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Cale Stelken

Making wishes come true

Trying bout with cancer inspires Family & Sport Chiropractic to raise money for Make-A-Wish

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.”

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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.

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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.

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.”

Wig and Pen Pizza comes to North Liberty

When tomatoes fly

NORTH LIBERTY– When it comes to the best pizza the Iowa City area has to offer, one brand in particular is a slice above the rest. Wig and Pen Pizza has been a regional staple for many years with its hallmark approach to Italian-inspired cuisine. And now, thanks to a newly opened location, that favorite slice of pizza is just a few blocks away for residents of North Liberty.

Benchmark community survey

The results are in...

North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– Last spring, residents of North Liberty received a postcard inviting them to respond to an online community survey.
Mailed to 9,090 North Liberty addresses, the postcard was in English, Spanish, French and Mandarin. In total, 387 responses were gathered.

Introducing Falco

NLPD’s first K-9 joins the squad

North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– Residents of North Liberty rest assured, Falco’s got you covered.
The North Liberty Police Department (NLPD) recently recruited its first K-9, a nearly 60-pound Belgian Malinois. Falco, who joined the NLPD in early December, provides a much-needed asset in broadening police coverage in Johnson County.
“Before, it was hit or miss; you’d call for a dog and there wouldn’t be one working,” recalled Falco’s handler, Officer Benjamin Campbell.
“But now, we almost have 24/7 coverage.”

Liberty Dance Team wins state

Eyes regional and national titles in debut season

North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– It was an unexpected victory.
“The competition is tough. The bar has been raised in our competition in the last five years quite high,” said Kathy Enyart, Executive Director for the Iowa State Dance Drill Team Association (ISDTA). “So for them to come as a new face, that’s a pretty remarkable accomplishment.”

Facebook group builds community

Buy Nothing project bonds neighbors

North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– In a season characterized by stores packed with shoppers eager to buy that perfect gift for their loved one, a local Facebook group puts a fresh spin on gift giving.
“It’s a hyper-local gifting economy,” explained Melissa Chagala, a North Liberty resident and administrator for the North Liberty/Solon chapter of the Buy Nothing project.