TRIBUNE-Area Shines At State Cheer & Dance Championships
Shining bright in the spotlight were the cheer and dance squads from Cozad, Lexington and Gothenburg; as they competed in the Nebraska Coaches Association (NCA) State Cheer and Dance Championships held in Grand Island on Friday and Saturday.
The Cozad High Cheerleaders stood tall in earning the State Champion honors in the Non-Tumbling C1 competition with 84.67 points.
“It feels absolutely amazing to win,” expressed Cozad Cheer Co-Captain Jordyn Worrell. “It is a great achievement to win back-to-back State Championships.”
“Experiencing success as underclassmen was instrumental to Jordyn and I knowing what it takes to be a championship winning squad,” stated Co-Captain Tazah Weinmaster. “It feels great that we kept the tradition of strong performances and the string of success alive and well.”
The girls perfected their routine during practice sessions that began in November. “The girls were very passionate about cheer and had great chemistry. They all worked together very well as a team towards a common goal,” explained Coaches Karen Klein and Kelly Worrell.
“We were a very cohesive group that has bonded well and respected each other,” stated Weinmaster.
Earning great accolades in the spotlight was the Cozad Jazz Dance team in earning fifth place honors with 78.0 points in the Hip-Hop C1 competition.
The Lexington Liberty Belles dance squad was fourth overall in the High Kick B competition and seventh in Hip-Hop.
The Gothenburg cheerleaders shined in the spotlight with a seventh place finish in the Non-Tumbling C1 competition with 72.43 points.
The Lexington cheer squad finished 13th overall against a loaded field of competitors in the Non-Tumbling B division and was fifth in the Game Day Class A/B division.
Rapunzel Steps Into The Spotlight In Lexington:
If those attending the Missoula Children’s Theater (MCT) production of “Rapunzel” Saturday afternoon were expecting the traditional version of the familiar fairy tale, they were in for a surprise.
The MCT version has Rapunzel’s tale taking place in France and it carries a number of twists and incorporates characters from a number of other stories. Before the afternoon was over narrator Frenchy had introduced the audience to the Billy Goats Gruff, a Troll, some Ogres, Pixies, Gremlins and Wood. Then there were the Three Bears, or were there Four Bears?
Keeping the audience in stitches were Prince #1, without a horse and Prince #2, with a horse, who kept getting lost in their search for Rapunzel’s tower. To create the illusion of climbing the tower there were also two Rapunzels, one in the tower and one in her room.
Adding to the mayhem were Madame Grothel and her spies, a potato and ears of corn, and mushrooms in the garden, which tempted Rapunzel’s parents, Monique and Maurice.
In the end the fair Rapunzel is finally rescued from the tower and all the characters learn the lesson of the day, to try a little kindness.
For 40 years, MCT’s international tour has fostered life skills in more than one million children. During this touring year alone 40 sets of directors will work with 65,000 children in more than 1,200 communities in all 50 states and 17 countries.
MCT is partially supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the Montana Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Support locally came from the Lexington Community Foundation, the Althea Roberts Music Grant, Plum Creek Community Players, the Lexington Public Schools, Holiday Inn Express, Wal-Mart and Plum Creek Market Place.
Area youth who were part of the cast included: Theresa Aguirre - Tower Rapunzel; Rebecca Riek - Room Rapunzel; Trey Fago - Prince #1; Miguel Galvan - Prince #2; William Morales – Maurice; Ivey Zimmerman – Monique; Alexia Deck, Samantha Baires, Abby Allen, Gracey Smith, Taya Berry, Trista Keim, Saidi Rutten, Abbie Owens and Ninent Arevalo – Wood Elves; Darlyn Gonzalez and Montse Manzo – Ears of Corn; Jacquelin Ostrom – Potato; Aaliyah Parra and Alyssa Copper – Unicorns; Nevaeh Sauer, Bianca Toledo, Savannah Aguilar, Delilah Solis, Grace Goodwin and Delaney Stewart – Pixies; Kaden Melroy, Jacksen Konrad, Cristopher Garcia, Juan Andrade and Ryan Fitzgerald – Gremlins; Carlos Pano, Christian Holbrook and Kage Ellis – Billy Goats Gruff; Daniel Arevalo – Troll; Jesse Arevalo, Reese Kuecker and Aubrey Ackerson – Three Bears; Arthur Zamudio – Bucky the Beaver; Kayleigh Cetek, Madison Fitzgerald, Sydni Rutten and Ashley Fago – Ogres; Penny Goodwin – Fun Gus; Paetyn Harvey, Ruby Solache, Austin Pano, Rodrigo Nuno, Sophia Pano, Izayah Jones, Emerson Lorenzo, Brennan Ackerson, Gunner Price, Marissa Oestreich, Gabriella Carlson, Wesley Thompson, Jasmine Aguirre, Kennedy Cetek and Kipley Kuecker – Mushrooms; Monica Carado, Isabella Carlson, Destani McCance and Angelina Diaz – Assistant Directors; Candy Fagot – Accompanist; Michael Zern – Light and Sound Tech; Peter Kane – Frenchy and tour actor/director; Sarah Kane, Director.
