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Community

His mission: to get people moving

Frank Haege is Tiffin’s first recreation director

TIFFIN– Frank Haege has a simple goal for the residents of Tiffin: “Get people moving.”
Haege is the city’s first recreation director, charged with researching, planning and implementing programmed inclusive activities for individuals and groups for the City of Tiffin at a recreational level. Or simply put, to get people moving.

The end

Gov. Reynolds cancels the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year

JOHNSTON– Students will not return to classes for the 2019-2020 school year after Governor Kim Reynolds issued her third and final proclamation for the schools during her daily COVID-19 press conference Friday, April 17, at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston.
“I regret to say Iowa schools will not reopen for this school year,” Reynolds said.

Lighting up for the seniors

Liberty High honors seniors’ leadership

NORTH LIBERTY– All spring high school sports remain postponed until at least Monday, May 4 (first practice date of May 1), but all of the athletic fields at Liberty High were lit up Wednesday, April 9, in a salute to the seniors.
Liberty, like many schools, was holding a Virtual Spirit Week with Wednesday’s emphasis on leadership. Athletic Director Mike Morrison said lighting up the fields was a way to honor the seniors and recognize their leadership.

Service with safety in mind

NL True Value offers delivery and pick-up service

NORTH LIBERTY– The COVID-19 epidemic has led to many changes in local businesses with some forced to close for the duration, and others having to alter how they serve their customers in an effort to “flatten the curve” of the number of infected people.
North Liberty True Value Hardware was among the first to shift their business model as they initiated curbside pick-up and delivery services early on.
“We did it right when the news came out,” owner Doug Christner said. “It was one of the first things we did. We posted on our sign out front and advertised it on our Facebook page.”

Take a hike!

County Trails remain open despite other closures

OXFORD– Hippocrates is said to have declared, “Nature itself is the best physician.”
As the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, schools remain closed until at least the end of the month and additional businesses have been ordered to close in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease.

2020 Blues & BBQ canceled

NORTH LIBERTY– “We have made the disappointing, but careful, decision to cancel the 2020 edition of North Liberty Blues & BBQ, originally scheduled for July 11,” announced North Liberty Communications Director Nick Bergus.
Bergus, also a member of the Blues & BBQ planning committee, said while the festival is still three months away, planning started last fall, and the current pandemic makes holding the festival even more challenging and potentially irresponsible.

Sign up now for Avenue of the Flags 2020

NORTH LIBERTY– Since 2011, the Optimist Club of North Liberty has helped North Liberty residents display their patriotism.
The organization’s Avenue of Flags program is in its 10th year, and the Optimists encourage everyone to sign up to celebrate their American spirit.

Faith, hope, and COVID-19

How ministers and congregants cope with virus-mandated restrictions

NORTH LIBERTY– Last Easter, the congregation of the North Liberty Baptist Church celebrated the completion of a major renovation project and the first service in their church after five weeks of meeting at the North Liberty Community Center. This Easter, Sunday, March 12, the sanctuary will be empty with the congregants celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the safety of their homes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The gym is gone, but the memories live on

Work begins on new gym for Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford

OXFORD– A big piece of Oxford’s history was reduced to rubble last week.
The gym at Clear Creek Elementary fell victim to a large yellow Caterpillar track hoe excavator, and was hauled off one truckload of debris at a time. The gym, built in 1936, had become outdated, and too small. In its place, a new and larger gym will be built at a cost of $4,359,000, one of the final projects for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District to be funded by a voter approved bond issue in 2017.

The longest-serving council member in Swisher

Mary Gudenkauf has helped shape her community since 2008

SWISHER– During the March meeting of the Swisher City Council, Mayor Chris Taylor offered congratulations to council member Mary Gudenkauf, who he said “just set a new record for Swisher’s longest-serving council member in at least 40 years!” Gudenkauf was elected to the council in 2008 and is serving a term which expires in 2023.
When asked about the distinction, she initially and jokingly called it a “rumor,” but added since Taylor is a Conflict of Interest Research Application Analyst with the University of Iowa, “I’m inclined to believe he fact-checked his own statement.”

A birthday to remember

Tiffin twins get their own parade

TIFFIN– Ashton and Stella Welch were happily playing in their garage when told to put on their coats and come outside. In the driveway of their Tiffin home, chairs and blankets, to cut the chill of a strong breeze, were waiting. Minutes later, several units from the Tiffin and Oxford Fire Departments slowly turned the corner from Redbird Run onto West Goldfinch Drive with all of the emergency lights flashing.
With their eyes wide in excitement, the twins heard “Happy Birthday Ashton and Stella!” from a loudspeaker on one of the trucks.

Strength and Hope

Area firefighters raise the doors and light up the trucks as a show of support in the war against COVID-19

OXFORD– “The doors are down, all is quiet, but we still stand ready.”
So said Solon firefighter Greg Morris in a Facebook post announcing a special response for Wednesday, March 25. At 7 p.m., the Solon Tri-Township Fire Department was going to raise the doors of the apparatus bays and turn on the emergency lights on the trucks as a sign of strength and hope for all during the ongoing war against the COVID-19 virus.