This Father’s Day, Valley Rods Unlimited will be hosting their 42nd Annual Rod Run, continuing a time-honored tradition of both the club and our community. Valley Rods held their first Rod Run in conjunction with the State Air Show at Sharp Airfield in 1975. Since then, generations of Ord residents have marveled at vehicles from all over the region as they cruise through the streets of downtown year after year. The Father’s Day Rod Run is not just an event, it is a celebration of Americanism through displays of history, ingenuity, artistic flair, and family. It brings the community together, whether you are an avid car enthusiast or just the average onlooker who appreciates the beauty of a well built, well kept machine. This show gives every resident the opportunity to see the history of America’s automotive prowess cruise past them, all it takes is a well placed lawn chair. Get out on Father’s Day and support a local celebration that other small communities are dying to have.
Celebrate Ord, Tour de Nebraska’s Milestones With Area Activities
To commemorate Ord's 136th Birthday, on Fri., June 23 from 3-7 p.m., community members and visitors are invited to a cupcake and ice cream social at the Valley County Museum (117 S. 16th St, Ord). Music will be provided by Valley Harmonizers. Everyone is welcome and the free will donations will benefit the Valley County Historical Society. You may also want to visit the Ord Farmers Market for locally grown produce, baked goods, handcrafted items and more. It is located adjacent to the museum on the southwest corner of the courthouse. Friday will also bring about the advent of hundreds of Tour de Nebraska cyclists. Once again, Ord will welcome the adventurers to our town for the weekend. The Ord Chamber encourages you to contact the Chamber office if you are interested in volunteering at Bussell Park between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday to help welcome the cyclists. This marks the 30th anniversary of the Tour de Nebraska. On Sat., June 24, take in a vintage baseball game at Valley County's historic Fort Hartsuff. The game will begin at 9 a.m. lasting until 12 noon. There is a $2 fee for adults and $1 fee for kids 13 and under. A Nebraska state park permit is also required for entry. To round-out the weekend's activities, the North Loup-Scotia Community Theater will perform two showings of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at The Golden Husk (129 S 16, Ord). Saturday's performance is at 7:30 p.m. and on Sun., June 25 at 2 p.m. Admission is $10 — ages 12 and up/$5 — ages 11 and under.
City of Ord Seeking Donations, Organization To Sponsor Annual Fireworks Display
The City of Ord is asking for the public’s help to provide a Fourth of July Fireworks display this year. The City continues to look for an organization that would be willing to sponsor the annual display. In the meantime, the City has agreed to organize this year’s show. The Ord Volunteer Fire Department has generously volunteered to detonate the fireworks. The City of Ord is soliciting donations for the event. There is no charge for the display, and everyone is welcome to attend. Your generosity is needed in order to continue this tradition. Please join us on the Fourth of July for the fireworks display. If you would like to contribute, please mail or deliver your donations to the City of Ord. There is a night deposit box available. Donations can also be mailed to: City of Ord, P.O. Box 96, 201 S 17th St., Ord, NE 68862. If you have any questions, please contact the Ord City Office at 728-5791.
Novotny Named NTV’s Teacher of the Month
Karen Fischer photo - NTV Weatherman Kent Boughton, Vanessa Ference and Elaine Novotny at the “Teacher of the Month” presentation at Ord High School.
Elaine Novotny was “taken by total surprise”, when NTV News cameras and weatherman Kent Boughton came to Ord High School to award her with NTVs Teacher of the Month award for May 2017. A teacher at Ord High School, Novotny was elated and honored with the award. She was nominated by graduating senior Vanessa Ference, who she had the privilege of teaching. Novotny says Vanessa is a compassionate young lady who is also planning on entering the education world by going into Early Childhood Education. In her nomination, Ference said, “Mrs. Novotny is someone who has helped me and many other students become successful in school and in our daily lives. She teaches students how to advocate for themselves and she is the type of person who never gives up on anyone. Mrs. Novotny gives 110 percent of her time and devotion to each and every student in her classroom. She makes sure that we understand the work we are doing.” Novotny stated at the presentation that the field of education is a job that offers many rewards. The students teach you as much as you teach them. Every teacher has had that moment where an innocent comment from a pupil has seriously hit home and changed their perspective. “The students keep me young and fired up about teaching. It is one of the few professions where one has the opportunity to help shape our future, my future. The students are the ones who make me come back year after year.” In closing, she noted that she believes every child has something to give this world, and her goal is to help bring that out.
Karre Recognized For 25 Years At Ord Elementary
By Brant Bechtold On Tues., May 16 at Ord Elementary School, around one in the afternoon, students from all grade levels gathered in the lunchroom. The gathering was an early birthday celebration to honor the sacrifice and dedication of Ord Elementary's most recognizable volunteer, Dr. Dale Karre. Dr. Karre will soon be 90 years old and for the last 25 of those years he has been volunteering to read with first graders at the school. He has attended every first grade Thanksgiving Feast, track meet, field trip and numerous show and tells. Dr. Karre shows a commitment to the well-being and education of our youth that can only be described as commendable, as we as adults see his commitment, it is easy for us to view it through the lense of community, to see it as another peg for us to hang our hat on proving how loving and nurturing our town is. It’s true that Dr. Karre is a perfect representation of what our community strives for, but he doesn’t do what he does for our benefit. He does it for the kids, so I will be taking my adult hat off for a second and try to explain Dr. Karre through a child’s eyes. Fourteen years ago, I was in the first grade. I have a few vivid memories of that year, Nebraska baseball in the CWS; shooting “200” baskets in a day at the park (and having my mom inform me the 200 isn’t the number after 100, it’s 101), and Dr. Karre. For a young person, learning to read can be intimidating and I was most definitely intimidated. I didn’t want to look foolish in front of my teachers for not knowing certain words. I never felt that way with Dr. Karre. Reading with him was like having an extra grand parent that would support you and encourage you no matter how badly you were reading. He would gently and patiently ask you to go back if you missed a word or read a sentence wrong, it was the perfect mix of teaching and an utter lack of pressure. I am certain that every kid in that class was as comfortable as I was with Dr. Karre and we all looked forward to reading with him. He made reading fun, and all these years later the significance of that is not lost on me. For many kids Dr. Karre offers a respite from an increasingly demanding school curriculum and gives them a safe place to unwind and foster a love of reading. This could be seen during the ceremony as “90 Things We Love About Dr. Karre” was posted on the wall surrounded by statements from current students explaining why they appreciate Dr. Karre, I’ve selected a few to share. “I love Dr. Karre because he is nice. If you mess up reading he always says, ‘That’s ok. Just go back.’” “Even if I had a hard time reading my book, he encouraged me.” “You always knew each one of us possessed many special gifts!” “When you are here our light bulbs brighten!” “He always listened to what I had to say about my life.” It is clear that Dr. Karre’s presence at the school is about more than just reading – ask any first grade student or teacher that he has worked with. So, Dr. Karre, from all 25 years worth of first grade students, thank you. We really do love you. We will all, forever, be Dr. Karre’s Kids.
Josh Gracin, Dan & Shay, Headline 2017 Windmill Festival
Josh Gracin, with two number one hits; Dan & Shay, nominated for CMA’s Duo of the Year; and Sundance Head, winner of “The Voice” in 2016, are set to headline the Comstock Windmill Festival, June 16-18, 2017. Also performing will be Ricochet, Chancey Williams, the Younger Brothers Band and Nebraska’s own Brody Ray, with the band Calibama. Brody qualified for both national television shows, “The Voice” and “American Idol.” The dates are set for the return of the Comstock Windmill Festival with the same original name and at the same location – the 2nd Wind Ranch, three miles north of Comstock, NE. Comstock, population 80, only has one current business, a pop machine. In the 1930s, Comstock supported 60 legitimate businesses. After a few years of absence, “Comstock is Back” test drove a three-day concert in July of 2016, and left everyone who attended wanting the popular venue back in business. Adversity caused the music festival to close for a few years, with a couple of other entities attempting to keep things going with out success. One of the original Windmill Festival founders, Henry Nuxoll said, “We went through hell running these festivals, but it is far better going through hell than to hell. People have absolutely no clue what went on behind the scenes that cost us and me more than I owned. The story behind the story would take an hour long Chamber of Commerce speech to explain.” Storme Warren of GAC Television said, “Comstock was one of the top three festivals in the nation favored by the country stars that performed there.” In 2004, festival headliner Chris LeDoux said, “I love Comstock. You treat everybody the same. You don’t pen my true fans in the back because they can’t afford VIP Tickets.” LeDoux rebooked Comstock the week after he appeared, but unfortunately passed away the day that Comstock got 5,000 posters with him and Keith Urban as that year’s headliners. More regional bands will be announced soon as part of the 2017 Windmill Festival. Comstock will offer camping, both electrical and primitive, food vendors, beer tents and various other vendors. Tickets and camping may be purchased in advance. Go to www.windmillfestival.com or call 308-628-4108. Offices will open May 1 with hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Scotia Rescue Receives Funding From American Heart Association
SCOTIA RESCUE MEMBERS with the Life Pack 15 equipment include: Front row (l-r) Dalen Koehn, Bev Duecher, Annice Marlow, Tory Wadas, Dena Roy. Back row (l-r) Rick Pederson, Brice Koehn, Nick Shoemaker, Jethro Koehn, Brian Waterman, Michael Terwilliger.
Scotia Rescue has been awarded a $25,580 grant from the American Heart Association for 12-lead ECG equipment as part of Mission: Lifeline, an American Heart Association community-based initiative aimed at improving the system of care for heart attack patients throughout rural Nebraska. The equipment will be utilized by both the North Loup and Scotia area. Each year, hundreds of thou- sands of Americans have the most serious type of heart attack known as an ST-elevated myocardial infarction, or STEMI, in which blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart. Unless the block- age is eliminated quickly, the patient’s life is at serious risk. Currently, around two-thirds of STEMI patients fail to receive the best available treatments to restore blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. The project will enhance many critical elements of an optimal STEMI system of care: a system- wide data tool for quality measurement and improvement; ongoing medical provider training and STEMI education; coordination of protocols for rural EMS and hospital personnel; regional plans for rapid transport of patients; and a public education campaign on heart attack symptoms and the need to call 9-1-1. Funding focused on enhancing rural systems is being awarded for hospitals and ambulance services to enhance 12 L ECG equipment and training. “This generous grant funding will allow Nebraska to take heart attack care to the next level across the entire state,” said Julie Smith, Mission: Lifeline Director in Nebraska. “We will now have the opportunity to identify a heart attack faster, and provide lifesaving treatments before significant damage, or even death occurs. Regional systems of care will optimize treatment times with the tools, education, and resources of Mission Lifeline. More of this story can be found in the May 3 issue of the Quiz.
2017 OHS Prom Royalty Candidates
Historic Photo Of 1912 Football Team Donated To OHS
Sid Jablonski photo -
Ord Public schools Superintendent Jason Alexander holds a framed photo of the 1912 Ord Football Team. The long-lost photo was donated by former Ord High student Rich Heuck of Belgrade, MT whose father, William Heuck, played on the team. The undefeated 1912 team was the first official football team in the history of Ord Public Schools.
by Sid Jablonski A newly-framed historic photo of the 1912 Ord football team is on display in a trophy case next to the OHS Athletic Hall of Fame. It is a high-quality enlargement made from an original print. When the 1912 team was selected for the Athletic Hall of Fame last summer the only known image was an old, grainy, blurry team photo accidently found in the December 31, 1936 edition of the Ord Quiz. With no other choices, a plaque was made with that photo and placed in the OHS Hall of Fame hallway. The accompanying 1936 story revealed the 1912 team was the first official football team in school history. The 1912 team also set a standard for excellence by winning all their games by comfortable margins while allowing zero points to their opponents. Since no team members were still living, an effort was made to track down family members of the 1912 team to notify them of the selection prior to last year’s ceremony. During the search for family members a fortunate contact was made with a Mr. Rich Heuck of Belgrade, MT whose father, William ‘Bill’ Hueck, played on the team. Bill Heuck was a long-time resident of Ord and managed Farmers Grain & Supply for many years. Rich graduated from Ord High School in 1950. Rich revealed that his father had saved an original 3.5” x 5.5” team photo and Rich still had it. But it was to Rich’s surprise to learn of the historic significance of the photo. According to Rich, “My father was a member of the 1912 football team” but he “didn’t tell me (the story) about it.” Rich then had an enlargement made from the original photo and decided it would only be fitting to donate the enlarged print to Ord High School. School superintendent and Athletic Hall of Fame president Jason Alexander said, “The Hall of Fame Committee is truly honored for the opportunity to display this piece of Chanticleer Football History. Many thanks to Rich and Bill Heuck for helping us preserve the memories and early inception of Ord High Athletics.” The photo itself is an interesting artifact with handwritten names of the starters interspersed across the image. The handwriting gives it the look of autographed sports memorabilia collectibles one sees in sports shops. Rich suspects the handwriting was his father’s. The ‘football’ sporting a handpainted “OHS” held by the coach does not look like a modern-day football. In fact it more resembles a rugby ball which it may well have been. Long-time Ord photographers Ray and Mary Marshall examined the sepia-toned image and noticed other details. Mary explained, “We think this picture was captured by using an old speed graphic camera, using black & white sheet film, 5x7 size.” Also, upon closer inspection one can see the faces in focus but some hands and feet appear blurry. This suggests the subjects moved during the shot. Such was the norm back in the days of slow speed film. Rich also knew of a second photo of interest which appeared in a book called “A View of the Valley” published in 1973. Sure enough, on page 120 a different photo simply titled ‘Ord Football Team’ was easily identifiable as the 1912 team (the team members and studio setting of both photos were a match). But apparently the editors weren’t aware of the historic background at the time. Several names on the team date back to the early roots of Ord itself. For instance, starting center John Haskell was son of Ord Quiz founder William Wesley Haskell. Edwin Clements, tackle, was descended from a prominent family of lawyers and judges and George Misko, guard, was nephew to Frank Misko founder of Misko Harness and Leather Goods. Four of the starters were also academically gifted and went on to become doctors: Frederick Leonard Blessing (longtime Ord dentist), end, Floyd Collins, quarterback, George Misko and Earl Wise, fullback. So, thanks to the generosity of Mr. Heuck and some fortunate happenstance, visitors and students alike can now view this rediscovered piece of Ord’s athletic history.
Ord Cargill Donates to Progressive Ag Safety Day
Cargill is proud to be a sponsor of Ord’s Progressive Agricultural Safety Day. A grant of $3250 was approved and presented to Kayla Hinrichs, Bev Smedra, Gene Wray and Ashley Jeffres. Gene and Ashley are members of the Central NE FS4JK Board which supports the safety day to be held at the fairgrounds on June 6. The focus areas for the Cargill grant include Health and Nutrition, Education, Safety and Technology. This year, the grant will be used to purchase safety ear muffs/hearing protection for each child at the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day. Many rural youth work and play in noisy environments and do not have proper safety equipment. By providing hearing protection and educating youth about the importance of wearing the ear muffs, we can prevent hearing loss and keep children healthy. In addition, because of Cargill’s tremendous support and that of many other local businesses, we are able to provide the Safety Day at no cost to the youth. Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the U.S. It’s also on the rise with nearly 36 million Americans now reporting lost hearing. Forty-four percent of carpenters and 48% of plumbers report some hearing loss. Other noisy lines of work include the military, mining, manufacturing, agriculture and transportation. Prevention is the best strategy to healthy long-term hearing. Hearing loss is often permanent, so we need to teach youth how they can protect one of their most valuable natural assets. The program is very appreciative of Cargill for their generous support of Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in Ord. Their generosity allows us to share safety information with many youth in our community.
Firefighters From 7 States, 5 Countries Attend Prescribed Fire Training Near Burwell
Dee Petska photo
A total of 51 firefighters attended the 2017 Loup TREX (Prescribed Fire Training Exchange) hailing from seven different states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, Utah and Washington) and five different countries (Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Spain and United States). The 2017 Loup TREX event was conducted between March 13 and March 25 and occurred west of Burwell, NE. This event involved the cooperation of nine private land-owners who worked together to prepare for this opportunity to improve their grasslands for wildlife and livestock production. At several points during the event, local ranchers also assisted and learned some valuable prescribed fire training. Over the course of the two week event, the firefighters worked with opportunities of appropriate weather to conduct around 3,000 acres of fire. Pheasants Forever wildlife biologist Ben Wheeler noted: our grasslands are a fire adapted landscape. The loss of fire since settlement has allowed for the invasion of woody species, such as eastern red cedar, which reduces habitat for our grassland dependent wildlife species (such as greater prairie chickens) as well as marginalizing available forage for livestock production. Currently, the Nebraska Forest Service estimates that we lose 40,000 acres of grassland to closed canopy eastern red cedar forest statewide every year. Left unchecked, this would total an estimated loss of up to $88 million dollars of lost forage to the livestock economy over 10 years. The Loup Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) is an effort to restore large scale fire to the central Nebraska landscape. During this annual two week event, professional wildland firefighters from around the world descend upon central Nebraska to participate in live fire training exercises. The Loup TREX began in 2009 and since its inception, has provided training for hundreds of firefighters from around the globe and impacted over 25,000 acres of central Nebraska grasslands. For more information about the Loup TREX program, contact Pheasants Forever wildlife biologist Ben Wheeler at Ben.Wheeler@nebraska.gov.
Cornerstone Bank Makes Donation To Veterans Memorial
by Elaine Asper The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 285 was blessed with another sizeable donation this week. Daniel Piskorski of the Cornerstone Bank in North Loup presented the Veterans Memorial committee with a check for $5,000. Daniel said, “I just love to look out the window and see the progress that’s been done. It makes me proud to be back in the area.” Progress was made last month with the spring-like weather we all enjoyed. The Loup Valley Veterans Memorial Wall took advantage of that weather and installed the caps on the wall and columns as seen in the photo. This donation will help kick start the project again this spring as they hope to complete it this summer. The bricks that have been submitted so far are all engraved and waiting to be installed. There are more sidewalks and flat work to be done in front of the wall after the underground watering system is installed. Then landscaping, lighting, some park benches, brick installation, and the memorial should be ready for a dedication. That date depends on the cooperation of the weather, the budget, and availability of volunteer workers. This has truly been a Labor of Love by all involved. The Auxiliary Committee is overwhelmed by the generosity of the donations and the support they have received. The committee commented that ‘even though they are close to their original goal; some of the costs exceeded their estimates so fund-raising efforts continue’. Brick sales will never end, after the initial installation they will continue to add bricks twice a year – before Memorial Day and before Veterans Day. Donations continue to be accepted and if you haven’t purchased your brick there is time to do so. The Loup Valley Veterans Memorial will be a tribute to our veterans and a testimony to the wonderful people, like Cornerstone, who have supported the project.
Big Give 2017 Produces Record-Setting Figures
Kristina Foth In 2013, an informal network of non-profit leaders throughout Valley County created The Big Give as a way to build a culture of giving and gratitude. Now, five years later, that philanthropic culture and gratitude-focused mindset are permeating Valley County as illustrated by the results of The Big Give 2017. This year’s event produced record-setting figures! During the 24-hours of giving, a total of 550 donations generated $95,944 which benefited the 26 Big Give organizations as well as other non-profit and charitable organizations throughout Valley County! Among the 550 donations, 157 represented first-time donors for organizations. Donations will assist each organization in achieving their mission whether it is creating youth programs, honoring veterans or offering enjoyable entertainment in our community. In addition to the monetary donations received by participating organizations, the new and strengthened relationships with fellow non-profit leaders and donors also added priceless value to Big Give participants. The annual Big Give event is also instilling a generous and purposeful philanthropic mindset among students in Valley County. Elementary students in Ord and Arcadia reflected on the question, “What is giving?” and created essays and posters that were used to spread the word about The Big Give. Ord High School also participated in a penny war which resulted in an entertaining sumo wrestling match among two OHS teachers. In conjunction with the penny war and other Big Give activities, students also pledged a total of 46 volunteer hours with various Big Give organizations! In addition to the engagement and support from Valley County students, the Ord Quiz and MWB Broadcasting, dozens of local businesses throughout Valley County offered their support by providing a special pro- motion for customers who adorned their “I Gave Today” sticker during The Big Give. Big Give volunteers pro- vide countless hours planning and preparing for The Big Give. Cumulatively, their efforts from the past five Big Give events have generated a total of $386,233 from 2,205 donations. The Big Give to Valley County is coordinated by the Valley County Philanthropic Partners (VCPP), a growing network of non-profit leaders throughout Valley County that gather to learn, share and grow on be- half of their non-profit organizations and the greater good of our county-wide community. To learn more about the 2017 Big Give organizations, visit www.OrdNebraska.com /Give/TheBigGive.
Horner Honored as Center for Rural Affairs’ 2016 Women’s Business Center Entrepreneur of the Year
Center for Rural Affairs photo: Gene Rahn, Center for Rural Affairs' Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) senior loan specialist, and Monica Braun, REAP Women's Business Center Director, award Linda Horner (middle), with the Women's Business Center Entrepreneur of the Year Award at a ceremony on Fri., March 10, in York.
The Center for Rural Affairs has chosen Linda Horner of Ord as the 2016 Women’s Business Center Entrepreneur of the Year. Horner was recognized at an award ceremony on March 10 in York, NE. The Women’s Business Center Entrepreneur of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who has utilized the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Entrepreneurship Assistance Project (REAP) Women’s Business Center services and is successfully operating and growing their business. The award exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit so crucial to women-owned businesses and the rural Nebraska communities they call home. “Linda is a true entrepreneur willing to take a chance starting a new business, expanding that business, making the change to a larger facility and overcoming many obstacles, all while maintaining a positive attitude,” said Monica Braun, REAP Women’s Business Center director. Horner owns Linda’s Preschool & Discovery Center in Ord. In 2003, Linda and her husband Paul received an initial loan from a bank, and a REAP loan provided gap financing to complete the purchase and conversion into a daycare. Linda’s Preschool & Discovery Center has provided care to children for 14 years. Services include preschool education, childcare services and after school programs. “Linda has a long track record as a great client,” said Gene Rahn, REAP senior loan specialist, who works closely with Horner. “Because of that, she has been able to access emergency financing from us when unexpected plumbing or electrical problems have come up. We hope there are no future emergencies, but if one arises, we will not hesitate to assist where needed.” Looking to the future, Horner hopes to hand down the business to her two daughters. She is also looking at expanding the business to provide services for infants.
Ries Named VCHS Foundation Executive Director; Takes on Dual Role With Organizations
courtesy photo – VCHS Foundation Executive Director Becky Ries.
Earlier this month, the Valley County Health System (VCHS) Foundation Board of Directors announced Becky Ries as the new VCHS Foundation Executive Director. The VCHS Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization that seeks, receives and administers donations and gifts for the sole benefit of VCHS. The organization purchases new equipment or updates technology for VCHS, as well as provides educational and physician recruitment loans to medical students and providers, respectively. The Foundation also oversees the work of the VCHS Child Development Committee. Ries will continue to work part time as the VCHS Executive Administrative Assistant while also now working part time for the VCHS Foundation – a role she previously held from 2007-2014. The two organizations remain separate entities. “The opportunity to return to the VCHS Foundation and do something that I love, in addition to my current role at VCHS, was something I could not pass up,” Ries said. During her earlier seven-year tenure with the VCHS Foundation, Ries led successful fundraising events including the annual golf tournament, gala and benefit run/walk. She also worked with many private donors to generate funds for the Foundation to benefit and meet the needs of VCHS. “The Foundation plays a vital role in helping the hospital deliver on its promise to provide progressive healthcare services, and I am honored to be a part of that,” Ries said. Learn more about the VCHS Foundation at www.vchs-foundation.org.
World Famous Big Band To Perform at The Golden Husk
by Dahn Hagge, The Golden Husk The World-Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra swings into The Golden Husk on Fri., March 17 at 7:30 p.m. for a two-hour performance featuring the best of the legendary band! The Golden Husk is honored to welcome the Glenn Miller Orchestra as the most sought after big band in the world since 1938! During the performance, Director Nick Hilscher and the 18-member ensemble will play many of the favorite original Miller arrangements as well as more modern selections arranged and performed in the Miller style and sound. Along with the orchestra, two vocalists, one male and one female, will perform individually and as part of The Moonlight Serenaders® vocal group. Join The Golden Husk in enjoying classic big band sounds of the Glenn Miller Orchestra with over 1,700 compositions like Moonlight Serenade, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, A String of Pearls, Tuxedo Junction and At Last to modern tunes including Rainbow Rhapsody, Everybody Loves My Baby, Over the Rainbow, The Body Electric and Star Wars/War of the Stars. A special local feature of the performance will be an opening selection by the Ord High School Concert Band on stage. Also, local students will play the finale piece, In The Mood with the Orchestra. “We are so excited to host this extraordinary performing arts experience at The Golden Husk! The Glenn Miller Orchestra travels over 100,000 miles each year, playing at venues across the globe, so it is a true privilege to bring this world-renowned Orchestra to rural Nebraska,” commented Dahn Hagge, director of The Golden Husk. “By hosting performances of high caliber and including a local artists engagement component, we are fulfilling our grand vision to create a hub for engaging creative resources, empowering community connection and enriching quality of life!” The Golden Husk is owned and operated by the Valley Performing Arts Theater Board (VPAT), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which reopened the theatre in July 2015. The board is proud to offer this facility as a place to experience the arts and connect with the community. The historical theatre was built in 1928 and has housed live performances and film productions through the years. The beautiful paneled walls are made of corn husks which provide excellent acoustical qualities and inspired the name of the artistic venue. To learn more about the theatre and upcoming events, visit www.goldenhuskarts.org and www.facebook .com/thegoldenhusk. The Golden Husk welcomes people from across the state and beyond to celebrate and grow the artistic culture in rural Nebraska. If you are “In the Mood” for the Glenn Miller Orchestra travel to Ord on Friday, March 17, 2017 to experience a legendary show! For ticket information on the Glenn Miller Orchestra and other events please call 308-730-8133.
Shamrockin’ Good Time at Trotter Event Center March 17
“For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way; good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.” In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, the Trotter Event Center is ready for a “Shamrockin Good Time” on Fri., March 17. St. Patrick’s Day is just a week away, so it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to wear! Remember, if you don’t wear green, you just might get pinched! Best dressed “Who’s the Greenest” couple and group will win the “Pot of Gold”. Judging will take place at 10 p.m. Best dressed couple will win $25, and Best dressed group will win $50. The Innocence from Kearney, NE will be rockin’ the stage from 8 p.m. to Midnight! With a song list packed full of diverse hits from Journey to Rascal Flatts; Bruno Mars to AC/DC, the Innocence’s instrumental and vocal prowess allows them to cover songs most bands wouldn’t dare attempt. With their seasoned vocals, endless keyboard ability, exciting stage presence, guitar magic, rumbling of drums, and trumpet talents – you will not want to miss this! St. Patrick’s Day would not be complete without green beer and Irish eats. The Jubilee, Melanie Boden, will be serving a savoring Irish meal of corned beef & cabbage, roasted potatoes, carrots, and roll or rueben casserole; along with your choice of a green velvet cupcake or a Guinness chocolate cupcake. The meal will be served from 5:30 p.m. until the food is gone. There will be several drink specials, including Scratchtown Brewing Company’s Life of Reilly and Moore’s. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Admission is $5 or admission plus the meal is $15. You will be able to enjoy a game of corn hole and giant jenga, along with the All-In photo booth that will be available the entire night, and a caricature artist from 7-9 p.m., which is included in your admission. You must be 21 years of age to stay after 9 p.m. For more information, please contact Keli Gideon at 308-728-5307 or by email at email@example.com. Like them on Facebook to follow event details.
Ord Public Schools Discussing Drug Testing For 2017-2018 School Year
Ord Public Schools is investigating the advantages of offering random mandatory drug testing for students involved in all extra-curricular and co-curricular activities in the 2017-18 school year. Superintendent Jason Alexander said the discussion evolved as board members discussed the idea of helping students avoid negative peer pressure in choices related to the types of situations that revolve around the use of illegal substances. Ord Board Members first discussed the idea in their January board meeting to decide if it was even an option they wanted to pursue. All six board members agreed that if the testing could promote a healthier life style, offer students an “out” to peer pressure and possibly save a life, it was worth the investment. If a student would produce a positive test, the student will be suspended from extracurricular activities. A first offense would result in a 20-day suspension. However, a student that self reports, the suspension could be reduced to 10 days, as is current practice. There are multiple area schools including Central City, Grand Island Northwest, and Grand Island Central Catholic, already conducting mandatory random drug testing. Many more schools in Nebraska are seeing success in helping promote healthy choices and the board sees this as a positive step for Ord students. “The board has done a wealth of research on this topic,” says Superintendent Jason Alexander, “We have spent time talking to other schools with these programs, and found they feel very good about what they are doing in helping kids. As a collective whole, we are not trying to “catch” anyone, or for it to be a “gotcha”. It’s an opportunity to discover and help students who are possibly harming themselves.” The program would be coordinated between Ord Public Schools and a 3rd Party Administrator (SportSafe). The 3rd party administrator would be responsible for providing a Medical Review Officer (MRO) who randomly selects the students utilizing a computer program, coordinating the testing with the school, and sending the tests to the lab for analysis. The lab then conducts the analysis and reports back to the MRO who in turn communicates with school district officials on the result. There are instances where the results may be a prescribed medication, which would not be a problem if it’s confirmed by the parent that a medical provider has prescribed the medication. More discussion and information will be provided as the board continues to discuss this program and it’s implementation in 2017-18.
Ord Downtown, Happy Jack Chalk Mine Among 2017 Nebraska Passport Stops
The Nebraska Tourism Commission is pleased to announce the stops that will be in the Nebraska Passport. Among numerous other attractions in the state, Ord’s downtown square (stamp received at The Golden Husk) and Happy Jack Chalk Mine in Scotia have been selected for summer 2017 stops. “We’re excited to continue this program for an eighth year. The Passport inspires Nebraskans and tourists to travel the state collecting stamps to earn prizes, while also supporting small businesses, attractions and hidden gems,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director. “Every year since its inception the program has gained popularity. In 2016, more than 87,000 total stamps were collected and we expect 2017’s participation to be even better.” The 2017 Passport will again feature 80 attractions on 10 themed tours with one tour honoring the state’s sesquicentennial. Travelers will have from May 1 through Sep. 30 to visit the attractions and get their stamps. “The 2017 Passport program is focused on giving travelers truly memorable experiences,” said Passport program coordinator Erin Wirth. “The 80 Passport stops offer a mix of thrilling, relaxing and unique adventures. Passport travelers will create lifelong memories while they have fun exploring Nebraska. From discovering Nebraska’s hidden gems to celebrating Nebraska’s 150th birthday, the 2017 Passport showcases what makes Nebraska special.” Passports will be available at participating stops starting May 1 or can be pre-ordered at http://nebraskapassport.com/requestyourpassport/. Participants are also encouraged to download the Nebraska Passport App for their smartphone and get stamped digitally, supplementing the physical Passport booklet for convenience. Please note, the passport app will be updated with the 2017 information on May 1. Those who used the mobile app last year will need to download the update to see the new program information. To download, search ‘NE Passport’ in the Apple App Store or the Google Play App Store.
Join 4-H before March 1 Deadline
4-H is a community of young people who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. 4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential working and learning in partnership with caring adults. In Nebraska, 4-H is present in all 93 counties! The local 4-H program is currently enrolling new and returning members who were at least five years of age, but not older than 18 years of age, as of December 31, 2016. Enrolling is easy and can be completed online. To get started, visit the web page at http://extension.unl.edu/statewide/central4/4hforms/ and follow the links to step-by-step instructions and the enrollment website. Families without internet access are welcome to enroll at the Nebraska Extension Offices in Greeley, Loup City, Ord and St. Paul. The deadline to enroll in 4-H in Greeley, Howard, Sherman and Valley Counties is March 1, 2017. For over 100 years, 4-H youth and adults have been working together – learning, doing, growing, and serving. Today, 4-H in Nebraska reaches approximately one-third of our state’s youth. Staff in the Central IV counties would like to tell you more about 4-H and answer any of your questions. Contact us at 308-428-2835 (Greeley County); 308-754-5422 (Howard County); 308-745-1518 (Sherman County) or 308-728-5071 (Valley County). Youth may join a 4-H Club or can enroll as independent members. Make sure your young person experiences 4-H and all the program has to offer by enrolling prior to the March 1 deadline.
