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State. Sen. Matt Williams stopped by the Orthman Community YMCA on Thursday, June 29th, to present the non-profit organization with a special gift, a United States flag.
Orthman YMCA Executive Director Riley Gruntorad said he is grateful for Sen. Williams’ donation of a flag to the YMCA, and they are now seeking donations for a flag pole.
“I truly believe that we should have a flag and flag pole at our YMCA to represent our veterans and current service members who make Lexington, our state and our nation great,” Gruntorad said. “Also, I believe it is fitting with what the YMCA stands for and coincides with our mission and core values.”
Gruntorad said Orthman YMCA Associate Executive Director Amy Adams contacted Sen. Williams after learning about other states flying the American flag over their state capitols and then donating them to organizations. While Nebraska does not have such a program, Sen. Williams purchased a flag on his own, flew it over the Nebraska State Capitol and donated it to the Orthman YMCA.
Williams made a personal stop at the YMCA on June 29th to present the flag and an official certificate proving that the flag was flown over the state capitol building on June 5 in honor of the Orthman Community YMCA. He then spent some time visiting with Orthman YMCA members.
“We thought it was an amazing gesture and were so blessed that Sen. Williams made this happen for us,” Gruntorad said.
Sen. Williams said he was excited to make the first donation to the flag pole project at the Y. 
“The Y in Lexington provides many services to area residents,” Sen. Williams said. “With more than 1,500 memberships that represent nearly 4,000 people, you can see what an impact the Y has on people. It's more than just a place to exercise. It's a ‘meeting’ place for people.”Sen. Williams encourages others to support the flag project. 
Gruntorad said he hopes to install a flag pole at the front entrance of the YMCA near the bench that was donated by the Lexington High School Class of 1966. He estimated that a flag pole costs about $500, and he is seeking donations toward that project. If anyone is interested in donating, contact Gruntorad at (308) 324-1970 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Mr. Bowker, a Cozad High School teacher from 1961 to 1965, has published a nice litte volume of poetry, his fourth. He writes of the river, the dust and the sky. he knows cottonwoods and sand pits and time so simple and slow, it includes a blacksmith. He was my high school English teacher and I loved him for it, so did most of his students. He was 8 or 9 years older- 4 college years and 5 years teaching junior high at Osceola. Mr. Bowker was born in the small, think 200 persons, town of Alexandria, 50 miles south of York. Upon leaving Cozad, he taught 5 years (1966-1970) at Hastings College.  - Charly Knauss, Class of 1963 Cozad High School.
Larsen Bowker attended college at Kearney State, the University of Wyoming, and at the University of Rhode Island. His poems have been published in Connecticut Review, Poet Lore, Midwest Review, California Review, and the Potomac Review, (and several dozen other publications.) He is a jazz buff who collects records and books. He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia where he was an English teacher and Varsity tennis coach at Virginia Tech. His wife, Jeanette Turner Bowker is an artist, and illistrator of his books.
“Larsen Bowker’s voice in Flowers from a Deeper Soil is a clean vision of the High Plains, spied from Virginia mountains, of boyhood from the vantage of retirement, of had living through the lenses of poetry. Amidst hay bales, train lines, and wooded churches... these are elegies from an unsung master; honest, elemental, and durable.” - Joseph Lennon, Director of Irish Studies, Villanova University
“Larsen Bowker grew up in the hills and gullies of farmland better suited for pasture than crops, and found poems among the men and women who every day struggled against the land, the weather, and themselves, in a small town surrounded by hard scrabble farms, a town not knowing it was dying and farms unaware they would soon be corporation owned. Remembering the past in its mortal flesh, lunges us toward daylights love affair with shadows, silences that would otherwise go unheard.” 
Dawson County 4-H’ers garnered ten trophies at the District 4-H Horse shows held in Lexington, Hemingford and Lincoln. Eleven county contestants qualified for higher level competition. Earning a blue or purple ribbon at one of the six District 4-H Horse Shows qualifies a horse and rider to compete at the State 4-H Horse Exposition in Grand Island later this summer.
In the senior division, Emily Keiser of Gothenburg, was a triple winner with a championship in western horsemanship and reserves in pole bending and barrel racing at the Hemingford show.  Also at Hemingford, Leah Treffer of Cozad earned a championship in pleasure and a reserve in horsemanship. Anna Rickertsen of Cozad took home reserve championship trophies in western pleasure and reining at the Lexington show. Pony Pleasure winners were Jennica Dannehl, Bertrand; and Cauy Bennett, Elwood; at Lincoln and Lexington respectively.
In the junior division, Helene Keiser of Gothenburg was a winner with a reserve champion trophy in barrels at Hemingford.
Extension Educator Bruce Treffer, reports that all contestants prepared well and gave an excellent effort.  The State 4-H Horse Exposition will be held July 16th-20th in Grand Island. Several other Dawson County 4-H members will join those who qualified at Districts as they enter classes not requiring District qualification. 
Dawson County results are:  
SENIOR DIVISION:
Western Pleasure Horse: Purple – Emily Keiser, Gothenburg, and Anna Rickertsen, Cozad, Leah Treffer, Cozad. Blue – Kaitlyn West, Lexington, and Blaire Gibbens, Gothenburg.
Western Horsemanship: Purple – Blaire Gibbens, Gothenburg, Emily Keiser, Gothenburg, Anna Rickertsen, Cozad, and Leah Treffer, Cozad. Blue – Kaitlyn West, Lexington.
Reining: Purple – Anna Rickertsen, Cozad.
Pole Bending: Purple – Emily Keiser, Gothenburg. Blue – Blaire Gibbens, Gothenburg. Red – Addisyn Gibbens, Gothenburg
Barrel Racing: Purple – Blaire Gibbens, Gothenburg, and Emily Keiser, Gothenburg. Red – Addisyn Gibbens, Gothenburg.
JUNIOR DIVISION:
Western Pleasure: Purple – Sarah Treffer, Cozad.
Western Horsemanship: Purple – Sarah Treffer, Cozad.
Pole Bending: Blue – Helene Keiser, Gothenburg, and Sarah Treffer, Cozad.  Red – Haylie Donner, Gothenburg. White – Breckyn Gibbens, Gothenburg, and Greg Treffer, Cozad.
Barrel Racing: Purple – Helene Keiser, Gothenburg. Blue – Greg Treffer, Cozad, and Sarah Treffer, Cozad. Red – Haylie Donner, Gothenburg, and Breckyn Gibbens, Gothenburg. 
Others from the area qualifying for state were: Kennedy Berke – Sr. Hunter Under Saddle and Hunter Seat Equitation; Mattison Beattie – Jr. Western Pleasure and Jr. Western Horsemanship; Dannyl Bromander – Sr. Hunter Under Saddle; Reining and Western Horsemanship; Pole Bending; Barrel Racing. Jennica Dannehl – Western Pleasure Ponies (champion); and Western Horsemanship; Cauy Bennett – Sr. Western Pleasure Ponies (champion); Sr. Western Horsemanship; and Reining. Hope Dowling – Sr. Western Pleasure; and Sr. Western Horsemanship; Molly Dowling – Jr. Western Horsemanship.