2012: A Year in Review

January 4

Community prepares for Courtney Milburn’s homecoming - Work is being done on Wad and Carol Milburn’s house in preparation for their daughter, Courtney, who will be returning home after a long stay in Colorado hospitals after a car accident in August 2011. 

January 11

Johnson reminisces over 100 years in Sheridan County - By Ang Gilchrist

This past Thursday, I had the honor of being invited into the home of Myrtle Johnson to talk to her about her life of 100 years in Sheridan County. Below is the recollection of Myrtle’s life, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed my time spent in her presence. 

On December 24, 1911, Myrtle Reno was brought into this world on a homestead nine miles south of Gordon, Nebraska. She was the firstborn of four to her parents, and at that time, they lived with and worked for her father’s brother-in-law down by the Niobrara River.

January 18

49 Saddlery & Tack Shop opens in Rushville - By Ang Gilchrist

Jack Kimball is a local artist, of sorts. He grew up on the family ranch 36 miles southeast of Gordon and he has spent his whole life as a cowboy, traveling through many states and gaining a wealth of knowledge. He spent several years breaking horses for Larry Swanson of Salisbury Saddles in Barnsville,  a town just east of Greeley, Colorado. It was through Larry that Jack developed his passion of working with leather. 

Jack has been creating beautiful leather products for nearly 30 years.  He  recently relocated to Rushville to open up his leather shop, 49 Saddlery & Tack Shop,  at 209 East 2nd Street (next to The Copy Shoppe), allowing easier access for his customers. Jack specializes in making many leather products by hand, including saddles, chaps, and spur straps. He can also make leather billfolds, purses and belts for his customers and he can personalize any items ordered. He can mend your canvas tarp or repair and oil your leather chaps or saddles. His leather work is not limited to the cowboy way, as he will also work on black leather, including your chaps or leather vest. He can also sew on patches, but stresses that at this time he only uses  white thread string. 

Another service Kimball offers is the consignment of clean, used saddles and tack. If you have any of these items that you would like to sell, 49 Saddlery & Tack Shop is your venue. 

January 25

“Heaven is for Real” inspires all ages - By Ang Gilchrist

Thursday evening, the community was treated to two ministry presentations by the Burpo family of Imperial, Nebraska. Originally, one event had been scheduled at the Gordon City building, but due to the high demand of tickets(500 tickets were given away in just the first few days), a second show was scheduled for late evening. I was grateful for the opportunity to attend the late session with my boys.

“Heaven is for Real” is a book written by Todd Burpo that recollects a time in their lives when his (then) three-year-old son, Colton, took a trip to Heaven during an emergency surgery in Grand Island, Neb. The book is also available as an illustrated children’s version written by Colton.  The family was in Gordon to share their story and offer some inspiration to others.  

Local youth sew Quilt of Valor - By Clint Andersen

Six Sheridan County youth and four volunteers pieced together quilt blocks on Friday and Saturday to make a Quilt of Valor through the 4-H Quilts of Valor Challenge.  Quilts of Valor (QOV) is a national program in which volunteers construct quilts for wounded soldiers and over 60,000 quilts have been awarded since the program began.  Nebraska is the first and only state to have a state-wide challenge, and last year 40 Quilts of Valor were made by 4-Hers across the state.  In fact, Nebraska’s effort so impressed the QOV that they worked with nine national fabric companies to donate free fabric for each Nebraska county piecing a QOV quilt top.

February 1

Three new Promethean Boards at GES - Gordon Elementary School students in Mrs. August’s first grade, Mrs. Slama’s second grade, and Mrs. Zwiebel’s third grade had an exciting day Wednesday, January 11.  They watched Promethean Boards being installed in their classrooms.  

A Promethean Board is an interactive white board which enhances the delivery of curricula and instruction to all students, across all disciplines.  Students can take virtual fieldtrips to see museums, tour factories, enjoy fine arts performances, observe subways, and see how cranberries are grown.  The ActiVote component  of the Promethean Board provides teacher with instantaneous assessment and formative data.   The boards will be used during our summer reading program and science camp.  Our math and reading programs have online services can that can be used to guide instruction. 

February 8

Allison and Johnson sign letters of intent for CSC and UNK - The Chadron State College football program continued to add to its roster Thursday. On Wednesday, 25 high school seniors signed National Letters of Intent. The Eagles received five more commitments Thursday.

Wednesday was the first day high school seniors could sign a letter of intent.

Feb. 1 Signees included Trey Allison, linebacker, 6-0, 215 pounds (Gordon, Neb./Gordon-Rushville High). Trey was the leading tackler for the Mustangs in 2011. He finished with 92 total tackles and was placed on the all-conference team.

The University of Nebraska Kearney added twenty-seven new players to its roster, including Gordon-Rushville’s Tanner Johnson, the 6’ 4”, 230 lb. offensive lineman.

In 2011, Johnson had 15 solo tackles, 24 assisted tackles, three quarterback sacks, and six tackles for a total loss of five yards.

He was also named to the WTC All-Conference Team, and the C1-10 All-District Team.

February 15

Fire destroys long-standing apartments in Gordon - By Ang Gilchrist

Shortly before 9:00 p.m. on Friday night, the Gordon Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department responded to a report of smoke coming from the townhouse apartments located on the corner of 2nd Street and North Elm and owned by Jerry Halverson. Smoke was visible coming from the second floor above the stairway on the south side of the building. Firemen soon discovered that the fire had started on the first floor and had worked its way up the wall and to the second floor by the time it was reported. One resident was evacuated safely, and the occupants of the other three apartments were not home at the time. The residents of the house just to the north were also evacuated as a precaution. 

