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News

Solon Speaks

8th graders create new positive podcast

SOLON– And now for some good news.
2020 was a year with a lot of negative reports, but a group of Solon eighth graders are looking to put the accent on the positive in 2021.
The Solon Middle School students, part of Kerri Coons’ talented and gifted classroom, created a new podcast, Solon Speaks.
Four of the podcast’s staff– Bri Henning, Makayla Keller, Lucy Miller and Piper Artley– introduced the new project at a school board meeting Dec. 17, 2020, and later to members of the Solon City Council during a Jan. 6 session.

Trail Ridge not quite there

City officials raise density concerns

SOLON– Everyone loved the Trail Ridge Estates plan.
But some loved it less than others.
Solon City Council and Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission members split over support of the proposed subdivision during a virtual joint session Thursday, Jan. 14.
No official vote was taken, but an informal poll taken by Mayor Steve Stange indicated three of five council members supported a new concept plan with four of the six commission members opposed.
Those in opposition cited concerns for overall density and the ratio of multifamily units to single family dwellings.

Congressman Dave Loebsack’s term ends

Dave Loebsack’s 14 years came to a close in the U.S. House of Representatives. Loebsack, a longtime professor at Cornell College, in Mount Vernon, chose to relocate to the Mount Vernon community now his term is finished. (contributed photo)

By Nathan Countryman
nathan.countryman@wcinet.com

MOUNT VERNON– After 14 years in the United States Congress, Dave Loebsack retired after this term, returning to the place his political career began.

Solon Community Pantry appeals for emergency fund

SOLON– The Solon Community Pantry is reaching out to the community for support of the Emergency Assistance Fund helping families with rent and utility shortfalls.

District readies for state assessment

Rebound from COVID layoff expected

SOLON– After a one-year, COVID-induced hiatus, Solon students will take a statewide assessment in 2021.
And while districts nationwide are dealing with a learning gap due to school closures and online curriculum, Solon’s administration expects to bounce back.
The Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) was introduced two years ago, explained Solon Community School District (SCSD) Director of Teaching and Learning Josh Lyons during a Dec. 17 school board meeting.
SCSD students took the ISASP during the 2018-2019 school year with paper and pencil, he noted.

It’s retirement day!

Four men and 130 years of law enforcement experience retire from the sheriff’s office

IOWA CITY– The “Thin Blue Line” (which represents the men and women of law enforcement standing between the civil society and chaos) is thinner today in Johnson County. Four longtime members of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO): Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek, Major (Chief Deputy) Steve Dolezal, Captain Gary Kramer and Lieutenant Brian Adolph, all retired as of Thursday, Dec. 31. Combined, the men add up to over 130 years of law enforcement experience.

Iowa frontline workers on COVID's severity: 'We've never seen anything like this'

NORTH LIBERTY– Elaine Hernandez and her husband were in a store when someone started to make fun of her for wearing a mask.
“Anyway, I mentioned COVID and he started screaming at me,” Hernandez, a nurse serving as a navigator/care coordinator clinician at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics’ post-Intensive Care Unit COVID unit, said as she recalled the incident. “He said, ‘Fake news, it’s a hoax.’ You know, he was like, he was very adamant about it. And, I was just crushed. I mean, I was shaking down to my knees.”

Johnson County Board of Supervisors appoints Heiden as chairperson

IOWA CITY– The Johnson County Board of Supervisors addressed a number of organizational issues for 2021 in its first formal meeting of the year, Monday, Jan. 4. The board began by appointing Pat Heiden as chairperson for 2021. Royceann Porter was appointed vice chairperson.

Board takes peek at 2022-2023 school calendar

SOLON– Solon’s school board went back to the future.
Board members were presented with a draft of the school calendar for 2022-2023 during a Dec. 17 meeting.
According to Solon Community School District (SCSD) Superintendent Davis Eidahl, the calendar was prepared based on previous years by administrative assistant and board secretary Kris Wentzien.
Eidahl reviewed the draft to ensure 180 school days and a minimum 1,080 hours of student contact.
The first day of school would be Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, and the last day for students would be Thursday, May 25, 2023.

Its been a wonderful job

After three decades, Kris Brown writes last chapter as director

SOLON Think of the Solon Public Library and you think of Kris Brown.
For decades, the two have been synonymous.
But with the dawn of 2021, Solons longtime library director is calling it a career.
Her last day is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 15, 2021
Even though she turns 70 in May, Brown is leaving reluctantly. Personal health issues have been the deciding factor.
Its just been difficult, especially with COVID, Ive not been able to work with the public for probably the last six months and I dont feel Im contributing enough, she noted.

The help wanted sign is still out

Supervisors make board and commission appointments, but vacancies remain

IOWA CITY The Johnson County Board of Supervisors made several appointments to county boards and commissions during its regular meeting Thursday, Dec. 10, but open seats still remain for volunteers looking to serve their community.
The Compensation Commission, which prepares a compensation (pay) schedule for elected county officers for the succeeding fiscal year, has three openings, which will be advertised for one month by the county. The supervisors appointed Dave Parsons to a one-year term, which starts on Jan. 1, 2021.

No post-Thanksgiving surge

Eidahl provides COVID update at school board meeting Parents asked to consider game plan for possible closures

SOLON The Solon Community School District (SCSD) made it past Thanksgiving with no serious surge in COVID-19 cases, but its urging parents to be prepared in early 2021.
Superintendent Davis Eidahl provided an update on the districts response to the pandemic during a Dec. 17 school board meeting.
So (we) really appreciate our families and their efforts with mitigation outside the school day, which were pretty sure had a positive impact on our current data, he noted.