The mobile food pantry for January has been cancelled.
Originally scheduled for Tuesday, January 17, the decision was made to cancel for the month due to icy conditions at the distribution site.
The icy weather is still causing delays throughout Antelope County.
That includes the ESU 8 board meeting scheduled for Monday night. The meeting will now be held Monday, January 23 in the ESU 8 board room in Neligh. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.
Two new members were sworn in to the Neligh-Oakdale School Board on Monday night.
Superintendent Scott Gregory swore in Cory Furstenau and Scott Svatos.
Ron Gilg began a new term as well, but was not sworn in.
While students were on winter break, Neligh-Oakdale School received a needed security upgrade, but some people will never even realize that it happened.
Security continues to be a hot topic for the school, which during Monday’s Board of Education restricted public access to its weightroom. The facility will no longer be open to anyone in the public, other than youth coaches.
Neligh-Oakdale upgraded its outdated security system that was nearly 10 years old. Neligh-Oakdale Superintendent Scott Gregory said the change is necessary.
“It’s like night and day. Over 10 or 15 years, people don’t have the same computers that they did, the same phone,” Gregory said. “Of course, you will have the same house or car maybe, but generally speaking, things improve. And you have to keep up and you have to do the best and use the resources that you can and use it for a good purpose.”
Long before Gregory was hired, there was discussion on options to update the camera system along with the door security. Safe N Secure installed the initial camera system in 2006, which was eight black and white basic cameras.
“You can’t pick out a lot of details. You can’t zoom in very well, and the picture is kind of grainy,” he explained. “If someone speeds through the front, you can’t see a license plate very well, and the system was just getting very old.”
The school now has more than 30 cameras.
Gregory credits Neligh-Oakdale Principal Mr. Loofe for his role in getting the new system.
“I’ve got to give Mr. Loofe credit. That was kind of his interest,” Gregory explained. “He wanted to get that done. His concern was that to have an operational system and to have it so that we wouldn’t go down mid-year and face that problem. I approached it as I have been in that office and have seen those screens and it is just, we had to do something.”
Using the same company, Safe N Secure, the school was able to use most of the same cables for the update.
“There were one or two of them that were damaged but for the most part same cables,” Loofe said.
The new cameras are not the only upgrade that came over Christmas break. The entrances to the school have a different system now as well. Gregory said there is one thing that came with the new security at the doors that makes the school safer.
“One of the main things in there is it has a kill switch,” Gregory explained. “The main problem with the older system too was that during passing periods when the bell rings, the doors unlock. There was no way to override that. With this system that does not happen so the doors are locked even during passing period.”
The kill switch also makes it so no key FOB will open the door as well. Although nothing may happen that would cause authorities to use the kill switch, Gregory said he would rather be safe than sorry.
“What are the chances? I couldn’t tell you,” he said. “But as long as you take away any chance that is a good thing.”
With the change in security, the school now runs on a key FOB system instead of the previous system with cards.
Loofe and Gregory explained the new system to the school board at their meeting on Monday evening. They were also hoping to get some answers on how to handle giving the FOBs out to the public for use of the gym or weight room.
In the past, the public has had access to the weight room if they paid $10 for the card to access the room. Gregory said there has been times where there are students in the weight room without adult supervision, which is not allowed. But there have been community members who follow all the rules.
“On the opposite side of things, we do have college kids who do come back and do use the weight room on Christmas break, very good kids,” Gregory said. “I would trust them.”
The option to have a checkout system for those other than teachers and coaches was brought up. Gregory was looking to the board to answer how he should handle the situation of the distribution of the other FOBs.
Gregory was worried about liability if an accident were to occur in the school.
“We haven’t had anything happen yet, but you never know,” he said. “So before we hand out FOBs I think it is appropriate that the board decides the parameters of use.”
Board member Ryan Koinzan said that they most likely wouldn’t be able to come up with a policy on the matter right now.
The board agreed that Loofe should continue to look at the possibility of getting cameras at other locations like the football field and Westward Elementary.
“West Ward is currently camera only, for the three buzz in doors,” Loofe explained at the meeting. “So in order to do that they would need to have a DVR similar to mine. So I also asked for a bid for an eight camera DVR with 7 cameras.”
Loofe asked Safe N Secure for an estimate on a price for four extra cameras for the bus area and the playground area.
“There’s not a lot, but we have had some vandalism at the playground area,” Loofe said. “And the bus area, it’s always nice to have that recorded.”
If the board votes to move forward with more cameras for the football field and Westward the installation would not start until the summer.
But as of now, the board and administration is pleased with the results.
“It’s money well spent,” Gregory said. “I don’t regret it at all.”
Time. It’s attached to everything people do. Countless decisions are made every day based on the concept of time.
And rightly so. After all, a where without a when is essentially useless.
But time becomes sacred in the event of an emergency. Seconds, and even split-seconds, are immediately and intensely magnified. Losing them could mean the difference between life and death.
CodeRED, an innovative high-speed emergency notification system, will soon provide Neligh with those precious seconds.
According to City of Neligh officials, CodeRED allows them the ability to quickly deliver any message - emergency or otherwise - via text, email, social media, cell phone, landline or the CodeRED app. Citizens can choose which type of message they prefer.
