Stamping Out Hunger
Coming Back Home For The Summer
Cozad City Council Conquers Light Agenda On Monday
The Cozad City Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, May 23, 2016.
Under Unfinished Business, council members waived the third reading of the proposed amendment to the Municipal Code to add provisions regarding truck routes, designating truck routes and repealing conflicts.
Approval was given to the proposal that will now have to receive approval from the State of Nebraska and the Nebraska Department of Roads.
Under New Business, Mayor Nancy Meyer's appointment of Rod Kostman to the Planning Commission was approved. Kostman's term will expire in June, 2019.
Morrie and Judy Andres, representing the 100th Meridian Museum appeared to discuss the bid from Paulsen Inc. for west wall modifications on the museum wall. This wall was a shared wall with the Rialto Theater. After being painted once the theater was torn down it was determined that it was an inner wall and the moisture has wicked up into the wall causing damage to both the wall and the the interior wall of the museum.
The base price for the renovation of the wall is $69,380.00. The museum board is hoping that the city can assist with the cost of renovation.
The item was tabled while more economical renovation plans are researched.
The next regular scheduled meeting will be on Monday, June 6, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the City Office Building.
Student Activity Out Of State Travel Discussed By Lexington School Board
Requests for out of state travel proved troublesome to the Lexington Board of Education Monday night because there is no policy in place regarding funding when students qualify to compete in national events.
Senior Blake Casper qualified for a SkillsUSA national competition in Louisville, Kentucky by winning the Nebraska Skills USA competition in automotive; sophomore Danielle Rivera qualified for a National History Day competition in Maryland after winning a similar state event with a historical paper and Julia Briones,sophomore, Adrian Gomez, junior, and John Mark Shields, senior, qualified for a National Debate and Speech Association Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah.
All three student groups petitioned the board to be able to travel out of state to attend their respective competitions with their teacher sponsors. The travel dates requested were June 20-25, June 11-16 and June 11-18 respectively.
Superintendent John Hakonson said the student achievements were a positive reflection on the district, but the board needed to provide guidance regarding the extent to which the district would provide financial support for students and sponsors at national level activities.
He said board policy stipulates that the board must approve all out of state travel requests, but there is no policy in place regarding funding of such trips.
"The problem is you might open up Pandora's box, and who is going to come to you for money," said board member Travis Maloley. "How do you tell one kid yes or no?" He expressed a desire for the district develop a policy for the future.
"I just don't think we've ever funded a national event," said board president Rod Reynolds. "On this short of notice I don't think we should start a precedence. If you open this box . . . I don't know where you draw the line."
Roger Reutlinger said with the small window between the qualifying events and the national events, there isn't much time for the students to do independent fundraising.
Mike Dowling asked if the students were representing Lexington at the events they were attending and was told yes.
It was noted that the entry in the National History Day competition was a sophomore class requirement.
A motion to fund each request at a rate of $500 per student and $500 per sponsor, with a limit of two sponsors per activity, failed with only Larry Steinberger and Roger Reutlinger voting in favor of it.
A subsequent motion to provide use of a school vehicle or pay airfare up to $500 for a student and $500 for the sponsor for National History Day, and the use of a school vehicle for travel to the other events passed unanimously. Implied with the motion was for the district to cover the cost of fuel.
Erin Heineman said travel money would come from the activity fund.
The Minuteman Fine Arts Association has agreed to pay the $450 admission fee for the qualifying speech students.
Speech coach Luis Sotelo said the speech team may need to set up its own account to prepare for funding future events . He said money the team raises now through concessions goes into a school activity account where it is used to benefit the entire team, but not individuals.
Hakonson said there have been some fundraising attempts but it is unclear how much private support will be available. He said he inquired with the Lexington Community Foundation and they likewise said they can help fund groups but not individuals.
