Residents Guide 2020





Which local government do I go to?

By TODD VON KAMPEN Here’s a three-question quiz:

Lincoln County government

Telegraph staff reports Like Nebraska’s oth- er 92 counties, Lincoln County government is led by an elected board that controls the county’s overall budget but supervises only a limited number of county depart- ments. County vot- ers expanded the county’s Board of Commissioners from three to five mem- bers in November 2018. Under state law, a three-member pan- el consisting of the county clerk, county treasurer and coun- ty attorney appointed temporary commis- sioners for the newly formed Districts 4 and 5 in December 2018. Voters in the two newest districts will choose their commis- sioners for the first time in the November 2020 general elections. County Board meet- ings begin at 9 a.m. every Monday in the Commissioners Room of the Lincoln County Courthouse, 301 N. Jeffers St., North Platte. If a holi- day falls on a Monday, the meeting is on Tuesday. Voters throughout Lincoln County sepa- rately elect the county officials indicated by asterisks in the list below. Commissioners set those officials’ bud- gets and provide their office space. State law forbids them day- to-day supervisory powers over separate- ly elected officials


Rebecca Harling, ext. 4320 Clerk Magistrate/Clerk of the County Court: Kerry Sides, ext. 4240 County Judges: Kent Turnbull, Joel Jay Clerk of the

» 1. Where do you go if you need permis- sion to use your property differently and you live outside North Platte’s city limits? » 2. If North Platte already has a police de- partment, why do Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies sometimes respond to calls in town? » 3. To whom do you complain if you don’t like the size of your property tax bill? We’ll give the answers at the end of this story. Be warned, though: There’s no single answer, because there’s no single local gov- ernment. That’s true not just in Nebraska but ba- sically everywhere in the United States, thanks largely to a 19th-century belief that a strong, healthy democracy requires having many local elected governments and govern- ment officials. “The best protection of the people’s inter- est lies in the constant exercise of governing power and in such a division of governmental authority as will develop the local commu- nity intelligence and the ability to handle the community’s problems,” state histori- an Addison E. Sheldon wrote in “Nebraska Civil Government,” first published in 1924. But so many governments can get confus- ing. To muddy things further, there’s also no one answer to the question: “Which local governments do I go to?” Whether you own or rent your home or apartment, the local governments that serve you — and whose members you elect — are those that can collect taxes from that prop- erty. If you live inside the city limits of North Platte or any of Lincoln County’s other sev- en communities — Sutherland, Hershey, Maxwell, Brady, Wellfleet, Dickens or Wallace — that adds up to eight govern- ments. Outside city limits, that number might be higher or lower, because many of Nebraska’s smallest local governments — such as rural fire districts or cemetery districts — only serve rural areas. If you’re a property owner, simply look at the governments listed on your property tax bill to know which ones serve you. Inside North Platte’s city limits, these are the eight local governments and what they generally do: Lincoln County Why does this one come first, rather than the city of North Platte?

District Court*: Debra McCarthy, ext. 4300 District Judges: Richard Birch, Michael

Joseph R. Hewgley

Kent Weems

Bill J. Henry

Jerome Kramer


Emergency Management Director: Brandon Myers, 308-532- 7383 Highway Superintendent: Carla O’Dell, ext. 260 or 308- 534-4008 Noxious Weed Superintendent: Todd Herndon, 308-532-4590 Planning and Zoning Administrator: Judy Clark (city of North Platte, 308-535-6724, ext. 3244) Public Defender*: Robert Lindemeier, 308- 534-6740 Register of Deeds*: Lois Block, ext. 4190 County Sheriff*: Jerome Kramer, 308-535- 9599 County Surveyor*: Boni Edwards (call main switchboard) County Treasurer*: Shelli Franzen, ext. 4142 (Motor Vehicles, ext. 4151; Driver’s Licenses, ext. 4154; Driver’s License Examiners, ext. 4155) Veterans Service Officer: Paul L. Cooper, ext. 4267