Officials also can easily select a specific geographic message to only those affected.
City Clerk Dana Klabenes is excited about the change from Nixle, the old alert system because CodeRED has less limitations and more capabilities.
“With Nixle we were limited on the number of characters in the message,” Klabenes said. “We couldn’t tie it with weather warnings. We won’t be limited to the type or size of the message now.”
Many citizens and businesses should expect an “all-call” message sent on Thursday. If you receive that call you’re already in the emergency database for community related messages. However, you must opt-in to receive weather warnings.
THE LINK TO SIGN UP IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STORY.
In addition, if businesses or citizens have changed their phone number, cell phone number or VoIP phone, their address or if they have an unlisted phone number, it’s highly recommended to enter information regardless. Cell phones are also not always tagged to a geographic address.
“I just want to encourage every resident or business to offer their contact information so that they are included in the database and can receive both community messages and weather warnings,” Klabenes said.
The message recipient’s Caller ID will read Emergency Communications Network or 866-419-5000 for CodeRED calls. And for CodeRED Weather Warning calls, either Emergency Communications Network or the number 800-566-9780 will appear on Caller ID displays.
To sign up: If you are not sure that you are included in the database, simply log onto the city of Neligh website, www.neligh.org/codered Those without Internet access may stop by the City of Neligh Office or the Neligh Public Library, Monday through Friday, (8AM-5PM) to supply their information.
Individuals must opt-in or register to receive CodeRED Weather Warning notifications. To register, visit www.neligh.org/codered
A man was accidentally shot recently at the drive-thru of a Neligh bank.
According to Neligh Police Chief Mike Wright, the co-driver with the Rochester Armored Car Company for Pinnacle Bank was accidentally shot on Thursday, Dec. 29, at about 11 a.m. The incident occurred at the Pinnacle Bank drive-thru located near the intersection of 5th Street and Main Street in downtown Neligh.
"As the co-driver exited the armored truck, it is believed his service revolver became entangled in the vehicle seatbelt and discharged one round. The co-driver was struck in the right leg," Wright said.
Wright said the injured man was transported by the Rochester Armored Car Company driver to Antelope Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released. The discharged round was recovered at the hospital.
"This was a very unfortunate accident in which all involved are grateful the injury was minor. Actions have been taken to prevent an incident like this from occuring again," Wright said.
The Warriors' season got back on track with a win at home on Friday night, but the Lady Warriors came up short against Plainview.
The boys rolled to a 80-34 victory over the Pirates, improving their record to 8-2, and the girls fell 40-31. Neligh-Oakdale will host the Stuart Broncos today. The JV girls game is set to begin at 1:30 p.m.
The Lady Warriors got off to a slow start against Plainview, scoring just 4 points in the first quarter of play. They doubled that effort in the second and trailed by only 6 points at the half. A sluggish third quarter widened the margin, and their final surge wasn't enough to overcome the deficit.
Kinsley Klabenes led the team in scoring with 13, followed by Bailey Frey and Alexis Jensen with 6, Jayda Chance 4 and Rachel Higgins 2.
Girls scores by quarter:
Plainview 7 11 6 16 40
N-O 4 8 4 15 31
The opposite was true in the boys game as the Warriors came out firing on all cylinders to score 28 points in the first quarter. They continued to extend their lead each quarter to come away with an easy victory.
Tyson Belitz led the way with 27 points, followed by Grant White with 16, Chris Bentley 11, Alex Kerkman 10, Austin Rice 7, Damon Arehart 4, Nate Buck 3 and Cole Belitz 2.
Boys scores by quarter:
Plainview 10 9 9 6 34
N-O 28 19 11 22 80
Members of the morning prekindergarten, kindergarten, first and second grade classes that earned perfect attendance include : (Left to Right) Back Row: Jaxon Nelson, Macoy Martensen, Brihanna Dugan, Dannyka Smidt, Jaedin Wilson, Madison Metschke, Front Row: Beau Strom, Carson King, Emily Olson, Micah Hughes, Lillian Mortensen, Logan Lichtenberg.
Showing up on time is an important skill for any student to learn, and 14 West Ward students started the year off on the right track.
For the first semester of the school year, 14 students earned perfect attendance awards at West Ward. The students never missed a day, were never late and never left school early.
In the morning class, Jaxon Nelson, Macoy Martensen, Brihanna Dugan, Dannyka Smidt, Jaedin Wilson, Madison Metschke, Beau Strom, Carson King, Emily Olson, Micah Hughes, Lillian Mortensen and Logan Lichtenberg never missed a day. In the afternoon class, Olivia Mortensen and Aiden Wilde were recognized for their perfect attendance.
By Jaimie Schmitz
From saving money to losing weight, January is the month that many Americans set personal goals.
A recent study from Neilsen showed that the top New Year’s resolution involves getting into shape or losing weight.
In January the gyms fill up. But just a few months later, the group exercises are over and the gym-goers seem scarce.
Instead of having a goal and then forgetting the resolutions, Shelby and Seth Snodgrass, personal trainers and owners of 719 Fitness, are hoping their New Year’s Challenge is more than just a goal to reach.
