Antelope County Extension has a new face in its office.
Brittany Spieker, originally from Pierce, started on Feb. 1 as the Food, Nutrition and Health Extension Educator. In addition to Antelope County, Spieker will also be serving in Nance, Boone and Knox Counties.
“It’s really exciting to come back, be closer to family,” Spieker said.
Spieker has spent the last seven years in Lincoln for her undergraduate and master’s degree studies, both in nutrition and health sciences. Her undergrad was an emphasis in dietetics, while her master’s had an emphasis on community nutrition and health promotion with a minor in leadership studies.
Her main focus in her new role will be on kids, “but I will also be working with adults, so my spectrum can be working with about anybody, and so even if I’m working with adults, a lot of those adults do have contact with kids as well,” she said. “Kind of working with the whole community to help lift the whole community up in their health and wellness together.”
Spieker said she is “looking forward to partnering with a lot of different organizations around in the communities and potentially doing things with schools.”
She is also looking forward to working with libraries doing outreach with the schools and kids, and doing things with the grocery stores in the county like food demonstrations or tours.
“I’d be more than happy to partner with anybody that’s looking for activities or looking for continuing education for their students or for other group activities,” Spieker said.
Anybody wanting more information can contact Spieker at the Antelope County Extension Office.
Two Antelope County natives, Sean Krebs of Clearwater and Cadrien Livingston of Orchard, advanced to the final round of the Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet to be held at the next NEFB Annual Convention, Dec. 8-10, 2019.
Rather than debating, contestants work to develop a solution to a problem being discussed, building on each other’s contributions. Competitors in the annual contest must be prepared to speak on any number of agriculture-related topics. Finalists received the top scores of contestants after competing in three rounds of the discussion meet at the YF&R Conference, Feb. 8-9.
Krebs is from Antelope County and a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, majoring in Agriculture Engineering. He grows popcorn, field corn, and soybeans on his family farm, as well as raising cow/calf pairs.
Livingston is a Knox County Farm Bureau member and serves on the YF&R Committee. She is a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Agriculture Communication and will graduate in December 2019. Livingston raises Registered Gelbvieh Angus cattle with her mother on their family farm. She is also an advocate for safety in agriculture.
Finalists received a $50 prize and a chance to compete for $500 and an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet in Austin, Texas. in January 2020.
The mayor of Elgin, the Madison County attorney, a local attorney and an examiner from Nebraska Jail Standards spoke on behalf of Sheriff Bob Moore at the Antelope County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday.
They addressed the scruntinatization of the sheriff’s audit and comments made by commissioner Allan Bentley during the Jan. 8 meeting regarding jail food choices and potential HIPAA violations.
In front of an audience of nearly 70 people, Elgin Mayor Mike Schmitt told the board, “I think you’re fishing in the wrong pond,” when speaking about some of them targeting the sheriff.
Schmitt said Sheriff Moore has worked for the City of Elgin for about 25 years and “never once did anything come back on his department” during their annual audits. He said “all of us need to work together,” and the crowd erupted into applause.
Attorney Martin Klein went through the findings of the state auditor’s report, line by line, explaining each one to the commissioners. Klein said some changes in department practices will help with future issues and corrections have already been made. He also provided the commissioners with a Menards receipt for $44.12 and added that the rebate came in Tuesday.
Moving forward, Klein said the sheriff’s office staff will clip the rebate off before submitting the receipt to the county, which should eliminate issues. When asked, commissioners had no
other questions regarding the audit or rebates.
Chris Harrifeld, jail examiner/consultant with Jail Standards, addressed Jan. 8 comments made by Bentley about an inmate’s medical diagnosis and treatment, serving inmates cake and ice cream and the installation of a basketball hoop in the jail’s recreation area.
“All of our standards, we’re not just throwing darts at a wall coming up with rules,” Harrifeld said. “All of thesestandards are backed by state statute. And where those come from is, at some point— a prison, a jail, you name the facility —somebody has been sued over these issues. So this is kind of a guide of things you need to do to keep you out of court.”
