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Featured

Donahue mayor for now

North Liberty resident files petition to hold special election

By Shianne Fisher
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– After nearly two months without an official mayor, North Liberty finally has a new civic leader, although it’s also down one city council member.
After a contentious discussion at a regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 28, the North Liberty City Council voted, 3-2, to appoint council member and Mayor pro tem Terry Donahue as mayor. Council member Chris Hoffman’s name was also up for consideration. A third individual applied but was ineligible due to a residing address outside city limits.

Valley crushes West’s championship hopes

Win over Waukee leads to loss in semifinals for Women of Troy

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
DES MOINES– Iowa City West High’s Women of Troy made their fifth state basketball tournament appearance under Coach B.J. Mayer, and had their hopes for a Class 5A championship crushed by the Tigers of Valley, West Des Moines, in the semifinal round on Friday, March 3, in a 55-48 loss.

“Just try it”

encourages Solon schools’ Nutrition Director Becky West

SOLON– It’s 11 a.m. on a Thursday morning at Solon High School.
A lunch server is out sick, so district Nutrition Director Becky West will throw on an apron and join the crew on the serving line, feeding hungry students.
It’s all in a day’s work.
West is a new face in the Solon schools, starting last summer after seven years working as nutrition director in the Highland Community School District.

Brewing perfection

Café Muse opens in North Liberty

NORTH LIBERTY– From its architecture to its direct trade coffee, Café Muse embodies perfection.
Open since Feb. 4, the new North Liberty coffee shop boasts single origin coffee, high tea and caffeinated cocktails, as well as a unique indoor design.
For co-owners Nasi Moradi and CJ Huang, it’s about more than just cranking out warm cups of joe; it’s about the experience.

Great horned owl released after rehab

Raptor group responds to call from Twin View

By Joe Wilkinson
Special to the Economist
SOLON– It was January. A curious Labrador came within five feet of the scrawny, young owl. The terrified bird perched on a low branch, west of Solon, on public land. It didn’t move. The outlook was bleak.
Fast-forward six weeks. A small crowd walks through the trees to the same spot, near the Coralville Reservoir. With heavy duty gloves, Lacey Slutts reaches into the cardboard pet carrier she totes. From inside, drumming wingbeats indicate the occupant is more than ready to exit.

Spartan Grapplers Take State

Spartans earn 1st title

DES MOINES–They did it as a team.
That’s how Solon head coach Blake Williams explained the Spartans’ first-ever state championship title, which the boys brought home Sunday from the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) 2017 State Individual Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines after narrowly beating No. 1-ranked New Hampton, 96.5 to 96.

$6 million gift for SCSD

School board, Gerdin Family Foundation announce contribution to build high school addition

By Doug Lindner
Solon Economist
SOLON– It is a massive contribution.
An estimated $6 million addition to Solon High School will be built by the Gerdin Family Foundation.
The addition, which includes a practice gymnasium, expanded weight room and the completion of the elevated walking track eliminated from the original construction, was announced at a special meeting of the Solon Community School District (SCSD) Board of Education Monday, Feb. 13, in the lobby of the recently-completed Solon Center for the Arts.

Eight to state

Spartans advance solo and as a team for state wrestling

SOLON– Last November, a state wrestling dual appearance was in the back of the Spartans’ minds as they began a second season under the only coach to ever get them there back in 2001.
Three months later, it’s on the forefront.
After an overwhelming victory at home Tuesday, Feb. 7, over Saydel (70-12) and Mount Vernon (51-18), Solon advanced to the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) 2017 State Dual Tournament. They were scheduled to wrestle Sergeant Bluff-Luton in a 9 a.m. quarterfinal match on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Second annual Beat the Bitter

Winter games and good cheer focus on the family

North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– Wind chills in the teens didn’t stop thousands from enjoying another year of North Liberty’s Beat the Bitter the weekend of Feb. 3 at Penn Meadows Park.
“It’s nice to have something to do in the winter,” said Sarah Espy, of North Liberty.
She and her husband Matt Espy, along with their two children, agreed the cold temperatures were worth the festivities.
“It could be a lot worse,” said Matt.

Their aim is true

Spartan team takes 2nd at home tournament, 1st at Hawkeye Downs

Solon Economist
SOLON– Their aim is true.
The Solon Spartan Archery team hosted its second annual tournament Saturday, Jan. 7, in the Solon High School gymnasium, finishing a strong second place and missing first place by only 12 points. Several individual archers were awarded medals in different divisions. 

13 Spartans to district meet

More firsts for Solon wrestling program

WILLIAMSBURG– The Williamsburg mats have quickly become a place of firsts for the Solon varsity wrestling squad.
After securing their first-ever WaMaC conference title there in late January, the Spartans returned to Williamsburg Junior-Senior High School on Saturday, Feb. 4, to send 13 of 14 wrestlers through to districts.
“That’s the most ever for Solon,” said Head Coach Blake Williams. “It’s not very common.”

Dudes dance, too!

Dance Spectacular 2017 features award-winning coed and all-male teams

SOLON– “Just don’t let me be the only dude out there,” said Logan Yakish when he finally agreed to join Solon’s co-ed dance team last year.
“It’s gucci!” his friends reassured him. (For the uninitiated, “gucci” is high school-ese for “cool.”)