They want it to be a lifestyle change.
“Our goal with this is to help people change their lifestyles and not just lose weight,” Shelby said. “Our goal is to help people sustain this after the challenge.”
The “New Year, New You” Challenge is a 12-week weight loss challenge that is different than most.
“A lot of other weight loss challenges are four or eight weeks or a little bit shorter,” Shelby said. “Ours isn’t going to get over until April to make it more of a habit.”
The prizes for “New Year, New You” are bigger than most challenges as well. The first place prize is an eight-day, seven-night stay in Branson and a six-month free membership, second place is a six-month free membership and third place is a three-month free membership.
“We wanted to give people incentives to do it,” Shelby explained. “We wanted to help people change their lives and if they don’t get much of an incentive then they might not do it.”
Those taking part in the challenge will weigh in weekly, bi-weekly measurements, and 24/7 accesses to Seth and Shelby for support, guidance or questions.
They will be hosting a weekly exercise class in hopes that a group environment will motivate the participants.
“I’m going to run people through a few workouts and kind of take a vote on what they like and what they don’t like so that way I know how to set up a boot camp for them,” Seth said. “I want to keep people interested.”
Shelby added, “It helps people not worry about what they need to do and they just have someone telling them. And it’s much cheaper than training.”
They are hoping the interest grows into a habit and then a lifestyle that can be enjoyed.
“Just have people be able to live a healthy lifestyle but still enjoy it and not feel restricted and miserable,” Seth said. “I think that is the main thing that makes me want to do it.”
Seth and Shelby want to help the participants feel better while getting healthier. They hope that throughout the 12 weeks, members can see the long term effects.
“Someone once said that no one has problems losing weight. Everyone can lose weight,” Shelby said. “The problem is keeping it off. No one can keep it off.”
“It’s not a chore, you don’t want it to seem like that,” Seth Snodgrass said. “It’s something that is going to change their life and make them feel better and at the same time let them come in and enjoy it.”
The challenge starts on January 9 and participants can still join by calling 402-841-2123.
The mobile food pantry, sponsored by various churches, businesses and individuals in Antelope County, will be dispersing food on Tuesday, January 17, from 4:30-6:00 pm, at the American Legion Club in Neligh.
The goal is to provide free food to those whose needs are great and resources are limited without being restricted by income guidelines. Due to liability reasons, public recipients will not be allowed in the building until 4:00 p.m.
A reminder to bring the completely filled out proxy form with you if you are picking up food for someone else. Also, be sure to bring your own boxes.
By Carrie Pitzer
Smeal Fire Apparatus is officially part of Spartan Motors.
Daryl Adams, president and CEO of Spartan Motors, said the acquisition was officially finalized Monday. Adam said he’s excited about the acquisition and having the two companies now working under the same umbrella.
“This transaction marks a significant event for our company, and we are excited to add Smeal’s industry-leading product portfolio and manufacturing expertise to Spartan Motors,” Adams said. “The addition of Smeal complements our own Spartan emergency response business unit while also allowing us to provide an expanded, innovative product offering to both new and existing customers. We expect the transaction to be accretive to 2017 earnings and accelerate the turnaround of the Spartan emergency response business unit.”
Smeal, which has a factory on the east edge of Neligh, was acquired last month for approximately $36.3 million (subject to a customary net working capital adjustment), the company’s forgiveness of certain liabilities owed by Smeal to Spartan Motors and a subsequent tax gross-up payment, which is expected to be more than offset by tax benefits accruing to the company.
Smeal generated 2016 revenues of approximately $100 million, which includes approximately $30 million of Spartan chassis sold to Smeal. According to Adams, the newly combined Spartan emergency response business unit will rank as one of the top-four North American fire apparatus manufacturers in an increasingly consolidating industry.
With its expanded geographic reach spanning 44 states in the U.S., 10 provinces and 3 territories in Canada, the Adams said Spartan Motors is even better positioned to deliver a robust and respected portfolio of leading products, services, and technologies to its broad range of customers, including original equipment manufacturers and dealers.
As a $100 million manufacturer of fire apparatus, Smeal’s reputation and branding are key highlights of the acquisition. In fact, Adams said Smeal’s facilities - including the Neligh location - will not only remain open, but they will continue to have the Smeal Fire Apparatus name.
"Give credit to the Smeal family. They wanted to make sure the plants would stay where they are at and we'd keep the Smeal name," Adams said. "That's actually not a problem for us because we like the brand and think it's important. The only thing that might change is on the sign it might read 'Spartan Motors Company' at the bottom in small print."
As for the changes planned for the Neligh location, Adams said they echo the vision of the company, which is product-focused plants with Neligh building aerials. He said Smeal is dominant in aerials and has been building them for 50 years, compared to Spartan’s 10 years.
Adams said he visited the Neligh facility during the due diligence process and was impressed by the recent equipment expansion.
“With the Neligh plant, they had great plans for it, as we do," Adams said. "They wanted to start building aerials up there. They bought a new piece of laser equipment and were trying it out while I was there. It's going to make them more efficient, so we're excited to have both of those plants."
