According to Alliance Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Troy Unzicker, “Alliance Public Schools has been made aware through numerous second-hand reports of a threat against the high school. If you have any physical evidence of the threat please notify the high school. The police have been notified and the individual who has reportedly made the threat is under adult supervision. Alliance Public Schools and the Alliance Police Department will continue to investigate this incident. After reviewing our situation we do not believe there is imminent danger and we will continue classes. Your child’s safety will be our top priority.” We spoke with Unzicker in a quick interview about this situation below.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska property owners would get $1.1 billion worth of annual tax relief under a proposal that supporters say they’ll push in the Legislature and as an initiative petition drive.
Sen. Steve Erdman of Bayard says a coalition of agricultural, business and homeowner interests crafted the proposal this summer. Erdman says the goal is to provide significant property tax relief, especially on agricultural land.
Erdman says the proposal would provide income tax credits equal to 50 percent of the property taxes paid to school districts. The credits would be refundable.
Erdman intends to introduce the proposal as a bill during the legislative session that brings in January. He expects the coalition to meanwhile launch a petition drive to put the same proposal before voters next fall.
PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) — A former youth pastor in Omaha has been accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.
Court records say 34-year-old Klint Bitter waived his right Wednesday to a preliminary hearing, and his case was forwarded to Sarpy County District Court in Papillion for trial. A trial date hasn’t been set.
Bitter remains in jail, pending $1 million bail. His attorney, Thomas Petersen, would say only that Bitter is cooperating and had surrendered as authorities requested.
Authorities say he’d found the girl in an online classified ad for an 18-year-old girl and had sex with her in February. Bitter has said he had asked the girl whether she was underage.
Officials say Bitter was youth pastor at Christ Community Church in Omaha but was fired after he was charged.
Exercise is hard. Always was, always will be. But the benefits of exercise (health, stamina, improved movement and preventative management, to name a few) are long lasting. A person has to look at the long term benefits. Just ask these three individuals who, all over 90 years young, were recently celebrated for their dedication to exercise: Sister Mabel Meng, 91; Harold Johnson, 92, and Lila Fiebig, 94. A surprise “birthday party” was held for them Thursday, October 26 at the Rehab & Wellness Center with around 100 people attending. Food, drink and conversation were enjoyed by all.
Asked why they do it, they all responded in their own way that they know exercise is what is keeping them healthy and mobile. “I’ve always been active,” Mrs. Fiebig said. “But I really started exercising around nine or 10 years ago when my husband Glen’s doctor urged him to go to Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Box Butte General Hospital (BBGH) for his heart condition; not mine, because everyone knows I don’t have a heart. I just thought to myself, by golly if he has to do it, then we might as well do it together.” Mr. Johnson had a similar experience. “In 2008 I had a heart attack, and I also went to Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation for treatment. Before that I had never had a major illness or broken bone in my life.” Sister Mabel also started in Cardio-Pulmonary in 2008. “In my case, it was more preventative treatment my provider recommended I do,” she said. “And I just continued. I really believe in it.”
Anyone familiar with Mrs. Fiebig knows she has a witty mind with a quip ready for just about any conversation (as readers can see above with her joke about not having a heart). Asked what her favorite exercise is, her answer was, “None.” Asked what her preferred piece of exercise equipment is, she followed up with, “The Dreadmill … not treadmill … be sure you spell it with a capital ‘D.’” Mr. Johnson concurred, saying he also, “prefers the treadmill. I used to really like the elliptical. I still use it, but not as much. I really don’t do the weight machines, mostly cardio exercise on six of those machines.” Sister Mabel made it unanimous with her treadmill vote as well.
Asked what advice they’d give people who are thinking about exercising but put it off, they said not to wait. “It took a heart attack for me to start exercising, so that was a real wake-up call,” Mr. Johnson said. “Just don’t wait. Do it now.” Mrs. Fiebig added, “Make it part of your daily routine.” Sister Mabel answered with, “It’s just good for you. If you want to be healthy you need to exercise, especially if you’re sedentary, like office people. If you have a job that entails a lot of physical work, well not so much. But people with sedentary jobs really should exercise. Just get with it and do it.”
The trio come more than three times per week, with Lila at the Wellness Center five days a week, Howard five days a week as well, and Sister Mabel about the same. Mrs. Fiebig likes to mix up her times. “I’ll come up when I feel like it, late morning or early afternoon,” she said. Mr. Johnson has a more set routine, arriving around 7:00am each day.
All three said they enjoy coming to the hospital’s Wellness Center. “When I said get with it and do it, it really is better when you have nice machines to work with like they do here,” Sister Mabel said. “And the people here are wonderful. One day I was having some trouble with my oxygen tank while using the bicycle, and here comes Tim Devlin (Rehab & Wellness Center Manager). He stops and helps me find a place for me to put the tank so that I could do my exercise properly.” “The people here are very nice,” Mr. Johnson chimed in. “They look out for you and are great people.”