Marsh Named In Becker's Top 130 Women In Health Care
Leslie Marsh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Lexington Regional Health Center (LRHC) was recently named in the Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the nation’s top 130 women working in health care. Each year, Becker’s selects women leaders based on their management and leadership skills, along with career accomplishments.
“I am truly humbled to be one of the individuals on this list,” said Marsh. “While I am honored to be named, I think it is important to acknowledge that the achievements of LRHC would not have been possible without the help of our dedicated and high-functioning team.”
In 2010 Marsh assumed the position of CEO at LRHC and since then has made great strides in improving the access to care for the community and surrounding area. During her tenure, LRHC has transformed not only physically, with its previous and current expansion projects, but has also seen a great transition in vision, mission and strategic plans. Under Marsh’s guidance and leadership LRHC has successfully opened an Urgent/Primary Care clinic and a Family Medicine clinic. Marsh has also been instrumental in recruiting new providers to Lexington. Today there are ten full-time providers on staff.
While Marsh has been instrumental in making many of these changes, it is important to note the entire team at LRHC has played a key role in building a brighter future. In 2015, LRHC added two orthopedic surgeons and a urologist to their growing list of visiting specialists. In March, LRHC will be expanding services to Elwood as they open a new clinic.
Quality of care has also improved at LRHC. Since 2011 LRHC has seen a 40 percent reduction in readmissions, which means patients are provided with the care they need and education on how to stay healthy when returning home. There has also been a 60 percent reduction in harm, meaning there has been a decrease in infections, adverse drug events and falls, along with other key areas. This rate represents the team’s drive to make LRHC a place where patients can receive safe, high-quality care. Last year LRHC implemented a Patient and Family Advisory Council. This group of community members and LRHC team members work together to improve the quality of care LRHC offers and improve the patient and family experience while receiving care at LRHC.
In addition to all of the physical changes at LRHC, Marsh has been instrumental in improving the overall culture at LRHC by providing her team with tools to help everyone strive for excellence. In 2010, LRHC implemented Studer principles. These are evidence-based principles, which have helped LRHC reduce patient readmissions and overall harm. This past year, LRHC embarked on a two-year journey to become a Virtuous Organization with the help of Lee Elliott.
“Under Leslie’s leadership, the culture of the hospital has changed over the past 5 ½ years,” said Nicole Thorell, Chief Nursing Officer at LRHC. “She has empowered all employees to bring forth ideas and impact the care provided at LRHC. Leslie has supported and led the team approach in which every employee at LRHC knows they are a valued part of the team. She is very modest in taking credit for the outcomes we have achieved, sharing that credit with the whole team, and while it is the whole team who affects the outcomes, it is her leadership that has lead us there.”
The community has also benefited from LRHC’s leadership through programs such as the Community Fitness Initiative (CFI). This program focuses on encouraging fitness in youth to prevent childhood obesity. Lexington Regional partners with the city and school system to host the following activities: wrestling, football, dance camps, volleyball camps and dash and splash.
CFI also hosts “Catch Kids,” an after school program that teaches elementary-age students about nutrition and helps them prepare healthy snacks and food options.
LRHC assumed responsibility of the community garden and all departments are responsible for planting, maintaining and harvesting the fresh produce; all produce is taken to the local food pantry. In recruitment of a recent physician, LRHC has helped expand the sports outreach to local communities. Lexington Regional will be partnering with area schools to hold sports clinics and be on site during athletic events to provide care. LRHC sponsored Lexington High School’s Impact Program to ensure the safety of athletes and the prevention of concussions.
