Montgomery Is Named New Cozad Police Chief At City Council Meeting
Returning to a prior post will be veteran officer Mark Montgomery of Cozad, as the new Cozad Police Chief that was approved by the City Council at their Monday night meeting.
Montgomery was formerly the Police Chief in Cozad and is excited to return to one of the best jobs he has ever had. “It was a great experience to work with the City of Cozad and within the 100th Meridian City,” stated Montgomery. “ Growing up I always wanted to be a police officer and can once again be living out that dream of being a police officer.”
Montgomery has been involved in law enforcement for nearly 30 years and can’t wait to get started with his new appointment, that is slated to start on January 5th and fill-in during shifts that might need assistance until that point and time.
There has been extensive discussion and research completed about the abuse of the Recycling Center that is along East Highway 30 by the Cozad City Council throughout the Fall. The City Council voted and unanimously approved the continuation of the current surveillance system at the Recycling Center partly due to the excessive cost of other surveillance options.
The City Council also unanimously approved of the request by the Cozad Housing Authority that requested the waiving the In Lieu of Taxes payment for their fiscal year that ends in March of 2018.
The Cozad Volunteer Fire Department will have three new members that applied and were approved by the City Council. Jason Schneider, Caleb Mulligan and Brenna Kort were all approved as new members of the Fire Department.
Cozad Mayor Nancy Meyer appointed with no objections to the Wilson Public Library Board: Barb Fink and Val Geiger. Their terms will expire in December of 2020. Meyer also appointed Dawn Turner, Wendy Thome, Brenda Lambert and Stacy Evertson to the BID Board. The quartets terms will expire in December of 2019.
Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols said that employees are currently working on replacing and fixing broken pipes from the recent frigid weather.
Britt German as Light Commissioner updated the Council on the replacement of utility poles along 16th Street. German also discussed the future replacement of lights along Highway 30 and the Strip with more energy efficient LED lights. The Mayor and Council were in agreement with German about replacing a little at a time.
Representing the Wilson Public Library, Laurie Yocom as the Librarian mentioned that Britt German and Mike Steinwart had been working on cutting the costs of lighting the library. German and Steinwart believe that the best solution is to replace the flourescent lights with LED lighting.
Representing the Fire Department, Chief Dan Niles mentioned that they had been very busy lately and appreciate the assistance that they have received from the City of Cozad, especially during recent events. Niles felt that the City and Fire Department have really worked well together.
Retiring Rescue Unit Chief Marlene Williams gave an update on new equipment that has been ordered and that training on the new equipment will be completed by certified personnel soon thereafter. Williams also gave praise to the City Council for their continued support of the Fire Department and Rescue Unit during her 33 years of Service. The City Council gave an even bigger thank you towards Williams for her years of excellence as a member of the Rescue Unit.
The hired contractors hope to start the masonry work on the wall of the 100th Meridian Museum this week depending on the weather.
The next regular scheduled meeting of the Cozad City Council is January 9th.
Cozad's Paulsen Gets Selected To Be On ABC's BIG FAN Show
Living out a dream that came to fruition as a result of social media was Cozad’s Colt Paulsen, who will be a competitor on the upcoming ABC game show entitled, ‘BIG FAN’ that will be aired on January 16th at 9 P.M.
Paulsen has idolized Kim Kardashian West and is a ‘Big Fan’ of the ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ game show.
It all started out with Kim Kardashian West tweeting to her fans that she was going to be on a new ABC game show and needed some of her biggest fans to play the game. Colt Paulsen wasn’t going to apply and then did just for fun, not thinking he would get on the show.
Nearly eight months ago, Colt was in Los Angeles, California at Jimmy Kimmel Studios filming the show featuring his idol Kim Kardashian West. “It has been extremely hard to keep everything a secret,” expressed Paulsen. “I am happy to finally be able to see photos and the promos and am very excited to watch the show.”
If you have seen the commercials promoting the upcoming show, Colt is featured saying, “I am still on cloud nine with a ‘K’. It is still surreal that I was in the presence of a celebrity let alone my idol. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be on television competing on a game show solely based on Kim Kardashian trivia.
The ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ television show has been on for nine years and Paulsen has seen every episode. “I love her personality and how she adores her fans. She uses social media to connect with her followers and she cares about each and every one of her fans. Her beauty is insane and she is the Queen of selfies.,” explained Paulsen.