He cautioned the board about discussing medical issues in a public meeting, as was done by Bentley in the Jan. 8 meeting.
“HIPAA views that very poorly,” Harrifeld said. “You don’t have to talk about the person’s name to be in violation of HIPAA. All you have to do is talk about the treatment or the diagnosis. You don’t have to attach a name to it, and that’s going to get you in trouble with HIPAA. So I caution you, don’t do that.”
He also said that anytime a diagnosis is done, it need to be done by a doctor.
Addressing the bills that Bentley questioned in January, Harrifeld said Antelope County is not the only jail in Nebraska, or the nation, that serves cake and ice cream in its jail. He said the sheriff is required to have a dietitian or nutritionist go over his menus every year.
“Meals have to be prepared with consideration for food flavor, texture, temperature, appearance and palatability,” Harrifeld said.
Not meeting these criteria may lead to lawsuits, he said.
“Don’t think it won’t happen,” Harrifeld said. “I work in a facility where we got sued because we offer chunky peanut butter, not creamy. That’s how ridiculous it can get.” Harrifeld said he has worked in jails “all over the country that serve cake.”
“It is on there simply because it fills a dietary requirement. It’s just a different way to do it,” Harrifeld said. “Ice cream is another way to fill that dietary requirement. Ice cream is going to stay in a freezer a lot longer than milk is going to stay on a shelf.”
He said some jails hire independent food contractors to make their meals for them.
“There’s your bonus — you’re getting jail staff that are actually cooking jail meals, instead of hiring somebody to come in and cook jail meals,” Harrifeld said. “In a sense, if we go back to the cake, you’re getting your cake and you’re eating it too.”
Talking about providing extra snacks through commissary was addressed as well.
“About 95 percent of Nebraska jails have commissary. Commissary serves two purposes. One of those purposes is they have a small markup...that profit goes into what they call an inmate welfare fund...It allows him to pay for things in the jail without it coming from his budget. In a sense, inmates in that jail are paying for things that are required by Jail Standards. It’s a smart way of doing business,” Harrifeld said.
He said the second purpose of acommissary is “behavior modification.”
“It’s not a given, not everybody gets it,” Harrifeld said. “You have to behave a certain way in order to have access to that stuff.”
On the topic of a basketball backboard, he said Jail Standards is another reason this is necessary.
“You can’t just have open space and call it recreation,” Harrifeld said. “You have to provide recreation. So, in that recreational area, you have to have equipment...so what Bob has chosen to do, and what we recommended he do, is add a basketball hoop.”
He said the sheriff and his staff “are running a great facility and I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”
“You guys have something to be proud of,” Harrifeld said. “There are counties that are envious...there are a lot of counties that would love to have this jail.”
Madison County Attorney Joe Smith took the podium next. He said officials in his county get audited every year.
“We have little issues, too. We address them and move on,” Smith said.
He also addressed the cost of meals to inmates in Madison County was much higher.
Klein said the cost for inmate meals in Antelope County are $3.75 per day, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. He said in Holt County, they spend $6.23 a day; Madison County is $2.40 per meal and Knox County spends $22 per day per inmate.
The commissioners entered executive session to discuss litigation on the Royal Bridge. Following executive session, the board approved claims but tabled one for Merit Mechanical for $4,767. County Assessor Kelly Mueller asked commissioners why they were not going to approve the bill.
Chairman Tom Borer said, “I’m going to send you a bill for 500 bucks because you open your mouth a lot.”
Mueller responded by saying, “That’s really rude, Tom. That’s what we’re talking about with the disrespect.”
After more discussion, Charlie Henery made the motion, seconded by Eli Jacob, to table the bill until next month after supporting documentation of services rendered is provided to the board.
