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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Case in Southwest Nebraska

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever have been confirmed in the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department district which includes: Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins and Red Willow counties. It is a good idea to take preventive measures against ticks year-round, but especially in warmer months when ticks are most active.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (File size 133 KB)

Water Watch Remains in Effect

Due to the continuation of extreme heat and high water usage, the City of McCook is requesting that residential customers and small business customers refrain from using outside water between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Large commercial users such as the City of McCook, McCook Community Hospital, McCook Public Schools, McCook Community College, etc. are asked to water their properties between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to evenly distribute the usage load on the Water Treatment Facility and wells and to allow pumps to fill the water towers.

High water usage causes strains on booster pumps and wells. The high flow in water mains can also result in discolored water and occasionally main breaks.

We appreciate the public’s assistance and apologize if this causes any inconvenience.

Maintenance Work on N-61, Benkelman North

Weather permitting a fog seal project will begin June 22 on N-61 north of Benkelman, according to the Nebraska Department of Roads. Fog seal is an application of emulsified oil to the pavement surface to aid in sealing the surface. State maintenance forces will be performing the work, beginning at the junction of US-34/N-61 and extending north approximately 7 miles. The work is anticipated to be completed by July 5. One-lane traffic will occur with use of a pilot car and flaggers, with delays expected to be minimal. Motorists are reminded to drive cautiously through work zones.

Maintenance Work on US-6 Arapahoe to Cambridge

Weather permitting, a chip seal/fog seal project will begin June 26 on US‑6, according to the Nebraska Department of Roads. Chip seal is an application of emulsified oil to the roadway surface followed by an application of aggregate. State maintenance forces will be doing the chip seal on US-6 from Arapahoe to Cambridge. The work is anticipated to take approximately 10 days. Traffic will be maintained using flaggers and a pilot vehicle. Motorists should expect to see delays and are reminded to drive cautiously through highway work zones.


Maintenance Work on N-18, East of Stockville

Weather permitting, asphalt resurfacing work is scheduled to begin June 26 on N-18, according to the Nebraska Department of Roads.

State maintenance crews will be resurfacing 1.5 miles of roadway on N-18, east of Stockville. This project is anticipated to be completed in five days.

The Nebraska Department of Roads’ contact is Kerry Scott of McCook. Motorists are asked to drive cautiously through construction zones.

McCook In a Water Watch

Affective Immediately:

The City of McCook Water Department is issuing a Water Watch that will remain in effect until further notice. A Water Watch is issued when water production exceeds 4 million gallons per day for a period of 5 consecutive days. For the period June 13th through June 18th water production exceeded 4 million gallons per day.

A Water Watch is issued to make the public aware of high water usage and to request customers to voluntarily reduce usage of water used on lawns and gardens. Reducing water used for irrigation can be accomplished by reducing the frequency and length of time that a lawn or garden is irrigated .

The McCook Water Department is also asking customers to avoid irrigating from Noon to 6:00 PM each day to allow pumps to fill the water towers.

High water usage causes strains on booster pumps and wells. High flow in water mains can also result in discolored water and occasionally main breaks.

The public’s assistance is greatly appreciated during this time.


2017 MPCC raffle car headed to Gering

The 2017 Mid-Plains Community College raffle car, a 1965 Chevrolet Impala, will be on display in Gering this weekend.


It will be at the Rock-N-Roll Father’s Day Classic Car Show at the Five Rocks Amphitheateron Friday and Saturday.


The Impala is the 13th vehicle restored and modified by students in MPCC’s Classic Car Restoration (CCR), Automotive Technology and Auto Body Technology programs.


Every year, the students disassemble, modify and reassemble a classic car. They begin by reducing the vehicle to a shell then sandblasting the body and frame down to bare metal.


From there, they embark on the long and challenging process of transforming the vehicle into a work of art. The project requires them to study and merge both traditional and modern engineering and technology.


“They learn about everything from chassis, electrical systems, drivetrains, engines and the replacement and refinishing of sheet metal to plastic, fiberglass and upholstery,” said Don Wilson, Auto Body instructor and supervisor of the CCR Program. “When you have to merge analog systems with digital technology, it can get complicated. There isn’t a book or instructions when merging them, and our students must know both before they can make the various systems work properly and look amazing.”


