Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Articles written by Claire Smith

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  • County Gets FEMA Aid For Blizzard

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Jan 2, 2020

    The Kimball County Board of Equalization met Dec. 17 at the county courthouse, covering routine business and receiving a report on the 125th annual Nebraska Association of County Officials Conference in Kearney from Dec. 11-13. At the conference, county Commissioner Chairman Larry Engstrom, District Court Clerk Deb Diemoz, Highway Superintendent Randy Bymer, Treasurer Cindy Rahmig, Weed Superintendent Rick Wangler, Sheriff Harry Gillway, County Clerk Cathy Sibal and County Assessor Sherry Winstrom joined close to 800 other attendees. This...

  • County Gets Patrol Vehicle, Transit Renovation On

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Dec 12, 2019

    The Kimball County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 3, in the Kimball County Courthouse. After legal notifications, commissioner reports and a review of communications, county Highway Superintendent Randy Bymer discussed potential changes to the crossing permit application process. The board also authorized 2019 year-end certification business and will be accepting bids to purchase a new or used motor grader. Bids were reviewed to purchase a new 2019 or current production year 4x4 crew cab, half-ton pickup for a...

  • Selling Event Center In Focus

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Nov 28, 2019

    The Kimball City Council at its Nov. 19 meeting discussed the possible sale of the Kimball Event Center and moving forward after the departure of Amy Sapp from her role as the city’s economic developer and special projects coordinator. It was also decided to have the Citizens Advisory Committee consider the request to redefine the economic developer/special projects coordinator position. This update is being considered because Sapp is moving into the private sector. The council continued to discuss and make progress on the potential sale of t... Full story

  • The Priceless Quarter Store Returns

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Nov 28, 2019

    Utilizing that which God provides, members of the Bushnell Calvary United Methodist Church help economically disadvantaged children experience the joy of giving a Christmas gift to someone they love. Since 2006, the group has hosted the pop-up "Quarter Store" in the Kimball community during the holiday season. The store is so named because every gift available for purchase costs only a quarter. Founding member Jean Laboray explained that the idea literally came from a dream she had about a way t...

  • Historical Foundation A Key For The Potter Of 2019

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Nov 21, 2019

    Dec. 31, 2019, is the date that the Potter Historical Foundation begins its 20th year of "preserving the unique history of the town of Potter and combating deterioration of the central historical and business district of the town." Although community betterment and volunteer efforts have always been prevalent in Potter's history, the idea for a formally organized foundation was generated on Sept. 24, 1990, during a community revitalization seminar presented by Dr. Edwin Nelson, president...

  • New Dix Post Office Will Operate Four Hours On Weekdays

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Nov 14, 2019

    Although a date is still to be determined, the brand new Dix Post Office will be opening in the not-to-distant future. Final details are being completed by contractors before all new technical equipment is added, according to Kimball Postmaster Karen Miller, who manages the post offices in Potter, Dix and Bushnell. The facility will have post office boxes and be open four hours a day on weekdays and for a limited time on Saturday. The office will provide a full service experience for customers...

  • Control Of Costs A Must For Schools

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Nov 14, 2019

    The Kimball Public Schools Board of Education held its regular meeting Nov. 11 in the city council chambers. Monthly reports were received from the treasurer and administrators. After consideration, the board decided to purchase the tier two level SPARQ paperless system and Chromebooks for district use with a total cost of $5,450. The file repository, meeting application and data management system will digitize all pertinent district information and everyone, including administrators, teachers, attorneys and the public, will have access to all...

  • School Board Meeting Packed

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Nov 7, 2019

    Room W7 at the Kimball Jr./Sr. High School was overflowing as parents, staff members and students attended the Oct. 30 special meeting of the Kimball Public Schools Board of Education. During public comment time, about a dozen meeting attendees addressed the board with their concerns. Most of those who spoke were concerned about changes that they believed had been made to the schedule of classes. Specifically, that jazz band and show choir would no longer be held during the 27-minute intervention time in the schedule. Instead, they would be hel...

  • Here's How Potter Became A Kingpin Of Duckpin

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Oct 31, 2019

    The historic Potter Duckpin Bowling Alley is one of the village's most unique attractions, and is possibly the only remaining bowling alley of its type west of the Mississippi River. The lanes were built in the 1920s during the height of duckpin bowling popularity, and were originally housed in the Potter Garage building that was next to the Lincoln Highway. In the 1930s the lanes were moved to the second floor of the (then) hardware store where open bowling and league events were held until the...


    Claire Smith, The Observer|Oct 24, 2019

    The majority of items on the Kimball City Council meeting agenda Oct 15 focused on implementing strategies outlined in the Kimball Economic Development Plan. Kimball special projects coordinator Amy Sapp explained to council members the Citizens Advisory Committee recommendations for business improvement grants as part of the economic development incentive program. Approved business owners can receive up to 70 percent of the expenses incurred to make improvements to their businesses. The... Full story

  • Potter Railroad Park Upgrading Nearly Complete

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Oct 24, 2019

    The Potter Railroad Park revitalization project is nearing completion, with final installations to take place within the next few weeks. This project has been ongoing since a survey was conducted in 2018 examining user satisfaction with Potter recreational facilities. The survey indicated that respondents would like to have improved shelter and picnic facilities as well as access to restrooms in the Railroad Park that is located west of Chestnut and Front Streets in the Potter downtown area. In...

  • Shopko Left, 'Shop With A Cop' Did Not

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Oct 17, 2019

    Kimball's annual "Shop with a Cop" event is now accepting donations for this year's activities to be held on Dec. 14. This year's event will be different than those held in the past in conjunction with local businesses Pamida and Shopko. Previously, the retail department stores would provide gift cards that children in need could use to purchase holiday gifts for their families. As both stores have gone out of business and left the Kimball area, they are no longer available to sponsor the Shop...

  • Auditorium Renovation 'A Priority,' Superintedent Owens Says

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Oct 17, 2019

    The Kimball Board of Education met in regular session Sept. 23 in the district office. It began with all of the necessary legalities. Then a representative of the Nebraska Association of School Boards (NASB) gave board members a demonstration of the capabilities of Sparq Paperless Meetings. This data solution enables districts to conduct meetings, keep records and conduct other business digitally, saving a great deal of storage space and paper. Discussion then moved to the auditorium renovation project. This project is an ongoing improvement...

  • Potter Community Cleanup Lives Up To Its Name

    Claire Smith, The Observer|Oct 10, 2019

    The Village of Potter sponsored a fall community cleanup event this past weekend to help residents and businesses get rid of unwanted household and nuisance items for free. Initially held in May 2012, the cleanup now happens twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Potter Village Clerk Melissa Gorsuch noticed that the village was dealing with quite a few nuisance issues and this service seemed like a great way to make it easier for people to maintain their properties. "Now they...

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