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“Folk Songs and Fiddle Tunes”

27-Mar-2017 / Josh

Join “Simply Strings” for an afternoon of delightful fiddle tunes and folk music sure to lift your spirits! The concert will
include violin soloists Leanne Miller and Elizabeth Knedlik, as well as a double quartet, a student ensemble and a trio of
Elizabeth Knedlik and Charles Coleman will co-direct the concert, which begins at 2:00 pm, Sunday April 2nd, at McCook’s
Fox Theatre. A freewill offering is the cost of admission.
Music included in the performance will include renditions of upbeat fiddle tunes, as well as familiar folk songs and old
favorites. An arrangement of “You Raise Me Up” will also be shared as a memorial tribute to Maribeth
Augustyn. Maribeth was a faithful member of this fledging orchestra, as well as a violin teacher and beloved friend to
many of its members.
“Simply Strings” provides an opportunity for young people to join with more experienced strings players to hone their
skills and enjoy an orchestral experience. We are certain you will enjoy the result!

MPCC Campus Will Host a Registration Day

27-Mar-2017 / MPCC

Mid-Plains Community College will offer and in-depth look at its programs and services during a series of Registration Days starting in April.


Every MPCC campus will host a Registration Day, giving prospective students from throughout the college’s 18-county service area an opportunity to sign up for classes and receive the information needed to begin coursework in the fall.


The events are more than just registering for classes, however. They also serve as foundations - designed to keep prospective students on track and ensure they have a successful and rewarding experience at MPCC through graduation.


“Our mission with these events is to connect with students early in the process and make a plan for their success,” said Kelly Rippen, area dean of enrollment management. “We want to partner with them to help make the best decisions on how to pay for college and what major to choose, as well as what schedule fits their needs. It is so important for them to see how many services are available and how many people are in their corner.”


Students will be able to take placement tests, if needed, and campus tours will be available. Representatives will be on hand to answer any questions about:


§Class scheduling

§Financial aid

§Setting up a payment plan


§Career services


§Library services

§Student Success/tutors

§Disability services

§Student life

§Student organizations

§Campus housing

Those interested in attending a Registration Day are asked to RSVP at least a week ahead of time at The first 75 to sign up will receive a free hoodie.

Although not mandatory, parents are also encouraged to be part of Registration Days. There will be a session designed specifically for them.


The Registration Days will be:

§McCook Community College – 10 a.m. on April 13, May 25, June 15, July 13 and Aug. 3

§North Platte Community College – 10 a.m. on April 11, May 23, June 13, July 11 and Aug. 1

§Broken Bow Campus – 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on March 30

§Imperial Campus – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – on April 10

§Ogallala Campus – 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on April 4

§Valentine Campus – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 20

Campylobacter Investigation in Furnas County

27-Mar-2017 / Josh

Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD), Center for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) are
involved in an investigation of gastrointestinal illnesses, specifically Campylobacter, among
residents in and around the Beaver City community.
“We were impressed with the willingness of medical facilities, Beaver City and Furnas County
employees to work with all these entities during this investigation,” explains Myra Stoney,
SWNPHD Director. “We are very appreciative of people who have completed surveys and
would still encourage others to complete the survey found at If you
work, shop or eat in Beaver City, we are asking each person in your household to complete the
survey, even if you were not ill.”
According to CDC, Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness in
the United States. Some specific information:
 Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria.
 Most people who become ill with this get diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever
within two to five days after exposure to the organism. It may include nausea and
 The illness typically lasts one week.
 Some infected persons do not have any symptoms.
 Most cases are associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry meat or cross-
contamination of other foods by these items. Unpasteurized dairy products,
contaminated water, poultry and produce are the top areas of concern.
 It takes fewer than 500 organisms to make a person sick. Even one drop of juice from
raw chicken meat can have enough Campylobacter in it to infect a person.
 One way to become infected is to cut poultry meat on a cutting board, and then use the
unwashed cutting board or utensil to prepare vegetables or other raw or lightly cooked
 Animals can also be infected and some people get infected from contact with the stool
of the animal.
 Surface water and mountain streams can become contaminated with infected animal
“The investigation process is very challenging,” shares SWNPHD Surveillance Coordinator,
Melissa Propp, RN. “We appreciate the patience exhibited by so many in answering numerous
Some simple food handling practices can help prevent Campylobacter infections:
Wash hands with soap before preparing food.
Cook all poultry products thoroughly. Make sure that the meat is cooked throughout
and any juices run clear. All poultry should be cooked to reach a minimum internal
temperature of 165 degrees.
Wash hands with soap after handling raw foods of animal origin and before touching
anything else.
Prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen by using separate cutting boards for foods of
animal origin and other foods.
Thoroughly clean all cutting boards, countertops and utensils with soap and hot water
after preparing raw food of animal origin.
Do not drink raw milk, unpasteurized milk or untreated surface water.
Make sure that persons with diarrhea, especially children, wash their hands carefully
and frequently with soap to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
Wash hands with soap after contact with pet feces.
Dr. Anna Carlson (NDHHS Office of Epidemiology) has worked closely with the staff at
SWNPHD throughout the investigation. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact
her at 402-471- 7021 or
Additional questions are directed to SWNPHD staff at 404 West 10 th Street (block north of
Arby’s) in McCook or 501 Broadway (Moreland Building 5 th Street entrance) in Imperial. Our
website is For more information call 308-345-4223 in McCook or 308-
882-4269 in Imperial. You can follow us on and
Southwest Nebraska Public Health serves Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock,
Keith, Perkins and Red Willow counties.

