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Shianne Fisher

East-coast chef returns to his roots

Amos Dean’s catering offers produce, private dining in Solon

SOLON– Michael Lipcamon remembers strolling the rows of his grandparents’ garden at a young age. He’d pull peas from the vine, chew on rhubarb stalks and stain his hands with mulberries fresh off the tree.
“I spent a lot of time out here as a child,” he recounted. “I have a lot of baby pictures out in the garden with my grandma. She was a great cook.”

Solon volleyball preview

Coach Ferin hopes to improve team record

SOLON– Even after a lifetime devoted to the sport, it’s taken a year for Sarah Ferin to get her bearings as head coach of the Solon varsity volleyball team.
“I think last year with just coming in and having a large amount of seniors and playing people in different spots, it took the entire season for people to start trusting me,” she shared. “Now it’s night and day from last year already. The girls are having fun.”

Tiffin City Hall expansion to be completed in 2017

Council divided on hiring of Woodruff Construction

TIFFIN– A recently installed LED sign greeting visitors to the City of Tiffin should be flanked by another addition to city hall by year’s end.
At a meeting Tuesday, Aug. 1, the Tiffin City Council agreed to hire Woodruff Construction LLC, a Tiffin general contractor that built the current structure, to take on the expansion project for $139,400.
“We appreciate the opportunity to continue our support of the City of Tiffin and its incredible growth,” Nick Ford, Woodruff’s east region president, wrote to City Administrator Doug Boldt in a memo July 27.

Site plan approved for new GEICO building in North Liberty

Council members disagree on parking lot

NORTH LIBERTY– Mayor Terry Donahue said he was amazed at the number of parking spaces included in the GEICO site plan, approved at a North Liberty City Council meeting July 11.
The building, to be located east of Interstate 380 off Landon Road, has a parking requirement of 252 spaces, but the developer included 466 to accommodate expected shift work.
“They (GEICO) have a lot of employees,” explained Ben Mitchell of MMS Consultants. “They would take more if they could get it.”

Conserving the heart of Tiffin

Consultant presents council members with an opportunity

TIFFIN– It could be dubbed Potterfield Park, if the City of Tiffin can procure the land in time.
At a Tiffin City Council work session Tuesday, July 18, a consultant explained a one-of-a-kind chance for the city: the acquisition of 11.13 acres for a future nature area.
“It’s pretty black and white that it should be a park,” said Sandy Steil, land planning and development consultant at Steil Consulting LLC.
Steil, a member of the Bur Oak Land Trust’s board of directors and its land acquisition committee, said she’s never seen a property so well maintained.

Council members abort pilot transit program

Intracity service to run through August

NORTH LIBERTY– A poorly patronized North Liberty bus route will make its last stop next month– less than a year after it was launched.
At its July 11 meeting, the North Liberty City Council unanimously voted to end the pilot transit program effective Sept. 1. The decision essentially nullifies a contract with Johnson County, which enabled the city to use a SEATS (Special Needs and Elderly Assisted Transportation System) bus and driver since last fall.
“I think conceptually this is a great service,” said council member Annie Pollock. “I think we’ve given great effort toward it.”

Over 15k attend Blues & BBQ

A new look

NORTH LIBERTY– It was a year of firsts for the highly anticipated North Liberty Blues & BBQ, an annual food and music festival occurring the first Saturday in July.
In its 11th year, the event is still being perfected by its organizing committee to make the day accessible and enjoyable for all.

Colony Pumpkin Patch campaigns for its corn cannon

Conditional use permits for nighttime flashlight maze, zombie paintball required by Johnson County

North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– Patrons of the Colony Pumpkin Patch in North Liberty might have to go without– or at least see less of– one of the farm’s regular attractions this season.
At a North Liberty City Council meeting Tuesday, June 27, owners Dean and Katie Colony requested support of their efforts to keep the “Shootout Shack,” which includes a corn cannon and paintball guns, in operation this year.

Come home to Ledi Family Restaurant

Diner opens in North Liberty

NORTH LIBERTY– At Ledi, everyone’s family.
At least, that’s what co-owners Tammy Mowder and Ikmet Rushiti had in mind when opening the restaurant in May at the former Brown Bottle location in Beaver Kreek Center.
“That’s the type of place we want to be, where everybody knows your name,” said Mowder. “We’re getting there.”
The old-fashioned American diner is a far cry from the dimly-lit, Italian-style restaurant Brown Bottle customers remember, but Mowder promised equally-satisfying dishes from the new joint.

New police station in North Liberty’s future

Council split on how to select design firm

NORTH LIBERTY– If there’s one thing North Liberty City Council members can agree on, it’s that a new police station needs to be built. They’re less in sync about who should design it.
“I don’t object to the fact we need a police station as soon as possible,” said council member Sarah Madsen at a meeting Tuesday, June 13. “I’m just trying to balance what is the most responsible use of time and money.”
She added that each council member was elected by and should best represent the residents of North Liberty and their taxpayer dollars.
“It’s an extraordinary ask,” she said.

Take a rock, leave a rock

Facebook group beats summertime boredom with childhood craft

NORTH LIBERTY– It’s a simple idea, really, said North Liberty Rocks organizer MaryAnn Hines.
Paint, hide, find and repeat– rocks, that is.
“It’s just a community spirit project is what it is,” she said. “And, I love this community.”
Which is why she started the North Liberty Rocks group on Facebook last summer. With over 150 members, the group is the place to get clues for where to find rocks and to post selfies with found ones, as well as give hints as to where you’ve hidden your own.
“It’s actually a concept that’s taking off all across the country,” said Hines.

Swimming, boating ban before city council

First reading approved regarding city-owned ponds

TIFFIN– It’s silly, said City Administrator Doug Boldt, but needs to be done.
“Ironically after however many years we’ve had these detention/retention ponds, we’ve had some issues with kids swimming in the big one, the one with the fountain,” Boldt informed the Tiffin City Council at a meeting Tuesday, June 6.
He requested the council’s permission to draft an ordinance banning swimming, since technically there’s nothing in writing that says people can’t.