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Chris Umscheid

Girls get dirty, too

Solon’s Jada Murphy tears up the motocross tracks

SOLON– She’s been called, “The Wild Child,” and “The Rabbit.” You can call her Jada.

CCA to ask for PPEL extension in September

Measure will be on school board ballot

OXFORD– The Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) school district expires in December 2015, and superintendent Tim Kuehl wants to ask voters to extend it. Kuehl spoke with the district’s board of directors during their monthly work session and business meeting Monday, July 29, at Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford.

Option tax expires, but some retailers still charging

JOHNSON COUNTY– Maybe they didn’t get the memo. Perhaps they couldn’t believe that a tax could actually expire.
Whatever the reason, some retailers in Johnson County are still charging the one-cent Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) for flood relief. The tax, passed by voters in May 2009, was to be in effect for four years and ended on June 30. Iowa City, Lone Tree, Oxford, Solon, University Heights, Hills, Swisher, Tiffin and Shueyville voters approved the tax while residents of North Liberty, West Branch and Coralville rejected it.

Plea deal reached in fatal 2011 crash

IOWA CITY– Nearly a year after charges were filed and a little over a week from when his vehicular homicide trial was to begin, 20-year-old Zachary Swenka agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. Swenka, the driver in an October 2011 wreck near the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) High School, will formally enter his guilty plea and be sentenced on Friday, Sept. 6.

Decision time for CCA

New superintendent urges board to make a facilities decision

OXFORD– Clear Creek Amana (CCA) superintendent Tim Kuehl said it’s a no-brainer.
“We need to get going on something. We have the money, essentially, so we don’t need that approval. We have overcrowded facilities, now we need to figure out step one and take care of that.”

Challenges ahead at CCA

Kuehl assumes superintendent duties at Clear Creek Amana

OXFORD– After three years as superintendent of the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) school district, Denise Schares announced her retirement in February, setting in motion a short but intense search for a replacement.
“It’s a transition point, and I think for the district it’s a good time to bring somebody in on this really, really tremendous opportunity and challenge of enrollment growth,” Schares said at the time. Reluctantly the school board of directors launched the search, hiring G. Tryon and Associates and charging the firm with finding a highly qualified individual in two months’ time.

Connecting to a higher power

Former engineer now guiding the flock at Solon United Methodist Church

SOLON– Scott Keele Kober used to design power lines to connect communities to the electrical grid. Now, as the Pastor of the Solon United Methodist Church (UMC), he connects people to become a community, and to connect that community to the highest power: God.

State hopes dashed in the dust

WILLIAMSBURG– The 2013 baseball season came to a sudden end last week for both the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers and Iowa City West High Trojans in substate action.
The Clippers fell 11-3 Tuesday (July 23) on the road in Williamsburg against the rival Raiders. The class 3A Substate 5, District 10 game was a continuation of Monday’s suspended game, which was halted at the end of four innings due to lightning. The contest was tied 3-3 at the time.

West one game away from state

4-2 win over Jefferson J-Hawks sends Trojans to substate final

IOWA CITY– It’s hard to beat a team three times in one season. So says the conventional wisdom as well as many coaches and sports writers.
It’s among their top-10 clichés.
However, Friday night (July 19) the West High Trojans showed the phrase has some truth in it as they initially struggled against Cedar Rapids Jefferson before winning 4-2 in a first round game in substate action at home. West had beaten the J-Hawks 11-0 and 6-3 almost a month ago and entered the contest No.1 in the substate 6 bracket with a 32-7 record while Jefferson was the No. 6 seed at 12-26.

Lady Spartans slap Sabers in regional

Solon beats DeWitt 9-1 in semifinal

SOLON– The Lady Spartans are on a roll.
A 9-1 win Saturday night, July 13, at home against Central Clinton-DeWitt in a Class 4A regional semifinal gave Solon a 38-2 record and 14 consecutive wins.
The Spartans were the visiting team on the scoreboard and as the visitors, went to bat first. A five-run first inning gave Solon a cushion against the 25-16 Sabers.

Just like mi madre used to make

Los Jimadores brings the authentic taste of Mexico to NL

NORTH LIBERTY– Not all Mexican restaurants are alike, and not all are truly authentic in flavor and atmosphere, according to Jasmine Ortiz, one of the friendly faces you’ll encounter at Los Jimadores Authentic Mexican Restaurant in North Liberty.
Ortiz defined authentic as homemade encompasses a wider variety of menu offerings with a different taste and seasonings than found in more conventional restaurants.
“It’s like Mama would make,” Ortiz said.

Clippers make short work ofTigers

CCA rolls 13-1 over Grinnell in 4A quarterfinal

OXFORD– The electricity bill for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) school district will be a little lower next month thanks to the varsity softball team.
Its Class 4A Quarterfinal game Thursday night, July 11, was over and done with before the lights at the ball field were turned on.
In three innings of play, the Clippers took it to the Grinnell Tigers, 13-1, earning a trip to Carlisle on Saturday, July 13, for the regional semifinal facing Carlisle.