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


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  • Child Sex Charge For Kimball Man

    May 16, 2024

    Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol arrested a Kimball man following an investigation into a reported sexual assault of a child. In early April, the Nebraska State Patrol was made aware of a reported assault of a young child that had occurred in Kimball County in 2019. The initial report came to the Keith County Sheriff’s Office, which referred the case to the state patrol because of the location of the assault. Upon investigation, patrol investigators obtained an arrest warrant for the subject, identified as Chris Wilson, 46, of K...

  • Health Fair Friday & Saturday At New Hospital

    May 16, 2024

    Kimball's new hospital will be the site of this weekend's Kimball Community Health Fair. A cooperative effort between Kimball Health Services and Wyoming Health Fairs, the health fair offers low-cost blood testing and free vital sign testing as a community service to help residents identify health problems before they become life-threatening. The event runs 7 to 11 a.m. both days. Appointments are highly recommended to minimize waiting time but not required, said Kerry Ferguson, director of Comm...

  • Time For Diplomas ... And Plans

    Daria Anderson-Faden, The Observer|May 9, 2024

    The last week of school for the 29 graduating Longhorns in 2024 was full of many final events. Graduation is on Saturday at 11 a.m. And it will be the culmination of years of hard work, and as Longhorn senior Hayden Sours said, it will be “sad and stressful” although they are all excited to the next chapter of their lives. Grades had to be completed on Friday to have time to calculate the GPA for valedictorian, salutatorian and scholarships. Academic awards were presented on Monday at Lon... Full story

  • 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...

  • County Looks At Re-Striping Old Highway 71

    Daria Anderson-Faden, The Observer|May 9, 2024

    Due to scheduling needs of the Kimball County Commissioners, their May meeting was held Friday, May 3, instead of Tuesday, May 7. The second May meeting also was moved to accommodate scheduling requests from Tuesday, May 21, to Wednesday, May 22. Before the agenda items, the board was informed of an 8.7% increase in the county's health and dental insurance. Two county departments, roads and transit, updated the board on business. Randy Bymer, county highway superintendent, reported that...

  • Pillen Requests Storm Disaster Declaration For Area

    For The Observer|May 9, 2024

    LINCOLN – Gov. Jim Pillen on Monday requested a federal major disaster declaration for Nebraska counties impacted by winter storm conditions on April 6 and 7. The request includes the following eight counties: Banner, Cheyenne, Dawes, Garden, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff and Sioux. What began with thunderstorms and heavy rains developed into a system that produced freezing rain, snow, strong winds and blizzard conditions. The most significant damage was to power systems, including downed power lines. The five utility systems affected by t...

  • Casino Night Raises Money For Surgical Equipment

    The Observer|May 9, 2024

    A team effort helped the sixth annual Casino Night benefit Kimball Health Services on Saturday at The Sagebrush. "We had lots of fun on the gaming floor and during the silent and live auction to raise money for new surgical equipment at Kimball Health Services," said Kerry Ferguson, director of community relations and foundation at KHS. Ferguson gave a "special shout-out" to the KHS staff, foundation board members and other volunteers who made it happen. They include KHS staff Nicole Snyder,...

  • Kimball Land Swap: Deal Or No Deal?

    Daria Anderson-Faden, The Observer|May 2, 2024

    The Kimball City/County Parks and Recreation Executive Board members tabled the only item on their agenda Monday evening under current business. They discussed but took no action on items related to the timeline, finances and budget of the operating board pertaining to a proposed land swap. Six months are left for approval from the federal government for the trade in which involves 44 acres of what is now the four ballfields being exchanged for three acres and the Windbreak restaurant property at Four Winds Golf Course. The Park and Rec...

  • All-Class Reunion Back On Radar

    Daria Anderson-Faden|May 2, 2024

    Plans are being made for the Kimball Longhorn All-School Reunion to occur next year after a decade absence. Set aside July 4, 5 and 6 of 2025 to renew old friendships and start new relationships. Chairperson Kim Baliman is thrilled to see the diverse representation from all age groups, ensuring that everyone's voice is heard and the event is a true reflection of our community. Events that have been considered are numerous and include a 4th of July parade, car show, wine tasting, softball tourney...