Free Youth ATV Training begins April 8

14-Mar-2017 /

Free Youth ATV Training begins April 8

The Business and Community Education department at Mid-Plains Community College will expand its Free Youth ATV Training this spring by adding classes in Thedford and Benkelman.


Trainings will continue to be offered in the traditional locations of North Platte, McCook, Imperial, Ogallala, Broken Bow and Valentine as well.


“The need for quality rider safety training is becoming more of a necessity every year as we continue to see serious injuries attributed to ATVs,” said Crystal Welch, Business and Community Education coordinator. “We are happy to be offering this very important training to our area youth.”

The first training is scheduled for April 8 at the North Platte Community College North Campus. There will be two sessions to choose from: 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m.


Classes will be divided by age group, 6-9 and 10-16. Six students from each age group will be allowed in each session.


The curriculum, developed by Central States Safety Driver Training, will consist of a combination of safety instruction and guided, hands-on ATV operation. Participants will practice turns, stops and terrain navigation.


Instruction topics will include ATV injury and fatality statistics, how ATV size can contribute to rollover injuries and fatalities, the dangers of carrying passengers and material on ATVs, risks of traveling on public roads and safety procedures and practices.


Those who complete the program successfully will receive a certificate that aligns with insurance company requirements.


ATVs in different sizes will be used during the trainings. Parents of children younger than 10 must stay for their child’s class.


Other requirements include:

*Closed-toe footwear (preferably over the ankle)

*Long, non-flare pants

*A long-sleeved shirt or jacket

*Approved eye protection (will be provided if a participant does not have any)

*A helmet (will be provided if a participant doesn’t have one)


Those unable to attend the training in North Platte will have the option of taking it at any of the following times and locations:

*April 22 - Cherry County Fairgrounds, Valentine

*April 29 - Custer County Fairgrounds, Broken Bow

*May 20 - Nebraska Department of Roads, Ogallala

*May 23 – Thomas County Fairgrounds, Thedford

*June 14 – Dundy County Fairgrounds, Benkelman

*June 15 - Red Willow County Fairgrounds, McCook

*June 21 - Chase County Fairgrounds, Imperial


Space is limited in all classes. Pre-registration is required by calling (308) 535-3678.

The trainings are possible thanks to a grant from the CHS Foundation, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. The money is administered through the NPCC Foundation.

The McCook Community Foundation Fund Grant Meeting

13-Mar-2017 / Ronda Graff

The McCook Community Foundation Fund is always looking for new and innovative ideas to help fund
through MCFF’s community grants. And the next grant deadline is quickly approaching, with grant
applications for the 2017 spring grants due by 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 1.
To help with the grant process, MCFF is hosting a Grant Application Informational Meeting on
Wednesday, March 15 in the third-floor training room at the Keystone Business Center. The meeting will
begin at 11:45 a.m. with lunch provided by MCFF. Topics will include information from previous grant
recipients, an overview of MCFF’s mission and vision and the grant process. The meeting will conclude
with questions from participants.
If you would like to attend the Grant Application Informational Meeting, please RSVP by Monday, March
13 at 5 p.m., call 344-9363, text 340-3412, or email,
More than $30,000 will be available for public charities, government entities or other community groups
performing charitable activities for MCFF’s Spring 2017 grant cycle.
Projects will receive priority if they have a broad impact on the quality of life for a significant number of
people; propose creative ways to address community needs; engage young people in the community, or
support innovative approaches to economic and community development.
The MCFF grant application form can be found at or by emailing to have a form sent to you.