The staff of the Wellness Center had been planning the reception for the three 90+ year olds for several weeks. Fitness Center Attendants Tim Aanenson, Stephanie Daniels, and Personal Trainer Courtney Schnell say they enjoy visiting with the three on a weekly basis. “We think they’re great,” said Mr. Aanenson. “I tell people all the time that I hope I can exercise like them when I’m 90 years old, if I make it to that age. They’re some of our most dedicated members.“ Ms. Daniels said, “I enjoy having conversations with all three of them. They always have so much to share. I find them very inspiring and I hope I am able to do what they are doing when I’m their age.” Ms. Schnell added, “I think it’s inspiring to everyone around them. Here they are, in their 90s, and they still come to the center every single day.”
“We really wanted to do something special for them,” concluded Wellness Coordinator Dan Newhoff. “Although their birthdays weren’t around the same time, we thought a birthday party would be nice. They’re all over 90 and come and visit us, or use our facility (most of the time both) week in and week out. As health care professionals, we often only interact with people who need us for treatment of an illness or rehabilitation. These guys are special to us in that we get the interaction when they are preventing those things. Whether they know it or not, they make many of us want what they have just by showing up. It’s definitely something worth celebrating being as active and dedicated to something like this at the age of 90+. We are proud to have all of them as members of the fitness center and think they are great role models, inspirations, and just awesome people.”
According to Box Butte County Deputy Taylor Menke, around 2:00pm Monday, October 16th an accident occurred involving a semi truck and a Jeep on Highway 385 and Madison Road. A Jeep driven by Nichelle Whetham, 20, was driving northbound on Highway 385. A semi driven by James Swanson, 58, was pulling off Madison Road going south and was struck by Whetham’s Jeep. Swanson stated he thought he had enough time to get into the other lane before Whetham’s vehicle approached him. Whetham’s Jeep hit the end of the semi trailer from the left side of her vehicle. Neither party received medical attention. No drugs or alcohol were involved in this accident.
The Alliance Board of Education received a unique “Thank You” card at Monday nights regular meeting. Middle School Band Director Laura Mangas and members of the Band’s Drum Line attended the meeting and invited Board members outside for a short performance as a way to say Thank You for the new band equipment. Ms Mangas said when the students received the new items this summer, it was like Christmas, they were so excited! The Middle School and High School Bands competed at Old West Trail Days in Scottsbluff this past weekend. Both received Superior Awards, which is the highest award presented. The Middle School Band also received the “Class Act” award, winning over all schools in attendance. The Class Act award is based on performance, discipline and how the band represents their school.
(Photos by Troy Unzicker)
The Board also took action to disapprove the contract for Construction Management at Risk with Nemaha Construction and the Construction Manager at Risk method of construction delivery for the track project. Superintendent Dr. Troy Unzicker said the School District and Nemaha have been unable to come up with an agreeable contract and recommended the Board take action to disapprove. The Board then approved the authorization of the design-bid-build construction delivery method for the new track. This will allow the District to obtain estimates and develop bids for the track construction. Dr. Unzicker explains this action:
(click on the arrow to access audio)
In the meantime fundraising will continue for the new track. Currently the track committee has raised over $310,000.
According to Alliance Police Chief John Kiss, “On October 12th at approximately 9:15 PM the Alliance Police Department was dispatched to the area of 1400 Block West 6th Street in reference to an animal, which was injured. It was determined in talking to witnesses that it appeared the animal was a dog, which was identified as a grey Pit Bull with a blue nose and a white patch on its chest. The canine was property of Marco and Alex Gonzales. The Pit-Bulls name was “Chevy”.
“One of the witnesses stated that she looked at the canine and observed several holes in its chest that appeared to be bullet holes. When officers arrived it appeared some unknown person picked up the dog and removed it after the remains were looked at. Officers did find blood.
“If anyone has information into this case please contact the police department at 762-4955, or e-mail us at email@example.com . The investigation is continuing for Animal Abuse, and Shooting a Firearm within the city limits.”
The Nebraska State Patrol has released information to Panhandle Post on a one-vehicle rollover accident that occurred on October 10th at 6:28pm. A vehicle driven by Nicholas Cardona of Holdrege was driving south bound on Highway 385 on an unopened construction road. Cardona struck roadwork equipment, causing his vehicle to roll near mile marker 105 near Dinklage Feedlot. Cardona was transported to Box Butte General Hospital along with passenger Nathaniel Salazar of Scottsbluff. Cardona was later flown to Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff.
Chadron State College racked up 610 yards of total offense and safety Brian Wood chipped in a 100-yard interception return as the Eagles raced past New Mexico Highlands 55-35 here Saturday afternoon in an entertaining Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest.
