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Shianne Fisher

Collaboration underway for Tiffin parks updates

Public works, STEM group team up for tennis, trails

TIFFIN– The people of Tiffin could be playing tennis, biking an eco-friendly limestone trail and walking their K-9 companions in a new city dog park by early fall if park updates stay on schedule.

Mother nature delivers

Area group holds Kites for Kids, the second child abuse prevention event in North Liberty

NORTH LIBERTY– When was the last time you flew a kite?
Hundreds of parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts took a leap down memory lane last Saturday, April 16, at the annual Kites for Kids event, teaching their little ones a popular pastime on the North Central Junior High football field in North Liberty.
The event, sponsored by Johnson County Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC), recognized April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month and urged parents to take an afternoon to intentionally spend time with their children.

The end of an era

‘Good ol’ boy’ Rick Dvorak retires as Johnson County Planning Director

IOWA CITY– If you want to get in touch with Rick Dvorak come May, you’ll need to hit the campgrounds, shooting range or golf course– a few of the places he feels most at home, aside from his office at the Johnson County Department of Planning, Development and Sustainability.
“I’m going to miss working but I got to go,” said Dvorak. “I better get out and enjoy life a little bit.”
Dvorak, who will turn 67 in June, is retiring as planning director at the end of the month. The decision is a result of some health issues he experienced last year.

Finding the formula for fun

Middle School students, staff create Solon’s largest human square root sign

SOLON– The entire Solon Middle School student body and staff lined up on the old high school football field on Monday, April 4, to celebrate Square Root Day, a play on the month and date to get the year (4x4=16).
Nearly 500 total people, including about 460 students in fifth-eighth grades, followed the instructions given by eighth grade math teacher Nancy Trow via megaphone. Trow was the innovator of the idea.
A photo was taken for the yearbook.

Local scouts, parents clean up Muddy Creek

Scouts get their feet wet for water quality

NORTH LIBERTY– It doesn’t take much to convince a bunch of Boy Scouts that splashing around near a creek can be fun. It’s the adults you have to worry about.
“For the kids, everything’s fun,” said Ray Bennett, Cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 275. “It’s the adults that see this as work.”

Park it somewhere else

New ordinance aims to improve safety, aesthetics in residential zones

TIFFIN– Local businesses may be required to relocate vehicles and equipment if the Tiffin City Council passes an amendment to its zoning ordinance.
Council members unanimously passed the second reading of the amendment last Tuesday, April 5. The amendment, which has both a home occupation and parking component, will most likely affect construction, hauling and excavation companies that use their pri­vate addresses for parking large trucks and storing supplies.

If you receive, you shall give

NL Community Fund looks to community for grant support

NORTH LIBERTY– Growing community, growing needs, growing support.
That slogan– at least most of it– couldn’t be more representative of North Liberty, which isn’t the small bedroom community its early residents remember. A special census put the city’s current population at 18,228– a 36 percent increase since the U.S. Census Bureau’s last official count of 13,374 in 2010.

Ely group brainstorms future rec. center

Committee explores $2 million project

ELY– A newly formed Ely committee doesn’t expect people to memorize the name behind the acronym. It just wants people to join in on the conversation.
The Community, Cultural, Recreational, Educational and Civic (CCREC) committee met for the first time in March 2015 and has toyed with the idea of a new community center since.
“We’re just a small group of folks brainstorming through the whole process,” said committee chair Bob Mreen. Community involvement at this point is low, he noted, but anyone is welcome to attend meetings. Six people currently make up the group.

Are we there yet?

NL residents anxious for Forevergreen improvements, interchange

NORTH LIBERTY– Construction on West Forevergreen Road and the new Interstate 380 interchange could be underway by late 2017, but for some North Liberty residents that’s just not soon enough.
“It couldn’t happen quicker for me,” said Duane Miller, who lives in the new Fox Valley development. He said it’d be “very convenient” to be able to hop on the interstate within just a few minutes from his house.

Little taco, big dream

New restaurateurs bring Central American cuisine to North Liberty

NORTH LIBERTY– Mexican restaurants are a stone’s throw away in most U.S. cities, but Central American food is much harder to come by.
That’s no longer the case for North Liberty residents, who can now dine on fried plantains, yucas, pickled cabbage and more at El Taquito, a new Mexican-Central American fusion restaurant located in Beaver Kreek Centre.
“I know there are already several Mexican restaurants here in town, but we decided to focus on different foods so we wouldn’t be so much of a competition,” said El Taquito owner Maribel Romero.

“Just do nothing”

Area residents speak up for Johnson County min. wage increase

NORTH LIBERTY– It’s not often a group of activists implores its government to just sit back and relax but a handful of people asked the North Liberty City Council to do just that last week.
About 40 individuals, in support of the Johnson County minimum wage increase, participated in a public “speak out” outside of North Liberty City Hall on Tuesday, March 22, before a regularly scheduled city council meeting.