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Articles written by Joshua Wood


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  • SUPPORT YOUR FREE PRESS

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Aug 24, 2023

    Police raiding a newspaper and confiscating reporting material seems like something one would expect to find in a banana-republic, or in a scene from a dystopian novel. Yet, that is exactly what happened recently to the Marion County Record. The Record is a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas, serving a population of approximately 1,900 and known for its dogged reporting on various issues affecting the community. On August 11, the newspaper office was raided by the Marion Police Department as was the home of its 98-year-old co-owner, Joan Meyer,...

  • We Are Not Your Enemy

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|May 11, 2023

    Public officials talking about hiring hitmen to take out the publisher and reporter of a newspaper seems like something from a tense, blockbuster thriller rather than reality. Yet, in rural Oklahoma, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is currently investigating such a discussion. The McCurtain County Gazette is like most small-town newspapers. It’s family owned and operated, doesn’t have a website or digital version of its newspaper and stands as watchdog for the community. This responsibility, it seems, is what put the publisher, Bru...

  • Sidney aims for more economic development

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Apr 6, 2023

    By Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers As the Nebraska panhandle continues to prepare for the Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile project, Sidney is still looking for ways to reduce the expected impact, now without the support of Governor Jim Pillen. Jeff Klare, the economic development director, told Sidney City Council on March 28 he had been contacted by Northrop Grumman, the company overseeing the construction of the ballistic missile system in Kimball. According to Klare, the company...

  • Parking and Feasibility

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Apr 6, 2023

    By Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers Changes are coming to downtown Sidney, specifically around Jackson Street with more two hour limit parking. On March 28, the Sidney City Council passed Resolution 2023-03-01 which creates five two hour parking spots in front of the Nebraska Veteran Affairs building. The governing body also gave approval to City Manager David Scott to apply for a Certified Local Government (CLG) grant. Parking Limits Marshall Hall, the chief building officer for the City of Sidney, told the governing body he had been...

  • Re-routing panhandle resources

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Mar 23, 2023

    By Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers As new projects come to the Nebraska panhandle-and with less than 40 miles separating the cities of Kimball and Sidney-public transportation has become more common. In 2017, the Kimball County Transit Service had 7,000 rides. According to director Christy Warner, that number is expected to be approximately 30,000 at the end of this fiscal year. Warner provided this information to the Sidney City Council during their March 14 meeting. "I know this is the...

  • Sidney Officials Upset with Pillen

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Mar 23, 2023

    By Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers Sidney officials are not pleased with Governor Jim Pillen regarding LB 712, and both Mayor Brad Sherman and Vice Mayor Roger Gallaway said as much during the March 14 meeting of the Sidney City Council. The comments from the top officials of Sidney’s governing body came in response to a Letter to the Editor from Pillen published in the Western Nebraska Observer on March 9. In the letter, Pillen explained why he had not included LB 712—a bill which would have provided state funding to the City of Kim...

  • Sidney to invest in more housing

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Mar 9, 2023

    By Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers Like other places throughout the West, Sidney has been facing a housing crunch and a lack of available inventory for a workforce in the Nebraska panhandle. On February 28, the Sidney City Council took a step towards trying to improve the situation by applying for Rural Workforce Housing Funds. Passed in 2017 and signed by Governor Pete Ricketts, the Rural Workforce Investment Housing Act provides matching grants to non-profit organizations that administer such funds. “We’ve been working on putting a lot of...

  • Sidney moves closer to Elks purchase

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Feb 23, 2023

    By Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers The City of Sidney is close to an agreement on the purchase of Elks Lodge 1894. The purchase of the property is an integral part of a project which would renovate the building into a meeting and event venue for both private and public use. At the February 14 meeting of Sidney's governing body, City Manager David Scott told the council he had received an appraisal of the property from Brandt Appraisal Company. According to Scott, a previous purchase agreement...

  • Permission to Speak Freely

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Feb 23, 2023

    By Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers A piece of legislation making its way through the state legislature could expand the rights of the public at meetings from the local to state level if passed. Legislature Bill 637, introduced by Senator Joni Albrecht (R - Lincoln), is scheduled for a hearing on February 24 before the Government, Military and Veteran Affairs Committee. LB637, as introduced, would amend Nebraska State Statute 84-1412 which regulates the meetings of a public body and the rights of the public. Under the current statute, while a...

  • Sidney is Bracing for Impact

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Feb 2, 2023

    With the United State Air Force's new intercontinental ballistic missile system expected to break ground in 2026, the cities of Sidney and Kimball are preparing for impacts from the multi-year project. Fortunately, the two municipalities have allies in the Nebraska State Legislature. Senator Brian Hardin, District 48, and Senator Steve Erdman, District 47, have sponsored legislation which would allocate impact funding for Kimball and Cheyenne counties and surrounding areas. "What they're doing...