This year’s raffle car is a true SS-meaning a Super Sport model. The drivetrain consists of a stock 8.1 liter late model fuel injected GM engine. It uses the latest in computerized technology and incorporates a modified computer chip. The power plant is coupled to a 700R4 automatic transmission and a stock GM rear end.


“One of our goals is to build a car that the general public can drive,” said Bryan Herrick, the Automotive Technology instructor connected to the CCR program. His students were responsible for the drivetrain on the Impala.


The Auto Body students were in charge of stripping the body, fixing rust and any sheet metal damage, power coating the frame and adding a tilt wheel, new American Wheels and GT tires. The car’s finish, “Golden Globe,” has an added gold flake effect and was chosen from the 2014 General Motors Cadillac base coat/clear coat paint system.


Other features include a vintage air conditioning system, a tubular front suspension and front wheel power disc brakes.


The Impala received a boost from a number of local businesses who either donated cash, parts or discounts toward its restoration. Those include Dave Smith Signs, JM Parts & Equipment, E.J.’s Outdoor Sports, Cohagen Battery and LKQ Corporation-Keystone Automotive.


The car will tour the state over the summer, making appearances at car shows, parades and cruise night events.


A total of 10,000 raffle tickets are up for grabs at a price of $10 each. Proceeds will be used for scholarships for students in the Automotive Technology and Auto Body Technology programs and to help offset the cost of producing another raffle car next year.


Tickets will be sold everywhere the vehicle is displayed. A schedule is posted on the college’s website, mpcc.edu.


Tickets can also be purchased at the welcome centers at any of MPCC’s campuses in North Platte, McCook, Broken Bow, Imperial, Ogallala and Valentine.


Additionally, a number of businesses, organizations and individuals will sell tickets. In North Platte, those include: North Platte Buick GMC, Cohagen Battery Store, Grandma’s Memories Antiques and Collectibles, Isabelle’s Auction House, A.J. Janas, Pat Smith, Jody’s Auto Sales, Larry’s Barber Shop, Modern Tire Pros, Twin River Body Shop, Keystone Automotive and E.J.’s Outdoor Sports.


Tickets may also be purchased at Rex’s Refrigeration in Ogallala and at the Curtis Collision Center in Curtis.


The drawing for the Impala will be at 3 p.m. during the Colonel Cody’s Cruise Show and Shine in downtown North Platte on Sept. 9.

C Contestant

There’s some pretty fine talent that will ride, wrestle, rope and race in the Buffalo Bill Rodeo this week.

Some of that talent is in the form of champion cowboys and cowgirls, and some of it is from the weekend warriors, the rodeo athletes who have career and family obligations and can’t rodeo full time.

Either way, fans at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo at the Wild West Arena on the north side of North Platte will see some of the best cowboys and cowgirls going down the road.

One of the champions fans will see is a home-state cowboy. Riley Pruitt, a tie-down roper from Gering, won the average (the fastest combined time on ten runs) at the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR). Pruitt, who is 25 years old, won the 2015 Buffalo Bill Rodeo with a time of 17.0 seconds on two head.

His ride is a seventeen-year-old dun named Chip, who carried him to his win in North Platte two years ago, and at the WNFR last year. Chip makes Pruitt’s job easy. “I know exactly what he’s going to do every time, which makes my job so much easier. He’s going to score, run, stop, give me three steps back, and if I draw a good one, I know I can win on him.” Chip has had some time off, to rest before the busiest part of the rodeo season starts, and Pruitt has a good idea what he might do when he’s rested. “He’s a funny horse. When he’s fresh he’ll try to buck me off.”

As soon as North Platte is over Pruitt and his traveling partner, tie-down roper Chase Williams from Stephenville, Texas, will hit the road, competing at Reno, Nev., Prescott, Arizona, Livingston and Red Lodge, Mont., Cody, Wyo., St. Paul, Ore., and Greeley, Colo. That’s the schedule through July fourth. Even though he makes his living in rodeo, he’s a homebody, and when things aren’t going smoothly, he loves to be home. “When things are struggling, when I go two or three weeks and draw bad or rope bad, I come home.” His wife, Jenna, also helps. “She keeps me a little bit sane.”