Adams said the Snyder plant, which has been the home office of Smeal, is going to be an aerial plant with Neligh offering support “in a bigger way than it ever has because we believe we'll get a lot of orders. We're going to move all of our ladder products to the Snyder plant, and we're going to be building the pumper.”
How will Neligh give out $350,000? If you're curious, you may want attend an upcoming meeting.
Two days before Christmas, the City of Neligh received the gift that was six years in the making.
The Nebraska Department of Economic Development announced Neligh was one of eight communities selected to receive Phase II funding of $350,000 to be used toward downtown revitalization, which will lead to about more than a half-million dollars in improvements.
The matching contributions from Neligh’s business community is $105,000, so between that and other contributions, the downtown area is expected to see more than a half-million facelift in the next two years.
“This is a great time for Neligh and a great time for Antelope County,” Neligh Mayor Joe Hartz said on Friday.
Neligh Economic Development Director Greg Ptacek said he was thrilled with the news and is looking forward to seeing construction begin in early spring.
Ptacek said countless hours have been spent during the last six years engaging the community and businesses in how they want to see the downtown area improved.
“I’m incredibly excited,” Ptacek said. “We really think this is going to have a profound impact on the downtown district, in not only on the outside of the buildings, but we’ve also structured the plan where the inside can have work done under the guidelines.”
Ptacek said Neligh Economic Development will host a meeting Tuesday, January 24 to explain the grant process further.
He said now is the time for businesses and contractors to make plans for improvements, especially facade since that is the focus of Neligh’s grant.
“When we had our public input meetings on downtown revitalization, people said the streets are in good shape and sidewalks could use TLC, but we don’t want to spent a half million dollars redoing the sidewalks,” he said. “They really wanted these funds to go toward the actual building stock and going toward the businesses in those buildings. There might be some new businesses that may benefit from this, but this is for the 80 downtown business owners already in downtown Neligh.”
Ptacek said businesses may need assistance with facade designs and may want to apply for one of the many $250 grants for such services through the City of Neligh.
He also said grant applications must have multiple bids for projects and will want to use local contractors.
“If a business hasn’t really partaken in any of the planning for downtown revitalization, there’s still time for them to be thinking about their application,” Ptacek said. “We’ll be having a meeting with downtown business owners in the middle of January on what the next steps are and what contractors to use. If they want to use a local contractor, that’s awesome. But they must show they are Davis-Bacon compliant.”
Ptacek said it may take several weeks for a contractor to be certified, if not already, so that may be something local contractors want to take care of immediately.
The local grant process for downtown businesses will take several months, Ptacek said, so the sooner business owners or renters start the design and bid process, the sooner they can complete their application.
How Did We Get Here?
While the grant culminates the revitalization process under Ptacek’s leadership, he’s quick to point out it was actually the Grow Neligh group that first had the vision of improving downtown Neligh, which was several years before he was hired by the City of Neligh.
“Revitalizing downtown Neligh was definitely the vision of the community. The Grow Neligh group was really the impetus in saying, ‘What can we do?’ ” Ptacek said. “That morphed into the adoption of the LB 840, the creation of the economic development department, which then led to the comprehensive plan and much more .”
Ptacek said each baby step was all vital in qualifying for the $350,000 grant. He added that not only did they lead to the grant, but they also help create more jobs and economic development in the process.
Ptacek said before Smeal Fire Apparatus committed to its expansion earlier this year, he provided the community’s data that showed Neligh could support more jobs.
Ptacek said six years may seem like a long time to reach the point of receiving a grant, but he said the time was well spent engaging the community to create the vision and plan for not only Neligh, but for Antelope County as Neligh is a hub for the entire county.
“That’s why the state requires the comp plan because it encourages strategic thinking and a community thinking through its growth and its own manifest destiny in how does Neligh survive and how does Neligh thrive,” he said. “That’s one of the steps through the planning process that you will benefit from.”
Following the creation of Neligh’s 10-year comprehensive plan, the Downtown Revitalization Committee began meeting in March 2015 and working toward funding.
The committee surveyed the community on how to improve Neligh’s downtown, which is now being called the Old Mill District. They then interviewed engineering firms to assist with the revitalization project. Miller & Associates of Kearney was selected and has been working with the committee.
In October 2015, Neligh received Phase I funding of $27,840 to begin the planning stage necessary to apply for Phase II funding, which was the $350,000 grant awarded last week. During Phase II planning, multiple advertised town hall meetings were held encouraging residents and business owners to give direction to the committee.
Per those meetings, the committee hosted a facade party in June to see what businesses could look like in the future. Computer-rendered drawings and photographs offered before and after views of 17 buildings in Neligh’s Old Mill District.
Brenda Jensen, certified community planner with Miller & Associates in Kearney, said facade improvement, or the outside of the buildings, was indicated as a priority during the town hall meetings.
“Facade improvements was the high-priority goal to help revitalize the downtown district of Neligh,” she said. “We started developing the brand or theme of the Old Mill District, pulling colors and material types from the Neligh Mill itself and working those into different facades.”