Walt Johnson

Jerry L. Woodruff

or their offices. The County Board has lim- ited legal powers to remove certain such officials in specific cir- cumstances. Most elected county positions are filled by voters in the even-num- bered year between presidential elections. Elections for County Board members are staggered every two years. The county’s gener- al switchboard number is 308-534-4350. Most county offices may be reached by dialing the main number and ask- ing for the office or the extensions listed be- low. Board of Commissioners » Homepage: sioner Board assistant Tammy J. White , ext. 182

District 1 Joseph R. Hewgley (chairman, 2019; term ex- pires January 2021) District 2 Kent Weems (term ex- pires January 2023) District 3 Bill J. Henry (term ex- pires January 2023) District 4 Walt Johnson (term ex- pires January 2021) Chris Bruns was elected during the primary election to begin serving in January 2021. District 5 » Jerry L. Woodruff (term expires January 2021) Woodruff ran un- opposed and will serve another term beginning January 2021. Other county officials (*separately elected) County Assessor*: Julie Stenger, ext. 4170 County Clerk/Election Commissioner*: Rebecca Rossell, ext. 4110 County Attorney*:

Please see LOCAL, Page E5













City of North Platte

Mayor, City Administrator, City Council

Hall, 211 W. Third St. The meetings are televised live on government access TV channel 180 on both Charter Communications and Allo Communications. They’re rebroadcast at 2:30 p.m. the followingWednesday. An agenda is prepared the week prior to the City Council meeting. It’s avail- able to the public from the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall or at The mayor and city admin- istrator may be reached at 308-535-6724, ext. 3215. City Hall hours of oper- ation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The mission/vision of the city is stated as: “To be an economic and cultural cen- ter for West Central Nebraska providing excellent oppor- tunities for its residents and visitors.” City Council Ward 1 Jim Nisley (president, 2020), 308-534-3391 (term expires December 2022)

Telegraph staff reports North Platte uses the “may- or-council” form of city government, with an elect- edmayor as chief executive officer and an eight-member City Council of two mem- bers apiece from four election wards. Mayor Dwight Livingston, elected in 2012 and re-elect- ed in 2016, presides at council meetings and oversees the city’s executive departments. City Administrator Matthew Kibbon reports to the mayor and provides day-to-dayman- agement of city operations. In addition to city admin- istration, North Platte city government is divided into nine departments provid- ing community services. An additional three central de- partments support internal city functions. City Council meetings are held the first and third Tuesdays of eachmonth. The meetings normally begin at 5:30 p.m. and are conducted in the council chambers at City

Dwight Livingston

Matthew Kibbon

Jim Nisley

Jim Backenstose

Glenn Petersen

Ty Lucas

Andrew Lee

James Carman

Lawrence Ostendorf

Ed Rieker

Ward 3 Andrew Lee, 308-539-4645 (term expires December 2020) James Carman, 308-520- 6904 (term expires December 2022) Ward 4 Lawrence Ostendorf, 308- 530-2692 (term expires

Jim Backenstose , 308-520- 1636 (term expires December 2020) Ward 2 Glenn Petersen, 308-532- 6710 (term expires December 2020) Ty Lucas, 308-534-5987 (term expires December 2022)

December 2020) Ed Rieker, 308-534-9211 (term expires December 2022) City administration » Matthew Kibbon, city ad- ministrator » Dawn Miller, finance direc- tor » Angela Gilbert, city clerk


LOCAL from Page E2

inside the courthouse. » Most offices serve all county residents, notably the Sheriff’s Office, which can respond to calls anywhere in the coun- ty. The North Platte Police Department has jurisdiction only inside city limits. » But if you live in North Platte and have an issue with your street, go to City Hall. The county roads department only maintains rural roads. » Lincoln County, North Platte and the county’s other towns have separate planning and zoning regulations. But rural residents within two miles of North Platte or one mile of any other town fall under the near- est town’s regulations. » State law empowers vot- ers to elect the leaders of eight county offices — assessor, at- torney, clerk, public defender, register of deeds, sheriff, survey- or and treasurer — in addition to Lincoln County’s five com- missioners. The County Board sets their

budgets but has no authority over them except under limited circumstances defined in state law. It also doesn’t control the county and district courts in the courthouse, which fall under state government. » Finally, commissioners must vote to set every local govern- ment’s property tax rate — but they can control only the tax rate that supports county gov- ernment. Agricultural Society There’s one other countywide operation Lincoln County com- missioners don’t control: the county fair. That falls to the county’s Agricultural Society (the “fair board”), which has limited property tax powers. Every reg- istered voter is eligible to attend the fair board’s annual meeting and vote for its board of direc- tors, state law says. Though the fair board controls