Marsh is also extremely involved within the health care industry by serving on various councils and boards. She has been involved with the Nebraska Hospital Association (District IV Chair/Medicaid Reform Issue Strategy Group/Policy Development Committee/NHA Board Member), University of Nebraska Medical Center (Public Health Advisory Council), Dawson County Council of Economic Development (past President/past board member), the Federal Office of Rural Health’s Funded Technical Assistance Service Center, the Regional Health Equity Council, the Nebraska State Office of Minority Health and the National Rural Health Association (Critical Access Hospital Leadership Team) along with many other organizations and groups.
The entire team at LRHC is committed to building a brighter future for the Lexington community and surrounding area. “We will continue our journey to excellence; supporting one another, providing excellent, compassionate care and creating a warm, inviting and progressive place for people to receive care. A place where friends, family and faith are a part of everyone’s healthcare experience,” said Marsh.
RedDay To Be Held In Cozad On Saturday
The whole community of Cozad should be excited for February 27th with the upcoming and fast approaching RedDay Celebration that will be held at Chipper Hall. Citizens of the 100th Meridian City will have the chance to reinvest, engage and donate during this joyous event.
“It is a great kick start for the Foundation to show what they can do for the community and a great opportunity for citizens and former citizens of Cozad to give back,” stated Cozad Community Foundation President Bill Wilkinson.
The activities will start at 7 p.m. and continue until after 11 p.m. A wine/ microbrew tasting will be accompanied by a food pairing demonstration by Shawn Engberg. There will be silent and live auction items also available at Chipper Hall with live entertainment to follow. The go kart raffle will be drawn this evening, also, Tickets are still available and you need not be present to win.
“RedDay has the build-up to be a great inaugural event for the whole community of Cozad,” expressed Cozad Community Foundation board member Robyn Geiser.
Online donations will be accepted at www.cozadcommunityfoundation.org via PayPal.
Cozad High School FBLA Seeks Your Help With Cozad Survey
The Future Business Leaders (FBLA) of Cozad have been working on a project called Partnership with Business. Earlier this year this committee collaboratively met with Robyn Geiser from the Cozad Development Corporation to create a short survey to determine the needs and wants of current residents and non-residents with the hope of better serving our community. However, we need your help filling out the survey. Surveys can be can be taken online at:
If you need to take the survey on paper, you can stop by Robyn’s office, Cozad Development Corporation at 121 West 9th St., Ste E in Cozad.
Your prompt reply would be greatly appreciated.
Dawson County Commissioners Discuss Highway Superintendent Job Opening
The Dawson County Board of Commissioners entered into executive session twice during their regular meeting on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
The first session dealt with Deputy County Attorney Kate Gatewood in regards to the Open Meetings Act. The board took no action on information that was provided on the matter.
The second executive session dealt with the hiring of a County Roads Superintendent. Randy Dean is currently serving in this position on a part-time basis as appointed by the board. Dean works for the engineering firm Miller & Associates.
The commissioners announced that the position would not be filled at this time as none of the three applicants filled the qualifications for the position.
According to former roads superintendent and present board chairman Butch Hagan the position is by direct appointment of the board and is reappointed on an annual basis.
“It’s a tough job to get certified and to please all of the board members,” noted Butch Hagan. “Less than 25 per cent pass the certification test administered by the Standardsand Classification Board of the state,” he continued.
“The job includes bookkeeping, work project and road maintenance skills, and the superintendent manages 30 – 36 employees and a seven million dollar budget,” Hagan went on to say.
Deans will continue to serve as interim superintendent.
Under Committee Reports Hagan reported that the air conditioning and sewers are being repaired in the office building on the Dawson County Fairgrounds. The furnace has been replaced in the 4-H Café.
Commissioner Bill Stewart reported that he and Emergency Manager Brian Woldt recently met with a group to discuss the proposed lights on the courthouse grounds for the 2016 holiday season. Stewart also pointed out that the sidewalk on the west side of the courthouse is in need of repair.
The commissioners approved a resolution for Closing of Funds. This involves back taxes being transferred into the general fund.
Chairman Hagan was given permission to sign the audit agreement with the state of Nebraska.
Dawson County Shop Manager Tim Speak appeared to open bids for motor graders needed by the roads department.
One motor grader was approved from Nebraska Machinery for $262,250 less a trade-in of $51,900 for a total purchase price of $213,350.
The second motor grader will be purchased from Murphy Tractor for $252,500 less a trade-in of $54,000 for a total purchase price of $198,500.
One motor grader will be used in Sumner and the other in Gothenburg.
