School Hosts Open House Dec. 12, Informational Marker Unveiled
NEBRASKA CITY – The Nebraska Center for the Education of Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired has scheduled an open house at its 824 10th Ave. location from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 12.
Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce is inviting attendance at the unveiling of an informational marker at 1:15 p.m.
School staff will give tours of the school.
School Re-Establishes Two-Year Superintendent Contract
NEBRASKA CITY – The Nebraska City School Board’s vote Monday regarding the school superintendent’s contract is intended to re-establish a two-year, rather than three-year contract.
Board President Kent Blum said the school has traditionally had a two-year contract for the superintendent, but extended it to three-years about five years ago.
Blum said Monday’s vote has no implications on the superintendent’s position other than the time period of the contract.
He said he had no comments regarding the current superintendent’s job performance, calling it a personnel matter.
The superintendent’s contract currently goes through the 2020-2021 school year. The school board will typically vote again on an extension next December.
A motion to extend the contract three years out failed on a 7 to 2 vote. Voting in favor were Jeff Frields and Ken Zaroban. Voting against were Blum, Lisa Chaney, Carol Crook, Stacie Higgins, Jim Nemec, Nick Schmitz and Teri Stukenholtz.
Nebraska City Museums Report Up-Tick In Visitations
NEBRASKA CITY – Nebraska City Museum Coordinator Dean Shissler reports over 16,000 visitors in the first 10 months of the year during the Community Growth Fund program that provides free admission for residents.
He said record-breaking crowds at AppleJack, the 2018 Nebraska Tourism Conference and Wildwood Historic Center’s participation in the state’s passport program contributed to an increase in visitation over last year.
2019 events include the Nebraska Museums Association Conference and 31st Annual International Windmiller’s Trade Fair.
There were 6,959 visitors to the Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Center, nearly 3,000 at Mayhew Cabin, 2,000 at the Kregel Windmill Factory Museum and 1,400 at the Wildwood Center.
About 20 percent of visitors came in September.
The Wildwood Historic Center, which closed for winter following the Dec. 2 heirloom Christmas, showed near record-attendance through October.
Christmas for the Birds is scheduled Dec. 28 at the Lewis and Clark Center. The center will also take part in the First Day Hike program on Jan. 1.
Architecture students set to unveil riverfront designs and solutions Tuesday
NEBRASKA CITY – In partnership with the Nebraska City Community Prosperity Initiative, a team of students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture has completed a 15-week study focused on development of short- and long-term projects for the city’s riverfront.
Kimmel Harding Nelson Center Program Director Holly McAdams-Olson says the students have done a lot of research, interviews and design work.
“We’re getting for their final presentations on Dec. 11 to show the community all the amazing work that they’ve done. It is open to the community. Everyone is invited. We’re excited to have new faces, even if you haven’t had the chance to participate in the other meetings.”
According to McAdams-Olson, it’ll be the community’s responsibility to think about what to do with this work moving forward to actually see it come into reality.
The presentation will be held at the Rowe Public Safety Complex Community Room, 1518 Central Ave, from 6-8 p.m.
Lourdes, Pawnee City claim awards at play production championships
NORFOLK – The Lourdes Central Catholic High School technical crew won their third-straight “Outstanding Technical Crew” award at the 2018 Nebraska School Activities Association Class C2 Play Production Championships Thursday.
Lourdes production of “The Very Unmerry Adventures of Robin Hood,” directed by Lesley Gould, claimed a fourth place finish at Johnny Carson Theatre in Norfolk.
Luke Partsch and Cathy Shawhan each received Outstanding Performance awards.
Hartington-Newcastle, with directors A.J. Johnson, Linda Kathol and Lindsey Stappert, won the state title with their performance of Peter and the Starcatcher.”
The defending Class D1 state champions, Pawnee City, finished runner-up this year with their showing of “These Shining Lives,” directed by Laura Bloss. Eve Beethe was named “Outstanding Female Performer.”
