Category Archives: Local News

BUNCO Scholarship Fundraiser to be Held by Broken Bow PEO Oct. 8

BROKEN BOW–Let the good times roll! A Saturday morning BUNCO event is scheduled for October 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Broken Bow Library (626 S. D Street).

Tickets are $25 per person or $80 for a table of four. The public is encouraged to bring their friends, dress up in a costume, and join the morning of games, prizes, food, and fun! Food will include muffins, casseroles, fruits, dips, drinks, etc. All are invited! No BUNCO experience necessary.

The PEO Sisterhood was founded in 1869 in Iowa. PEO chapters provide educational opportunities for women in the form of scholarships, grants, awards, and loans to help women enhance their lives through learning.

The Broken Bow Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Chapter S was established in 1899 and is excited to host this scholarship fundraiser.

“We’re doing this as a fundraiser for our scholarship programs and right now we’re working on a STAR Scholarship which is a $2,500 scholarship,” Evans said.

Karen Evans with PEO Chapter S told KCNI/KBBN that local grant and scholarship recipients have used the funds to continue their education. PEO members aim to serve women of all different backgrounds by encouraging philanthropy and higher education. There are nearly 6,000 chapters in the United States and Canada with more than 210,000 active members.

The STAR (Scholastic Talent Accomplishment Recognition) Scholarship requirements include being a female high school senior who exhibits excellence in leadership, academics, extracurricular activities, community service, and plans to attend an accredited post-secondary educational institution, among other requirements. Contact Karen Evans or another PEO member for more details.

“There’s a wide range of opportunities that are available and we just want to get people more involved and have the ability to get some stuff going,” Evans said.

RSVP for BUNCO by Monday, October 3 to Karen Evans at 308-870-0435 or [email protected].

Career and Technical Education Curriculum to Be Reviewed October 5

BROKEN BOW – The Broken Bow Career and Technical Education (CTE) department will be holding a curriculum review on Wednesday, October 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the high school board room.

The purpose of the curriculum review, says business teacher Angie Palmer, is to provide a much-needed opportunity for businesses and community members to become involved with the CTE program’s present and future, as well as ensure a productive path forward for everyone involved.

“We’re going to show them: this is what we’re doing in the classroom, here are the standards we’re supposed to meet. Is this addressing concerns or things that you’re doing in your own industries? When we go into this curriculum review, we have to identify what it is we’re currently doing, what the needs are within the industries within our community, and evaluate what we can do with our existing program, and what the possibility would be of maybe introducing a new program.”

Part of evaluating the curriculum, Palmer says, is ensuring that skills, not just specializations, are covered. “The review’s going to let us know: are we covering the basic career readiness skills? Communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration: are our programs addressing those skills?”

Getting Broken Bow’s schools and businesses on the same page is crucial not only for the continuation of a unique academic track, but for strengthening the ties between students, local employers, and the community as a whole. All too often rural communities find graduating high schoolers walking across the stage and out of town; Palmer says that a prominent CTE curriculum, with local input, could keep Custer County thriving through work-based learning for students.

“We give them the skills they need to apply and interview for jobs, but they don’t just go to work; there’s actually a learning relationship that goes on. The student would have a supervisor to oversee how they’re doing, telling them what they’re looking for, and they’d make connections within that business. The business would also be teaching the student.”

Businesses have until September 30 to RSVP for the curriculum review, though should not be afraid that their voices will not be heard if they cannot attend. Palmer says that this curriculum review is only the first step in what should prove to be an enriching and beneficial process for all parties.

“I would say this is probably ‘Step A’ in ‘Phase 1,’ so to speak; there’s so much that we have to pull apart and figure out.”


SCAM ALERT: Broken Bow Utilities Department

BROKEN BOW – Several Broken Bow residents have reported receiving calls this evening from a number resembling the Broken Bow Utilities Department indicating that if they do not pay their bill in 30 minutes, their power will be shut off.

The Broken Bow Utilities Department would like to alert customers that this is a scam; their number has been cloned, and customers should not give information or payment to anybody claiming to be the department.

The department would never threaten its customers in such a way.

Broken Bow Public School Now Accepting Bids on Custer School Building

BROKEN BOW – The Broken Bow Public School District is now accepting sealed bids for the Custer School building and grounds. All bids must be dropped off in person or by mail before 5 p.m. on Monday, October 17 at the Superintendent’s office: 323 North 7th Avenue in Broken Bow.

The building will be sold “as is,” and all contents and equipment will be included, with the exception of the playground equipment, which is anticipated to be removed before the building and grounds change hands.

