News

Tue
30
Jun

Splish, splash -- finally!

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Arya Bennett, the young daughter of Jeremiah and Sarah Bennett, was among the first to seek relief from the hot summer sun with Monday’s opening of the Cole Park splash pad. The automated water features are active from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Wed
24
Jun

County recognizes courthouse 125th

Monday’s Hamilton County Board meeting held special meaning for the Hamilton County Courthouse and all residents of the area. Commissioners took time after the opening of the meeting to proclaim this week (June 21-27) as the courthouse’s quasquicentennial.
“I’m just really pleased about this and I wish we were having our celebration,” Chairman Rich Nelson said. “But (the agenda item was to) discuss and consider approval of a proclamation declaring the week of June 21 through the 27th be proclaimed the Hamilton County Courthouse quasquicentennial.”
Jill DeMers, Hamilton County clerk, read the proclamation onto record and with it pieces of history related to the courthouse.

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

 

Wed
24
Jun

High Plains’ Jan Blase reflects on 37-year teaching career

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They say the road will always bring you home again and for High Plains Community School’s teacher Jan Blase that has proven true, as she turns the page on her 37-year teaching career.
Blase grew up in Hordville before heading to Midland University in Fremont for her bachelor’s degree and then the University of Nebraska at Kearney for her master’s.
“I started teaching at Chapman Grand Island Northwest Cedar School,” she recalled. “I taught there for 17 years. I taught PE, kindergarten and then I taught first grade.”
During her time at Chapman, Blase started off teaching PE part time before splitting her time between PE and kindergarten. For the next eight years she focused on teaching first grade.

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

 

Wed
24
Jun

Go Big Give campaign begins

Residents of Hamilton, Hall, Howard and Merrick counties are once again being invited to support area nonprofit organizations during this year’s Go Big Give campaign.
The four-county fundraiser began on Monday with a newly extended period of pre-give, culminating with a day of giving on July 7.
Throughout the area 137 nonprofits have signed up for the event with 18 of them from Hamilton County.

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

Wed
24
Jun

Vancare a partner in battle against COVID

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Westfield Quality Care didn’t have to look far in building a strategy for ridding its facility of the coronavirus and keeping people safe. The long-term care facility in Aurora has partnered with Vancare, Inc., located less than a quarter mile away on 1st Street, to utilize an electrostatic disinfecting system both companies say has had an immediate impact.
“I think it would be safe to assume that that has been an effective tool in helping us to slow and end the spread of the virus,” Westfield Administrator Chris Young said of a high-tech Vancare process first applied throughout the facility in April.

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

Wed
24
Jun

AHS grads finally turn tassels

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Aurora High School seniors came back together one final time Saturday, after weeks of being apart, to finally complete one of their missing “lasts” of senior year -- graduation.
Though the crowd was thinner than usual, diplomas were not followed with handshakes and all students had to sit six feet apart across the gym floor, those students who chose to wait it out for an in-person ceremony were rewarded with its pomp and circumstance.
That feeling of resilience permeated the morning’s events.
“I thank you for joining us as we celebrate 136th graduating class, as each member drops the title of high school student and meets the excitement and challenges found with the new title of graduate,” said Principal Doug Kittle.

Read more in this week's print or e-editions and click the link below to watch a highlight video.

Graduation

 

Wed
24
Jun

Westfield gaining in COVID battle

Two months after first reporting that staff members and residents had tested positive for the coronavirus, Westfield Quality Care has now gone nearly a month without any symptoms or new cases, hoping for test results this week that will determine if the long-term care facility has been officially cleared of COVID-19.
Now in his third week on the job as Westfield’s new administrator, Chris Young reported progress in a battle he said nobody could have fully prepared for or anticipated.
“It’s a story of struggle, but also a story of recovery,” Young said.

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

Wed
24
Jun

Nissen, Tempo Performing Arts grooves its way to Aurora

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Aurora native Ashley Nissen has decided to bring her passion for dance and the performing arts to children and adults of the surrounding area.
Tempo Performing Arts Studio is set to begin classes in the fall, with registration already available for all age groups and styles of dance. Nissen noted that in the long run her studio will offer lessons on all facets of performing such as vocal and instrumental.
The studio will be located at 1111 12th St. in Aurora, the former location of After Hour Grafix.
“I loved all the performing arts,” she said. “I love dance, love singing and am a total nerd when it came to performing arts. I always wanted to open a place where a kid can get all that in one place, so that is my goal this first year.”
Nissen’s plan is to create a one-stop shop for those interested in the performing arts; a goal that grew from her own childhood experiences.

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

 

Wed
24
Jun

Centennial Queen pageant once a highlight of Hamilton Co. fair

In 1966 the Hamilton County Fair certainly looked a little different than it did last year, and presumably as it will this year. A part of this Aug. 22-25 celebration, the 94th in Hamilton County history, was that of the “County Centennial Queen Contest” -- a beauty pageant featuring some familiar family names.
“Members of the Hamilton County Fair Board announced this week plans for a ‘Miss Centennial Queen Contest’ as one of the highlights of the 1966 county fair,” reads an article originally published in the Aurora News-Register on April 28, 1966. “In cooperation with the County Centennial committee and the State Centennial Commission, county fair officials will join in seeking the Nebraska Girl of the Century.”

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

 

Wed
24
Jun

Adventures in gardening

Driving around Aurora or any community will showcase a bounty of gardens. From veggies to flowers it seems like having a garden is the cool thing to do in this day and age.
When I decided to try my hand at planting something and having it not die I was in high school and truly believed that having a vegetable garden would be easy-peasy.
Hearing my pleas, my father tilled me a patch of dirt at our home and me, being the crafty consumer, decided to save money and start all my plants from seeds. There was my first mistake, because after buying seeds, trays, starter pots and dirt I was in no way ahead financially.
Nevertheless, I persisted in this notion of growing my own food. I planted carrots, cucumbers, 10 tomato plants and lettuce. Well, it turns out that carrots can’t grow in clay-based soil, that many tomato plants can feed the whole town and lettuce will grow everywhere aggressively.

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