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Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014

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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...
Ribbon cutting (12/24/14)
Staff, board members and friends joined for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday at the chamber's new office, 203 West 2nd, or West 2nd and B Street (Highway 6-34).
Grand prize drawing (12/24/14)
Karmon Coleman and Tacie Fawver draw the name of the grand prize winner, Carlyn Wehrheim of McCook, who won a two-night stay at the Lodge Casino in Blackhawk, Colorado, in the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce's Countdown to Christmas contest.
Feliz Navidad (12/24/14)
Central Elementary fourth grade teacher Audrey Feeney, right, leads fellow teachers, students, Principal Kate Repass, left, and counselor Debbie Arp in the singing of "Feliz Navidad" Tuesday morning.
In honor of all animals (12/24/14)
Santa and Mrs. Claus present a check for $227 to Joyce Peterson, a member of the board of directors of the McCook, Nebraska, Humane Society Animal Shelter, and her grandchildren, 8-year-old Halie and 2-year-old Ayden. The check represents proceeds from Santa's annual "Pet Night with Santa," during which Santa accepts freewill donations that he in turn donates to the animal shelter in honor of his own animals -- the reindeer...
Pool Tournament raises $2,149 for Humane Society (12/24/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The ninth annual "Shoot for the Shelter" Pool Tournament Dec. 13 was a huge success! It was awesome even. During the event, looking around you saw folks having a good time visiting with friends, playing pool and telling pet stories. With 64 entrants (32 teams) competing, we raised $2,149 for the shelter! What a day! It could not and would not have happened without a LOT of folks helping out and donating time, services or items. A huge thank you goes out to them all!...
'Twas the Night a Kit Rescued Christmas (12/24/14)
EDITOR'S NOTE -- Sarah Dixon's eighth-grade English assignment at McCook, Nebraska, Junior High was to write and read outloud in class a poem on any topic, but the poem had to mirror the famous Christmas poem, "Twas the Night before Christmas." Using the cadence and structure of the Clement C. Moore poem about Santa Claus and quiet little mice, Sarah wrote about the kitten that her mother picked up on a country road near Willow Ridge on East 11th -- the newest member of the Dixon family...
Skatepark donations on track for Phase 1 (12/24/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Skateboard and bicycle enthusiasts had raised more than $30,000 in cash and commitments in support of building a local skatepark, as of Monday afternoon. The contributions put the "Build McCook a Skatepark" group right on target with initial cost estimates for the first phase of the project...
Thanks from Qatar (12/23/14)
Crews from the Nebraska Air National Guard stationed at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar this holiday season said they would like to thank Schamel's NAPA Supply in McCook, Nebraska, for their appreciation, hats, treats and warm wishes from home. They are, from left, Capt. Sean Cappel, 
Capt. Matt Roby and Master Sgt. Mat Ellison
...
Tavern hits $1 million paid out in Keno prizes, city revenue looks to be on the rise (12/24/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- City of McCook revenue from Keno funds quadrupled last year and 2014 looks as though it could be even better. Old Sarge's Bar on West First Street has already paid out more than one million dollars in Keno prizes, reaching the milestone for the first time this past weekend. 2014 represents the first full year of Keno sales for the popular tavern, since taking over operations when Overtime closed in 2013...
Red Cross blood donations set next week (12/23/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Donors can ring out the old year by donating blood next week at the Community Building on the Red Willow County Fairgrounds, and free T-shirts will be given to all presenting donors while supplies last. The collection will take place 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31...
Last-minute shoppers take to the streets in search of gifts (12/23/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Call it procrastination, waiting for the best deal, or a little of both, but last-minute shoppers swarmed the downtown business area Monday, taking advantage of last minute promotions and retailers' extended hours. "Saturday was insane," said Amy Noe, sales associate at JC Penneys. It showed no signs of letting up on Monday, when downtown shoppers were still out in force "on the bricks."...
Prairie Land Foods ready for orders (12/23/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Orders for Prairie Land Food's January packages are due by Tuesday, Jan. 13. The pick-up date in McCook is Friday, Jan. 23. Prairie Land Food is a food buying group that provides best quality foods at prices up to 50 percent off retail prices. The program is open to everyone...
County losing war with Canada thistle (12/23/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Some people blame geese. Some say it travels with big bales. Whatever is to blame, Canada thistle "grows like a weed" with very little encouragement, and then like gangbusters when it rains. Red Willow County, Nebraska, weed control superintendent Bill Elliott told county commissioners Monday that the battle against the noxious weed Canada thistle became "a lost war at some point" after all the early last summer...
School threatened by snail mail (12/23/14)
BARTLEY, Neb. -- Attendance is lighter than normal at Southwest Junior/Senior High School in Bartley today, with some parents keeping their children home after a letter threatening students was received at the school about 8:30 a.m. Monday. "The school is in lockdown, and will remain in lockdown until further notice," Red Willow County Sheriff Gene Mahon said during a press conference this morning. ...
