The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, June 19, 2017. Board member Ann Burkholder was excused by a vote of her colleagues.
The board approved the resignation of Taylor Haley, Agricultural Education/FFA.
Board members approved the Certificated Staff contracts for Rebekah Spader, Agricultural Education/FFA; James Ford, Elementary Assistant Principal/Special Education and Theresa Coyle, High School Mathematics.
The food service contract with OPAA! Food Management, Inc. was approved pending final approval from the Nebraska Department of Education – Nutrition Services.
High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer presented an attendance waiver request for a high school student that was approved.
A Cozad High School student and parent appeared to request an attendance waiver that also received approval with the stipulation that absences do not exceed a total of six days for the first semester of the 2017=2018 school year.
After discussion at previous meetings a contract with SportSafe Testing Service, Inc. to implement drug testing for students competing in school activities received approval. Negotiation continues on the details of the contract.
Board members approved the acquisition of a 2017 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van from Pony Express Chevrolet for $29,350.80. Three bids for vehicles from two dealerships had been received.
The bid submitted by Brad Stallbaumer, Stallbaumer Construction for a two-room building at Cozad Elementary School was accepted. The $69,940.79 price tag includes plumbing and heating but not the HVAC. According to Elementary Principal Dale Henderson, the decision on what classes will be held in the two rooms will not be decided until August when he has a better idea on class sizes. A possible option is to have music instructor Erica Wieseler in one room and computer/coding class instructor Jill Arnold in the other room.
The board approved to continue offering stipends to all staff members for memberships at the Community Wellness Center for the 2017-2018 school year.
Approval was granted for substitute pay rates for the upcoming school year based on recommendations from Superintendent Joel Applegate. Local Substitutes will receive $100.00 per day, Certified Substitutes $110.00 per day and Long Term Subs (starts on the 11th consecutive day for the same staff member) will receive $185.41 per day. Current rates for Local Substitutes had been $93.00 per day and Certified Substitutes $105.00 per day. The Long Term Substitute pay is calculated as 1/185th of base pay.
Superintendent Applegate received authorization to dispose of approximately 250 older iPads. According to Technology Director Dave Evertson 150 of the iPads are in good condition (5-6 years old) with a fair market value of $65.00 each. 100 iPads with broken screens will be available at a fair market value of $10.00 each. The sale prices include packaging and shipping.
Discussion continued on the proposed community garden project that was presented by Bill Clark to ascertain if there was sufficient interest. After further consideration, the proposal failed for lack of a second to the motion.
Discussion, consideration and action were taken on several board policies. Most of these replaced current policies.
Discussion began on adding an assistant sponsor for the CHS National Honor Society Chapter. The chapter has grown to nearly 30 members and sponsor Woody Blackmore requested help. The board agreed that an additional sponsor would be beneficial but the request needs to go through the negotiations process so if approved will not take place until the 2018-2019 school year.
The next regular meeting for the board is scheduled for Monday, July 17, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Superintendent’s Office if the Cozad Community Schools District Office Building.
Farnam will be celebrating proudly throughout this weekend during the Founder’s Day celebration. 
There will be a four-person golf scramble at the Wild Horse Golf Club in Gothenburg on Friday at 9 a.m. Proceeds will benefit the Farnam Fire Department as well as Joe and Ruth Brown. 
Showing off their hard work and turning back the clock will be the participants in teh Antique Tractor Drive that starts at 2:30 p.m. by the Baseball Field. 
After working up an apetite, you can check out the free will offering dinner that is being served at the Farnam Fire Hall from 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Starting at 6 p.m., the tunes of the Soggy Bottom Band along with Jim and Laura will provide entertainment for all ages. The Honored Citizens will be spotlighted at 7:30 p.m.  at the concert. 
Saturday is jam-packed with activities. 
Hitting the door running will be the competitors in the 5K Fun Run that starts at 7 p.m. in from tof the Catholic Church in Farnam. 
The annual Parade will kick-off the festivities at 10:30 a.m. 
At the conclusion of the parade, there will be a full onslaught of events in the park. 
The Car Show starts at 11 a.m. and will finish up near 3 p.m. Kids inflatables and activities will open up at noon and be available until 4 p.m.
There will be a Bear Hunt Story in the Park at 4 p.m. 
There will be an Antique Tractor Points Pull at 1 p.m. and a Tractor Pedal Pull at 2 p.m. 
With all the fun-filled activities planned, you will get hungry and be rewarded as there will be BBQ Rib cookoff at 5:30 p.m.  
The Nazarene Chuch will host worship at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning at the Farnam High School Gym. There will be an 11:30 a.m. brunch to follow the services.  
The rapidly growing population of feral cats was discussed with potential plans for removal at the Cozad City Council Meeting held on Monday evening. 
Recently it has been reported that cats are coming out of the sewer drains in Cozad as well as defecating near store fronts. The cats have also displayed signs of being defensive towards patrons of downtown Cozad. 
Dr. Oliver Holbein and Sara Trumbley, of Cozad Veterinary Clinic presented information and research on the the world-wide problem of controlling the feral cat population. Dr. Holbein mentioned that all around the world, the feral cat populations are being controlled by several different methods that involved the potential trapping of the animals with medical procedures being completed to limit reproduction before they are released as well as ethanizing the animals. 
