Meadowlark Pointe Unveils Plans For Upcoming Expansion


The plans for an expansion to the Meadowlark Pointe facility were announced on Saturday evening with the addition of 12 assisted living beds and 14 memory unit beds. 
The expansion is still in the planning stages with budget and financing still being finalized. The new addition will create at least 15 more job opportunities. 
The current Meadowlark Pointe facility has assisted living rooms that vary from 500-900 square feet of living space for residents. It was built 10 years ago. 
The projected expense of the building of the expansion is estimated between 4-4.2 million dollars. It is all part of Phase II of the facility which can then lead to Phase III further into the future. 
“I am excited about the expansion plans of the Meadowlark Pointe facility and working through the early plans of being able to provide more assisted living beds and the memory care facility has me even more excited about the services that we will be able to offer,” expressed Cozad Community Hopsital  Administrator Lyle Davis. “Anybody can stand out in the middle of the street and complain about what you do, it takes a special person to be able to walk up to the front door, knock and ask ‘What can I do to help,’ Cozad has a lot of these type of people. We can do this.” 
Along with the added facilities in the east wing, there will be an outdoor courtyard and garden that are enclosed to add to the security and safety of the facility. 
The planned assisted living and memory care units are prime examples of the commitment towards healthcare and reaching the needs of all individuals of Cozad and the surrounding areas. 

Lexington School Board Addresses Student Safety With New Policies

Students in Lexington are benefiting from the TeamMates mentoring program.
Torri McCracken, Lexington Middle School counselor and local chapter coordinator shared a report on the program during Monday night's school board meeting.
The Lexington chapter currently  has 68 active matches of adults mentoring students in  grades six to 12.  Seven additional mentors are undergoing training.  A long term goal set a few years ago was to have 75 matched pairs by 2017, said McCracken.  
Data from the last school year indicated 56 percent of the mentees showed academic improvement, 94 percent had fewer disciplinary referrals and 88 percent had fewer unexcused absences.
The Lexington chapter averages over 24 visits per match per year.
Established in 1991 by Tom and Nancy Osborne, TeamMates was formed in an effort to provide support and encouragement to school-aged youth with a goal to see youth graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education.  TeamMates has touched the lives of thousands of youth and currently provides a mentor for close to 8,000 youth in more than 135 communities in Nebraska and Iowa.
During the brief meeting, the board approved the purchase of a 2017 Chevrolet passenger van from Plum Creek Motors for $28,027, which was the lowest bid submitted.  Superintendent John Hakonson said the vehicle will be used for transportation for school activities and will eventually replace a vehicle with high mileage.
The board approved several school policies related to student safety as recommended by the district's legal advisors.  Hakonson said the policies needed to be updated to comply with new Department of Education rules.
The board accepted retirement announcements from two long term employees who will leave at the end of the school year:  food service manager Mary Stauffer and high school teacher Lennie Ambler.
They approved the transition of a teacher position at the Early Learning Academy from full time teacher to half teacher and half instructional coach.
They also approved an additional contract for High Ability Learner coordinator Josey Blessin to be a community liaison for the Multiple Choices after school program, which is a grant funded position.  Hakonson said Blessin now has two part-time positions.

