The community of Eustis is rolling out the red carpet for all who are attending the 39th Annual Wurst Tag Celebration that will kickoff on Friday, June 8th and continue through Sunday, June 10th. 
You will have to put on your running shoes to get the Wurst Tag celebration off to a fast start with the Fun Run  that will be held on Friday evening  at 8 p.m. with the race starting at the Municipal Park in Eustis. 
The Eustis/Farnam FFA will be hosting a breakfast at the Legion Hall from 7-10 a.m. 
Putting in plenty of mileage and having fun with friends and family will be the participants in the Poker Run with registration starting at 12:30 p.m. Registration  will be held at the Eustis/Farnam School parking lot.
The Road Rally will start promptly at 1 p.m. 
In downtown Eustis, there will be Kids Games in the Big Park starting at 1:30 p.m. 
The Four-Point Pitch Tournament will start at 2 p.m. at the Darn Small Pub. 
The always popular Eustis Lions German Supper and Nachtische will be held at the Legion Hall starting at 5 p.m. 
Getting the music started will be the Dave Lerbakken Solo Show from 5-8 p.m. in the Beer Garden. 
Competitors in the Pretzel Eating contest will test their skills following the Kinderdancing that will be held at 5:15 p.m.
Logan Mize  will hit the stage at 8 p.m.  to entertain the crowd in attendance. Lighting up the stage following Logan Mize will be the Randy Rogers Band.
The Wurst Tag Celebration will finish up the weekend with a 11 a.m. Community Worship Service at Eustis’ St. John’s Lutheran Church.
The Cozad City Council met for a regular meeting on Monday evening.
Three members of the Cozad Tourism Committee, Karman Morse, Cozad Chamber of Commerce Director, Caroline Gaudreault, Robert Henri Executive Director and Rose Mapel, Rustic Milling & Craft appeared to request the council’s permission to place the 50 state barn quilts on the West outside museum wall.  This barn quilt project is a joint effort between the tourism board and the museum.
Originally these were to be placed on the east side of the Old Mill being renovated by Machelle Smith, but due to insurance and other issues a new location is being sought.
Paulsen Inc. had been contacted by the tourism committee and the museum board and been told that the new wall could support the barn quilts without damaging it.
Morrie Andres, a member of the 100th Meridian Museum Board, also appeared and asked the council members if they had any questions. Andres explained that the museum board had discussed the proposed project, but was waiting to clear it with the city first before preceding any further with plans.
“With all the trouble we’ve had with that wall you’re wanting to drill holes in it now?” council member Brian Montgomery asked.
The other council members echoed Montgomery’s concerns and it was brought up that the ‘green space’ might eventually be used to show movies on the wall as well as other possibilities. Council members voted unanimously to not have the quilts placed on the museum wall.
The tourism committee was directed to seek another place for the barn quilts to be hung.
In other business, Cindy Schneider appeared in regards to the annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Day scheduled for the longest day of the year, June 21st that is the first day of summer.
“This year’s theme is “What Will You Do to Fight Alzheimer’s? Put Your Passion to Good Work On the Longest Day”, Schneider said.
“The entire county will come together from 2 – 6 p.m. in the Veteran’s Memorial Park for awareness activities and games,” and we would request use of the park and additional picnic tables from the city,” Schneider explained.
Terry Streetman, Chairman for the Nebraska Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will be in attendance, as he is so impressed by this collaborative awareness day by the citizens of Dawson County. Donations will be accepted at the park and at the free movie “Leisure Seeker” that will be shown at the Sun Theatre in Gothenburg at 7:30 p.m.  
The council also considered the bids received for the 4th & N Street Sanitary Sewer Extension as recommended by Olsson Associates.  Jacob Reiter from Olsson Associates shared that four bids had been received for the project with the highest bid being $145,000 and the lowest for $47,860 from Midlands Construction, Inc., Kearney, Nebraska. “The bid from Midlands Construction, Inc. is 35 percent below the engineer’s estimate and we recommend that you accept it,” Reiter said. “The work is scheduled to be substantially completed prior to June 29th,” he continued. 
Council members approved the bid for the sewer project from Midlands Construction, Inc.
Tim Hansen, representing the Citizen’s Advisory Review Council appeared to present the Citizen’s Advisory Report.
