2010 - The year in review Part 2
The second half of 2010 started off with good news, when it was confirmed that a college would be coming to the community. Thanks to the efforts of the local Custer Economic Development Corp., Custer Campus is expected to be operational in time for 2011 Fall classes. This was just one of the stories making Chief headlines this past year. This week we will peruse the headlines for more area stories during the months of July-December, 2010.JULY Broken Bow is about to become a college community. The Custer Economic Development Corporation is proud to announce the development of the Custer Campus on the west side of Broken Bow. “This presents an unlimited amount of opportunities. I just don’t see how it could be any better,” said Loren Taylor, chairman of the CEDC Board of Directors.~~~~ For the first time, Broken Bow voters will cast their ballots in a mail-in election rather than the traditional go-to-the-polls election. The Broken Bow Board of Education approved a resolution requesting a special bond election. The resolution called for an Aug. 10, 2010, special mail-in election, requesting a bond not exceeding $9,955,000; the cost of the school project plus the costs of issuing the bonds.~~~~ Bow Food Pride in Broken Bow is closing. The signs are out - the owners have made the decision once the stock is gone to shut their doors. Mike Whitesel and his wife Dianna, Jeff and Stacey McMeen and Randy and Tanya Kennedy purchased the former Jack and Jill last summer and then spent the next nine months pouring money into the business.~~~~ Tragedy struck the Chief area hard during July, with a triple fatality accident and drowning. A crash involving two pickup trucks on Highway 2 near Litchfield claimed the lives of Carrol Seats, 66, of Ansley, Nola Jaeschke, 83, of Mason City, and Howard Jaeschke, 86, also of Mason City. That same week, Troy Nutter of Thedford was the victim of drowning at Calamus Lake near Burwell. Nutter had been on a weekend fishing trip with his family.~~~~ Heavy rains have forced the closure of trails and campgrounds at Halsey Forest. Average rainfall for the Bessey District is 21 inches per year; however, the current seven month tally is 27.15 inches.~~~~ The stately brick building that has served as the home for Oconto school students for more than 100 years, will now serve as home for a family of 10. Melanie and Gary Doyle were the winning bidders for the building at a public auction July 17 in Oconto, paying $3,000 for the old schoolAUGUST An Arcadia teen lost his life as the result of a vehicle accident near Comstock. According to the Nebraska State Patrol office in Grand Island, 17-year-old Bronson Darville of Arcadia, died from injuries he suffered in the accident.~~~~ For the second time in just over two years, voters in School District 25 have voted on a proposed bond to build and/or renovate the district’s elementary schools. And both times the voters said no. With a 60 percent voter turnout, final numbers were: 1,342 AGAINST, 925 FOR.~~~~ Dave Green, owner of Grocery Kart, has announced plans to expand the store. The store purchased the land next door, cleared off the old building and plans to connect 6,500 square feet of retail space directly to the west of the curren building.~~~~ Michael G. Mannlein, 47 of Sargent, was the victim of a drowning accident at Johnson Lake near Lexington. ~~~~ The ‘party in a pasture’ returned with the Comstock or Bust country music concert, organized by new promoter Bill Kann. Kann promises a bigger and better festival next year, with country, rock and Christian concerts planned.SEPTEMBER For more than 27 years, Mary Landkamer has made it her business to know other people’s business. This month she will hang up her local historian hat, when she officially retires as Director of the Custer County Historical Museum. ~~~~ A severe, fast-moving thunderstorm made its way across the area leaving residents in the Weissert area a mess to clean up. Mike and Karen Connely lost their garage in the storm, and several farmers in the area reported heavy damage to crops.~~~~ The community of Callaway played host to the 20th annual Kite Flight Labor Day weekend. Kite enthusiasts from 25 states and 14 different countries have participated in the event since its inception.~~~~ More than eight months after the death of 4-year-old Landon Payne in rural Kearney County, a man with Custer County ties has been arrested in connection with the boy’s death. Dustin A. Scoville, 23, was arrested Sept. 3 on a Kearney County warrant, charging him with aiding and abetting child abuse relating in Landon’s death and with being an accessory to a felony. He was the fourth person to be charged in the case.