Community Garden Brought Up At Cozad Board of Education Meeting

A regular meeting of the Cozad Community Schools Board of Education was held on Monday.
Under Public Comments, Cozad citizen Bill Clark presented a proposal to board members for a community garden he would like to see implemented east of Haymaker Stadium. The proposal had already been given to Superintendent Joel Applegate. The board will discuss and take action on the garden at the next regular meeting.
Under Administrative Reports High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer reported that he is hoping for good attendance at Wednesday’s parent-teacher conferences.
Beckenhauer reported that the district’s brown bus ‘died’ in Broken Bow on Friday.
The send-off for our cross country teams who will be competing at State on Friday is scheduled for Thursday at 10:45 a.m.
Middle School Principal Brian Regelin complimented the ESU10 personnel on the Marzano Training session held on October 5th. He also thanked Activities Director Cory Spotanski and the high school students who are hosting the ‘Habitudes’ sessions on early-out Wednesdays for middle school students prior to their athletic practices.
Regelin noted that the first activities session is almost completed and prior to the second session students will be meeting in their homerooms for character education and digital citizenship classes. “Students who are failing multiple classes will be assigned to a homework room instead of activities classes during the second session,” he continued.
Cozad Elementary Principal Dale Henderson reported that he had been approached by a CHS senior about helping with the NHS Food Drive and that the elementary has consented.
On Friday, October 28th Mrs. Halouska, Mrs. Brock and Henderson will be attending the Region IV Elementary Principal’s Leadership Conference at the Student Union at UNK. 5th grade students Nayelle Castillo, Blaire Davis, Shree Dyches-Chandler, Cole Lighthall, Hayden Russman and Juan Tapia will also be attending the conference.
On November 8th there will be an Afterzone/Title I Family Night beginning at 6 p.m.
Special Education Director Jill Beckenhauer reported that preschool teachers Kristi Albrecht, Jacque Yocom and herself attended class training to improve building relationships with preschool and special education students in addition to strengthening student-teacher interactions. This is one protocol that will be evaluated by the state department this year.
“We have also opted to participate in The Kindness Revolution ponsored locally by State Farm Agent Heidi Bazata,” Beckenhauer reported. 
Applegate stated that the district is in dire need of receiving training and understanding on how to address the huge poverty gap in the school and its effect on instruction.
He also reported that Ed Kucirek from Kucirek Engineering would be coming to discuss the boilers and ventilation system with Facilities Director Lonnie Dutton and himself so that parts may be ordered well ahead of next summer’s installation. 
“It’s ridiculous to spend an average of $9,000 per month on air conditioning and $7-$8,000 a month on heating in the high school,” Applegate explained.
High School Counselor Bruce Hird, Applegate, Larry Paulsen and Lyle Davis will be meeting in the near future to continue discussion on career tech education. “We need to look across the state and ask ourselves what can be added or changed to enhance our program,” stated Applegate.
The Employee Assistance Program that had been tabled and sent back for revision at the September board meeting was again discussed.
The new pricing structure was $33 per year/per employee with a total yearly cost of $4,950. 
The board members concurred that with the district’s mill levy and funding needed for other projects and staffing for next year that they could not justify even this minimal expenditure and did not approve the EAP services.
Discussion led by Cozad Community Schools Business Manager Ramona Priel on changes to the Cozad Community Schools 403(b) plan document continued. CHS Art Teacher Kent Ross had appeared at a previous meeting and expressed his concern about not being able to move money from the account in this plan offered to the district’s employees. Marcy Luth will assist Priel with revisions.
Negotiations Committee members John Peden, Jeremy Geiger and Ann Burkholder will be meeting with Cozad Education Association representatives Dawn Beans and Woody Blackmore on Wednesday evening.
Priel visited with the board members concerning the possible revision of Board Member Excused Absences. By state statute a vacancy occurs when a board member has had three consecutive unexcused absences from regularly scheduled board meetings. Board members are requested to communicate with Board President John Peden or Superintendent Applegate if they need to miss a meeting.
Marcy Luth will conduct the annual Auditor Report via teleconference with board members at 11:40 a.m. prior to their noon meeting at the November regular board meeting.

