“Bubble time.” “Hammer the grammar.” “Circle, bubble, quick check.” “OK, cowboy.”
These popular phrases may ring a bell to numerous current and former high school students.
Many people know John Baylor for creating “OnToCollege” ACT and SAT prep courses, writing several books, hosting the OTC Show and being the voice of University of Nebraska volleyball.
What they may not realize is that Baylor also has a passion for bike riding.
While riding in this year’s Tour de Nebraska, Baylor said a teacher and a student recognized him in Royal. He said it’s very gratifying when people recognize him because he is trying to leave an impact.
“When I’m recognized, it suggests I’m making a difference in the lives of the school and perhaps the lives of their own family members, perhaps themselves,” Baylor said.
This is his third time riding in the tour with his two children, Antonia, 14, and Cameron, 12. Baylor is also a five-time participant in RAGBRAI, which is a bike ride across Iowa.
Baylor said he loves small towns in northeast Nebraska and when he saw the route, he wanted to make sure he and his children got signed up.
On Wednesday, they rode for 51 miles and stopped in Neligh and stayed the night in the Neligh-Oakdale High School gym.
During the day’s trip, Baylor said he rode on a tandem bike with his son, while his daughter rode on his other tandem bike with his brother, James. On Thursday, they switched, and Baylor rode with his daughter.
Baylor said he enjoys riding on a tandem bike because he is better able to converse with his children, and they help encourage him to keep pedaling.
“They’re critical because my energy level wanes a little, and they’ll say, ‘Help! Hill!’ and jump right in,” he said. “And, sometimes they’ll notice that I’m fading and they’ll say, ‘Come on, dad.’”
Riding with his children helps strengthen their relationship, Baylor said.
“It just deepens my connection with my children, and it lets me see them grow before my eyes and it builds their character,” he said.
For most of his life, Baylor has been biking and he said it helps build friendships through shared challenges.
“I particularly love these trips that are organized, which allow me to bring my family,” he said. “Because to me, deep friendships and relationships are typically the product of shared challenge. And, this is a challenge.”
His love for biking goes back to when he was in high school and would ride his bike as an escape.
“I remember in high school, when I would just need to get away, I would always choose my yellow Schwinn 1974-ish 10 Speed, and I would go about 12 miles one direction and about 12 miles back,” Baylor said.
He also didn’t get a car until he was 25, so biking was his main form of transportation, he said.
According to Baylor, riding a bike provides a feeling of liberation and doesn’t take as much of a toll on the body.
“A bike doesn’t hurt your knees and lets you go so quickly and see so much,” Baylor said. “And you can pretty much go as fast as you can. So, I love it.”
In addition to keeping him in shape, he said rides like Tour de Nebraska are a great way to get to know people in their purest form.
“There’s just great comradery on these rides because everyone is kind of stripped down to just their basic bike-riding selves,” Baylor said. “No one’s driving any fancy cars and no one’s living in a fancy house.”
He said he appreciates the beauty of Nebraska and its small towns and thinks the tour is a great way to bring more people in to see the state.
“I think it’s great for the state because the more people see, especially outer Nebraska, the more they’re going to realize this is absolutely one of the most beautiful states in the country,” Baylor said.
The AKSARBEN Foundation, along with Nebraska Farm Bureau and the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers, announced 138 honorees for the 2018 Nebraska Pioneer Farm and Nebraska Heritage Farm Awards. These awards recognize Nebraska farm families who have consecutively held ownership of land in the same family for at least 100 years (Pioneer) or 150 years (Heritage), respectively.
Five Antelope County families will be honored with Pioneer Awards this year: Gordon C. Baker; Sharon A. Klein, Linda L. Varn, Larry A. Braband and Kathy M. Fullerton; Clee and Monique Wolske and Randy Kossmann; Clifford and Carol Strahm; and Heithoff, Inc.
Since its inception in 1956, nearly 10,000 farm families statewide have received the Nebraska Pioneer Farm Award. The Nebraska Heritage Farm Award, established in 2014, has been awarded to nearly 75 farm families. “We look forward to recognizing and awarding these Nebraska farm families each year. The dedication and perseverance demonstrated by these families is a testament to the strong Nebraska values that set our state apart and have been making AKSARBEN proud, for over 120 years,” said Sandra Reding, AKSARBEN Foundation President.
Partnering with AKSARBEN in sponsoring these awards each year, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson has said, “Nebraska Farm Bureau is proud to help sponsor these farm family awards. Nebraska Farm Bureau’s heritage and continuous mission is to serve Nebraska farm and ranch families, and these awards recognize the commitment to preserve and build Nebraska agriculture for future generations.”
Each honoree receives an engraved plaque and gatepost marker as permanent recognition of this milestone. The awards are presented during the annual county fair in which the land is located.
