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

Articles written by Tonia Copeland


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  • Kimball Junior High places several wrestlers in top spots at Perkins Co.

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 29, 2018

    Young wrestlers from Kimball earned top billing at the Perkins County Junior High meet on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Three Longhorns took first place with four in second place and two earning third. Kimball's Matthew Johnson earned first place in the 62-72 weight bracket and 18 team points with his first round win by fall in 25 seconds over Hershey's Aden Bates. He followed up with a round two win by 7-2 decision over Garden County's Wyland Lobner and a third round win by fall in 2:26 over Kevin Dannatt...

  • Kimball plans visioning workshop for the Longhorn

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 22, 2018

    As the Panhandle Area Development District (PADD) seeks applicants for Brownfield Assessment funds, Kimball begins the process of a local brownfield subject site – the Longhorn building. According to a recent press release, PADD received funds from the Environmental Protection Agency to assist communities throughout the panhandle to redevelop potential brownfield sites. Brownfield properties are those that may have, or have been proven to have, any hazardous substance which would make r...

  • Area Junior High wrestlers compete well

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 22, 2018

    Junior high mat men from the Panhandle and eastern Wyoming competed in Morrill on Friday, Nov. 16, with three young Longhorns earning first place. Trey Schindler's placed first in the 126-138 weight bracket and earned the Longhorns 24 team points. Schindler won the quarterfinal match by fall in 13 seconds over Petar Carlson of Hemingford before pinning Leyton's Kaleb Borges in 1:10 in the semifinal match. His championship was cemented with a win by fall over Parker Farrenkopf of Bridgeport in...

  • Gumdrops and Candy Canes

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 15, 2018

    Santa’s Kimball helpers are ready to light up the town with the annual Parade of Lights and Christmas Lighting and Decor contest. The deadline to enter in the lighting and décor contest is Dec. 13 for either a residential entry or a business entry. White lights, single color lights, multi-colored lights, we want to see them all – blinking, chasing or simply twinkling. Adorn your home or business with lights, ribbon, wreaths, inflatables,musical and window displays for all to see. Judging will occur on Dec. 22 with a traveling trophy, and brag...

  • Where are they now? Rebekah (Williams) Franklin

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 15, 2018

    Given devastating news when she was young and full of hope, Kimball graduate Rebekah (Williams) Franklin could have given up – and she nearly did, instead she chose to grow, and to offer hope to others when she was feeling hopeless. "One of my favorite quotes is 'You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have,'" she said. Becky's family moved to Kimball in the early nineties and she graduated high school in 1999. She went to college in Texas, worked at a d...

  • VFW Post 2243 raising funds for local memorial

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 15, 2018

    Kimball veterans are raising money for the newly erected memorial in Gotte Park. The space in front of the flagpoles will eventually be filled in with memorial bricks honoring the county’s veterans. VFW Post 2243 is selling bricks in two sizes, smaller bricks will sell for $50 with larger bricks sold for $75, each in memory of or in honor of a Kimball County Veteran. Purchasing a brick to honor a veteran will also help VFW Post 2243 raise much-needed funds for their projects. Members of the local post are also selling 2019 Calendars for $20. O...

  • Motorists urged to slow down and be cautious driving this winter

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 15, 2018

    Winter is upon us and drivers and reminded to travel with safety in mind. Reduce speed of travel. The City of Kimball has a new tool meant to keep drivers mindful of their speed of travel, an electronic speed indicator. The indicator was a gift from the Panhandle Public Health District and it is currently placed on Highway 71 near Seventh Street. Kimball Police Department reminds drivers that stopping on snow and ice covered roadways is more difficult. Maintaining a slower speed allows more...

  • Junior High wrestlers perform well in Hemingford

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 15, 2018

    Caleb Schaeffer led the young Longhorns on the mats last Thursday, Nov. 8, in Hemingford with a first place win and 20 team points on the board. Schaeffer pinned Colter Gerard of Edgemont Jr. High in round one in just 42 seconds and followed up with a win by fall in 2:53 over Owen Talton of Bayard in round two. Round three brought a win by fall over Aaron Suhr of Minatare in 37 seconds to secure Schaeffer’s first place finish in the 123-128 weight bracket. Braylon Miller earned 14 additional team points for the Longhorns and secured a first pla...