February 22

Classic Quick Lube opens its doors - By Jordan Huether

There’s another new business in Gordon as Classic Quick Lube, Tire and More, held their grand opening Monday, Feb. 20, and officially opened for business Tuesday. It is owned and operated by Wayne and Janell Goff.

Wayne, a long time muscle car enthusiast and former drag racer, has been a school administrator for 43 years, including 30 for Shannon County Schools, and was ready for something different. “I also always wanted a really nice garage,” said Goff of his motivations for opening the shop. “My father was a mechanic, and he was always out working in the cold.”

Johnson wins gold at state

February 29

Airport project nears completion - The Gordon Airport Authority, which includes the members Les Evert, Chairman, Mark Kruger, Secretary, Dale Adkinson, Roger Bowman, and Eric Halverson, announced today that the Airport Project is close to completion. The project is a Federal Aviation Administration, Nebraska Department of Aeronautics, and the Local Airport Authority project for a new aviation fuel system that includes construction of a new above-ground storage tank, pump, hose, credit card system, electrical and phone service to the site, site preparation and Spill Prevention, Containment and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan preparation. 

Lady Hawks state bound for fifth straight year - By Lisa Hughes

The Lady Hawks basketball team is heading to Lincoln next week for their fifth straight trip to the Nebraska State Basketball tournament after defeating the Leyton Lady Warriors in the D2-6 District title game Friday night in Bayard.  The Lady Hawks return to the state tournament as the Class D2 State Runners-Up.

March 7

Cowboy Trail making its  way across Nebraska - An exciting new development for anyone interested not only in exercise, but promotion of northern Sheridan County, is the recent incorporation of the Cowboy Trail-West Foundation. The non-profit group plans to see Sheridan County included in the Cowboy Trail, Nebraska’s first recreational trail and part of the longest rails-to-trails conversion in the United States.

The trail occupies an abandoned Chicago and North Western Railway corridor and is suitable for walking, jogging, and bicycling. When completed, the trail will run from Chadron to Norfolk, a length of 321 miles. The “Cowboy Line” was abandoned by the C&NW in 1992. The following year, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy purchased the railroad’s right-of-way and donated it to the state of Nebraska. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is responsible for the development and maintenance of the trail, of which 195 miles have been completed, between Norfolk and Valentine.

Armstrong Museum to celebrate 50th Anniversary - By Clint Andersen

The Armstrong Museum in Rushville marks its 50th year in May, and a celebration is being planned for Memorial Day weekend.  Museum curator Jerry Wellnitz says that a planning committee is being formed that will develop the plans and activities for the 50 year celebration.  Anyone who has ideas and would like to participate is encouraged to contact Jerry.  Some of the potential ideas are a display of antique tractors and cars, storytelling (especially about items in the museum), wool carding, spinning and weaving, vintage quilts, wheat grinding, bread baking, and butter churning.  The possibilities for demonstrations and displays are endless, so put your knowledge to work and share it with the community!

March 14

Whiteclay fire results in serious injury to Pine Ridge man - A Pine Ridge man received third degree burns during a controlled burn last Tuesday in Whiteclay, Neb.  According to a family member, Brian Blue Bird, Jr. was apparently sleeping in the grassy area between the buildings and went unnoticed as the fire was ignited. 

Blue Bird received third degree burns on his face and arms and is undergoing treatment at a burn center in Greeley, Colorado. 

A burn barrel was reportedly  the initial cause of this larger fire on the east side of Whiteclay on Tuesday.

March 21

Higher temperatures and low humidity increase fire danger - By Jordan Huether

Gordon residents could see smoke coming from two directions on Saturday afternoon as a CRP controlled burn was conducted south of town, and some old grain bins caught fire on the northeast edge of town.

The fire on Wiles’ land was reported around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, and fire crews spent the next three hours ensuring the fire did not cross the road to the neighboring Sunrise Apartments complex and Countryside Care.

“We are lucky we got the fire contained when we did. If the fire had reached the other grain bins it could have crossed the road and endangered the surrounding buildings,” said fire chief Rich Haller.

A total of 3 old grain bins were lost, along with some surrounding grass and trees. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

On Monday afternoon, 20 acres of grassland burned south of Hay Springs, caused by a downed power line. The cause of the downed line is still under investigation.

March 28

Milburn takes third at state speech - By Sandi Muirhead

The campus of the University of Nebraska at Kearney was alive with hope, talent and hundreds of high school students when it hosted the State Speech Meet for classes A, B and C1 on Thursday, March 22.  The state meet is so large that it takes two days.  Classes C2, D1 and D2 competed on Friday.  Our area was well represented on both days.  Five Gordon-Rushville students vied for a state medal on Thursday.  Cole Kayton competed in Persuasive, James Neeley in Extemporaneous Speaking, Michael Barth in Serious Prose, Shea Lindsey in Entertainment and Lindsey Milburn in Informative.

The five Gordon-Rushville speakers represented the school and district well.  Each performed with poise and confidence.  Lindsey Milburn advanced to finals in Informative where her performance was stellar.  She was awarded the third place, bronze medal.  This is the first state medalist for the consolidated Gordon-Rushville team. 

April 4

Coats signs with Trinity Bible College - Kalen Coats, a senior at Gordon-Rushville High School, signed on to play football for Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, North Dakota. The Trinity Bible College football Lions and Head Coach Dustin Morgan signed Western Nebraska standout Coats on Tuesday, March 13.

Kalen is a 5’ 10”, 180 pound running back, who ran the ball 131 times for 1,229 yards, an astounding 9.4 yards per carry, and accumulated 21 touchdowns his senior year. Kalen also rang up 16 receptions for 179 yards, an 11.2 average, a longest of 30, and three touchdowns; leaving him with 19.9 yards receiving per game.

