AREA NEWS DIGEST
Taken from the news columns of area newspapers.
Former Cozad teacher awarded for excellence
COZAD—Former Cozad teacher of 24 years, Patsy Koch Johns, was bestowed the Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Arts. Koch Johns had directed plays, musicals and the speech team while in Cozad, qualifying 22 of 24 play productions for the Nebraska School Activities Association State Competition, garnering four state championships. She also taught at Lincoln where she directed students to five NSAA championships. During her total 40 years of teaching, she directed over 200 productions, judged numerous plays, acted and worked in professional film and community theatre.—reported in the Tri-City Trib.
Youth has wish granted meeting Duck Dynasty
BROKEN BOW—Aniah Preston, 12-year-old Broken Bow resident, recently had a dream come true by the Make-A-Wish foundation. He was able to take a trip to Louisiana to meet the Robertson family and the cast of Duck Dynasty. Preston was born with a rare disease called Kearnes-Sayre Syndrome, a neuromuscular disorder, which although takes its toll on him, he doesn’t let it slow him down. His wish was to meet the Duck Dynasty family and after a celebration send-off in Kearney, he was off on his special trip. Preston was then taken to the Duck Commander warehouse in a limousine where he met the family and was given a tour. According to Preston and his mother, Amy Kulhanek, it was worth every minute.—reported in the Custer County Chief.
Walmart announces new Ogallala location
OGALLALA—Six years after backing out of a project to locate a store at Ogallala, Walmart officials announced plans to locate a super center in the western Nebraska town. A bid for construction has been awarded and within the next couple of weeks, a construction presence will be visible. The store is projected to open in early 2015. According to Walmart officials, they had continued to consider this location and that now was the time to build. The 69,000 square foot store will be built on the southwest quadrant of Interstate 80 just west of Wendy’s restaurant.—reported in the Keith County News.
Aerial drone demo gives birds-eye view
CURTIS—Crop producers and agricultural students were to get a birds-eye view of farm fields near Curtis at a recent public demonstration at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. Using an unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV, commonly called a drone, a California-based company showed how the latest in farming technology can be applied to precision agriculture. The drones flew over the fields and captured data to be analyzed for review. These crop drones are about the size of large remote-controlled airplanes, but are not operated by remote control. They are pre-programmed to fly back and forth across the land capturing data and images through sensors.—reported in the Frontier County Enterprise.
Plans for roping arena/park project unveiled
ARNOLD—Plans were recently unveiled that will put the Arnold Roping Arena back on the map, not only for equestrian activities, but also for campers, outdoor community events and family gatherings. As of now, the arena buildings have deteriorated with little or no maintenance, and the new plan includes building all new structures. The arena is located within the boundaries of the Arnold Recreation Area and the project would also complete restoration of the park. A two phase project is planned to develop the area to include everything from an event/ticket building to a sound system.—reported in the Arnold Sentinel.
Two barns on farm-stead burn to the ground
CALLAWAY—Two barns were consumed in an afternoon blaze on Monday, April 21, at the Dave and Deb Malcom farmstead on Redfern Table Road just east of the Cozad County Road. The Malcoms’ were inside their house when a neighbor called and saw that the east side of the side-by-side buildings was on fire. By the time 911 was called, the second barn had caught fire. Both wood structures were fully involved by the time units arrived from Oconto and Callaway. Surrounding corrals helped to keep the flames from jumping into a pasture. The barns were empty of livestock due to the warmer weather. Both structures with contents were considered a total loss, no injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire had not yet been determined.—reported in the Callaway Courier.