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Featured

A Very Merry Christmas in Swisher

Santa Claus and The Grinch team up for Christmas joy

SWISHER– The sights and sounds of the season were on full display Saturday, Dec. 14, in a small, northwestern Johnson County community as “A Very Merry Christmas in Swisher” was held for an evening of holiday festivities.

Filling bellies and warming hearts

CCA Middle School students hold Holiday Food Drive for the NL Pantry

TIFFIN– The holidays will be at least a little bit brighter for some thanks to a group of Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Middle School students, and a lot of generous individuals. Ten eighth graders at the school in Tiffin are participating in a service learning elective class called “Me to We.” According to their teacher, Leif Asper, the students organize local and global service campaigns in coordination with an organization called WE.

Saving Santa

Helen Proffitt restores Golden Age department store Santa Santa’s Kitchen display featured at tree walk

SOLON– It was the year Helen Proffitt saved Santa.
Proffitt, of rural Solon, spent several months restoring a 5-foot 1961 Harold Gale Santa Company Santa for display at Solon’s annual tree walk Dec. 7.
The Santa figure, along with two elves, were featured in a three-walled Santa’s Kitchen in a corner of the Solon United Methodist Church Family Life Center, along with hundreds of other donated items.
Many of those, including Santa and the elves, came from the collection of Toni Russo of Solon.

Santa brings Christmas Cheer to Oxford

American Legion Auxiliary’s Soup, Shop & Santa Event welcomes Good Old St. Nick

OXFORD– The American Legion Post 537 in Oxford hosted a very special couple on Saturday, Dec. 14, as Santa and Mrs. Claus dropped by to meet local children, and hear their Christmas wishes, dreams and hopes. The visit was part of the annual Soup, Shop & Santa event sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, with the Canopy Lodge #290 of the AF&AM Masons providing a free soup luncheon.
The jolly couple from the North Pole was delivered to the Legion Post by the Oxford Fire Department, and spent two hours at the Post.

Plan on ringing in 2020 with fireworks?

Become familiar with fireworks laws in Johnson County

IOWA CITY– New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. Those planning to ring in 2020 by lighting up the night sky should familiarize themselves with fireworks laws in Johnson County.
It is illegal to set off fireworks anywhere in unincorporated areas of Johnson County without a permit. Any person intending to set off certain fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Johnson County must obtain a permit from the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. A completed application should be provided to the Board of Supervisors Office at least 14 days before the anticipated display.

Community Center condensed

City signs 6-month lease, cuts back on space

SOLON– The city will be downsizing its community center starting Jan. 1.
In an attempt to control costs, city representatives negotiated a new six-month lease with the Solon Community School District for the former middle school at 313 S. Iowa St.
The new lease was approved by council members at a Dec. 4 meeting, and awaits consideration by the school board later this month.

UDO passes first reading on split vote

Johnson County Supervisors approve controversial plan, 3-2

IOWA CITY– The Johnson County Board of Supervisors are on track to achieving a major goal for 2019: passing the updated Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), and having it in place to go into effect on January 1, 2020.
The 299-page document, which codifies the county’s comprehensive plan, was approved on a 3-2 vote in the first of three required readings Thursday, Dec. 5, during a regular meeting of the supervisors.

Sights of the season, in Oxford

Voting for “Light It Up Oxford” Christmas Decorating Contest ends Dec. 13

OXFORD– Christmas lights shine bright in the early winter nights in Oxford. And for somebody, they may shine a bit brighter with $100 in prize money.
The American Legion Auxiliary Post No. 537, in Oxford, is sponsoring a “Light It Up Oxford” Christmas Decorating Contest with a $100 cash prize for the best residential and the best business entry in Oxford. Registration was from Oct. 18 to Nov. 1. Four houses and six businesses registered for the contest with voting ending on Friday, Dec. 13.

Matt Lesan returns to Spartan sideline

Solon, Upper Iowa standout to lead varsity basketball team

SOLON– When the current Solon High School opened, Matt Lesan was an eighth grader.
He was there the day crews put up the basketball hoops in the new gymnasium and he snuck in to sink the first shot in the west side basket.
Former coach Ed Hansen had beat him to the east side.
Lesan went on to become Solon’s most prolific scorer, and now he’s back on the sidelines as the head coach for the varsity Spartan basketball team.

Unleash the adventure in style

Archie’s Rent-A-Ride meets NL’s temporary transportation needs

NORTH LIBERTY– Many small businesses were started by entrepreneurs who saw a need that wasn’t being met locally. Such is the case with Archie’s Rent-A-Ride in North Liberty. Since July, Ron and Kris Mace have been providing top-notch rental cars as an offshoot of their repair shop, Archie’s Brake & Quick Lube.

On a quest to do good

Iowa icon Carson King helps out the Stead Family Children’s Hospital, again

TIFFIN– On Sept. 14, a new Iowa icon was created. Cable sports network ESPN’s Game Day program was in Ames for the University of Iowa (UI) versus Iowa State University football game when their cameras picked up a young man named Carson King holding a cardboard sign seeking beer money. What started as a joke quickly escalated into a serious fundraiser as thousands of people from across the country responded.

Sold!

Council approves deal with Pattison for 120 W. Main St. City approves first of competing offers

SOLON– City council members selected the proposal that was ready to roll.
Citing financial and legal readiness, the city approved selling an empty lot next door to City Hall to developer Mark Pattison during a Nov. 20 council meeting.
North Corridor Properites Investments will take possession of 120 W. Main St. in December and begin construction on a two-story mixed-use building with two commercial units on the ground level and a single, upper-level residence.
The city considered a competing offer from Uptown Main LLC, represented by developer Al Wells.