Bridge Work to Begin on N-70 North of Ord
Weather permitting, replacement of the N-70 bridge north of Ord is scheduled to begin March 27, with temporary work beginning in mid-March, according to the Nebraska Department of Roads. Paulsen, Inc., of Cozad, NE, has the $6,091,357 contract for bridge replacement, road realignment and new concrete surfacing. Work will also include drainage structures and lighting. In addition, two acres of new wetland areas will be built to mitigate areas affected by the project. The bridge is being built in phases. Once the temporary work is completed in late April, there will be a 10-foot bridge width restriction and lane closures throughout the duration of the project, from May 2017 through the fall of 2018, with one lane of traffic maintained in each direction utilizing temporary traffic signals. The entire project is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2018. The Department of Roads’ manager for this project is Jerry Woodgate of St. Paul. Motorists are reminded to use caution when driving through construction zones.
Expansion Nearing Completion At Ord Dental Office
Dr. Farrah Plate and the staff at Complete Family Dentistry in Ord have nearly finished their dental office expansion. The new 1,344 square foot addition has three new dental operatories to better accommodate their patients. A new Orthopantomograph/Orthoceph will be installed in the next month. The only dental x-ray unit of its kind in the area, this imaging system will allow Dr. Plate and her orthodontic staff, Dr. Brad Hoppens and Dr. Mary Beth Meyer to diagnose cases more efficiently and accurately. Along with a new state of the art sterilization center, equipment including patient chairs with massagers and overhead smart TVs allow the patient to experience additional modern comforts. Dr. Plate and her hygiene staff, Suzie Cox and Amy Peterson continue to provide comprehensive dental care to the entire family. This includes, routine cleanings, composite fillings, crowns, dentures, comprehensive orthodontics (braces) invisalign, Botox as well as many other dental services. Dr. Plate and staff have planned an open house on Fri., March 17 so that their patients and the public can tour the new office. Dr. Farrah Plate has been practicing dentistry at her Ord office since 2005. Complete Family Dentistry welcomes any new or existing patients to give their office a call for a dental check-up or to privately tour the office. Their office can be reached at 308-728-5672.
Valley County Celebrates Good Life, Great Communities
On Feb. 3, 137 people who live, work, play and give in Valley County celebrated the good life and great communities of our area during Valley County’s Annual Celebration hosted by the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, Valley County Economic Development and Valley County Community Foundation Fund. Attendees enjoyed the amenities of the new Trotter Event Center, an entertaining mix of country and rock renditions from the Dave Lerbakken Solo Show and mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres and desserts from Jubilee Events & Catering. All nominees of the annual awards were celebrated and winners were announced during the event. More photos and a recap of the annual award presentations can be found at www.OrdNebraska.com.
PICTURE AT LEFT: Bartels photography The Ord Area Chamber of Commerce presented Walt Smith with Honorary Lifetime Chamber Member honors Friday night at the Trotter Event Center. Smith is pictured above with daughter, Cathy Coble.
Scratchtown Brewing Wins Gold At Best Of Craft Beer Awards
The results are in! Scratchtown Brewing Company’s Black Eye Imperial Porter won another Gold Medal at the Best of Craft Beer Awards in Bend, OR in the American Imperial Stout/Porter category. Scratchtown was the only Nebraska brewery to medal in this year’s event. The competition included 1,751 beers judged from craft brewers around the country. This medal marks the third for Black Eye Imperial Porter, winning both Gold and Silver at the US Open Beer Championship in 2015 and 2016, respectively. To learn more about the beers brewed by Scratchtown, visit them online at www.scratchtown.beer.
State Game and Parks Commission Approves Grant For Ord Aquatic Center Project; Town Hall Meeting Held
Ord’s Aquatic Center was among seven projects around the state receiving funds through the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Land and Water Conservation Fund Stateside Assistance Program. Announced Wednesday, Ord’s project was awarded $140,000 during the Commission’s meeting on Jan. 20. A town hall meeting was held last Wed., Jan. 18 to discuss funding options for the approximately $2.9 million facility. To date, including the above-mentioned grant funding, $1,948,259 has been secured by numerous other grants, fund-raising campaigns and private donations. The Ord City Council will decide the fate of the project at their meeting on Feb. 6. If the council votes in favor of proceeding with the project, the remaining cost will be covered by a bond issue payable by a property tax within the municipal limits. A home with an assessed value of $100,000 would see an increase of approximately $80 per year. Although the sales tax measure in November 2016 failed, state statute would allow for the City of Ord to put forth the 0.5% sales tax to Ord voters again in 2018 and if successful, the proposed property tax would cease and sales tax collections would pay off the pool bond in 5-8 years. If the city does not move forward, the project could lose over $1.2 million in grants that have been awarded, over $81,000 in trackable donations, and $625,000 in already aligned public funds
Ord Graduate’s “Passion For Politics” Leads to State Capitol
courtesy photo: Elizabeth Todsen on her first day at the Nebraska State Capitol buiding in Lincoln.
“If you would have asked me three years ago, I never would have imagined I’d be working as an administrative assistant for a senator at the state capitol,” notes Elizabeth Todsen. But that is exactly what she is doing. While attending college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Todsen has joined several clubs in college – specifically the Nebraska College Republicans, which awakened her passion for politics. That passion led her to an opportunity to acquire an internship opportunity with the Nebraska Republican party. While working in that office, she met Tom Briese and began to help plan some events for his campaign trail to becoming a Senator. “Working a full-time job for Senator Briese while trying to finish classes will keep me very busy but I know that I can excel at both,” Todsen stated. As the Senator’s Administrative Assistant, Todsen is responsible for his agenda, plans and schedules meetings with constituents, and maintains data files for District 41. “The goal is to dive in to policy work that directly focuses on the agricultural sector.” If you’re ever in Lincoln, she invites you to stop by the beautiful state capitol building. The Senator’s office is located in room 1120 on the south side of the building. Elizabeth plans to graduate in December 2017 with a degree in AgriEconomics and a minor in Political Science. She is the daughter of Tim Todsen of Ord.
Wamsley Arrested in Grand Island For Nebraska, Colorado Charges
Colorado Department of Corrections photo
Steven R. Wamsley, 36, was arrested Fri., Jan. 13 by the Grand Island Police Department for charges of criminal impersonation. According to the Colorado Department of Corrections, Wamsley, formerly of Ord, was sentenced on Sept. 6, 2016 for charges of forgery in Colorado. He was then granted parole on Dec. 20, 2016; however, parole officers did a residency check on Jan. 9 and determined that Mr. Wamsley was no longer there. A warrant was issued for his arrest on Jan. 10. Wamsley is currently being held at the Hall County Department of Corrections in Grand Island awaiting a court date. He will then be extradited to Colorado for violation of parole. Both charges are non-bondable.
Ord Barber Retires After 55 Years
courtesy photo: FOUR-YEAR-OLD Bowen Peterson, Omaha, gets a haricut from grandfather, Gerald John.
It has been said that there are few men who possess as much power as the local barber – for those who sit in the barber’s chair surrender both their life and their looks into the hands that hold the scissors! Truly, as the old saying goes, “If you can’t trust your barber, who can you trust?” After more than 55 years in the business, Gerald John (Gerald’s Barber Shop) of Ord officially retired his clippers on Thurs., Dec. 29, 2016. “It’s been a great ride,” John told The Quiz. The barber shop, located at 124 North 16th Street in Ord, was purchased by Amy Lee on December 12, 2016 and is currently undergoing floor-to-ceiling renovations. It is expected to reopen for business in February as “The Board Room”. “I’m really excited for Amy,” said John. “She’s a very capable barber, and I’m just tickled pink that she’s taking it over.” In a business that is nearly extinct in today’s culture, “I didn’t want to just shut the doors,” John emphasized. “There are just not many barber shops around anymore, and so I think I would have stayed there till heck freezes over!” John’s parents moved into the valley in 1949 when he was just 7 years old, “and it’s been home to me ever since,” he said. After graduating from Ord High School in 1960, John then went on to graduate from Lincoln Barber College in 1961. He began working as an apprentice for Irwin “Red” Merrill in Ord in May 23, 1961 and received his licensed as a Registered Barber on Dec. 7, 1962. After serving for two years in the United States Army from 1964 to 1966, John began working for Herschel “Hash” McGrew at “The Haircut Shop” in March of 1966. Less than two years later, on Jan. 7, 1968, he married Ginny. “It was 20 below zero that morning,” John recalled, shaking his head, “And the guys put shaving cream all over my windshield. Try to get that off when it’s 20 below. It just smears and freezes. What a mess!” On Dec. 3, 1973, John purchased McGrew’s shop and changed the name to “Gerald’s Barber Shop”. “I’ve seen a lot of different fads and styles come and go,” said John. “In the 60’s it was flat tops. I would cut those flat tops all day long. My clippers would get so hot that I would have to trade them out every so often!” The full story is in the Jan. 11 issue of the Quiz.
Exhibitor Registration Now Available for Valley County Home & Ag Expo
by Kristina Foth, Ord Area Chamber of Commerce Planning is underway for the 2017 Valley County Home & Ag Expo, an event that has experienced exponential growth throughout the years with increasing numbers of exhibitors and attendees. The 2017 event will take place on Fri., Feb. 24 from 3-7 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Valley County Fairgrounds. Event coordinators including Valley County Economic Development, the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, Loup Valley Ag Society and Valley County Community Foundation Fund invite your business or organization to be a part of the Expo in a variety of ways. The event will showcase agricultural-related products and services, home builders, contractors and other businesses throughout the area associated with the agricultural and home improvement industries. Educational seminars will also take place during the Expo. Exhibitors will have the opportunity to make connections with new and current customers and network with other businesses. Exhibitor space is limited and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Local businesses also have the opportunity to support this event with financial sponsorship. Your investment in the 2017 Expo will heighten the exposure of the event throughout the Central Nebraska region and your company will receive valuable promotion as a sponsor. Exhibitor registration and sponsorship information can be found online at www.OrdNebraska.com/Blog. You can also call the Valley County Economic Development office at (308) 728-7875 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The final exhibitor registration and sponsorship deadline is Fri., Feb. 3, 2017. Project partners of the Valley County Home & Ag Expo look forward to partnering with your business to create valuable opportunities for the Valley County area.
Area Fires Burn Thousands Of Acres In Central Nebraska
Wind gusts of up to 40mph helped fuel two area fires last week. The first fire started around noon Wednesday approximately six miles northeast of Taylor. In a release from Region 26 Emergency Manager, Alma Beland, the fire started from a previously burned tree pile that was rekindled in the strong winds. It is estimated that 2,000 acres as well as 600 hay bales were lost in the blaze. No evacuations were necessary; however, the flames came close to some buildings that the responding fire departments were able to protect. Those departments include: Taylor, Sargent, Burwell, Ericson, Brewster, Anselmo and South Pine. No injuries were reported and the fire was contained by sundown Wednesday evening. That same day, thirteen area fire departments, as well as an airplane, responded to a second fire that began southeast of Ord at the Hwy. 22 and Hwy. 70 junction in Valley County. The fire traveled into Sherman County causing a CodeRED alert to evacuate the northern side of Sherman Reservoir, according to the release. A shelter was set up at the Loup City Community Building for residents that were displaced from their homes. An estimated 6,000 acres burned as the fire traveled 6-7 miles between Valley and Sherman Counties. Volunteer fire departments from Ord, Arcadia, Loup City, Comstock, North Loup, Scotia, Ashton, Litchfield, Mason City, Ansley, Burwell, Elba and St. Paul responded. Garry Wells also aided in the efforts by dispersing water and foam over the flames by airplane. Wells owns and operates Wells Air Service near Scotia. Beland noted that the Valley/ Sherman County fire was contained just after dark Wednesday evening. No structure damage was reported from either fire.
courtesy photo – J & J Sanitation representatives Dean Balder-ston, Josh Keyes and Vicki Haddock recently presented seven bikes to Make Christmas Happen through J & J Sanitation’s Christmas Promise Bike Build project. The venture, in its second year, strives to provide area children in need with a bike and helmet during the Christmas season. J & J employees assemble the bikes after funding is obtained through the support of local businesses and employee contributions. Six bikes were also donated to O’Neill’s Building Blocks program for foster children. Pictured accepting the bikes on behalf of Make Christmas Happen are Agnes Janda and Doris David.
The End Of An Era In North Loup
It has been an emotional week for the community of North Loup as they have watched a building full of memories come crashing down. Built in 1924, the North Loup School has been an icon in the community for nearly a century. However, as is the case with so many small town schools across the country, the building was in disrepair, and it did not seem feasible to spend the $1.5 million needed to bring it up to code. Due to mold, asbestos, poor accessibility, and other issues, the building sat vacant since November, 2014. Over the past two years, the local school district and the Village of North Loup looked into a number of different options for preserving the building, but to no avail. So the demolition marks the final phase in what has been a domino effect since North Loup consolidated with Scotia in 1959. “It’s a hard thing,” said Jim Goodrich of North Loup, “It’s been emotional for the community, but we understand. It would have just taken so much to make it viable and accessible.” After graduating from North Loup-Scotia in 1972, Goodrich taught sixth grade there for 13 years. The demolition work is being done by O’Neill Construction from Grand Island, NE. Bidding for the demolition opened in September with the stipulation that it had to be done by the end of the year. “So we all knew it was coming,” said Goodrich. For those, like Goodrich, who have a vested interest in the school, there is a big pile of bricks outside the orange fence that folks are welcome to take as souvenirs. “And right now, the pile only seems to be getting bigger,” noted Goodrich. Future plans regarding the property, which is still owned by the school district, are yet to be determined. The grounds are expected to be re-landscaped, and the ag-shop building is going to be kept for storage. Beyond that, the local school board will continue to meet with the North Loup Village Board regarding any future plans for the property. The demolition work is still in progress, but even as the walls continue to come tumbling down, there is still hope for the future of North Loup. “I have been pleased that we have had two or three young families with children move into North Loup just this fall,” exclaimed Goodrich. “Even without the presence of a school, it’s just a good place to live.”
Valley Auto Parts Celebrates Anniversary of New Ownership
When it comes to servicing the area with quality automotive parts, Valley Auto Parts (Carquest) in Ord is on the fast track to becoming the go-to place for quality parts and exceptional customer service. Now servicing over a 40-mile radius, Ord’s longtime auto parts store is celebrating its one-year anniversary of new ownership and new management. After purchasing the business on Sept. 24, 2015, the Kokes brothers, Joel and Canon of Ord, began the year-long process of transforming Valley Auto into something the community would be proud to call “their store”. The business was in need of a facelift when the Kokes purchased it just over a year ago. “We spent this whole past year fixing it up both inside and outside,” said co-owner Joel Kokes. “There is still a lot of room for improvement, but I think we’ve made leaps and bounds since taking it over.” Now, with an updated storefront, a remodeled showroom, a deeper inventory, better customer relations, and an expanded service route, the Kokes brothers are excited to showcase the “new normal” of Valley Auto. “I’ve got to give recognition to our manager, Bryan DeRiso,” said Kokes. “We hired Bryan about a month after we bought it, and he whipped this business into shape. To be honest, our numbers were so far off when we bought the place, due to how disorganized it was; but Bryan completely rearranged the inventory, and counted every nut and bolt in the process to make sure the computer is accurate.” With DeRiso behind the steering wheel, Valley Auto is constantly increasing its inventory in order to meet the immediate needs of its customers. “Guys will just naturally go to the store that has more parts,” explained Kokes, “And so it’s critical that we ramp up our parts inventory. We have to stay competitive, and that’s our full intention.” Far from being a parts store for just cars and trucks, Valley Auto is quickly becoming a primary supplier for farming equipment as well. “We’re getting much more aggressive in the agricultural side,” Kokes affirmed. “Ord economics is really 100% agriculture, and so the farmers are our number one customer. They’re our bread and butter.” With the expanded inventory, Valley Auto now carries everything from radios and cab kits to axles and hydraulic hoses, suppling nearly everything for a tractor but the driver himself! “We spent over twenty thousand dollars just in hydraulic hoses,” said Kokes. “I guarantee we have the biggest supply in town.” “We also added on about twenty-five thousand dollars just in heavy duty truck parts,” Kokes continued. “We brought in more tools and a lot more heavy duty tools. We’re constantly increasing our parts and our knowledge of the industry, and I think we are getting better and better every day. Plus, we’ve got some awesome vendors, and our warehouse is out of Des Moines, IA; so if we don’t have something on hand, we can have it the next day.” Growing up in Ord, Kokes remembers walking to Valley Auto (which was Don’s Auto back then) on a regular basis to get parts for his family’s welding/repair shop. “There were some great guys working here back then,” said Kokes. “They weren’t just selling parts; they were selling service, and sometimes that’s the hardest part to execute well.” The full story is in the Dec. 7 issue of The Ord Quiz.
SVLA Receives Shopko Foundation Community Charitable Grant
courtesy photo: Ord Shopko Manager Troy Buman awards the Shopko Foundation Community Charitable Grant to SVLA Treasurer Heidi Proskocil and SVLA Coordinator Jodi Sell.
By Jodi Sell, SynoVation Valley Leadership Academy (SVLA) SVLA is honored to share their recent awarding of the Shopko Foundation Community Charitable Grant. The Shopko Foundation’s mission is in the areas of giving to support the health and education of its customers. The Shopko Foundation supports established non-profit organizations or new innovative programs supported by established non-profits. Helping citizens of all ages maintain or improve their physical health and helping students succeed in school and become self-sufficient adults is the focus for those applying for a grant. SVLA applied for the Shopko Foundation grant with the intent to apply all granted funds towards the youth leadership curriculum, ‘Unlocking Your Synergistic Leader,’ being taught in the Ord and Arcadia Public Schools. The funds will be used to purchase journals for each individual student taking the course during the second semester of the 16-17 school year. SVLA appreciates the Shopko Foundation for recognizing the innovative efforts SVLA is taking to invest in the youth of Valley County. Check out the SVLA Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ SynovationLeadershipAcademy and visit them online at http:// synovationvalleyleadership.org/
WinterFest & Small Business Saturday Ignites Holiday Spirit in Valley County
by Kristina Foth, Assistant Director, Ord Area Chamber of Commerce On Sat., Nov. 26, 2016, community members, alumni, newcomers, youth, businesses and civic organizations celebrated the spirit of the holidays and the opportunity to shop small during WinterFest & Small Business Saturday. The day began with a Community Pancake Feed hosted by Ord High School’s Post Prom committee. At 10 a.m., Snowballs of Savings fell from the sky during the third annual Snowball Drop on the Valley County Courthouse lawn. An estimated value of $1,200 in prizes and ChamberBucks were offered by the following participating Chamber members: Anderson Pharmacy, CinTrese Boutique, Foth Agricultural Services, The Golden Husk, Good Life Pharmacy, Main Street Gallery, Miller’s Chillers, Misko Sports, Miss Emma’s Lil Pieces of Heaven, Second Hand Rose, Springdale Title & Realty, Trotter Event Center, Valley County Health System and Valley Fire Espresso. The Ord Area Chamber of Commerce also offered two snowballs each worth $250 in Ord Area ChamberBucks! Snowball Drop attendees claimed their prizes inside the Golden Husk while enjoying Christmas carols performed by Ryan Broker and a complementary hot chocolate bar provided by the Valley County Philanthropic Partners and Big Give organizations. Throughout the day, stores were filled with shoppers taking advantage of holiday promotions offered by local businesses as well as a holiday photo booth hosted by Anderson Pharmacy. A Boutique Bonanza and Princess Meet and Greet were hosted at the Trotter Event Center, and Santa made an appearance at the Ord Township Library following a holiday movie at the library. The Ord Township Library Foundation hosted a delicious Soup Supper prior to the annual WinterFest Parade. Parade entries from the following businesses and groups illuminated downtown Ord: Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts Pack #194, SynoVation Valley Leadership Academy, Valley County Health System, KNLV, Sixpence & Early Head Start, Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Second Hand Rose, Loup Valley Old Iron Club, The Golden Husk, Plains Equipment Group, Titan Machinery, Zangger Popcorn Hybrids, Kokes Repair, Valley Auto Parts, Shelter Insurance, J&J Sanitation and CinTrese Boutique. A new feature of this year’s parade…prizes of $50 in Ord Area ChamberBucks! Prizes were awarded to Valley County Health System for Most Lights, Zangger Popcorn Hybrids for Most Holiday Related and Shelter Insurance for Most Creative parade entries. To conclude the day’s activities, families enjoyed an old fashioned Christmas as they toured the Valley County Museum, Valley Rods Unlimited offered hot chocolate and cider at their clubhouse and The Golden Husk offered a showing of The Polar Express. While WinterFest & Small Business Saturday 2016 is now in the books, there are still abundant opportunities to win big and support your local community. By shopping at local Chamber businesses, you have the chance to win one of four prizes of $500 in Ord Area ChamberBucks! Simply bring your receipt from any Chamber member that reflects a purchase of $5 or more to the Ord Area Chamber office to enter the drawings. Receipts must be dated Nov. 23 through Dec. 19. Receipts from Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26) will earn you double entries. Two drawings will take place on Dec. 5 on KNLV during Party Line Part 2 and the final two drawings will take place on Dec. 19. Contact the Ord Area Chamber office with any questions regarding holiday shopping promotions and how you can Shop Small to contribute to the greater good of Valley County!
Loup City Couple Celebrates Diamond Anniversary on Thanksgiving Day
v American journalist Edward Powell once said, “Thanksgiving day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men.” For Dennis and Lillian Maciejewski of Loup City, this year’s Thanksgiving jewel was a diamond; or more specifically, a diamond anniversary. On Thurs., Nov. 24, the Maciejewskis celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. “It sure doesn’t seem that long,” Lillian confessed. (The Quiz didn’t ask Dennis whether or not the marriage has felt that long to him!) They were married on Nov. 24, 1956 in St. Mary’s Church in Elyria, NE. One of Lillian’s earliest memories with Dennis was standing in the front of the sanctuary as part of the bridal party for another wedding. “Dennis was friends with the groom, and I was friends with the bride,” said Lillian. “In fact, we were in multiple weddings together before we got married,” Lillian recalled. “So I guess we had lots of experience walking down the aisle together!” As a graduate of Ord High School, Lillian didn’t meet Dennis, a graduate of Loup City High School, until after he returned from military duty in Alaska. It was during a Saturday night date that Dennis knelt down on one knee, asked Lillian to marry him, and…the rest is history. 60 years of history. “He knew I was going to say yes,” Lillian reminisced with a laugh. She was 22, and he was 26 when they finally tied the knot. The couple has lived on three different farms during the past six decades, all in Sherman County. They raised six children during those years. Ron lives in Colorado, Cindy (Molko) lives in Minnesota, and the rest chose to stay in The Good Life: Christie (Arkle), Sharon (Robson), Chuck, and Duane. They also have nine grandchildren and one great grandchild. “So many memories,” said Lillian, reminiscing over the past 60 years. Living just north of the Sherman Reservoir, the Maciejewskis soaked up the area fishing and hunting as a family pastime. Golf, sewing, card games, and quality family time were also staples in the Maciejewski home. “They loved to play cards,” said Christie. “They taught all their kids to play pinochle, which is a strategy game.” “Yes I did,” Lillian affirmed with a smile. “It’s quite entertaining.” Lillian also spent a significant amount of time behind a sewing machine. “I made the girls those flare jeans,” she recalled. “At that time, they were actually in style!” After raising her own children, Lillian began babysitting children in the neighborhood. Once a mom, always a mom. “Those neighborhood kids became like her kids,” said Christie. The full story is in the Nov. 30 issue of The Ord Quiz.
VCHS Amongst Top 25 Percent Of Rural Hospitals Nationwide For Patient Outcomes, Financial Strength
Valley County Health System (VCHS) was recognized in the top quartile of all rural acute care hospitals nationwide for “Excellence in Outcomes” and “Excellence in Financial Strength” by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH). “Our entire healthcare team is dedicated to providing outstanding patient care, and we are pleased to be recognized for these accomplishments,” VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke said. The rankings were determined through the Hospital Strength INDEX, the industry’s most objective and comprehensive assessment of rural hospital performance. In partnership with NOSORH, iVantage Health Analytics developed this data-driven program to identify excellence across a broad spectrum of indicators relevant to hospital performance and patient care. “Excellence in Outcomes” measures patient safety indicators, readmissions and mortality rates. Various factors contribute to each measure and, ultimately, the overall score. For example, when measuring for readmissions, iVantage reviews whether heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and hip and knee surgery patients have been readmitted within 30 days of their discharge from VCHS. When a patient receives the necessary care initially following their illness, injury or surgery, he or she is less likely to be readmitted to the hospital; this is measured as a favorable outcome. The “Excellence in Financial Strength” measure recognizes the country’s top rural quartile performers in financial stability, including measures such as leverage, liquidity, capital efficiency and resource availability. A strong financial stability performance measure signals a stable organization and allows an organization to invest in state-of-the-art medical equipment and technological advancements. One such recent investment at VCHS was 3D mammography technology, which provides clearer, more accurate imaging, leading to earlier detection of cancer and fewer callbacks. “We thank the thousands of local residents who continue to make VCHS their healthcare provider of choice,” VCHS CFO Ashley Woodward. “We always strive to provide progressive, patient-centered care while continuing to be prudent users of our resources and cost-containment efforts, so we can continue to improve our strong financial position. This recognition illustrates we are not only meeting those expectations, but exceeding national industry standards.”
Lindsey Retires From Position As Valley County Clerk
After serving Valley County for more than 26 years, 15 years as the County Clerk, Jenette Lindsey celebrated her retirement at the court house on Fri., Nov. 18. “All the people there are just wonderful,” Lindsey praised. “I was really surprised at all the effort they went through to give me a going away party. The gifts, cards, kind comments…just really good people there. Serving as the County Clerk was a great opportunity for me, and I was very glad to have had it.” Born and raised in Burwell, NE, Lindsey and her husband, Don, were high school sweethearts. After graduating from Burwell High School in 1969, Lindsey continued her education at the Grand Island School of Business while her husband was serving in Vietnam. The Lindseys were living in Grand Island, NE when Don’s job brought them to Ord in 1990. Shortly after moving into the community, Jenette began working in the courthouse as the Register of Deeds. She held that position until 2001 when she stepped into the Clerk’s position. “I was a little bit nervous about taking over the clerk’s position,” Lindsey confessed. “There are just so many different things that you have to oversee. I felt like I could do it, but I was a little nervous about it!” “Dorrita Helm was an immense help,” Lindsey added. “It was a fun ride, and learned a lot along the way.” Learned a lot…like, computers for example. “We didn’t have computers when I started there,” Lindsey reminisced. “I remember when we got Word Processors, and we thought that was just the most wonderful thing! Even those were a puzzle for us when it came to using them correctly.” Change was the name of the game during her years in the Valley County courthouse. “Everything about how we do this job has changed with the computer age,” noted Lindsey. “The elections in particular; when I started there, I created the ballots on my computer. Then I would send them over to The Quiz to print them. It was a simple process, but then again we had to count them all by hand. Now, of course, we have a company that makes our ballots, and they send them to us, and we just run them through a machine to count them. Less prone to error, but it sure is more complicated if you ask me!” As for her retirement, Lindsey plans on taking in “all the sights”. “We haven’t taken very many vacations, and so there are some trips we’d like to take and some sights we’d like to see now that we’re not tied to a job.” Don also just retired from Titan Machinery (formerly Ord Equipment). “I have no doubt that I am going to miss the people at the courthouse,” Lindsey affirmed. “Oh, the job itself isn’t all that exciting day-to-day. It’s the people who make it exciting. The county board was just great to work with; not all counties are so fortunate. The board, all the other officials, the girls in the office, everybody fits together well.” “This area is full of good people,” Lindsey acknowledged, “And that is something that Valley County can be proud of! Wasting no time in getting situated in their new life, the Lindseys have already moved into their dream house in Grand Island. “It’s a 1926 bungalow with all the characteristics that I wanted. It’s perfect, and we just love it.” Less than a week into her retirement, Lindsey says that they are “enjoying it so far!”
Vintage Corn Picker Revitalized in Valley County
Bud Philbrick photo: VJ Potrzeba drives a 1948 John Deere Model A tractor pulling his 1955 Minneapolis Moline one-row corn picker.
By Lisa Fischer In a time when farmers are using combines with multiple row heads to harvest, Vernon Potrzeba (VJ) opted to rejuvenate a classic single-row corn picker. With help from Mike Hruby, Comstock resident and skilled mechanic, VJ’s 1955 Minneapolis Moline one-row corn picker harvested 16 rows of corn earlier this month. With assistance from a 1948 John Deere Model A, a wagon from the same era and about 15 people observing, the corn picker completed its harvest the afternoon of Nov. 4. “Watching it brought back memories of my grandpa, Jack VanSlyke, using his one-row corn picker,” said Bud Philbrick, Valley Rods Unlimited member. “I had an amazing afternoon.” Philbrick said he first heard about Potrzeba’s one-row corn picker while enjoying coffee with VJ and several other Ord residents years earlier. By October of 2016, Philbrick noted the corn picker being moved and less than a month later it was operational. “It was fixed up just in time for a late harvest,” Philbrick said. According to Philbrick, VJ is a resident of Ord who lived and worked on a farm for several decades. In fact, his friend of more than 25 years owns another John Deere Model ‘A’ that was his dad’s first tractor. After moving into Ord’s city limits Potrzeba chose to rent out his land and when Hruby got his one-row corn picker operational his renter agreed to leave 16-rows for him to test the picker on. Since farming styles have changed over the last 61 years, the picker took about three hours to harvest the corn. “The corn picker couldn’t go slow enough,” Philbrick said. Those running the picker noted that the model ‘A’ ran the picker too fast, so they used different models of tractors, in hopes of slowing it down. He added that corn stalks would often jam the machine at the end of rows. The difficulty may have occurred because of how close corn is planted now, around 6 to 8 inches, compared to decades earlier when they planted it approximately 14 to 16 inches apart. Observers were glad to witness and contribute to the classic harvest using vintage machinery. All present had ties to the area and could not help but smile when they heard the familiar “putt” “putt” “putt” of a John Deere tractor and a Minneapolis Moline one-row corn picker once again harvesting corn.
