Saturday, October 30, 2021

The Great Pumpkin in Exeter

Brandon Dinneen with the 540lb pumpkin he grew.

 Grady Due sits on the giant pumpkin which is sitting outside of Generations Bank.

The Great Pumpkin arrived in Exeter earlier this month.  And in great, we mean great big, 540 pounds.

The pumpkin, grown by Brandon Dinneen, is his biggest to date.

He recalls about five or six years ago that it was “My grandpa’s idea.  We had a bunch of trees in an area and we tore them out and my grandpa wanted a garden there.  We just grew pumpkins and watermelon.  We still grow them in the same spot.”

They usually have about 20-30 100 pounders but “every once in a while we get a big one.  It just depends on the year,” explained Dinneen.

He doesn’t have any special tips for growing the pumpkins so big and claims that he has ignored all of the internet advice for growing large pumpkins.

“We saw how big this one was growing and we knew it was going to be big, but we didn’t think it would be this big,” according to Dinneen.

Transporting it was a challenge.  They used a tractor with forks on it to bring it out of the garden.  They stopped to weigh it in Burress on the scale and brought it to town to deliver to the front of the bank.  They used four wheeler ramps covered with plywood and “a bunch of us had to roll it down.”

Dinneen was very proud of this particular giant pumpkin.  He has always bought giant pumpkin seeds off of the internet, “We always save seeds.  It was one of our own seeds that grew this one.”

The other large pumpkins the Dinneen family shares with local friends and family.

After Halloween Dinneen will head back up to the bank to remove the pumpkin and harvest the seeds in hopes of growing an even bigger Great Pumpkin.


Friday, October 29, 2021

Students learn at Junior Fire Patrol

Ken Strate (far right) demonstrates how to use the fire house to Junior Fire Patrol students.  Pictured from the left are department members Lane Strate and John Graham, students Chezney Kanode, Gavin Mueller and Beau Becker.

The Exeter Volunteer Fire Department is proactive about safety.  After missing a few years because of COVID, the department revamped and restarted their Junior Fire Patrol program which is open to Exeter-Milligan fifth and sixth graders.

This year the program changed from a four week night schedule to just one Saturday crammed full of great information and fun.

The course is hands on with lots of practical knowledge. Just three fifth graders attended this years' program but they had a fantastic time learning the ropes at the fire department.

Their day started with a group discussion on personal safety and home safety.  They learned how to check their home smoke detectors and how often the batteries should be changed.

Part of that discussion was practicing stop, drop and roll and learning why it works and why it is important.

Some of their discussion focused on fires at home, some of the hazards including clothes dryers, space heaters and electrical cords.  They detailed an escape plan along with creating a diagram of their plan and talking about safe meeting spots.  “The kids are thinking about these situations and asking questions about them,” explained Hope Strate, who has taken the reins of the program.

There were lots of hands on opportunities for the students including CPR training which gave them a workout, choking training and burn first aid.  Strate noted that some of the burn photos were pretty gruesome but the students stuck with it and learned a lot about how to treat injuries.

They also learned about some holiday hazards including Christmas tree lights and candles in Halloween jack-o-lantern’s.  But the best part of their day involved the hands on training which included a driving tour of town with the students in charge of the sirens and lights, learning to man the hoses and washing the streets downtown, and a chance to play with the new extrication equipment.

Several of the department members volunteered their time training the students including State, Ken Strate, John Graham, Ashley Miller, Jackie Miller, Joe Miller, Vicki Androyna and Dan Everhart.

The program is now on a biannual rotation and after the success of the first one day program, plans to keep the new schedule in place, “My goal for not only the future of the Junior Fire Patrol, as well as community fire prevention training, is that all of the training will make Exeter a safer place for everyone,” added Strate.





