News

Wed
28
Aug

County reviews possible changes on comp plan

A large part of Monday’s Hamilton County Board meeting involved a discussion-based workshop surrounding the proposed comprehensive zoning and regulations plan, taking into account all public commentary shared Aug. 20 as well as recommendations from the county planning commission.
Monday’s session was discussion only, based on the fact a public hearing had already been held. No formal decisions were made. 
“So what we’re doing today is we’re going through and looking at suggested changes from the public and determining whether we are in favor of making those changes before we seek approval,” Board Chairman Rich Nelson began. 
To read more about the county's discussion, which focused largely on housing density and wind turbine issues, see this week's print or e-edition.

Wed
28
Aug

Gold Star daughter’s tribute goes viral

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Aurora High School senior Julia Yllescas went to bed on Saturday, Aug. 17, happy to have taken her senior pictures, but unaware of the oncoming viral media attention that would await her in the coming days. 
Julia’s senior photos have captured the world by storm, featuring her looking pensive next to a faded ‘angel’ image of her late father. Capt. Robert Yllescas was taken from this world on Dec. 1, 2008, while serving in Afghanistan. He was severely injured by an IED and later passed at a military hospital in Maryland, when Julia was only 9 years old.
“I think it was a combination of my mom and my photographer’s idea,” Julia said on the topic of how her photos came to be. “I think ultimately it came down to my photographer. We just came to her and we wanted to include my dad some way throughout my senior year.”
To read more about Julia's tribute, please see this week's print or e-edition.

Wed
28
Aug

Wet roads becoming part of school safety discussion

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The condition of rural roads in Hamilton County is quickly becoming part of the school safety discussion due to an overabundance of rain. 
With annual rainfall in the county now adding up to 30 inches or more of moisture, rural county roads are saturated and in some places impassable. While districts have policies for and are accustomed to dealing with dangerous road conditions during the cold winter months, there have been instances in the first two weeks of the school year where parents were advised that school buses were not able to pick up their child or children as scheduled.
All four of the area school district superintendents at Aurora, Hampton, Giltner and High Plains provided clarification on policies, problems and plans moving forward.
To read more, please see this week's print or e-edition.

Wed
28
Aug

After Hours Grafix to build new facility

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What started as a hobby to create decals for his own race cars back in 2009 has evolved into a high-demand business for Troy Hofmann, who announced plans this week to build a stand-alone facility for After Hours Grafix near Aurora’s I-80 interchange.
Having taught himself the ins and outs of designing and installing high-end commercial vehicle wraps, Hofmann said he’s developed a niche business that has seen explosive growth in recent years.
To read more about After Hours Grafix, please see this week's print or e-edition.

 

Wed
28
Aug

Hampton addressing housing needs

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Efforts to provide more housing opportunities in Hampton are beginning to pay off with several lots or houses now available for sale.
Karen Bamesberger reported this week that several entities have been working behind the scenes on the housing front, explaining that progress takes time.
“We continue to try to use existing lots in Hampton,” said Bamesberger, who works with the Hawk Builders, Hampton Housing Solutions, and Hampton Development Corporation organizations. “Some houses need to be cleaned up, some need to be flipped and some need renovation. Because of those efforts, there are a few that have come available.”
To read more, please see this week's print or e-edition.

Wed
21
Aug

Heavy rain leads to water-logged roads

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After heavy rain throughout Wednesday, many county roads are experiencing flooding and/or unfavorable driving conditions similarly to this photo taken south of the interstate underpass on South P Road. 

Wed
21
Aug

Bish challenges current Hemp Bill

Andrew Bish of Bish Enterprises has engaged in legal action against the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) in the hopes of putting pressure on the state to enact the Hemp Bill appropriately when the U.S. Department of Agriculture releases its regulations in August.
LB657, or the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, amended existing statutes to establish a state hemp program according to the NDA website. The legislation gave the NDA authority to regulate the growing, harvesting and processing of hemp for research purposes in Nebraska under a licensing agreement until further action is taken by the USDA.

Read more in this week's print or e-editions.

Wed
21
Aug

Aurora show choirs can’t stop the beat, learn new groove

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Aurora High School will once again be putting its best foot forward as the show choir teams of Impact and Rhapsody have begun practicing for their upcoming performing and competitive season.
Director Jason Frew reported that they have 20 ladies performing with Impact this year, which is the biggest group they have ever had. Rhapsody, for the second year in a row, consists of 20 girls and 20 guys.

Read more in this week's print or e-editions.

 

Wed
21
Aug

150th Nebraska State Fair dressed to impress in 2019

The Nebraska State Fair is quickly approaching with just a short number of days until Grand Island is filled to the brim with Nebraskans from every corner of the state.
Special this year, the fair celebrates its 150th birthday, complete with a packed agenda of special events and other crowd favorites between Friday and Sept. 2.
“There are a lot of things special this year because it is the 150th, as well as our 10th fair in central Nebraska,” said Jayne Smith, 1868 Foundation member.

Read more in this week's print or e-editions.

Wed
21
Aug

County’s valuation drops by $79 million

The valuation of property in Hamilton County has dropped for the third consecutive year due mostly to a decline in irrigated and dryland ag land values.
Hamilton County Assessor Pat Sandberg posted the 2019 valuation totals for all taxing subdivisions Friday, noting a decrease of 2.66 percent  to $2.88 billion. Sandberg reported a similar decline last year of 2.5 percent.

Read more in this week's print or e-editions.

 

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