Jensen said participants started naming different businesses that could benefit from facade improvements, and her team began working with both large and small improvements. The displays were mere possibilities, she said, simply to provide ideas for business owners.
Also at the meeting, business owners were encouraged to fill out a survey about their building and their interest in improvements from sign/awning and tuck pointing to energy efficiency improvements and historical restoration.
Recommendations by the committee were taken to the City Council for formal approval before grant applications were submitted.
Several representatives from the State Historic Preservation Office were also in attendance to answer questions and offer suggestions as they were in Neligh for an initial evaluation of the district for historic designation.
Neligh-Oakdale exploded in the second half to down Pierce to advance in the Shootout on the Elkhorn Holiday Tournament on Thursday afternoon.
The Warriors defeated Pierce 51-42 and will play for fifth place in the 5 p.m. game on Friday. The girls didn't fare so well on Thursday and struggled to find the basket, falling 54-4 against Ponca. They'll play in the 3:30 p.m. seventh-place game.
In the boy's game, Neligh-Oakdale and Pierce were evenly matched in the first half and went into intermission knotted at 28-all. But the Warriors held Pierce to just five third-quarter points, bouncing out to a seven-point advantage heading into the final stanza.
Pierce clawed back to within four points with 4:42 to play, but Neligh-Oakdale kept its poise and finished with the nine-point victory. The Warriors will play the winner of Wakefield/Battle Creek tomorrow.
It was a struggle all afternoon for the Lady Warriors, though. Ponca shut out Neligh-Oakdale in the first quarter and allowed only two points in the entire half. The Warriors equaled that effort in the second half as Bailey Frey and Rachel Higgins both scored two points for Neligh-Oakdale.
In what could be the Warriors' toughest match of the season, Neligh-Oakdale saw its perfect start to the season end at the hands of one of the state's best - Winnebago.
Playing in the Shootout on the Elkhorn Holiday Tournament, both Warrior squads went home with a loss in the opening round against Winnebago.
The boys lost 94-67 to move to 6-1 on the season. Despite shooting a solid 45 percent from the floor and getting a double-double out of senior Tyson Belitz, the Warriors were unable to keep up with the high-scoring Indians.
Belitz's double-double consisted of 22 points and 13 rebounds while dishing out five assists. Unfortunately, he also was responsible for seven of Neligh-Oakdale's season-high 17 turnovers.
Grant White added 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. Alex Kerkman added 15 points and five rebounds.
Earlier in the day, the girls fell 67-46 after picking up their first win of the season last week. The Warriors shot just 22 percent from the floor and gave up 40 turnovers.
Bailey Frey led the Warrior attack with 11 points on the night while Jayda Chance and Heather Pellatz added eight each. Chance also pulled down eight rebounds and took away five steals.
The Warriors will be back in action Thursday with the girls playing Ponca at 2:30 p.m. and boys taking on Pierce at 4 p.m.
Pheasants Forever and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) will be hosting a basic prescribed fire training at the UNL Extension Office in Neligh, Nebraska on Wednesday, January 18.
Workshop speakers will discuss how fire can be used to benefit the land manager’s objectives and give a step-by-step breakdown of how to safely plan a prescribed fire.
The workshop will run from 9:00am to 4:00pm. A $10 registration fee covers all training and training materials, refreshments, and a noon meal. Attendees are asked to please pre-register to reserve a meal.
According to Pheasants Forever Biologist Ryan Lodge, the reasons for learning to use fire are adding up.
“Many Nebraska landowners feel they are losing the fight against invasive eastern red cedar. Fire is a cost effective and economical way to control cedar trees while also maintaining the health of your pasture,” said Lodge. “Wildlife that favor open grasslands, like pheasants, bobwhite quail and grouse are also enhanced when trees are controlled.”
Prescribed fire is also worth learning about for those who have land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. When properly designed, fire can boost the quality of CRP cover both for forage and wildlife. Whether the contract has a management activity scheduled for 2017 or has been recently renewed and an upgrade to the current cover is required, fire can be a very useful tool in the overall management plan.
Pheasants Forever works closely with NGPC, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Nebraska Environmental Trust and other conservation partners to help Nebraskans plan prescribed fires.
“We stress safety, effectiveness and planning,” said Lodge. “It’s definitely a crash course, but it’s packed full of good advice. We work to get speakers there who have really spent some time on fire, and we give people the contacts they need to follow through if they decide that fire is a good option for their land.”
Please contact Ryan Lodge at 308-750-1215 to register or ask questions, or visit www.NebraskaPF.com.
The Neligh Senior Center lunch menu for September is now available online.
The meal on Janurary 19 will be featuring Chicken Fried Steak and there will be brunch on January 30.
Click here for the full menu.
The Neligh Fire and Rescue were called out around 11 a.m. for a situation that didn't involve fire at all.
According to Isaac Smith, CEO for Neligh Care and Rehabilitation, a smoke detector malfunctioned in the building. The smoke detector has since been fixed.
Neligh-Oakdale Junior High Girls basketball team took first place in the Elkhorn Valley JH Basketball tournament on Saturday, December 10.
