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Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015

Stories from

Weedin, Gonzales, McDowell for City Council (11/04/14)
McCOOK, Neb. - Challenger Gene Weedin received the most votes of the four candidates vying for three seats on the McCook City Council, according to unofficial results from the Red Willow County Clerk's office. Weedin received 1,616 votes. Incumbent Mike Gonzales received 1,463 and incumbent Bruce McDowell solidified the third seat with 1,372...
Voters look to new faces for school board (11/04/14)
McCOOK, Neb. - Unofficial results indicate the McCook School Board will see some turnover as a result of tonight's election. Newcomers Brian Esch and Bob Elder led the popular vote for the three seats available on the board, collecting 1,753 and 1,745 Red Willow County votes respectively...
Upcoming Salvation Army backpack giveaway needs immediate help (07/17/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- McCook Christian Church is looking for immediate donations of money and school supplies for the annual Salvation Army backpack giveaway. Rev. Clark Bates, the church's pastor, asks that those who wish to provide financial donations or school supplies to bring them to the office of the McCook Christian Church, 507 West B Street, by Friday, July 18...
Friday night's races at fairgrounds cancelled (05/23/14)
The races scheduled for tonight (May 23, 2014) at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds have been cancelled.
It's unofficial, Alan Kotschwar for sheriff (05/13/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska - Unofficial results released by the Red Willow County Clerk's office indicate Alan Kotschwar will likely be named the next Red Willow County Sheriff. Kotschwar received 754 votes, Kevin Darling received 593 votes, Shannon Brown received 492 and Steve Kotschwar received 319...
Schneider chosen as city manager (05/08/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The McCook City Council announced today the hiring of Nate Schneider as city manager. Schneider will transition from his position as city attorney in the coming weeks and his hiring will be effective June 23.
Airport reopened after bomb neutralized (04/19/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- McCook Ben Nelson Regional Airport was reopened at 2:30 p.m. Thursday after the Nebraska State Patrol neutralized an explosive device containing a live shotgun shell and metal objects. A person of interest has been identified in connection with the incident and more information will be released when it becomes available, according to McCook Police Chief Ike Brown...
East 11th and H accident (11/21/12)
City of McCook, Nebraska, emergency personnel respond to the scene of a collision of a car and a semi-tractor pulling an empty trailer at the corner of East 11th and H streets about 3:35 p.m., Wednesday. Ambulance personnel transported the driver of the car to Community Hospital of McCook. More information will be made available when McCook police officers complete an investigation of the accident...
Missing Man's Body Found in Haigler (09/21/12)
The Dowd family is saddened to share the news that the body of Charlie Dowd was found Friday, Sept. 21, in Haigler, Nebraska, an area between Fort Morgan, Colorado, and McCook, Nebraska. The body was spotted by a BNSF railway worker and immediately reported to the authorities...
Standoff ends peacefully after 7 1/2 hours (10/14/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A McCook, Nebraska, man described by neighbors as "a very kind gentleman," and "a quiet ol' guy," held off law enforcement officers for 71⁄2 hours Thursday, finally leaving his home unharmed with heavily-armed and armored SWAT team members at about 5:45 p.m...
Standoff ends peacefully (10/13/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A standoff with police and a SWAT team ended peacefully at about 6 p.m. when a man was removed from the house without injury. The incident began at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning, when police, sent to check on the welfare of the man, were greeted with a single gunshot, which did not hit anyone...
Swat team arrives at McCook house surrounded since mid-morning (10/13/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A SWAT team arrived at a McCook home about 1:30 p.m. to reinforce local officers involved in a standoff since mid morning. According to reports, officers were called to the home to check the welfare of a man living there, and after they entered the home, a single shot was fired. Officers have had the house surrounded since then, and McCook schools have been on a lockdown since before lunch. Parents were being asked to pick up their children from school...
UPDATE: Palisade credit union robbed (04/18/11)
PALISADE, Nebraska -- Hitchcock County and Southwest Nebraska law enforcement officials are looking for a dark green or black car used as the get-away vehicle in an armed robbery this morning at the Pioneer Community Federal Credit Union in downtown Palisade about 9:50 a.m., today...
