Discussion Pertaining To Commercial Storage Units At Commissioners Meeting

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners met for a regular meeting on Monday, August 15, 2016. The meeting opened with the approval of the Official’s Receipts, Treasurer’s Receipts and the claims as submitted. The commissioners also approved a resolution involving Pinnacle Bank, Lexington pledging an additional $13,503,686.14 worth of collateral.
Under Committee Reports, Commissioner Chairman Butch Hagan reported that the landfill expansion bid should be in soon and that the Dawson County Fairgrounds have been busy with rodeos. He also noted that the Ag Society would be taking over the 30th Annual Antique, Flea Market and Craft Extravaganza over the Labor Day weekend at the fairgrounds. 
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber presented the July 2016 crime reports. Total services during the month tallied 1,029 with 1,935 LEC Dispatch Calls for Service. 
198 new inmates were booked during July with the average daily population being 106. A total of $213,725.14 was taken in for July. Reiber also presented the corrected distress warrant report. Taxes collected totaled $40,906.03 with a total of $19,552.30 uncollected.
At 8:30 a.m. Chairman Hagan opened the public hearing regarding a Special Use Permit request made by Duane Kuhnel to construct commercial storage units on Lots 36, 70 & 72 of Lakeview Acres 2nd Subdivision. The hearing lasted almost two hours.
Speaking against the permit were Ricky Reid, Jon Schultheiss, Gary Heinemann, Cindy Schultheiss, Carl Tiede, Patty Barber and Dick Hollinger.
Objections voiced by the opponents included the close proximity of the buildings to their private cabins/homes and the park, that the area is zoned recreational/residential and not commercial, whether the storage buildings were adequately ventilated for boat storage in the buildings causing a possible fire hazard, run-off water issues coming from the commercial buildings, lack of respect for the covenants by the Lakeview landowners, concerns over what would be stored in the buildings, easement issues, fear of property value being lowered by the commercial buildings being built, aesthetic concerns of not being able to see the lake past the buildings, the 24/7 noise level and traffic caused by people using the present storage buildings, and the litter, trash and weeds around the existing storage buildings owned and rented by Kuhnel. 
Proponents felt that the buildings wouldn’t affect property values and that Kuhnel’s units are ‘first-class’ and well maintained. Some pointed out that they had never smelled gas in the storage units and that they had not witnessed heavier traffic or an increase in litter and trash due to the presence of the existing units.
Dawson County Zoning Administrator Pam Holbrook reported that her board had recommended denial of the special use permit request at their meeting on July 7th.
“We didn’t feel that the construction of these buildings would meet the required criteria including increased traffic, drainage issues and incompatibility with recreational usage,” Holbrook explained.
Commissioner PJ Jacobson didn’t feel that the concerns with run-off water issues and increased fire hazards were warranted, but felt that the board should listen to the zoning board members and their recommendations.
Commissioner Butch Hagan agreed that some of the existing storage buildings had been put in improperly but felt this was a tough decision since additional storage is needed at the lake.
“I have a concern for the immediate neighbors who have voiced their opposition to the construction,” said Commissioner Bill Stewart. “ I feel that we need to look at the regulations and how we they should be interpreted,” he added.
Commissioner Dennis Rickertsen noted that the special use permit request had not been taken before the Tier Two Lakeview Acres Covenants Board and that this is an emotional issue for all involved. 
Rickertsen added: “I think more about those lake cabin/home owners who live closer to the proposed site of new construction. With that in mind, I make a motion to not allow the special use permit based on not meeting four of the seven criteria for a special use permit to be approved according to Article 6, Section 602.03 of the Zoning Regulations of Dawson County: 1) Be compatible with and similar to the uses permitted in the district, 3) Not be detrimental to adjacent property, and 4) Not tend to depreciate the value of the surrounding structures or property, and 5) Be compatible with the stated intended use of the district which is Recreational/Residential.”
Commissioner Jacobson seconded the motion made by Rickertsen and the commissioners voted unanimously to deny the Special Use Permit. Kuhnel may appeal to the District Court concerning the decision.
In other business, Chairman Hagan was authorized to sign the MGT certification allocation plan.
The board entered into executive session at the request of Deputy County Attorney Kate Gatewood to discuss the contract negotiation for Applied Industrial Technologies’ Lease Renewal application. The only discussion concerned the contract rate, and Deputy County Attorney Gatewood was authorized to negotiate the contract rate for Applied Industrial Technologies.
A resolution was approved for the Advance Railroad Pavement Marking Program Agreement between Dawson County and the State of Nebraska Department of Roads. The painting at the railroad crossings will incur no cost to the county, but permission must be granted prior to painting.
Mark Gengenbach, CSTG appeared at the request of Commissioner Bill Stewart with an update on the courthouse network. 
Sheriff Reiber expressed concerns with the service provided by CSTG in the past year since the new system was installed.
“I am completely dissatisfied with the security system at the present time,” Reiber commented.  
One company representative who came to troubleshoot left a mess that had to be cleaned up by county employees.
Gengenbach apologized for that incident and promised that county officials would be notified prior to future visits from CSTG and that concerns in the county jail would be addressed.