Pictured in the back row left to right: Coach Beacom, Paige Furstenau, Brooke Frey, Claire Whitesel, Trinity Kurpgeweit, Aubrie Klabenes and Coach Metschke. Front row left to right: Emma Boggs, Gracie Shabram, Vanessa Parra, Chloe Carothers and Hannah Vraspir.
Neligh is one eight communities receiving a share of $2.8 million toward downtown revitalization.
Neligh will receive $350,000 in CDBG funds to implement commercial rehabilitation activities, including façade improvements within the downtown district. The City’s matching contribution is approximately $105,000.
The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has awarded $2,800,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to eight Nebraska communities to complete Phase II (implementation) in the Downtown Revitalization category. These projects are designed to provide resources for commercial rehabilitation and infrastructure improvements within the downtowns of the communities selected.
The CDBG Downtown Revitalization Category is open to CDBG non-entitlement incorporated municipalities throughout Nebraska. Grants are administered by DED from the State’s annual allocation of CDBG funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Communities that successfully completed the planning phase had the opportunity to apply for Phase II resources in order to describe how they would implement CDBG-eligible activities as defined in their approved plans.
The other communities are Beatrice, Brownville, Creighton, Crete, Kearney, Minden and Superior.
The change in schedule wasn't ideal, but the Neligh-Oakdale wrestlers didn't seem too affected.
The Warriors meet for the week was initially set to be the South Sioux City Invitational last Saturday. However, the weather forced the team to miss that meet so they found a spot in the rescheduled Elgin Public/Pope John meet on Thursday instead and came away with three medals.
One of those medals belonged to 106 champion Cameron Wilkinson. After a first-round bye, Wilkinson won two matches by pin to advance to the finals. He was dominant in the finals as well, taking down Pender's Kaiden Mrsny 9-0.
At 132, Andrew Herley took home second. Herley took down his first two opponents, EPPJ's Hayes Miller and Cross County/Osceola's Brody Ienn, by way of a pin. He then topped Randolph's Alex Schmit 6-0 to set up a finals showdown with Elkhorn Valley's Darren Stewart. Herley wasn't able to get the best of Stewart, falling by way of a late pin.
Jayden Arehart had a busy day at the 152 weight class. After six matches, he finished the day in fourth. After pinning his first opponent, he fell to Ethan Koch of Hartington CC 5-3. He then stormed back with three-straight wins, two by pin, to set up a rematch with Koch for third place. Unfortuantely, Arehart had to forfeit the match to finish fourth.
The Warriors will be back on the meet after the Christmas break on January 5 in Ainsworth.
Elgin Public-Pope John Wresting Tourney Results for Neligh-Oakdale
106 - Cameron Wilkinson (13-1) placed 1st and scored 25.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Cameron Wilkinson (Neligh-Oakdale) 13-1 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal - Cameron Wilkinson (Neligh-Oakdale) 13-1 won by fall over Bryce Lamb (Twin Loup) 3-6 (Fall 0:57)
Semifinal - Cameron Wilkinson (Neligh-Oakdale) 13-1 won by fall over Hadden Kuck (Palmer) 1-2 (Fall 2:29)
1st Place Match - Cameron Wilkinson (Neligh-Oakdale) 13-1 won by major decision over Kaiden Mrsny (Pender) 12-5 (MD 9-0)
106 - Calli Wilkinson (3-6) place is unknown.
Champ. Round 1 - Calli Wilkinson (Neligh-Oakdale) 3-6 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal - Garett Jensen (Palmer) 7-5 won by fall over Calli Wilkinson (Neligh-Oakdale) 3-6 (Fall 3:05)
Cons. Round 2 - Calli Wilkinson (Neligh-Oakdale) 3-6 received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 3 - Corey Romej (Elgin Public-Pope John) 4-6 won by fall over Calli Wilkinson (Neligh-Oakdale) 3-6 (Fall 4:00)
132 - Andrew Herley (8-3) placed 2nd and scored 20.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Andrew Herley (Neligh-Oakdale) 8-3 won by fall over Hayes Miller (Elgin Public-Pope John) 2-10 (Fall 0:18)
Quarterfinal - Andrew Herley (Neligh-Oakdale) 8-3 won by fall over Brody Ienn (Cross County/Osceola) 9-10 (Fall 4:36)
Semifinal - Andrew Herley (Neligh-Oakdale) 8-3 won by decision over Alex Schmit (Randolph) 13-3 (Dec 6-0)
1st Place Match - Darren Stewart (Elkhorn Valley ) 9-1 won by fall over Andrew Herley (Neligh-Oakdale) 8-3 (Fall 3:41)
138 - Cade Wilkinson (3-8) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Teran Sharman (Palmer) 6-6 won by decision over Cade Wilkinson (Neligh-Oakdale) 3-8 (Dec 5-2)
Cons. Round 1 - Ben Thiele (West Holt) 1-4 won by fall over Cade Wilkinson (Neligh-Oakdale) 3-8 (Fall 2:45)
145 - Kaleb Pofahl (10-5) place is unknown and scored 1.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Colton Beacom (Osmond) 7-6 won in sudden victory - 1 over Kaleb Pofahl (Neligh-Oakdale) 10-5 (SV-1 9-7)
Cons. Round 1 - Kaleb Pofahl (Neligh-Oakdale) 10-5 won by decision over Tate Shoemaker (St. Mary`s) 1-8 (Dec 9-4)
Cons. Round 2 - Michael Stackpole (Weeping Water) 13-9 won by fall over Kaleb Pofahl (Neligh-Oakdale) 10-5 (Fall 3:49)
152 - Jayden Arehart (12-6) placed 4th and scored 15.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Jayden Arehart (Neligh-Oakdale) 12-6 won by fall over Donnie Otto (Twin River) 3-11 (Fall 1:09)
Quarterfinal - Ethan Koch (Hartington CC) 9-3 won by decision over Jayden Arehart (Neligh-Oakdale) 12-6 (Dec 5-3)
Cons. Round 2 - Jayden Arehart (Neligh-Oakdale) 12-6 won by fall over Ethan Olson (Randolph) 0-10 (Fall 0:28)
Cons. Round 3 - Jayden Arehart (Neligh-Oakdale) 12-6 won by fall over Chay Faulkner (Elkhorn Valley ) 5-9 (Fall 0:41)
Cons. Semi - Jayden Arehart (Neligh-Oakdale) 12-6 won by decision over Tanner Lamoree (Cross County/Osceola) 6-3 (Dec 4-0)
3rd Place Match - Ethan Koch (Hartington CC) 9-3 won by forfeit over Jayden Arehart (Neligh-Oakdale) 12-6 (For.)
