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

Articles written by Jim Orr

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  • Lusche 7th, Longhorns 11th At State Golf

    Jim Orr, The Observer|May 30, 2024

    Longhorn Kyler Lusche shot 76 in the NSAA Class D Boys Golf Championship's second and final round, improving four strokes on his first round score to tie for seventh and medal. As a team, Kimball placed 11th in the field of 15 with a two round total of 729 last week at Lake Mahoney Golf Club in North Platte. Two-day scores for Kimball golfers were 80-76 (156) for Lusche, 88-98 (186) for Landon Norberg, 95-101 (196) for Bransyn Kiefer, 101-98 (199) for Connor Deboodt, and 111-122 (133) for Ryker...

  • Kimball Golfers In The Hunt For Top 10 At State

    Jim Orr, The Observer|May 23, 2024

    Kimball’s golf team played through cool, damp conditions at North Platte on Tuesday to rank ninth after Round 1 of the NSAA Class D Boys Golf Championship. The conditions delayed the tournament’s morning start, but the Longhorns put up a team round of 364 at Lake Maloney Golf Club to sit five strokes inside the top 10 ahead of Bloomfield. Overton led team standings at 336. Individually, District champion Kyler Lusche shot 80 to lead the Longhorns. He was tied for 13th – but just a single shot from joining those tied for 10th place. He shot...

  • Vacancy On Park & Rec Board

    Jim Orr, The Observer|May 9, 2024

    A new person apparently will be in the mix among those with a voice in overseeing the Kimball City/County Recreation Area while it’s at a crossroads. The county commissioners are seeking interested parties to serve on the Kimball City/County Park & Recreation Operating Board as a county appointee to complete Ashley Thurin’s four-year term ending Dec. 31, 2026. Thurin resigned. The commissioners on May 3 decided not to vote on appointing Klent Schnell to the position in favor of advertising it. This development comes during talk of a pro...

  • Superintendent To Coach Horns Basketball

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Mar 28, 2024

    Kimball schools Superintendent Trevor Anderson has added the role of boys basketball coach to his responsibilities. Basketball and coaching are in his blood. His head coaching record at Battle Creek, a Division C2 school near Norfolk, was 86-52 over five seasons from 2013-14 to 2017-18. Before coming to Kimball four years ago, he coached multiple teams to conference/district titles and the state tournament. Basketball coaching success runs in the family. Anderson’s father, Mark, compiled a record of 214-90 as head coach at Randolph. That includ...


    Jim Orr, The Observer|Mar 7, 2024

    Remember shooting a basketball or attending PE in the West Elementary School gymnasium? Well, times have really changed. The old gym, the lone surviving remnant of the school still in place, has begun a new life as part of the newly opened Kimball Health Services hospital. Troy Kurz, KHS facilities director and the new hospital project manager, provided some insight to the Observer. "The former West Elementary gymnasium space is the hospital's new central utility plant, which provides all of...

  • Kimball's New Hospital Opens

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Feb 22, 2024

    Next up for the new – and now open – Kimball Health Services hospital is next week's ribbon cutting celebration with Gov. Jim Pillen in attendance. Patient services shifted to the facility from the old hospital at 7 a.m. Monday. The 505 S. Burg St. location, home to the hospital since 1950, is out. The new address, 255 W. 4th St., is in. "We're very pleased with how the move has gone so far, with only a few small items to be moved yet between buildings," Kerry Ferguson, KHS community rel...


    Jim Orr, The Observer|Feb 22, 2024

    Among the special touches at the new Kimball Health Services hospital are plaques next to rooms that recognize donors for helping make possible healthcare services in those rooms. In this case, Ryan and Stephanie McElroy of Kimball are recognized for their contributions to mammography services. They posed for this image during a tour of the new facility...

  • Bushnell Gets Some YouTube Time

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Feb 1, 2024

    Little Bushnell is getting some big attention. Big Rig attention. The Kimball County village, population 115, has been a place of interest on three Big Rig Travels/YouTube videos that about 54,800 viewers watched from last Thursday through Tuesday. BigRigSteve (real name Stephen Michaels), the trucker star of Big Rig Travels for 16 years, even spent a night outside Bushnell. He had little choice. A tire on BigRigSteve's semi-trailer truck blew out heading westbound on I-80 out of Kimball that...