Cozad Board Of Education Unveils Dutton As The New Head of Facilities/Maintenance/Transportation

The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, August 15, 2016.
Under Public Comments, High School Art Instructor Kent Ross expressed concerns with the Retirement Plan Consultants from Norfolk that the district makes available to staff.
“Their website is not easy to maneuver on and several of us found out that we missed the fine print that states you cannot take out or roll over any of these invested funds unless you leave the district or die,” according to Ross. “It isn’t fair that they are in control of our money.”
Ross contacted the company and they advised him to approach the school board about making an amendment to the agreement, so he asked the board members to consider his request.
Middle School Principal Brian Regelin reported that 13 new students have enrolled from Curtis, Lexington, Maxwell, Illinois, Texas and Utah. He also reported that there are 81 6th grade students this year and that 80 percent of them and their parents attended the orientation earlier in the evening.
Elementary Principal Dale Henderson reported that they had a huge turnout for their open house and that they have gained 13 students in the last couple weeks bringing their total enrollment to 401 to begin the new school term.
Superintendent Joel Applegate reported on the progress of the girls’ varsity locker room. “All of the new red lockers have been installed and the walls painted,” said Applegate. “The floor tiles and showers will need to be worked on over the holiday break,” Applegate noted.
Applegate also reported that the new school bus with 13,000 miles has arrived and that ESU 13 out of Scottsbluff will be sending a representative out to the school district three days a week to identify and assist with migrant students at no cost to the district.
Classified resignations in the district include Elementary Para-Professional Stacey Cooper, effective immediately and Teri Coenen, Food Service effective September 9th.
Classified hires are Jennie Smith, Elementary Para-Professional and Lonnie Dutton, Head of Facilities/Maintenance/Transportation.
Board members waived the first reading and adopted revisions in the Powers and Responsibilities of the Board.
Also approved were various revisions in board policy concerning classified personnel including sick leave, death leave, jury duty, absences in the case of inclement weather, mileage and expenses, holiday pay, vacation leave, personal leave, and unpaid leave. These policies are based on whether the classified employee is a 12-month, 10 or 11-month or 9-month employee. Also approved were board policy revisions on the job descriptions of custodian, the ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ that replaces the NCLB policy, the Homeless Students policy.
The revision of the board policy regarding Conflict of Interest was also approved as was the 2016-2017 Cozad Community Schools District Handbook and 2016-2017 Classified Handbook. 
Board members approved to continue offering the annual unused sick leave pay for certified and classified staff for the upcoming school year.
Ramona Priel ws designated as Cozad Community Schools Business Manager, a role she actually began last year received approval by the board.
Discussion items included End of Year Transfers of General Funds to Other Funds. These must be completed prior to the August 29th Special Board Meeting for closing out the fiscal year on August 31st.
Superintendent Applegate shared that the district would not have to ‘tax to the max’ and go to the $1.05 maximum tax levy for the 2016-2017 school year.
“Right now we’re looking at a 3 percent increase with a preliminary ball park figure of $13,710,000 for next year’s budget,” Applegate reported.
The next regular meeting for the board is scheduled for Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. Prior to the regular meeting there will be a budget hearing at 6:40 p.m. followed by a tax hearing at 6:50 p.m.

Lexington Fall Fest Extravaganza Under New Leadership in 2017

The Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce has announced that following the 2016 Lexington Fall Fest Extravaganza they will no longer be the host for this event. 
“Through the strategic planning process the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff went through, we are focused on working toward events and activities that either benefit a large number of our chamber members or bring our community together to celebrate Lexington. The Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors felt that it was time to move in a different direction from hosting the Extravaganza” stated Barry McFarland, President of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Lexington Antique Extravaganza will be under new leadership with the Dawson County Fair Board starting in 2017. The Dawson County Fair Board met and determined that they wanted to continue this event. “We are so thrilled that the Dawson County Fair Board will be leading this event and injecting new ideas into the Extravaganza,” said Ann Johnson, Fair Manager.
The Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce will be launching a new community celebration to be held the third weekend in June 2017. 
The event is yet to be named, but will include a parade, activities and carnival in the park, concerts, and a movie in the park as well. 
“We hope to make this an annual event so community can come together to celebrate the great history and diversity in Lexington,” stated Christy Werger, Executive Director of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce. 
The Chamber will be working with civic clubs, youth organizations and churches to recruit participation in this community event.

