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Meeting Regarding Spencer Dam To Be Held September 10


09/04/15 04:15 PM


LINCOLN – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will hold a special meeting on Sept. 10 in Lincoln to discuss a memorandum of understanding between the Commission, Nebraska Public Power District and the Niobrara River Basin Alliance regarding the Spencer hydro facility and associated water rights.

The meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in the third-floor conference room at the Commission’s Lincoln headquarters, 2200 N. 33rd St. There also will be a remote video conference location for the meeting in CMCT Room 241 in the Communications Center Building, 905 W. 25th St., on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

 The Spencer dam on the Niobrara River is located 6 miles south of Spencer in north-central Nebraska.

State Horseshoe Tournament Brings Best To O'Neill This Weekend


09/04/15 06:35 AM
The Nebraska State Horseshoe Tournament will be held in O’Neill’s Carney Park on Saturday and Sunday, September 5 & 6.

Competition will start Saturday at 1 pm with over 90 pitchers from all over Nebraska with 13 Class Championships.

Marcus Thompson of North Platte will be competing and is the top seed in the overall championship class.  He finished 14th in the World Championship at 61% ringers.

The public is welcome to come and watch and there is no admission charged

Goose Lake Wildlife Management Area Closed Due To Invasive Plant


09/04/15 06:20 AM


LINCOLN, NEB. -- Goose Lake Wildlife Management Area, located southeast of Chambers in southern Holt County, has been closed to public access by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission until further notice.  The closure is necessary due to a heavy infestation of Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive aquatic plant, at the lake.

Eurasian watermilfoil can spread rapidly because a single fragment of stem or leaf can take root and form a new colony, and plants can grow up to two inches per day.  Once established, the plant can form dense surface mats that interfere with boating, fishing, swimming, and other forms of recreation.  Plant fragments can be transported on boats, trailers, and other aquatic sporting equipment, so the closure is necessary to assure that fragments are not transported to other waterbodies.

The Commission is developing a plan to eradicate Eurasian watermilfoil from Goose Lake. Eradication has been successful for a number of lakes in other states.  The area will reopen once the risk of transporting plant fragments to other areas has been reduced to an acceptable level.

The Commission reminds all water users to clean, drain, and dry their equipment (boats, waders, decoys, etc.) when they leave any body of water to prevent the spread of invasive species.

O'Neill, A Busy Place, Here's A Look In Pictures


09/03/15 11:36 AM
It's been a busy week here in O'Neill.  We thought we'd share a few pictures of what's been going on in O'Neill.
Former Husker & NFL Player Ricky Simmons Spoke At Holt County TeamMates Gala

Cargill Inc. held a Ribbon Cutting Monday to celebrate their new additions

The State Horseshoe Tournament is in O'Neill this Saturday and Sunday September 5 & 6

St. Patrick's Catholic Church Rectory new construction is moving right along!

The NECC Campus In O'Neill is ready for their Grand Opening Tuesday, September 8

The old Alco building front is now all green and getting ready to be the new home for Bomgaars

The O'Neill Community Center parking lot has new cement in the parking lot.

Niobrara National Scenic River Encourages "Every Kid In a Park" Program


09/02/15 04:50 PM
 

Valentine, NE – Niobrara National Scenic River invites all 4th grade students to visit the park as part of the White House’s new Every Kid in a Park program. Starting September 1, 4th grade students can now go to www.everykidinapark.gov to complete an activity and obtain a free annual entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks.

“Every Kid in a Park is a great way for 4th graders to explore national park sites around the country, and we invite every one of them to do so,” said Niobrara NSR Superintendent Steve Thede. “This pass will allow 4th graders and their families to visit Badlands, Yellowstone, and Yosemite National Parks without having to pay an entry fee. No pass is needed at Niobrara NSR. All are invited to come enjoy the river, earn a Junior Ranger badge, and explore Nebraska’s own national treasure.”

The free annual pass is good only for entrance fees; there may be parking, activity, or other fees charged on some federal public lands. The Niobrara NSR never charges an entrance fee, though partners may charge for landings, state park fees, and outfitting fees.

Niobrara NSR offers a variety of activities that fourth graders and their families can enjoy. Pick up a free Junior Ranger activity book, through which children (or the young at heart) may earn a Junior Ranger badge. Next summer, look for ranger-guided canoe floats and Sunday morning Junior Ranger programs.

To receive their free pass for national parks, fourth graders may visit the Every Kid in a Park website and play a game to access their special Every Kid in a Park pass. Fourth graders and their families can then use this pass for free entry national parks and other federal public lands and waters across the country from September 1st, 2015 through August 31, 2016.  The website also includes fun and engaging learning activities aligned to educational standards, trip planning tools, safety and packing tips and other important and helpful information for educators and parents.