No sign recession is ending, says Food Bank official (12/15/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Hunger is often invisible, and it's likely to get worse, even here in one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, according to an official with the Food Bank for the Heartland. "If the recession is over, we aren't seeing it," said Brian Barks, director of development and public relations for the organization, which serves 16 counties in Iowa and 77 in Nebraska, including Red Willow County and Southwest Nebraska...
Were you affected by the storm? (04/28/11)
Do you have someone who lives in areas struck by storms Wednesday night? Do you live there yourself? Share your story with here, e-mail editor@mccookgazette.com or call (308) 345-4500.
Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska sign Cooperative Water Agreement (11/19/14)
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Reflecting a new spirit of cooperation, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska today have reached an historic agreement during a special meeting of the Republican River Compact Administration. Representatives of the states have signed a resolution, approving operational adjustments in 2014 and 2015 under the Republican River Compact that will benefit water users throughout the Basin and set the Administration on a course to find long-term solutions to persistent problems...
NRD votes 9-2 to buy, retire farmland (10/24/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District board of directors voted 9-2 Tuesday morning to participate with three other NRD's in the purchase of a 19,500-acre southern Lincoln County farm so that the water used now to irrigate its crops can be piped to the Republican and South Platte rivers...
Missing girl found (07/14/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The missing 15-year-old McCook girl, Katie Brawdy, has been located north of Stratton, Nebraska. According to information released Saturday afternoon by the McCook Police Department she has been returned to McCook safely and is unharmed...
Ribbon cuttings today (08/05/11)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- Nebraska National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve officials will join Gov. Dave Heineman, state and local community leaders today when they dedicate two new Armed Forces Reserve Centers in Columbus and McCook. The new $9.5 million Columbus Armed Forces Center grand opening will take place at 10 a.m. at 2018 Armory Drive, Columbus...
Events center progress online (05/25/11)
Mid-Plains Community College has set up webcams so viewers can watch progress on the new Events Center in McCook (here) and the Health Complex in North Platte {http://healthcomplex.mpcc.edu/view/viewer_index.shtml?id=1768(here)}...
Aircraft collision (07/22/10)
McCook firefighters work the scene of an aircraft collision at McCook's Ben Nelson Regional Airport this morning after a sprayplane taxied into a parked, unoccupied Piper Super Cub. The collision resulted in an explosion and fire that destroyed both aircraft, and the spray plane pilot was taken to Community Hospital with burns to his face, hands and chest. ...
School Board Rescinds Appointment (11/24/08)
On a 3-2 vote, the McCook Public Schools board of education Monday evening rescinded its vote on Nov. 10 that appointed Gary Power to complete the two years remaining in the term of Greg Larson, who resigned in September. Voting to cancel Power's appointment were Mike Gonzales, Tom Bredvick and Larry Shields. Voting "no" were Diane Lyons and Shane Messersmith...
The Amazing McCook Cam (10/24/06)
City assured of meeting 2006 water deadline (11/08/05)
City Manager John Bingham said at Monday's council meeting that engineers working on the water treatment plant have kept the city "out of the loop" concerning the deep injection well process, but W Design/JHC assured him and council members that they are on schedule and will meet the required compliance dates...
Dairy plans to expand by 750 cows (12/22/04)
With its approval from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Three Star Dairy northeast of McCook plans to expand from 2,000 to 2,750 head of dairy cows. Red Willow County commissioners reviewed paperwork from the DEQ during their regular meeting Monday morning. They'll pass the approval on to county zoning administrator Darcy Eckhardt for her files...
Water rates pass on first reading (11/02/04)
New water rates given initial approval Monday night will raise an extra half-million dollars a year for the next two years. After that, McCook will know exactly what its new water project will cost -- and $1 million in sales tax funding will be available. The project is estimated at $13.2 million...
City water, sewer bill near $17 million (10/15/04)
With the development of the city's new water treatment plant and renovations at the wastewater treatment facility, McCook residents should expect to begin paying higher water bills in January. Discussions on that issue will begin at the regular city council meeting, Monday at 7:30 p.m., in the Council Chambers at the McCook Auditorium...