Local Pioneer Awards honoring 100 years:
Antelope County - Gordon C. Baker
Antelope County - Sharon A. Klein, Linda L. Varn, Larry A. Braband and Kathy M. Fullerton
Antelope County - Clee and Monique Wolske and Randy Kossmann
Antelope County - Clifford and Carol Strahm
Antelope County - Heithoff Inc.
The 2018 Tour de Nebraska brought hundreds of bicyclists to Neligh during their five-day ride across Nebraska.
The riders will spend the afternoon touring the town before staying the night at the park and at the high school. A breakfast will be served in the morning before they depart on the 41-mile trek to O'Neill.
Riding on the 1929 Ford TriMotor at the O’Neill Municipal Airport gave passengers a taste of history.
The opportunity was held by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) last week.
Pilot Bill Sleeper, who flew the vintage plane, which started off as the first luxury airliner, said it is well-seasoned as it has lived many lives.
“It started out with Eastern Air Transport as an airline aircraft in 1929,” Sleeper said. “And, it moved to Cuba, it’s been all over South America, it’s a smokejumper, a 4-A bomber. It’s lived many lives, and it’s now living out the rest of its life as a ride hopper for the Experimental Aircraft Association.”
In 1950, the EAA’s Ford TriMotor was used as a crop duster. This field of work is familiar to event chairman and Schindler Flying pilot, Jason Schindler.
Schindler flew as the primary pilot starting in 1999 for Schindler Flying in Neligh, which is owned by his father, Rick. There, he did aerial application until he moved with his wife, Candi, and three children, Sam, Sophia and Sutton, to O’Neill in 2010, where he said he saw an opening to start his own Schindler Flying business.
“I saw a lot of opportunities in ag to expand the business,” Schindler said. “I saw a proactive community with a sense of small town and vision for expanding agriculture.”
According to Schindler, he also moved because Candi is from Inman and she wanted the family to move back closer.
Moving away from his father’s company and achieving his own success was overwhelming, but he received a lot of encouragement, Schindler said.
“We had a lot of support, but at the same time, it was exciting,” Schindler said. “I mean, it’s a little overwhelming at first, but it definitely is a positive to accomplish something on your own.”
Schindler said the company recently branched out to helicopter operations, in which he hired John Fulks as the full-time
When the EAA reached out to him and asked for his help setting up the event, Schindler said he decided to donate his time to help the cause that has been important to him in his career.
“Part of their philanthropy is that they tour around the United States with this 1929 Ford TriMotor,” Schindler said. “And, they give the opportunity to get rides in this aircraft, which is essentially one of the first mass produced airliners.”
The organization’s goal is to inspire general interest in aviation and provide a historical encounter, Sleeper said.
“The EAA is all about promoting an interest in aviation,” Sleeper said. “This is a great way of letting people experience what it was like to fly back in airliners in 1929.”
According to Sleeper, the Ford TriMotor was the first all metal airliner produced in the United States, and the particular one used for the event is number 69 off of the assembly line of 199 examples of these planes.
The plane seats 10 people including the copilot seat, and the chairs are made from old, authentic leather.
Flying the Ford TriMotor is similar to other planes’ basic control functions, except that the controls are external, Sleeper said.
“All of the basic controls function the same way, but as far as the handling goes, it’s an early airplane and all of the controls are all external,” he said. “It’s a little bit heavy on the controls, but it doesn’t have any bad habits.”
Sleeper has been flying this airplane for three years and said the EAA has been offering these flights for somewhere between 20-25 years.
Before coming to O’Neill, the EAA offered flights in York, and its next stop is at Rapid City, South Dakota.
Needles and thread and a pillow for their head.
4-Hers attended a basic sewing workshop Tuesday in the basement of the Antelope County Courthouse, where children worked on sewing together a patchwork pillow. Carol Green taught the 4-Hers basic sewing skills.
The event was limited to 10 children, and each were accompanied by an adult. Those who attended were required to provide their own sewing machines, but pillow kits, including the fabric, were sold there.
Participants included Evelyn Johnson and her mother, Lesley; Kanyon Allemang and her great grandmother, Carol Hanlin; Natalie Burenheide and her mother, Julie Schiltmeyer; Samantha Stuhr and her grandma, Priscilla Blair; Bailey Ahlers and her mother, Amy; Rylee Tillema and her mother, Alyssa; Irelyn Bearinger and her sister, Cassidy; Addyson Jacob and her mother, Megan; Claire Meyer and her grandmother, Rhonda; and Taryn Wingate and her mother, Megan.
4-H'ers showed off their skills during the 3rd annual County Liners 4-H Horse Show at the Antelope County Fairgrounds in Neligh on Saturday morning.
The contestants demonstrated skills in multiple categories, including Showmanship, Horsemanship, Reining and Barrel Racing.