Bidders are able to tour the building before placing a bid; they can do so by emailing Jim Zlomke; the tentative dates for touring the building are October 10 through 14 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

All envelopes containing bids for the building and grounds must be sealed and clearly marked “Custer Property Bid.” All bids will then be opened and reviewed the night of the 17 when the Broken Bow School Board holds its regular meeting.

Questions can be directed to Broken Bow Public School Superintendent Darren Tobey or Jim Zlomke.

BBPS Budget on Track After Hearing

BROKEN BOW – The long-awaited county budget hearing for the Broken Bow School Board stayed mostly on track Wednesday night, in more ways than one. By 6 p.m., 36 community members had filtered through the courthouse doors to voice thoughts on the near 6% tax ask increase from the mouths of superintendent Darren Tobey and school board president Tom Osmond.

After the two presented the case for the increased ask, during which Tobey cited the need for an HVAC overhaul and the prior five years of a static budget in the face of anticipated student body growth, citizens had the opportunity to voice their concerns for a loose two minutes apiece.

Nancy Bauman, former Broken Bow science teacher, wanted to know why, if the building and its HVAC system are as old as they are, money had not been allocated toward its renovation earlier, instead of other projects.

“We have noticed what wonderful sports facilities we have here at Broken Bow. And that’s wonderful because the kids deserve that. But why wasn’t that money spent on the building?”

School facility funding, Tobey replied, comes from sources as varied as the facilities themselves.

“New fences came from insurance, and the new track had been budgeted in; it was already within the budget.” The athletic boosters, he went on to say, raise a great deal of money for all corners of the school’s sports endeavors.

That being said, it would take an estimated $9 million to bring the schools up to the current code, which raised resident Les Kulhanek’s eyebrow. “How did these buildings get so far behind on getting up to code; were there no inspections being made prior to this?”

Tobey’s response, using the very building in which he stood as an example, was that a structure tends to remain up to code until a renovation process gets underway.

“In code, you’re all grandfathered in until you start to make some renovations to a building. The courthouse has a second floor. You’d never get by a second floor without an elevator; when the courthouse decided to do renovations, you have to put an elevator in.”

The $600,000 track again took center stage, this time as a thorn in resident Gary Tharp’s side as he voiced the room’s common concern.

“Where is the money going? If the track was not booster funded, why did we need to spend that money on the track; why couldn’t we put that money into our science labs, or into our library? I love sports, but education is ten times more important.”

The track was a necessary expense, Tobey replied, because of how rugged it had become; it proved a liability for students which could have led to injuries and exposed the school to even costlier lawsuits.

Amid questions about the rising ask and the possibility of a nonexistent ceiling year after year, Tobey pointed to his board’s track record in comparison to proximal schools both geographically and demographically; Cozad and Gothenburg schools both pay more taxes per student than Broken Bow.

“At some point, we have to look around at other people and go: ‘Wow, we’re doing a really good job.’ We’re already lower than all of our area schools.”

With the budget due to the state by Friday, and the sweat put into sculpting it long dried, the likelihood that the board will reshape any piece of it is next to nil; however, taxpayers can continue to make their voices heard: school board meetings are always open to the public.

Harmonizing for Healing Hearts & Families Gala on October 8

BROKEN BOW–The Harmonizing for Healing Hearts & Families (HHF) gala is scheduled for Saturday, October 8 from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at the One Box Convention Center in Broken Bow.

The event will feature live entertainment by Dueling Pianos and a guest speaker. Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. $50 per ticket/$425 for a table of 10. A steak dinner will be served followed by a live and silent auction. Auction will include a Green Mountain Grill and a fire pit among many others items!

Proceeds from the auctions go to enhance client services provided by Healing Hearts and Families such as providing shelter to individuals and their families, relocation, medical help, legal help, therapy, food, transportation, and personal hygiene items among other services.

Sue Ellen Koepke with HHF said she is grateful for the generous support of donors from the areas they serve.

“We’re very fortunate because this community is very supportive and as far as donating items that we can use for families, donating gift cards, etc,” Koepke said on the Get Up and Go Breakfast Show on September 26.

“This community is so wonderful about donating and so generous. My heartfelt appreciation to everybody who donates and supports us all year round.”

Healing Hearts and Families served approximately 630 individuals in the last year by helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, students in diversion programs, and those affected by human trafficking.

“We’re here to serve and help. You know my whole thing is everybody needs to be treated with dignity and respect and if there’s a need and if there’s a service that needs to be met, that’s what we do,” Koepke continued.

