Page 1


Rung by rung

During a pre-sale open house in mid-January 2010, Cassie Spencer helped her four-year-old daughter, Leah, cross the horizontal ladder on the playground at District 8, the rural elementary school three miles southwest of McCook, Nebraska.

District 8, also known as the Fitch school district, was last used for classroom instruction in 20072008, after which its ownership transferred to the McCook school system. Proceeds of the sale were used to purchase new reading curriculum for the McCook school district. Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

McCook Daily Gazette Friday, Feb. 25, 2011

62 years of growth leads to new location for KRD FORWARD, TOGETHER

2 – McCook Daily Gazette


McCOOK, Nebraska – When KRD Federal Credit Union opened in 1949, serving one employee group with savings and small loans, the charter members might well have hoped that one day their notfor-profit, member-owned financial institution would grow beyond a small office inside the Bureau of Reclamation. And it did, after a move to the Temple Building on the corner of Norris Avenue and D Street that KRD’s employees and membership called home for over two decades. Now, entering their 62nd year of operation – and after having grown to a $10 million credit union that serves over 74 employee groups and 4 churches – KRD’s continued growth has precipitated another move, this time to 1001 West B. The decision to do so was not made without careful consideration, however. Chief Executive Officer Jean Hester said that the move was five years in the making. After taking time to look at a number of different options, including constructing a brand new building, she said that the organization, guided by its membership-elected seven-person board of directors, “made the most frugal decision for our members” by electing to purchase and renovate a building that had once been a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, as well as watching the bottom line when it came to furnishing and decorating the space, all the while creating an attractive and comfortable environment for staff and members. “We’re

trying to look out for our members’ interest,” Hester said, echoing the four-word motto painted high on a lobby wall: “For people, not profit.” There was the added benefit of refurbishing a McCook building, Hester added. “We think this was just meant to be.” The building was purchased by the credit union on Apr. 26, 2010, then completely refurbished on the inside and out, beginning the second week of June. The project was overseen by Dan Rempel, owner of Dan’s Construction of McCook. Hester praised Rempel for his efforts throughout the various stages of the project. Now that the work is complete and people have had a chance to look at the finished product, Hester said that she and her seven-member staff have heard “just wonderful comments” about the new offices, as well as compliments about services that the new building allows them to provide. In years past, Hester said, members had asked for amenities such as an ATM, a drive-up window and more parking. At their previous location on Norris, providing those services ranged from being merely difficult to completely impossible. That’s not the case at the new location, which offers all of the above, plus – since the available space has more than doubled (from 1,200 square feet to 2,588) – members can be afforded more privacy for discussions with staff members regarding their financial transactions. Hester said that the new office has been good for growing the credit union’s membership; “several new members” have joined since the

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011

Jeremy Blomstedt/McCook Daily Gazette

The new KRD Federal Credit Union office at 1001 West B in McCook has been open since November 8, 2010.

move, she said. "Every member is an owner of the credit union and a voice for the credit union," Hester added. "All 'profits' go back to the members in the form of higher dividend yields and lower loan rates." Services available at KRD have grown from savings accounts and small loans to savings accounts, checking accounts, CD’s, debit cards, personal loans, new and used vehicle loans, recreational loans, home improvement & home equity loans, Christmas loans, Travel Money Cards, cashier's checks, a partnership with Centennial Lending on

Home Mortgages and a host of other services directed toward the member. Hester also said, "We were pleased to announce the introduction of 'Home Banking' in 2010." The staff of the credit union is made up of Hester, Loan Officer Tami Darling, ACH Officer Debbie Jenkins, Member Service Representatives Michelle Townsend and Lynette Chmiel, plus part-time staffers Lisa Beideck, Joyce Conroy and Caitlyn Conroy. To join KRD, you must be part of one of the 60 employee groups or

New building, new services for KRD customers

four churches that make up the credit union’s membership, or have a family member already in the organization. KRD Federal Credit Union, located at 1001 West B in McCook, offers lobby hours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., while the drive-up window is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A night deposit box and ATM are available 24 hours. KRD’s phone number is 308345-7040; the toll-free number is 877-645-7040. Visit their Web site at

Jeremy Blomstedt/McCook Daily Gazette

Two of the added services that KRDʼs new West B location offers include a drive-up window (left) and a 24-hour ATM.

Moving day

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Offenders from the Nebraska Department of Corrections Work Ethics Camp in McCook, Nebraska, removed signs from the front door of the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce in August, 2010, helping chamber personnel move their office from 107 Norris Avenue three blocks north to the second floor of the new business center in the renovated and historic Keystone Hotel. The chamber was in its "new digs" in the Keystone, Room No. 203, on Monday, Aug. 30, 2010. Helping move furniture and file cabinets this week were, from left, Jeremy Mort, Lewis Vaughn, Anthony Briggs and Jeremy Nordboe.

Sertoma presents awards at annual banquet FORWARD, TOGETHER

McCook Daily Gazette


McCOOK, Nebraska — The annual McCook Area Sertoma Club Banquet was Sept. 28, 2010 at the Coppermill. “Falling” into Service to Mankind was this year’s theme. Along with beautiful fall centerpieces (used as prizes), there was fall trivia and fun entertainment by Martha Roe. Special guests included the Service to Mankind winners and the District Governor, Jim Sharrick, and his wife. Awards given were as follows: Service to Mankind – Dave and Darla Ruppert. (See the entire letter of nomination below). Sertoman of the Year – Linda Koetter. Officer awards – Linda Koetter, vice president; Linda Maiden, secretary; Deb Wilcox, treasurer; Todd Hinze, sergeant at arms; and Janeen Miller, chairperson. Service hours (cumulative since 2007) – Lori Beeby, Linda Koetter and Kim McConville, 50 hours each; Deb Wilcox, 100 hours; and Linda Maiden, 300 hours. Sertoma (SERvice TO MAnkind) is an international community service organization whose focus is speech, hearing and communication disorders and national heritage. Although the McCook club is small, members have spearheaded some pretty large projects, with the most recent being the purchase of the special needs playground equipment at the McCook Elementary School, and newborn hearing screening equipment at Community Hospital of McCook. They are working towards the purchase of a hearing loop system in the McCook Community College Event Center. LETTER OF NOMINATION FOR DAVE AND DARLA RUPPERT Dave and Darla Ruppert have for more than 30 years taught children of all ages and abilities to care for,

ride and train horses. Tremendous equestrians in their own right, they have given of their time to the youth of our community their entire married life. Pre-Kiplinger Arena years, Dave and Darla held 4-H meetings and practice as soon as spring would allow in the county’s outdoor arena, and continued hosting meetings, practices, horse shows and fun days until the weather would no longer allow, always having an eye to the sky, and their students’ safety in mind. With the completion of the indoor Kiplinger Arena, their willingness to teach and share only grew. Now, they were, and are, able and willing to teach almost year-round, while at the same time managing and operating the family farm and ranch Much of equestrian learning is connected to personal enrichment. Dave and Darla teach how to care for, handle, ride a horse, and teach and train a young colt or filly. What happens in the process is that children learn about life. They learn how to handle disappointment, joy, sadness, difficulty, safety, consideration, health, accomplishment, gratefulness, politeness, hardships, patience and love. Dave and Darla help to raise great citizens and students, encouraging community awareness and participation. They encourage good study habits and the importance of education. Their son has had many accomplishments going through the program, and is, today, attending college, running a business, and helping….you guessed it…with horse 4-H! The number of lives Dave and Darla have touched over 30 years is staggering. The Rupperts have never received any monetary compensation for their contribution to society. They have seen early mornings, beginning at 3 or 4 in the morning to prepare for a horse show, and late nights. They have helped the 4-Hers during hot days,

Courtesy photo

Darla and David Ruppert of rural McCook, Nebraska, accepted the "Service to Mankind" award from the McCook Area Sertoma Club during the organizationʼs annual banquet in Sept. 2010.

rainy days, cold and windy days. They have made hundreds of phone calls to line up more volunteers so that the program runs smoothly. They have comforted their students when the student’s best friend, their horse, has become ill, injured, or even dies. They have donated countless hours and paid for many gallons of fuel to journey to weekly 4-H practice in McCook. To name everything their students have gone on to accomplish would be astounding. But Dave and Darla rejoice in all of their students’ successes, no matter how large or small….from the child that

New safety cones being loaned to community organizations CONNIE JO DISCOE REGIONAL EDITOR

