Saturday, July 3, 2010

Death Notice: Glenn E. Kovanda

Kovanda, Glenn E
Age 90 of Milligan, Nebraska
Died in Geneva on Friday July 2, 2010
Born to Fred & Rose ( Bulin ) Kovanda on August 7,1919 in Milligan, Nebraska

Sons & daughters-in-law
Russel & Melinda --- Yuba, CA
Chris & Martha --- Edmond, OK
Alan --- Lincoln, NE
Glenn F. & Denice --- Milligan, NE
Rose Mary Capek --- Geneva, NE
7 Grandchildren
1 Great Grandchild

Services 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at
Farmer & Son Funeral Home
in Geneva, Nebraska
Officiating is Kim Dunker

Visitation Beginning Tuesday 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Farmer & Son Funeral Home - Geneva, NE

Memorials to Milligan American Legion - Exeter Milligan School Foundation
& National VFW

Graveside services Lincoln Memorial Park
Lincoln, Nebraska

Friday, July 2, 2010

New MDS Coordinator at the Exeter Care Center

Julie Dillan, RN, has recently joined the staff at the Exeter Care Center. Julie, lives in York now, but is originally from Fairmont and has been in the nursing profession for over 25 years. According to Julie her job entails, "managing residents overall plan of care. Making sure that all the departments are involved in a team approach to meet the residents goals." Welcome, Julie!

Exeter Care Center Residents Enjoy Race Cars

John Miller explains the finer points of a race car to Wilma Cox.

Greg Ekeler shows Exeter Care Center resident Dale Mizner the inside of his race car during a visit to the Care Center.

Exeter Care Center resident Esther Deterding enjoys posing with her grandson, Greg Ekeler, in front of his race car. She also enjoyed attending the races at Junction Motor Speedway since Greg won the race that evening.

Dale Mizner reminds Greg Ekeler that he owes him a hat while looking at his race car at the Exeter Care Center.

The roar of the engines, the screech of the tires and the smell of hot asphalt was all there at the Exeter Care Center Thursday afternoon.

Four cars, all of which compete in the Cruiser category at local racetracks, paid a visit to the care center in preparation for the resident's visit to Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Thursday evening.

The drivers which included Brian Petro and Clayton Lewis in # 71, Bill Lewis and Jim Lewis in # 11, Greg Ekeler and John Miller in #42 and Brent Kassik and John Miller in #59 brought their cars out to show the residents.

The residents enjoyed asking questions about the cars and how these particular cars require two drivers, one to steer and the other to run the gas and the brakes. They also had the opportunity to look in the cars and get autographs from all of the drivers.

Several of the drivers have ties to the care center as driver Brian Petro is the son of Social Services director Margaret Petro and driver Greg Ekeler had the opportunity to pose with his grandmother, Esther Deterding, who resides at the care center. Bill Lewis in car #11 is the wife of Connie Lewis who works at the care center on the nursing staff. Julie Lewis who is also on the nursing staff has two drivers in her family, husband Bill Lewis in car # 11 and son Clayton Lewis in car # 71.

After the races Margaret Petro reported that "Esther (Deterding) was tickled pink because Greg (her grandson) won - we got to talk on the microphone and everyone cheered. The residents had a great time."

Fillmore County Hospital Vote August 10th

This is an overview of what the new hospital could look like.

An architects drawing of what the new Fillmore County Hospital could look like. According to hospital information the structure would be the same but the exterior elements, like the stucco, will replicate the courthouse look with brick.

Residents of Fillmore County have been given the opportunity to voice their opinion at the polls on August 10th. "Your Future, Your Decision," has been the approach by the Fillmore County Hospital Board on the upcoming special election in regards to building a new hospital in Geneva.

Many residents of the Nebraska county have been somewhat surprised at the special election and the speed in which information is being disbursed and the pace of the election highway.

Just last month Paul Utemark, CEO of Fillmore County Hospital, a county-owned facility, approached the Fillmore County Supervisors with the news that an independent corporation had been interested in buying out the hospital, building a new hospital and donating the old building back to the county.

According to Utemark, the Fillmore County Hospital Board members "asked themselves the question, 'If they can, why can't we?'"

