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Dawson County fought back against cancer by raising $50,500 at the 23rd Annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Dawson County at Veterans Memorial Park in Cozad on Friday, June 2nd.
“Relay For Life is about a village that takes up the fight and Dawson County once again proved how to work together for a common goal to beat cancer,” said Cristy Thompson, ACS staff partner in North Platte. “Everyone worked hard all year long to make this event happen. We do it because we have all been touched by cancer.  On behalf of Relay For Life, I’d like to thank all the teams, sponsors, survivors, caregivers, and participants who came together to make this Relay such a success.”
 Nearly 250 people attended the opening ceremony and watched the survivor/caregiver lap that kicked off the evening. Survivors were led by honorary chairpersons Linda Anthony of Lexington and Tara Hieter of Gothenburg. The caregivers were led by honorary chairperson Tim Hansen of Cozad.
This year’s patriotic theme of “We Need You For A Cure” brought a lot of red, white and blue spirit to the event. The weatherman cooperated and the park was in tiptop shape, Thompson added.
Relay For Life is a community event full of great individual ideas, Thompson said. “It is the individual who steps up to the challenge and who volunteers time and energy… that is what makes each Relay extra special. I can’t begin to name everyone who contributed their special touch. It is a rewarding experience to watch things like this happen.”
            Marilyn Hueftle of Lexington was recognized for participating in Relay for 20 years and raising an average of $1000 each year. She also was the top individual fundraiser for the event with a total of $1300 before Relay.
            Chris Barnes of Cozad received a well-deserved Relay Spirit Award for always attending meetings and being the first to raise her hand when someone was needed to take care of yet another detail.
            Pam Ackerman of Lexington received the Purple Passion Award for her participation and love for Relay. This was her 16th Relay event.
            Corporate sponsors topped the charts at $25,277 and the top fundraising team was W.C.S.G. Garden of Hope with an even $10,000.
This year’s teams included Angels Among Us (captain Kim Sutton, Lexington); Dawson County People First (co-captains Christopher Davis, Cozad, and Brenda Ochoa, Lexington); Little Steps of Hope (captain Tara Hieter, Gothenburg); R.S.C.S. (Relatively Speaking Cancer Sucks) (co-captains Chris Barnes and Candi Sartin, both of Cozad); Team Amalia (captain Coco Canas, Cozad); Walking For Will (captain JoAnn Parker, Cozad); Walmart: Team Spark (co-captains Travis Battershaw, Lexington, and Shannon Callahan, Bertrand); W.C.S.G. Garden of Hope (captain Pam Ackerman, Lexington).
A Relay Wrap Up potluck meeting will be Thursday, June 15, at 6 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. Anyone who wants to be part of planning the next event is encouraged to attend.
            Next year marks 24 years of Relay For Life in Dawson County. Anyone interested in helping on the planning committee or being the event chairperson is encouraged to call Cristy Thompson at 308-530-6002.
The Dawson County Commissioners met for a regular meeting on Thursday, June 1, 2017. 
Treasurer’s Receipts in the amount of $1,052,000.23 were approved. Approval was also granted to approve the claims submitted totaling $974,211.04.
A resolution was approved for Pinnacle Bank to recall $13,723,069.80 in collateral. This amount was for excess during tax time.
Under Committee Reports Commissioner Butch Hagan reported that he and members of the Ag Society would be meeting with an architect to verify compliances for grant monies.
Commissioner Bill Stewart, a member of the courthouse committee, reported that the old jail was completely torn down and needs ideas and direction for the area to be turned into a parking lot or some other purpose.
Commissioner Chairman PJ Jacobson reported that Region II was hit hard with budget cuts this year and would be presenting an update during the meeting.
Commissioner Dennis Rickertsen reported that the County Weed Department has begun mosquito trapping.
Chairman Jacobson was granted authorization to sign easement agreements between Dawson County and LCL Corporation: Ross Williams and Dawson County and Douglas J. Stamm.