It’s because counties, not the communities within them, have been the “chief subdivision of the state for local government” — as Sheldon put it — since Nebraska Territory was found- ed in 1854. The state’s annual Nebraska Blue Book says counties “re- ceive their power from the state constitution and state statutes,” which lay out the duties the state wants them to perform. The Lincoln County Board’s five commissioners hold the most prominent place among county decision-makers. The “Offices” menu on the county website ( lists the departments all coun- ty property owners support with their taxes. But remember this: Counties look more to their rural areas than their towns — and county boards lack full authority even

Please see LOCAL, Page E8





Get out and find North Platte’s trails

By JOB VIGIL North Platte’s hiking and biking trails offer many options for folks who like the outdoors. The trails wander throughout the city and range from easy to in- termediate in distance and difficulty. The easiest and most accessible routes are just south of Centennial Park, where the trail runs alongside the South Platte River from the North Platte Recreation Center to U.S. Highway 83. The trail is paved and is fairly flat with- out any hills. The trees along the river open up from time to time to give the rider or hik- er beautiful views. Benches at a couple of spots allow folks to sit for a spell, enjoy

Job Vigil / The North Platte Telegraph This trailhead begins a path that goes along Centennial Park and the South Platte River near the North Platte Recreation Center.

distance also begins at the Rec Center. The biker or hiker can head west on Leota Street to Buffalo Bill Avenue. At Buffalo, turn left onto the trail that runs along the east side of the road. It is paved and you can head south all the way to West State Farm Road. Traffic is not an issue since the trail along Buffalo is off the road- way. If one would like a route that is a bit more challenging, the ride or walk can be- gin at the Rec Center and head east along Centennial Park and the South Platte River. At Highway 83, the route goes south across the bridge over the riv- er and then circles under the highway to Halligan Drive. A short section along Halligan Road for about a mile will then reconnect to the trail along the NPPD canal going south. This part of the trail is beautiful with the hills south of North Platte in view. At Walker Road, there is a choice of continu-

the quiet and listen to the water flow down- stream. The Rec Center is a good spot to begin. There is ample parking and easy access to the trail. Another easy route that offers a little more


Graphic courtesy of Lincoln County Visitor’s Bureau

connecting once again with the concrete trail. After crossing the bridge over the NPPD

way to East State Farm Road. The route heads west on State Farm for about a half mile before re-

ing along the canal on gravel or turning left about 50 yards to Victoria Lane. Victoria Lane is paved all the

Please see TRAILS, Page E7





canal, the trail picks up again on the south side of the State Farm. The concrete trail goes west and then south to the bottom of Dodge Hill, where a tunnel takes the rid- er under Highway 83 onto the West Central Research and Extension Center property west of the highway. This is one of the most scenic parts of the route, as the trail has several options through the Extension property. Tree-lined lanes make the choices fun and easy to ride or walk. The trail options take a turn to the north and then west along the north side of the prop- erty. The trail turns south and heads up into Indian Hills. Once the trail enters the subdi- vision going west, the rider must navigate the residential streets on Cherokee Road. This part of the ride ends with a very steep climb up to Buffalo Bill Road. The next section of the ride, which is about a half mile from the in- tersection of Cherokee and Buffalo, is all downhill. But riders need to take great care to watch for traffic both TRAILS from Page E6

around the west side of Lake Maloney. Turn around near South Beach to return to North Platte proper. This is a more dif- ficult ride and not recommended for ama- teurs or casual riders. Of course, taking your bike directly to Lake Maloney at the west side inlet and riding the trail to South Beach and back is an easy route with some fabu- lous scenery. Any section of the trails system can be entered from various locations, allowing the biking and hiking en- thusiast to choose the routes that best match their abilities. A map of the entire city’s trails is avail- able at the local bicycle shops and the Visitors Bureau. The Trails Committee plans to eventually connect all the trails in North Platte for one continu- ous route.