~~~~ Right Drug of Callaway announced the pharmacy has been sold to Marge Trythall, owner of Varney Healthmart in Broken Bow. The Edgington family, long-time owners of the business, will retain ownership of the merchandise side of the business with Trythall making plans to move the pharmacy to a different location later this year.OCTOBER It is big news for the community of Broken Bow, as well as shoppers from the surrounding area, as later this month two grocery stores will again be serving customers in this central Nebraska area. The sale of Bow Food Pride became official Friday, Oct. 1, when the Schmick family of McCook closed the deal on the local store.~~~~ A pasture fire near Cumro burned an estimated 60-70 acres of grassland. The blaze began near the center point of a pivot, before being stirred up by the wind and taken over a hill. Upon further inspection, it’s been decided that a mouse is to blame. Its charred body was found inside the wire box of the pivot center, connecting two wires.~~~~ A 43-year-old Litchfield woman was killed after pulling her vehicle into the path of an eastbound BNSF coal train near Litchfield. The accident occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. Oct. 7, at a field crossing three miles west of Litchfield on State Highway 2. The vehicle was struck broadside and was carried three-tenths of a mile east to where the train stopped. ~~~~ According to Sergeant Ryan Anderson, the Broken Bow Police Department received a call from McDonald’s employees at about 4:30 a.m. Oct. 5, reporting that someone had entered the store and taken money out of the safe. Anderson says a substantial amount of cash was taken.~~~~ In their Monday evening meeting, the Broken Bow Board of Education approved a plan to upgrade and replace some of the school’s buses in the next two years. The board approved the purchase of a newer MCI activity bus Monday night. A Suburban and two 12-passenger vans are also being added to replace the current 15-passenger vans.~~~~ A Saturday afternoon fire caused extensive damage at the residence of David and Bobbi Summerford of rural Broken Bow. It is believed the fire started in an electrical cord plugged in to the camper. Sparks from the cord are believed to have ignited the grass, then spread to the camper, the car parked near the camper, and a building which was at one time a schoolhouse. All three were a total loss.~~~~ Broken Bow Pack is under new ownership. The new owners, Steve and Michelle Burnett, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce, and plan to offer a full-service butcher shop.NOVEMBER More than 50 percent of Custer County's registered voters cast their ballots in the general election Tuesday. With only a number of absentee and provisional ballots remaining to be counted, the race for mayor of Broken Bow is a close one, with Cecil Burt leading the race with 622 votes over incumbent Reynold C. McMeen, who has 603 votes.~~~~ Luke LeFever, 22, was arraigned in Custer County District Court last week on five felony counts, all stemming from incidents which took place in Custer County Aug. 13, 2010. LeFever has been charged with; Count 1: felon in possession of a firearm, Count 2: possession of a stolen firearm; Count 3: possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine; Count 4: willful reckless driving; and Count 5: operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest.~~~~ The Custer Campus Board of Directors and Custer Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) will officially break ground on the site of the seven acre Custer Campus in Broken Bow Friday, Nov. 5, at 4 p.m. According to officials, U.S. Senator Ben Nelson, Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy, Mid-Plains Community College President Dr. Michael Chipps, Custer Campus Board of Directors, CEDC Board of Directors, andofficials from the City of Broken Bow are expected to participate in the ceremonies.~~~~ The teams are ready‚and the birds are nervous‚as the time nears for the 50th Annual Nebraska One Box Pheasant Hunt slated for Nov. 4-7, in Broken Bow. A total of eight 5-person teams will take part in the 2010 Nebraska One Box Hunt competition‚ which culminates with a competitive pheasant and quail hunt that takes place all day Saturday.~~~~ When Steve Scott graduated from Broken Bow High School in 1978, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. Thirty years later, he is still doing it. Last week, Broken Bow Police Chief Scott celebrated 30 years of service to the police department and to the community of Broken Bow. ~~~~ Political experts across the state of Nebraska are in agreement that a 40 percent or above voter turnout in a non-presidential election is pretty darned good. With that said, local voters will be pleased to know that here in central Nebraska we topped the charts Tuesday. Custer County officials report a nearly 51 percent, 50.91 to be exact, turnout in last week’s general election. But it was Blaine County that really made their mark - with 75 percent of the voters completing a ballot.