Chadron State, now 4-3 overall and 4-2 in the RMAC, scored touchdowns on its first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead. Highlands posted three touchdowns in the second quarter, and was behind by only 31-21 at halftime.
The Eagles were not to be denied, however. Wood intercepted a pass at the goal line early in the third quarter and took it to the opposite end of the field to regain the momentum for his team.
CSC head coach Jay Long said Wood may have run 200 yards during his long and winding jaunt. Early in the return, Wood faked a lateral to a teammate, but kept the ball himself and went the distance.
The 100-yard romp breaks the school record of 96 yards set by Larry Ruzicka against South Dakota-Springfield in 1971.
The fired-up Eagles added two more touchdown in the third period to build a 52-21 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Chadron State offense was productive both on the ground and through the air.
Senior Derek Jackson carried 19 times for 185 yards and three touchdowns and junior Kevin Coy rushed 17 times for 131 yards and another TD.
Jackson’s first two score were one-yard dives. The first was set up by his 76-yard romp and the second followed Wood’s 44-yard punt return. Jackson also scored on an eight-yard run in the second quarter after he’d dashed 43 yards.
CSC placekicker Will Morgan booted 27- and 25-yard field goals and made all seven extra points he attempted.
The Cowboys also had plenty of fireworks, led by junior tailback Rodolph Zleh, who scored four touchdowns on long plays,
Zleh initially took a screen pass 35 yards for his team’s first points and then reeled off runs of 26, 66 and 53 yards to paydirt. His final two jaunts were in the fourth quarter after the outcome had pretty well been decided, but certainly padded his rushing average, which was 23.4 yards on eight carries.
Highlands finished with 461 yards as the teams combined for 1,071 yards. It was the 10th time the Eagles have exceeded 600 yards in total offense.
Chadron State dominated time of possession—38 minutes, 22 seconds to 21:38—and scored on all seven red zone visits.
Ryan Wood, Brian’s twin, led the Eagles with 12 tackles, including nine solos, and recovered a fumble that led to a field goal.
The contributions that Brenda Fritzler has made to health and wellness in western Nebraska go far beyond her job as Food Service Director for Chadron Public Schools, leading to her selection for a 2017 Service Award from the Nebraska Society for Health and Physical Education (SHAPE).
“She has done an outstanding job for us and is very deserving,” said Chadron Superintendent Dr. Caroline Winchester, who nominated Fritzler for the award. “I was excited when I heard she won.”
The SHAPE Service Award is given yearly to members who have provided outstanding health and wellness contributions in their field of teaching or supervision. Dr. Matt Bice, SHAPE Nebraska president, said the organization was impressed with Fritzler’s accomplishments.
“She contributes beyond most and has a direct impact on the health of our state,” Bice said. “She greatly contributes to efforts of making Nebraska a healthy place to live and raise children.”
In the past decade, Fritzler implemented nutrition programs as the Nutrition Coordinator for nine Head Start programs in western Nebraska, where she received recognition during reviews for being one of few programs that focused on homemade meals that were prepared onsite each day.
“While many programs were turning to primarily processed foods that children in the 3 to 5 age group prefer to eat, the head start programs that I oversaw were focused on developing food experiences for children that would help to broaden their views of the food around them,” she said.
During the three years Fritzler has been at Chadron schools, Winchester said, Fritzler’s biggest contribution to health and wellness has been to push programs like breakfast in the classroom and grab-and-go breakfasts. These efforts tripled the amount of K-2 students eating a morning meal, and participation at the middle school skyrocketed from an average of 17 students to 130 students per day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for students, Fritzler said, as it sets the tone for their school day and ensures they are receiving proper nutrition.
“In younger grade levels, school nurses were observing that many students were being sent to them for illness issues only to discover that it was in fact a hunger related issue,” Fritzler said. “After breakfast participation increased, not only did nurse visits decline, a bonus observed by the teachers was that students were paying attention more and being less disruptive in class.”
Fritzler’s talent for fostering student nutrition and making food service fun is apparent in everything she does, Winchester said.
“She makes sure that what’s being served for lunches are things that appeal to kids,” Winchester said. “When we had the solar eclipse here, she planned a picnic. And she didn’t just pack sack lunches, either, she created a fun menu that worked off that theme. She does a great job working with teachers and staff to create a very positive experience for kids.”
Outside of her job duties, Fritzler serves on the Chadron Public Schools Coordinated Health Board, which works to better understand areas needing improvement related to health activities within the district. Working with children of all ages to help them to better understand healthy options and encouraging them to make healthy choices is a passion that she has had since her children were born, Fritzler said.
“I was very honored to have been nominated by Dr. Winchester and am thankful that my work in the area of nutrition is being recognized,” she said.
Fritzler is employed by Lunchtime Solutions, the company that manages Chadron’s food service program. Lunchtime Solutions feeds more than 50,000 students each school day across the Midwest.