Through the Strava application, reporter Job Vigil generated this route, which begins at the North Platte Recreation Center going east to Highway 83, then underneath the highway to Halligan Drive. The rider must navigate a short section along Halligan before the trail picks up on the east side of the NPPD canal. The trail heads south with options to East State Farm Road, then west and south through tun- nel into the West Central Research and Extension Center. From the Extension, the trail goes into Indian Hills and over to Buffalo where another short section of roadway leads to the trail along Buffalo from West State Farm north. This section takes the rider across the South Platte River to Leota and east back to the Rec Center.

Job Vigil / The North Platte Telegraph This tree-lined section of the hiking and biking trail goes through the West Central Research and Extension Center property along West State Farm road. It is one of the most beautiful sections of the trail.

directions as the speed limit for automobiles is 55 mph. Once reaching West State Farm, the bike trail picks up again, and riders can continue heading north back to- ward the Rec Center. This ride is approx- imately 11 miles and includes a couple of steeper hills. Finally, for a 25- to 30-mile ride, at Dodge Hill, the rider can continue south along Dodge Hill Road and get off on an unpaved trail named Whitaker Way after former North Platte Mayor

Jim Whitaker. This trail takes the rider underneath Highway 83 heading west and along the canal, where riders can take North Lake Road to West Lake Road and then go







Public and private school systems

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North Platte also di- rectly provides electric services to residents through Municipal Light & Water, which traces its roots to 1940. ML&W also includes the city’s water and sewer services. City voters direct- ly elect their mayor and eight City Council members. Department chiefs are recommend- ed by and report to the mayor but must be ap- proved by the City Council. As a “mayor-council” form of government, North Platte has a city administrator who oversees day-to-day operations under the mayor. Airport Authority Like counties and their fair boards, North Platte’s city govern- ment lacks day-to-day control over the city’s Please see LOCAL, Page E9

Community College has campuses in North Platte and McCook as well as extended campus loca- tions throughout the region. North Platte Community College’s main offices are lo- cated at the South Campus, 601 W. State Farm Road. The North Campus is lo- cated at 1101 Halligan Drive. Mid-Plains offers six associate’s degree programs — nurs- ing, applied science, arts, fine arts, general studies and science — as well as more than 25 technical and occu- pational programs. Several transfer degree majors and di- ploma and certificate programs are also available. For more informa- tion, visit or call 308-535-3600.

3900 West A St. 308-535-7134 Jefferson Elementary 700 E. Third St. 308-535-7136 Lake Maloney Elementary 848 E. Correction Line Road 308-532-9392 Lincoln Elementary 200 W. Ninth St. 308-535-7138 McDonald Elementary 601 S. McDonald Road 308-535-7140 Osgood Elementary 495 W. State Farm Road 308-535-7144 Washington Elementary 600 W. Third St. 308-535-7142 Middle Schools Madison Middle School (Sixth grade only) 1400 N. Madison Ave. 308-535-7126 Adams Middle School (Grades 7-8) 1200 S. McDonald Road 308-535-7112 High School North Platte High School 1220 W. Second St. 308-535-7105 Private schools North Platte Catholic Schools The North Platte Catholic Schools, lo- cated at 500 S. Silber Ave., include McDaid Elementary School for students in kinder- garten through sixth

grade; St. Patrick High School for students in grades 7-12; and Little Leprechaun Preschool for children ages 3-5. For tuition and en- rollment information, call 308-532-1874 or visit Our Redeemer Lutheran School Our Redeemer, at 1400 East E St., offers preschool through eighth grade. The school is support- ed by Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, a congregation of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod. Information about enrollment can be found online at ourre- deemerschoolnp. or by call-

