More Than $21,500 Raised During Rollover Auction
ROLLOVER AUCTION - The United Methodist Hope Parish donated a bred heifer for a rollover auction Nov. 21 at the Shamrock Livestock Market in O'Neill. More than $21,500 was raised and will be donated to the Cattlemen's Relief Fund to assist livestock owners who loss cattle during an unseasonal blizzard last month. Photo by Amanda Greger
By Amanda Greger
More than $21,500 was raised Thursday, Nov. 21 to help support livestock owners in western Nebraska who suffered losses from an unseasonal blizzard last month.
The blizzard caused catastrophic and devastating cattle losses in Nebraska and South Dakota.
"It was very successful," said Richard Schrunk, Shamrock Livestock manager.
The United Methodist Hope Parish donated a 1,165 lb. bred heifer for the rollover auction at the Shamrock Livestock Market in O'Neill. The funds will be dispersed by the Cattlemen's Relief Fund board members.
More than 50 people attended the rollover auction as well as several area businesses and local patrons donated before and after the event. Ladies from the Hope Parish also donated homemade baked goods raising more than $1,700.
The Cattlemen's Relief Fund (a 501c3) was established through the Chadron Community Foundation. According to Foundation President Steve Cleveland the foundation hopes to reach a goal of $250,000.
More than 2,200 head of cattle were lost in western Nebraska due to the early October blizzard. When the unexpected storm hit several ranchers had not yet moved cattle to more protected pastures.
The storm first brought freezing rain, coating cattle that hadn't grown their winter coats yet. As the storm progressed 10 to 12 inches of snow accumulated.
If you were unable to attend the auction, donations may be mailed to to the Cattlemen's Relief Fun, P.O. Box 1125, Chadron, NE 69337.
For more information call Richard Schrunk at 402-340-1222 or John Dickerson at 402-340-5218.
Fall Harvest Wraps Up Across State
FINISHING UP - The Peterson Farms crew picks the last few rows of corn in a field northeast of Atkinson last week. Many farmers throughout the Holt County area are wrapping up a successful harvest season. Photo by Amanda Greger
For the week ending Nov. 24, dry conditions the first half of the week allowed producers access to remaining unharvested corn and sorghum fields, according to USDA�s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Precipitation, mainly in the form of snow, arrived the last half of the week and was limited in eastern areas but heavier in western counties.
While pockets of extreme drought exist in western counties statewide soil moisture supplies going into the winter months are above year ago levels.
Statewide producers had 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 5 percent very short, 20 short, 75 adequate and 0 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 12 percent very short, 31 short, 57 adequate and 0 surplus.
Corn harvested was 96 percent, behind 100 last year but ahead of 90 average.
Sorghum harvest was 99 percent complete, behind 100 last year but ahead of 90 average.
Winter wheat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 25 fair, 63 good, and 8 excellent, well above year ago levels.
Proso millet was 95 percent harvested, behind 100 last year and 100 average.
Coliform Bacteria Detected In Southeast Portion Of O'Neill
By Amanda Greger
The City of O'Neill Water and Sewer Department mailed a letter to more than 1,600 people notifying them that total coliform bacteria was detected in their water system in levels higher than allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The letter stated that particular bacteria detected in the water is not generally harmful and that no emergency exists and that here is no need to boil water or take other corrective actions.
"Coliform are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other potentially harmful bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems," the letter says.
Three of the normal four routine samples tested positive for the coliform during the month of October. According to Curtis Kizzire, water superintendent, the city first became aware of the issue during the third week of October when the routine tests came back positive for coliform in Ward 3 in the southeast portion of O'Neill.
The EPA standard for a public water supply system such as in the city of O'Neill is not to have more than one sample per month test positive for coliforms for systems that collect fewer than 40 samples per month.
Two samples taken so far in November have come back negative according to Kizzire. The city is still waiting on a third test taken this month.
"We have flushed the water tower and storage areas as well as the water main lines in the area," Kizzire said. "The organisms found indicated there was a potential problem. There has been no E.coli found."
The letter also states that people with severely compromised immune systems, infants and some older adults may be at increased risk.