Second Annual Ord North Pole Express Dec. 14-15
Aimed at providing local families an opportunity to celebrate the Christmas season, the Valley County Health System (VCHS) Child Development Committee will host the second annual Ord North Pole Express on Dec. 14 and 15. “Due to last year’s overwhelming interest, the committee decided to expand the Ord North Pole Express to two nights to accommodate more riders,” committee member Beth Knapinski said. “With the support of the community, local businesses and volunteers, we are excited to bring this magical Christmas event to even more local children and families this year.” The Ord North Pole Express will depart from Ord Elementary School, where “The Polar Express” will be read. Ticket holders will then ride around Ord to look at Christmas lights en route to the North Pole. At the North Pole, riders will meet Santa and his elves, as well as take photos with live reindeer. Riders will also be treated to hot chocolate and cookies during the ride, and they are encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring blankets. There will be seven departure times each evening – 5:40 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:20 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:20 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. Each departure will accommodate up to 26 riders, with each ride being approximately 40-45 minutes. The more than 300 available tickets will be distributed through a lottery system. All Ord, Vinton, St. Mary’s-Ord and Arcadia elementary student families will receive a ticket lottery form on Nov. 15 at their respective school. The Ord Township Library and VCHS PR/Marketing office will also have forms available for pickup for other interested community members. The forms must be completed and returned to Ord Elementary School, Arcadia Elementary School, St. Mary’s - Ord, Ord Township Library or VCHS PR/Marketing (207 S. 26th St., Ord) by end of the day on Nov. 18 to be included in the lottery drawing. Children’s tickets are free with a paying adult(s). Adult tickets are $3. Money will not be collected from entrants unless they are drawn from the lottery. Names will be randomly drawn and recipients notified on November 28. Tickets must then be picked up and paid for by Dec 2. Details about pickup location are forthcoming. Additional information about entering the lottery for tickets is available on the entry form. Proceeds from the Ord North Pole Express help cover costs of the event, as well as benefit other VCHS Child Development Committee projects. The committee hosts numerous events throughout the year, including Family Literacy Night, Family Entertainment Night, Storytime at the Ord Public Library and an annual kid’s fair. They also provide free baby bags with educational materials, growth charts, books, music and developmental toys to all new mothers and babies in Valley County. For more information about the Ord North Pole Express, or if you or your business would like to be a sponsor of the event, please contact Michelle Weber at (308) 430-2443 or Beth Knapinski at (308) 730-1558.
Nebraska Life Features Ord’s Oak Ridge Farms
The November/December 2016 issue of Nebraska Life Magazine features the David family of Ord, and their hydroponic lettuce-growing facility known as Oak Ridge Farms. The six-page feature written and photographed by Nebraska Life assistant editor Alan Bartels chronicles the touching story of Ryan David, his wife, Carrie David, Ryan’s father, Gerald David, and Gerald’s mother, Doris David. When Gerald’s wife, Barb (Ryan’s mother) died in 2015, the family had a choice to make. “The greenhouse was Barb’s idea,” Bartels said. “When she passed away, the family, who have their own full-time jobs, could have simply shuttered the hydroponic facility. Instead, they are keeping her dream growing. This is a story of four generations of family working together. It is also an agriculture story, and with their lettuce being sold locally and across Nebraska, this also is an inspiring story of community.” The feature includes a recipe using Oak Ridge Farms lettuce from the Valley County Health System hospital, and one from Ord resident Guy Lewis. “This is a touching and inspirational story from right out of the agricultural heart of Nebraska and middle America. I am confident that our readers will relate to the story and enjoy it,” Bartels said. Nebraska Life is available in Ord at Anderson Pharmacy, the Grocery Kart, Trotter’s Whoa & Go, and Good Life Pharmacy. It is also available in Burwell at Pump & Pantry. This issue also features a photo heavy piece on the arrival of winter, a road trip exploration of Dundy County, and the magazine’s Nebraska Kitchens department features the Angus Burgers & Shakes restaurant from Kearney. Readers will also discover a section of locally made products from hardworking Nebraskans, Nebraska trivia, the Nebraska Life Sweepstakes, a calendar of events, Wherebraska?, Nebraska poetry and more. Nebraska Life Magazine is celebrating its twentieth year in 2017 and publishes six issues a year about the nature, history, wildlife and people of Nebraska. The magazine is based in Norfolk and is family-owned by Christopher and Angela Amundson. Nebraska Life is available by subscription for $24 for one year and $44 for two years. To subscribe, call 1-800-777-6159 or visit www.NebraskaLife.com.
Boutique Bonanza at Trotter Event Center
The Trotter Event Center is excited to present Boutique Bonanza, “A Shopping Extravaganza Event”, on Sat., Nov. 26, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Boutique Bonanza will feature boutiques from across Nebraska with an elite selection of fabulous clothing, accessories, handbags, and beauty products. Karlee Severance, of Ord, NE, will draw shoppers in with her vocal talents during the event. Severance will be performing from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. with her smooth vocals, variety of genres, and entertaining keyboard playing. Nebraska Boutiques will be providing clothing and accessories for all age groups (from babies to adults) that are sure to add flair, style, and fun to your wardrobe. Keli Gideon, Event Coordinator, states, “We wanted to provide an environment for Ord and neighboring communities to shop local without having to travel long distances. The Boutique Bonanza will provide a means of not having to assign various family members to department stores, armed with credit cards, shopping lists, and cell phones to communicate. Small businesses are near and dear to our heart – this is our way of supporting them. If we all support small businesses they continue to be the backbone of communities and the customers are the heart that keeps small America vibrant. We are excited to be part of Small Business Saturday a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities”. Vendors for this year’s Boutique Bonanza are Ana Patricia Boutique (Milford), Ranch Rebel (Ericson), Eden Lane Boutique (Chambers), Prodigy No. 5 (Grand Island), Sweet Girlz Boutique (Greeley), CinTrese Boutique (Ord), Lovely Lady Lips by Mackenzie (Milford), Kim’s VIP Fashion Boutique (Ord), Matilda Jane Clothing & Knitting Pretty (Elgin), Monat by Lydia Riggins (Arcadia), and Younique by Gina Gideon (Kearney). Shoppers will get to feast their eyes on the delicious dessert bar, one of the items to enjoy while shopping at the Boutique Bonanza. The dessert bar is provided by Skye Griess, from Arcadia, NE, and The Jubilee, Melanie Boden from Ord, NE, which is included with the $5 admission ticket to the event. A delicious wine & mimosa bar will be available, so grab your gal pals and enjoy a shopping extravaganza event where you can sip – shop – and stroll at the Boutique Bonanza. For more information, please contact Keli Gideon at 308.728.5307 or by email at email@example.com. Advance tickets are available at the Trotter Event Center and will be available at the door the day of the event. Like Trotter Event Center on Facebook to follow event discussion, details, and see pictures.
Area Car Club Shares Plaque In Memory of Jensen With Cyclists
By Lisa Fischer ORD — Exceptional weather helped cyclists touring the area stop in at Valley Rods Unlimited (VRU) clubhouse and view a plaque made to honor one of its biggest proponents, the late Greg Jensen. When the quartet of George Evans of North Platte, Mike Swan-son of Grand Island, Richard Dar-ling of North Platte and Tim Rehm of Holdrege peddled through Ord on Oct. 21-22, they wanted to see local sights and Bud Philbrick and his daughter-in-law, Kyla Weverka of VRU were there to help. Philbrick and his family introduced them to the filling station found at 148 S 15th St. While there, the cyclists learned about the local car club and Jensen, a member who en-joyed automobiles as much as he did bicycles, who tragically died after a pickup-bike accident on May 24. “Greg’s family donated the air meter at Valley Rods Unlimited clubhouse,” Weverka said. “He was a long time member who volunteered a lot of his time to the car club.” In honor of Jensen, the club is installing a memorabilia plaque at the clubhouse. Jensen’s plaque is not unlike the one created in 2014 for Dave Scott, found on Valley Rods Unlimited exterior fence. Any question Evans, Rehm, Darling and Swanson had about the club, or the facility was answered by Philbrick and his family while enjoying pizza inside the filling station’s garage. Once appetites were sufficed, the quartet thanked VRU associates and peddled off to Ord High School’s football game against Columbus Lakeview. Before leaving Swanson noted how easy it is to speak with people like Weverka and Philbrick, who like themselves, are passionate about their hobbies. The group began their 140-mile ride at Bootleg Brewers, Sandhills Brewing Company in Taylor where they spent Thursday night enjoying the facility’s microbrew, food and cabins. By Friday, Evans, Darling, Rehm and Swanson peddled the 39 miles to Ord. It took the seasoned cyclists, who have known each other for about 20 years, about 4 hours to ride into town from Taylor. Along the way they stopped in Bur-well and Elyria for food and drinks before ending up in Ord at Scratch-town Brewing Company. “We have patrons from out of town, riding bikes, almost every weekend,” said Julie Klimek, an SBC founder. Evans said they considered last weekend’s biking trip a credit card tour because they are not camping. Instead after biking, the quartet stayed in various motels throughout the more than 100-mile journey. “We’re pumping up the economy,” Darling added. The group said the reason why they so enjoy biking is the ability it gives a cyclist to connect with people in the community. Darling re-marked on how it is more difficult to get to know the locals during larger, more organized, biking events. They also noted how much more you see while biking with a smaller group. “I discovered a train turntable while biking through Burwell,” Evans, a retired Union Pacific Rail-road employee, noted. “It’s just sit-ting there by the stockyards.” On Saturday they peddled 52 miles to visit Kinkaider Brewing Company in Broken Bow before traveling the 48 miles back to Taylor where their trip will have liter-ally come full circle. “We’ll end up at Bootleg Brewers because that’s where we left our cars,” Swanson said. “There’s nothing better than biking in Nebraska. It doesn’t matter who you are in real-life everyone’s the same on a bike.”
Bond Reduction Denied for Nordin
Jocelyn Nordin, formerly of North Loup, appeared in Valley Count District Court on Tues., Oct. 18, 2016 asking for a reduction of her bond which is currently set at $1,000,000. Mr. Boarders, Nordin’s attorney, requested a PR bond, stating that the defendant had been offered a job and a place to stay in Kearney, where she could also receive much-needed mental health treatment.
The state contended that, with Nordin’s multiple imprisonments after multiple child abuse convictions, the current bond of $1,000,000 was appropriate. Judge Noakes concurred with the state, and the bond was denied.
Currently incarcerated in York County Jail, Nordin is charged with a child abuse felony resulting in the death of 4-week-old daughter, Elayna Rose Nordin Sherman of North Loup. A child abuse felony resulting in death carries a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Relics and Restoration at the Valley County Courthouse
Heidi Dawe photo: Two of the historical photos now featured in the Valley County courthouse.
Nestled in the heart of Ord’s blossoming economy is an architectural icon of the history and heritage of Valley County – the Valley County Courthouse. As the building approaches its centennial birthday in 2020, a significant amount of work has gone into restoring and updating the facility in recent years while attempting to maintain the integrity of its historic persona. “When we first started talking about doing the remodeling, the Economic Development Committee did an informal poll across Valley County to see whether or not people wanted to keep this old building and restore it or to tear it down and build a new one,” said Valley County Board Chairman Bob Sevenker. “Some of us even went and banged on doors if they didn’t reply to the survey cards that were sent out,” said Valley County Board Supervisor Hellen Cullers. “In the end, it was obvious that an overwhelming majority of the citizens of Valley County wanted to keep the court house and have it restored.” “We’re so lucky to have a courthouse like this,” praised Janet Suminski, Valley County Treasurer. “I’m so glad they decided to keep this old building.” “I think it’s the focal point of the community,” Sevenker added. Listed on the National Register of Historical Buildings, there are indeed few buildings that offer the intrigue that is woven into nearly every corner of the Valley County Courthouse. Seemingly endless passageways, old jail cells, stain glass windows, jury rooms with marble showers, a personal bathtub in the judge’s chamber, an ancient safe, shelves overflowing with archaic ledgers and records, stories of an escaped prisoner, and one of the most complete sets of Nebraska license plates (dating all the way back to 1911, when the plates were still made out of leather) all add to the building’s highly unique character. “There are nooks and crannies everywhere,” said Custodian Danny Vanek. “It would have just been interesting to know the mindset of the architect when they were building all these doors and passageways and plumbing fixtures,” added Sevenker. “I think every office had a sink in it initially.” A log cabin served as the first courthouse when Valley County was being organized back in 1873. The second courthouse was a 16x24 ft. storefront which was erected on the south side of the lot in 1880. This was later replaced by a larger and more pretentious building in 1885. The cornerstone for the fourth and current building was laid on September 22, 1920 with the final cost at approximately $244,400. Vanek noted that, due to the labor-intensive architecture, it would be financially impossible to duplicate a building like this in today’s economy. The entire story can be found in the Oct. 19, 2016 edition of The Ord Quiz.
Ord Voters Asked to Invest in New Swimming Pool
The proposed aquatic facility features include zero depth entry, a large slide, one- and three-meter diving boards, swim meet viewing areas, shade structures, and a new bathhouse with showers and restrooms. Not pictured in rendering is proposed splash pad.
As the City of Ord continues to invest into the economic infrastructure of its growing community, Ord voters are being asked to consider a 0.5% sales tax increase on a $1.25 million dollar swimming pool bond that will be proposed in the election ballot on November 8, 2016. Constructed in 1978, the existing swimming pool in Bussell Park is approaching its 40th birthday and is no longer meeting public health and safety standards. “It is not ADA compliant and does not allow for the handicapped children and individuals in our community to enjoy the experience of small-town life in the summertime,” noted Trevor Lee, Valley County Economic Development (VCED) Director. According to the VCED Director, there are a host of problematic issues that will continue to fester as long as the old pool is in use. The pool’s chlorination system is located in the mechanical room, which, over the years, has caused a corrosive condition that has resulted in significant deterioration of the electrical panels, pumps, and the boiler gas water heater. Due to differential settlements, the pool is also leaking water, which has been identified as a major cost concern. “From a community leadership standpoint, there are multiple issues why a replacement swimming pool is needed,” said Caleb Pollard, community member and local business owner. Handicap inaccessibility, corrosion and deterioration in the mechanical room, foundation settling both in the swimming pool and in the bath house, an old filtration system, water leakage, and a variety of safety hazards have all been identified as “endemic issues” that will only continue to cause problems as long as the pool is in operation. “At some point, that swimming pool is going to be a bigger liability than it is,” Pollard emphasized. “We had one girl actually get her hand stuck in the pool itself last summer, so there are already some safety concerns.” The goal of the new swimming pool project is to provide a family-oriented Aquatic Center that will serve the youth, the handicapped, and the elderly in a full-service facility. The City of Ord, along with local partners, sees the new swimming pool as an opportunity to improve the overall health of the community, both physically and socially, while simultaneously creating an opportunistic economic future for the Greater Loup Valley. “For a lot of kids, the swimming pool is one of the only activities they have to do in the summer,” noted Pollard, “And so this is an opportunity for us to finance the replacement of an essential asset that is frankly falling apart.” The new outdoor swimming pool would include a zero depth entry, four 25-yard lap lanes, a large slide, 1 and 3-meter diving boards, an attached splash pad with water spray/play features, concessions, and a new bath house. The initial estimated cost of the proposed facility was $2,502,250 in 2014. Due to increased costs of construction and design improvements, the current cost is estimated at $2,827,400. To date, $1,798,259 (approximately 56% of the total costs) has already been raised through private, public, or granting institution sources. In order to avoid losing over $1.15 million in grant funding and aligned donations, Ord voters are being asked to consider two ballot questions for the upcoming election: one for a 0.5% sales tax increase, and one for a bond to pay for the proposed swimming pool. In order to construct the new facility, a majority of Ord voters must vote “yes” to each of these two questions. The bond will be no more than $1.25 million dollars (44% of the total project cost), and the 0.5% sales tax is expected to pay for that over the course of seven years. “If sales tax collections continue as they have been projected recently, it might be more like a five-year payoff,” said Pollard. Once that bond is paid, the sales tax will sunset and no longer be collected. Pollard is part of the Let’s Make a Splash committee, comprised of local volunteers from the City of Ord, which has spent the last four years exhausting all funding resources, including grants and donations, to raise nearly $1.8 million dollars for the pool project. This means that the proposed bond is much lower than other surrounding communities that have tackled similar projects in recent years. Broken Bow, for example, replaced its 35 year-old swimming pool with a $3.25 million dollar facility, and voters approved a $3.25 million dollar bond to fund the entire project. Sidney, NE replaced its 40 year-old pool with a $5.4 million dollar facility, and voters approved a $4 million dollar bond to fund 74% of the project. The entire story is in the Oct. 12 issue of The Ord Quiz.
Local Student Raises Over $2,300 for “Voiceless” Movie, Gives Away Tickets
A wise man once said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young; instead, set an example.” After attending the 2016 Summit Student Conference in Manitou Springs, Colorado, Ord High School Senior Adrienne Meckel was inspired to be a difference-maker in her community. Partnering with a pro-life organization, Meckel set out to share the life-saving message of the movie Voiceless by raising enough money to purchase the 250 tickets that were required in order to bring the award-winning film into a local theatre. Her fundraising game plan: prayer and pies! It turned out to be a good strategy as Meckel raised over $2,300 ($800 more than she needed). The movie was shown at the ACM Grand Island 7 Theatre in the Conestoga Mall on Wed., Oct. 5. “I felt like it was an extreme success,” exclaimed Meckel. After giving away all 250 tickets, Meckel said that approximately 170 people came out to see the movie. This included the random mall shoppers who were approached by Meckel and offered free tickets the day of the showing! The award-winning, inspirational film is about a discharged soldier, Jesse Dean, who discovers that an abortion clinic has opened up directly across the street from his church. Receiving an extraordinary amount of resistance from every side, he takes a bold stand for what he believes is right and refuses to back down regardless of the consequences. The film encourages people to stand up for truth and addresses the spirit of retreat as it pertains to engaging the culture all around us. “I knew I wanted to do something for the Pro Life movement,” said Meckel, “But I just didn’t know what to do.” That’s when she got connected with Save the Storks, a Pro Life organization that exists “to partner with pregnancy resource centers and to give abortion-vulnerable women a choice that will change their lives forever.” “The work they do is absolutely amazing,” Meckel praised. “They will take what they call a Stork Van, which has ultrasound technology and pregnancy testing inside of it, and they will park the van outside an abortion clinic where pregnant girls are welcome to get a free ultrasound and see their baby for the first time. Four out of five girls that go inside the van come out deciding to keep their baby.” The entire story is in the Oct. 12 issue of The Quiz.
Afternoon Fire Destroys Ord Home
Early Sunday afternoon, firefighters responded to a house fire at 2114 J Street in Ord. Homeowners Randy and Stacy Fieldgrove arrived to find their home ablaze. According to the owners, all items inside, and the dwelling, were a total loss. There were no injuries reported.
Monetary donations are appreciated and are being collected at Great Western Bank in Ord. Other donations, including school supplies and clothing, can be delivered to 2104 J Street or 144 N 27th in Ord. For more information on specific family needs, contact Misty at 308-215-8300.
Suite Dreams at Ord’s New Cobblestone Inn & Suites
Cobblestone Inn & Suites photo
It has been said that “diversity is the one thing we all have in common.” Without question, humans have their differences – and lots of them. For example, there are approximately 6,500 different spoken languages in as many as 24,000 different people groups scattered across 196 different countries in the world. There are approximately 4,200 different religions, 1,264 different genres of music, and 1,777 different kinds of cheese testifying to the diversity of the human race. Despite such diversity, there is one thing this world shares in common. Sleep. The world may have almost nothing else in common, but it unites under a God-given need to sleep. While the city of Ord has long since catered to its diversity through a variety of churches, grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment outlets, and the like, it is exciting to offer a brand new option when it comes to quality sleep. Cobblestone Inn & Suites. On Wed., Aug. 10, 2016, the Cobblestone Inn & Suites in Ord will be celebrating an Open House from 4-7 p.m. The 40-room hotel will have a number of open rooms, marked by a balloon on the door, available for the public to tour. Staff will be available to answer questions, but guests are also free to tour the hotel and open rooms by themselves. Cobblestone Inn & Suites opened for business in Ord on Fri., July 29, and according to General Manager Brandy Schamp, “the feedback from the community has been extremely positive so far.” “Everyone is very excited and grateful that we have this now,” Schamp continued. “I think it’s going to bring a lot of wonderful things for Ord. A lot of comments have been, ‘It’s something that has been well-needed for a while.’ So it’s very exciting to be up and going.” continued on page 7 Cobblestone Hotels pride themselves in offering their guests “Big City Quality...Small Town Values” in every aspect. They offer upper-midscale hotel accommodations across the United States for those away from home on business or leisure. Complimentary hot breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi, daily newspaper, and an onsite convenience store are all staples in the Cobblestone Hotels Brand, “mixing convenience, comfort, and extra- ordinary customer service to create a perfect and relaxing stay.” Schamp noted that all of the rooms also include a microwave, refrigerator, hair drier, iron, and ironing board. Multiple USB ports on the lamps and alarm clocks are also available for those tech-savvy folk who are traveling with a variety of electronic devices. Extended Stay Suites come with a full-size kitchen, including: a dishwasher, stove top, and a full-size refrigerator. There are also two King Whirl-Pool Suites for those who are looking for the ultimate luxury night. Rates average between $80-$120. “With the industry, the rates do fluctuate,” Schamp clarified. Discounted rates are potentially available for groups that are utilizing the attached Trotter Event Center. “I am in contact with Keli Gideon (Trotter Event Center Manager),” said Schamp. “We try to work together on pricing for rooms if they are going to do a group block. For example, I have done some discounts for some wedding groups that have reserved multiple rooms.” For more information on the Cobblestone Inn & Suites, log on to www.staycobblestone.com. To make reservations or to contact the Ord hotel directly, call (308) 728-5122 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Four Vying For Title of 2016 Valley County Fair Queen
Lily Farrens Lily Ann-Marie Farrens, 17, is the daughter of Roy and Lisa Farrens. She is a Senior at Ord High School. Her hobbies and activities include: playing the piano, violin, trombone and ukulele, playing softball and writing poetry. She plans to attend a four-year college majoring in business and minoring in music. For the talent competition, she will be playing Pieczonka's Tarantella on the piano. Rachel Hornickel A 2016 graduate of Ord High School, Rachel Hornickel, 18, is the daughter of Roger and Amy Hornickel. She has been involved in 4-H, FFA, One-Act, speech, band, Science Olympiad, St. John's Lutheran Youth Group, National Honor Society, Quiz Bowl and National Horse Club Association. She is on the honor roll and enjoys showing horses, quilting, playing piano and flute, and decorating cakes. She will be majoring in family consumer science education at UNL. For the talent competition she will be performing Nuvole Bianche. Britan Blair Britan Blair, 17, is the daughter of Brandon and Holly Blair and attends Ord High School. She enjoys art, singing and dancing. She is currently the cheer captain of her cheer squad as well as the president of the school FBLA chapter. Britan plans to participate in cross country and track as well as drama and speech. She plans to attend college at TCU. She hopes to major in business, with a minor in design. Britan will be performing “Lost Boy” for her talent. Adrienne Meckel Adrienne Meckel is the daughter of Jeramy and Dana Sedlacek. Adrienne, 17, attends Ord High School. She loves hunting, fishing, shooting her bow, going to the lake and Speech. Future plans include becoming a Respiratory Therapist. For the talent competition, she will be presenting a poetry speech, “Searching.”
Local Musicians Featured Through HearNebraska Project
Two area musicians, Laddie Bruha and Phyllis Clement, are being showcased through HearNebraska’s Good Living Tour storytelling project. The Ord Quiz proudly presents these stories from the HearNebraska staff. A Well-Lived Heritage by Jacob Zlomke, HearNebraska By now, Laddie Bruha has played his button accordion at more than 30 funerals. In the dining room of his ranch style home in Ord, 80 year-old Bruha recalls the first one. “It didn’t used to be the thing, to play polka at a funeral,” he says in a heavy Czech accent. “One friend requested when he died, he wanted me to play a couple numbers at his funeral. Of course when I brought the accordion to church people kind of frowned. But I played them, and after that a lot of older people came and said, you know it’s kind of nice, I think I’ll have you play for my funeral.” And so he did. Valley County, in the late 1800s, was settled largely by Czech Bohemians. But even as the region’s cultural roots fade into the sandhills, celebrated by few, Bruha lives on and the traditional music of his family with him. He began playing decades ago--as soon as he was old enough to hold the accordion, he says. Learning the instrument was practically his birthright, after all. “My grandpa played accordion, my dad played accordion, my brother played accordion, my son plays accordion,” he says. “He and I still have a band, that’s our family thing.” Bruha began performing as a teenager and hasn’t stopped. He recalls when polka had been more popular throughout the state, playing annual festivals and weekly gigs in places like Omaha, Grand Island, Lincoln and towns smaller than Ord. For a while, it must have felt like every county had at least one polka hall. It’s even how he met his wife, who has since been his constant companion. They used to dance together every Sunday, when Valley County still had a place for it. “She always went with us when we played,” he says. “Except for twice. Once it was storming, once she was sick.” Through the years, he’s amassed an impressive collection of honors and accordions. He and his son were both inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame* and he’s won a number of statewide and regional competitions for his traditional playing techniques. Please pick up the July 27 issue of the Quiz to read the full stories or log-on to www.hearnebraska.org.
Tonniges Sentenced in Motor Vehicle Homicide, Community Rallies
Abraham Lincoln once said, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” For Tucker Tonniges of Ericson, the day for accepting responsibility came on Mon., July 18, 2016 when he was sentenced for the recent truck/bicycle accident that claimed the life of Ord resident Greg Jensen. Pleading no contest to the charges of motor vehicle homicide and careless driving, 20-year-old Tonniges was placed on probation for 24 months and was ordered to complete 500 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a total of $5,572.71 in restitution fees and sentenced to 30 days in the Valley County Jail. The accident took place on Tues., May 24, 2016 when Tonniges’ vehicle struck Jensen while riding his bicycle on Highway 11 north of Ord. According to court documents, Tonniges said that he was looking at an adjacent field and never saw the bicyclist. Jensen was reported to be wearing a helmet but died from other injuries. “This is a very interesting case,” noted Judge Alan Brodbeck as he explained the sentencing to Tonniges during Monday’s court hearing. While the defendant could have been facing up to one year in prison, Brodbeck reluctantly lessened the sentence considerably due to an uncommon level of support from the community, including the Jensen family, and no recommended sentencing from Prosecutor Brandon Hanson. When it comes to finger-pointing in the community, Mark Hackel of Ord noted that he hasn’t “heard anything vindictive from either side in the community so far.” Hackel was one of numerous community members who came out to support both of the families involved. “I just feel that it’s a neat thing about a small community to see all the support. It wasn’t an ‘us and them’ type of thing.” During the sentencing, Brodbeck outlined the gravity of vehicular homicide, regardless of what form it takes. Whether it was due to alcoholic influence, cell phone usage, or simply a moment of distracted inattention, Brodbeck emphasized that taking someone’s life is a very serious offense and warrants a serious consequence. “I thought the judge was thoughtful and that he handled it the way that a good judge should,” said Nikki Salter, Jensen’s daughter. “Judge Brodbeck spoke very highly of my father during the sentencing, and it meant a lot to me to hear that from him in the court room.” During a heartfelt, closing speech, Defense Counsel Michael Borders assured the Court that Tonniges had owned up to what he had done and that he was “taking responsibility for his actions”. Judging by the defendant’s demeanor, as well as by a letter that he submitted to the judge, it was clear to all in the court room that Tonniges was truly remorseful over the situation, that he had indeed owned the responsibility, and that he was ready to accept whatever sentencing the judge deemed appropriate. “This was an accident,” affirmed Genelle Hackel of Ord, also in attendance. “This is a sad situation, a tragedy; but in the end, God can use it for good.” As both families were showered with hugs, prayers, and words of encouragement after the court hearing, this biblical truth could be heard from voices all across the waiting room: “All things [both life’s highest joys and deepest sorrows] work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Carson Named 2016 Spirit of Sport Award Winner
Millions of kids all across the globe look up to athletes as their role model. Wearing their hero's jersey, they dream of hitting the impossible shot or pulling in the impossible catch. Yet, as impressive as the acrobatic accomplishments of our athletic icons are, they aren't nearly as heroic as the spirit of an athlete who refuses to call it quits even under impossible odds. Enter: Ashley Carson, an upcoming senior at Ord High School. On June 29, 2016, at the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in Reno, NV, Carson was honored with the 2016 Spirit of Sport Award. The NFHS instituted the Spirit of Sport Award in 2008 as a way to reward and recognize the outstanding individuals from the high school sports world who personify courage and inspire all of us to do more. Ashley and her twin sister Andrea were born six weeks premature. Due to a blocked artery while in the womb, Ashley was born with numerous facial deformities that required eight surgeries. Yet, with unwavering determination, she has continued to overcome one obstacle after another. In 2015, she helped lead the Ord volleyball team to the State Championship game, and continues to maintain a 4.5 GPA. With over 19,500 high schools and 8.4 million students associated with NFHS, Carson is the first student from Nebraska to win the National Spirit of Sport Award. More than 1,600 people attended the 97th annual NFHS convention last month, making it the largest turnout in its history. "It was amazing just to be there for her in everything she's been through," said Carson's father, Neal. There were eight different section winners for the award from across the county. Carson was the winner of section 5 (which included applicants from Nebraska and a number of surrounding states) and then went on to win the national award selected from the eight section winners. "It was pretty special for her to see the other 7 individuals who were also deserving," said Neal. During the award ceremony, a video highlighting Carson's heroic journey was debuted for those in attendance. Rick Waggener, a videographer nominated for four Emmys, came out to Ord in April to film the hometown story of Carson's life. The 15-minute video that was shown during the NFHS award ceremony is available on the Ord Public School website at ordps.org.
City Receives Funds for Planned Ord Aquatic Center
The City of Ord announced last week that the Ord Aquatic Center received $276,000 from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s (DED) Civic and Community Center Financing Fund (CCCFF). In a letter announcing the grant, Steve Charleston, Director of the Housing and Community Development Division of the DED, said Ord’s application for the CCCFF scored well in the areas of project planning, financial support, readiness, and local public support. The addition of the CCCFF grant brings the total funds aligned to nearly $1.8 million. The remaining need is approximately $1.2 million. Additional funds aligned include $625,000 from the Alfred and Irma Burson Trust, 375,000 from excess sales tax funds, $150,000 from the Peter Kiewit Foundation, $20,000 from the Lower Loup Natural Resources District, and $98,000 from private donations. In response to news of the award, Valley County Economic Development Executive Director Trevor Lee said “This is a great shot in the arm for our replacement pool project. The City of Ord and countless local volunteers and donors have poured a great deal of energy and resources into this project. This also provides leverage to the City of Ord as it pursues additional grants. In addition to all of the volunteers and donors, I would like to thank the City of Ord and JEO Consulting Group for their help with this grant application.” The Nebraska Legislature created the Civic and Community Center Financing Fund Act. The purpose of the Act is to support the development of civic, community, and recreation centers throughout Nebraska and to support projects that foster maintenance or growth of communities. In an effort to support this purpose, grants of assistance are awarded to municipalities from the (CCCFF) and administered by the Department of Economic Development. JEO Community Development Specialist Terry Meier reports that Ord is the first community in the history of the CCCFF program to receive funding for a stand-alone aquatic center.
Ord Grocery Kart Celebrates 20 Year Milestone
How about a little trivia! Question: What is the significance of the number 20? Some possible answers might include: It is the number used to indicate perfect vision (20/20) It is the number of the legendary NFL Hall of Famer, Barry Sanders It is the number of sectors on a standard dartboard It was the biblical age at which a Levite was allowed to serve in the Temple It is the code for international direct-dial phone calls to Egypt (but then everybody knows that!) It is the maximum number of horses on the Kentucky Derby field It is the number of questions in the game Twenty Questions (believe it or not) AND...It is the number of years that Grocery Kart has been servicing the community of Ord! On Fri., June 24, the Ord Grocery Kart will be celebrating two decades in Valley County with their 20th Anniversary Truck Load Sale. As part of this yearly event, there will be a hamburger and hog dog grill out, a trailer full of fresh produce, and lots of great deals on grocery items. After purchasing the former Cetak’s grocery store, Kiley White opened the Ord Grocery Kart on June 30, 1996, and it has been an integral part of the local economy ever since. Their workforce has more than tripled over the past 20 years, from 11 employees in the beginning to 38 employees today. Three of the employees have been at Grocery Kart for the long haul. Jerrolin Williams and Christine Pinkman have been there since the very beginning, and Dean Rasmussen jumped on board within a month after the grocery store opened. “Not that many people stay 20 years at a job,” affirmed White. He ascribed such longevity to “having a good relationship with all our coworkers.” In addition to the growth of their workforce, “we have also done one major remodel and two minor ones since we’ve been here,” said White. Their most extensive renovation took place in October 2000 when they expanded their frozen food, dairy, and produce sections and integrated a wider variety of specialty foods. The entire story is in the June 15, 2016 issue of The Quiz.
