The ebb and flow of the Golden Plains
Beginnings, endings and life-saving escapes. These are all part of the ebb and flow of community life, as reported in the newspapers of Southwest Nebraska. Recent editions are typical, telling of a new industry in Palisade, a doctor's retirement in Benkelman and a carbon monoxide scare in Curtis.
Here are the headlines:
Tire Recycling Business Begins in Palisade -- On drives by Palisade, you have probably noticed the old co-op building on the south side of Highway 6. That building is now in use. It is being turned into a recycling business. The new occupant -- J & H Recycling -- makes fence posts and other products out of used vehicle tires. Dallas Halfacre and Becky Johnson of Fort Collins, Colo. own the business, which will initially have five or six employees, and could grow to between 25 and 100 workers by the end of 2006. According to an article by Jason Frederick in the Hayes Center Times-Republican, the recycling center will be able to process about 500 tires an hour to start, and could grow to three to four times that amount in months to come.
Dr. Stout Hangs Up White Coat After 51 Years -- At the age of 88, Dr. Kenneth C. Stout is closing his medical office in Benkelman. As reported in the Benkelman Post and the Hitchcock County News, the doc is retiring after a medical career which spanned more than half a century. He came to Benkelman in 1955, and built his medical office there in 1962.
Even in retirement, Dr. Stout will continue to live in the clinic, which he rarely left in his long medical career. Whatever the time of the day or night, he was available to see patients. And his prices remained surprisingly low, as shown by the $22 fee he charged for office calls up until the end.
Carbon Monoxide Harms Curtis Family -- Three members of a Curtis family were lucky to escape alive when carbon monoxide spread through their home. Although groggy herself, Lynn Hodson finally shook herself awake when one of her boys, Brice, began throwing up in her bed. Despite being dizzy, nauseous and suffering from a bad headache, Lynn was able to get Brice and Blake, 10, out of the house and into the car. "The fresh air helped them all," according to the Curtis Hi-Line Enterprise. Lynn called her dad, Gary Klein of Farnam, who came and took them to the emergency ward in North Platte, where they were put on oxygen, and later released. The Hodson family also includes Lynn's husband, Matt, who is stationed in Iraq, and a son, Tate, 8, who was spending the night at a friend's house.
A broken flapper in the chimney was the problem. The Hodsons' experience should be a reminder to us all. We need to install carbon monoxide detectors, and we need to check them often to be sure they are working.