  • Rock the Democracy

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 8, 2018

    With a number of contested races, Kimball County and City of Kimball voters turned out last Tuesday to decide who will be on the local boards. The number of registered voters in Kimball County totaled 2,824 and 1,402 cast their ballots. Though the number is about half of the total of registered voters, County Clerk Cathy Sibal said that the number is increased from previous midterm elections. There was also an increase in absentee ballots cast this year, with many voting early. Contested races...

  • Kimball hosts young wrestlers, boasts multiple first place finishes

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 8, 2018

    Junior High wrestlers from Banner County, Bayard, Burns/Pine Bluffs, Garden County, Gering, Lingle, Minatare, Mitchell and Morrill all descended onto the Kimball mats on Saturday, Nov. 3 for the 2018 Kimball Junior High Invitational. Mitchell matmen took top billing with 34 pins totaling 45:57 with Gering close behind, logging 31 pins in 35:39 minutes. Lingle wrestlers, 23 pins in 26:19, edged out Garden County with 21 pins in 23:41 followed by Bayard with 17 pins in 16:14 and Burns/Pine Bluffs with 13 pins in 16:49. Kimball logged 11 pins in...

  • Honor Flight to come through Kimball

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 1, 2018

    Many Korean and Viet Nam War veterans will travel through Kimball at approximately 1 p.m., today, Thursday, Nov. 1, escorted by the Patriot Guard riders, on their way to Denver International Airport. From DIA these honored few will fly to Washington D.C. to view the memorials from their respective wars. Their trip, at no cost to the veterans, is provided by Honor Flight Network and is meant to honor the heroes and provide closure to them. Often they are accompanied by a friend or family member...

  • Banner County opens junior high wrestling season with regional invitational

    Tonia Copeland|Nov 1, 2018

    Banner County hosted area schools, including Bayard, Bridgeport, Burns/Pine, Crawford, Garden County, Hay Springs, Hemingford, Kimball, Leyton, Lingle-Ft. Laramie, Minatare, Morrill and Southeast (Yoder) for the Banner County Junior High wrestling invitational on Saturday, Oct. 27. Chris McCloskey of Kimball earned first place in his bracket and added 18 points to the Kimball board with his three wins. First over Gabe Brooks, also of Kimball, by 13-3 major decision, then by major decision...

  • City plans for Longhorn building

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 25, 2018

    The City of Kimball recently accepted ownership of the building that once housed the Longhorn Restaurant. Once taxes are paid on the building, which has been deemed unsafe, it will be removed from the tax roles as the City works on grants to begin addressing the dangers. The first item of business for the building will be to secure it, including the broken out windows on the second floor. After that, well, the plan is less clear. “We really don’t have a lot of money to deal with the building at this time, however, my thought was to put it out...

  • Old businesses and new businesses, council hears from both

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 25, 2018

    The old Arabian Motel got a new lease on life as an extended stay complex named Red Door Rentals, complete with an in-house coffee house, The Daily Grind. At the Oct. 16 Kimball City Council meeting the building’s owner, Terri Dyer, sought, and was granted, $3,873.50 in facade improvement funds to complete the signage, awning, outdoor lighting and windows. These funds will also go towards a drive-thru window for the coffee house. The amount requested totals half the amount needed to complete the desired work and is available through the K...

  • Walking trail officially opens this weekend

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 25, 2018

    Welcome to the Kimball Community Trail. The Kimball Area Foundation Fund committee invites everyone to join them at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the east entrance of the trail for a grand opening celebration and a ribbon cutting ceremony. Although the trail has been in use throughout the summer, this will serve as the official opening date, according to committee members, and some fun activities have been planned. Much planning and more than 750 volunteer, and even more paid, man hours have...

  • Malson acheives both freshman goals

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 25, 2018

    Kimball freshman Chantel Malson just likes to run. "I used to run on the track when I was younger and I really liked it," she said. She recently completed her first year of high school cross country having achieved both of the goals she set for herself. Chantel ran in junior high, preparing to compete at the high school level. As a freshman she wanted to break the freshman record, and at the WTC meet on Oct. 5 she did, also earning the third top spot overall. She had hoped to reach her goals...

