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Featured

The gym is gone, but the memories live on

Work begins on new gym for Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford

OXFORD– A big piece of Oxford’s history was reduced to rubble last week.
The gym at Clear Creek Elementary fell victim to a large yellow Caterpillar track hoe excavator, and was hauled off one truckload of debris at a time. The gym, built in 1936, had become outdated, and too small. In its place, a new and larger gym will be built at a cost of $4,359,000, one of the final projects for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District to be funded by a voter approved bond issue in 2017.

E’s Florals hunkers down

Local florist sees sales drop

SOLON– Elissa Lewis found out about Gov. Kim Reynolds’s decision to close florists in a series of rapid phone calls.
Other panicked businesses were calling her.
“At that point, I had already closed my shop, but was still doing business, either at the curb or making deliveries,” she said. “I guess I was already prepared for it.”
Reynolds had closed restaurants and bars, fitness centers, barbershops and salons, theaters and casinos earlier in the month in response to the community spread of COVID-19.

Solon churches hold worship online

Looking forward to being together again

SOLON– We are now limited in how we connect, Rev. Ken Ferguson said.
“COVID -19 has had an impact with how we relate simply because as most people we enjoy shaking hands and patting each other on the back,” the pastor of the Solon United Methodist Church observed. “We enjoy sitting down across from each other for a coffee and roll.
“Today we cannot,” he added. “With the current situation there is a great deal of anxiety around this new reality.”
Solon’s churches, like others across the country, closed all public services and retreated online.

Strength and Hope

Area firefighters raise the doors and light up the trucks as a show of support in the war against COVID-19

OXFORD– “The doors are down, all is quiet, but we still stand ready.”
So said Solon firefighter Greg Morris in a Facebook post announcing a special response for Wednesday, March 25. At 7 p.m., the Solon Tri-Township Fire Department was going to raise the doors of the apparatus bays and turn on the emergency lights on the trucks as a sign of strength and hope for all during the ongoing war against the COVID-19 virus.

Fire department lights up to show support

Morris wants to provide hope in a trying time

SOLON– The bell at the Solon United Methodist Church tolled the hour.
The doors at the Solon Tri-Township Fire Department were raised and the lights on the emergency vehicles and a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office cruiser were turned on.
A handful of department members, residents and the media watched as firefighters streamed the event live on Facebook.

Pantry closes, reopens

School distribution modified

SOLON– Concerns over volunteers prompted a one-day closure of the Solon Community Food Pantry.
But things are back on track and the pantry is continuing to partner with the Solon Community School District (SCSD) to provide food in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Pantry organizer Sandy Hanson said a concern for needed volunteers prompted the decision, but the pantry quickly regrouped after a showing of community support.
“It didn’t last more than a day, not even a full day,” Hanson reported.

Going home

CCA bids farewell and following seas to its exchange students

TIFFIN– In addition to shutting down until April 13, and the putting on-hold of all activities, the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District has seen another impact from the coronavirus pandemic as five high school exchange students have been sent back to their home countries.

Helping hands in a time of need

Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery brews up hand sanitizer in response to COVID-19 crisis

SWISHER– The COVID-19 pandemic has led to store shelves being emptied as worried shoppers grab supplies they think they need in case of being quarantined or ordered to remain at home.
Among the items being hoarded is hand sanitizer.
While not a replacement for soap and water, it is a product recommended to help minimize the spread of illnesses, including COVID-19, and recently people most at-risk have had great difficulty in finding hand sanitizer to purchase.

35 COVID-19 cases in Johnson County

State total jumps to 105

JOHNSON COUNTY The number of COVID-19 cases in Iowa is increasing daily.
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced the first three cases in Johnson County Sunday, March 8, while Gov. Kim Reynolds announced a third case of community spread in the state Sunday, March 16, and recommended the state close all schools for a period of four weeks.
On Monday, March 23, Reynolds and the IDPH announced 15 additional positive cases, bringing the states total to 105.

Fixing the UDO

P&Z Commission approves changes requested by Farm Bureau, supervisors to decide on April 9

IOWA CITY– Farmers tend to have a knack for fixing things from fences to tractors, and anything in-between. Johnson County’s farmers have been itching for an opportunity to fix problems they see with the county’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), which was passed in December by the board of supervisors and implemented on Jan. 15. The Johnson County Farm Bureau took the first step in making repairs and adjustments to the UDO by submitting an application to amend the UDO’s text, at a cost of $750.

Schools closed for 4 weeks

CCA makes tentative plans while seeking guidance from the state

JOHNSON COUNTY– All area public K-12 school systems have closed and all activities canceled through April 12.
Schools across the state began Monday to follow the recommendation of Gov. Kim Reynolds to close Iowa schools for four weeks due to the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Local schools were already closed from March 16 through Friday, March 20, for spring break.

Cities close facilities

Solon, North Liberty, Iowa City close libraries and community centers

JOHNSON COUNTY– Events are being canceled and local cities are encouraging residents to limit their interaction in response to local cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we’ve faced in our lifetimes,” observed Solon City Administrator Cami Rasmussen.
The cities of Solon, North Liberty and Iowa City have closed their libraries and community centers effective immediately to mitigate the spread of disease.
In North Liberty, the closure is scheduled to last through Sunday, April 12.