Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Articles written by jim orr

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 By Jim Orr    News    March 14, 2019

Blizzard Strikes Fiercely, Delays Observer Delivery

The Blizzard of 2019 walloped the Kimball area with wicked sustained winds, freezing rain and heavy snow as forecast – forcing the closure of schools, businesses, government offices and highways... Full story

 By Jim Orr    News    February 28, 2019

Casino Night Raises $10,500

Kimball Hospital Foundation hit the jackpot with its Casino Night fundraiser. That's in terms of community support and money raised. More than 200 charitable gamblers filled Kimball Event Center on... Full story

 By Jim Orr    News    February 28, 2019

Shopko Just About Done

The end is just about here for the Kimball Shopko Hometown store on Highway 71. Shopko is expected to close its doors for good 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2. The company announced late last year that the store was among 39 in 17 states closing for...

 By Jim Orr    News    February 7, 2019

Panhandle Tourism Coalition Gets $4,000

Getting the good word out about the Nebraska Panhandle has received a boost. The Nebraska Tourism Commission has awarded a $4,000 grant to the Western Nebraska Tourism Coalition, which serves the Kimball area, to participate in a “social media...

 By Jim Orr    News    January 31, 2019

Widespread Respiratory Illness Serious

Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff announced Tuesday, Jan. 29, that it was temporarily limiting visitor access due to widespread respiratory illness throughout the region. No visitors under age 18 were to be allowed in the hospital until...

 By Jim Orr    News    January 31, 2019

Kimball Library Turns High-Tech Page

Kimball Public Library is one of 30 libraries statewide chosen for a program to let library visitors use high-tech equipment to make various items – such as signs, personally designed T-shirts and pin-back buttons and much more – at bargain...

 By Jim Orr    News    January 24, 2019


Should it stay or should it go? The future of Kimball’s historic but rundown Longhorn Restaurant building apparently will be in the City Council’s hands as soon as it officially gains possession... Full story


Kimball Rallies For Amy Sapp

A big rally benefit for motorcycle crash victim Amy Sapp, the Kimball economic developer and special projects coordinator, is set for 4:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at Kimball Event Center. And... Full story

 By Jim Orr    News    January 24, 2019

Super Blood Wolf Moon

Usually, Drew Beisecker takes Kimball Longhorns basketball photos for the Western Nebraska Observer. But on June 20, he captured these images from his Kimball home of the only total lunar eclipse of... Full story

 By Jim Orr    News    January 17, 2019

School Board Back To Business

The Kimball school board at its organizational meeting Monday night welcomed three newly elected school board members, saluted more than two dozen students for a job well done, and discussed plans to...

 By Jim Orr    News    January 17, 2019

Kimball, Shopko Building Owner Keeping 'In Touch'

A line of communication is established between the city of Kimball and the owner of the building that houses the Shopko Hometown store expected to close by the end of February. Both parties share a goal: finding a new business tenant or tenants to...

 By Jim Orr    News    January 17, 2019

Suspicious Fire Chars Car In Dix

A fire of suspicious nature on Friday night, Jan. 4, destroyed an automobile next to a carport on the north side of U.S. Highway 30 in Dix, the Dix Volunteer Fire Department reported. Dix...

 By Jim Orr    News    January 17, 2019

Oh, Baby! Rosalee Ann Osborn Opens 2019

And the first Kimball baby born in 2019 is ... Rosalee Ann Osborn – all 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and 19.5 inches of her. Little Rosalee was born 7:56 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, at Regional West Medical...

 By Jim Orr    News    January 10, 2019

Kimball Pumped Up On Gas Prices

Average gas prices in Kimball dropped about 9 cents last week – from $2.24 to $2.15 per gallon of regular unleaded, according to a Western Nebraska Observer survey. The drop brings Kimball to within an uncharacteristically close 2 cents of...

 By Jim Orr    News    January 10, 2019


The annual Kimball Banner Chamber of Commerce banquet will serve up a main course of economic promise this time around. The banquet, next Monday, Jan. 14, at Kimball Event Center, features a presentation, “Preparing Your Business for the Missile...

 By Jim Orr    News    January 10, 2019

End Appears Near For Kimball Shopko

If it weren’t already the case, the future for Kimball’s Shopko Hometown store appears certain to be short. Consider: • The store has begun selling off its fixtures. • A banner across the front of the building says “CLOSING” in big, bold...

 By Jim Orr    News    January 3, 2019


Local shoppers continue filling their vehicles with items bought at Kimball's Shopko Hometown store, but they soon could be filling up with something else – more gasoline at the fuel pump -- if the... Full story

 By Jim Orr    News    January 3, 2019

Job Rate Better Here Than Across Neb., U.S.

Kimball County fares well when it comes to unemployment rates across Nebraska and the United States. The latest State Department of Labor figures show the county’s unemployment rate at 2.5 percent for November – an improvement from 2.7 percent...

 By Jim Orr    News    December 27, 2018

Kimball Trying To Save Its Shopko

Kimball isn't giving up its Shopko Hometown store quietly, but saving it appears to be a long shot. An online petition urging Shopko Stores Operating Co. to keep open the store gained about 1,000...

 By Jim Orr    Opinion    December 27, 2018

So Glad To Be Back In The Nebraska Panhandle

Greetings, Western Nebraska Observer readers. I’m Jim Orr, the new publisher of your hometown newspaper. Some of you might recall when I filled in here -- right here in Kimball, right here in the Observer office -- as interim manager for about a mo... Full story

 By Jim Orr    News    December 20, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Dear Santa, Some Kimball kids heard that you read the Western Nebraska Observer and, with that in mind, they wrote down some thoughts and questions for you in this special Christmas edition of their...

 By Jim Orr    News    December 20, 2018

Shopko Keeps Making Moves

Shopko Stores Operating Co., which announced plans this month to close its Kimball department store, keeps making moves to right its financial ship. The Wisconsin-headquartered retailer in recent days reported the sale of 64 of its pharmacy...


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