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Valentine Blood Drive on Thursday, September 3rd

The next blood drive in Valentine will be Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 from 11:30 am until 5:30 pm at the Catholic Church Parish Hall, sponsored by the Valentine Rotary Club.

For an appointment, please contact Jeanie Cozad at 402-376-4715.


Smith to Hold Mobile Offices in North Platte, Thedford, and South Sioux City

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will meet constituents of the Third District during three "mobile offices" on August 25-27.

A "mobile office" allows constituents to meet directly with Congressman Smith about federal issues and take advantage of the constituent services available through his office, such as assisting individuals with challenges they face while working with a federal agency, ordering flags flown over the U.S. Capitol, and booking tours in Washington, D.C.

Smith, who has offices in Grand Island and Scottsbluff, will hold his mobile offices on August 25-27 at the following times and locations:

Tuesday, August 25

Lincoln County Courthouse Commissioners Room

301 N. Jeffers Street, North Platte, NE 69101

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (CDT)


Wednesday, August 26

Thomas County Courthouse

503 Main Street, Thedford, NE 69166

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CDT)


Thursday, August 27

South Sioux City Hall

1615 1st Avenue, South Sioux City, NE 68776

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CDT)


For additional information, contact Congressman Smith's Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900 or his Scottsbluff office at (308) 633-6333.


Body of missing woman recovered from Pactola Reservoir

Searchers have recovered the body of a Rapid City woman who went missing after a boat crash on Pactola Reservoir.

The Pennington County Sheriff's Office says searchers on Monday used a remotely operated underwater vehicle to locate the body of 33-year-old Gabrielle Fisher.

The Burleigh County Sheriff's Department and the Bismarck Rural Fire Department in North Dakota sent personnel and equipment to the scene to help in the search.

Fisher was one of two people on a boat that collided with a personal watercraft Friday. The personal watercraft driver is facing charges of boating under the influence and manslaughter.

Jody Kreycik made his initial court appearance Monday but did not enter a plea. He faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted.


Valentine City Council Regular Meeting

The Valentine City Council met Thursday night for a regular monthly meeting. One of the first issues on the agenda was discussion on tax increment financing (TIF) applications for two new business projects in Valentine. One was for a new Runza restaurant and the other was for Ainsworth Auto Parts expansion in town. The city planning commission had reviewed the applications and reported that the construction plans met the requirements of the city. However, the motion to approve TIF for the Runza project failed on a 2 to 2 vote, requiring 3 yes votes to pass. Council President Arganbright abstained from the vote and members Wescott and Ward voted against. Members Dent and Kieborz voted to approve. The TIF proposal for Ainsworth Auto Parts was approved on a 3 to 2 vote, again with council members Wescott and Ward voting no.

A request from Kathy Colburn to hold a street carnival and ice bucket challenge on September 19th on 1st Street between Main and Hall Street was approved. The event will be a fundraiser for ALS.

The request by Tim Colvin for a special liquor permit on October 17th for a Sandhills Area Foundation Tailgate Party and a resolution granting permission for the Homecoming parade on October 2nd were approved.

The discussion about creating angle parking on Macomb Street and B Street around Connot Brothers Auction house was tabled. City Engineer Don Pettigrew had drawn up a proposed plan to show how the angled parking would work.

Olsson Associated engineering firm reported on the Main Street evaluation and interceptor line. The Main Street infrastructure will need to be replaced with the department of roads repaves the street in the next few years. The council discussed replacing sidewalks as well as the curb and gutter and street surface. There will be numerous water and sewer lines that need to be replaced along with the sidewalks.

Council member Ward stated that he was approached by a community member about banning the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, around the swimming pool area. It was decided to put no smoking sings at the Ecology Park and the swimming pool area.

Agreements with companies to provide automated metering for utilities were discussed. The person who currently takes meter readings by hand is retiring and might be difficult to replace. The cost of the system is almost $600,000 up front, but is expected to last for about 20 years. Current cost of reading meters runs more than $30,000 per year plus vehicle cost. The council voted to proceed with the purchase. The funding has already been put into the budget.

On budget discussion, City Manager Shane Siewart reported that the assessed property valuations will be going up this next year and if the property tax levy stays the same, the city will already see a slight increase in revenue without raising city property taxes.



Construction Slated for South of Valentine

According to a press release from the Nebraska Department of Roads, weather permitting, construction work is scheduled to begin the week of August 17 on US-83, south of Valentine, from Reference Post 146.6 to Reference Post 160.5, and north of Thedford, from Reference Post 197.1 to Reference Post 207.4, according to the Nebraska Department of Roads. Sta-Bilt Construction Company of Harlan, Iowa, has the $901,780 contract for microsurfacing the roadway.  Traffic will be maintained during construction with the use of flaggers and a pilot vehicle.  The work is anticipated to be completed in early September. The Department of Roads' project manager is Michael Rudnick of Ainsworth.  Motorists are urged to use caution while driving through highway work zones and to remember that speeding fines are doubled when workers are present.


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