for at least two weeks for Liberty High, Iowa City West High and City High after the Iowa City Community School District’s (ICCSD) Board of Education approved beginning the 2020-2021 school year with 100 percent online instruction.

Sharing his passion

New location allows Jewelry by Harold to offer classes, and keep the craft alive in NL

NORTH LIBERTY– The making of fine jewelry is both a time-honored craft and an exacting art form.
For Harold Van Beek, owner of Jewelry by Harold in North Liberty, it is also a passion he wishes to share with others.
Van Beek, a native of The Netherlands, came to the United States in 2005 after visiting Iowa City since the late 1970s to spend time with friends of his family. “I’m ‘Harold,’ I’m named for someone in Iowa City, and so are my siblings. My son (Laurens) is named after someone in Iowa. So yeah, it’s been quite an adventure.”

Bolts struggle against Trojans

Iowa City West wins season-opener against Liberty High, 27-0

NORTH LIBERTY– Cheerleaders cheered, a small pep band (socially distanced in the stands and with cloth covers over the bells of their horns) performed, and the football teams did gridiron war Friday, Aug. 28, as the Iowa City West High Trojans invaded the Liberty Lightning.
But there were no spectators inside the stadium.
As part of the Iowa City Community School District’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies, spectators were not allowed in (they instead gathered on top of vehicles in the parking lots and stood along the fence surrounding the stadium).

Trojan-Bolts dunk Dubuque’s Mustangs

IC West-Liberty High girls open 2020 swimming season with home win over Hempstead

CORALVILLE– The combined Iowa City West High and Liberty High “Trojan-Bolts” picked right up where they left off last year, staying undefeated in the Coralville Recreation Center’s pool Tuesday, Aug. 25, with a dual meet win over Dubuque Hempstead.
The Trojan-Bolts’ junior varsity (JV) squad won, 143-21, with the varsity winning, 151-35.

A big change for Clipper cross country this year

2020 CCA high school cross country preview

TIFFIN– In 2015, the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) High School cross country program split with then-assistant coach Ben Robison taking the helm of the boys program, while head coach Jane Astor led the girls teams.
Now, everything old is new again as the programs have recombined with Robison leading the way for both the boys’ and girls’ programs.
Robison, in his 12th year of coaching at CCA, has Megan Miller and Paige O’Brien as assistant coaches, and the legendary Jim White as an assistant and the program’s mental performance coach.

Uncertainty, suspicion, distrust and a long wait for change

Life experiences are shared at North Liberty Social Justice and Racial Equity listening posts

NORTH LIBERTY– The death, in police custody, of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., earlier this summer sparked protests, riots and a new awareness of racial inequalities.
Following demonstrations in Iowa City, Coralville and Solon, the City of North Liberty embarked on a proactive approach to address issues related to its minority communities.
According to data from 2015, whites make up 88.2 percent (16,134) of the residents of North Liberty with blacks comprising 4.7 percent (867), and Hispanics totaling 4.4 percent (806).

It’s the law… sort-of

JoCo Supervisors pass face covering ordinance

IOWA CITY– They’ve asked nicely. They’ve pleaded, appealing to your concern for your fellow man. Now, they’ve made it a regulation.
The Johnson County Supervisors unanimously approved a face covering regulation during their regular meeting Thursday, Aug. 6.

A smoother ride is coming soon

Ireland railroad crossing to be replaced starting Aug. 17

TIFFIN– At least 100 feet away from the railroad tracks crossing Ireland Avenue in Tiffin is a round advanced warning sign: the familiar yellow circle with a large black “X” and “R R” markings on it. Below that is another warning sign, one which will no longer be required soon, that states “Rough Crossing.”

A plan, for now

CCA board approves full return for PK-8, and 50/50 for high school

TIFFIN– The Clear Creek Amana (CCA) School Board of Education approved a Return to Learn (RTL) plan in a special meeting Wednesday, July 29, at the high school in Tiffin.
The plan, “Plan 2” of four options considered, calls for a full return of pre-kindergarten (PK) through eighth-grade students, and a 50/50 return for the high school with students broken into morning and afternoon sessions.

The fair goes on

Johnson County Fair, although scaled back, still lets 4-H kids showcase their hard work

IOWA CITY– While the continuing COVID-19 crisis has cancelled many traditional summer activities this year, one tradition continued, albeit with virus-related modifications.

No confidence

Oxford firefighters and first responders call for vote of no confidence against mayor

OXFORD– Penny Jenn, the mayor of Oxford, still has her job following a split no confidence vote by city council members during a regular meeting Tuesday, July 14, in the Oxford fire station. Two council members (David Cook and Bryan Cooling) voted against the Mayor while Vicki Kasper, Pat Lewis and Marti XXXXXX voted in support of Jenn. Jenn ran unopposed on the ballot last November in a reelection bid garnering 106 votes. There were 60 write-in votes.