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Chris Umscheid

The big first

Liberty High holds first graduation ceremony

NORTH LIBERTY– One year ago, forty juniors made the decision to leave schools they’d already spent three years in, and spend their senior year in brand new Liberty High School in North Liberty. While freshmen and sophomores in the new attendance area were assigned to the new school, juniors and seniors had the option of staying put or transferring. On Saturday, May 26, those students were presented the first diplomas from the new school in the first graduation event, which was held in the auditorium.

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A walk in the park

CCA walks to 13-1, 13-1 wins over Liberty High

OXFORD– A new non-conference rivalry started Monday, May 21, as the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers welcomed the Liberty High Lightning (Bolts) to McAreavy Field, in Oxford, on opening night of the 2018 season. The Clippers overwhelmed the very young Bolts - 19 freshmen, four sophomores and two eighth-graders, 13-1 and 13-1, in a pair of three-inning games.
Freshman Ashlyn Geasland singled for the Bolts in the top of the first inning, in game one, and scored Liberty’s run on an RBI triple by sophomore Brylee Klosterman.

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Supervisors approve Comprehensive Plan

Rettig casts lone no vote

IOWA CITY– The job is finally done.
After 18 months of committee meetings, work sessions, public input meetings and other input, the Johnson County’s Board of Supervisors approved the county’s first-ever Comprehensive Plan on a 4-1 vote Thursday, May 17.

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A rare honor for a unique man

Robert Dunn of North Liberty receives Congressional Gold Medal in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS– Robert Dunn has joined a very elite group. The 85-year-old North Liberty resident was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal Thursday, June 7, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. The medal was in recognition of Dunn’s service as a Cadet in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) during World War II and presented by Col. Joe Hackett, Commander of the Iowa Wing of the United States Air Force Auxiliary (better known as the CAP).

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Trojans sweep Little Hawks despite ejections

West High wins 3-2 and 1-0 over City High

IOWA CITY– Athletic contests between Iowa City West High and crosstown rival City High are always full of emotion, energy and excitement.
And the two-day varsity baseball doubleheader was no exception as the West High Trojans swept the Little Hawks 3-2 (Thursday, June 7, at West High) and 1-0 (Friday, June 8, at Mercer Park, City High’s diamond).

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Bolts vaporize the Nikes for first wins of the season

Liberty sweeps Burlington Notre Dame, 14-2 and 19-0 in first wins

CEDAR RAPIDS– The Liberty High Bolts picked up a morale boost and their first two wins of the 2018 varsity baseball season Tuesday, June 5, on Mount Mercy University’s (MMU) diamond, in Cedar Rapids. The Lightning vaporized the Nikes of Burlington Notre Dame Catholic, 14-2 and 19-0.
The Bolts opened with two runs in the bottom of the first inning of game one, added four runs in the second and six runs in the third. The Nikes scored one run each in the top of the second and fifth of the five-inning game.

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Young farmers argue for changing Ag Exemption

IOWA CITY– Young farmers in Johnson County raised their voices loud and clear to the board of supervisors: change or scrap the county’s agricultural exemption policy.
The young guns blazed away during a Thursday, May 10, public hearing on the proposed county comprehensive plan, citing the immense difficulties many budding farmers encounter in trying to purchase 40 acres (the minimum amount of land required to be considered a “farm” in Johnson County).

Supervisors’ public hearing on comprehensive plan May 10

P&Z’s 24 recommended changes under consideration

IOWA CITY– The Johnson County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the proposed Comprehensive Plan Thursday, May 10, at 5:30 p.m. The hearing is the latest step in what has been a nearly two-year process in crafting the document; the first of it’s kind for the county.
The Johnson County Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) voted 5-0 on Monday, April 9, to approve a draft of the plan with 24 recommended changes.

Trojans give Prairie Hawks their first loss

West’s Frisbie scores in double OT, 2-1

CEDAR RAPIDS– The Iowa City West High varsity Trojans handed Cedar Rapids Prairie its first loss of the season on Monday, April 30, at Prairie’s John Wall Stadium with a 2-1 win in sudden death overtime (OT).
The win dipped the Prairie Hawks to 7-1 and improved West’s record to 8-3.
Prairie struck first with a long-ball goal in the 30th minute by Matthew Walter. Shortly after, Gada Ambo tied the match with a cross kick from the right side into the back corner of the Prairie net. A stalemate ensued through the rest of the first half and all of the second half leading to overtime.

No hydrants? No problem

Firefighters practice moving big water

LAKE MACBRIDE– Fire hydrants.
Most towns have them strategically placed on street corners and other easily accessed locations, so firefighters can quickly find them, connect their pumpers to them and assure a steady and uninterrupted water supply.
However out in the rural areas and in towns without a municipal water system, those familiar fireplugs are nowhere to be seen.
Firefighters have utilized tank trucks, or tankers, to haul water to fire scenes for as long as there has been motorized fire apparatus.

Ag classes coming to CCA

District last offered ag and FFA in the late 1970s

TIFFIN– Next year, blue corduroy jackets might be seen in the hallways of the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) High School in Tiffin, identifying students enrolled in a brand new agricultural education program, which has also joined the Future Farmers of America (FFA).
CCA last offered agricultural classes in the late 1970s in partnership with Kirkwood Community College. However, the college dropped the program and the school district was unable to continue it. Interest in the curriculum and hopes for restarting the program laid dormant like seeds waiting for an opportunity to burst forth.

First home win for the Bolts

Liberty girls have little trouble corralling the Mustangs

CORALVILLE– Liberty High’s varsity girls soccer team put its first home win in the books Tuesday, April 24, after defeating the Independence Mustangs, 4-1, on the home field at the Coralville Youth Sports Complex.
Sydni Von Sprecken scored early in the first half. The Mustangs tied the match, 1-1, with a penalty kick (PK), but the rest of the contest belonged to Liberty. Megan Davis and Madi Barta ended the first half with a 3-1 lead. Elise Hermiston fired a PK past the Mustangs’ keeper in the second half to seal the win.
Both teams ended the day with a 2-4 record.