Cozad Chamber Honors Svajgr's As Farm Family

A lifelong love of livestock and dedication to improving the beef industry are the hallmarks of our 2016 Farm Family honorees. 
Through his upbringing on a southeast Nebraska farm to extensive animal science and nutrition training and three degree programs, our honoree laid the groundwork for his passion in livestock production.
Born Nov. 22, 1942 at Milligan, Neb., to Ed and Bessie Svajgr, Al Svajgr was the middle child of three children. His education began at District 22 near Diller.
He grew up working on his parents’ Jefferson County farm and was especially fond of working with the animals there. He showed cattle and hogs in 4-H and was involved in the FFA at Diller High School.
He graduated from Diller Rural High School in 1960 and received an associate’s degree from Fairbury Junior College in 1962. He went on to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he was active in Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science.
While attending UNL he met his wife, Judy Smith from Cozad, and they were married in 1966. They had one son, Jeff. 
Svajgr went on to obtain his master’s degree in animal science and nutrition from UNL and while working on his degree he was manager of the UNL Swine Research Center.
The Svajgrs moved to Kentucky in 1968 so Al could begin work on his doctorate in animal science and nutrition at the University of Kentucky. During this time he was also an Extension Swine Specialist there. 
Upon receiving his doctorate in 1971, Al accepted a position with Continental Grain in Chicago, as a research specialist and assistant director of research. After six years in the Windy City and Northern Illinois the Svajgrs moved to Cozad.
He joined his father-in-law, Juhl Smith, in the family cattle feeding and ranching operation.  Juhl was a well-known cattleman and businessman.
An eternal optimist and lover of a good deal, Smith was born in 1918 at Cozad where he grew up and attended Cozad schools.  He began farming in 1940 using a team and wagon. In 1942 he married Vera Kampfe and they were the parents of three children, Judy, Virginia and Chris.
With the support of his father-in-law Oswald Kampfe, Juhl purchased his first group of cattle in 1944. He fed cattle in wooden bunks with a wagon and scoop shovel for several years. 
Judy often joined her Dad by the three cattle pens they started with on the home place. As the operation grew, Juhl purchased 10 acres of hillside on land adjoining the home place and built five pens with fence-line bunks. He put up an elevator leg and bins next to the barn.
Beginning in 1959 and continuing through 1988, Juhl purchased ranch land north of Cozad so the growing operation would have adequate pasture.
During the 40s, 50s and 60s, Juhl would always buy and feed some two-year-olds, usually around 1,000 pounds when purchased off the grass in the Sandhills. The most profit per head he recorded was $197 and the biggest loss was in 1953-54 when he bought yearlings for $42.50 and sold them fat for $18.
Juhl especially liked the pasture phase of his operation and his family notes he would spend many summer days spraying musk thistles or taking a break by the old sod house with his son, Chris.
When Al and Judy returned to Nebraska in 1977 the cattle feeding and ranching expanded. Soon cattle became the only product sold from the operation, which consisted of irrigated corn and alfalfa, pasture and silage, all of which were consumed by the cattle. Five hundred pound calves were purchased, backgrounded, summered on grass and finished for market in December, January and February.
Not only was irrigated farmland added to the operation, but pasture ground in both Dawson and Custer Counties, as well as feeding facilities northeast of Cozad, notes Al.
In the late 1970s Svajgr started a company called Agrow, Inc., that is still actively involved in farming, ranching, backgrounding and the cattle feeding business. They grow feed for roughly 8,000 cattle fed through the operation each year.
In 1982 Al was one of the original owners of Darr Feedlot, northeast of Darr. The original purchase was a bankrupt facility with about 3,500 head capacity. Through the past 34 years it has been expanded to the present 45,000-head capacity, notes Svajgr.
Juhl’s business sense had him involved in a variety of operations in Cozad beyond the livestock and farm. He was co-owner of Cozad Elevator Co. during the 1960s and a minority owner of First National Bank of Cozad. In 1968 he became co-owner of First Bank and Trust of Cozad.
Al notes, “We lost Juhl in 2000, but he never lost his passion for cattle ranching and feeding.”
Al lost his wife, Judy, in March of 1997 to cancer. She was only 52 at the time of her death.
