Thursday, January 17, 2019

Phelps County Farm Service Agency Reminds Producers of Approaching Application Deadline for Market Facilitation Program

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Phelps County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Teresa Chramosta is reminding producers that the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program is Jan. 15, 2019.

The Market Facilitation Program (MFP) was designed to assist farmers in response to foreign market trade disruptions. FSA is administering MFP. The program provides payments to producers of almonds, corn, cotton, dairy, hogs, sorghum, soybeans, fresh sweet cherries and wheat.

Phelps said the application period runs through Jan. 15, 2019; by that date producers must complete part D of the CCC-910 MFP application. Producers have until May 1, 2019, to complete the remainder of the application, which includes certifying their 2018 production totals.

Chramosta said she also wants to remind producers of hogs/dairy that they may be eligible for this program, depending on dates of production and/or ownership of the livestock. Chramosta encouraged producers of hogs/dairy to contact the county office with eligibility questions.

Producers are encouraged to contact the Phelps County FSA office at (308) 995-6121, extension 2, to make an appointment to begin the application process.

There also is an option to print the application, fill it out and then fax, mail or email it. For more details on the Market Facilitation Program and the various options for enrollment, visit  

Pilot Program to Bring Business Degree Option to Holdrege

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 (Holdrege, Neb.) – Central Community College-Holdrege has been selected for a pilot program designed to afford educational opportunities for working professionals, which ultimately aims to keep them in the area instead of moving to larger communities.

Through the blended business program, students will take two three-credit courses per semester, including the summer months. There are two components of the program, one is web-based and the other is in-classroom instruction. Students will meet one Saturday per month in two four-hour class sessions. If they keep on schedule, they could earn their associate’s degree in three or three-and-a-half years.

Bradley Keasling, associate dean of business and skilled and technical sciences, began formulating the blended business program one year ago in response to Holdrege area businesses asking for CCC’s help with employee retention.

“Becton Dickinson (BD), Allmand Brothers, Phelps Memorial Hospital and other area businesses were seeing their people leave to take other jobs because they didn’t have options for education to increase their skills or to earn a degree,” said Keasling. “BD, for example, is seeing a flux of people that might be leaving or staying stagnant in one area because they can’t become a team leader because they don’t have the credentials from a higher educational institution.”

Read more: Pilot Program to Bring Business Degree Option to Holdrege

Alcohol Inspections Held in Phelps County

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DECEMBER 12, 2018

During the evening hours of Friday, December 7, Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) conducted alcohol inspections in Phelps County. The operation was made possible thanks in part to a grant from Region 3 Behavioral Health Services.

A total of 19 businesses were inspected. Two sold alcohol to a minor for a non-compliance rate of 11 percent. One of the businesses failed to check the minor’s ID.

The businesses which failed the inspections were:

Gutterz Fun Center – Holdrege (checked ID, sold to minor)

Holdrege Market Plate – Holdrege (did not check ID, sold to minor)

Businesses that fail the inspections are referred to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission. Clerks who sell alcohol to a minor are cited for procuring alcohol for a minor.

Piecing Together Her Family’s History:

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1860 quilt

CIVIL WAR ERA QUILT. (From left) Bertrand quilters Shirley Langenberg, Virginia Grafe and owner Rita Skiles of Huntley display the Civil War-era quilt Skiles salvaged from her grandparents’ home. The two Bertrand women spent over 200 hours over the last three months to complete a quilt that was started as far back as 1860. (Bertrand Herald Photo/Stuart Osborn).

Two Bertrand Quilters Get Chance To Work On Civil War Era Quilt


By Stuart Osborn

A Huntley woman’s effort to salvage an old metal clothes hamper from her grandparents’ house has resulted in a genealogical journey and a historically significant surprise.

It also gave two Bertrand quilters the opportunity to put their handiwork on an authentic Civil War-era quilt.

Fourteen years ago, Rita Skiles was gathering items from her deceased grandparents’ home in Huntley. “I couldn’t bear to see some of their things sold off, so after all the other relatives took what they wanted, I took what was left,” Skiles said. “I stored it and didn’t think about it much until I decided to clear out some things last year.”

As she rummaged through her salvaged items, she came across a metal clothes hamper stuffed full of towels and rags. She dug to the bottom and found a hand-sewn quilt top. She was intrigued by it and decided to try to learn more about the piece. She contacted the Central Nebraska Quilt Guild at the Nebraska Prairie Museum in Holdrege, who told her the top was “really old.”

Read more: Piecing Together Her Family’s History:

Central's Eagle Viewing Facilities Now Open

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eagle viewingThe Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District will once again provide eagle-watching opportunities to the public this winter.

The regular viewing season will begin at Central’s J-2 Hydroplant on Sat., Dec. 22 and will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., CST on Saturdays and Sundays through the last weekend in February.  The hydroplant is located south of Lexington near the intersection of county roads 749 and 750.

Central's eagle-viewing facility below Kingsley Dam will open for the season on Sat., Dec. 29 and will remain open until the last weekend in February.  The Kingsley Dam facility is open for eagle-viewing from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (MST) on Saturdays and Sundays.

A limited number of binoculars are available at the facilities, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own viewing equipment.

Central has been providing eagle-viewing opportunities at J-2 since 1988 and at Kingsley Dam since 1990.  The eagles are attracted to feed on fish in the open water below the plants, particularly when rivers and lakes in the area are covered with ice.

Several factors influence the number of eagles seen from the facilities on any given day, including climatic conditions, ice coverage on area bodies of water, how many eagles are wintering in the area, and whether the hydroplants are on-line.  The best viewing time is normally earlier in the day.  There is no charge to visit the facilities.

For more information about eagles and viewing opportunities, visit Central's Web page at or call (308) 995-8601.