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Articles written by Ryan Hermens

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  • Wilkinson's appeal moved to Nebraska Supreme Court

    Ryan Hermens|Feb 9, 2016

    The Nebraska Supreme Court will hear former Sidney Police Chief B.J. Wilkinson's appeal of a misdemeanor conviction and 30-day jail sentence. The court is set to hear oral arguments in the case on March 31 in Omaha. Wilkinson pleaded no contest to a charge of obstructing government operations last July. The charge related to pulling a citation that had been issued to Sidney's then-public services director. After being ordered to serve 30 days in jail, Wilkinson appealed the conviction and...

  • Photos sought for display celebrating Nebraska's 150th

    Ryan Hermens|Feb 8, 2016

    Nebraska's 150th anniversary is just a year away, and a trio of groups is working to celebrate the hallmark with a display of photographs from throughout the state. "Do you have original photos of well-known historic places or hidden treasures from across Nebraska? Would you like to have your county take part in the state's 150th birthday celebration in 2017?" a press release announcing the call for photos states. "If so, you're in luck." The project is called "Bridges: Sharing our Past to Enric...

  • School state testing interrupted, again, by online breakdowns

    Ryan Hermens|Feb 5, 2016

    The Nebraska State Board of Education has said it will look for a new direction in state testing after outages disrupted thousands of Nebraska students last month. "On Thursday, some State Board of Education members expressed dismay and frustration when they learned that Nebraska students were once again shut out of their online writing tests – twice in late January and, on another occasion, lost access to online testing tools," a press release from the Nebraska Department of Education s...

  • Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feed set for next week

    Ryan Hermens|Feb 4, 2016

    The Christ Episcopal Church in Sidney will hold its annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feed on Tuesday. The all-you-can-eat pancake feed has been held for decades and always takes place the day preceding Ash Wednesday. Rev. Tar Drazdowski said the tradition of Shrove Tuesday extends back to the Middle Ages. "Shrove" takes its name from "shriving" – the act of confessing in preparation of Lent. Historically, churchgoers were prohibited from consuming meat, eggs and milk products during Lent, and S...

  • Woman charged with making child porn challenges case against her

    Ryan Hermens|Feb 4, 2016

    Kristen Gulley, the Sterling, Colo. woman accused of taking sexually explicit photographs of a toddler in 2013, has filed a motion arguing there is insufficient evidence to continue the case against her. In November, a Cheyenne County Court judge ruled there was probable cause to bind the case over to district court, where felony cases are typically heard. Three days later, Michael Snyder, Gulley's attorney, filed a plea in abatement, challenging the county court's ruling. Earlier this week,...

  • The big dig

    Ryan Hermens|Feb 3, 2016

    Area residents were busy Wednesday morning digging out vehicles, sidewalks and driveways after more than 14 inches of snow fell in Sidney during the previous 48 hours. School districts in the county remained closed as maintenance crews worked to clear building entrances. Because the storm continued dumping snow throughout Tuesday, the City of Sidney and Cheyenne County road departments halted most snow clearing operations. Early on Wednesday morning, however, operations resumed. A snow...

  • Tremendous snow storm hits region

    Ryan Hermens|Feb 2, 2016

    Phil didn't see his shadow today, which means spring is supposedly on its way. But don't tell that to western Nebraska. An extraordinary amount of snow fell in the region throughout Monday evening and into Tuesday morning. Law enforcement officials and first responders are imploring residents to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary. A snow emergency, issued on Monday morning, continues to be in effect in Sidney. Schools, businesses and governmental offices were closed on Tuesday because of...

  • Sleeping Beauty

    Ryan Hermens|Feb 1, 2016

    More than 60 area youth participated in last weekend's production of "Sleeping Beauty." The Missoula Children's Theatre presented the play and was in town all week working with the cast and crew or the production....

  • Commercial Resins Co. to leave county

    Ryan Hermens|Feb 1, 2016

    A pipe coating company in Cheyenne County that employs 25 workers will be closing or changing hands. Commercial Resins Co. operates a facility north of Brownson, near the Cabela's Distribution Center. General manager Chad McLaughlin said the company hasn't yet prepared an official statement and the ultimate fate of the facility remains uncertain. "The thing that is going to happen is Commercial Resins is going to close on this site," he said. "So there'll either be a transfer of ownership or...

  • Sidney blasts past Hershey, Chadron

    Ryan Hermens|Feb 1, 2016

    After its first loss of the season to Scottsbluff a little more than a week ago, the Sidney High boys basketball team (17-1) responded on Friday and Saturday with two decisive victories. On Friday, the Raiders beat Chadron, 65-35. Twenty-four hours later, Sidney topped Hershey 63-34. "I think we had a really good week of practice after that loss to Scottsbluff," Sidney head coach Eric Kohl said. An emphasis during the week was ball control, he said, and on Saturday, the Raiders had just six...

  • Home on the range

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 29, 2016

    A group of deer enjoyed the sunshine in Sidney on Friday afternoon in a field south of U.S. Highway 30 near Fort Sidney Road. While the region has experienced spring-like weather in the past few days, snow is again in the forecast. According to the National Weather Service, the region could experience snow beginning on Saturday night and lasting through Tuesday. The high temperature for Monday is forecast to only reach 29 degrees Fahrenheit....

  • Art Guild to offer day-long workshops

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 29, 2016

    The Cheyenne County Art Guild is kicking off a series of art workshops for beginners in February. Cindi Egging said the guild has been around for more than four decades and in recent years, artists from out of town have been brought in to lead more advanced training sessions. “This year, we thought, well, we have certain areas we’re all accomplished in – we can lead beginning classes,” she said. The classes – which include sessions in watercolors, oils, pastels and concept art – are aimed at beginners, she said. “We’re going to start with the...