As the board and Utemark researched the issues they found USDA funds available for application, positive feedback from auditors on the hospital's current financial situation and cost-saving opportunities in building new.

The board looked at several reasons to pursue building a new hospital which include the age of the current facility. The FCH was built in 1961 and still has the original HVAC equipment. The design of the hospital was also geared toward the medical needs of the 1960's and not today.

Recently the Hospital board conducted several focus group meetings for leaders in the Fillmore County communities. Utemark presented a power point presentation addressing the pros and cons of the upcoming vote.

At the focus groups, Utemark presented several options including maintaining the status quo. He also discussed a renovation and expansion project versus replacing the hospital under local ownership or private ownership.

Utemark spoke of the financial impact that the hospital has on the county, citing "We have over 100 employees with a $3.5 million annual payroll."

He also spoke of the "high growth in several departments including outpatient clinic, lab, radiology, pharmacy and theraphy service departments. The change and growth has resulted in space and work flow issues in these areas."
With the high usage of the hospital the board was concerned about disrupting business with a renovation and/or expansion project. Upon learning more about the current USDA loan program for 70% of new building, the board began to pursue this avenue.

Meeting the deadline of the UDSA loan program is part of the reason for the rapidly approaching special election. The loan application is due July 15 and the FCH board had to move quickly to have additional audits done and reviewed as well as finding a location, an architect, a builder and the rest of the 30% of the funding for the project. All of those items have been taken care but the biggest issue will be resident approval.

At the focus group Utemark examined some of the concerns that residents of the county might have. He explained that the USDA loan would be "made directly to the hospital." The rest of the funding will come from general obligation bonds and the ongoing revenues of the hospital will be the collateral for the bond debt. Taxpayers are not expected to have to foot the bill for the new construction unless the hospital revenues become insufficient. After the last renovation at the hospital they saw an increase in patient volume and feel "a new facility has the potential to do the same."

Part of the cost savings of starting from scratch versus renovation will be in design costs. The board found several companies who specialize in building hospitals and have plans available similar to the needs of Fillmore County Hospital. Utemark explained that the "savings of a pre-engineered plan can offer significant savings in the design process."

Some of the other restrictions that Utemark cited for renovation are the current land-locked situation at the present site. Currently the board is looking at property on the north side of F street between 18th street and Highway 81. The city owns property near the site the county may use and several of the critical land owners nearby have indicated they are willing to sell.

Utemark and the hospital board members will be conducting town hall meetings in many of the communities in Fillmore County to inform the public on the vote and answer any questions they may have. They also have information on their website at Utemark and other community leaders are very positive about the project, "today we build to grow, having adaptability to change." Change? Well, that will be up to the voters on August 10 in Fillmore County.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Barn Quilt Project

The Fillmore County Barn Quilt Committee is working on the first two Barn Quilts for Fillmore County. Volunteers worked last week to draw the patterns and paint two 8’ x 8’ quilt blocks.

The quilt block sponsored by the Fillmore County 4-H Council has a four-leaf clover design and will be placed at the Fairgrounds. The other quilt block donated by Lloydene and Gerald Stengel has the LeMoyne Star pattern and will be located on a machine shed on the Stengel farm on Road 2 west of Shickley.

The Pat & Renee Kamler family have also created a barn quilt with a pattern that will placed on their barn on Road P northwest of Shickley.

All three Barn Quilt blocks may be viewed during the Fillmore County fair in the agricultural building. Information about the project and how a person can become involved will also be available.

People who may have a barn or building that could be considered to hold a barn quilt are encouraged to let the committee know by contacting the FC Visitors Co. at 759-4910. Ideally the barn quilt could be seen from both directions of travel and from a hard surfaced road.

Second and Third Graders enjoy Summer Reading Program

Exeter Public Library extended its Summer Reading Program to Second and third graders. They enjoyed reading water related books and making an aquarium craft. They also enjoyed turtle races.

Village of Exeter Purchases New Loader

The Village of Exeter recently purchased a new loader. The subject of a new loader was broached this spring after the bad weather the area experienced this last winter. The Village had a loaner loader over the winter because of a manufacturing issue to replace a broken window in their current loader. The loaner loader was larger than the loader that the village owned and Village Maintenance Supervisor John Mueller stated at a Village Board meeting that they were fortunate to have the larger loaner loader because of all the snow piles that had to be moved. He was concerned that the loader the village owned would not have made it through all of the snow to move the piles.

