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Janet Nolte

Hoover Trail Milestone

Ely ribbon cutting marks opening of Hoover Trail extension

On Sunday, Oct. 15, representatives from the City of Ely and Linn County gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the recently completed 2-mile section of the bike trail that stretches along Ely Road from the City Hall to Seven Sisters Road.

ELY– Despite brisk wind and cloudy skies, an enthusiastic crowd turned out on Sunday, Oct. 15, to witness a ribbon-cutting to mark the official opening of the recently completed 2-mile section of bike trail that stretches along Ely Road from City Hall to Seven Sisters Road.

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Czech mates

Carl Richey and Czech student Daniel White make most of visit

SOLON– “I told my parents, let’s do this,” Carl Richey said when he saw the flier posted at school last fall.
It described an opportunity to participate in a summer exchange program sponsored by the Czech Heritage Foundation.
High school students of Czech, Moravian or Slovak ancestry living within 100 miles of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City were eligible to apply to the Foundation’s Homestay program, which has awarded 55 scholarships since it began in 1983.

Grow It Cook It

Kids take vegetables from garden to table

NORTH LIBERTY– What kid hasn’t turned up their nose at vegetables, no matter how well prepared, opting instead for French fries or pizza, if given the choice? It’s a perennial problem for parents of middle-schoolers and teenagers.
A new program, piloted this summer in Johnson County, aims to offer a solution. On Aug. 9, kids who participated in the Grow It Cook It summer day camp held their first public “Taste and Tour” event at the garden space adjacent to the North Liberty Community Pantry (NLCP).

North Central enrichment Going batty

Bat house latest project for North Central enrichment program

CORALVILLE– You might say they’ve gone batty­, but in a good way.
Students at North Central Junior High (NCJH), in North Liberty, recently teamed up with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) at Coralville Lake to give bats roosting in and around the dam complex some new digs. A wildlife conservation project, which began last fall, came to fruition on Friday, July 29, when students, school district staff, and a crew of ACE personnel worked together to erect a bat house near the Turkey Creek disc golf course.

Blue Ribbon

Jean Stinocher’s baked goods win again at state fair

SOLON– Around Solon, her kolaches are legendary, as are her famous vinegar burgers served annually at Beef Days. Folks have been known to angle for a slice of her pie or carrot cake when sighted among desserts offered with fish fry at the Stinocher Post 460 American Legion on Fridays during Lent.
In the past couple of years, Jean Stinocher’s baked goods have made judges at the Iowa State Fair smack their lips in appreciation as well.

The making of a Graham Champion

Rose McAtee honors Tom Wall with swine project

IOWA CITY­– “You’re going to be the one in your family who’s going to show hogs,” the late Tom Wall said to Rose McAtee, a fifth grader at Solon Middle School and junior member of the Graham Champions 4-H club.
Rose remembered the conversation she had with Wall at the annual Special Olympics banquet with which her family helps.
“He talked to me for about an hour about hogs,” she said. “He was a big pig farmer. We were kind of close to him. Then when I heard he passed away, I wanted to show hogs in honor of him.”

Making life sweet

SOLON– “As market goes, that’s about a premium,” Ron Puettman said as he inspected a frame of comb honey pulled fresh from a hive that currently resides on the North Liberty pumpkin farm of Dean and Katie Colony. “When the bees put honey into a comb and cap it off, it’s at its purest and most perfect form,” Puettmann noted.

Banding together

OXFORD– Bird nerds– they’re everywhere.
According to a 2011 survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 46 million Americans enjoy bird watching. Twenty-two percent of Iowans over the age of 16 are birders. And Johnson County is host to a thriving intergenerational and growing birding community.
Sophia Davis, who recently finished eighth grade at Northwest Junior High, was a member of the Iowa City Bird Club for four years.

Elementaries dive into robotics

$15K PLTW grant funds supplies, teacher training at Garner, Penn, Van Allen

North Liberty Leader

DiVentures brings it all to scuba enthusiasts

Training, tech and travel

NORTH LIBERTY– Admittedly, residents of North Johnson County are rather spoiled when it comes to enjoying the area’s lakes and open waterways. Coralville Lake, the Iowa River and Lake Macbride provide easy access to freshwater fishing, boating and swimming.
But scuba diving? Here in Iowa?
Yes, it’s a thing. And, a new business in North Liberty offers all of the gear, training and travel options you need to channel your inner Jacques Cousteau.

Re-churching

Infuse brings fellowship and worship services to Solon

SOLON– Around 9 a.m. on the last Sunday in February, there is a flurry of activity along the corridor leading from the back entrance to the Solon Middle School.

Blue Hearts beat true

Group gives mutual support, reaches out to community

NORTH LIBERTY– “It was the Dallas mass shooting when the officers were attacked this past summer,” recalled Darci Roehler, wife of a Coralville police officer. “Four or five of us were on Facebook that night, messaging each other back and forth.”
“Unable to sleep, worried,” added Jennifer Downes, a fellow police wife and co-founder of the Blue Hearts of Johnson County. “We were just kind of seeking each other out because we understood…. We were friends, some of us for 15 years. We just kind of found solace in each other that night.”
Roehler said they were all glued to the TV.