  • A Look At Area Offices Up For Election In 2024

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Jan 11, 2024

    The Kimball County campaign season is underway at this early date for the May 14 primary. Challenger David R. Hottell (not the sheriff) and incumbent Carl Stander are off and running. They already have filed as Republicans in the election for a seat on the county Board of Commissioners. No other candidate filings were received at the county courthouse as of Monday, but a good many area positions are up for election in 2024. The Kimball County Clerk’s Office provided this list of those positions, the incumbents and term lengths: • Kimball Cou...

  • Operation Christmas Child Grows Significantly Here

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Jan 4, 2024

    Pastor Roger Gillming and Kathy Welfl, volunteer leaders with Operation Christmas Child in the Nebraska Panhandle, expressed gratitude to all who helped “this amazing ministry” grow significantly in the region this past Christmas season. Gillming and Welfl said 572 more shoeboxes were filled this year than last year thanks to assistance in the goodwill effort from volunteers, the Observer and other media. “With your help, 3,372 shoeboxes from the Panhandle were filled (with donations) and delivered to our central drop-off site in Allia...

  • Big Mike Takes Another Career Step

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Dec 28, 2023

    Longhorns basketball legend Mike Daum, who turned 28 on Oct. 30, is still moving up. Daum has joined the high-level Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball Super League and the EuroLeague after the Bertram Derthona team in Italy released him from his contract so he could try to further his career. This follows the Dauminator's fine performance in the 2023 NBA Summer League with the Sacramento Kings. "It was not easy to make this decision," Bertram Derthona president Marco Picchi said on the team...


    Jim Orr, The Observer|Dec 21, 2023

    Edith Dee Hall's gravestone at Kimball Cemetery is inscribed, simply, with 1897-1971. What's important, though, is not the birth and death years on one's grave marker. It's that dash between the years. It's how a person lived during the dash – and Edith Dee Hall lived quite the dash. She might be the most accomplished Kimball native that Kimball doesn't know much, if anything, about. "It's not every day that a little girl from Kimball, Nebraska, helps change the way surgery is done around the w...

  • Busy Week For Horns After Nice Start

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Dec 7, 2023

    Kimball Longhorns boys basketball is looking good. The Horns continue the busy pre-Christmas stretch of their schedule this week after opening the season 2-0 with convincing wins over Bayard and Leyton. Next up for Kimball were Garden County in this week's Dec. 5 home opener, then games at Perkins County on Dec. 8, at home against Morrill on Dec. 9, and then Dec. 15 at Hershey. JV games open the action at 4:30 p.m. at Perkins County, 3 p.m. against Morrill, and 2 p.m. at Hershey. Here are...

  • Kimball Basketball On To Bayard, Leyton

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Nov 30, 2023

    The 2023-24 basketball seasons continue today, Nov. 30, at Bayard for the Kimball Longhorns and Lady Longhorns after their Nov. 27 debuts at the Hall of Fame Jamboree in Alliance. Both squads get right back at it Friday, Dec. 1, with a trip to Leyton to take on the Warriors. Their home seasons open next Tuesday, Dec. 5, when Garden County comes to K-Town. Play begins at 4 p.m. with JV action on all those dates. Both Kimball varsity teams look to build on their showings at Alliance, where they we...

  • Kimball FFA: A District Leader

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Nov 23, 2023

    Kimball FFA showed well – among the best – Nov. 15 during the District 12 Leadership Contest at Chadron State College. The top three finishers in each category qualified for the state contest in Lincoln next April – and Kimball was among the highest overall leaders in qualifiers. Potter-Dix and Banner County FFA chapters added to the southern Panhandle's fine showing with their own qualifiers. Hundreds of FFA students from 20 schools participated. Here are this area's state qualifiers: Kimba...

  • Rebuild Year For Football Program Ends Friday In Bayard

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Oct 12, 2023

    The Kimball Longhorns travel to Bayard on Friday, Oct. 13, for a matchup of football teams tied for third place with 1-2 records in D1 District 11. Both teams are 2-5 overall entering this 2023 season finale. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Kimball has dropped two straight and scored 140 points and allowed 358 on the season. Bayard has lost three straight and scored 232 points and allowed 291 on the season. The Tigers came up short last week, 36-34, in a non-league game against Cambridge, while the Horns l...