  • Jason Assad loses appeal case

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 29, 2016

    The Nebraska Court of Appeals ruled against Jason Assad last week when it affirmed a trial court's conviction of the Sidney man for first degree false imprisonment, terroristic threats, use of a weapon to commit a felony and two counts of felon in possession of a deadly weapon. Assad, who turns 37 on Sunday, was convicted of the charges on April 17, following a three-day trial. It took a Cheyenne County jury of seven men and five women less than three hours to reach its unanimous decision last... Full story

  • Commercial Resins Co. to leave county

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 29, 2016

    A pipe coating company in Cheyenne County that employees 25 workers will be closing or changing hands. Commercial Resins Co. operates a facility north of Brownson, near the Cabela’s Distribution Center. General manager Chad McLaughlin said the company hasn’t yet prepared an official statement and the ultimate fate of the facility remains uncertain. “The thing that is going to happen is Commercial Resins is going to close on this site,” he said. “So there’ll either be a transfer of ownership or we’ll shut eventually. We’re not sure what our d... Full story

  • Area youth to stage 'Sleeping Beauty' on Saturday

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 28, 2016

    Dozens of area youth have been rehearsing this week in preparation for a public performance of "Sleeping Beauty" at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Sidney High School Performing Arts Center. Molly Malady and Whitney Ward, of the Missoula Children's Theatre, are the production's directors and having been working with the actors since parts were cast on Monday. The High Plains Arts Council is sponsoring the performance. "Sleeping Beauty" is an original adaptation of the classic fairy tale. "One simple...

  • 2016 Cattle Drive - Bernie Fehringer: chemist, lawyer, farmer

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 28, 2016

    After careers as a chemist and then patent attorney, Bernie Fehringer returned to his roots near Peetz, Colo., nearly three decades ago to become a farmer. "He always talked about returning to the farm, and I thought, well, this will never happen," said his wife, Sharon, with a laugh. Fehringer and his family had lived on both coasts of the U.S. – any many places in between – before his father passed away and the future of the family farm was left uncertain. "My dad got cancer and died, and it w...

  • Cleanup nears completion

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 27, 2016

    A salvage crew cleaning up the aftermath of a train derailment 10 miles west of Sidney has nearly completed its work. In the early hours of Dec. 21, a Union Pacific train collided with a semi truck trailer that had high centered at a grade crossing. There were no injuries, but three locomotives and seven railcars derailed....

  • Search committee holds interviews with city manager candidates

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 27, 2016

    Three candidates shortlisted for the Sidney city manager position were in town Tuesday for interviews with the search committee tasked with making a final recommendation to the Sidney City Council. Last week, the city announced the three finalists: Cheryl Beatty, assistant city manager and finance director of Junction City, Kan.; Dan Dean, former town manager of Mead, Colo.; and Ed Sadler, city manager of Webster City, Iowa. At Tuesday's city council meeting, the council entered a closed...

  • Sun shines in Sidney

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 26, 2016

    After a slight snowfall on Sunday night and scattered flurries on Monday, the sun was out in the region on Tuesday. Temperatures are expected to climb in the coming days and reach a high of 54 degrees Fahrenheit by Friday....

  • Fire at Sidney landfill extinguished without incident

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 26, 2016

    A fire that broke out at the Sidney landfill on Monday afternoon was quickly extinguished without injury or damage to equipment. "The only thing we can think of is we got some hot ashes," Sidney Solid Waste Superintendent Rob Campbell said. The fire broke out in a bale pit, he said. "We were able to dig through it, and with the dozer and equipment, get down to it and pull it out," Campbell explained, "and then the fire department sprayed some water on it." It took about an hour to extinguish...

  • Peetz schools' stakeholders look at new approaches to education

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 26, 2016

    A group of students, teachers and administrators at the Peetz Plateau School District is brainstorming ways to better engage students and prepare them for the future while continuing to meet state standards and learning benchmarks. Last week, about 50 people turned out for a screening of the new documentary, "Most Likely to Succeed." The film, directed by Greg Whiteley, examines the history of the U.S. education system and contrasts previous educational models with the skills needed to be...

  • Wheat Belt explores possible renewable energy project

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 25, 2016

    The Wheat Belt Public Power District inked an agreement last week to examine developing a renewable energy project. "The agreement starts the process to determine a technology, size and economic benefit for a renewable energy project for Wheat Belt," Tim Lindahl, Wheat Belt CEO, said in an email. The agreement was approved at a Wheat Belt board of directors meeting last week. "Bluestem Energy Solutions is a developer of renewable energy and will be developing a utility-scale renewable project...

  • Basketball MACtion

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 22, 2016

  • Sidney Public Schools releases annual report

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 22, 2016

    Enrollment at the Sidney Public School District continues to climb, and reached nearly 1,400 students during the 2014-15 school year. Since 2012, when 1,250 students attended the district's seven schools, enrollment has steadily increased. Those numbers were recently released as part of the district's annual report to the community. "The purpose of [the] 'Sidney Report Card' is to communicate how Sidney Public Schools is doing instructionally and financially," an introduction to the report...

  • Construction begins at Cabela's housing development

    Ryan Hermens|Jan 21, 2016

    Construction at The Ranch, Cabela's housing subdivision on the east side of Sidney, began earlier this work. Crews started excavation work at four lots on Monday, and foundations for all sites should be poured by next week. Plans call for more than 700 homes to be built, in phases, on property the Sidney-based retailer purchased in 2012. The final plat for the first phase of the project received approval from the city council in 2014. While Cabela's' developed a master plan for the residential...

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