Local News

Year in Review -2010

This week marks an end-of-the-year tradition as we take a look back at 2010.

January: 2010 began with most of Thayer County attempting to find places to pile snow. A series of severe winter storms buried the area and workers spent most of January and February removing snow from roads, curbs and highways. In Hebron, snow was piled in large mounds of powder along the river.

Thayer County volunteer firefighters answered the first of three house fires as a Belvidere blaze turned tragic. Belvidere, Hebron and Bruning departments answered the call at the Paugh residence in Belvidere. Two young children perished in the blaze.

Two other house fires this month, the Jones family of Carleton and the Phillips family of Alexandria, kept local firemen active.

A major earthquake in Haiti affected Thayer Central instructor Kathy Dunback as her daughter and son-in-law were on site when the tremors hit the island. Kim Bentrott and husband Patrick worked and lived at Port-au-Prince when the quake hit, but managed to escape unhurt, a fact Dunback did not know for over nearly two days.

February: The Thayer County Livestock Feeders Association held its 46th annual banquet and election of officers.

Three Thayer Central wrestlers competed on the state mats including Traygan Mumford, Trevor Hartley and Kale Hintz.

Entrepreneur-Ship Investigates, a UNL Extension and Thayer County Economic Development Association sponsored education workshop, assisted area students with business concepts and practices through the winter months. Students then presented their businesses to locals during a TCEDA fun night.

As part of a campaign “No Place for Hate,” the Bruning-Davenport chapter of the National Honor Society hosted the “Ukrainian Kaleidoscope” inviting Segei Shapoval to speak and educate about the Ukraine.
March: After 39 years of service to the area, John and Idonna Kripal sold the True Value Hardware store to Ryan and Jamie Luttrell.

Nine people threw their hats into the county commissioner’s race for two seats.

Thayer County was approved as one of 34 Nebraska counties to receive federal emergency funding for winter storms affecting the area from Dec. 22, 2009 to Jan. 8, 2010.

The Thayer Central High School Concert Choir was invited to perform at the state capitol in Lincoln as  part of the state’s commemoration of music in schools.

Nebraska Game and Parks outdoor education specialist Daryl Teter conducted Hebron’s first watercraft safety clinic for teens wishing to become certified users of all water crafts including boats and jet skis.
Bruning-Davenport and Shickley public schools combined sports programs to become the BDS Eagles. The two schools used the 2010  track season to debut the new team.

Thayer County Bank president Pat Kenner was honored by the USDA Rural Development of Nebraska for his proactive work in rural development.

April: City of Hebron workers noted that citizens were in jeopardy of losing the local tree dump if illegal dumping wasn’t curtailed. Karl Wiedel said that unlawful garbage at the dump was becoming a problem and appealed to Hebron citizens to stop.

Gary McMains, Hebron, was selected by his peers as Nebraska EMT of the year. McMains is a 28-year veteran of the HVFD as well as a past chief, CPR and EMT instructor for south central Nebraska and a member of the Hebron dive team.

An unfinished storm sewer running from Holdrege Avenue to the ball parks at the Hebron Sports Complex caused concern to Complex supervisor Kurk Wiedel. He said the project, which had been dormant for ten years, needed to be finished as the ditch created by the job was a safety hazard.

The Thayer County Visitor’s Committee ordered four ABC railroad signs to be installed at Alexandria, Belvidere, Carleton and Davenport. Alexandria and Belvidere received their signs in April.

May: Davenport pastor Amy Krejcarek was one of three recognized by the Nebraska Speech-Language and Hearing Association as a representative for speech and hearing awareness.

Thayer County area high schools witnessed 111 seniors graduate during commencement exercises this month.
Thayer County voters headed to the polls to partake in the primary election race. According to Thayer County Election Commissioner Marie Rauner, the turnout was 44 percent.

Three Thayer County high schools sent 23 students to the state track meet to compete in several field and running events. Two outstanding athletes, Thayer Central senior Seth Wiedel, and Bruning-Davenport/Shickley sophomore Shelby Garland competed in four events each including the long and triple jumps and 100 and 200 dashes. Both finished with top prizes in their respective competitions.

June: The Channels 10/11 Can-Care-A-Van returned to Hebron after skipping the community in 2009. BVCA collected 7,302 pounds of food during the day-long event.

Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy stopped in Hebron to discuss current events with area Republicans. Sheehy’s uncle Paul (Fr. Paul Sheehy) was well-known in Hebron after serving at Sacred Heart Catholic Church for several years.

Thayer County commissioners okayed a project manager to assist them through installation of a communications tower backed by the state. The tower will aid emergency workers by linking the county to a state-wide interoperable public safety communications system.

