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Climbing to the top of the mountain and claiming the crown at the B-5 District Play Production competition were the Haymakers of Cozad in earning the district championship hardware along with punching their ticket to the 2017 Class B State Play Production Championships that will be held in Norfolk on Friday (Tomorrow). 
The Haymakers put their best foot forward and shined in the limelight with their rendition of ‘Chasing Fogg’ with two out of three judges ranking the Cozad contingency as first in the competition and the third judge a very close second placing by just one point. 
Members of the Cozad State qualifying Play Production on stage team are: Melissa Estrada, Abby Worrell, Omar Carlos, Garrett Savick, Misty Waltermire, Aaliyah Wilkins, Carrie Osborn, Katelyn Calhoun, Isabel Schaefer, Trevor Linn, Skylar Rogers, Riley Tilson, Emily Siebenhor, Kaden Garcia, Natalie Engel, Landry Geiger, Jadyn Hardee, Becca Shaffer, Alaine Canas, Grace Cargill, Haley Cargill, Chloe Donahey, Belle Hagan, Mariana Hermosillo, Sarai Hermosillo, Alex Huertas, Jakob Kostman, Claire Kostrunek, Hunter Kussman, Cassie Martinez, Biz Tvrdy and Morgan Wenburg. 
Behind the scenes as members of the Stage Crew for Cozad’s production were: Jennifer Rodriguez, Megan Burkholder, Anna McCracken, Nick Meredith, Kelly Mohler, Trey Mundell, Sage Eckard, Tre Sumrall, Quinn Salleng, Liz Demilt and Taylor Hoff. 
Defending their own stage, the Swedes Play Production contingency shined with their rendition of ‘Treasure Island’ to finish as the B-6 District Runner-Up during the competition held in Gothenburg. 
The Lexington Play Production team competed in the A-1 District that was held in York. The Minutemen performed masterfully, their own rendition of ‘65 Mustang’ to finish eighth overall. 
Performing the ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow,’ the Eustis/Farnam actors and actresses finished eighth overall in the D1-5 District Play Production competition that was held at the Tassel in Holdrege. 
The Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile Education Center, is coming to Lexington on September 6 at Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles and will be open 24 hours a day and free to the public.  The Wall That Heals honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War and it bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
The Vietnam Veterans   Memorial is one of the most visited memorials in our nation’s capital, with more than 5.3 million visitors each year. However, many Americans have not been able to visit what has become known to many as “The Wall.” The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the organization that built The Wall in 1982, wants to give all veterans and their family members across America an opportunity to see the Memorial. 
 “VVMF is pleased to bring The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit to Lexington to allow local veterans and their family members a chance to visit The Wall and honor and remember those who have served and sacrificed,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF. “We hope it provides an opportunity for healing and an educational experience for the whole community on the impact of the Vietnam War on America.”
More than 250,000 people visited The Wall That Heals in 2016. Since its debut in 1996, the exhibit has been on display in nearly 500 U.S. communities in addition to an April 1999 tour of the Four Provinces of Ireland and a visit to Canada in 2005. Hosting The Wall That Heals provides a community with a multi-day experience that includes an educational experience for local schools and organizations on the history of the Vietnam era and The Wall. The exhibit includes The Wall replica and a mobile Education Center comprised of:  digital displays of photos of service members whose names are on The Wall; letters and memorabilia representative of items left¬ at The Wall in D.C.; a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the Vietnam War. The exhibits tell the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the era surrounding the conflict, and are designed to put American experiences in Vietnam in a historical and cultural context.
VVMF coordinates local stops of The Wall That Heals and the accompanying mobile Education Center. The current schedule and more information can be found at:  www.thewallthatheals.org.  The 2018 national The Wall That Heals tour is hauled through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and the trucking industry and generously sponsored by USAA. Local sponsors are the Dawson County Veteran Organizations 
About the half-scale replica 
The replica Wall is approximately 250 feet in length, and like the original Memorial is erected in a chevron-shape. The replica is constructed of powder-coated aluminum, supported by an aluminum frame, and is made up of 24 individual panels, each containing six columns of names.
The names on The Wall That Heals replicate the names on The Wall in Washington, D.C. As on The Wall, the names are listed alphabetically by day of casualty. Beginning at the center/apex, the names start on the East Wall (right-hand side) working their way out to the end of that wing, picking up again at the far end of the West Wall (left-hand side) and working their way back in to the center/apex. Thus, the beginning and ending of the conflict are joined at the center, signifying an epoch in American history. 
The Wall That Heals is transported from community to community by a trailer with cases built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a mobile Education Center that tells the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the divisive era in American history. 
About VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. in 1982. VVMF is dedicated to honoring and preserving the legacy of service in America and educating all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era through programs, ceremonies and education materials.
