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

Articles written by Jacob Misener

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  • Winter Storm Atlas takes aim, but misses Kimball County

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Oct 10, 2013

    Near the middle of last week, residents in the Nebraska Panhandle prepared for expected snowfalls of at least six inches, with many residents expecting closer to a foot, in wake of the approaching Winter Storm Atlas. However, the biggest threat to local residents, especially those on the roadways, proved to be high winds that gusted throughout much of the day Friday, blowing the limited snow and creating low visibility conditions. Snowfall totals skyrocketed across northern Wyoming and parts of...

  • Census data paints a clearer picture concerning the needs for reinvigorating Kimball County

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Oct 10, 2013

    More often than not, when people talk about Kimball County, they refer to the ‘good ole’ days’. They speak of the oil boom that helped a local economy thrive and the missile boom that followed in its wake. What lies in store for Kimball County and its residents? Data from recent United State Censuses, along with several other sources, help paint a clearer picture of the future for the state’s southwesternmost county. A recent report by ThePlanscape shows that people from all over the country now call Kimball County home, including people... Full story

  • Monsanto utilizes biotechnology in hopes of shaping agriculture

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Oct 3, 2013

    This is the final installment in a three-part series on genetically-modified crops and their place in Nebraska agriculture. It focuses on a tour of a Monsanto facility located in the central part of the state. More often than not, controversy surrounds the biotechnology company Monsanto. The company’s work with genetically modified crops has drawn the criticism of European governments and advocacy groups across the United States. Amidst all this, the company continues to strive for more s...

  • Wildcats fall to Arthur County

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Oct 3, 2013

    On a chilly Friday afternoon, the Banner County Wildcats hosted the Arthur County Wolves for a non-league contest. The hosting Wildcats came up short in front of the home faithful, dropping the matchup by a 45-31 final. The difference in the contest was a dismal second quarter in which the Wolves outscored the Wildcats 26-6. However, the two clubs traded points in the first quarter and headed into the second separated by just one point. The Wolves returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown to...

  • Kimball volleyball head coach Vicki Mitchell emphasizing the importance of teamwork in season's second half

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Oct 3, 2013

    Second-year Kimball volleyball head coach Vicki Mitchell is looking ahead to the season’s second half coming off one of the team’s most challenging weeks. “We’re looking at this as the second half of the season now, and the first half was us maturing. I’ve got two seniors out and two juniors. I have four upperclassmen where some of these teams we play have seven seniors. I have four total upperclassmen and 18 sophomores and freshman. So that’s what you’re seeing on some of these spurts. It’s just the consistency of play,” Mitchell said. Th... Full story

  • Longhorns volleyball continues to build

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Sep 26, 2013

    After nearly a month of long bus trips across the state, the Kimball Longhorns volleyball team returned home on Tuesday night for its first home match since September 5. What the team accomplished on the road this month goes much deeper than what can be found in a quick glance from numbers. This club began to really gel as a cohesive unit - something that is critical for success in the sport. With a 6-5 record entering play this week, the Lady Longhorns’ season seems to have been one of the b... Full story

  • Single-vehicle rollover accident leads to woman being airlifted from scene

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Sep 26, 2013

    A single-vehicle accident on County Road 59 approximately three miles north of Dix shortly after 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night led to a local woman being airlifted; first to Scottsbluff Regional West Medical Center, and later to medical facilities in Denver, Colorado. Mrs. Mary A. Labeau, 52, of Dix, was driving north on County Road 59 after making a trip into Kimball to bring a wheelchair to a local resident who had suffered an accident recently. While en route to her residence on County Road... Full story

  • Contrary to earlier media reports, nearby Oliver Reservoir to remain open

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Sep 19, 2013

    An agreement between the South Platte Natural Resources District and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will spare the nearby Oliver Reservoir from being closed as part of a cost-cutting measure by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “There are a few details that need to be taken care of as we modify the mutual agreement,” says SPNRD General Manager Rod Horn. But we’re happy they have been receptive to the plan. For many years, Game and Parks has leased the Oliver Reservoir from the dist...

