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Featured

Sizzlin’ Beef Days

Solon’s Shelby Gunnells heaves for 8 feet in the women’s division of the Solon Beef Days Hay Bale Toss Friday, July 17, on Main Street in Solon. It was a particularly hot Beef Days, with temperatures ranging in the 90s and humidity making it feel about 10 degrees hotter. (photo by Doug Lindner)

No. 1 Solon faces No. 8 Center Point-Urbana in 3A semifinal Thursday July 23

FORT DODGE– It took the Solon Lady Spartans only three innings to take care of business in the opening round of the 2015 Iowa State Softball Tournament.
No. 1-ranked Solon clobbered unranked Clarke 18-0 in a Class 3A quarterfinal Tuesday, July 21, at the Harlan & Hazel Rogers Sports Complex north of Fort Dodge.
The Lady Spartans will face Center Point-Urbana (CPU) in a 3A semifinal Thursday, July 23, at 11 a.m. on Buena Vista University Field, with the winner advancing to the title game Friday at 12:15 p.m. on the same field.

Salute to summer

NLFD’s family-friendly fundraiser to be held Saturday, Aug. 22

NORTH LIBERTY– A summer tradition is heating up once again in North Liberty.
The North Liberty Fire Department (NLFD) will host its annual Salute to Summer fundraiser Saturday, Aug. 22, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Bobbers Grill, 1850 Scales Bend Rd. NE, North Liberty.
The venue is perfect for the family-friendly event that encompasses everything from kids’ activities and games to a poker run, silent action and live music, said NLFD’s Rob DuBay, the chair for this year’s event.

Return to State for Solon

No. 1 Lady Spartans defeat Williamsburg, Mid-Prairie and PCM on way to date at state

SOLON– It’s back to Fort Dodge for the Solon varsity softball team.
The Lady Spartans advanced to the state softball tournament Monday evening with a 5-1 win over unranked PCM (Prairie City-Monroe) in Grinnell.
A year ago, the Lady Spartans fell one game shy in the Class 4A tournament, losing 5-0 in the title game to Dallas Center Grimes.
This year, Solon heads to the Harlan & Hazel Rogers Sports Complex north of Fort Dodge to compete in the Class 3A bracket.

Oh, Yeah!

North Liberty’s ninth annual Blues & BBQ festival finally caught a break from Mother Nature, and the rain stopped nearly as soon as the free event opened on Saturday, July 11, at Centennial Park in North Liberty. The rest of the day was hot and smokin’, with plenty of saucy barbecue, cool blues music, ice-cold craft beer and fun kids’ activities to meet everyone’s summer to-do list. Above, Kevin “B.F.” Burt, , accompanied by Big Medicine, offers up his usual great performance on the big stage. See more photos and information on Blues & BBQ in upcoming editions of the Leader.

From these farms to your table

Johnson County Farm Bureau showcases agriculture at Ag Fest

IOWA CITY — The theme for the Johnson County Farm Bureau’s 2015 Agriculture Fest was “From our Farm to your Table: Eat Healthy, Live Healthy.”
Kathy Swenka, the local Farm Bureau coordinator for Ag in the Classroom said the event was in its 21st year, and an ideal event for families to have fun while learning about the vital role agriculture plays in their day-to-day lives.

Amazing maze with a message

Colony Pumpkin Patch supports local food pantry

NORTH LIBERTY– During the last three autumn seasons, Dean and Katie Colony, of Colony Pumpkin Patch in North Liberty, have offered a corn maze that contains dead-ends, detours, loops to be navigated and, somewhere among the stalks, routes to the exit.
Ostensibly designed for the entertainment of visitors, the themes for Colonys’ mazes are also purposefully chosen to create meaningful connections between people and the community.

The 77-day challenge

CCA’s STEM Center is on time and on budget

TIFFIN— A challenge was issued in late April on the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District’s campus in Tiffin. Joe Greathouse, Assistant Professor in the Construction Management program and spearhead for the district’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Center, addressed a crowd of students, parents and local construction industry representatives packed into the middle school library.
“Not to scare you, but once school is out, you’ve got 77 days to build it,” he had said. “So, no pressure.”

Highway patrol

Lake Klamerus, Hunter Andersen and Kaitlyn Sellon (back) clean up trash along Ely Road while (front) Audrey Sellon, Sam Smith and Aidan Sellon work the ditch on Sunday, April 26, during a clean up event sponsored by the Ely Public Library. Library director Sarah Sellon (at far right) led the expedition. (Turn to page 8 for more photos and story by Chris Umscheid)

Udderly educational

Farm Bureau showcases agriculture at Ag Fest

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY — The theme for the Johnson County Farm Bureau’s 2015 Agriculture Fest was “From our Farm to your Table: Eat Healthy, Live Healthy.”
Kathy Swenka, the local Farm Bureau coordinator for Ag in the Classroom said the event was in its 21st year, and an ideal event for families to have fun while learning about the vital role agriculture plays in their day-to-day lives.

Lake Macbride State Park beach to close daily at 6 p.m.

Recent fights, rowdy behavior prompt action by DNR officials

SOLON– The beach at Lake Macbride State Park will be closing daily at 6 p.m. until further notice.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced last week the new hours would take effect Friday, June 19.
The reduced hours come in the wake of two large fights that occurred at the beach Monday, June 8, and Sunday, June 14.
According to DNR Public Information Officer Kevin Baskins, Sunday’s incident apparently started at about 6 p.m. between two men in the beach restroom. The altercation spilled out onto the grass outside where 15 to 20 people became involved.

Lady Spartans win 10th in a row

Solon softball team runs the table at Fort Dodge tourney

SOLON– Since a road defeat to No. 1 Benton Community, the Solon varsity softball team has rattled off 10 victories in a row.
The 3A second-ranked Lady Spartans won a two-day tournament against ranked opponents in Fort Dodge over the weekend and fended off upset bids at home against West Delaware and 3A No. 5 Center Point-Urbana in the week prior.
At Fort Dodge, Solon defeated 2A No. 7 North Union (13-0), Atlantic (4-0), 5A No. 9 West Des Moines Dowling Catholic (1-0) and 4A No. 5 Fort Dodge (12-3) to run the table.
Solon outscored its opponents at the tournament, 30-3.