  Three decades after building The Wall, the mission continues as VVMF raises funds to build the Education Center at The Wall. The Center will be an interactive learning facility on the National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. The Education Center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on The Wall and honor America's Legacy of Service, including those serving in our nation's Armed Forces today. Time Warner is the Lead Gift Benefactor in the campaign to build the Education Center at The Wall. To learn more about VVMF and the future Education Center at The Wall, visit www.vvmf.org or call 202-393-0090.
The Cozad City Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, December 4th. Steve Andersen, representing the Presbyterian Church delivered the invocation following the Pledge of Allegiance.
The November 20th meeting minutes were approved.
Approved on the Third Reading was the ordinance extending the franchise agreement for cable television services with Charter Communication. There had been one typographical error in the ordinance on the Second Reading requiring that it be moved to the Third Reading.
All claims excluding none were approved.
Under Reports, Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols reported there was once again water in the canal under Hwy 30. 
“The Union Pacific Railroad calls every week on this as they want to abandon their well when the city can get them hooked up on our new line,” Nichols explained. “Our high water table and saturation in the ditch canal make this difficult,” he continued.
“We are boring it 250 yards to the well from the east to the west and are presently waiting on a man from Norfolk who only works on weekends to come and do his part,” Nichols added. 
Lights Commissioner Britt German reported that his department is keeping busy setting poles. Between Christmas and New Year’s they will be working on a substation located at Nebraska Plastics.
German also announced that CHS senior Zach Beckenhauer, who worked as an intern with his department this past summer, has agreed to go to school to become a linesman. In return for him committing to work for the City of Cozad for three years following graduation the city will be paying for half of his education. The lineman school is about two years with several ‘hands-on’ training interspersed with classroom learning.
“We were very pleased with Zach’s performance this past summer and it will be good to have one of our own high school graduates return to work for us,” German noted.
Mayor Nancy Meyer reported that the library is experiencing difficulty getting new ballasts for their lights. City employee Mike Steinwart is checking on LED lighting as a replacement. Estimated cost for all of the lights to be replaced with LED lighting is $11,000, and will most likely be done in stages.
Council member Brian Montgomery asked if thank you letters could be sent to those residents who have either renovated their own property and home or have purchased a home and renovated it. 
“There are several around town that look so much better, and I think it would be a great idea to express our appreciation to them,” Montgomery commented. City Clerk Kloepping asked for the addresses and will get the letters sent out.
The next regular meeting for the council is scheduled for Monday, December 18th beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers in the City Office Building.
The Dawson County Board of Equalization met for a regular meeting on Friday, December 1st.
The lone item on the agenda was the request for a tax correction on personal property for Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. The tax correction was approved.
The Dawson County Board of Commissioners met following the Board of Equalization meeting. Treasurer’s Receipts in the amount of $218,915.71 were approved as well as the current claims as presented in the amount of $963,653.67.
Under Committee Reports, Commissioner Butch Hagan reported that he and Commissioner Dean Kugler had visited with Road Superintendent Mark Christiansen in regards to upcoming road projects that need to be studied for bonding purposes.
Christiansen presented revised One- and Six-Year Plans including bridge/ box culverts and asphalt and concrete overlays.
Special considerations are being given on the cemetery road by Overton and Cozad Highway 421.
“How much do you want to spend is the question,” Christiansen asked the commissioners. 
“Six inch thick concrete costs five times more than three inch thick asphalt, but concrete lasts 30 years as compared to 10-15 years,” commented former Road Superintendent and current Commissioner Hagan.
Christiansen is looking at a total bonding of $10 million over a five to six year budget.
Commissioner Hagan also reported that the Dawson County Fair Board would be meeting with the engineer on the fairgrounds layout this week and bids should go out in January 2018.
Dawson County Treasurer Vickie Clements presented the county’s distress warrants. The 152 warrants were mailed out earlier this and amounted to $8,000.00 more than the last fiscal year.
The commissioners approved the nomination and appointment by the Cozad Chamber of Commerce for Machelle Smith to replace Sandy Bappe on the Dawson County Visitors Committee.
Discussion was held in regards to the Nebraska Department of Roads a safety project that includes installing active automated lights and gates at UPPR located on Road 442. This crossing is located one mile past Overton and has a projected price tag of $300 to $400 thousand dollars with the county obligated to pay ten percent of the cost. The motion to complete the railroad crossing diagnostic review at Road 442 was approved.
A Special Designated Liquor License submitted by Liza Spivey was approved for Lakeshore Marina Bar & Grille for Sunday, December 31, 2017. Due to New Year’s Eve occurring on a Sunday this year, the request to stay open one hour later until 1:00 a.m. on Monday, January was necessary.
Miranda Stoll, Director of Healing Hearts & Families in Broken Bow appeared with an update on her agency. Established in July 2010, Healing Hearts & Families serves eight counties with the vision to eliminate domestic and sexual violence in our society. They provide services to survivors of domestic violence sexual assault and stalking along with their families free of charge. 