Colt Paulsen is living proof that dreams can come true.
Lexington Schools Adresses Special Education Needs
An additional special education teacher was approved for immediate hire by Lexington Public Schools.
Board members, minus Mike Dowling who was excused because he was called away to work, unanimously approved the hiring of Danita Comfort during Monday night's board meeting.
Superintendent John Hakonson said Comfort will work at Pershing Elementary School and that an additional teacher was needed due to some high needs kids returning to the district.
Hakonson said Comfort received her teaching credentials in another state and previously has been a substitute teacher for LPS. With her hiring, Comfort agrees to obtain a provisional endorsement and become endorsed for special education within three years.
Board members approved maternity requests from two employees, who have worked for the district for less than a year, and do not yet qualify for time off through the Family Medical Leave Act.
Hakonson said both would have been eligible for up to 12 weeks off without pay after a year of employment, and neither was asking for that much time off.
Board members were told that State Senator Matt Williams attended the board's legislative and finance committee meeting on Dec. 9. Property taxes and school funding reportedly will be hot issues in the upcoming legislative session.
The board also approved the 2017-2018 school calendar.
At the conclusion of the otherwise brief meeting, board members recognized and thanked board president Rod Reynolds for his 10 years of service as a board member for Lexington Public Schools, preceded by another 10 years on the District 15 school board before school consolidation.
Hakonson said he will miss Reynolds' experience, personality and knowledge about construction.
Monday was Reynolds last board meeting. He opted not to run for re-election.
Reynolds said he was satisfied that he was leaving the board in good hands.
"We have the greatest teachers and administrative staff. They are second to none," said Reynolds.
The board entered into executive session to discuss teacher salary negotiations but took no action when they returned to regular session.
Reynolds Becomes Certified In Diabetic Wound Care
Jillian Reynolds, RN and WCC in The Cozad Community Hospital Wound Care Clinic and Central Plains Home Health and Hospice recently added an additional certification behind her name, DWC.
Reynolds became an RN in 2002 and became interested in wound care through the wound VAC at Central Plains Home Health and Hospice.
She passed the national exam to become board certified in Diabetic Wound Care earlier this fall through the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy. She had become Wound Care Certified in February 2015 through the same alliance.
The diabetic wound management program focuses on overall diabetic wound care and promotion of an optimal wound-healing environment including prevention, limb salvage, and therapeutic and rehabilitative interventions.
The National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy is the governing body that grants eligible candidates the DWC certification after they have passed the rigorous national exam.
The certification objective is to demonstrate a candidate’s competency and mastery of essential knowledge and skills of diabetic skin and wound management as they relate to complications of the disease.
The role of the DWC is based upon expert evidence based clinical knowledge and skills that are practiced in acute, outpatient, long-term care and home care settings. The DWC provides direct patient care, necessary patient education, prevention measures through comprehensive assessment, referrals and continuing evaluation of high-risk diabetic patients and all types of diabetic wounds.
According to Dr. Robert Dyer, Director at Cozad Community Physical Therapy, “We are fortunate to have Jillian working in our wound care clinic. She has worked hard to become certified in diabetic wound care. Her efforts will continue to raise the level of care that we provide in our facility and home health agency.”
Wendy Thome, Director at Central Plains Home Health and Hospice added, “In addition to the outpatient wound clinic, Jill’s knowledge and experience in wound care has benefited numerous home health patients. Jill is able to make visits to patients’ homes, assess their wound and recommend the most effective treatment to the physician, all without the patient leaving their home.”
House Fire In Cozad:
Cozad Board of Education Discusses Options Of Elementary Expansion
The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a meeting on Monday.
Under Reports, High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer and Middle School Principal Brian Regelin noted that they were working on scheduling and course offerings for the 2017-2018 school term.
Tasia Aden has been hired as the ELL Para-Professional at the high school and elementary.
Resignations were accepted from Lizabeth Guerra, Nutrition Service Staff, effective December 9th and from Cheri Ziebell, MS Para-Professional and Jessica Carbaugh, AfterZone effective December 22nd.
