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Jeff Howerter, Frontier Home Medical, Cozad, was surprised Thursday, March 1st, with a Patriotic Employer Award.  He was presented the award by Ms. Vicki VonLoh, a Nebraska Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve committee volunteer.  The award was in recognition of outstanding support to his employee’s spouse serving in the Guard and Reserve.
He was nominated for being highly supportive of his employee Carrie VanCura, whose husband Nic, was deployed to Guantanamo Bay as a member of the 402d Military Police Battalion, Nebraska Army National Guard.  Sgt. VanCura returned from deployment just this past week and was able to attend the ceremony as well.
In her nomination, Carrie wrote “Jeff Howerter and the whole team at Frontier Home Medical were amazing working with our family not only during my husband’s deployment but also very flexible and supportive in our preparation for Nic's 10 month tour. Jeff was constantly checking in as well as a helping hand in any obstacle outside of work.  Frontier organized t-shirts to be made to honor Red Friday and also showing support for Nic, his unit, and our family.”
“The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said VonLoh in her presentation.  “Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units, and it’s a pleasure for me to recognize Jeff and the entire staff of Frontier Home Medical with this award.”
Jeff Howerter also signed an ESGR Statement of Support for all Frontier Home Medical locations publicly acknowledging their support for all Guard and Reserve service members.
ESGR, a Department of Defense program, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.
The Cozad Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge, Number 2250 has selected Cozad’s Garrett Savick and Antonio Stewart of Lexington of as the recipients of the Elks Teens of the Month for March.  
The pair of students have maintained stellar academic portfolios at Cozad and Lexington throughout their high school campaigns. 
Garrett is the son of Teresa Savick. Savick maintains a 3.91 GPA at Cozad High School and currently ranks in the top ten in highest GPA out of the 60 students in the CHS Senior Class. 
Along with being very active in extracurricular activites and student organizations, Garrett excels in the classroom. He has been on the high honor roll throughout his four years at Cozad High School. He has been among the award winners annually in the CCSA Awards in Science, Math, Language Arts and Reading. 
Savick earned the spotlight as the Student Council Student of the Month when he was a freshmen. This past year, he was honored to be the Graduation Herald. Garrett is a three-year member of the Cozad High School Student Council, being elected since his sophomore year. 
During his initial years of high school, Garrett was involved in the Cozad FBLA program. The past two years, Savick has been instrumental in the success of the Cozad High School Play Production team that finished as the Class B State Runner-up this year. 
Garrett Savick was a letterwinner on  the Haymaker football squad as a FreshmAn, Sophomore and Junior. This past year, he was a member of the cross country team at Cozad High School. On the mat, Savick was a letterman for the Haymaker wrestling squad.  He has earned letterwinner status the past three years as a member of the Cozad High School track and field team. 
As a result of his outstanding efforts in the classroom and excellence in extracurricular activities, Garrett was inducted into the Cozad High School National Honor Society as a Junior and he has continued to exceed the requirements of being a member of the elite organization. 
“In the classroom, Garrett is what I consider a definite leader. He asks questions, volunteers answers and shows a strong desire to learn,” expressed Cozad High School English Instructor Jann Kloepping. “This young man is a joy to have in the classroom. He is not afraid of hard work and is always willing to accept a challenge.”
Antonio Stewart is the son of Ron and Patricia Stewart. Antonio maintains a 4.45 GPA while being a very active student in a variety of activities at Lexington High School. 
Stewart has earned accolades from the Destination Graduation program since his freshman year while being on the All A’s list the past two years. 
Antonio is currently the Senior Class Vice President and a member of the National Honor Society.
As a member of the band at Lexington, he has earned lettermen status all four years. 
Excelling on the football field, Stewart has been a letterwinner the past two years. Antonio lettered in golf as a sophomore as well. 
“Antonio is pragmatic, prespicacious and confident,” expressed LHS Chemistry teacher Crystal Klein. “He has outstanding academic ability and superior leadership skills,” she continued.
The Dawson County Commissioners met for a regular meeting on Thursday, March 1st.
Treasurer’s Receipts in the amount of $339,095.73 were approved as submitted. Total Claims in the amount of $1,139,086.89 were also approved as presented.
Under Committee Reports, Chairman Dean Kugler reported that he had sat in on the auditor’s exit review and that it had gone very well. “Dawson County Clerk Karla Zlatkovsky is taking care of the small items noted in the review, and overall it was another good audit,” Kugler commented.
Chief Deputy Sheriff Mike Hudson open two bids for three new patrol cars for his department. Two of these are to be used to replace two canine patrol cars.
Platte Valley Auto Mart, Lexington submitted a bid for three 2018 Ford Explorers for $114,160 less a trade-in for three vehicles for $15,000 for a total bid of $99,160. Pony Express Chevrolet submitted a bid for three 2018 Chevrolet Tahoes for $116,770 less trade-ins of $8,000, $7,000 and $6,000 (total of $21,000) for a total of $95,770.
Hudson reviewed the bids and returned to the meeting with his recommendation to purchase two Ford Explorers from Platte Valley Auto Mart and one Chevrolet Tahoe from Pony Express Chevrolet.  
“I would prefer the Explorers for the two canine vehicles since they sit closer to the ground and are easier on the dog’s hips when they jump in,” Hudson explained.
A motion was made and seconded to purchase two Ford Explorers and one Chevrolet Tahoe.
The commissioners then realized that the two bidders may not be in agreement with this arrangement and a motion was made and seconded to rescind and table the         approval to modify bids until both bidders had been contacted to split the bids as proposed.
CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) Director Kellie Draper appeared to present a request for a raise for CASA Executive Director Linda Shaw.
Shaw was promoted to this position in 2012, but has remained on the pay scale for her previous CASA position as Volunteer Coordinator. 
In 2012 her hourly wage was $12.04 and she served 39 children. 
Draper’s proposal was to raise Shaw’s current wage from $15.04/hour to $17.84 per hour retroactive to February 1, 2018. A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve Draper’s proposal.
Draper also presented the Program Director’s Report from January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017.
The CASA Program received 79 new children referrals during 2017.  73 cases were closed with 57 of the children being reunited with their families, six being adopted and five entering a guardianship.
38 CASA volunteers, who accumulated 1,536 hours and traveled 19,671 miles to serve their assigned child/children, attend team meetings and court hearings served these 79 children.
CASA is currently serving 85 children compared to 75 children a year ago at this time. Volunteers number 38 compared to 28 a year ago.
A Special Designated Liquor License was approved for Mac’s Creek Vineyards for the Johnson Lake Trails St. Patrick’s Run & Ride at Medo’s Resort on March 17th.
A public hearing took place regarding the 1 & 6-year road plan. Road Superintendent Mark Christiansen explained that there are 11 projects on the 1-year plan and an additional nine projects on the 6-year plan. Included in the 1-year plan are seven concrete overlay projects, two box culvert projects and two bridge/box culvert projects.
Discussion took place on several items including whether or not to go with asphalt or concrete on some of the projects. “Asphalt is cheaper but concrete has a much longer lifespan,” noted Commissioner Butch Hagan.
The board advised Christiansen to request bids for both asphalt and concrete for the roads. It is hoped that work could begin on the roads by this fall.
A resolution was passed to approve the 1 & 6-year plan as presented.
A resolution concerning County Attorney Petty Cash was approved. This was a result of the annual audit and is how the state handles its petty cash, decreasing it from $800 down to $650.
The final item of business was made to write off the GIS agreement amount of $1,750.00 from December 20, 2011.
The Board of Equalization met prior to the Commissioners meeting. 
Tax Corrections were approved for personal property for Chief Ethanol Fuels, Inc., and James T. Brennan and for parcels owned by Ricky L. Love and Jeffrey M. Kennedy.
Vehicle exemptions were approved for two newly purchased 2017 Ford Cutaway owned by RYDE Transit – Community Action Partnership of Nebraska.
The next regularly scheduled meetings for the Dawson County Board of Commissioners and the Board of Equalization are scheduled for Thursday, March 15th beginning at 8:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Room in the Dawson County Courthouse located in Lexington, Nebraska.
Every vote is going to count in the TRIBUNE-Area as there are many highly contested races in the upcoming 2018 Election, as the deadline to become a candidate has now passed. 
For Dawson County races, the contested race that comes to the forefront is for County Sheriff where Ken Moody of Gothenburg and Mike Hudson of Cozad are the candidates to fill the vacancy as a result of current Sheriff Gary Reiber stepping down from the position. 
Running uncontested in Dawson County four year term positions are incumbents: John Phillip Moore (Assessor), Elizabeth Waterman (Attorney), Karla Zlatkovsky (Clerk), Becky Boryca (Clerk of the District Court), Bill Stewart (Commissioner District II), Dennis Rickertsen (Commissioner District III), Dian Lauby (Register of Deeds), Mark Streit (Surveyor) and Victoria Clements (Treasurer). 
In the City of Cozad, incumbents: Deb Leahy (East Ward) and Brian Montgomery (West Ward) refiled to be voted onto the City Council. 
Cozad Mayor Nancy Meyer has refiled for her current position A trio of challengers: Marcus Kloepping, Audie Taylor and Bob Anderson have all filed for the position of mayor of Cozad as well. 
In Gothenburg the incumbents have refiled to fill their current positions with Jay Richeson (East Ward), Verlin Janssen (West Ward) and Joyce Hudson (Mayor) all being listed on the ballot. 
For the City of Lexington there are currently three positions coming up for re-election. Incumbents John Salem and John Fagot are both looking to be re-elected for their four year terms. Incumbent Steve Smith is the lone person to file for the two-year term opening. 
There are currently three open seats on the Cozad Community Hospital Foundation Board with Incumbent Al Svajgr refiling along with new candidates Bill Wilkinson and Cindy Finnegan looking to be elected. 
For the Lexington Regional Hospital Board there are two openings with a pair of incumbents: Kenneth Harbison and Amber Ackerson both refiling for their seats. 
There are three openings on the Cozad Community Schools Board of Education with a pair of incumbents John Peden and Edd Albrecht being joined by Kiley Goff and Judy Eggleston as the candidates. 
Gothenburg Public Schools has three openings on their School Board with all three incumbents: Jon Hudson, Devin Brundage and Nathan Wyatt looking to be re-elected. 
The Lexington Board of Education has three openings with a pair of incumbents: Roger Reutlinger and Travis Maloley being joined by candidate Garth Mins to be members of the School Board. 
Looking to fill six year terms as elected members of their local Airport Authorities are many individuals. In Cozad there are two positions up for election, Roger Clark and Rodney Donner are both incumbents that refiled for their positions. For Gothenburg there are two positions open, Dave Collins is an incumbent that refiled whereas Kyle Beyea is a new candidate for the position.  Jason Lawless was the lone individual to file for the Lexington Airport Authority position. 
There are many contested races to elected positions within the TRIBUNE-Area, so stay tuned to future issues of the Tri-City Tribune to learn more about the candidates.