“It’s devastating. The physical abuse is bad but it heals, the mental/emotional abuse never really goes away,” Koepke said citing the importance of the HHF therapy programs.

Koepke has been helping clients for more than 20 years and said this last year is the first time HHF has run out of gas cards, grocery cards, etc. provided to clients. In one month, HHF worked to provide 40 nights of shelter to clients. State and federal funding covers the business related costs but donations are essential to provide services to clients.

“All of the funds that we get at the gala or donations go for client services and client needs. The grants cover the salary. They cover the businesses aspects,” Koepke said.

Reserve your tickets by this Friday by calling 308-872-2420 or visiting the HHF website or Facebook page. Donations are still accepted such as auction items, items for clients, or cash donations.

Anyone needing assistance can call the crisis line at 800-942-4040.

BBPS October Students of the Month

BROKEN BOW – Broken Bow Public School has announced the October Students of the Month; this month’s character trait is Responsibility.

One student from each grade who most represents the month’s chosen quality has been selected by peers. The four are:

12th grade: Anna Clingenpeel
11th grade: Brandon Gamboa
10th grade:Katelyn Berggren
9th grade: Alexis Pflaster

Once the nominees are put forward, the list is sent on to the school’s administration for approval. Once approved, each student is awarded a free Runza and their names are recognized in announcements.

Rachelle Haines, serving her 25th year in the service of Broken Bow Public Schools, explains that the award means that much more when peers recognize peers.

“It’s sometimes easy for kids just to follow the flow—or people, not just students—but it’s easy for people just to follow the flow and when kids get rewarded for going against that grain it validates their choices,” Haines said.

Three Bow Seniors Honored by NSAA

BROKEN BOW – Three Broken Bow High School students have been selected for the NSAA’s 2022-23 ‘Believers & Achievers’ program.

Lainey Palmer, Zane Eggleston, and Roman Schmidt are Broken Bow’s honorees.

The state-wide program, designed to recognize Nebraska’s future leaders, honors students who show a commitment to good citizenship and involvement in school and community projects. Only 48 seniors throughout the state will be selected in 2022-23.

In order to be recognized, students must be in the senior class, have at least a 3.5 GPA, and must participate in NSAA activities. Additionally, those considered for the honor are encouraged to write and submit a citizenship essay to the NSAA.

Two New Broken Bow Police Officers Take Oath during City Council Meeting

BROKEN BOW—The Broken Bow Police Department (BBPD) is growing thanks to the hard work of the entire force and the commitment of new officers Paul Cunningham and Christopher Shelby. The Broken Bow City Council meeting held on Tuesday, September 27 began with the swearing in of both officers, who will be certified officers by this spring following basic training in Grand Island.

Currently, both Cunningham and Shelby are “non-certified conditional officers” as stated by Police Chief Steve Scott. Chief Scott gave some background information about the two men before they recited their oaths as administered by City Attorney Jason White.

Paul Cunningham is from Bellevue, Neb. and spent six years serving in the United States Airforce before working for the railroad, Becton Dickinson, and then applying for the BBPD. His wife works as a nurse in Callaway and they have two sons.

Christopher Shelby is from Illinois and served six years in the United States Army as an airborne infantryman. He also serves in the U.S. National Guard in Kearney. His wife works at Kearney Regional Hospital and they have one son.

Officer Paul Cunningham taking his oath
Officer Christopher Shelby taking his oath

Congratulations and applause filled the Municipal Auditorium following the police officer oaths and Mayor Rod Sonnichsen thanked the police force and the entire team working for the City of Broken Bow.

Also during Tuesday’s city council meeting, a public hearing was held for Ordinance 1264 Well Head Protection Plan. City Administrator Dan Knoell requested the council not waive the readings and the ordinance will appear on the agenda again as the council members wait for JEO Consulting Group, Inc. to attend a council meeting in October to give more information.

The city’s one- and six-year plans were approved as part of Resolution 2022-15 (motion by Dave Schmidt and second by Larry Miller). Dan Knoell said the Memorial Drive project in progress near the hospital will be completed in December. With the completion of that project and a drainage canal, last year’s plans will be completed.

City projects included in the one- and six-year plans include more ADA compliant sidewalks on the south side of town as part of the blighted/substandard requirements to qualify for TIF funding, Memorial Drive improvements from 5th Avenue west to 18th Ave., and the Eagle Crest subdivision which will provide “well-needed housing” according to Knoell.

Council member Chris Myers was absent and excused by Schmidt, Miller, and Dave Baltz who all voted to approve the consent agenda which included the September 13 budget hearing minutes. The meeting adjourned at 6:19 p.m.