In addition to providing every fourth grader in America a free entry pass for national parks and federal public lands and waters, fourth grade educators, youth group leaders and their students across the country will also participate in the program through field trips and other learning experiences.  Teachers may contact the Niobrara NSR at 402-376-1901 to arrange a ranger-guided field trip to the river.

The goal of the Every Kid in a Park program is to connect 4th graders with the great outdoors and inspire them to become future environmental stewards, ready to preserve and protect national parks and other public lands for years to come.  The program is an important part of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration in 2016, which encourages everyone to Find Your Park.

Every Kid in a Park is an administration-wide effort, launched by President Obama, and supported by eight federal agencies, including the National Park Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Education, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
 

Nebraska Farmers Union Sponsors Renewable Energy Forum at Lifelong Learning Cent


09/02/15 04:39 PM
 

LINCOLN – Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) President John Hansen announced that his organization is sponsoring a free public renewable energy forum at the Lifelong Learning Center, 701 Benjamin Avenue, Norfolk starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 10th.  The forum will focus on the importance and potential of farm based renewable energy, including wind and solar from farm to commercial scale use.  He encourages the public to attend.

Neligh area farmer Art Tanderup and his solar installer Martin Kleinschmit of Hartington will discuss the process and financing used to install a solar electric generation system at Art’s farm.  Solar energy is increasingly being used by farmers and small businesses, and in communities around the state.

Lyle Kathol, Dean of the Applied Technology Division of Northeast Community College will discuss the state’s only Wind Energy Technology Associate of Applied Science degree program that his school sponsors for wind technicians needed to operate the growing number of wind farms in northeast Nebraska.

By the end of 2016, 72% the state’s wind energy generation capacity will be located in northeast Nebraska with 952 MW’s of the state’s 1,316 MW’s in the area served by Northeast Community College in Norfolk.  Renewable energy is the fastest growing source of new tax base, farm income, and local jobs in rural northeast Nebraska.  Those 545 area wind turbines need technicians to service them.

Rev. Kim Morrow, Executive Director of Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light will discuss the importance of renewable energy as part of the religious community’s moral response to the growing challenges posed by climate change.

John Atkeison, a long time analyst, researcher, and writer on renewable energy, climate change, and wildlife issues will present the findings of the University of Nebraska’s report “Understanding and Assessing Climate Change: Implications for Nebraska”.  The report was prepared for the Legislature as a result of LB583 passed in 2013 sponsored by Sen. Ken Haar and signed by Governor Heineman.

John Hansen, NeFU President and Co-Chair of the Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference will provide an update on the status of wind development in Nebraska, pending renewable energy legislation in the Legislature, and topics to be covered in the upcoming 2015 Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference to be held in Omaha November 4-5th.  Hansen will also highlight the enormous economic opportunities renewable energy offers rural communities struggling to diversify and grow their tax bases, increase farm incomes, and create new good paying jobs that help rural kids stay in the rural communities they love.

Nebraska Farmers Union is a general farm organization with 5,671 farm and ranch family members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers, and their rural communities.  Since 1913, Nebraska Farmers Union has helped organize over 445 cooperatives.
 

O'Neill Ranks 3rd Best City In The State For Commute Time


09/02/15 11:17 AM


Nebraska is one of the least expensive places to live, the third best-run state in the nation, and the fourth best state for commuters, according to the website obrella.com

On average, workers in the Cornhusker State commute for 17.9 minutes, which is about seven minutes less than most Americans. While this is certainly impressive, we found 15 cities in Nebraska where commutes average a mere 13.1 minutes and 92 percent of workers get to their job in 29 minutes or less and we want to recognize these cities for such an impressive feat.

And the City of O’Neill ranks number three in the state among the 15 Best Commuter Cities in Nebraska. The average commute time in O’Neill is 11.9 minutes. O’Neill offers a good mix of jobs in areas like ranching, livestock marketing, government services, and manufacturing. So, although three highways run through the city, making a commute to nearby communities like Atkinson and Inman easy, many residents stick close to home to earn a living. As a result, O’Neill workers spend 50 percent less time commuting to their jobs than most Americans.

To create our best commuter cites list, we analyzed traffic data from the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau survey, which is the most recent, and then identified cities with a population of 3,000 residents or more at the time of this survey.

A long commute can be frustrating, stressful, and increase your car insurance premium. Likewise, a short commute may reduce the hassle of driving to work and help you qualify for a more competitive auto insurance rate. These are a few reasons we’re spotlighting the best commuter cities in Nebraska.