Telegraph staff reports North Platte has a single public school district, two private schools and a commu- nity college. North Platte Public Schools serves ap- proximately 4,000 students. The district has a high school, two middle schools, nine elementary schools, an alternative high school program, an early childhood pro- gram and preschools at five elementa- ries: Buffalo, Cody, Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington. Parents can regis- ter their children for school at the district’s Welcome Center at McKinley Education Center, 301 West F St. Registrar Connie Thompson can be contacted by calling 308-696-3310 or email- ing welcomecenter@ Parents can contact their child’s school at: North Platte Public Schools Elementary Schools Buffalo Elementary 1600 N. Buffalo Bill Ave. 308-535-7130 Cody Elementary 2000 W. Second St. 308-535-7132 Eisenhower Elementary

day-to-day operations at North Platte’s Lincoln County Fairgrounds, state law requires them to fit their property tax request under an over- all tax-rate lid applying to county government. (Ditto for rural fire districts, cemetery dis- tricts and the like.) More on the Lincoln County Agricultural Society may be found by visiting lincofair. com. City of North Platte North Platte’s city website (ci.north-platte. lists city depart- ments and services. If you have questions about police and fire protection, streets, wa- ter, sewer, sanitation, parks and recreation programs, go to City Hall.

ing 308-532-6421. Mid-Plains Community College Mid-Plains







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North Platte Public Schools

Board of Education

Platte and stretch into the surrounding rural areas. School board meetings are held regularly on the second Monday of each month at the McKinley Education Center, 301 West F St. Meetings typi- cally begin at 5:30 p.m. Ward 1 Skip Altig (president, 2020; term expires January 2021), Altig is running unopposed in November 2020. Ivan Mitchell (term expires January 2023), imi- Ward 2 Mike Morrell (term expires January 2021), mmor- Morrell is not running for another term. Angela Blaesi and Brooke Luenenborg are running for the seat in November. Jo Ann Lundgreen (vice president, 2020; term expires January 2023), jlundgreen@

Telegraph staff reports The North Platte Public Schools District is led by Superintendent Ron Hanson and the district’s Board of Education. Hanson, who arrived in 2015, has been an educator for some 36 years. A 1983 grad- uate of South Dakota State University, he taught for seven years before entering school administration. He holds a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before moving to North Platte, Hanson served as as- sistant principal and later principal at MadisonMiddle School in Bellevue, worked in central administration in the Bellevue district and finally was assistant superin- tendent at Papillion-La Vista Community Schools. The North Platte school board consists of two mem- bers elected from each of three wards. The school dis- trict’s boundaries include the entire city of North

Airport Authority, which operates the North Platte Regional Airport at Lee Bird Field. City voters, however, elect the au- thority’s five board members separately. Under Nebraska law, the Airport Authority board must ask the City Council to collect property taxes on its behalf under the over- all tax-rate lid for city government. For more information, visit- northplatteairport. com/about-lbf#airport- authority. North Platte Public Schools Who handles school issues? The six school board members of North Platte Public Schools (, led by the superinten- dent they hire. Neither the city nor the county has anything to say. If you live outside city limits, however, it’s a question of which school board serves your property. School district boundaries can stray past city limits or even county borders. Lincoln County’s GIS website (lincoln. will dis- play the exact service boundaries of school districts and every local government serv- ing the county. Click “Clerk” on the top, followed by the type of local government you’re interested in. Multicounty boards Finally, all Nebraska properties are served by three types of mul- ticounty governments

Ron Hanson

Skip Altig

Ivan Mitchell

Mike Morrell

Jo Ann Lundgreen

Matthew Pederson

Mark Nicholson Pederson is running unopposed inNovember 2020. Mark Nicholson (term expires January 2023), mnichol-

