Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Incident Causes Limited School Lockdown

Nothing new to report as of Monday morning about the incident on Friday that caused a limited lockdown of Valentine schools.  According to County Attorney Eric Scott, a limited lockdown of Valentine schools was issued on a recommendation of Law Enforcement as a result of a Friday morning incident near the Valentine Middle School, not directly related in any way to the schools.  According to Police Chief Ben McBride, an interaction between two vehicles allegedly resulted in one vehicle discharging a firearm in the direction of the other vehicle.  There were no injuries.  The Valentine Police Department is seeking information from the public about two pick-up trucks traveling at a high rate of speed on either Thatcher and/or 3rd Streets area Friday morning about 8:25.  At this time authorities are still investigating and are not releasing any further information about the alleged shooting. Anyone with any information is urged to contact local authorities at either 402-376-3055 or 402-376-1890.


Valentine City Council Meeting

The Valentine City Council met Thursday evening for a regular meeting at the Valentine Public Library.

A request from Mary Ellen Osnes for permission for the boy scouts to sell surplus tents in the city park on May 17th was approved. The scouts have replaced their camping tents and have extras to sell for a fund raiser for the group.

The council held a public hearing for comments regarding renewal of the city sales tax. The council reviewed the updated language on the proposed ballots which will be up for approval at the May council meeting. Councilmember Kyle Arganbright gave a power point presentation to compare where Valentine is in relationship with peer communities. Valentine property taxes are considerably lower, retail sales are higher but we have less public amenities. If the sales tax is approved by the voters this summer, there would be no tax increase. There would only be a change in the ½ cent that is currently being used to pay bonds on the new swimming pool, which could be used to help fund a new public golf course for the community and an expansion of the Mid Plains Community College campus in Valentine. Representatives from Mid Plains were in attendance to talk about the current facility and what they would expect to see with a new campus. Campuses have already been expanded in Imperial, Ogallala and Broken Bow. Experience has shown that the new expanded campuses have increased the number of students from both the host communities and from outside. New stand alone buildings seem to draw more awareness to the presence of a college campus. They would partner with other educational institutions to offer 4 year degrees in Valentine. Visibility, access and expandability is vitally important to the success of the venture. Mid Plains would fund approximately half the cost with grants and direct contribution from the college and would provide operation and maintenance for the facility in the future.

There was also discussion on the proposed golf course project. New topographical maps are being compiled so that more precise construction costs can be determined. They are also looking at possible grants for recycling water being discharged from the waste water treatment plant to be used for irrigation. Jerry Reynoldson presented financial reports showing that the course would not be a drain on taxpayers if operated correctly.

A liquor license application for Shopko was approved.

Lowell Nelson with Tisdale Nebraska LLC requested temporarily leasing space on the old water tanks for cellular phone radio equipment for ATT. The request was approved.

A request was approved to waive landfill fees for free dump days on May 2nd, 3rd and 4th. City residents can take items to the NK Waste recycling center to drop off items during those days.

Maureen Johnson was appointed to serve a three year term on the Library Board.


Friends of the Library Hosting Building Block Competition

You don’t need a building construction degree to enter the latest contest at the Valentine Public Library.  A LEGO® competition will soon be under way!  Interested participants should build an original structure using LEGOs®, Duplos®, Mega Bloks®, or other plastic bricks.  The entry should be your own design, not from a book or pre-packaged plan and fit on a 10 x 10 inch base. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in age divisions ranging from the very young (4 years old) to the young-at-heart (19 and up).  Entries must be at the library by 6:00 p.m. on April 25th.  A panel of judges will make their decisions during the week of April 26th through May 3rd.  However, community members are encouraged to come and cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award. Official rules and a sign-up sheet may be obtained at the library.  This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library organization.  The Friends Board meets on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. in the library, and new members are always welcome.


Golf Event on April 25th


There are a very limited number of tickets available for the Valentine Golf Course development event on April 25th at the Peppermill in Valentine. This event will be a kickoff activity for local private fund raising with steak and lobster served for $29 per person. Only about 13 out of 150 seats are still available for this event which will include a social hour starting at six, and wrap up with live music at 9. Private funding will be an essential part of the financial picture for a new golf course project to move forward. A group of local supporters have undertaken the task of raising private dollars. At the April 25th event, there will be discussion on preliminary design, management options and financing of a potential new golf course. At this time a fund has been set up through the City of Valentine for supporters to donate to the project. Donations are tax deductible. At this time there is already over $75,000 in that fund which has been contributed toward the proposed new golf course. Contact the Peppermill for ticket information for the April 25th event.


Commissioners Forum


All six candidates for Cherry County Commissioner participated in a 90 minute forum last night at Valentine's Niobrara Lodge. The forum was sponsored by the Cherry County Republican Party and broadcast live across the county by KVSH radio and as well as KSDZ in Gordon. The candidates answered about 12 questions asked by moderator John Ravenscroft, a former commissioner. Those questions ranged from taxes to the Justice Center operations. There were also questions about roads, community betterment projects, and the role of the federal government in Cherry County. In addition, each candidate was given a 90 second opening statement and a closing statement to state why they should be voted for in the May 13th primary election. All candidates for the two open seats are Republicans and the election will be determined in the primary. Ballots will be mailed out later this month to rural voters in the county. Candidates are Jim Van Winkle, Tanya Storer, James Ward, Ruth Hobbs, Martin Denaeyer and Shane Daniels.  The forum will be rebroadcast on KVSH and on Friday April 11 beginning 3:05 Central Time.


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