The North Bend Eagle


Revisiting the newsmakers of 2011

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 1/4/12

Looking back on the 52 issues of the North Bend Eagle in 2011, there are stories that stand out to each of us for different reasons. Local news is what the Eagle strives to bring its readers, here are a few updates on some of the stories published in 2011.

Turn the Radio Up

In the Jan. 26 issue there was a story about Dylan Bloom and the Dirt Road Detour band making a video in North Bend. In the June 8 issue the story behind the band was told.

Bloom said that the video had 18,000 hits by the end of the year. 2011 was their busiest year since the band formed in 2009. Next summer is already filling up with county fairs booking the band, and the band plans to take a detour into the studio this winter and record a new album.

Bloom said there is no national news yet, but he has received e-mails from all over the country from people liking the video.

“I still have my 8-5 job, it pays the bills,” Bloom said. “The band is great fun. I’m meeting a lot of cool people I wouldn’t meet if I wasn’t doing this.”

Girl saves grandfather, friend from drowning

Christina Kavan, now a 5-year-old kindergartner at North Bend Elementary school, was featured in the Feb. 23 Eagle for her heroics in saving her “pepa” Bob Soukup and Steve Chromy when they fell through ice. She received the VFW Auxiliary Young Hero Award in May along with a letter of congratulations for the governor for her actions. Christina does not talk about the event, but did make a comment this summer when her cousins were talking about Pepa.

“Aren’t you glad I fished him out of that hole?” Christina said.

Ferguson, Japan Quakes

In the March 16 issue North Bend native Jeanette Ferguson gave us news of the earthquake that hit Japan where she teaches in a military school.

Ferguson said just a few days ago, Dec. 31, she was sitting down working on the floor when it started to vibrate.

“Sure enough, we had another 7.0 earthquake on the Izu Peninsula, about 70 miles south from here,” she said. “It was about a 4 or 5 here in Fussa. It was enough to rattle and roll pretty strong for a long time. Really makes me wonder what the 7 and 9 ones were like for those up north.”

Things are back to normal where Jeanette is (300 miles from the March 11 epicenter) but the northern Japan is still slowly recovering. She had been up north to Misawa Air Base in November for work and talked to teachers about the recovery process they were going through. They are still working in the community to help repair buildings and things. Lots of people are still in shelters.

Halladay retires from NBC

In the March 23 issue Ann Halladay announced that she would be retiring from teaching at the end of the school year. She had been teaching English for 32 years at North Bend Central High School

“I retired from teaching, but I didn’t ‘retire’ retire,” Halladay said. “I have been busier than ever. I rarely get bored. There is always something to do.”
She and husband, Jerry, care for three developmentally disabled young men in their home.

Halladay said she plans to substitute teach, but timing hasn’t worked out yet.

“I enjoy keeping in contact with students and former students when I see them,” Halladay said. “One girl came up to give me a big hug when I was at a basketball game. It’s really special when students make you feel like you made an impact in their lives.”

Halladay said if flet weird when everyone went back to school in the fall and she didn’t.

“I would find myself having the feeling I was forgetting something,” she said. “I miss the special times, like Homecoming and Snowball, anticipating the first snow day, my TAP reading team, and many more.”

As much as Halladay misses her students and former colleagues, she did not miss having papers to grade during the recent holidays.

Halladay has done some traveling since retiring. While in New England this fall she said saw places that were important in history and literature.

“Only an English teacher could be excited about visiting the grave of Robert Frost!” Halladay said.

Her plans for 2012 are to write a book.

“I actually have one started,” she said, “but now if I confess myself, maybe I’ll have pressure to finish it. After teaching writing for so many years, I immediately want to get out the red pen. I know better. For writing to be tender, you have to let it simmer so the meat will just fall off the bones.”

Mr. Feurer goes to Washington

Another NBC teacher, Bob Feurer, was featured in the May 18 issue of the Eagle, as well as other times, as he reported on his travels as the Nebraska Teacher of the Year (NTOY). His year was done in November when another teacher was given the honor.

“Even though I am not the reigning TOY, I’ve been told we are never ‘former TOYs’,” Feurer said.

He has meetings and presentations coming up, including one at the Governor’s Mansion on Jan. 28. He will become part of The Mid-America Speaker’s Bureau soon.

“With the title comes obligation and opportunity,” Feurer said. “I see it as both!”