McCOOK, Nebraska — McCook, Nebraska, Area Crime Stoppers purchased 50 bright yellow safety cones in 2010, and are loaning them, to keep the public safe, to other organizations. Crime Stoppers strung the new cones with equally-bright yellow rope and premiered them at the 2010 Heritage Days parade in McCook in September. Crime Stoppers president Nancy Willers of McCook said the group's cone project addressed a need for a barricade system designed to keep pedestrian and vehicle traffic separated during large public events. Large-scale emergencies and natural disasters can also create situations during which boundaries, however temporary, need to be clearly defined, Willers said. Kevin Hodgson, who is the Crime Stoppers coordinator for the McCook Police Department, said the cones appear "friendlier" and are easier to set up and move than construction barrels, which are often used as barrier markers during events. "The cones look less like we're doing a road or street job," he said. Each safety-yellow cone is 42 inches tall; its black solid-rubber base weighs 16 pounds. Creative Lines of McCook applied silver/gray fluorescent tape and orange/red lettering to each. Crime Stoppers conducted a fund-raiser to purchase the cones, each of which costs, with reflective tape and identification added,

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 – 3

$38.40. The group continues to accept donations which they will earmark for repairs, maintenance and the purchase of replacement/additional cones. Hodgson and Amber Hiatt, who is Crime Stoppers' Red Willow County coordinator, are in charge of the cone-loan program. The cones are available to government agencies for emergencies, public events or county fairs; or to organizations such as chambers of commerce, church groups or organizers of other public events where public safety is a concern. Willers emphasized the "Area" in the Crime Stoppers name, and encourages organizations outside of McCook to also utilize the new cones. Contact Hodgson at (308) 345-3450, or Hiatt at (308) 345-1850, to reserve cones and to complete cone-loan paperwork. Hodgson said he is working on a cone-loan link to the Crime Stoppers web site at Willers said in October that response to the cone project fund-raiser was "unbelievable. We truly appreciate the generosity of our donors," which include Golight Inc. of Culbertson, and, of McCook, the Graff Charitable Foundation, MNB Financial Group, Biekers Quality Collision and Service, McCook city manager Kurt Fritsch, Red Willow Aviation, McCook Fraternal Order of Police, Western Tire, Ron Friehe and First Central Bank. Donations can be mailed to McCook Area Crime Stoppers, Attention Jim O'Dea, P.O Box 1447, McCook, NE 69001.

is ecstatic because they have recently conquered their fears and loped their horse for the very first time, to accomplished collegiate equestrians, AQHA national competitors and PRCA National Finals Rodeo contestants. Their former students are having a positive impact on our society, locally and beyond. They include farmers and ranchers, nurses, teachers, horse trainers, business professionals, military personnel and veterinarian, to name a few. Dave and Darla have encouraged a strong work ethic, while at

New safety cones

McCook Public Library's new director is a McCook native well-known throughout the community for teaching kids to swim. Jody Crocker's first day on the job as library director was April 5, 2010, and the library and city staff treated her to a reception with cake and cookies on April 15. Crocker is a 1973 graduate of McCook High School and a 1977 graduate of McCook Community College.

She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in journalism in 1977. Jody has taught swimming lessons — at the Ed Thomas YMCA and at the City of McCook municipal pool, many years with her mother, Elva Backer — since she was 15 or 16 years old. She has managed McCook's city pool, and is a former reporter for the McCook Daily Gazette. Jody has been children's librarian at the city library for four years.

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Standing beside several of the safety cones purchased by McCook Area Crime Stoppers in 2010, were, from left, Crime Stoppers treasurer Jim O'Dea; McGruff, the Crime Dog; Red Willow County Sheriff's Deputy Amber Hiatt, Crime Stoppers' Red Willow County coordinator; Crime Stoppers secretary Angela Ebert; and McCook Police Department Det. Kevin Hodgson. The new cones made their premiere at the 2010 Heritage Days parade in McCook in September.

McCook’s new library director a familiar face CONNIE JO DISCOE REGIONAL EDITOR

the same time having a lot of fun. They have been honored with the ultimate sign of love and respect as their former students are now bringing their own children to Bit 'n' Spur 4-H meetings, hoping for them to have the same experiences and learn the same life lessons that they learned as fortunate members of the club. Dave and Darla Ruppert have left a wonderful legacy in our community which will live on for many years in the future through kind, caring, educated citizens. They are unsung heroes, which is exactly they way they like it.

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Jody (Backer) Crocker is the new library director at McCook's public library.

Program teaches parents how to care for sick children FORWARD, TOGETHER

4 – McCook Daily Gazette


McCOOK, Nebraska – The baby who sleeps through the night wakes up at 2 a.m., crying inconsolably. The toddler starts tugging at his right ear, and all his peas have disappeared from his lunch plate. The kindergartener fell off her new two-wheeler and bumped her head, and now all she wants to do is sleep. The eight-year-old's fever is 102. Or is it 100.2? Children are always a mystery to their parents — they don't come with instruction books or guarantees of happy days. And the mystery only deepens when children don't feel good, when they're acting differently. A new training program being offered to Head Start parents — called "I Can" — will help parents decipher the signs of illness and injury, and teach then how to answer the question, "Should I call the doctor?" *** "I Can ... Help My Child Stay Healthy" is a parents' training program developed by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and health care products manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. It has been awarded to Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska Head Start to enable Head Start parents to become better caregivers to their children by improving their health care knowledge and parenting skills. In 2010, Mid-Nebraska Head Start was the only program in Nebraska to be awarded the "I Can" program. Mid-Nebraska Head Start was part of a pilot program during which data on its participating 50 families would be compiled for study by UCLA/Johnson & Johnson. Family service workers followed up with the families for three months, and results were to be sent

to UCLA/Johnson & Johnson, so that the grant program can continue. UCLA/Johnson & Johnson provided Mid-Nebraska's Head Start agencies with the tools, the training and the resources to lead health care training programs for its parents. Head Start team members from Kearney and Sue Beebe and Deb Leach of McCook's Head Start, trained in "I Can" in 2009 in Atlanta, Ga. In McCook, in February 2010, Sue and Deb shared what they learned at "I Can" training with the parents of 50 Head Start families from Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas. Training followed the book, "What to Do when Your Child Gets Sick," by registered nurses Gloria Mayer and Ann Kuklierus. The book is filled with tips for making a child's world safe and healthy. In a chapter called, "Taking Care of a Sick Child," parents are taught how to read a thermometer — whether the digital thermometer is reading 100.2 degrees or 102 degrees. There's also a short list of symptoms that indicate when parents must call the doctor or clinic. Each chapter — each health concern — follows the same outline: What is it? What do I see? What can I do at home? When do I call the doctor or nurse? and, What else should I know about (this situation)? The book is written for health concerns in children from newborn through eight years old. Training in keeping kids healthy and safe and in reacting to illness and injury may decrease instances of missed school days for children and missed work days for parents, Beebe said. It will help parents decide when they can handle the situation at home, how to avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room or clinic, Beebe said, and

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Tara Quintana of McCook checked her daughter Lacey's temperature. Tara was one of 50 Head Start parents selected to participate in the "I Can ... Help My Child Stay Healthy" training program sponsored by Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska Head Start.

when they need to call the doctor. "One purpose of the training," Beebe said, "is to help keep families from using the emergency room" for primary health care. Leach added, "This will empower parents to take control of their children's healthcare." The training may also help reduce escalating health care costs, rising Medicaid spending and overuse of emergency rooms in the United States. *** Beebe and Leach are very impressed with the community's response to the "I Can" training

sessions. "The community has been absolutely wonderful," Beebe said. McCook business provided healthand safety-related door prizes and gifts for parents and children, and McCook Senior High FFA members provided on-site childcare the evening of the training. The list of volunteers also included health professionals — doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and a school nurse — who helped at the training. Advanced EMT students from McCook Community College attended and helped with training.

"We are very excited to have our health professionals attending," Beebe said. *** "I Can" training in McCook was offered to 50 Head Start parents. Head Start centers participating in the McCook training were McCook, North Platte and Ogallala and home-based centers in Chase, Dawson, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hitchcock and Perkins counties in Nebraska and Norton County in Kansas. For more information about "I Can," contact Beebe and Leach at (308) 345-5468.

Humane Society sale: rummage shopping goes to the dogs (and cats)

Hundreds of shoppers converged on the 29th annual rummage sale for the McCook Humane Society on the Red Willow County fairgrounds in McCook in April 2010. The crowd sorted through a wide selection of items, including clothes, craft items, knickknacks, records and books.

Humane Society President Anne Dowd reported at the conclusion of the sale late Sunday afternoon that the two-day event raised approximately $7,000 — about $1,000 more than last year — to support the work of the society and the animal shelter.

