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Community

Kevin Olson takes over as City Attorney

Martinek steps down, but will still assist

SOLON– Kevin Olson hasn’t been working in Solon too long, but the town is growing on him.
Literally.
Olson, 44, is the new city attorney, replacing Jim Martinek, who scaled back his workload June 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Olson was a natural fit for Solon, having served four other local communities– Coralville, West Branch and Washington– in the same capacity.
It was during his job representing the City of Coralville Olson caught Martinek’s eye.
As a magistrate judge for Johnson County, Martinek presided over several cases in which Olson was involved as city attorney.

Banding together

OXFORD– Bird nerds– they’re everywhere.
According to a 2011 survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 46 million Americans enjoy bird watching. Twenty-two percent of Iowans over the age of 16 are birders. And Johnson County is host to a thriving intergenerational and growing birding community.
Sophia Davis, who recently finished eighth grade at Northwest Junior High, was a member of the Iowa City Bird Club for four years.

Ely News by Lenna See

The 43rd Annual See Family Reunion was held on Sunday, July 9, at the Ely Community Center with a picnic dinner. The minutes from last year were read by Lenna See. Since the reunion last year there was one marriage and one birth. Members attending were Daryl and Frances Parks, of Antlers, Okla.; Fred Parks, of Des Moines; James and Carly Netolicky, Grant, Wendy and Lauraya Netolicky, Stuart Netolicky, Marilyn Coulter, Dalton Huff and Matt See, all of Iowa City.

Solon News by Lenna See

Jamie Bos, of Woodbridge, W.Va, and Kevin and Allen Shima were dinner guests of Leo and Elaine Shima on Thursday, July 6.

Daryl and Frances Parks, of Antlers, Okla., were visitors of Ronald and Rebecca See on Saturday, July 8.

Leo and Elaine Shima attended the Shima Cousins Family Reunion on Sunday, July 9, at the Tipton Parish Hall in Tipton. A potluck dinner was enjoyed. About 40 were present.

Council members abort pilot transit program

Intracity service to run through August

NORTH LIBERTY– A poorly patronized North Liberty bus route will make its last stop next month– less than a year after it was launched.
At its July 11 meeting, the North Liberty City Council unanimously voted to end the pilot transit program effective Sept. 1. The decision essentially nullifies a contract with Johnson County, which enabled the city to use a SEATS (Special Needs and Elderly Assisted Transportation System) bus and driver since last fall.
“I think conceptually this is a great service,” said council member Annie Pollock. “I think we’ve given great effort toward it.”

Over 15k attend Blues & BBQ

A new look

NORTH LIBERTY– It was a year of firsts for the highly anticipated North Liberty Blues & BBQ, an annual food and music festival occurring the first Saturday in July.
In its 11th year, the event is still being perfected by its organizing committee to make the day accessible and enjoyable for all.

Community Day at the farmers market July 30

NORTH LIBERTY– Locals are bringing the businesses of Penn Landing together to celebrate summer Sunday, July 30, at the North Liberty Farmers Market, starting at 10 a.m.
There will be bounce houses, open houses for the Penn Landing businesses, fun activities for the whole family and fresh produce and treats right from the market. There will also be live music by Vandello, face painting, and a cornhole tournament. The first 20 teams to sign up are guaranteed a spot, with prizes going to the top two teams.

Juniper Street parking prohibited

NORTH LIBERTY– The North Liberty City Council has approved a prohibition against parking on the north side of Juniper Street from the intersection with Dubuque Street for 228 feet to the west. This is to allow safer traffic flow.

City seeks residents for Transit Committee

NORTH LIBERTY– As the City of North Liberty continues to assess options for public transit for residents, it seeks applicants to join its Transit Committee.
This committee’s mission is to help shape the transit plan for the City of North Liberty. Unlike other groups, this is a committee, not a board or commission, and includes residents, council members and staff liaisons.
To apply, submit the form– found at northlibertyiowa.org– by 5 p.m. on July 20. Applications will be considered at the city council’s meeting on July 25.

High-speed chase ends in arrest of Cedar Rapids man

NORTH LIBERTY– A Cedar Rapids man was found with drugs and a loaded handgun after being stopped Monday by an Iowa State Patrol trooper on Interstate 380 following a high-speed chase.
According to complaints filed by the Iowa State Patrol, a trooper spotted a black motorcycle merging onto I-380 north from Interstate 80 west at around 6:44 p.m. July 17. The trooper clocked the driver at 90 mph as it passed his patrol vehicle. Before catching up to the motorcycle near North Liberty, the trooper clocked it at 114 mph and again at 151 mph.

Big move for the littles

La Montessori Nutury to open new location, add preschool in August

By Shianne Fisher
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– For a childcare center founded on the idea of order and simplicity, La Montessori Nurtury was getting a bit too crowded. So, owner and director Lillian Myers jumped at the opportunity to expand.
“We’ve just always been full,” she explained. “It seemed like the natural next step to take.”

Kent Park Lake improvement meeting July 25

OXFORD– The Johnson County Conservation Board (JCCB) will host a public meeting Tuesday, July 25, beginning at 6:30 p.m., in the Conservation Education Center at F.W. Kent Park, to discuss plans for improving water quality and recreational opportunities at Kent Park Lake, in Johnson County.
An update on the progress of phase one will be presented at the meeting, along with preliminary plans for phase two of the lake restoration project. Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff, officials from Stanley Consultants and JCCB staff will be available to answer questions.