North Loup Woman Waives Preliminary Hearing in Recent Child Abuse Case
After being charged with child abuse in the death of her 4-week-old daughter, Jocelyn M. Nordin of North Loup waived her preliminary hearing on Mon., June 6 in Valley County Court. While Nordin, 24, did not appear in court on Monday, her defense attorney delivered a written waiver to the judge. The case is now headed to district court. Nordin was charged with intentional child abuse and felony child abuse after CT scans revealed that the death of her infant daughter, Elayna Rose, was no accident. According to court documents, doctors said that her baby had fractures on both sides of her skull and bleeding around her brain. Nordin initially claimed to have accidentally dropped Elayna but later admitted to shaking the baby and then dropping her when she wouldn’t quit crying. Elayna died in the Methodist Hospital in Omaha on Mon., May 9, 2016. The case was bound over to Valley County District Court, and the next hearing is scheduled for Tues., June 21 at 9:30 a.m. A child abuse felony resulting in death carries a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Plea Bargain Struck After Accident Claims Life
A plea bargain was struck between Tucker Tonniges of Ericson and the Valley County Attorney following the fatal truck/bicycle accident last week. In exchange for the county attorney to stand silent on sentencing, Tonniges (20) has agreed to plead no contest on charges of motor vehicle homicide and careless driving. On Tues., May 24, Tonniges was driving down Highway 11 north of Ord when his 2008 Chevrolet Silverado struck 67 year-old bicyclist Greg Jensen of Ord. Both men were heading southbound when Jensen was struck from behind. According to court documents, Tonniges said that he was looking at an adjacent field and never saw the bicyclist. Jensen was reported to be wearing a helmet but died from other injuries. According to the Valley County Sheriff’s Office, the 911 call came in at 7:18 p.m. Jensen’s memorial service was held on May 28 at the United Methodist Church in Ord. Tonniges is scheduled to be sentenced on Mon., July 18 and could face up to one year in prison or a $1,000 fine.
Tonniges Charged With Motor Vehicle Homicide, Careless Driving In Pickup/Bicycle Accident
By Lisa Fischer Tucker N. Tonniges was charged after colliding with a bicyclist last week. Tonniges’ court date is currently pending. On May 27, 20-year-old Tonniges of Ericson, was charged twice by the Valley County Attorney’s office for an accident on May 24 that resulted in the death of 67-year-old, Ord resident Greg G. Jensen. The Valley County Sheriff’s Office said the 911 call alerting authorities of the accident came in at 7:18 p.m. The accident occurred one mile north of Ord on Highway 11, while both parties were traveling south. The Nebraska State Patrol said Jensen was riding his bike Tuesday night along Nebraska Highway 11, when he was struck from behind by a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by Tonniges. Authorities say Jensen was wearing a helmet, but died from his injuries. The first count - Motor Vehicle Homicide states: on May 24, in Valley County, Tonniges, unintentionally caused the death of Jensen while engaged in the operation of a motor vehicle. The second count - Careless Driving states: on May 24, in Valley County, Tonniges did then and there drive a motor vehicle, carelessly or without due caution so as to endanger a person or property. Jensen’s memorial services were officiated by Pastor Doug Durre at the United Methodist Church in Ord on May 28. Jensen ended his legal career as a general practice lawyer who previously served multiple terms as a county attorney. Jensen was active in several clubs, including Valley Rods Car Club and the Oldsmobile National Car Club, and outdoor activities, such as hunting and biking. Jensen rode his bicycle whenever he could and his usual route was from Ord to Elyria and back. Please see page 8 of this issue for Mr. Jensen’s obituary.
City of Ord Seeking Donations/Organization To Sponsor Annual Fireworks Display
The City of Ord is asking for the public’s help to provide a Fourth of July Fireworks display for this year. For over 60 years, the Ord Rotary Club sponsored the Fourth of July display. Unfortunately, the Rotary Club disbanded this past year and will no longer be sponsoring the event. The City of Ord continues to look for an organization that would be willing to sponsor the annual display. In the meantime, the city has agreed to organize this year’s show. The Ord Volunteer Fire Department has generously volunteered to detonate the fireworks. The City of Ord is soliciting donations for the event. There is NO charge for the display, and everyone is welcome to attend. Your generosity is needed in order to continue this tradition. Please join us on the Fourth of July for the fireworks display. If you would like to contribute, please mail or deliver your donations to the City of Ord. There is a night deposit box available. Donations can also be mailed to: City of Ord, P.O. Box 96, 201 S 17th St., Ord, NE 68862 If you have any questions, please contact the Ord City Office at 728-5791.
Child Abuse Case Devastates Community
Lynn Griffith photo - Jocelyn Nordin is transported from her arraignment hearing in Valley County Monday by Valley County Sheriff Casey Hurlburt and Dispatcher Kaisha Knutson. Nordin is currently being held in the Custer County jail on a $1,000,000 bond awaiting her preliminary hearing in Valley County Court on June 6.
A sad, dark sky reflected the mood of the Valley County Sheriff’s Department on Mon., May 16 after the arraignment hearing of Jocelyn M. Nordin of North Loup. Nordin was charged with child abuse in the death of her infant daughter, Elayna Rose. Elayna was born in Kearney, NE, on Mon., April 4, 2016 to Jocelyn (Jozy) Nordin and Turner Sherman. On Mon., May 2, Nordin called 911 to report that her 4 week-old daughter was not breathing. The child was rushed to the Valley County hospital and then transferred to Methodist Hospital in Omaha. After CT scans were taken, the doctors advised Valley County Sheriff Casey Hulburt that it was most certainly a case of child abuse. Initially, Nordin claimed to have accidentally dropped her baby. However, after further questioning, Nordin admitted to shaking the baby and dropping her when she wouldn’t quit crying. Nordin was arrested on Thurs., May 5 in Omaha with the assistance of the Nebraska State Patrol and the US Marshals. Four days later, on Mon., May 9, Elayna died after the decision was made to take her off of life support. Nordin’s initial bond of $150,000 was raised to $1,000,000 at Monday’s arraignment in Ord. After the arraignment, Nordin was transported back to the Custer County jail where she awaits her preliminary hearing at the Valley County Court House on June 6, 2016 at 1 p.m. A child abuse felony resulting in death carries a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. Pastor Jeremiah Knoop officiated the funeral service at Chalk Hills Community Church in Scotia on Sat. May 14 where family and friends gathered to celebrate and to grieve the life that was given and then taken away (Job 1:21). Following the service, Elayna was buried at Cottonwood Cemetery in Burwell, NE. “We’re still grieving,” said Travis Kovarik, Elayna’s uncle. “There’s still confusion and anger and questions, and the human side of me still has a hard time understanding it; but my heart (the part of me that knows God) is so excited for what she is experiencing.” Kovarik and his 11 year-old son Lane were the two pallbearers for Elayna’s tiny casket. Kovarik went on to describe the confidence that he has in the character of God regarding the death of his niece. “I know the heart of God, and I have a confidence that Elayna is in heaven,” he said. “That just brings great peace – great joy. The splendor of heaven is described throughout the whole Bible. The perfectness and the joy and the peace that’s in heaven…it’s the pinnacle of what we were created for.” The full story is in the May 18 issue of the Quiz.
Pancake Feed May 29
The Ord Volunteer Fire Department will be holding their annual Pancake Feed from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Sun., May 29 at the Ord Fire Hall. Pancakes, sausage and eggs will be served. A free will donation will be accepted with proceeds going to the Ord Volunteer Fire Department.
Thirty-nine seniors celebrated the end of their high school years on Sunday when they received their diplomas. Family, friends and faculty gathered on Mother’s Day in the vintage gym at Ord High School for the 126th Annual Commencement Ceremony. The class Valedictorian Cade Svoboda and Salutatorian Rachel Hornickel addressed the audience before President William D. Ziegler presented diplomas to each graduate. Officers of the Class of 2016 included Halle Ramsey - President, Alexis Hagstrom - Vice President, Isabelle Ritz - Secretary and Rachel Hornickel - Treasurer. Class sponsors were Wendy Alexander and Mindy Smith. See page 6 of the May 11 issue for photos.
Piskorski Named VP/ Manager At Cornerstone Bank
The Board of Directors of Cornerstone Bank announced the promotion of the following officer of the bank, at their recent meeting: Dan Piskorski was named Vice President and Manager at Cornerstone Bank in North Loup. Dan started his career with Cornerstone in 2009 in Grand Island. In 2011, he transferred to the Central City branch to assist in the lending area and was later named a Loan Officer in Central City. Dan most recently served as Assistant Vice President and Manager of Cornerstone Bank in North Loup since February 2015. Dan is a graduate of Ord High School and received his B.S. Degree in Finance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dan and his wife, Jessica, have three children and reside in St. Paul, NE.
Valley County Teen Faces Adjudication
Valley County Deputy Sheriff Ken White’s teenage son is scheduled for adjudication in juvenile court on July 18 at 1 p.m. on charges of false reporting and possession of a firearm. On Sun., March 6, White’s 16 year-old son reported that he was home alone when he saw a male, approximately six feet tall and wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans, who appeared to be sneaking up to the house. The teenager fired two shots on the family’s property at 46750 Ave. and 809th Road near Comstock, and the would-be intruder was reported to have run away. The initial investigation was assumed by the Nebraska State Patrol, but it was eventually dropped as the reports of an intruder went unfounded. Illegal possession of a firearm by a minor in Nebraska is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
Bountiful Baskets Comes to North Loup
Harvest came early this year for Valley County! On Sat., April 30, nearly 100 families across the valley gathered at the Community Building in North Loup to bring home a basket of fresh produce from the Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op (BBFC). Bountiful Baskets is a not-for-profit food co-op with a mission of providing fresh produce to individuals and families on a budget. This is their first appearance in Valley County, but with 49 different locations across Nebraska, BBFC is quickly becoming a staple in many communities. With such a widespread excitement surrounding the food baskets, North Loup is excited to announce that it will be hosting the Bountiful Baskets on a bi-weekly rotation every other Saturday. Similar to a grab bag purchase or a mobile food pantry, the contents of the basket differs from week to week. While it is generally ½ fruit and ½ vegetables, the participants have no idea what exactly will be in their basket until they pick it up. “I was just blown away by the basket this past week,” said Katie Davis of Scotia, Volunteer Site Coordinator. Davis’ sentiments were echoed by many by the assortment of romaine lettuce, spaghetti squash, pears, onions, pineapple, and much more. There are essentially two steps in taking part of the North Loup Bountiful Baskets. The first step is to log on to www.bountifulbaskets.org and make a $15 contribution for a basket (containing approximately $50 worth of produce) to the BBFC. There are also organic baskets available for a $25 contribution. On top of the baskets, participants can also choose from a variety of available add-on packs (which, this past week, included dourdough bread, eatermelon, bananas, mangos, tortillas, and much more). “Our favorite is the bread,” said Davis. “Their bread is the most amazing thing ever!” Online contributions are accepted from Monday at 12 p.m. until Tuesday at 9 p.m. the week of the event. However, there are only 96 baskets available at the North Loup site, so participants are encouraged to reserve their baskets early. “We sold out at 3 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon,” said Davis. For the rest of the story, please see the May 4, 2016 issue of the Quiz.
Lee Elected To Economic Developers Association Board
Trevor Lee, Executive Director of Valley County Economic Development and the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce was elected to the board of directors of the Nebraska Economic Developers Association (NEDA) at the Annual Conference in South Sioux City. NEDA is the largest association of economic development professionals in Nebraska, with 350 members and is dedicated to strengthening economic development in the state. This is Lee’s fifth year as a NEDA member and his first term on the board of directors. Lee has been an active member of the NEDA Legislative Committee, which monitors legislation and educates Nebraska policy makers regarding potential implications on community development efforts. Lee says “NEDA is a wonderful organization of community-minded and creative professional economic developers and I deeply appreciate our mission and the impact we have on economic development across the state.” Lee earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Political Science and Urban and Regional Planning and currently resides in Ord with his wife Amy and children, Ryder and Adelynn. He and his wife are expecting their third child in May.
New Chiropractic Clinic Opening in Ord
Joining the ranks of Valley County’s ever-growing entrepreneurial community, Dr. Taylor Smith is excited to announce the opening of a brand new chiropractic practice in Ord – Smith Chiropractic LLC. Located in the Ord Professional Center in Suite 202, the clinic is currently waiting on the arrival of some necessary equipment, but Dr. Smith is hoping to be able to start seeing patients early next month. “People often think of chiropractic work as just pertaining to the neck and back, but we help with so many more issues,” said Smith. Like many others in his profession, Smith attributes the work of chiropractic adjustments as a proven method to help with all sorts of medical conditions, including: ear infections, colic, bed wetting, headaches, Carpal Tunnel, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and a variety of job-related stress. “And the list goes on,” said Smith. “The results are truly amazing. Some of it’s kinda tough to believe, but it works! We can help the entire family – from newborns to the elderly population.” Smith was raised on a farm outside of Le Mars, IA. After graduating summa cum laude from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa in 2012, Smith went on to earn his doctorate in chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. Not a bad decision to earn a doctorate in chiropractic from “the fountainhead” of all chiropractic schools! Palmer College of Chiropractic was established in 1897 and was the very first school of chiropractic in the world. After graduating with his doctorate in February 2016, Smith moved to Ord with his wife, Riley, and now 15 month-old girl, Natalie. “My wife, Riley, is initially from Ord,” said Smith. “Her family still lives here, and so that was our major deciding factor of where we wanted to be.” Riley is the daughter of Russell and Karla Callan of Ord. Smith went on to describe Ord as the perfect place to raise his family. With all the outdoor recreation opportunities, a “super welcoming” community, and extended family nearby, “it’s just perfect for us,” he said. “And we’re here for the long haul.” The full story is in the April 20 issue of the Quiz.
Miracle Baby Fights Against All Odds
courtesy photo: Nathan, Mary, and Eric Teply.
Life is a panorama of miracles. From an infant’s first heartbeat to a man’s final breath, every single moment on planet Earth is nothing short of miraculous. At least this is how Eric and Mary Teply of Papillion, NE are now viewing life after the birth of their first child. At 8:19 pm on Dec. 18, 2015, the Teplys gave birth to one of the smallest babies ever born in the country. Nathan Ray. Born 16 weeks early, Nathan was just 10 inches long and weighed less than a pound (14.99 ounces) when he came into this world. “It’s very close to the smallest baby [ever born] in the country,” affirmed Dr. Khalid Awad. Dr. Awad is a neonatologist with the Methodist Women’s Hospital and has more than 30 years of experience. “If you think of a pound of hamburger, he was less than that,” said Mary. Eric said that in his first picture with Nathan, “I have my pinky next to his hand, and the nail of my pinky is as big as his hand! For him to be here still…it’s a miracle. It really is.” Eric, originally from Loup City, is the son of Rod and Ann Teply – both of whom have worked at the Ord Elementary School. Rod is currently employed at Orscheln Farm & Home in Ord. Mary was diagnosed with Preeclampsia 16 weeks before her due date, and it hit like a tsunami. Her symptoms included intense headaches, high blood pressure, and swelling from head to toe. While the doctors did not want to deliver her underdeveloped baby that early, Mary said that it was the only way to save her life. “Not many babies survive [such a premature birth],” noted Mary. “The percentage for his age and weight is about a 30-40% survival rate.” After six days of waiting, Mary was finally allowed to hold her baby for the first time on Christmas Eve. “It’s going to be hard for me to top that Christmas present next year,” Eric said with a smile. The entire story can be found in the April 13 issue of the Quiz. To donate toward Nathan’s medical care, log on to www.gofund me.com and search for Teply.
Loup Valley Veterans Memorial Park Committee Presents Final Site Plans
The final plans are completed for the long-awaited Memorial Park in North Loup, and construction is scheduled to begin this spring/summer. About a year ago, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 285 Ralph R Rich (North Loup, NE. District 6) began raising funds and dreaming up plans for the Memorial. They were fortunate to get Kim L Wilson, Professor and Director of Landscape Architecture at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and her students to join their Memorial Park dream team. The plans were initiated and developed by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Great Plains Student Chapter. The students donated their time and energy to work on the project – as this was not part of their class work but in addition to their normal fall and spring semester classes. When the final design was chosen by the Auxiliary; Robert Mined volunteered to draw up the final site details. He provided overall site detail plans, as well as the concrete, wall, globe, flag pole, pergola, POW, and landscaping details. “In looking over these plans we are sure Robert will go on to be a very successful construction engineer,” the Memorial Park Committee said. “He deserves a very heartfelt THANK YOU.” The Memorial will be done in phases starting with the main section and then moving on to the POW/MIA section as funds allow. The Memorial Park Committee noted that the site has been designed to establish a warm feeling between the visitors and the names displayed on the wall of the great individuals that have served our country. It is anticipated to be a wonderful setting for Memorial Day events, Veteran Day events, Flag Day events, and similar celebrations for the people in the area – as well as a place to sit, relax, and reflect. Over 100 bricks have been sold honoring our Veterans. The brick sales will continue even after construction has started. “If you haven’t purchased your brick yet, please consider doing so,” urged the Memorial Park Committee. Forms are located in many businesses across Ord, North Loup, and Scotia. Inquiries can be made by contacting anyone connected to the Auxiliary. The Auxiliary would like to thank everyone who has made a financial donation to the Wall as well as the support from the Ord Veterans Honor Wall Fund. Many have donated labor in clearing the site, and a thank you goes out to them also. Financial donations will continue to be welcomed as the needed goal has not been met. “Please get behind this project thanking our veterans who have served,” urged the Memorial Park Committee. “Remember: all gave some and some gave all. God Bless America and the veterans who have given us our freedom.”
Ord Elementary School Receives Music Award
courtesy photo - Ord Public Schools Superintendent Jason Alexander and Judy Stoehr, Project manager of the Jan Eric Pusch Foundation.
It was recently announced that the Ord Elementary School has been selected by the Jan Eric Pusch (JEP) Foundation as one of six pilot schools across Nebraska to receive a nationally-recognized music and integrated arts series titled Music Expressions™, published by Warner Bros. Publications. Superintendent Jason Alexander accepted the award on behalf of the school district at the Rural Schools Conference on March 17, 2016. As part of the award, the school will receive student books, recordings of hundreds of songs, and comprehensive teacher resource materials designed to enrich the school’s elementary music program. Also included in the award is a training session this summer with one of the authors of Music Expressions™, which the music teacher, Jesse Rosberg, will attend. The JEP Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. It has been funded initially through the JEP estate and will sustain itself through grants and contributions. With an emphasis on education, the initial focus of the Foundation is on rural schools. Based upon input from the Executive Committee of Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association (NRCSA), the Foundation will first focus on elementary music, followed with a focus on professional development for K-12 rural school teachers. Other programs will follow. To find out more about the Jan Eric Pusch Foundation or to make a contribution in support of their programs, go to www.jepuschfoundation.org.
Wadas Inc. Celebrating 60 Years
In this modern age of instant gratification, there is something nostalgic (magical, even) about celebrating a 60th anniversary. Such is the occasion for the Open House at Wadas Inc. on Fri., April 15, 2016. While recent statistics indicate that approximately two-thirds of new business establishments never live to see a 10-year anniversary, Wadas Inc. has surpassed that benchmark six times over – and that calls for a celebration! In Feb. 1956, the Wadas family broke into the business world selling fertilizer. Over time, the family-owned company grew to include propane, heating, and air conditioning. After his father died in 1983, Joe Wadas sold the fertilizer and propane side of the business, and the name was eventually changed from Wadas Fertilizer & Propane to Wadas Inc. Today, Wadas Inc. is proud to be one of the finest providers of WaterFurnace geothermal products for the Ord area. Using cutting-edge technology, Wadas Inc. uses a geothermal heating and cooling solution that has proven to cut utility bills by as much as 70% for residential homes. As nearly half of the sun’s energy is absorbed into the ground, geothermal technology uses an ‘earth loop’ to tap into this free energy source. Using cutting-edge equipment, this underground energy is then extracted to either heat or cool a home through a unique circulation process. “Basically, you transfer heat from the ground…into the house,” said Wadas. “It’s unbelievable…but that’s how it works.” “For every dollar you spend, you get up $5 worth of heat back out of it,” Wadas continued. “It is the most efficient thing on the market right now.” Wadas Inc. has found a niche selling geothermal systems in the Ord area since the 1980s. Wadas estimates that between 30-40% of the Ord residents have switched to geothermal after seeing all of the benefits – both for the economy and for the checkbook. The full story and more information on the open house, please see the April 6 issue of The Ord Quiz.
TeamMates Mentoring Program Changing Lives
As the cultural landscape of America continues to shift, there is a growing need for caring adults to come alongside the youth in their local communities, to help them navigate through some of the most critical years of their lives. With this reality in mind, Tom and Nancy Osborne (icons for leadership and mentoring in Nebraska) founded the TeamMates Mentoring Program back in 1991. Their goal was to provide encouragement and support for school-aged youth in a one-on-one mentoring environment. “Our young people face different challenges today that affect them personally,” said Osborne. “If we are going to make a difference, we have to get involved with them as one-to-one mentors.” Valley County has been involved in the TeamMates program for 13 years. Enrolled youth (grades 3-12) meet for one hour every week with a caring adult who serves as a mentor. In the Ord Elementary School, the mentors will come to the school during the lunch hour (11:30–12:30) and eat lunch with their TeamMates mentee. Afterwards, the TeamMates duo may spend some time playing a game at recess, having a conversation around a board game, or taking a walk throughout the school campus. Regardless of the activity, the weekly mentoring time is an opportunity for a dedicated and caring adult to have a positive impact on the life of a student within a safe and secure environment of the local school. “It gives the mentee an opportunity to share stuff with a caring adult in our community who isn’t necessarily mom or dad or a teacher or a principle, but just a caring adult,” said Doug Smith. Smith is the Principle of the Ord Elementary School and is currently serving as President of the Ord-Arcadia TeamMates Chapter. He has personally been involved with the program for the past four years. The mentoring format is similar in the high school. After signing in, the mentor will meet up with the student in the high school library where they will spend an hour building a positive and influential relationship together. It is a powerful opportunity for local adults to infuse the youth with a sense of hope, purpose, and vision for the future. The students will generally stay with the same mentor until they graduate from the program as a high school senior. More than 7,000 adults in 130 communities across Nebraska and Iowa (as well as San Diego, California) have joined the TeamMates mentoring program. Still, there is a glaring deficit between the number of students who are wanting a mentor and the number of adults who are willing to join the program. “I could find kids in a heartbeat who would love to have a mentor,” said Smith. “It’s finding the mentors that is the biggest challenge. When we talk about the program at the beginning of the year, there are a lot of kids who want to be involved. It’s finding the mentors that is often the most challenging.” The full story is in the March 30, 2016 issue of the Quiz.
Rev. Scott Hausrath, a volunteer chaplain for the Valley County Health System (VCHS) Hospice, was honored as an outstanding volunteer at the annual Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Association (NHPCA) banquet on March 22 in Lincoln, NE. Hausrath is the pastor of the North Loup Seventh Day Baptist Church in North Loup, NE. “Rev. Hausrath has been a volunteer with VCHS Hospice for more than two years and has a gift of relating and connecting with every patient and family he visits,” VCHS Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Marilyn Winkelbauer said. “He provides much needed spiritual support, caring and compassion, and he is always willing to take time to be with the patients during their final hours.” Hausrath was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. In his mid-twenties, he moved down to Southern California to attend Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. After graduating from Fuller, Hausrath accepted a call to pastor a Seventh Day Baptist Church in Southern California. It was also during this pastorate that Hausrath had his first experience serving as a hospice chaplain for the local health care system. After serving in Southern California for 15 years, Hausrath stepped down from the ministry and moved to Seattle, WA in 2009 to care for his father who was battling Parkinson’s disease. Hausrath noted that hospice was really instrumental during the final months of his father’s life. “So I saw the second side of the coin then,” he said. “At first I served as a hospice chaplain, and then the coin was tipped over and I saw what it was like to receive hospice services.” In 2012, he accepted the call to be the pastor of the North Loup Seventh Day Baptist Church. Hausrath says that he fell in love with the people of Valley County right away. “One of the things I first noticed was how God takes more of a public role in our lives here in this rural setting,” he noted. “And I love that.” Hausrath also commented on how “people focus more on relationships with each than on getting ahead. They just really seem to focus on loving each other and helping each other.” Although he clearly felt that God was drawing him into Valley County, Hausrath confesses that he wasn’t exactly itching to get back on the ministerial bandwagon. “Pastoral ministry is a demanding occupation, and so I was not really that excited to get back into it,” he admitted. “But I could not say no to God. I saw that there were needs and that God had given me pastoral experience and some [pastoral] gifts, and if I had said no to these people, in my mind, it would have been like saying no to God. And I could not do that.” Four years later, he is quick to affirm that “God has made it all worth my while…and then some.” Hausrath has been serving as a VCHS volunteer hospice chaplain for just over two years. Every Tuesday morning, he connects with the Valley County Home Health and Hospice staff to discuss every patient’s needs in attempt to give each patient the best possible care. Hausrath is one of dozens of VCHS Hospice volunteers, who donated more than a combined 1,019 hours to volunteering with the program last year. The full story is in the March 30, 2016 issue of the Quiz.
Trotter’s Whoa & Go Opens in North Loup
The Pump & Pantry closed up shop Mon. night, March 14, and Trotter’s Whoa & Go became the new horse in town by noon the next day. “You hate to see a community not have a gas station,” said Terina Trotter. “It’s not good when you have to drive 10 miles just to get a gallon of gas for your lawn mower.” This makes number 9 for Trotter’s Whoa & Go Convenience Stores. The store’s business hours will be from 6 am to 11 pm. “We’re excited to be in North Loup. It fit our operation well,” said Trotter. “We like being in the small communities. That’s kind of who we are.” One noteworthy change with the new ownership will be the expansion of a grocery section in the store. “We’re going to try to stock a few more groceries for the community,” noted Trotter. “Some basic items that they might need so they don’t have to drive a long way just to get a jar of peanut butter!” There are currently five employees hired on at the new gas station. “The good news is that we were able to hire Myrtle Skolil back,” said Trotter. “She ran it for years. She had kind of retired, but she’s coming back to help us out. So that was excellent!” Dorothy Jensen, who was employed at the Pump & Pantry prior to the switch, has stepped up as the manager of the new Whoa & Go. “We’re excited to have her,” said Trotter. Two of the other previous Pump & Pantry employees opted to stay with Bosselman in other locations.
Geweke, APRN-NP, WOCN to Resign
Kelly Geweke, APRN-NP, WOCN
The Valley County Health System (VCHS) Board of Trustees announced the resignation of Kelly Geweke, APRN-NP, WOCN, effective June 30, 2016. Geweke is moving to eastern Nebraska to be closer to her family. “Leaving Ord and VCHS was a difficult decision to make, as I have great memories of VCHS, previous and current coworkers and the greatest patients ever. VCHS has been very supportive of my journey from starting out as a CNA to pursuing my BSN, then onto WOCN and finally APRN; I am grateful for my experiences here at VCHS,” Geweke said. “A special thank you to Dr. Jennifer Bengston who has taught me so much and Ashley Jeffres, LPN, for helping provide excellent care to our patients. VCHS and Valley County will always have a special place in my heart, and I wish you all nothing but the very best moving forward.” Geweke began employment at VCHS in March 2002 and worked as a nurse on acute care until she received her certification as a wound, ostomy and continence nurse (WOCN) in 2006. At that time, she worked primarily as a wound care nurse. Geweke transitioned to the role of nurse practitioner at VCHS in January 2012, providing care to patients in the Ord and outreach clinics. “VCHS is extremely grateful to Kelly for her leadership and dedication to VCHS during the last 14 years,” VCHS CEO Nancy Glaubke said. “She has exemplified our values as an organization through her commitment to providing quality, compassionate patient care and pursuing professional development. We thank Kelly for her years of service at VCHS and wish her all the best.”
Ord High School Presents Musicalia 2016
Ord Junior Receives National Award
Ashley Carson, a junior student-athlete at Ord High School, has been selected the 2016 national recipient of the “National High School Spirit of Sport Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). The “National High School Spirit of Sport Award” was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics. Since literally the day she was born, the 17-year-old Carson has faced challenging circumstances that most adults don’t face in an entire lifetime. Undaunted, she has demonstrated incredible drive and resolve to overcome those challenges and to become an exceptional athlete and student. Ashley and her twin sister Andrea were born six weeks premature. Due to a blockage of an artery while developing in the womb, Ashley was born with numerous facial deformities that included a cleft lip and palate, no left eye or left ear, and deformities to her nose and jaw structure. In short, Ashley was born with little or no structural development on the left side of her face. To date, Carson has been through eight surgeries – the first one at six months. She has had surgeries to close her palate, to repair her lip, to build up her nose to help with breathing, and to repair the eye socket for a glass eye — all to give structural repair and to improve cosmetic appearance. Yet, while such incredible circumstances might have served as an excuse for some, they have only bolstered Carson’s resolve to work twice as hard. “She’s been through a lot of hard things, and the choice is either to get after it or don’t,” said Carson’s mother, Kathy. “She’s always said that nobody has ever given her the opportunity to use [her circumstances] as a crutch. She’s seen what her dad [Neal] has gone through with one arm, and so it’s just never been an excuse for any of us.” Carson played an integral role on the Ord High School varsity volleyball team that finished the 2015 season as the Nebraska School Activities Association Class C1 state runner-up. As a seventh-grader, she was a member of the 4x800-meter Nebraska Junior High Track Championship relay team with a time of 10:25.37. “Her drive has always been there,” said Kathy. “That’s the good point and bad point of having a twin sister – you are constantly competing.” She went on to reminisce about a time when Andrea won a free throw contest, and Ashley took second. “That same day, Ashley was in the backyard shooting free throws!” The entire story is in the March 16 issue of The Quiz.
Flessner, Blaha Reappointed to VCHS Board
The Valley County Board of Supervisors recently reappointed two Valley County Health System (VCHS) Board of Trustees members. Nathan Flessner and Dr. Chuck Blaha – both with terms set to expire at the end of April 2016 – were reappointed for the next six years. This will be the first full term they both serve, as both joined the board three years ago following resignations. In addition to Flessner and Blaha, the board includes five other members: Gary Garnick, chair; Carl Streeter, vice chair; Michelle Zangger, secretary; Roger Lansman, treasurer; and Morely Koll. The board holds monthly meetings and plays an integral role in healthcare decisions for VCHS.