In 2014 a Juvenile Diversion Program that reaches youth 11 to 18 years of age in Blaine, Custer, Dawson, Gosper, Greeley and Valley counties was added. This program provides the opportunity to develop a sense of community responsibility and accountability in addition to providing counseling for survivors and their families.
According to Stoll, “Our bilingual staff received 64 referrals for this program last year with 33 of them coming from Dawson County.
Chairman PJ Jacobson was granted authorization to sign the memorandum of understanding for the 2018 services for Healing Hearts & Families.
The next regular meetings for the Boards of Equalization and Commissioners are scheduled for Monday, December 18th beginning at 8:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Dawson County Courthouse located in Lexington.
The Cozad Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge, Number 2250 has selected Cozad’s Ashley Burkholder and Kayla Weyers of Gothenburg as the recipients of the Elks Teens of the Month for November. 
The pair of students have maintained superior academic portfolios at Cozad and Gothenburg throughout their high school campaigns. 
Ashley is the daughter of Matt and Anne Burkholder. Burkholder maintains a 4.19 GPA at Cozad High School and currently has the top GPA, ranked #1 in the CHS Senior class. 
Ashley Burkholder has been a very busy student with vast participation in student organizations and activities throughout her tenure at Cozad High School while earning the recognition of being on the Exemplary Honor Roll. 
Along with her stellar academic portfolio, Ashley has achieved gold medal performances in a variety of fields including English, Reading, Math and Science throughout her campaign. 
Twice in her high school career, Burkholder has been chosen as the local level winner in the Voice of Democracy contest. In 2014 and 2016, she placed first and third in the district level competitions. In 2014, Ashley was honored as the third place winner at the state level. 
Ashley Burkholder has been a member of the Cozad High School student council for the past four years and she was the President of her class as a freshmen. She is the Chair of the Community Service Committee currently. 
Involved in the Nebraska Youth Beef Leadership Symposium, Ashley earned third place accolades in Outreach Advocacy Group and earned the Beef Quality Assurance Certification. 
As a valued member of the Cozad FBLA, Burkholder has qualified for State the past three years. She is the current Chapter President after serving as the Chapter Parliamentarian for the past three years. 
Ashley Burkholder has been involved in the fine arts while at Cozad as well. She has been a member of the A Capella Choir that has received Superior ratings at Districts and was selected to sing at the Nebraska State Capitol building in 2016. 
Reaching the State Championships in Extemporaneous Speaking capped off a very successful season of High School Speech for Ashley in 2016. She has been deemed the Cozad Speech Team MVP the past two years. This past year, Burkholder joined forces with teammates to finish fourth overall at the State Championships in Oral Interpretation of Drama (OID). She was a National Qualifier in Extemporaneous Speaking while competing in the National Forensics League. 
Athletically, Ashley Burkholder has seen elite levels of success in Cross Country in the Fall along with participating in Track and Field in the Spring. She has been an All-SWC Cross Country runner for four straight years and has ran at the State Cross Country Championships numerous times along with finishing 13th overall in 2016. She currently has the second fastest 5K time in Cozad High School history. She has earned Academic All State honors in both Cross Country and; Track and Field. On the oval, Ashley has competed at the State Meet and is a member of the School Record 3200 meter relay team. 
Being very active throughout her years at Cozad High School along with maintaining a superior academic portfolio earned Burkholder the spotlight as a member of the National Honor Society. 
Ashley Grace is a tremendous young lady who has demonstrated a tremendous leadership capacity, a high level of resiliency and a weath of ability,” expressed former Cozad High School Counselor and Coach Dustin Favinger. “Throughout high school Ashley has demonstrated time and time again that pressure and adversity are best overcome by relying upon the daily hard work she has done to maximize her ability. She is cool under pressure and this will translate well into her life beyond former schooling.”
Kayla Weyers is the daughter of Jamie and Kim Weyers. Weyers maintains a 4.0 GPA and is currently has the top GPA, ranked #1 in the GHS Class. 
Kayla has been a mainstay on the ‘A’ Honor Roll throughout her four years at Gothenburg High School. 
She has been the Student Council Committee Chair for two years along with being on the Student Council for all four years of high school. 
Weyers has been involved in the Science Olympiad the past three years and involved in the Interact Club the as a Junior and Senior. 
Kayla has been a standout for the Gothenburg High School FFA program. She was the Parliamentary Procedure Secretary for two years alongiwth earningi the FFA Chapter degree and being a Senior and Junior Parliamentary Procedure State Champion as a Sophomore and Freshman. 
Athletically, Kayla Weyers has showcased her running skills as members of the Cross Country and Track teams at Gothenburg. She lettered and earned Academic All-State honors in Cross Country. In track, Kayla has been a three-year letterwinner along with competing in the state meet. 
As a result of her stellar academic portfolio and variety of activities and organizations, Kayla is also a member of the Gothenburg National Honor Society.