News That Matters To Antelope County - Your News. Your Way. Every Day!
© Pitzer Digital, LLC
Patrons were given a look last week into how a merger between Ewing and Clearwater could function thanks to a summary report on a feasibility study between the two schools.
Dr. Craig Pease and Dr. Bob Uhing spoke to both boards, along with Orchard, during last Wednesday’s joint board meeting between the three schools. Also at the meeting were representatives from First National Capital Markets, who discussed the process of a merger.
Clearwater and Ewing were described as complimentary school districts with similar land values and size, along with being “not an unreasonable distance for traveling back and forth on a good highway.”
The study showed elementary grades would be between 14-25 with enrollment expected to stay the same or slightly decrease through 2022-23. Total enrollment for the two schools in 2020-21 was predicted to be 280 students PK-12, which was said to be comparable to a district the size of Creighton.
As far as curriculum, the combination of the schools could allow for an expanded career pathways thanks to multiple staff positions in technical areas. It was pointed out that by offering SkillsUSA, which Clearwater currently does, and FFA, then the new district would meet Rule 47, which requires specific offerings.
To be more efficient as a new district, the feasibility study indicated the staff could decrease by eight full-time teachers if the two schools merged. A merger could save the two schools about $800,000, primarily due to the reduction of staff. The study recommended two sites, one for PK-6 and a second for 7-12.
The study indicated the predicted budget would require a necessary levy of .6103; however, Pease and Uhing said the levy would actually be higher than that since Clearwater’s data was from the Nebraska Unified District at one-third percentage. Ewing’s total levy is currently .733 while Clearwater’s was listed at .661.
Pease and Uhing are working on multiple feasibility studies for the three schools, along with Verdigre. The rest of the studies will be presented on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 6:30 p.m. in Orchard. A snow date for that meeting was set for February 6.
Tobin Buchanan and Craig Jones of First National Capital Market also spoke to the boards about the financial aspect of constructing a new school through a bond. Buchanan said he didn’t feel comfortable estimating fees for their services since the process is still in the early stages.
When asked what is needed for a successful bond, Buchanan recommended having an construction manager, architect and financial firm. Clearwater board member Brian King said his school is looking for someone to take point, mediate and lead them through the project.
“We’re at this point where we don’t really know what to do,” King said.
After much discussion, including asking if First National Capital Markets would consider serving as consultants for the project, neither Buchanan nor Jones would commit, saying it was early in the project and discussion and they needed more time for discussions before suggesting a fee or even if they were interested.
Board members continued to ask questions about successful merger projects, and both men said they’d never seen a three-school merger reach a bond vote.
“More often than not, this phase fizzles and doesn’t get to the vote. Talks end here and never gets to the point to the vote,” Jones said.
More common, they said, was consolidation first with multiple buildings and constructing a new building at a later time.
Board members invited the representatives to attend the Jan. 30 meeting to hear the results of the other feasibility study, and they both agreed.
Ashley Stearns of Clearwater will be one of 58 graduates in the December 2018 graduating class at Bryan College of Health Sciences
Stearns will graduate will a Bachelor of Science in Nursing on Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m. at Saint Paul United Methodist Church in Lincoln.
Nine will be graduating with a Master of Science in Nursing, thirty-nine with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and nine with a Bachelor of Science in Health Professions. Graduation commencement speaker is Eric Mooss, MHA, President of the Bryan Physician Network.
Bryan College of Health Sciences offers a Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice, Doctorate of Education, a Master of Science in Nursing degree, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences, and Bachelor of Science degrees in Health Professions with majors in Healthcare Studies, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and Cardiovascular Technology. Two areas of specialization in Cardiovascular Technology offered are Adult Cardiac Sonography and Vascular Sonography. Also offered are Graduate Certificate in Simulation Education, Post-Undergraduate Certificate in Healthcare Management, and Post-Masters of Science in Nursing Certificate with emphasis in Nursing Education or Nursing Leadership.
Clearwater 5th and 6th graders graduated from the D.A.R.E. program Monday, Nov. 5th under the guidance of Deputy John Shaver.
