Saturday, March 7, 2015

Nebraska State Patrol Visits with Exeter-Milligan Students

Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Tim Pickering talks to the Exeter-Milligan seventh through twelfth graders.

“We want to bring awareness of distracted driving to you, our students,” Mrs. MaryLou Vossler, Family/Consumer Science teacher at Exeter-Milligan told the seventh through twelfth graders on Friday morning.

In her introduction of Sergeant Tim Pickering, a member of the Nebraska State Patrol, Vossler warned the students, “What Trooper Pickering shows you should be alarming.”

The presentation was a joint effort of Vossler and Exeter-Milligan Superintendent Paul Sheffield.

The crowd in the gym was silent as Pickering shared some staggering statistics with the students, “One in six students binge drink in Nebraska. Nebraska is the number two state in the nation in binge drinking.  That isn’t something you can be proud of.  It can cost Nebraskan’s $423,900,000 a year between accidents, deaths, treatment, etc.”

Trooper Pickering reminded the students “Nothing that happens in a vehicle just happens to you and you are the only one affected by it.”

He went on to emphasize the importance of wearing a seatbelt, “It is a restraint required to keep you in your seat.  Even in a slow crash you bounce around.  Relying on an airbag is not enough.”

He showed the students multiple videos which highlighted the importance of each occupant of the car being belted in so that they don’t harm the other belted passengers.  Pickering noted that in Nebraska a child was killed in a car accident because, even though he was belted in, his parent was not and the impact of the parent on the child is what killed the child.

Along with the importance of restraint use, Pickering emphasized the dangers of distracted driving.  “When you are driving that’s all you should be doing.  Not eating, texting, or talking on the phone, just driving. The biggest factor involving crashes in Nebraska is distracted driving.  Number two is alcohol, but it used to be number one.”

Pickering showed several videos on what happens when drivers try to multi-task in the car, “We get complacent because we don’t have that volume of traffic.”

He transitioned back to the importance of seat belts as he showed a sequence of videos on what happens in a rollover crash without restraints.

Pickering shared last year’s death statistics which include 260 deaths on Nebraska roads.  “Eighty-one of those drivers were killed in a rollover accident and out of that 81 only four were wearing a restraint.  They were not ejected but still a fatality because some crashes are not survivable.  We see a pattern.  If you leave the roadway chances are you will rollover.”

A 24 year veteran with the State Patrol, Pickering shared with the students “The worst thing I have to do is go and tell a parent, husband or wife that their loved one has died.”

Before taking the students outside to demonstrate with the Nebraska State Patrol rollover vehicle, Pickering reminded them “It’s not comfortable for me to wear a seatbelt, but I don’t want to be a statistic.”

Pickering demonstrated what happens when a loose backpack flies around with a belted passenger in the rollover vehicle and then showed them what happens when the driver is not belted in.  He pointed out that the “rollover dummy” went out of the vehicle in the same direction the car was rolling and so most likely the car would roll over the ejected person.

Recently the FCCLA received a grant for $500 from State Farm Insurance.  With these funds they purchased educational DVD's and visually impaired goggles. Before heading outside for the rollover demonstration Vossler offered the students pencils, wristbands and air fresheners which were compliments of the Nebraska Safety Council:  Teens in the Driver's Seat.

Above - Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Tim Pickering talks to the Exeter-Milligan seventh through twelfth graders after demonstrating the rollover vehicle.   Below -Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Tim Pickering picks up the rollover dummy at Exeter-Milligan after it has been ejected from the vehicle.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Exeter-Milligan Track Standout Signs with Doane

Exeter-Milligan athlete Maitlyn Thomsen is surrounded by her parents Doug and Dacel Thomsen as she signs a letter of intent to run track at Doane College.  Looking over her shoulder as she signs are Exeter-Milligan Track Coach Jackson Krejci (left) and Doane Track Coach Ed Fye (right).

Wednesday, February 25 was another big day for Exeter-Milligan athletes.

Maitlyn Thomsen signed a letter of intent to participate in track at Doane College in Crete.
“I wanted to go to a smaller school and still be able to compete in track,” explained Thomsen, “I will do long jump and sprints.  Coach Fye has talked to me about heptathlon.”