Reward doubled in rural assault (09/29/04)
The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of an assault suspect wanted in Red Willow County has been doubled. Sheriff Gene Mahon said this morning the reward is now $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of 24-year-old Jose Cruz Cepeda-Lopez...
Armed robber strikes convenience store (09/24/04)
McCook Police are looking for an armed robber who struck the West Gas -n- Shop early this morning. According to a report from the Nebraska State Patrol, a man entered the West Gas-n-Shop at about 5:50 a.m. armed with what appeared to be a shot gun or paintball gun. He reportedly stole $135 from the store...
City questions NRD plans (09/15/04)
A new integrated management plan for the Middle Republican Natural Re-sources District has left McCook City Manager John Bingham with a few reservations. Bingham met with the MRNRD Board of Directors Tuesday night to voice his concerns over the presentation of the final draft of he Ground Water Management Area and Integrated Management Plan for the Middle Republican Natural Re-sources District...
Reward offered in assault (09/15/04)
Anonymous donors are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man charged with the assault and sexual assault of a teenage girl at her home northeast of McCook on Aug. 31. Officers of the Red Willow County sheriff's department, Nebraska State Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are looking for 24-year-old Jose Cruz Cepeda-Lopez, who faces charges of first-degree sexual assault and false imprisonment, burglary and theft...
Journey of Hope rolls through area (07/12/04)
BENKELMAN -- The young men who rode their bicycles through Southwest Nebraska Saturday and Sunday blow the myths about beer-guzzling, up-all-night partying frat guys right out of the water. "These guys are doing something spectacular," said Sam Farber of George Washington University, a crew member for the "Journey of Hope" bicyclists who crossed into Nebraska west of Haigler Saturday morning. ...
World War II veterans honored (06/01/04)
By GLORIA MASONER City Editor Fifty Red Willow County World War II veterans were honored for the sacrifices they made more than five decades ago in a ceremony hosted by the American Legion, Saturday. The honor breakfast coincided with the dedication of the World War II Veteran's Memorial in Washington...
School project informational meeting (04/07/04)
Representatives of Sampson Construction Co., McCook Public Schools' construction manager, will present a progress report on the renovation and addition concept plan for the North Ward Elementary site, which will be before the voters on Tuesday, May 11...
'Technicolor Dreamcoat' goes on stage this Friday (03/23/04)
It's one of the most extravagant shows ever produced by the Southwest Nebraska Community Theatre Association and it starts Friday at the Fox Theatre in McCook. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs three days and showcases an elaborate pool of local singers, actors, musicians, artists, costume designers and set builders -- all under the directorship of Charles Coleman...
Osborne: Drought relief will cut farm bill (03/19/04)
If area farmers are hoping for any drought relief this year, they better plan on the federal government using money from the farm bill. "Two years ago farmers got some money because a few of us hammered the White House," said U.S. Rep. Tom Osborne. "But this year the stance is you can have drought relief, but it's going to come out of the farm bill."...
Mrs. Morrison passes away, family at her side (03/19/04)
With her husband and two of her children at her bedside, former Nebraska First Lady Maxine Morrison passed away Thursday evening at Hillcrest Nursing Home in McCook. Mrs. Morrison, 88, suffered with heart disease during the final years of her life. "Mother exemplified grit," said her oldest son, Frank B. Morrison Jr. "I never knew her to fail in a task if it was humanly possible to move the rock. I drew great inspiration from her commitment and determination."...
Baker: Waste site deserves look (03/18/04)
With three weeks left in the Nebraska Legislative session, low-level radioactive waste disposal and a property tax levy limit increase are the chief concerns for State Sen. Tom Baker. In his regular Thursday morning conference call, Baker said waste disposal is not as dangerous as many people think, but people are not educated the way they should be about it...
Baker supports waste site in state (03/12/04)
LINCOLN -- Low-level nuclear waste dump: Not in my back yard? Not so fast, said Sen. Tom Baker; let's think about it again. Rushing between a reception put on by the Nebraska Medical Association and a final reading on the legislative floor, Sen. Tom Baker took time for his weekly teleconference call to the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday morning...