Another Husker contestant at the rodeo is Valentine’s Trula Churchill. Raised in Stonewall, Okla., the barrel racer moved to Nebraska in 2000 when she married former steer wrestler Linn Churchill.

A three-time WNFR qualifier, she will ride her horse Worm, whose registered name is A Streak of Rita. Worm, who was raised by Churchill, is twelve years old and has carried the cowgirl to her three trips to the WNFR, three trips to the Canadian National Finals Rodeo, and countless wins.

A teacher for twenty years, Churchill, who taught at a two-room school south of Valentine, quit her teaching job in 2011 when she realized Worm was an exceptional barrel racing horse and she could rodeo full time on him.

He has a unique personality, Churchill said. “He loves his job, and he tries to win every time. He’s special to me because he has let me not have a real job.” She and Worm compete every spring in California, coming home in the summer and returning to California for their circuit finals in the fall.

Worm is picky about where he competes, and Churchill knows his favorite arenas and his not-so-favorites. If he doesn’t like an arena, he won’t run well. If he does, he runs his heart out. “There are some places that he really likes, and there are some he doesn’t like at all. I’ve figured out which places he doesn’t do well at, and we don’t go to those.” Churchill hasn’t competed in North Platte since 2000, before Worm was around, so she doesn’t know how he’ll react to the arena, but she thinks he’ll like the rodeo. “I have a gut feeling,” she said.

Mullen’s Steven Dent will kick off the biggest part of his rodeo season at North Platte.

The bareback rider figures he’s competed at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo nine of the last 12 years, tying for the saddle bronc riding title in 2011 (with Luke Rush, Clay Center, Kan.). He’s been to the WNFR seven times, and hopes to qualify again this year. He hasn’t rodeoed much so far, but will ride in Lexington, Kentucky onJune 16 then ride in North Platte the next night. After North Platte, he’s on the rodeo road for a month and a half, competing in Reno, Nev., Springdale, Ark., Prescott, Ariz., Oakley, Utah, Greeley, Colo., St. Paul, Ore., Livingston, Mont., Cody, Wyo., and Killdeer, N.D., all by July fourth.

The North Platte rodeo is the closest pro rodeo for Dent, and it’s like his hometown show. “It’s pretty much where everybody in Mullen goes to, if they go to town, and there’s always a bunch of people there that I know. Almost the whole community of Mullen goes to the rodeo. It’s nice when the crowd gets excited when you ride.”

Dent and his wife Kay have three children: son Cylas, who is four, and daughters Emri, two, and Dailie, three months. They ranch near Mullen. Dent is ranked 24th in the pro rodeo world standings.

Four-hundred sixty-four contestants will compete in North Platte this week. The tie-down roping, team roping and steer wrestling is two head, meaning each contestant gets two runs. The other events: bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, and barrel racing, are one head.

The rodeo begins at 8 pm each night. Rodeo clown and barrelman Cody Sosebee will entertain, and trick roper Loop Rawlins, a semi-finalist on the 2014 season of America’s Got Talent, will perform. Bullfighters Quirt Hunt, Gordon, and Wacey Munsell, Ulysses, Kan., will work the bull riding, and Randy Corley, who will be inducted into the 2017 Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, will announce. Beutler and Son Rodeo Co., Elk City, Okla., will provide the bucking horses and bulls.

Slack, the extra competition that doesn’t fit into the performances, will be at 8 am on June 14 and 15 and is free to the public.

Tickets for the rodeo can be purchased at the NebraskalandDays office, online at NebraskalandDays.com, and at the gate. For more information, visit the website or call the office at 308.532.7939.


