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News

Supervisors still lack conviction on future of jail, courthouse

December meeting brings more discussion without direction

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader

IOWA CITY– They asked, they received, and they still lack a majority consensus.
At the conclusion of a Nov. 6 work session centered around the question of what to do about the county’s jail and courthouse in the wake of May’s failed bond referendum, a request was made for preliminary designs for two new options. On Wednesday, Dec. 4, those options were laid out in great detail for the Johnson County Board of Supervisors (BOS).

Judge upholds Swenka’s two year sentence

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader

JOHNSON COUNTY– The two-year prison sentence for 20-year-old Zachary Lee Swenka will stand.
On Monday, Dec. 16, Judge Stephen Gerard presided over the hearing of a motion for reconsideration of Swenka’s Oct. 24 sentencing to two years in custody for pleading guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Swisher special election set for February 4, 2014

Voters will elect new mayor, but implied controversy lingers

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader

SWISHER– A new chapter in the history of this small Johnson County community will be written Tuesday, Feb. 4, as residents go to the voting booth to elect a new mayor.
The vacancy was created when Tim Mason resigned suddenly during the regular monthly meeting on Nov. 11. City clerk Connie Meier also resigned.

NL’s library director Crowner will retire as of December 31

NORTH LIBERTY– In most libraries, Dee Crowner’s next step could be found filed somewhere in the 332.024s. But, since the North Liberty Community Library switched to subject-based classification last year, here it would be simply under “retirement.” Crowner, who has been the North Liberty Community Library’s director since 1987, will be stepping down at the end of the year.
“Dee has been a valuable member of our staff for more than two and a half decades, and I’m thankful for her dedication and stewardship of the library,” said mayor Tom Salm. “Her retirement is well deserved.”

Solon looks at open enrollment caps

School board also continues facilities discussions

By Alex Kline
Solon Economist

SOLON– When do you decide to close the doors on open enrollment?
The Solon school board discussed options for open enrollment benchmarks at the Dec. 9 meeting. Superintendent Sam Miller presented a framework that set parameters at which open enrollment could be closed at each grade level.
Though the number wasn’t a flat rate, most grades close at five students before target capacities, a level approved by the board last year.

County approves $3.7 million design

By Lori Lindner
Solon Economist
JOHNSON COUNTY– Last Thursday, Dec. 5, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors took a significant step toward replacing a county facility that was damaged by fire last spring.
It came at higher price than the board would have hoped, but members justified it for its longevity, functionality and accordance with the county’s efforts toward sustainability and reduced energy consumption.