April 11

Renen Sahr signs to play golf at Midland University in Freemont, Nebraska - Renen Sahr has signed to play golf with Midland University.   Midland is a NAIA affiliated college and their golf team competes in tournaments in Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, and Nebraska.   His coach Nick Swaney is looking forward to adding Renen to his golf program.  He has noted that he has been encouraged by Renen’s work ethic and diligence for the game, and he hopes it will drive the others on the team to work harder as well.  Renen will be pursuing a bachelors in Business Administration.

April 18

Gordon-Rushville Prom Royalty Candidates named - Gordon-Rushville’s 2012 Prom Royalty Candidates are announced: Joe Jacobson, Allison Burleigh, Renen Sahr, Jordan Shadbolt, Marcus Fairhead, Emmie Benson, Tanner Johnson, Ronelle Stevens, Dalton Wolkow, Troy Nelson, Anna Shadbolt, and Michaela Linders.

April 25

Two locals finish 26.2 mile Boston Marathon - By Ang Gilchrist

Despite brutal temperatures reaching 89 degrees, two local residents completed the Boston Marathon held last Monday, April 16. 

Jacobson said her most memorable moment occurred as she began the 23rd mile of the 26.2 mile run, when her family appeared “out of nowhere” to cheer her on and yell encouraging words of support. She said the next thing she knew, her husband was running beside her...in his jeans! Mind you, it was 89 degrees at this point in the day. Although his run was short, it was a much-needed boost for Jacobson. 

Shortly after, Gordon resident Mandy Packett joined her and the two women ran the last three miles of the Boston Marathon together. Jacobson explained that she and Mandy have been running together for years and that Mandy and her husband, Heath, actually planned their family vacation around the Boston Marathon so that she could be there to support her friend. Jacobson finished her first Boston Marathon in 5:20:20, a time that she intends to shorten in the future. 

Rusty Bellina of Hay Springs has maintained a true passion for running marathons, and said he was up to the challenge of completing the “largest marathon, top in the world.” He just ran the 2012 Boston Marathon in 4:52:14, finishing 22nd out of 83 runners in the 70-74 year age group. Bellina said that of the 83 runners, only 72 completed the marathon, the others dropping out because of the extreme heat and health issues. When asked what was his most memorable moment of this run, he said it was crossing the finish line, stating, “this is not a race, it is an experience.”

 Running in Boston marked the competition of Bellina’s 74th marathon. Bellina travels throughout the world to run, accompanied by his wife, Dee. He has finished marathons in all 50 states, along with Athens, Greece, London, and Berlin. His next marathon will be May 5, in Provo, Utah.

May 2

Gordon Chamber of Commerce announces postcard contest winners - The Gordon Chamber of Commerce has chosen the winning entries for their Gordon Postcard contest. The winning photographers are: Ken Moreland, Joan Buckles, Clint Andersen, Roxie Gatewood, Valli Petersen, and Abby Christian. Their photos will be printed on post cards promoting Gordon, Neb.

May 9

Medical scholarships awarded to five Gordon-Rushville students - Tessa Retzlaff, Courtni Fochtman, Teale Beguin, Roni Stevens, and Michaela Linders each received a $100 scholarship from Gordon Memorial Health Services, with matching funds from the Medical Explorers Club. All these scholarship recipients are pursuing careers in the medical field, with three of the five chosen for the RHOP program. 

Introducing King Dustin and Queen Tauna! - Dustin Lee and Tauna Letcher were crowned King and Queen of this years Hay Springs Prom!

May 16

Hospital receives $545, 886 grant to upgrade mammography equipment - By Ang Gilchrist 

The Gordon Memorial Hospital has received a significant grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to replace the current analog mammography equipment with digital equipment. 

The state-of-the art mammography equipment is scheduled to be installed later this year. 

Whitestone-Krebs ships 3,000 head to Russia - By Ang Gilchrist

Over the past few weeks, Whitestone-Krebs of Gordon has kept busy loading and transporting several semi loads of cattle, destination: Russia.

According the owner, Eldon Krebs, the 3,000 head of cattle were trucked to Pennsylvania where they rested up for a few days before their long journey overseas. The cattle left port from a dock between Philadelphia and Bloomington, Delaware and will spend a total of 15-16 days on the ship before arriving at their new home in Russia. A private individual bought the cattle from Whitestone-Krebs, working on developing his own breeding program. Although some may not agree with shipping local livestock overseas, it definitely adds value to our local producers.

May 23

Google Street View coming to Sheridan County - By Jordan Huether

You may have noticed a rather strange looking vehicle driving the streets this past week. The modified Subaru Impreza is part of a fleet of Street View cars used by Google as part of their Google Maps program. The vehicle is equipped with fifteen lenses, taking 360 degrees of photos. It also has motion sensors to track its position, a hard drive to store data, a small computer running the system, and lasers to capture 3D data to determine distances within the Street View imagery.

All of the data collected will then be processed by Google and eventually incorporated into Google Street View, which will allow users to virtually tour the streets of Sheridan County communities using Google Maps.

For more information, you can visit www.google.com/streetview/

Construction starts on Rushville cell tower - Construction began Wednesday on a new Viaero cell phone tower in Rushville.  The 150 foot tall tower is being erected just east of the Pump and Pantry.  

According to Matt Rodgers, Viaero’s Foundation Manager, the tower will be built in two stages.  The first stage is pouring the foundation, which will be finished this week, before the second stage of constructing the tower begins after the concrete cures.

May 30

Downing joins Gordon Police force 

Public nuisance, dead horse disposal addressed by county commissioners - By Ang Gilchrist

Complaints, citations, and court records on file involving animal cruelty, animal neglect, disposal and loose/roaming horses on both public and private land have this community concerned and wanting action.

