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Tue
09
Sep

Fairbury Ahead In Some Educational Assessments, Lags Behind In Others

The report card for state assessments, the bell weather on learning, for students is in and District 8 students are ahead of the state average in some areas, but are behind in others.
In a report issued by the Nebraska Department of Education the figures listed are the percentile of students who "meet or exceed state standards."
Fairbury students posted scores slightly ahead of the state average in writing and science. But were below the state average in reading and math.
In Writing, which tested only fourth grade students, Fairbury had 75% of students who met or exceeded state expectations for 2014. The state average is 69% Those numbers slipped slightly from 2013 in which Fairbury students recorded 77%, as opposed to 69% statewide.
Tue
09
Sep

Emergency Responders Attend Training for Traffic Incident Management


Sixty five local law enforcement, emergency personnel and tow truck drivers attended Traffic Incident Management training conducted by the State Patrol Monday evening, August 25. They learned best practices in blocking traffic in case of an accident, the best way to move around the scene of an accident as well as the recommended way to clear an accident. Each attendee had personal time with the trainer to ask questions. Above Fairbury Police Chief Chad Sprunk listens as State Patrol Trainer, Tim Pickering, explains the importance of proper placement of cones to provide safety for the personnel working an accident. Photo by Sandy Zabokrtsky/Fairbury Journal-News
Learning how to safely manage traffic in an accident situation was the topic of training Monday evening, Sept. 25.
The training  was being provided to all responders through the Nebraska Department of Roads conducted by the  Nebraska State Highway Patrol.  Traffic lncident Management, or “TlM”, consists of a planned and coordinated multi-disciplinary process to detect, respond to, and clear traffic incidents so that traffic flow may be restored as safely and quickly as possible on Nebraska’s streets, roads, highways and interstate. Effective TIM reduces the duration and impacts of traffic incidents and improves the safety of motorists, crash victims and emergency responders. 
Tue
09
Sep

Truck Issues Plague County Road Department

The Jefferson County Road Department may have two new trucks that meet all legal requirements to run on the road but the trouble is they both remain inoperable.  Bill Hansel, Jefferson County Highway Superintendent, delivered this news about the two newest semi-trucks that he has on his fleet to the Jefferson County Commissioners, Tuesday morning.
“I ran the numbers and it figures that due to these trucks being down it’s costing us 27 miles of gravel that we have not hauled,” Hansel said.  “I ran the numbers and we are $76,000 off on our gravel budget.  That is work that we are not getting done for the county.”
Tue
09
Sep

Fairbury Man Escapes Serious Injury In Saturday Rollover Accident


STAFIICHUK VEHICLE--after rollover accident on Saturday. Contributed Photo
Roman Stafiichuk, 28, of Fairbury, along with three other unnamed individuals escaped serious injury on Saturday when the vehicle they were riding in rolled southwest of Fairbury.
 The 2002 Lexus driven by Stafiichuk was listed as a total loss following the accident which occurred two miles south of Highway 8 on 563 Avenue. 
 According to a report from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office the vehicle was northbound on 563 Avenue when it crossed the intersection at 704 Road. Sheriff’s department officials said the vehicle was travelling too fast for road conditions and went out of control.
 The vehicle entered the east ditch, slid sideways across the road and entered the west ditch where it rolled, jumped the fence and landed on its wheels in a nearby pasture.
Tue
09
Sep

Courthouse Renovations Still Up In The Air

Jefferson County Commissioners continue to weigh their options as they and various county officials wrestle with alternatives for the future of the Jefferson County Courthouse.  Wim Kersten, architect with Berggren Architects presented the revised budget for the renovation of the courthouse Tuesday morning at the Jefferson County Board Meeting.
The original estimation for courthouse renovations that would bring the building up to the fire marshal’s imposed standards was $750,000.  This initial estimate was given after Berggren Architects had reviewed the fire marshal’s letter and had laid out the basic plan of renovation.  Initially the architects had hoped that there would be some wiggle room in the requirements but a more recent meeting proved otherwise.
Tue
09
Sep

A Constituent Speaks Up Over Mowing Charges

Landowner, Bill Slater, attended Jefferson County Board Meeting Tuesday to ask the Commissioners why he had received a formal letter telling him he had to mow his ditches.  Slater did not understand why a formal letter should even be required.
“You know I received this letter and I just gotta ask, why so formal,” Slater asked?  “You know you charged me when I put in the driveway to my pasture for easement right of way.  You guys (County Commissioners) bought a tractor and mower with county money so why do you want to charge to take care of the ditches?”
Commissioner Michael Dux went on to explain that it is in the state statutes that landowners will take care of the ditches that are attached their property.  If it falls to the county to have to take care of them a fee will be charged back to the landowner.
Tue
09
Sep

Fairbury Man Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office of a sexual assault that had taken place in the county.  A 56 year old Fairbury man was arrested, last Thursday in connection with an alleged sexual assault case dating back to February.
Following a lengthy investigation by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Nebraska Attorney Generals’ Office, and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office an arrest warrant was submitted to the Jefferson County Court and a warrant was issued for Dwain G. Junker, 56 of rural Fairbury.
Junker turned himself into the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on his own volition.  He is charged with one count of sexual assault of a minor first degree, and two counts of sexual assault/forcible-first degree.
Bond was set at $50,000 of which Junker posted the 10 percent for release.
Tue
09
Sep

Council Approves Eight Miles of Pipeline


Black Hills Energy will be beginning an upgrade of the natural gas distribution system in Fairbury. Many of the meters and piping have been in place since the 1930s. Photo by Sandy Zabokrtsky/Fairbury Journal-News
The Fairbury City Council was told by Black Hills Energy that they  will begin to upgrade the natural gas distribution system in Fairbury by replacing over eight miles of bare steel pipe, at last night’s meeting.  In addition they will partially or totally replace approximately 400 natural gas service lines to individual homes and businesses.
Currently Black Hills Energy has 1,500 customers and these improvements will increase the system integrity so the delivery system is safe and reliable.
“Some of these pipes have been in the ground since 1930,” said Rick Schwartz, operation manager for Black Hills Energy.  “Sometimes when we dig up the pipe it is in great condition but more often than not the weather has taken its toll on the pipes.”

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