Local News

We review July through December 2011

Join us as we take a look back at the second half of 2011.


The summer of 2011 kicked off with Fourth of July celebrations across the county. Sizzling temperatures greeted celebrants as they participated in tractor pulls, water fights, park games and ball tournaments.

About 20 athletes representing Thayer County competed in the annual Cornhusker State Games; 14 earned top medals in their respective venues.

The communities of Davenport and Bruning held their annual summertime celebrations in July. Events traditionally include softball tournaments, walk/runs, parades and lots of food.

Area 4-H students competed in the annual ice cream contest at the Relay For Life event held on July 29. The contest, which used to take place during the Thayer County Fair, was moved to the Relay event as a fund raiser for cancer. The Relay, which normally takes place in Hebron, was moved to Deshler because the Thayer Central track was under construction. The track, recently completed this fall, will facilitate district and conference meets more readily.

A second MET tower was installed at Byron by the Aether Energy LLC, a grass roots group of local landowners interested in wind production. Gary Aksamit, an energy broker from Texas who is originally from Thayer County, organized the installation.

Like the first installation on “monument road” in central Thayer County, the new tower is expected to relay information to see if the area can support a wind farm.


The communities of Byron and Carleton were told their post offices may soon be closing. Public meetings were held to determine if there was anything the two communities could do to save them. Alexandria’s post office, which is also slated to close, was tagged for closure earlier than the Byron and Carleton offices. Recently, a temporary stay was issued by the USPS allowing post offices and sorting centers to keep doors open.

Four volunteer fire departments were dispatched to a rural Belvidere home completely engulfed in flames. There were no injuries in the blaze as no one was home at the time.

The annual Pony Express re-ride was postponed to August from its normal schedule in June due to a highly contagious equine herpes virus, EHV-1.

The Thayer County Fair once again featured area students and adults in many traditional competitions with much success. No severe weather plagued the five-day event, which was a surprise to most, although rain overnight caused muddy conditions in the horse ring and the equine show was postponed until the mud dried.

The Department of Natural Resources notified emergency manager William McPherson that an up-to-date emergency plan for the Hebron dam was required. Labeling the dam “high risk” turned out to be a surprise to county and city officials since the dam was considered structurally sound for 35 years.

According to county accountant Brian Blobaum, an increase in property valuations had Thayer County sitting on a pretty solid bottom line.

Phase one of the courthouse renovation started in August with the replacement of the third floor windows. Workers finished the replacement project in November.


In its first year of using new math standards, the Board of Education and school administrators discovered Nebraska students have more work to do to meet proficiency standards. Test results showed four out of ten students failed to meet Nebraska’s new math goals.

Several locals representing Thayer County vied for state ribbons and awards in many of the annual open class contests offered at the 2011 Nebraska State Fair. Traditional state awards were also given to the county’s 4-H contenders.

Twelve area teens competed for the 2011 Milo Queen crown as Carleton held its annual celebration of milo. Miss Geneva, Monika Root, earned the tiara for 2011.

Linda Hudson was named the Nebraska winner of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs’ Jennie June award. The award recognizes a woman who has demonstrated club involvement, participation in the community, and commitment to her immediate or extended family.

Thayer County Ambulance was dissolved when Thayer County Health Services bought the emergency vehicle and absorbed it into its system. The ambulance is no longer available to the City of Hebron as a standby emergency vehicle creating a void in the city’s emergency services. The city is currently discussing a solution for the problem.


The Thayer County Historical Society celebrated the arrival of fall with its traditional festival in Belvidere. Nebraska State Historical Society historian John Carter made a guest appearance as the local Society dedicated the museum’s new addition; a 135 x 36 foot barn. The barn is used to house antique farming equipment.

The City of Hebron opted to fix rather than sell or raze the Pioneer Center. The meeting place has suffered water damage from a leaky roof over the years, but is still structurally sound. The City intends to keep the center as a community meeting place.

Extremely dry conditions meant farmers were well on track for getting the crop in, but it also meant conditions were high for field and machinery fires. From October 1-12, county fire departments answered 14 farm-related fires.

Thayer County received a monetary dividend of $9,549 from the Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (NIRMA), the county’s property, liability and workers’ compensation coverage provider. The dividend was part of a $600,000 financial return distributed among 77 Nebraska counties. The county has received a total of $225,545 in financial returns since becoming a member of NIRMA in 1988.

Pleasant weather conditions greeted costumed citizens as communities celebrated Halloween. Hebron had one of the biggest showings in recent years at its annual costume contest.


The Thayer County Hospital Foundation recognized and honored the volunteer efforts of the Hospital Guild for running the Things and Stuff store in Hebron.

The Bruning-Davenport/Shickley football and volleyball teams advanced in their respective state tournaments. The football team ended its season in the second round of the playoffs, while the volleyball team finished fourth at the state tourney.

A USO-style radio show featuring local talent paid tribute to veterans. The production, directed by Thayer Central teacher Jane Dodes, drew large crowds to the Chester auditorium.

The Hebron Chamber of Commerce held its annual Christmas Fair. The traditional event featuring community retailers, crafters and private business owners,  kicks off the holiday season.

Mark Jagels of Davenport, was elected vice-chair of the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Hunters turned in 599 tags at the local Shell Food Mart station in Hebron. Manager Delores Boman said the number was down from 616 in 2010.


New warning sirens were installed this month for the city of Hebron. The project, ongoing for three years, was backed by an $80,000 SENDD grant. The new equipment cost approximately $61,000 while the installation ran around $33,000. The City was responsible for a 25 percent match, or about $23,500 which came from sales tax.

The area received its first measurable snow of the season; Davenport had the biggest accumulation with 4.5 inches while Hebron received 2.2 inches of powder. Since then, Dec. 3, the area has had no more inclement weather.

Postal patrons were told that mail pick-up times will be one hour and seven minutes earlier than the current time posted at the local post office boxes. In Hebron, that means the mail will be picked up at 4:08 p.m., instead of 5:15 p.m.

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