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News

Staying on the island

Johnson County Fair Queen Cassidy Bringle awaits the crowd’s choice on the winner for the Family Survivor competition on July 23. The friendly contest was just one of dozens of entertainment opportunities for fair goers at the 2013 Johnson County Ag and 4H Fair, held July 22-25. The 17-year-old Bringle won the crown from among 16 other queen contestants this year, a record number in the fair’s 19-year history. (photo by Eric Hawkinson)

Connecting to a higher power

Former engineer now guiding the flock at Solon United Methodist Church

SOLON– Scott Keele Kober used to design power lines to connect communities to the electrical grid. Now, as the Pastor of the Solon United Methodist Church (UMC), he connects people to become a community, and to connect that community to the highest power: God.

Advocates honor Stinochers for 60 years of service

Decades at the Legion and Beef Days with Bob and Jean

SOLON– Jean Stinocher had no clue how to bake a kolache when she first moved to Solon– but if anyone knows a thing about kolaches, they know the Czech pastry is difficult to make just right on the first try.
“The first ones were hockey pucks,” Jean said with a grin. “But I’ve got it mastered and I make pretty damn good ones right now.”
“And pies,” barked her husband, Bob Stinocher, who said he stashes a slice away before others eat the rest. “If you don’t believe it just ask some guys at the Legion.”

Officials vote to close Hoover Elementary, eventually

Iowa City school board officially adopts facilities scenario 1A

By Eric Hawkinson
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– Despite significant support from resilient pro-Hoover Elementary School community members, the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) board of education decided on a scenario that leads to the school’s closure by 2017.

How healthy is Coralville’s debt?

CORALVILLE– According to the State Treasurer of Iowa’s Outstanding Obligations report of 2012, Coralville is carrying a total of $278.9 million in debt.
It is the state’s third-highest city debt load behind Des Moines ($438 million) and Cedar Rapids ($430 million).
However, that number takes on a more troubling quality when put up against each city’s population, said Kevin O’Brien, area business owner and member of Citizens For Responsible Growth And Taxation (CFRG&T).

DIGGING IT

Michael Sharp and Owen Einwalter look on as youth services librarian Carey Major shows them how to make a fossil using materials like macaroni and feathers. It was all part of Afternoon Adventures, an elementary-aged hour of fun that’s part of the Solon Public Library’s Summer Reading Program. Turn to page 24 for more photos. (photo by Doug Lindner)

Look who came to the birthday party!

The city of North Liberty turns 100 this year, and community leaders and volunteers hosted an all-day birthday bash Saturday, July 13. While families and children enjoyed a picnic and games at Penn Meadows Park, several local cooks– young and old– entered the old fashioned culinary competitions held at the North Liberty Community Center. Grown up kids played kickball on the ball diamonds, and Saturday night, the party culminated in a bombastic blast of rock and roll, when Hairball took the stage at Liberty Centre Park.

Local tradition turns 10 on the Fourth of July

JOHNSON COUNTY– Thanks to the commitment of one area neighborhood, a patriotic tradition continues.
Residents of the Hickory Heights development, situated off Lake Manor Road between the communities of Solon, Shueyville and North Liberty, have celebrated the July 4th holiday for 10 years now, in much the same fashion as thousands of small communities across the country; with a parade featuring color guards, fire trucks, decorated vehicles, and horses adored in red, white and blue finery bringing up the rear, followed by family-friendly cookouts and even live music to entertain the crowds.

Rare white deer drawing a crowd near Twin View

SOLON– Traffic slowed on the highway. Neighbors out for a walk stuck around for the show, too, In the first days of July, word of the albino deer got around quickly.
For several evenings in a row, and occasionally around dawn, the snow white deer, with pink inner ears and nose, would be grazing in a just-cut hay field four miles west of Solon on County Road F-16, next to Twin View Heights.

Marshek residents still bailing water

Neighbors claim school trail has made things worse

SOLON– The residents of Marshek Court are waterlogged once more.
The beleaguered neighborhood off Sovers Street is again experiencing drainage issues, and homeowners shared their grievances with the Solon City Council last week.
It’s been six years since the city agreed to help maintain the detention pond and intakes that serve the area, but according to residents, things are as bad as ever.
“There’s so much water that comes off the school grounds, we’re trying to push so much water through such a small pipe, it’s unreal,” resident Randy Cline told council members Tuesday night.

As American as baseball and apple pie

Oxford parade marks Independence Day

OXFORD– Major General Robert Sentman, USA (ret.), dressed in full cavalry attire, and carrying the cavalry guidon, maintained a steady pace as he rode his horse along the streets of Oxford Thursday, July 4. Behind him the American Legion carried our nation’s flag, fire trucks sounded their horns and sirens, political parties advertised their candidates, and antique cars and tractors followed while candy flew toward eager children at the curbs.

Finally...a location for new high school?

After years of school board deliberation, location studies, public hearings and sometimes hot debate, North Liberty and some of its residents await to see if the community will finally gain its own high school facility.