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Featured

He’s Got a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart

Solon’s Kevin Samek inducted into Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame

SOLON­– Amped and energetic, uninhibited and intense, young rock musicians often have dreams of making it from their parents’ garages all the way to the big time.
Most don’t make it out of the garage.
Fate played a different tune for Kevin Samek of Solon.
In the 1970s, Kevin joined the rock band Windfall Jac, lending his vocal stylings to the band covering artists like Led Zepplin, ZZ Top and Eric Clapton.

Hard work and kindness:

Former NFL player and bestselling author visits Solon Middle School with a message about the importance of reading

SOLON– Former NFL player and current young adult novelist Tim Green sometimes speaks in CAPITAL letters.
Green, a former defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons from 1986 to 1993, used his interest in sports and reading to weave together a message about the importance of books and hard work for a packed audience of students and teachers in the Solon Middle School gymnasium Oct. 28.
The dynamic speaker and author stressed to his audience the importance of books as a gateway to other worlds and experiences, and as the training room for their minds.

Women of Troy to state tournament

Women of Troy Sweep Lions 3-0 in regional final

MARION– The West High Women of Troy avenged a pair of regular season losses to the Linn-Mar Lions with a 3-0 sweep Tuesday, Nov. 3, in a Class 5A regional final match, and earned their second consecutive state tournament appearance.

Spooky Spartan Trail

The Solon Middle School PTO hosted the Spooky Spartan Trail Friday, Oct. 30, at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area. The fundraiser featured semi-frightening scenes along the cross coutry course adjacent to the Timber DOME Lodge. At left, Carter and Quint Chickering pick out some treats from a volunteer before moving on down the trail. (photos by Doug Lindner)

Plan X

Clear Creek Amana Middle School adapts to space challenges

TIFFIN— At Clear Creek Amana (CCA) middle school, dealing with continued delays in the construction of a much-needed addition has caused the school district’s initial backup plan to give way to several subsequent contingency plans, said Principal Brad Fox.

Women of Troy to regional final

Third win over City moves West one match away from state

IOWA CITY– Once again, the West High Women of Troy proved conventional wisdom doesn’t count for much, as they showed it is possible to beat a quality team three times in one season. The myth busting occurred Thursday, Oct. 29, as West High faced rival City High in a Class 5A regional semifinal match at West, and won, 3-1. The teams first met on Sept. 8, at West, for the annual “Battle for the Spike,” which the Women of Troy took, 3-2. The rivals faced each other again, later that month, in the Dubuque Invitational with West winning, 2-0.

County celebrates Mehaffey Bridge opening

JOHNSON COUNTY– Mehaffey Bridge is finished.
Officials from Johnson County, representatives of VJ Engineering and Iowa Bridge and Culvert, and members of the public gathered in the rain Wednesday, Oct. 21, to conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the two-year project.

Solon leaves Dubuque Golden Eagles in a fog

Spartans end regular season 5-4; rematch with Demons looming

DUBUQUE– A constant misty drizzle did not deter the Solon Spartans from rolling into the “Rock Bowl” and securing their berth in the postseason.
Solon’s varsity football team defeated Dubuque Wahlert, 31-13, Oct. 23 to finish the regular season 5-4.

On to State Cross Country for Coberly

Düster just misses cut; girls seventh, boys eighth

FAIRFIELD– With a personal best time, Solon senior Trisha Coberly extended her season for another week. She toes the starting line at high noon Saturday as the gun sounds for cross country’s Class 3A state meet in Fort Dodge.
Coberly rode her 19:21 5-kilometer finish to sixth place at the state qualifying meet Oct. 22. “It doesn’t feel like it’s hit me yet,” she said, minutes after the race around the Fairfield reservoir city park. “I know it will in time. I’m just glad to go. Didn’t get to go the last two years.”

Colony Pumpkin Patch celebrates fall with October festival

An a-maze-ing autumn day

NORTH LIBERTY– The air was crisp, the sun was shining and the pumpkins were blazing with color; a perfect day for a fall festival.
The Colony Pumpkin Patch, at 2780 Front St. NE in North Liberty, celebrated the coming of fall with its annual Fall Festival Oct. 3, inviting the public to enjoy a number of vendors and information booths, free family activities and pick-your-own pumpkins by the pound. The farm also celebrated the fourth year of its family-friendly corn maze.

Solon heads into tournaments

SOLON– Solon’s varsity volleyball team took advantage of an opportunity for a conference win with a 3-0 sweep of Anamosa on Senior Night Oct. 13.
The game featured the return of sophomore Grace Keith, sidelined since early in the season by an ankle injury.
“The team really looked confident with her back on the floor,” said Head Coach Peter Gustin. “It’s been a slow process incorporating her back in, and her jump count will be limited moving forward.”
Senior Josey Hajek was also back in the lineup after an ankle sprain at the Waverly-Shell Rock Invite Oct. 3.

Happy harvest

NL Pantry celebrates first gardening season

NORTH LIBERTY – The Growing Together Garden, in the backyard of the North Liberty Community Pantry, flourished in its first year.
The pantry held a Taste and Tour event at the garden on Oct. 11. Garden Coordinator Ilsa DeWald and Nick Bergus, of the pantry’s Board of Directors Garden Committee, led attendees on a tour through the Growing Together Garden and the pantry itself.
Pantry garden volunteer Judy Bornkessel attended the event with her 12- and 6-year-old granddaughters, Annika and Beckett Kruse.
As Beckett sampled some kale, her grandmother explained the purpose of the garden.