  • Kimball runners return from state with pleased coaches

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 25, 2018

    Coaches Tiffany Johnson and Laurie Janicek said they had an overall great year with the Longhorn Cross Country team. "We are super proud of how our runners performed all season long. Our runners continued to improve each meet and were willing to work hard in practice," Johnson said. "Each meet they had goals and wanted to beat their previous best times and were upset when that didn't happen." Three runners qualified for state this year. Zachery Wagner returned for his third state meet after a se...

  • PPHD gift may increase mindful motorists

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 18, 2018

    Kimball just received a gift that may keep on giving – drivers a real look at how fast they are going, that is. The Panhandle Public Health District sent a speed indicator to the City of Kimball last week with the expectation that, once aware of their speed, drivers will slow down for pedestrians and bicyclists. "We met with them about three weeks ago and they had some money to spend," City Administrator Dan Dean said. "The group thought about a couple of things. The gift was sent following a re...

  • KPD to enforce school permit laws

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 18, 2018

    Following complaints to the local authorities, Kimball Police Chief Andy Bremer warns young drivers to follow the letter of the law with provisional permits. A School Permit is required for drivers under the age of 16 to operate a motor vehicle without adult supervision. These permits are offered to students residing or attending a school outside of a city of 5,000 or less but allow the student to only drive on the most direct route to school from the student’s residence, according to the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. Previously the l...

  • Lady Horns take two losses and earn a win in SPVA tournament play

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 18, 2018

    The Lady Horns played in the SPVA Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 13, losing to Chase County and Bridgeport before winning against Perkins County. The Kimball ladies battled the Chase County Longhorns, ranked 89 in the state with a 16-10 record, for a 2-0 loss. No statistics were available for the game. The Lady Horns took a second 2-0 loss against the Bridgeport Bulldogs, 13-25 and 19-25. The lady Bulldogs boast a 15-8 record overall, to Kimball's 9-14. Kimball statistics were unavailable for...

  • Longhorns qualify three for state cross country

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 18, 2018

    Kimball runners competed in the district contest on Thursday, Oct. 11 in Bridgeport and qualified three for state – seniors Zachery Wagner, a three-time state qualifier, and Thomas Lenzen as well as freshman Chantel Malson. Wagner would have qualified all four years of high school but for a broken femur in his junior year, a season ending injury for the runner. He placed sixth in districts this year with his time of 18:08 and was followed by Lenzen in 11th place with a time of 18:31. Brady K...

  • Kimball High School received national recognition, bronze award

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 11, 2018

    Kimball High School was recently recognized as a top school in the nation by US News and World Reports, which collected data from, and rated more than, 20,500 public schools throughout the nation. Those schools were then awarded gold, silver or bronze awards based on state assessment performance and college preparedness. "It is quite an honor for Kimball Jr/Sr High School to earn the Bronze Award from US News and World Report. This places Kimball in the top 29% when compared to high schools...

  • Jury duty – an American gifted obligation

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 11, 2018

    Editor’s note: This is the final of two stories planned regarding jury duty. Please see next week’s Western Nebraska Observer for more information. Few are the exemptions from jury duty and many are the requirements. This indicates the importance of jury service to citizens. Three groups are legally barred from serving on federal juries, even if they wish to do so, and are automatically exempt from jury duty. Those include members of the armed forces, police and fire personnel and active public officers, whether at the local, state or fed...

  • Records set and records broken in back-to-back cross country meets

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 11, 2018

    Running back-to-back meets is tough enough, but when those meets are conference finals more than an hour away from home, the pressure might seem too much. Not so for our Longhorn runners, who used the opportunity to best school records set new personal records and medal at conferences. Longhorn Cross Country runners did just that, competing in the SPVA Conference in Grant at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4 and competing the very next day at 11 a.m. in Morrill for the WTC Conference. At Grant, Chantel Malson led the ladies in, finishing in 11th,...

  • Jury duty - right and responsibility

    Tonia Copeland|Oct 4, 2018

    Editor’s note: This is the first of two stories planned regarding jury duty. Please see next week’s Western Nebraska Observer for more information. Let’s talk fundamental rights. One right guaranteed to Americans is the right to a trial by jury. This is written into the United States and Nebraska Constitutions. Our justice system depends on citizens to serve as jurors and make important decisions in court cases. Kimball County Clerk of the District Court, Deb Diemoz, wants to remind residents of the importance of service. Diemoz would also...

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