  • Arbor DAY The kimball Way

    Daria Anderson-Faden, The Observer|May 2, 2024

  • Observer Wins 10 State Awards, 3rd In General Excellence

    The Observer|May 2, 2024

    The Western Nebraska Observer ranks among the top three newspapers of its class in general excellence statewide for the third time in four years. The Observer regained this distinction when winners were announced Saturday in Lincoln for the Nebraska Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest. The Observer won 10 awards in Division B, its highest total during a four year run of strong showings. Publisher Jim Orr and reporter/photographer Daria Anderson-Faden both received multiple awards with some firsts sprinkled in to underline the Ob...

  • The Case Of The Spray-Painted Skid Steer

    Daria Anderson-Faden|May 2, 2024

    The search for justice is often difficult, but when a legal technicality occurs, the case doesn't always go the way some people think it should. This story begins during a time when Cory Shiflett, a superintendent at Paul Reed Construction, and company workers and equipment were working on the Heartland Express south of Alliance in Morrill County. At the Heartland worksite, a yellow 2019 John Deere 325G skid steer owned by Paul Reed Construction disappeared. When new, the skid steer was worth...


    Daria Anderson-Faden, The Observer|May 2, 2024

    Kimball's Keith Jones was surrounded by his heroes, living donor Jennifer Kaufman and pair-exchange donor Candy Rodgers, on Monday afternoon for a Donate Life program. Six months ago, Keith and his living anonymous donor and paired exchange donor were having surgery at UC Health in Aurora, Colo. On Monday, Keith met Jennifer, his living anonymous donor, for the first time. Although his paired exchange donor, Candy Rodgers Keith, knew and had previously worked with her, Candy's interest in donati...

  • New Housing Taking Shape, Debated

    Daria Anderson-Faden, The Observer|Apr 24, 2024

    The Kimball City Council conducted six public hearings at its Tuesday, April 16, meeting. The hearings were to subdivide and rezone three specific areas destined for new housing. The Lighthouse subdivision, owned by Clean Harbors, Inc., located west of Highway 71 and south of Kimball’s Ninth Street, was re-platted and rezoned to include a mix of single-family and multifamily districts. The only comment received was from council candidate Austin Garner. He said that “there was a missed opportunity” because a park and a walking trail shoul...


    Daria Anderson-Faden, The Observer|Apr 24, 2024

    Deb Hays and David Craig of Kimball have formed a unique family bond with their two foreign exchange students, Matias Sokas from Norway and Francesco Cagnoni from Italy, both seniors at Kimball Jr./Sr. High School. Suffering from the empty nest syndrome and a tranquil household, the couple previously sponsored foreign students and decided to renew their experience. The program's rewards are plentiful, but the primary goal is "getting to know the students themselves" and their culture and traditi...

  • The History Of Kimball's Linn Hardware: And Now You Know

    Karen Bivens, The Observer|Apr 24, 2024

    Linn Hardware, a local business fixture in Kimball's early years, was founded in 1893 by Eric Gustav "Gus" Linn. He came to Kimball about 1886 to work for Hoagland Lumber Co. at 101 S. Walnut St. In 1893, he bought out the owners, adding a line of hardware and farm implements. The business moved to 104 S. Walnut St. in 1907, after the initial structure, measuring 50 feet by 80 feet, was erected. A few years later, the south addition was built for a shop. About 1917 or 1918, the brick section,...

  • Assault Suspect Sought Care Here

    Daria Anderson-Faden|Apr 24, 2024

    On Thursday, April 18, Michael Hammond, Jr., 42 from Moorcroft, Wyoming, sought treatment at the Kimball Health Services emergency room for a stab wound to the face. Medical and hospital staff are required by law to report gunshot and stab wounds to the authorities, and the Kimball County Sheriff's Office responded to the hospital after being notified. After an investigation and questioning of Hammond, it was determined that the stabbing had not occurred in Nebraska but happened in Campbell...


