Demerath Farms has been a strong name in Nebraska dairy for a number of years and now they are about to be even bigger.
Demerath Farms has been modified into the first robotics dairy in the state and the family would like to invite the public to check it out.
There will be an open house on Saturday, June 24 at their location south of Plainview. The family will be on hand from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. to show guests the new equipment and explain what it is like to be the first of its kind in Nebraska. Lunch will be served on the grounds for any in attendance.
Anyone wanting to visit the farm is asked to park at Meuret Grain at 53100 863 Road near Plainview. There will be a shuttle on hand to transport visitors to the dairy.
The Archdiocese of Omaha is recommending local Catholic churches consolidate, including churches in Tilden, Neligh, Elgin and Raeville.
According to a proposal released on Thursday by the Archdiocese, it's recommended that Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Tilden consolidate with St. Francis of Assisi in Neligh. Our Lady of Mount Carmel church would become a chapel and the use or disposition of other facilities will be determined by their suitability for ministerial activity.
St. Bonaventure in Raeville would consolidate with St. Boniface in Elgin. St. Bonaventure church would become a chapel and the use or disposition of other facilities will be determined by their suitability for ministerial activity.
The proposal would cluster St. Francis of Assisi in Neligh and St. Boniface in Elgin. According to the release, these parishes would consider the development of a common staff, pastoral council, and ministries. Other parishes from the Rural Northwest Deanery could become part of this cluster in the next round of deanery planning.
There would be two priests assigned to serve these parishes.
Kelly Mueller, Antelope County Assessor, completed a workshop conducted in Kearney on May 31 by the Nebraska Association of County Officials.
The workshop provided county commissioners, supervisors, and other county officials specialized training as they prepare to begin County Board of Equalization hearings. There was also a section of the workshop that dealt with county budgets.
Among the equalization-related topics addressed were the roles and responsibilities of county officials and other individuals involved in the process, the constitutional, statutory and regulatory provisions for real and personal property valuation, recent court cases and legislative changes in the tax equalization process. The state auditor's office provided timely information about the budget processes used in county government.
Also in attendance were County Clerk Lisa Payne and commissioners Leroy Kerkman and Eli Jacobs.
(Courtesy of LeRoy Janssen)
Much of the attention during the Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic falls on the players on the field. However, they are not the only ones putting in a week's worth of work to produce a great product on the field.
The Northeast Nebraska All-Star Marching Band has become as much a part of the all-star tradition as the game itself. Musicians from all over the area are selected to put in rigorous work during game week in order to pump up the crowd, build the atmosphere and display a superior performance at halftime of the game. Students put in as much as seven hours a day of work, learning songs, marching and simply how to sound well with other band members that they may never have played with before.
"We put every instrument on a yard line and just start with eight steps at a time forward, then we mark time and go sixteen steps. Then we go forward and backward. We really run through a drill. We spent probably a solid hour on that and by the time we were done, everybody had it," said Neligh-Oakdale band director Nate Metschke, a director for the all-star band.
The week began on Tuesday, with band members filling the halls of Norfolk High School for hours on end working on the various aspects of the performance. The biggest challenge for many of the band members is not learning the songs, but how to walk. More specifically, how to walk in time and march properly.
"It's a bit of a different experience," said Neligh-Oakdale's Celina Knievel, a member of the flute section.
According to Knievel's fellow Neligh-Oakdale alum Brittany McConnell, being a multi-time participant has it's advantages.
"Most of the kids were here last year, so we know most of them," said McConnell, an alto sax player. "Last year I had absolutely no idea what to do when they gave us those sheets. Now we know."
One student that had a particularly interesting road to the all-star band was Matthew Feusse, a homeschool student that takes private lessons from Metschke.
"If you haven't played before or marched at all, its a pretty good experience. I hadn't done that before, so I'm learning quite a bit," he said.
While the week is full of challenges and the students have to stay focused, that doesn't stop them from enjoying the whole experience.
"It's kind of fun to meet new people and learn new songs," said Clearwater-Orchard's James Kester. "It's all fun."
"All the teachers that are here, we're all just a fun-loving bunch of criminals," added Metschke. "We love kids and working with kids. They enjoy us and we enjoy them."