The graduates are (front row, left to right) Belinda Nunez, Kenzie Sanne, Ethan Kester, Shaylie Kester, Sydni McConnell, Ella Bolling, Kenna Brabec, Ethan Drury, (middle row) Matt Umphress, Irelyn Bearinger, Lenora Kester, (back row) Halle Lueking, Emma King, Caydence Schumacher, Ava Rittscher, Addisyn Fletcher, Keaton Thiele, Logan Kester, Bailey Ahlers, Mike Umphress and Raina Krebs.
Clearwater/Orchard actors earned seven outstanding actor awards at the Niobrara Valley Conference East One Act Tournament at Elgin Public on Tuesday.
Outstanding actor awards were presented to:
Queen - Jackie Olivan
Mindy - Nalleli Zermeno
Princess #2 - Sarai Mendoza
Captain - Cassidy Bearinger
Bo Peep - Avery Cheatum
Prince - Tommie Peed
Horace the Dino - Donaven Nolze
The cast performed "Bedtime Stories (As Told By Our Dad) (Who Messed Them Up)," under the direction of Sara Kesting and Emily Heithoff, for a fifth place finish.
The Clearwater community came together Monday morning to honor the community's local veterans at a special Veteran's Day program at Clearwater High School.
The event started with the veterans marching in, followed by the national anthem, performed by the CHS band, and the elementary students leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
Clearwater seniors spoke about the history of several different monuments and memorials, throughout the United States, built to honor veterans and their service.
Seniors Amy Thiele and Jacob Long shared their experiences at Cornhusker's Boys and Girls State this past summer and thanked the local legion for sponsoring their trips to Lincoln.
Finally, the Clearwater band performed God Bless America and the choir sang Proud to be an America, by Lee Greenwood.
The ceremony concluded with the band playing Taps and the local veterans marching out.
The iconic longhorn sign looms high overhead, touting this week’s specials.
Inside, the smell of savory foods fills the air as waitresses serve plates of flavorful prime rib, tender steaks and broasted chicken. A line forms at the stainless steel salad bar which lights up the center of the room.
This is the L-Bar-B Steakhouse.
After more than 35 years of turning the steakhouse into Clearwater’s landmark restaurant, Francis and Rilla Hanzlik are calling it a career.
The Hanzliks officially sold the L-Bar-B to Jim Swails on Thursday.
A Ewing-native, Swails said the L-Bar-B name, menu, hours and phone number will remain the same. All of the staff were offered the option to stay as well.
“It wasn’t broke, so why fix it?” he asked rhetorically.
Swails, who will reside in Clearwater, is a Scottsdale Culinary Institute graduate and has been in the restaurant business for about 15 years.
“I’ve worked at different resorts, country clubs, breweries, fine dining, mom and pop places to get knowledge for my career,” he said.
In his 30s, Swails started out as a prep cook, working his way up to sous chef and then chef in just three years.
When he was back visiting his mom in Ewing about a year ago, he contacted Francis about the possibility of purchasing the L-Bar-B. Hanzlik told him he was willing to consider it when he was ready to retire and the rest is history.
The L-Bar-B’s full story dates back to the 1960s when Bill Gibbs and Lowell Jensen first opened the restaurant by the same name. Hanzlik said he’s not certain, but the brother-in-law proprietors may have used Lionel Bartak’s L-Bar-B Ranch as inspiration for the name. There have been several owners in between, including Don Sohl and Don and Shirley Mack, but none as consistent as Francis and Rilla Hanzlik. The Hanzliks opened the L-Bar-B on June 23, 1982, exactly one year from the day the Macks had closed it.
“We were driving by here on our way to see Rilla’s mom in O’Neill and saw a ‘For Sale’ sign,” Hanzlik recalled. He contacted the realtor on the sign, tracked down the owners and they revived the restaurant.
Hanzlik had worked in the restaurant industry since he was a 13-year-old in Pilger.
“I started working at Geno’s El Rancho in Pilger at 13 and worked there until I was 25,” he said.