Thomsen has been a three sport athlete at Exeter-Milligan, shining on the softball field, the basketball court and especially on the track.  She has gone to the state track meet every year so far and brought home a medal every year.

“The Exeter-Milligan community has given me so much support along with my coaches to be able to get me a long way.”

Her track coach at Exeter-Milligan, Jackson Krejci has great hopes for Thomsen at Doane, “I think she will fit in really well at Doane. Throughout her career she has had the ability to fit in slot wherever she was needed and she is an all-around athlete.  She has had a great career at Exeter-Milligan.”

Coach Fye sees that as well, “Maitlyn is a great athlete.  I really hope to see her complete as a heptathlete.  She is a great leader and comes from a great program.  We hope to give her the same kind of success she had in high school.”

Right now Thomsen says her major is undecided but “it may be something in the health field.”


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Exeter Public Library Hosts Art Show

The Exeter Public Library is currently hosting the GFWC Exeter Woman's Club Art Show.  Stop in and see the amazing work of local residents and Exeter-Milligan students.
This is a great month for a visit to the library.  For the third year in a row the library is participating in the Southeast Library System's "Library Madness" competition. 

 Much like the NCAA basketball tournament, it is bracketed. Library Madness pits area libraries against one another, seeing who can tally the most checkouts each week. The checkouts are calculated per capita, so that smaller libraries are not at a disadvantage. Exeter Public Library will be competing as the "Exeter Eagles". Competition begins Monday, March 9.

Art students participated in the GFWC local art contest. A judge from out of town came in to view
the pieces and selected the following students as winners! The selected students will have their piece on
display from until March 11 at the Exeter Public Library.
 The 1st place winning pieces will go on to be judged at districts on March 17th. Congratulations!
Elementary 1st place winners: Cohen Harre, Kiley Oldehoeft, Emma Meyer, Savana Krupicka, Jozie
Kanode, Peyton Pribyl and Jaiden Papik
Elementary 2nd place winners: Truman Milton, Logan Krupicka, Ayla Kahler, Taylor Pribyl, Jozie Kanode,
Briana Capek, Brock Steuben
Elementary 3rd place winners: RJ Clevenger, Brett Kallhoff, Kierra Papik, Amarah Carr, Sophia Gilliam,
Cameran Jansky, and Cammie Harrison
Best of Show: Savana Krupicka; 46
Best of Show: Jaiden Papik
Junior High 1st place winners: Kayla Geiger, Anna Sluka, (2)Nick Hayek, Caitlin Murphy, Peytan Brandt and
Ryan Sharp;
Junior High 2nd place winners: Caitlin Murphy, Ty Underwood, (2)Anna Sluka, Eli Johnson, Nick Hayek
Junior High 3rd place winners: Ryan Sharp, Jacy Schlueter, and Anna Sluka
Best of Show: Peytan Brandt
High School 1st place winners: (3)Claire Mounce, (2)Patrick Murphy, (2)Katie Moody,(2)Hannah Horne,
Chase Hansen, Kelsey Bigelow, Tara Mueller, Kyle Jindra, (5)Hailey Luzum, (4) Marietta Purtschert,
(3)Andrew Hansen, (4)Brianna Beatham, (10)Jordyn Brandt, (2)Sam Columbo
High School 2nd place winners: (2)Katie Moody, (2)Hannah Horne, (2)Tara Mueller, (2)Patrick Murphy,
Kayla Bonds, Claire Mounce, Kyle Jindra, Quinton Behrens, Evan True, (2)Andrew Hansen, (3)Marietta
Purtschert, Brianna Beatham, Sam Colombo, (3)Jordyn Brandt
High School 3rd place winners: Claire Mounce, (2)Hannah Horne, Katie Mounce, Chase Hansen, Patrick
Murphy, (2) Kelsey Bigelow, Andrew Hansen, Brianna Beatham, Marietta Purtschert, (2)Jordyn Brandt
High School Best of Show: Jordyn Brandt
Congratulations all who participated! I encourage you all to take a few minutes in the next couple of weeks
to go and look at the art on display. The youth worked hard to prepare their pieces to show and our local
GFWC as well as the Librarian has worked hard to present this show for you to enjoy.
*The numbers in parenthesis is how many times they won that place!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Exeter Care Center to close

Residents and staff were not too surprised when Deseret Health Care, the owners of Exeter Care Center announced that the facility would be closing March 24th.