Brown & Aden reign as 2016 Homecoming Royalty in Gothenburg


Lexington Homecoming


Three Inductees Are Honored At Cozad Fall Ball Ceremony

“Why Me?” is a famous gospel, hymn, written by Kris Kristofferson in 1972. 
“Why Me?” is the question asked by Rob Quillen, keynoter at the Cozad Hospital Foundation Fall Ball, October 15th. The answers are found in the “hearts” of all of those seated at lovely tables, set as an evening of elegant golds and shimmering stars, all lighted by the huge crystal chandelier and subtle candlelight. 
“Why Me?” is answered by noting that Rob Quillen was in New York City on September 11th, 2001. He was there to experience the planes diving into the World Trade Center. He was there to depend on friends and people he did not know, who assisted in his return to Nebraska. 
“The day was horrific,” Rob said. “However, everything happens for a reason. On September 10th, I was on an airplane coming into the Neward Airport, talking to the man next to me. We talked about families, our careers and our dreams. He was a pilot, whit his schedule set for him to take the controls on the flight to San Francisco on September 11th.”
“You can already anticipate the scenerio of this story. Yes, Jason Dahl is the pilot of the plane that is downed in Pennsylvania. His dreams for his family are drastically changed. What I found is that I could help Jason’s family by making  a dream come true, one that Jason shared with me on our flight. That dream was to take his son Matt to the NASCAR races, featuring Jeff Gordon. What a grand celebration! Dreams for Jason’s family continue today with the creation of a special Foundation for youth. 
“Tonight, I ask that you think of someone for whom you can make a dream come true. I am not talking about spending money. I am challenging you to make a decision to tell someone that you love them, that you have a compassion for their success, that you care.”
“Why wait?”
The Fall Ball highlighted the three inductees into the Cozad Hospital Foundation Healthcare Hall of Fame. Admidst tears and standing ovations, the honorees are Carol Gibson, Carolyn Griese and Shirley Heidebrink. 
Cozad Community Hospital Administrator Lyle Davis presented Phase II regarding Meadowlark Pointe. The plan is for the 22,000 square foot addition to encompass a 14-bed Memory Care Unit and a 12-bed Heavy Assisted Living Complex. With this plan, it provides additional employment opportunities and economic growth to the Cozad Community. 
“In Cozad, we do what we do because it is the right thing to do. Currently, the Cozad Community Hospital System is Debt Free! As we anticipate our growth, the addidtion cost is set between $4-4.5 million dollars,” Lyle Davis explained.
The theme for the evenign goes back to “Why Wait?” The Cozad community is anticipating, waiting and watching for the “Ground Breaking Ceremony.”
The “Why Me?” provides the challenge, as the gospel hymn words are, “What did I ever do to deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known?”
The pleasures are the recognition of those inducted into the Hall of Fame. The pleasures are the opportunities to sit with famiy and friends, enjoying delicous foods, served by members of the Cozad High School FBLA organization. The pleasures are celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the founding of the Cozad Hospital Foundation. The pleasures are the visionaries, who plan growth for the Cozad Community. 
The pleasures, accolades and memories are infinite. 
“Everything happens for a reason.”

Cozad City Council Approves Lift Station Improvements Bid

The Cozad City Council convened for a regular meeting on Monday, October 17th, 2016. Pastor Doug Smith from Cozad United Methodist Church delivered the invocation.
Following the third reading of the proposed ordinance deeming it unlawful to park trucks and non-motorized vehicles, campers, trailers, boat trailers or similar wheeled vehicles on any street within the City Limits between the dates of November 1st and March 31st, council members denied the motion to approve the ordinance. The Cozad Municipal Code will remain the same concerning the parking of trucks and non-motorized vehicles.
Council members did approve the recommendation of the Board of Public Works to approve the bid made by Midlands Contracting of Kearney, Nebraska for the lift station improvements in the amount of $239,960.00. All work needs to be completed by June 1, 2017, but Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols said that it could be finished by as early as February or March of 2017.
An ordinance was introduced amending the section of the Cozad Municipal Code regarding municipal electrical system rates. The Board of Public Works has discussed this for two years with in-depth talks the past two months. The amendment does not address who but what entities will be affected by the revised ordinance. The council members waived the three readings of the amendment and approved the ordinance.
Under Reports, Lights Commissioner Britt German reported that they have two poles remaining to be repaired.
Park & Streets Commissioner PJ Jacobson reported that the city had received $5,200 for a vehicle they had purchased for $6,000 several years ago during the recent municipal auction.
Water Commissioner Nichols spoke about the lift station project and reported that a water leak had occurred at 5th & Newell in Cozad.
Wilson Public Library Director Laurie Yocom reported that the library would be closed this Saturday, October 22nd for cleaning. In November the Digital Audio Book Program at the library will offer 150 million magazines online Yocom will be attending a library conference in Omaha in November.
Rescue Chief Marlene Williams shared that the department had purchased a new battery charger.
Councilwoman Deb Leahy reported that the UP Steam Engine visit on Friday, October 14, 2016 was well attended. Mayor Nancy Meyer was presented a shadow box by UP officials. The shadow box will have a permanent home at the 100th Meridian Museum in Cozad after being displayed at the Wilson Public Library.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale discussed the Cozad Police Department’s policy concerning the Body Worn Video Recorders (BWV). The policy needs to be acted on by January 1, 2016.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 7, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