The proposal submitted by Kucirek Engineering, Inc. for the MEP Design Fee Proposal for the high school boiler, water heater and central plant renovation project was accepted. Also accepted was the proposal from Kucirek Engineering, Inc. to provide mechanical and electrical engineering services for the high school locker room HVAC renovation project.
According to Superintendent Joel Applegate, the new toilets, sinks and a handicapped-accessible shower will be installed in the renovated high school girls’ locker room over holiday break.
“Work on the boilers and piping could begin as early as April or May,” noted Applegate. “As the students leave out of the front doors in May we plan to bring in the personnel to install the HVAC systems in the high school locker rooms to provide much-needed ventilation.”
Approval was also given for the Cozad Schools 403(B) Plan Amendment, Adoption Agreement, Loan Procedures, Summary Plan Description, Summary of Material Modifications and Procedures for Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. This allows employees over 59.5 years old to move their money out of the plan.
Under advisement from legal counsel the policy for the outdated Oath of Office from Cozad Community Schools Board Policy was eliminated. The oath was archaic and illegal.
The Board of Education will be offering the Temporary Early Retirement Incentive Program to the 16 employees who meet all nine criteria. The TERIP is offered for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years with a $24,000 max buy-out.
School Attorney Scott Trusdale attending a hearing in Lincoln on garnishment of wages for a civil suit against a former school secretary. The secretary was also in attendance and claimed that she couldn’t afford the 15 percent garnishment of wages from each paycheck for money that she is to reimburse the school district.
Discussion was held concerning the needed expansion of Cozad Elementary School. A minimum of four classrooms need to be added although six would be even better according to Superintendent Applegate. “We are out of space and will be as tight as we can be next year and out of space after that,” Applegate reported. “We are in dire need of classroom space, and at the present time it looks as if we might have to move music out to the trailer which is not an ideal situation for the music teacher or students,” he continued. “It would also be advantageous to have rooms for art instruction and a computer lab once again.”
Discussion continued on the Cozad Community Schools Negotiated Agreement for 2017-2018. “We have had good discussion with the Cozad Education Association, probably the best since I have been here,” Superintendent Applegate commented. The agreement will be brought up at the January meeting for approval.
Board members gave Superintendent Applegate a positive evaluation and he will be back at the helm for the district for the 2017-2018 school year.
Outgoing board members Dennis Worrell and Jeremy Geiger were thanked and recognized for their years of service at the conclusion of the meeting. Incumbent board member Ann Burkholder and newly elected members Joel Carlson and Michele Starman will be sworn in at the January 16th meeting.
First Bank & Trust of Cozad Money Tree Winner:
Red Cross Blood Drive To Be Held In Lexington
The American Red Cross will host a blood drive on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Lexington.
To schedule an appointment contact Pat Jones at (308) 325-4596.
Magic On Main Street
Fattig & Meyer Are Spotlighted AS Elks Students Of The Month
The Cozad Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge, Number 2250 has selected Lexington’s Lili Fattig and Alex Meyer of Gothenburg as the recipients of the December Elks Students of the Month.
The pair of students have maintained superior academic portfolios at Lexington and Gothenburg throughout their high school years.
Lili is the daughter of Patrick and Michelle Foulk. Fattig maintains a 4.43 GPA at Lexington High School. She has been on the Superior Honor Roll throughout her four year tenure at Lexington High School.
Lili Fattig has been very involved in a variety of activities while maintaining a level of excellence in the classroom.
She was recognized by the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce Business Education as a Scholastic Award winner as a Freshman and also again as a Junior.
She was awarded for an Outstanding Performance/Certificate of Achievement - Typing skill 89 wpm, accuracy 98 percent this past year.
Fattig has been a four year member of the highly touted Pride of the Minutemen Band and a letterwinner for the past four years. Lili was inducted into the Lexington High School National Honor Society as a Sophomore and has continued to exceed the requirements needed to remain in the elite organization.
Lili has been consistent and it has paid off in earning the 100 percent Attendance Award from the Lexington High School Strength and Conditioning Department for all four years of her high school career. Fattig has also been a member of the ‘L’ Club all four years of high school as well.
Deeply engaged in competition, Lili Fattig has been a four year member of the Tennis, Volleyball and Basketball teams. In Volleyball, Fattig has been a three-year letterwinner and earned Academic All-State honors this year. She has filled the captain role for the Volleyball squad the past two years as well as earning All-Area Honorable Mention accolades.
