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Lori Lindner

Come on, let’s play ball

Golden retriever Bo gets an invitation to play ball with this golden lab at the Sept. 8 Doggie Plunge, hosted by the North Liberty Recreation Department and the City of North Liberty, but Bo isn’t biting. The event is held every year at the end of summer, just before the outdoor facility at the North Liberty Aquatic Center closes, so people and their pooches can enjoy a dip in the pool before it is prepared for the winter season.

Venenga chosen as NL chief

NORTH LIBERTY– The City of North Liberty has named its new chief of police.
Lt. Diane Venenga was chosen last week among a field of four final candidates culled from a national search orchestrated by Moulder and Associates LLC of Des Moines.

One for the books

NL Community Library hosts grand opening

NORTH LIBERTY– It was a celebration for the books.
An estimated 1,400 people visited the North Liberty Community Library’s grand opening event on Sunday, Sept. 8. The community was invited to celebrate the completion of the library’s $3.3 million, 11,000 square foot expansion and renovation.
The updated space now includes more meeting and study rooms, a new periodical area, a dedicated teen lounge, new Internet and computer stations, a children’s story time room and a children’s reading area, as well as several comfortable sitting areas spread throughout the library.

J&A Tap receives outdoor permit

NORTH LIBERTY– It’s been almost five years since John and Amanda Hruby bought a long-established bar in North Liberty and began working to make it better.
Since then, J&A Tap’s food, beverage selection, live music and volleyball leagues have drawn so many patrons the couple has had to expand their offerings.
On July 23, the North Liberty City Council approved conditional use permit and site plan for J&A Tap, so the crowds of people who come to play volleyball will be able to both serve and be served outdoors.

A feat for the century

Local pumpkin patch sends the community a 5-acre birthday card

NORTH LIBERTY– At Colony Pumpkin Patch in North Liberty, you can walk through an entire century.
Literally.
The Colony farm at 2780 Front St. has been turned into a seasonal attraction for several years now, with a pick-out-your-own pumpkin patch started by the Dean and Katie Colony family in 2005. Last year, the Colonys added a weekend fall festival and corn maze to the fun.
This year, in honor of the community’s 100th birthday, the Colonys went the extra mile on the five-acre swatch of corn, and had the maze designed to replicate North Liberty’s Centennial Celebration logo.

Solon’s Dinosaur Man

SOLON– He is a father of four and the father of a U.S. patented invention. A veteran Navy officer, he has flown in Dr. Tom Dooley’s helicopter and was on the last American ship to leave Vietnam after evacuating refugees from north to south as the Korean conflict wound down. He has schooled many on the mastery of industrial arts, from high school and college students to convicted prisoners. The product of his woodworking artistry can be seen in everything from funeral homes and library buildings to iconic rural barns and decorous churches.

Rollin’ along the highways & Byways

Great Eastern Iowa Tractorcade comes through Johnson County

JOHNSON COUNTY– Fourteen years and still rolling.
WMT Radio sponsored the 14th annual Great Eastern Iowa Tractorcade June 9-11, with approximately 530 tractors motoring their way across the highways and byways of southeast Iowa.
The event began as an idea from local radio personalities at WHO Radio, who worked with WMT Radio– A Clear Channel station and one of the area’s leading agricultural reporting entities– to bring vintage and contemporary tractor owners together in a central location, said Clear Channel’s Renee Uthoff, who organizes WMT’s event.

Nurturing business

New La Montessori Nurtury to host open house for public July 8

NORTH LIBERTY– Parents of very young children will soon have a distinctive new choice for child care in North Liberty.
La Montessori Nurtury will open July 10 under the ownership and guidance of Lillian Myers, at 70 Circle Dr., Ste. A. The former location of the Montessori Children’s Garden preschool– which expanded into a larger space nearby– has been newly remodeled and designed specifically for infants and toddlers.

Highway 965 funding gets another lift

NORTH LIBERTY– The City of North Liberty keeps chipping away at street improvements projects, and little by little, funding assistance keeps the wheels of progress turning.
At its May 29 meeting, the Urbanized Area Policy Board of the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County (MPOJC) voted to funnel another $1,948,000 to North Liberty for Highway 965. The portion of roadway approved for this round of funding, which stretches from Penn Street to Zeller Street, is considered the third of a planned seven-phase, comprehensive plan to widen and improve the thoroughfare.

Washing the Blues away

NL blues festival abbreviated by rain

NORTH LIBERTY– Steady rains, high winds and intermittent thunderstorms postponed the North Liberty’s blues festival from its original Saturday date.
And even though Mother Nature still wasn’t smiling the next morning, plenty of people put on sunny dispositions and came out for the abbreviated event anyway.

NL will use firm to hire police chief

NORTH LIBERTY– The City of North Liberty will use a professional firm to hire its next chief of police.

Tiffin sets sights on hunting within city limits

Council will likely take third and final vote June 26

TIFFIN– Local hunters may soon be able to expand their territories into Tiffin city limits, if the council’s reading of an ordinance amendment passes one more time.
The Tiffin City Council has passed two readings of an amendment that will allow hunting on private property inside city limits, with distance restrictions that reflect Iowa’s current law.