The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper USA, LLC

Good Old Days 12-18-15


Compiled By Delaney Uhrig

These stories from the past first appeared in The Sidney Telegraph. Original writing is preserved, though some stories were shortened for space reasons.

50 Years Ago

'School Heads Continuing Project

For Educational

Service Unit'

Dec. 17, 1965

School administrators in the four counties – Kimball, Deuel, Cheyenne, Garden – of the District 19 Educational Service Unit are letting no grass grow under their feet.

The school heads and county superintendents have had two meetings since the passage of LB 301 establishing the service units and have discussed projects of worth that can be suggested to the District 19 board when it is named by Governor Morrison.

The administrators have also named a steering committee from among themselves to set up projects and policies to presented to the entire group for consideration.

Named at the second meeting held Thursday night in Kimball was a steering committee composed of two representatives from each of the four counties involved. At the Thursday night session the group brought up more project suggestions. These included establishing an inservice training program for teachers in the four counties; setting up a materials center; and a health service project. At an earlier meeting, held in Sunol, the administrators had suggested the taping of educational television programs for use in the schools at any time, the establishment of psychiatric service for the four counties and other projects.

It was agreed Thursday that one specific project should be selected and all efforts should be put forth to make this a success before going on to other projects.

40 Years Ago

'Yuletide Sales

Proceed Well'

Dec. 19, 1975

The climax of the Christmas shopping season between now and Wednesday will find many Cheyenne County merchants encouraged with sales so far, a spot check indicated this morning.

December sales are one of the most important factors in the overall success of some retail merchants, and several contacted this morning said results are heartening.

Last year, December sales in Cheyenne County reached about $2.3 million, the Nebraska Department of Revenues reports. Sales by county businesses for the full year reached $25.9 million, the department said.

This year, sales are "equal or better to 1974, even considering inflation," according to Dave Sherrerd, owner of the Gift Shop of Sidney. Shopping started earlier and has maintained a steadier pace than last year, he said.

Weather is a factor, merchants say. "Show and stormy weather gets shoppers into the Christmas spirit and they all head for town to shop when they are in the mood," one merchant said. "The big push will be during the next four days, and all of us will be busy with last minute shoppers."

"I know some families who haven't even started yet," he added.

Dick Fix at Fix Pharmacy said sales have been "better than last year and really better than anticipated." He added: "The pubic is still buying personal care items more consistently pleased with the season, which began around Thanksgiving and has continued steady."

Other merchants said gift buyers seem to be concentrating on the usefulness of their purchases. Small appliances, clothing, sporting equipment are popular items, they said.

"I have noticed small appliances and household items selling faster than toys," said Harold Powers at the Western Auto store. "I can't complain about toy sales, either, but there's a lot of concur for usefulness."

Powers, too, said business has been on a par with a year earlier or perhaps a bit better. "Shoppers are looking for quality, and they're comparing prices."

John Laing, manager of Pennys Store, said shoppers are selective but "if you have the merchandise they want, they'll buy it."

25 Years Ago

'Electronic Probation

In County Debut'

Dec. 18, 1990

Cheyenne County will have its first experience with a new probation plan Dec. 29 when Terry Nation, 22, is released from county jail but will be wearing a transmitter to assure probation officials that he is at home when he is supposed to be.

Nation, who authorities say has a long history of problems with the law, including theft, use of drugs, drunken driving and attempting to avoid arrest, was the fourth person in the 11-county Nebraska Panhandle selected for the new Intensive Supervision Probation.

Randy Meyers, adult coordinator for Region A, which is the Panhandle, said he recommended intensive supervision probation for Nation after nation violated his regular probation when he was arrested for drunk driving. Rather than to see Nation sent to state prison, Meyers recommended the intensive probation to the court because, despite his record, Nation is not believed to be violent.

Cheyenne County District Judge John Knapp sentenced Nation Nov. 27 to three years of the new intensive probation, the first 60 days of which is to be on electronic monitoring.

Nation will have a small lightweight device strapped and locked onto his ankle which will transmit signals to an electronic device plugged into his telephone jack in his residence. Signals are transmitted to Lincoln anytime he is at home and any interruption of the signal will indicate he as left his residence. Nation has a job and will, of course, ,be allowed to be away from home during working hours and also during attendance at required rehabilitation meetings such as AA or counseling. He will be essentially under house arrest at any other times.

"Up to now Nebraska judged have had only two choices in sentencing law offenders – prison or regular probation," said Meyers.

This provides them a middle ground choice. If an offender is dangerous, he belongs in prison. But prisons don't rehabilitate. Most prisoners come out worse than they went in."

10 Years Ago

'City Remains Active

on Affordable Housing'

Dec. 15, 2005

Affordable housing is a very hot topic in Sidney and we are among the lucky ones.

Starting in 1967, the Sidney Housing Authority became the largest landlord in the county, providing residents with 113 affordable places to rent, including apartments at Sioux Villa and eventually Western Heritage.

The Sidney Housing Authority is under the umbrella of the city of Sidney.

While a one-bedroom apartment averages $381 per month rent in Cheyenne County according to the Washington-based National Low Income Housing Coalition annual Out of Reach Report released Tuesday, a one-bedroom in Sioux Villa is only $218.

Two bedrooms in the county average $502 and are $238 at Sioux Villa.

Prices for a three-bedroom at Sioux Villa are $252 to $276 per month while the county average is $652.

Sidney City Manager Gary Person said Sidney is fortunate to have a large rise in average household income. He attributes the nearly $7,000 per-household rise between 2004 and 2005 to the city's aggressive economic development program.

"We have a better wage rate than the rest of the region," Person said. "That's why people want to work in Sidney."

Person said the recent rise in rental rates is probably a result of a high demand for housing in the community.

"It is a supply and demand theory. It also shows that as a community we need to work hard to provide low and moderate income housing. Traditionally those types of housing are subsidized," he said.

With 40 percent of Nebraskans unable to afford to live in a two-bedroom dwelling according to the out of Reach Report, Person finds little relief that only 37 percent of Cheyenne County citizens cannot afford two bedrooms.


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