Chezney Kanode mans the fire hose with Gavin Mueller’s support and under the supervision of John Graham (left) and Ken Strate (right).
Gavin Mueller is pretty sure manning the fire truck hose is fun (or making he was looking to soak the photographer) along with the help of Beau Becker (left) and Chezney Kanode (right).  Training the students were Lane Strate (middle rear) and Ken Strate (right),

Three Exeter-Milligan fifth graders were pretty proud of their Junior Fire Patrol certificates.  Front row from the left: Beau Becker, Gavin Mueller and Chezney Kanode.  Behind from the left are: Jackie Miller, Lane Strate, Hope Strate, Dan Everhart, Ken Strate, Vicki Androyna, John Graham, Ashley Miller and Joe Miller.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Oct 23, 2011




The Exeter Pumpkin Painting was hosted for the ninth year in a row by Bill and Terri Volkmer.

Their shed was transformed into tables just right for kids with witches, ghosts and spiders watching over them as they gathered their pumpkins and paints.

The Volkmers supply the paints, lots of decorations and a clear coat for the pumpkins for a small price.  Over 110 guests registered to paint, with many more parents who didn't paint. The Saturday event had families coming and going all morning long.


Mr. Matt Nicholas' Exeter-Milligan physical science class is studying how crystals form from solutions.  To help understand this process, the class will experiment with a sugar solution.  Over the next week the sugar molecules will come together on the string to form a crystal.


The Exeter Volunteer Fire Department volunteered to give the Exeter-Milligan Preschool, Kindergarten, First and Second grade classes fire truck rides.  The students also received fire truck hats courtesy of First National Insurance Agency in Exeter.


Cordova, population 147, has been notified they are on a list of post offices that may be closed to help the United States Postal Service drastically cut its deficit.

"The deal isn't done," according to Todd Case, manager of US Postal Operations from Lincoln.  Case along with Howard Nissen, area senior manager of postal operations in Nebraska, Kansas and western Iowa spoke to residents' concerns at a town hall meeting on Tuesday, October 18th.

The village was notified that there will now be a 60 day review period ending in November where the "work hours" at the post office are monitored. Two of the main criteria in choosing post offices to cut were office with less than a two hour work load and offices with less than $27,500 walk in revenue per year.


The Exeter Volunteer Fire Department hosts a Junior Fire Patrol classes each fall during Fire Safety Month in October. This is the fourteenth year that the Exeter Volunteer Fire Department has sponsored the Junior Fire Patrol for area fifth graders. This year there were ten participants.


After six years of a lucrative internet presence, Exeter Arms has now opened a retail outline in downtown Exeter.


Exeter Arms is a full line gun store offering everything from hand guns, long guns and hunting rifles to T-shirts and a complete line of accessories.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Don't Miss Exeter's Trunk or Treat!!


Exeter-Milligan downs Friend in Sub-district action

Exeter-Milligan made quick work of the visiting Friend Lady Bulldogs.  In three sets the Timberwolves sealed their fate to move on to the next round of sub-district action and ending the Bulldogs season. 


Monday, October 25, 2021

Exeter-Milligan/Friend Loses Close Playoff Game

The Exeter-Milligan/Friend Bobcats traveled almost three hours to meet Laural/Coleridge/Concord in Laurel on Thursday night.

The first quarter was scoreless with the defense on both sides dominating.  The second quarter found EMF on the scoreboard with 10:33 in the quarter.  Christian Weber shot a huge pass off to Chase Svehla and he was in the end zone for six.  Weber passed to JB Drake for the two point conversion and the Bobcats were up 8-0.

The Bears found the end zone almost a minute later adding six to the board but the Bobcats held on to deny the two point.  9:08 8-6.

LCC got through the Bobcat defense again with 2:29 in the half making the score 8-14.

The Bobcats came out of halftime looking strong and scored with 5:48 left in the third.  Breckan Schluter ran in for six points making it 20-14.

Weber intercepted a LCC pass and the Bobcats were able to capitalize on it when Schluter ran in for six making it 26-14.

The Bobcat defense was not able to stop two more touchdowns from LCC making the final 26-30 and ending the Bobcats season with a 7-2 record.