Monday, June 27, 2016
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Firefighters contain Saturday morning fire north of Johnstown to 1 hay bale

A Saturday morning fire in a hay bale north of Johnstown during extreme fire danger conditions prompted the response of the Ainsworth and Johnstown Volunteer Fire departments.

At just after 10 a.m. Saturday, a hay bale was reported on fire three miles north of Johnstown near Norden Avenue on property owned by the Klammer Brothers.

Ainsworth Fire Chief Brad Fiala said exhaust from a vehicle ignited a hay bale that was being loaded onto a truck.

Fiala said the Johnstown firefighters had the fire contained to the hay bale by the time Ainsworth firefighters arrived on scene. He said the Ainsworth department assisted in unrolling the bale and extinguishing the flames.

The loss was contained to the one hay bale, which was owned by Royce Greder. Fiala said firefighters were on scene for about 45 minutes Saturday.

Winds gusted to more than 25 mph Saturday and the National Weather Service placed the area in a fire weather warning. Fiala said he was relieved the departments were able to keep the fire from spreading.

The entire KBR area remains under a burn ban until conditions improve. Rain is in the forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday.


Work To Begin on US-183, South of the Niobrara River in Brown County

Weather permitting, work is scheduled to begin the week of April 13 on US-183 starting at Reference Post 198.43 and ending at the Brown-Keya Paha county line, Reference Post 207.15, according to the Nebraska Department of Roads.

Werner Construction, Inc., of Hastings, Nebraska, has the $4,604,211 contract for the 8.72-mile project, which will include widening the roadway from 12-foot to 14-foot driving lanes. Work will include culvert extensions, flume installation and new cable guardrail, as well as repair on the Bone Creek Bridge near Keller State Park.

Traffic will be maintained during construction with use of flaggers and a pilot car. Work is anticipated to be completed in October. The Department of Roads’ project manager is Michael Rudnick of Ainsworth. Motorists are reminded to drive cautiously through highway construction zones


Bill aims to keep American Indian children with families

It would be more difficult to remove American Indian children from their families under a measure being considered in the Nebraska Legislature.

The bill by Sen. Colby Coash of Lincoln would clarify hazy terms already in Nebraska law, strengthening protections of cultural identities for children by engaging tribal government and extended family mediation before removing children from tribal homes.

American Indian children represent just 2 percent of Nebraska's children but account for more than 5 percent of all children in out-of-home placement, one of the highest disparities in the nation, according to 2014 data from Nebraska's Foster Care Review Office.

The Judiciary Committee is expected to discuss advancing the bill on Tuesday.


First Friday of the Month is Tornado Siren Testing Day

The first Friday of each month from April to October is Tornado Siren Testing Day.  At 10:00 am, the sirens will be tested starting April 3, 2015.  If you notice one of the sirens aren’t working properly, please contact the Valentine Police Department at 402-376-3055 so it can be fixed.


ATV Regulations

It’s that time of year again, when we dust off the ATV’s and cruise Valentine.  Just a few reminders to keep you safe and out of trouble:

1.        You must have a class O driver’s license to operate

2.       You must have insurance for your ATV

3.       You must obtain a permit from the Police Department

4.       Highway 20 is a controlled access highway.  You can only cross the 4 lanes at 90 degrees at an intersection.  You cannot drive on highway 20 any other time within the city limits.

5.       Your ATV can ONLY be operated between the hours of sunrise and sunset.  NO night time use!

6.       ATV must have headlights, taillights and a day glow safety flag that is at least 5’ above the ground and is triangular.

7.       All Rules of the Road apply to ATV users.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the Valentine Police Department at 402-376-3055.


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