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Chris Umscheid

A matter of perspective

County’s Planning & Zoning administrator explains Rural Cluster zoning for development

IOWA CITY– Opponents of a proposed housing development on Newport Road and the Johnson County Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Department agree on one thing.
“Urban sprawl is not good.”
So said RJ Moore, assistant administrator of the department.
The development on land owned by Sharon Dooley at 2915 Newport Road, has sparked controversy and put the spotlight on urban-style housing in rural areas. It has also brought the term “Rural Cluster” (RC) to the forefront.

CCA needs more time, more information

OXFORD– Recommendations from the district’s facility committee were presented to the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) School Board of Directors Wednesday, April 17, during a work session preceding the regular monthly meeting at Clear Creek Elementary. Many of the board members had been in attendance at the Wednesday, April 10, facility committee meeting where the options had been determined, making a presentation by middle school principal Brad Fox something of a repeat.

Trojans survive Saints: West boys 2, Xavier 1

IOWA CITY– As he looked out across the extra-wide pitch at West High, coach Brad Stiles realized something was missing.

A hard knock life

TIFFIN– It started as a comic strip in the 1930s, became a Broadway smash in the 1970s and 80s, and in April 2013, it hit the stage at Clear Creek Amana High School.
It’s “Annie,” a classic American Broadway smash chock-full of optimism, hope and catchy tunes that stick in your head for days.
Jenna Tackaberry donned the curly red wig for the title role in the CCA High School production, which ran April 4, through April 6, in the CCA Performing Arts Center. Sage Spiker took on the role of Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, the hardened billionaire who opened his heart to the plucky orphan.

Don’t get cross over the bridge

Plans for Mehaffey Bridge reconstruction laid out for public

NORTH LIBERTY– Johnson County Engineer Greg Parker has made a promise.
“Once we’re done, you’ll love it.”
Parker issued the vow Monday, April 15, at a public meeting held at South Slope Communications in North Liberty regarding the replacement of the aging Mehaffey Bridge. A packed crowd sat through a brief presentation, then directed over 20 questions at Parker, assistant engineer Ed Bartels and representatives of VJ Engineering and Iowa Bridge and Culvert about the nearly $9 million project.

Meet the future Mehaffey Bridge

Plans laid out for the public

NORTH LIBERTY– Johnson County Engineer Greg Parker has made a promise.
“Once we’re done, you’ll love it.”
Parker issued the vow Monday, April 15, at a public meeting held at South Slope Communications in North Liberty regarding the replacement of the aging Mehaffey Bridge. A packed crowd sat through a brief presentation, then directed over 20 questions at Parker, assistant engineer Ed Bartels and representatives of VJ Engineering and Iowa Bridge and Culvert about the nearly $9 million project.

We Run for a good cause

We Run celebrates first year with 5K

NORTH LIBERTY– What better way for a store specializing in running shoes and apparel to celebrate its one-year anniversary than with a 5K run? That’s how Kris and Brian Tharp, owners of We Run, chose to mark their big day.
At least 650 people registered for either a 5K run or 1 mile walk held on Saturday, March 23, just two days shy of the anniversary. The event also served as a fundraiser for the First United Methodist Church of North Liberty’s youth group. The group is headed on a mission trip to Puerto Rico later this year.

Cool victory for Clipper boys

CCA boys open with 3-0 win in frigid weather

TIFFIN– Tim Benson’s Clear Creek Amana (CCA) varsity soccer boys took to the field Monday, April 1, to face the Golden Hawks of Mid-Prairie in a season-opening girls/boys doubleheader. With temperatures in the low 30s and a persistent wind out of the west-northwest, the conditions were more appropriate for winter.

A pig & a poke

Newport Road residents to contrast rural/urban living after Dooley decision

IOWA CITY– By a 4-1 vote, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors approved the third and final reading of a controversial rezoning request on Thursday, March 28. The vote cleared the way for 90.89 acres of agricultural land owned by Sharon Dooley at 2915 Newport Road to be rezoned to the county’s new RC, or Residential Cluster, designation. The move allows Iowa City realtor Bill Young to move forward with plans for a 70-unit housing development.

A pig and a poke

Newport neighbors hope to highlight incompatibility of county’s new zoning

IOWA CITY– By a 4-1 vote, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors approved the third and final reading of a controversial rezoning request on Thursday, March 28. The vote cleared the way for 90.89 acres of agricultural land owned by Sharon Dooley at 2915 Newport Road to be rezoned to the county’s new RC, or Residential Cluster, designation. The move allows Iowa City realtor Bill Young to move forward with plans for a 70-unit housing development.

CCA takes on super search

Board on a tight schedule to replace Dr. Denise Schares

AMANA– They knew it wouldn’t be easy to replace superintendent Dr. Denise Schares, but the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) school board truly had their work cut out for them as they met with the search firm recently. The meeting with Dr. Gaylord Tryon, president and founder of G. Tryon and Associates, came toward the end of the board’s regular monthly meeting Wednesday, March 13.

Aiming for excellence

Swisher American Legion program promotes responsible firearms, developes young minds

SWISHER– In an era of tense controversy over the use and possession of firearms, one group in this northwest Johnson County town is learning to respect guns, rather than fear them.
And they’re learning life lessons while learning to shoot.
For two years, the American Legion Post 671 in Swisher has sponsored a Junior Shooting Sports Program, one of the legion’s many family and youth programs. Participants from ages 12 to 18 use an air-powered rifle shooting a .177 caliber pellet as they learn gun safety and marksmanship.