It is time once again for Prekindergarten pre-registration.
If you would like your child to have the opportunity to attend the 2017-2018 Neligh-Oakdale Prekindergarten program, please call the West Ward Office at 402-887-4754 any time on or after Thursday, January 5, 2017.
Your child must be 3 or 4 years old by July 31 in order to enter the prekindergarten program. The state limits schools to 20 students per class; therefore, students will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. Children must be potty trained in order to attend prekindergarten. Your information will be collected and an acceptance letter will be sent with information regarding registration and the class your child will be in sometime later on.
If you child is currently on the waiting list, you must call in to pre-register for the 2017-2018 school year. When you call West Ward, you must speak with Mrs. Tina Wilson, the school secretary. You may not leave a voicemail for the pre-registration process.
Prior to the beginning of the school year, if your child is accepted, the school will need a copy of your child’s state certified birth certificate, his/her social security number and up to date immunization records.
One of the most difficult records for a high school athlete to break is the school’s career points record. Just a few weeks ago, senior Grant White did just that, becoming Neligh-Oakdale’s all-time leading scorer by passing Travis Gunderson’s 1,134 points. White broke the record, and nobody really seemed to notice.
That is just how he prefered it.
“I don’t really pay attention to my stuff,” he said. “I like to get the team involved and worry about the team.”
A standout athlete, White has had an affect on Neligh-Oakdale sports his entire high school career. His ability as the football team’s quarterback is well documented. He is also a state qualifier in track and a great baseball player.
However, basketball is one sport he has really made his mark in.
White has led the Warriors in scoring every year since his freshman year, and so far through his senior season, he is poised to do so again. He currently sits at 18.3 points per game while shooting an impressive 57 percent from the field.
Despite being the team’s top scoring option, White remains humble and stays focused on his team and teammates rather than with individual accolades.
“I just want to make it to state and win state,” he said when asked about his goals for the rest of the year.
White reached the impressive 1,000 point mark in early February of his junior year, so he knew the career record was within reach. However, neither he nor his coaches really made it a point of emphasis as long as the team kept winning.
“We knew he was close, but honestly, we kind of forgot about it a little bit,” said Warrior head coach Frank Gade.
When asked what makes White such a standout player for Neligh-Oakdale, Gade had no trouble commending his leading scorer.
“He’s quick, and he does what we ask of him. He’s always in the right spot, and he knows where we wants the ball to go. And he’s a pretty darn good shooter,” Gade said. “That part’s pretty obvious.”
White and fellow 1,000-point scorer Tyson Belitz have teamed up to lead the Warriors to a 6-0 record going into the Christmas break. The duo, along with fellow senior Alex Kerkman, give the Warriors three double-digit scorers. As a team, Neligh-Oakdale is averaging an incredible 66 points per game.
White currently sits at 1,202 points. It’s reasonable to think it’ll take one very special player to break his record.
By Jaimie Schmitz & Natalie Bruzon
Christmas is the season for remembering all of the blessings received over the past year.
It’s also a time to give back.
Around 40 families from across Antelope County will have a few more gifts under their trees thanks to donations from other families through the Ribbon Tree program.
Patti Brady, Antelope County’s director of Health and Human Services, said the program has been graciously running in Antelope County since 1985.
“The whole community pulls together. All the gifts under the trees are from the community,” Brady said. “We have a really giving community.”
The program is also a great service project for students, including those at Neligh-Oakdale and St. Boniface.
The Neligh-Oakdale FCCLA helps the program throughout the season from the early stages up to organizing the packages.
“We cut all the ribbons and then Patti sends us the white cards and we put them on the tree,” said Tia Smith, president of the FCCLA. “Then, other people buy the presents and we bring the presents (to the courthouse).”
