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Doug Lindner

Play and Learn to close

Longtime preschool center to cease at the end of May

SOLON– Play and Learn Preschool and Daycare has provided a quintessentially Solon early childhood experience for generations of families.
But not for much longer.
In a letter to families, Director Lisa Kaefring announced the center will be closing at the end of May.
Kaefring has been director since 2008, succeeding her mother Ellen, who started Solon’s first preschool and daycare center 50 years ago.

Rickels to retire June 30

Tabor takes on Lakeview duties

SOLON– Jodi Rickels will retire as Lakeview Elementary principal June 30, and Solon Intermediate School (SIS) Principal Jessica Tabor will absorb Rickels’ duties for the 2020-2021 school year.
Solon Community School District Superintendent Davis Eidahl made the announcement Tuesday, April 14, in a letter to the community.
Eidahl congratulated Rickels “for all the achievement attained with her leadership by Lakeview students and staff” and thanked her for “all of her contributions to the community and success of our students.”

Governor: Students not going back

Solon to continue voluntary and required continuous learning plans while school buildings are closed

SOLON– Solon students will not return to the classroom to end the 2019-2020 school year.
The Solon Community School District (SCSD) will comply with Gov. Kim Reynolds’ and the Iowa Department of Education’s order to close for the remainder of the school year, SCSD Director of Teaching and Learning Josh Lyons said Friday.
“Students will continue to be provided learning opportunities for the remainder of the closure; required for high school courses and voluntary for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade,” Lyons wrote in an announcement.

He was hoping for a return to spring sports

Hack scheduled events for May, waiting for governor

SOLON– “They just want to know the answers we want to know,” Activities Director Casey Hack said of Solon students.
“Are we going to have a spring season? Are we going to get back to school? Are we going to have prom? Are we going to have graduation?”
Unfortunately, the answer to most of those questions is no.
Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the extension of a statewide closure to the end of the school year during a press conference April 17.
Up until that point, Hack was hoping to provide students with at least part of a spring sports season.

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.