Olsen Is Gothenburg Chamber Of Commerce President

With the new year comes a change in leadership for the Gothenburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Janell Rossen, who served as president of the board for 2016, passed the duties to Matt Olsen during the board’s first meeting of the year on January 10th.
Olsen grew up in Oklahoma, graduating from high school in 1999. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business with minor in economics from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2003 and also has a master’s degree in organizational development from the University of Oklahoma.
 He worked for the U.S. Department of Defense for 10 years. Olsen moved to Gothenburg in 2010 to become a financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments. 
Olsen has now began his third year on the Gothenburg Area Chamber of Commerce board. He was previously chairman of the Gothenburg Chamber’s promotions committee and has also served as a Gothenburg Ambassador. Outside of the Chamber of Commerce, Olsen is involved as a member of the Gothenburg Senior Center board, is on the state and local boards for L2 for Kids, is a member of Noon Rotary and volunteers as a TeamMates mentor. 
Olsen and his wife, Amber, have two children, Ethan, 11, and Kaylee, 9.
Rossen will serve another year on the board as the past president.
Elected to the Chamber board during year-end member balloting were Jim Widdifield and Heather Combs Platter. Widdifield, a veteran on the board, represents Gothenburg Public Schools and Combs Platter, who previously worked in the Chamber office, represents Gothenburg Health. Combs Platter replaces Laurie Moody of First State Insurance, who has been on the board three years. 
For more information about the benefits of joining the Gothenburg Chamber of Commercee or to get more involved, call the office at 308-537-3505.

Cozad Chamber of Commerce Banquet To Be Held On Friday Evening

Coming together to celebrate the success of the businesses in Cozad will be a large crowd that will assemble for the 2017  Cozad Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet on Friday evening at the Elks Club. 
Chamber members and families will begin the evening with a social hour at 6 p.m. The Dinner will be promptly served at 6:30 p.m. 
At the conclusion of the dinner the presentation of awards will be highlighted along with updates coming from committee chairpersons. 
If you have any questions about the upcoming banquet, please call the Cozad Chamber of Commerce at 784-3930 or send and email to cozadchamber @cozadtel.net.

Cozad High School Groups Make Their Mark

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2017 Relay For Life Meeting Scheduled

One in three women and one in two men in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. One of those people could be you or someone you love. That’s why we Relay, according to participants of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Dawson County. Everyone who joins knows “when you Relay, you help save lives.”
Planning for the 2017 Relay For Life begins on Thursday, January 26th at 6 p.m. at the Cozad Middle School Library.  Invite family and friends to attend as more volunteers are needed to plan this community owned event. Those attending will help set a date for the event as well as work out other event details.  
ACS Staff Partner Cristy Thompson of North Platte is actively looking for an event lead(s) and welcomes information about possible candidates to contact. She can be reached at 308-530-6002.
For more information about Relay For Life, go to relayforlife.org. To learn more about the American Cancer Society, go to cancer.org or call toll-free 1-800-227-2345.

Cozad Jaycees Cake Auction To Be Held February 9th

The Cozad Jaycees will be hosting their annual cake auction on Thursday, February 9th at Chipper Hall in Cozad.
 Items may be dropped off starting at 7:30 a.m. with bidding commencing at 9:00 a.m. Bidding will end promptly at 5:45 p.m. Baked goods as well as non-perishable items such as baskets are welcomed.
 All items will qualify for the ‘Buy-Now’ feature. For $75 any item may be purchased on the spot.
 Questions or additional information may be obtained by contacting Lindsay Erickson at 308-325-5551.

Lexington Volunteer Fire Department Reports Busy Month

The Lexington Volunteer Fire Department reported a busy December with a total of 61 calls for service. 10 of which were fire calls with the worst one being a mobile home fire that totalled the home.
Also reported was 51 rescue calls with several of them being vehicle accidents.
Training for the month included a program by the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office which assisted with teaching what personnel should watch for and be concerned with at a scene. They also watched a working canine in action.
Also in December the firefighters participated in the Santa Parade and provided fire truck rides in downtown Lexington.

First Baby Born for 2017 In Cozad:

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New Police Chief Montgomery Sworn In At Council Meeting

