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North Liberty Leader

Black Lives Matter

Solon grads share their experiences with racism Over 100 march through Solon

SOLON– Black Lives Matter to white people, too.
And that is making a difference, according to a few Solon High School (SHS) graduates.
SHS alumni led a throng of about 150 people on a march through Solon Sunday, June 14, demanding justice for black Americans.
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporters shouted the names of the most recent victims in America’s race war as they walked from the SHS parking lot to the bandstand downtown.
Leading the crowd were Solon graduates Ainslee Eastman, Cate Neumann, Sydney Lawson and Ellie Hawkins, and 17-year-old Quincy Jagnow of North Liberty.

City of North Liberty commissioner vacancies remain to get involved

NORTH LIBERTY– After a series of commission appointments on June 9, several vacancies remain. The commissions and boards make decisions about a host of issue facing the community: what can be rezoned, if a variance to code should/can be allowed, priorities for public parks and recreational amenities, and much more. Volunteers are needed to lead and advise on the commissions. Applications are due July 7.

A necessary and responsible increase

Water rates will go up three percent in North Liberty

NORTH LIBERTY– Water rates in North Liberty increase by three percent next month. The City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the increase Tuesday, June 9, during a regular meeting conducted online via the Zoom virtual meeting platform. Two more readings are required with the second scheduled for later this month and the third to occur during the first meeting in July.
The new rate starts with water used in July according to Assistant City Administrator/City Clerk Tracey Mulcahey.
A public hearing, by phone and email, was held with no comments received.

“We Have Work To Do”

A joint statement from North Liberty’s mayor, city administrator and police chief

By Mayor Terry Donahue
City Administrator Ryan Heiar
Police Chief Diane Venenga

George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer was a heinous act.
We have seen the anger, frustration and grief spill out across the country, throughout our state and here in our own community, and finding the right words to say is difficult. Failing to say anything is immeasurably worse.
We will start here:

Overwhelming advantage

Primary election win presumptively clears Kunkel’s path to sheriff

IOWA CITY– Brad Kunkel will likely be Johnson County’s next sheriff.
Kunkel, a sergeant and the public information officer for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, defeated Al Fear, a sergeant with the Patrol Division of the Cedar Rapids Police Department, with an overwhelming 82 percent of the vote in a Democrat primary election Tuesday, June 2. Kunkel, of rural Solon, had 19,469 votes to 4,128 for Fear, a resident of Swisher.

Burning the midnight oil

CCA softball starts the season at the earliest possible moment

OXFORD– The Creek Girls couldn’t wait any longer.
The Clear Creek Amana (CCA) High School softball team started the 2020 season at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 1, the first day of practice per the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU), Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), the Governor’s Office, the Iowa Deptartment of Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Home sweet home, at last

Liberty baseball brings back just about everybody for 2020

NORTH LIBERTY– The Bolts’ diamond was finished last year, but not in time for Coach Tom Cronk and his crew to play on it.
After two seasons of being full-time road warriors, with “home” games played at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, the Liberty High Lightning will finally get to play on their own diamond on Liberty’s campus in North Liberty.

Supervisors survive primary challenge

Green-Douglass, Sullivan and Porter hold off challenger Phinney to retain seats

IOWA CITY– The three incumbents on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors held off a challenge from a newcomer in the Democratic primary election Tuesday, June 2.
Supervisors Lisa Green-Douglass, Rod Sullivan and Royceann Porter faced challenger Dean Phinney in a ballot box battle for three seats.
Green-Douglass garnered 18,875 votes (77 percent), Porter pulled in 16,961 (69 percent), and Sullivan, the longest-serving Supervisor of the trio, picked up 15,923 (65 percent) while newcomer Phinney mustered only 6,989 votes (28 percent).

Finishing the job

NL Council approves Shive-Hattery contract to finish Ranshaw House restoration

NORTH LIBERTY– “We’re at a point where we need to get it finished up and usable,” North Liberty City Administrator Ryan Heiar told city council members about the historic Ranshaw House.
Heiar introduced a proposal from Shive-Hattery to finish the rehabilitation of the house during a Tuesday, May 26, council meeting.

A solemn duty

Oxford Legion scales back Memorial Day events while honoring the fallen

OXFORD– In a normal year, American Legion Post 537 in Oxford conducts Memorial Day observances in six cemeteries. The veterans typically bus from site to site participating in a short parade and drop a wreath into Rhine Creek. Later, a detachment deploys to Sutliff for the evening ceremony on the bridge.

Preventing the over-policing of people of color

In the wake of George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer, we’ve been asked what training and procedures the North Liberty Police Department has in place to help prevent the over-policing of people of color in our own community. This post provides a high-level overview of current training, policies and procedures. There is, of course, work still to do, and it’s important for our community to hold conversations and itself accountable.

Use of force

Short but action packed

CCA and Liberty High release baseball and softball shortened season schedules

NORTH LIBERTY– The schedules for the 2020 high school baseball and softball seasons were released by the Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) and WaMaC Conference, and set the stage for a short campaign for the Liberty High Lightning and the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers.
On Wednesday, May 20, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the summer sports season could proceed and approved the reopening of school facilities beginning on Monday, June 1.