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Featured

Picking up the pieces

Backup generators do their job for city

NORTH LIBERTY– Council member Raquisha Harrington summed it up during an Aug. 11 meeting.
“2020 has not been nice to anyone at all,” she observed.
Harrington was echoing comments from other North Liberty City Council members who voiced support for city employees after an inland hurricane known as a derecho tore a path across the state and into Illinois Monday, Aug. 11, leaving hundreds of thousands without power for days.
Power was restored to most North Liberty residents by Tuesday afternoon, allowing council members to continue with a regularly scheduled virtual meeting.

Picking up the pieces

Neighbors unite to clear storm damage Most power restored before weekend Take debris to SRNA

SOLON– Public Works Director Scott Kleppe had about a half hour warning.
But even then, the alert was for a line of severe thunderstorms producing winds up to 70 miles per hour (mph).
It was about noon and his staff just went home for lunch.
Kleppe contacted Central Cable, the contractor for South Slope Communication Cooperative’s fiber overbuild, and provided a warning for high winds.
By the time he finished a quick lunch, the storm arrived.
The city has no instruments to measure wind speed.

CCA FFA leaders attend district conference

TIFFIN– Each year, Southeast district and Iowa Future Farmers of America (FFA) officers plan and facilitate Chapter Officer Leadership Training (COLT) Conferences for FFA members in the Southeast district. Clear Creek Amana welcomed FFA chapters from all over the Southeast district on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

100 miles an hour

Inland hurricane blows through Solon and most of state

SOLON– Winds in excess of 100 miles an hour lashed the area Monday, Aug. 10, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction.
The inland hurricane, or derecho, struck Solon around 12:30 p.m., snapping trees across the community and leaving thousands without power.
One local fatality was reported by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

Auditorium Lofts plan approved again

Second story slated for hotel/motel

SOLON– It’s been a long time since Solon had a hotel.
One is potentially in the works as Solon City Council members approved a new site plan for Auditorium Lofts & Commons at an Aug. 5 meeting.
Prairie Equity Group of Iowa City has proposed to renovate the 1915 former St. Mary auditorium at the corner of Dubuque and Short Streets into a mix of residential and commercial uses, including “The Literary Hotel,” a collection of 11 guest rooms on the second floor.

Clear Creek Amana FFA Fair fun

IOWA CITY– Several Clear Creek Amana Future Farmers of America (FFA) members participated in the Johnson County Fair. Although many fair events were canceled this year and closed to the public, Johnson County still provided an opportunity for 4-H and FFA members and their families to exhibit their projects.
Kayla Jiras and Lillie Haman both participated in the photography division at the county fair. The students brought their photos in for judging on Monday, July 20, and picked them up on Thursday, July 23. Kayla and Lillie earned blue ribbons for each of their photography exhibits.

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.

The Creek Boys make history on the diamond

Clear Creek Amana baseball knocks out No. 1 Assumption, 12-3, for first-ever state tourney appearance

DAVENPORT– Once again, the Creek Boys of Clear Creek Amana High School made history. Last spring, the Clippers made their first state basketball tournament appearance since 1993. On Wednesday, July 22, the Clippers clinched their first state baseball tournament appearance in school history, upsetting the No. 1 (Class 3A) Davenport Assumption Knights, 12-3, in a substate final game at Modern Woodman Park in Davenport.

5th Street intersection still clogged up

Workers move to west side until mid-August

SOLON– It will be mid-August before the intersection of Highway 1 and 5th Street opens back up completely.
Public Works Director Scott Kleppe reported contractors for a signalization project were scheduled to switch to the west side of the intersection July 27, with work to be wrapped on Friday, Aug. 14.
A second phase of the project, the installation of the signals, is not expected until October, Kleppe said.
Solon City Council members questioned the project’s timeline at a July 15 meeting, and Kleppe clarified the schedule July 23.

A red LeMans and a Golden Ticket

Eli DeWitt’s custom ’67 earns berth in Vegas builders’ show Purchased in 2010, he didn’t drive it until 2017

SOLON– He’s got a Golden Ticket.
Eli DeWitt’s custom 1967 Pontiac LeMans is going to the big show.
DeWitt, a 2014 Solon High School graduate, won a regional qualifier in the Young Guns division of the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Battle of the Builders, and heads to Las Vegas in November to compete nationally.
He’ll face about three-dozen other entrants age 18-27 in the Young Guns division, created to spotlight up-and-coming industry talent.

Positive COVID-19 cases reported at Solon Nursing Care Center

No serious symptoms, no hospitalization

SOLON– The 2019 novel coronavirus has made its way into the Solon Nursing Care Center (SNCC).
A resident of the facility tested positive Sunday, July 12, according to Solon Retirement Village Campus Administrator Melissa Reed.
As of Friday, July 17, four staff members and 16 residents had tested positive.
Reed said none presented severe symptoms nor required hospitalization.
“The majority are all asymptomatic,” she reported. “They don’t have a fever, they’re not having chills, they’re not complaining about medical concerns.”