Commissioners Deny Special Use Permits For Construction Of Storage Units At Johnson Lake

The Dawson County Commissioners met for a regular meeting on Friday, October 14, 2016.
The Dawson County Board of Equalization met prior to the Dawson County Commissioners meeting.
Official’s Receipts were filed as submitted: $587.00 County Clerk; $17,192.38 Register of Deeds; $24,776.31 Clerk of District Court and $2,662.76 Surveyor.
Treasurer’s Receipts in the amount of $1,008,913.01 were approved as presented, as were the Total Claims in the amount of $285,554.08.
The commissioners also approved a resolution allowing Pinnacle Bank, Lexington, NE to recall $14,000,000.00 of collateral.
Under Committee Reports, Chairman Butch Hagan reported that the Ag Society would be holding elections for their board members at their November 14, 2016 meeting.
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber appeared with the September 2016 crime reports.
Total Services for the month totaled 1,148 with 1,85l LEC Dispatch Calls for Service.
There were 193 new inmates were booked into the Dawson County Jail. The jail had 1,623 contract days with 47.3 percent being Dawson County inmates and 54.1 percent being contract inmates. Average daily population was 101.4/day.
A resolution concerning County Court Petty Cash was approved.
The Deed of Conservation Easement from Central Platte NRD and John and Shirley Harnan was referred to the Dawson County Planning and Zoning Commission.
Dawson County Planning and Zoning Commission Director Pam Holbrook also reminded the commissioners that an alternate exists on the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment due to the departure of Kelly Sudbeck. Troy Linn has expressed interest in this position and Holbrook asked the commissioners to seek out other candidates.
Chairman Hagan opened the public hearing regarding the Special Use Permit made by Duane Kuhnel to construct a commercial storage unit on lots 62 & 63 of Lakeview Acres 2nd Subdivision at Johnson Lake.
“After being turned down by the Dawson County Planning and Zoning Commission and Dawson County Commissioners on a previous Special Use Permit, I was approached by four men to construct a commercial storage unit on the other side,” Kuhnel explained.
After discussion, the commissioners denied Kuhnel’s request and directed him to attend a meeting of the Tier 2 Board at Johnson Lake to seek approval for the construction.
Board members visited the Dawson County Jail for a routine inspection following the meeting.
Dawson County Assessor John Moore presented two requests for tax corrections. The first was for a TERC parcel submitted by Stanley Obermiller and the second for a parcel owned by Fred Waltermire involving a mobile home that had burned that was still on the tax rolls. Both requests were approved.
The next regular meeting for the Dawson County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, November 1, 2016.