Within a year he became acquainted with JoAnn Braun of Lexington, who had lost her husband to cancer in 1996. Jerry and JoAnn Braun had moved to Lexington in 1974 and started a Harvestore business, then sold Harsh Mobile Mixers and associated ag equipment. JoAnn managed the office from 1985 until 1997, when she sold the business.
“You can blame it on a book,” said JoAnn. While she and Al knew of each other because Al was a customer at the ag business, they had never really met.
Both shared Bruce Hart as their attorney and Bruce had mentioned to JoAnn that he thought Al might benefit from reading a book on grief she had told Bruce about. 
So JoAnn dropped it off at the law office and Al picked it up and read it. He called JoAnn one night to thank her and the rest, shall we say, is history.
Al and JoAnn were married in July of 1998 and are active in many community, church and civic activities.
Svajgr has been very active in local, state and national organizations. He was a member of the Dawson County T-Bone Club and later president of the Dawson County Cattlemen in 1982.
He served as president of the Nebraska Livestock Feeders Association in 1987 and witnessed their merger with the Nebraska Stock Growers Association and the Nebraska Feedlot Council to form today’s Nebraska Cattlemen’s organization.
John Schroeder noted prior to a previous Svajgr honor, “Al is very passionate about the beef industry and is involved from the ground up and still enjoys the down and dirty part.”
Svajgr is a director of First Bank and Trust Co. in Cozad, and chairman of Midwest Banco Corp., a multi-bank holding company with branches in Cozad, Clay Center, Imperial, Eustis, Cambridge, Colorado Springs and Loveland, Colo.
He continues his interest in education, serving as a guest lecturer for the animal science livestock systems classes at UNL and to graduate students.
After six years on the operating committee and board of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) he was voted in as chairman in 2005 and voiced his passion for the importance of research in the cattle industry.
“Looking back over my last 40 years of feeding cattle in Dawson County, I contrast that today we are marketing choice cattle at 15 to 20 months of age weighing 1,500 pounds compared to then selling three-year-olds that did well to weigh 1,300 pounds at slaughter. Today we are producing more pounds of edible beef with 25 percent fewer cattle in the herd and doing it much more efficiently,” said Svajgr.
“As I look to future generations leading the beef industry, continued research and new advances in science will surely be the main drivers making sure that quality delicious beef on the plate remains a protein of choice around the world. As we now produce our beef for the global market, we must stay ahead of other world competitors. New advances in genetic markers plus advanced products promoting faster and more efficient gains with improved animal health will all be critical keeping we cattle feeders here in the United States as leaders in the world's beef market.
While Svajgrs’ contributions to the livestock industry are many, his support for all of Nebraska agriculture is evident in his membership in and awards and recognition he has received from numerous groups and organizations. Among those are Ag Builders, the Nebraska L.E.A.D. board, Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska board, UNL committees and boards, NCTA Advisory board, Cozad Elks Lodge, Cozad Library Building Chairman, Camp Comeca and Cozad Hospital board.
He is a past inductee into both the Dawson County and Nebraska Cattlemen’s Halls of Fame, a UNL Block and Bridle Club honoree, AGR honoree and most recently received the UNL Henry Beachell Distinguished Alumni Award and the Cozad Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award.
The Svajgrs current family consists of Al’s son, Jeff of Omaha, granddaughters Ahnika and Addison and grandson Alex, all of Johnson Lake, JoAnn’s daughter and husband, Joan and Randy Tigges of Lidderdale, Iowa, and daughter Jana and Phil Kopf of rural Lexington, grandson Seth Kopf and granddaughter Jessica and her husband, Nick Mares of Lincoln.
Juhl and Vera’s daughter Virginia, is married to Keith Olson and they live in Colorado Springs, while son, Chris, lives northeast of Cozad on the farm.
Al and JoAnn reside in Cozad and are active members of Christ the King Catholic Church. When not involved with work at the farm or feedlot or going to meetings, the couple enjoy their family, bridge, golf, the Huskers and for Al, his “Blue Chair.”
As he looks to the future of the livestock industry, Svajgr notes, “If we can continue to make as much progress in cattle feeding and management in the future as we have seen in the past 40 years, then cattle feeding will likely  be alive and well as a major industry here in Dawson County for many years to come.