Young Americans Coming To O'Neill In November


09/02/15 09:24 AM

Hundreds of talented youth from O’Neill and surrounding areas are preparing to study and perform with The Young Americans, November 15th-17th during their 2015 Fall International Music Outreach Tour and “Turn Up The Music” campaign. This non-profit music, dance and performance troupe will make a tour stop at O’Neill High School on its 44-city tour and has devoted the entire next year to teaching, funding and encouraging school music departments all across the US.
“We are extremely concerned with music programs disappearing from our public schools, especially when we see the direct benefits music has on our young people every single day,” says Bill Brawley, Executive Director of The Young Americans.  “By donating a portion of our workshop proceeds back to schools, it is our hope that our “Turn Up The Music” campaign will energize music teachers, school music programs and the communities that strive to keep music education top priority for our youth.”
As the world’s first show-choir The Young Americans are now the oldest and largest youth music advocacy group in the world.  The 45-member casts, each aged 18 to 23 tour town to town and country to country, staying in the homes of local residents. At each tour stop, they teach three-day music outreach workshops that includes classes in singing, dancing, and theater performance. On the final day, a spectacular two-hour show is produced featuring the local participants as they perform right alongside The Young Americans in front of parents, families, teachers, friends and community members.
 
The mission of the 52 year-old music group has always been the same. They aim to inspire young people and audiences throughout the world using music as their vehicle.  “Music creates the perfect environment for the magic to happen,” says TJ Stoltz Booking Director of the North American Tours.  It’s incredible to watch a group of 3rd -12th graders get together and work as a team in a matter of days.  They develop new friendships, self-confidence, and acceptance among their peers.”
 
Registration is open to students in grades 3-12 and more details on this workshop can be found on The Young Americans website http://youngamericans.org/index.php/turn-up-the-music-2 or by visiting the O’Neill YA’s workshop webpage at http://oneillyas2015.weebly.com.  Registration forms are available on the proceeding workshop website, from O’Neill High School or O’Neill Elementary.  Participants may register quickly and easily online through http://oneillyas2015.weebly.com as well. Come support music education in your community - the final show is open to community members, O’Neill High School gymnasium, 7:00 pm. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door.  

Boyd County Senior Center Putting On 4th Annual Golf Tournament


09/01/15 09:27 AM

The Boyd County Senior Center is having a golf scramble in Butte on September 13. Check out the tournament info and how to get registered by clicking on the banner below.



 

Holt County Sheriff's Office Asking for Help Identifying Stolen Items


08/31/15 03:05 PM

The Holt County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone that has been a victim of a burglary or theft to assist in identifying alleged stolen items recovered on August 6th. The items will be set out for viewing on September 9th from 8 am to 5 pm at the O'Neill Community Center located at 501 South 4th Street.
 

Homebuyer Education Workshop Scheduled For Bassett in September


08/31/15 10:55 AM
 

For families dreaming of owning their own home, but uncertain about how to make that dream a reality, the Central Nebraska Housing Developers (CNHD) will conduct a REACH-Approved Homebuyer Educational workshop in Bassett in September.  This workshop will be held at the RC&D Building, E Hwy 20, on September 10 & 17, from 6-10 p.m. both evenings.  Participants are required to attend both evenings to receive a certificate of completion.

CNHD has a down payment assistance program, and participation in a REACH-certified workshop is a requirement for applying for these funds or other down payment assistance, as well as to qualify for low-interest mortgage loans.  To participate in these special programs, all persons to be listed on the property deed must complete Homebuyer Education.

The cost of the workshop is $50 per person, which covers books and materials.  Pre-registration is required.

To sign up for this workshop, or to inquire about future workshops, please contact Melissa Krysl, Marketing Specialist, at 402-340-6464 or via e-mail at melissa.krysl@cnedd.org, or visit the CNHD website for housing information at http://www.cnhdhome.org.
 

Enrollment Numbers Released For O'Neill Jr./Sr. High School


08/25/15 11:16 AM
Enrollment figures for O’Neill Public High School have been released and numbers for this year compared to last year are nearly the same. 

As of August 25, 2015 for grades 7 through 12 at O’Neill Public School the enrollment for 2015-16 is 338.  Last year’s total was 339.

Enrollment by class for this year is:
7th Grade   23 females 27 males   50
8th Grade   24 females 33 males   57
9th Grade   22 females 31 males   53
10th Grade 30 females 28 males   58
11th Grade 30 females 32 males   62
12th Grade 33 females 25 males   58

Firearm Hunter Education Course Offered in Bassett


08/25/15 09:53 AM
 

A firearm hunter education course will be offered by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission volunteer instructors in Bassett on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The free course will held at the Bassett Legion Club at 201 Buchanan Street and continues on Sunday, September 13, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m at the Sandhills Rod and Gun Club in Ainsworth. The lunch will be provided on Saturday.

The course will provide instruction in the areas of safe firearms use, shooting and sighting techniques, hunter ethics, game identification and conservation management. Students must attend all of the sessions to complete the course. Students must pre-register by September 10, 2015 at HuntSafeNebraska.org, outdoornebraska.org or by calling the Nebraska Game and Parks office in Bassett at 402-684-2921. Please print off and complete the parental release form to bring with you to the first day of class. Instructor would like students to pick up a manual at the Nebraska Game and Parks office in Bassett prior to class, and bring manual with completed questions to the first day of class.