English Pleasure: 1- Sadie Smutny, 2- Emily Ahlers, 3- Taylor Bolling
English Equitation: 1- Sadie Smutny, 2- Emily Ahlers, 3- Taylor Bolling
Mares 4 & Under: 1- Sadie Smutny
Aged Mares: 1- Amanda Sellin, 2- Luci Koinzan, 3- Emily Ahlers
Gelding 4 & under: 1- Josey Booth
Aged Gelding: 1- Cassidy Frey, 2- Emily Ahlers, 3- Tyler Suckstorf, 4- Rachel Frey, 5- Taylor Bolling
Showmanship 10 & Under: 1- Luci Koinzan, 2- Rachel Harder, 3- Tyler Suckstorf, 4- Cassidy Frey
Showmanship 11-14: 1- Emily Ahlers, 2- Amanda Sellin
Showmanship 15-18: 1- Morgan Erhardt, 2- Sadie Smutny
Showmanship 19+: 1- Taylor Bolling
Leadline: 1- Ellie Suckstorf, 2- Taylor Frey
Walk/Trot 10 & Under: 1-Cassidy Frey, 2-Rachel Harder, 3-Tyler Suckstorf, 4-Luci Koinzan, 5- Kaylee Frey
Walk/Trot 15-18: 1- Sadie Smutny, 2- Morgan Erhardt
Walk/Trot: 19+ 1- Taylor Bolling
Western Pleasure 10 & Under: 1-Rachel Harder, 2-Tyler Suckstorf, 3-Cassidy Frey, 4-Luci Koinzan, 5-Kaylee Frey, 6-Kaylee Thiele
Western Pleasure 11-14: 1-Emily Ahlers, 2- Amanda Sellin
Western Pleasure 15-18: 1-Sadie Smutny, 2-Morgan Erhardt, 3-Ashleigh Nelson, 4-Brooklyn Behmer
Western Pleasure 19+: 1- Taylor Bolling
Horsemanship 10 & Under: 1- Rachel Harder, 2- Luci Koinzan, 3- Cassidy Frey, 4- Tyler Suckstorf
Horsemanship 11-14: 1- Emily Ahlers, 2- Amanda Sellin, 3- Josey Booth, 4- Cassidy Booth
Horsemanship 15-18: 1- Sadie Smutny, 2- Brooklyn Behmer, 3- Morgan Erhardt, 4- Ashleigh Nelson
Horsemanship 19+: 1-Taylor Bolling
Reining 10 & Under: 1- Tyler Bolling,
Reining 15-18: 1- Brooklyn Behmer, 2- Morgan Erhardt
Ranch Riding: Open 1- Amanda Selling, 2- Brooklyn Behmer, 3- Morgan Erhardt, 4- Luci Koinzan
Trail 10 & Under: 1- Luci Koinzan
Trail 11-14: 1- Josey Booth, 2- Amanda Sellin, 3- Emily Ahlers
Trail 15-18: 1- Sadie Smutny, 2- Brooklyn Behmer, 3- Morgan Erhardt
Trail 19+: 1- Taylor Bolling
Pole Bending 11-14: 1- Josey Booth, 2- Emily Ahlers, 3- Amanda Sellin
Pole Bending 15-18: 1- Morgan Erhardt, 2- Brooklyn Behmer
Pole Bending 19+: 1- Taylor Bolling
Barrel Racing 10 & Under: 1- Luci Koinzan
Barrel Racing 11-14: 1- Amanda Sellin, 2- Josey Booth, 3- Cassidy Booth
Barrel Racing 15-18: 1- Brooklyn Behmer, 2- Ashleigh Nelson
Barrel Racing 19+: 1- Taylor Bolling
High Point Awards
10 & under: Luci Koinzan
11-14 Emily Ahlers
15-18 Sadie Smutny
19+ Taylor Bolling
People who participate in the Passport to Heritage program and visit all 11 northeast Nebraska museums between Memorial Day and Labor Day will be eligible for a top cash prize of $300.
In addition to winning cash, people who take part can celebrate area history.
A Heritage Museum Network meeting was held at Allen on May 5, and members decided to continue to offer the program. During the meeting, members discussed the promotional opportunity for the 11 museums.
The Passport to Heritage program began on Memorial Weekend in 2016. It was developed by the museum network, under the guidance of Northeast Nebraska Resource Conservation and Development, was developed. Prizes in the first year were books and gifts donated by the area’s museums. Cash prizes from an anonymous donor were started last year and will be supplied by participation fees and advertisements.
“The participation in the program has grown in the past two years,” RC&D staffer Dick Haskin said. “We hope the program draws even more visitors this year.”
Passport booklets are available at each participating museum. Once a visitor obtains a booklet, they can have each museum place a sticker in the center section of the book. The center section, which includes a form to fill out, can then be removed and mailed to the Northeast Nebraska RC&D. Mailing must be completed by Sept. 18, 2018.