"These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers," the letter says.
The City of O'Neill public water system department will continue to test and work with the EPA to identify the source of the problem and return the water supply system to compliance. The city has five wells and three high use booster pumps. The department also has a 150,000 gallon elevated storage as well as a 680,000 gallon ground level storage facility.
For more information, contact Water Superintendent Curtis L. Kizzire at 402-340-7827.
General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection are available from the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or online at www.water.epa.gov.
Ninth Class Graduates From HomeTown Leadership Institute
HOMETOWN LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE GRADUATES - The Holt County Economic Development hosted graduation for its ninth class of the HomeTown Leadership Institute on Friday, Nov. 22, at the Atkinson Community Center. Pictured (l-r): Connie Gildersleeve, Tracy Dennis, Brenna Schaaf, Charissa Sladek, Joel Steinhauser, Cheri McConnell, Kenny Wettlaufer and Jeremy Shiers. Not pictured: Diane Alden and Ruth Brotsky. Photo by Amanda Greger
By Amanda Greger
The Holt County Economic Development hosted its annual dinner and HomeTown Leadership Institute graduation on Friday, Nov. 22 at the Atkinson Community Center.
"We would not be here today without our community partnerships and partner sponsorships," said Jon Schmaderer of Stuart, HCED board of director.
HCED's mission is to "enhance and promote economic vitality and a strong sense of community for existing and future businesses in Holt County." The organization assists businesses throughout Holt County with connecting to available resources, business planning and market research, locate available sites and buildings, team building and more.
Some of the highlights for the year included HCED completing 45 business visits as part of its Business Retention and Expansion Program in all Holt County communities; conducting numerous interviews with county residents to gather support for the extended campus of Northeast Community College; adding project manager Tracy Dennis to the staff; posting 764 job and career opportunities on its website; hosting an Affordable Healthcare for your Business seminar for area businesses.
The 2013 board of directors includes: Jim Brennan, Dorine Campbell, Wayne Green, Dave Hickey, Nikki Johnston, Kirby Kloppenborg, Amanda Paxton, Bill Price, Jon Schmaderer, Jannan Sobotka, Sharon Swails, Bill Tielke and LouAnn Tooker.
Nicole Sedlacek, HCED executive director, also reported that the county has seen a record number of new families move to the area with a total of 92 this past year. Several residents were recognized during the dinner who had moved to Holt County within the last year.
According to Sedlacek the HomeTown Leadership Institute was founded in 2005 as a way to empower and connect community leaders and engage them in critical issues facing Holt County and our region.
To date, 132 participants have completed the program with this year being the ninth class to graduate.
"The common theme amongst the participants is that they have an interest in learning more about their community," she said. "The different classes consist of speakers, tours and meetings with leaders and decision makers. It is an eight month program where participants meet one full day a month."
Dr. Michael Chipps of Northeast Community College was the guest speaker for the evening and spoke about "Rural Revitalization" and the Northeast Community College extended campus campaign.
Of the $2.8 million project, Chipps said the campaign still needs $40,000.
"We couldn't have come this far without you," Chips said "I want to thank all of you who have volunteered with this project."
The new O'Neill extended campus is to be located just west of the Farm Credit Services building on Highway 275. In addition to more classroom and lab space, it will feature a separate facility with large overhead doors that will be designed for industrial training and agricultural training classes. A site adjacent to that portion of the facility is available for future expansion.
Chipps recognized board of directors member Larry Poessnecker of Atkinson who has served District II for more than 20 years.
"He brings wonderful insight and he is present at almost every meeting," Chips said. "He is the member who comes the farthest. Because of Larry we are present in this area."
Northeast is undertaking the effort to replace the existing, aging building that now houses college operations in the Holt County community. community. The 1938 former elementary school building�s infrastructure is outdated with inadequate plumbing, electrical and heating and ventilation systems and the upper level of the facility is not handicap accessible. In addition, since the building continues to be used for a number of public activities, security of the building and equipment is a concern.
"There has been a slow decline in the county," Sedlacek said. "This is one of the main reasons the HCED board wants Northeast to be in this area, to help slow that down."
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