Moose on the Loose In Valley County
Photo courtesy of Logan Girardin/Sticker 6 Photography
For those traveling across the state of Nebraska, there is now a bonus level to the beloved “I Spy” game. It’s called, Moose! Although they rarely make an appearance this far south, typically inhabiting the subarctic terrains of the Northern Hemisphere (Alaska, Canada, northern Minnesota), one particular moose apparently made a wrong turn and has been seen wandering across the state of Nebraska since early 2015. Just recently, it decided to grace Valley County with its beautiful, black presence. On the evening of Monday, Feb. 29, Richard and Tenise Bogus of Ord came across the moose about two miles southeast of the Hwy 22/70 junction. “It was just walking down the road,” said Richard. “When it saw us, it decided to go into a thick, cedar tree shelter belt. It got about ¾ of the way in before realizing that it wasn’t going to fit through the tree line! So it backed out, got back on the road, and continued trotting right in front of us down the road for a while before turning into a cornfield.” As phenomenal as the sighting was, Richard indicated that he was a little hesitant in broadcasting the news to too many people. “You don’t tell a lot of people that you saw a moose [in Nebraska] because people are going to think you’re crazy,” he said. And it probably doesn’t help when your last name is Bogus! “He actually went through my neighbor’s electric fence,” said Richard. “There were cows out in the field, so I called my neighbor and said, ‘You’re going to think I’m drunk, but umm… a moose just went through your electric fence!’” According to Julie Geiser, public information officer for Nebraska Game and Parks, the moose is “Most likely one that was kicked out of an area, so he’s traveling around.” She went on to explain that young bulls are often kicked out of herds by their mothers or other bulls. “They can cover a lot of distance.” From early April through December of 2015, the antlered drifter traveled through the Thedford and Halsey area down to Tryon, Stapleton, Hershey, North Platte, and Wellfleet. He spent quite a bit of time in the North Platte area, even venturing into town on occasion. Wildlife biologists expect that the moose wandered into the state from Wyoming. Eventually, as the moose grew increasing adventurous when it came to walking the city streets of North Platte, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) along with the North Platte Police Department (NPPD) decided it was time to relocate the moose to a wildlife management area on Dec. 28, 2015. While the relocation was a smooth and successful operation, it appears that the moose must have grown fond of “The Good Life” – because he’s back! Either that or his twin brother is following in his footsteps. The Bogus’s described the moose’s markings as being identical to pictures of the one seen meandering across the state: a black, bull moose with white-colored legs. “Even his rack looked the same as the pictures of the one in Broken Bow,” said Richard. “That’s him,” affirmed Tenise “That’s totally him.” Officials continue to remind people to keep their distance from any moose they may encounter, because although they are generally docile, they can also become aggressive if agitated. To see more pictures or to stay up to date on Mr. Moose’s journey across Nebraska, log on to the Facebook page: Moose on the Loose in Nebraska.
tArea Law Enforcement Respond To Incident
According to a release issued by Valley County Sheriff Casey Hurlburt, on March 6, 2016, at approximately 4:39 p.m., area officers responded to an unknown white male trying to “sneak up” on Valley County Deputy Ken White’s residence southwest of Ord. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 6’ tall wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. Deputy White’s 15-year-old son was home alone and witnessed the trespasser on the property and fired two shots to scare him away. Officers from the Valley County Sheriff’s Department, the Custer County Sheriff’s Department and the Nebraska State Patrol responded. If anyone has any information regarding the whereabouts of the suspect or this matter, please contact the Valley County Sheriff’s Office at 308-728-3906. This incident is still under investigation and has been turned over to the Nebraska State Patrol.
Attendance Doubles Expectation For Distillery Open House
In an open house event that was projected to accommodate around 300 people, more than 500 people showed up to take part in the Nebraska Distillers Products LLC (NDP) Open House on Mon., Feb. 29. “We ran out of food twice,” said Gaylord Boilesen of Ord. “We had planned on about 300, and we served between 500 and 600.” Boilesen, the Managing Partner of NDP, is one of five local investors in the distiller plant including: Tom Kruml of Ord, Jim Trotter of Arcadia, Gene Cone of Burwell, Dale Seidel of Burwell, and Lee Jeffres and Sons of Burwell. After a successful “First Load” event in early January, “we wanted to show the farmers and ranchers around here what we are making,” said Boilesen. So what exactly are they making? Using cutting-edge technology that is extremely rare across the country, NDP is converting the distillery byproduct from the ethanol plant into a high-protein livestock feed. What sets NDP apart, however, is that they are “the only technology that takes 100% pure, dried distillers and converts it to a cube”, said Boilesen. In other words, while other companies are adding wheat middling, soybean hulls, or cotton hulls as a binder to their distillers in order to hold the cube together, the razor-sharp technology being used by NDP eliminates the need for a binder altogether. This allows for a product that is guaranteed to be 25% protein, cutting the amount of daily feed needed for livestock in half. Tours were given every half hour, showing how the Bova Cubes are made from start to finish and how the plant operates. Phat Jacks BBQ was in the house serving brisket sandwiches (before they ran out…twice!). “We were just throwing a dart on a wall [when it came to guessing at how many people would show up], and we didn’t throw it high enough I guess,” said Boilesen. “So we were pretty happy.” Not only was the open house a big draw for the local community, but it also attracted a turnout from 150 miles away. Local feed reps, including Big Red Feeds from Burwell and Trotter Feed from Loup City, were also available at the open house to field questions from the community. Although the plant hasn’t taken off maybe quite as fast as was originally hoped, Boilesen still believes that it has been well-received by the community, and the open house certainly testified to that.
McBride Named VCHS Foundation Director
The Valley County Health System (VCHS) Foundation welcomes Rhe’Ann McBride as the new VCHS Foundation executive director. McBride will begin her new position mid-March. McBride is originally from Ainsworth, NE, and received her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has since been working at OneWorld Community Health Centers, where she has gained valuable fundraising and community outreach experience. The VCHS Foundation’s mission is to seek, receive and administer donations and gifts for the sole benefit of VCHS. For more information about the VCHS Foundation, visit http://valleycountyhealthfund.org/.
Scotia Family Loses Home in Fire, Community Rallies
The wisest man who ever lived once said that “there is a season for everything, a time for every purpose under heaven, [including] a time to break down and time to build up” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4). For Jason (Howie) Jacobson of Scotia, it is now “time to build up” as his home was just decimated by an assumed electrical fire last Thursday evening. The fire reportedly started around 5:30 p.m. Local fire departments from Scotia, Greeley, and North Loup battled the flames late into the night. Some of men remained on site until after 2:30 a.m. the next morning. Although there was a wood stove in the center of the house, firemen working the scene were leaning toward an electrical origin due to the way the house was scorched. Both Jacobson and his 11 year-old son were gone when the fire started. No one was injured. “It’s a heartbreaking loss,” said Jacobson, “But it could have been a lot worse.” The silver lining in this dark cloud is the sight of a local community rallying together to support a family in need. All of their immediate necessities were quickly donated, and financial collection cans were set up in North Loup, Scotia, and Greeley. “I think I have more clothes now than I did before the fire,” Jacobson said with a smile. “It just really humbles a guy, knowing that everybody is thinking about other people before they think about themselves. It stinks that it takes a tragedy to bring everybody together, but this community is a wonderful place to live. I love this town. I love this area.” “It’s always amazing to see how quick this small community (and others around it) join together to help generously in times like this,” agreed Shelly Pokorny, coordinator for Esther’s Table. “We’ve got a lot of clothes, a place to stay, and food – so we’re set for right now,” said Jacobson. Looking through the tragedy to the love that is being poured on them by the community, Jacobson acknowledge that “it’s changed me…just the way people are”. Esther’s Table is coordinating all the donations, and they are still collecting winter clothing items (coveralls, gloves, warm clothes, etc.), bedding, and hygiene products. Other household items and furniture will be collected once storage space been established. Items can be dropped off at the Whoa N’ Go or at Chalk Hills Community Church in Scotia. Financial donations can be put in the collection cans at the North Loup Café, the Whoa N’ Go in Scotia, or the Rapid Stop in Greeley – or by going online to the Esther’s Table Facebook page. “We are also planning a fundraising benefit date,” said Pokorny. “More details will be made available in the coming weeks. Please continue to pray for them during the process of rebuilding and starting over.” For more information, call Shelly at (308) 219-0698.
Get Ready for Kid’s Fair 2016
The Valley County Health System’s Child Development Committee will be sponsoring the 14th annual Kid’s Fair. This special family event will be held at the Ord High School Vintage Gym on Sat., April 2 from 10 a.m. until 12 Noon. The Kid’s Fair will be filled with lots of fun where a family can enjoy quality time together. There will be many booths with hands-on activities for preschool through sixth grade students, as well as live entertainment throughout the morning. There will also be lots of neat prizes that have been donated by local individuals, groups, and businesses. All activities will be free of charge. Plan to come and enjoy a morning full of fun and excitement! If any business, organization, or individual would like to sponsor a booth with a fun-filled hands-on activity for children, or donate money for door prizes, please contact Jeanette Koelling at 728-5456 or Lora Burkholder at 728-7910.
Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial Band to Release Debut Album
courtesy photo - Flatwater Highway musicians: (l-r) Steffan Baker, Julie Baker Anderson, Dan Holtz, Martin Huebert, Cindy Huebert, Ralph Brown and Eli Huebert.
In a community that has no shortage of phenomenal musicians, a unique band has emerged onto the music scene. Flatwater Highway. Comprised of seven local musicians, the multi-genre group previewed the music off their upcoming album in a Pre-CD Release Concert at the North Loup Community Building on Sun., Feb. 7, 2016. The CD is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2016. The band was organized by Dr. Daniel Holtz of Nebraska City in celebration of Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial (150 years) anniversary in 2017. Holtz, a native of Ord, has been a professor of English at Peru State College (PSC) since 1987 and has also previously served as the President of the Nebraska State Historical Society Board. In November of 2002, Holtz released a recorded selection of folksongs and Nebraska history titled, “Welcome to Historic Nebraska”. Now, in commemoration of the 150-year anniversary of Nebraska’s statehood (which was granted on March 1, 1867), Holtz has been hard at work composing a collection of songs that speak to the unique history of Nebraska. The album starts with the lyric, “If You’ve Only Seen I-80, You’ve Not Seen Much At All”. From there it runs the gamut of Nebraskan history from the Blue Water Creek Massacre of 1855 (“Blue Water, Little Thunder”) and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 (“Westward Rails, Iron Horse”) all the way up to the song, “I Will Always Die a Husker”. “The CD is literally all dedicated to the history of Nebraska,” said Steffan Baker of Ord. “If the Nebraska Tourism Council doesn’t pick this thing up, they are fools,” he quipped with a smile. While all of the music was written by Holtz, he had significant help from Baker and Julie Baker-Anderson of Wahoo when it came to the musical arrangement of the album. The final product is said to be a goulash of everything from Folk to Honky Tonk Country to Rock-N-Roll. Instrumentation on the album includes acoustic and electric guitar, bass, mandolin, violin, and drums. “This recording may be somewhat unlike (or quite unlike) any other you’ve ever heard,” said Holtz. “We hope you enjoy the songs and that you come to appreciate more this state we call home.” Also included in the company of Flatwater Highway includes Ralph Brown of Grand Island, and the Huebert family (Martin, Cindy, and Eli) of Henderson. “Eli Huebert probably ranks right up there in the top 10 guitarists that I have ever heard in my lifetime,” said Baker. That’s no small compliment coming from one of Ord’s most well-known musicians. “Eli could take one of the Wal-Mart guitars-in-a-box and make it sound like the best Martin you’ve ever heard.” Following their preview performance in North Loup, the band spent 12 hours recording their album at Power Base Studio in Wisner, Nebraska last Sat., Feb. 13 under the engineering expertise of Dan Kane. “The studio is a blast,” said Anderson. “It’s especially fun when you’re with great people.” To pre-order Flatwater Highway’s debut album, contact Dan Holtz at (402) 872-2267.
Weekend Accident Sends Three To Hospital
A two-vehicle accident Sunday afternoon resulted in one passenger being transported to Valley County Health System. According to a press release from Valley County Sheriff Casey Hurlburt, the accident occured at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Sun., Feb. 7 two miles East of Ord on Hwy. 11. A 1997 Dodge pickup, driven by James J. Kalkowski of Rockville turned in front of a 2011 Lincoln AKS, driven by Dana M. Fahrenholz of Ord. Kalkowski was headed Eastbound on Hwy. 11 when he turned left in front of the Fahrenholz vehicle that was traveling West, causing the collision. Both occupants in the Fahrenholz vehicle, Dana and her mother, Traci, were taken to the emergency room where they were treated and released. Both suffered impact trauma and Traci has a broken sternum. Kalkowkski’s wife, a passenger in the pickup, was transported to VCHS by Ord Fire and Rescue. Kalkowski was cited for Failure To Yield.
Cornhuskers Go To War
Most people have deep-rooted affections for their home state. It is this allegiance that often gives birth to friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) rivalries with neighboring states, and nowhere is this rivalry expressed with such passion as it is in Memorial Stadium. As a state, Nebraska stands atop the nation when it comes to supporting their college football team. Whatever their differences in politics, economics, or religion – Nebraskans join together in a “Sea of Red” to support their Cornhuskers, and they are proud to hold an ongoing NCAA record with 347 consecutive sellout games, dating all the way back to 1962. Win or lose, Nebraskans are proud of their football team – and for good reason. Not only have the Huskers created a rich history on the football field, but many of them have also made history on the battle field, exchanging their jersey for a uniform. For the first time, many of their heroic stories have been published in Tom Kruger and Jeff Hower’s book, “Cornhuskers Go to War; From Corn Rows to Rose Bowl to Hedgerows and Foxholes: The Forging of an American Legacy”. Cornhuskers Go to War is the bigger-than-life story of the Huskers who played in Nebraska’s first-ever bowl game in 1941 and then valiantly traded footballs for firearms in World War II. Loyal first to the Big Red, they went on to demonstrate an even deeper allegiance to the Red, White, and Blue. Included in this book is the story of Ord’s very own Al Zikmund. Zikmund, who was raised on a farm two miles West of Ord and was part of an undefeated Ord Chanticleers football team for four years, played for the Huskers in Nebraska’s very first bowl game – the 1941 Rose Bowl. Zikmund went on to become the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Kearney State College (now UN-Kearney) until he retired in 1987. The entire story is in the Feb. 10, 2016 issue of The Quiz.
Youth Exude Entrepreneurial Spirit At Y.E.S. Event
courtesy photo: FBLA Youth Coordinator Maliki Vodehnal, T.J. Kittle, Shelby Kittle, Kenna Simpson, Emma Cline, Grace Koelling, Josie Lange and FBLA Youth Coordinator Britan Blair at the Youth Entrepreneur Showcase Friday.
By Dahn Hagge, HTC Director, VCCFF and Valley Performing Arts Theater Entrepreneurial spirit radiated through the Ord High School commons area as six youth featured their innovative businesses at the Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) on Fri., Jan. 29 during the Ord Wrestling Invite. The Y.E.S. Event began with an inspiring Lunch and Learn where youth discussed their business vision and goals for growth and expansion. Next youth held a lively discussion with JJ Johnny James on Party Line Part 2 to promote individual businesses and the Y.E.S. event marketplace. After the radio program, students rushed to the OHS commons area to set up their business booths and prepare for the competition session of the day. After the youth entrepreneurs were set up and ready for the marketplace, they were interviewed by a panel of judges including Crystal Ramm, Central Community College-Ord Learning Center, Linda Cruikshank, Valley County Economic Development Board/Progressive Farm Marketing and Thomas Herman, owner of Misko Sports. The three judges evaluated the youth entrepreneurs on booth appearance, marketing and quick pitch, product development and business vision. All youth participants received comments from judges to use as a learning tool for enhancing their entrepreneurial skills and improving their businesses. At the beginning of the wrestling meet, the business savvy youth were introduced to the crowd in the Ord High School gymnasium. The youth entrepreneur roster included the following: Emma Cline, owner of Emma’s Wrap Arounds featured denim and beads with handcrafted bracelets, clay necklaces and more; Grace Koelling, owner of Grace’s Sweet Scrubs tantalized the senses with all-natural sugar body scrubs; Josie Lange, owner of Josie’s Specialties appealed to the kitchen enthusiast with designer, embroidered towels; Kenna Simpson, owner of KS Kreations showcased handcrafted hair ribbon accessories; Shelby Kittle, owner of Shelby’s Custom Airbrushing inspired the outdoorsman with her hand painted fishing lures, wildlife motif mailboxes and artwork; and T.J. Kittle owner of T.J.’s Custom Decals stimulated school spirit and recreational passion with his specialty designed decals. With the introductions completed the marketplace opened for business! The youth entrepreneurs sold their products to enthusiastic customers for three hours. This was a great opportunity for the youth to make connections with new customers and business leaders and to promote their special niche business products. The entrepreneurs appeared once more before a large crowd in the Ord High School gymnasium for the awards ceremony featuring the top two novice and professional businesses. All of the youth were praised as innovative leaders in our school system and community and awarded a participation certificate from the Ord FBLA Chapter. The top two novice business awards were presented to Josie’s Specialties, 1st Place with a $100 grant award and KS Kreations, 2nd Place with a $75 grant award. The top two professional business awards were presented to Shelby’s Custom Airbrushing, 1st Place with a $150 grant award and Emma’s Wrap Arounds, 2nd Place with a $100 grant award. All participants also received a free one year Ord Area Chamber membership with full benefits including ShopOrd.com privileges. The purpose of the grant awards and Chamber memberships are to help youth hone their entrepreneurial skills and expand their business ventures. The entire story is in the Feb. 3, 2016 issue of The Quiz.
H&R Block is kicking off refund season in a BIG way by entering early filers into their 1,000 Win $1,000 Daily Sweepstakes. Shalee Hoevet of Ord is one of the lucky prizewinners. No other tax company has ever awarded this much money in prizes before. Anyone who has their taxes prepared in an H&R Block office between now and Feb. 15, 2016 can enter their drawing. Visit hrblock.com/grand for more information or stop into H&R Block located at 1541 M Street in Ord. No appointment is necessary.
PHOTO: Tax Associate Galen Michalski, of Ord’s H&R Block office, presents Shalee Hoevet with her $1,000 winnings.
Wonderful Things Brewing in Ord
The Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from God and that the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. We see evidence of this goodness everywhere. In Ord, Grand Island, Kearney, North Platte... and it’s called, “The Normal Roasting Company”. Owned and operated by Kevin and Kelly Kreger of Ord, Nebraska, The Normal Roasting Company (TNRC) is a local, small batch, artisan roasting company that has been servicing the Sandhills with world-class coffee since 2012. Not only are they striving to be “the premier specialty coffee roaster in Nebraska”, but they are also delivering their caffeinated goods to coffee shops all the way from Minnesota to Texas. From regular, single origin coffee favorites, like Ethiopia Yirgacheff and Costa Rica La Terrazu, to the more exotic espresso offerings such as the Sandhills Espresso, the Kregers are passionate about their craft. They even crafted a high-quality blend with a similar profile to Folgers. It’s called The Farmers Blend, and it is marketed primarily to folks in the valley who just want a ‘normal’ cup of coffee. “It’s still really high quality,” said Kelly. “We haven’t cut any corners; it’s just a different flavor profile that’s not too unique.” Very soon, TNRC’s cold-brew coffee will even be available on tap at Scratchtown Brewing Company in Ord. The two local companies – crafting very different products – have joined forces on this one to create what is promised to be “a match made in Heaven”. It’s called the “Normal Breakfast” Stout. From coffee connoisseurs to craft beer artisans to the Folger-drinking farmers of America, TNRC is capturing the palates of coffee drinkers everywhere. “It’s not your average coffee,” said Kelly. That’s the truth. Unlike its name, there is absolutely nothing normal about the Kregers coffee. That is – unless phenomenal coffee has become the new normal. With so many variables throughout the roasting and brewing process – like origin, temperature, timing, volume, grind, pressure, machinery, and a host of other factors – it makes a calculus book look like child’s play. Yet, the finished product is what Kelly refers to as “a beautiful merge between science and art”. This beautiful merge can be enjoyed at Valley Fire Espresso in Ord, Barista’s Coffeehouse in Grand Island, The Drip in Kearney, Java Junction in North Platte, and many more independent coffee shops across the Midwest. “Every single shop that has switched to us in any significant volume has seen large sales increases,” said Kevin. “To me, that’s the ultimate compliment.” For the Kreger’s, roasting coffee is a family affair. Kevin heads up the marketing while Kelly does pretty much everything else - from the initial research and testing (cuppings) to the final roasting and packaging process. A classic example that “behind every good man is a woman who is doing pretty much everything”! Like all great businesses, they started out with a 1-pound roaster in their garage. Founded in Normal, Illinois (hence the name) in 2011, TNRC relocated to Ord in 2012 and has been ‘kicking beans and taking names’ ever since. In both 2013 and 2014, TNRC was part of an exclusive group of roasters invited to compete for the title of “America’s Best Espresso” at Coffee Fest in St. Louis and Chicago. Kelly acted as the roaster, while her dad (Tom Rikli, former dentist in Ord) was the Barista who pulled the espresso shots. The experience of competing at such an elite level has helped the Kregers to hone their roasting skills and to create a unique, world-class coffee industry out in the middle of nowhere. The entire story is in the Jan. 27, 2016 issue of The Quiz.
Ord’s Sack Lumber Welcomes Reineke As New Manager
There is a young, new captain behind the wheel at the Sack Lumber Company in Ord. After managing the Ord lumber yard for 40 years, Tom Dworak handed the reigns over to Mitch Reineke (age 28) on July 15, 2015. As the new manager of Ord’s long-established lumberyard, Reineke is hoping to bring “a new outlook” and “fresh ideas” that will add another dimension to its success within the community. His ambition can be seen in the building’s show room that is current torn apart for construction and remodeling. The displays are being updated, the flooring is being redone, and the showroom is being completely transformed to give their products a more ‘real-life’ appearance. The project is scheduled to be completed in time for their Open House this spring. Reineke spent the last five years working at Cargill before accepting the manager position with Sack Lumber. As the community of Ord continues to actively invest into the growth of its economic industry, Reineke literally hit the ground running. “It’s fun to be part of all the projects going on in the town,” he said. Not only is Sack Lumber a hub for numerous contractors and local homeowners, but they are also currently supplying most of the framing materials for Ord’s new hotel project, as well as some of the materials for the new Shopko. Competing with surrounding hardware franchises like Menards® and Home Depot, Reineke noted that “we have a great community that buys into ‘shopping local’, and we really appreciate that.” “We try to keep our prices comparable, and we think we offer better quality,” said Rick Simpson. Simpson just celebrated 40 years at Sack Lumber in Ord. Comparable prices and better quality – maybe that’s why Sack’s customer base stretches all the way out to Grand Island where Simpson just recently hauled a load of building materials. “Of all the places they could get it in Grand Island, to want us to haul it down there is a pretty cool deal,” said Simpson. While Reineke is optimistic about the future of Ord’s lumberyard, it also has quite a history. The first retail yard in the Sack line of yards was started way back in 1899 in Sutton, NE. In 1912 the Sutton yard was sold, and the Ord Lumber Company was purchased. In 1938, after the U.S. Government purchased the Ord lumber yard for use as a post office, the Sack family then acquired the Weller Lumber Co. in Ord for their new business location. Then fifty years later, it burned to the ground. Overcoming one obstacle after another, Ord’s century-old establishment is one of 11 Sack Lumber Yards across the state of Nebraska today. Reineke is one of four employees at the Ord yard. Reineke and Doug Zulkoski have both worked there for under a year, while Dan Jones and Rick Simpson have both been working there for 40 years or longer. According to Simpson, such longevity is normal for Sack Lumber employees all across the state. “They’re good people to work for,” said Simpson. “That’s part of the reason why I have worked here for this long.” While Sack’s new manager is not necessarily looking to compete with Simpson’s 40-year career at the lumber yard (as that would put him at almost 70 years old!), Reineke says that he is “having fun so far”!
VCHS Foundation Hosts 14th Annual Gala
The 14th Annual Valley County Health System (VCHS) Foundation Gala was held at the Ord Veteran’s Club on Sat., Jan. 16. Despite snowy weather and competing entertainment, the Black and White evening event was still a tremendous success with nearly two hundred people in attendance. Keli Gideon, Executive Director of the VCHS Foundation, estimated that over $34,000 in profit was raised for the Foundation. During the gala, Mrs. Nancy Glaubke was welcomed as the new Chief Executive Officer for VCHS. Having just assumed her position as CEO on January 11, Glaubke shared her excitement to once again be part of the VCHS organization. Guests were invited to enjoy all that the evening had to offer, including a cocktail reception followed by a meal, silent auction, wine pull, raffles, and a live auction with services donated by Wolf Auction. Ord Elementary Principal, Doug Smith, was the Master of Ceremonies. Nebraska Legislature candidate for District 41, Tom Briese, was also in attendance. This year’s entertainment was provided by Fun Pianos!. With more than 12 years of performing for a wide range of audiences, the two dueling pianists wasted no time in sweeping the audience into their crowd-participation show. “They did an awesome job getting all the guests to participate,” said Gideon. Not only did they provide what many guests praised as “the most entertaining gala they’d ever been to”, but the Fun Pianos! also donated all of their tips, totaling $254, back to the Foundation. The evening was dubbed a success all the way around.
Ord Subway Reaches 20-Year Milestone
It is one thing to start up a business in Small Town, USA. It is another thing for it to still be thriving two decades later. On January 26, 2016 the Subway in Ord will have been serving its community for exactly twenty years. Owned by Todd and Debora Carpenter of Grand Island, the Ord Subway opened on Jan. 26, 1996 and has been a staple, healthy, fast-food alternative in the area ever since. While a variety of other food establishments in Ord have come and gone during the past two decades, Store Manager Debra Kinney says that “Subway is here to stay”. “We have seen a lot of changes within Subway over the past 20 years,” said Kinney. “We used to just serve white or wheat bread. Now we have five different kinds of bread that are baked fresh twice a day, every day. And our sauces used to be just mayo & mustard; now we’ve got all sorts of sauces. We also have flatbreads and wraps and fresh-baked cookies.” Subway has also added catering to its ever-expanding list of services. The key to their success has been the longevity of its employees. Unlike the ‘factory-feel’ stigma of many other fast food restaurants, Kinney says that Ord’s Subway is much more of “a family atmosphere” where the employees actually “like to come to work”. Perhaps that is why some employees, like Jennifer Davis (who has been there since it opened in 1996), have never left, and why a number of other employees have been working there for well over a decade. “We even have employees who have left in search of greener pastures only to come back here to Subway,” said Kinney. “A special Thank You goes to our Subway Queens Debra Kinney and Jennifer Davis,” said Carpenter. “They have been with us since the beginning!” Kinney would also like to thank all of the faithful customers and faithful employees that Subway has had over the past 20 years. “We appreciate them so much.” In celebration of its 20-year milestone, on Jan. 26, 2016, the Subway in Ord will be offering 96¢ Meatball or Cold Cut Trio Six Inch Classic Subs with the purchase of a drink. The store is located at 1424 L Street. For more information, call (308) 728-7625.
New Distillery Celebrates ‘First Load’
After more than 18 months of planning and preparation, the Nebraska Distillers Products LLC (NDP) plant in Ord celebrated its first load last Thurs., Jan. 7. The eight-ton shipment was headed for Loup City. Converting the distillery byproduct from the ethanol plant into a high-protein livestock feed, NDP is utilizing cutting-edge technology that is extremely rare across the country. While the equipment and operating costs for such an operation are incredibly steep, Gaylord Boilesen of Ord believes the advantages are well worth it. Boilesen, the Managing Partner of NDP, is one of five local investors in the distiller plant including: Tom Kruml of Ord, Jim Trotter of Arcadia, Gene Cone of Burwell, Dale Seidel from Burwell, and Lee Jeffres and Sons from Burwell. “The unique thing about this process,” said Boilesen, “is that we are the only technology that takes 100% pure, dried distillers and converts it to a cube. Most other companies take 100% pure distillers, and they have to add a binder to it.” While other companies are adding wheat middling, soybean hulls, or cotton hulls as a binder to their distillers in order to hold the cube together, the razor-sharp technology being used by NDP eliminates the need for a binder altogether. This allows for a product that is guaranteed to be 25% protein, cutting the amount of daily feed needed for livestock in half. Located just north of the Green Plains ethanol plant off Highway 11, NDP is shipping its product both locally and across the country as far as Montana and Idaho, and the company has expectations of expanding in the future. While the extrusion technology of Ord’s new distiller plant may seem a bit complicated, the benefits are certainly not! Between all of the local companies that were hired in the construction of the plant, which started in July of last year, and all of the new jobs that were created once the plant was operational, “the entire project has been a benefit to a lot of people,” said Boilesen. “It’s a huge blessing,” affirmed Scott Young of Scotia. When Case New Holland in Grand Island laid off 136 full time employees between May and August of last year, Young found himself in need of a job. However, after being hired by NDP last September, Young now looks back on the layoff as “a blessing in disguise [and] the best thing that could have happened”. “For the most part, we haven’t taken people from other businesses, and so we’re pretty excited about that,” said Boilesen Young was one of nine employees, including General Manager Telle Manchester of Ord, that were hired before the plant started running around the clock, 24/7 on December 28, 2015. Boilesen noted that the company is still taking applications for three more production workers, as well as for an office manager.
Local Photographer in Country Magazine Semi Finals
If a picture is truly worth a thousand words, then Cathy Bruha of Ord has become a tremendously gifted “speaker” in the past year! After purchasing her first quality camera in May 2014, Bruha, owner of Cathy’s Computer Services in Ord, has transformed her free time into an award-winning hobby. Bruha is currently one of the semifinalists in Country Magazine’s Rural Photography Contest. Her horse photo is #3 of 4 in the ‘Animals’ category on Country Magazine’s website. To help Bruha win this exciting contest, simply vote for photo #3 at www.country-magazine.com/contests. It only takes a few seconds to go online and vote! Country Magazine is not the only publication to take notice of Bruha’s photography over the past year. Her skill with a camera has also earned her numerous awards in the Valley County Photo Contest, and two of her photos are currently being featured in the 2016 Public Power Calendar. “I really just wanted a hobby that would get me out of the house,” said Bruha. Well, it worked! Not only has it become her passion, but her love for photography has also spread to her daughters. Looking at the countryside through a camera lens has developed into a regular pastime for the Bruha girls. Sometimes, Bruha and her daughters will drive the countryside just looking for a good spot to sit and wait for the right ‘Kodak Moment’ to develop. “It’s no different than hunting,” said Bruha. “The only difference is that our shots are a lot less bloody.” While hunters are claiming life, Bruha is out capturing life. And as the successful hunters are getting their shots mounted, Bruha is getting her shots matted. Similar. Less messy. And maybe just a little more conducive to mother-daughter bonding! Many of her photos can be seen on the “Nebraska Through the Lens” Facebook Group or on Country Magazine’s website at www.country-magazine.com/contests. But hurry… voting ends soon!
courtesy photo: Each year, Pathway Bank and the area Young Farmers group partner together to select two senior scholarship recipients who have been active in FFA. Recipients must finish one semester of a secondary education and be enrolled for the spring semester. This year’s scholarship winners are 2015 Ord High Graduates Andi Shellhase and Clint Kruml. Both students were presented with a $400 scholarship. Pictured (l-r): Pathway Bank Market President Max Emerton, Clint Kruml, Andi Shellhase, Pathway Bank Branch Manager Karla Ritterbush, Young Farmers representative Dave Setlik, and Ord High School FFA/Ag Instructor Dave Ference.
Scratchtown Now Available For Pre-Order
Ord’s history book, Scratchtown, will once again be available for purchase at Quiz Graphic Arts. A limited number of copies were recently discovered and are being bound. Pre-orders are currently being taken at our office at 305 South 16th Street in Ord. Once the bound copies arrive, the books will also be available for purchase online at www.quizgraphicarts.com. For more information, please call our office at 308-728-3261 or stop in today!
Glaubke Returns to Ord, Hired as VCHS CEO
The Valley County Health System (VCHS) Board of Trustees approved a contract for Nancy Glaubke as the new VCHS Chief Executive Officer. Glaubke will begin her position on Jan. 11, 2016. Glaubke’s past experience spans 25 years in health care. She has worked in multiple healthcare roles including hospital and nursing home administration, consulting, revenue cycle and health information management. Most recently Nancy worked for Cerner RevWorks as an executive HIM director for Adventist Health – West, the 10th largest non-profit health care organization in the United States, overseeing 19 hospitals in California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. Prior to that, she worked as a regional HIM director for PeaceHealth and as a nursing home administrator in Wheatland, WY. In 1995, Glaubke served as the CEO of Valley County Hospital and Nursing Home. Glaubke is a graduate of Portland State University and has a master’s degree in business administration. She is a registered health information administrator and holds active nursing home administrator licenses in the states of Nebraska and Wyoming. Glaubke graduated from Ord High School. She and her husband, Dave, have two children: Kristin and John. “I look forward to returning to my hometown and once again joining the Valley County Health System team. I have always been an avid supporter of VCHS and am pleased to once again be a part of this organization,” stated Glaubke. VCHS Board Chair Gary Garnick commented, “On behalf of the VCHS Board of Trustees, we are pleased to welcome Nancy back to Valley County Health System. We are excited that Nancy desired to return home to lead our organization. She has years of healthcare experience that will be invaluable as we continue to provide quality health care to this region.”