  • Open House Oct. 11 At Kimball Fire Hall

    Jim Orr, The observer|Oct 5, 2023

    The Kimball Volunteer Fire Department invites the public to its annual open house celebration from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the fire hall, 200 W. 2nd St. KVFD members will provide a light supper and refreshments to show appreciation for the community's support. The event also is in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 8 to 14. Free will donations will be accepted during the open house. They also can be sent to Kimball Volunteer Fire Department, c/o Jordan...

  • New Hospital On Track For Dec. 22 Completion

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Sep 28, 2023

    Folks visiting for Farmers Day weekend will see a dramatically changed landscape on the old West Elementary School grounds. Construction of Kimball's new $43.6 million hospital there is on track for completion by Dec. 22, Kimball Health Services community relations director Kerry Ferguson told the Observer. Jeff Van Es, project manager with Haselden Construction, said last week that the project is 85 percent complete. The facility is 61,200 square feet in size. Finish work has begun, Ferguson...


    Jim Orr, The Observer|Sep 7, 2023

    Lincoln Highway painters Jessica Rocha, left, and Jaime Bright were back at it on Labor Day, laboring to highlight the historic old roadway that runs throught these parts with a fresh coat of red, white and blue. Last week, their painting posse gave Kimball's corner of Chestnut and 2nd the Lincoln Highway makeover. This week, they painted the bridge, shown above, on the west end of Bushnell and north side of the tunnels. It was part of the original Lincoln Highway route – and now it's a t...

  • New Year Opens With New Faces At Banner County School

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Aug 31, 2023

    Banner County School opened the new academic year with a number of new staff members and the distinction of being the first Panhandle school to establish the JAG NE program for students to explore career options. Superintendent Evelyn Browne told the Observer on Tuesday that JAG NE, which stands for Jobs for American Graduates Nebraska, is a program supported by United Way of the Midlands. Browne said JAG NE students in grades 7-12 take part in problem-based learning activities to help them explore career options, identify interests, and...

  • More Water Woes For City

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Aug 17, 2023

    The aging process for Kimball's old water system is showing again. This time it happened when a small leak in a 1-inch waterline under 2nd Street, which goes to the fire hall, became a big problem. City crews tried to turn off a water valve Friday at 2nd and Chestnut streets so they could make repairs, but the valve broke and started spewing water, Mayor John Morrision told the Observer. He said since all the water was going into a sewer and not damaging businesses, the decision was made to not...

  • Game On For Longhorns, Wildcats, Coyotes

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Aug 17, 2023

    Go time is here for Longhorns, Coyotes and Wildcats. High school and junior high fall sports seasons open this coming week for this area's cross country, football, girls golf and volleyball teams. Here are the schedules for Kimball, Potter-Dix and Banner County through the first full week of September. Kimball Aug. 18, 2023 Tailgate Sports Kickoff. Volleyball scrimmage at 5:30 p.m., cross country showcase at 5:45, golf showcase at 6:30 and football scrimmage at 7. Aug. 21, 6 p.m., football,...

  • Event To Help Small Businesses Succeed During Sentinel Project

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Aug 3, 2023

    Kimball City Administrator Annette Brower has distributed information about the next STAR Roundtable session to help small businesses make the most of working with the federal govvernment and large contractors during the Sentinel missile project. The idea is to strategize. STAR is an acronym for Strategic Team Alliance Roundtable. The roundtable – a webinar being hosted by the Wyoming SBDC – will hegin 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 10. Small business representatives will be able to connect with panelists successfully performing as prime and sub... Full story

  • Daum Finishes Well In NBA Shot

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Jul 20, 2023

    Mike Daum finished the NBA Summer League playing well enough to stay in the conversation for making a regular season NBA roster with the Sacramento Kings, his summer team, or another franchise that liked what it saw in the Dauminator. On July 11, Daum scored 22 points for the Kings against the Chicago Bulls. He scored on 5 of 9 three-point shots and brought in seven rebounds. On July 13 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he had 8 points, but shot under 20 percent, and 4 rebounds. On July 15... Full story

  • Daum's Summer Gig: NBA

    Jim Orr, The Observer|Jul 13, 2023

    The Dauminator is back in the states playing ball. The Sacramento Kings signed the Kimball basketball legend to their roster for the 2023 NBA Summer League. The 6-9 Daum, also a double-digit scorer with Derthona Basket in the Italian LBA league, plays center with the Kings and scored 6 points in the team’s 80-70 loss Monday to the Los Angeles Clippers in Las Vegas. He hit a pair of 3-pointers and contributed four rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Daum, now 27 and 235 pounds, continues to p... Full story

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