Stevens Hearing Center: 30 years serving the area Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

McCOOK, Nebraska — Daniel L. Stevens of Stevens Hearing Center in McCook, Nebraska, is an Audibel Hearing Instrument dispenser who is excited about the "Audible Anthem Plus" with "IntelliFlex Technology" introduced in 2010. Stevens said the "Anthem Plus" delivers the best-in-class feedback cancellation

for virtually no whistling, instantaneous transitions in different listening environments for smoother clearer sound, and a compact design that is virtually invisible when worn. Stevens Hearing Center is a Better Business Bureau-accredited business and has served the hearing impaired in and around the McCook area for 30 years.

Dan Stevens is available by appointment in the McCook office at 1218 East B Street most weekdays, except Wednesdays when he travels to a satellite office in North Platte to service his clients in that area. Call (308) 345-4836 for more information and to make appointments in the McCook office.

Proud to be your source for local news. McCook Daily Gazette

An Evening for Hospice

Dawn Cribbs/McCook Daily Gazette

Emmy Award winning musician, philanthropist and author Peter Buffett, the son of billionaire Warren Buffett, shares the background of his journey to find "his sound, his voice, his brand," Nov. 21, during An Evening for Hospice at the Republican River Valley Event Center. The annual event, which drew a record crowd, raised $27,100.


McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 – 5

Bull, cow service now known as ‘NBS’

Connie Jo Discoe/ McCook Daily Gazette

Personnel of Nebraska Bull Service, now known as NBS, are, seated, owners Brian and Donnetta Schafer. Standing, from left, Kelcy Ruggles, Brady Rosno, Eric Kym, Theresa Tiller, Jake Betts, Dr. Erica Schieber DVM, Michael Jordan, KyLee Pettera and Kerri Waugh.


McCOOK, Nebraska — Like KFC or FFA and businesses and organizations whose names have been shortened or abbreviated because of a shift or change in their products or missions, Nebraska Bull Service of rural McCook, Nebraska, wants to be known now as “NBS.” Name change Brian Schafer, who owns Nebraska Bull Service — oops, NBS — with his wife, Donnetta, said the name change is coming about as the mission and scope of the company’s services are expanding.

The Schafers started NBS at its rural McCook location in 2000, after purchasing the bull semen collection service operated by Vince Herrick and his family, Ted and Lula May Herrick of rural Wellfleet. At the McCook location, the Schafers increased their bull housing capabilities from 23 to 80, and over the years, have collected semen from bulls worth millions of dollars. Customers’ request In response to requests from customers, the Schafers have expanded to offer sexed semen capabilities and reverse sort capabilities on a previously frozen straw (of semen) to make the eggs

Connie Jo Discoe/ McCook Daily Gazette

Entry barn

Miniature Hereford bull

male or female, and, on the cow side of the industry, embryo transfers and in vitro fertilization. “We’ve added cows now, not just bulls,” Donnetta said. Thus, the shift to “Nebraska Breeding Service.” New pens and a new “ET” (embryo transfer) barn at NBS north of McCook on Highway 83 now house 140 cows. Optimum animals Producers want these breeding technologies, Brian said because they want bull calves out of quality sires, or quality steers because steers gain better in feedlots. They may also want quality replacement heifers. These breeding technolo-

Connie Jo Discoe/ McCook Daily Gazette

Full-sized Hereford bull

gies were once used mostly in dairies because dairy operators want the best milking females, Donnetta said, but it has expanded into the beef industry to help beef producers breed for the optimum female and the best male. Bulls and cows are coming to NBS from across the country. The Schafers also offer a “recipient herd” of cows. “A customer can use our cows to put his embryo in rather than owning or using his own cows,” Brian said. Donnetta and Brian know of only two other bull stud services that also offer ET and IVF, and NBS is the only bull service that employs its own on-staff veterinarian.

Embryo transfer barn

An Angus bull

Connie Jo Discoe/ McCook Daily Gazette

Connie Jo Discoe/ McCook Daily Gazette

Connie Jo Discoe/ McCook Daily Gazette


6 – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011

Courtesy photo

First Central Bank McCook aims to help customers plan for tomorrow

The board members of First Central Bank McCook are, from left, Gary Thompson, Keith Klocke, Henry Koch, Dr. Lennie Deaver, Charles Hunt, Tammy Sextion (board secretary), Gerald Meyerle, Mike Adams, Jerry Petersen and Don Moore.

McCOOK, Nebraska – Evidence of First Central Bank McCook’s goal of helping customers plan for tomorrow can be found in recent technology updates, sound lending practices, expansion of the Loan Production office in Curtis, and commitment to the communities served by First Central Bank McCook. The introduction of eStatements during 2010 is a step toward conserving our resources for future generations while eliminating waste products from shredding/disposing of paper statements. With First Central Bank McCook’s eStatements, customers have the convenience of accessing their statements directly on their computer. Less financial information in the mail also greatly reduces the risk of identity theft. While many larger lending institutions became far removed from the basic principles of lending, First Central Bank McCook remained devoted to the fundamentals that persist in keeping banking safe and sound. This commitment to maintaining sound banking practices not only insures that First Central Bank McCook remains strong but also keeps our customers future success viable in their personal and business lives. Members of First Central Bank McCook’s Gold Club enjoyed two trips during 2010. A two day bus trip through Kansas and Nebraska was highlighted by stops at the Cathedral of Plains in Victoria, Kansas, a tour

First Central Bank McCook is located at the intersection of North Highway 83 and J Street.

of the Superior Estates Winery in Superior, Nebraska and the memorable music and story of Buddy Holly at the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas. During November, the group traveled to Kearney, Nebraska to hear the brilliant music of The Mannheim Steamroller. Gold Club members can look forward to 2011 trips currently in the planning stages.

Jerky for the troops

A Grand Opening celebration is planned at the newly remodeled Loan Production Office located in Curtis, Nebraska. “We are extremely pleased with the customer base that has been established in the Curtis area. We look forward to serving those customers for generation to come” commented First Central Bank McCook President & CEO Don Moore.

“First Central Bank is locally owned and managed. We have a stake in McCook and the surrounding area” said Moore. “Donations to schools, scholarships, 4-H activities, economic development, and other projects are an example of our commitment to the growth and future of this area. Our contributions consist of not only dollars – our employees are personally involved in local organizations like

Jeremy Blomstedt/McCook Daily Gazette

the McCook Chamber of Commerce, Hospital Foundation, CASA and McCook Economic Development, just to name a few.” With total assets at $81 million at the yearend 2010, well above the projections, Moore believes the major reasons for First Central Bank McCook’s continued success are the loyalty of its customers and the dedication of First Central Bank’s staff.

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Tri-State Spas invites area to check out new products

Shona Carlin (left photo) of Willow Creek Meats of McCook, Nebraska, and, representing Farm Bureau Financial Services of McCook, sales associate Beth O'Dea, left, and service associate Debbie Douglas (right photo) package Willow Creek Meats' "Just Right" beef jerky for shipment to American troops serving in Afghanistan. Shipments of jerky to American troops is a division of McCook businessman Cal Siegfried's "Beefin' Up Our Heroes" campaign. This jerky shipment is paid for by Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, as the state's largest farm organization's thank you for soldiers' service and sacrifices.

McCOOK, Nebraska — The new 2011 CalSpas are in at Tri-State Spas in McCook, Nebraska. Tri-State owner Blaine Budke invites everyone in to see the new "swim-spa," along with other hot tub models. "We have added 'Dynasty' spas to our line," Budke said. "They feature stereos and LED lights." Check out Tri-State's new hot tub inventory on its website, Tri-State is Nebraska's largest hot tub dealer in McCook and North Platte. Tri-State spas is located at 1006 West B; call (308) 345-6717. Their motto is, "Your daily vacation starts right here." Left: Tri-State Spas owner Blaine Budke stands beside a new 2011 CalSpa.

Photo courtesy Tri-State Spas


McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 – 7

A view from the top

Photo courtesy Red Willow Aviation/Griff Malleck

Kaufman Trailers of Nebraska building in Beaver City

In November 2010, this is what the Kaufman Trailers of Nebraska Inc. manufacturing plant site in Beaver City, Nebraska, looked like from the air as Red Willow Aviation owner/pilot Griff Malleck of McCook, Nebraska, shot this aerial photograph. The plant opened in late 2005; the first trailers came off the line in March 2006. The long, low building on the southwest is new, two years old, and is designed for trailer and parts storage and expansion. The Furnas County fairgrounds buildings are in the foreground, on the east side of Ninth Street.