Nebraska cowboys and cowgirls by event who are entered at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo


Bareback Riding

Garrett Shadbolt, Merriman

Nate McFadden, Elsmere

Logan Glendy, Oconto

Steven Dent, Mullen

Steer Wrestling

Justen Nokes, Juniata

Dan Barner, Hershey

Trevor Haake, Grand Island

Jeff Johnston, Thedford

Brett Gumb, Burwell

Del Ray Kraupie, Bridgeport

Jake Kraupie, Bridgeport

Scott Schaefer, Beatrice

Collin Chytka, Broken Bow

Weston Winkers, Nelson

Tyler Kester, York

Jeff Richardson, Kearney

Logan McDonald, Hemingford

Mike Stephen, Springview

Ty Melvin, Arthur

Gabe Taylor, Valentine

Kyle Whitaker, Chambers

Richard Coats, Hastings

Dru Melvin, Hebron

Tie-down Roping

Cody Nye, Alliance

Miles Garwood, Atkinson

Patrick Martin, Callaway

Riley Pruitt, Gering

Levi Fisher, Hershey

J.T. Adamson, Cody

Todd Flinn, Newman Grove

Saddle Bronc Riding

Triston Eklund, Valentine

Jeff Cover, Ashby

Team Roping

Jeff Johnston, Thedford

Todd Hollenbeck, Long Pine

Reece Weber, Valentine

Slade Thorpe, Valentine

Dustin Harris, O’Neill

Matt Kasner, Cody

Riley Pruitt, Gering

Tucker White, Hershey

Travis Warren, Mullen

Levi Tyan, Wallace

Blaine Finney, Ainsworth

Brady Graff, Ainsworth

Trent Barrett, North Platte

Jake Pelton, North Platte

Brent Reichmuth, Humphrey

Cooper Brott, Gothenburg

Barrel Racing

Lindsey Evers, Plattsmouth

Mika Drews, Thedford

June Holeman, Arcadia

Mary Cameron-Dugan, Greeley

Bailey Lord, Potter

Jordan Swan, York

Lindsey Kester, York

Jamie Chaffin, Burwell

Morgan Peterson, Arthur

Cheryl Wallace, Broken Bow

Jessica Leach, Rockville

Chandler Markel, Morrill

Becky Pearson, Broken Bow

Deb Cox, Mullen

Diane Axmann, Loup City

Carrie Sutton, Ashby

Trula Churchill, Valentine

Carla Jensen, Kearney

Jimi Hurlbut, Maywood

Kelli Reichmuth, Humphrey

Bull Riding

Tyler Viers, Comstock

Ethan Lesiak, Clarks

Lane Gambill, Johnstown

Bart Miller, Pleasanton

CMT Hot 20 to Visit NEBRASKAland DAYS US Cellular Summer Jam

PR CMT.pdf

Country Music Television will bring their Hot 20 Countdown to NEBRASKAland DAYS for the US Cellular Summer Jam Concert Series. The crew will be on hand during the June 23rd and 24th concert series featuring Alan Jackson with Special Guest Dwight Yoakam and Chris Stapleton with Special Guest Brothers Osborne. “Excited beyond belief”, was NEBRASKAland DAYS Executive Director David Fudge’s reaction to the news. “We’ve felt great about our 2017 lineup from the moment we started putting it together, and when CMT reached out it confirmed that we had a winner on our hands.” Securing CMT’s appearance in North Platte would not have been possible without the help of the North Platte Lincoln County Visitor’s Bureau. “I called Lisa Burke the moment we were contacted for some help,” said Fudge. “She and her Board of Directors were very instrumental in getting this done. It would not have happened without them.” CMT personality Katie Cook will be on hand to anchor the network’s coverage. The weekly three-hour series is hosted by CMT favorites Cody Alan and Cook, who will count down the 20 biggest music videos with the hottest news stories, in-studio live performances and candid interviews from country music's biggest superstars and up-and-coming artists. CMT is delivered to over 91.8 Million households, and the Hot 20 Countdown is one of the network’s highest rated shows.


Free Youth ATV Training to be offered in Benkelman

The Business and Community Education department at Mid-Plains Community College will take its Free Youth ATV Training to the Dundy County Fairgrounds in Benkelman on June 14.


There will be additional trainings in McCook and Imperial.


“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 offer this very important training to our area youth.”


There will be two sessions to choose from at each training: 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 Benkelman will have the option of taking it at the following times and locations:


  • 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 North Platte Community College Foundation.

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