Hebron mayor Randall Hergott stepped down after moving from the city limits to rural Thayer County. City board president Larry Fangmeier filled the vacancy until the end of the year.

TierOne Bank became Great Western Bank this month. TierOne Bank, a Lincoln-based company, was closed at the end of the day on June 4.

The National Pony Express celebrated 150 years of mail delivery this month with small celebrations along the nearly 2,000 mile route from the Heartland to the west coast. In Thayer County, a life size steel cutout provided by Thayer County Pony Express Trail Captain Richard Heinrichs was dedicated at the local monument.
University of Nebraska at Lincoln baseball players came to Hebron to help local youth perfect throwing and batting skills during the 2010 youth league season.

Reuben Schleifer, Chester, was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Schleifer was a high school coach for 30 years during his 41-year teaching career.

July: Six Thayer County athletes, three adults, three youngsters, returned from the Cornhusker State Games with top medals. There were 38 locals who competed.
USDA Rural Development awarded a $63,500 community facility grant to the Bruning Community Foundation Inc., that leveraged with donations totalling $360,322, were used to renovate an historic downtown building into a new library.

Electric rates went up for Hebron citizens.

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph D. Kunkel, a 1990 Hebron High School graduate, took command of the 90th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. The squadron is the most decorated and historic squadrons in the United States Air Force.

Thayer County teen Tarryn Tietjen won the top gold medal for Illustrated Talk at the FCCLA national competition in Chicago. Her presentation on lupus awareness earned a perfect score.

Longtime Hebron/Thayer Central coach Randy Mesloh and longtime volleyball line judge Tawnia Lee, both of Hebron, volunteered their services at the National Special Olympics in Lincoln.

August: U.S. Senator Mike Johanns visited Hebron to discuss the national debt and entitlement crisis. He then visited with local 4-H students in Roosevelt Park as they donated homemade pillowcases to Thayer County Health Services.

The Aeolus Energy LLC installed a $40,000 196-foot meteorological tower on land earmarked for a possible wind farm. The group of local land owners is backing a wind farm project initiated by Gary Aksamit.

Thayer County Ag Society member Russ Gerberding was given an award for 21 years of service to the society during the annual county fair.

A stolen jeep, connected to a home invasion crime in Seward County, was discovered near the Bruning entrance on U.S. 81.

Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Ben Schropfer earned a first-place team finish and second-place individual award at the North American Inspector Championships. Trooper Schropfer is stationed in Hebron and assigned to the Carrier Enforcement Division.

September: For the second year running, the commissioners lowered the county’s levy. In 2009 the tax request went from 34.2 cents to 30 cents, and in 2010, dropped another two cents to 28 cents.

Three county communities opted to allow bars to stay open until 2 a.m., a new law passed by the Nebraska Legislature earlier in the year.

The Nebraska State Fair debuted in Grand Island. Several Thayer County adults and youth participated in 4-H and open-class contests bringing home top awards for their many talents.

The 2010 Milo Queen was Hebron’s own Maggie Goldhammer.

October: Former Hebron physician Dr. Hal Pumphrey was named Medical Director of the Year at the Nebraska Health Care Association and Nebraska Assisted Living Association annual convention.

The Thayer County Hospital Foundation held its annual variety show where it honored Don Deepe as volunteer of the year and accepted $2,500 from Tregan Albers through a gift Albers received from Monsanto through itsAmerica’s Farmers Grow Communities program.

Alton “Mook” Wilhelms was inducted into the Nebraska Journalism 2010 Hall of Fame.

November: The City of Hebron decided to install automatic screens at the wastewater treatment facility after a two-year-old comminuter stopped working properly.

Thayer Central High School volleyball members donated $1,134 to the American Cancer Society following a fundraiser game earlier in the season.

The Thayer County Visitor’s Committee replaced the World’s Largest Porch Swing sign at Roosevelt Park. The updated sign is larger with clearer lettering for easier reading.

Also installed was a Hebron CCC and POW Camps state historical sign at Riverside Park. The sign had been in storage for several years.

December: It was announced the Bruning Dam had suffered serious damage at the hands of vandals during the fall of 2010. Large chunks of concrete were thrown down a riser of the dam smashing an alfalfa valve. The reservoir is being completely drained in order to make repairs.

Both Hebron and Deshler saw the installation of new mayors: In Hebron Shane Day replaces Randall Hergott and in Deshler, Naomi Grupe replaces Gordy Fleming.

Thayer County Community Theatre presented “The Holiday Surprise” to nearly 400 in a three-day production.

The Women’s Achievement Club Nativity drew ACLU scrutiny after the Union deemed the display, which sits on public property, non-secular in its message. The commissioners decided at their final meeting to add secular items next year which would not really take anything away from the message, but allow the display to occupy its 51-year site.

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