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Doug Lindner

Stange asks for special September session to discuss community center

6-month lease expires at the end of 2020

SOLON– It’s time to talk about the future of the Solon Community Center.
At the end of an Aug. 19 Solon City Council meeting, Mayor Steve Stange asked for a September work session to discuss the converted school building.
Stange said he had individual conversations with council committee members, as well as City Administrator Cami Rasmussen and Recreation Director Tom Harder, regarding the facility the city has operated since June of 2018.

Lady Spartans reload

Former players join Walker as VB coach

SOLON– The Lady Spartans lost two of their top weapons from 2019, but still have a lot of experienced players coming back for first-year Head Coach Jeff Walker.
Solon’s varsity volleyball team opened the season Aug. 27 with a 2-0 loss against Center Point-Urbana at a relocated triangular meet in Mount Vernon.
The Stormin’ Pointers took a close 27-25 victory in the first game and then cruised to a 25-15 win in the second. No stats were available for Solon.

Picking up the pieces

Backup generators do their job for city

NORTH LIBERTY– Council member Raquisha Harrington summed it up during an Aug. 11 meeting.
“2020 has not been nice to anyone at all,” she observed.
Harrington was echoing comments from other North Liberty City Council members who voiced support for city employees after an inland hurricane known as a derecho tore a path across the state and into Illinois Monday, Aug. 11, leaving hundreds of thousands without power for days.
Power was restored to most North Liberty residents by Tuesday afternoon, allowing council members to continue with a regularly scheduled virtual meeting.

Picking up the pieces

Neighbors unite to clear storm damage Most power restored before weekend Take debris to SRNA

SOLON– Public Works Director Scott Kleppe had about a half hour warning.
But even then, the alert was for a line of severe thunderstorms producing winds up to 70 miles per hour (mph).
It was about noon and his staff just went home for lunch.
Kleppe contacted Central Cable, the contractor for South Slope Communication Cooperative’s fiber overbuild, and provided a warning for high winds.
By the time he finished a quick lunch, the storm arrived.
The city has no instruments to measure wind speed.

100 miles an hour

Inland hurricane blows through Solon and most of state

SOLON– Winds in excess of 100 miles an hour lashed the area Monday, Aug. 10, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction.
The inland hurricane, or derecho, struck Solon around 12:30 p.m., snapping trees across the community and leaving thousands without power.
One local fatality was reported by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

Auditorium Lofts plan approved again

Second story slated for hotel/motel

SOLON– It’s been a long time since Solon had a hotel.
One is potentially in the works as Solon City Council members approved a new site plan for Auditorium Lofts & Commons at an Aug. 5 meeting.
Prairie Equity Group of Iowa City has proposed to renovate the 1915 former St. Mary auditorium at the corner of Dubuque and Short Streets into a mix of residential and commercial uses, including “The Literary Hotel,” a collection of 11 guest rooms on the second floor.

Finding home

Deeney Law Firm end of a long journey for meaning

SOLON– Every experience has led Joe Deeney on a path to Solon.
Deeney’s spark for the legal world didn’t catch until he was in his late 20s, and it wasn’t until he opened his attorney’s office in downtown Solon that he found his calling.
“When I first made the decision to start a private practice, in the back of my mind I was thinking I’d be the town attorney, and kind of doing a little bit of everything,” he said. “But since opening my doors, I’ve come to the realization I’m very passionate about estate planning.”

Return visit

After 14 years as hygienist, Schminke comes back as dentist

NORTH LIBERTY– “I feel like I’m home,” Dr. Trish Schminke said.
Schminke, 43, obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Iowa (UI) earlier this year and returned in July as a dentist with Design Dental in North Liberty, where she started as a hygienist in 2002.
“It feels even better than I thought it would,” she noted happily.
But it took the 1995 Linn-Mar graduate some time to find her calling.
A native of Marion, she initially attended the UI on a pre-med track.

Five Spartans receive All-WaMaC East baseball honors

SOLON– Senior Cole Arduser made the First Team, while sophomore Kinnick Pusteoska was a unanimous Second Team pick after the WaMaC Conference announced its East Division baseball honors for the shortened 2020 summer season.
Incoming freshman Brett White was also named to the Second Team, while junior Carson Shive and senior Lucas Walker received WaMaC Recognition (formerly Honorable Mention).
“Cole Arduser was a very deserving First Team selection and had an outstanding senior season,” noted Solon Head Baseball Coach Keith McSweeney.

5th Street intersection still clogged up

Workers move to west side until mid-August

SOLON– It will be mid-August before the intersection of Highway 1 and 5th Street opens back up completely.
Public Works Director Scott Kleppe reported contractors for a signalization project were scheduled to switch to the west side of the intersection July 27, with work to be wrapped on Friday, Aug. 14.
A second phase of the project, the installation of the signals, is not expected until October, Kleppe said.
Solon City Council members questioned the project’s timeline at a July 15 meeting, and Kleppe clarified the schedule July 23.

A red LeMans and a Golden Ticket

Eli DeWitt’s custom ’67 earns berth in Vegas builders’ show Purchased in 2010, he didn’t drive it until 2017

SOLON– He’s got a Golden Ticket.
Eli DeWitt’s custom 1967 Pontiac LeMans is going to the big show.
DeWitt, a 2014 Solon High School graduate, won a regional qualifier in the Young Guns division of the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Battle of the Builders, and heads to Las Vegas in November to compete nationally.
He’ll face about three-dozen other entrants age 18-27 in the Young Guns division, created to spotlight up-and-coming industry talent.

CCA hangs on for substate win

Spartans retired in 8-7 postseason loss

TIFFIN– It was a pretty deep hole.
Solon’s varsity baseball squad fell behind by seven runs in the first inning of a Class 3A substate semifinal in Tiffin July 20 against Clear Creek Amana (CCA).
The Spartans roared back with their own big inning, but fell a run shy of extending the season with an 8-7 loss.
“It was not the start we envisioned, but one thing we really stressed going into the postseason was dealing with adversity,” noted Solon Head Baseball Coach Keith McSweeney. “I thought our guys fought through it and got back into the game as a result of their mental toughness.”