After researching possibilities, the board offered the current loader up for bids and it was sold in June. Village Maintenance Supervisor Mueller and Village Chairman of the Board Alan Michl spent several days checking loaders and found a used loader in Kansas that met the boards budget and size requirements.

The loader is a Caterpillar 924H. The total for the loader came to $116,150 and the village used the $21, 751 from the sale of the old loader and $15,000 from sales tax funds to help pay for the purchase. The village borrowed the $79,000 to make up the total cost of the loader.

Exeter Cub Scouts Summer Activities

Ryan Bjornberg (left) of Friend races Braden Capek (right) of Milligan at the Exeter and Friend Cub Scout Campout
Terry Shellhorn (left) of Friend wins the raingutter regatta race against Joey Bartu (right) of Exeter. Micah Noel cheers for Terry on the far left and Braden and Breanna Capek are cheering for Joey.

Ben Bartu, Jackson Beethe and Joey Bartu, Exeter Cub Scouts, pose for a picture before a fun day at Day Camp.

Seth Noel (left) and Micah Noel (right) both of Friend pack 270 enjoy archery at the Cornhusker Council headquarters in Walton, Ne.

Exeter Cub Scout Pack 218 has been busy this summer. In June the Webelos Scouts (4th and 5th graders) made rockets and launched them. They also made leather knife holders.

The third week in June the Scouts held a pack campout at Lone Star, south of Milligan. This was a combined event with the Friend pack. The weather, although hot, was beautiful Friday night. After supper together the scouts practiced skits and then for their campfire they sang songs led by Friend Cubmaster Lisa Bjornberg and performed several skits. The evening was beautiful for the scouts to sleep in the tents. On Saturday morning the scouts had breakfast and then held a raingutter regata. They had made boats Friday evening and then each level of scouts raced against each other blowing their boats down filled raingutters. There was lots of friendly rivalry with the Friend Pack taking the lead. After the scouts raced, the siblings raced the boats they had made. All the kids enjoyed racing against each other. After the raingutters were cleaned up the scouts gathered for some instruction on art by Cubmaster Leesa Bartu. Unfortunately the rain and storm prevented the group from finishing and the rest of the campout was cancelled. The Exeter scouts will spend a Saturday in the fall fishing and hiking as promised.

In June several of the cub scouts also attended Day Camp in Walton, Nebraska at the Outdoor Education Center. This is the headquarters of the Cornhusker Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The boys made baskets with parachutes on Thursday and launched them on Friday. They shot bb guns and did archery as well as lots of sports activities. On Thursday they were joined by three scouts from the Friend Pack in their camp "den" and enjoyed time with them again. Friday was water day at camp which started with launching the parachutes they made on Thursday with raw eggs in the basket. They used water rockets to launch them. The boys also used wrist rockets (slingshots) with paint balls and played water kickball, water volleyball participated in a camp wide water fight and then enjoyed a 100 foot long birthday cake to celebrate the 100th birthday of scouting in America.

Girls Softball Team Place 3rd in Recent Tournament

The Exeter girls 10 and under team, coached by Mark and Jane Beethe, took 3rd place at a tournament last weekend. The girls 14 and under team also took second place at the Friend Tournament. Congratulations, ladies!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Boy Scouts Earn Merit Badges at Cornhusker Camp

Exeter Boy Scouts who are members of Troop 390 out of Cordova spent a week in June at Boy Scout Camp, Cornhusker Camp, near Humboldt, Nebraska.

While they were there they enjoyed swimming, canoeing, archery, cooking and more while sleeping in their tents and learning with many other scouts who were there for the week.

Attending were Kirby Soukup, Cody Soukup, Jack Dinneen and Elliot Erdkamp.

Kirby earned merit badges in swimming, canoeing, archery and camping. Cody earned his Geocaching merit badge and participated in a Senior Patrol Leader program. Elliot earned his swimming, cooking, canoeing and nature merit badges and Jack earned his nature, swimming, canoeing and archery merit badges. The boys also started several other merit badges which they will complete at home.