Gothenburg Students Set for 2016 Homecoming Festivities

Screen_Shot_2016-10-13_at_12.33.13_PM.pngShooting for the Stars will be the students at Gothenburg Public Schools as they host Homecoming 2016 with the football game opponent being the Kearney Catholic Stars on Friday evening. 
Throughout the week, the Gothenburg students have shown great participation in the ‘Dress-Up’ days that coincide with Homecoming. 
On Monday, it was Tourist Day, with students traveling to the stars. 
Making people see double was the goal on Tuesday, with students dressing alike for Twin Day. 
On Wednesday, the students brought their favorite Teddy Bear-Stuffed Animal to school. 
Uniting together as classes, the students participated in Color Day on Thursday.  Seniors wear black; Juniors wear white; Sophomores wear red; Freshmen wear blue; Junior High wear purple and the Staff will be wearing yellow. 
On Friday, the students will show their Swede Pride with their apparel selections. 
Students will decorate for the parade starting at 1:30 p.m. 
The annual homecoming parade will start at 2 p.m. There will be a Pep Rally following the parade in the North Gym.
The homecoming game is Friday night at 7 p.m. against Kearney Catholic.
Following the game, the GHS Homecoming royalty will be selected as the king and queen will be crowned on the field. Competing for the honors and accolades to reign over the festivities are three boys and girls who were selected as Royalty nominees. 
Queen finalists are: 
EMMA ACKERMAN: daughter of Steve and Polly Ackerman.
Kaitlyn Aden: daughter of Brian and Chrisy Aden. 
Kassidy Kottwitz: daughter of Jeff Kottwitz and Sonja Kottwitz.  
King finalists are: 
Kaihden Brown:  son of Joe and Ruth Brown. 
Dawson Graham: son of Chris and April Graham. 
Dominic Long: son of Jim and Lori Long.
The Homecoming dance will follow the game from 10-12:30 a.m. in the Dudley Elementary Gym.

Homecoming Finalists In Lexington


Lexington High School Celebrates Homecoming 2016

Homecoming 2016 will contiue to be celebrated at Lexington Public Schools this week. The traditional event will climax with a dance following the Lexington Minutemen gridiron showdown with the Tigers of Hastings on Friday, October 14th at 7 p.m.
The Homecoming festivities got started with the decorating of the school. 
There have been ‘Spirit Days’ that allowed the Lexington High School students  and staff to dress-up in different costumes and genres throughout the week. 
The Parade/Pep Rally on Friday will start approximately at 2:30 p.m. with the parade traveling down Washington Street. 
The Lexington High School Homecoming Royalty will be crowned at halftime of the football game on Friday evening.
The Homecoming Dance will be held from 9 p.m. to midnight to wrap up the 2016 celebration.

2016 Hospital Fall Ball Is On Saturday Evening

  The Cozad Hospital Foundation Ball is set for Saturday, October 15th at the Cozad Elks Ballroom. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the social hour beginning at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.
   The Keynote speaker is Rob Quillen, nationally acclaimed inspirational speaker and the author of many bestseller books that includes “Why Wait?” Quillen inspires people to change your own life and unlock your abilities to help others live out their dreams. 
  It was just 35 years ago that several visionaries determined that a Hospital Foundation was needed for the advancement of healthcare in the 100th Meridian City.
  When one begins to look around the City of Cozad, the growth within the community’s healthcare system is very evident with the Cozad Community Hospital, Clinic and Physical Therapy Complex all being on the cutting edge along with Meadowlark Pointe and Central Plains Home Health and Hospice being instrumental in everyday living for citizens. 
  The Cozad Community Wellness Center provides opportunities for all age groups, enjoying the athletic courts, exercise equipment and walking track, with the Cozad Hospital Foundation providing a big share of the funding of the facility. 
  One of the most unique offerings is the “Loan Forgiveness Program.” The Foundation will pay off the loans acquired when the students are completing their education. “This benefit changes lives, with the health care employees coming to work in Cozad. This offering makes possible the opportunity to purchase a home and start a family. The amount of Loan Forgiveness provided by the Foundation is over $2,000,000,” Lyle Davis said.
  The Foundation is hosting the annual Fall Ball, Saturday, October 15th at the Cozad Elks Ballroom. The event is an evening of celebration and the opportuntiy to be a part of the fundraising for the advancement of healthcare in Cozad. 
  Tickets are available by contacting members of the Cozad Hospital Foundation. Tickets may also by purchased by calling the Cozad Community Hospital at (308)-784-2261.

