Local News

A look back at the first half of 2012

Each year the Hebron Journal-Register takes a look back as we prepare to head into another year of news worthy events. This week marks an end-of-the-year tradition as we begin our look back at 2012. In the first of two parts, we’ll take a look at some of the happenings that occurred from January to June. Next week, we’ll present the rest of the story (July through December).

(For more photos and events, see this week’s issue of the Hebron Journal-Register.)


The year began with postage going up a penny; the last raise occurred two and one-half years earlier. Stamps for first-class mail use the “Forever Stamp” meaning anytime patrons paste a “Forever Stamp” on an envelope, the U.S. Postal Service will accept and deliver the letter. The Forever Stamp will increase by one cent again in January 2013.

Robert Butler, former chairman of Frontier Bank of Davenport and Kelly Holthus, president of Cornerstone Bank in York announced an agreement had been reached for Cornerstone Bank to purchase Frontier Bank of Davenport.

The first snow of the season fell in January with accumulations of 2.5 inches in Hebron tapering off to just trace amounts moving away from the county seat.

Hebron city leaders gave the Hebron Fire Department the go ahead to purchase a new ambulance. The Department decided to buy a new unit to fill a void left to the volunteer service after Thayer County Ambulance was discontinued.


Two new businesses opened doors in Hebron including Antiques, Art and Collectibles owned by Joane Thompson and Hebron Storage owned by Jim and Julie Stutzman. Both businesses continue operation today.

The season’s second snowfall dropped nearly five inches of powder on Hebron February 4th. It was the last time the county saw any accumulating snow until last Wednesday’s storm rolled through.

About 200 Thayer Central elementary students created valentines to make a difference in the lives of active and retired service men and women in Nebraska. Most of the handmade well-wishes were delivered to the VA hospital and retirement home in Grand Island while others were forwarded to the VA hospital in Omaha.

The Thayer County Feeders held their 48th annual banquet hosting nearly 400 guests to the festivities. Awards, scholarships and board appointments are made at the annual event.

February is American Heart Month and the Hebron Journal-Register looked at two heartwarming stories about young heart patients including 10-month-old Alex Vorderstrasse, son of Spencer and Ranae Vorderstrasse of Hebron, and  13-year-old Kylea Hintz, daughter of Rick and Ranae Hintz of Hebron.

MetalQuest Unlimited, Inc., of Hebron, was recognized at a White House and U.S. Department of Agriculture event recognizing manufacturing success in rural America. Owner Scott Harms participated in the event at the White House.

Thayer Central senior wrestler Trevor Hartley won the Class D championship in the 182 weight division at the 2011 State Wrestling meet.


Rural development experts and government dignitaries from Turkey toured the Blue Valley Lutheran Homes Courtyard Terrace and MetalQuest.
Thayer County Community Theater kicked off its 50th anniversary with “37 Postcards.”

Gov. Dave Heinemann put county commissioners on edge after announcing he’d like to eliminate inheritance tax. Several counties in Nebraska use the funds to balance budgets. Thayer County keeps the funds in reserve for emergency situations, but will use it for the budget if absolutely necessary. The threat went by the wayside in 2012, but could possibly resurface in 2013 as the Legislature convenes.

Changes began at the Pioneer Center. The old meeting place was completely gutted to make way for a total overhaul. Even the name was changed to the Hebron Activity Center in an effort to modernize the facility’s mindset.


Thayer County Commissioners began to back pedal on a courthouse renovation project as costs began to skyrocket following an inspection by the state fire marshal. Today, after completing the window replacement phase, the rest of the project is literally in the waste bin as the commissioners look at other options for improvements.

Bruning Grain and Feed of Bruning received the Nebraska Corn Board’s Elevator Industry Appreciation Award.

The Lyle Olson farm, located one mile north of Alexandria, lost a two-year-old storage bin and the roof to a shed as a series of spring storms rolled across Thayer County.

An invasion of army cutworm moths swept across the county on the wings of an early spring season.

The Blue Valley Care Home in Hebron was recognized as one of the “Best Nursing Homes in Nebraska.” U.S. News and World Report gave the recognition.


Husker football assistant coach Ron Brown spoke to approximately 75 FCA and high school students in Deshler.

The Village of Belvidere received $25,000 from Union Pacific Railroad for construction of a train viewing station near the tracks running through town. The station has since been built and will be dedicated sometime in 2013.

Russell Heitmann of Hebron won the state Poetry Out Loud competition advancing to the national competition in Washington, D.C., while a junior at Thayer Central High School. At the national competition, Heitmann finished in the top nine.

The Bruning-Davenport/Shickley Lady Eagles earned the runner-up trophy at the 2011 State Track and Field competition in Omaha. The BDS team competed in the Class D division.


The first signs of severe drought began to emerge as Thayer County was tagged as abnormally dry by the U.S. Drought Monitor. During the month of June, 64 percent of the state was under moderate to severe drought conditions. Thayer County had not reached that point yet.

Hebron and the surrounding area was placed in a heat advisory as the temperature continued to soar into the high 90s and break the century mark.

Local Pony Express Association members conducted the 151st re-ride.

An outbreak of blue-green algae closed beaches and discouraged swimming in several area lakes. As the drought worsened and water levels decreased, the algae continued to prosper. Extreme heat exacerbated the situation.

Farmers were harvesting wheat in June, about three weeks ahead of usual.

Several Thayer County locals competed in the first ever Warrior Dash in Nebraska.

Next week we’ll visit the second half of 2012.

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