News

Wed
19
Aug
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It’s backto-school time at SC, Sutton

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TORY DUNCAN & ASHLEY D. SWANSON | CLAY COUNTY NEWS

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ABOVE: Students unload from buses at Sandy Creek Tuesday morning. RIGHT: Beneath her mask, kindergartner Serenity Jarzynka says “cheese!” as her mom, Ashley, takes a first-day-of-school photo.

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Wed
12
Aug
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Heat can’t stop Deweese Festival

Heat can’t stop Deweese Festival

Logan Wenske, right, slams into the front of another driver during Heat 4 of the annual Deweese Festival Demo Derby. Wenske earned first place in the heat. ASHLEY D. SWANSON | CLAY COUNTY NEWS

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Wed
12
Aug
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Sutton Council discusses 3rd police officer, approves funding for Nolde Center improvements

Members of the Sutton City Council had a lengthy discussion during its Monday, Aug. 10 meeting with Sutton Police Chief Tracey Landenberger and police officer Mitch Meyer about the possible addition of a third full-time officer to the Sutton department.

Landenberger and Meyer both lamented that long hours with the uptick in felonies and many other charges had required a lot of additional hours for both officers. Meyer added that his response to other area departments with Sutton’s police dog, Falco, has put a great deal of added time on the Sutton department’s time commitment.

In light of the information, council members gave their blessing to the Sutton department to begin advertising for a new certified officer, with the understanding that budget constraints could change the future plans, once the 2020-21 budget is finalized.

Wed
12
Aug
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Mental toughness theme of SC Leadership Academy

Mental toughness theme of SC Leadership Academy

Glen Snodgrass, York Dukes football coach, gives his presentation about how a person’s character, work ethic, intelligence, and mental and physical toughness add to the person they are, to students and others in attendance. MELISSA WHITEFOOT | CLAY COUNTY NEWS

Mental toughness was the theme of a Leadership Academy put on by the Sandy Creek Booster Club last week. Boys basketball coach Matt Swartzendruber got the idea from some of the coach’s camps they attend over the year. The coach stated that the athletes have made some great improvements lately but one thing that still needed work was mental toughness. With COVID-19 limiting their ability to travel, Swartzendruber thought he’d see if he could get speakers to come to the kids.

Bailey Stapleman, a 2014 Sandy Creek graduate, kicked off the program on Wednesday July 29. Stapleman went on to become an All-American pole vaulter at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and spoke about how he wasn’t the most talented athlete in high school. However, he used his work ethic to get where he wanted to be at the top of his sport. Stapleman left the athletes with a great message.

Wed
12
Aug
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Co. Board hears solar update

Solar-specific zoning regulations may be ready to present to the Clay County Board of Supervisors by early fall.

This is according to an update given by County Zoning Administrator Barb Barnett during the board’s regular meeting on Aug. 11, at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Clay Center.

“We’re just working on details and definitions,” she said regarding discussions within the three-person county solar zoning committee.

Barnett explained that writing rules for small solar operations, used to supplement homes or communities, are relatively simple compared to writing regulations for industrial solar farms.

APEX Clean Energy, based in Virginia, has proposed a 305-megawatt solar project for the Spring Ranch area, to encompass approximately 3,000 acres. County solar zoning rules are among the requirements for this project to move forward.

 

Wed
05
Aug
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New state-DHM effective Aug. 1; Phase 3 continues through August

On Aug. 1, South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) officials reported that new state-directed health measures (DHM) were being issued by Nebraska to replace the current DHM which expired at midnight, July 31.

The new DHM went into effect at midnight, Aug. 1.

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Wed
05
Aug
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Harvard Council hires new city attorney

Harvard Council hires new city attorney

In a unanimous decision at its July 28 meeting, the Harvard City Council approved the hire of David Solheim, with Solheim Law Office in Crete, as the city’s new attorney, replacing Bixby Law Office.

Solheim had previously met with the council at its July 14 meeting, and after looking at his background—which council members said showed raving reviews—signed with Solheim on a $1,000-monthly rate for eight billable hours, an amount the council said they will definitely be using.

At the July 14 meeting, Solheim explained his law office, which he runs alongside his wife, puts a lot of focus on the nuts and bolts of a city, including ordinances, nuisances, help with grant writing and review, economic development, and code development, among other items.

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Wed
05
Aug
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Sandy Creek seniors in the spotlight at Aug. 1 graduation

Sandy Creek seniors in the spotlight at Aug. 1 graduation

Valedictorian Jordan Heinz gives his speech while classmates listen during Sandy Creek’s graduation ceremony Saturday. ASHLEY D. SWANSON | CLAY COUNTY NEWS

Sandy Creek seniors in the spotlight at Aug. 1 graduation

Salutatorian Connor Crumbliss returns to the mic after jokingly saying, “Look, I’m not good at speeches,” before briefly walking away from the mic, as laughter ensued. ASHLEY D. SWANSON | CLAY COUNTY NEWS

“Happy Mother’s Day,” Darnell Pernicek said starting his speech at Sandy Creek’s graduation Saturday.

Of course, it wasn’t Mother’s Day or even May, but that didn’t matter, because Aug. 1 was graduation day for the 26 seniors sitting on the makeshift stage, waiting to receive their diplomas.

Pernicek served as the ceremony’s guest speaker, with speeches also coming from valedictorian and salutatorian Jordan Heinz and Connor Crumbliss, respectively.

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Wed
05
Aug
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Deweese Festival set for Aug. 8-9

With some modifications, the Deweese Festival, set for Aug. 8 and 9, will go on as planned.

Social distancing rules will apply to all events, and the chicken dinner, provided by J&P Catering, will be takeout only (4 p.m.-?, Sunday, Aug. 9).

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Wed
05
Aug
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Bourke receives first-ever Betty Mertens Spirit Award

Bourke receives first-ever Betty Mertens Spirit Award

Pat Bourke smiles big after receiving the first-ever Betty Mertens Spirit Award during the Can Care-A-Van event Monday in Sutton. ASHLEY D. SWANSON | CLAY COUNTY NEWS

Bourke receives first-ever Betty Mertens Spirit Award

Gail Gee, left, and Carson Mau, right, help Bill Weekly of Lincoln unload his vehicle during Monday’s event. Weekly and his wife, Pam, said they like to donate to smaller communities, and brought 159 pounds of food and other necessities to the Can Care-A-Van event. ASHLEY D. SWANSON | CLAY COUNTY NEWS

For the first time ever, the Betty Mertens Spirit Award was given to a community member during the annual Can Care-A-Van Monday, in Sutton.

Pat Bourke, a board member of the Bread Box and coordinator of the NOW Program since its inception in 2011, received the award, due to showing “the spirit of willingness to go above and beyond her assigned duties so kids and their families do not go hungry,” as stated in a document about the award.

As the NOW Program coordinator, Bourke organized the workers, the packing, and delivered the sacks to the school for distribution. NOW stands for Nutrition on Weekends, a program where school aged children can receive a bag of food to supplement their nutritional needs for the weekend.

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