Egenberger Is Named Office Manager For Gothenburg Community Development

Diving into her new job with gumption was Deb Egenberger on Monday, as she was just recently named the Office Manager for the Gothenburg Community Development office. 
“I am very excited to get started and have the opportunity to use my talents and abilities to strengthen the business community with new ideas,” expressed Deb Egenberger. “I have a lot of knowledge of the area. I know a lot of Gothenburg residents and business owners. I have a creative mind and have big ideas to enhance the Gothenburg Community Development office.”
Deb Egenberger has experience in organizing events and activities as well as promoting those events and activities. 
The Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors are extremely pleased to have Deb Egenberger as our new Office Manager.  The Board feels that with Deb’s leadership we will re-focus and build our Chamber to a greater level and benefit for our businesses.  Her professionalism and strong community relations are definitely strengths she excels at and brings to our membership. 
She comes to the Community Development office after being in the print media business for nearly 30 years. She has been deeply involved in the Gothenburg community as an employee of the Gothenburg Times since 2003.

Cozad Set To Host Hay Days Celebration September 8-11th

Cozad, brought to you by the Union Pacific Railroad will be featured throughout Cozad during the Annual Hay Days Celebration that will start on Thursday, September 8th and conclude Sunday, September 11th. 
The crowning of Little Miss Hay Days and Mr. Haymaker will be held on Thursday, September 8th at 4:30 p.m. 
The always popular and well attended Pets on Parade event will be held on Friday evening at 5:15 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park with registration beginning at 4 p.m.
The always popular DC Lynch Carnival that will be set up in downtown Cozad will shine their bright lights starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, noon on Saturday and 1 p.m on Sunday.
On Saturday morning, there will be a Pancake Feed at the Cozad Christian Church from 7 -10 a.m. just prior to the Hay Days main event. 
The Annual Parade will start at 11 a.m. with many events to be featured after the grand march down eighth street. 
There will be a great variety of food to satisfy your hunger that will be available at the Elks Club’s Buffet and at Chipper Hall on Saturday at noon. 
The Knights of Columbus will be hosting an Ice Cream Social from 12 p.m. at Chipper Hall as well. 
The Cozad Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting ‘Water Fights’ at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. 
If your looking to get inside out of the heat, you can play Bingo at the Grand Generation Center on Friday from 7-10 p.m. and on Saturday evening from 7-10 p.m.
The annual Alumni Banquet for Cozad High School will be held at the Elks Club from 7 p.m. until 12 a.m. on Saturday evening.  
On Sunday, the Elks Club will serve a Brunch Buffet starting at 8 a.m.
The Cozad Volunteer Fire Department will host an Open House on Sunday from 2-6 p.m. with a BBQ supper being served at 5 p.m. at the City Parking Lot. 
For more information and/or to register a parade entry, email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 308-672-5148.

Drug Court Successes Spotlighted In Lexington On Wednesday


This week marks the 10 year anniversary of Mid Nebraska Drug Court in Dawson County. In honor of this occasion Judge James Doyle invited several distinguished guests to the Dawson County Courthouse to discuss the successes of this program.
Included were, Judge James Doyle IV, Nebraska Supreme Court Justices Michael Heavican and Justice William Cassel, Nebraska State Probation Administrator Ellen Brokofsky, Region II Human Services Administrator Kathy Seacrest along with several members of her staff,  Unicameral Senator Matt Williams, Drug Court Coordinator, Steve Garcia and Brooke Weeder, Mid Nebraska Drug Court’s First Graduate.
Drug Court is a specially designed court calendar or docket, the purposes of which are to achieve a reduction in recidivism and substance abuse among nonviolent substance abusing offenders and to increase the offender’s likelihood of successful rehabilitation through early, continuous, and intense judicially supervised treatment, mandatory periodic drug testing, community supervision, and use of appropriate sanctions and other rehabilitation services (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2005).
Judge James Doyle IV spoke about how the Drug Court was established and shared that in the decade since Drug Court first came to be there have been 80 people graduate from the program. He also said that there are 80 participants going through currently and that he expects each to graduate the program. He also discussed the roles each of the guests played in the development of this program.  Judge Doyle serves in the 11th Judicial District of Nebraska as one of four District Court Judges. He also serves as the Chairperson for Problem Solving Courts in Nebraska. 
In 2006 he approached the state Community Corrections Council for financial assistance to start a drug court in Dawson County, the Council approved his request and so it  began.
Chief Justice Michael Heavican said, “Judge Doyle has been persistent in making sure there is accountability in specialty courts.” He also said that Doyle, “constantly performs at a level where people come out successfully.”  Heavican also spoke about  how drug court came to fruition. He said that when the decision was made that no more prisons would be built in Nebraska people had to get together and decide how to proceed. He said that Ellen Brokofsky, Administrator for the State Probation Department, “pioneered community corrections.” Brokofsky has continued to work through the Probation Office and its staff to provide constant services for the people they serve. 
Kathy Seacrest, Region II Human Services Administrator said, “Ten years ago when we first sat down to discuss this we didn’t agree on much.” But expressed as people began working together to provide the necessary services for the participants to be successful it all came together. She also said that the work and care given by her staff to the participants goes, “way above and beyond what is expected of them.” Region II Human Services provides much of the counseling and cognitive therapies the drug court participants rely on for success in the program and throughout their lives in recovery.
Unicameral Senator Matt Williams of Gothenburg introduced LB 919 to the Legislature. LB 919 expanded funding for services to the drug court participants. Williams said that he views the people who serve drug court participants as their ‘wing men’. Expressing that the efforts of the staff who work with the drug court participants is instrumental in the success of the program. 
At the conclusion of his remarks Chief Justice Michael Heavican and Judge James Doyle presented Williams with a very special “Friend Of The Court Award” for his work in  providing the Legislation that allowed services to be expanded for drug court and other problem solving courts.
In August of 2006 Brooke Weeder entered the Mid Nebraska Drug Court program after she received a possession of methamphetamine charge. She said, “I came from a good family with hard working parents.” She went on to say that she began smoking cigarettes at 14 years old and believes this was a ‘gateway’ drug for her. The cigarette smoking led to smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol and on to using methamphetamine. She said in the beginning of using methamphetamine it was “my elixir.” She said that she was able to work hard and loose weight. But as her dependence of methamphetamine increased things in her life started falling apart until she was eventually charged with possession of methamphetamine. “That was the darkest month of my life, I wanted to die.” She was 20 years old. 
Weeder reluctantly followed the advise of her Probation Officer, Maria Easterday, to complete drug treatment and then enter the Mid Nebraska Drug Court program, which at that time was just beginning. Weeder said, “ People believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself , Judge Doyle, Steve Garcia and my parents believed in me.” After spending 18 months in the program Brooke became the first successful drug court graduate. Now, 10 years later, she helps other participants in the drug court program, she said, “I have become a successful member of society and that would not have been possible without drug court."

