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News

Benefit for Norm Ziskovsky Jan. 18 at DanceMor Ballroom

SWISHER– A benefit for Norm Ziskovsky will be held Saturday, Jan. 18, beginning at 4 p.m. at the DanceMor Ballroom in Swisher.
The benefit will feature a silent and live auction, as well as a ribeye ($12) or Maid-Rite ($8) dinner.

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.

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.

Sheriffs office confirms pharmacy break-in

SOLON– What was originally thought to be a fluke accident is now being investigated as a burglary.
According to Lt. Randy Lamm of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, an alarm was reported at Solon Towncrest Pharmacy shortly after 4 a.m. Monday, Dec. 23.
Both the responding deputy and the owner found the glass of the front door shattered, but everything appeared to be in place with no other evidence of a break-in.

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.

Johnson County’s Unified Development Ordinance passes third vote, takes effect Jan. 15

IOWA CITY– Johnson County’s updated Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) passed its third and final consideration on a 3-2 vote Thursday, Dec. 19, during a formal meeting of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. As with the previous two readings, Supervisors Rod Sullivan, Pat Heiden and Royce Ann Porter voted to approve while Janelle Rettig and Chairwoman Lisa Green-Douglass opposed.

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.

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.

New recreation director hired

Tom Harder started Dec. 16

SOLON– Solon has a new recreation director.
Tom Harder, a native of Iowa City, started the new post Dec. 16.
Harder replaces Ben Flaherty, who served in the position from September of 2018 to Nov. 7. Flaherty accepted a new job with the City of Ames.
Recreation Administrative Assistant McKenzie McIlrath served as an interim coordinator while the candidate search was underway.
According to City Administrator Cami Rasmussen, interviews were conducted in November and the position was offered and accepted by Harder.

County’s Unified Development Ordinance passes second vote

Third and final vote set for 9 a.m. Dec. 19

IOWA CITY– Johnson County’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) moved one vote closer to adoption on Thursday, Dec. 12, as the board of supervisors held the second of three considerations (votes) on the controversial measure during a regular meeting.
As with the first vote on Dec. 5, supervisors Rod Sullivan, Royce Ann Porter and Pat Heiden voted in the affirmative with supervisors Janelle Rettig and Lisa Green-Douglass in the negative for a 3-2 final tally.

Wastewater escapes to Mill Creek

Faulty pump contacts cause release: DNR investigates spillage

SOLON– A pump malfunction at the Solon wastewater treatment plant apparently caused thousands of gallons of partially-treated sludge water to be released into Mill Creek.
Public Works Director Scott Kleppe told city council members at a Dec. 4 meeting bad contacts in a pump had caused it to turn itself on Monday evening, Dec. 2.
“There’s nothing on that tank that alerts us of a high level or an overflow situation,” Kleppe reported.
The pump continued to run until it was discovered Tuesday morning by public works staff, he said.

Community Center condensed

City signs 6-month lease, cuts back on space

SOLON– The city will be downsizing its community center starting Jan. 1.
In an attempt to control costs, city representatives negotiated a new six-month lease with the Solon Community School District for the former middle school at 313 S. Iowa St.
The new lease was approved by council members at a Dec. 4 meeting, and awaits consideration by the school board later this month.