In other business the board voted to enter a 60-month lease with Eakes Office Solutions in Kearney for photocopiers at a cost of $14,150 per month. The agreement includes a buyout for the remaining year of a contract with Xerox. Hakonson said the district will still be saving about $850 a month. The machines from Eakes come with a tracking system to determine how many copiesare made by specific employees and whether they are in color or black and white, which could further add to savings.
The district hopes to have better customer service and fewer copier issues with Eakes, said Hakonson. Technology director Kristi Jergensen said 141 schools across the state work with Eakes.
Board members approved the low bid of $54,246 from Jim Phillips Construction in Lexington to pave the northwest corner of property at Lexington Middle School. Hakonson said the district must either pave the area or maintain it as greenspace. At one time the plan was to place crushed rock at the site, said Hakonson, but that is no longer an option because of a change in city ordinance.
The board approved a $134,850 lease with Apple for 150 MacBook Pros to be used with preschool and elementary students. Jergensen said this new lease is consistent with a master plan to keep the total annual lease payments under $450,000 because payments will be at $431,063.
The board approved $6,500 in set up costs and an annual subscription of $14,150 with VeriTime for time and attendance monitoring software.
The board approved a bid of $74,546 from GovConnection for the purchase of wireless access points and switches. The expense was budgeted and should be reimbursed at 70 percent through E-rate.
Splash Pad Dedication To Be Held On Friday
Cozad Elementary Students Take Class Outdoors
Eight Flags To Be Added to Cozad Avenue In Park
Cozad's Memorial Day Service, sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #890, will begin at 11:00 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Cozad. In case of inclement weather, the service will be held in the Cozad High School Auditorium.
Master of Ceremonies will be Scott Schmidt, Adjutant of VFW Post #890.
Presenting the flags will be members of Boy Scout Troop #189.
Ashton Dugan will be singing the National Anthem.
Pastor Blake Armstrong, Living Hope Assembly Church will deliver the invocation and the benediction.
Featured speaker will be Major David Sheets, the son of the late Roger 'Russ' Sheets and Sandy Keiswetter. He is a proud graduate of Cozad High School's Class of 1989.
Following graduation from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, David enlisted in the United States Army and served on Active Duty in San Antonio, TX and Kitzingen, Germany prior to becoming a member of the Colorado National Guard.
In 2006 he joined the South Dakota National Guard as a full-time guardsman and currently serves as the Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Officer for the South Dakota Army National Guard.
David and his wife Shauna have three children. The family resides in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Special music will be provided by Belle Hagan, Pastor James McCrickard and his daughter, Amber and Ellie Albrecht.
ReNelda Wenburg will lay the wreath on behalf of Auxiliary Post #890.
New names added to the Veterans Monument include: John D. Cloyd, Dr. Frederick W. Hecox, Dennis L. Allen, Robert D. Engleman, Leroy H. Griese, Karl L. Griese, Kenneth A. Fingerhut, Betty Y. Matz, Donald E. Hupf, Gary O. Dunmire and Wayne F. Hemphill.
Additions to the Avenue of Flags include Cloyd, Hecox, Allen, Matz, Hupf, Dunmire, Hemphill and Raymond Marshall.
The final salute will be presented by members of the Cozad Honor Guard with Taps to be played by Kolton Morse and Melanie Nutt.
Cozad Citywide Garage Sales Will Be June 4th
Kugler To Be Featured Speaker For Gothenburg Memorial Day Service
The Memorial Day Service in Gothenburg will be held at the Gothenburg Cemetery on Monday, May 30th. The service will begin at 10 a.m.
The service is sponsored by the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Master of Ceremonies will be Dean Kugler.
Pastor Jeff Cottingham, Trinity Lutheran Church, will deliver the invocation and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Margeaux Belanger will sing the national anthem.
The featured speaker for the Memorial Day service is Dean Kugler.
Representatives from the American Legion, the VFW and the Auxiliaries from the Legion and VFW will serve as wreath bearers decorating the grave.
The 21-gun Salute and Taps will be performed by members of the Gothenburg Honor Guard.
