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Featured

Capitalizing on partnerships

Tiffin’s new Rec. Center could lead to new opportunities for area schools

TIFFIN– A new recreation center being planned by the City of Tiffin has the potential of forging partnerships between school districts and the city, and providing facilities for high school swimming and diving teams (as well as other competitive swim clubs/teams).
Tiffin City Administrator Doug Boldt gave an update on the project during a joint meeting of the Tiffin City Council and the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District’s School Board of Directors Wednesday, Jan. 8, at Oak Hill Elementary School in Tiffin.

Records set locally and statewide for First Day Hikes

145 people ply the trail at Lake Macbride

SOLON– At least 4,358 people participated in “First Day Hikes” in Iowa’s State Parks on New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported it was the highest attendance since the start of the annual event in 2012, and coincided with kicking off the Iowa State Park Centennial Year (2020).

Growing the Parks and Rec. Dept.

Harder steps in to help develop programs

SOLON– This is exactly what he wants to do.
“I’m really excited to be here,” said new Solon Recreation Director Tom Harder. “This is a job that I’ve been picturing myself in for a long time.”
Harder, 26, started his position Dec. 16, replacing Ben Flaherty, who served in the job from September of 2018 to Nov. 7.
A native of Iowa City, Harder attended West High, and stayed in town to attend the University of Iowa (UI), obtaining both his undergraduate and master’s degrees in sports and recreation management.

Bringing kids together

Students helping students in the CCA Middle School’s Peer PE program

TIFFIN– Seventy Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Middle School students have taken on a role typically more mature of seventh and eighth graders, and their classmates with special needs are the beneficiaries. The students, led by Physical Education (PE) Teacher Nick Boeset, spend time each week in a Peer PE program working one-on-one with their classmates in an open gym format.

No Airbnbs in residential Solon

Council passes first reading of zoning changes

SOLON For now, there will be no short-term rentals in residential areas.
The first reading of an ordinance limiting such rentals to commercial areas was passed at a Dec. 18 meeting of the Solon City Council.
Council members were asked to consider allowing the alternate lodging in residential zones by Michelle Bennett, of Solon, who has been offering short-term stays in a house at 113 E. Elm Street.
Council members stuck with the recommendations of the citys Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission, but left the door open to future modifications.

Hoping for less bitter this year, Beat the Bitter returns this month!

A full week of outdoor activities kick off on Jan. 25

NORTH LIBERTY– Winter in Iowa can be rough. Once green cornfields resemble a windswept Arctic tundra from Siberia. Most people huddle in their homes, grumbling about the cold, the wind, the snow, the ice, and whatever reason it is they continue to live in Iowa.
However, there is another group of people who grin rather than grumble and embrace winter rather than curse it. For those special folks, there is Beat the Bitter, a week full of activities designed to get people out from under their comforters and into the great outdoors for fun, adventure and good cheer.

Helping non-profits do great things

Team 218 Web Design donates services annually

NORTH LIBERTY– Team 218 Web Design is not your typical website designer.
“We’re not out to be the biggest or have the most clients,” explained co-owner Chuck Hersey, of North Liberty. “We’re a little more selective in the projects we get involved in. We like getting involved in projects that are interesting to us.”
And once a year, that includes offering free services to a non-profit organization.

Dean’s Dream

Solon Hardware documentary screens at community center Jan. 12

SOLON– For Barry Sharp, the history of Solon Hardware was worth preserving.
“If you want to feel good about living in this community, this is a great story,” he noted.
His documentary film, “Dean’s Dream,” will be screened for the public Sunday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. at the Solon Community Center.
Sharp moved to Solon in 2006 as director of the Iowa City Veteran Affairs (VA) Health Care System. He visited the Solon Hardware Store to purchase garbage cans and other items needed for a new home.

A Very Merry Christmas in Swisher

Santa Claus and The Grinch team up for Christmas joy

SWISHER– The sights and sounds of the season were on full display Saturday, Dec. 14, in a small, northwestern Johnson County community as “A Very Merry Christmas in Swisher” was held for an evening of holiday festivities.

Filling bellies and warming hearts

CCA Middle School students hold Holiday Food Drive for the NL Pantry

TIFFIN– The holidays will be at least a little bit brighter for some thanks to a group of Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Middle School students, and a lot of generous individuals. Ten eighth graders at the school in Tiffin are participating in a service learning elective class called “Me to We.” According to their teacher, Leif Asper, the students organize local and global service campaigns in coordination with an organization called WE.

Saving Santa

Helen Proffitt restores Golden Age department store Santa Santa’s Kitchen display featured at tree walk

SOLON– It was the year Helen Proffitt saved Santa.
Proffitt, of rural Solon, spent several months restoring a 5-foot 1961 Harold Gale Santa Company Santa for display at Solon’s annual tree walk Dec. 7.
The Santa figure, along with two elves, were featured in a three-walled Santa’s Kitchen in a corner of the Solon United Methodist Church Family Life Center, along with hundreds of other donated items.
Many of those, including Santa and the elves, came from the collection of Toni Russo of Solon.

Santa brings Christmas Cheer to Oxford

American Legion Auxiliary’s Soup, Shop & Santa Event welcomes Good Old St. Nick

OXFORD– The American Legion Post 537 in Oxford hosted a very special couple on Saturday, Dec. 14, as Santa and Mrs. Claus dropped by to meet local children, and hear their Christmas wishes, dreams and hopes. The visit was part of the annual Soup, Shop & Santa event sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, with the Canopy Lodge #290 of the AF&AM Masons providing a free soup luncheon.
The jolly couple from the North Pole was delivered to the Legion Post by the Oxford Fire Department, and spent two hours at the Post.