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Solon Economist

Mustangs hold off Spartans, 76-64

Mount Vernon second-quarter surge keeps Solon at bay

MOUNT VERNON– It was another pretty close game.
After building an eight-point lead in the first half, Mount Vernon moved to 8-0 on the season by holding off Solon, 76-64, Jan. 7 in Mount Vernon.
The loss dropped Solon to 2-6.
The Spartans trailed by only a point, 18-17, at the end of the first period, but the Mustangs padded the margin in the second period and held a 37-29 advantage at the half.
Solon could keep pace in the third quarter, but couldn’t trim the lead.
Mount Vernon junior Keaton Kutcher carried the load for Mount Vernon, scoring 32 points and grabbing five steals.

Lady Spartans claim 33-17 victory over Mustangs, first since 2009

SOLON– Highway 1 rival Mount Vernon visited Solon on Tuesday, Jan. 7, for the first of two varsity girls’ basketball match ups between the two teams in the span of 14 days. The Mustangs galloped back home reeling, 33-17, courtesy of a stout Lady Spartan defensive effort. It was the first time the Lady Spartans’ basketball team emerged victorious facing the Mustangs since Dec. 11, 2009.
“Game was about what I was expecting,” Head Coach Jamie Smith commented. “Rivalry game, two teams playing hard. The last four minutes of the first quarter was well played by us.”

Solon wrestlers make points count against Beckman

Spartans push past with 44-29 dual win

SOLON– The varsity Spartans wrestling team held a 24-3 lead against Dyersville Beckman five matches into a Jan. 9 dual meet in Solon.
But three of the wins had been forfeits at 195, 220 and 285 pounds.
Now it was Solon’s turn, forfeiting at 106 and 113.
Beckman followed it up with a major decision at 120 and a pin at 126 and suddenly the Blazers were up, 25-24.
But Solon would take four of the last five matches and distance itself for a 44-29 victory.

Navigating succession on the modern farm

Great transfer of wealth coming in the next 15 years

OXFORD– Seventy percent of family farms will change hands in one form or another over the next 15 years.
Those landowners are closing in on retirement age, but the majority don’t have a farm succession plan.
That’s a problem for rural Iowa, according to accredited land consultant Mike Downey.
Downey was the featured speaker at a farm transfer workshop, hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), at the Johnson County Conservation Education Center at F.W. Kent Park near Oxford.

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Residents “uncomfortable” with airbnb

Council passes second read limiting short-term rentals to commercial zones

SOLON– Neighbors of a short-term rental at 113 E. Elm St. told city council members they felt uneasy.
Adjacent residents spoke in support of restricting the alternate lodging to commercial zones at a Jan. 8 council meeting.
Council members concurred, and passed the second reading of the new ordinance regulating short-term rental properties, commonly referred to as airbnbs, unanimously.
“We have a great neighborhood,” Tom Wilson said during public comments on the ordinance. “We all know each other. We’ve known each other for years. We talk to one another.”

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Teaching kids to volunteer

“Kids Can Do it Too " program Monday, Jan. 20

SOLON– Solon area families are invited to participate in a "Kids Can Do it Too " program being held Monday, Jan. 20, from 9-11 a.m., at the Solon United Methodist Church. The Martin Luther King Day program is a "come and go" event. Kids of all ages are welcome to participate with mom or dad's help and supervision.
Participants can bring an optional donation of the following: a food item for the local food bank, unused trial size toiletries for local domestic violence shelters, new or used Dr. Seuss books or a lightly used pair of shoes for the Soles For Souls program.

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Indians take win from Spartans in OT

Bluder drops 30 points in high-scoring loss

MARION– The Spartans built a lead, but the Indians whittled away.
It took an extra period, but Marion pulled away from Solon with an 83-76 win in Marion Jan. 3.
“It was a great game, both teams left it all on the floor,” noted Solon Head Coach Matt Lesan. “Got to give Marion a ton of credit for making the plays down the stretch. I was proud of our effort, though, we had our chances to win the game.”
The Spartans built a 12-point lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Indians chipped away.
Solon led 34-30 at the half and the margin was down to 53-52 heading into the fourth quarter.

Lady Spartans swarmed by Indians 50-18 to open 2020

Solon holds No. 2 Marion to lowest total this season

MARION– Although the Lady Spartans varsity basketball team opened the 2020 portion of the season on the road suffering a 50-18 loss to the No. 2 (Class 4A) Marion Indians on Friday, Jan. 3, their defense held the Indians to their lowest scoring total yet this season.
Undefeated Marion met Solon having outscored its prior opponents significantly: Benton by 37 points (61-24), Williamsburg by 33 (78-45), South Tama by 83 (95-12), Clear Creek Amana by 29 (59-30), Vinton-Shellsburg by 30 points (73-43) and Maquoketa by 12 points (72-60).
Solon held Marion to just 50 points.

Wrestlers win Solon Duals

Spartans run the table at home tournament

SOLON– The Spartans ran the table.
Solon’s varsity wrestlers went 5-0 at their own Solon Duals Saturday, Jan. 4.
The Spartans opened with a 54-30 victory over Midland and racked up wins against Muscatine (41-32), Vinton-Shellsburg (60-18) and Keokuk (65-18) before taking down Anamosa in the championship, 59-24.

Several Spartans named to Your Prep Sports All-Decade Football Team

Coons, Bock, Linderbaum brothers, Ferguson, Flansburg and Koehn receive recognition

IOWA CITY– YourPrepSports.com released its All-Decade Football Team, in an article posted by Ryan Murken on Sunday, Dec. 29, and several Solon Spartan football players made the cut.

Records set locally and statewide for First Day Hikes

145 people ply the trail at Lake Macbride

SOLON– At least 4,358 people participated in “First Day Hikes” in Iowa’s State Parks on New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported it was the highest attendance since the start of the annual event in 2012, and coincided with kicking off the Iowa State Park Centennial Year (2020).

Growing the Parks and Rec. Dept.

Harder steps in to help develop programs

SOLON– This is exactly what he wants to do.
“I’m really excited to be here,” said new Solon Recreation Director Tom Harder. “This is a job that I’ve been picturing myself in for a long time.”
Harder, 26, started his position Dec. 16, replacing Ben Flaherty, who served in the job from September of 2018 to Nov. 7.
A native of Iowa City, Harder attended West High, and stayed in town to attend the University of Iowa (UI), obtaining both his undergraduate and master’s degrees in sports and recreation management.