New Staff Excited At Lexington Public Schools


EXCITED TO get started are new faces to the Lexington Public Schools. Starting their careers with Lexington Schools on Monday were (front, from left) Jonah Bradley, HS-SPED; John Ross, MS-Alternative Ed; Margarita Ramirez, MS-Language Arts; Dennis Seberger HS-Language Arts; Kelley Hendrickson, Morton-Kindergarten; Rosa Robinson, Bryan Spanish Reading Intervention; Barb Long, ELA-SPED; Teresa Barnett, Sandoz-3rd grade; Michelle Rodine, Pershing-SPED; and Socorro Gomez, Bryan-3rd grade.  (Middle) Daniel Revelo, HS-ELL; Timothy Jones, Pershing-5th grade; Kim Ramirez, HS-Spanish; Lindsay Rosner, MS-SPED; Kirstie Koch Morton/Sandoz-Psychologist; Peggy Bourge, MS-Social Studies; Randi Todd, Sandoz-3rd grade; Kylie Lewis, Pershing-5th grade; Ashley Axmann-Morton-1st grade; Haley Mandelko, Bryan-PE; Whitney Kuss, Sandoz-2nd grade; and Bailey Smith, Sandoz-3rd grade. (Back) Dillon Woodrum, HS-Social Studies; Timothy Potter, HS-Agriculture; Jordan Baker, Morton-1st grade; Torri McCracken, MS-Counselor; Michael Robinson, MS-ELL; Libby Joekel, HS-English; Monica Pettz, Sandoz-2nd grade; Darin Exstrom, HS-SPED; Maria Santos, HS-Counselor; Alejandra Davila, MS-Spanish; Katie McGuire, MS-SPED; Suzanne Melliger, Pershing-Principal.

New Staff For Gothenburg Schools


Farmers & Businessman's BBQ To Be Held At Elks Club In Cozad

“Where Ag Meets Technology” will be highlighted during the 37th Annual Cozad Chamber of Commerce Farmers & Businessman’s Appreciation BBQ that is scheduled for Tuesday, August 16th at the Elks Club in downtown Cozad. 
The Appreciation BBQ will start with a social hour from 6-7 p.m. The BBQ will be served at 7 p.m. 
The Cozad Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee is preparing for a large crowd after last years large crowd that exceeded over 175 farmers, ranchers, businessmen and their families that garthered for fellowship and to celebrate the bond our community has in working together. 
Following the social hour and the meal, a “Farm Family of the Year” honor will be bestowed on a very deserving family and the “Ag Service Award” will be presented and spotlighted during the festivities. 