  • Fischer, Smith offer their stances on intervention following Syrian chemical weapons attacks

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Sep 19, 2013

    Last weekend, the United States and Russia reached a deal on dismantling Syria’s chemical arms in the aftermath of a series of attacks that left some 1,400 Syrian civilians dead, including several hundred children. The agreement calls for Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons to be removed from the country or destroyed by the middle of 2014. It also placed American plans for limited airstrikes on an indefinite hold, something that Nebraskan congressional representatives have voiced their con... Full story

  • "This is going to be one of the worst days of my lifetime."

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Sep 12, 2013

    3 years later, Klark Byrd still remembers the feeling of shock he felt on the morning of September 11, 2001. The former Kimball resident can still smell the smoke, the burnt foliage and airplane fuel. He still vividly recalls how he and his family watched from their yard in rural Pennsylvania as a large commercial airplane flew overhead. It was an odd location for that size of an airplane. Somerset County, roughly an hour and a half from Pittsburgh, was not a common route for such aircraft.... Full story

  • Advocacy groups urge caution concerning GMOs

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Sep 12, 2013

    This is the second segment of a three-part feature on genetically modified organisms. The third, and final, portion of the series will be centered on a tour of the Monsanto facility in Gothenburg, Nebraska later this month. Dozens upon dozens of advocacy groups have sprung up across the world in opposition to the inclusion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food sources. These groups claim that there is no evidence to support the claim of biotechnology companies such as Monsanto that... Full story

  • Man quits his job, walks across U.S. - all for his beloved country

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Sep 5, 2013

    Some men and women honor their nation by serving in the military. Others live their lives in fashion of the ‘American Dream,’ working day-to-day and raising a family, in hopes the next generation will have a better go of things. Rolla Joyce has always been one of those men. Earlier this summer, he took his love for his country, and hit the road - trekking some 2,000 plus miles along the Lincoln Highway, from Salt Lake City to Washington, D.C. He expected to reach the nation’s capitol last weeke...

  • United States Postal Service carrier incidents reported throughout City of Kimball

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Sep 5, 2013

    Late last week, reports of a United States Postal Service mail carrier using his issued pepper spray surfaced in Kimball on social media outlets, prompting outrage amongst local residents. Although several unconfirmed reports of incidents surfaced, only one of the reports could be confirmed by an eyewitness. According to Kimball resident Amanda Bartow, on Thursday, August 29, her six-year old son and their lab puppy were sitting outside on the family’s front step when the mail carrier arrived. “I just happened to be looking out the front doo...

  • Conservative, rural Nebraskan Carlson seeks shot at the highest office in the state

    Jacob Misener|Aug 29, 2013

    Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Carlson is a man of principles. And those principles, according to the Nebraska State Senator, are what guide him in everything he does. "I believe in the Bible and the God who inspired it," Carlson said. He went on to say that it inspires him in "everything I do." The 71-year old Holdrege, Nebraska native has held a seat in the Nebraska legislature since 2006, and was elected as the Chairman of the Agricultural Committee in 2009. Since then, he was named...

  • Seeing red: First-year Kimball head football coach expects success

    Jacob Misener|Aug 29, 2013

    In his first year at the helm of things for the Kimball Longhorns football team, Nick Kuxhausen is learning as he goes, while relying on the experience he gained last year as an assistant coach at Kimball. “For the most part, we’re going to keep things really similar,” said Kuxhausen. “Coach Pedersen had a lot of success with what he’d been doing.” Coming off the school’s third straight playoff appearance, Kuxhausen and the Longhorns have their sights set on making in four in a row, which is no... Full story

  • Shaske family shares touching story at Relay for Life

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Aug 22, 2013

    “Anyone affected by cancer has suffered a loss. But they have also gained something, as well.” These words were spoken to a crowd assembled under the pavilion at Gotte Park Friday night by someone whose very existence has been shaped by the often-deadly disease, Ms. Jodie Shaske. With cancer survivors and caretakers filling the tables around her, she told her own tale, a portion of which is included below. “I want to visit with you as a friend and as a sister in this life we all share with... Full story

  • Are genetically modified crops the way of the future?

