Category Archives: Regional News

State Treasurer to Speak at Shelby-Rising City High School

SHELBY – Shelby-Rising City High School students will have a special opportunity to hear from the State Treasurer, when he visits the school in mid-April.

S-RC Principal Bill Curry says State Treasurer Don Stenberg will be speaking to both the Entrepreneurship and Business Law classes, as well as a school assembly on Tuesday,  April 18th.

Curry says Stenberg will be speaking to the classes about opportunities in rural Nebraska, and will be talking to the assembly about financial literacy and planning for financial independence.

The treasurers appearance is sponsored by the Shelby-Rising City Future Business Leaders of America, and FBLA chapters from other area high school are invited to attend.

You can read the full press release regarding the event below.

Advisory Shelby-RisingCity – State Treasurer 

Beatrice City Attorney the Finalist, for Seward City Administrator Position

BEATRICE – The Beatrice City Attorney is the lone finalist for the job of City Administrator of Seward.

Greg Butcher will meet community members, city employees and staff at an open house today at four p.m., in Seward.  He emerged from two rounds of interviews to be the finalist for the position.

If appointed, Butcher would fill the city administrator’s job that has been vacant since last January, when Bruce Smith left to become an administrator in Ogallala.

:50                  “economic development”

Butcher became Beatrice City Attorney in September 2012, coming to the city from Lincoln.  He and his wife recently had their third child, a daughter.

:10                  “changes going on”

The couple also a son Alex, who is seven, and Rex, who is three-and-a-half.  Butcher says he will focus on moving remaining projects along that he’s been involved with, as Beatrice City Attorney.

:22                  “middle of ‘em”

Butcher’s appointment by the Mayor of Seward would go before the city council for confirmation.

Randolph Moving Forward with Private Daycare Plans

RANDOLPH, NE — Having a local daycare is a matter of convenience for parents, numbers for schools and stability for children. And the town of Randolph doesn’t have one.

But last week’s unanimous vote by the school board started the plan to get one.

Randolph Elementary Principal Mary Miller says families going to other communities for child care could have an effect on enrollment.

“Maybe start daycare or pre-school in another community and then they make friends there, and they might not be coming back to us,” Miller said.

So after a series of public meetings that drew as many as 60 residents, the board voted to move forward with renovations to the elementary school to facilitate a daycare and accept applications for a private daycare operator.

School board president Paul Schmit says he’s confident someone will come forward with an offer because the community is providing a ready-made space. A daycare operator will be able to turn the key and go.

“We’re trying to get the word out,” Schmit said. “We think there’s an opportunity there for someone.”

Miller says research shows that key characteristics and brain pathways develop between the ages of 0-5, making stable, professional care imperative.

“And so it’s really important for parents to have a safe, stable, nurturing learning environment in those early years,” Miller said.

And overall, Miller and Schmit say they’re pleased with how the town identified a problem and acted.

“I think also through the process the board, the administration, the community – have really put kids first and I think that’s what’s really important,” Miller said.

Fundraiser Honoring Recently Deceased High Plains Student, will be Held South of Columbus

COLUMBUS – A fundraiser honoring the late Austin Fritz will be held just outside Columbus in early May.

The off-road drag racing event is scheduled to be held at T-Bones Truck stop off Highway 30 in Columbus with registration beginning at 10:00 a.m.

All proceeds are said to go to the Austin Fritz Memorial Fund. Fritz passed away on January 18, 2016, and was a part of the class set to graduate in 2018.

See more information below.

3rd Avenue Viaduct Groundbreaking Set for Tuesday

COLUMBUS – After years and years of work and planning, the 3rd Avenue Viaduct is taking another step forward with a groundbreaking set for Tuesday.

The Columbus Commodores are currently scheduled for the groundbreaking from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 4th.

Other viaduct projects in Columbus include the 18th Avenue pedestrian overpass and the 12th Avenue Viaduct. The 3rd Avenue and 18th Avenue projects are scheduled to be completed before the 12th Avenue project.

Ricketts Touts Tax Reform at Norfolk Rotary

NORFOLK – You can’t grow the state without controlling spending.

That was the message presented by Gov. Pete Ricketts to the Norfolk Rotary Club on Tuesday. The meeting gave the governor the opportunity to once again tout his tax reform bills currently up for discussion in the Nebraska Unicameral.

Ricketts said he wants the budget focus to be on cutting spending and drawing in new businesses to build revenue. Ricketts said lawmakers need to look beyond the current budget as well.