The property, located at 129 North Sheridan, Gordon, Neb., is owned by Vern Sager (Porcupine, S.D.) and has been leased for years by 70 year old Arthur Anthony (Tony) Daringer. 

Over the past several years, Tony Daringer has maintained an average of 60-90 horses at this residence at any given time. However the proper basic care of the horses, including food, water and shelter, has been a long-standing concern of the public. 

June 6

Hay Springs Volunteer Fire Department holds Open House in brand new building - The Hay Springs Volunteer Fire Department (HSVFD) had an Open House and Hose Cutting Ceremony  Sunday, June 3, providing a free lunch from 11-1:00 to show appreciation and to allow an opportunity for all who have so graciously donated to see the end results of their hard earned donations. 

The HSVFD served approximately 300 people. In a personal interview with the Hay Springs Volunteer Fire department, Fire chief Ryan Turman said “Our goal was to not use local tax dollars to construct the new Fire Hall, and no tax money was used or received to build it.” Instead, the HSVFD utilized fundraisers. Turman also said “The dream of a new fire station began in December of 2009, and the actual construction of the fire station didn’t begin until September of 2011.” 

The HSVFD managed to raise about $400,000.00 in just two and a half years, and the fire station is completely paid for. Located right along Highway 20 in Hay Springs stands a beautiful new steel and brick block structure, which is 60 feet by 128 feet, and has 6 bays. Turman concluded by saying “I would really like to thank everyone for their generous donations and support.”

June 13

Nailtastic Salon opens in Gordon - By Ang Gilchrist

Whether you are looking to pamper yourself, a bridal party, or a young girls’ birthday party, you don’t have to look any further than Nailtastic Salon at 237 N. Main in Gordon. Step inside and you will be greeted with bright, cheerful colors and a “fun in the sun” atmosphere. 

Nailtastic Salon offers services including manicure, pedicure, acrylic nails, and shellac. If you are suffering from dry and flaky skin on your hands, knees, or elbows you can try the paraffin wax treatment. A paraffin wax treatment is when you dip your hands into a pot of warm wax and allow it to cool and harden. When the wax is peeled off, it removes dead skin cells and leaves your skin silky smooth and moisturized. 

The new salon is owned and managed by Markee Fish. After earning her degree at A Plus Nail Academy in Grand Island, Neb., Fish gained valuable experience by working with her mother at the shop they opened in Aurora, Neb. Seeing a need for a nail salon in this area, Fish and her two year old daughter, Macie, moved back to Gordon to open her new business. Fish has several family members in the community, including her three sisters.  

June 20

Life-long Gordon resident celebrates 55th anniversary working for Bank of the West - Life-long Gordon resident Karen Prusia is celebrating her 55th anniversary working for Bank of the West. Prusia, 73, worked full-time at the bank until the spring of 2011, when she went part-time to care for her husband, Dick.

Prusia began her career in 1957 when she joined the former Gordon State Bank as its bookkeeper and one of only six employees. Gordon Bank was purchased by the Abbot Bank in 1949, which was then acquired by Community First National Bank in 1995. Bank of the West acquired Community First National Bank in 2004.

During her career, Prusia primarily has been a teller and in customer service; and for more than 45 years, she has worked in the same building at 205 North Main Street. Her only move was in the mid-1960s when Abbot Bank built the North Main Street building across the street from the branch’s former location.

The signs on the building have changed over the decades, but Prusia’s enjoyment of her job remains the same. “I like the work and the banking business, and I like helping customers,” she says. Some customers have been with her since 1957.


C.A.R.E. holds fifth annual golf tournament with good turnout - Twenty-three two person teams golfed in support of the local C.A.R.E. organization on Saturday, June 16. There were 8 couples teams, 5 women teams and 10 men teams in the tournament.  

This was the 5th annual golf tournament and the weather was perfect for a good day of golf.  

Winners of the women’s division – 1st - Kim Weibel/Steph Rucker (43/40); 2nd - Marie Tystad/Joyce Benben (44/40). Winners of the Men’s division –  1st - Renen and Rod Sahr (34/32); 2nd – Ken and Travis Shepardson (35/35). Couples division was won by:    1st – George Viher and Monica Houston (34/35); 2nd  - Ryan and Casey Lynn Sharp (36/37).

Pin prizes on each hole were won as follows: #1 – long putt, Jim Paul; #1 – short drive, Laveta Edwards; #2 – long putt, George Viher; #2 – closest to pin in one shot (women) – Connie Schwarting (7’7”); #3 – long putt, Rick Marlatt; #3 – closest to target, Laveta Edwards/Tracey Baseggio; #4 – long putt, Randy Benben; #4 – closest to pin in one shot (men), Renan Sahr; #5 – long putt, Connie and Marty Schwarting; #5 – closest to target, Andrew Benben; #6 – long putt, Bob Lehman; #6 – long drive (men) – Ryan Sharp; #7 – long putt – Barney White Face; #7 – closest to fence without going out, Trav Benson/Chad Fowler; #8 – long putt, Andrew Benben/Kent Schwarting; #8 – long drive (women), Brett Weaver; #9 – long putt, Trav Benson/Chad Fowler; #9 – closest to water without going in, Trav Benson/Chad Fowler.

June 27

Sheridan County rodeo team all qualify for National Finals, Stanko State All-Around Cowgirl - The Sheridan County contestants David Hinman of Hay Spring, Cati Stanko of Gordon and Charmayne Strong of Rushville have all qualified to compete at the High School National Finals in Rock Springs, Wyoming July 15-21. They all competed at the state finals last week in Hasting. The finals had the top 30 contestants from the year competing in two go rounds. After the two go rounds the top ten contestants in each event competed in a short go round. Points carried from practice rodeos, the two long go-rounds, short go round and average determine the year end champions. The top four in each event get to go on to Nationals.