BEAVER CITY, Nebraska — Kaufman Trailers of Nebraska in Beaver City, Nebraska, had a record week two weeks ago — manufacturing and selling more trailers in one week than any other week since the manufacturing plant opened in late 2005. Heck, Kaufman Trailers had a record year last year — building and selling more trailers than any other year in the company's five-year manufacturing history. Kaufman Trailers general manager Steve Forbes of Beaver City said Monday that Kaufman teams built and sold 49 trailers during the second week of February, continuing the pace set during a record-setting 2010, when the crews built and sold 1,130 trailers — 286 more than 2009. "Even with the rough economy, we had a $63 million year last year," Steve

said. "Yeah, that's a success story." *** Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman and Kaufman Trailers co-owner Robb Kaufman cut the ribbon on Kaufman Trailers' new Nebraska manufacturing plant on Nov. 4, 2005. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Gov. Heineman called Kaufman's expansion from North Carolina into Nebraska, "evidence of a positive business climate in Nebraska." Nebraska State Senator Tom Baker called Kaufman Trailers, "a great, great asset to Beaver City and the area." The first trailers came off the lines in the Nebraska plant in March 2006. Since that time, the company has built and sold 4,153 trailers. *** Even with a faltering economy in 2010 and into 2011, Kaufman Trailers in Beaver City is selling trailers built to customers' orders. "We're building customers' trailers as fast as we can,"

Steve said. The plant set a new weekly record earlier this month, manufacturing 49 trailers. The plant averages 25 trailers a week. "Twentyfive is a real good average," Steve said. "That keeps everyone busy." Work orders indicate that the teams are four weeks out on trailers to be built. The plant maintains 22-25 full-time employees, including welders, finishers and painters. The steel-cutting saw runs from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m., Steve said. Three teams work one shift a day, building fender trailers, gooseneck trailers and air brake trailers. A new style is a "detach," with a detachable neck that allows the equipment to be driven up and onto the flatbed. One "detach" is waiting for shipping to Watertown, South Dakota, right now. Kaufman trailers range from 8,000 pound to 80,000 pound GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating).

The Kaufman plant in Beaver City covers sales from Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, parts of Louisiana and west. "Basically from the Mississippi River west," Steve said. They transport trailers to the West Coast for shipment to Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and Australia. In 2010, a good number of trailers was sold in Canada, Steve said. The trade dollar is favorable, he said, and, with trailers coming from that far away, one person doesn't buy just one trailer. "One gentleman bought 11 trailers," he said, "knowing he'd have no trouble reselling them in the oil sand (oil drilling) areas in Canada." *** Finished trailers are certified and then transported to customers from Beaver City. Shipping trailers can be "quite a puzzle," Steve chuckles. A fender trailer is loaded on top of the air brake trailer; a gooseneck is loaded on top of that and an-

other fender trailer gets loaded on top — those four trailers made up a trip Monday to California and Utah. No load can be too tall, Steve says, and the order in which trailers are delivered determines the order in which they're stacked. The last trailer loaded is the first trailer delivered and unloaded, he said. "It can be quite a challenge to figure out how to make a trip work," Steve said. *** Kaufman Trailers advertises its wares on its own website and regularly in a nation-wide and regional publication called, "Tractor House." The word's getting around Nebraska, Steve said. "Nebraska's been good to us," he said. According to Kaufman Trailers' website: "Kaufman Trailers offers high-quality, cost-effective equipment trailers, gooseneck trailers, car hauler trailers and utility


we all accomplish more...

trailers to meet customers' needs. Kaufman Trailer has been an industry leader in the manufacturing and sales of auto transport, equipment and utility trailers for over twenty years. Kaufman Trailers are not only NATM (National Association of Trailer Manufacturers) certified, but each trailer also meets Kaufman's rigorous internal certification standards as well. We've earned a reputation of manufacturing trailers that are durable, long-lasting and a great investment." *** Contact the Kaufman Trailers manufacturing plant in Beaver City at (308) 2685036; or check out the Kaufman Web site at The Beaver City manufacturing plant is located at 1025 Ninth Street, at the north end of Beaver City's main north-south street, across the street west of the Furnas County fairgrounds.

McCook Area Chamber of Commerce

-2010 Award Recipients-

Community Service Award McCook Christian Church

402 Norris Avenue, Suite 203 McCook, NE 69001 308-345-3200 800-657-2179 w w w. a b o u t m c c o o k . c o m

Ag Builder Award Don and Norma Klein

Ag Builder Award Cal Siegfried

Loading trailers for delivery

Connie Jo Discoe/ McCook Daily Gazette

Kaufman's general manager Steve Forbes operates the fork lift as he and Lyle Dow stack Kaufman Trailers for a trip to new owners in California and Utah.

Chamber Volunteer of the Year

Duane Tappe

Community Builder Award Dr. John Batty

Cordial of the Year Brenda McGuire

Serving Area Businesses as our own Since 1925

AmFirst Bank: an emphasis on serving their customers FORWARD, TOGETHER

8 – McCook Daily Gazette

McCOOK, Nebraska – AmFirst Bank is a full service financial institution providing traditional and innovative products and services for individuals, businesses and agricultural entities. Our philosophy is to serve the people of Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas with the latest products and services that can help our customers be more productive, efficient and profitable. Since 1906, we've served Southwest Nebraska as a strong independent community bank. At AmFirst Bank, we are powerful enough to handle all your banking needs yet personal enough to know your name. We are locally owned and managed, and take pride in the fact that our success is based on the people working within the organization. With locations in McCook, Hayes Center, Benkelman and Wallace, we take great pride in being a full-service financial center offering banking, investments and insurance. Between the four locations we have a staff of 48 local employees. AmFirst Bank values our

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011

Locally owned and managed, AmFirst Bank has 4 locations in Western Nebraska, including this one in McCook.

customers and the communities we live in. We continue to be active in our support of this area and its volunteer

and civic organizations. Our staff is involved and commits many hours to volunteer projects in McCook and the

neighboring communities. Our customers are the key to our success; they are our number one priority. We

want to take this opportunity to say thank you to our many loyal customers. We look forward to great progress in

Jeremy Blomstedt/McCook Daily Gazette

2011 and will forever increase our level of commitment to offer the finest in customer service to you.

Clean-up and rebuilding

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Final check-out

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

In October 2010, Jim Stevens (left photo) of J.M. Stevens Painting, McCook, Nebraska, sprayed white paint on the red iron of the Red Willow Western Rural Fire Department fire barn damaged by fire on Aug. 27, 2010. A Nebraska State fire marshal blamed the fire on an electrical problem in a fire truck parked inside the barn; the fire barn, fire trucks and fire-fighting equipment sustained $150,000 in damage. The building was stripped down to its red iron bones, and M&B Construction replaced insulation and siding. K&D Electric wired the building and Pfeffer Service installed new heating in the storage areas. RWW Fire Chief Bill Elliott said the task of clean-up and rebuilding was a daunting and an eye-opening experience. "In 32 years on the fire department, I've never had to clean up after a fire," Elliott said. "We put it out, and leave. Now, I know." Elliott said the dedication of his firefighters was amazing. "My guys put in hundreds of hours down here, and they're still responding to fires and speaking to each other," Elliott said. "They need to be commended."

An excavator operated by Gerald Maris of Maris General Construction, McCook, Nebraska, grabbed a "handful" of debris while demolishing the former grocery store, filling station, motel and recycling center on the corner of South Street and South Highway 83 in McCook in September 2010. Chris Maris used a loader to sort recyclable metals from the debris pile. Early McCook businessman Sam Klein built the grocery store and filling station in the early 1930's and then expanded into a "motor hotel" he called "The Modern Motel" during the early 1940's. Jim and Violette Harris owned and operated the motel when, in 1993, Dolores Graff and a non-profit organization called "McCook Recyclers" purchased it and turned it into a recycling center. The City of McCook took over recycling efforts in 1997 and relocated the operation to the city transfer station. The city ordered the demolition of the aged recycling center in late 2009. Graff continued her recycling efforts until the motel's final check-out early in September 2010 — offering free building materials, kitchen and bathroom cabinets and fixtures, doors, windows, flooring and siding and contents such as accumulated furniture, bottles, jars and magazines to anyone who would recycle and reuse them, fulfilling the Recyclers' ultimate mission of protecting the earth's environment.

Retired 2nd-generation McCook railroader reissues father’s book FORWARD, TOGETHER

McCook Daily Gazette


NORTH PLATTE, Nebraska — A railfan and retired McCook, Nebraska, railroader has reissued the book that his father wrote about the steam-todiesel transition of the Union Pacific Railroad in North Platte. "High Iron to North Platte" was written by Arthur E. Stensvad in 1991. A third edition of the same book was reissued this year by R.D. "Bob" Stensvad of McCook, in time for North Platte's 2010 "Rail Fest" celebration Sept. 17, 18 and 19. The Stensvads' book is available in McCook at Accents Etc., and in North Platte at the Golden Spike Tower, the Lincoln County Historical Museum and A to Z Books. Art Stensvad explains in the introduction of his book that as a child, he "vowed that one day, I ... would be a locomotive engineer," as he sat on the back door of his father's poultry and egg business in North Platte and watched switch engines work the North Platte freight house. Stensvad photographed his first engines when he was 10 years old, from his back door and from the west end of the railroad yard as the trains were leaving town.