Baker expects casino issue to go to the voters (02/06/04)
By the end of Nebraska's 2004 legislative session, State Sen. Tom Baker of Trenton expects Nebraska lawmakers to approve a constitutional amendment which would put the question of casino gambling on the ballot. According to Baker, the Legislature will probably pass a proposed amendment which would permit up to eight casinos in the state. And, unlike, previous proposals, this plan does not specify where in the state the casinos would be located...
Northern plans dropped (01/20/04)
One McCook City Council member expressed his disappointment and another his anger after a three of their companions voted to abandon the city's northern well field plan. Speakers were set up in the hallway for the overflow crowd of nearly 100 McCook and Frontier County residents who gathered to listen and participate in the debate...
Tax survey in error (01/13/04)
McCook taxes are actually 12th in state.
Wauneta man dies attempting rescue (01/02/04)
ENDERS -- A Wauneta man died attempting to rescue another hunter who fell through the ice on Enders Lake on New Year's Day. Bill Dehart, 55, Wauneta, died after falling through the ice when he attempted to rescue Art Stapleton of Aurora, Colo., who fell through the ice attempting to retrieve a goose...
First 2004 traffic fatalities are in Southwest Nebraska (01/02/04)
An Arizona woman is Nebraska's first traffic fatality of the new year. The Furnas County sheriff's office said Janel Arnold, 46, of Mesa, Ariz., was killed at 12:30 a.m. Thursday when a sport utility vehicle in which she was a passenger went out of control on a county road, struck a tree and rolled...
Preliminary jail plans unveiled (12/23/03)
Preliminary drawings of a jail proposed for Red Willow County impressed Red Willow County commissioners and sheriff during the commissioners' meeting Monday morning. Architect Douglas Boyd ACI/Boland Inc., Leawood, Kan., told commissioners and Sheriff Gene Mahon construction of the jail, designed as a 40-bed facility, would cost just a little less than $4 million...
Landing system funding advances (12/03/03)
WASHINGTON -- Funding for an instrument landing system at McCook Municipal Airport has been included in the fiscal year 2004 Omnibus Appropriations conference report, Sen. Ben Nelson announced Tuesday. The Omnibus Appropriations conference committee approved $910,000 for an Instrument Landing System - a highly accurate and dependable means of navigating to the runway, which improves the ability of pilots to safely guide and land aircraft...
Grass fire may have been deliberately set (12/01/03)
Red Willow County Sheriff Gene Mahon said Monday morning four car accidents investigated recently by his officers have been alcohol-related. Two weekend accidents, a fire believed to have been set deliberately and any number of other calls kept Red Willow County sheriff's officers busy over the four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend...
Local charity lauded (11/19/03)
Lincoln -- McCook and five other communities were honored for their work with the Nebraska Community Foundation at its annual banquet in Lincoln on Thursday. Grassroots, community-based, and from the bottom-up are fitting phrases for the work of the McCook Community Foundation Fund, according to Nebraska Community Foundation President and CEO, Jeff Yost, who presented the endowment-building award to the McCook fund...
Bond issue to voters in May election (11/18/03)
The McCook school board will ask taxpayers to approve a new $5.3 million single-site elementary facility during the May 2004 primary election. In action during a regular meeting Monday evening, board of education members began the process of disposing of the West Ward facility and agreed to be part of an appeal of property valuations set by the state of Nebraska...
Software project is funded (11/13/03)
WASHINGTON -- A $401.3 billion defense bill being sent to President Bush includes $1 million for a software package to be developed in Southwest Nebraska. 21st Century Systems Inc. is working closely with the University of Omaha and Mid-Plains Community College to develop and test EXLOG21, which uses computer-based "intelligent agents" as a decision-support planning tool to process timely and accurate information on the operational status of tactical equipment and weapons systems on the battlefield.. ...
New Parker manager at the helm (11/11/03)
The new manager of Parker Industrial Hose Division - McCook is at the helm and ready to help an industry that has been a vital part of Southwest Nebraska's economy for 32 years grow even stronger. Dan Tangeman officially took over the manager position at Parker on Nov. 5 and plans to move ahead full throttle...
Public reviews school concept (11/07/03)
A new proposal addresses safety, efficiency issues.
Firefighters awarded federal grant (11/06/03)
WASHINGTON -- The McCook Fire Department will receive $19,936 for training material, thanks to a federal grant announced Wednesday. U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Fire Administration will distribute the twenty-first round of the 2003 grants approved by the Department of Homeland Security to Nebraska fire departments...