With February being American Heart month, the staff at Antelope Memorial Hospital is urging people to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
“Heart disease is the biggest killer of both women and men in the U.S.,” said Carol Anderson, APRN and cardiac rehab director of Antelope Memorial Hospital. “However, living a healthy lifestyle helps to keep your heart strong and efficient. This includes eating a healthy diet, maintaining an ideal weight and exercising regularly. Plus, both men and women should monitor their blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as choose not to smoke.”
Managing your stress levels is also important in caring for your heart, added Anderson. Try out a variety of different forms of exercise to reduce stress and stay in shape. Find one or more types that you enjoy and will stay with. Plus, spend more quality time for relaxing with your family. Laughter is also a good heart medicine for greatly reducing stress and the risk for heart attack.
To prevent heart damage, it’s also important to recognize the early signs of a possible heart attack, Anderson said. Once damage is incurred, the heart’s pumping ability can be reduced, forcing it to work harder overall.
Women are more likely to have nausea, fatigue, indigestion and shoulder aches rather than classic chest pain, added Anderson. Regardless of your gender, if you suffer from pain in your chest, shoulder, neck or jaw, notify your health care provider immediately. Shortness of breath and nausea that develops quickly are also signs of a possible heart attack. If you are having a heart attack, the faster you can get to the hospital, the less damage will occur to your heart. Every second counts.
In the event of a heart attack, participating in a personalized cardiac rehab program afterwards is very beneficial. At its center is an exercise program that gradually increases the workload on the heart and lungs. Over time, it helps improve cardiac conditioning.
Cardiac care education is also considered very important. The education includes heart disease, risk factors, diet, lifestyle changes, developing an emergency plan, signs of impending problems and simply talking. In addition, the program includes an emotional support system which is very important for patients in maintaining mental wellness.
For more information, contact the AMH Cardiac Center at 402.887.6270 or your AMH health care provider at 877.887.5440.
More than 5,300 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students have been named to the Deans' List/Explore Center List of Distinguished Students for the fall semester of the 2018-19 academic year.
The following is a list of area honorees, listed by hometown, with their year in school, honor, college(s) and major(s).
Brunswick: Jacob W. Twibell, junior, Dean's List, College of Education and Human Sciences, science (7-12).
Clearwater: Skye Elizabeth Schroeder, freshman, Dean's List, Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, graphic design.
Elgin: Logan James Henn, freshman, Dean's List, College of Engineering, software engineering.
Elgin: Marie Caroline Meis, freshman, Dean's Lists, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and College of Journalism and Mass Communications, agricultural and environmental sciences communication, and journalism.
Elgin: Jenna Marie Parks, junior, Dean's List, College of Education and Human Sciences, communication sciences and disorders.
Elgin: Nickol Rose Payne, freshman, Dean's List, College of Journalism and Mass Communications, advertising and public relations, and broadcasting.
Elgin: Whitney Elise Rittscher, junior, Dean's List, College of Arts and Sciences, history, and classics and religious studies.
Elgin: Alois David Warner, junior, Dean's List, College of Engineering, mechanical engineering.
Neligh: Noelle Elizabeth Ervin, senior, Dean's List, College of Journalism and Mass Communications, journalism.
Neligh: Samantha Nicole Wright, sophomore, Dean's List, College of Arts and Sciences, biological sciences.
Orchard: Zach Daniel Martin, junior, Dean's List, College of Education and Human Sciences, social science.
Royal: Cassidy Marie Curtis, senior, Dean's List, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, animal science.
For the full Deans' List/Explore Center List of Distinguished Students, visit https://go.unl.edu/deanslist-fall18
Expecting another large crowd, Chairman Tom Borer has requested that the next commissioners meeting be held at the Neligh American Legion for the second-straight week.
The Tuesday, February 12 meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. inside the Legion, located at 115 W. 3rd St. in Neligh.
The meeting agenda is available for public inspection at the Antelope County Clerk’s Office.