Ward 3 MatthewPederson (sec- retary, 2020; termexpires January 2021),mpederson@


of the latter two types of boards. Now, the answers ... Now, the answers to our quiz: » 1. It’s actually a trick question, be- cause North Platte and Lincoln County

counties. Southwest Lincoln County falls within the Middle Republican Natural Resources District ( Voters within the ESU, Mid-Plains and NRD service areas elect board members mainly by district, along with a district- wide at-large member

with property tax powers: community colleges, educational service units and natu- ral resources districts. » The Mid-Plains Community College Area ( op- erates two main campuses in North Platte, one in McCook and four branch cam- puses in an 18-county area. » ESU 16 ( provides support ser- vices mainly to smaller school districts over all or parts of 14 counties. Parts of southeast Lincoln County, how- ever, fall within the borders of ESU 15 ( or ESU 11 ( » The Twin Platte Natural Resources District ( oversees natural re- sources uses and issues in all or parts of four

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8th & Poplar Streets


Nurturing Your Outdoors Since 1951

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2, 2020 E10



Area offers plethora of recreation opportunities

naments, youth events and teen dances. North Platte also boasts several other parks large and small, notablyMemorial Park on East Fourth Street be- tween Tabor and Bryan avenues. Retired U.P. Engine No. 480, various histor- ical markers, tennis courts and a gazebo available for rent are among the park’s fea- tures. The Betty Keenan Memorial splash pad is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the sum- mer. For other parks and recreation facilities, pro- grams and fees, visit reation. Cody Park Pool 1601 N. Jeffers St. Closed for 2020 due to COVID-19.

1300 S. McDonald Road, sits near the extensive Centennial Park north of the South Platte River. The west entrance of a hiking-biking trail along the river lies south of the main Rec Center build- ing, as does a youth skate park. The Rec Center, built in the 1970s, boasts two basketball courts, two cardio rooms, a weight training room and an indoor pool for both lap swimmers and casual fun-seekers. A 100-foot-tall dome stretches four sto- ries above the six-lane, 25-yard indoor pool. Swimmers canmake use of a 117-foot water slide, a baby pool with a foun- tain, a diving area, a sauna and a hot tub. The complex also has a multipurpose area that can be reserved for birthday parties and a game roomwith a pool table, foosball, pingpong, air hockey and arcade games. The center schedules numerous special ac- tivities, including road runs, volleyball, basket- ball, softball and tennis leagues as well as tour-

issue to buy it on Sept. 15, 1915. The City Council named it for Cody on Aug. 16, 1927. Cody Park’s outdoor swimming pool has been closed this summer be- cause of COVID-19. But the park also offers three small playground ar- eas, tennis courts and four softball fields; riv- er access for canoeing and swimming; a nine- hole disc golf course; and a small animal pre- serve featuring llamas, peacocks, deer and other animal and bird species. The park’s south- east entrance on North Poplar Street features the Cody Park Railroad Museum, consisting of the Union Pacific Railroad’s “Challenger” No. 3977 steam loco- motive, U.P. diesel Engine No. 6922, vintage

railroad cars and a mu- seum inside the former Hershey U.P. depot. At its west entrance off U.S. 83, Cody Park features theWildWest Memorial — including a life-size sculpture of Buffalo Bill —and a pop- ular concession stand and carnival area. Cody Park Rides includes a 1913 Herschell-Spikeman car- ousel in place since the 1930s, a children’s-sized Ferris wheel, and other kiddie attractions. The carnival area op- erates fromMemorial Day weekend through the end of September. Cody Park Concessions operates weekends in April and daily from May through September. A covered picnic pa- vilion at the park hosts summer North Platte Community Band con- certs and other public and family events. Though public events are curtailed during the winter, many vis- itors flock to Cody Park’s annual Santa’s Workshop display dur- ing December. The North Platte Recreation Complex,

$5.75; adults (ages 19- 59), $6.50; ages 3-18, $4.50; children younger than 2, free. Yearly memberships: Family (up to six mem- bers), $618; seniors (60 and older), $232; adults (ages 19-59), $284; ages 3-18, $188; children younger than 2, free. Temporary hours as of June 1, 2020: Check the Rec Center website for updat- ed restrictions due to COVID-19. Monday-Friday: General population 10 a.m.-7 p.m., vulnerable population 8-10 a.m. Saturday-Sunday 1-7 p.m., starting Aug. 1. Pool hours Monday-Friday: General population noon- 6 p.m., vulnerable population 8-10 a.m. (limited lane availability) Saturday-Sunday: 1-7 p.m. September-May (normal hours) Monday-Friday: 5:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m.-8 p.m. June-August (normal hours) Monday-Friday: 5:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Adult Hour: noon-1 p.m. Saturday: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday: 1-8 p.m.