David will be competing in the tie down roping, making the top four.

Cati will be competing in three events at the National Finals-breakaway calf roping, goat tying and pole bending. She was the state champion pole bender, second in the breakaway calf roping and third in the goat tying. Cati was the States All–Around cowgirl for the year. She won a trophy saddle and a belt buckle along with numerous other prizes from sponsors. Cati competed and placed in five events all year and was the all-around cowgirl at most of the practice rodeos. 

Charmayne Strong will be competing in the pole bending at nationals, and is fourth overall for the year.

Shane Suchy, son of Melvin and Karen Suchy and grandson of Ralph Kilcoin of Gordon has also qualified to compete in the National Finals rodeo. Shane and his pardner Peyton Holliday of Lincoln will be competing in the team roping. Shane is also an alternate in the boys cutting and tie down roping. 

July 4

NRPPD board hires independent counsel for appeals process - The NRPPD board voted on Thursday to hire David Jarecke of Lincoln, Neb. as independent counsel for the board in reference to the appeals process involving the case against Skinner and Tlustos. Jarecke is an attorney with Blankenau Wilmoth LLP, and provides general legal counsel for Farmers Cooperatives and the Rural Electric Distribution Systems of Nebraska.

July 11

Sheridan County mosquito tests positive for West Nile Virus, residents urged to use caution outdoors - A mosquito pool from Sheridan County has recently tested positive for West Nile Virus. “Finding the virus in mosquito’s gives public health officials an indication of the level of virus in the area and the risk to human beings of contracting the disease,” said Tabi Prochazka, Environmental Health Coordinator for Panhandle Public Health District.

Cody Darnell National Junior High Champion

C.A.R.E. Poker Run 2012 - Saturday, July 7 was a beautiful day for a Poker Run.  The Run was organized by Marty Palmer, Dale Ruleau and Casey Walton, with all proceeds going to C.A.R.E. (Cancer, Awareness, Resources & Expense-benefitting Sheridan County cancer patients). Registration began at 12:00 p.m. at Yoba’s Tavern in Rushville. The Run proceeded to Chadron, Crawford, Ardmore, Hot Springs and finished up at the Sand Ridge Golf Club House in Rushville. A 5-card poker hand was dealt at the final destination.  The winning poker hand belonged to Rod Bailey. Rod donated his winnings back to C.A.R.E. “Best of Show” trophies were presented for motorcycle (Dale Ruleau), hot rod (Corey Braun), and antique car (Bernie Ganshert). Hamburgers were served at the conclusion of the Poker Run by the C.A.R.E. group.

July 18

Halverson marks 20th year with city

July 25

Area fires burn thousands of acres, no relief in sight - By Ang Gilchrist

The recent combination of limited moisture, extremely high temperatures and low relative humidity has left the entire region a tinderbox. With the rough terrain and exhausted volunteer fire crews, the whole area is tapped out with the recent fires.

The Merriman River fire, located ten miles south of Merriman, is 100% contained and 95% controlled. The fire was believed to have been started by a spark from a passing tractor last Friday, and burned over 5,000 acres of timber and grassland. Firefighters were able to save multiple structures, including the home of Tom Cobb. According to Cobb, he gives special credit to Matt Ford of the Cherry County Highway Department. Ford was able to manuvever his caterpillar through dense smoke and cut a fire line, diverting the fire to within 50 feet of Cobb’s garage. 

Active fires include three burning southeast of Crawford, the Job Corps fire south of Chadron, and a 20,000 plus acre fire on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Numerous fires also continue to burn in the Black Hills. 

August 1

Buster Berry named Tri-State Cowboy of the Year - Buster Berry was born March 5, 1933. The doctor rode horseback through a blizzard to deliver him at home in Farmingdale, S.D. He attended grade school in Bison and Farmingdale, S.D., and graduated from high school in New Underwood, S.D.

Buster married Mary Lou Hill in 1953. He served in the Army from 1954-56, and broke horses and was a cook for the Army. He was stationed in Germany during the Korean Conflict. Buster and Mary Lou came back to South Dakota and set up ranching. Buster ranched near Farmingdale and Scenic, S.D. before moving to Gordon, Nebraska in 1975.

Buster was honored with a bronze statue in 2011 for his essential role in implementing the South Dakota State High School Rodeo. Buster has been a member of the American Quarter Horse Association for nearly 50 years and is a Life Member of the American Legion Post. He has also been a member of the. PRCA since 1963 and has been Gold Card Member of the PRCA since 1983.

August 8

Linda Witt-still going strong after 50 years - By Jordan Huether

As of Monday, August 6, 2012, Linda Witt has worked at the Sheridan County Courthouse for fifty years, “Which means I started working here when I was two!” Linda adds with a grin.

Now 70, Linda started her career at the courthouse on August 6, 1962, working for then County Clerk Rita Huigens. “I had a background in real estate from my previous job at an attorney’s office, so I was able to start the job without really any training.” 

By 1979, Linda had outgrown her job in the County Clerks office, and decided to take the abstractors/title insurance exam.  After passing the exam, she decided to run for County Commissioner, and was elected to represent District 2 for four years. “I must have been a bad county commissioner, because I won by a landslide, and then when I re-ran, I lost by a landslide,” she said with a laugh.