In Nebraska, hunters ages 12 through 29 must have on their person proof of successful completion of firearm hunter education while hunting with a firearm.
 

"Super Heroes" Turn Out Monday For Blood Drive


08/25/15 06:26 AM
Approximately eighty "Super Heroes" came to the LifeServe Blood Center blood drive on Monday, August 24 at Avera St. Anthony's Hospital.  KBRX Radio & LifeServe Blood Center teamed up and welcomed all donors with a Super Hero t-shirt and some KBRX "Mike & Scott" candy!  A big thanks to all that took time out of their day to attend and to give blood.  Also thanks to all the volunteers at Avera St. Anthony's and the staff of LifeServe for starting the week out in a great way!!

2015 Bread 'n Jam Festival Coming Up


08/24/15 10:42 AM

Check out what's going on at the annual event in Neligh on September 11-12 in Neligh by clicking on the flyer below.



 

Goodwill Trailer Returning to O'Neill September 9


08/24/15 10:40 AM

Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska is looking forward to their next donation drive in O’Neill beginning at noon on Wednesday, September 9 through Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day, or earlier if the trailer becomes full. The donation trailer will be parked at the Shopko Parking Lot, 404 E. Hwy 20 to receive donations.

Donations of clothing, computers, computer equipment and household items which are in good condition (what you would want to buy) can be placed inside the trailer. However, because of limited storage space, Goodwill cannot accept televisions, furniture or large appliances. Tax donation slips will be available at the trailer.

Our last drive was a great success, and the generosity of the citizens of O’Neill and the surrounding area is very much appreciated. Revenue earned through the sale of donations at Goodwill retail stores help support programs for persons who have developmental disabilities or a long-term mental illness. Goodwill’s mission is to assist these individuals in achieving independence in the community, including providing job training and job placement.
 

Wagner's Labor Day Celebration


08/21/15 04:24 PM

Labor Day is a big deal in Wagner, SD and they have a party planned. Check out what is going on north of the border September 5-7 by clicking on the banner below.



 

Pheasant Hunting Opportunities Expected To Improve In Nebraska


08/21/15 03:34 PM

LINCOLN – Nebraska pheasant hunting opportunities in 2015 should be better than last year, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Upland Game Hunting Outlook.

Mild winter conditions and timely spring rains have resulted in increases in pheasant abundance statewide. Spring rains also resulted in abundant cover, with Game and Parks staff reporting excellent habitat conditions across the state.

The outlook is based on spring and summer upland game surveys, and conditions reported by biologists. Regional weather events that could impact populations are considered.

Surveys indicated that pheasant abundance was higher in all regions of the state compared to 2014. The southwest and Panhandle regions should offer the best hunting opportunities this year, but better opportunities should be available statewide. With the lush vegetation comes an abundance of insects for chicks to eat. Reports from several regions indicate plentiful grasshoppers this year.

Quail abundance continued its ascent from lows resulting from the drought of 2012-2013 and the severe winter of 2009-2010. Surveys indicated increases in abundance compared to 2014 across almost all of the quail’s range. Habitat conditions were excellent for production and brood-rearing across the state. The southeast and south central parts of the state should offer the best opportunities this year, but there will be good opportunities throughout quail range.

Habitat conditions for grouse were excellent this year, particularly in the Sandhills, and surveys indicated increased abundance in most regions compared to 2014. Abundance was highest in the central part of the state. 

Cottontail abundance appears to have increased significantly across the state, particularly in the southeast and central regions. Staff also report observing multitudes of young rabbits.

To view the full report, visit OutdoorNebraska.org, and then search for 2015 Upland Game Hunting Outlook.

President And CEO Ron Cork Announces Retirement From Avera St. Anthony's Hospita


08/20/15 02:21 PM

Ron Cork
O’Neill, Neb. (Aug. 20, 2015) – Ron Cork, President and CEO of Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital, has announced plans to retire July 1, 2016. 
 
In January 1991, he became the President and CEO of St. Anthony’s Hospital, which became Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital in 2000. 
 
“It has been a privilege to have spent 25-plus years working with incredible, dedicated people who are committed to the heath care of residents in O’Neill and our surrounding area,” Cork said.  “It truly has been a team effort; one that has over the years, included the Sisters of St. Francis of Denver, the Benedictine and Presentation Sisters, Avera Health, local board members, community leaders, hospital volunteers, medical staff and over 290 hospital employees.  These people have given generously of their time and talent enabling our staff to administer quality care to the many patients seeking care from our facility.  This team will continue to move Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital forward for years to come.  To all of them I give my heartfelt thanks.”
 