Ag education program targets urban gardeners (12/23/14)
OMAHA, Neb. -- Consumers are becoming more involved in food choices and urban gardening. Farmer's markets number more than 8,100 nationwide, nearly doubling over the past five years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Community leaders and existing business owners in the Omaha area are seeing increased need for agricultural education opportunities which target aspiring entrepreneurs who are starting their own urban ag enterprises...
Nebraska towns, agencies accepting refugees from Syria (12/22/14)
LINCOLN, Neb. -- At least four Nebraska agencies have pledged to help some of the thousands of refugees expected to come to America as a result of persecution and genocide in Syria. Anne C. Richard of the U.S. State Department said the United States had resettled nearly 70,000 refugees from nearly 70 countries around the world last year, is reviewing some 9,000 recent referrals from the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, and receives about a thousand new ones each month. ...
Christmas Concert for Cancer Care (12/22/14)
Howard and David Bellamy -- the Bellamy Brothers, deliver hit after hit at a Christmas Concert for Cancer Care Sunday. Doug Rogers filled in for his ailing daughter, Amber, joining her sister Erin as the Scenic Roots, left, an opening act sure to be invited back. The Community Hospital Health Foundation event sold out McCook's Fox Theatre...
Writer recalls trip through area on 'Slow Road to Brownsville' (12/22/14)
LONDON -- The "Slow Road to Brownsville," includes stops that will be very familiar to Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas readers. Subtitled "A Journey Through the Heart of the Old West," David Reynolds' book chronicles a trip the full length of U.S. Highway 83, from Swan River, Manitoba, to the Mexican border at Brownsville, Texas...
Shopping for Santa gifts (12/22/14)
Koy Dircksen of North Platte, Nebraska, peers through the window of McCook, Nebraska's Memorial Auditorium, sneaking a peak before the community's 34th annual "Toy Box Giveaway" opens its doors Sunday afternoon. After the countdown, hoards of shoppers poured through the doors and pored over the toys, bikes, trikes, games, dolls, puzzles and books available for Christmas gift-giving. ...
County names new director for health department (12/22/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners this morning accepted the recommendation of its health board advisory committee and approved the hiring of a McCook woman as the new director of the county health department. During their weekly meeting today, commissioners accepted the health board's recommendation that Pamela Harsh take over as full-time health department director when the current director, Patricia Powers, retires Feb. 1, 2015...
'Annie Get Your Gun' auditions set for Jan 5 (12/22/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- More auditions for "Annie Get Your Gun" are set for 7-9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 5, at the McCook elementary commons Area. The show has a cast of 40, ages 12 and older. The Southwest Nebraska Community Theater Production is set for the Fox Theatre March 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22...
Carl Orrin and McCook's Santa Claus Lane (12/22/14)
Carl Orrin of McCook never considered himself a creative artist, or a trailblazer in the field of commercial art, yet he was a fellow who was able to blend art with new technology to produce some stunningly beautiful artistic displays, which were greatly appreciated by the people of our area...
School on lockdown (12/22/14)
BARTLEY, Neb. -- Red Willow County Sheriff Gene Mahon said the Southwest Public School junior-senion high school building in Bartley was on lockdown today after a threatening letter was received, but no one is in danger and authorities were expected to be on scene investigating the incident today and Tuesday...
First Central Bank letter campaign nets $2,270 for Pantry (12/19/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- First Central Bank McCook's goal as the McCook Pantry's sponsor is to communicate to as many people as possible that the Pantry needs the support of everyone in order to be there for those who really need the help. The McCook Pantry serves a large area -- from Benkelman to Edison and Curtis to Danbury -- 20 communities in all...
'For unto us a child is born' (12/19/14)
The Holy Family sits serenely on a Norris Avenue island in McCook, Nebraska. The new double-sided display added to the community's Santa Claus Lane was envisioned and created by members of the Altar Society of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, with Anne Kennedy as artist and Roger Siebrandt as carpenter. ...
Council OKs Keystone bond recall (12/19/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook City Council will refinance some of the debt for the Keystone building to save about $25,000. The council authorized the early redemption and reissuances of several hundred thousand dollars in revenue bonds, Monday evening...
Coffee with a cop and a few firemen (12/19/14)
Two of McCook's newest firefighters joined Fire Chief Marc Harpham for Coffee with a Cop at McDonald's Tuesday morning. The group fielded questions from area residents such as why they became a firefighter and what their long-term goals were, while offering additional insight into some of the challenges today's emergency responders face on a regular basis. From left, firefighters Steve Yager, Tyler Neff and Harpham visit with Duane Tappe of McCook and other locals during the meeting...
Hospital wins excellence award (12/19/14)
DENVER -- Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence announced that four organizations were selected by its panel of judges as the 2014 recipients of the RMPEx Awards for Excellence, with one earning the Peak Award, the highest RMPEx honor for performance excellence...
