Local News

Sheriff reports full staff

Sheriff David Lee has  a complete police force with eight officers, including himself, on staff after he made some adjustments to add an officer. 

Lee reported both to the Thayer County Commissioners and as requested, the Hebron City Council.  

He told the commissioners he has two officers to the sheriff’s department in the wake of one candidate who left shortly after training. 

“One pulled ship and he had to pay the county back,” Lee said. “We kept his last paycheck. We’re not training someone on our dime and then they leave.” 

Lee, who has been short on officers for about 18 months, has one officer from Kansas to be certified and another will enter the police academy in September. It takes one year to be certified after academy training.

The commissioners approved the sheriff’s contract for the villages of Davenport, Bruning, and the cities of Deshler and Hebron. Davenport and Bruning anually chip in $950 each; and Hebron and Deshler are in for $1,000. The contract totals $11,796 for no less than 12 hours per day. Thayer County’s remaining communities are not in the contract. 

This past month, the commissioners have listened to budget requests from a variety of agencies, and recently, Blue Valley Community Action. 

Blue Valley is serving a growing number of hungry families with homelessness cases. One family was known to live in a storage unit. The organization works with clients to develop budgets and help them stop chasing paychecks. 

“We have a lot of families we can make a huge impact on,” Alice Herman, family coordinator, said.

Indeed, an individual living under a bridge in Hebron had serious mental issues, however, Blue Valley was able to secure an apartment for the individual and help. 

Some individual struggle with their own demons, Herman said. 

“We try, but we can only do so much,” Herman said. “They need food and clothes. I never turn away anyone for a food pantry. If they have to come back next Monday to feed their kids, I’m not turning them away. Some families you will never change. It’s not the kids’ fault.”

The agency requested $3,965 from the county, a two percent increase over the last fiscal year. Blue Valley serves nine counties with the largest two fund requests for Gage and Saline counties. 

They provide emergency services; education; weatherization and rehabilitation; health and wellness; housing; access to food; and housing counseling.  

In a past meeting, Thayer County Health Services saw a positive margin for the fifth month in a row. 

Chief executive of operations, Dr. David Burd said the hospital’s financials have been impressive. 

“It represents the hard work we put into bringing in the specialists,” Burd said. “We’re trying to reach out to communities.”