During his time at Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital, Cork has overseen two major facility expansions, the purchase of 20 properties to allow for expansion on site, and the growth of staff from 70 to 290 in order to accommodate the changes.  Prior to serving at Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital, Cork was the CEO for hospitals in Marion, Kan.; Sterling, Colo.; Fairbanks, Alaska; and Hot Springs, S.D. 
 
In retirement, Cork said he looks forward to spending more time with his wife, Vicki, their three grown children and their spouses and five grandchildren.  
 

Farmers Ranchers Cooperative Announces Plans for a 2nd Feed Mill Addition


08/19/15 04:41 PM



Farmers Ranchers Cooperative’s Board of Directors has given approval for a $17.3 million Feed Mill addition to be located next to the existing Feed Mill in Ainsworth, NE.

From Ron Heerten - Chairman of the Board:
“The Board of Directors is confident that demand is there for F/R feed products with a history of volume growth at our existing mill and with closings of other mill facilities in the region. There is a feed team in place that has the vision, ability, commitment, and proven record to make this project a success. Our co-op has a record of solid local earnings that make this expansion possible at this time.

The Board feels like this project is in the best long term interests of current and future customers, owners, and our entire community. After much consideration we have unanimously approved moving forward with this expansion project.”

The new Feed Mill addition will consist of a mill tower, five ton mixer, 2 four hundred horsepower pellet mills and two state of the art dryers. This will allow Farmers Ranchers to increase production by an additional 40 ton per hour.

From Rocky Sheehan – Feed Division Manager
“The existing mill, while in good condition, is 37 years old. With our service and quality of feed, there has been more demand for our products in an expanding trade territory. Thanks to Bill Worden, Feed Mill Operations Manager, and the rest of our feed team, we have experienced tremendous success. Due to increased demand, we have been running 24 hours per day during the peak of the season. This expansion will make us more efficient.”

The general contractor for the Feed Mill expansion will be EBM Construction of Norfolk, NE. Financing will be provided by CHS Capital of Inver Grove Heights, MN. The project will start this fall and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016.

From Kent Taylor - CEO
“The co-op has a respected history of being an important part of our customers’ success. We are excited to enter this new era for Farmers Ranchers Co-op. This Feed Mill project will allow us to continue to live up to our vision: ‘EARN the position of being FIRST choice for Ag Producers in our expanding territory.’”

Farmers Ranchers Cooperative serves producers and residents of the region with divisions in Agronomy, Feed, and Energy.
 

O'Neill Community Foundation Fund Spotlight: OHS Weight Room


08/19/15 04:34 PM


The OHS wrestling room was part of the weight room improvement project.

The O'Neill Community Foundation Fund continues to spotlight the projects they have helped support over their 10 years.

The O’Neill Community Foundation Fund knows how important the education systems are in our community, which is why several grants have been made to both of our schools.  A more recent project, the O’Neill Public School Athletic Performance Center, was put to good use this year during the District Wrestling Tournament.

In 2013, the OCFF granted $2,000 to the campaign to finish building the new weight room facility at the O’Neill High School.  The facility provided more room for equipment allowing for the school to better serve their students and athletes as well as O’Neill residents that utilize the weight room.

As the O’Neill Community Foundation Fund looks back on their ten years of grant giving, they are especially proud to support our excellent education systems.  Those systems help build strong, healthy families, which help our community thrive.
 

O'Neill Fire Department Respond To Fire, Truck Engulfed In Flames


08/19/15 01:31 PM
The O'Neill Fire Department was called to the Brown Transfer facility at approximately 10:20 last evening for a truck on fire. On arrival a 2005 international truck owned by Brown transfer was found totally engulfed in flames. The fire department quickly put out the fire with little damage to the cargo trailer attached. The fire department was on scene for about 30 minutes before returning to the fire hall.

The truck was a total loss.

Antelope County Man Receives Prison Sentence


08/18/15 11:50 AM

According to Holt County Attorney Brent Kelly, on August 8th, Jacob J. Grim, a 23 year old Antelope County man was sentenced by the Holt County District Court to a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years in prison.  Grim was convicted of burglarizing a building in North O’Neill in early 2011.  Grim was originally sentenced to a term of probation. His probation was revoked following proceedings initiated by the Department of Probation and the Holt County Attorney’s Office.

County Attorney Brent Kelly commented “While I hate to see a young man, with a young family, receive a lengthy prison sentence, we simply have to take a hard line on thieves and burglars in our county.  By repeatedly breaking the rules, and by not honoring his agreement to follow the terms and conditions of his probation, Mr. Grim put himself in a very unfortunate position.  I hope his case will serve as a reminder to other probationers that they need to take their obligations very seriously.”

