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Archive

April 15th, 2020

2020 Blues & BBQ canceled

NORTH LIBERTY– “We have made the disappointing, but careful, decision to cancel the 2020 edition of North Liberty Blues & BBQ, originally scheduled for July 11,” announced North Liberty Communications Director Nick Bergus.
Bergus, also a member of the Blues & BBQ planning committee, said while the festival is still three months away, planning started last fall, and the current pandemic makes holding the festival even more challenging and potentially irresponsible.

Jeff Walker named interim head volleyball coach

SOLON– Solon High School Activities Director Casey Hack took to Twitter to announce Jeff Walker as head volleyball coach.
“Pending School Board approval help me welcome Jeff Walker as Interim Head Volleyball Coach at Solon HS. Jeff is excited to lead our volleyball program and create a dynamic atmosphere. #solonstrong,” the Tweet read.
“Jeff did a great job as our sophomore coach here a couple years ago and he is familiar with the program,” Hack commented via email. “Jeff has a lot of experience coaching volleyball at every level.
“We are excited for him to lead our program,” Hack added.

High school baseball and softball schedules adjusted

DES MOINES – The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the high school baseball and softball seasons.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IHSAU) jointly moved the first days of practice for both sports to May 18 and the first day of competition to June 1 based upon the assumption Iowa high schools will resume classes on May 1. The postseason series for both sports currently remain unaltered a with the state softball tournament July 20-24 and the state baseball series July 24- Aug. 1.
Other items of note in the announcement include:

Friday Night Lights

SOLON– Spartan Stadium will be lighting up.
The stadium was lit Friday, April 10, and will be lit again for the next two Fridays at 8 p.m., according to Solon Community School District Activities Director Casey Hack.
Hack said the district is responding to an invitation from the Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association (IHSADA) to “Light Up Iowa” by illuminating school stadiums to show support for students. The lights will be left on a minute for each day of school missed.

In the thick of it

Andresen coordinates county communications amid outbreak

SOLON– It all changed Monday, March 9.
Johnson County Communications Coordinator Kelli Andresen was home in Solon with a pink-eyed daughter.
Johnson County Public Health (JCPH) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) were notified of the state’s first positive case of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus.
It was in Johnson County.
Andresen made arrangements and went into work where she met with Emergency Management Director Dave Wilson and JCPH Director Dave Koch and started getting information out to the public.

Third grade self-portraits on display downtown

Fore Solon funds banners to celebrate youth, civic partnerships

SOLON– A bunch of third graders are hanging out downtown.
Self-portraits of Lakeview Elementary students are now hanging on Main Street banners thanks to Fore Solon.
Fore Solon committee member Rick Jedlicka came up with the idea a few years ago while on vacation in Colorado.
In a small town south of Denver, Jedlicka noticed a lot of local artwork hanging in storefront windows and thought it was a great idea.
Last fall, he was trying to figure out how to do something similar in Solon.
“I was uptown one day and I saw the banners and I thought, that’s the perfect option,” he recalled.

Take a hike!

County Trails remain open despite other closures

OXFORD– Hippocrates is said to have declared, “Nature itself is the best physician.”
As the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, schools remain closed until at least the end of the month and additional businesses have been ordered to close in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease.

The Great Gamble

Bluder layers sports, gambling and intrigue

SOLON– The hardest skill was mastering the different voices of his characters, explained first-time author Dave Bluder.
“I’m kind of a plot guy, I’ve got all these different plots for different novels,” he said. “I just kind of crank out plot and make it really interesting.”
Bluder, of rural Solon, spent the last decade learning the craft of writing, culminating in the publication last month of his thriller novel, “The Great Gamble.”

Service with safety in mind

NL True Value offers delivery and pick-up service

NORTH LIBERTY– The COVID-19 epidemic has led to many changes in local businesses with some forced to close for the duration, and others having to alter how they serve their customers in an effort to “flatten the curve” of the number of infected people.
North Liberty True Value Hardware was among the first to shift their business model as they initiated curbside pick-up and delivery services early on.
“We did it right when the news came out,” owner Doug Christner said. “It was one of the first things we did. We posted on our sign out front and advertised it on our Facebook page.”

Lighting up for the seniors

Liberty High honors seniors’ leadership

NORTH LIBERTY– All spring high school sports remain postponed until at least Monday, May 4 (first practice date of May 1), but all of the athletic fields at Liberty High were lit up Wednesday, April 9, in a salute to the seniors.
Liberty, like many schools, was holding a Virtual Spirit Week with Wednesday’s emphasis on leadership. Athletic Director Mike Morrison said lighting up the fields was a way to honor the seniors and recognize their leadership.