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Featured

Fidget spinners for cancer awareness

SOLON– Four students from Solon Elementary School decided to make and sell fidget spinners to raise money for cancer awareness.
Cash Meade, Galvin Wisman, Allen Shima and Addy Wilmer were the four students among the group who made the fidget spinners. Wilmer donated the money she raised to an animal shelter.

Solon falls prey to Panthers, 73-46

MONTICELLO– The Solon Lady Spartans bid adieu to the 2017-18 Basketball season on Saturday, Feb. 10, following a first-round loss to the Monticello Panthers, 73-46, after ending their regular season on the road Tuesday, Feb. 6, in Mount Vernon, with a loss to the Mustangs, 44-19.

Family & Sport Chiropractic supports Make-a-Wish Foundation

Serving a higher cause

NORTH LIBERTY– Standing at over 6 feet tall and weighing 250 pounds, 13-year-old Chandler Johnson, of North Liberty, stood out among his peers.
Johnson, who wears a size 17 shoe, had a history of peculiar motor skills dating back to the age of 3, noted by his various athletics coaches over the years. But it was never diagnosed as anything of serious concern.
“We never missed a doctor’s appointment, never missed a sports physical and nobody suspected there was anything wrong,” said Johnson’s mother Angela Bell. “They just said he was clumsy because he’s at that age and he’s large.”

A third successful Beat the Bitter

Third annual winter festival attracts thousands

NORTH LIBERTY– While the ground may have been absent of snow to start the Friday festivities, that didn’t stop thousands of locals from gathering for what is becoming a North Liberty tradition. A core part of the Beat the Bitter week, Fire & Ice Friday, took place Feb. 2 at Penn Meadows Park, offering locals a variety of free activities to celebrate Iowa’s frigid season.

Sectional champions

Solon advances to regional duals; 11 Spartans head for district meet

SOLON– With four champions and seven runners-up, the Solon Spartans ran away with the team title at a Class 2A sectional tournament Saturday, Feb. 3, in Solon.
Solon’s varsity wrestlers compiled 243.5 points for a comfortable lead over second-place Mount Vernon in the six-team field that also included Central DeWitt (160.5), Camanche (152), Tipton (108.5) and Northeast (101).
The sectional win advanced Solon to a regional dual meet Feb. 6 in West Liberty with the chance to qualify for the state dual meet in Des Moines Wednesday, Feb. 14.

Raiders slip away from the Creek Girls

Williamsburg pulls away late for 50-45 win over CCA

TIFFIN– The Williamsburg Raiders pulled off a bit of an upset Tuesday, Jan. 30, as they defeated the Clippers of Clear Creek Amana (CCA) in girls’ varsity basketball at CCA, 50-45.
A 3-point basket by Jordan Neely gave the Creek Girls an early 3-2 lead on their way to an 11-10 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Karsyn Stratton poured in 15 of CCA’s 27 first-half points on her way to a game-high 28. Andrea Roller drained a 3-point basket in the final minute of the second period and dropped in a two-point basket just ahead of the halftime buzzer. The Clippers led, 27-22, at the break.

Pioneers of the Ice

An Olympic bobsledder tells her story in North Liberty

NORTH LIBERTY– Feb. 8, 2002, in Salt Lake City. The opening ceremony for the XIX Olympic Winter Games had commenced to an enthusiastic crowd in the Rice-Eccles Stadium. And for the first time since 1932, the highest global institution in all of athletics was about to host two-woman bobsledding. Amidst all the pomp and festivities was a Midwestern girl named Jean, who helped pave the way for what was about to happen.

965 Phase 3

Prepping for more Ranshaw Way expansion

NORTH LIBERTY– With the amount of growth North Liberty experienced in recent years, parts of Ranshaw Way have become a bottlenecked route for commuters. Fortunately for them, one of the busiest parts of the former Highway 965 will finally get the expansions it needs to match its rush hour traffic. The construction project known as 965 Phase 3 will span four blocks from Penn Street to Zeller Street. Shive-Hattery, of Iowa City, was selected to design the project, and the expansion will go out for bid in February.
City Administrator Ryan Heiar is eager for its fulfillment.

Big Picture cultivates creativity

Channeling the inner artist

NORTH LIBERTY– It was 5 p.m. on a chilly Wednesday afternoon, and another class was in session. Peyton Gordon, Grant Nidey and Finn Fountain sat together at a paper-lined table as Becky Popelka led the students on a collage using watercolors, salt and decorated paper.
“This is a mixed media project,” she began, presenting the materials her beloved “kiddos” were about to employ.

Freezin’ for a Reason

Polar Plunge raises bucks for NLPD’s K-9

NORTH LIBERTY– Falco, the North Liberty Police Department’s (NLPD) first K-9, has made a bit of a splash since arriving recently. So much so, 33 people were willing to literally make a splash in the frigid waters of the pond at Centennial Park, and donate $50 each toward his food, on-going training and medical care, to do so.
The event, formally known as the Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge, and informally as “Feed the Beast” was held Sunday, Jan. 28, with temperatures in the 20s and a steady breeze, which only added to the chill.

Skate country

Local communities provide free outdoor skating rinks

JOHNSON COUNTY– “The best things in life are free,” sang Barrett Strong on his 1959 single “Money (That’s What I Want).”
The cities of North Liberty, Solon and Ely found a way to capitalize on Iowa’s traditionally cold winters and are offering free outdoor ice skating in designated areas.
Ever since Mike Reeves, the Solon Parks and Rec activities director, can remember, that’s the way it’s been in Solon.
He said he couldn’t tell you when the city started it or why, every winter the city has flooded their outdoor skating area with a hydrant and a series of hoses.

A Real Deals Reboot

New owners remodel home décor store

NORTH LIBERTY– Sometimes you have to tear it down to build it back up again.
That was the case for Real Deals on Home Décor, which has spent the better part of January undergoing a major facelift. Located at 225 Beaver Kreek Centre, the business will host a grand re-opening Thursday, Feb. 1 through 3 to honor the occasion.
“We tore everything down,” said Dawn Lenth, who purchased Real Deals with her husband Brian on Dec. 29 last year. “All the walls came down, and we had to go through and do a full inventory and just start packing stuff up so we can start rebuilding.”