Saturday, November 22, 2014

Exeter-Milligan Update: Nebraska All State Band

Each year, approximately 3000 of the best high school musicians in the state audition for the Nebraska All-State Band, Chorus, Jazz Band and Orchestra which are sponsored by the Nebraska Music Educators Association.
Selection as a member of one of these groups is one of the highest music honors attainable in Nebraska. Mr. Nathan LeFeber, Chair of Band Affairs for the Nebraska Music Educators Association, is pleased to announce that Jordyn Brandt, flute; will be among the 155 students selected to be a part of the 2014 All-State Band. Jordyn attends Exeter-Milligan High School and is the daughter of Roger and Dianne Brandt.  
Guest conductor for the group will be Colleen Richardson, Coordinator of Bands and Director of the Wind Ensemble at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. The band will rehearse Wednesday, November 19th through Friday, November 21st on the University of Nebraska Lincoln campus, the host site of the 2014 NMEA Conference/Clinic. A final public concert will be held on Friday, November 21st at the Lied Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Nebraska Lincoln campus.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Exeter Village Board Approves War Monument

The Exeter Village Board met on Wednesday, November 12th covering a wide variety of topics.
After approving previous minutes and invoices the board moved right into the first item of business, an application for a liquor license from Greg’s Market.

Owner Greg Yound was present and noted that he was asking for the recommendation from the board for a class D license to sell beer and wine.  The board unanimously approved a recommendation for the license for Greg’s Market and noted that the application will now go to the State.

“Thank you for trying to improve your business,” board member Kathy Erdkamp expressed to Yound.
Brian Murphy, a member of the Exeter History Book Committee, was next on the agenda.  “It has been 10 years ago we did the history book and now with the profits from the book we would like to put up a five foot by three foot monument to honor veterans near the historical marker,” he explained.

“We would like to leave the (memorial) bench where it is now maybe put the monument in the same area (south of the fire hall on main street).”

After viewing a photo example of the monument and some possible placement options, chairman of the village board Alan Michl gave his approval, “This is in a main area where more people could see it.” 

The board gave verbal approval for the location and also for the size of the memorial.  Murphy thanked them and noted, “We will get the ball rolling and hopefully by Memorial Day of next year we will be able to have the monument dedicated.”

The board opened the sealed bids for excess equipment.  Up for bids were a dump truck, four-wheeler and pressure washer. The board approved Jason Oldehoeft’s bid for the dump truck and the bid from John Mueller for the four-wheeler.  

The bid for the pressure was lower than the board would accept, “It’s worth more than that in scrap,” noted Michl.

Village Maintenance Supervisor John Mueller reported that he had ordered new street signs.  He also noted that the toddler slide at the pool is losing it’s clear coat and will have to be refinished.  Mueller is exploring options for redoing the turtle.  He also informed the board the rest of the concrete work would be done in the spring.

Clerk Becky Erdkamp reported the total sales tax for August was $13,530.16 and keno receipts for September were $880.35. She noted that Elliot Erdkamp is making progress on creating a cement sidewalk around the brick sign at Gilbert’s Park as his Eagle Scout project. 

Erdkamp also related that Librarian Jessica Votipka has the library’s new computer up and running and has the electrical work done so that the public computer could be moved.  After setting the next board meeting for December 3rd at 7 p.m. the board moved to adjourn.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Exeter-Milligan School Board Takes First Step Toward Building Project

The Exeter-Milligan School Board took another step closer toward a building project in their meeting Wednesday evening.

During the meeting the board approved Olsson and Associates as the firm to do a topographic site survey, the first phase towards an addition.

Superintendent Paul Sheffield noted that the survey should be done before the December meeting and they home to meet with Olsson and Associates soon after it is completed.  Further discussion on the building project show constructions estimates will take about 12 months once the plans are finalized.

Earlier in the meeting Sheffield updated the board on some new programs that the district will be involved with.  First on the list is the new physical education program called SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids).  The P.E. department is implementing this program through a grant funded by the US Department of Education.  The program focuses on improving the health and fitness of children and has been shown to improve their standardized academic test scores.

Sheffield also noted that the school would be getting a weather station soon and would become the information hub for the Weather Bug app that is available online.  “We will be monitoring the weather station and the elementary can incorporate this project into their daily math meeting.”

The board briefly discussed contract negotiations and the committee decided to meet immediately after the board meeting.

Moving on to new business the board discussed offering several unnamed teachers a separation incentive program as an option.  Sheffield noted, “We didn’t offer any last year but we can look back at the packed we offered two years ago.  We usually get this done in January or February.”

