Cozad Community Health System is pleased to welcome Dr. Michelle Rose, MD to our team of experienced healthcare professionals. 
Dr. Rose attended medical school in Mexico at Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. She recently completed her residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Dr. Rose is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians and certified in family medicine through the American Board of Family Medicine. Dr. Rose will be a huge asset to our community with her background and she is bilingual speaking English and Spanish.
Dr. Rose started last week and is already making a huge impact with her busy schedule seeing patients in our community.

Screen Shot 2018-08-31 at 3.02.10 PM.png

Humbled and surprised, Mark Albrecht could barely speak as he was presented with the 2018 Ag Service Award last Tuesday night at the Cozad Area Chamber of Commerce Ag Appreciation barbecue.
From a young age Albrecht was taught to be responsible for the land, animals and other people. As he became involved in 4-H, school and church activities, that sense of responsibility and love of farming grew. 
In high school he was selected to attend the Nebraska Agriculture Youth Institute (NAYI) and he returned for two years as a counselor. That experience developed leadership skills that would help him become an advocate for agriculture.
After earning an associate degree in agriculture from Hastings College, he went on to study religion, hoping he could use his love of God and agriculture to serve others. Several examples of this servant attitude were shared at the event.
In the spring of 1999, wildfires destroyed miles of fences in the Sandhills near Mullen. Albrecht joined a group from his church to spend a day fixing fences and helping out the ranchers there.
When an early October blizzard in 2013 killed over 100,000 cattle in the Nebraska Sandhills, South Dakota and Wyoming, Albrecht used his leadership skills and caring attitude to coordinate donations for a load of bred heifers that were delivered to a rancher to get a new start.
Other leadership opportunities arose in Dawson County and Nebraska Farm Bureau. He served as county president for three years, national affairs chairman for nine years and two years on the American Farm Bureau Federation Hay and Forage Advisory Committee. 
Over the last 30 years he has shared his love of agriculture with an estimated 3,000 children at the annual preschool farm day hosted by Albrecht and his wife. Participants get a glimpse of farm life through tractor rides, opportunities to pet animals, see crops and more.
Anytime a neighbor, friend or acquaintance needed help, he was there.
On Nov. 1, 2017, Albrecht was seriously injured in a four-wheeler accident while chasing cows. A spinal cord injury left him paralyzed from the chest down and doctors said he would probably never walk again.
He has fought back and this spring inspired many by getting into the tractor and helping with the spring planting and this summer by cutting hay and going to check on cattle.  Albrecht continues therapy and hopes he can soon walk with two canes instead of a walker.
He and his wife, Kristi, took the opportunity to thank those who have helped them on their journey from injury to continued recovery. Albrecht noted they couldn’t have made it without all the community support.
The 2018 banquet also featured four honored presenters who provided updates on various community projects.
Julie Geiger shared information on the “Barn Quilts of Dawson County” and the group’s efforts to create a barn quilt trail around Dawson County. “The barn quilt movement began in Ohio and now there are trails all over the country to attract and increase tourism,” said Geiger.
She noted since Cozad began their efforts to put up barn quilts that not a week goes by that tourists don’t stop in and ask for a trail map. She added that LaVonne and Dail Vetter’s barn east of Cozad was featured for the month of June this year on the National Barn Quilt calendar.
Upcoming barn quilt activities will include erection of a display featuring barn quilt blocks from all 50 states on the Mead Lumber Building in Cozad. “They are being painted in increments of 10 and 40 are already done,” said Geiger. “In an effort to involve students during Ag Exposure Day on Sept. 5 they will create four more blocks to add to four painted two years ago.”
Judy Eggleston provided an update on the chamber’s ag scholarship and noted the 2018 winner was Kyle German.
Cozad vocational education instructor and FFA advisor Rebekah Kraeger noted the Cozad chapter is entering their second year. “I tell them all the time it’s not my program, but their program.”
She noted that a student project initiated last year would repeat the end of September when the FFA will host a tailgate on Sept. 28 before the Cozad High School football game. The tailgate will be in the high school parking lot.
The final special speaker was District 36 State Senator Matt Williams of Gothenburg. He spoke on the banquet theme of “Cultivating Change in Agriculture.”
While population demographics in Nebraska are continually moving the state’s population center east, Williams said he remains optimistic about the future of agriculture. “The partnerships between business and the ag community and pride in what we are doing are good for maintaining optimism.”
  He challenged audience, in particular the FFA members present, to “think about how we can continue to dream big and turn today’s dreams into tomorrow’s realities.”
Cozad Creates... Hay Days 2018. Featured throughout the weekend will be different ways that the 100th Meridian City creates. The Annual Hay Days Celebration will start on Thursday, September 6th and conclude Sunday, September 9th. 
The crowning of Little Miss Hay Days and Mr. Haymaker will be held on Thursday, September 6th at 4:30 p.m. 
The always popular DC Lynch Carnival that will be set up in downtown Cozad will shine their bright lights starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, noon on Saturday and 1 p.m on Sunday.
On Saturday morning, there will be a Pancake Feed at the Cozad Christian Church from 7 -10 a.m. just prior to the Hay Days main event. 
The Annual Parade will start at 11 a.m. with many events to be featured after the grand march down eighth street. 
The Jaycees Sand Volleyball Tournament will also begin at 11 a.m. 