Once Saturday hit, the band was flawless. The kept the atmosphere strong despite sweltering conditions and the sun beating down on them in the bleachers. They took to the field at halftime and put on a show that impressed all of the more than 2,000 fans in attendance.
The experience was particularly rewarding for two Neligh-Oakdale students - Aden Schindler and Wynter Fulsaas. The duo earned a sweep of the band rewards for the game. Schindler took home the most improved musician award.
"Adan is a great young man, and a wonderful trumpet player! This week at camp he really worked his tail off and caught the eyes of all the directors," Metschke said. "This was his first time marching a halftime show, and he really picked it up quickly."
Fulsaas, who has experienced this event in the past as a band member, took control as a drum major. Her experience and leadership earned her the outstanding leader award.
"It's no secret that Wynter plans to be a band director when she grows up. This was her third year at camp and her second year of being a drum major," Metschke said. " She was all over the place helping students With marching techniques, finding their spots on the field, and just being a great leader and teacher. She was always finding someone to help, and never once sat down and take a break."
Decisions were not made, but opinions heard when 90 speakers gathered in front of the Public Service Commission to share their thoughts on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route on Wednesday in O’Neill.
After more than four years of debate on the KXL pipeline that will carry diluted bitumen down from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast, a milestone was reached for both Keystone pipeline supporters and fighters.
Men, women and children each shared their opinion when O’Neill hosted one of several Public Service Commission hearings to determine if the route was in the public’s best interest. The route is currently proposed to go through many counties in Nebraska including Holt, Antelope and Boone counties.
While the Commission does not approve the pipeline, they do determine if the route chosen is appropriate. The Siting Act prohibits the Commission from evaluating safety considerations, but does require them to consider if the pipeline has complied with all laws, the potential impact on natural resources, economic and social impacts, feasibility for the route and the views of the public.
The PSC Public Information Coordinator, Deb Collins, said the ultimate goal for the Commission is to follow the rules and make a decision based upon the application before them.
The Jason and Monica Buss family traveled from Central City to have a chance to speak their opinion on the pipeline. Boldly joining her dad at the podium in front of the Commission was their 9-year-old daughter, Julia, who shared her concerns to the board of concerns on how her favorite pastime of playing in the Platte River could be threatened if a potential leak were to ruin this fresh water source.
“We grew up playing in the river and for them to play in those rivers and not have to worry about the water they’re drinking is great,” said Jason Buss. “You can’t be thinking about this year’s property taxes or even the next 10 years, you have to think about when my daughter comes back and she’ll have to have [the pipeline] to deal with as well.”
His wife, Monica, also spoke on the issue expressing concerns to the Commission about protecting future generations.
Jason said, “I oppose the pipeline for my kids, for my family, for the rivers and for the future of our children. My daughter was just telling me the first few lyrics to ‘Beautiful Nebraska’. ‘Beautiful Nebraska, peaceful prairie land. Laced with many rivers and the hills of the sand.’ ”
But not all landowners were against the pipeline. Emily Singer, a fourth generation Nebraskan spoke of the economic benefits the pipeline would have on the state.
“I love this state. I have tremendous admiration for the landowners and farmers who work it. My grandfather is one of them and I still support the pipeline. The two are not mutually exclusive,” she said.
Judith Thorman, Director of the Central Region for the American Petroleum Institute, presented her company's position on the issue. The API represents all facets of the oil and natural gas companies on behalf of the National Trade Organization.
“We believe the Keystone pipeline project will serve the citizens of Nebraska and American people in three important ways: by increasing national energy security, by enhancing a safe and secure transportation network and by providing economic benefits including jobs and tax resources.”
Sherry Loske, a Boone County farmer, urged the Commission to, “move it to the current Keystone One route,” if they would not deny the permit for the proposed route.
The Keystone One pipeline is currently located in Northeast Nebraska stretching from the Canadian border to Illinois oil refineries. Fifty-foot easement agreements are purchased for this pipeline, and it currently carries around 530,000 barrels per day compared to the 830,000 barrels proposed for the Keystone XL which is projected to follow a different route.