In Basketball, Lili has lettered the past two years and is well on her way to being a three year letterwinner. She has been one of the Minutemaids co-captains the last three years and was honored with All-Area Honorable Mention as a Sophomore.
On the hardcourt, Lili Fattig has found her home away from home by shining bright on the Tennis court. Fattig has been a three year letter winner and one of the varsity netters since she was a freshmen. She has competed in the last three State Championship events and has been a All-State Honorable Mention player the past two years.
“It was often challenging and enlightening to have Lili in biology class because of her inquistitive nature. Lili would be the student that would research the exceptions and details in biology sh that she could understnad the overall concept better; as a result I was often researching those details as well,” explained Lexington Biology Instructor Mike Zarate. “It is this type of inquiry that has helped her develop an incredible work ethic that has allowed her to be successful in everything that I have seen her undertake.”
Alex Meyer is the son of Bob Meyer and Lisa Seimer. Meyer maintains a 4.0 GPA at Gothenburg High School and is currently the #1 ranked GPA in the Senior class. Alex has been a mainstay on the honor roll throughout his prep career at Gothenburg Schools.
Along with being a elite student with a superior grades, Alex Myer has been Renaissance Gold Card recipient all four years of his days of being at Gothenburg High School. Myer was inducted into the Gothenburg High School National Honor Society as a Sophomore and has continued to surpass the expectations to remain a strong member of the organization.
Already this school year, Meyer became a member of the Sigma Phi Beta honors organization.
Shining bright in the fine arts has been a part of Alex’s daily schedule all four years of high school. He is a four-year member of the Gothenburg Band. He has been involved in the School Musical the past two years as well. Meyer has also been involved in the award winning Gothenburg Play Production team.
As a member of the highly touted Gothenburg High School FFA, Alex Meyer has qualified for state as well as winning a state championship in Biotechnology. He was the Vice President as a Junior and is currently the Treasurer.
Using his knowledge of Biology and technology has paid off outside of the FFA organization as well, as he has competed in the Science Olympiad the past three years.
The power to be a quick thinker with accurate answers to questions has propelled Meyer to be a four-year member of the Quiz Bowl team.
Alex Meyer has been a leader not only for his class but all of Gothenburg High School as a standout member of the Student Council for the past four years. He is currently the Senior Class President after filling the role of Class Vice President as a Junior and Sophomore along with being the Class Secretary as a Freshman.
“Anyone that spends any time around Alex will see that he is a motivated, self-driven individual who is willing to work hard to reach his goals and is not satisfied until he reaches his goals in anything that he does,” expressed Gothenburg Agriculture Teacher Tim Negley.
Dawson County Commissioners Hear Johnson Lake Trail Proposals
The Dawson County Commissioners met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016.
Deputy County Clerk Shelli Garringer chaired the meeting in the absence of County Clerk Karla Zlatkovsky.
Under Committee Reports Chairman Butch Hagan reported that he had met with Highway Superintendent Randy Deans to discuss the one and six year plans.
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber presented the November crime reports. There were 913 total services during the month and 135 new inmates booked. LEC dispatch calls for service totaled 1,479.
“Our numbers are down with an average daily population of 70 inmates during the month of November,” Reiber noted. “Of these, 31.6 percent were contract inmates and 38.5 percent our own population,” he continued. According to Reiber, “LB 605 has definitely affected the number of inmates we house.”
Total revenue income is $720,944.10 for the current year as compared to $708,128 a year ago.
Dr. Bruce Hanson, Bob Cummins, Stan Vodenal and Allan McClure representing the Johnson Lake Trails Team appeared to present three options for the proposed bike trail location and to provide an information update on the trail location.
The team had met on December 1st with 13 members present to review the status of the project and make plans for future construction. Cummins and Chuck Olsen had prepared a proposal/request complete with photos, sketches and bids on the project. The commissioners studied and discussed the three options and selected the first option that would allow five feet of separation from the paved edge, a minimum required distance.
The request was to have Dawson County and the Trails Team enter into partnership to construct a trail between Drives 14E and 14F that involves approximately 600 feet. The county would locate, design and construct a trail bed with its own equipment and manpower in keeping with its own requirements and practices. Fill could be available from the spoil bank at the inlet that is located one mile away.