In case of inclement weather the service will be canceled.
Cozad Police Department Investigates Theft At Sonny's
Keeping the community of Cozad neat and clean as well as crime free is a team effort for all the citizens of Cozad.
The Cozad Police Department is also seeking your assistance in an ongoing theft investigation. Subjects entered Sonny’s Super Foods and wanted to exchange big bills for smaller bills from cashiers. The individuals then created distractions and became agitated with the process and ended up scamming several hundred of dollars. For more details on the incident go online to: www.cozadpolice.com. Should anyone have information regarding this crime contact the Dawson County Crimestoppers and remain anonymous at 308-784-1234 or the Cozad Police Department. Crimestoppers does offer a reward for the arrest of the suspect(s).
The Cozad Police Department would also appreciate your assistance in the clearing of un-operable vehicles and unlicensed vehicles.
Citizens can be ticketed for disobeying City of Cozad ordinances that will be enforced by the Police Department. Ordinances currenlty being stressed is (6-249). Which needs to be addressed in Cozad is unlicensed or inoperable vehicles that can result in misdemeanor charges as well.
Cozad School Board Discusses Use Of School Buses For Nebraska Fly-In & Air Show
The Cozad Board of Education met for on Monday.
Under Public Comments, Connie Donner, Mid-State Aviation II Inc. appeared to approach the board in regards to her daughter Allison’s request to use the school buses and drivers to shuttle patrons to the State Fly-In & Air Show at the airport on June 10 and 11.
Brad Staton of Staton Insurance was also present. The blanket liability insurance policy for the event will cover anything not covered by school insurance.
Cozad Chamber of Commerce Director Sandy Bappe informed the board members over five thousand visitors are expected to attend the event and that adequate parking is not available so the two shuttle vans that have already been acquired won’t be sufficient.
Later on in the meeting, the board reviewed the current policy on the use of buses that was established in 1998. The current policy states that the buses will only be used for school-related activities.
The four board members present agreed that this policy needs to be revisited as they understand the importance of this event for our community.
Superintendent Applegate informed the members that this needs to placed on the agenda as an ‘action item’ and the board agreed to schedule a special meeting and inform the Donners of their decision.
Under Administrative Reports, Superintendent Applegate reported that the new van has arrived. He has met with representatives from each of the district’s buildings to continue discussion of beliefs and values for the strategic planning process.
Approval was given to transfer $6,000.00 from the General Fund to the Athletics Activity Account.
Approval was granted to employ the following certified staff for the 2016-2016 school year: Morgan Williams, Elementary Second Grade Teacher; Amanda Rossell, High School Family Consumer Science Teacher and Sophia Weiner, High School Math Teacher.
Discussion was held on the milk bid for the upcoming school year. The item was tabled and will be further discussed and voted on at the June meeting.
The Student and Staff Responsible Use Agreement for 2016-2017 was approved as presented.
Board members accepted the proposal from Kucirek Engineering Incorporated in the amount of $2,750.00 for the Demand Charge Evaluation for the school system. It is hoped that the district may save costs on electrical charges in the future.
The Board of Education regular meeting calendar for 2016-2017 received approval.
Administrative Contracts and Salaries for Jill Beckenhauer, William Beckenhauer, Dave Evertson, Dale Henderson, Debra Keller, Brian Regelin and Cory Spotanski were approved for the 2016-2017 school year. Although their salaries will remain frozen, their insurance packages will increase.
Also approved were the 2016-2017 classified staff salary packages. This includes cooks, custodians and Para educators.
The First Reading of the board policy relating to electronic devices was read. Revisions need to be made to the policy with new wording utilized.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m.
Dawson County Commissioners Renew Noxious Weed Agreement
The Dawson County Board of Commissioners met for a regular meeting on Friday, May 13, 2016.
Under Citizen’s Comments Emergency Manager Brian Woldt announced that Dawson County should expect minor to moderate flooding around the Platte River through June.
