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Jen Moore

No more treats from home?

New rules on snacks and celebrations are among proposed changes

SOLON– Polish up those apples. Classrooms across the district could soon see some major changes when it comes to food in the classroom.
The Solon Community School District (SCSD) board had its first reading of the new wellness policy that will give parents and teachers clearer guidelines for food in the classroom and physical activity requirements.
The board approved the policy 4-1, with Director Tim Brown voting against it. The policy will be read again at the next meeting in March and, if approved again, would go into effect for the 2015-16 school year.

IC school board hears from magnet school committee

Board considers new draw for ICCSD families

IOWA CITY– A magnet school could be on the horizon for the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD).
A committee tasked with researching magnet schools presented its findings to the school board during its meeting on Feb. 10.
Though they are still run under the public school system, magnet schools differ from traditional schools in that they have specific themes integrated in the curriculum across all grade levels and enrollment is based on student choice, not just location.

A piece of the country

Heather Snipes turns her love of art into a successful side business

SOLON– One of Heather Snipes’s favorite things to do is to get on her Harley Davidson motorcycle and just drive.
Her trips often lead her down quiet country roads, where she takes in the scenic farmlands and landscapes. It was during one of these rides when she first became entranced by the beauty and intricacy of the quilt paintings hanging on area barns.
“When you see those old barns out there with those beautiful designs on the sides of them, I thought, ‘you know, I could do that,’” Snipes said.

Solon native volunteers in Mozambique with Peace Corps

SOLON – The road to Estaquinha, Mozambique, is a bumpy one.
And a crowded one.
Solon Native Ryan Krafka recently returned from the African country and a stint as a Peace Corps volunteer. Krafka gave a presentation about his experience at the Solon Public Library Jan. 26.
Mozambique is served by a single main highway that travels from north to south. With only one lane going each direction and more potholes than pavement at times, traveling to the small village of Estaquinha was an adventure every time Krafka hit the road.

IC school district sets target date for opening of new Liberty High

IOWA CITY – Liberty High School in North Liberty will open as a comprehensive school in the fall of 2017.
This decision was made following a recommendation by Superintendent Stephen Murley and a design committee of administrators, teachers and parents.
It means that the high school will not operate as a branch of either West or City High and will have its own athletic and extracurricular programs.

Mending a broken heart

Swisher’s Teresa Hafner relies on her positive attitude as she waits for a heart transplant

SWISHER– Teresa Hafner has dedicated much of her life to giving to others.
Now, she just wants one thing.
A heart.
Last March, the owner of Honey Creek Cottage assisted living facility in Swisher found herself in a battle she was unprepared for. After returning from a trip to Cancun, Mexico, with her husband, she learned her sister had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City with heart failure.

It’s not so scary

AORN’S Teddy Bear Hospital informs public on role of OR nurses

SOLON-Standing at about six feet tall, the patient might have seemed just a little bit intimidating to the average kindergartener.
But really, he was just a big teddy bear.
Over 30 Solon area children, parents, and stuffed animals attended the Teddy Bear Hospital on Saturday, Nov. 8. The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) put on the event held at Lakeview Elementary.

Find your bliss here

NL day spa expands its services to the community

NORTH LIBERTY- It was just last November when Diane Rinehart, Jennifer Babcock, and Kristie Klever began working together at Body Bliss Healing Therapies.
But this partnership had been in the works for much longer than that.
Though they didn’t know it at the time, Klever and Rinehart attended the same workshop in Des Moines in 2010, with Klever traveling all the way from Colorado to get there.
And it was Babcock who gave Rinehart her very first massage years ago.

Mark’s Auto Body celebrates 25 years in Solon

Mark Divoky and his auto body shop have been staples since 1989

SOLON- Twenty-five years ago, it would have taken Mark Divoky over an hour just to do a simple estimate on a car brought into the shop. Everything had to be done by hand, from figuring out prices to looking up the parts needed.
Now, with the evolution of technology, that process takes just 15 minutes.
“When I first started, we didn’t have computers,” Divoky said. “ But now, everything’s in there– our estimating software, our parts list, everything. If we’re working on something and we have a question about how to tear it apart, you can get on the Internet and you’ll have an answer.”

ICCSD must revise diversity policy

USDA confirms district cannot use Free/Reduced Lunch data

IOWA CITY- The Iowa City Community School Distirct (ICCSD) received confirmation that it must divorce its diversity policy from Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) data.
Superintendent Stephen Murley told the board last Tuesday that the use violates the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules on what the data can and cannot be used for.
The USDA has given the school district until Jan. 31, 2015, to cease using the data.