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Doug Lindner

Bicycles hijack capital improvements list

Council work session focuses on connecting Main Street with trail

SOLON– Getting bicyclists safely downtown quickly jumped to the top of the list.
The Solon City Council revisited its capital improvement program (CIP) at a Sept. 4 meeting, and extending the Hoover Trail from its head at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA) to Main Street dominated the conversation.
The CIP is a list of ranked projects, with estimated costs and projected scheduling used to help plan for short- and long-term municipal upgrades.

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New playground equipment for Fox Ridge park

SOLON– Thanks to donations from the Solon school district and the FORE Solon Committee, the city is beefing up its playgrounds.
The immediate impact has been at Fox Ridge Park, although improvements are planned for next year at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA), according to Public Works Director Scott Kleppe.
“This has always been a long range plan to improve something over on this east side of Highway 1,” he explained.

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On location at Sam’s Main Street Market

“East of Middle West” cameras and crew invade grocery store

SOLON– It was a little bit of movie magic.
Customers at Sam’s Main Street Market shared the aisles with movie cameras, sound equipment, actors and technicians from the production crew of “East of Middle West,” on the afternoon of Aug. 28.
For about seven hours, scenes were filmed throughout the grocery store, including at the front register as rush hour was starting for owner Sam Lensing and his staff.
“I was kind of worried it might hinder the flow,” Lensing said. “It went pretty smooth.”
Lensing said the film’s director wanted a lot of bodies moving around in the background.

City puts hotel/motel tax on November ballot

Could impose up to 7% tax

SOLON– They know it’s likely coming at some point.
Solon City Council members voted to place a hotel/motel tax proposal on the ballot for the Nov. 5 city-school election.
The measure will require a simple majority for passage.
The city has been preparing for the possibility of a hotel or other short-term rental properties for months.
The Solon Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission has been working on a number of revisions to the city’s zoning code, including the creation of bed and breakfast (B&B) and short-term rental ordinances.

Lady Spartans fall to CCA, CPU

Scrappy Solon volleyball team keeps it close against 8th-ranked Clippers

SOLON– There was a lot to like in those two losses for Solon Head Volleyball Coach Sarah Ferin.
“I was very happy with the team, we communicated well, moved the ball around, served well,” Ferin said. “Just a couple hiccups would have made a difference, all of our mistakes are fixable.”
The varsity Lady Spartans opened the season Aug. 29 hosting a quad meet with No. 1 (3A) Mount Vernon, No. 8 (4A) Clear Creek Amana (CCA) and unranked Center Point Urbana (CPU).
Solon dropped 2-1 decisions to CCA and CPU.

City and school elections combined in November

Filing period for candidates runs through Sept. 19

JOHNSON COUNTY– It’s time for the presidential candidates to step aside.
There’s a local election to be held this November.
For the first time since a change adopted by the Iowa Legislature in 2017, local city council and school board elections will be combined Tuesday, Nov. 5.
According to the Johnson County Auditor’s Office, city and school elections will be combined in November of odd-numbered years.

Volleyball opens season with quad meet Thursday

Lady Spartans look to replace 9 graduated seniors

SOLON– There will be a lot of shoes to fill for the Solon varsity volleyball team.
The squad graduated nine seniors, five of them starters in the varsity rotation.
Gone are seniors Taylor Moore, Raysa Garbes, Kate Benzing, Rachael Nelson, Hannah Kramer, Abby Smith, Taylor Noonan, Elli Becicka and Vanessa Milliman, as well as Lauren Schrock, the team’s leader in kills last year.
But third-year Solon Head Coach Sarah Ferin is looking forward to a good season.
“The seniors are ready to contribute after waiting behind a four-year starting class that graduated last year,” Ferin noted.

Bumsted is Solon’s Iowan of the Day

State fair accolade for avid volunteer

SOLON– Kelsey Bumsted was humbled someone thought to nominate her as Iowan of the Day at the Iowa State Fair.
If nothing else, she hopes it highlights some of the volunteer opportunities that are available in Solon.
“We are really lucky to have a lot of thriving organizations in this town,” Bumsted added. “Whatever gift that you might have, whether it’s writing calligraphy or being good at Excel spreadsheets or chalkboard drawing, whatever your gift is, odds are you can share it somewhere in our community.”

CAT grant makes a splash (pad)

No pump and dump for Solon Work delayed until final plans approved

SOLON– Solon’s splash pad should be cooling off kids next summer.
The site at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA) has been prepped and is ready to roll, and the city is only waiting on final approval of its plans by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
The water amenity has been delayed by a change in the original plan, explained Public Works Director Scott Kleppe.
“What threw a wrench into this for the most part was the recirculation, recycling of the water,” he said.

Roll camera, ACTION!

“East of Middle West” begins filming in Solon 1990s vehicles and extras needed this month

SOLON– “We’ve got some scenes that we’re going to need a bunch of extras,” noted Bill “Ginks” Ginkens.
Ginkens, of rural Solon, spent much of his summer as location scout for “East of Middle West,” a feature film written and produced by University of Iowa (UI) graduate Mokotsi Rukundo and directed by Brian Lucke Anderson.
The independent film was scheduled to film at various locations in and around the Solon area from Thursday, Aug. 8, through the end of the month.

School board adopts progress goals

95% of most students to be proficient in reading, writing and math

SOLON– The new goals are really similar to the old goals.
Just with some tweaking.
The Solon Community School District’s (SCSD) Board of Education adopted annual goals for its strategic plan at a July 9 meeting.
New to the annual review is a Social Emotional Mental Health component, and board members approved a $6,780 one-year, per-student subscription for a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) screening tool to be implemented with the 2019-20 school year.

Haggard Brothers to headline Beef Days July 19

Manternach caps two decades of booking with country royalty

SOLON– Having the Haggard Brothers perform Friday night, July 19, is next-level stuff for Beef Days.
Ben and Noel, sons of country music icon Merle Haggard, have teamed together to tour the country and will take the stage at Beef Days at 9:30 p.m. for a 90-minute tribute to their father’s music.
“It’s going to be cool,” exuded Beef Days Entertainment Chair Dean Manternach. “It’s going to be really great.”
He’s expecting a standing-room-only crowd for the biggest name ever booked for the two-day free community festival.