Health Department director on agenda for commssioners (12/19/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Red Willow County Commissioners will receive and consider a recommendation from the Red Willow County Health Board for a new director of the department Monday. Meeting at 9 a.m., commissioners will also consider the 2015 Community-Based Juvenile Services Aid grant application and the six-county memorandum of understanding with Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska...
Police warn drivers to lock vehicle doors (12/19/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook Police Department issued a reminder Friday asking citizens to avoid leaving holiday gifts, or other items of value, in unlocked vehicles. Chief of Police Isaac Brown said reports of purses and Christmas presents stolen from parked vehicles tend to increase during the holiday season. The thieves often target parking lots as well as vehicles parked overnight in residential areas...
Humane Society puzzled over missing Yellow Labradors (12/19/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- A number of yellow Labrador retrievers or yellow Lab-mix dogs have come up missing recently, and their disappearance is a concern to officials at the McCook, Nebraska, Humane Society Animal Shelter. With a call that shelter director Lorie Prestes received Wednesday morning, there are seven dogs missing. Communities affected are Indianola, Danbury, McCook, Trenton and Benkelman...
Quality, Selection, Value, Service are hallmarks of family business (12/19/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska - Looking back over 34 years of doing business in the Tri-State Region, the Samway family and the staff at Samway Floor Covering & Furniture is joining in a great big "Thank You!" to customers. "Larry and I couldn't have picked a better place to settle than McCook, Nebraska, in the heart of the Golden Plains Region of Southwest Nebraska, Northwest Kansas and Eastern Colorado," said Carol Samway, who remains in daily contact with the business that she and her late husband, Larry, established in 1981.. ...
College pays for Brooks Hall equipment (12/18/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Mid-Plains Community College governors approved payment of $215,117 for kitchen equipment in the Brooks Hall Cafeteria. The action was taken at Wednesday night's regular board meeting in North Platte. The equipment was provided by Institution Services Inc., and will be funded out of student room and board charges...
Christmas memories -- Friends recall favorite gifts of Yuletides past (12/18/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- For Lorri at the Gazette, it's a bike with a banana seat, an electric typewriter, a dog named "Poochie." And, of course, the birth of her oldest daughter, Naomi, her Christmas Eve baby. For Nita, it was a portable dishwasher. "I loved it, and the kids loved playing in the box!" For Debbie, it was a pair of petite diamond earrings from her mother...
Decorate your door (12/17/14)
McCook, Nebraska, Junior High students Isabelle Paz, top, and Skyla Henning peek around the Christmas-tree decorated door of Colleen Olson's eighth grade math room. Junior high teachers -- assisted by some students after an early-dismissal Wednesday recently-- participated in a "Decorate Your Door" contest, won by Deb Florke's "Santa stuck in the chimney" into her sixth grade science classroom. ...
'Shekels, Shillings' coin shop now open in downtown McCook (12/17/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- A McCook, Nebraska, attorney has transformed his hobby and passion into a business, opening a coin shop called "Shekels and Shillings" on the bricks in downtown McCook. Ryan Wilcox has collected coins since he was a kid, beginning with buffalo nickels and Franklin and Kennedy half-dollars. Although he says that there are still many people who collect, the focus of many collectors is turning to buying and selling gold, silver and precious metals...
Gift ideas for budding astronomers (12/17/14)
Here are a couple more gift ideas for that astronomically minded husband, child, sibling or relative. Every astronomer likes to have maps of the sky, but who want's to pay for -- or lug around in the field -- an enormous star atlas? Instead there is a small device called a planisphere that serves the same function...
Toy Box in desperate need of baby doll clothes (12/17/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- McCook's "Christmas Toy Box" is in desperate need of doll clothes, from Barbie size to baby dolls. "We have a lot of naked babies here," Barb Ostrum, "head elf" of the Toy Box effort, chuckled Monday. Outdoor drop-off locations are still located this week at Alco, Dollar General/Schmick's, McCook Christian Church and WalMart. Inside locations are McCook National Bank, First Central Bank, Eakes Office Supply and Advanced Services...
Businessman starts 'Community Christmas Tree' (12/17/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The owner of a McCook tree service has decorated what he has dubbed "The Community Christmas Tree" in a McCook, Nebraska, city park. Ryan Davis, owner of Davis Tree Service, spread his arms at the base of the 50-foot evergreen tree in Kelley Park Tuesday afternoon and said, "This is the blank canvas. Now, it's ready for some bling."...
Council finalizes lot sale (12/17/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook City Council granted final approval to city staff Monday evening to sell a partial city lot, approximately 3500 square feet, to Mayor Mike Gonzales and his wife for $1,540. The property is just north of the recently completed parking lot at the McCook Public Library and directly south of the Gonzales home on Norris Avenue...
Chili feed, Santa at fire department Sunday (12/17/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook Fire Department is coordinating a free-will donation chili feed Sunday, Dec. 21, from 12-3 p.m. at the fire station. Funds raised during the event will go towards the purchase of a new piece of exercise equipment, known as a Jacob's Ladder, for the fire station fitness room...

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