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Doug Lindner

The Great Gamble

Bluder layers sports, gambling and intrigue

SOLON– The hardest skill was mastering the different voices of his characters, explained first-time author Dave Bluder.
“I’m kind of a plot guy, I’ve got all these different plots for different novels,” he said. “I just kind of crank out plot and make it really interesting.”
Bluder, of rural Solon, spent the last decade learning the craft of writing, culminating in the publication last month of his thriller novel, “The Great Gamble.”

Third grade self-portraits on display downtown

Fore Solon funds banners to celebrate youth, civic partnerships

SOLON– A bunch of third graders are hanging out downtown.
Self-portraits of Lakeview Elementary students are now hanging on Main Street banners thanks to Fore Solon.
Fore Solon committee member Rick Jedlicka came up with the idea a few years ago while on vacation in Colorado.
In a small town south of Denver, Jedlicka noticed a lot of local artwork hanging in storefront windows and thought it was a great idea.
Last fall, he was trying to figure out how to do something similar in Solon.
“I was uptown one day and I saw the banners and I thought, that’s the perfect option,” he recalled.

In the thick of it

Andresen coordinates county communications amid outbreak

SOLON– It all changed Monday, March 9.
Johnson County Communications Coordinator Kelli Andresen was home in Solon with a pink-eyed daughter.
Johnson County Public Health (JCPH) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) were notified of the state’s first positive case of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus.
It was in Johnson County.
Andresen made arrangements and went into work where she met with Emergency Management Director Dave Wilson and JCPH Director Dave Koch and started getting information out to the public.

E’s Florals hunkers down

Local florist sees sales drop

SOLON– Elissa Lewis found out about Gov. Kim Reynolds’s decision to close florists in a series of rapid phone calls.
Other panicked businesses were calling her.
“At that point, I had already closed my shop, but was still doing business, either at the curb or making deliveries,” she said. “I guess I was already prepared for it.”
Reynolds had closed restaurants and bars, fitness centers, barbershops and salons, theaters and casinos earlier in the month in response to the community spread of COVID-19.

Solon to roll out required HS instruction

School closure extended to April 30

SOLON– Superintendent Davis Eidahl laid out the reasoning bluntly in a letter to the school community Friday, April 3.
“We anticipate the school closure to extend beyond April 30,” he wrote. “So we prepared a learning plan to best meet the long-term educational needs of our students and comply with the Department of Education requirements.”
Following Gov. Kim Reynolds’ decision to extend school closures to the end of the month, the Solon Community School District (SCSD) announced it would transition its high school students from voluntary enrichment opportunities to required coursework.

Solon churches hold worship online

Looking forward to being together again

SOLON– We are now limited in how we connect, Rev. Ken Ferguson said.
“COVID -19 has had an impact with how we relate simply because as most people we enjoy shaking hands and patting each other on the back,” the pastor of the Solon United Methodist Church observed. “We enjoy sitting down across from each other for a coffee and roll.
“Today we cannot,” he added. “With the current situation there is a great deal of anxiety around this new reality.”
Solon’s churches, like others across the country, closed all public services and retreated online.

Fire department lights up to show support

Morris wants to provide hope in a trying time

SOLON– The bell at the Solon United Methodist Church tolled the hour.
The doors at the Solon Tri-Township Fire Department were raised and the lights on the emergency vehicles and a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office cruiser were turned on.
A handful of department members, residents and the media watched as firefighters streamed the event live on Facebook.

Pantry closes, reopens

School distribution modified

SOLON– Concerns over volunteers prompted a one-day closure of the Solon Community Food Pantry.
But things are back on track and the pantry is continuing to partner with the Solon Community School District (SCSD) to provide food in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Pantry organizer Sandy Hanson said a concern for needed volunteers prompted the decision, but the pantry quickly regrouped after a showing of community support.
“It didn’t last more than a day, not even a full day,” Hanson reported.

School budget hearing April 6

District to keep levy virtually unchanged for fourth year Comments taken by email

SOLON– The Solon Community School District (SCSD) will hold a public hearing for the 2020-2021 budget Monday, April 6, but don’t plan on attending.
Public comments on the $23,441,990 budget will be taken via email to School Board Secretary Kris Wentzien (kwentzien@solon.k12.ia.us) and read into the record.
Solon’s school board will be meeting virtually, with only Wentzien, SCSD Superintendent Davis Eidahl and either President Tim Brown or Vice-President Adam Haluska physically present. All other board members will virtually attend.

Iowa COVID-19 cases quadruple in one week

JOHNSON COUNTY– The numbers have quadrupled in Iowa over the last week.
On Monday, March 30, Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced 88 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19.
Linn County overtook Johnson County for the most cases in the state, with 71. Johnson County was second with 70 cases, with Polk County increasing to 61.
Linn County had 29 new cases.
The 88 cases were the most announced in a single day, bringing the state’s total to 424 positive cases and six casualties.

35 COVID-19 cases in Johnson County

State total jumps to 105

JOHNSON COUNTY The number of COVID-19 cases in Iowa is increasing daily.
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced the first three cases in Johnson County Sunday, March 8, while Gov. Kim Reynolds announced a third case of community spread in the state Sunday, March 16, and recommended the state close all schools for a period of four weeks.
On Monday, March 23, Reynolds and the IDPH announced 15 additional positive cases, bringing the states total to 105.

Coronavirus spreads

Johnson County is ground zero for COVID-19 in Iowa

IOWA CITY– Wash your hands. Cover your cough. Avoid touching your face. Stay home if you’re sick.
Officials for Johnson County, area hospitals and the State of Iowa reiterated the basic precautions to take to avoid the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Fifteen of the state’s 22 COVID-19 cases are in Johnson County as of March 16, and most were passengers on an Egyptian cruise arranged through the Hills Bank and Trust Friends Club Feb. 19 to March 2.