USDA Invests In Local Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects


08/13/15 02:55 PM
WASHINGTON, August 10, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide that USDA is supporting through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
"This funding will have far-reaching economic and environmental impacts nationwide, particularly in rural communities," Vilsack said. "Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects supports home-grown energy sources, creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas pollution and helps usher in a more secure energy future for the nation."
Fifteen Nebraska projects have been selected for funding.  The projected energy savings from these projects is equivalent to the amount required to power 219 homes.  
Projects in the KBRX area include:
Antelope County
Gustman, Michael O. – Plainview - $14,985 – Replaced two diesel irrigation motors with more efficient electric motors.
 
Nielsen, Timothy S. – Creighton - $12,791 – Replaced two diesel irrigation motors with electric motors.
 
Knox County
Smith, Brian – Orchard - $11,102 – Replaced three diesel irrigation motors with electric motors.
 
Funding for the projects is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the grant or loan agreement.
 
Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen, and geothermal.

Work to Begin on N-12 East & West of Bristow


08/12/15 04:13 PM
    
     Weather permitting, construction work is scheduled to begin the week of August 17 on
N-12, beginning at the N-12/US-281 intersection east of Spencer and extending 9.4 miles to Lynch, according to the Nebraska Department of Roads.
     Werner Construction Co. of Hastings, Nebraska, has the $2,507,542 contract for millingthe existing asphalt surfacing and placing a four-inch asphaltic concrete overlay. Additionally, guardrail will be removed at several locations and roadway foreslopes will be constructed. Erosion control measures will include the placement of rock riprap at several drainage structures.
     Traffic will be maintained during construction with the use of flaggers and a pilot car. Load widths greater than 11 feet will not be permitted through the project. The anticipated completion date is early November.
     The Department of Roads' project engineer is H. Gene Colfack of O'Neill. Motorists are urged to use caution while driving through highway work zones and to remember that speeding fines are doubled when workers are present.

Pioneer Farm Families Honored At Holt County Fair


08/10/15 08:34 PM
All Photos Courtesy of Silver Star Photography by Amber Shane 

Four families were honored with the AKSARBEN Pioneer Farm Award before the Friday night rodeo at the Holt County Fair in Chambers.


Pioneer Farm Families have an upstanding dedication to agriculture by owning their family farm land for over 100 years. Don Schmaderer of Stuart, representing the AKSARBEN Foundation presented the awards.

Don & Marlene Dexter & Family
The Dexter Farm
W.T. Dexter came to Holt County from Clarks, Nebraska, on a horse.  He applied for a homestead of 640 acres. He had to prove up on the homestead by planting pine trees and cottonwood trees. He built a sod house in 1906 where he lived until he built a frame house in 1916. He met his wife, Emma Burrell, of Chambers, Nebraska. To this marriage seven children were born, Beulah, Raymond, Hazel, Opal, Leonard, Roland and Don Dexter. Raymond and Leonard bought adjacent land to the homestead where they married and raised their families. Don and his wife, Marlene, still live on the original homestead where three sons were born, Larry, Ronnie and Bradley. Brad and his wife, Jane, also live on the homestead.

Representative of the Vitt Farm
The Fred & Mary Vitt Farm
Six quarters of land consisting of a total of 960 acres werwe acquired by Fred Vitt between the years of 1899 and 1912. He owned all of the property until his death in 1949. On April 7, 1949 Louis Vitt (Fred’s son) inherited some or all of the home place where Louis lived. At the time of Fred’s death, the remainder of the property passed to Fred’s wife Mary. Mary Vitt died in 1962 and the property passed to her nine surviving children, including a 1/9th interest to Louis Vitt. On January 0, 1966, a Land Contract was recorded whereby Louis Vitt purchased the 8/9th interest belonging to Fred and Mary Vitt’s children. In 1976, Louis Vitt gifted land to his daughter, Regina Bigelow (now Olsen) and land to his daughter Mardelle Dennis. Louis Vitt died in 1989 and all remaining property (640 acres) passed to his two daughters named above. All 960 acres remained in the names of Regina Bigelow and Mardelle Dennis until they sold 26 acres in 2000. Therefore, 934 acres of the original 960 acres acquired by Fred Vitt between 1899 and 1912 have been in the Vitt Family for over 100 years.

