A new face has joined the ranks of Elgin’s ministry team.
Rev. Kevin Vogel said his first masses at St. Boniface (Elgin) and St. Bonaventure (Raeville) churches on July 2 and 3, 2016.
While he has been an Associate Pastor in the large parish of St. Columbkille in Papillion, the size of the two parishes should feel normal to Vogel, a farm boy from Howells, Nebraska.
“I think it’s very similar to Howells,” Fr. Vogel told the Elgin Review last Thursday. If you heard him this past Sunday, he explained it this way to parishioners. “In Howells, we have two Catholic churches. One is Czech and one is German. We have two because you can’t mix religions.” The congregation got the joke.
A graduate of Howell’s High School, Fr. Vogel attended the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
“I studied physics,” he said. He studied “math and physics so I was there for four years. My thought was that I was going to go into graduate work too. But God had different ideas.”
When he’s not tending to needs of the parishes or the schools (Pope John XXIII Central Catholic and St. Boniface Elementary School), Fr. Vogel has a few hobbies that keep him occupied.
“I like to read. I like to not only listen to music but learn to sing music, especially sacred music - especially chant because it only requires one voice. I really like pieces that have the multiple voices but I can’t do that by myself,” he said with a laugh. He added, “I like to go hiking and stuff like that.” Embracing technology, he has a number of videos posted on his youtube channel. Simply search for “Fr. Kevin Vogel”.
He’s only been in the area for little over a week but impressions are forming.
“It’s been great. I’ve been welcomed very well. I’m getting to know people but I don’t have that gift of remembering names the first time so it may take a few times before I can remember them all,” he said. Parts of being plopped down into a deep-rooted community can be confusing. “How families are connected to one another, it’ll take awhile to pick up on all that”.
The community has been inviting to the new priest. “The first couple of nights, I had a number of invitations and things like that. I’m getting right into the flow of things in the parish of getting together for different meetings, learning about all of the things that are going on. It’s a good thing it’s in the summer time, there are certain things that are a little slower,” he noted, appreciating that he’ll have time to get up to speed before school begins.
A couple things in addition to his hobbies that might be good to know about Fr. Vogel:
Favorite Color: “Some might say black (he laughs) but actually it’s green.”
Favorite Food: “I have to say Thanksgiving meal is my favorite. It’s also around my birthday (it’s in November) so when my parents would ask what I wanted (to eat) for my birthday I would say ‘I want my Thanksgiving dinner!’.” If you’re preparing a meal for Fr. Vogel, he says he likes basically everything, except “bad” seafood. By “bad”, he means the cheaper quality fish sticks, etc. “Fish fries are very, very good,” he added.
Fr. Vogel looks forward to his time here in Elgin and Raeville. “I’m excited to be here and learn all sorts of new things. When they first told me that I was having a school, being a first-time pastor, that was a little intimidating,” Fr. Vogel confessed. “I love teaching about the faith. I think in the newsletter (Stump & Axe) they have the question and answer things so if someone wants to do that or they can come and talk to me about anything.”
As mentioned in the opening line, Fr. Vogel joins a group of pastors with years of experience serving the people of Elgin. At Trinity Lutheran Church, Pastor David Kuhfal has served his congregation since 1995. Pastor Michael Davis has served the Elgin United Methodist Church since 2007 and his wife, Pastor Janet Davis, has served Park Congregational U.C.C. Church in rural Elgin since 2009.
Having approved a fourth wind farm for Antelope County earlier this year, it’s going to be awhile before any future wind farms are approved.
Meeting last week, the Antelope County Board of Supervisors adopted a six-month moratorium on wind farm. The moratorium means Antelope County will not accept conditional use permit applications for any new wind farms. Antelope County Attorney Joe Abler went on to tell the supervisors that the moratorium will remain in effect for the full six months or should such a time come where new zoning regulations have been adopted. New zoning regulations would first have to be studied, approved and recommended to the county supervisors for final approval.
The moratorium will not affect the conditional use permit approved recently for Upstream Wind Energy for construction of a 160+ wind turbine farm to be located primarily north and east of Elgin. Nor will it affect the operation of three existing wind farms, Prairie Breeze I, II and III located primarily around the Elgin community.
That wasn’t the only matter involving wind farms which the supervisors dealt with at the July 5 meeting. Zoning Administrator Liz Doerr informed the supervisors that county resident Judy Wilcox had contacted her about a blade on a wind turbine east of Elgin which had malfunctioned, shutting down the wind turbine. Doerr said Wilcox was concerned about safety since a number of wind turbines’ lights were no longer working.
The road has been closed to all but local traffic, according to Road Boss Casey Dittrich.
Also during the meeting, considerable time was spent discussing whether to target county funds towards road repairs or buying new equipment to use as opposed to hiring equipment for work to be done. After a good exchange of ideas and dollar amounts, the supervisors agreed to seek bids for road maintenance equipment.
From Asphalt To Gravel
Nearly a year ago, it was hinted at. Now, for at least one mile near Elgin, it has come to be. As Antelope County continues to wrestle with increasing maintenance and repair costs on its hard-surfaced roads, it has begun to make the decision that some of those roads will be returning to gravel.