Telegraph staff reports

Two park areas near each of North Platte’s two rivers —Cody Park and the North Platte Recreation Complex —highlight the city’s recreation offerings for residents and visitors. Cody Park, south of the North Platte River and east of U.S. Highway 83, has been a focus of community life since WilliamF. “Buffalo Bill” Cody staged his “Old Glory Blowout”— the precursor of bothmod- ern rodeo and Cody’s WildWest Show—on part of the current 90- acre park site on July 4, 1882. The site later served as the Lincoln County Fairgrounds before North Platte voters ap- proved a $12,000 bond


Rec Center information

1300 S. McDonald Road Phone: 308-535-6772 Website: ci.north-platte. Daily passes: Family (up to six members), $16; seniors (60 and older),

Law enforcement

At present, the department has 16 advanced life support para- medics and 3 advanced EMTs. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center 302 N. Jeffers St. » Emergencies : Dial 911 » Non-emergency : 308-535-9599 » Website : » Office hours : 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily (except holidays) » Sheriff : Jerome Kramer » Chief deputy : Roland Kramer » Operations lieutenant : Dan Newton Sheriff’s deputies are respon-

308-535-6761 » Assistant fire chief : Trent Kleinow, 308-535-6763 » Fire marshal : George Lewis, 308-535-6768 » Fire stations : Station 1, 715 S. Jeffers St.; Station 2, 1302 N. Sycamore St., Station 3, 3501 W. Second St. The North Platte Fire Department operates three shifts. Each shift is on duty 24 hours, then off duty 24 hours over five two-day periods. Each shift then observes Kelly Days (six days off). Besides the chief and assistant chief, the department has 39 shift personnel, an administrative assistant, a secretary, two fire prevention employees and one maintenance employee.

Telegraph staff reports North Platte and Lincoln

County have highly trained and experienced law enforcement and other emergency personnel who have answered the call of duty to keep residents throughout the county protected. North Platte Fire Department 715 S. Jeffers St. » Emergencies : Dial 911 » Non-emergency : 308-535-6762 » Website: ments/fire » Office hours : 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday (except holidays) » Fire chief : Dennis Thompson,

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SUNDAY, AUGUST 2, 2020 E11



Law enforcement continued sible for enforcing the law in outlying areas of Lincoln County and often are con- tracted by smaller villages within the county for routine police work.

North Platte Police Department 701 S. Jeffers St. » Business office : 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday » Emergencies : Dial 911 » Non-emergency : 308-535- 6789 » CrimeStoppers : www.lin- colncountycrimestoppers. com; ments/police » Chief of police : Daniel Hudson » Deputy chief : Steve Reeves The department is respon- sible for all law enforcement

through Friday and can be scheduled online at lincoln- Remote visitation is available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The website also provides the current inmate roster and information on how to set up email and phone communi- cation with inmates and the inmate commissary. Nebraska State Patrol Troop D of the Nebraska State Patrol is headquar- tered in North Platte and located at 300 W. South River Road, at the Interstate 80-U.S. Highway 83 interchange.

activities in the city of North Platte. The police depart- ment is also dedicated to community relations and takes part in most of the city’s celebrations, as well as conducting public outreach events like “Coffee With a Cop” and “Pop With a Cop.” The department is devot- ed to expanding the services to North Platte through tech- nology. It is the mission of the North Platte Police Department to preserve the peace and order and to en- force the laws, ordinances and rulings of the state and city.

State troopers are primar- ily responsible for patrolling the interstate and state and federal highways. They are always on the lookout for sus- picious activities, such as possible drug runners who use this area’s roadways for travel. Troop D is an award-win- ning law enforcement agency dedicated not only to the per- formance of its job but also to the communities it serves in 23 area counties. Heading up Troop D is Capt. Tyler Schmidt. The State Patrol is active in com- munity civic organizations. The Troop D office may be reached at 308-535-8047.

Deputies patrol hundreds of square miles of roads in Lincoln County. The Sheriff‘s Office is very active in the community and takes pride in bringing the DARE programs into rural public schools. The Lincoln County Detention Center, which opened in 2011, offers the community several ways to contact inmates. Visitation is allowed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday


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First impressions from a Florida transplant

I used to wonder what life would be like if I had lived anywhere other than Florida. Florida, main- ly south Florida, was all I knew for 22 years of my life. I knew how long it would take me to get to school in the morning. I knew when rush hour traffic would be, so I could avoid driving on the highway and getting stuck for about an hour. I had my favor- ite food places; I knew when some of the daily specials at restaurants and grocery stores were. I even knew what days my city hosted concerts in the park in a bid to bring the community together for an awesome event. As a college graduate looking for a job in sports journalism, however, I knew I had to take a chance and go somewhere I had never been before. I had never even heard of a city or town in Nebraska oth- er than Lincoln (the state capital) and Omaha (where

turn to go. The first time I saw it when I got here, I looked at my mom (she made the trip with me to help me get set- tled in) and we were both in mild disbelief. I remember we made small jokes about that up until she went back to Florida a few days later. I was also enamored by the size of the town and just how small it really was. Everything here feels so compact, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s easy to navigate through North Platte and get to where you need to go in less than 10 minutes. I never thought Plantation, my hometown, was that big. I thought a 10- to 15-minute trip to the Broward Mall in the mid- dle of town was a quick drive. I can go from one end of North Platte to the other faster than going to the mall in my hometown. I thought Cody Park was really cool when I went

they play the College World Series every year). I don’t think I could’ve pointed out where they were on a map. I certain- ly had never heard of North Platte be- fore, but here I was, ready Jake Dreilinger

there for the first time, es- pecially the area with the animal exhibits. We had zoos and animal-based theme parks back home, but they were a little further out for me and usually cost enough to make it a once-in- a-while venture. Publix was the main gro- cery store chain where I was from. Every town had at least three of them, and the company dominated the gro- cery industry down South. Here, the local Walmart ba- sically became my main place to pick up groceries. Every now and then, I’ll head over to Gary’s Super Foods to check out what they have. I’ve never been in a local grocery store be- fore, and it was cool to see what makes it different. When I first moved here and was learning how to cook for myself more often, I took a couple of premade meals, which saved me from spend- ing too much money on

fast-food places. My final, and probably most important, impres- sion of North Platte is just how much nicer everyone is here. And I mean that in al- most just about everything. People like to strike up con- versations while we are waiting in line at Walmart. I’ve seen people do small gestures like holding the door open for someone, or helping out if someone is having trouble with some- thing. Folks around here are also less aggressive while driv- ing. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly been hit by another car while in Florida. I can’t say I’ve come close to that once since I’ve been here. I could have moved to any other small town in America. I think I lucked out by moving and beginning my journalistic career in North Platte.

to pick up my life and head to Nebraska. COVID-19 pre- vented me from truly ex- periencing the town until a few months af-

Jake Dreilinger is a sports reporter for the Telegraph

ter I got here, but it didn’t shape my first impressions of the town. The first thing I noticed, still not sure why, is the lack of lines at stoplights. In Florida, every intersection, every stop sign and every stoplight had a line that told drivers where to stop their vehicle and wait for their



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» 2. Because the Sheriff’s Office has countywide juris- diction, deputies can respond to calls inside North Platte if police are too busy. » 3. You need to contact every one of the eight local gov- ernments we’ve just discussed. With local “budget season” just around the corner, The Telegraph will keep you informed about their budget and prop- erty-tax decisions.

share certain servic- es — most notably 911 emergency dispatching — under a series of “in- terlocal agreements.” Under one such agreement, North Platte Planning Administrator Judy Clark fills the same role for the county, applying city or county planning and zoning regulations as the case may be. She works at City Hall.

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