~~~~ An oil pipeline has been proposed to cross the depth of Nebraska and the Sierra Club wants the state to slow down and take a second look. Senator Mike Johanns agrees, as do State Senator Deb Fischer and Congressman Adrian Smith. The pipeline is the third such pipeline designed to transfer tar sands sludge from Canada to refineries in the south. The proposed route would take the pipeline across the sandy soils of the Sandhills region and through the heart of the Ogallala Aquifer.~~~~ An Arnold centenarian-plus celebrated her birthday Nov. 11 and now into her fourth year past the 100 year mark, this fixture of independence reigns queen with her smile. Miriam Bower was born Nov. 11, 1906, which means she just celebrated her 104th birthday! With the help of her daughter Ruth, Miriam is able to reside in her own home where she’s lived since 1937. DECEMBER Chadron State College’s Cory Beran has been selected to the ESPN Academic All-America First Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced. Beran, a senior defensive end from Sargent who has a 3.68 GPA in natural sciences, is the third Chadron State defensive linemen to earn first team honors. Cory’s older brother, Casey, was a first team selection in 1999.~~~~ The Custer County Foundation hosted its sixth annual Christmas gala Saturday with approximately 270 people, the largest attendance yet, at the Broken Bow Municipal Building. Early results show that just the Silent and Live Auction items brought in over $37,000, which is an increase of $13,000 from the previous year.~~~~ Ongoing investigations by the Broken Bow Police Department have led to the arrests last week of two men on burglary charges involving local businesses, according to Broken Bow Police Chief Steve Scott. William A. Byrne, 21 of Broken Bow, was arraigned in Custer County Court, charged with a Class III felony for burglary, and a Class III felony for theft in connection with the Oct. 6, 2010, burglary at the McDonald’s Restaurant in Broken Bow. Skyler J. Linn, 19 of Broken Bow, was also arraigned in Custer County Court Monday and charged with Class III felonies for three counts of burglary and a Class III felony for possession of a firearm. ~~~~ Broken Bow has a new mayor. Cecil Burt was sworn in, along with councilmen Jim Franssen and Scott Spanel at Monday’s city council meeting. The new mayor said he is going to work to learn how to run a city along with the council’s help. ~~~~ While the first week of December was exceptionally busy for the Broken Bow Volunteer Fire Department, facilitator Andy Holland says calls for the year are below the average - and that is a good thing. As of Dec. 13, the department had been dispatched to a total of 50 fire calls throughout the 2010 year, compared with the annual average of 70.~~~~ The Nebraska State Patrol and the Custer County Sheriff's Office investigated a triple fatality traffic crash that occurred Dec. 18, two miles west of Ansley on State Highway 2. Killed in the crash were Jeffrey Podraza, 44, of Elkhorn, and Podraza's daughters - Jordyn 12, and Taylor, 10.~~~~ Nineteen-year-old Skyler J. Linn was sentenced in Custer County District Court Dec. 16, to 12-15 months in the Nebraska Department of Corrections. The sentence was part of a plea agreement Linn and his attorney reached with the State.~~~~ Coaches and writers from across the state have selected and released their all-district and all-state teams for the 2010 fall sports season which include numerous athletes from the Custer County Chief coverage area. Area athletes receiving all-state honors in Class D1 volleyball were Taylor Rohde, Ansley (1st-team OWH and LJS) and Tricia Young, Mullen (2nd team OWH and 1st team LJS. Broken Bow’s Nathan Scott was selected to the OWH’s and LJS’s Class C1 all-state team in football. Scott was selected as a linebacker in the OWH and as the defensive athlete for the LJS. The Sargent Bulldogs landed three players on the Class D2 all-state teams for the OWH and LJS. Jed Fenske (RB) and Tyke Kozeal (K) were selected to the offensive teams while Guy Fenske (LB/DB) was selected to the defensive teams. Mullen’s Zach Call (RB) was also selected to both the OWH and LJS’s Class D2 all-state teams. Receiving LJS all-state honors in Class D2 were Anselmo-Merna’s Jake Wells, Colton Rush and Cole Miller; Mullen’s Gabe Connealy, Jake Spies and Nathan Vinton; Sargent’s Ridge Horky, Tanner Balfour and Ryan Mosier along with S-E-M’s Zach Burden.