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News

Marshek residents unhappy with city’s approach

Residents want to ditch homeowners’ association, but city might require it

By Doug Lindner
Solon Economist

SOLON– Things had been moving along, albeit slowly.
The drainage issue affecting the residents of the cul-de-sac Marshek Court had made it back on the city council’s radar, and over the last month the city’s engineer and public works director had been working on a cost-effective solution.
Then came Wednesday night’s council meeting.

Big Grove Brewery

Much anticipated opening date set for

SOLON– It’s a combination of rustic elements and contemporary design, urban chic meets country comfort. It’s a Friday night with old friends around the fire, topped off with new-to-the-world trendy craft beer.
It’s part five-star chef, part mom’s mac-and-cheese, born of a blend of talented individuals both raised in the Midwest and schooled by life in some of the most eclectic, metropolitan places in the world.
And it’s all in once place, right in the heart of Solon.

Chicken ordinance gains some ground

Council passes first reading

NORTH LIBERTY– The North Liberty City Council is ready for chickens… with reservations.
After a lot of talking, a little squawking and considerable balking, the council approved the first reading of an ordinance that will allow certain residents to keep chickens in town.
Parts of an urban chicken ordinance have been scratched out and rewritten several times in the last few months, but staff presented changes last Tuesday, Aug. 12, that three councilors could live with, at least for awhile.

Teachers weigh in on SBG implementation

Board approves guiding SBG document prepared by teacher committee

By Eric Hawkinson
Solon Economist
SOLON– The teachers have spoken.
A committee of Solon teachers met Friday. Aug. 9, to discuss the future of Standards-Based Grading (SBG) in Solon schools. Although the meeting did not result in a comprehensive plan for the year, teacher representatives felt confident with the direction the administration is heading.
The Solon school district administration, and members of the teacher committee, presented their SBG guiding document to the board on Monday, Aug. 12.

Residents offer advice on next jail proposal

Supervisors listen to opinions at Solon meeting

By Lori Lindner
Solon Economist
SOLON– It was a small crowd, but that’s okay with Johnson County officials seeking input on what to do next about the county’s dearth of jail and courtroom space.

J&A Tap receives outdoor permit

NORTH LIBERTY– It’s been almost five years since John and Amanda Hruby bought a long-established bar in North Liberty and began working to make it better.
Since then, J&A Tap’s food, beverage selection, live music and volleyball leagues have drawn so many patrons the couple has had to expand their offerings.
On July 23, the North Liberty City Council approved conditional use permit and site plan for J&A Tap, so the crowds of people who come to play volleyball will be able to both serve and be served outdoors.

Option tax expires, but some retailers still charging

JOHNSON COUNTY– Maybe they didn’t get the memo. Perhaps they couldn’t believe that a tax could actually expire.
Whatever the reason, some retailers in Johnson County are still charging the one-cent Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) for flood relief. The tax, passed by voters in May 2009, was to be in effect for four years and ended on June 30. Iowa City, Lone Tree, Oxford, Solon, University Heights, Hills, Swisher, Tiffin and Shueyville voters approved the tax while residents of North Liberty, West Branch and Coralville rejected it.

Gimme shelter

Parks & Rec. request to build shelter caught in scramble for funds

SOLON– A splash pad was out of the question– too expensive.
Ball diamonds would cost $25,000 each.
So with donations in hand, the Solon Parks and Recreation Commission went before the Solon City Council last week to ask for permission to spend $16,200 on a modest, open-air park shelter at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA).
It wasn’t as easy as it might have sounded.

America’s fastest growing sport you’ve never heard of

NORTH LIBERTY– Ron Stiers rarely leaves the house without donning a shirt that represents his favorite sport, Pickleball.
The rear window of his truck spells “USA Pickleball Association” in large lettering, and he has personalized cards that passes around to anyone he meets. For Stiers, it’s all for the love of the game.
“It’s the most popular sport that nobody’s ever heard of,” Stiers said.

Two arrested in North Liberty, accused of making meth

NORTH LIBERTY– North Liberty police uncovered the pre-cursor materials for a meth lab in a North Liberty apartment building last week.
On Thursday, Aug. 8, at approximately 9:46 p.m., a North Liberty police officer made contact with a subject near a vehicle in the parking lot of 40 Sugar Creek Ln. in North Liberty. The female subject reportedly had outstanding arrest warrants. During the contact, officers discovered material used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, including pseudoephedrine. Additional pre-cursors were believed to be in the apartment at 40 Sugar Creek Ln. #202.

Two arrested in North Liberty, accused of making meth

NORTH LIBERTY– North Liberty police uncovered the pre-cursor materials for a meth lab in a North Liberty apartment building last week.
On Thursday, Aug. 8, at approximately 9:46 p.m., a North Liberty police officer made contact with a subject near a vehicle in the parking lot of 40 Sugar Creek Ln. in North Liberty. The female subject reportedly had outstanding arrest warrants. During the contact, officers discovered material used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, including pseudoephedrine. Additional pre-cursors were believed to be in the apartment at 40 Sugar Creek Ln. #202.

Plea deal reached in fatal 2011 crash

IOWA CITY– Nearly a year after charges were filed and a little over a week from when his vehicular homicide trial was to begin, 20-year-old Zachary Swenka agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. Swenka, the driver in an October 2011 wreck near the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) High School, will formally enter his guilty plea and be sentenced on Friday, Sept. 6.