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The Cozad City Council met for the first meeting of the New Year on January 9th, 2017.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale swore into office Chief of Police Mark Montgomery to begin the meeting. He succeeds Randy Adams who left the department to work as an investigator for the Dawson County Sheriff’s office.
A public hearing was held on the application of MAD Food Services LLC dba Bella Italia for a Class C liquor license. Present to present the request were new Bella Italia owners Mark and Maria Diaz. The license was approved and council members thanked them for taking over the restaurant and continuing to provide the authentic Italian cuisine patrons have become accustomed to.
Discussion took place regarding the ambulance billing service. Deputy City Clerk Kelly Peden had submitted research she had conducted that showed Cozad hadn’t raised the ambulance rates since 2009 and that they no longer were in compliance with the Blue Cross/Blue Shield fee schedule. The current charge is $360.00 per ambulance run plus $10.00 per loaded mile outside the city limits of Cozad. The allowed billable amount for 2017 is $556.80. Peden recommended raising the rate to $550.00 to be in compliance with the fee schedule. Council members approved the $500.00 ambulance run fee plus $10.00 per loaded mile outside of the city limits of Cozad to commence in 2017.
Under Reports, Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols reported that he would be attending the League of Nebraska Municipalities Meeting this Wednesday through Friday. He has accepted a nomination to serve on the League of Nebraska Municipalities Executive Board.
Wilson Public Library Director Laurie Yocom reported that Arturo Martinez has been hired to fill the vacancy created by Amanda Valenzuela who was recently hired to work at Cozad Headstart.
Cozad Fire Department Assistant Rescue Chief Travis Lee reported that the new stretcher has been installed. “An in-service attended by 15 members was recently conducted for the stretcher and it will truly be an asset to our department,” according to Lee. 
Chief of Police Mark Montgomery reported that he is getting settled in and thanked Police Sergeant John Peden for his assistance and guidance these past two weeks. “I sincerely appreciate his help in returning to the head of our fine department,” noted Montgomery.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale reported that a couple of city employees have inquired about the possibility of making memberships to the Community Wellness Center available as a payroll deduction. They have also asked if the city would consider a partial reimbursement each month for regular attendance at the center. “Half a dozen businesses in Cozad already do this for their employees, so it is something we may want to consider,” Trusdale commented.
The next regular meeting for the council is scheduled for Monday, January 23rd, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the City Office building.

Pleschourt Named Eustis/Farnam Student Of The Month

Spotlighted as the Eustis/Farnam Student of the Month by the Eustis Chamber of Commerce for January is Sara Pleschourt.
As a Senior, Sara is keeps a busy schedule at Eustis/Farnam as she is involved in a wide array of activities while excelling in the classroom. 
Sarah participates in band, speech, one-acts and currently the President of the Eustis/Farnam FFA and President of the Student Council. Pleschourt has been a letterwinner in both volleyball and basketball throughout her prep career. 
In addition to attending school and participating in the plethroa of activities, Sara works at the care home in Elwood and at the Eustis/Farnam Pool. 
Sara plans to attend Southeast Community College in Beatrice to play volleyball and pursue a degree in nursing. 

UNICAMERAL UPDATE From Matt Williams

Greetings District 36. The first session of the 105th Legislature began on Wednesday, January 4th. Seventeen new senators were sworn in and new leadership was elected, but the first few days of session are mostly used for organizational purposes. Senators are assigned office space and the halls of the Capitol are filled with furniture and files as everyone settles into a space for the next two years. There is a lot of energy in the building after the quiet interim. 
Senators also learn their committee assignments in the first few days of session. I have been assigned to the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee which is a good fit given my 40 year career in banking. I have also been assigned to the Health and Human Services Committee. There are a number of challenges facing the Department of Health and Human Services and I look forward to learning more about these issues. 
The first ten days of session are when all the bills are introduced. Each bill that is introduced will have a public hearing in a committee. I am working on a number of bills on a range of topics. I will provide more information in a future column about the bills I introduce. We will also hear from the Governor in his state of the state address as well as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in his state of the judiciary address.
I am optimistic about this session even recognizing that we have significant challenges. We have the budget shortfall, issues with the Department of Corrections, and tax issues that need solutions. If we roll-up our sleeves and collaborate on the important issues, I believe we can achieve great results for our state. 
The current schedule has the Legislature working until the first week in June. There will be a number of bills important to the residents of District 36 debated during this time. Your input on these issues will be of great importance to me. Please feel free to contact me by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone at (402) 471-2642. 
On a somber note, District 36 recently lost a great leader with the passing for former Senator John Wightman. John's work in Lexington, Dawson County, and the Nebraska Legislature touched many lives. His dedication and hard work set an example for many of us to follow. For me John was a trusted adviser and supporter. Most of all he was a dear friend. Our prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.
I am humbled and honored to serve as your representative in the Legislature. I would ask for your thoughts and prayers for the senators as we begin this journey on behalf of all Nebraskans.