Last August, Antelope County Supervisor LeRoy Kerkman visited with The Elgin Review about the numerous factors that the county has to weigh as they discuss the hard-surfaced roads. Costs of repairs and consideration of the amount of traffic on specific roads has led to the removal of asphalt on a nearby road.
If you are a frequent user of the black top that goes south between 527th and 528th avenues (527-1/2 Avenue) east of Elgin, you already know about the change. The road was asphalted in the 60s and recently the asphalt on the first mile between 839 and 838 roads has been removed.
Supervisor Kerkman said that it will not be returned to asphalt. “We’re turning it back to gravel,” he said told the Elgin Review last Thursday. Drivers need to know that the initial turn south off of 839 RD (the blacktop going east out of Elgin) is now gravel and to drive accordingly.
By Lynell Morgan
What has become home for Dave Sullivan was supposed to be a footnote in his life.
Forty four years after he first stepped foot in Elgin, he has officially retired as president of the Bank of Elgin. Sullivan sat down with the Elgin Review on Sunday and looked back at his years in Elgin and at the bank.
A native of Omaha, he served in the Army in Vietnam and returned home in December of 1971. His then-girlfriend-now-wife Joyce was finishing up her final semester at Wayne State College. In the spring of 1972, she signed a contract to teach at Elgin Public School.
“I moved into town, didn’t know a soul and didn’t have a job,” Sullivan shared. “I told her, ‘don’t sign your contract for next year because we’re not staying’,” he continued with a laugh. No one can deny there is a definite difference between Omaha and Elgin. Small town living is an acquired taste.
Sullivan soon found a job in insurance in Neligh. “I sold insurance for Bob Gaskill, Gaskill Insurance, for two years,” he said. The move to working in Elgin happened along by chance.
“Dick Draper had a young kid working down there (Draper Insurance) from Minnesota who’s dad had a heart attack. The kid quit and went back to Minnesota to help on the farm. I thought, ‘you know, I’ll just go down there and ask him for a job’ and so I did.” Draper hired Sullivan at that time and, while his office location and title has changed, he’s remained in that building for forty two years.
Sullivan began selling insurance and moved on to doing loans. In 1980, Sullivan was named vice president at the bank.
His biggest career move came in 1996. Dick Draper passed away and he was named the bank president and CEO. Around that time, the family was looking to sell the bank and insurance business.
“We got a group of local people together and bought it,” he said.
Everyone, no matter how much they love their job, thinks about their retirement.
“I had been thinking about it just in the last year or so,” Sullivan said. This past year, the Sullivans decided to spend a little more time “down south” during the winter months.
“Usually we take off and go a couple of weeks in the winter, to like Mexico or something,” he explained. “It’s always good to come back though. We went down to Arizona (this year), wanted to see what that was like. We rented a house for three months….we have a lot of friends from Albion down there.” Never one to waste time when he makes a decision, the next step surprised even him. “We were down there just a week or so and we ended up buying a house.”
“I talked to all the directors, I told them ‘I’m going to take off all winter months and when I come back I’m going to decide whether I’m going to work or not’,” Sullivan explained. Then with a grin he added, “I came back and I didn’t go back to work.” He did admit to needing a few days at the bank cleaning out his office. “Oh, there was still stuff in there from when Dick Draper was there.”
His biggest adjustment will likely be not seeing his staff and customers routinely. “I’m going to miss the people I work with and seeing my customers on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “We’ve been lucky, we’ve always had great people down there to work with. We’ve had really qualified people working there.” While the employees faces and names don’t change often, technology had tremendously changed the banking business.
“I used to do the daily statement, writing down every transaction. It could take two hours each morning, depending on how busy it was the day before,” he said. Now it’s all computerized and just prints out the next day.
Sullivan knows that the bank is in good hands. “Gary Arehart is taking over (as bank president) - he’s been taking over for the past couple of years anyway. We have a great, knowledgeable Board of Directors,” he noted. Sullivan will remain on the Board of Directors and is a shareholder in the locally-owned bank.
“It’s good to have a strong community bank. We’ve been a lot of support for the town, the schools, the churches,” Sullivan mused. “It’s nice that we could do that.”
Always a forward-thinker, Sullivan is preparing for whatever life throws at him. “I’ve got my cemetery plot bought. I always like to tell people that I started at the bottom and I’m working my way down.”
Joyce announced her retirement last month as librarian at the Elgin Public Library. Dave made his “official” this past week as bank employees and friends gathered to wish them both well.
So what does he see as part of his retirement years? “Golf. And golf,” he said about his time to be spent in Elgin during the summer months. He left his motorcycle in Arizona as there is a large group down there that rides so he’ll likely be putting in road time during the winter months. Along with golf.
July 7, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
Selected for the July “Yard Of The Month” award Tuesday was Peggy and Kurt Hanlin who live in the 300 block of Pine Street in Elgin. They’ve been adding to the landscape of their house annually since 1998. Among the additions is a plant for each of the seven exchange student they have hosted through the years. If you drive by, be sure to check out their backyard. They, like last month’s YOTM Jochums, have done an amazing job with plantings, landscaping and upkeep. The award is given monthly by the Young-N-Lively Club and The Elgin Review. Congratulations!
July 7, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
Paige Nichols and Jaime Hoefer will be returning from their San Diego, CA trip with some extra luggage. The duo competed today (Thursday, July 7) at the FCCLA National Convention and both earned gold medals.