Deseret corporate officials were on hand Wednesday, Feb 25 but declined to comment on the situation and promised a press release that would be issued.  As of press time, no release was offered.  Officials noted that the declining population and location attributed to the closing of the facility, but residents were keen to cite other issues.

Residents noticed that repairs were not made, especially after the June 3 hail storm in Exeter which destroyed the air conditioning unit, broke windows and damaged the roof.  Water problems have been continuous throughout the center with one spell were residents were left without hot water for an extended number of days.

Activities and Social Director Lori Bossaller was told about the closing Feb 19 and it was announced to the rest of the staff on Monday, Feb 23.  “I suspected a few months ago that this would be happening.  We have been working hard to relocate our residents locally and have found places for everyone.  Employees have been given the option of new jobs in the Deseret facilities in Edgar or Ainsworth.  If the families do not have a preference as to where the residents go they will be relocated to Edgar.”

Reta Mae Coffey who has lived at the home for 10 years was disappointed, “I was in hopes that the Lord would take me before I had to move.  I’m disappointed in the company.  All the promises they made went down the drain.  Don’t know what they did with all the insurance money from the storm this summer.”

Her daughter Jeanette Franzen who recently retired from working at the care center was very upset, “This was the right place for her.  My mom’s life was set here, now she has to move.  My Grandma was one of the first to live here when it was built.  I worked here; all three of my girls have worked here.  There were so many false promises given, new windows . . . this summer instead of fixing the air conditioning after the storm they put in window units.”

“This company has been all about taking, not giving.  I didn’t have a raise in the four years I worked here or any other incentives.  They don’t know how many people they are hurting and they don’t care. I requested a meeting with corporate representatives several times but was always told to talk to the administrator.”

The facility has a capacity of 48 residents with the possibility of employing at least 50.  Exeter resident Evelyn Michl recalled her days at the care center in the early 1990’s, “It was all hometown employees.  Everybody who worked there was from Exeter.”

With the declining numbers of residents, employees’ hours have been cut drastically.  One nurse, who declined to be identified, noted that once hours were cut, employees had to leave to find full time positions to support their families.  She also noted that in many cases, hours were cut, but the duties of employees were not altered making their workload impossible to complete in the hours assigned.

Erma Adamson who has volunteered and worked at the center for 25 years noted, “It is heartbreaking.  I feel very sad because it is such an excellent facility.”

According to the Exeter history book, “This is Exeter,” the center, initially named Memory Manor, (owned and built by Bethesda) opened in 1965 primarily because the Exeter community donated a large portion of the funds to start the project.  The facility has had several owners throughout the years including Community Care Center of America who purchased it in 1994 and sold it to Integrated Health Service in Sept  1997 before 5 Star Quality Care bought the home in July 2005.

Also housed in the Exeter Care Center building was the Exeter Medical Clinic which was a branch office of the York Medical clinic which opened in 1992 but closed last fall amid rumors that another local facility would be opening a clinic in the space.  The clinic has not reopened and plans have not been announced for the office reopening.

Until last week the Fillmore County property tax website showed that the 2013 property tax had not been paid.  The Fillmore County Treasurer’s office confirmed that it was just recently paid. The site values the facility at $696,795.

Deseret Corporate employees made it clear that the facility has been for sale for two months.  Online it is listed for sale at a price of $1,223,951 along with their Ainsworth facility.

Exeter Chairman of the Village Board Alan Michl shared his feelings on the closing, “I’m hoping that someone will come forward to purchase the facility.  It’s been a long standing part of our community.  The economic impact will be hard to tell right now.” 
As of press date only 10 residents remain in the home and those plan to relocate soon.