TRIB-AREA Speech Teams Shine At Lexington Invite

The Cozad, Gothenburg and Eustis/Farnam Teams battled with host Lexington to make their voice be heard in a highly competitive Speech Invitational on Saturday. 
 Melissa Estrada captured the 1st place medal in the Novice Entertainment division.
 Marianna Hermosillo placed 4th in Varsity Serious Prose and Ashley Burkholder took 6th place in the Varsity Extemporaneous category.
 The OID (Oral Interpretation of Drama) team consisting of Burkholder, Estrada, Hermosillo, Omar Carlos and Abby Thramer captured 3rd place in the varsity division.
Member Sam Schutte received the 'Service Leadership Award' for the CHS team. 
Lexington was led by the first place finishes of Rebecca Riek in Novice Poetry and Tessa Eldridge in Novice Persuasive speaking. 
Finishing the event with silver medalist honors from Lexington were Adrian Gomez in Varsity Serious Prose and Mariana Tena in Novice Poetry. 
Adrian Gomez (Varsity Extemporaneous), Mark Barrientos (Novice Entertainment) and Stephanie Vielmas (Novice Informative) all earned bronze medals for Lexington. 
Gothenburg was led in Lexington by Dominic Long finishing third overall in Varsity Poetry and Varsity Serious Prose. 
Julyssa Rocha (Varsity Persuasive) and Courtney Harpole (Novice Persuasive) were third place medalist for the Swedes. 
The Novice OID team, ‘A Piece of My Heart’ from Eustis/ Farnam was third place overall. 
Knotted in a tie for bronze medalist honors were a pair of Eustis/Farnam Novice Duet Acting tandems. The Duet of Boller and Walker; and the duo of Miller and Neukirch were both third place honorees. 
The Haymakers Speech Team will next compete at home on Monday, January 16th at 4:00 p.m. at their Speech Invite that was rescheduled due to bad weather on December 17th.

Fattig Of Lexington Selected To Attend Air Force Academy

Lexington Senior Victoria (Lili) Fattig was among those selected by the Senate Armed Services Committee to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Victoria Lilianne Fattig is the daughter of Michelle Fattig and Patrick Foulk of Lexington. 
Lili is a Superior Honor Roll Student and a three sport letterwinner in Volleyball, Basketball and Tennis. Lili is a four year member of the Lexington High School Band and has been a valuable asset to the marching band and flag corps as well as concert band throughout her prep campaign. 
 She has been an active member of the National Honor Society at Lexington High School as well as the L Club. 
Fattig has dreamed of attending the United States Air Force Academy since she was eight years old and plans to become a Forensic Pathologist. 
Lili received the Believers and Achievers award for Lexington High School and the Wendy's Heisman Award for Lexington High School. Fattig was just recently honored as an Elks Student of the Month. 
To date, Lili has three letters of intent to play tennis in college.
 Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer said, “Today, I am excited to announce nominees to our nation’s military service academies. There is a bright future ahead for these talented young men and women. I am so pleased they will continue Nebraska’s time-honored tradition of military service. These nominees exemplify our state’s fundamental values, and I thank them for their willingness to serve our great nation.”
Every year, U.S. senators are called upon to nominate a select group of eligible individuals from their states for enrollment at one of the five U.S. Military Service Academies: the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, the United States Coast Guard Academy, the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy.

Callahan Arraigned In Connection With Lexington Murder Case

Arraigned on Friday in Dawson County Court was former Lexington resident Melissa Callahan now of Elm Creek on the charge of accessory to a felony in connection with the Lexington murder case that the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate. 
Callahan was initially booked into the Dawson County Jail on Wednesday on a charge of probation violation. The accessory to a felony charge was added on Thursday. 
Evidence has developed that showed Callahan was present during the muder of Jose Hernandez and that Callahan assisted in the removing the body from the scene and assisted in the concealing of the deceased body.
Callahan is being held in Dawson County Jail with a $200,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday,  January 19th.  

