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Doug Lindner

5th Street traffic signals coming later this year

Project comes in over budget; LOST funds to pay difference

The new traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 1 and 5th Street will be similar to the one built on Main Street in 2016.

At a May 6 meeting, Solon City Council members approved a low bid for the construction of a traffic signal for the intersection of Highway 1 and 5th Street.

SOLON– Construction on a long-anticipated traffic signal for the intersection of Highway 1 and 5th Street begins later this year.
At a May 6 meeting, Solon City Council members approved a low bid of $286,931.50 from Price Electric, of Robins, for the project.

An educational journey ends

Jodi Rickels finishes back where she started

SOLON– Jodi Rickels was very much influenced by her teachers.
“I was one of those kids that just loved, loved, loved school,” she said. “I was the one who would cry on the last day of school each year. I didn’t want it to end.”
As a little girl, she played school at home. As a young student, she volunteered for anything to stay in the building.
It was a natural extension of what she already loved to do, and her large family was involved in a lot of school events. Her father also owned and operated the local school buses.

Waiting for the green light

Coberly ready to start cutting hair again

SOLON– Lisa Coberly is anxious to go back to work.
But she’ll have to wait until Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health decide it’s safe.
Coberly’s Solon Barber Shop has been shuttered since a March 22 proclamation in which Reynolds closed a slew of retail businesses.
“I saw it coming,” she said. “I was expecting it. It still kind of broke my heart when it actually happened.”
Coberly admitted she’s happiest when working. It’s been hard not seeing her customers.

Meals on wheels

Big Grove donates 60 meals for shut-ins

SOLON– They were thinking of each other.
And it ended up helping the community.
Solon Community Food Pantry organizer and senior activist Sandy Hanson had been contacted by several people wanting to donate money to help furloughed restaurant workers.
She called every restaurant in town to see how they were doing.
After leaving a message with Big Grove Brewery managers Andrew Mitchell and Doug Goettsch, she learned they were wondering about her.

Lakeview teachers flip for students

Reverse parade packs SRNA parking lot

SOLON– Solon is known for hosting long parades.
Vehicles lined up in the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA) Saturday, April 25, and stretched out north and south on Racine Avenue as Lakeview Elementary teachers and students connected from a safe distance in a “flipped” parade.
Lakeview staff lined the SRNA parking lot with their vehicles and stood by with signs, balloon wands and happy waves as students and their families drove through with their own signs and decorations.

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.