Arnold & Sharon Hall & Family
Herman Kornock Farm Now Arnold/Sharon & Virginia Hall Farm
The current homestead of 480 acres occupied by Arnold and Sharon Hall has roots to the Homestead Act of 1880. A Daniel C. Harrison filed on 120 acres on June 24, 1884. Herman Kornock, father of Olga Kornock Hall, mother of Arnold Hall, purchased the 120 acres from an estate for $3000 on November 6, 1914. 40 acres was deeded to an Erwin Hunter from the United States on October 29, 1886 and purchased for $50 by Herman Kornock on March 2, 1914. 120 acres was deeded to George W. Lower on September 13, 1889. The Homestead Act allowed an additional 160 acres adjacent to the first claim and Mr. Lower filed on September 30, 1889. Herman Kornock who immigrated from Germany and lived in Cummings County, Nebraska purchased the 320 acres on March 2, 1914. Arnold Hall’s parents, George and Olga Hall moved to the farm the spring of 1948 after Herman Kornock moved to a house in Orchard, Nebraska. Herman Kornock died I 1956. George and Olga purchased the farm from Olga’s siblings on November 7, 1947 for $34,800. The current house was built in 1965. Memories as a child were on the farm in the spring of 1949 after the big blizzard. People were unable to feed the livestock or purchase supplies from town. The Corps of Engineers traveled from farm to farm opening roads and feed supplies with a snowplow on machines named weasels. The huge snow piles were a momentous event for a five year old. They had several tractors which included H & M Farmalls. They also had two teams of matched work horses and one team of mules plus three or four riding horses. In 2014 the farm will reach the 100 year mark in the same family.

(Back-left to right) Brenna, Theo and Eric Kohle and Family
The Kohle Farm
The farm was homesteaded by Henry Shald in 1884. Hubert Kohle Sr. bought it April 10, 1903. Over the years many acres were taken out for school house, railway right of way and highway right of way. The farm passed to Hubert Jr. and Kate Kohle in 1935. The quarter was split by Highway 20 in 1026. George and Theo Kohle bought it in 1961 and lived there until 2008. It was then sold to Eric and Brenna Kohle in 2010 who are the present owners.

Man Accused Of Stealing Cattle In Knox County Faces Felony Charges


08/10/15 06:49 AM

BLOOMFIELD, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man accused of stealing cattle faces multiple felony charges in Knox County.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that 44-year-old Timothy Ketelsen of Bloomfield is accused of stealing cattle on at least five different occasions since November. Authorities say he sometimes enlisted his sons, ages 16 and 14, to help him load steers onto trailers at night. According to authorities, Ketelson sold the cattle at various markets.

Ketelson faces charges including two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child, felony illegal sale of livestock and six counts of felony theft.
 

Law Enforcement Recovers Stolen Property and Controlled Substances in Searches


08/07/15 11:29 AM
The following is a press release from the Office of the Holt County Attorney. 
Beginning the evening of August 5th, and into the late morning hours of August 6th, a team of law enforcement officers led by the Holt County Sheriff conducted a series of successive searches in Holt and Antelope Counties in an effort to recover property stolen in recent burglaries.  The team included elements from the Holt County Sheriff’s Department, O’Neill Police Department, Atkinson Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol, Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska Game and Parks, and the Holt County Attorney’s Office.  Eight separate searches were conducted which resulted in the recovery of an estimated $30,000 of stolen property as well as the seizure of various types and quantities of suspected controlled substances.  Two arrests were made without incident, and at least one arrest is still pending.

If you have been the victim of a theft or burglary that has already been reported, a law enforcement representative will contact you in the coming days.  If you have been the victim of a theft or burglary that has not been reported, make a report to law enforcement immediately.  Now that the stolen property has been recovered, officials must begin the work of matching up each item of property with its true owner.  At this time the recovered property is suspected to be tied to crimes in at least three counties in Nebraska and one in South Dakota.
 

Blue Dolphins Swim Team Finishes Season and Presents Awards


08/06/15 09:47 AM



The thirty-three swimmers that belong to the Blue Dolphin Swim Team saw their season come to an end for this summer. The team was coached by Rahtaya Young.

Twenty-four of the team’s swimmers participated in the two day James River Valley Conference Championship, held in Armour, South Dakota, July 18th and July 19th.

Individual awards presented during the awards ceremony on Sunday at the Championship meet were earned by:
Blake Parks (10), First Place in Boys 10 & Under.
Mikyla Grenier (12), Second place in Girls 11 & 12.
Spencer Davis (14), First Place in Boys 13 & 14.
Claire Everitt (15), Fourth Place in Girls 15 & 16.
Karissa Nichols (15) Third Place in the Girls Open.
Ally Sedlacek (11) Fourth Place in the Girls Open.

Swimming for the O’Neill Blue Dolphins this year were:
Kamry Neptune of Atkinson.
Sena Essink, Katharina Rice, and Maycee Zimmerer; all of Creighton.
Kirsten Adams of Orchard.
Kaleb Asche, Samantha Asche, Sam Carstens, Sable Davis, Spencer Davis, Claire Everitt, Nikki Gotschall, James Grenier, Mikyla Grenier, Aurora Heiss, Turner Heiss, Emily Jacques, Tayte Jussel, Allie Krotter, Wreece Liewer, Zuri Moore, Savannah Morrow, Schuylar Morrow, Karissa Nichols, Bethany Owens, Alivia Parks, Blake Parks, Ashley Pischel, Remington Risinger, Autumn Schaecher, Ally Sedlacek, Sarah Turpin, Spencer Turpin; all of O’Neill.

