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Tue
09
Sep

Some Area School Show Enrollment Gains

School districts have posted their enrollment figures and the results are mixed.
Two of the four school districts in our area are reporting an increase in the number of students who are enrolled for the beginning of the 2014 school year.
Meridian shows the greatest increase in numbers over last year.  Their enrollment is up 43 students as compared to last year with 174 students currently enrolled K-12.  
“It is really hard to explain why numbers go up or down for a school district,” Randy Kort, Superintendent for Meridian Schools, said.  “Meridian is really unique in most schools across the state.  Each year it can be so different. This year’s senior class is 28 which is one of largest classes this district has had in years and our class sizes are between 10-17. We are happy with the numbers and hope that the trend continues but it is really difficult to predict from year to year.”
Tue
09
Sep

Change In Seasons, Lack Of City Adm. Won’t Slow City Council Resolve


Dilapidated Homes in Fairbury are in the cross hairs as the city takes aim at properties that need clearing. This home at Eighth and I Streets shows the level of disrepair. Photos by Fred Arnold/Fairbury Journal-News.
One of the primary duties of Fairbury's City Administrator was to ensure that local run down properties were dealt with. With the non-renewal of former City Administrator Joe Parker's contract local residents who have neglected their properties might assume they are getting a reprieve.
But according to Fairbury Mayor Homer Ward those people are wrong. Dead wrong.
"Nothing could be further from the truth," Ward said. "If anything we are stepping it up and increasing our determination to make sure people who are outside of the law are taking care of their obligations."
Ward said that he and the Board of Health met for approximately four hours after the last city council meeting in August to dot the "i's" and cross the "t's". 
Tue
09
Sep

August 27, 2014

Police Report 
Aug. 10: Report of an accident in the 2100 block of K Street. 
Aug. 10: Report of trespassing in the 1000 block of Nelson Street. 
Aug. 10: Report of a custody issue at Jefferson County Jail. 
Aug. 11: Report of criminal mischief in the 900 block of 3rd Street. 
Aug. 11: Report of a disturbance in the 700 block of 3rd Street. 
Aug. 11: Report of a dog running loose in the 800 block of B Street. 
Aug. 11: Jason N. Wellsandt, of Lincoln, was backing a 2004 Chevrolet owned by Robert and Diane K. Wellsandt, of Diller, from a backyard at 812 D Street into the alley when the vehicle collided with a parked 2001 Toyota owned by Christopher B. Snider, of Fairbury. Damages to Wellsandt’s vehicle were estimated at $1,800. Damages to Snider’s vehicle were estimated at $2,200. 
Aug. 12: Report of harassment in the 300 block of West 4th Street. 
Tue
09
Sep

August 20, 2014

Police Report 
Aug. 5: Report of criminal mischief at the swimming pool. 
Aug. 6: Report of cattle out in the 1500 block of 4th Street. 
Aug. 7: Report of someone possibly damaging property at the City Park. No damage was found. 
Aug. 8: Report of an alarm in the 2000 block of K Street. The alarm was unfounded. 
Aug. 8: Report of disturbing the peace in the 900 block of G Street. 
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.

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