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Community

NL council approves new city hall

Action paves the way for design work to begin

NORTH LIBERTY– Talk about whether to build a new city hall in North Liberty or extensively renovate the current facility turned into action late last month.
North Liberty City Council members approved moving forward with design work for a new building during their Dec. 22 regular meeting.

Budget woes ahead for ICCSD

A decrease in enrollment could mean an increase for taxpayers

IOWA CITY– The continuing pandemic has reached into seemingly almost every aspect of our lives. And for the taxpayers of the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD), it may well reach into their wallets once the district’s school board of education sets the budget for the next school year.

Kinney to work helping rebuild Iowa, boost Iowa education and expand quality of life in rural Iowa

DES MOINES– State Senator Kevin Kinney of Oxford is looking forward to a productive next two years as a member of the Iowa State Senate.
“Iowa has had a rough time during the pandemic,” said Kinney. “We need to learn from that and focus on moving Iowa forward. A good start would be fully supporting Iowa’s mental health system, improving water quality across the state, and expanding job training opportunities.”
Kinney represents all of Keokuk County, almost all of Washington County and the southwestern half of Johnson County in the Iowa Senate.

Rep. Nielsen: COVID-19 relief focus of 2021 legislative session

DES MOINES– The 2021 Iowa Legislative Session started Jan. 11 at the State Capitol and State Representative Amy Nielsen of North Liberty said her top priority is providing relief to Iowans due to COVID-19.

No good deed goes unpunished

Regulators spring sudden $14k fee on Cedar Ridge and other distillers for making hand sanitizer to combat COVID-19

SWISHER– Jeff Quint called it “The final kick in the pants from 2020.” Quint, owner of Cedar Ridge Distillery, was referring to news of a $14,060 fee the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was demanding for producing hand sanitizer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Break-in causes damage at fire station

NORTH LIBERTY– Damage was sustained to the North Liberty Fire Station, 25 W. Cherry St., in the early morning of Jan. 3, after an individual entered through one of the station’s glass overhead doors, and damaged doors and other equipment inside.
Fire department staff, who were on duty at the station at the time of the entry, initially thought the person was seeking emergency medical attention. When it was clear this was not the case, they requested support from law enforcement. The Johnson County Ambulance Service was called to assess and transport the individual.

Almost ready

Johnson County’s GuideLink Center for behavioral health crises is on track to open next month

IOWA CITY– The GuideLink Center, Johnson County’s access center for people in acute behavioral crises, is on track to open early next month, according to project manager Matt Miller.
Miller presented a progress report to the Johnson County Board of Supervisors during its informal meeting on Thursday, Dec. 17. Miller put the project at 95 percent complete with an anticipated substantial completion date of Saturday, Jan. 2.

Status quo for spectators; contract approved for HS addition

Highlights from CCA’s December school board meeting

OXFORD– The School Board of Directors for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District met in regular session on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at the district’s administrative offices near Oxford.

Beat the Bitter offers free and safe events folks can count on this winter

NORTH LIBERTY– North Liberty’s Beat the Bitter returns for its sixth year with safe activities to look forward to and brighten up this long and isolated winter.
The schedule for Jan. 30 through Feb. 6, 2021, is now available at beatthebitter.com. All programming is free. Highlights include family fun and fireworks in Penn Meadows Park, a virtual Snuggie Crawl, and a twist on the annual 5K-ish Obstacle Run.

Start the New Year with a hike

Lake Macbride among 50 State Parks participating in First Day Hike Challenge

SOLON Last New Years Day 4,358 people hiked trails in Iowas state parks in an annual First Day Hike event, the highest number since the start of the program in 2012. A reported 145 (also a record amount) of them hiked the nearly 2-1/2 mile round trip on Lake Macbrides Beach to Dam Trail from the main lodge to the dam.
The hike is still on to start out 2021 on the right (or left) foot, but the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making some substantial changes due to the ongoing pandemic.

Its retirement day!

Four men and 130 years of law enforcement experience retire from the sheriffs office

IOWA CITY The Thin Blue Line (which represents the men and women of law enforcement standing between the civil society and chaos) is thinner today in Johnson County. Four longtime members of the Johnson County Sheriffs Office (JCSO): Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek, Major (Chief Deputy) Steve Dolezal, Captain Gary Kramer and Lieutenant Brian Adolph, all retired as of Thursday, Dec. 31. Combined, the men add up to over 130 years of law enforcement experience.

Remembering the reason for the season

Grace Community Church in North Liberty brings the Gospel according to Luke to life

NORTH LIBERTY– Christmas: a time of lights, carols, presents and gathering with friends and family. For Christians, of course, it is also the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Grace Community Church in North Liberty decided in the wake of a challenging year to celebrate Christ’s birth in a big way with a drive-through live Nativity scene on Sunday, Dec. 20.