Feurer said the highlight of the year was getting to know the TOYs from the other states.

“I just received a compilation of our 2011 TOY ‘Why I teach’ videos we did while in New York City back in September,” he said. “They are totally awesome and inspirational and I realize now, even more, why each of them was awarded the honor. I am privileged to have gotten to spend time getting to know each one of them and knowing I can call each one ‘friend.’”

We Remember...

On the front page of the June 1 issue of the North Bend Eagle was a picture of the neglected Summit Grove Cemetery. In the July 6 issue
a story was about the efforts of Casey Jones of Snyder and other volunteers to clean up the cemetery.

The Summit Grove Preservation Group was formed with Jones as president, Bruce Ferguson and Don Andrews as vice-presidents, Diane Emanuel as secretary and Gene Robertson of Snyder as treasurer. On Sept. 24 there was a clean up day with ten volunteers cutting down shrubs, trees and overgrown grass.

Jones said the group is now planning to raise money to grind stumps and reset and repair monuments. About $5,000 is needed for the project with $2,550 now in the account. The SGPG is a non-profit group and donations are tax deducible. A lifetime membership is available for $40. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 211, North Bend, NE 68649.

The group is planning on a fund raiser and a special Memorial Day observation.

“We have a fly over scheduled with a group of vintage airplanes based out of Lincoln,” Jones said. “There are lots of tentative plans.”

Emanuel said there is still a lot of rubbish that needs to be cleaned up, but the process was stopped with the first snow. Anyone who would like to volunteer to help with the cleanup is asked to call Emanuel (402-652-8734) or Jones (402-568-2220).

Collasus rocked the Bend

The June 15 issue highlighted the band Collasus, an outgrowth from a pep band at NBC. Band members Drew Dolezal and Kyle Krula are now attending college in Norfolk and Eric Kloke is at Wayne State, while Luke Dolezal is a sophomore at NBC.

They still get together to play at gigs most weekends. For New Year’s Eve they were at Uncle Larry’s in Fremont. The have a number of upcoming gigs, with the Morse Bluff 125 their next home engagement.

They have recorded a CD with all the songs available on the band’s Facebook page.
Minarick enjoys creativity of Steel Creation

In the Morse Bluff Eagle, published Aug.17, there was a story on 2002 NBC grad Dan Minarick returning to his hometown and opening up a new business. In addition to his first year in business, 2011 was also his first year of marriage and first year living back in Morse Bluff.

“My first year in business has been incredible,” Minarick said. “I have surpassed every goal I set for the business. It makes it much easier having a wife as helpful and supportive as Lynn. I am able to serve more and more customers every week. I am excited by all the unique requests I’ve been asked to create.”

Minarick said moving back to the North Bend/Morse Bluff area was a bit intimidating at first.

“You’re not sure what reputation precedes you,” he said. “Lynn and I were both welcomed to the community with open arms and have really enjoyed small-town living again.”

The first year of marriage was great, but had its ups and downs with Lynn working in Lincoln and Steel Creation being in Morse Bluff. But that has been solved with the couple moving to the area and Lynn getting a job at Platte Valley Bank.

“We are very excited to see more of our generation moving to our community or other small neighboring communities,” Minarick said.

We’ve traveled in every direction...

The 2011 Vacation Eagle was published Oct. 5. One the cover was Mary Magstadt visiting the ancient Treasury of Petra, Jordan (see photo page 7). Magstadt was on a trip with the Nebraska Synod of Evangelical Lutheran churches visiting the six Lutheran churches in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. Visiting the Petra ruins was one of the highlights of her trip. Another moment on her trip that touched her was seeing a mother drop off her two young children at the gate to the West Bank where they were picked up by a taxi and taken to a Lutheran school.

“I go to see the sights, but also to get to know and understand the people and their way of life,” Magstadt said.

As of now, Magstadt has no plans for a trip this year.

Library goes up

There have been many stories on the building of the new city library in the North Bend Eagle throughout 2011. On March 9 the floor plans were published. On April 27 it was reported that a contractor had been chosen. On July 6 a picture in the Eagle showed work starting on the project. We can only hope that before too long in 2012 it will be reported that the building is ready for books and readers.

These are just a few of the highlights updated from 2011. Readers are encouraged to keep the Eagle informed so more local news will fill the pages of the Eagle in 2012.

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