Those who collect stickers from each of the 11 participating museums will be entered into a drawing for a cash prize of $300. If nine or more stickers are collected, the drawing is for a cash prize of $100. For five or more stickers, the drawing is for $50.
These are the 11 museums: Antelope County Historical Museum in Neligh, Ashfall Fossil Beds in Royal, Cedar County Historical Museum in Hartington, Dixon County Museum in Allen, Graves Library Museum and Depot Railroad Museum in Wakefield, Mars Historical Area Ghost Town Tours in Royal, Pierce Historical Society Museum in Pierce, Plainview’s 1880 Railroad Museum and Plainview Klown Doll Museum in Plainview and Verdigre Heritage Museum in Verdigre.
The Cedar Creek 4-H Club was recently recognized with the 2018 Governor's Agricultural Excellence Award.
The purpose of the Nebraska 4-H Foundation’s Governor’s Agricultural Excellence Awards, sponsored by the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA), is to recognize 4-H clubs for community service work of the entire club.
Cedar Creek was awarded $500 to fund their community service project of sprucing up the Antelope County Fair grounds in Neligh. The club met on June 4 to plant a variety of flowers and plants in decorative planters and around the 4-H building in Neligh.
Club members participating were Kami Carstens, Kinley Miller, Sloan Miller, Sawyer Veik, Samantha Stuhr, Darby Carstens, Michael Selting, Landyn Veik, Natalie Burenheide, Brayden Burenheide, Callie Heithoff, Gemma Miller, Marie Meis and Sara Bode.
20 Antelope County 4-Hers are now trained in animal quality assurance.
At the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) Training held on Thursday, June 14, 4-H youth ages 8 to 18 were taught the importance of quality assurance when raising livestock. YQCA is a requirement for 4-H members showing livestock at the county fair.
During the training, youth learned how to properly feed, handle and raise various livestock species like beef, sheep, swine, goats, dairy, poultry and rabbits.
4-H members could either attend the face-to-face training or complete online training. Steve Pritchard, the Extension Educator from Boone and Nance counties, was the instructor for the face-to-face session.
Renewing the unification was the main topic of discussion at the Nebraska Unified District #1 meeting on Monday night.
The unification renewal process will be a monthly agenda item until an agreement is made or until the June 2020 deadline comes and the unification is up for the current seven-year cycle.
Superintendent Dale Martin said activity coops are also going to be important to consider because those decisions need to be made by spring 2019 for most of the coops and by November 2019 for the football coop.
“These things are going to be coming up faster than we want them to in some cases, but I think we need to keep them on our radar and be prepared for them, and hopefully get some things thought out ahead of time,” Martin said.
Regarding the discussion on renewing the unification, both Orchard and Verdigre are content. However, Clearwater may be interested in looking at an agreement that would be shorter than the current seven-year cycle.
Joe Thiele said, “Coming off some of the issues we went through the last couple years, I suppose there are people a little gun shy,
Board members also discussed whether consolidation would make sense.
Marty Konapacek said, “It’s been tough, but we’re making [the unification] work. You’ve got schools in all three communities.”
Terri Hergert questioned if consolidation made sense with Verdigre in the picture. Terra Williby commented, “I’m perfectly content with unification. I don’t feel I am interested in consolidation.” Hergert said she doesn’t think that the schools are to the point of consolidation yet.
Discussion was also held on whether or to bring other interested schools, if there are any, in the beginning of agreement talks or after an agreement has already been reached.
“If there’s interest, then I think they should be involved in the beginning,” Williby said.
“What I would say is you have an agreement that would be there for those three schools, regardless of what happens with someone else, and then if someone wants to come in, they agree to be a part of that,” Martin explained. “I think it’s going to be tougher for each school that you add in to come to an agreement. Every time you add somebody in, they’re going to have some different wants and some different needs, and it’s going to be tough to come to consensus.”
It was decided that a decision needs to be made at the advisory board level first on whether or not the three schools are still interested in the unification. “We need to know if it is going to be these three boards right here working on an agreement,” said Williby.
Another main item of discussion was adding grill guards to the school vans due to recent encounters with deer. The board came to the agreement to get quotes from body shops in the three towns and add grill guards to three vans in the hope that they will prevent significant damage in the event of an accident.
Other items discussed during the meeting were classified staff pay and new staff contracts. A motion was passed to give the classified staff a raise that would be equivalent to that of the certified staff. Two new staff contracts were approved - Alicia Janek and Tiffany Beckman were approved as paraeducators at Verdigre and Orchard, respectively.
The board also approved changes and updates to the board policies, including policies on raising the substitute teacher pay and graduation requirements.
The next Unified board meeting will be July 16 at 7 p.m. in Orchard.
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