Single-site school plan unveiled (10/29/03)
At last, members of the McCook Board of Education believe they have come up with a building plan that the district can afford and the voters will accept. The plan -- which was discussed in detail with members of the McCook media Tuesday evening -- calls for a single-site McCook Elementary School to be constructed at the current North Ward site...
Senate funds airport equipment (10/24/03)
Washington -- Funding for an instrument landing system for the McCook Municipal Airport is included in the Transportation, Treasury and General Government Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2004 passed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday. The bill includes $910,000 to install an instrument landing system at the McCook airport. The bill will now be considered by a joint House-Senate conference committee...
Judge rules in favor of bond issue (10/10/03)
Red Willow County District Court Judge John Battershell ruled Thursday that the bond issue and the petition to merge the Republican Valley and Twin Valley school districts are lawful and constitutional. Battershell said in his decision the merger plan and bond issue approved March 25 by patrons of the two schools districts "do not result in an unequal burden of taxation" on plaintiff Frances Louise "Frankie Lou" Nicholson of Lebanon...
Annexation up before city planners (10/11/03)
Public comment is sought for Monday's meeting of the McCook Planning Commission.
Eight escape house fire (10/06/03)
A fire in the early morning hours Saturday caused an estimated $30,000 in damages early Saturday morning. McCook Fire Chief Marc Harpham said the fire was apparently caused by a short in electrical heating tape in a crawl space under a bathroom on the main floor...
Sunset on summer (09/30/03)
The view from near Trenton on Monday is actually a sunrise, so perhaps it was a harbinger of the arrival of fall. Tuesday's projected high of 55 makes it clear that fall is arriving in time for the calendar to change to October. Pleasant weather in the 70s is expected to return to the Golden Plains later in the week...
$100 million available for Conservation Stewardship Program (01/30/15)
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service has $100 million available this year through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). CSP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to help farmers and ranchers conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their agricultural and forestry land...
Hospital board updated on monthly activities (01/30/15)
McCook, Nebraska--The Community Hospital Board of Directors was updated at the January 21 meeting on the Community Hospital market assessment as well as other director reports. Board Education Steve Shaner, Community Hospital Strategic Planning Director presented the board with Community Hospital's year-end market assessment. The board is presented with the market assessment every six months...
New owner (01/30/15)
Bomgaars Supply Inc. of Sioux City, Iowa, announced in the Imperial Republican Thursday that it has acquired the lease and fixtures of the Alco store in Imperial, Nebraska. The Imperial Alco store closes its doors today at 8 p.m. Bomgaars, a farm and ranch retail chain, takes possession in February and plans to hire and train personnel, set store fixtures and stock merchandise before a grand opening in May or June. Alco declared bankruptcy in October 2014...
Alice's foundation (01/30/15)
In unusually warm January temperatures this week, Charlie Collins, right, and his Red Willow County fairgrounds crew prepare for the foundation of the new "Alice Kiplinger Building" on the county fairgrounds in McCook, Nebraska. The Alice building will be a warm-up arena and multi-purpose building measuring 130x130 feet and covering 16,900 square feet. The new building completes a triangle of horse arenas given to the county by McCook-area rancher Tom Kiplinger. Alice Kiplinger was Tom's mother...
Upper NRD shuts off Rock Creek Project (01/30/15)
IMPERIAL, Neb. -- The Upper Republican Natural Resources District, based in Imperial, Neb., has shut off its Rock Creek Water Augmentation Project and will rely now on the shared Lincoln County water project to offset the district's forecasted pumping in 2015...
Riding, shooting sport coming to Kiplinger Arena (01/30/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Can you shoot a pistol and hit a target? Can you stay on a running horse? Can you do all three at the same time? That's the idea of a sport that will be introduced to Southwest Nebraska at the Kiplinger Arena in McCook, Nebraska, in February...
City building likely headed to non-profit (01/30/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook City Council appears to be leaning in favor of entering into a one-year lease with Prairie Gold Homes for use of the former Public Safety Center. Council members were approached by the Lincoln-area non-profit earlier this month with a request for a one-year rent-free lease and promises to bring at least four full-time jobs to the area, among other benefits derived from their operations. ...
