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News

New sports intern joins Hybrid Publications

NORTH LIBERTY– Sean Morgan, a senior Journalism student at the University of Iowa, has joined the staff of the Solon Economist and the North Liberty Leader newspapers as a sports writer/photographer intern.
Originally from Libertyville, Ill., Sean plans a career in sports writing and hopes to one day become an author of some sort.

Three points and a Coke

OXFORD — “As times change, so do our attitudes,” said CCA athletic director Gene Dietrich as he addressed the regular monthly school board meeting Jan. 21. Dietrich was referring to a time roughly two years ago when the subject of sponsorship and/or selling advertising to help pay for athletics was first brought up.
“This is something that I’ve fought tooth and nail for about a year,” he said. “With budget crunches and everything else, you look at every possible way to raise money.”

CCA Voters go to the polls February 3

OXFORD — Should the Clear Creek Amana School District (CCA) continue to spend money from a one-cent sales tax? Voters will decide in a Feb. 3 special election.
Voters approved a Revenue Purpose Statement in 2007 authorizing the district to use funds raised from a one-cent sales tax for infrastructure improvements throughout the district.

Clear snow from your hydrants

NORTH LIBERTY — It’s become routine: dig out the driveway and shovel off the sidewalk. But what about the fire hydrant in your yard?
For firefighters, every second counts when responding to a fire. Traffic and slick or snow-covered roads make getting to the scene difficult enough. Add trying to find a fire hydrant to provide a water supply to the pumper, and you include a potentially deadly outcome for somebody trapped inside a burning structure.

Highway 965 still waiting for the green

NORTH LIBERTY– The trail on a sought-after $1.3 million has officially gone cold for this year, but North Liberty is still hoping for federal assistance in quelling its hot button traffic issue– congestion on Highway 965.
The city applied for an Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program (ICAAP) grant this fall to help defray costs for a seven-year, $29.6 million widening and redesign project on the north-south corridor road, but was notified earlier this month that no money was awarded the project this time around.

Nostalgia and good food on the menu

SWISHER — “It’s hard to duplicate the feel of an old building,” Karen Vondracek said while sitting in the middle of the Kava House and Café in downtown Swisher.
Vondracek and co-owner (and sister in-law) Julie Popelka (along with their husbands Craig and Jim) know first-hand what an old building feels like, having taken possession of the former Holets’ General Store in November 2007. After a year of extensive renovation to the wooden building built in 1914, the foursome opened the door to their coffee house/café/ice cream parlor one year later.

Volunteer tutors wanted

NORTH LIBERTY– The Penn Elementary Third-Sixth Grade Tutoring Program is in need of volunteer tutors Tuesdays 4:30-5:45 p.m. and/or 6:00-7:15 p.m. Tutoring sessions are every Tuesday, Feb. 17-April 21 (excluding March 17). No experience is necessary (must have own transportation or be available to carpool).
An orientation meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Penn Elementary. If interested contact Andrea Pieper-Askelson before orientation through the North Liberty Family Resource Center at 688-1154 or e-mail pieper-askelson.andrea@iccsd.k12.ia.us.

NLYBS now taking registrations

NORTH LIBERTY– North Libery Youth Baseball and Softball is now taking registrations for the 2009 program. NLYBS offers a fun, learning baseball/softball experience for boys and girls at various levels from age 4 to 12. Parents can save $5.00 by registering online at www.eteamz.com/NLYBS
Registration forms are also available at the North Liberty Rec Center.
If you have questions about the registration form, call 319-248-1283. Registration deadline is March 9, 2009.
Coaches are also needed. This year’s NLYBS Field Enhancement Day and pre-season Coaches Meeting are scheduled for April 4.

Mardi Gras 2009

OXFORD– St. Mary’s and St. Peter’s Youth Group presents Mardi Gras 2009 on Saturday, Feb. 21 at St. Mary’s Auditorium, 133 E. Main St., Oxford.
Schedule:
- 4:00 Mass—Upstairs at St. Mary’s Auditorium, Oxford
- 5:00-7:00 — Authentic New Orleans style dinner prepared by Augusta Restaurant. Chicken dinner also available. $10 adult; $7 high school student; $5 elementary student; 4 and under free.
- 6:00 —Children’s costume contest and indoor parade. $50 top prize, $25 second prize.

Letter to the Editor

The Cedar Rapids / Linn County Solid Waste Agency is expecting an onslaught of “old” televisions when the switch from analog to digital broadcast finally happens on Feb. 17, 2009.

Walkin'

As I write this the inauguration of our new president is on the television, and it’s hard to hold back tears as history unfolds.
More than a few times in this space I have– with more than a little vitriol–lamented the state of affairs of our country and world. Today, however, it’s impossible for me to have anything but hope and pride as the peaceful and ordered transition of leadership transpires.
I recollect at this time the often-quoted sentiment credited to Winston Churchill, “Democracy is a poor form of government but all the others so much worse,” or something to that effect.

Food for Thought

A good many years ago, when Brian was still in charge of this newspaper, he assigned me to the occasional interview of local personalities and business people. One of the more interesting interviews I had was with Clary Illian, who was – and still is – a potter with a shop in Ely.