Cozad City Council Discusses Museum Wall Options At Recent Meeting

The Cozad City Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, August 8, 2016.
Jim Terry, representing the 100th Meridian Museum Board of Directors appeared and reported that he and fellow director Morrie Andres had met with councilmen Charlie Block and Ron Olds and Joe Welch from Paulsen Inc. regarding the wall.
The updated proposal is for split-face stone four feet up and then metal panels according to Terry. Projected cost is $65,380.
The museum has $20,000 available for the project including $10,000 from an anonymous donor and $10,000 from tourism funds.
City Clerk Susan Kloepping had visited with DAD Community Development Director Suzanne Brodine and thought that $12,000 was available from tourism funds. Judy Andres told Kloepping that the $10,000 was included in the $12,000. Kloepping asked that Andres contact Brodine as to the correct amount available in the tourism funding.
100th Meridian Museum board members are still hoping that the City of Cozad can come up with some of the funding since the demolition of the Rialto Theater that was owned by the city was completed by the city and the wall situation was the end result of that demolition.
Councilmember Charlie Block commented, “I think we all want to see this project completed without digging into the taxpayer’s pockets.”
In other business council members approved the request submitted by the Cozad Jaycee President Kiley Goff to block off downtown streets for the annual Hay Days celebration scheduled for September 9 - 11. This year the carnival will remain open until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Also approved were special designated liquor licenses for Big E’s as submitted by owner Travis Munster. The first request was for a wedding reception at Chipper Hall on Saturday, September 3 and the second one for a beer garden during Hay Days on September 9 and 10.
Emergency Management Director Brian Woldt presented and explained the Hazardous Mitigation Plan. Required paperwork will need to be filled out by city officials.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 22, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the 

Livin' Out Loud 2016 To be held in Gothenburg on August 20th and 21st

Livin’ Out Loud is excited to announce a free 2-day family event in Gothenburg, Nebraska Saturday, August, 20th starting at 5:20pm and Sunday, August 21th at 10:45am.
This Free 2-day outdoor event will be held at the Gothenburg 4-plex, across from the high school and near the baseball fields. Saturday events will start at 5:20pm and feature bands Newsboys, Meredith Andrews, The Digital Age, 7eventh Time Down and Stars Go Dim. Special guest speaker will be Keith Becker of the Todd Becker Foundation. Becker will also lead the community wide outdoor church service on Sunday morning at 10:00 am, with The Digital Age and Meredith Andrews leading the worship. 
“Livin’ Out Loud was created to build unity among churches throughout the community, to focus on our common beliefs and come together to glorify Christ,” explains Joe Wahlgren of Gothenburg. “In 2015, we had over 6,500 people attend and dozens of churches participate. This year, we hope to exceed that number.”
Livin’ Out Loud not only views this Free 2-day event as a unity builder among Christians in Gothenburg and surrounding areas, but also as a wonderful outreach tool to those who have yet to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “This Christ-centered, family fun, outdoor event is a great way to invite friends and family that may not be comfortable joining you inside a church building on a Sunday morning,” explains Russ Tripp of Gothenburg. “There will be food vendors, and exceptional, heartfelt music. It should be a very memorable event.” 
To make this event free every year we ask people to donate or sponsor the event. If you or your business is interested in supporting this event please email ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 308 529 0067. See you there.

Tenneco/Monroe Facility Demolition Permits Currently Being Processed

Cozad Eagle LLC, owners of the former Tenneco/Monroe facility located at 121 Meridian Ave. have some very interesting ideas for the future use of the property.  Demolition permits are being processed by both the City of Cozad and Nebraska Department of Health and this is just the first step.  Manohar Singh Mann; one of the owners, stated that “we believe that renewable energy is a must, the carbon footprint has to be reduced so our children and grandchildren will have clean air to breathe and a climate that they can live in.”  Preliminary studies suggest that the site could work for a renewable energy plant but further studies and work with the local, state and federal agencies must be completed. 
Robyn Geiser, Executive Director of Cozad Development Corporation stated, “The ownership group is focused on optimizing the 26-Acre Tract and having a positive impact on our environment.  I am excited about the potential projects being explored for the former Tenneco site and look forward to working with Mr. Mann and his entire team.”