Late last week, the courthouse classroom was full of gifts, all for local families who are needing a little extra help this holiday season
Brady said there is an application process for those receiving gifts. While many are families with young children, there are also elderly recipients as well who need assistance on their fixed income.
“They fill out an application and then we code it,” Brady said, explaining the anonymity of the program. “Like, one family is A1, A2, A3. So that is one family and this how they are sorted here. And, after I code them I give them to the (FCCLA) and they do the ribbons up. And then the other gifts outside of here are all from St. Boniface.”
Smith said FCCLA students spend much time cutting out the hundreds of ribbons and setting up the trees in both Pinnacle and Heritage Bank in Neligh.
“We spent quite a few hours tracing and cutting out all the ribbons,” Smith said. “And now the next process is just cutting out the labels and taping them on, and that doesn’t take quite as long.”
To personalize the gifts and to show how much time and care has went into the project, the FCCLA chapter also writes Christmas cards for each family represented by a ribbon.
“We wrote Christmas cards, and on the inside of the Christmas card it had a date that they come and pick up their presents,” said Smith.
Every year, most of the ribbons are taken. However, there are always some left behind. Students said they hope that they hope to see every ribbon taken each year to ensure everyone has a special gift, regardless of their financial situation.
“It’s amazing how many people do participate and do get a ribbon,” said Brady. “But there are always still ribbons on the tree. It would be really cool if all the ribbons could be taken from the tree every year.”
For those ribbons not taken, the teacher’s association sponsors gifts.
While putting the Ribbon Trees together, organizing the presents and the overall project is time consuming, the students agreed it was well worth their effort.
“We are pretty fortunate at Christmas time,” said Smith. “And we have a lot of people in our community and school who are not as fortunate”
Granger Smith, also known as Earl Dibbles Jr., will headline the 2017 Antelope County Fair.
Smith will take the stage in Neligh on Friday night August 4, at 8 p.m., according to the Antelope County Agricultural Society.
Tickets will go on sale sometime in 2017 for the concert and other fair events, including the demo derby and tractor pull.
A well-known singer/songwriter Smith was in college when he landed a songwriting deal with EMI Music Publishing in Nashville.
He wrote songs with his brother for years and then created his alter ego, Earl Dibbles Jr. in 2011, which brought him the attention he needed to share his music as himself.
He signed with Broken Bow Music Group in Nashville in 2015 after releasing “Backroad Song” to radio. With Broken Bow Records’ support, Smith re-released “Backroad Song,” which became his first No. 1 in early 2016.
Accolades continue to pour in for the fast-rising star.
Smith has been named “Country’s Next Big Star” by Forbes, MusicRow’s “Next Big Thing,” Rolling Stone Country’s “New Country Artists You Need To Know,” Billboard’s “Artist To Watch,” Huffington Post’s “Top 20 Artists To Watch,” Taste of Country’s “Hottest New Act of 2016,” among others.
Granger celebrated another milestone in his prolific career when he made his Grand Ole Opry debut, delivering back-to-back performances at the legendary Ryman Auditorium also known as the “mother church.”
Smith has released seven studio albums, one live album and one EP.
With the Christmas break now just a couple days away, the Neligh-Oakdale girls ended the first semester with a big present.
The Lady Warriors took down Niobrara/Verdigre for their first win of the season Tuesday, winning 41-31. They led the Cougars 17-11 at the halftime break. The Cougars tightened the gap in the third quarter, eventually taking the lead late in the quarter. However, the Neligh-Oakdale press was too much for Niobrara/Verdigre, as they held the Cougars to just five points in the final frame while scoring 17 for the win.
Neligh-Oakdale head coach J.J. Wagner made a few changes before the game that he feels paid off in the win.
"We decided to put Taylor (Sehi) in. After watching film and talking to the other coaches, she does a good job in there and doesn't make very many mistakes. She brings a lot to the team," he said.
Neligh-Oakdale implemented a press for much of the game, something Wagner had been wanting to do for quite a while.
"Its a press I've been wanting to put in, but we've had one girl gone for this or that or sick, so I haven't had everybody around. It just kind of got to the point where I felt we needed to throw it in to get that win," he said. "We quick threw it in yesterday and I was pretty impressed with how quickly the girls caught on. They ran it really well tonight."
The press worked so well that the Warriors came away with 29 steals as a team. Heather Pellatz had eight, Jayda Chance took seven steals and Bailey Frey and Kinsley Klabenes had six steals each.
The first win of the season came at a perfect time for the girls, as now they enter the break on the heels of a positive game.
"We've been improving every game. Still, when we go out, you can tell them that you improved every game but it gets to the point where they need that win," Wagner said. "I think this will really help out confidence wise and we'll be able to pick up a few more wins pretty quick."
Klabenes led all Warriors in scoring with 20 points on the night. She shot eight of 16 from the floor. Frey added 11 points while Alexis Jensen added four. Frey, Klabenes and Pellatz each dished out three assists as well.
News That Matters To Antelope County - Your News. Your Way. Every Day!
110 E 4th Street
Neligh, NE 68756