At the team awards celebration, Coach Rahtaya Young presented the following awards:
Female Swimmer of the Year was awarded to Ally Sedlacek.
Male Swimmer of the Year was awarded to Spencer Davis.
TeamMate and Leadership Award was awarded to Allie Krotter.
Female Most Improved was awarded to Aurora Heiss and Schuylar Morrow.
Male most Improved was awarded to Tayte Jussel.
Rookie of the Year was awarded to Autumn Schaecher and Maycee Zimmerer.
All-Out Awards were given to Mikyla Grenier and Blake Parks.


Spencer Davis and Ally Sedlacek, Male and Female Swimmers of the Year

The Blue Dolphin Swim Team participated in eight other swim meets with all of those meets being held in south central South Dakota communities, with the exception of two meets hosted by O’Neill. The team is looking forward to the 2016 season.
 

Fall Turkey Permits Available For Purchase Beginning August 10


08/05/15 09:11 AM


LINCOLN – Hunters may begin purchasing fall turkey permits Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. Central Time. Permits will be available at OutdoorNebraska.org and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission permitting offices.

A fall turkey permit is valid statewide and allows a hunter to harvest two turkeys of either sex with a shotgun or archery equipment. Each hunter may have up to two permits. There is no minimum age requirement for youth.

Turkey permits cost, not including an issuing fee, $23 for residents, $95 for nonresidents, $11.50 for resident landowners, $47.50 for nonresident landowners and $5 for resident or nonresident youth age 15 and younger. A $20 Habitat Stamp, with some exceptions, is required. 

The fall turkey season is Sept. 15-Jan. 31, 2016.

For more information about turkey hunting in Nebraska, read the 2015 Turkey Guide at OutdoorNebraska.org. Visit HuntSafeNebraska.org to find a list of Hunter Education classes.

NECC Prepares To Move Into New O'Neill Facility


08/02/15 07:29 PM

O’NEILL – With construction coming to a close and classes beginning in less than a month, faculty and staff at Northeast Community College are beginning the process of moving into a new extended campus facility in O’Neill. Classes will begin in the College’s new operation at 505 East Highway 20 on Monday, August 24. They were previously held in a former elementary school building the College has used for a number of years at 409 East Adams Street.

Merri Schneider, director of the extended campus in O’Neill, said the present office on Adams Street will close for the last time on Monday, August 10, at 5 p.m., in order to move some equipment and supplies to the new building. The new building will open on Wednesday, August 12, at 8 a.m.

“We will be busy moving our operations from one building to another and plan to make the transition by Wednesday, August 12. I cannot stress enough how important it is for students to register for fall classes with the new academic year less than a month away. These students will be part of history as they will be among the first to take classes in the new building.”
Schneider said an advisor will be available at the new extended campus on August 12 for student registration and advising.

Northeast Community College’s new 15,075 square foot extended campus facility in O’Neill has state-of-the-art classrooms, high technology computers, advanced health and science labs, and an attached technical training wing that will accommodate welding, industrial, and agriculture-related courses.

Schneider said in addition to offering college transfer course work, Northeast will provide a variety of non-credit workshops and classes such as business, computers, supervision, regulatory, compliance, and personal interest, as well as technical skill training in a number of different areas. Adult education, GED, and English as a Second Language will be offered too. 
Northeast has leased the former elementary school building from the O’Neill Public Schools since 1998. Schneider said the College values its relationship with the school district in how it has supported Northeast.

“We can’t say enough about Superintendent Amy Shane and her staff while we have operated out of the current facility and now as we transition to our new facilities. Over these past 17-years, the O’Neill Public School District has been very accommodating in allowing us to bring higher education to our constituents in the region. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the district and will be forever grateful for its support.”     
                    
“Our constituents are excited as we are about to open our new extended campus,” Schneider said. “We regularly attract students from a 75 mile radius and this new extended campus will be so convenient for a wide range of people. Everywhere I go, I meet people who are thrilled the College is expanding its presence in its western service area – allowing them to be able to take additional classes while being so close to home.”

A dedication ceremony and open house will be held at the new extended campus on Tuesday, September 8th from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Gov. Ricketts Sends Letter to President Obama Urging Approval of Keystone XL


07/27/15 02:56 PM

Lincoln – 
Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that his office sent a letter to President Barack Obama in support of the Keystone XL pipeline project. In his letter, the Governor urged the Obama Administration to issue a permit for the pipeline:
 
“Like many other Nebraskans, I support the revised route and the construction of the pipeline; however, you alone have the power to approve this important infrastructure project that will bring good-paying jobs and much-needed tax revenue to Nebraska counties during construction and for years to come. Consequently, I urge you to issue a Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.”
   
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