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Wed
20
May

Change Of Venue Motion Denied In Junker Case

A motion by Dwain Junker, of rural Fairbury, and his attorney, Joseph Murray, to change the venue of his upcoming jury trial to Gage County was denied on Thursday by Judge Paul Korslund. The trial is scheduled to begin on May 26 in Jefferson County District Court.
Junker is charged with one count of sexual assault of a minor and two counts of forcible sexual assault. Attorney Joseph Murray argued Thursday that publicity from the The Fairbury Journal-News would impact Junker's ability to receive a fair and impartial trial in Jefferson County because potential jurors who read an article in the Fairbury Journal-News about the case have already heard the testimony of one person. Murray said Jefferson County is a small county and allegations against Junker have been front page news. Murray also argued that the newspaper's 4,500 subscribers would diminish the jury pool selected from Jefferson County's nearly 4,900 registered voters.
Wed
20
May

County Slowly Repairs Flood Damaged Roads

Jefferson County experienced extensive flood damages that closed over 30 miles of road in the area due to recent floods. 
Bill Hansel, Highway Superintend for Jefferson County said that Daykin road is still closed to the public until further notice. 
“Some roads have been opened recently, but weather permitting, progression on closed roads should move quickly,” Hansel told Jefferson County Commissioners on Tuesday. 
The Jefferson County Highway Department has hired Consolidated Sand and Gravel to haul materials to roads, such as River Road to speed up the construction process. 
“Roads such as Daykin and River Road have large holes, that will need extensive work done on them before they are safe for public use,” Hansel said. Roads near Plymouth and the Tri-County Schools are also being worked on, but are almost complete. 
Wed
20
May

Council Still Negotiating With City Mgr Applicant

 Fairbury Mayor Homer Ward had hoped he would be able to announce the hiring of Collin Bielser of Baldwin City , Kan., on Tuesday as Fairbury's new city administrator.
  Ward said he is going to have to wait just a while longer.
    Members of the Fairbury City Council were informed this week that details of the contract presented to Bielser two weeks ago were still being ironed out. City leaders are hoping to have the final details worked out within the coming weeks. 
 "I don't think this isn't anything that we can't work out, Mayor Ward said. "I want to make it very clear that Collin did not reject our contract offer, there is just a few minor details that he wants to make sure we get worked out." "I still feel very good about our situation and our candidate," the mayor added.
Wed
20
May

Governor Ricketts Speaks on Flood Damage


governor Pete Ricketts makes a stop at Tri County Schools while touring areas affected by recent flooding.
 Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts was at the Tri-County School Monday to address the flooding damage in the area, following recent heavy rains which flooded much of Saline and Jefferson Counties.
 Ricketts had already issued a state disaster declaration due to public property damages being estimated at 10.5 million. “The clean-up is going to take some time, but it is coming along. I wanted to visit Dewitt to let the public know that things are being taken care of as quickly as possible,” Governor Ricketts said.
 The Natural Resource District did have built-in water sheds, but the 12-13 inches of rain the area received was too much. “There is still some damage to housing due to sewage lines backing-up during the flood. We are still working with FEMA to document all the damage caused by the flood, right now there is still some damage to structures such as roads, the railroad, and bridges,” Governor Ricketts added. 
Wed
20
May

City of Fairbury Will Qualify For State Assistance

 Certain residents within the city limits of Fairbury and Jefferson County may be eligible to receive flood assistance from the State of Nebraska.
 Assistant Street and Alley Superintendent for the City of Fairbury, Laura Bedlan, told members of the local city council on Tuesday there has been enough damages caused by recent flooding within the city limits to qualify for state relief.
 "At this point we do not know what the total damage figures are going to be," she said. "But we do know there are enough damages out in the county to qualify for some sort of disaster relief."
 Fairbury Mayor Homer Ward said the city is compiling damage estimates and hopes to have complete loss amounts in the coming days.
 Bedlan added that Jefferson County, including Fairbury, have applied for federal disaster relief funds, but that it will be sometime before it is known whether that application has been approved.
Wed
20
May

No Camping In Fby City Park

To some local and area residents who were regular campers at Crystal Springs, it seemed a natural fit that while the recreation area remains closed due to floods they be allowed to camp in the Fairbury City Park.
   But think again.
  On Tuesday members of the local city council unanimously denied a request to use that park for camping while Crystal Springs is being cleaned up and may remain closed for up to another month.
  According to council member Brad Kuzelka a city committee looked at the proposal and deemed the park simply was not set up to handle camping.
Wed
20
May

Coach Mahlman Steps Down After 46 Years Of Heading Up Track Meet


Coach Don Mahlman, left, and Kiwanis member Bill Runge, right, announce that Mahlman has decided to step down as head coach of the annual Kiwanis Club Track Meet after 46 years. (Photo by Vicki Check)

The Kiwanis Track Meet will never be the same.  Bill Runge of the Kiwanis announced at the track meet this past week that “Coach” Don Mahlman is stepping down as the head man.  Mahlman has been in charge of the meet since 1969, 46 years later he is deciding to let someone new take over.  He has witnessed many records set over the years, and many records broken.  According to Mahlman, he is still willing to help in some way, but he will just not be in charge of the track meet anymore.  Runge asked the crowd if any parents or grandparents in the crowd had participated in the meets with Mr. Mahlman.  Several in attendance raised their hands and could remember sitting on the track listening to the “talk” Mr. Mahlman always gave laying out the rules and how to follow them.  Tiffany Pfaff presented Mahlman with a bouquet of flowers and thanked him for his years of service to the Fairbury youth.

Wed
20
May

Tape Up The Principal


Fairbury JEFFERSON INTERMEDIATE principal Jeremy Christiansen was taped to the wall on Tuesday May 19, at the Old Armory Building in Fairbury as part of the fundraiser for Type 1 Diabetes. The schools raised a total of $610.85. (Photo by Shaunte Dean/Fairbury Journal-News)
Wed
20
May

McBattas Packaging And Printing Receives 15 Awards In Five-State Print Competition

McBattas Packaging and Printing with offices in Fairbury, Nebraska and Belleville, Kansas has received 14 awards for outstanding achievement in printing in the annual Star of Excellence Awards, a five-state printing competition hosted by the Printing Industry Midwest, the region’s trade association for printing, communication and graphic arts industry.
Competing against entries from printing and graphic arts firms throughout the Midwest, McBattas received awards from best in class and best in division. 
“We are very proud of our winning team,” said Owner Fred Arnold. “It is an honor to be recognized by the industry as a company that produces top quality, award winning materials.”
PIM President David Radziej agrees, “This was a close competition with a very impressive standard of entries. The judging process was very challenging. McBattas should be proud of the company’s achievement and the excellent work done by employees.”
Wed
20
May

Crystal Springs Clean-Up

Crystal Springs Park experienced extensive damage due to the recent flooding. The lower park area had been completely under water and some flood water is still being pumped out.
According to Larry Naiman Assistant Superintendent of Utilities for the city of Fairbury, the Crystal Springs water filtration plant will need to be restored and camping electrical boxes will need inspected for safety before used by the public.
Crystal Springs provides Fairbury with about 85% of it’s water requirements and with the Crystal Springs filtration plant being damaged, the city is reliant upon the sole production of the east well site. 
“Invading species of fish may now inhabit the lakes since the flood waters also came from nearby rivers, we’ll have to wait and see what happens in time,” said Naiman. 

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