How do you know it’s been quite a year for news in Antelope County? When Willie Nelson and Neil Young play a cornfield concert and that’s not even the biggest story of 2014.
The Harvest The Hope Concert on Art and Helen Tanderup’s land north of Neligh in September was a huge national and international story that brought in media worldwide. In fact, some of the media in attendance cannot even be identified yet . . . (but don’t worry, we have the story and will release it as soon as we get approval).
Willie, Neil and the Keystone Pipeline came in second in the reader's poll on what stories made the biggest impact in Antelope County in 2014.
The biggest story, according to you, was actually the Antelope County News opening as the first countywide media. The ACN, launched on January 1, made an immediate impact on news coverage and opened an office in downtown Neligh last August.
Although there are less than 3,000 households in the county, more than 5,000 unique visitors view the website every day. There’s no subscription to read the news, and there’s no charge for submitting news. The site is entirely advertiser supported because businesses want to be seen where the readers are looking.
“We have received so many positive comments about our news coverage, and we have businesses tell us there’s no better way to advertise to Antelope County residents,” said Jennifer Higgins, ACN Editor. “In less than a year, checking the ACN has become part of a daily routine for people, and we’re proud to be the trusted news source for the entire county."
Coming in third for news impact was the Neligh-Oakdale Fire Marshal Visit and Bond Election. The district was ordered to correct 24 points. The Board of Education put forth a bond proposal during the general election to fund the projects; the bond failed.
Rounding out the top five for biggest stories were the resignation of Neligh-Oakdale Superintendent Kimberly Lingenfelter and the Neligh Mill Bridge being repaired, thanks to a $650,000 anonymous grant.
Lingenfelter’s resignation was accepted earlier this month, effective June 30, 2015. She was hired in 2010, replacing retiring superintendent Ron Brandl. Lingenfelter has not announced her future career plans.
The bridge reopened in November after being closed since the 2010 Elkhorn River flooding. With the bridge repaired, residents have easy access south of town, including to Russell Park, the tree dump and the airport.
The 15 top stories of the year for Antelope County, voted by readers, are listed below with links to the stories.