The CARC met on May 29th to review the six-month activities of the Cozad Development Corporation. All loans made by CDC are in good standing. A review of the financials was completed and all uses of funds are in accordance to the Economic Development Plan. The CARC will operate on the existing plan until October 2019. Activities over the past six-month period included the sale of 829 Meridian (Dawson Home), the transfer of the Colorado Biolabs building to Colorado Biolabs for the fulfillment of their lease obligations and the acquisition of 813 Meridian, the former Hoff’s Tops building. The CDC also acquired seven residential lots north of Hendee Drive in Cozad.
The CDC has been actively trying to fill the vacant restaurant buildings downtown and along Highway 21.
The CDC will be choosing the winner of the “Win This Space” contest on June 15th. This contest has been a huge marketing boost for Cozad and as a result, CDC Director Jen McKeone has been asked to present about downtown Cozad at the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development.
In an attempt to encourage the tradition of entrepreneurship to continue in Cozad, the CDC has sponsored a Business Plan Basics Class during the month of May and a Biz Kids Camp for youth.
Planned activities for the next six months include the acquisition of twenty-one residential lots and to begin building spec houses this summer. Work is also being continued on making the Cover site at the Interstate 80 exchange ready for development and they are still working on recruiting an additional hotel.
“Our committee is very pleased with the progress of the CDC over the past six months, and we are looking forward to the future planned projects,” Hansen concluded. “Former CDC Director Robyn Geiser did an amazing job during her tenure and present Director Jen McKeone continues to do an amazing job as well,” Hansen added.
Under Reports, Jimmy Weinmaster reported that Josh Morse had been hired for the street department. His department has kept busy repairing a seal in the swimming pool, cleaning up the municipality after storms and is already starting to spray for insects.
Lights Commissioner Britt German reported that they are working on moving the pole and the underground electrical line at the former Kildare Lumber building site.
Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols reported that they have been working on a main break at H Street & Highway 30. “The main is shut off so no one is without water other than ‘Grow & Mow’ and they are working with us on this,” Nichols explained.
Wilson Public Library Director Laurie Yocom reported that the Summer Reading Program is beginning this week with 155 K – 5th graders registered so far and that nine students are enrolled in the cursive writing class. 
Yocom also reported that approximately 250 were in attendance at the first Music Mondays evening and thanked Jimmy Weinmaster, Scott Hergenrader and Fred Starr for their help in getting the barricades and everything set up on Monday.
Police Chief Mark Montgomery reported that his department had cleaned up one problem area and that things were going good.
Council member Ron Olds reported that a letter had been sent to Senator Matt Williams in support of the 17 members of the Cozad Volunteer Fire Department who had not received their $250.00 tax refund. It has been determined that many other fire departments throughout the state experienced this same issue.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale reported that the property on North Meridian would be closed in a week to ten days.
Under Citizen’s Comments, Cozad Community Health System Administrator Lyle Davis appeared to report that Mayor Meyer, the hospital board and he had met with Ken Klassmeyer in regards to the future of Cozad Care & Rehabilitation Center.
Davis reported that the hamburger feed at the care home sponsored by the CCHS raised $17,820.00 for the employees at the facility who were shorted a pay check. Pat Leahy asked what other communities are doing in regards to their care home facilities. Leahy was told that Elwood and Callaway facilities are city-owned.
According to Klassmeyer, Cozad Care & Rehabilitation Center had nine corporations on top of each other according to Klassmeyer that isn’t a good plan. Golden Living Center does own the building and wants to lease it “It is probably best to look at a local corporation to own it and retain community control,” Klassmeyer recommended.
Mayor Meyer will be contacting Klassmeyer in hopes that he can attend the next council meeting. “We want to protect those beds and those jobs in our community,” she said.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 18th beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers in the City Office Building.
The Dawson County Board of Commissioners met for a regular meeting on Friday.  Commissioners Butch Hagan, Bill Stewart and Chairman Dean Kugler were present. Commissioners PJ Jacobson and Dennis Rickertsen were absent.
Treasurer’s Receipts in the amount of $235,289.07 were approved, as were Claims in the amount of $1,271,034.04.
A resolution was approved for Pinnacle Bank, Lexington to recall $16,000,000 worth of collateral.