Cozad Police Chief Mark Montgomery mentioned that there were more than 11 cats on Sunday night in a specific part of downtown at one moment when Law Enforcement personnel responded to a call. 
After an in-depth discussion on the feral cat problem and population, the decision on how to address the issue was tabled for future discussion with City Council members becoming more educated on the material provided by Dr. Holbein on methods to solve the problems. 
There was recently a meeting held to make upcoming Solar Eclipse a celebration type event in downtown Cozad. Cathy Pflaster represented the group that is set to host the Community event on August 21st. The group asked the City Council about the possibility of the closure of some of the downtown streets for the event that will include many fun-filled activities as well. There will be glasses to watch the eclipse for sale as well as food being sold during the event. Funds raised during the event are earmarked for the Meadowlark Pointe expansion project. The City Council approved of the streets closure from approximately 6 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on a downtown portion of Meridan Street. Light Commissioner Britt German acknowledged that the lights downtown could be turned off at this time for the event. There will be bleacher seating available as well. 
Jen McKeone, the Executive Director of Cozad Development Corporation (CDC) was present at the meeting to seek the approval of the council about new ordinances and activities that to be included in the existing economic development program. A few of the items that were discussed involved the use of Economic Development Sales Taxes for housing activities in Cozad. There was also a new economic development plan introduced that will be voted on in a special election in November.  If the program is approved, the Economic Development Plan would be in place until 2039 before it is brought to the polls again.  There will be a public hearing held on July 10th during the next City Council Meeting to listen to the citizens of Cozad’s concerns or thoughts of the Economic Development Plan. 
There will be a public hearing held on July 10th during the next City Council Meeting to listen to the citizens of Cozad’s concerns or thoughts of the Economic Development Plan. 
The Cozad Elks Club request for a special designated license was approved for a Luau style event with Live Music being played on July 28th. 
Light Commissioner Britt German reported that there are two employees currently at Line School and that they are currently reading meters. German did announce that there are plans to clean up the electricity equipment that was formerly behind the Rialto Theatre. 
Wilson Public Librarian Laurie Yocom informed the council that a second Barn Quilt Class will be held, as the first one is full. The Wilson Public Library received grant money from NASA to host and teach classes to prepare interested patrons about the upcoming Eclipse event. 
Cozad Rescue Unit Chief Travis Lee expressed that the department has been very busy and are on pace for a record setting month that included nine calls this past Saturday. 
Council member Brian Montgomery expressed great praise to the Cozad Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Unit for their prompt response times, as they responded to a recent emergency in just 4.5 minutes. 
All claims were approved and the next scheduled meeting of the Cozad City Council will be July 10th. 
‘Work hard and good tings happen,’ held true for Cozad’s Megan Fales, Shelter Insurance Companies agent in Cozad. Fales was honored as the Shelter Insurance Companies top agent in Nebraska based on overall agency operation in 2016. 
“I knew that I had a chance of winning, I wasn't so sure if it would be me, it was a great surprise,” expressed Fales.
Fales was awarded the 2016 Nebraska Shelter Insurance Agent of the Year Award at the firm's recent Conference of Champions held in Hawaii earlier this month. 
The award is presented to the Nebraska Shelter agent demonstrating the highest overall excellence in agency operation. All state-level Agent of the Year award winners compete for the firm's company-wide Agent of the Year award. 
Fales has represented Shelter and served the Cozad community since November 2014. 
The Megan Fales Shelter Insurance Agency is located at 122 E. 8th, Cozad. 
The Robert Henri Museum & Art Gallery is hosting an Artist-in-Residence. Pamela Casarez, from Greeley, Colorado, has been spending her time in Cozad giving demonstrations, teaching classes and painting. 
Pamela Casarez’s artistic journey was launched among the cornfields and woodlands of Indiana where she was born and raised. Painting the landscapes of her home state connected Pamela with her family history as well as providing her the incentive to explore the parks and back roads that otherwise would have remained hidden from her. The curiosity that developed during the early years of Pamela’s art career has propelled her forward into new territories.  
 After a series of life changing events she chose to return to school to further her understanding of artistic theory and history. During her graduate studies at Kendall College of Art and Design her focus was on visually interpreting the changes mass media have brought to our understanding of self. The immersion of her time and energy into studying trans humanism, our slippage into an electronically dependent society and other post modern issues left her longing for connections to organic experiences.  
 The paintings featured at the Henri Museum represent Pamela’s response to moving to her beloved West. The wide-open spaces, mountains, blue skies and the people and animals that live in these spaces are featured in 28 oil and acrylic paintings. Her paintings capture the Western spirit in a fresh manner.  
Pamela’s artwork will be on display at the Robert Henri Museum through June 24, 2017. One of her paintings, a classic Cozad view of train tracks and a grain elevator, will be raffled off.  She will also be demonstrating her work at the Robert Henri Arts Festival on Saturday. Stop in at the museum to see Pamela’s work and support the Artist-in-Residence program at the Robert Henri Museum.