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Featured

A solemn duty

Oxford Legion scales back Memorial Day events while honoring the fallen

OXFORD– In a normal year, American Legion Post 537 in Oxford conducts Memorial Day observances in six cemeteries. The veterans typically bus from site to site participating in a short parade and drop a wreath into Rhine Creek. Later, a detachment deploys to Sutliff for the evening ceremony on the bridge.

Preparing for a return to school

Board reviews distance learning data, early planning for 2020-2021

SOLON– In mid-March, the Solon Community School District (SCSD) had to move fast to put together a plan for distance learning.
Now the district has to figure out how to bring kids back to school.
SCSD board members reviewed voluntary participation numbers during the final months of the school year and listened to an overview of the district’s Return to Learning plan at a regular meeting May 21.
Superintendent Davis Eidahl walked board members through both reports.
Eidahl complimented district staff for quickly adapting to a model of remote learning for the final months of the year.

Drive in a student, drive out a graduate

CCA hands out diplomas, in the driveway

TIFFIN– Graduation, a tradition as old as formal education itself. For the high school senior, it is an event 12 years in the making and meant to be a formal acknowledgement of their accomplishments now and in the future. The final hours of being a high school student are filled with primping and preening, adjusting that Oxford Cap a few hundred times, confusion over which side the tassel should hang from, selfies with friends and family, dozens of other photos, and perhaps even checking the program to see who lines up behind who.

Paying tribute to fallen comrades

Jim Miller ensures North Liberty’s deceased veterans are not forgotten on Memorial Day

NORTH LIBERTY– Ridgewood Cemetery, off Scales Bend Road in North Liberty, is a bastion of history as it is the final resting place for many of the community’s settlers. It is also where 102 veterans have been interred, some after falling in battle.
For 12 years, Jim Miller has made it a personal mission to visit all 102 graves, and place a small American flag and a white cross with a red poppy for the Memorial Day weekend.

Library to offer curbside pick-up June 1

Porch delivery for homebound on Fridays

SOLON– After Gov. Kim Reynolds announced libraries could reopen Friday, May 15, the Solon Public Library received lots of calls from patrons expecting quick access.
But the library’s benchmark for phasing in services was a 14-day COVID-19 downward trend in both Johnson and Linn counties.
Staff didn’t feel comfortable reopening quite yet, noted Library Director Kris Brown, especially with Linn County’s numbers.
“So we’re starting slowly with curbside,” she said.

An unusual salute in unusual times

First United Methodist Church of North Liberty honors its high school seniors

NORTH LIBERTY– Eight high school seniors were honored in a “reverse parade” Sunday, May 17, at the First United Methodist Church in North Liberty. The eight, graduates of Clear Creek Amana and Liberty High School, are members of the congregation, and due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, celebrating them took a different path this year; one leading through the parking lot as congregants and others drove by honking and waving.

Solon Senior of the Year: Judy Shulista

Decades of helping out wherever needed honored by Advocates

SOLON Judy Shulista is always willing to lend a hand.
Whether it was counting the weekly collection at St. Mary Catholic Church or preparing stuffing for a Solon American Legion Auxiliary turkey dinner, Shulista could be counted on for decades as a happy worker bee.
Those contributions were recognized by Solon Senior Advocates, which named Shulista Senior of the Year for 2020.
Advocates President Larry Meister caught Shulista by surprise when he called with the news.
I didnt have a clue why he was calling, she said. I tried to talk him out of it because I dont feel I deserve this.

5th Street traffic signals coming later this year

Project comes in over budget; LOST funds to pay difference

The new traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 1 and 5th Street will be similar to the one built on Main Street in 2016.

At a May 6 meeting, Solon City Council members approved a low bid for the construction of a traffic signal for the intersection of Highway 1 and 5th Street.

SOLON– Construction on a long-anticipated traffic signal for the intersection of Highway 1 and 5th Street begins later this year.
At a May 6 meeting, Solon City Council members approved a low bid of $286,931.50 from Price Electric, of Robins, for the project.

An educational journey ends

Jodi Rickels finishes back where she started

SOLON– Jodi Rickels was very much influenced by her teachers.
“I was one of those kids that just loved, loved, loved school,” she said. “I was the one who would cry on the last day of school each year. I didn’t want it to end.”
As a little girl, she played school at home. As a young student, she volunteered for anything to stay in the building.
It was a natural extension of what she already loved to do, and her large family was involved in a lot of school events. Her father also owned and operated the local school buses.

Peony displays before and after bloom

NORTH LIBERTY– Johnson County provides one of those lesser known, but most wonderful, places to visit; the North Liberty Ridgewood Cemetery. While many go to sit on the old hillside benches and remember family and friends, many go to experience one of the most extensive plantings of peonies most will ever see. It’s especially meaningful in May when the peony display is at its finest. They are absolutely beautiful with many varieties of old pioneer multi-colored flowers and that distinct and wonderful smell.

Katie Moore had no idea how worldly her education would be staying close to home and attending the University of Iowa.

IOWA CITY– Growing up 12 miles north of the University of Iowa (UI), Katelyn Moore was reluctant to become a Hawkeye. She wanted to go farther away. But a family dinner outing ultimately changed her mind, and led her to an education that has taken her around the world.
One night in Solon while at a restaurant with her parents, Moore chatted with a fellow patron who asked about her college plans. When she mentioned she was considering elementary education, the man invited her to Iowa City for a campus visit. He happened to be Dean emeritus of the UI College of Education Nicholas Colangelo.

A ride to remember in a year like no other

CCA seniors parade through the streets of Tiffin

TIFFIN– Clear Creek Amana (CCA) High School seniors were to have donned their “Clipper Blue” caps and gowns, and crossed the stage to receive their hard-earned diplomas on Friday, May 22, in a graduation ceremony.
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to wipe out mass gatherings, the district cancelled the event and announced a “virtual ceremony” in its place at 7 p.m. on May 22. The district also tentatively announced an official ceremony for July 24 with the decision to be made by July 10.