'Trick Or Treat' Celebrations Unveiled For Tribune-Area

Cozad, Gothenburg and Lexington all have Halloween events scheduled for kids to ‘Trick or Treat’ in the respective business communities in the coming weeks. 
Spook Night will be held in Cozad on Monday, October 24th from 5-7 p.m. Kids are encouraged to pick up a Spook Night bag and punch card along with a map of participating businesses at the Cozad Chamber of Commerce office. You can drop your punch card off at the Chamber office when completed for a treat. 
Gothenburg will be hosting the always popular Munchkin Masquerade in the downtown business district on Monday, October 31st.  The Trick or Treating tradition will begin at 4:30 p.m. and run until 5:30 p.m. with many Swede City businesses participating in the joyous event. 
Lexington is excited to host ‘Trick or Treat Street’ on Monday, October 31st in the downtown business community to coincide with the traditional celebration of Halloween. 

Sixth Annual Hi-Line Toy Drive To Be Held On October 15th

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and for the last six years, Michael Dytrych, a Cozad native, and his wife Amy and their son Sam, have been putting together the “Hi-Line Toy Run” for the Parent-Child Center located in Lexington.
The Parent-Child Center is a private, non-profit agency that provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and physical and/or sexual abuse of children. The Parent-Child Center serves the Dawson and Gosper Counties and surrounding areas in south central Nebraska.
The success of the Parent-Child Center depends heavily upon the support of the community. The center receives federal funding to establish and promote their programs, but additional funds are needed from the community.  These generous donations are vital to the center’s continued services for victims of abuse.
Their shelters are always busy with women and children year round. The shelters along with the center are in need of various supplies. One of the needs that the Parent-Child Center is in need of is kitchen furnishings, such as pots, pans, plates and silverware along with cleaning supplies.  
The goal of the toy run is to meet some of the needs of the Parent-Child Center along with trying to gather enough toys or donations to provide each child that goes through the program a toy for Christmas.  “We couldn’t do this each year if it wasn’t for the caring people that donate and support the run”.
The Toy Run will start at the Darn Small Pub on October 15th, 2016, leaving at 11 a.m. with stops including Tractor Supply Company in Cozad, Hanger 22 in Callaway, Tep’s Bar & Grill in Lexington and then back to the Darn Small Pub for a raffle and dinner. Cost to join is $20 for single or $30 for a couple.
Tractor Supply Company in Cozad has set up a box for donations that will be picked up on the day of the run and delivered to the Center. A complete list of supplies they are in need of is on their website at
If you can help with some of the program needs, please contact the Parent-Child Center at (308) 324-2336. If you are interested in joining or donating to the run, please contact Michael Dytrych at (308) 530-4634. 

Celebrating With Family


Halloween Celebrations Scheduled In Tri-Cities

Cozad, Gothenburg and Lexington all have Halloween events scheduled for kids to ‘Trick or Treat’ in the respective business communities in the coming weeks. 
Spook Night will be held in Cozad on Monday, October 24th from 5-7 p.m. Kids are encouraged to pick up a Spook Night bag and punch card along with a map of participating businesses at the Cozad Chamber of Commerce office. You can drop your punch card off at the Chamber office when completed for a treat. 
Gothenburg will be hosting the always popular Munchkin Masquerade in the downtown business district on Monday, October 31st.  The Trick or Treating tradition will begin at 4:30 p.m. and run until 5:30 p.m. with many Swede City businesses participating in the joyous event. 
Lexington is excited to host ‘Trick or Treat Street’ on Monday, October 31st in the downtown business community to coincide with the traditional celebration of Halloween. 

Kearney Cinema



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