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Solon Economist

Bicycles hijack capital improvements list

Council work session focuses on connecting Main Street with trail

SOLON– Getting bicyclists safely downtown quickly jumped to the top of the list.
The Solon City Council revisited its capital improvement program (CIP) at a Sept. 4 meeting, and extending the Hoover Trail from its head at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA) to Main Street dominated the conversation.
The CIP is a list of ranked projects, with estimated costs and projected scheduling used to help plan for short- and long-term municipal upgrades.

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New playground equipment for Fox Ridge park

SOLON– Thanks to donations from the Solon school district and the FORE Solon Committee, the city is beefing up its playgrounds.
The immediate impact has been at Fox Ridge Park, although improvements are planned for next year at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA), according to Public Works Director Scott Kleppe.
“This has always been a long range plan to improve something over on this east side of Highway 1,” he explained.

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Depth pays off for Solon XC girls at Bob Brown Invitational

Lady Spartans capture second at Regina meet

IOWA CITY– Three runners in the top-20 led their pack, with Solon’s girls finishing as team runner-up in the annual Bob Brown Invitational cross country meet, Sept. 5 in Iowa City.
Sophomore Emma Bock was eighth, overall– seventh in the team count– across the finish line on the 5-kilometer course, in 21:40. Junior Kiersten Conway (11th overall, 10th in the team scoring), came in at 22:01). The pair swapped their one-two team finish the week prior at the season opener. Teammate Meghan O’Neill (22:32) was 18th. Kaia Holtkamp was 22nd, in 22:43, with freshman Mary Fiala 27th, 23:05.

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Spartans shell the Comets

Solon lights up West Liberty 48-7 on Armed Forces Appreciation Night

SOLON– The Solon Spartans moved to 2-0 on the 2019 varsity football season with a 48-7 non-district win over the West Liberty Comets at home on Friday, Sept. 6, for Armed Forces Appreciation Night.
The Comets took the Spartans to overtime in 2018, but this time Solon took control early.

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Times improve for boys; work now on closing the gap

Hinman finishes 8th at Regina invitational

IOWA CITY– Solon’s boys are getting the pack idea down.
Their job over the next few cross country meets is to move it up as the finish line approaches.
With sophomore Gabe Hinman cracking the top 10 at the Regina-hosted Bob Brown Invitational, the Spartans didn’t have another runner cross the finish line for a minute and a half. Hinman, 25th ranked among Class 3A boys, turned in a 17:45 finish; good for eighth place at the Sept. 5 Regina meet.

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Lady Spartans pick up first win

Solon goes 2-1 at Marshalltown tournament

MARSHALLTOWN– Win one is under the belt.
But there’s more growing pains coming for the Solon varsity volleyball team.
The Lady Spartans picked up their first win of the season at a Marshalltown tournament Sept. 5, but lost junior setter Kennedy Bombei to injury.
Solon defeated Marshalltown and Columbus Catholic by 2-1 scores, but fell 2-0 to No. 7 (4A) Waverly-Shell Rock.

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On location at Sam’s Main Street Market

“East of Middle West” cameras and crew invade grocery store

SOLON– It was a little bit of movie magic.
Customers at Sam’s Main Street Market shared the aisles with movie cameras, sound equipment, actors and technicians from the production crew of “East of Middle West,” on the afternoon of Aug. 28.
For about seven hours, scenes were filmed throughout the grocery store, including at the front register as rush hour was starting for owner Sam Lensing and his staff.
“I was kind of worried it might hinder the flow,” Lensing said. “It went pretty smooth.”
Lensing said the film’s director wanted a lot of bodies moving around in the background.

City puts hotel/motel tax on November ballot

Could impose up to 7% tax

SOLON– They know it’s likely coming at some point.
Solon City Council members voted to place a hotel/motel tax proposal on the ballot for the Nov. 5 city-school election.
The measure will require a simple majority for passage.
The city has been preparing for the possibility of a hotel or other short-term rental properties for months.
The Solon Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission has been working on a number of revisions to the city’s zoning code, including the creation of bed and breakfast (B&B) and short-term rental ordinances.

Tradition never graduates- Spartans defeat Mustangs again, 35-7

35-7 season opener over Mustangs affirms prognostications

MOUNT VERNON– “Tradition never graduates” adorned the side of the machine shed for all to see heading north on Highway 1, toward Solon, on their way to the Highway 1 rivalry game Friday, Aug. 30.
The tradition of Solon defeating the Mustangs continued, as the Spartans soundly defeated Mount Vernon, 35-7, at Ash Park, under the lights on the Cornell Rams’ home field in Mount Vernon. It was the 17th straight victory for Solon in the match up.

XC Boys 6th, Hinman medals at Prairie

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Sophomore Ethan McLaughlin hits the electronic finish line Aug. 31 at the Prairie cross country invitational.

CEDAR RAPIDS– First meet of the season? Solon’s boys stepped up against 21 schools– 10 of which qualified for the 2018 state cross country meet. With a new season, though, come new lineups… and new expectations.

Lady Spartans fall to CCA, CPU

Scrappy Solon volleyball team keeps it close against 8th-ranked Clippers

SOLON– There was a lot to like in those two losses for Solon Head Volleyball Coach Sarah Ferin.
“I was very happy with the team, we communicated well, moved the ball around, served well,” Ferin said. “Just a couple hiccups would have made a difference, all of our mistakes are fixable.”
The varsity Lady Spartans opened the season Aug. 29 hosting a quad meet with No. 1 (3A) Mount Vernon, No. 8 (4A) Clear Creek Amana (CCA) and unranked Center Point Urbana (CPU).
Solon dropped 2-1 decisions to CCA and CPU.

City and school elections combined in November

Filing period for candidates runs through Sept. 19

JOHNSON COUNTY– It’s time for the presidential candidates to step aside.
There’s a local election to be held this November.
For the first time since a change adopted by the Iowa Legislature in 2017, local city council and school board elections will be combined Tuesday, Nov. 5.
According to the Johnson County Auditor’s Office, city and school elections will be combined in November of odd-numbered years.