Under Committee Reports, Commissioner PJ Jacobson reported that he had attended a meeting regarding the county’s Drug Court with Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber, Officer Mike Hudson, Cozad Police Chief Randy Adams, Dawson County Attorney Liz Waterman, Dawson County Assistant Attorney Kurt McBride, State Senator Matt Williams and Dawson County Judge James E. Doyle. “My eyes were opened and I did a 180 degree turn on how I viewed the drug court. They provide a needed service for our county,” Jacobson observed.
Commissioner Dean Kugler reported that he had attended the recent DAD meeting and that they are keeping busy with the housing grants. Moderate-priced homes are being built in Cozad, Lexington and Elwood with grant money from the Kiewit Foundation.
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber appeared with the April crime reports. Both calls and the average daily population in the Dawson County Jail were slightly up from March. 64.5 percent of the inmate population was contract inmates with Dawson County inmates at 35.3 percent. Butch Hagan and Sheriff Reiber to sign the agreement.
No action was taken on the PREA agreement.
A public hearing was held regarding the request for a liquor license request for Around the Block Catering.
Jolene Block explained to the board that she is leasing the former District 22 building that was most recently Lundgren’s Catering from Jim Lundgren. This is an ongoing business that has run well in the past and the commissioners approved her request.
Marty Craig, presented the Noxious Weed renewal agreement between Dawson County and Gosper County. Dawson County has already signed the agreement.
“We are beginning our fourth year in this arrangement that has been beneficial to both counties and I just need you to approve it,” explained Craig. The board approved continuation of the agreement.
Roads Superintendent Randy Deans opened three bids for the box culvert bids to replace a 16-foot bridge five miles south of Darr. All three bids had valid five per cent bonds.
Van Kirk Bros bid from Sutton was $75,256.20. Midlands Contracting from Kearney bid $63,627.85 and Ramos Construction, Shelton bid $65,980.65.
Deans will meet with the roads committee to check all of the specifications in the bids and the bid will be awarded at the June 1, 2016 meeting.
The Agreement for Tower Lease and the Interlocal Agreement between Dawson County and Custer County establishing juvenile diversion program and services were both tabled until the June 1 meeting.
Dan Schwartzkopf, representing the Krull Agency appeared with the quarterly health insurance update and the preliminary prices for the renewal.
The Dawson County Board of Equalization met prior to the Dawson County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Requests of waiving the real property tax-filing deadline were approved for the American Legion, Sumner; Gothenburg Evangelical Free Church Gothenburg; Christ the King Catholic Church, Cozad and Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Gothenburg.
Tax Correction requests were approved for Dorothy Johnson and Mid-State Aviation, Inc.
The next regular meeting for the Dawson County Board of Equalization and the Dawson County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, 2016 beginning at 8 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Dawson County Courthouse in Lexington, Nebraska.
High-Five On Graduating
Robert Henri's Family Portraits To Be Displayed
The new excitement we have been anticipating is now final and we can tell you what we have been working on for the Henri Museum.
Guess what 'family' is returning to Cozad this summer?
The family of Robert (Cozad) Henri, the founders of our great city of Cozad are coming home. the Cozad family that started it all back in the late 1800s is coming back for a visit! Display includes; John J. Cozad, city founder, father and real estate businessman; Theresa Cozad, first lady of Cozad and mother; Johnny Cozad, oldest son and professional medical doctor; Robert Cozad, youngest son who established himself as a great American artist and instructor of art.
These paintings, once owned and displayd in Cozad and the Cozad area, have been safely kept at the Sheldon Art Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska for the past three decades.
Don't miss this rare opportunity to see the complete painting collection of the Cozad family this summer displayed in the Henri Art Gallery, Cozad.
These paintings have never before been shown together at the same time. The generous donation to the Henri Art Gallery by Larry and Tammy Paulsen, in memory of Larry's mother, Shirley Paulsen, has made this exhibition possible.
The museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. through the month of September. The museum is also open by appointment by contacting the museum at 308-784-4154.
Two Honored As Elks Students Of The Month
The Cozad Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge, Number 2250 has selected Gothenburg’s Lauren Andres and Johnny Nguyen of Lexington as the recipients of the Elks Teens of the Month.
The pair of students have maintained superior academic portfolios at Lexington and Gothenburg throughout their high school campaigns.
Lauren is the daughter of Bill and Sharon Andres. Lauren maintained a 3.95 GPA at Gothenburg High School. Lauren has been a mainstay on the Honor Roll throughout her high school years, Freshman through Senior year.
While maintaining a stellar report card, Lauren Andres was involved in numerous extracurricular activities. Andres has been a cheerleader for the Swedes for the past four years, earning letterwinner accolades each year along with being a NCA/UCA All-American Cheerleader selection all four years of high school.
Showcasing her work ethic and elite intelligence, Andres has been a standout in Science Olympiad since her sophomore campaign. She was a State medalist this past year as well.
The Interact organization has become a part of Lauren’s scheduled the past two years and this past campaign saw her become deeply involved in the Gothenburg High School Pep Club.
Having a voice that brings music to the ears, Lauren has been involved in the GHS Choir for much of her Prep career. She was honored as a Southwest Conference (SWC) selection for all four years of her high school career. While stepping into the spotlight, Andres was a cast member in the Gothenburg High School Muscial as a freshman and sophomore and this past year, she was a member of the crew that was instrumental to the success of the Musical.
Lauren Andres was a mainstay on the Renaissance Gold Card Member listing. As a sophomore, Andres was honored with the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and the Rotary Youth Leadership-Service Above Self Award.
“Lauren’s academic aptitude was clearly shown in the complexity of her writing and analysis skills. Other facets of her aptitude stem from her organization and her attention to detail,” expressed Gothenburg English Instructor Mary Clark. “ Along with her academic strengths, Lauren also has admirable character strengths. Integrity, respect, responsibility and a sound work ethic - these words give some perspective to her character; yet there is so much more. She is caring and conscientious toward those around her. Furthermore. she give nothing less that her best effort.”
Johnny Nguyen is the son of Vinh Nguyen and Irma Solache. Johnny maintains a 4.13 GPA while being a very active student in a variety of activities at Lexington High School. Nguyen has been among the honor roll selections for much of his campaign at Lexington High School.
Nguyen does an outstanding job of balancing and managing school, work and extracurricular activities. He has been lauded for being an All A&B Student each year of his high school career. The past two years, Johnny has been among the mainstays that received perfect attendance honors.
In the classroom, Nguyen has seen his hard work pay off the most while competing in the Science Olympiad during his freshmen and sophomore campaigns.
The past two years in Speech, have seen Johnny medal throughout the season of making his voice be heard.
As a Sophomore and Junior, he was a member of the Lexington High School Mock Trial team.
Keeping things green, Nguyen has been in the Recycling Club for all four years of his prep career.
“I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Johnny is one of the most naturally talented and hardworking students with whom I have had the opportunity to teach,” stated Lexington Math Instructor Sandra Meyer. “Johnny processes constructive criticism well and is always willing to go the extra mile. He will be exceptionally well prepared to move onto the collegiate level and it is clear to me that he has a very bright future. “
Werger Unveiled As Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
The Board of Directors of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome Christy Werger into the Chamber family as Executive Director
Werger and her family moved to the Lexington area five years ago from Castle Rock, Colorado. She has been a Mortgage Loan Processor for the Gothenburg State Bank.
“I am honored to begin my journey as the Executive Director of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce. My vision for the Chamber is to continue to build an organization that helps our businesses connect with each other and the community, grow relationships with our businesses, and learn how we can provide support to help them succeed,” stated Werger.
We are looking at really changing the look and operations of our Chamber to truly meet the needs of our community today and in the future," commented Barry McFarland, President of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce.