Phelps-Gosper Water Use Hotline will be available for irrigators from June 5th through September 1st, 2017. This hotline allows the public free access to data from automated weather stations and EvapoTranspiration (ET) information relating to current crop growth conditions and irrigation input data. Updated Hotline information is available 24 hours a day and provides data from five local automated weather station locations. Our local Nebraska automated weather data network stations have new names this year; the names reflect mileage and direction from the nearest village, city, town, or post office. The Nebraska State Climate Office renamed Nebraska locations to align with other cooperating states. Although our five local automated weather data stations now have new names, the actual automated data collection locations remain the same as previous years. The reference location names are: Ragan 5W (previously Holdrege); Holdrege 5N (previously Holdrege 4N); Lexington 4S (previously Lexington); Axtell (previously Minden); and Smithfield 2E previously Smithfield). The hotline phone numbers are 308-995- 2255 or 1-800- 993-2507 (toll-free). Crop Water Use information is also available on the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District website: www.cnppid.com. Click on News & info, then click on Weather/ET Data. Corn growth staging is based on May 10 emergence, while soybean growth staging is based on May 20th emergence. Updated crop data includes: crop water daily use; average 3-day and 1 week water use; and accumulated growing degree days (GDD). Crops include: corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, wheat and alfalfa. The Water Use Hotline is funded by Tri-Basin Natural Resources District and Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District. Recording support is provided by Nebraska Extension – Phelps-Gosper offices. For more information regarding name changes of local automated weather data network stations, contact the Extension office at 308-995- 4222.
Area youngsters have plenty of opportunity to cool off, now that the swimming pool in Bertrand and the Loomis splash pad are open for the summer season. The Bertrand swimming pool opened May 24 and is open from 1-5 and 6-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Daily rates are $2.00 per day and season passes are available for $50 for individuals or $75 per family. Cost to use the baby pool is $1.00 for the first child and 25 cents for each additional child. At Loomis, the splash pad opened last Friday and is open daily from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. There is no charge to use the splash pad.
Tristin Kimberly of Holdrege, was named to the Dean's list at Olivet Nazarene University during the recently completed spring 2017 semester. To qualify for inclusion on the dean's list, a student must have been enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student and must have attained a semester grade point average of 3.50 or higher on a 4.00 grading scale. Olivet Nazarene University is an accredited Christian, liberal arts university offering more than 140 areas of undergraduate and graduate study, including the Doctor of Education in ethical leadership. Olivet's 275-acre park-like main campus is in Bourbonnais, Illinois, 50 miles south of Chicago. Additional sites are in Rolling Meadows and Oak Brook, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Grand Rapids and Grand Ledge, Michigan; Hong Kong; and more than 100 School of Graduate and Continuing Studies learning locations throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest. From Oxford to Tokyo, hundreds of Olivet students also experience the global classroom each year through study abroad opportunities, internships and worldwide mission trips.
Holdrege will be full of smokin’ good fun the weekend of June 16th-17th as the new Central Plains Ribfest makes its debut as part of the annual Swedish Days celebration. The nationally-sanctioned BBQ contest will bring teams from across the Midwest to compete for $7,000 in prize money. “I think it’s going to be fun to see the community embrace this event” said event chairman Doug Stevenson. “It’s also going to be fun to see the cooks come out and enjoy our community.” The event is coordinated and planned by the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Ambassadors with support from area business sponsors. The event is a “state championship” with an official proclamation from the governor of Nebraska. Ribfest activities begin on Friday, June 16th, at 5:30 p.m. with an event similar to past Swedish Days ribfest events. Families and the public are invited to purchase and taste ribs and pork loin ($2 each) prepared by local cooks and some of the professional BBQ contestants. The public will vote for their favorite ribs and pork loin along with ‘celebrity’ judges. There is a $50 entry fee for Local People’s Choice cooks and cash prizes of $150 and $75 will be awarded to winning teams. Local cooks are also invited to participate in the Holdrege Market Place Steak Fry to vie for top honors in cooking steaks. There is a $40 entry fee, and the winner receives 60 percent of the total entry fees with 30 percent going to the second place winner. Each team will cook two steaks provided by Holdrege Market Place. Friday night’s event also includes a beer garden and a street dance featuring The James Lee Band, a country western group from Greeley, Nebraska. The Holdrege High School All-Class Reunion will also be part of Friday night’s ribfest activities. Tickets for the event are $5 in advance/$10 at the gate for the family-friendly tasting event from 5:30-8 p.m. or $10 in advance/$15 at the gate for the tasting event, beer garden and street dance from 5:30 p.m.-midnight. Advance tickets are available through June 15th at Holdrege Market Place and SunMart, Bruning State Bank, First State Bank of Holdrege, FirsTier Bank, Home Federal Bank, Lincoln Federal Savings Bank and the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce. The ribfest event will take place in downtown Holdrege near the city auditorium with the main gate at 5th and West avenues and additional gates at 6th and Grant streets and 5th and Tilden streets. On Saturday, the public is invited to watch as professional teams compete in the BBQ contest that is sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society. Teams will prepare four meats (chicken, ribs, pulled pork and brisket) for a team of KCBS certified judges who will evaluate the barbecue on taste, appearance and texture. Judging begins at noon with awards presented at 4 p.m. Food will be available this year only at the Street Festival, no food will be sold at Ribfest on Saturday. As of mid-May, 23 professional teams had already signed up with more expected as the Central Plains Ribfest is the only sanctioned event within 300 miles of Holdrege on June 17th. Teams are coming from Colorado, Missouri and Wyoming and several towns in Nebraska, including Holdrege, Kearney, Beatrice and Lincoln. The grand champion will receive $1,400 along with a trophy. The reserve champion will win $1,000 and a trophy. The HHS construction technology classes made the trophies for the event. Prize money will also be awarded for overall winners up to 10th place and for each meat category up to 10th place. The grand champion will be entered into a drawing for a chance to compete in the Jack Daniels World Championship in Knoxille, Tennessee. All information about the Central Plains Ribfest and all forms to enter into the Ribfest Public Tasting Choice Contest, the Holdrege Market Place Steak Fry and the KCBS competition can be found on the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce website at HoldregeChamber.com. Or, call the Chamber at 308-995-4444 for more information.