In 1983, after her term as county commissioner was up, she did title insurance and abstracting, and also worked part-time for County Assessor Floreen Sydow. By 1991, the title and abstracting business had become overcrowded, and it was very difficult to make ends meet, so Linda returned to the County Clerk’s office to work for Sindy Coburn as her deputy. When Karen Palmer retired as County Assessor in 1999, Linda ran and was elected as County Assessor for Sheridan County. While rewarding, the job was very demanding and stressful. “The County Assessor is caught between the department of revenue who says you have to do things the state way, the county commissioners who say ‘we would like you to do things in a more kindly manner,’ and doing the right thing. It’s really a difficult position to be in, and after eight years, I decided not to run for re-election,” she explained. “When Trudy (Winter) was elected in 2007, I was hired as her deputy, where I have been happily ever since.”

August 15

Hoos, Funk to enter CSC Athletic Hall of Fame - Two former Chadron State College football players who are Rushville residents will be inducted into the Eagles’ Athletic Hall of Fame this fall.

They are Judd Hoos, a Rushville native who now ranches near there, and Jason Funk, originally from Hyannis and now a resident of Rushville.

New Mustangs football coach has hometown ties - By Clint Andersen

The Gordon-Rushville football team enters a new era this season with first year head coach Eric Roth at the helm.  Coach Roth and his wife, Sharla, are no strangers to Gordon-Rushville.  Coach Roth played running back and linebacker for Gordon High School and was a member of the final Gordon graduating class before the consolidation with Rushville, while Sharla was in the first graduating class of the consolidated school.  As a senior, the football team made it to the semi-finals of the state playoffs.  

Following graduation, Coach Roth attended Chadron State College where he played linebacker and returned punts and kicks.  The small town atmosphere of Chadron State and the community support for the program was a real bonus and helped him connect with the supporters and fans.  While at Chadron, he had the opportunity to play with several teammates who made it to the NFL.  The best known of these is Danny Woodhead of the New England Patriots.

This will be Roth’s third year teaching and coaching at Gordon-Rushville High School.  He teaches Physical Education and has been a football assistant for the last two years.  Roth says he became a coach because he enjoys being a part of a team.  He had people who helped him along the way and wants to provide that kind of guidance for young players by giving back what the game and the community gave to him.  Coach Roth’s philosophy is that winning is the goal, but “it’s deeper than wins and losses.  It’s about the life lessons.”

Coach Roth has a young group of players this year, but they are full of fire and a fun group to coach.  Roth will coach the offense this year while Ward Wacker will be the defensive coordinator.  Nate Haag will coach the offensive line, George Viher will coach quarterbacks and defensive backs while Mike Fowler will work with the receivers and linebackers.

August 22

Sheridan County Fair & Rodeo 2012 Queen, Princess, Jr. Princess and title holders - 2012 Sheridan County Fair & Rodeo Jr. Princess - Angie Davis. Little Miss Buckaroo - Josie Shadbolt, Little Miss Charm - Shaleen Landreth, Little Miss Cowgirl Tuff - Carlee Goold, Little Miss Wrangler - Ralynn Black Elk, Little Miss Country - Kadence Hooper, Little Miss Round-up - Kristin Schwartz, Little Miss Lariat - Shawna Shadbolt, Little Miss Giddy-up - Blair Henry, Little Miss Bling - Sierra Cain.

2012 Sheridan County Fair & Rodeo Princess - Tanner O’Neill. The 1st runner up for Princess - Kari Goold.

2012 Sheridan County Fair & Rodeo Queen - Chelsea Altena. The 1st runner up - Katheryn Compton.  If for any reason the Queen is unable to fulfill her duties for the year, the runner up will resume the honor. The 2nd runner up for Queen - Lindsay Landreth.

Ostrander endured grueling Chinese volleyball - By Ang Gilchrist

Alicia Ostrander jumped at the opportunity to experience the volleyball program in China.

As a walk-on volleyball player for the University of Nebraska at Lincoln(UNL), Ostrander met and developed a friendship with Li Shan of China. Shan had spent two months at UNL observing the volleyball team, hoping to learn new techniques and experiences to take back to her home country. China already has earned the reputation of having a strong volleyball team, winning the Gold Medal in the 2004 Olympics. 

When it was time for Shan to return home, UNL coach John Cook asked Ostrander if she would like to travel to China to spend over two weeks playing volleyball with the Chinese players. So earlier this summer, Ostrander and Creighton player, Leah McNarry, began their journey overseas.

August 29

Christoffersens leaving community they have given so much to - After 58 years of service to the community they love, Ken and Mary Christoffersen are saying goodbye to Gordon. “We are moving to an apartment complex in Golden Colorado called Clear Creek Commons,” they said. “We have a wonderful view of the river and a beautiful park with lots of walking paths, etc...”

September 5

Wellnitz Fire brings out strength of community - By Clint Andersen

The 2012 version of Rushville’s Fun Days was not what anyone expected;  because of a fire that started Wednesday evening, Fun Days changed from a community celebration into a celebration of the community that we live in.  The Wellnitz Fire, which was started by lightning from a passing thunderstorm, grew to 46,000 acres by Thursday morning, expanded to 60,000 acres by 1 p.m. Saturday and developed into a 96,000 acre disaster by 4 p.m. Sunday.  While some Fun Days events were cancelled, others were held and provided a sense of normalcy and a brief respite from the tense efforts to control the blaze raging nearby.

At the fire’s peak on Friday and Saturday, over 150 firefighters from 40 fire departments were working to come to grips with the fire.  It is impossible to describe the gratitude felt by the community to these volunteers who came from as far away as Kearney to help battle the blaze.  A group consisting of trucks from Halsey, Purdum, Thedford, and Hyannis left home at 4:00 a.m., drove to Rushville, then fought the fire on a double shift until they were finally relieved sometime after 7:00 a.m. the next morning.  This is just one example of the herculean efforts put forth by so many people in central and western Nebraska to do what needed to be done regardless of the cost.  These volunteers tested the limits of human endurance to save the homes, pastures, and livestock of our community and for this we are truly grateful.  Words do not do justice to the feelings of gratitude for all those who helped in this very difficult and stressful time.  