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Aug 8, 2013

    This is the first part of a two-part feature focusing on the role of genetically-modified crops. There will be a second segment in an issue of the Observer later this month. “Improving agriculture. Improving lives.” The biotechnology giant Monsanto remains in the middle of an often-heated argument that seems to grow larger by the day. What exactly are genetically modified organisms, where can they be found, and perhaps the most important question - what are their long-term health effects on hum... Full story

  • The Forgotten War

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Aug 1, 2013

    9,940 fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. That is the cost of the Korean Conflict in American lives. Last Saturday marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the conflict, which spanned just over three years, from June 1950 to July 1953. This conflict is often overlooked in the history books of the world, acting as the middle child between the globe-consuming World War II and the infamous Vietnam War. For this reason it has earned the nickname “The Forgotten War.” Doz... Full story

  • Five Nebraska counties test positive for West Nile in mosquitoes

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Aug 1, 2013

    Five Nebraska counties have reported cases of the West Nile virus in the past two weeks, including Scotts Bluff, Dawson, Garden, Sheridan and Webster Counties. All of these positive tests were found in mosquitos, but it is during the months of August and September that humans oftentimes test positive for the disease, due to the cycle it must run through first; from birds to mosquitos, then to humans. According to Kerry Ferguson, Community Relations Director at Kimball Health Services, no cases...

  • Daum tallies 12 three-pointers in Vegas tournament showing last week

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Aug 1, 2013

    Big men aren’t supposed to be able to shoot. Someone forgot to tell Mike Daum. In the third game of the Las Vegas Classic Bigfoot Tournament last week, Daum hit 12-of-16 three-point attempts, en route to a 38 point, nine rebound tally - leading his team to a 73-51 win. He was joined for the final tournament of the summer by fellow Kimball athletic standout Jake Reader, who filled a roster spot vacated by a Sidney player who suffered an ankle injury. The Las Vegas tournament is the last week f...

  • Accident at Nadine Street and Route 30 in Kimball between pickup and bicycle leads to boy's hospitalization

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Jul 25, 2013

    A young boy was struck by a pickup truck at the intersection of Route 30 and Nadine Street in Kimball last week stopping traffic for over half an hour, as first responders treated the victim. The truck, a maroon Chevrolet S-10, driven by Sean Drake, of Kimball, was headed eastbound on Route 30, when according to Drake, a child on a bicycle darted out into traffic from Nadine Street. “He came out from the side street yelling, “My brakes don’t work, my brakes don’t work,” said Drake. “He was b...

  • Daum going the extra mile prior to his senior season

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Jul 25, 2013

    Many athletes think their regular in-season schedule is rough. Classes, social calendar, practices and games all amount to a pretty tenuous schedule. That being said, some choose to go the extra mile and make their chosen sport a year-round experience. Kimball High School senior Mike Daum is one of those select few. Daum and his AAU team, the Rocky Mountain Fever ,continued their summer schedule last week, as they headed west to Anaheim, California for the Double Pump Best of the Summer tourname... Full story

  • Many citizens outraged at the removal of items from grave sites at Kimball Cemetery

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Jul 18, 2013

    Several local residents are outraged at what they believe is a lack of care being given to the Kimball Cemetery, after an array of plots in the eastern portion of the cemetery were defaced, including several overturned planters and flower pots near grave sites. The latest details show directions handed down by city officials are likely behind the removal of these items. “I’m so upset,” Kimball resident Robin Wilson Sherman said on Facebook last weekend. “My dad will be gone seven years this We... Full story

  • Clean Harbors reports minor waste spill at Kimball facility last Wednesday

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Jul 18, 2013

    A tip alerted the Western Nebraska Observer to a spill at Clean Harbors’ Kimball location last Wednesday, when a container overturned in the north yard of the facility, spilling some 3,000 - 5,000 pounds of its contents. “When we set it down, the rails on the truck were bent, and it got stuck,” said Jared Hunsaker, Plant Manager for the Kimball facility. “We got a forklift to try and lift it up onto those rails, and that’s when it tipped over.” According to Hunsaker, there was never any danger... Full story

  • Congressman Adrian Smith votes for new-look federal farm legislation

    Jacob Misener, Editor|Jul 18, 2013

    Last week, the Republican-controlled United States House of Representatives forced through a vote on a vastly different Farm Bill than seen in the last four decades – one with no funding for food stamp programs. With a 216-to-208 vote in favor of the legislation, House leadership was able to gather the necessary votes to pass the measure without a single Democratic vote. One of those who voted in favor of the bill was Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith. “While this is not the process I would hav...

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