Humphrey St. Francis’ “No Loose Ends won the state title. They were directed by Michael McPhillips and Tina Schumacher.
Nebraska City project in-need of volunteers to help less fortunate families
NEBRASKA CITY – The “Angel Tree Project” in Nebraska City is looking for volunteers to sponsor and help less fortunate families have a Merry Christmas this season.
The project provides gifts, including toys and clothes to children, a full holiday meal and Fareway gift card to families in-need in Otoe County over the holidays.
Chairperson Sara Vesely presented to Rotary on Wednesday about the program and how the community can help. She says the “Angel Tree Project” has been in Nebraska City for several years and has been led by the First Lutheran Church the last four years.
“We saw there was a need. It kind of grew over the years and some of the organizations that had it before, it kind of got a little bigger than they were able to handle. We have the man power. We have the resources. So, we just stepped in and said, ‘we’ll absolutely help.'”
Volunteers will sponsor families with anywhere between 1-5 kids, ranging in ages from newborn to 17-years-old. Volunteers are also needed to help wrap gifts on Dec. 16 and distribute presents on Dec. 18.
NEBRASKA CITY – Santa Claus arrived on fire engine and the bell rang atop the Otoe County courthouse for the annual tree lighting ceremony Saturday.
It is the third year for the lighting on the north lawn of the courthouse, but the first year for Santa Claus arriving on the fire truck.
It was also the debut year for the courthouse bell.
The 150-year-old bell had not been heard for decades when it was rung in 1996. It was rung when Cheri Beccera Madsen returned from the 800 m race in the Olympic games in Atlanta, Ga. She qualified as one of the top eight female racers in the world and won a bronze medal.
County commissioners said the bell did not need any repairs, but it did take a pretty determined tug.
Commissioner Rick Freshman noted that Saturday’s crowd was the largest to date and credited NCTC for scheduling the event before the snow storm.
Snow Emergency Declared In Nebraska City
NEBRASKA CITY – Nebraska City officials declared a snow emergency at 10 a.m. and continuing through Monday morning.
The snow emergency means there is no parking on streets designated at snow routes, which includes Central Avenue and arterial streets.
There will be no overnight parking on streets in the downtown.
Forecasts continue to show up to eight inches of snow in Otoe County and gaining in depth moving south toward 12 inches at Falls City.
Fifth Grader Makes Case For More Backyard Chickens
NEBRASKA CITY – Nebraska City fifth grader Tigerlilly Weaver asked city commissioners Monday to change city codes that prohibit most citizens from the ability to own and raise backyard chickens.
Citing current city ordinance, keeping of chickens is not allowed within 100 feet of any residence. The proposed change would allow the keeping of chickens by residents of single-family homes who obtain a permit.
Coops would need to be kept in the backyard, 20 feet from any neighboring dwelling and 10 feet from any property lines. This ordinance change would also limit the number of hens allowed to 7 or less with no allowance for roosters.
Weaver spoke about the importance of sustainable living and the roll chickens have in that.
Weaver: A lesson in self sustainability, along with growing vegetables and keeping compost chickens are the next step to becoming self-sustaining.”
Additional benefits outlined by Weaver were fresh eggs, fertilizer for gardens, pest control, cutting down on food waste, and cruelty free farming.
According to Weaver, other communities in Nebraska have laws that are more chicken friendly, and she would like to see Nebraska City adapt their city code to become more chicken friendly as well.
Weaver: “These changes to city code are similar to others in Nebraska towns like Milford, Grand Island, Omaha, Ashland, and Lincoln. These codes are enforced by police and seem to be going smoothly with very few complaints.”
City council took the matter under advisement and directed city attorney David Partsch will work with commissioners on drafting a new ordinance that is more chicken friendly. This new ordinance is scheduled to be presented at the next city council meeting on Dec. 4.
Baragary Named Commended Scholar
NEBRASKA CITY – Lourdes Central Catholic senior Ashley Baragary has been named a commended student in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.
She was among 1.5 million juniors to the take tests for the program. The top 3.3 percent is recognized as commended scholars.