The trails team will contribute the concrete from privately donated funds via their arrangement with Paulsen Inc. @ $37.50 per running foot X 590’ for a total of $22,125.
Deputy County Attorney Jocelyn Brasher advised that due to liability issues the county should not enter into a formal partnership with the trails team.
Vice Chairman PJ Jacobson made a motion that was seconded by Commissioner Bill Stewart to allow the trail to be constructed with a five foot separation between the pathway and the adjacent road and that the Trails Team take full responsibility for construction and all maintenance on the trail. Commissioners Jacobson, Dean Kugler, Dennis Rickertsen and Stewart cast affirmative votes with Chairman Hagan casting the lone negative vote. The motion carried.
Krull Agency representative Dan Schwartzkopf appeared to present an update on employee health insurance.
The next regular meeting for the Dawson County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Friday, December 30, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Dawson County Courthouse.
Cheering Loud and Proud:
LEADING THE CHEERS during a time out were Cozad Cheeleaders (from left) Abbi Etherton, Bri Valenzuela and Emily Smith on Saturday evening at the Barn.
Former Probation Employee Sentenced To Federal Prison
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that on December 7th, 2016, Senior United States District Judge Richard G. Kopf sentenced Victor Ramirez, 25, of Lexington, Nebraska, to 18 months in federal prison for the felony offense of taking bribes to engage in certain actions connected with his state employment. Upon his release from prison, Ramirez will serve two years on supervised release.
Victor Ramirez was a drug technician for the Nebraska State Probation Office in Lexington, Nebraska. Between August 25th, 2015, and December 16th, 2015, he received approximately $2,000 - $2,400 from an offender who was on probation and being supervised by the Lexington state probation office. In return for the money Ramirez provided the offender with information, and falsified drug test results. The offender and Ramirez were life-long friends, and on several occasions Ramirez reported that the offender had passed a drug screening test when in fact no such test had been administered. On several other occasions Ramirez supplied information to the offender regarding whether other persons were the subject of state criminal investigations, and information pertaining to how other persons had posted bond to be released from jail.
This case was investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Nebraska Post Offices Are Very Busy During Holidays
More than 1.3 million cards, letters and packages are expected to be mailed in Nebraska on Monday, the busiest mailing day of the year; that’s 57,600 pieces per hour, 960 per minute, or 16 per second.
Fully-staffed Post Offices will greet customers, and postal managers will be in lobbies on December 19th to answer questions and provide assistance.
“The best advice I can give customers is to mail early and conveniently,” said Cozad Postmaster Tess Kaiser.
Those looking to avoid the crowds, and save some time, are encouraged to ship from home for the holidays at usps.com where more than 3 million customers are expected to print postage-paid shipping labels and request a free pickup of their packages.
In addition to the nearly 500 Post Offices in Nebraska, there are also 32 full-service Contract Postal Units, including Hy-Vee stores. To find the nearest postal location, call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or go to usps.com.
Nebraska postal carriers are projected to deliver a record 2.7 million packages this holiday season, a 12 percent increase compared to last year.
Virtually all larger Post Offices in Nebraska are delivering packages seven days a week through Christmas, and smaller Post Offices as well where package volumes merit.
Postal customers are encouraged to go to myusps.com to sign up for real time text and email notifications of the status of their packages. If a package doesn’t fit in the mailbox and the customer won’t be home to receive it, the customer can provide delivery instructions online and authorize the carrier to leave it in a specified location, with a neighbor, or choose to pick it up at the Post Office.
Tis The Season:
Suspected Homicide Being Investigated North Of Lexington
The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at a location approximately 2.5 miles north of Lexington on Monday, December 12th just after 10 a.m.
During their initial investigation of the property, evidence was located which included deceased human remains, indicating a homicide had occurred. During this investigation, several leads have developed that are being pursued.
Assisting with this search of the rural farmstead and adjoining property, investigators from SCALES (South Central Area Law Enforcement Services), Kearney Police Department, Lexington Police Department, Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office, Phelps County Sheriff’s Office, Dawson County Attorney’s Office and the Nebraska State Patrol.
The suspected homicide investigation is ongoing with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and the Dawson County Attorney’s Office leading the investigation.