Mark Zimmerer, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Norfolk, spoke in favor of the pipeline after having seen the impact a pipeline had in Madison County.
“We proactively recruited Transcanada and the Keystone pipeline to bring their face camp in Madison and Norfolk June 2009. Our experience with their organization and employees was extremely positive,” said Zimmerer. “At the end of the day, we experienced a $10 million economic impact in the Norfolk area.”
Still, Paul Theobald, a hog farmer from Foster, told the Commission his concerns for the pipeline.
“I pray, I literally pray, that you’ll do right by us, by your neighbors and by the common people of the state of Nebraska,” he said.
The Commission will hold another hearing in Lincoln on August 7-11. Collins encouraged people to come and share their testimony and evidence of the pipeline. A decision by the PSC will be announced sometime after the hearing either on or before November 23.
After serving 24 years in the U.S. Army, Tom Nelson is excited to serve Antelope County — and his fellow veterans.
Nelson, of Tilden, officially spent his first day on the job Friday as Antelope County Veterans Service Officer after Ron Marshall retired from 30 years of service.
“I feel like I have to give back. This is my opportunity to give back, pay it forward,” Nelson said.
Nelson grew up in Tilden and gained his associates degree in professional aeronautics and a bachelor's degree in management and technical operations. He then spent 2 ½ years as a Department of Defense civilian and one year as a government civilian for homeland security.
Later, he worked at the social security office until his recent job as Veterans Service Officer. Now, his experience in the military and filing claims brings him to Antelope County to serve veterans and their families.
Being able to help out the veterans is what excites me the most about this job, said Nelson. His goals include having a complete automated system and bringing more federal money into the county for veteran benefits.
Making more veterans feel comfortable stepping forward about their benefits is also an ambition for the new officer.
“All veterans need to register with their veterans service officer,” said Nelson. “Sooner or later, they’re going to need those benefits.”
Nelson also sait he knows what each veteran has to go through both serving and applying for benefits. He encourages all veterans to reach out to see what benefits they are eligible for by emailing email@example.com.
After dedicating 30 years to serving our country’s servicemen and women, Ron Marshall has retired as Antelope County Veteran Service Officer.
When Marshall graduated high school in 1964, he started seeing his older friends drafted. So, naturally feeling the strong sense of duty he had to his country, Marshall joined the Air Force in 1966.
“I found a way of life that I liked with benefits and long term security,” said Marshall.
With patriotism in his heart, he decided to make the Air Force his career for 20 ½ years, retiring in 1986. While in the Air Force, Marshall found his career job in the finance and basic payroll office. While spending some time in Vietnam and later moving to Denver, Colo., Marshall made his career decision to re-enlist. Just before he was about to be reassigned overseas, he had the opportunity to become a recruiter, where he spent the last 12 years of service for the military.
“I guess I kinda controlled my destiny,” said Marshall. “When I retired, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I was going to college part time and working different jobs. Then Antelope County Veterans contacted me to see if I was interested in this job. I went from helping people get into the military, to helping those who have served apply for their benefits.”
A variety of benefits is available to veterans at the county, state and federal level, Marshall said.
“To get benefits, you must apply,” stated Marshall. “County Veteran Service Officers play an important role in helping you figure out what benefits you can qualify for.”
Veterans, widows of veterans and children of veterans may all be eligible for different types of benefits. Benefits can include monthly checks, burial benefits, home loans and education compensation.
With Friday marking Marshall’s last day, it also became the official first day for Tom Nelson of Tilden, who began as the new Veteran Service Officer.
Marshall said his favorite part of the job was when his efforts to help someone went through and veterans received their benefits. One veteran got his retroactive check after taking seven years to go through the VA process to receive benefits said Marshall.
“It changed his life,” he said.
In his free time, Marshall said he hopes to camp and help with his wife's antique store located in downtown Neligh.
“I’ve had two great jobs in my life — this one and recruiting for the Air Force. I don’t know which one I’ve enjoyed the most. They both were stressful at times, but their rewards were great,” Marshall said.
Residents are reminded that all flowers and decorations at area cemeteries must be removed in a timely manner.