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 – 9

Stensvad eventually hired on with the railroad, serving as engineer, fireman, roundhouse hostler, engine dispatcher, crew caller, crew wagon driver, yard office janitor, depot janitor, diversion clerk and yardmaster clerk. "The timing of my railroad career allowed me to witness first-hand a major industry transition," Stensvad writes. As he watched a steam engine being scrapped in North Platte, "I realized the end of steam was near," he writes. Art Stensvad wrote: "When steam disappeared, I lost interest in photographing diesels ... " Many of Stensvad's negatives were destroyed when a storeroom flooded. Long-time friends helped him recreate his photographic collection, much of which is included in his "High Iron" book. Other railfan photographers, including his son Bob, also provided photographs for the book. Art Stensvad died July 18, 1998.

Right: McCook, Nebraska, Public Library head librarian Jody Crocker accepted from Bob Stensvad of McCook a copy of "High Iron to North Platte: The Union Pacific Railroad in Transition, 1940-1959," written by Bob's dad, the late Arthur Stensvad.

Salon and barber shop introduce new ways to add a little color

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette


Photo courtesy Aphrodite

Aphrodite and Uncle Amos salon staff members are, from row from left, Deb Reitz, Stacy Chitwood and Mary Frandsen. Back: Barb Miller, Frani Chambers, Tammy Holthaus, Kendra Weintz and Melanie Alberts.

McCOOK, Nebraska — Aphrodite Hair Salon and Uncle Amos Crop Shop of McCook, Nebraska, introduced Goldwell's new five-minute hair colors for men in 2010. Guys are usually a little timid about covering their gray hair, but now the baby boomers don't have anything to fear, according to salon and shop owners Ruth and Gary Lucas and manager Mary Frandsen. It's a casual difference, a coloring designed to be a slight change in color, they say. Also in 2010, at a fall hair show, stylists learned the new "Ombre" coloring technique that doesn't need a lot of retouch appointments and is worn by so many celebrities. Continuing education has always been a priority of the salon and shop. The Lucases and Frandsen are "so proud of our staff of talented hairstylists — a new of them have been with us for 30 years." Aphrodite Hair Salon and Uncle Amos Crop Shop were established in 1952. It is located at 301 E. First near downtown McCook. The salon and shop are open six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m until 6 p.m., and Thursday until 8 p.m. Call (308) 345-5286 or (800) 246-5286 to make appointments.

Parcel pick-up

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Ray Ashford of Schamel Salvage, rural Indianola, checked the straps holding a "CSDBS" mail sorting machine on a trailer, after he and co-worker Tim McMains removed the sorting table and machine from the U.S. Post Office in McCook in January 2010. "C" machines have become outdated, and the mail that they sorted for McCook and the 690 area has been processed using "D" machines at the Western Nebraska Mail Processing Center in North Platte since October 2009. Newer, faster technology of the "D" machines at the North Platte center improves efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Critical care transport

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Bill Pennock of rural McCook, center, a pilot for LifeTeam Critical Care Transport of Newton, Kansas, explained to Alan Gunther, left, and McCook city manager Kurt Fritsch that few weather conditions will ground the LifeTeam Beechcraft King Air C90 turboprop stationed at McCook Ben Nelson Regional Airport as of Oct. 14, 2010. During an open house at the new LifeTeam base at the McCook airport, McCook residents were introduced to flight paramedic Clay Cox, flight nurse Diane Simmonds RN and pilots Troy Yoder, Dan Bergman, Cory Harmon, Dustin Larson and Pennock; more members of the team will fill rotations for the 24/7, on-staff, on-call full-time service. Cox said that while the King Air flies one patient at a time, the company has other planes, in Liberal and in Great Bend, Kansas, available to respond. "You call us with a need, we're going to fill that need," Cox told city, Chamber of Commerce and Community Hospital representatives.

Proud to be your source for local news.

McCook Daily Gazette

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2011 Dodge Caliber

2011 Dodge Durango Citadel

2011 Dodge ram 3500

2011 Dodge Journey


2011 Jeep Compass

2 2011 011 C Chrysler h r y s l e r Town To w n & Country C o u n t ry

We Will Get You Moving

For nearly 70 years, Jeep vehicles have ruled the rocks, road, and mud, adeptly taking charge with courage and dependability.

401 East B Street - McCook, NE 69001 (308) 345-5200 - 1-800-345-0031


McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 – 11

A show for Baylie

Bob Brown of Indianola, Nebraska, drove the mariner blue Chevy 3100 pickup (above) that his wife Deanna's grandfather, Lester Rhodes of Culbertson, Nebraska, purchased new in 1953 into a downtown McCook parking stall for the early-spring car show benefit for Baylie Simmonds of McCook, injured in a car accident Feb. 1.

Two-year-old Alex Cole of Grant (right) "drove" the '57 Chevy Bel Air station wagon that grandpa Bob Brown parked beside their pickup. The teal-and-white station wagon belonged to Deanna Brown's great-uncle Shorty Huck of Lincoln, who purchased it new for $3,129.95 — equipped with factory power steering, power brakes, heater and radio — in 1957.

Another '57, the red-and-white Ford Fairlane in the background of the above picture, belongs to Marion and Chris Brunswick of McCook.

About 60 cars and motorcycles participated in the car show in May 2010, whose proceeds and free-will donations were given to Baylie's family for medical and travel expenses.

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

New trees in the park

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Common Scents arborist Bruce Hoffman (left) and City of McCook employee Ron Maris "eyeballed" the trunk of a new flowering crab apple tree planted in April 2010 in Norris Park in McCook, Nebraska, in observance of Arbor Day 2010. The crab tree was purchased by the Michaelis family of McCook and planted in remembrance of Claudia Taylor, who died July 9, 2009. Hoffman snipped the tie-downs on a bur oak, planted by the McCook Senior High Class of 1965 in memory of Colleen Grant, who died Oct. 9, 2009.

The beat of a different drummer

McCook Senior High's "Drumline" performed solo and with the Marching Bison Band and MHS dance team at football games during the fall of 2010. The drumline — built around the quad-tom-playing talents of juniors Josh Stevens and Austin Molcyk — grew out of "a unique environment" within the MHS band, according to band director Donita Priebe.

"This is the first time I've had this many drummers who are not involved in a sport, so they can perform as a drumline," Priebe said. "This is a unique environment," Priebe said. "It won't be around forever." This group of drummers is unusual, too, she said, because of their dedication. "They love a challenge, and I like to keep them busy. They'll really go after something and get it done," Priebe said.

Drumline members were Christian Olson and Caleb Sheets, seventh graders; Mitchell Reitz, eighth grader; Tristan Thomas and Austin Lambing, sophomores; Stevens, Molcyk, Dominick Maestes and Spencer Van Pelt, juniors; and Nate Priebe, senior. Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Game On still going strong


12 – McCook Daily Gazette

McCOOK, Nebraska – Cody Dame and Tanner Lytle's Game On store is entering its fourth year in McCook. The owners say that while they tackled a number of projects in 2010, "mostly we upgraded all of our tournaments and programs to support more players with more prizes and opportunites to play." That's in addition to their constant remodeling of the store's layout, as well as the addition of some new arcade machines over the past year. The owners said, "We are

slowly moving out of comic books and graphic novels to make more room for our game room to support more players at one time or more than one tournament at a time." A new board game night on Tuesdays has been going over well, they said. It gives people from across the area the chance to "try new games, meet new friends, and enjoy a night of great inentertainment," teractive they said. "We invite everyone to come out and play board games with us for free!"

Game On also expanded in Oct. 2010 when they added a second store in Kearney, Nebraska. Tanner moved to Kearney to manage the new operation. Since the opening of their new location, they have upgraded multiple tournament structures there to match the current slate of tournaments and other events at the McCook location. McCook's Game On is located at 220 Westview Plaza, on North Highway 83. The store's phone number is (308) 345-8888.

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011

Jeremy Blomstedt/McCook Daily Gazette

The now-familiar Game On logo has become part of McCookʼs business skyline.

Housekeeping service grows to meet its customers’ needs

Courtesy photo

State award

Courtesy photo

Kelsey O'Dea, the daughter of Lori and Andy O'Dea of rural McCook, Nebraska, and a senior at McCook High School, accepted the Nebraska Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution state "Good Citizenship" award during the organization's state conference March 27, 2010, in Kearney. Making the presentation was Jackie Young of Callaway, the state DAR Good Citizenship award chairman. Kelsey was selected for the state award from among local winners; she was nominated by the 37th Star Chapter, McCook. Her nomination would be forwarded for consideration in the regional competition, whose judges will continue the competition's focus on dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. Kelsey is the third state-level winner nominated by the 37th Star Chapter. Brett Burton, the son of Cori and Bill Burton of McCook, won the state award in 2007, and Amber Kutnink, the daughter of John and Lucille Kutnink of Cambridge, was state runner-up in 2009.

