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Community

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.

Santa Claus visits Oxford

The tradition of bringing Christmas joy to boys and girls continues

OXFORD– A time-honored tradition continued in Oxford as Santa and Mrs. Claus made a stop in this small town on Saturday, Dec. 19, to visit with the local children, and receive Christmas wishes in person. The jolly couple sat in a sled parked in front of the Veterans Memorial for a few hours in the afternoon, braving a brisk breeze making the air feel reminiscent of The North Pole.

Good Neighbor Meeting for property West of North Liberty Road and East of Arlington Ridge

NORTH LIBERTY– The City of North Liberty may consider a zoning map amendment, also called a rezoning, and preliminary plat for property located on the west side of North Liberty Road and east of Arlington Ridge Subdivision, and the city will host a Good Neighbor Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 5:30 p.m.

Bolt No.1 calls it a career

ICCSDs Scott Kibby takes early retirement

IOWA CITY Retirement: For many its a time of reflection on a lengthy career, and anticipation looking forward to a well-earned rest.
For Scott Kibby, taking early retirement from the Iowa City Community School District at the end of the month, its a bittersweet thing as he reflects happily on the many students and staff hes worked with, but the impact of the COVID-19 on education had a souring effect.

Kunkel ready for sheriffs role

Priority on domestic violence, technology investigation

SOLON You dont get to say it very often in Johnson County.
Theres a new sheriff in town.
Brad Kunkel will take the reins from retiring Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek with the end of the calendar year.
The rural Solon resident and former city council member soundly defeated Al Fear in the June primary and was unopposed in the Nov. 3 general election.
Now hes prepared to make good on his campaign pledges and is working with Pulkrabek on a smooth transition.

Iowa City schools return to hybrid learning

ICCSD board discuses Decision Matrix as COVID-19 positivity rates remain high

IOWA CITY– The Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) was expected to return to a hybrid learning mode (50 percent online and 50 percent on-site) Monday, Dec. 14, despite receiving a waiver from the Iowa Department of Education granting the district the authority to continue 100 percent online learning.
The district received the waiver on Friday, Dec. 11, but due to the short notice to families impacted by the change, opted to return to on-site learning. The move allows extracurricular activities, including high school sports, to resume.