News

Wed
08
May
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Hey look, ma, we made it!

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ASHLEY D. SWANSON | CLAY COUNTY NEWS

Hunter Wilkerson embraces a family member during the flower dedication at Harvard’s graduation. Seniors handed out flowers to loved ones and friends, while the song “When We Were Young” played in the background.

Valedictorian Jayleesa WIlkerson gives her speech during Harvard’s graduation ceremony Saturday, May 4, encouraging her classmates for the future, but also thanking several people who have helped them get to the moment of graduating.

 

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Wed
08
May
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Energy Leadership Camp an electrifying experience

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What many may not be aware of is the Nebraska Rural Electric Association hosts a camp each year, to inform kids on electricity and the role of power public districts in their area. And it’s anything but boring, according to Clay Center’s Aspen Binder.

She, along with Neika Buschkoetter, of Lawrence and a student at Sandy Creek, attended the Youth Energy Leadership Camp near Halsey in June 2018.

Over the course of a week, students discover how power works, create projects where an alarm is trigged if the box is opened, as well as go canoing, dancing, and partake in picnics and other group activities.

The activities also include touring local power plants, such as the Kingsley Hydro-Electric Generating Station near Lake McConaughy and the Gerald Gentleman Station, where kids witnessed labs and learned about the many jobs it takes to run the buildings.

Binder noted her favorite parts of the camp were canoing and visiting the Gerald Station.

 

Wed
08
May
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Thunderstorms in county cause slight flooding, brings hail

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TORY DUNCAN | CLAY COUNTY NEWS

Low-forming clouds, fueled by an incoming thunderstorm, head east over Sutton Sunday evening.

The severe weather season is just beginning, as a large thunderstorm hit the area Sunday, May 5, bringing with it thunder, lightning, heavy rain, and between dime and ping pong sized hail.

A recorded 1.12 inches of rain fell on Clay County Sunday, prompting flash flooding in the streets of Fairfield.

Another 2.5 inches and 2.94 inches were recorded Monday and Tuesday, according to the NeRain reports.

The county was fortunate with wind speeds, as they only reached 22 mph Sunday, with wind gusts hitting 28 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Hastings.

 

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Wed
01
May
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. Drug related arrests keeping Sutton, county law officers busy

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Sutton’s Police Department, with assistance from four Clay County Sheriff’s officers, arrested three males Saturday morning in Sutton on felony warrants. At 7:08 a.m., April 27, officers arrested 27-year-old Gildardo Garcia, 26-year-old Justin L. Marchand, and 29-year-old Joshua J. Marchand, at the home owned by Garcia, for possession of controlled substance (THC wax concentrate); possession of deadly weapons during the commission of a felony; child abuse; possession of marijuana of less than one ounce; and possession of drug paraphernalia, resulting in 12 charges. Sutton Police Chief Tracey Landenberger said they also removed three unlicensed dogs from the home, as well as a 5-year-old child. Additionally, drug paraphernalia was found in vehicles on the property, Landenberger said. As of Monday, April 29, Garcia, Justin Marchand, and Joshua Marchand were out on bond.

 

Wed
01
May
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Nierman, Derr state journalism champions

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BY ASHLEY D. SWANSON

Harvard’s Ashley Nierman and Kinzee Derr earned champion medals in Sports/Action Photo and Editorial Cartoon, respectively, at the state journalism competition April 23, in Norfolk.

Nierman also nabbed a second-place medal in Headline Writing and fourth place in News Writing, while Derr also earned sixth place in Feature Writing.

However, Nierman and Derr weren’t the only county journalism students to find success.

 

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Wed
01
May
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Sutton’s internship program benefits entire community, area

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Sutton’s Internship instructor Zach Parrish thinks the pathway program at Sutton Public School is groundbreaking, as seen through the amount of partnerships and community engagement sought from the community.

The program has more than 70 partnerships in Sutton alone, as well as many more businesses outside of town, that are willing to accept students for Internship experiences.

Parrish spoke highly of the program saying, “This program and our community partnerships are so strong and supportive of our youth that I have no doubt Sutton is well on its way to improving the education and career opportunities of our students.”

 

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Wed
24
Apr
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Co. Board backs idea of better outreach to younger veterans

The Clay County Veterans Services Office is seeking better ways of connecting with younger veterans.

Mike Irons, Clay County’s Veterans Services officer, requested financial backing for future outreach activities from the Clay County Board of Supervisors during its regular meeting on April 16 at the courthouse.

Irons is scheduled on parttime hours at the Clay County office, splitting his time with Hamilton County’s Veterans Services. He explained that older veterans, generally those who served in the Vietnam War or earlier, are comfortable with coming in-person to the office to apply for veterans benefits. However, Irons sees very few veterans who served after the Vietnam War.

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Wed
24
Apr
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Clay Center, Sutton Fire Depts. respond to tractor fire, car accident

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HANNAH COLLINS | CLAY COUNTY NEWS

Members of the Clay Center and Sutton Fire Departments dowse the flames of a tractor fire Tuesday, April 16, just south of the intersection of Highways 6 and 14.

Clay Center and Sutton and Volunteer Fire Departments responded to a tractor fire and vehicle accident Tuesday, April 16, just south of Highway 6 Highway 14 North.

Sutton Fire Chief John Schurman said while they are not 100 percent sure of the cause of the fire, they believe it was caused by something electrical under the hood.

The tractor, owned by Johnson Farms, was completely engulfed by the time both fire departments arrived on scene.

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Wed
24
Apr
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Drug impact on county becoming more prevalent according to Franklin

In light of a recent drug find in Glenvil, which took place Wednesday, April 17, Clay County Sheriff Jeff Franklin, like his law enforcement counterparts throughout the county and area, notes that Clay County has seen an upswing in drug-related cases and issues.

“It’s become as bad as I’ve ever seen in all my years as a law enforcement officer,” Franklin shared. “Drug cases and incidents are affecting every town and area of our county and it’s really consuming officers time all over our county and for that matter, all over the state and country.”

Franklin shared that meth and marijuana are the most prevalent, but adds that his office has seen an abundance of other drugs, including opioids and even liquid forms and gummy bear forms of illegal substances that have shown up.

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Wed
24
Apr
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Czech official tours Clay County ag facilities

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TORY DUNCAN | CLAY COUNTY NEWS

Jeff Schelkopf, second from left, and Cole Schelkopf, talk with Petr Jezek of the Czech Republic Embassy in Washington D.C., while Deb Polacek, a former educator at Harvard Public Schools, far left, looks on as Jezek and the Polacek family tour Blue Valley Aquaculture, northwest of Sutton on Monday, April 15.

Now Petr Jezek can say he’s been to Nebraska.

An attaché of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C., Jezek toured Blue Valley Aquaculture near Sutton and the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center near Clay Center on April 15 during his three-day visit to the region.

“I call it a fact-finding mission,” he said. “I’ve not been here. I came here to see what kind of opportunities there are.”

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