Johnson Lake Trails Fun Run/Bike Ride organizer Casey Ford and Cody Schmick, representing Kinkaider Brewing Co. in Broken Bow appeared to explain the event planned for Saturday, March 19, 2016. This will be the third anniversary for this event used to raise funds to complete the Johnson Lake Walking/Bike Trail.
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber and Chairman Hagan had met with Ford and Schmick prior to the meeting and were informed that the registration fee for the event includes the five ounce samples and that registrants are required to show IDs and wear bracelets. Gatorade and water are also available for younger participants or those who choose not to sample the beer.
“This event is basically about exposure and not about volume,” Schmick said.
The commissioners did approve the special designated liquor license application that will be sent on to the state by Dawson County Clerk Karla Zlatovsky.
Dawson County Sheriff Reiber was given the green light to sign the Guardian RFID agreement in three payments as presented by Dawson County Lt. Sheriff Shane Tilson. Guardian RFID is used to manage, monitor and track inmates in custody more completely and effectively.
The next regular meeting for the Dawson County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, 2016 in the Commissioners Room located in the Dawson County Courthouse in Lexington, NE.
SWC Expansion Discussed At Cozad School Board Meeting
The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on
Monday, February 15, 2016.
Under Public Comments Miranda Cook appeared to ask if an insurance liability waiver could be secured so that the public could assist with the removal of snow at the school buildings, especially the fire exit doors.
Superintendent Joel Applegate told the board that he had already met with Cook and said this probably wouldn’t happen. “If we need additional help we will contract it out,” Applegate said.
Under Reports, Middle School Principal Brian Regelin reported that there was a turnout of 38 per cent at Monday’s parent-teacher conferences. The 8th graders have completed their NeSA writing tests and displayed good effort in doing so. Due to the impending budget cuts he has asked staff to get by with what they absolutely need this year and next year and will not be purchasing any furniture or equipment for the 2016-17 school year.
High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer reported that the ‘Maker Fair’ was once again a huge success. “It’s refreshing to witness the cooperative learning atmosphere and rewarding to involve so many community members during these two days,” Beckenhauer commented.
Research is ongoing for the eight-period day for next year, and high school staff members will be traveling to Lexington to observe their ‘Foundations of Leadership’ program and to Kearney for their ‘Bearcat Time’.
Activities Director Cory Spotanski reported that 27 girls participated in high school basketball this year with 14 of those being freshmen. 24 boys went out for basketball and 14 competed in wrestling with freshman Jace Russman and junior Kolton Heins qualifying for state competition.
19 boys participated in 7th grade basketball and 17 in the 8th grade.
“I’m happy to report that our numbers are up in the speech program,” Spotanski noted.
Spotanski discussed with board members some increases he will be proposing for activity passes for individuals and families and activity tickets for students for the upcoming school year.
Elementary Principal Dale Henderson reported that their attendance at Monday’s parent-teacher conferences was good.
Upcoming events at the elementary include the Afterzone/Title I Science Night on March 8th and Kindergarten Screening on April 13th or 14th.
Special Education/Preschool Director Jill Beckenhauer shared the exiting report from the Nebraska Department of Education.
“Most of their recommendations were ‘easy fixes’ and have already been rectified” according to Beckenhauer. “This includes First Aid Training for all employees and attempting to have students follow hand washing protocols more closely” she continued.
“Our custodians have always done a wonderful job of making sure the restrooms are cleaned before school, but now they will be cleaned again mid-morning and in the afternoon as well.”
Beckenhauer noted that they received high scores on the most important items including age-appropriate activities and good communication between staff, students and families.
Currently the preschool program has received 43 applications for next year with five or six staying in the program.
Superintendent Applegate reminded board members of the work session scheduled for Wednesday evening. He reported that he and Dave Evertson had attended an ESU 10 meeting and will be looking into fewer phone lines in the high school building.
“The administration is continuing to work on beliefs and values statements,” Applegate said.
Possible make-up days for the two snow days on February 2nd and 3rd will be discussed at the March board meeting.
The retirement resignation of Food Service employee Gloria Woldt, effective February 29, 2016 was accepted.
Resignations effective at the end of the 2015-16 contract year were accepted from Traci Wall, Para Professional at Cozad Elementary, Keely Reinert, HS Business and Technology Teacher and Ann Rodhouse, Speech/Language Pathologist.
Under the District Financial Report Superintendent Applegate told board members he would like to break up the General Fund a little bit more for future meetings. “Payroll stays pretty much the same but we can try to control the AP (approved purchase) items more,” he said. “I’m also trying to look at our demand charges to see why they spike when they do,” he continued.