Many cemeteries are asking that decorations be picked up by the end of the week. Laurel Hill in Neligh, for example, would like all flowers and decorations picked up by June 7. Any remaining decorations will be removed when Merry Maids and Muscles clean up the cemetery.
4-Hers from across the northeast region came together to participate at the Northeast Regional 4-H Public Speaking Contest held on May 25, 2017 at the Lifelong Learning Center in Norfolk, Nebraska.
Sixty youth from 20 counties throughout the state competed in their respective age division in the 2017 Regional 4-H Speech competition. Additionally, thirty-six contestants from eleven counties in the northeast district competed in their respective age division in the 2017 Regional 4-H Public Service Announcement (PSA) competition.
Contestants earn the opportunity to participate in regional competition by winning their age division at the county level. Contestants may compete in one or both categories. Contestants are awarded purple, blue, or red awards in recognition of their accomplishments in speech or PSA; in addition, the top four individuals in each division received medals. The four winners of the senior division speech and PSA competition are given the opportunity to compete for awards at the State 4-H Public Speaking Contest to be held in Grand Island during the Nebraska State Fair. All youth competing in state competition and staying for awards will receive special awards. The top two speech and PSA winners in State 4-H Public Speaking Contest receive scholarships.
Jayda Chessmore from Elgin represented Antelope County well in the Regional 4-H Public Speaking Contest by earning a blue ribbon with her speech, “The Fair”. She competed against 24 other juniors in the her age division. Jayda qualified for the district speech contest by earning a purple ribbon at the combined Antelope, Boone & Nance speech contest that was held in Albion on May 8th.
Public speaking is a communication with many career possibilities. Present 4-H members and 4-H alumni have identified communication skills as some of the most important life skills gained through their 4-H experience. The Nebraska State 4-H communication program is sponsored by the Nebraska Rural Radio Network, which includes KRVN, KNEB, and KTIC. The Northeast Regional contest is conducted by Nebraska Extension with support from Northeast Community College.
Changes are on the horizon for area Catholic churches.
Parish planning teams from Neligh, Tilden and Elgin are among those who have been meeting for several months under the direction of the Omaha Archdiocese. Other Antelope County parishes will likely be impacted as well; however, they are not part of the study at this time.
The Rural Central Deanery is the second area in the Omaha Archdiocese to go through this process. The deanery includes St. Francis of Assisi in Neligh, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Tilden, St. Boniface in Elgin, St. John the Baptist in Petersburg, St. Joseph in Pierce, St. Leonard in Madison, St. Michael in Albion, St. Patrick in Battle Creek, St. Peter in Stanton, St. Paul in Plainview, Sacred Heart in Norfolk, St. Bonaventure in Raeville, and St. Francis de Sales southwest of Battle Creek.
The main reason for this process is the declining number of priests, which is expected to cause a shortage across the archdiocese. According to data provided by the Omaha Archdiocese, there were 139 priests available within the archdiocese in 2011, but that number is projected to drop to 93 by 2045.
Planning teams have answered numerous questions about their parishes, and this input will be considered as the archdiocese considers the future of churches located within the Rural Central Deanery. No decisions are expected to be announced by the archdiocese until the fall.
These parish planning teams were recently asked to share this information with their entire parish and gather their input as well. About 50 parishioners attended the meeting at St. Francis of Assisi in Neligh last Wednesday night. Del Ames gave a presentation showing which key areas the planning team had identified as areas for improvement: welcoming new parishioners, increasing involvement, and building a stronger sense of community. In addition to Ames, other team members are Millie Clemens, Carla Teel, Richard Eilers and Jenny Higgins.
Neligh and Tilden currently share a priest, Fr. Christopher Onuoha; and Fr. Kevin Vogel serves the parishes of Elgin and Raeville. Each of these planning committees listed the current situation as their first choice, but other alignments are possible. The final decision will be made by the archbishop and other administrators within the Omaha Archdiocese.
"Even if they close our parish, heaven is open," Fr. Onuoha said with a smile. "This is not something new. This is the result of what has happened in the last 50 to 60 years. The church is shrinking."