Founders' Ball

13-Mar-2017 / Josh

Lonny Lynn Orchestra at McCook Auditorium Ballroom Saturday, March 18


Love to dance? Come to the Founders' Ball and dance to Lonny Lynn Orchestra! The dance is from 7:30 - 11:00 pm and tickets for the dance are only $10 per person! Come and experience a night like Cinderella! Tickets are available through Thursday at the Chamber of Commerce office, 203 West 2nd St. For More information contact The Chamber Office in McCook at 308-345-3200.

Nebraska State Senators Are OnceAagain in a Standoff Over a Bill

13-Mar-2017 / Josh


Nebraska state senators are once again in a standoff over a bill that would repeal a law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. Supporters of the bill said Monday that motorcyclists should have the freedom to ride without helmets. They contend Nebraska's helmet law costs the state tourism dollars because motorcyclists avoid it. Sen. Robert Hilkemann, a retired Omaha podiatrist leading a filibuster against the bill, says helmets help protect motorcyclists from death or serious brain injuries. He and other conservatives who oppose the bill argue motorcycle accidents cost taxpayers who end up paying for disabled riders' health care. Nebraska is one of 19 states that require helmets for all riders.


State Patrol, Trucking Association, Launch Trooper in a Truck Program

01-Mar-2017 / NSP

The Nebraska State Patrol and the Nebraska Trucking Association are starting a new collaborative safety project called “Trooper in a Truck.” The statewide project is designed to identify and address unsafe driving behaviors in and around large commercial motor vehicles.

Troopers will ride in cabs of commercial motor vehicles watching for unsafe driving behaviors, such as driving while texting, following too closely, speeding, and aggressive driving. When violations are observed, they will be called to a nearby Trooper in a marked patrol unit, who will stop the violator, and issue a citation or warning.

Lieutenant Kurt Von Minden said, “Having eyes in commercial motor vehicles allows us to see things we wouldn’t normally see from a marked patrol unit. It’s also an invaluable tool to work with truckers to help tackle the issue of public safety on our roadways. We’re very grateful for the relationship we have with the trucking industry, and value their help.”

The Nebraska State Patrol and the Nebraska Trucking Association recognize the value of working together on a project such as this. Having a public-private partnership is an extremely valuable tool in promoting public safety.

McCook to Host Rodeo Team Fundraiser

01-Mar-2017 / MPCC

 The Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team will benefit from a fundraising rodeo March 17-18 in McCook. The event is open to the public. It will be at the Kiplinger Arena at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds.



“Contestants will be a combination of Kansas Professional Rodeo Association members, members of the Nebraska State Rodeo Association and college students,” said Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach. “It will be a nice mix of current, past and future professional cowboys and cowgirls all competing against each other. There’s going to be a lot of talent on display, and it should be a great rodeo.”


The action begins with slack at noon on March 17, followed by the regular performance at 7 p.m. On March 18, slack will start at 10 a.m., and the regular performance will be at 7 p.m.



Slack is free to watch, but there is a $10 charge for the main event. Children 12 and younger will be let in for free.


Money raised through admission fees and through the sale of concessions and team merchandise will be used for scholarships for rodeo team members and to help offset travel and general operating expenses of the team.



“That funding is crucial,” said Nokes. “In order to grow, we have to have continued support. We’re leading the region in the men’s team standings right now, and a lot of that is due to the equipment and practice facilities provided to these students through the generous support of our boosters and community members. That’s what’s setting us apart and getting us top recruits.”



Last year, the rodeo helped fund a horse trailer for the team, and this year, a portion of the proceeds will be put toward a bucking machine for the rough stock riders to practice on.



“We couldn’t do those kinds of things without the area backing us,” said Nokes. “I just can’t say enough about our sponsors and our booster committee. The concessions will be homemade by The Wranglers, which makes this a great event to take the family to both for the entertainment and for the food. I would encourage everyone to support them in supporting us.”

NCTA hosts Statehood program March 1

27-Feb-2017 / Josh

Nebraska history and its 150th birthday will be observed Wednesday at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis.


The public is invited to join elementary school children and college students for the March 1 program which begins at 1 p.m., said Ron Rosati, NCTA Dean.


“We invite the community and students to celebrate Nebraska’s heritage on Statehood Day through music and story,” Rosati said. The program is hosted with Medicine Valley Elementary School.


Nebraska became a state on March 1, 1867. NCTA became a high school in 1913, and evolved into a college in 1965.


Attendees and students from Medicine Valley Elementary School will be entertained and informed through “Echoes of an Era” by Paul Siebert of Lincoln.


Siebert incorporates the Nebraska State seal and flag as a back drop for a musical and storytelling living history program of a family’s journey from Russia to Nebraska in the 1870′s.


The Nebraska Agriculture Industry Education Center is located at Siminoe Drive and University Streets.


The program will conclude by 3 p.m., and is funded with a grant from Humanities Nebraska.

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