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Jen Moore

Garner Elementary girls run toward success

NL school holds 2015 Girls on the Run program

NORTH LIBERTY– For girls who participate in the after-school program Girls on the Run, running is more than just a way to encourage healthy habits.
It’s a way to encourage a healthy sense of self-worth.
Esther Baker, Executive Director of Girls on the Run Eastern Iowa, has seen girls blossom through participating in the organization.
She recalled one student who came into the program with extremely low self-confidence. When given a compliment, she would respond self-deprecatingly and had difficulty interacting with the other girls and her coaches.

The barber is back!

Connie Semotan returns to Shueyville after 10 years

SHUEYVILLE– When Connie Semotan reopened her Shueyville barber shop in March, a lot of her clients were walk-ins, and many would tell her stories about a great gal that used to cut hair at that very same location years ago.
When she heard these stories, Semotan would smile and laugh as her customers would slowly realize that that same great gal was standing right in front of them.
“I get all kinds of people who just come in and ask, ‘are you my Connie?’” Semotan said. “The response has just been so fun.”

UI’s Science Café brings scientific discussion to Iowa communities

SOLON– How about adding a few scientific facts to your meal tonight?
That’s exactly what the Science Café Series, a University of Iowa created program, aims to do as it brings scientific discussion to restaurants and bars across small towns in Iowa.
The series, which started in October of 2013, covers a different topic each session and brings experts from all scientific fields to engage in discussion with community members. These events are free and open to any who wish to attend.

ICCSD discusses changes to special education programs

IOWA CITY– The Iowa City Community School District’s sensitivity and lack of communication regarding its special education programs has been called into question, as community members gathered to speak about changes to the program at the Tuesday, June 9, school board meeting.
First, parents voiced concerns about the district’s plans to move Shimek Elementary School’s special education program.

Slicing things up in downtown Solon

Eastwood’s Sports Bar moves to Main Street; D&D Pizza finds a home inside Sam’s Main Street Market

SOLON– Two Solon staples are making a switch.
Several months ago, D&D Pizza and Cafe owner Sam Lensing made the decision to move his restaurant across the street into his grocery store, Sam’s Main Street Market.
The only unanswered question was what to do with the empty building.
That’s where Leo Eastwood, of Eastwood’s Sports Bar, came in.
Eastwood learned earlier in the year that he was being evicted from his previous location on Haganman Lane due to the building being sold, leaving him with a big problem and little time to find a solution.

Over budget, but underway

SCSD approves bid packages for new middle school and fine arts addition

SOLON– Sure, the cost might be more than they thought, but the end result will be well worth it, according to Solon school board members.
The board unanimously approved recommended bid packages, plus several alternates, for the new middle school and fine arts addition at a special meeting Monday, June 15.
The price tag is expected to be a little over $27 million, approximately $1.5 million over the $25.5 million dollar bond the community approved last year.
Vice President Rick Jedlicka wasn’t worried about the extra cost, however.

Fine tuning ICCSD’s budget

School board looks at ways to reduce operational costs

Iowa City– The Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) released its third quarter budget report at the district’s May 26 school board meeting.
Overall, the district budget is where it should be, according to Chief Financial Officer Craig Hansel. Board members worried, however, about how ICCSD stacked up against other similar-sized districts in several cost categories, including support staff and operational costs.

Ely’s Jenny Houlihan - leading by example

One of Iowa's 100 Great Nurses

CEDAR RAPIDS– Jenny Houlihan has done a lot in her 13-year nursing career. She’s the current Director of Acute Adult Services at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids; she serves as secretary for her district’s chapter of the Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders; she earned a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Iowa; and she is a long-time member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
She also holds the prestigious position of Girl Scout Troop #5819 leader.
The list just keeps on growing, especially now that she’s been named one of Iowa’s 100 Great Nurses.

A nursery full of tails

a tale of everyday heroes

CORALVILLE– Each spring as the weather warms, calves, goats, and other furry farm animals take up residence among the flowers and trees at Forever Green garden center, delighting children for one weekend.
But this year, the nursery’s annual open house became more than just a way to celebrate the end of winter.
Last year, a Forever Green employee, Colin Waddick, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer that affects white blood cells inside the bone marrow.

New policy provides a more thorough approach in preventing and handling bullying

Zero tolerance

SOLON– Solon is taking a firmer stand when it comes to bullying in schools.
At the May 11 school board meeting, administration presented the first reading of the district’s updated anti-bullying/harassment policy, which was approved by the board.
Solon Community School District defines bullying as “intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time that creates an imbalance of power. This type of behavior can include but is not limited to the following: targeted acts or threats, or intent to hurt someone with no regret or remorse for the intended victim.”

Solon Next stop on Freedom Rock Tour

Solon Area Community Foundation funding patriotic mural at Legion ballpark

SOLON– This October Solon will represent Johnson County as part of the Freedom Rock Tour.
Originating in 1999 as a single boulder in the town of Greenfield, the tour has expanded to over 20 counties throughout the state, with each rock getting its own unique, patriotic mural.
The only question is, how do we get it here?
Denny Gruber, of the Solon Area Community Foundation, is after one rock in particular and it’s over seven feet tall, 12 feet wide and 37 feet around.
Not to mention, it’s stuck in the middle of a field, so moving it even just a few miles is no small feat.

ICCSD plans more community engagement for boundary talks

Drawing the line, take five

IOWA CITY– The introduction of yet another set of secondary school attendance boundaries was met with disapproval and disappointment from ICCSD community members.
Administration presented the fifth round of boundary scenarios at the Tuesday, April 28, board meeting with three maps making the cut so far.
The first was 5B, previously referenced as 4B, which did not change from its last iteration. This map takes into account geographic areas while also balancing demographic distribution.