A crowd of 130 people packed the Neligh American Legion on Tuesday morning to attend the Antelope County Commissioners meeting. The meeting was moved to the Legion due to the large crowd expected.
All five commissioners were present for the three and a half hour meeting: Tom Borer, Charlie Henery, Eli Jacob, Dean Smith and Allan Bentley.
Following the heated discussion at last month’s meeting, Antelope County Clerk Lisa Payne said she reflected on it, and decided she wanted to address the new commissioners—Borer, Smith and Bentley.
In her statement Tuesday, she said the new commissioners stated multiple times during the Jan. 8 meeting that they were “elected to do this or do that.” Payne said several other county officials were also elected at that same time, some of them for their “second, third or more terms.”
“We were elected to work for the public, with each other and follow the statutes,” she said. “All of us take that seriously and to heart.”
Payne said all of the officials felt as if they were “on trial” during the January meeting.
“Your actions, tones and lack of respect was unwanted and uncalled for,” she said. “Multiple times during the meeting in January, you were asked to come talk to the officials, talk to the offices, etc. To this day, I have not had one of you in to ask the question, see how things are done and why we do them that way. Time and again, for the past three weeks, I received an email after—only after—you contacted someone else, be it NACO, NIRMA, your private attorney or any combination of people. These actions show distrust and a lack of willingness to work with the officials.”
Payne encouraged the new commissioners to “get to know the officials and their offices.”
“All private agendas need to stay at home,” she said. “Your actions affect Antelope County residents, officials, employees and our families. We don’t get to choose which residents we represent, we have to act for the good of the entire county and I truly believe, working together, we can do great things. My mother always said, ‘You have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you talk.’”
Payne challenged them “to work for the good of the people and the good of Antelope County.”
Following her statement, the large crowd erupted into applause.
Bethany Miller of Elgin spoke next, offering “a letter of intent” to the new commissioners, in support of the other elected county officials.
“Our county has been audited by the State of Nebraska over the last five years,” Miller said. “To the best of our knowledge, the documents available to the public show not one dime missing.”
She said supporters hope the board will “move forward in a spirit of continuity to bring all offices together.”
“A critical spirit will only cause division, separation and the lack of productivity,” Miller said. “Our hope and prayer is that all future board meetings will not be a repeat of your very first board meeting. You guys have the power to either divide or unite if you so choose. Please choose to unite.”
In other matters, the board:
•Tabled a decision on signing the contract with Applied Technologies for IT services, changing email addresses to a more secure platform and adding technology to the commissioners meeting room;
•Discussed the liability of ice sling falling from wind turbines onto the county roads. A company spokesman said their “winter ice operation mode” shuts down turbines in hazardous weather situations in which the wind reaches 25-30 mph. The commissioners decided to come up with a list of questions for Invenergy and report back;
•Heard from two companies regarding the possibility of the county becoming self-insured—Hammer Insurance and Heritage Financial;
•Approved changing Casey Dittrich’s title from Road Boss to Road Superintendent;
•Requested that Invenergy present a plan at the next meeting to repair the Royal and Pierce roads;
•Approved purchasing a reflectometer off the state bid for $8,958;
•Decided to get more information from the State of Nebraska about a Highway 275 project that may impact 851 Road;
•Asked the county attorney to research an easement issue with Elkhorn Rural Public Power District;
•Decided not to purchase cell phones for county officials;
•Discussed GPS tracking equipment for county road vehicles;
•Discussed directing the county attorney to draft a resolution allowing members of the finance committee to have access to financial institutions as requested by Bentley. He said it was requested “to fully understand the budget.” The assessor and treasurer both said there are already monthly budget reports completed. “I just don’t see the point in this,” Deb Branstiter said. Sheriff Bob Moore said Bentley had already sent an email requesting to see the front and back of all of his credit cards. When he asked if Smith was aware of the email, Smith avoided answering the question at first and later responded, “I can’t remember.” Moore said a receipt is attached to every claim and it’s then presented to the board. “The bottom line is follow the paperwork,” he said. Jennifer Blackburn-Nielsen told the commissioners that credit card statements are public information. “Please do your due diligence and look for the information you are requesting before you start slinging accusations and causing more trouble than what it’s worth,” she told the commissioners. The matter was tabled, pending a meeting between the county attorney and the finance committee;
•Approved a $300 promotional fund grants for the Neligh Chamber of Commerce BRAN event and the Ag and Home Expo;
•Approved a $1,500 improvement grant for the New Moon Community Theater;
•Borer discussed the HHS office needing attention due to the cold. Marlene Schindler said a power outage temporarily knocked out power for the heater’s motor, but “it’s working fine now.” Payne told the board “again, if you would’ve asked, we would’ve told you that it was fixed and it wouldn’t have had to be an agenda item;” and
•Borer requested monthly budget reports from county officials. The assessor informed him that “it’s already done monthly.” Payne reiterated, “Again, if you would’ve asked, it wouldn’t have had to been an agenda item.”
