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North Liberty Leader

Rhino fun

NLFD gears up for 2016 Salute to Summer

NORTH LIBERTY– It’s not uncommon for a volunteer fire department to host a fundraising event, or two, each year. Pancake breakfasts, soup suppers and dances are the typical fare. The volunteer professionals of the North Liberty Fire Department (NLFD) held a Fireman’s Dance as an annual fundraiser for many years, but they knew they could do something bigger and better.
“While it was successful, the members of the department decided they wanted to create a more family-oriented event,” said Firefighter-Emergency Medical Technician Mike Johnston.

Fifth annual youth triathlon draws a crowd to North Liberty

NORTH LIBERTY– Denise Barnhouse crouched on the edge of the indoor pool, coaching a swimmer as he struggled to finish the final 25 meters of a 100-meter swim. Cheers roared from the pool observation deck above, urging the boy on and out of the water toward the bike waiting for him outside.
His last place finish in the swim portion was irrelevant, said Barnhouse, owner of Tri-Fit Agape in North Liberty and co-director of the Just Tri! Youth Triathlon.
“It’s all about making it fun for the kids,” she said. “Once you put the competition brain on them, the fun doesn’t last long.”

Three Trojans named to INA’s All-State Baseball teams

Miller earns First Team berth

North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– Three West High baseball players were named to the Iowa Newspaper Association’s 2016 All-State Baseball teams.
Austin Miller, a senior, earned a First Team berth as a pitcher while Connor McCaffery, a junior, was a Second Team pick as an outfielder. Izaya Ono-Fullard, also a junior, earned a Third Team spot as a utility player.
Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Spencer Van Scoyoc, a senior outfielder drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, was named Captain of the Class 4A team.
Class 4A First Team

Stop and sell the flowers

North Liberty woman in year one of backyard floral operation

NORTH LIBERTY– A quiet, floral oasis lies undiscovered in the heart of North Liberty but flower enthusiast Jennifer Hobbs hopes to change that.
Disturbed only by the occasional hum of a lawnmower or barking dog, Five Petal Farm is in its first official year selling fresh cut flowers, dried bouquets and more– all grown on less than an acre of urban dirt.
“There’s so much you can do with your yard instead of going out and mowing grass,” said Hobbs, who has very little lawn of her own to cut.

Input taken on beach alcohol ban

Light attendance at public session on DNR proposal

MT. VERNON– The people have spoken.
Or at least a couple of them have.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has closed its public comment period on a proposed ban of alcohol at the Lake Macbride and Pleasant Creek beaches.
Most people chose to participate electronically, with only a handful attending a public hearing July 26 at the Palisades-Kepler State Park west of Mount Vernon.
Lake Macbride-area resident Dave Hogendorn spoke at the hearing in support of the ban.

School board approves $1.4 million property acquisition

New elementary school on the horizon

NORTH LIBERTY– Land on the outskirts of North Liberty could be home to a new elementary as early as the 2019-2020 school year, according to Iowa City Community School District officials.
However, the construction would likely push back development at another proposed elementary location.
At its July 26 meeting, the Iowa City School Board unanimously approved the $1,403,350 purchase of 21.59 acres on the northeast side of North Liberty near South Slope Cooperative Communications and just south of the Cedar Springs subdivision. Board member Lori Roetlin was absent from the meeting.

Breathing room

North Liberty Family Health Centre moves, expands

NORTH LIBERTY– Care providers, responsible for making their patients happy and healthy, should be happy and healthy themselves, right?
The staff at North Liberty Family Health Centre (NLFHC) thought so. After 21 years at its location on West Cherry Street, owners of the independent practice decided to move into a space with, literally, a little more legroom.
“We just had staff members sitting on top of one another,” said Dr. Natalie (Tally) Hempy. “We were all getting carpal tunnel. We were always twisting to look at each other and our patients.”

Iowa Raptor Project Family Day Aug. 6 at Macbride Nature Rec Area

MACBRIDE– The Iowa Raptor Project (IRP) invites community members to enjoy the next Family Day and featured raptor– the Harris’s Hawk– Saturday, Aug. 6, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Macbride Nature Recreation Area.
Families can visit Saguaro, the IRP’s Harris’s Hawk, and discover how the raptor species cooperatively attends nests and hunts as a team, making it the most social North American raptor. There will be teambuilding and hunting games, as well as arts and crafts in the Raptor’s Next.

Learn about blooming prairie plants at Kent Park Aug. 10

OXFORD– Enjoy a beautiful summer evening by heading outdoors in search of blooming prairie plants at the Knight Prairie Pavilion in Kent Park. The prairie walk will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 6 p.m. Johnson County Conservation (JCC) staff will lead a leisurely hike and provide interesting information and identification tips for prairie plants.

Ely Fall Fest and Classic Car Show Sept. 16-18

6-18. The weekend festival begins Friday night with a Moonlight 5k and 1 mile run at 7:45 pm, followed with a community celebration. Saturday is an all-day festival featuring over 20 activities and events, including kids’ inflatables and games, an adult co-ed softball tournament, a cornhole tournament, pet parade, youth punt/pass/kick competition, magic show, wiener dog race, and live music throughout the day. The day is capped off with a fireworks display at dusk. Sunday is fully devoted to the Classic Car Show, 8 a.m. to 3:30 pm.

School supply drive by Swisher American Legion Auxiliary Juniors at Fun Days

SWISHER– Swisher American Legion Auxiliary Juniors will start a back to school supply drive for veterans’ families with a parade in the Swisher Fun Days parade.
The float in the Swisher Fun Days parade will kick off a school supply drive. Donations of any and all school supplies, including monetary donations, may be dropped off at the following Swisher businesses: Kava House, Shooters, Shelton’s Grocery, Swisher Trust and Savings Bank and Carrie’s Creations. Donations will be collected Aug. 8-13.
All donations will provide for veterans’ families in need.

Trojans’ luck runs out

Prairie hands West its fifth state runner-up trophy

DES MOINES– The West High Trojans entered the 2016 Class 4A State Baseball Tournament as the No. 2 seed and with hopes of earning their first championship in the school’s 11th appearance in Des Moines.
However, a six-run inning by the Hawks of Cedar Rapids Prairie in the title game dashed those hopes and led to West’s third consecutive runner-up trophy and its fifth overall since 2009.