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Community

“We Have Work To Do”

A joint statement from North Liberty’s mayor, city administrator and police chief

By Mayor Terry Donahue
City Administrator Ryan Heiar
Police Chief Diane Venenga

George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer was a heinous act.
We have seen the anger, frustration and grief spill out across the country, throughout our state and here in our own community, and finding the right words to say is difficult. Failing to say anything is immeasurably worse.
We will start here:

Overwhelming advantage

Primary election win presumptively clears Kunkel’s path to sheriff

IOWA CITY– Brad Kunkel will likely be Johnson County’s next sheriff.
Kunkel, a sergeant and the public information officer for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, defeated Al Fear, a sergeant with the Patrol Division of the Cedar Rapids Police Department, with an overwhelming 82 percent of the vote in a Democrat primary election Tuesday, June 2. Kunkel, of rural Solon, had 19,469 votes to 4,128 for Fear, a resident of Swisher.

Supervisors survive primary challenge

Green-Douglass, Sullivan and Porter hold off challenger Phinney to retain seats

IOWA CITY– The three incumbents on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors held off a challenge from a newcomer in the Democratic primary election Tuesday, June 2.
Supervisors Lisa Green-Douglass, Rod Sullivan and Royceann Porter faced challenger Dean Phinney in a ballot box battle for three seats.
Green-Douglass garnered 18,875 votes (77 percent), Porter pulled in 16,961 (69 percent), and Sullivan, the longest-serving Supervisor of the trio, picked up 15,923 (65 percent) while newcomer Phinney mustered only 6,989 votes (28 percent).

Finishing the job

NL Council approves Shive-Hattery contract to finish Ranshaw House restoration

NORTH LIBERTY– “We’re at a point where we need to get it finished up and usable,” North Liberty City Administrator Ryan Heiar told city council members about the historic Ranshaw House.
Heiar introduced a proposal from Shive-Hattery to finish the rehabilitation of the house during a Tuesday, May 26, council meeting.

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.

Preventing the over-policing of people of color

In the wake of George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer, we’ve been asked what training and procedures the North Liberty Police Department has in place to help prevent the over-policing of people of color in our own community. This post provides a high-level overview of current training, policies and procedures. There is, of course, work still to do, and it’s important for our community to hold conversations and itself accountable.

Use of force

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.

Make way for ducklings, in West Lakes

Annie the Duck makes herself at home with the Bowmans

NORTH LIBERTY– In 1941, Robert McCloskey wrote and illustrated Make Way for Ducklings, a children’s picture book, which has become a time-honored classic and Caldecott Medal winner. The book tells the tale of a pair of ducks, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, and their search for a home in Boston, culminating in a journey through the city’s streets with eight ducklings in tow.

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.

CCA board talks technology

District deploys computer devices to homes in response to COVID-19

OXFORD– When Gov. Kim Reynolds cancelled the remainder of the school year in response to the COVID-19 crisis, districts across the state scrambled to provide computer devices in order to provide learning opportunities for their students. The Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District responded by deploying 413 Chromebooks to elementary students who did not have an Internet-capable device at home, and also has provided 25 “hot spots,” which provide an Internet connection

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.

Four contenders for three seats

An all-Democrat field vies for Board of Supervisor in the June 2 primary

JOHNSON COUNTY Four democrats are competing for three seats on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors in the June 2 primary election.
Supervisors Rod Sullivan, Lisa Green-Douglass and Royceann Porter are facing the expiration of their terms on Dec. 31 while Dean Phinney hopes to take the place of one of them as three seats are on the ballot.