The remodel is complete, and the Antelope County News has opened its new office in downtown Neligh.
Located at 110 E. Fourth Street, the ACN can also be reached by calling 402-887-4000.
The ACN is the only web-based medium - www.MyAntelopeCountyNews.com - in Antelope County that covers news and events in all eight communities.
"I look forward to seeing what the Antelope County News has to offer each day," said Cassie Schrad of Elgin. "Whether it's local news, updates on events (big or small, they treat everything equally important!), weather or contests - you can depend on them delivering it quickly, accurately and creatively. They involve the readers and that's what makes it personal - about the readers, for the readers. They keep me coming back for more!"
The ACN is a subsidiary of Pitzer Digital, LLC, which is owned by Wade and Carrie Pitzer of rural Oakdale. The company recently launched the Knox County News as well. Pitzer Digital and the ACN will operate out of the office building in Neligh. Pitzer Digital is a website design and marketing firm that helps businesses market themselves. Besides online marketing, Pitzer Digital also prints and designs flyers, posters, catalogs, calendars and more.
The ACN's readership extends past Antelope County lines. With a county population of 6,500, more than 4,000 people view the website on an average day. When big news breaks, the number of visitors skyrockets because, like Schrad said, the information is quick and accurate. The ACN has actually reached more than 100,000 people in single day, which is a testament to the coverage provided.
"The impact the ACN has had on Northeast Nebraska, not just the county, is impressive," said owner Carrie Pitzer. "Using the ACN has become a daily routine for people both inside and outside the county. What we're hearing is that people love the site because they don't want to search multiple websites or sources for local news. It's a great tool for county unity because this is how people in Tilden find out about news in Orchard and Brunswick residents hear about Elgin."
The ACN has several people working for the company and is managed by Jennifer Higgins and Erin Whitesel, both longtime residents of Antelope County who are very active in community organizations. Pitzer said both managers do a tremendous job, are very approachable and are committed to providing news as a service to the communities.
The Knox County News is managed out of the Pitzer Digital office, but the content is created by longtime Knox County residents Heather and Megan Masat. Although the site is less than a month old, it is reaching up to 2,000 people per day and seeing tremendous growth.
"Pitzer Digital launched both websites as a service to county residents because we were asked to," Pitzer said. "Residents and businesses alike requested both sites, and we've expanded what is offered to include obituaries, anniversaries, weddings, classified ads and more as they've been requested. We've said all along that this is 'Your News, Your Way, Every Day,' and it truly is."
Pitzer Digital was the first recipient of an LB 840 economic development loan through the City of Neligh. The project began in February with the purchase of the building, and the remodel began at the end of May. A key aspect of the remodel, Pitzer said, was utilizing local businesses.
Carhart Lumber Company, Don Zegers Contracting, Flenniken Plumbing and Heating, Flenniken Electric, 319 Graphics and Urbanec's Furniture & Flooring have all assisted in the remodel. Pitzer said she plans to work with Green Gables of Pleasant Valley and the Antelope County Museum on some images for the walls, as well as Schindigs Garden Center for plants outside the building.
"The community has been very supportive of us, and it's important to us to support the community. Economic development isn't about receiving a low-interest loan. We've made a conscience effort to use as many local businesses as possible from patronizing the restaurants to purchasing our shirts in town," Pitzer said. "Our motto is 'Helping Small Businesses Succeed Is Our Business.' "