Quiz Welcomes New Editor
courtesy photo — The Knoop family: Back row (l-r) Daniel (10), Troy (5), Aukeem (8). Front: (l-r) Elizabeth & Jeremiah.
The Ord Quiz is excited to welcome Jeremiah Knoop as the new editor. Knoop has been writing a weekly column, The Good Life; Standing Room Only, for the Quiz over the past year which has garnered an interesting reputation for him as a writer in this community! The Quiz has also published numerous articles by Knoop covering a wide variety of hot topic issues such as gun control, same sex marriage, homeschooling, and even celestial phenomenon. Knoop was born on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, raised in the upper Midwest, met his bride Elizabeth at an orphanage in Guatemala, studied in Israel, and is currently serving as the Village Missionary Pastor of Chalk Hills Community Church in Scotia, Nebraska. After graduating from Northwestern College with a double major in Bible and Journalism, Knoop spent some time studying at Jerusalem University. Since moving to Scotia in August 2009, he and Elizabeth have three adopted boys (ages 5-10) and have accumulated a smorgasbord of pets, including: three dogs, an oversized cat, a ferret, a bunny, two guinea pigs, four parakeets, a jenday conure, five chickens, homing pigeons, and a small backyard pond with koi fish! Along with his responsibilities at Chalk Hills, Knoop has also served as the head coach for the North Loup/Scotia high school boys’ varsity basketball program and has been highly involved in the local Christian band, WeakSide (www.weaksidemusic.com). “I’m certainly going to miss Nick Hon,” said Knoop. “Not only did I appreciate his passion for the Quiz and the community that it represents, but I also valued him as a good friend. We even shared the stage as fellow Beatles this year in ‘Music Through the Years’! But I know that he is right where God wants him, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve this community as the editor of the Quiz.” E-mails to Knoop can be sent to email@example.com
Local Brewery Gets Published
While Scratchtown Brewing Company in downtown Ord has become a hotspot for locals and tourists since it opened just over three years ago, it has also been drawing the attention of brewery connoisseurs all across the country. Mostly recently, Scratchtown was one of just 21 breweries to be featured in Tyler Thomas’s book, “Nebraska Beer; Great Plains History by the Pint”. After launching a successful food blog (www.nebraska foodie.com) in 2012, Thomas’s love for Nebraskan restaurants took him on an extended tour across the state to unearth the unique stories of Nebraska’s booming brewery industry. Published by American Palate, a Division of the History Press, Thomas chronicles the distinct stories of Nebraska’s finest breweries – including the story of Ord’s very own Scratchtown (featured in chapter 17). Caleb Pollard, director of sales and marketing for Scratchtown, noted that the published exposure is exciting on a number of levels. “We have a place in Nebraska history, and that is something that can never be taken away,” said Pollard. “It’s also a validation of all the hard work that we have put into this.” Scratchtown’s success is proof that a well-researched vision, undaunted determination, and good ol’ fashioned hard work pays off. They have been entering competitions all across the country and turning heads in the process. “We told ourselves from the very beginning that we weren’t going to make excuses for our product,” Pollard said. Well, when you’re collecting Gold Medals at the US Open Beer Championship – no excuses are needed! “People thought we were crazy for opening in the middle of nowhere,” mentioned Pollard. Crazy or not, Scratchtown is continuing to earn a well-deserved name within the national brewing community. Not only does Thomas’s book help increase the recognition of Scratchtown, but Pollard noted that “it also elevates awareness of the community”, which is the goal of any successful, small-town entrepreneurial enterprise. Far from being just another saloon or tavern, Scratchtown is more like an art gallery that is actively invested into the economic growth of Valley County. Using water from the Ogalala aquifer and grain from area farmers, their goal is to craft a wide variety of high-quality beers while sourcing as many ingredients as close to home as possible. They even have a POPCORN DAYZ lager that was crafted with a corn addition from one of the local popcorn famers to help celebrate North Loup’s annual “Popcorn Days” festival. While everything is better at the source, Scratchtown can also be found on draft throughout the state – from Kearney to Lincoln and Omaha – and in twenty-two-ounce bottles in select areas. Scratchtown taproom is open to the public Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, log onto www.scratchtownbrewingcompany.com, Facebook (www.facebook.com/scratchtownbrewing) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/ScratchtownBrew). The book can be purchased from the blog at www.nebraskafoodie.com.
courtesy photo On behalf of the North Loup Scotia Community Theater, Jim and Sherian Craft present $770 to the Loup Valley Veterans Wall Auxiliary ladies. The money is the net proceeds from Music Through the Years III and donations to the wall. Pictured are (l-r) Deb Cadek, Elaine Asper, Grace Coufal, Deb Cadek, Sherian Craft and Jim Craft. Fund-raising is continuing for the wall. The Veterans Wall project will be part of the Big Give. You can still purchase a brick by contacting any of the ladies pictured here. Applications are available at the Main Street Gallery, the local banks and at the Pump in North Loup.
Radil Sentenced Nov. 20 In Valley County Court
Kim Radil, 54, of Comstock, was sentenced for the charges of Official Misconduct and Theft – Unlawful Taking ($0-$200) in Valley County Court on Nov. 20, 2015. Both counts are Class 2 Misdemeanors. Radil was a Valley County Courthouse employee for 22 years, working in the Clerk’s Office since August 1993. Radil was also a member of the Ord Board of Education. Her resignation was accepted by the Board at the Aug. 20, 2015 special meeting. Radil, hereafter “defendant,” was sentenced by Judge Gerald R. Jorgensen Jr. Sentencing included: Defendant was granted allocution and sentence was pronounced by the Court. Defendant ordered to pay fines of $250, and all costs of prosecution. Defendant is placed on probation according to the terms of a separate order (listed below). Defendant to pay a total of $20 Restitution, Court Costs $48, Sheriff fees $35.98, other fees $11. Probation by Separate Order: The Court has sentenced the defendant to probation for 12 months on the above counts. Defendant is to pay the following probation costs in addition to all other fines, costs in addition to all other fines, costs and judgments assessed: Administrative Enrollment Fee: $20, Probation Fees: $300.
Weekend Accident Claims Life of Scotia Woman
According to a press release from Valley County Sheriff Casey Hurlburt, a Scotia woman has died following a one vehicle accident late Sunday afternoon. Richanda M. Hurt, 32, was traveling East on Hwy. 11 near mile marker 70, when it appears that her vehicle crossed the center line, left the roadway and rolled. Hurt was transported to Valley County Health System where efforts to revive her were unsuccessful. The release did not specify if weather was a factor in the accident. Service information for Hurt can be found on page 10.
The Golden Husk Now Open In Ord
Prior to the Valley County’s Got Talent event last Saturday night, Dale Zadina cut the ribbon in front of The Golden Husk to mark the beginning of the theater’s new life as a showcase center for the arts in downtown Ord. Valley County’s Got Talent, the inaugural event at the theater since its purchase and reopening, was a variety show in collaboration with the Lied Center’s Arts Across Nebraska program featuring local talent. Look for more on the event in next week’s issue of the Quiz. On Thurs., Dec. 3, The Golden Husk will be the site of the OHS Drama Team’s community performance of Stage Door. The program will begin at 7 p.m., and tickets are available at the OHS front office and the Chamber of Commerce office in Ord. Admission will be $5. The Golden Husk can be reached at its new number, (308)-730-8133, and new email address: goldenhuskarts @gmail.com.
Dr. Staab Brings Acupuncture Therapy To Ord Vet Clinic
Dr. Sue Staab DVM (right) demonstrates the insertion of therapeutic acupuncture needles on a patient named “Minnie” with the assistance of daughter Amber.
Dr. Sue Staab DVM, a veterinarian at Ord Animal Clinic since 1988, has brought a new service to animal patients at the clinic. After about nine months working toward certification, Dr. Staab recently completed formal training to practice acupuncture therapy on animals suffering from a variety of different health issues. Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for centuries. It’s based on the theory that energy, called qi (pronounced “chee”), flows through the body along pathways called “meridians”. Practitioners believe that illness occurs when something blocks or unbalances a patient’s chi. Placing small acupuncture needles into the patient’s skin at strategic points is a way to unblock or influence chi and help it flow back into balance. The Eastern practice, considered by many to be an “alternative medicine” is gaining popularity in the veterinarian community. “It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for quite a few years,” Dr. Staab said. She said that she listened to a talk from a vet in Colorado who practiced acupuncture on surgery cases and became interested in learning more. “I also grew up with an alternative medicine medical doctor for a father, so I am very open to what is out there,” she said. “I’ve always felt that there are animals that come in that you can’t really figure out a pill to give them or a medical treatment that we learn in Western medicine. That there is something out there that is available to help an animal that always comes in with the same issue. Something else to offer people.” When she reached a point in her career where she could commit the time to the education, she secured a scholarship from a Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association Education Foundation to help with the cost and pursued the certification. She considered two programs—one at Colorado State and one in Gainesville, Florida—and chose the latter due to its focus on “completely traditional Chinese veterinarian acupuncture.” Three online courses consisting of 25 hour-long lectures and tests, four trips to Florida for four days of classes, and a four-hour test later, she was ready to begin the formal program under Dr. Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD. “There were mixed animal, strictly small animal, and strictly equine veterinarians there,” Dr. Staab said of the programs she attended. “I suppose that with all of us together, there was probably 100 vets and they have this twice a year.” She said that the Dr. Xie’s program has become so popular nationwide that early registration is essential to secure a spot as a student. Students ranged from recent vet school graduates to a retired vet who has taken up equine acupuncture and chiropractic services. “It’s not like you shut the door to Western medicine,” she explained. “You do know that if a surgery is needed, then that’s what you send them to. You still incorporate Western medicine, such as when I run the bloodwork and I do the x-rays to get a definitive diagnosis. Then you incorporate the acupuncture into that. The Chinese people have knowledge that acupuncture has been done for probably 8,000 years, and they did not do surgeries. They learned that pressure points and needles in certain parts of the body healed people. And they were big on horses, so they incorporated human pressure points into animals.” She said that animal acupuncture started with traditional points based on humans, but those points were adjusted for different animals over time. The entire story can be found in the Nov. 25, 2015 issue of The Ord Quiz.
Ord Welcomes New Dental Clinic
Heidi Dawe, photo -
Dr. Noah Piskorski (center) and staff (l-r): Michelle Nelson, Carrie David, Wendy Carlin and Brandi Swett welcome guests to Piskorski Dental’s Open House.
By Jeremiah Knoop As the community of Ord continues to attract new businesses, it has also recently become ‘home’ to Piskorski Dental. While Dr. Noah Piskorski purchased the Family First Dental office back in July, he and his staff just celebrated the official ribbon-cutting ceremony in October. When it comes to local dentists, Ord has experienced a heavy turnover rate in recent history; but Dr. Piskorski, a native to the community, has high hopes of being in Valley County for the long haul. “I have always loved the town of Ord,” said Piskorski. “There’s no place more beautiful than the Sandhills, and I can’t imagine a better place to raise a family.” After graduating from Ord High School in 2003, Dr. Piskorski (the 12th born in a family of 13 kids) earned his dental degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Dentistry in Lincoln. He began his dental career as an associate of Dr. Tim Garner at the Burwell Dental Clinic before joining Family First Dental in 2014. When the opportunity came for Dr. Piskorski to purchase Ord’s long-established dental office, he jumped on it. “There is lots of history attached to this dental office,” he said. “It’s been in operation since the 40’s. It was the dental office that I went to when I was a little kid, and I was really excited to have the opportunity to purchase it. ” Dr. Piskorski’s staff has remained the same as it was under the office’s previous name. “I couldn’t say enough about my staff,” said Dr. Piskorski. “They do an exceptional job of everything, which makes my job incredibly easy,” he quipped with a smile. In a field that often deals with very nervous patients, the staff at the Piskorski Dental office prides itself in providing a relaxing atmosphere. “We really take the time to make sure that our patients are comfortable,” said Dr. Piskorski. “It can feel quite invasive having somebody working inside your mouth. It’s actually not uncommon for dental offices to have to replace their chairs due to stressed patients gripping the life out of the arms.” For both the patient’s sake (and for the longevity of their dental chairs) the Piskorski Dental staff is intent on making each appointment as stress-free and comfortable as possible. “Dr. Piskorski is a great doctor,” said Dental Assistant Brandi Swett. “And I have enjoyed working with him.” Swett has been working as Dr. Piskorski’s assistant since he started his career in Burwell four years ago. While Piskorski Dental is fully-equipped with the expertise to perform any of the oral operations that accompany general dentistry, Dr. Piskorski is especially excited about their ability to perform same-day crowns called CEREC crowns. Using CAD/CAM computer technology, CEREC crowns are made in the Piskorski Dental office during a single visit. There is no need to construct a temporary crown, take impressions for the permanent crown, or wait for a month while the crown is being made at another dental laboratory somewhere else. “It’s a good service, and my staff and I are really excited to be able to offer it,” said Dr. Piskorski. While CAD/CAM technology has now been around for several decades, Dr. Piskorski noted that many dental offices aren’t willing to pull the trigger on purchasing it. “It’s quite an expense,” he said, “but the benefits are worth it. This machine can do anything when it comes to crowns. We can stain or glaze or even give you a ‘crown tattoo’,” he said with a laugh. “We could put a Nebraska N right there on your crown.” When it comes to promoting and advertising, Dr. Piskorski’s success had been predominately through patient referrals. Although a website and other media formats are forthcoming, Dr. Piskorski has stayed plenty busy up to this point just through the recommendations of happy customers. Piskorski Dental is located at 1626 L. St. in Ord. Appointments can be made by calling (308) 728-3756. The office is open Monday – Thursday from 8-5, closed from 1-2 for lunch. The office is also open on Fridays by appointment.
Advanced Satellites Gets New Local Manager
For over a year, Kearney-based Advanced Satellites has operated the Dish Network, DirecTV, DishNet, and HughesNet store located on the east side of Ord’s square. At the store’s Open House on Oct. 28th and 29th, many in the community will have the opportunity to drop by and meet the new store manager, Zachary Albrecht. “They [Bruce Albrecht and Nathan Wright, co-owners of Advanced Satellites] wanted someone to be up here as a technician full-time,” Albrecht explained. He said that he was the secretary at the Kearney store for one year before learning the technical trade of the business. He has now come to Ord to help area residents with all of their satellite, entertainment, and home theater needs. Albrecht, who can be seen about town in either the Advanced Satellites van or his longboard, comes to Ord from Kearney, where he spent most of his childhood. He also played football there one spring after living in Pueblo, CO, where he played for one year on a scholarship. He studied in a Social Science program in college. He has now found a love for helping get households set up for home entertainment and internet. He has also found a love for Ord. “It’s good!” he said of living in the smallest town he has yet resided in. “I’m taken care of. It has a hometown feel.” Albrecht, who was once coached by Ord High basketball coach Nick Gates early in his career, and said that he was especially looking forward to trying out the local golf course. The Ord store still offers the satellite television services of Dish Network and DirecTV. Albrecht said that in the future, they are looking at adding appliances such as washers and dryers to the store. They currently have televisions in stock, as well as home stereo systems. Furthermore, he said that they are looking into offering car stereo systems as well. All in top quality brands that customers recognize and trust, such as Samsung, Sony, and Sansui. “If you have a problem with your satellite, or if you are not content with your TV situation at home, give us a call,” Albrecht said. “I’m not saying that we can necessarily save you money, but what we can do is make your setup better, newer, and more modern. As I understand, Internet and just overall service is hard to come by in this area. That’s why Advanced Satellites is here and why I’m here.” He said that Advanced Satellites can cover service from the northern border of the state to the southern border, and from Lincoln to North Platte. He said that the company’s goal is to grow even broader. The Kearney store has been in business since September of 2008. For more information on products carried by Advanced Satellites and tips on maximizing your home entertainment experience, stop by the store at 109 S. 16th Street. And stop by the Open House next week to enjoy refreshments and sign up for the door prizes. New store manager Zachary Albrecht looks forward to meeting customers—both old and future—that he hasn’t already met cruising the streets of Ord. “If you’ve seen someone on a longboard, that’s probably me,” he said.
Body Of Calamus Drowning Victim Recovered Monday
Garfield County Attorney Dale C. Crandall released a statement Tuesday morning on the recovery of Wesley Sell, 38 of Arcadia, from the Calamus Reservoir. Sell’s body was found by members of the Burwell Dive and Rescue Team after more than eight days of continuous search efforts. Sell’s body had been missing since high winds and rough waters caused the fishing boat he and three others were in to sink after it developed mechanical problems on the Calamus on Sun., Oct. 11. The statement from Crandall explains that the Sell’s body was found at approximately 9 p.m. on Monday evening, Oct. 19th. It was recovered approximately 39 feet below the surface in Loup County waters near the Garfield/Loup County line, and a few hundred feet from the spot where divers had earlier located the sunken boat. Agencies and organizations that participated in the search efforts included the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Burwell Police Dept., the Burwell Fire and Rescue Squad & Dive Team, Nebraska State Patrol, Nebraska Game and Parks Dept., the Red Cross, Sargent Fire Dept. Ord Fire & Rescue, Arcadia Fire Dept., Loup County Fire Dept., and the Loup County Sheriff’s Office. Crandall relayed that the victim’s family expressed their gratitude for the tireless efforts of rescue workers and volunteers who continued the search and recovery effort for over a week under difficult conditions. Memorial service information for Wesley Sell can be found on page 10 of this site. Further inquiries on the case should be directed to the Loup County Attorney’s Office.
Warm Welcome For Ord’s New Orscheln’s Store
Staff, family, and PROUD supporters at Orscheln’s Grand Opening on Thursday afternoon included: (l-r) Mike Kunz, Mayor Roger Goldfish, Don Proskocil, Angel Brott, Elizabeth Vavra, Megan Dietz, Jason Dietz, Robert Lawrence, Pauletta Anderson.
The three-day Grand Opening celebration for Ord’s Orscheln Farm and Home store was a successful venture for the staff and everyone who stopped in to take advantage of the special sales and events. The spacious new store area, and parking lot, has been a universal hit with long-time local patrons, as well as long-time associate-turned-manager, Jason Dietz. Dietz was hired at 16 years old by former manager Jack Ptacnik at the old location when it was a Country General store nearly two decades ago. “I started out sweeping floors and doing carry outs,” he explained. “I’ve been through four different companies for over 18 years now. And I’m still sweeping the floor.” Dietz said that when Ptacnik retired, he contacted him in North Platte, where he lived for a few years with wife Megan, and asked him to take over his position. He accepted the offer. “I honestly missed the community,” Dietz said. “I realized belatedly that big towns are not the same, and I missed the way the people are here.” The new Orscheln’s location at 519 U Street has now been open for three months since moving from the Highway 11 location that it operated at for decades. The move to a new location was a welcomed change, and one that—as Dietz explained—came about quickly. “When Alco went out of business, Orscheln’s wanted to buy their warehouse in Abilene,” he said. “In order to buy that through the bankruptcy court, they had to take on 22 leases. This happened to be one of the leases that they took on. Of those 22 stores, only three of them are up and running, and this is one of them. We actually pulled this together three months faster than they thought we could.” Dietz said that once the process was in motion, it went fast due to local support and assistance. “We had people volunteer to help move product,” he explained. “Joe Wadas was outstanding. He came in here and got all of the HVAC systems set up and running, including a new one. Gene’s Electric was in here and completely re-wired the store. They did a wonderful job, and did it on short notice.” Of the building itself, he said that it was a big upgrade from the old store due to the additional 5,000 square feet of additional selling space and nearly four times the amount of storage room. Once shoppers familiarize themselves with the new store’s layout, they will see that the products they have long counted on the store to supply are still there, but in many cases, are there in larger quantities. Dietz said that the clothing section has doubled in size, with more women’s and children’s offerings. The selection of boots has been expanded, as well as the hardware, automotive, and pet supplies sections. One service that was discontinued with the move with the new store is the tire shop, which they no longer offer at this time. The lines of products stored outside the store have expanded as well, including items that were not carried previously due to space concerns. The inventory of gates, panels, and posts have all been increased. Not to mention, of course, the increase of parking area over the tight quarters at the old location. It has all been well-received. “I don’t think there’s been a day gone by where there hasn’t been somebody come in and say how much they like the store,” Dietz said. “And it’s better for us as well.” If anyone couldn’t catch the sales events that took place last weekend, Dietz said to plan on stopping out on Thanksgiving. It will be a short day at the store in terms of hours, but there will be a special one-day sale for the third year in a row. He promises big sales on big items that customers will enjoy. “We have a lot of fun here, and a lot of that is because the customers,” he said. “It’s been good. It’s a lot like coming home.”
Lincoln Man Found Dead West of Ord
A statement issued by Valley County Sheriff Casey Hurlburt reported that the body of Develon L. Puckett, 44 of Lincoln, was found approximately five miles west of Ord on Oct. 6, 2015. The time of death was estimated to have been 9:45 a.m. Sheriff Hurlburt stated that the apparent cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but an autopsy was ordered to confirm the exact nature of Puckett’s death. Sheriff Hurlburt said that the Valley County Sheriff’s Office has been assisted in the case by the Ord Police Department, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, the Burwell Police Department, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, and the Nebraska State Patrol, with whom they are still investigating the incident. Puckett’s obituary is on the corresponding page of this website.
Miller’s Chillers Now Open In Ord
Carri and Marty Miller of Miller’s Chillers.
The spot at 138 S 14th has been a liquor store for as long as many remember. So when Marty and Carri Miller began considering taking the business over back in July, there were no plans to change course. “I worked in here part time for about three years,” Carri said. “I saw how things worked and thought it would be a good opportunity, so we started working at it in July.” When the doors opened on Mon., Oct. 5, the former Haggies Package was now Miller’s Chillers. Regular patrons of the store will be glad to see that the new owners are familiar local faces. Marty Miller works at Country Partners in Ord while Carri will run the store. The couple have two children still in school in Ord: Clayton, a sophomore, and Alison, a fifth grader. Carri said that they have made the Ord area their home for 16 years. Carri said that their loyal customers will not see any big changes in the store for a while. It has long been a successful operation, and they hope to continue building upon its reputation. “The first week in November, I plan on having an open house,” Carri told the Quiz. “We’re going to have some drawings and some giveaways. As of now, the hours will be kept the same as the previous owner’s, but that might change in the winter time.” Along with the current assortment of beverages that the Millers carry in stock, Carri said that she has been getting requests for new different products that she is looking into. She noted that the ice machine was going to be back up and running soon, making ice available with purchases. They are also maintaining the selection of Nebraska wines. She said that customers can look forward to various wine specials as the holiday season quickly approaches. The Millers are looking forward to keeping the spirits flowing at Miller’s Chillers, and look forward to seeing everyone at the open house in November!
Ground Breaking For Shopko Tuesday
Valley County Economic Development Executive Director Trevor Lee notified the Quiz Monday morning that the groundbreaking ceremony for Ord’s long-awaited Shopko Hometown will take place on Tues., Oct. 13, 2015 at noon. The site of the ceremony and the future department store is in the Whoa & Go Subdivision east of Ord. The event will feature remarks from Lee, Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley, Tom Ryan of the Oppidan Development Company, Ord’s Mayor Roger Goldfish, Valley County Economic Development President Gaylord Boilesen, and general contractors Tanner Hackel and Kevin Kreger of Hackel Construction. It will be followed by a reception at the Valley County Economic Development office in downtown Ord.
Valley County Health System Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary In New Facility
Valley County Health System (VCHS) celebrated five years in its new facility on Oct. 2. Employees and other patrons were treated to made-to-order coffee and smoothies in celebration and thanks for their service to VCHS, specifically during its recent years of growth that included the construction of the new facility. “As a family-centered healthcare organization, our goal is to provide quality healthcare to people of all ages in our service area,” Ashley Woodward, interim CEO, said. “Growth – growth in technology, buildings, medical personnel and, most importantly, quality patient care – has allowed us to continue to meet the needs of our communities and our goals as an organization.” Since opening its new facility in 2010, VCHS has added services including in-house MRI, a 20-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner, digital mammography, bone density scans, aquatherapy services and total knee arthroplasty procedures. In November 2015, VCHS will add in-house vascular testing, which will be available four days a week. These additions and technological advancements allow for quicker diagnoses and subsequent treatment to begin earlier. Because these additions increase patient access to quality healthcare services locally, patients also save time and money they would otherwise have to spend traveling elsewhere to receive such care. As a part of its strategic plan, VCHS is committed to continuing to enhance already established services and bring new services to Valley County and surrounding communities. “Our commitment to providing quality healthcare to the entire family began more than a half century ago,” Woodward said. “We have immense gratitude to our patients, their families, our employees and our communities in general for entrusting their care to us and supporting local healthcare services over the decades.”
Farrens Takes Oath At Sept. OPS Board Meeting
The Ord Public Schools Board of Education met for its regular session on Sept. 14, 2015. At the meeting, newly appointed member Lisa Farrens recited the Oath of Office, formally taking the seat vacated last month by the resignation of Kim Radil. Heather Sikyta was the only Board member absent for the meeting. Also at the meeting, Supt. Jason Alexander reported that the district had a $1,873,377 cash balance, with $4,500 made from the sale of the engine lift. Payments for the scoreboard were also received. August is a slow month for revenue, he said. The bills for August totaled $156,340. Of that sum, $86,198 went for supplies, insurance, workman's comp, and safety and fire inspections. Cards of thanks were signed to the Ord Volunteer Fire Department for all of their assistance at home games and events, Orscheln's for donating over $600 in seeds for and shelving for the greenhouse, the City of Ord for helping fix the transformer at Ord Elementary and their continuing support, and Jim Augustyn of Gene's Electric for his fast arrival to diagnose the transformer problem, The Board received a card of thanks from Rich Klimek for recognizing all of his scoreboard work at a recent football game. Also thanked at the meeting was the Board itself by Janet Boettcher, coach of the Ord Softball Team and player Kelli Bower. They thanked the Board for approving softball as a school sport earlier this year and supporting the team. The Board Members were each given a shirt. Further patron comments included Shawna Lansman reporting on the trip that elementary students took to the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island, Heather Zaruba giving an update on Student Council and the teacher-sponsored trip to Washington DC that some students are taking next summer, Deb Grubl-Fuhrer reporting that she had 25 students in Spanish Club this year, and Melissa Hilgenkamp talking about teaching geometry this year as well as coaching softball with Boettcher. Board member Reid Hagstrom reported on behalf of the Buildings Committee on an updated electrical box being ordered for the high school's ag department, as well as circulation pumps for the elementary school and rubber mats at the playground that are needing attention. He also touched on preventative maintenance contracts for the district. Next, OHS Principal Mark Hagge and OES Principal Doug Smith gave their reports to the Board. Hagge talked about Fall activities being underway, including FFA judging, softball, volleyball, and area parades that the band had marched in; he thanked the Ord First United Methodist Church for helping set up the Todd Becker Foundation assembly at the high school; school pictures were completed for the year; the special education staff had been very busy this year; the LouPlatte Conference took place the previous week; MAPS testing still underway despite a few system glitches; he thanked school nurse Traci Fahrenholz for her first-of-the-year work getting everyone vaccinated, and everyone is immunized; a Career Discovery Day took place on Sept. 9, and the school engaged in Patriot Day activities on Sept. 11; there were 289 students enrolled in Ord Jr./Sr. High School this year, including 59 7th graders, 40 8th graders, 40 freshmen, 50 sophomores, 58 juniors, and 42 seniors; NeSA test scores were in, and Ord students performed favorably in comparison to state averages in reading and writing, and there were gains in math; the activities account had receipts totaling $49,845.32, disbursements totaling $14,583.07, and an ending cash balance of $155,664.37; he said that there were a couple of negative balances on the books, but those are being cleaned up; Mrs. Fox was again taking eighth grade students to socialize with Grandview residents; the FFA Labor Auction was upcoming, and several FFA students were going to attend Husker Harvest Days this year; and parent-teacher conferences were upcoming as well. In his report, Principal Smith said that there were 242 total elementary students enrolled, with 34 at Vinton and 51 in head start; pre-school tuition was based on the need for free or reduced lunch prices; he thanked librarian Kristi Hagstrom for the movies shown to elementary students on in-service days; parent-teacher conferences times were being scheduled for parents; he talked about how well fire drills work and how well students and faculty handled the transformer situation, the Safety Team was meeting the next day to update protocol for a tornado drill; and MAPs testing is underway. He said that parents were glad that students are taken to the State Fair. Also at the meeting, the Board approved the second reading of Policy 6114 on fire drills. They reorganized committee assignments based on Radil's resignation and Farrens' appointment. Sikyta will move to Secretary, and Hagstrom to the Treasurer position. They also approved the 2015-2016 district budget, property tax levy, and OHS teaching assignments and schedule as presented. They discussed further a preventative maintenance contract for the large HVAC units, which are now outside of the warranty period. The district has 225 heat pumps that are serviced by Wadas, Inc. of Ord. Larger units, however, require more expertise. Bids were received from Trane and Rassmussen, and the Committee recommended Trane. The Board approved the one-year contract with Trane. The full story is in the September 30, 2015 issue of The Quiz.
Reid Hagstrom photo Colton Zulkoski and Alexis Hagstrom were crowned 2015 Ord Homecoming King and Queen respectively at last Friday night’s football game against Minden. Hagstrom is the daughter of Reid and Krisi Hagstrom and Zulkoski is the son of Todd and Pam Zulkoski. Congratulations, Alexis, from your Quiz family!
Ord Family Furniture Closing
The Quiz learned on Friday that Ord Family Furniture is selling it’s final inventory and will be closing it’s doors after 22 years in the Ord Community. The Broken Bow store will remain open. See their ad on page 5 of this issue.
2015 OHS Homecoming Candidates
Heidi Dawe photo Friday night’s 7 p.m. football game against Minden in Ord will be Homecoming for the Chanticleers, and will feature the crowning of 2015’s Royalty. The Homecoming Dance will take place from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday at the school. The King candidates, pictured in the front row, are (l to r): Brady Volf, Robbie Peterson, Colton Zulkoski, Cade Svoboda, and Ethan John. The Queen candidates, in the back row, are (l to r): Halle Ramsey, Allie Welniak, Kate Grint, Alexis Hagstrom, and Morgan Alexander.