A resolution was also approved to modify Petty Cash-Insurance Fund and pay the emergency claim of $100,000 as per request of County Clerk Karla Zlatkovsky.
Under Committee Reports, Commissioner Hagan reported that the restrooms at the fairgrounds were almost done and will hopefully be ready in time for the Plum Creek Rodeo.
Commissioner Stewart reported that he had attended a CED Board meeting and that a meeting will be held on June 14th at the Opportunity Center in Lexington regarding the importance of Ag exports in our county, region and state.
Road Superintendent Mark Christiansen opened the lone bid for the Road Department’s highway painting. The commissioners accepted the bid of $32,540.00 from Straight-Line Striping in Grand Island.
Superintendent Christiansen was also authorized to begin the bid letting process on two county bridges, including the bridge bid Overton that has been closed since October. 
Dawson County Weed Superintendent Marty Craig appeared to ask that the Dawson/Gosper Noxious Weed contract be renewed. “This is a good deal for both counties,” Craig said. The commissioners approved the contract renewal.
In other business, the commissioners approved the reappointment of Barry McDiarmid to the Dawson County Visitor Committee.
USDA Wildllife Specialist Luke Peebles appeared to present an agency update and request contract renewal for the next fiscal year.
“We have been very busy in Dawson County since last July, having logged 560 hours,” Peebles noted.
Chairman Kugler was authorized to sign the USDA contract for $16,264.42 for the next fiscal year.
The commissioners approved ‘In God We Trust’ signs be placed in the courthouse. Commissioner Stewart will bring recommendations as to where the signs should be placed at the next meeting.
At 8:37 a.m. Chairman Kugler opened the public hearing regarding the Class C Liquor License for LakeShore Marina & Grille.
LakeShore Marina Bar & Grille Co-Owner Kristyl Hanchera appeared to explain the request.  The liquor license request was approved after the public hearing.
A Special Designated Liquor License for Rotary After Dark for July 3 – 5 in conjunction with the 4th of July Rodeo Beer Garden in Gothenburg was also approved.
Anne Power, Midwest NE Problem Court Coordinator, appeared to update the commissioners on the interlocal agreement between Dawson County and the Midwest NE Adult Drug Court.
Power, who has been with the agency since August of 2017 reported that they had 58 participants last year with 26 being from Dawson County. The graduation rate for the program is 60 percent, with drug court participants being tracked for three years following graduation. 
Chairman Kugler was authorized to sign the interlocal agreement between the two entities for another year.
No action was necessary in reference to the Texting to 911 in a written letter from Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber. Texting to 911 is scheduled to be implemented in Dawson and Gosper counties on June 15th. This program is designed for deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired citizens. In addition, if a person needs to contact 911 and by making a voice call their life might be endangered, texting would be their best option.
Zoning Administrator Pam Holbrook appeared to forward a recommendation from the Planning Commission in regards to a Special Use Permit application made by Country Partners Cooperative for a temporary grain storage facility east of Gothenburg. 
County Clerk Zlatkovsky set the public hearing regarding a special use permit application made by Country Partners, Gothenburg for June 21st.
The Dawson County Board of Equalization met prior to the Board of Commissioners. 
At 8:01 a.m. a motion was made and seconded to go into executive session by request of Deputy County Attorney Jared Dean for discussion regarding the TERC settlement for Dana L. Peterson and for the purpose of protecting public interest.
A motion was made and seconded to go out of executive session at 8:05 a.m. The commissioners granted authority to Deputy County Attorney Dean to settle the TERC case with Dana L. Peterson. Motion carried.
Tax corrections were voided for parcels owned by Kenneth Hanks, Alan Smith, and Roy A. Clark.
A tax correction was approved for Robert A. Lauer.
The commissioners also approved the Real and Personal Property Exemption Application from Asambleas De Dios Filadelfia.
The next regular meetings for the Dawson County Boards of Equalization and Commissioners are scheduled for Thursday, June 21st beginning at 8 a.m. in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room in the Dawson County Courthouse located in Lexington, NE.
(Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on local businesses that contribute to international trade in one aspect or another. They provide important background for an International Trade Town Hall set for 7 p.m. June 14 at the Holiday Inn Express Conference Center in Lexington. All county residents are invited to attend.)
