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News

Supervisors survive primary challenge

Green-Douglass, Sullivan and Porter hold off challenger Phinney to retain seats

IOWA CITY– The three incumbents on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors held off a challenge from a newcomer in the Democratic primary election Tuesday, June 2.
Supervisors Lisa Green-Douglass, Rod Sullivan and Royceann Porter faced challenger Dean Phinney in a ballot box battle for three seats.
Green-Douglass garnered 18,875 votes (77 percent), Porter pulled in 16,961 (69 percent), and Sullivan, the longest-serving Supervisor of the trio, picked up 15,923 (65 percent) while newcomer Phinney mustered only 6,989 votes (28 percent).

Drowning reported at Lake Macbride

SOLON– The body of an Iowa City woman last seen near a watercraft on Lake Macbride has been located.
According to a press release from Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek, officers responded to Lake MacBride State Park near Solon for a possible drowning Sunday, June 7, at approximately 5:31 p.m.
Initial reports indicated Makeda Scott, 21, of Iowa City, was last seen in the water near a watercraft and had not resurfaced. Responding units attempted to locate Scott and the search was suspended around 9 p.m., the release noted.

Overwhelming advantage

Primary election win presumptively clears Kunkel’s path to sheriff

IOWA CITY– Brad Kunkel will likely be Johnson County’s next sheriff.
Kunkel, a sergeant and the public information officer for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, defeated Al Fear, a sergeant with the Patrol Division of the Cedar Rapids Police Department, with an overwhelming 82 percent of the vote in a Democrat primary election Tuesday, June 2. Kunkel, of rural Solon, had 19,469 votes to 4,128 for Fear, a resident of Swisher.

P&Z to review fringe area rezoning

City to seek developer’s agreement when Dillon’s Furrow land subdivides Residential sought for 72 acres

SOLON– The City of Solon intends to keep tabs on a proposed residential development within its southern 2-mile fringe area.
At a June 3 meeting, council members voted to send a rezoning request by Nick Hemann, of rural Solon, to the city’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission for review.
Hemann is asking Johnson County to residentially rezone 72.16 acres located east of Dillons Furrow Road NE, just over a mile from Solon’s southern border.

Preparing for a return to school

Board reviews distance learning data, early planning for 2020-2021

SOLON– In mid-March, the Solon Community School District (SCSD) had to move fast to put together a plan for distance learning.
Now the district has to figure out how to bring kids back to school.
SCSD board members reviewed voluntary participation numbers during the final months of the school year and listened to an overview of the district’s Return to Learning plan at a regular meeting May 21.
Superintendent Davis Eidahl walked board members through both reports.
Eidahl complimented district staff for quickly adapting to a model of remote learning for the final months of the year.

Don’t ignore the extra burden

No time like a crisis to check your mental health

SOLON– It’s a strain.
“Trauma is a big scary word but that’s kind of what we’re living through right now,” noted Troy Ward of Ward Counseling Services. “I can’t do the things that I used to be able to do, I don’t know when I’m going to be able to do them again.”
That’s hard to deal with, Ward said, and if you are an individual already struggling in some way, you just had a lot more piled on your plate in the last two months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ward has been offering free telehealth services for the uninsured and underinsured during the outbreak.

Preparing for a return to school

Board reviews distance learning data, early planning for 2020-2021

SOLON– In mid-March, the Solon Community School District (SCSD) had to move fast to put together a plan for distance learning.
Now the district has to figure out how to bring kids back to school.
SCSD board members reviewed voluntary participation numbers during the final months of the school year and listened to an overview of the district’s Return to Learning plan at a regular meeting May 21.
Superintendent Davis Eidahl walked board members through both reports.
Eidahl complimented district staff for quickly adapting to a model of remote learning for the final months of the year.

Library to offer curbside pick-up June 1

Porch delivery for homebound on Fridays

SOLON– After Gov. Kim Reynolds announced libraries could reopen Friday, May 15, the Solon Public Library received lots of calls from patrons expecting quick access.
But the library’s benchmark for phasing in services was a 14-day COVID-19 downward trend in both Johnson and Linn counties.
Staff didn’t feel comfortable reopening quite yet, noted Library Director Kris Brown, especially with Linn County’s numbers.
“So we’re starting slowly with curbside,” she said.

Verizon tower goes up on south side

SOLON– Maybe you’ll be able to hear better soon.
Workers put up a 130-foot Verizon Wireless tower, in a light commercial district, on Stinocher Street, adjacent to F.J. Krob Co.
Mike Aicher, owner of the property, reported the tower was delivered in three pieces on Wednesday, May 6.

Four contenders for three seats

An all-Democrat field vies for board of supervisor in the June 2 primary

JOHNSON COUNTY– Four Democrats are competing for three seats on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors in the June 2 primary election.
Supervisors Rod Sullivan, Lisa Green-Douglass, and Royceann Porter are facing the expiration of their term on Dec. 31 while Dean Phinney hopes to take the place of one of them as three seats are on the ballot.

Solon Senior of the Year: Judy Shulista

Decades of helping out wherever needed honored by Advocates

SOLON Judy Shulista is always willing to lend a hand.
Whether it was counting the weekly collection at St. Mary Catholic Church or preparing stuffing for a Solon American Legion Auxiliary turkey dinner, Shulista could be counted on for decades as a happy worker bee.
Those contributions were recognized by Solon Senior Advocates, which named Shulista Senior of the Year for 2020.
Advocates President Larry Meister caught Shulista by surprise when he called with the news.
I didnt have a clue why he was calling, she said. I tried to talk him out of it because I dont feel I deserve this.

Council says no to private park

Prairie Acres mailboxes, basketball hoop waiting on sidewalks

SOLON– For the last year, residents of Prairie Acres Part 6 and 7 have been driving to the post office for their mail, developer Matt Lepic reported.
The pad for their mailboxes and the sidewalk along a dedicated park space in the development haven’t been poured, he told Solon City Council members during a May 6 meeting.
Lepic, who is finishing the final phases of Prairie Acres, proposed taking ownership of the outlot, which will serve as park space for the neighborhood, but council members weren’t in favor.