Central Valley Ag Cooperative (CVA) recently hosted their annual Employee Retreat in Omaha. The event was held to provide employees an opportunity to network with each other outside of the office and build comradery amongst employees.
The following employees were recognized for their years of service at the 2019 Employee Retreat.
25 Years of Service:
Allan Dreckman, Doug Eisenmenger, Robert Zegers, Rhonda Johnson, Kenny Parks, Brian Poeckes, Scott Engel and Leslie Kilgore.
20 Years of Service:
Terry Collins, Shelley Peters, Kellee Hermelbracht, Aaron Schmid, Curt Goff, Frank Jorgenson, Jason Kock, Russ Tveter, Albert Collins, Dennis Cruise and Lloyd Kleckner.
15 Years of Service:
Teri Carlstrom, William Nendza, Jolene Wagner, Brent Reichmuth, Eileen Bode, Buck Beam, Jay Wright, Gary Sipe, Amy Eisenhauer, Kenton Ford, Allen Keagle, Jesse Schindler, Alan Tillberg, Tim Britt and Chris Walbrecht.
10 Years of Service:
Cassie Meyers, Mike Argo, Gregory Vakoc, Brett Schaecher, Ron Hoffmann, Robert Budke, Dan Affolter, Keith Borer, Larry Himmelberg, Rob Stevens, Colby Freudenburg, Michael Bayer, Kevin Mozer, Tim Galvin, Ricki Hall, Paul Heltne, Jesse Henery, Steven Lilley, James Norris, Aaron Snow, Jerry Strand, Corey Mackling, Neil Schumacher, Michael Stamp and Jennifer Clifford.
5 Years of Service:
Tyler Eisenmann, Bryce Hockemeier, Robert Fahey, Sean Jernigan, Jason Kreikemeier, Kim Merrill, Ben Beegle, Jay Blomenkamp, Steven Darnall, Brian Germann, Jeff Jensby, James Jorgensen, Darek Kouma, Jason Madden, Pamela Olmer, Sue Gotula, Linnea Steinhauser, Jordan Zoucha, Levi Ziolkowski, Scott Staum, Brody Duncan, Colby Vesely, Brian Johnson, Adam Krier, Michael Scott, Glenn Barber, Travis Baumann, Zach Coon, Amy Crady, Kelli Emanuel, Jarad Hammond, Cody Hauschel, James Hemenway, Tod Henrich, Dale Huisman, Thomas Johnson, Doug Kaup, Brett Kazemba, Brandan Lindsay, James McCabe, Ralph Medbourn, Terrell Milburn, Greg Mockenhaupt, Katie Scollard, James Scott and Martin Wid.
“These awards are given to recognize our employee’s dedication to CVA,” said Peggy Hopwood, SVP Member Services for CVA. “Our employees are the reason for our success.”
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