Board members approved the contract for Superintendent contract for Applegate for the 2016 year and approved the 2016-2017 ESU 10 contract for school age and below age five special education services. Pricing will remain the same for the ESU 10 contract as it was this year.
The fee for taking the Cozad Community Schools Driver Education course will be increasing $25.00 this year. The course fee will now be $275.00 and make it more competitive with what other schools charge and help cover costs of offering the course.
Under Discussion Items Applegate and Spotanski told board members they had attended a meeting before Christmas to discuss the expansion of the Southwest Conference.
“We need to be proactive and expand now since Ainsworth will soon become a D-1 school and Ogallala is contemplating going to a conference in the west.” Spotanski explained.
Kearney Catholic and McCook have both replied to the letters sent out by the SWC requesting to join the conference. “My feeling is that if we invited them then we should accept them,” Applegate expressed.
Spotanski as polled coaches as to their feelings on adding addition schools with nine responding.
“The movement of schools from conference to conference is rampant right now and we need to expand to keep the SWC viable for the next several years,” Spotanski said.
The Calendar Committee continues to work on the 2016-2017 calendar and is seeking to schedule two staff in-service days per semester.
The next regularly scheduled meeting for the board will be on Monday, March 21, 2016 beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Superintendent’s Office at the District Office Building.
Dawson County Commissioners Approve Future Road Plans At Latest Meeting
The Dawson County Commissioners met in regular session on Friday, February 12, 2016.
During Citizen’s Comments, Linda Grummert introduced herself and expressed interest in the Road Superintendent position. Grummert lives in Guide Rock, Nebraska and has served as Road Superintendent in Webster County.
Roads Committee members Bill Stewart and PJ Jacobson will be interviewing Grummert and the other two applicants for the job in the near future. Other applicants are Shawn Boyd from Gothenburg and Todd Mitchell from Grand Island.
Under Committee Reports, Chairman Butch Hagan reported that the landfill is going good. He also noted that the Ag Society has encountered problems with the furnace and air conditioner at the fairgrounds.
Commissioner Stewart reported LB977 is a bill that Dawson County should support and he urged citizens to contact our state senator to express the same.
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber appeared with the January 2016 crime reports.
Total services were up for the month of January including 96 handgun permits.
Contract inmates in the Dawson County Jail outnumbered the Dawson County inmates.
“We presently have a total income for the fiscal year of $891,067.60,” Reiber reported. “Our goal is one million,” he continued.
Chairman Hagan was given authorization to sign the Applied Industrial Technologies Lease Addendum to the 2015 lease.
Commissioner Dean Kugler reported that the new doors are up on the county shop in Gothenburg.
A public hearing was held regarding the 1 & 6 Year Road Plans. Road Superintendent Randy Deans explained that there were some delayed and revised projects from 2015 that will be one the 1-Year Plan for 2016.
In addition to the three prioritized projects on the 1-Year Plan there are 14 on the 6-Year Plan.
Deans noted that the bidding environment has changed in recent years. “We now receive one bid instead of five or six like we used to due to contractors being so busy,” he explained. “We need to look a little further ahead with our projects in hopes of receiving competitive bids,” he added.
The commissioners passed the resolution approving the plans as presented by Deans.
Veterans Service Officer Steve Zerr appeared in regards to an increase in salary to eventually bring his yearly wage in line with former Veterans Service Officer Earl Linn.
The commissioners approved the $1.00/hour increase for 2016 in place of the fifty cent raise/hour that other hourly employees received for 2016 to help rectify the situation.
“It may take three years or more to get Steve’s salary where it should be” explained Commissioner Stewart. “We are certainly satisfied with the job he is doing in his office,” Stewart went on to say.
A special designated liquor license application for the Business After Hours scheduled for April 1, 2016 at the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles by John Jordening and the BBQ Company was approved. The BAH will be a fundraiser for the Hero Flight program.
The special designated liquor license submitted by Kinkaider Brewing Co. for the Johnson Lake Trails St. Patrick’s Run & Ride event was tabled to the next meeting due to lack of required information on the application form.
The Board of Equalization met prior to the Dawson County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Vehicle exemption requests were approved for 16 churches and organizations. Tax corrections were approved for Troy Lubbers and Jeremy Sheldon.
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Dawson County Courthouse in Lexington, Nebraska.