Street in need of repair? See if it's on he city's radar (01/30/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- If your drive to work begins on a bumpy roadway in need of repairs you might consider attending Monday's meeting of the McCook City Council. The City of McCook will coordinate its annual public hearing to discuss the one and six-year plan for city street improvements, which serves as the final opportunity for residents to raise awareness about road needs in their neighborhood...
Memory lane: Getting sick, then and now (01/30/15)
Sue Doak Southwest Nebraska Genealogy Society Compared to my medicine cabinet today, my mother's was quite bare and I can still name off the contents as if I were standing in front of it, trying to sneak one of those yummy baby aspirin. No child safety caps in those days and mom tried to keep those orange-flavored aspirin on the top shelf, hopefully out of my reach!...
(Untitled) (01/30/15)
Sue Doak Southwest Nebraska Genealogy Society Compared to my medicine cabinet today, my mother's was quite bare and I can still name off the contents as if I were standing in front of it, trying to sneak one of those yummy baby aspirin. No child safety caps in those days and mom tried to keep those orange-flavored aspirin on the top shelf, hopefully out of my reach!...
Chamber banquet (01/29/15)
Tickets are still available for the annual McCook Area Chamber of Banquet, Saturday, Feb. 7, at the McCook City Auditorium, or, for $15 at the door, enjoy the CRB Band from 8 to 10 p.m. following the banquet.
College board OKs new bleachers (01/29/15)
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. -- The Mid Plains Community College board of governors approved a contract with the Irwin Seating Co. of Grand Rapids for new bleachers in the McDonald-Belton Gym on the south campus of North Platte Community College. The bid, for $193,498.89, was approved with the stipulation that if all the money for the project, $300,000,is not raised by April 8, the installation will be delayed...
Royalty candidates (01/29/15)
Color Day 2015 royalty candidates at McCook, Nebraska, High School, all seniors, are, front row from left: Ashley Laurie, daughter of Tamela and Dwight Laurie; and Hannah Esch, daughter of Tyler and Darren Esch. Second row: John Paul Kain, son of Tama and Fritz Kain; Molly Hardin, daughter of Susan and Ben Hardin; Kaity Elder, daughter of Wendi Goodenberger and Bob Elder; Kylie Allen, daughter of Jennifer and Jim Allen; Josette Witt, daughter of Kerrie and Eugene Witt Jr.; and Caleb Griger, son of Alicia and Doug Griger. ...
Lawmakers mull raising fees on marriage licenses (01/29/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Increasing the fee for a marriage license from $15 to $50 was discussed by Nebraska state legislators at length on Wednesday, primarily related to whether it was a tax or fee increase. District 44 Senator Dan Hughes said times have changed and the cost to do business on a daily basis has increased, leading to the need to increase the fee. ...
Text to 911 may be here next summer (01/29/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Buffalo and Douglas Counties became the first to implement text to 911 services in Nebraska earlier this month and Red Willow County isn't far behind. The City of McCook Police Department handles 911 duties for Red Willow County and Chief of Police Isaac Brown anticipates texting to be an option this spring or early summer...
Victims say they were conned by local man (01/23/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- A local man claiming to be too sick to face probation violations in North Platte may not be letting the illness slow down his criminal ways, at least according to an alleged victim. Thirty-four-year-old Christopher Fichtner of 908 Norris Ave. failed to appear for a Lincoln County hearing in December and his attorney claimed his absence was due to chemotherapy, adding he was not expected to live past six months...
The game of 'Interplanetary tag' (01/28/15)
I hope you have been having as much fun as I have been having watching the game of "Planetary Tag" each evening with Venus, Mercury, Mars, and Neptune -- and for a couple of days the moon got in on the game. The game continues each evening for the next couple of weeks as Venus gets higher above the horizon each evening chasing after brother planets Neptune and Mars...
Cambridge City Council advances lodging tax (01/22/15)
CAMBRIDGE, Neb. -- Cambridge, Nebraska, city council members approved the second reading of an ordinance implementing a 2 percent lodging tax after listening to objections from lodging owners in town. The Cambridge Clarion newspaper reports that one lodging owner feels that the tax will lessen her competitive advantage over lodging establishments in nearby towns...
