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People

Greyson Gray: legend, terrorist foe, 12-year-old

North Liberty author writes popular young adult series

NORTH LIBERTY– Some people struggle their entire lives trying to figure out what it is they are passionate about, and what they want to do. For Benjamin, “B.C.” Tweedt, the answer is clear.
He wants to be a writer.

Johnson County deputy tops among cops

Oxford’s Kinney named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– In 1986 Kevin Kinney of Oxford joined the Johnson County sheriff’s office as a reserve deputy. Since then he has been a full-time deputy, became a detective and led the way in several high-profile cases.
Nearly 28 years later, Lieutenant Kevin Kinney has been recognized with an honor he’d never imagined.

Day of service, life of good

NORTH LIBERTY– Students in the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) who had to be in school this Jan. 20 made the most of it.
Traditionally a day off in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the ICCSD school board voted to have students in session this year. Across the nation, the day has more recently become a Day of Service, to join in a collective effort to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

MDA names NL’s Grefe as new Goodwill Ambassador

NORTH LIBERTY– Taylor “Tay” Grefe, a lively 11 year-old from North Liberty, has been named Local Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois.
As the new Goodwill Ambassador, Taylor will make public appearances throughout the community to encourage volunteers in the association’s year-round educational and fund-raising campaigns and will also take part in a number of special events.

Two Iowa families to be honored in 2014 Rose Parade

NORTH LIBERTY– Two families from Iowa will be honored on the Rose Parade “Donate Life Float” in Pasadena, Calif. this year: the Kim and Dave Burdakin family of Muscatine, and the Bruce and Tiffany Brockway family of Burlington.
The Brockway Family will be finishing a floragraph in honor of their son Garrett at Iowa Donor Network, 550 Madison Ave., North Liberty on Dec. 20 at 5 p.m. Only organic materials, such as spices, seeds and crushed flowers, are used to create floragraphs.

Through the eyes of a Lion

NORTH LIBERTY– They came by the hundreds, adults and children alike, to visit Santa and enjoy breakfast on Saturday, Dec. 7, in the North Liberty Recreation Center. Joy abounded in the festive environment as members of the North Liberty Lions Club prepared and served pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice and milk.

Reflecting on 20 years of books

Local publisher Semken celebrates landmark year in business

NORTH LIBERTY– Twenty years ago, if you had asked North Liberty publisher Steve Semken, founder of the Ice Cube Press, what he thought of the idea to start a publishing company one cold, rainy, evening in November 1993, along the Kaw River in North Lawrence, Kan., he would have told you, straight-faced and without pause, “Nothing.”

Must love kids

Solon Learning Academy directors working to reach capacity

By Eric Hawkinson
Solon Economist

SOLON– Solon Learning Academy directors Kristin Struzynski and Emily Devereux said it’s a requirement for all employees to love kids.
“I could be here all day, everyday,” Devereux said.
“We are,” Struzynski said. “And we love it.”
The new Solon-based daycare opened on Aug. 5 at its new location on 201 Prairie Rose Ln. Solon Learning Academy has approximately 35 students signed-up, but the building has a capacity for 138 students. Currently, Devereux and Struznyski are working to reach the goal of filling all the slots.

They serve

that others may live

“Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires.”
– Chief Edward F. Croker, Fire Dept. City of New York (FDNY), 1908.

Russo’s latest display honors firefighters with ‘The Engine House’

Join the team, support the troops

Team Red, White and Blue helps veterans re-connect to community

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader

NORTH LIBERTY– If you believe that supporting the nation’s military troops means more than sporting a bumper sticker on your car, or buying paper poppies in November, join the team.
That’s Team Red White and Blue (RWB) a nonprofit organization headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., that supports veterans as they transition from service member to civilian.
Today, with the help of Mike McElmeel, Peter Konrad and Ross Salinas, a local Team RWB chapter is now in the works in the Eastern Iowa Corridor.

SOLON ROYALTY

It’s Homecoming Week at Solon High School, culminating with a football showdown with Clear Creek Amana Friday night and a dance Saturday night. The Homecoming Court includes queen candidates (front) Carissa Siddell, Anna Seydel, Emily Capper, Maegan Bruene, Emily Moore, Alexa Roeder and Rylee Smith; and king candidates (back) Tyler Shaffer, Shay Croy, Ethan Ahern, Dalton Ferguson, Connor Wiseman and Jordan Wymer. The king will be announced at the end of the Homecoming Parade and pep rally Wednesday night and the queen will be crowned at halftime of the varsity game Friday.

Making Solon a better place to be

McAtee, Stull join the Solon Public Works Department

By Chris Umscheid
Solon Economist
SOLON– There’s a couple of new faces being seen around town these days in the service of the city and its citizens. Jerry McAtee and Tim Stull joined the ranks of the Public Works Department in July, with McAtee coming aboard on July 1 while Stull started on the fifteenth.
A self-described lifer, McAtee is a Solon native through and through. His official title is that of a water and wastewater utilities specialist. Stull is a transplant, having been born and raised in Belle Plaine before living in West Branch and eventually putting down roots in Solon.