“[They need to] not get too involved in taking too much money from the cash reserve to cover their expenses, because that’s one-time money,” Ricketts said. “That doesn’t actually help us with our ongoing expenses.”

Ricketts is also making stops Tuesday at an ethanol plant in Ravenna and a spring kick-off event in Albion.

Ricketts Signs Religious Garb Bill Into Law in Norfolk

NORFOLK — Nebraska public school teachers are now free to wear religious garb in their workplace.

Governor Pete Ricketts signed LB 62 into law in Norfolk on Monday evening, thus ending a 98-year ban on teachers wearing religious clothing.

Ricketts broke routine to sign the bill at Northeast Community College in Norfolk to give credit to Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer, who is from Norfolk, for his hard work on the measure.

“The Speaker has long been a defender of religious freedom here in our state as well. So it’s really great that (he) was able to get this passed,” Ricketts said. “The Speaker worked very hard to shepherd this all the way through the legislature to make this happen.”

The Governor said the new law rights a wrong from 1919 when the state passed the religious garb rule under pressure from the anti-Catholic Ku Klux Klan. That law continued in obscurity with many not knowing it existed, including Scheer, until Sister Madeline Miller was told she could not wear her nun’s habit and be a substitute teacher for Norfolk Public Schools last year. She told Scheer and he went to work. He had to convince some in the Unicameral that abolishing the law still allowed for a separation of church and state.

“We aren’t discriminating against any religion here, we are trying to make sure that those that have a religious background aren’t discriminated against,” Scheer said.

While making remarks to a room of reporters and the public, Ricketts doubled down on the religious freedom theme, citing the state’s constitution.

“It says knowledge, and religion, and morality are all important and that we want to encourage those things and, in fact, they’re necessary for good government,” Ricketts said.

36 states passed similar laws in the 20th century and, after Monday, only Pennsylvania still has it on the books.

Lyons Man Killed in Weekend Shooting; Brother Injured

LYONS — Police in Lyons are sorting through evidence after a weekend shooting that ended with one man’s death.

Investigators say they arrived to a home at 665 State Street, at 8:35am on Sunday, to find the body of 49-year-old Kevin Hayes, of Lyons. Police say he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Investigators also found his brother, 53-year-old Charles Hayes, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Paramedics rushed Charles Hayes to an Omaha hospital. There’s no word on his current condition.

The case remains under investigation. No other details are available at this time.

Schreibers Donate $2,500 to Shell Creek Elementary

COLUMBUS – The Schreiber family and Monsanto are doing their part to help a local elementary school by donating $2,500.

A special presentation was held at Shell Creek Elementary on Monday, where Principal Josh Graves shared the news of the donation with the students of the school, and recognized Mike and Tara Schreiber for giving back to the school.

“The support of Lakeview Community Schools is just amazing. You see that in a lot of different facets, but today we see it through the Schreibers. They’re just one of the many folks that have really done a great job supporting the school system here, and there is a lot of pride that goes into Lakeview here. so really just honored to be a part of that,” says Graves.

The Schreibers recieved the money through “America Farmers Grow Communities – Monsanto Fund” and were given the choice to donate the money to a local entity.

“Our daughter goes here, so we just couldn’t think of a better place to donate the money too,” says Tara. “It was very easy, it was just a matter of my husband [Mike] brought home a postcard. We filled out the postcard and mailed it in, and actually forgot about it, and it wasn’t until we got the phone call that we remembered that we did it.”

“it was just a surprise, because normally we don’t win anything, and it was nice to donate it to the school,” says Mike. “I’m sure they’ll be able to put it towards something really good that all the kids can use.”

Graves says they still are not sure what exactly they will use the money for, but says they have talked about potentially purchasing educational virtually reality headsets, or educational speaker equipment designed for classroom use.

Ricketts to Sign Religious Freedom Bill in Norfolk

NORFOLK – Nebraska’s new religious garb law will become official at a signing ceremony in Norfolk.

Gov. Pete Ricketts will officially sign the bill, dubbed the Religious Freedom Bill, alongside Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer of Norfolk Monday evening.

Speaker Scheer introduced the bill, which repeals a previous law outlawing teachers from wearing religious garb in the classroom.

Scheer got the idea after speaking with a constituent, who was denied a substitute teaching job in the Norfolk Public School district because she wanted to wear a nun’s habit.

The bill-signing will take place at the Lifelong Learning Center at 5 p.m.

Gov. Ricketts will be making additional stops in Norfolk, Pierce and Albion on Tuesday.