    The Observer|Apr 18, 2024

    The four candidates for one Kimball County Commissioners seat all replied to questions from Observer reporter Daria Anderson-Faden for this report preceding the May 14 primary election. Their answers follow, with the candidates listed in alphabetical order of their last names: Matt Bright, David R. Hottell, Carl Stander and Sarah Weisbrook. MATT BRIGHT Please provide brief background info on yourself: I was born and raised in Kimball. I have a wife and a son that we would love to continue to raise in Kimball. I have served on city council and...

  • Recovery Continues After Nasty Blizzard

    Daria Anderson-Faden, The Observer|Apr 18, 2024

    Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen declared a disaster declaration for Kimball, Banner, Cheyenne, Garden, Morrill and Scotts Bluff counties after the April 6-7 high winds and blizzard conditions. The damage to the affected counties is expected to exceed $5.4 million. Region 22 Emergency Management Director Tim Newman said that Scotts Bluff and Banner counties experienced "some minor cosmetic damages like roofing materials." According to Newman, "This declaration will only be for public agencies such as...

  • Art Display Showcases Talents, Works Of Kimball Students

    Daria Anderson-Faden, The Observer|Apr 18, 2024

    Senior Braylon Miller, a standout among Kimball's art students, showcased his exceptional works and creativity at the recent Kimball Art Show. The event was proof to the artistic abilities of students from kindergarten to high school. Art teacher Mr. Mark Jefferis explained, "The art show provides us with the opportunity to show students that we are proud of their work and to share with the community the artistic abilities of students at Kimball Public Schools." Braylon's artwork from this year...


    The Observer|Apr 18, 2024

    Austin Garner and Jamie Murdoch, the two unopposed candidates to succeed Gabe Ingram and Christy Warner on Kimball City Council, both replied to questions from Observer reporter Daria Anderson-Faden for this report preceding the May 14 primary election. Their answers follow, with the candidates listed in alphabetical order of their last names. AUSTIN GARNER Please provide brief background info on yourself: I grew up in Kimball and graduated in 2004, attended college and then joined the Army as a flight paramedic. I was stationed in Germany and...

  • Teacher's Contract Changed

    Daria Anderson-Faden, The Observer|Apr 18, 2024

    In a unanimous vote, the Kimball School Board amended teacher Christine Lewis’s employment contract from full- to quarter-time employment in a hearing conducted after the regular board meeting on Monday evening, April 8. The board deliberated during in executive session and returned from the executive session to approve the contract amendment. Superintendent Trevor Anderson presented the administration’s case to amend the contract due to the loss of distance learning students in Spanish 1 and...


    Apr 11, 2024

    Ken, left, and Bob Vincent soak up the partial solar eclipse in Kimball on Monday about midday. The duo, equipped with solar glasses, throughly enjoyed the experience. Both had experience as solar eclipse watchers as they also took in the 2017 eclipse near Scottsbluff. The image of the sun partially eclipsed by the moon, at right, was taken near the Kimball County Courthouse....

  • A Work IN Progress

    Daria Anderson-Faden, The Observer|Apr 11, 2024

    Thirty-year-old Stevn Graupensperger was confined to the Kimball County Jail in December of last year. He was twice arrested for possession of methamphetamine in four weeks. His life was out of control, and he knew it. Using meth was his excuse to cope with losses, heartbreaks and difficulties. Graupensperger mentality was "pity-poor me," or "I just wanted to escape because I didn't feel comfortable in my skin." He was "fair-warned before any ingestion" of the power of meth, "but I thought I...


    The Observer|Apr 11, 2024

    The weekend storm that hit the Kimball area shut down I-80 and Highway 71, forcing double lines of trucks to wait for the roads to reopen. Winds in the area topped out at 70 mph, and then the snow created blizzard conditions. Hundreds of power poles went down. Especially hard hit were the Kimball, Banner County and Potter areas. By Monday most snow had melted in Kimball, but some people remained snowed in around the Harrisburg area. Banner County and Potter-Dix schools were closed Monday, while...

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