Swing walker (01/28/15)
With a look of determination, Jacquelyn Burns at the McCook Bison Preschool navigates the swings at McCook Elementary Tuesday afternoon during recess. While the east coast was being buffeted by a major blizzard, Southwest Nebraska lived up to its "banana belt" reputation Tuesday, with temperatures topping out at at balmy 75 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. ...
Master Gardener classes begin next week (01/28/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- University of Nebraska--Lincoln Extension is offering several lawn and garden programs this spring that are open to the public and part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Master Gardener training program. Feb. 3 -- Waterwise Landscapes and Residential Rain Gardens -- Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn about water-wise landscape practices and about residential rain garden design and plant selection to conserve water, reduce nutrient runoff, and add plant diversity to landscapes -- Presented by Kelly Feehan, Platte County Extension Educator. ...
Buffalo Commons First Tuesday event set for Bieroc (01/28/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival planning committee will host their First Tuesday event on Feb. 3 at the Bieroc Café. Emcee Lonnie Weyeneth and feature speaker Ginger ten Bensel invite all to join them for musician stories from 7 -- 8 p.m. ...
Harley weather (01/27/15)
The chrome on Kendall Knight's 1999 Harley Davidson Road King Classic catches and ignites Monday afternoon's sunshine, as Kendall prepares to take his "baby" out for a rare mid-winter spin in 70-degree weather in McCook, Nebraska. Kendall said that two years ago he bought what was then a trike from an "old red-headed German lady" from North Platte who put 110,000 miles on it and had embellished nearly all the bike's chrome surfaces with skulls. ...
Bomgaars leasing 12 former Alco buildings (01/27/15)
SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- While the future of the McCook Alco store building is uncertain, a farm and ranch retail chain has leased Alco buildings in Imperial, Nebraska, and 11 other sites in four states. Bomgaars Supply Inc., with headquarters in Sioux City, Iowa has acquired the leases and fixtures of locations in Rawlins, Lander, Pinedale and Diamondville in Wyoming; Preston and Soda Springs in Idaho; Chamberlain, South Dakota and Ainsworth, Ogallala, West Point and Gordon as well as Imperial in Nebraska.. ...
Hillcrest clears probation (01/27/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Hillcrest Nursing Home in McCook has been notified that it has satisfied its probation requirements and is no longer on probation. The facility's license was placed on probation by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Sept. 23, after the state found violations following an investigation done on Sept. 15...
Tax relief, spending reduction Ricketts' top goals (01/27/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Governor Pete Ricketts presented his budget recommendations to legislators late last week, pushing for immediate property tax relief and laying out his strategy for sustained relief in the future. Ricketts' plan calls for initial relief in the form of increases to the Property Tax Credit Fund and sustaining long-term relief through restrained spending...
SPUCC: Reorganize or disband? (01/27/15)
HOLDREGE, Neb. -- The South Platte United Chambers of Commerce plans to have an open discussion about whether the 80-year-old group should disband or reorganize. The board of directors set the item for its Feb. 10 meeting in Holdrege. Although attendances at many meetings in the last two years have drawn large numbers, overall attendance has been down, according to a release...
Fresh fish (01/23/15)
Steve Lytle checks out a small trout before returning it to a pond in Barnett Park in McCook, Nebraska, Thursday afternoon, while Al Garcia, right, and James Kain, back, wait their turn. Lytle, a professional fishing guide, is more usually ice fishing this time of year, but recent warm weather has put a stop to that. Temperatures are expected to be unseasonably warm over the weekend, in the 60s to near 70...
Sales tax headed for ballot (01/23/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- City voters will be asked whether or not to renew more than $2.6 million in annual sales taxes this May. City leaders concerned with the possibility of losing the revenue are getting an early start on renewal, as well as taking a different approach to the ballot questions...
Foundation offering 67 scholarships to McCook Community College (01/23/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Student financial aid is one of the key categories of support provided by the McCook College Foundation to students attending McCook Community College. The Foundation has established 23 board designated scholarships and 44 Donor Specified Scholarships ranging from $250 to $2,000 which are awarded to full and/or part-time students enrolled at MCC. ...