The bid from Van Kirk Bros. Contracting, Inc., Sutton, Nebraska in the amount of $202,073.26 was approved for the Stamm-Williams Bridge Replacement. According to Randy Deans, Miller & Associates, this bid was 13 per cent lower than the engineer’s estimate.
All of the commissioners expressed relief that this bridge will finally be replaced. “This has been a goal of mine for over 30 years dating back to when I was highway superintendent,” commented Hagan.
Approval was also given to approve the Cozad Southwest Project with Chairman Jacobson signing the NEPA Service Agreement between Dawson County and Alfred Benesch & Company.
Deans also opened and presented the lone bid for the Cozad North Pavement Rehabilitation Project. Coughlin Co., St. George, Utah presented the lone bid in the amount of $1,570,562.50 for the 12.27 mile project. Engineer’s estimate for this bid that would utilize river rock was $1,444,340. 
“At this cost I would rather see two to three miles done to ascertain the durability of the completed pavement,” noted Deans.
The commissioners agreed to reject the bid.
County Veterans’ Officer Steve Zerr appeared with a recommendation to appoint Shane Area, Overton, Nebraska to the Veteran’s Service Committee. Area is an Army veteran, 1986 – 1989 and a self-employed electrician. Tom Brennan of Overton deciding not to seek re-election to the committee after serving for 20 years created the vacancy. Area’s appointment was approved.
Dawson County Weed Control Superintendent Marty Craig appeared to present the annual contract between Two Rivers Public Health Department and Dawson County for trapping mosquitoes. Craig has already trapped mosquitoes once and sent them to Lincoln who will be testing them for the West Nile virus and sending back a report.
Pamela Mann and Vickie Prillaman presented an update of the services provided by their Region II Developmental Disabilities Services agency. Region II covers 17 counties including Dawson County. 175 clients receive services with 49 served in the Cozad facility.
“Governor Ricketts approved a 2.2 percent reduction for providers effective May 1, 2017 and there are two new waivers causing uncertainty in funding,” Mann explained.
Commissioner Jacobson is a member of the governing board and spoke highly of the agency, especially how they keep their clients involved in their respective communities.
The board members visited the Dawson County Jail after the conclusion of their meeting.
The Board of Equalization met prior to the Commissioner’s meeting. A tax correction was approved for Richard L. Beans.
The next regular meeting for the Boards of Equalization and Commissioners is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21, 2017 beginning at 8:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the County Courthouse in Lexington, Nebraska.
The name on the front of the building might change but the quality service, care and warm reception that you have come to expect at Staton Insurance will continue at Arnold Insurance Agency.  Our commitment to excellence is as strong today as it has been for the past 35 years. Arnold Insurance believes that you, “Come See Our Family to Take Care of Yours”.
We are pleased to welcome the staff and customers of Staton Insurance into the Arnold Insurance Agency family.  Joe Bob and Randi Atkins; owners of Arnold Insurance, purchased the business from Brad Staton recently. This change allows us to combine our experiences and talents to improve our insurance products and services for all Arnold Insurance customers.  Robyn Geiser will lead the agency as the producing agent for the Cozad location. “We are proud to have her as part of our company and know that she will not only work for our agency but also for the community as well”, stated Joe Bob Atkins. "We are also excited to have Ryan Raisch on board, as she will continue to serve the needs of customers as she has over the past few years."  And the team wouldn't be complete without Brad.  Brad Staton will continue to be an impact player for the agency as a consultant and he will continue to be seen in the office on occasion.  “We recognize that the years of knowledge that Brad has of the insurance accounts is not easily replaced and I feel that is best for our customers to keep Brad involved,” expressed  Atkins.
"Arnold Insurance Agency not only represents many of the same companies offered through Staton Insurance but new offerings will be available to our customers.  The Arnold Insurance App and the company website will also be new resources that we can offer. We will continue to build on the service that you have come to expect and I look forward to working with our customers for years to come,” stated Geiser.