Whether headed to the Pacific Rim, Mexico or a processor in state, Dawson County’s corn, soybeans and wheat contribute millions to the local economy. That’s why having state-of-the-art grain handling facilities is so important, notes Scott Hillius, vice president of grain for Country Partners Coop, headquartered in Gothenburg.
“The world market is very competitive. We have to move this product efficiently, provide a quality product and provide the product in a timely fashion when needed,” Hillius said.
It is also important to keep the product segregated to provide the type and quality of product buyers’ want, he said.
In recent years the grain handling facility in Gothenburg has annually moved between 10-12 million bushels of corn, 2.5-3 million bushels of soybeans and just under a million bushels of wheat.
Where does all the grain go? Hillius noted that since the early to mid-2000s the amount of corn going to make ethanol has steadily risen. “Now roughly 30 percent of all our corn goes to ethanol and local feed demand,” he said.
The remaining two-thirds goes by rail as Gothenburg has one of the western-most shuttle points on the Union Pacific line to the West Coast. 
Of the soybeans handled at their facility between two-third to three-fourths go for export as the rail line provides a freight advantage, said the vice president. “The market has usually been the Pacific Rim, primarily China and Taiwan, but last year due to varying reasons more beans went to Mexico,” said Hillius.
The remaining 25 to 30 percent of the area’s soybeans stay in state and go to processors for crushing.
Most of the wheat that comes into Gothenburg is loaded onto small unit trains or trucked to Lincoln and Omaha flour mills for domestic use.
Although it is difficult to pinpoint the dollars the international grain demand contributes to the local economy from just the Gothenburg facility, Hillius notes, “At a minimum if this facility would go away we would lose 15-20 people.”
This doesn’t even count the ripple effect that would impact support businesses and producers who would have no place to market their grain, he said.
Hillius encourages county residents, especially those from non-farm backgrounds to attend the upcoming International Trade Town Hall on June 14 in Lexington. “They will get a better grasp of what drives the local economic engine, learn about how Nebraska operates and a better understanding of how food appears on their dinner table. In addition, it’s important to learn how reciprocating trade brings in other products from other countries.
 
 
If you enjoyed a hot cup of coffee this morning, filled your car with ethanol or sought out a juicy steak or pork chop at the grocery store, then international trade has impacted your life. 
Trade has become a hot button topic in recent months, yet the average county resident may not realize how this issue impacts their daily life.
To bring the topic into focus the Lexington Council for Economic Development (CED) is sponsoring an International Trade Town Hall at 7 p.m. on June 14 at the Lexington Holiday Inn Express convention center. Dawson County and area residents from all walks of life are encouraged to attend.
Panelists with extensive trade experience will share their stories and join in a question and answer session that evening to spotlight what international trade means to all area residents.
Among those scheduled to appear are John McCoy, president of Orthman Manufacturing at Lexington; Craig Uden of Johnson Lake, immediate past president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Scott McPheeters of Gothenburg, a member of the Nebraska Ethanol Board and KAAPA Cooperative Board; Paul Mussman of Holdrege, president of Ag West Commodities; and Don Hutchens of Johnson Lake, retired executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board.
The CED, along with assistance from local farm and commodity groups, is planning to launch a petition drive at the meeting to encourage the U.S. government to pursue legislation, policies, executive actions and regulations to foster greater access to foreign markets.
According to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Dawson County ranks seventh among all Nebraska counties for exports to Mexico and Canada. In addition, 45 percent of Nebraska exports are sent to Mexico and Canada.
Statistics from the Nebraska Farm Bureau show exports add several thousand dollars each year to all county household incomes. Local officials note future opportunities for youth to live and work in Dawson County are highly dependent on international trade.
Beef and corn are the two biggest export commodities in the county with pork and soybeans close behind. Export trades add an estimated $300 to the value of each beef animal and $50 to each pork animal produced in the United States.
Over 50 percent of Nebraska’s soybeans, that’s six out of every 12 rows planted, are exported with China, Indonesia and Taiwan the three biggest customers.
Finally farm equipment manufactured in Dawson and surrounding counties is exported all around the world.
To learn more on how trade impacts daily life in Dawson County, be sure to attend the town hall on June 14.