Cell phone ban while driving: Justified or not? (01/22/15)
"Shut up and drive" reads a bumper sticker that was popular a few years ago, and it's not bad advice. Take note of passing drivers, and you'll see a surprising number of them with a phone pressed to their ears. We remember being outside on a particularly nasty day, snow drifts creating narrow streets covered with ice and being narrowly missed by a driver skidding around a corner, smartphone resting on her shoulder...
Mystery tracks reported on Curtis golf course (01/22/15)
CURTIS, Neb. -- A walker on the snow-covered Arrowhead Meadows golf course in Curtis, Nebraska, last week discovered large barefoot tracks that she firmly believes "was something walking." Sharon Jorgensen of Curtis told the Frontier County Enterprise newspaper that she and her dog, Babe, were walking the golf course about 8 a.m., Jan. ...
Helmet bill, property tax topics of Hughes call (01/22/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- District 44 Sen. Dan Hughes co-sponsored a bill recently which would eliminate motorcycle and moped helmet requirements. "It comes down to a matter of personal freedom," said Hughes this morning during his weekly conference call with the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce...
Council mulls future of old city building (01/21/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook City Council found themselves in uncharted waters Monday evening, faced with multiple options related to the future of a now-vacant city building. Councilors heard presentations from two groups wishing to lease the former Public Safety Center and indicated consideration was also being given to keep the building for indoor storage of city vehicles...
Free tax preparation help available (01/21/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook, Nebraska office of Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska offers its free tax return preparation service starting Monday, Jan. 26, at its downtown office at 108 West C. E File federal returns and most state returns can be prepared...
Prom preparations (01/21/15)
McCook, Nebraska, seamstress extraordinaire Laverna Ely repairs the bodice of a spangly and sparkly prom dress donated for the second annual "Prom Shop," a limited-time-only specialty dress shop that will offer gently-worn prom dresses for upcoming color day dances and spring proms. ...
Springtime in the winter (01/21/15)
Thunderstorm clouds brush past McCook, Nebraska, from the west to the east late Tuesday afternoon. Jesse Lundquist, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Goodland, Kansas, described the cloud formation: "kind of like a thunderstorm, except it's January." He said the storm clouds developed when temperatures up from the surface made the air behave as if it was summertime and form cumulous clouds. ...
Minnesota company signs letter of intent to buy local elevators (01/20/15)
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. -- CHS Inc., which describes itself as the nation's leading farmer-owned cooperative, and Hansen-Mueller Co., a grain merchandise and commodity trading business, announced Monday they have signed a letter of intent for CHS to acquire the Hansen-Mueller assets located in Oberlin and Cedar Bluffs, Kan. Upon completion of due diligence and approval by the CHS boart, the transaction is expected to be finalized in late April 2015...
Chamber wants 100 percent response on survey (01/20/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors want to hear from their members. All of their members. In early February, they will be sending out an online survey asking members to assess the value of various activities and events that the chamber organizes. They would like 100 percent feedback from members, which means that those who do not respond may be getting personal calls asking for their input...
Dashabout Shuttle not taking reservations, says federal wage laws to blame (01/20/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- As of Thursday, Jan. 15, Dashabout Shuttle will accept no new reservations through Sunday, April 5. Owner Lea Holtorf has announced that Dashabout will honor reservations currently on the books and will reconfirm those reservations prior to departure dates. However, all reservation systems, both scheduled and chartered in Colorado and Nebraska, will cease to exist for 90 days starting Jan. 15...
City expands blighted zone (01/20/15)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook City Council unanimously approved expanding the designated substandard and blighted area within city limits by an additional nine acres. The addendum approved Monday evening adds to the existing redevelopment area, which was approximately 676 acres in size prior, an area adjacent to U.S. Highway 83 just north of the intersection with West N Street...
Patient care key for former nurse, new Tri Valley CEO (01/20/15)
CAMBRIDGE - Soon after her first visit to Tri Valley Health System, Deb Herzberg knew she had found what she was looking for. "I love rural health care and Tri Valley is a wonderful example of the kind of health care and service that is needed in rural America. It's apparent in both the people and the facilities at Tri Valley," she said...

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