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Shianne Fisher

Water’s Edge firm presents multi-year aquatic study to council

Outdoor, indoor pool enhancements could cost $6-7 million

North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– Does North Liberty need another outdoor pool?
North Liberty City Council members floated that idea and others at their most recent meeting Tuesday, June 13, after hearing from Dave Schwartz, owner of Water’s Edge Aquatic Design.
“What you’ve got is a nice facility, it really is,” said Schwartz. “But your population is challenging. And that’s a good thing.”

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Finding his place

Mercy Family Medicine of Solon welcomes seasoned MD Acherkan

SOLON– Dmitriy Acherkan always knew he wanted to be a doctor.
“I don’t even recall the time when I made this decision. It was pretty obvious from, I don’t know, 4 or 5 years old, that I was going to be a doctor,” he said.
Dr. Acherkan joined Mercy Family Medicine of Solon a few months ago but has practiced medicine for over 30 years.
He reminisced on his early career as a surgical oncologist, which allowed him to care for patients from discovery of a tumor through surgery or chemotherapy.

More food, earlier start for Blues & BBQ

Volunteers needed for annual festival July 8 at Centennial Park

NORTH LIBERTY– Things may look and feel a little different this year at North Liberty’s annual blues fest.
It all starts with the event’s new logo, a bright yellow and blue guitar, and a greater emphasis on its mascot, Otis the Pig. There’s also the Pig & Pint Prelude dinner, parking and shuttle services, and earlier start times for food and kids’ activities.
“We’re excited for our new logo to last the next several years,” said Jillian Miller, community engagement coordinator for the City of North Liberty. She also praised the event’s new presenting sponsor, Veridian Credit Union.

Diamonds are this town’s best friend

NLYBS celebrates 25th anniversary season

NORTH LIBERTY– Around a thousand area kids have their last at-bat or final pitch of the summer next week as North Liberty Youth Baseball and Softball (NLYBS) wraps up its 25th anniversary season.
It’s a bittersweet end for not only the players, but also the countless parents and volunteers that flood Penn Meadows Park every weeknight for two months.

Fireworks OK in Tiffin, for now

TIFFIN– It’s too late for Tiffin.
When Governor Terry Branstad signed the fireworks bill into law last month– allowing their sale and use for the first time since the 1930s– he and the state legislature didn’t give local governments enough time to react, said Tiffin City Administrator Doug Boldt.
“That’s something a lot of people aren’t happy about, that this is coming so late,” he said during a Tiffin City Council work session Tuesday, June 6.

ISU solar car to make a pit stop in Oxford

Clear Creek Amana graduate helps build “Penumbra”

AMES– Bryan Kalkhoff is home for the summer, but still reminiscing on the hours spent helping to build a solar car this past school year.
“I wanted a way to really reinforce what I was learning in class,” said Kalkhoff, a recent Clear Creek Amana graduate. “School can only teach you so much.”
The North Liberty resident jumped at the opportunity to join PrISUm his freshman year at Iowa State University. The student-led solar car team has been in business since 1989, having developed 12 award-winning vehicles in its journey to change the paradigm of transportation.

Making noise for music ed

Community rides bikes, plays instruments at first “Musicycle”

NORTH LIBERTY– Over 500 underclassmen and around 100 upperclassmen are anticipated to christen the halls of Liberty High School in August. And, for the Iowa City Music Auxiliary, that means a third orchestra, band and choir to support.
“We use the money for transportation to festivals, entry fees for festivals and band uniform cleaning, mostly,” said Lisa Goodfellow-Mertens, past president of the auxiliary. “That dry cleaning adds up.”

Council moves on original town urbanization project

“Old Tiffin” to get a facelift

TIFFIN– Tiffin City Council member Jim Bartels remembers early discussions regarding the modernization of “Old Tiffin”– the four-by-three block area south of Highway 6, home to College, Grant and Summeryhays streets.
“Ten to 15 years ago, all we did was talk about it,” said Bartels. “We didn’t even have a plan.”
The council has come a long way since then.

Catch "Another Episode" May 18 in North Liberty

Outdoor binge-watching event to feature jumbotron

North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– Everyone’s doing it: binge watching.
And this summer, the City of North Liberty invites area residents to watch their favorite TV shows together– outdoors– in front of a giant screen.
“It’s about taking people away from their couches and bringing the community together for an otherwise isolating activity,” said Jillian Miller, the city’s community engagement coordinator.

The state of Swisher

Mayor Chris Taylor helps chart the future of small-town Iowa

SWISHER– Running for city office, and most recently for chair of the Johnson County Democrats, both sort of came about by accident, said Swisher Mayor Chris Taylor.
Happy accidents, he noted, that began with his bid for a Swisher City Council seat in January 2014.
“I remember sitting at my kitchen table and thinking, ‘Well this isn’t something I’ve done before,’” he shared. “I have no background in politics, but I thought it’d be a good way to get to know my community better, help the community ask some bigger questions about what it wanted to be, where it wanted to go.”

Ready to get to work

Donahue remains mayor, Madsen fills empty council seat

NORTH LIBERTY– After a close race, the North Liberty City Council will welcome back Terry Donahue as mayor and greet newcomer Sarah Madsen to the bench.
“We’re all anxious to get underway and get working now with a fully-staffed council and elected mayor,” said Madsen in an interview following her victory in the April 25 special election.

Third Street crosswalk in Tiffin

Council approves Ireland Avenue radar speed sign, discusses flashing pedestrian warning

TIFFIN– It sounds like thunder, said Tiffin City Council member Mike Ryan, when speeding trucks cross the railroad tracks near his home.
“Even if a semi’s going 35 (mph) instead of 25 (mph), it makes it pretty loud,” he said at an April 18 council meeting, when the safety of the Third Street crosswalk was discussed.
Excessive speeding along Ireland Avenue– especially by southbound traffic– was the primary cause for concern among council members, although Ryan also pointed to a visibility issue at the intersection.