"Housekeeping by Suzanne" is emblazoned on windows of the pair of four-wheel-drive vehicles used by Suzanne Cole and her cleaning staff.


McCOOK, Nebraska — Responding to a customer base that doubled in 2010, Suzanne Cole of "Housekeeping by Suzanne" more than doubled her staff and implemented a night team to service commercial accounts. Cole also added a second vehicle in 2010. Cole said that until 2010, she was not only the owner/operator, but also the primary housekeeping, typically working alone. "Between the spring and summer of 2010, due to advertising locally and word-of-mouth by existing customers sharing their satisfaction with friends and family, 'Housekeeping by Suzanne' experienced a huge increase in business," Cole said. This led to hiring two full-time and several part-time staff members, and starting a night team for commercial accounts. "Our highly-trained staff and two four-wheel-

drive vehicles allow us to service customers from Cedar Bluffs to Indianola and the Trenton, Palisade and Culbertson areas," Cole said. "We have strong local references and are insured for the protection of our customers' property and peace of mind," she said. Cole established "Housekeeping by Suzanne" in 2007, fueled by her desire to provide the McCook community with a dependable and professional, yet affordable solution to maintaining a clean house. Cole's staff offers one-time or on-going service on commercial, residential and rental properties. Customers range from someone preparing for a special gathering or house guests, those who work outside the home or those challenged by on-going illness, surgery recovery or poor health. Cole said, "We provide free estimates, senior discounts, gift certificates, and yes, we will do windows! No job is too big or too small." Contact Cole at (308) 340-7365.

TierOne now Great Western Bank

Morello named WEC warden

Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette

Pam Morello, warden of the McCook Nebraska Department of Corrections Work Ethic Camp. BRUCE BAKER MCCOOK DAILY GAZETTE

McCOOK, Nebraska — Pam Morello was officially named Warden of the McCook Work Ethic Camp in September. Morello was named Acting Warden in August, when Warden Barb Lewien accepted a position with the Omaha Correctional Center. She was moved permanently into the position, overseeing the 150-160 person population of the Nebraska Department of Corrections center, effective September 8, 2010. Morello has been in McCook since she relocated with the railroad in 1980. She has extensive experience with WEC and has been promoted several times since she began her career in 2001, serving as Assistant Warden since 2008. Morello feels the partnerships the WEC has established with the community are crucial and is particularly

grateful for the efforts surrounding their vocational training program. The program initially focused on welding training and prompted Mid-Plains Community College to open the Center for Applied Science and Technology in McCook, as well as hire a full-time welding and machine shop instructor at the center. The WEC has since added a business technology program which graduated its third class recently, following the success of the welding program. "Mid-Plains Community College, Valmont and Workforce Development were instrumental in kicking off the program," said Morello. "The staff here really demonstrates the belief change is possible. That's really what the Work Ethic Camp is all about. It's such an individual endeavor and not everyone is at the same place at the same time. It requires patience," said Morello.

Morello said she is following in the footsteps of two wardens who "cast very long shadows, in regards to the good work that they begun," referring to Lewien and her predecessor Raleigh Haas. In September, the WEC expanded its services to nonresident probation and parolees, serving as a Day Reporting Center and allowing them to take part in self betterment programs, including cognitive thinking and substance abuse programs. "Constant re-evaluation of what we are doing [is necessary], targeting needs and addressing them so we are offering programming that addresses their specific needs. All of that is only possible through our staff," said Morello, whose pride in her approximate 80 member staff is evident. "They encourage and challenge me daily. Together we remain faithful and steadfast in our mission here at the Work Ethic Camp."

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota – Great Western Bank announced June 4, 2010 that it reached an agreement with the FDIC to acquire TierOne Bank branches in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas. Communities in Nebraska included: Albion, Alliance, Auburn, Beatrice, Bloomfield, Broken Bow, Burwell, Callaway, Columbus (2), Crete, Fairbury, Falls City, Fremont, Gering, Gothenburg, Grand Island (2), Hastings, Hebron, Holdrege (2), Humboldt, Kearney, Lexington (3), Lincoln (10), McCook, Nebraska City, Norfolk, North Platte (2), Omaha (9), O’Neill, Ord, Papillion, Scottsbluff, Sidney, St. Paul, Tecumseh and Wahoo. The acquisition included all of TierOne’s approximately $1.9 billion in deposits and $1.9 billion in loans, of which $1.7 billion is covered under a loss share agreement whereby the FDIC absorbs 80% of credit losses arising on the loan portfolio and related assets. Jeff Erickson, President and CEO of Great Western Bank, indicated, “We’re excited to bring TierOne customers into the Great Western Bank family. Great Western has a long heritage of strong and prudent banking

practices that will benefit the TierOne customer base. Our new customers will also enjoy a competitive product line, more than 200 convenient locations to choose from and

over 20,000 surcharge-free ATMs." Great Western Bank now has assets of approximately $8 billion with 204 locations in seven states.

Kenneth Morgan/McCook Daily Gazette

McCookʼs TierOne Bank was redubbed Great Western Bank after the former financial institution was purchased by the latter in June 2010.

MNB: financially strong – and community-minded FORWARD, TOGETHER

McCook Daily Gazette

McCOOK, Nebraska — Year after year, a strong capital account has provided a solid foundation for McCook National Bank, with total yearend capital standing at $37.4 million. Total year-end assets grew to $268.8 million, up $19.252 million from 2009. McCook National Bank's customers raised their total deposits to $217.379 million, an increase of $16.084 million over the previous year. Total loans ended at $164.147 million for 2010. Other Happenings in 2010 MNB Student of the Month Award & Scholarship After the launch of the new “MNB Student of the Month Award and Scholarship” program in the 20092010 school year, the bank had its first eight monthly winners. The winners for the 2009-2010 school year included: September – Brooke Ballou, Cambridge High School, nominated by Stephanie Carlson October – Danielle Schutz, Arapahoe High School, nominated by Colin Kubik November – Erin Premer, McCook Senior High, nominated by

Jason Cochran December – Hailey Esch, McCook Senior High, nominated by Barry Schaeffer January – Shelby Hubbert, Southwest High School, nominated by Robert Loshbaugh February – Danielle Carpenter, Cambridge High School, nominated by Stephanie Carlson March – Morgan Schaeffer, McCook Senior High, nominated by George Briggs April – Tanner Dow, Hayes Center High School, nominated by Loren Wagner The scholarship program and award are designed to recognize one area boy or girl, every month from September through April, for their accomplishments and hard work. Academics and extracurricular school activities, as well as other community activities, are all factors in determining a winner. The award is open to area juniors, and nominations for the award must be submitted by area teachers, guidance counselors, or administrators of the student’s school to be considered. As seniors, those eight individual monthly winners will be eligible to apply for (2) $500.00 Tuition Scholarships. MNB will host a reception for the eight monthly winners and their families in the spring and an-

nounce the two scholarship recipients at that time.

MCC Events Center Receives Final Donation Installment The group of MNB companies and organizations, McCook National Bank, MNB Financial Group, Inc., MNB Insurance Services, Inc., Graff Family, Inc. and the Graff Charitable Foundation, Inc., distributed the final $100,000 in September 2010 to the McCook College Foundation to be used for the construction of the new Events Center on the McCook Community College Campus. This honors the commitment made to the project in September of 2008, and brings the total contributions for this effort from the MNB entities to $500,000. Mark Graff, Chairman of the Board at MNB, recognized that this large donation would not be possible without the strong support of the area. “Our hope is that when our customers see the McCook National Bank name on the Walking Track, MNB Financial Group’s logo on the Weight Room, Graff Family, Inc. identified on the Training Room, and MNB Insurance or the Graff Charitable Foundation’s name on one of the locker rooms, they will properly understand that they played the key role in this difference-

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 – 13

making project. Their support of MNB has allowed us the ability to give back so strongly to our community. We are proud to call Southwest Nebraska home and grateful that we are in such a strong financial position that we can invest in the future of our college and our region.” Employee Milestones MNB had five staff members reach milestones with the bank in 2010: Brian Esch – President & CEO (25 years), Rich Bernt – Vice President/Business Banking Officer (25 years), Joy Williams – Personal Banker (15 years), Terri Skolout – Teller (15 years), and Aaron Broz – Investment Services Representative (5 years). MNB also hired five new employees in 2010: Ben Pestel – Loan Review Officer, Lyle Brown – Assistant Vice President/Business Banking Officer, Dawn Foster – Full-time Teller, Danae McCorkle – Part-time Teller, and Katie Douglas – Parttime Teller.