  • Mayor Appointed to Housing Authority Board

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Jan 19, 2023

    The Sidney City Council unanimously appointed Mayor Brad Sherman to serve on the Sidney Housing Authority Board at their January 10 meeting. Prior to the appointment, the council discussed the goal of the board and potential upcoming projects. The Sidney Housing Authority Board consists of five members, one of whom is a current member of the city council. Another member must be a resident of either the Sioux Villa Apartments at 1844 Ash Street or the Western Heritage Apartments at 2459 11th...

  • Sidney makes 'mini' transactions for departments

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Jan 19, 2023

    The Sidney City Council approved expenditures for two different vehicles during their January 10 meeting. One will help reduce costs for the public transportation department while the other will increase productivity for the electric department. Moving Forward The public transportation department will be adding a minivan to its fleet, which consists of two 12-passenger buses. According to Public Transportation Director Kasey Kantor, operations of "Handi-Ride", Sidney's public transportation,...

  • Water we looking at here?

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Jan 19, 2023

    Sidney City Council discussed two engineering bids for the wastewater treatment facility on January 10. Most notable to the governing body was the discrepancy between the two bids, with one ten times that of the other. In December 2022, the City of Sidney Wastewater Treatment Facility published a request for engineering qualifications bid regarding the replacement of equipment at the influent pump station. The City received two bids, one from MC Schaff of Scottsbluff and one from Olsson and Associates of Denver, Colorado. When presented with...

  • The Sidney Star Still Shines

    Joshua Wood|Dec 29, 2022

    It's not often that someone inherits a hallmark of city history when they buy a house, but that is exactly what happened to Mary Brumage and her husband when they moved to Sidney three years ago. "We moved from the rat race of Aurora, Colorado to our dream home in this amazing little town of Sidney," said Brumage. "Unbeknownst to us at the time, we also inherited a multigenerational holiday emblem, the Sidney Star." Of course, when Brumage and her husband first looked at the house in 2019, they...

  • New economic development director says Sidney needs to 'lay out the welcome mat'

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Dec 22, 2022

    For decades, Sidney was synonymous with Cabela's. In many ways, it still is as the flagship store is located right along Interstate 80. Following the merger with Bass Pro Shops and the relocation of its corporate offices, the city was left with only one option: forge a new identity. Now, three years later, Jeff Klare aims to do just that. Recently hired as the Economic Development Director for the City of Sidney, Klare brings with him experience from both the private and public sectors. He and...

  • City council elects Brad Sherman mayor, terminates building lease with UST Global

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Dec 22, 2022

    The snowstorm which shutdown Sidney last week also led to a truncated meeting of the Sidney City Council on December 14, which was scheduled to meet a day earlier on December 13. Due to this, the governing body conducted only essential business on the advice of City Attorney J. Leef. Business items included the swearing in of new council members and election of mayor and vice mayor, and discussion on the building at 812 13th Avenue leased from the City of Sidney by UST Global. New, Old Faces...

  • One dead following single-vehicle semi-truck accident; Multiple agencies respond to tractor-trailer accident which blocked westbound interstate traffic on December 3

    Joshua Wood|Dec 8, 2022

    A 42-year-old Illinois resident is dead following a single-vehicle accident involving a tractor trailer on Interstate 80. According to a press release from the Cheyenne County Attorney, multiple agencies—including the Nebraska State Patrol Hazardous Materials Team—were dispatched to the scene of the crash on the evening of December 3. The tractor and trailer were blocking both sides of westbound Interstate 80 traffic with the driver presumed deceased. This was later confirmed by Cheyenne County Deputy Josh Deines. While investigating the acc...

  • Past decisions and present consequences

    Joshua Wood, Stevenson Newspapers|Nov 17, 2022

    On November 8, while voters were deciding the future of the Sidney City Council, the governing body held a lengthy discussion about the past, present and future of the city. The discussion was initiated by Victoria Loghry, who owns buildings and businesses in Sidney including the Pedalers Corner at 840 9th Avenue. Loghry's concerns were twofold; one centered around plans to landscape around Pedalers Corner and another dealt with electrical conduit on another building downtown resulting from...

  • Dude's Still has 'Steak' in Community

    Barbara Perez Joshua Wood|Nov 10, 2022

    When one thinks of Sidney, they might associate the Nebraska Panhandle city with Cabela's. While the "world's foremost outfitter" is certainly a destination for many, locals know the true Sidney icon isn't found on Interstate 80 but on US Highway 30. For 70 years, Dude's Steakhouse and Branding Iron Bar has been a landmark of Western Nebraska. Founded in 1952 by Deward and Florence Jelinek, Dude's is currently in its third generation. This in itself is an accomplishment as only about 13% of...

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