Trotter Recognized By Nebraska Bankers Association
The Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA) recently recognized James “Jim” Trotter with the 2015 NBA Agri-business Recognition Award for outstanding service to agriculture. The award was presented during the NBA’s Fall Agri-business Conference, held Sept. 3-4 at the Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln. The NBA’s Agri-business Recognition Award has been presented each year since 1983 to individuals who have made significant contributions to the state of Nebraska and its agricultural industry. Trotter is the founder and president of Arcadia-based Trotter Inc., which celebrates its 53rd anniversary in 2015. Jim was born in Litchfield, NE, and grew up in the Ansley, NE area, where he graduated from high school in 1954. After attending Kearney State College for a year, Jim joined the Army. Upon discharge, he began working for Missouri Valley Construction and, in 1959, married Virginia Sell from Arcadia, NE. Following two near-disastrous accidents, Jim quit Missouri Valley Construction and bought one of five filling stations in Arcadia in 1962, which became Trotter Oil Co. Jim offered on-farm tire service and fuel delivery. In 1968, he purchased Brown Grain Co., which became Trotter Grain and Fertilizer, and in 1969, he bought Arcadia Lumber Co., which became Trotter Lumber Co. Jim’s first expansion into the fertilizer business came in 1978 when he bought a fertilizer plant and grain storage facility in Hazard, NE. Throughout the next two decades, he expanded his business presence into several Nebraska communities, including Litchfield, Scotia, Ord, Ansley, Ashton, Sargent, Broken Bow, Farwell, Burwell, Elba, Loup City, Spalding, Merna, and Pleasanton. In response to the high volume of liquid fertilizer needed during planting season, Jim decided to open a bulk storage facility known as Trotter Terminal near Ord in 1995. The need to transport products to and from this facility led to the formation of Trotter Trucking. In 2005, the community of Ord was recruiting an ethanol plant to come to town. Jim recognized the need for a full-service truck stop in the community as well. While vying for the ethanol plant, Ord was able to successfully present a package that included Trotter’s Whoa & Go Plaza, which opened in July 2006. In addition to the standard farm services, this business included the first truck repair shop and C-Store/Arby’s combination for the Trotter organization. In May 2010, Trotter Inc. opened a Subway franchise in Burwell, NE, and a Whoa & Go in Palmer, NE. In 2011, the Trotters moved their Broken Bow gas station to Highway 2, and made the operation into a full-service truck plaza, which includes a Taco John’s. The Trotter’s eighth Whoa & Go was completed in July 2013, and resides in Sargent, NE. Also in 2013, the Trotters built a 16,000 ton dry-storage fertilizer plant in Litchfield, NE, along with a greenhouse known as Trotter’s Garden Shoppe and Learning Center. The center provides Litchfield students a fieldtrip destination and fresh vegetables for their school’s salad bar during the winter. Earlier this year, Jim, along with a couple of partners, formed Platte Valley Distillers LLC. The company purchased a feed plant in Lexington, NE., that uses the ethanol byproduct, DDG, and converts it to pellets to feed cattle. This group is also building a new plant in Ord known as Nebraska Distillers Products LLC. The Trotters broke ground west of Merna this past July for a new fertilizer location. Their plans are to have the office, warehouse, and liquid storage up and running by spring 2016. While Jim’s success is evident, he recognizes his family’s participation in his businesses’ growth. Jim’s wife of nearly 56 years, Virginia, and his two children Terina and Jess, all work at the Arcadia plant. Terina has done so since 1980 as head accountant, and Jess since 1987 as manager and coordinator. In addition to building his business, Jim has been head of the Arcadia Junior Rodeo since 1966, and has served on the Valley County Fair Board for 30 years. He is a big supporter of county fairs, and attends 4-H livestock sales in six Nebraska counties. Jim has served on numerous other boards over the years, including the Arcadia School Board, Arcadia Town Board, and U.S. Suppliers Board of Directors. For all of his efforts, Jim has received numerous awards including an honorary FFA Chapter Degree, the 2005 Nebraska Agribusiness Association Industry Person of the Year Award, the 2001 Loup Basin RC&D Council’s Employer of the Month Award, the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, the 2012 Agricultural Innovator Award from the Custer County Economic Development Corp., and recognition this year as a Friend of 4-H in both Sherman and Valley counties.
Bikes and Trykes Donates Wheels To Area Kids In Need
Sonia Bustamante, right, assisted Clayton Dilsaver with his new tricycle when Bikes and Trykes made their delivery in Ord.
On Sat., Aug. 22, the Bikes and Trykes of Central Nebraska trailer was parked in front of Blanquita’s in Ord while custom tricycles were assembled and given to two area disabled youths who could use the assistance they provide. Funding for the bikes was raised by Occupational Therapy students at Central Community College in Grand Island, one of which is Sonia Bustamante, who spoke with the Quiz Saturday about the event. “As part of our fieldwork, five students and I worked for Children’s Rehab during the summer, and we were told that we could raise funds for Bikes and Trykes, which is part of that organization as well,” Bustamante, explained. “We started doing fundraisers wherever we could and wherever they would let us, and we were able to raise funds for three bikes. That’s what we had for my mom’s restaurant [Blanquita’s], because two of the kids are from the area.” She said that they also held the event in Ord to get the word out across the area about the program. One of the bikes given away in Ord went to Clayton Dilsaver of Taylor. The other went to Kristen Ogle, a Broken Bow girl. Both had been on a waiting list for the bikes, which is common for the program. The joy on their faces when they were finally able to strap on their helmets and take the shiny new rigs for a spin told an entire story unto themselves. That joy was made possible due to fundraising and donations, according to Bikes and Trykes Vice President Sally Sazama. The bikes given away by the program carry price tags that begin at $800 per bike. Each disabled child or adult that receives one gets a model and size that fits just right and is adjusted specifically for them. This is important, because the bikes are therapy devices that strengthen the rider both physically and in terms of confidence. Over 130 such bikes were reported to have been given away by the program over the past five years across Central Nebraska. Bustamante said that part of the curriculum of her program, which focuses on helping patients get back to their occupations and doing the things in life that are meaningful to them after an impairment, includes community-based fieldwork. Fundraising for Bikes and Trykes was part of that fieldwork. She said that she learned a lot about the Bikes and Trykes program through her fundraising efforts, and since she loves working with kids, she was pleased with how the event turned out in Ord.
VCHS Board Issues Official Statement On Sugg Resignation
In response to the statement from former Valley County Health System CEO William T. Sugg addressing his resignation and the allegations against him in a report to the VCHS Board of Trustees, Board Chairman Gary Garnick presented a signed statement on behalf of the Board to the Quiz Monday morning. The statement reads: One of the challenges when serving on a public board is that there are some items that cannot be disclosed or discussed in the public forum. Whenever possible, it is the position of this board to remain open and transparent to the community we serve. When complaints against Mr. Sugg were brought to the board, the VCHS Board would have been negligent to have ignored and not acted upon those serious allegations. Based partially on the high level position in the organization, we believed it best not to have a member of the VCHS staff perform an investigation with regard to their superior. Our response was to engage an independent investigator with numerous years’ experience in both human resources and health care to provide a factual report which would not be influenced by someone’s past experiences or position in the hospital or on the VCHS Board. A summary of the investigative report was submitted to the full board for review and discussion. Prior to and without any action by the Board related to his employment agreement, Mr. Sugg submitted his resignation. Mr. Sugg’s resignation was heartfelt and professional. It was accepted by a unanimous vote of the Board. The committee report is public information, and available should someone want to read the committee report. Despite the drama that this issue appears to have created on the community, the community should take away a few important items: the values possessed by VCHS are strong; your Board and the people of VCHS operated with integrity by not brushing allegations aside and instead making sure concerns were properly investigated. VCHS has dedicated and well-trained associates who have transitioned as expected, continuing to provide the highest level of health care that our citizens expect and deserve. VCHS is strong because of our tremendous community support. We appreciate the trust put in VCHS every day to care for our family, friends, and loved ones. We look forward to our search for a new CEO and the continued progress of VCHS. Sugg’s resignation was accepted at the last regular VCHS Board meeting, held on Aug. 19, 2015. All Board members were present, as well as Valley County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Sevenker and Vice Chair Helen Cullers. Director of Finance and Interim CEO Ashley Woodward reported on the financial performance for the month of July, which was the first month of the new fiscal year. She said that everything was in line with the budget overall. Swingbed days were down 42.7% from the budget at 67, but Emergency Room visits were up 9% from last year at 194. Operating room was up 2.8% over budget at 37 patients, and lab tests were down at 10,027 for the month. Radiology tests totaled 536 in July, which was 14.3% above last year’s performance. Physical therapy visits were down at 735 compared to the budgeted 771, and Outpatient Clinic visits were slightly under the budget at 370. Hospice days came in at 399, which was 0.3% over budget and 44% over last year. Physician Clinic visits totaled 714 for the month, which was 27.2% under the budgeted 981. Finally, there were 1,143 Home Health Care visits reported, which was 6% above the 1,079 budgeted. The income statement showed $2,739,765 in gross patient service revenue for July, which was slightly under budget. Total contractual adjustments for bad debts were $928,876. Total salaries and benefits was $863,608 and total operating expenses were $1,738,585. The hospital had an operating gain of $82,905 for July, and a cash total of $11,165,630. Total liabilities and net assets totaled $34,008,366. The financial report was approved by the Board. Next, Director of Special Projects Christina Pollard delivered a Quality Improvement report on core measures and patient satisfaction scores for the quarter of January through March of this year. Under patient scores, VCHS exceeded state and national benchmarks in the categories of cleanliness and pain control. The area that Pollard indicated needed improvement was in explaining medications. For the quarter, the inpatient overall rating and the willingness to recommend ratings were high overall, and outpatient scores were consistent with past quarters. The Board acknowledged the report, as well as the Quality Improvement Plan Policy, which had no changes. The entire story is in the Sept. 2 edition of The Ord Quiz.
Report Released on Allegations Against Former VCHS CEO
Report to the Board of Trustees Valley County Hospital by the HR Committee of the Board of Trustees for Valley County August 19, 2015
At the direction of the Board of Directors, two separate investigations into the conduct of CEO William Sugg were conducted by an independent investigator and concluded on August 11, 2015 and June 17, 2015. The Committee has had the opportunity to review the two investigative reports related to the actions of CEO William Sugg. Those reports provided the following allegations by employees and others, and while many of the allegations were contested by Mr. Sugg, are alleged by a volume of people and with such consistency so as to discredit Mr. Sugg's statements contesting some allegations: • Mr. Sugg routinely engaged female associates in the practice of hugging, placing his arm around their torso or shoulders, and/or, rubbing the back, neck and shoulders of those persons. With almost no exceptions, this behavior was described as unwanted attention and touching. • In a more limited, but still significant, number of instances, Mr. Sugg was reported, and Mr. Sugg denied, to have made contact with his hands to the breasts and/or buttocks of female employees. Again, with almost no exceptions, this behavior was described as unwanted and the employee’s desire was that it not continue. In at least a couple of the instances of this type of behavior, reaction of the employee touched by Mr. Sugg was described as dramatically resistant, yet he continued to engage in the close physical contact/touching. In November of 2013 Mr. Sugg was counseled and warned that he cannot have physical contact with employees by Human Resources. • Mr. Sugg also was reported to be disrespectful of personal boundaries in the work space of female associates, as evidenced by his practice of walking behind a female associate while she is seated at her desk, and either commenting on her computer work or documents that are being reviewed. This close physical proximity would on many occasions result in neck- and shoulder-rubbing by Mr. Sugg, which was neither requested, nor appreciated, by the female employees. • Many employees, both male and female, shared examples of Mr. Sugg engaging in detailed, graphic, and culturally inappropriate communication about the treatment of others in the workplace, typically in conjunction with his anger or upset over an employee who had a major performance problem. In those instances, Mr. Sugg was reported to have suggested that the employee “should be beheaded,” or “I want him beheaded!” He was also documented as saying, “He/she should be tortured slowly with a dull knife” in a public setting. These comments, while almost preposterous in their nature, had the impact of upsetting multiple senior team members, and at a minimum were universally considered unprofessional and non-productive in terms of the times spent by one or several senior team members who were present for Mr. Sugg’s diatribes. • There were at least two instances reported of Mr. Sugg stating that he has historically carried a gun with him in the workplace, and then went on to describe his ability to use his big gun to shoot one of the employees in the head, through two office walls, and “still leave a hole ‘this big’ in the side of her head.” Again, such a comment could be discounted as bluster of little consequence, but it was reported to have been upsetting to more than one senior team member who heard the comment, and was certainly considered by those involved as unprofessional and immature. He also described in graphic detail, on multiple occasions, how persons “in the south” were intentionally shot as a consequence of some injustice they caused for another (robbery, etc.). • Mr. Sugg acknowledged, and a vendor representative affirmed, that a personal loan was made by the vendor representative and her husband, to Mr. Sugg on May 29, 2012, in the amount of $25,000.00. This loan included a 90-day, interest-free repayment period, followed by an indefinite repayment period where interest would be charged at the rate of 6% per annum, until the balance is paid in full. According to the vendor, the majority of the principal balance was still outstanding as of 07/28/15. • Mr. Sugg denied, but an additional vendor affirmed, that a personal loan was made by a vendor representative to Sugg following his separation from employment from Sumner Regional Medical Center in 2009 or after. The loan was in the amount of $22,000,00, and was not documented in writing, although the vendor representative referred to “interest has been paid” and “the outstanding principle amount is still owing” to him. The vendor representative noted that the loan was made due to Sugg’s personal financial challenges, and it was discussed that the loan could be paid back out of the consulting fees the vendor would pay Sugg for work done by Sugg for the vendor (although such loan reduction transactions were never made by Mr. Sugg). The investigator concluded as follows: • Mr. Sugg’s actions and behaviors constitute a violation of the VCHS Policy HR-12 prohibiting “…harassment, unprofessional conduct, discrimination, sexual harassment, or workplace violence for all staff, volunteers, students, patients, and visitors.” In addition, with respect to allegations that Mr. Sugg engaged in threatening or intimidating behaviors outside the definition of a hostile work environment, as described in VCHS Policy HR-12, it was the investigator's judgment that Mr. Sugg’s threatening and coercive actions are having a negative effect on senior team members and other staff, and in at least 2-3 instances there is a bona fide fear for physical safety, from their perspective. • Mr. Sugg’s personal loan from a vendor representative would constitute a clear conflict of interest for Mr. Sugg, and his failureto disclose that atthe timeof his employment, or any time since, is a violation of the VCHS Board By-Laws, his employment agreement (Section 2) and the VCHS HR Policy #35, and it could be construed as an inducement for referral by Mr. Sugg of services provided by the vendor, reimbursable under the CAH's Medicare cost report. • Mr. Sugg’s personal loan from an additional vendor representative would constitute a clear conflict of interest for Mr. Sugg, and his failure to disclose that at the time of his employment, or any time since, including when asked about its existence during the course of my interview with him, is a violation of the VCHS Board By-Laws, his employment agreement (Section 2), and the VCHS HR policy #35, and it could be construed as an inducement for referral by Mr. Sugg for services of the vendor, reimbursable under the Medicare program. • Mr. Sugg’s failure to comply with clearly stated compliance policies and practices (as outlined in the VCHS Board By-laws and Policy HR-35) would appear to be not in the best interest of VCHS and to constitute a violation of Section 2 of his employment agreement wherein he is “subject to all policies and rules applicable to other employees of the Health System.” The Committee concurs in the investigators conclusions.
According to Valley County Health System Board of Trustees Chairman Gary Garnick, he received the resignation of President and CEO William Sugg on the afternoon of Wed., Aug. 19, 2015. The resignation came hours before the monthly Board of Trustees meeting, at which Garnick told the Quiz that the resignation was accepted after discussion in Executive Session. Garnick said that the Board had no further statements to make at that time on the situation. A report to the VCHS Board completed by its Human Resources Committee was released to local media on Thursday, and was reportedly posted on social media soon thereafter. The three-page report offers a result of the two investigations made into Sugg during his Investigatory Suspension that began in late June. It consists of seven allegations made against the former CEO for actions and behaviors toward and around VCHS associates, and for conflicts of interest involving vendors to the hospital. It concludes with the investigator’s conclusions, which were concurred by the Human Resources Committee. The Quiz contacted Sugg and requested an interview on his resignation and the allegations made in the report. He honored the request Monday with the consent and counsel of his attorneys in Omaha and Nashville, TN on the condition that Mr. Sugg’s statement was printed as it was returned to the Quiz Monday evening. That statement, along with his answers to the questions asked, follows: Although I am disheartened by these false allegations, I am tremendously encouraged by the overwhelming support of the community in believing in me. Throughout my career, and at Valley County Health System, I have held myself and others to the very highest of standards in ethics and personal conduct. I know that I am a driven type individual, and that I effect positive change, and sometimes this can take those who prefer the status quo out of their level of comfort. Although I am a determined and results-oriented professional, I am also an empathetic and compassionate healthcare leader who treats others with dignity and respect, and for anyone to think otherwise is difficult to accept. Fortunately, I have my integrity and the whole truth on my side, so I will keep my head high and move on to my next opportunity. A part of Ord, however, will always be part of me and my wife Vicki. We love the people of this great community, and we are so very proud to call Ord our home. Throughout the previous three years of my tenure as President & CEO of VCHS, with the community’s support, I have led the efforts to regain the communities of our central Nebraska regional service area trust of VCHS, and to return us to financial strength. I am concerned now that the continued pattern of parting ways with yet another hospital CEO will negatively impact the community to a point beyond recovery. I love VCHS, it's awesome associates, medical staff, volunteers/auxiliary, and Ministerial Association, and the very good people of Ord, Valley County, and beyond. Thank you for allowing Vicki and I to be a part of this beautiful and gracious community. Why did you resign from VCHS? Well, first it was one of the most difficult things that I have ever done. But, after conferring with my attorneys and adhering to their thoughts, and in becoming aware of significant community backlash and discontent as the result of the accusations made against me, I thought that my resignation would help everyone move forward. I also wanted to prevent undue stress to everyone at VCHS. When were you notified of your suspension from VCHS? Your reaction? While Vicki and I were on vacation visiting family in late June. My reaction was one of total and complete shock and disbelief. I was so stunned and hurt, I felt numb. I thought it was a mistake or some huge misunderstanding, especially since the VCHS Board had unanimously approved my new contract earlier this year on March 25 that committed Vicki and I here until my planned retirement. We are consequently considering all of our legal options. What was the reaction of VCHS Board's Chairman when you presented him yourresignation? Very cordial, professional, and personally gracious as he always has been. We talked briefly about why I was resigning and my desire to keep things calm and part ways amicably. He agreed, and said that was the Board's desire also. What was your reaction to learning that the investigations had been released via local media and social media? Utter disbelief. To make things worse, the reports are riddled with inaccuracies and false statements and failed to take into account much of what I said in response to the allegations. Can you speak about the $25,000 personal loan made by the vendor representative andher husband to you on 5-29-12? Yes, it was simply a loan made by the husband of one of the vendors we utilized at VCHS. The loan was made months before I was an employee of VCHS, with its purpose to accommodate some storm damage and other repairs on our farm in Tennessee that we had, and which is still on the market. The vendor we did use is one I had used many times before in my 34 year career with incredible success, and is a nationally recognized company that has actually done work in Nebraska, and many other states in the Midwest. Can you speak about the $22,000 personal loan that the report states you denied? Yes, I denied it because it was not a loan. I had worked with this company on a limited basis to develop proposals and other many and varied activities in development, and marketing. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in obtaining new contracts, so since I was a 1099 contractor, there was no income. It was simply an advance that I would payback at the time the farm sold. Again, I thought the farm would have sold much quicker than it has, and before I came to Ord. We have had several very close sales, but all have ended after much expense and effort. These two incidents are considered "conflicts of interest" by the VCHS Board. How do you feel about this claim? I am aware of conflict of interest guidelines, but just did not consider these to be conflicts since they occurred prior to my employment at VCHS, they were tied to the sale of my Tennessee farm, and that with the extremely competitive rates they offered us at the hospital it was an excellent opportunity to get the goals of the organization achieved much quicker than we could have otherwise. When you have one company a national company including clients in Nebraska, and an international company with global exposure and experience, and having used them both with much success in the past, I felt very good about utilizing their services. Both vendors were contracted for services at VCHS. Were these instances the first in the state of Nebraska for the vendors? One vendor is a national company with clients all over the United States, including clients in Nebraska. The other is primarily an international company with a growing, but limited national presence. Do you feel that Dr. Nadler's Culture Change program was working at VCHS? Was this program approved by the Board? Yes, I do. There has been a significant improvement in the VCHS culture from when I first joined the VCHS team in August 2012. I have heard this from all of the communities we serve on a regional basis, including the specialty Doctors that come to see patients at VCHS. I have also heard from many of the VCHS associates, and volunteers. I think it also has helped us to recruit our new Physicians and medical providers, as well as attracting back some great associates and providers that left VCHS, but have returned to the new and improved VCHS. Additionally, Dr. Nadler has an evaluation metric that documented the improvements. Also, several of my former senior management team members told him of their opinion that it has worked well and improvements are happening. Yes, this culture change program was approved by the Board. You have stated in the past that a Strategic Plan was a mandate given to you by the VCHS Board. Can you elaborate? Yes, when I was interviewed for the President CEO position, it was made clear to me that the development of a comprehensive Strategic Plan was imperative. I strongly agreed, as a hospital organization without a strategic plan will ultimately fail. Additionally, I had other significant objectives to achieve as directed by the VCHS Board. They included, culture change, Strategic Plan, improved financial performance, operational improvement, quality improvement metrics, coming up with a plan to optimize the nursing home financials thereby improving the hospital’s financials, and improving community and regional perception, confidence, and trust. I was also directed to try and improve the negative reputation of VCHS in the region and state of Nebraska, which is perceived as unstable and defined by different, competing cliques both internal and external to the hospital. To achieve these mandates, I quickly determined that a community and regional "healing process" had to occur, or optimal success would not be possible. Was the Strategic Plan the only service provided by National Healthcare Associates for the sum they were paid? No, they were also engaged to create, develop, and investigate all options for VCHS tooptimize the Nursing Home financials including developing a Request for Proposal to interested parties in acquiring the Nursing Home, vetting through all of the responses,and working closely with VCHS to then emerge with a recommendation. They additionally drafted some contracts and business concepts and outlines for the new Nursing Home that is to be built at a later date on the VCHS campus. There were also several operational and strategic transitional imperatives that were to be part of the transitional phase of the sale, but I am currently unaware of the status of how well that plan has been implemented due to my absence from the facility. Can you speak about the allegations suggesting that you made statements involving violent acts against employees. I would never threaten an employee with any harm, or anyone else for that matter. I find that accusation very malicious and deliberately inflammatory. Did you ever in your tenure as VCHS CEO make comments inside the facility involving using a firearm in a threatening manner that would constitute fear in the workplace? Did you ever have a firearm concealed on your person, or hidden in your office? No. I recall one brief private conversation in my office about home invasion safety andprotection. I noted that several years ago I had purchased a shotgun for home protection for my wife while I traveled away from home. I also noted that shotgun shells could penetrate drywall, and shotguns are good for home protection since you do not have to be precise to stop an intruder in your home. No, I have absolutely never had a concealed weapon of any kind ever on my person, andhave absolutely never, ever kept a firearm in my office at VCHS. How do you feel about the allegations made against you regarding a threatening demeanor? Do you ever recall noticing any indicators that suggested an associate was intimidated? I feel very hurt and shocked. In my whole career, I have never been described as having a threatening demeanor. on the contrary, it has ALWAYS been one of very approachable, caring, collaborative, and a gentleman. No, I have never picked up any hesitation, apprehension, or concern from anyone beingthreatened, harmed, or attacked. Can you talk about the claim that you were "counseled" in November of 2013 about physical contact with employees? Yes, I recall a conversation with the HR Director about that there were 2-3 associateswho did not want to be touched. I was not told who they were, but because of that discussion I cancelled my plans for being Santa Claus for the associates as I have done my whole career. I discussed this with the Board, and shared with them about the discussion, and they agreed reluctantly with my decision not to play Santa Claus. After that Board meeting, I received hugs from several Board members. As an additional comment, I was trained to be compassionate as a key part to being ahealthcare professional. There are many articles and studies that document that areassuring touch or pat on the back significantly help in the healing process, as well as inbonding in a friendly way with associates, acquaintances, or friends. This concept is veryprevalent throughout the United States, especially in the South. Two examples are thatthe slogan for Baptist Memorial Women's Hospital in Memphis is "High Tech HighTouch", and the theme for the 2012 Tennessee Nursing Association Conference was HighTech High Touch. Additionally, numerous hospitals, physician offices, and pharmaciesuse this phrase to describe their approach to patient care. Did any VCHS employee talk to you about expressing concern about invasions ofpersonal space? No, I don’t recall anything like that ever being raised. Can you speak to your plans at VCHS prior to your departure? How long were youplanning to stay in Ord at VCHS? Prior to all of this happening, Vicki and I had committed to stay in Ord until I retired inabout 10 years. We had also discussed with our family about some moving up here in thenext few years, as all who have come here to visit us while we have lived in this greatcommunity have seen what we have, and are attracted to the high quality of life and thegreat people that live here. What are your thoughts on the outlook of the hospital as you see it as an outsider looking in? While I am very proud of the phenomenal success we have had the past three years, I amconcerned about the continued success with another CEO departure, and all of the instability and expense that it takes to recruit another one. The implications strategically, operationally, recruiting capabilities, reputation, confidence and trust amongst the service area regionally, not to mention the state and national healthcare changes for the healthcare industry and critical access hospitals continued existence is daunting. I know one statement has been made clear to me by everyone in Valley County it seems,and that is that they do not want the hospital to go on the tax rolls. While the hospital is strong financially now, that is also something I hope will not happen, and have focused on that goal of to maximize the financial performance of VCHS these past three years. I sincerely do wish the very best to the VCHS Board and Ashley Woodward and her team the very best, and much success. I have offered the VCHS Board my assistance to make the transition go well. Have you heard of the Save VCHS from VCHS Committee? Did you see theadvertisements that the committee paid to have published in the Ord Quiz? Are you, orhave you ever been a part of that committee? Did you have any role in authoring thoseadvertisements? Yes, I learned about the Committee when I read the advertisement in the paper. Yes, I saw and read the advertisement in the Quiz. No, I do not know who is on this committee. The first time I even knew about it was when I read the advertisement. No, I had nothing to do with authoring that advertisement. I believe Vicki and I were out of town when all that occurred. Can you speak about the letters that were mailed to County Supervisor Steffan Baker by hospital CEO's from across the state? Did you request those letters to be written? For what purpose? I was approached by Supervisor Baker to ask that I contact some of my colleagues acrossthe state to discover what their perspective was of VCHS and Ord prior to my arrival inOrd, and what it was now. On his fourth request of me I consented to contact them at hisspecific request, and they would answer his questions. After I made the initial ask, allcommunication was between Supervisor Baker and the CEO's across the state, and I wasout of the loop. I believe Supervisor Baker's goal and purpose was to get a real determination of whatwas, and is VCHS and Ord's true and unbiased reputation in the state of Nebraska amongst the state healthcare industry. What has been the reaction from your peers within the Nebraska Hospital Association to the allegations against you and the subsequent suspension? Did they, or have they removed you from your position on the Board of NHA? I am blessed that without exception, my peers have been extremely supportive of meduring this difficult time. They all understand that this is Ord, and are very disappointedthat VCHS is once again looking for another CEO. They are very proud of me for lastingas long as I did at three years, which I believe puts me on top as the longest survivingCEO in VCHS history. My contract will end on August 31, the effective date of my resignation. Since Irepresent District 4, my tenure on the Board will automatically end at that time. How do you see your tenure as the CEO of VCHS, and what was accomplished atthe hospital under your leadership? I am so very proud of everyone at VCHS for what we all accomplished together over thelast three years. We were able to make significant progress toward healing the communities of the region thereby increasing everyone’s confidence and trust in VCHS, we were able to recruit 2 new young vibrant physicians both from rural Nebraska roots, we were able to recruit and attract new medical providers, and associates from all over the Midwest, improve our financial performance significantly, dramatically improve our quality metrics, devise a partnership between the hospital and nursing home that would ensure that both organizations flourish in the future, dramatically improve the reputation of VCHS and Ord across the state of Nebraska, just to name a few of the many successesthat we achieved. I am most proud of the VCHS team, and how the overall quality of care has improved toa level that everyone in our regional service area can be very proud and confident that they will receive great quality care from a good and caring healthcare team. Would you be open to a future working relationship with or at VCHS? Yes, although that would depend on the circumstances, and what the expectations were. Vicki and I love this community, and the many good people that live here. Whatever the future holds for us, I am proud that I have an accomplished career, and Ord has been a part of that journey. Fortunately, the turnaround that I have led at VCHS has been recognized throughout the state, and I have a number of opportunities to pursue. I would have preferred to firm up our roots in Ord, but we will always be thankful for the so many life-long friendships we have developed during out time here.
Plains Equipment Unveils New Shop At Ord Location
Members of the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce joined Plains Equipment personnel in the ribbon cutting for their new shop last week.
Plains Equipment, Ord’s John Deere implement and equipment dealership, is proudly showing off their new maintenance and repair shop. According to location manager Scott Hysell, the significant addition to the business will be a welcome change for staff and customers alike. “As times change, the machinery gets much larger,” Hysell explained. “We outgrew our shop years ago, and Plains Equipment made the commitment to get us a better facility to better serve our customers’ needs and their larger machinery. They decided over a year ago that it was time to get something done, so plans were put in place to build this 90 [foot] by 130 [foot] building with state-of-the-art items in it. They did it right. It’s over a $700,000 building. They made a large commitment because they want our customers to know that we are here to stay, and that we are gonna do our very best to keep them going in the fields.” The new shop will allow up to half a dozen pieces of equipment to be parked inside and out of the weather while being serviced, a luxury that the former maintenance building did not allow. Hysell, a native of Atkinson, NE, came to Ord a year ago this month after a thirteen-year stint at the John Deere dealership in Kearney. He said that he and his wife wanted to return to a small town lifestyle, so the position in Ord was a welcome opportunity. Along with the management change that Hysell brings to Plains Equipment, there are plans to change other aspects of the Ord crew as well. “We are looking actively to add two new service technicians to come on board with us,” he said. He said that parties interested in joining the team can apply online at www.plainsequipment.com, and learn more about the strong benefits packages the company offers, along with competitive wages. The demand for skilled technicians on hand to serve customers both in the new shop and out in the field as the situation may dictate, is a priority for Hysell and his staff. In addition to opportunities available for service technicians, they are also currently looking to increase their team of parts personnel. The full story is in the August 19 issue of The Ord Quiz.
Four Candidates To Compete For Popcorn Days Queen
courtesy photo: The candidates for this year’s Popcorn Days Queen are (l to r): Madison Cadek, Shelby Essman, Courtney Stobbe, and Mikayla Strickland.
Four young ladies will be competing for the title of Popcorn Days Queen 2015. The coronation will take place on the main stage on Sat. evening, Aug. 29th at 8 p.m. Shelby Essman, 17, is the daughter of Tom and Leslie Essman. She is a junior at Central Valley High School, and is involved in One Act, dance, volleyball, basketball, band, choir, Youth Leadership Group, and she is a member of the National Honor Society. Shelby has one brother, Derek, and one sister, Miranda. Madison Cadek, 17, is a senior at Central Valley High School, where her activities include: One Act, Student Leadership Group, All-School Play, choir, band, and drill team. She also babysits, helps with the summer reading programs at the library, and works as a lifeguard at the North Loup Swimming Pool during the summer. Her interests include hanging out with her friends and family, babysitting, and dancing. Madison’s future plans are to attend college and major in Elementary and Special Education, and then come back to rural Nebraska and give back to her community. Madison is the daughter of Alan and Lisa Cadek from North Loup, and has two brothers, Joey and Reilly. Mikayla Strickland, 17, is a senior at Central Valley High School. She is the daughter of Doug and Deena Strickland. Her siblings are Zach Strickland, Samantha Vigil, and Jacob Strickland. She’s involved in cheerleading, and the cheer team will be performing in the 2015 Popcorn Days talent show. She is also in the Central Valley One Act. Mikayla works as a certified Nurse’s Assistant in a Long-Term Care facility, and she loves being able to help people get past certain obstacles in their lives. The final candidate, Courtney Michelle Stobbe, 17, is the daughter of Joe and Michelle Stobbe. She is a senior at Central Valley High School, where her activities include being on the dance team, track, and One Act. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, Honor Roll, American Legion Auxiliary, FFA, band, and chorus. This summer, Courtney has helped with the summer reading program in Scotia, and represented North Loup at Cornhusker Girls State. She loves riding horses, watching movies, and spending time with family friends. After graduation, Courtney plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for Radiology. For the complete schedule of events for the 2015 Popcorn Days Celebration in North Loup, see page 6 of this week’s Quiz.
