United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Acting State Director Denise Meeks announced that USDA is providing nearly $4 million in Fiscal Year 2017 to help improve access to health care services in rural Nebraska communities. Nebraska rural health care projects funded include Gothenburg and Syracuse. 
Rural Development provided a $1.6 million loan to Gothenburg Memorial Hospital, Inc. of Gothenburg, Nebraska. This subsequent funding from USDA will be used primarily for the costs to complete the hospital addition/renovations.  The hospital size is increasing to 97,000 square feet, with almost 40 percent of the existing square footage to be demolished.  Improvements include a prominent main entry on the south side of the building, new patient wing and central nurses’ station, IV therapy, inpatient pharmacy, chemotherapy care, wellness center and a new dietary center.  Expansion of the imaging department will include new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment.  The facility serves the 5,740 rural residents of Gothenburg and surrounding communities.
Community Memorial Hospital, Inc. of Syracuse  received a near $2.4 million subsequent loan to assist with the new 46,000 square foot licensed acute 10 bed hospital.  Included is a surgical suite with one operating room, scope room, and post-anesthesia care unit (PACU).  A lab, pharmacy, food service, rehabilitation services, cardio pulmonary services, building support will be housed.  The central energy plant will utilize 2,700 square feet along with 21,000 square feet for a clinic and administration area.  The clinic space will include both family and specialty clinic services.  To house the air handling units of the facility will be a 5,000 square foot penthouse.   A separate 1,500 square foot stand-alone building to house building and grounds maintenance equipment will be incorporated.  The Syracuse, Nebraska facility will serve 14,776 rural residents.  The Community Memorial Hospital District contributed an additional $250,000.
Rural Development provided a $1.6 million loan to Gothenburg Memorial Hospital, Inc. of Gothenburg, Nebraska.This subsequent funding from USDA will be used primarily for the costs to complete the hospital addition/renovations.  The hospital size is increasing to 97,000 square feet, with almost 40 percent of the existing square footage to be demolished.  Improvements include a prominent main entry on the south side of the building, new patient wing and central nurses’ station, IV therapy, inpatient pharmacy, chemotherapy care, wellness center and a new dietary center.  Expansion of the imaging department will include new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment.  The facility serves the 5,740 rural residents of Gothenburg and surrounding communities.
   USDA invested more than $1 billion in rural health care in Fiscal Year 2017 through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The loans can be used to fund essential community services. For health care, this includes to construct, expand or improve health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics and assisted-living facilities, as well as to purchase equipment. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and federally recognized tribes in rural areas and towns with up to 20,000 people are eligible for these loans.
    USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
The 100th Meridian Museum will be hosting ‘Quilts and Carols’ this Saturday, December 2nd from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The museum will be decked out in festive quilts. Cozad High School choir and band students will be performing holiday carols at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. A free will donation will be taken to support the Cozad Honor Choir students’ trip to Chicago in 2018 and the Cozad High School band trip to Kansas City in May of 2018.
A soup and dessert lunch will be available as a fundraiser for the museum from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
For more information please call 308-784-2010.
The Kids of the Kingdom will be presenting their annual Christmas program on Wednesday, December 6th.
This year’s program, “Let Your Light SHINE!” will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Cozad United Methodist Church located at 1515 B Street in Cozad.
Co-Directors Tammy Paulsen and Cheryl Nemeth will direct the program that involves 90 children from Kindergarten through the 5th Grade. Participants from Cozad attend the Kids of the Kingdom program each Wednesday afternoon from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Numerous other adult volunteers assist Paulsen and Nemeth each Wednesday in this interdenominational ministry.
A special treat this year will be the students from the Little Disciples Preschool that is being taught at the church this year by Mandy Nelsen and CeCe Rutkowski. They will be performing prior to the Kids of the Kingdom.
The community is invited to attend and enjoy seeing these students ‘shine’ as they share the Good News of Jesus and all that He has done and continues to do for us.
October was a very busy month for the Lexington Volunteer Fire Department. Fire personnel held Fire Prevention classes at all of the elementary and pre-schools. 
They also participated in a very successful Waffleman Breakfast, raising over $3,000 for Project Austin at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha.
In addition, they responded to 54 calls for service, logged 294 miles on rescue vehicles and 354 miles on fire engines. 19 patients were transported to Lexington Regional Health Center.
Training included re-certifications CPR, classes on using 12 LEAD DE-FIB and Monitor, Transferring water from tankers to pumpers.  Two members attended the State Fire conference and Memorial Service in Kearney.
During this time of year please be extra cautious when using space heaters. Make sure wiring in your home is large enough to carry the extra electrical load they create.