September 12

A perfect weekend for a Willow Tree Festival - The Willow Tree Festival was a big hit once again this year with the help of some beautiful weather.

September 19

Mountain Lion shot near Rushville - By Ang Gilchrist

Sunday morning started out routine at the home of Jeff and Melissa Jaggers (located four miles east of Rushville), but by 10:00 a.m. it was making for  quite an eventful day. 

As 10 year old Mikayla ran around the side of the house, she noticed the family dog, Molly, staring intently at a tree near the chicken coop.  Mikayla followed the dog’s gaze up the tree and was shocked to see a mountain lion stretched out on a limb that overlooked the chicken coop, not more than 10 yards from where she stood. 

Mikayla quickly back-tracked around the house, running to alert her dad, Jeff, who was tinkering in his shed.  Jeff and Mikayla both headed to the house; Mikayla to safety and Jeff to get his gun. 
The mountain lion was shot out of the tree and  retreated into the thick trees, where it was soon tracked down by Molly, a lab/border collie mix with a good nose. 

Flick receives Purple Heart - Nebraska State Patrol Troopers Timothy Flick and Jeffery Van Stelton have been honored with the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) “First Responder Citation.” Troopers Flick and Van Stelton were each presented the award during a Monday, September 3, ceremony at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island.

Both Troopers Flick and Van Stelton were nominated for the honor by retired NSP sergeant and MOPH member Tom Nutt.

Trooper Flick, a 15-year veteran of the agency, assigned to Troop E- Scottsbluff was honored for his role in a more than 14 hour standoff in Alliance. During the June 12 standoff Trooper Flick along with two Alliance Police Officers were injured by gunfire from an armed suspect. Trooper Flick suffered gunshot wounds to the left side of his body.

September 26

Area veterans take Honor Flight to Washington D.C. - By Ang Gilchrist

Fourteen area veterans were given the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Washington, D.C. earlier this month. The trip was part of the “Honor Flight” program, developed to honor all veterans by inviting them on an all-expenses paid trip to visit the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices. Each veteran was allowed to have a guardian travel with them to assist them with their daily needs, however the guardians were responsible for their own meals and expenses, excluding the cost of the flight.

Coach Turnbull-Campbell gets 300th win with homecoming victory - Gordon Rushville athletic director Matt Stetson presented Mustang volleyball coach Kim Turnbull-Campbell with a plaque and a ball signed by her team commemorating her 300th victory as a head coach. All 300 wins were with the Mustangs.

October 3

Car/Semi accident claims life of Gordon teen - The community is in mourning with the death of recent 2012 Gordon-Rushville graduate and wrestling standout, Jesse Retzlaff. Retzlaff was tragically killed in a car/semi accident early Sunday morning southeast of O’Neill, Neb. 

October 10

Hemorrhagic Disease outbreak in Nebraska deer and cattle - By Ang Gilchrist

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) continues to kill deer across Nebraska, with over 4,768 reported deaths attributed to the disease in the past few weeks. The acute, infectious, viral disease is often fatal and is spread by biting flies called midges, sand flies, or sand gnats. Not to be confused with bluetongue, a similar hemorrhagic disease seen throughout North American, as the two are antigenically different. 

Although the disease has been around for decades, (with the earliest reports dating back to 1886), this years outbreak seems to be significant according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. South Dakota has also attributed over 900 unexplained deer deaths since September to EHD.

October 17

Junior Mustangs finish season undefeated - The Junior Mustang seventh and eighth grade football teams have both finished their 2012 seasons with perfect 6-0 records, going undefeated. Their final wins came last Saturday in Rushville against two tough Chadron teams that were no match for the Junior Mustangs. They also defeated Bayard, Hemingford, Bridgeport, Bennett County, and Valentine this season.

These two teams show great promise for the future of the Mustang football program. Expect to see big things from them in the coming years.

October 24

Rushville Rancher Roundup another big success - By Ang Gilchrist

It was a beautiful fall day for the second annual Rushville Rancher Roundup  held Saturday on Main Street.  Several people of all ages gathered to talk to area ranchers, view displays of farming equipment, sample foods,  and buy fresh garden items and homemade items  from the farmer’s market. There were 18 pens of bulls, heifers, and steers displaying quality beef raised by local producers.

Wellnitz and Kaplan place at state cross country - By coach Angela Anderson

Our State qualifiers Dani Wellnitz and Gary Kaplan traveled to Kearney Thursday, October 18, despite the terrible wind on the interstate and various other roads being closed along the way. We were able to get there and prepare to run Friday. 

Despite the terrible weather Thursday, Friday was a nearly perfect day for the event. Gary placed 12th out of 95 with a time of 17:28 and Dani placed 5th out of 88 with a time of 15:27. Both had a great day and the 2012 State Cross Country Meet was a fun one.

October 31

Rushville Laundromat to 

re-open soon - By Ang Gilchrist

After nearly two years of locked doors, the laundromat located on the east end of Rushville will soon be open for business.  Chaz and Amber McColloch recently relocated to Rushville  from eastern South Dakota and have purchased the entire building beside Ideal Market. Their  plan is  to have the basic laundromat operational as soon as the machines are inspected and hooked up. 

November 7

Laboratory receives new chemistry machine at Gordon Memorial - The Gordon Memorial Health Services Laboratory is now performing and keeping more lab tests locally thanks to the purchase of a new chemistry analyzer machine. This machine is the Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Dimension chemistry analyzer. The new chemistry machine allows the Laboratory to analyze certain tests, instead of sending them out to Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff. “We are able to keep PSA tests that test Men for prostrate cancer, FT4 tests, which test for thyroid problems, and Lipace tests that look for pancreas or stomach problems in house. Which means patients will see results back much quicker,” states Pat Wellnitz, Laboratory Supervisor at Gordon Memorial Health Services.