Accomplishments McCook National Bank received a “Million Dollar Club” lender award for the USDA Rural Development’s Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) loan program, for Fiscal Year 2010, thanks to the hard work and efforts

by Randy Korgan - Vice President – Residential Lending Manager and Angela Wagner – Residential Lending Assistant. MNB also received an award from the Nebraska Bankers Association in honor of the bank providing “Outstanding Service in Educating Consumers about Personal Financial Management” as a part of the NBA’s Personal Economics Program. ( In 2010, McCook National Bank received a 5-Star Rating, the highest bank rating, from BauerFinancial Inc. “BauerFinancial, Inc. has been analyzing and reporting on the financial condition of the nation’s banking industry since 1983. Through the years BauerFinancial has earned the reputation of ‘the nation’s bank rating service.’” ( McCook National Bank is a locally owned bank that serves its customers in Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas. Its Board of Directors consists of P. Mark Graff – Chairman, Peter M. Graff – Vice Chairman, Leon Kuhlen – Secretary, Brian D. Esch, Stanley C. Goodwin, Robert J. Olsen and James R. Gohl. MNB has 54 employees between the McCook and Stratton locations whose average tenure is just under 16 years.

New YMCA exercise equipment

Courtesy photos

As part of a fitness area renovation/addition, the YMCA in McCook, Nebraska, added 10 new pieces of Precor Cardio Equipment in January 2011. The purchase includes two ellipticals, four treadmills and four adaptive motion trainers. YMCA executive director Mike Gonzales described each new piece of equipment: Left: Adaptive motion trainer — The highly intuitive AMT actually adapts to human movement, allowing the user to completely change the motion and path of his/her steps without so much as pushing a button. Like never before, Gonzales said, users can move freely between exercises similar to stair climbing, walking, jogging or even running, all with zero impact.

Middle: Elliptical fitness cross trainer — Offering a superior workout, Precor elliptical cross trainers deliver smooth, fluid motion. The patented cross ramp technology provides a user the option to select a ramp angle between 13 and 40 degrees throughout the workout to isolate and cross-train quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves.

Red Willow County duo attend National 4-H Congress

Right: Treadmills —The ground effects impact control system provides easy wear on the knees, legs and back. The unique suspension system cushions impact and controls lateral motion while remaining responsive. Six buttons are the gateway to a variety of preset programs. Users can decide to change to a new program at any time during the workout.


McCOOK, Nebraska — Two Red Willow County 4H'ers earned the opportunity to attend the 2010 National 4-H Congress for five days in November 2010, in Atlanta, Georgia. Sara Larington and Mattie Uerling, both of rural McCook, joined 25 other Nebraska 4-H'ers and 1,200 4-H'ers from across the country who gathered Nov. 26-30 to learn about community involvement, cultural diversity and service to others. Sara is the 15-year-old daughter of Dan and Michelle Larington and was a sophomore at McCook Senior High. Mattie is the 16-year-old daughter of Sherri and Mark Uerling, and was a junior at Southwest Senior High in Bartley. 4-H'ers must apply for an invitation to the National 4H Congress, which has been conducted every year (except 1995) since 1922. Participants are selected based upon their completed 4-H record books, school and ex-

tracurricular activities, community and church involvement, leadership roles and volunteer service. 4-H'ers apply in specific 4-H curriculum areas — Sara was the winner in family and consumer science; Mattie was the alternate in the same curriculum. In 4-H, Sara focuses on baking, photography, child development, quilting, floriculture and cattle. She's a member of the Little Rascals 4-H Club, and occasionally helps members of a younger girls' 4-H club. At school, she's involved in FFA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the NORE (Nebraskans on an Oceanographic Research Education) Science Club and choir. At McCook Christian Church, she's a member of the youth group and helps in the church nursery. Mattie has been in 4-H nine years and concentrates on home environement projects. In school, she's involved in choir, National Honor Society, FFA, golf and swimming. She plans to visit Washington, D.C., with 4-H CWF (Citizen Washington

Courtesy photos

Sara Larington and Mattie Uerling, both of rural McCook, joined 25 other Nebraska 4-H'ers and 1,200 4-H'ers from across the country who gathered Nov. 26-30 to learn about community involvement, cultural diversity and service to others.

Focus) in 2011. At St. Patrick's Catholic Church in McCook, Mattie's a member

of CYO and youth choir. Activities at the Congress included leadership semi-

nars and community service projects. Participants listed to motivational and special

Proud to be your source for local news.

McCook Daily Gazette

speakers including Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron.

14 – McCook Daily Gazette


Friday, Feb. 25, 2011

Big yellow house demolition

The City of McCook, Nebraska, hired P&G Excavating, McCook, to demolish a dilapidated two-story apartment house at 301 E. Second, or on the corner of East Second and D, in May 2010. Early-McCook furniture store owner Henry Barbazette built the showpiece Victorian-era home in 1899. It and a later carriage house/garage came tumbling down with Wendell Peters and Clarence "Junior" Gillen at the controls of a Caterpillar front-end loader. Peters' and Gillen's "wrecking crew" included Debra and Fred Petsch of McCook. The property is a double lot zoned residential. The city plans to sell the lot.

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Smoothing out the bumps ...

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Chris Maris of Maris General Construction, McCook, Nebraska, uses a grinder attachment on a skid loader to smooth away a speed bump in June 2010 at West Fourth and D, the location of a former elementary school.

New kitchen staff brings positive changes to Kelley Creek Pub FORWARD, TOGETHER

McCook Daily Gazette


The staff of the Kelley Creek Pub, located inside the Republican River Valley Event Center at 905 East 7th St. in McCook, wants people to know that while they're glad to be in the building that once was home to a private organization, they're no members-only club. Indeed, the bar-and-restaurant, which offers space for parties big and small, is open to anyone looking for great food in a fun, friendly and laid-back atmosphere. "We're trying to get away from being known as 'the old Elks Lodge,'" said Steve Clark, the manager of the Event Center. "We're trying to gain our own identity." It isn't that he or his staff are interested in erasing the building's history ("We still have the Lodge member pictures in the hallway," he said) or eliminating their traditional ties to the civic-minded organization or its members (Steve, once himself part of their number – "My picture's out there, too," he said – added that he still honors the Lodge tradition of providing a free drink to those who present a valid membership card). But since 2005, the building's carried the Republican River Valley Event Center name and the Kelley Creek Pub has been there just as long. Since late April, however, there's been a new energy in the kitchen, thanks to new management and staff. Nikki Lytle now manages the foodservice side of the Pub, while her husband Jeff

shares cooking duties with Junior Aguilar. While there were some menu changes, Nikki said, the new staff top priority was to produce good food while keeping prices budget-friendly. The trio of McCook natives officially reopened the kitchen after a two month period that saw the entire food prep area scrubbed and cleaned by Jeff and Junior and given a fresh painting by Nikki. The kitchen's overhaul didn't merely eliminate grease and grime. It's apparent that the group's brand of team-oriented attitude mixed with kitchen aptitude makes Steve's life easier. "It's fun to walk into the kitchen and hear them laughing and having fun," Steve said. The cooks say that they can't help enjoying themselves, considering that the Pub gives them the freedom to be creative in their work. "We can cook anything," Jeff said. And "anything" means exactly that. The cooks are "open to requests" regarding menu items, said Aguilar. The men also pride themselves on their style of preparation regarding many of the items they serve, especially their choice to hand-bread certain popular menu items, such as their chicken-fried steak and onion rings. Nikki said that on the occasions that she's serving tables, she finds customers are happily surprised that the words "handbreaded" aren't on the menu just for show. The menu's wide variety of options – also including burgers, seafood and chicken en-

trees, plus salads and pastas – means that diners are likely to find exactly what they're looking for, no matter their appetite. Nikki said that they are proudest of their baconwrapped prawns and prime rib, as well as the aforementioned chicken-fried steak. Appetizers such as nachos, bacon cheddar fries and chicken wings are also available, as well as a selection of desserts. Side items include loaded and regular baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, seasonal vegetables and sweet potato fries. Beyond the regular menu, there are also special selections available. "One of our most popular items on recent weekends has been our seafood mixed grill," said Nikki. This particular special gives customers a chance to choose 3 different seafood items from options including the bacon-wrapped prawns, fried catfish and grilled salmon, she said. The Pub is also home to one of the Event Center's 3 full bars, which means adult customers can enjoy a cold beer, glass of wine or cocktail, with or without dinner. The kitchen is also in charge of catering throughout the Event Center, which can be rented out to multiple large groups at once. But potential Pub customers shouldn’t be concerned about the restaurant being closed during events. Steve pointed out that the Event Center recently hosted a wedding reception where they served 462 people, all while the Pub was open. "Sometimes people might see

Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 – 15

Jeremy Blomstedt/McCook Daily Gazette

The Kelley Creek Pub staff includes, from left, Republican River Valley Event Center manager Steve Clark, cooks Junior Aguilar and Jeff Lytle and kitchen manager Nikki Lytle. Aguilar and the Lytles took over Event Center and Pub kitchen duties in late April 2010. a parking lot full of cars here and think we're too busy to take care of them," Steve said. That's not the case, he insisted. "We have the space upstairs, a separate space downstairs and the Pub." He also said that new carpet has been installed in the upstairs area of the Event Center, that the remodeling of the women's restroom has been completed (with the men's room to be remodeled soon) and that new air conditioning and heating units have been installed. "And they're working great," Steve said. Future projects include installing a new kitchen floor. The Pub remains an American Poolplayers Association (APA) host location, featuring competition on Tuesday,

Thursday and Sunday nights. They will also have Nebraska football games on their bigscreen TV this fall,plus will remain open late after McCook Bison home football games to accommodate hungry fans. Steve and Nikki both feel that the Pub and Event Center are a valuable option for McCook – and the area – even though they aren't in the most highly visible location in town. "I think it's important to let people know that we're the only restaurant on the east side of McCook," Nikki said, pointing out that many of their regular customers are within walking distance of the business. She added that, ultimately, if it helped people from the area find them, she didn't mind the tag (at least for now)

of being inside "the old Elks Lodge." Steve agreed. However people remembered how to find them, he wanted everyone to know that the Event Center and Pub are "here to serve Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas." The bar at the Pub opens at 3 p.m. every day and offers a happy hour from 4 to 6 on weekdays. The kitchen begins serving at 5 p.m., with weekday half-price appetizer specials until 6. Food service ends at 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, with the same hours on Sunday; closing time is 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The kitchen is closed Mondays. For questions regarding Event Center space rental, call Steve at 308-345-2948.

Harmon, Rouse newest inductees onto MHS ‘Wall of Fame’ McCOOK, Nebraska — Inductees for 2010 onto the "Wall of Fame" at McCook Senior High were 1936 graduate Lewis "Bud" Harmon and 1971 graduate Wayne Rouse. "Wall of Fame" inductees are graduates of McCook High School who have contributed significantly to their community and/or profession. Nominees must have graduated at least 10 years ago. Letters of nominations may be sent to Steve Clapp, 307 Park Avenue, McCook, NE 69001. Graduates wishing to serve on the selection committee are also encouraged to contact Clapp, at (308) 345-6835.

for "cinnamon toothpicks" and "Sizzle Seeds," items that he developed as the owner/operator of Harmon's Grain Products Inc., which he started in 1954. Other products that Harmon developed and sold were "Gardoil," which extended the life of oil in fryers; "Spud Sparkle," to keep potatoes from turning dark after peeling; and Harmon's Liquid Malt, Harmon's Tobaccoless Chew, "Tender-Age" meat tenderizer, ice tea concentrate and "King Fur" fishing lures. Harmon's "Gobs of Globs" was a predecessor to gummy candies. Bud and his wife, Betty Carpenter Harmon, who graduated from MHS in 1937, operated two grocery stores in McCook during World War II and

a 24-hour restaurant to cater to the needs of workers building the Army Air Base northwest of McCook. Because rationing made restaurant products difficult or impossible to obtain, Harmon developed his own, including salad dressing, detergents, disinfectants, malt powder, pancake mix, breakfast syrup, chocolate syrup and hot chocolate mix. In 1947, "Harmon's Restaurant Supply Company" distributed these items to restaurants, fountains and bars within a 150-mile radius of McCook. In 1993, Bud and Betty sold controlling interest in Harmon's Grain Products, but in 1998, Bud formed "Harmon's New Concepts Co." to facilitate new formulas and update old

School officials meet with emergency personnel to talk crisis management BUD HARMON Bud Harmon is best remembered

products. Ten years later, in 2008, Bud Harmon died, at the age of 90.

WAYNE ROUSE The Manhattan, Kansas, Chamber of Commerce honored Wayne Rouse in 2005 with its first-ever "Little Apple Vision Award," for contributions to tourism development with the creation of "Country Stampede," a "country Woodstock" that started in 1996 in Tuttle Creek State Park in Manhattan. Among Stampede performers in 2010 were Keith Urban, Montgomery Gentry, Craig Morgan and Little Big Town. Brad Paisley will perform in 2011.

Rouse is a voting member of the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association and the International Entertainment Buyers Association. In 1994, Rouse was the charter president of the Wild West Festival in Hays, Kansas. He has been president of the Hays, Kansas, Jaycees, vice president of the Hays Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Hays Toastmasters. As a member of the Kansas Fair and Festivals Association, Rouse was inducted into its Hall of Fame. Rouse produces concerts in Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas and remains active in the on-site production of the Country Stampede.


McCOOK, Nebraska — Partnering education with law enforcement in training sessions for school administrators and emergency personnel provides each with perspectives from the other side of the same crisis. Jim Hayes, a trainer in the "Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents — Partnering Rural Law Enforcement and Local School Systems" session in McCook in February 2010, said that education and law enforcement "think in opposite directions. Education is soft-hearted and opens its arms to everyone, and law enforcement says 'Arms up and spread 'em!'" The training session organized by Red Willow County Emergency Management brought the two perspectives together to teach education and law enforcement to think alike during a crisis at a school. Hayes said the University of Findlay has a three-year contract with Homeland Security to engage law enforcement and school

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Jim Hayes, of the University of Findlay, Ohio, was a presenter during emergency personnel training called, "Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents — Partnering Rural Law Enforcement and Local School Systems." administrators to partner in crisis management. "Homeland Security is so concerned," Hayes said. "What's going to hurt a community more than terrorizing its schools?" "What's interesting is," Hayes said, "law enforcement is prepared for this. Education seems slow to admit it could happen ... that it will happen." Attending the training

session coordinated by Diana Wilkinson and Sheriff Gene Mahon of Red Willow County Emergency Management were representatives of six Southwest Nebraska schools and police and sheriff's officers, fire and rescue, emergency management, hospitals, hazardous materials emergency response, public health, student resource officers and corrections officers.

Helicopter transport

Courtesy photo

Midwest Medical Transport Co. began serving western Nebraska out of a North Platte base in June 2010, using a new American Eurocopter EC 135 P2+. The service is an extension of the critical care ground transportation providing emergency scene responses from eastern Colorado to the Nebraska-Iowa border. The twin-engine helicopter has the latest in color weather radar, GPS and navigation systems, weather and hazard avoidance systems, is IFR capable and can safety be operated in a variety of conditions. Night vision goggles were expected to be obtained by year's end. It is flown by a highly trained and skilled team of pilots who all have multiple years of EMS flight experience, and medical crews comprise an emeergency certified paramedic and critical care nurse on every flight. More information is available at

Proud to be your source for local news.

McCook Daily Gazette

Quality Quality Isn’t Isn’t Expensive... Expensive... It’s It’s Priceless! Priceless!

City of McCook - Walmart

We We feel feel this this rings rings true, true, no no matter matter how how large large or or small small the the job. job. We’ve We’ve been been building building our our reputation reputation in in this this area area for for 30 30 years. years. We We take take pride pride in in what what we we do..and do..and it it shows! shows! We We appreciate appreciate your your patronage patronage and and look look forward forward to to serving serving you you in in the the following following years. years. CCity i t y ooff Oberlin O b e r l i n - Gateway G a t e w a y Center Center

YMCA YMCA Remodel Remodel Jason Michaelis

Deveny Motors

Loren Wagner

Brian Schaffert Schaffert Brian

Macy Macy - L Lebanon ebanon

Macy Macy - L Lebanon ebanon D Doug oug & Todd Todd S Schultz chultz

Brian Haag


JonJon Graff Graff Jon Graff

REd R E d Willow W i l l o w CCounty o u n t y - Q Street Street

Terry Terry Richards Richards Don Hagan Don Olson

JJay ay S Schilling chilling


J.L. Construction Inc. 308-340-6682

JOE LEAMON 308-345-4373




1112 West 10th St., McCook, NE 69001


Progress 2/25/11  

The Friday Progress Edition features stories and photographs about people, businesses and public service projects in McCook, Nebraska and t...

Progress 2/25/11  

The Friday Progress Edition features stories and photographs about people, businesses and public service projects in McCook, Nebraska and t...