Swimming Pool Fun:


Weber's Musical Talents Stretched Far & Wide Across The Nation

Special To The Tribune: Written By Dr. Marilyn Peterson
The purple Lincoln pulled up in front of the performance site. Elvis Presley stepped out of the car, ready for his gig.
The purple Cadillac pulled up in front of the performance site. LaVonne Clark stepped out of the car, ready for her gig.
It was show time in Midland, Texas, with Elvis on stage. “I was booked to provide the organ music during intermission,” LaVonne Weber said. “It was a special time, in my life as a professional musician, and I had the opportunity to work with Elvis.
“Yes, I have known other famous musicians including Lawrence Welk. He was playing in Minot, North Dakota, and I introduced myself. It was my pleasure to meet and to visit with him,” LaVonne said.
This story begins in San Angelo, Texas, where LaVonne was born to Truit and Lora Cunningham Clark. “My Dad had an unusual name, and he was proud to have been named fro the famous Christian preacher, Dr. Truit.”
“Our family, including my brother Larry, moved to Midland, Texas, where my Dad and Mom worked in a meet packing plant. My Mom started me on piano lessons, when I was six years old. It was a blessing, because I contracted polio. Much of my time was spent in the Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children, located in Dallas, LaVonne said.
Her Mother realized that her daughter would not be able to be a cheerleader nor a member of the drill team, so music would be important. At age 14, LaVonne began playing the piano for the Ballet School in Midland, plus the organ at Church. By the time she was 15, she had her own radio program, broadcast from her home.
“One day, the broadcast was unique. We had a canary in our house, and during the entire program, the canary sang. My Mom thought it was an unusual duet, perhaps a squeak in the organ.”
“In addition, I played in the coffee shop at the Scarborough Hotel and many private clubs.”
LaVonne graduated from Midland High School in 1953, and won music scholarships to colleges in Odessa and Lubbock. She didn’t continue her formal education, but preferred performing.
One day, she was in Hobbs, New Mexico, stopped at a gas station. “I noted that a large bus had pulled in. On the side was printed, ‘National Orchestra Service.’ I talked to the man in charge, and learned that he was a professional musician. He said that he could provide a contract for the booking agent--exactly what I needed. My opportunity to perform throughout the central part of America was a dream come true.”
“I loaded my Hammond Organ onto rollers, pulled it into my horse trailer and hitched it to my car. I was ready to travel, from North Dakota, to the Cow Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, to Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas. Often, my Mom would travel with me, which was a treat,” LaVonne said.
One of the bookings was at the Pawnee Hotel in North Platte. She was there for an extensive engagement, and she met a man from Cozad, Harold Weber. They fell in love and began their married life in Cozad. LaVonne continued to share her talents by playing in Churches, for special events and for the Rotary. Today, her music is shared with the residents of Meadowlark Pointe.
She is proud of her children Carmen Morse and Dell Weber, plus she beams when she talks about her grandchildren and great grands. She leans back in her chair, a time to reminisce about Arlie Duff, a noted country western singer. 
There is a famous piece of music that could be her theme song, although it’s not “Blue Suede Shoes,” nor “Bubbles In The Wine.” “My dreams have come true,” she said. “‘I Have The World On A String.’ celebrating musical notes of happiness.”

Cole To Be Featured As Artist Of The Month at Henri Museum

A reception will be held this Friday, August 5th from 5 – 7 p.m. for Beth Cole at the Robert Henri Museum. Cookies, lemonade and coffee will be served.
   Cole will be the August Artist-of-the-Month according to Robert Henri Executive Director Caroline Gaudreault.
   Cole is a former web designer turned art learner and maker. She lives in Merna, Nebraska with her husband, Gary. She is the sister of Cozad resident and elementary school teacher Karen Berreckman.
   According to Cole “I was raised with a great appreciation for music and the arts and I have always wanted to paint. When I turned 50, it was time. I paint mostly with oil and pastels.”
   “I think my paintings come from a desire to express what I feel as I grow older…gratefulness, joy, restoration, optimism, hope. I try to paint what I see as the light fall on the land and the figure,” Cole continued.
   Cole has studied painting in person with Marla Baggetta, Fealing Lin and Lester Lee, and online with Gillian Lee Smith, Barry John Raybould and many other accomplished artists.
   “I think practice is one of the best ways to learn and every painting has taught me something,” Cole noted.
   Juried shows Cole has participated in include Countryside Village in Omaha (2014 and 2015), Carnegie Arts Center in Alliance (2015) and Art Event at Kansas City Christian School (2015).
   Cole was the recipient of the Association of Nebraska Art Clubs Award of Excellence and Traveling Show (2015) for ‘Toward the Light,” Acrylic on Canvas, 20 X 24.
   When she isn’t creating artwork Cole spends time playing music, reading, grabbing her camera and chasing light or going for walks. She also enjoys travel and photography adventures with her husband as well as visits from her grown children and grandsons.
   Cole’s artwork will be on display in the Robert Henri Museum through the month of August. The museum is open from 10 a.m.  – 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Kearney Cinema



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