There will be a great variety of food to satisfy your hunger that will be available at the Elks Club’s Buffet and at Chipper Hall on Saturday at noon. The American Lutheran Church will host their Chuck Wagon Feed from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. as well. 
The Knights of Columbus will be hosting an Ice Cream Social at 12 p.m. at Chipper Hall as well. 
The Cozad Art Club will have a display of their creativity and expertise at Dawson Home starting at Noon. 
The Cozad Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting ‘Water Fights’ at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
A few lucky kids will see new bicycles in their future as the Jaycees Bicycle drawing will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. 
If you are looking to get inside out of the heat, you can play Bingo at the Grand Generation Center on Friday from 7-10 p.m. and on Saturday from 2-6 p.m and 7-10 p.m.
The annual Alumni Banquet for Cozad High School will be held at the Elks Club from 7 p.m. until 12 a.m. on Saturday evening.  
On Sunday, the VFW will host a fundraising lunch at Veteran’s Memorial Park from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. 
For more information and/or to register a parade entry message the Cozad Jaycee’s Facebook page. 
As the end of the city’s fiscal year approaches the Lexington City Council is putting the final touches on the 2018-19 budget. At their regular meeting last Tuesday night the Lexington City Council reviewed a proposed $7.7 million budget.
That figure includes the general fund and enterprise budgets, noted City Manager Joe Pepplitsch.
The property tax call for 2018-19 is estimated at $1.28 million, pending receipt of the final valuation from the county assessor, said Pepplitsch. “The tax levy is slightly under fiscal 2017-18 and sits right at 36 cents.”
Among the budget requests will be money for some equipment purchases for the street department, some beautification and improvement projects and possible construction of another hike-bike trail segment, said the city manager.
On the revenue side, Pepplitsch said the city has planned a 1 percent electric rate increase, but may not need it based on an anticipated increase in electrical customers.
Under the water department budget the good news is the city will be paying off a number of bonds, so Pepplitsch said they are pretty comfortable on the rate side. They have some water production/supply projects in mind, but may not get to them this fiscal year.
The sewer department is finishing up the Southview project and that budget will rebound as it is paid off.
Following the review the council set a public hearing on the 2018-19-city budget for Sept. 11.
In other budget action the council passed Resolution 2018-09, which set the Airport Authority levy request at $150,000 for 2018-19. Pepplitsch noted this is an increase from last year to handle expenses association with major repairs to a lift station.
In other fiscal news the council heard from bond counselor Marc Munford of Emeritus regarding a bond-refunding ordinance. Because of a decline in bond interest rates, Munford noted that refinancing the utilities revenue refunding bonds could save an estimated $82,000 by having them run through 2027 instead of 2028. 
The council suspended the rules and adopted Ordinance 2410 with parameters to refinance up to $1.95 in bonds. Munford said he hoped the bonds could be marketed in the next two weeks so the transaction could be completed in this fiscal year.
In other action the council authorized the city manager to advertise for bids for the West Commerce Road project. Plans are to take Commerce Road and extend the current apron off Highway 283 and extend the road west to the property line with Holiday Inn Express and also the new Burger King development, said Pepplitsch. “This will improve access to the Holiday Inn off the frontage road and also to the Burger King development,” he said.
Burger King dollars and TIF (tax increment financing) dollars will be used for the project, which improves the potential for westward development with the new access, said Pepplitsch.
  The council met as a Board of Adjustment to pass Ordinance 2409 to assess fees for property maintenance. Property owners and their assessments included: Kevin Keithley, $4,850 for demolition of a garage; Arturo Pastor Gomez, $74.40 for tree trimming damage; Elvis Ramirez, $724.80 for tree trimming damage; and Manuel Olmos Ruiz, $507.20 for tree trimming damage.
The council also suspended the rules and on third and final reading passed an ordinance to rezone property at 210 W. 17th from R-1 to R-3, high-density residential. A developer has created three residential units in the old hatchery at that location.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced Cozad Community Hospital as a Safe Sleep Hospital Champion. Providing consistent training and education on safe sleep for all hospital personnel caring for children under a year old ensures the same safe sleep message is shared with the parents of more than 26,000 babies born in Nebraska every year. 
The Safe Sleep Campaign starts within the hospital setting, encouraging all Nebraska birthing hospitals to become a Safe Sleep Hospital Champion. To be considered a Safe Sleep Champion, the hospital signs a pledge, creates or updates a Safe Sleep Policy, provides yearly education to hospital personnel, models safe sleep recommendations, and educates parents with evidence-based safe sleep materials.
Department of Health and Human Services worked with the Nebraska Hospital Association, the Nebraska Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Nebraska Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative to launch the Nebraska Safe Sleep Hospital Campaign. 
There were 45 sudden unexpected infant deaths in Nebraska during 2012 and 2013. The deaths occurred in 16 different counties, covering both urban and rural areas. At least 35 occurred in an unsafe sleep environment. 
The ABCs of Safe Sleep:
A – Your baby should always sleep alone.
B – Your baby should always sleep on his or her back.
C – Your baby should always sleep in a safe crib. 
Congratulations to Cozad Community Hospital on achieving Safe Sleep Champion Designation. 
If you would like more information about this topic, please call Tammy McMichael at 784-2261 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.