Additionally, Gordon Memorial Health Services Laboratory now has the ability to report quicker results when the physician is treating a critically ill patient in the emergency room. “We are able to help those that arrive in the ER and are having a heart attack much quicker,” adds Wellnitz.

November 14, 2012

Election Results - At the national level, Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney for US President. Obama: 59,693,706 popular, 303 electoral. Romney 57,069,517 popular, 206 electoral. At the county level results were much different; Romney/Ryan 2,010, Obama/Biden,389.

Republicans control the House of Representatives: 232 to 191 Democrats.

Democrats control the Senate: 51 to 45 Republicans.

At the state level Republican Deb Fischer defeated Democrat Bob Kerrey by 125,214 votes.  Sheridan County voters followed the trend by casting 1,976 votes for Deb Fischer and 487 votes for Bob Kerry.

In the US Congress, District 3 race results, Republican Adrian Smith defeated Mark Sullivan 184,978, to 64,257. County results: Adrian Smith 2,071, Mark Sullivan 330.

Legislative District 43: Al Davis took the election 8,618 votes to John Ravenscroft’s 8,066. Sheridan County voted for Al Davis, 1,341 to John Ravenscroft’s 1,058 votes. 

WCC Board of Governors Dist. 1: Kim Marcy drew 3,843 votes statewide and 1,643 in the county. Dena Redfern Crews: 1,882 statewide and 340 votes in the County.

November 21, 2012

GRHS National Honor Society inducts six 

Six students from Gordon-Rushville High School were inducted into the National Honor Society in an evening ceremony on November 13th at the Gordon-Rushville High School cafeteria in Gordon. Current officers and members of the Gordon-Rushville High School chapter conducted the ceremony. Members also served the reception immediately following the ceremony 

Inductees were selected by the chapter’s faculty council for meeting high standards of scholarship, leadership, service and character. To retain his or her membership, each student must continue to meet National Honor Society standards and document community service each year.

November 28

Nebraska Veterans honored -  Veteran’s week, November 11 through November 17, was celebrated in Branson, Mo. with heart rendering style. The beautiful patriotic songs performed by entertainers and citizens and the thanks given to all veterans who have served our country or are currently serving, was evident throughout the week. Nebraska veterans so honored included Floyd Bales from McCook, Emil Weyerts, Gurley, Jean Hoefer, and Alvern Letcher, Hay Springs and Deen Johnson, Jerry Burleigh and Wayne Brugger from Gordon.

December 5

Shetlers follow vision to next step in life

By Jordan Huether

After over twenty-three years of serving Gordon and the surrounding areas, Dr. Joseph Shetler and his wife, Karen, will be starting the next chapter of their lives in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where Dr. Shetler has accepted a position as Assistant Professor at Northeastern State University’s College of Optometry. Dr. Shetler will teach classes at the university as well as supervise students in the clinic starting in January.

The Shetlers moved to Gordon in August of 1989, when they purchased Dr. Kacere’s practice, which was located south of the current office, in what is now the WIC office. They also bought the Chadron office at that time. “We chose to come to Gordon because we wanted to own a practice in a small Nebraska town. This became available when I was starting to look again, and I saw a lot of growth potential here,” commented Dr. Shetler. They also started the Pine Ridge office about five years ago.

December 12

Mobile homes being cleaned up

Photo by Wendy Etuk 

While some may not like the look of the new cell tower in downtown Rushville, nobody can deny that the removal of the old mobile homes on the eastern edge of town will go a long way to beautify the community. All that remain of the old trailer houses at Hinn’s Mobile Homes in Rushville are piles of twisted sheet metal, burned wood and piles of tires.  According to a worker on site, the plan is to have the site totally cleaned up by the end of this year.

December 19

Wreaths across America honors local Veterans - At 10:00 a.m., Saturday, December 15, Veterans and their family, along with other volunteers honored our Veterans by placing seven special wreaths on the War memorials in their communities across the Country.  In Rushville, Ken Frey began the ceremony inside the American Legion.  Star Spangled Banner was sung by Brittany Hoagland, and Melissa Jeck winner of the District 1 Oratorical Contest gave her speech. Fifteen veterans from different branches of the service participated in the service.  The seven wreaths were placed on the War Memorial on the Northwest corner of the Sheridan County Courthouse.  

The procession then went to the cemetery and placed seven more wreaths at the War Memorial there.  

In Gordon, participants placed wreaths on the memorial at the cemetery during the ceremony, then placed the wreaths on veterans’ graves following.

December 26

Unplanned Gordon substation rebuild - The Gordon Sub-Station is undergoing some maintenance measures on the 10,000 kva/14,000 kva transformer after the annual operational transformer tests revealed escalating gas levels. Excessive gas levels could potentially lead to transformer failure which would result in a significant outage.

Multiple failures this fall in the underground line that feeds the Gordon substation brought on the need to replace the old underground with new underground out of the subs then a new overhead power line between the two subs to provide a reliable new feed. The old underground system was over 31 years old and reaching the end of its life expectancy.

A Portable Sub-Station has been brought in to replace the Gordon Sub-Station while the transformer is rebuilt and the failed 31 year old underground wiring and overhead wire replacements are completed.

The Gordon Sub Station is critical to serving the irrigation load in and around the Gordon area. The Sub Station feeds the areas north and south of Rushville to Whiteclay and east into Cherry County. Approximately 1/3 of Northwest’s customers, 851 residential customer meters and 203 irrigation wells are fed from this substation.


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