Cozad Valuation Down From 2015 In Building Permits

Building permits, which were approved in 2016, amounted to a $3,609,003.90 valuation in the Cozad community in 2016. In 2015, the valuation totals exceeded 11 million dollars. 
Improvements of all kinds are included in the project list, including remodeling, fences, additions, sprinkler systems, etc.
Projects approved:
•  Shed, $1,000.
•  Shed, $1,657.44.
•  Mercantile, $400,000.
•  Addition, $40,000.
•  Building, $500,000.
•  Roof Repair, $6,526.
•  Second Floor Addition, $350,000.  
•  Roof, $600.
•  Doors & Deck, $2,000.
•  Doors, $550.
•  Warehouse, $275,000.
•  Storm Shelter, $500.
•  Propane Tank, $100.
•  Windows & Lighting, $4,611.12
•  Windows, Doors & HVAC, $40,000.
•  Fence, $1,050.
•  Alteration, $675,000.
•  Sprinklers, $1,800. 
•  Sprinklers, $2,400.
•  Fence, $4,000.
•  Garage, $7,500.
•  Garage, $5,300.
•  Shed, $1,800. 
•  Handicap Ramp, $300. 
•  Addition, $14,000. 
•  Alteration, $500.
•  Sprinklers, $2,400.
•  Garage, $20,000.
•  Shed, $100.
•  Garage, $14,000.
•  Fence, $750.
•  Fence, $2,000.
•  Enclosed Porch, $2,800.
•  Sign, $200.
•  Shed, $300.
•  Windows, $11,500.
•  Sign, $5,000.
•  Fence, $1,100.
•  Fence, $4,500.
•  Sign, $2,800.
•  Fence, $2,800
•  Alteration, $20,000.
•  Deck, $3,000.
•  Addition, $7,000.
•  Fence & Carport, $4,000.
•  Garage, $15,000.
•  Fence, $1,000.
•  Pole Shed, $10,000.
•  Fence, $500.
•  Fence, $8,000.
•  Sprinklers, $900.
•  Carport, $100. 
•  Shed, $10,000.
•  Sprinklers, $1,700.
•  Addition, $10,000.
•  Fence, $150.
•  Sign, $100.
•  Fence, $800.
•  Addition, $100,000.
•  Alteration, $1,000.
•  Window, $36,000.
•  Concrete Pad, $1,000.
•  Fence, $4,000.
•  Deck, $4,700.
•  Flag Pole, $50.
•  Green House, $150.
•  Storage Building, $15,000.
•  Propane Tank, $750.
•  Awning, $45.
•  Addition, $5,000.
•  Sign, $10,000.
•  Garage, $8,500.
•  Fence, $4,982.77.
•  Fence, $2,700.
•  Fence, $1,500.
•  Mobile Home, $100.
•  Mobile Home, $0.
•  Mobile Home, $100.
•  Mobile Home, $100.
•  Mobile Home, $100.
•  Mobile Home, $100.
•  Move In Mobile Home, $0.
•  Fence, $2,500. 
•  Building, $30,000. 
•  Fence, $2649.57
•  Handrail & Sign, $800.
•  Storage Shed, $10,457.
•  Porch, $1,300.
•  Addition, $62,500.
•  Sprinklers, $3,100.
•  Sprinklers, $1,900.
•  Windows & Gutters, $550.
•  Kennel, $100.
•  Awning & Sign, $5,500.
•  Shed, $3,800.
•  Dormers, $1,500.
•  Fence, $1,500.
•  Storage Container, $3,000.
•  Sprinklers, $2,450.
•  Fence, $1,000.
•  Storage Building, $57,450.
•  T-Hanger Doors, $300,000.
•  Sign, $4,625.
•  Shed, $650.
•  Shed, $0.
•  Move In Trailer, $0.
•  Move In Trailer, $0.
•  Handicamp Ramp, $0.
•  Move Garage, $5,000.
•  Wall Cover, $0. 
•  Fence, $500.
•  Building, $10,000.
•  Move Garage, N/A.
•  Bedroom, $18,000.
•  Alteration, $310,000.
•  Move In Trailer, N/A
Total: $3,535,403.90

Red Cross Blood Drive In Cozad Set For January 24th

Looking for a way to give back to the community but don’t have a lot of time to volunteer? The American Red Cross reminds people that in only about an hour, those eligible can help save lives by donating blood and feel instant gratification.
“A decline in the blood supply after the winter holidays is not uncommon, but it can be replenished when generous volunteers roll up their sleeves to help save lives,” said Katie Marshall, external communications manager for the Red Cross Midwest Blood Services Region. “Every two seconds a patient in the U.S. needs blood.”
As Americans become increasingly mobile, donors can feel good knowing that by donating blood through the Red Cross, they may be helping not only family and friends in their community, but also patients in need across the country.
Cozad Community Blood Drive
Tuesday, January 24th, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Catholic Church Parish Hall, 613 West 13th Street. To make an appointment, please call or text Amanda at 308-660-6709.
Donors are encouraged to use our new online health history service ‘Rapid Pass’. It allows donors to complete their health history questions in the privacy of their home or office the day of the blood drive, saving them about 15 minutes of time at the blood drive. It is accessible at www.redcrossblood .org/rapidpass.
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. 
High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Lexington Regional Health Center Welcomes Raime Misko

In October 2016, Lexington Regional Health Center’s Family Medicine Specialists (FMS) welcomed Raime Misko, APRN, FNP – C to the practice. Misko’s passion for medicine started over ten years ago.  Misko said, “I attended Chadron State and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Biology in 2003. I then attended nursing school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 2004.” She then worked as a Registered Nurse, gaining much experience in post-surgical care, long-term care and family practice.
 Misko, originally from Alliance, Nebraska, later attended graduate school at Clarkson College and graduated with a Masters in Nursing in August 2016. She is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), and is also an active member of the Nebraska Nurse Practitioners Association and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.  
Dr. Francisca Acosta-Carlson, LRHC’s Chief Medical Officer, says Misko, “has a very caring attitude and is eager to assist patients with their many needs. Patients are already speaking highly of her. Her growing panel of patients shows that she is becoming a very important part of this clinic and the community.”

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