“I started as kitchen help and started cooking at 15. I took over the head cook job when I was a senior in high school.”
Before moving to Clearwater in 1983, the Hanzliks lived in Columbus and Francis worked in a packing house in Schuyler. So it’s not surprising that he knows a good cut of meat.
“When I worked at the steakhouse in Pilger we cut all our own steaks there too,” Hanzlik said. “I grew up with an individual who mentored me. Everything I’ve learned is from hands-on doing it.”
His L-Bar-B customers have always appreciated the attention to top-quality products.
“I buy all choice stuff,” he said. “People like the reasonable prices and good food. People out in rural areas are meat and potatoes people.”
Although different customers have different favorites, the most popular comment he has heard lately is actually salad-related.
“The one thing everyone is telling me is, ‘You’ve gotta leave your bleu cheese dressing recipe,’” he said.
Hanzlik said he took pride in knowing that many of his customers drove “30, 40 maybe even 50 miles to the steakhouse because it was someone’s birthday or anniversary.” He said there were many loyal customers over the years, including two couples from Albion that make the trek to the L-Bar-B every week.
“I’m going to miss people coming back into the kitchen and saying, ‘It was great!’” Hanzlik said as he choked up. “I guess I can’t count the number of people who have come back into the kitchen and have said, ‘You can’t do this to us.’”
Although he was emotional talking about his customers, he is thankful they found a buyer who will continue the L-Bar-B restaurant in Clearwater.
“You see so many times the door gets locked and doesn’t get opened back up and nobody comes back in,” Hanzlik said. “Any business you have in a small town makes a big difference.
We’ve been running anywhere from 15 to 18 employees, not all of them full-time, but that makes a difference in our area.”
He and Rilla are helping with the transition and will be working with Swails and his son Robert, the lead line cook, through the weekend. After that, Hanzlik doesn’t know what retirement will bring.
“I guess I don’t know what I’ll do with my time,” he said as his eyes welled and a tear trickled down his cheek. “Right now, I basically don’t have a day that I don’t have to do something. Even though we’re closed Mondays, you still have bookwork, sales people, deliveries, so if you can get away after dinner, you have one afternoon and night that you can do something. Only three times in 35 years that we’ve had six days off.”
Swails said he appreciates the Hanzliks helping him through the transition period and he enjoyed the change of pace on his first night as the owner of the L-Bar-B.
“I’m used to 500-600 people a night within an hour or two,” Swails said. “It’s a different atmosphere. The people are a heck of a lot friendlier. I will tell you that. And patient. There’s a difference. I forgot what it was like here, compared to a city.”
Clearwater announced its honor roll for the first quarter of the 2018-19 school year.
Principal’s Honor Roll
Front row (l-r): Kelsey Schlecht, Adyson Mlnarik, Aislynn Kester and Christian Behnk
Second row: Julia Thiele, Taylor Sanne, Faith King
Back row: Jacob Long, Zach King, James Kester, Jacob Behnk
Front row (l-r): Katie Stearns, Eli Thiele, Dillon Moser, Jesse Thiele, Dylon Lueking, Alex Thiele, Joe Ahlers
Second row: Hunter Klabenes, Morgan Erhardt, Cassidy Bearinger, Harper Klabenes, Madison Kester, Rafe Grebin, Colby Hupp
Back row: Taylor Ann Bolling, Tyler Hupp, Jackie Olivan, Emily Ahlers, Lena Bolling, Taylor Rose Bolling, Kierra Bearinger, Lauren Behnk
Not pictured: Bryna Umphress
Clearwater celebrated Homecoming with Orchard last week.
Along with crowning the 2018 King and Queen, Zach King and Katie Stearns, students showed their school spirit by parading around Orchard, followed by games for the elementary students and a dodgeball tournament.
The top classes in the sign contest were the seventh grade class in third place, the junior class in second and the senior class in first.
The sophomore class came out on top with their parade float, followed by the eighth grade class in second.
Winning the dodgeball tournament was the senior class, barely scraping by the freshmen class.
The overall school spirit points winner was the senior class.