Superintendent evaluations will be given in December.  Sheffield reported that his goals for this year were developed from the evaluation instrument from last year.

The next agenda item was the audit report which Sheffield informed the board was available both at Generations Bank in Exeter and also on the Exeter-Milligan website.

“Every year we get written up from one of the auditors.  There is one thing they would like to happen – one person that opens the bills, one that pays the bills and one double checks.  We do have a process Jackie opens and pays but I look at the bills and also a board member looks at the bills. So we still have that triple check in place just not how they see it,” explained Sheffield.

The board moved on to discuss the review of the junior high football coop with Friend.  Sheffield and Coach Brian Murphy met with the Friend Superintendent Moody and Coach Kraus.  “For the most part we thought it went well.  Friend would like to do a long term commitment four or eight years  I would be willing to do a two year,” reported Sheffield.

The board reviewed projected enrollment for both schools and noticed that Exeter-Milligan would not qualify to bring boys up from the sixth grade to play.  Murphy noted, “Friend was ok to come to practice in Exeter all the time.  Looking at a two year contract the practices would always be here but Friend would like some home games, too.”

Board member Jim Zeleny responded, “I think the season went well and I think two years is fine but I think if something ain’t broke don’t fix it.  They can come over here for practice but I think we need to play here, they are coming to us.”

Murphy added, “We need to look at our projections in a few years. We may need them in a few years. It worked great.  Instead of six kids knowing what’s going on we had nine or ten.”

Board secretary Annete Gloystein interjected, “If we are fair with them then they will be fair to us.”

Sheffield recommended the board postpone a decision. 

The board moved on to discuss some upcoming workshops and Sheffield congratulated newly elected and re-elected board members Adam Erdkamp, Kendra Jansky and Sharon Kuska.  On the election topic Sheffield noted his disappointed on the road bond failure.

The board excused member Tim Pribyl’s absence and set the next meeting for Monday, December 15 in Milligan at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Exeter Veteran's Day Program

Senior Broc Mueller welcomed the crowd to the Exeter gym for the Exeter Veteran’s Day program.

Cub Scouts in Exeter Pack 218 led the flag ceremony from the left are Tiger Cubs Ronnie Babula, Logan Krupicka and Carve Kanode.  Not pictured is Mikey Bartu who led the flag ceremony.

While the Exeter-Milligan Band played “Salute to America’s Finest,” they invited members of audience who had served under each branch of the military to stand when their anthem was played.

Vietnam War veteran Tim Wilbeck was the featured speaker at the Exeter Veteran’s Day program.

Exeter-Milligan Senior High Choir and Friends of Vocal performed “Brother, My Brother,” during the Exeter Veteran’s Day program.  Pictured in the back row from the left are Ella Wilkins, Jordyn Brandt and Katie Skinner.  Front row from the left are:  Haylee Sheffield and Caitlin Murphy.

Vietnam War veteran Tim Wilbeck reminded the crowd during Tuesday’s Veteran’s Day program that it is the soldier who has given American’s our continued freedoms.  “It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freed of the press.”

Wilbeck spoke at the assembled crowd which included Exeter-Milligan students along with many community members.  

The crowd was welcomed by Senior Broc Mueller and followed by the Exeter Cub Scouts who presented the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance.  The Exeter-Milligan band then played the Star Spangled Banner and the theme from “Schindler’s List.”

The band performed a section of each of the military branches anthem’s inviting veterans to stand as they heard their music play.

Wilbeck spoke of the aging of the veterans and the importance of caring for them.  He noted that the median age of our veterans right now is 64, “Every day 500 World War II veterans die.”

“Our debt to the heroes can never be repaid.  Our gratitude and respect must last forever.  Warriors need advocates and that’s why organizations such as the American Legion and the VFW exist, to help each other support each other.  More importantly our country needs our veterans.”

Wilbeck went on to remind the crowd of the atrocities such as slavery, mass genocide and terrorism that our veterans have fought against. “Without veterans Americans would be speaking Russian, German or Japanese.  Without our veterans America would not be America.  We need to serve our veterans as well as they serve us.”

Wilbeck noted the failings of the veteran’s care, “Veteran’s don’t ask much – these benefits are a drop in the bucket compared to what they have paid. . .We can do better and we must do better.”

In closing Wilbeck told the crowd about President Eisenhower who was prouder of his military service than he was of his election as President of the United States, “We must remember our veterans and appreciate them.”