Golden Arches Leaving Ord
Heidi Dawe photo Ord’s McDonald’s restaurant is closing its doors at the end of this month after 20 years at its 2605 L Street location. See page 2 of this issue for more details, and look for an exclusive interview with Doug Otte in an upcoming issue of the Quiz.
Governor Pete Ricketts
Governor Ricketts Visiting Ord
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts will be returning to Ord on Thurs., Aug. 30 for a public town hall meeting with area residents. The event will take place from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the large conference room at the Chamber of Commerce office in Ord. The stop in town is an addition to his tour of communities across the state for town hall events. For more information on the Governor’s visit, contact the Chamber office at (308)-728-7875 or call (402)-430-4188.
Felton Arraignment For Two Counts of Burglary Set For Sept. 8
Katie Felton, 30 of Ord, had her pretrial hearing Monday afternoon in the District Courtroom of the Valley County Courthouse. Felton was accompanied into court by her parents, as well as her defense attorney, Charles Brewster. There were approximately 20 individuals in the Courtroom for the pretrial, which was for 11 charges of burglary, 11 charges of theft by unlawful taking, and a Class III felony. County Attorney Brandon Hanson called three witnesses to the stand for questioning, beginning with Ord Police Chief Korey Johnson. Chief Johnson told the Court that he had been the Police Chief in Ord since May of 2013, and he had worked with the Valley County Sheriff’s Department on a string of burglaries in 2014 and 2015. Johnson testified that the first burglary reported to his office included stolen clothing, cosmetics, and jewelry. The next count Johnson discussed reported the victim finding Felton in her basement, and reported missing items such as a bag, a purse, and a necklace bearing her daughter’s name. Johnson said that the necklace was discovered in a search of Felton’s home on Valley View Drive in Ord. Other counts discussed by Chief Johnson during his questioning from Hanson included reported burglary and missing Tommy Hilfiger bag and USB device, a burglary with missing purses and prescription medications, another report of a witness allegedly finding Felton at her home and later discovering missing cosmetics, another report of a witness waking to find Felton in his girlfriend’s house, and another witness reporting coming home from work and allegedly finding Felton entering his residence, later to find medicine and a blood pressure device missing. Hanson asked Chief Johnson about a search warrant, which was executed on March 2, 2015 at the defendant’s residence. Also, a trash pull was executed on Feb. 27, 2015 that yielded many disposed health and beauty products and designer bags, one of which was identified as stolen property by one of the witnesses for the state. Furthermore, Johnson said that a search of Felton’s bedroom turned up the necklace reported stolen by a witness bearing her daughter’s name. A second search warrant turned up missing documents from the hospital as well as prescription information for another witnesses’ son, who reported missing pill containers. Johnson said that he spoke with Felton on Feb. 26, and she said that she had not been in the houses where the burglaries took place. In the cross-examination by Felton’s attorney, Charles Brewster, Johnson was asked if the residences of the witnesses were formally investigated, which many were not. There were no signs at any residence of a break-in, and Felton nor her vehicle were seen by witnesses at most of the scenes. Each of the scenes had unlocked doors or entry points. Brewster also had Johnson verify that one of the incidents was not reported for nearly a year. The next witness called to the stand was Valley County Sheriff Casey Hurlburt. Hurlburt was questioned about a burglary reported outside of Ord on Feb. 19, 2015, in which three bags were reported stolen, and the property was identified among items found at the Felton residence. He also testified about a designer makeup bag reported stolen at an Elyria residence that was identified among the bags recovered in the search as well. He testified about another burglary reported to his office on Feb. 12th, where another makeup bag, as well as prescription medication, was stolen. Hurlburt said that the victim’s husband reported Felton visiting the residence inexplicably late last year while he was home from work ill. The victim later at the residence identified the stolen makeup bag and cosmetics among the items recovered in the search of Felton’s residence. The entire story is in the August 5, 2015 issue of The Ord Quiz.
Drudik Crowned 2015 Valley County Fair Queen
Kenzie Drudik of Ord was crowned the 2015 Valley County Fair Queen Sunday evening. Drudik takes over the Queen duties from 2014 Queen, Karlee Severance. The talent show winner of the coronation event was Journie Woodward, and Katherine Schudel and Rachel Hornickel were named First and Second Runner-Up respectively.
Smith Named "Fair Person of the Year"
Who is the fairest of them all? Why, Walt Smith of Ord, that’s who! Prior to his announcing duties for the 2015 Valley County Fair Parade, Smith was presented with the Fair Person Of The Year award by Loup Valley Ag Society President, Terry Christensen. Rumor has it that this year’s parade was the swan song performance of Smith’s Fair Parade announcing career.
Sugg Investigation To Be Complete Within Two Weeks
At Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Valley County Board of Supervisors, it was revealed that the investigation into Valley County Health System President/CEO Bill Sugg would be wrapped up soon. “The CEO investigation will hopefully be completed within the next ten days,” interim-CEO Ashley Woodward reported to the Board of Supervisors. “Part of the process was to interview Bill about the allegations, which was done a couple of weeks ago. He was made aware of the allegations at the time of the investigation.” Woodward said that the second part of the investigation was ongoing, and Sugg was interviewed regarding that portion on July 24th. Woodward told the Board that Sugg’s contract with the hospital expires on Aug. 31, 2015.
Ten Compete For Valley County Fair Queen
Ten local young ladies will be competing for the title of 2015 Valley County Fair Queen at the coronation this Sunday, Aug. 2. At the event, each candidate will perform her talent for the audience. The Fair Queen will receive a $300 scholarship, with the first and second runners-up receiving $100 each. An award for the talent performance will be given as well. Information on the candidates, including current activities and plans after high school is in the July 29 issue of The Quiz.
“It’s Offical Now...”
“It’s official now. Ord is a frontrunner for landing a new retail anchor,” Valley County Economic Director Trevor Lee told the Quiz Tuesday morning. “And that anchor is Shopko.” Lee said that there are but two more steps that must be taken for the deal to finalize. First, the tax increment financing (TIF) process must be formally completed. He said that the final meeting for approval will take place on July 27th. Second, Shopko must give one final green light on the project to Oppidan, their development company with whom Ord has been working to close the deal. That final green light would set dirt work to begin in September. “Right now, Valley County Economic Development has no reason not to believe that will happen,” Lee said. “If everything moves forward smoothly with groundbreaking, we could have the store open in early Spring.” He said that Oppidan is also very confident that the deal will go through according to that plan. “Shopko has set a goal of 25 to 30 stores throughout the country to be open by the end of 2016. When we started working with Shopko earlier this Spring after starting pursuing them last Fall, they have been talking to a lot of communities—several in Nebraska. Ord is the only community that they have even had a public meeting at. We are ahead of the game because of our Economic Development readiness, our framework, our local support from elected officials and volunteers, and the business community. That has allowed us to have that edge, and we will be the first Shopko of those 25 to 30 stores to be open.” As reported previously, the City of Ord has been working with Gothenburg-based attorney Michael Bacon, who specializes in TIF financing projects. To be approved, TIF must be approved by a series of Boards, including the Planning Commission, the Ord City Council, and the City of Ord Community Development Agency (CDA), the Council’s development arm. Lee said that Bacon has been overseeing the process for the Shopko project, making sure that proper procedure has been followed. He said that it must be established that the project would not come to fruition if not for tax increment financing, and all tests and analyses on Ord point that direction. “So far, I’ve had every indication that the Planning Commission, City Council, and the CDA have all been very supportive of the process,” Lee said. “Obviously, there have been questions, but they have been answered by Mike Bacon, Oppidan, and myself. They understand the importance of this project, because we saw an immediate negative impact economically when the doors closed on Alco. For example, in March of 2015, local spending dropped by nearly 8.5% over March of 2014. This March was actually the lowest level since March of 2012.” Lee pointed out that it was not just spending at Alco alone. He explained that when people from Ord go out of town to shop for items that they would have purchased at Alco, they also tend to purchase fuel, food, and other items while out of town as well. The loss of revenue from Alco affected other Ord businesses as well, not to mention the sixteen jobs that were lost. The new Shopko building will be built on the eastern edge of town in the Whoa N’ Go Plaza. Also planned for that neighborhood is the new hotel and convention center, which Lee is not directly involved with, but said that they are looking into TIF funding as well once plans are finalized. Lee said that if the plan plays out as it should, groundbreaking for Ord’s Shopko would take place on September 15.
North Loup Prepares For 2015 Popcorn Days Festivities
The North Loup Popcorn Association wishes to invite everyone once again to attend one of Nebraska’s longest-running community celebrations: Popcorn Days! This year, the event will take place from Aug. 28-30. The parade will be held at 2 p.m. on Aug. 30, with a theme of “Favorite TV Theme Songs.” Check-in will begin at 10 a.m. at the northwest corner of the school, with floats being judged at 12:30 p.m. Information to be read about each entry is to be written on a 3x5 index card for the announcer. Also at the northwest corner of the school will be the tractor display, which will begin at 8 a.m. For more information on Popcorn Days this year, contact Tory Wadas at (308)-496-4396 or (308)-219-0204.
Valley County Fair Parade Aug. 2
The Valley County Fair Parade, which traditionally serves as the kick-off for the fair, will be held at 5 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 2, 2015. The theme for this year is “Old Or New, The Fair For You.” Lining up will be begin at 4 p.m., and judging will take place at 4:30. Later that evening, the 4-H Air Rife Experience will be held at the Fairgrounds, followed by the 4-H Fashion Show and Queen Coronation. Entertainment after the fashion show will be supplied by the Arcadia Public Schools A capella choir. Other key events at this year’s Valley County Fair include the 4-H animal showings and judging throughout the week, as well as the return of the BBQ Cookoff, team penning, and Country Showdown singing competition on Sat., Aug. 8. In addition, the Farmers Market will return to the Fairgrounds on Fri., Aug. 7, along with the annual decorated cake auction and entertainment by the Kahuna Beach Party. The Fair will come to a close with the Fireman’s Water Fight Competition at 3 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 9. Ord Sports Boosters will once again handle concessions throughout the Fair.
OHS Alumni Committee Named For 2016
The Ord High School Alumni Committee will include the following members from the designated years’ graduating classes. 1946: Alice (Beran) Rogers, Wilfred Cook, Norma (Long) Remington, Ruth (Owens) Suminski, Dorothy (Skolil) Hruza, Vidella (Suchanek) Rogers, Ruth (Thompson) Smith, and Edmund Zulkoski; 1951: Rosalie (Blaha) Leggett, James Duda, Irene (Franzen) Harrington, Cleon Hansen, Ruth (Hayes) Hansen, Margaret (Heuck) Sorensen, Gladys (Kokes) Gogan, Micky (Mason) Norland, Darlene (Novosad) Severson, Marlene (Norman) Smith, and Lorene (Petska) Meese; 1956: Charles Blaha, Duane Carson, Evelyn (Iwanski) Paprocki, Robert Knapp, Emanuel Sich, James Studnicka, Margie (Svoboda) Mayberry, Marvin Vasicek, and Dolores (Zadina) Florian; 1961: Roger Arnold, Lynn Griffith, Twilla (Houska) Bonne, Dennis Hurlbert, Allen Philbrick, Donald Severance, Carolyn (Skala) Dzingle, Robert Stowell, Danny Studnicka, Eva (Wadas) Nelson, Jerome Wadas, and Gloria (Wilson) Paprocki; 1966: Barbara (Anderson) Benda, Virginia Duvall, Gary Garnick, Anthony Hoevet, Shirley (Hrebec) McCain, Gary Klanecky, Larry Philbrick, John Reger, Mary Ann (Risan) Zebert, and Bonnie (Turek) Griffith; 1971: Jim Andreesen, Suzanne (Bundy) Hurlbert, Robert Cook, LeAnn (Edghill) Beran, Alan Koelling, Debra (Kramer) Kinney, Eileen (Pesek) Bruha, Janie (Petska) Zadina, Russell Rogers, Daniel Timmerman, Dean Vancura, and Barbara (Wagner) Yrkoski; 1976: Timothy Augustyn, Barbara (Dworak) Freouf, Alan Edghill, Dennis Fauss, Mike Fischer, Charles Green, Mark Hackel, Craig Hansen, Irene (Hornickel) Kriefels, Dennis Hruza, Jane (Krikac) Vech, Debra (Manchester) Waites, Dean Miska, Dean Osentowski, Dale Pesek, Alan Petska, Doug Sedlacek, Craig Struckman, and Beverly (Walahoski) Smedra; 1981: Mark Blaha, Teresa (Bose) Vancura, Doug Boyce, Chad Bundy, Janice (Grim) Wetzel, Lori (Hanson) Wadas, Alan King, Peggy (Kramer) Arduser, Dave Lech, David Markvicka, Lori (Masin) Cline, Shelly (Norman) Blaha, Brian Petska, Bob Pokorny, Peggy (Rice) Brott, Brad Stabb, Janice (Stoltenburg) Kellums, Jim Studnicka, and Rich Wadas; 1986: Christy (Arnold) Hruza, Denese (Clauss) Severance, Steve Hornickel, Sandy (Knutson) Pelton, Tom Kowalski, Tom Kruml, and Dahn (Stowell) Hagge; 1991: Dustin Claypool, Nicole (Haste) Wadas, Corey Miller, Bryon Nevrivy, Brian Philbrick, Lynda (Rice) Felton, Tom Ries, and Mark Wray; 1996: Michelle (Boyce) Stunkel, Andrew Coleman, Scott Dilsaver, Crystal (Parks) Trompke, Trent Proskocil, Heather Sikyta, and Jon Smedra; 2001: Brent Drake, Levi Jackson, Timbre O’Neel, Matthew Proskocil, Brian Shafer, Micheal Sich, Danielle (Tolfa) Sich, Chelsea (Wadas) Collier, and Jessica (Wadas) Bruha; 2006: Devan (Blaha) Barnes, Larissa (Lytle) Zulkoski, Suzanne (Melia) Cox, Cort Meyer, and Mitchell Reineke.
Valley Theater Under New Ownership
It was confirmed at Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Valley County Board of Supervisors that the Valley Theater — formally operated as the Blank Slate Theater — has sold. The Valley County Assessor’s office reports that the building was purchased from BankFirst on July 2, 2015 for $125,000 by the Valley Performing Arts Theater Inc., a local organization currently consisting of eight members with a goal of bringing the long-time entertainment staple on Ord’s square back to life. VPAT member Janie Zadina told the Quiz Tuesday morning that while their vision for the facility as a benefit to the area was in tact, the group was only beginning to map out their route to make that vision come to fruition. Planning meetings will soon begin, and public input on making the Valley Theater a thriving community institution will be forthcoming in the near future. The Valley Theater hosted the public screening of the Consider The Alternative documentary from Nebraska Public Schools on Tuesday evening.
Country Fest Brings Party To Comstock’s Main Street
The nights of Independence Day weekend in Comstock were a lot brighter, a lot louder, and a lot more populated than usual this past weekend. If Shona Cosentino has her way, next year will be even more so. The second annual Cornhusker Country Fest expanded the village’s population greatly with music fans from across the region, all looking to kick up their proverbial heels and boots at the downtown street dance party. Cosentino, shown at left with Y102 Radio personality and event emcee, Scotty O, was pleased with the event this year, both in terms of talent and attendance. The main attraction at the event was the internationally-known country band Blackhawk, consisting of guitarist/mandolinist/vocalist Henry Paul and keyboardist/vocalist Dave Robbins and their backing band. Regional favorites such as WhiskeyBent, who performed before Blackhawk on Sunday, the Emmett Bower Band and the Dylan Bloom Band (who both headlined Saturday night) filled the street with dancers as well. “It was fantastic,” Cosentino told The Quiz Tuesday morning. She said that she is already talking with acts about next year’s Cornhusker Country Fest.
VCHS CEO Sugg Placed On ‘Investigatory Suspension’
VCHS President/CEO, Bill Sugg.
Valley County Health System staff learned Friday afternoon that hospital President and CEO William T. Sugg has been been placed on ‘investigative suspension’ indefinitely. The hospital’s Director of Finance, Ashley Woodward, is once again serving as interim CEO. The announcement came less than 48 hours after Wednesday evening’s meeting of the VCHS Board of Trustees, where the budget for the next fiscal year was set and the roster of officers elected, and four days before the end of the hospital’s fiscal year and the official transition of Valley View Living Center to Valley View Senior Village. Sugg was absent from the Board meeting Wednesday due to attending another meeting in Lincoln. VCHS Board Chairman Gary Garnick told the Quiz that an independent investigator has been hired by the Board to examine the case, which involves allegations against Sugg from undisclosed hospital personnel. Garnick said that the Board is taking this measure out of “moral obligation to associates and legal liabilities.” The allegations were presented to the Board within the past three weeks. Last Wednesday evening, all of the Board members were present for the meeting. The roster of officers was elected to remain the same for 2015-2016 as it has been for the previous year, and all committees were appointed the same as well. The Finance Committee will again consist of Gary Garnick, Bill Sugg, Roger Lansman, and Michelle Zangger. The Quality Assurance Committee will consist of Carl Streeter, Nathan Flessner, and Chuck Blaha. The Human Resources/CEO Committee will be made up of Garnick, Zangger, and Lansman. Garnick will serve another term as Board Chairman, with Streeter serving as Vice Chairman. The Financial Report for the month of May showed that Acute Days stood at 820 year-to-date compared to the 797 budgeted. Swingbed days were at 1,314 YTD compared to the budgeted 1,295, and the average daily census 7.2 for May and 6.4 YTD, slightly over the 6.2 that was budgeted. There were 147 Emergency Room visits in May and 1,780 YTD, which is 14.8% over the budget. The operating room saw 33 patients, and had 381 YTD (12.6% over the budget). Lab clinical tests stood at 10,493 for the month of May and 124,811 YTD, compared to the 118,081 budgeted. In addition, Cardiopulmonary services totaled 504 for May and were 17.9% over the YTD budget, total radiology tests came to 456 for May and 12.9% over the YTD budget, outpatient clinic visits totaled 378 for May and were 9.5% over the YTD budget, hospice days totaled 211 in May and were 26.3% over the YTD budget, LTC census remained low with a 23.2 average last month and YTD total that was 7.8% below what was budgeted, physician clinic visits totaled 744 in May and home health visits totaled 1,103, with both departments performing over their projected year-to-date budgets by 1.3% and 9.4% respectively. The complete story is in the July 1, 2015 edition of The Quiz.
Smith Hangs Up The Headset After 52 Years
After serving for five decades as the voice of central Nebraska athletics, parades, and various other activities, Walt Smith of Ord has retired as a professional broadcaster. “I just can’t be out there that late at night anymore,” Smith said of his decision to retire from broadcasting. He said that the decision was made for him by his health back in April. The consolidation of schools and later event times played a big role in his decision. “Instead of getting home at 10 or 11, you get home at 12 and 1. That’s a little bit late in the eveningfor me to be out there driving around where the deer and the antelope play. I still have it in my heart, and am always going to have there, but it was time for me. I’m happy where I’m at now.” Smith’s start in broadcasting came 52 and a half years ago when then-announcer Jay Brady left, and the search was on for a replacement. A call to Hastings College led to a recommendation for Smith to get a chance at the microphone. Smith said he worked early on with Tracy Johnson and Alan Bundy. He said he has called just about every sport, and refereed for many years both basketball and volleyball. He said that he had to learn a lot real fast, including pronunciations of names, which took some work for the Philadelphia native. “I had a Russian youngster once that looked like somebody dumped over a can of alphabet soup and spelled his name,” Smith explained with a laugh. “I tried it several times and my tongue got turned around my teeth, and they said to just call him George. We taped a game for them one night and he got a chance to play a little, and he sent it over to Russia and they played it over there. Maybe I’m on the KGB list now for mispronouncing.” Smith said that he always made an effort not to favor any team or player throughout his career. The full story is in the June 24 issue of The Quiz.
Rod Run Marks 40th Year For Valley Rods Unlimited
As Father’s Day rolls around in Ord, classic vehicles will roll into town right on cue for the annual Rod Run hosted by Valley Rods Unlimited, the local car club. To commemorate the four decades of activity in Ord, the club has had a photo book compiled with images of members and rides from throughout its history. Club member Greg Jensen loaned a copy of the book to the Quiz for a sneak peek. The book opens with a brief history of Valley Rods Unlimited written by Charter Member Gary Garnick. According to Garnick, the club was founded in the spring of 1975, and applied to the National Street Rod Association for a car club affiliation on April 28th of that year. The first annual Rod Run event took place with about two-dozen cars participating in conjunction with the State Air Show at Sharp Airfield north of Ord. When the State Airshow was canceled two years later, the Rod Run was moved to Fort Hartsuff for two years. Other sites that have hosted the Rod Run festivities throughout the club’s history include the Veteran’s Grounds, the Boilesen Grain Building, and K-Truck Line, among other locations. The book also talks about how the club held its first auto show in the winter at Fonner Park in Grand Island. Valley Rods Unlimited took first place for its display, and brought home the $50 grand prize. That event began a run of five more years where first place prizes were won. The new book also details the club’s first hayrack ride in the fall of 1978, as well as the first awards banquet from 1979. The club’s logo (above), which adorns the front of the book, as well as the club’s banner, and member jackets, was designed in 1977. It remains essentially unchanged. To see the logo and learn more about Ord’s car club, visit their website at www.ordcarclub.com. Valley Rods Unlimited currently meets every other Wednesday in Ord at the former Standard Oil gas station that they have been restoring since purchasing in 2010. Everyone is encouraged to pop in and say ‘hi’ during Sunday’s Show and Shine on the square in Ord.
Can Care-A-Van Helps Food Pantry Shatter Goal
Ord Food Pantry Volunteers and 10/11 News representative stand amid some of the donated goods.
Whether it was due to the 10/11 News personalities hanging out on-site, the taste and aroma of the grilled hot dogs, or the shade to stand in out of the sun while being served bringing in a crowd of generous donors, The First United Methodist Church Food Pantry more than tripled its goals at this year’s Can Care-A-Van held last Tuesday. The event raised 14,276 lbs of non-perishable items and converted monetary donations. “We got a lot of the basic stuff that I think people have figured out that we need to help people make meals,” said volunteer Orilla Orent. Since the food pantry provides meats, there is often a need for canned and boxed items to go with it for a meal. The pantry stocked up well in that regard. This year was the first that food was actually grilled and served to the public outside of the pantry. The volunteers estimated that 120 people stopped by to eat and visit with friends and neighbors. Each stop on the Can Care-A-Van had the opportunity to nominate an individual or group for the Spirit Award. Ord gave the award to the Methodist Church Youth Group due to their assistance with the food pantry and help with the event. “They helped us move, and help us tear down stuff, organize, stock, shelves, and vacuum and stuff,” Orent said. “So that’s kind of their local mission.” In addition, the church has partnered with the Eppworth Village young men’s welfare facility in York, which serves as the Youth Group’s non-local mission. Eppworth Village is affiliated with the Methodist Church as a whole. The next upcoming event for the First United Methodist Church Food Pantry is the mobile pantry, which will be in town from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 11th in the Fellowship Hall in the church itself. That service will be available to anyone in the area that needs assistance. Anyone who attends the mobile pantry is asked to bring their own containers to carry their items. “We don’t know what we’re going to get until it shows up,” Mike Jackson said of the mobile pantry. “They have a little bit of everything, and I’m sure there will be more of a variety of fresh stuff.” “We just want to thank the community for their support and the businesses that came and brought food or monetary donations,” Jackson said of the successful Can Care-A-Van. “We are very thankful for the support, and I can’t stress that enough.” Any individual or community group that would like to become involved with the food pantry is encouraged to contact one of the volunteers or stop by during its operating hours. Jackson said that the pantry’s job is not done by any means, and any additional help would be appreciated.
Ord Moving Closer To Landing New Store By Whoa & Go
As the local rumor mill continues spinning about the arrival of a new retail store in Ord—which only gathered steam and momentum after last week’s City Council meeting—Valley County Economic Development Director Trevor Lee visited with the Quiz Monday to answer the questions that he could. The direct name of the retailer was not one of those questions, but what is public at this time is that the City of Ord is working with national property development firm Oppidan Investment Company to bring one of their retail clients to the Whoa & Go subdivision east of Ord. “We are working with Oppidan Development, which is a Twin Cities-based developer that provides services for many, many national companies,” Lee said. “We are working with them to hopefully put ourselves in a position to land a 25,000 square foot retail user that would locate on Lot 1 of the Whoa and Go subdivision.” At last week’s City Council meeting, a letter of engagement was approved with Gothenburg-based attorney Michael Bacon. Bacon specializes in Tax Increment Financing (TIF), which is a tool that Lee said the city is using to increase our chances of landing the store they are trying to bring to town. Lee said that time is of the essence in sealing the deal, as the retailer is looking to break ground in August of this year so it can be open around March of 2016. The TIF process goes through an approval process that includes the Community Development Agency, the Planning Commission, and ultimately, Ord’s City Council. “TIF essentially makes projects happen that otherwise wouldn’t without it,” Lee explained. “It is a financial incentive that essentially allows companies to utilize future excess taxes—taxes beyond what the base value was at the time the development started—to offset development costs that are necessary to get the project going.” Examples of some of those costs include landwork, engineering, and infrastructure development. Lee said that in Nebraska, a TIF period could be for as many as 15 years. At the end of that period, the excess begins going back to the taxing entities such as schools. “The idea is that it has to pass a ‘but for’ test, meaning that it is a project that would not happen but for TIF” Lee explained. “That way, you are not taking away tax dollars because the project never would have existed and the increment would have never been established without TIF being injected into it.” With the procurement of Bacon’s services, the feasibility process is the step that Ord is standing on right now. Ord has had three such TIF projects over the years. Grandview Assisted Living, the road to the Green Plains ethanol plant, and the New Neighborhoods subdivision were constructed through TIF. Oppidan entered the equation in late 2014, when Lee said he began making cold calls to headquarters for mid-sized retail chains upon finding out that Ord’s Alco was closing. He said he landed a meeting with Oppidan, and was able to bring them to Ord and introduce them to the area. They found the lot at the Whoa and Go subdivision to their liking, and the ball was rolling. Lee said that he already has site plans for the finished project. He said that Oppidan’s client wants to build 25 new operating stores in the markets of former Alco stores over the next two years, and if all goes right, Ord will the first of the bunch. Next year looks to be a busy and exciting year for the Whoa & Go subdivision, as while the City looks to seal the deal with Oppidan, the also anticipated hotel and convention center project is also quietly coming together. According to Lee, the investors are nearly ready to seek financing for construction. Along with those projects, Lee is also excited about the ESI youth camp this weekend, as well as the Comprehensive Plan for Ord that he writes about in this week’s Quiz and his involvement in ExtraORDinary Days, which is rumored to involve a dunk tank and a guest percussion spot in the newspaper editor’s band next Saturday.
Summer Events and Forthcoming Changes Discussed At VCHS Board Meeting
The Valley County Health System Board of Trustees conducted their regular monthly meeting on May 27, 2015. Board members Michelle Zangger and Nathan Flessner were absent. Director of Finance Ashley Woodward presented the April financial performance to the Board, noting that it was the tenth month of the fiscal year. Inpatient census increased at 8.8 for the month and 6.3 year-to-date, which is in line with the budget. Radiology tests were up 15.9% over last year, with 4,707 tests year-to-date. Physical therapy visits were down 10% from last year, due to one less therapist, but the Outpatient Clinic was up 15.8% at 487 visits in April. Hospice days were up 26.6% at 240 for April and 2,463 year-to-date. She said that she had never seen hospice as high as it has been this year since she has been with the hospital. Long-term care year-to-date census was 27.9, which is below the 29.8 budgeted, and Physician Clinic visits were up 5.2% at 979 for the month. Home health visits totaled 10,899 year-to-date, which is well over the budgeted figure of 9,974. Gross patient service revenue for the month was up at $3,195,363, a bulk of which was related to the Outpatient Clinic and the swing bed volume being up. The Specialty Clinic was up for the month as well, whereas contractual adjustments and provision for bed debts were down in April. Salaries and benefits remained in line with the budget. The month of April overall yielded an operating gain of $164,556, with a gain year-to-date of $942,202. The hospital had a year-to-date net income of $1,127,597. On the balance sheet, cash decreased to $9,053,172 from March’s figure of $9,713,130, and total current liabilities were $4,572,694 compared to March’s figure of $4,900,897. Woodward said that decreasing the accounts payable decreases cash as well. The hospital received a Meaningful Use Incentive payment of $995,000, with another payment coming later this year. The financial report was accepted by the Board. VCHS President and CEO Bill Sugg reported on the culture change and strategic plan, saying that Dr. Nadler would be returning in July or August to work on Phase 3 of the culture change. He said that the nursing home transition would take effect at midnight on June 30, 2015. Sugg noted that the change would naturally lead to some uneasiness while it took effect, but the end result would be beneficial to both entities. The implementation of the marketing plan is currently underway. The next Board Retreat will take place in September. Next, LTC Midwest CEO Randy Kozeal reported to the Board on the status of the long-term care transition. He said that he had spent the day at staff meetings unveiling the insurance and benefit plans. He said that he is encouraging staff to consider the Health Savings Account. Plan. The Medicare certification is on track, and he said it would be a milestone for Valley County. It was also noted that Kozeal and Sugg were working on putting together the community advisory board for the planning of Valley View Senior Village. The Board next approved re-activating the Nebraska Liquid Asset Fund with a resolution, which enables the hospital to invest in CD’s They also approved a BankFirst resolution that would move from 12 months to 13 to get a better rate. In his Safety Report, Facility Head Larry Proskocil told the board that there were no OSHA reportable incidents in the month of April. Director of Professional Services Bethanne Kunz gave a report on the on the ICD—10 diagnosis number coding program that will go into effect on Oct. 1. The system has been delayed several times, and the U.S. is one of he last countries to adopt the system. President Sugg told the Board about the upgraded associate benefits package that goes into effect on July 1 that will bring with it a better plan with less cost and better benefits. Director of Human Resources Danielle Proskocil reported on the July 3rd Foundation golf tournament, as well as National Hospital and Nursing Home Week, Leora Sedlacek being honored as Associate of the Quarter, the employee picnic of July 9, the long-term care fireworks presentation on June 30, and the labor and law forum in Omaha that she and Marcy Shafer attended. The entire story is in the June 10, 2015 issue of The Quiz.
Orscheln Farm and Home To Open New Location in July
by Megan Dietz For the past few weeks Orscheln’s has been preparing for their big move to the previous Alco building on East Highway 11. Dirtwork began and signage went up Friday morning. The Ord location will remain a Class C size store, however certain departments will move up to Class B which will increase inventory. Those departments include automotive, clothing and pets. Orscheln’s has been a vital business in Ord since purchasing the Country General Store on North Highway 11 in 2002. Moving to the new facility will increase the sales floor to 5,000 sq. ft. along with expanding to add a freight area, something the current store lacks. The dirt work currently being done to the east side of the building will become a gated compound for outdoor merchandise including gates, posts, barbwire and numerous others. A 108’x110’ cement pad will be poured to allow customers easier access for loading. According to the Manager, Jason Dietz, the biggest difference will include an expansion of women’s and children’s apparel that will add to the already large array of men’s clothing. He maintains that the aisles will also be larger allowing for better shopping ease. Dietz has been the manager of Orscheln Farm & Home since November 2013, after Manager, Jack Ptacnik retired in September of that same year. The new store will also be expanding their workforce by 25 percent. Applications can be acquired by stopping at the current location on North Hwy 11 or by going online to www.orschelnfarmhome.com. A downside will be elimination of the tire shop along with tire services, including patching and mounting tires. However, Orscheln Farm and Home will continue to have lawn and garden tires in stock. Dietz stated Friday that the plan is to be in the new building and fully functional by mid-July 2015 and they look forward to continuing to serve Ord and the surrounding community. Hours of operation for the store will also extend to Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday hours will remain 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The store’s grand opening will take place sometime this fall.