By Dennis L. Morgan
Through the years I’ve been fortunate enough, through my profession, to meet and visit with some really special people. I’ve covered presidential speeches, interviewed legendary coaches and gotten to meet many of my sports heroes. I’ve been allowed to steer the USS Nebraska submarine underwater off the Continental Shelf, I’ve witnessed history in the making and I’ve watched grown men and women cry bitter tears.
I mention this because, over the weekend I had the opportunity to meet and visit with two Nebraskans whom we all should be very proud of. Attending the annual convention of the Nebraska Press Association I had the pleasure of meeting Olympic Gold Mediast Curt Tomasevicz and reigning Miss America Teresa Scanlan.
Tomasevicz gave those attending the Saturday brunch a first-hand account of how he went from being a Husker football standout to a member of the U.S. Olympic four-man bobsled team which won the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada. Many have heard his story before, he has visited the schools here in Elgin during the past year.
Then, Saturday evening, I was given the opportunity to have a few moments with Miss America. She said she’s looking forward to coming to Albion later this year for the Boone County Health Center Gala to be held at the Albion. Anyway, she was my first Miss America to meet and talk to. Later, during the evening banquet, she made brief remarks before heading out into the night to prepare for her next engagement.
For Tomasevicz and Scanlan, they have one thing in common. They are Nebraska ‘kids’. Each grew up in, what many would consider, small towns. Tomasevicz was raised in Shelby, Miss America is a native of Gering. The bobsledder said his teammates find it hard to believe and to understand his upbringing - growing up in Polk County where there isn’t a traffic light in the entire county. The other members of the bobsled team hail from cities with populations of one million or more persons. Scanlan told NPA members that one year ago, on April 16, 2010, she was bagging groceries at a local supermarket. Each had a goal, a dream which drove them. Their Nebraska ‘values’ of hard work and common sense sustained them when times were challenging, all the while making them strong so that when opportunity knocked — they were ready.
Each, she is 18 and he is 30, has already achieved more than many of us will in our lifetimes. But, to their credit, they have not forgotten where they have been, where they are now and where they one day want to be in the future. For Scanlan, the money she has received for being crowned Miss America will go a long way towards completing her undergraduate and graduate education. She hopes to one day be a lawyer. Tomasevicz is continuing his bobsled career at the same time he is a spokesperson for the Nebraska Corn Board.
As if I didn’t have enough banquets to attend at the convention, we returned home Sunday afternoon, then headed out that night to attend the 25th annual Pope John Development Banquet held in Petersburg at Werner Hall.
The night was a special one as more than $70,000 was raised to support Catholic education at Pope John and St. Boniface Schools. Organizers received a big boost towards that goal when they accepted two checks from the Pearle Fritz estate totaling nearly $50,000.
When she passed away, she left her entire estate to charity. A small portion went back to Humboldt, Iowa, where she was born. The remainder stayed here to help continue Catholic education.
I first met Pearle shortly after moving to Elgin in April 2007. She was truly one of Elgin’s characters. She loved to tell stories and she loved to make people laugh. Her last act on this earth was to make the folks at Pope John and St. Boniface smile. She wasn’t in the room when everyone stood and applauded. But, I’m sure she was looking down and smiling, having once again made us smile.
Once again, Mother Nature has shown us just how much she likes to play tricks — a snowstorm on April 15. The wet stuff is nearly all gone as of this writing. So far in my life, I have seen snow fall in Nebraska in nine out of 12 months of the year. If it’s all right with you, I’d just as soon keep it that way and not add a tenth month to the list.
In this space several months ago, I shared how efforts were underway by some state senators to try and have public notices removed from newspapers and placed on government websites. I’m happy to report that through the efforts, primarily of the Nebraska Press Association, proposed legislation which would have made that happen has been defeated — for now.
The association is now focusing its efforts on doing the necessary legwork to encourage every newspaper in the state which publishes legal notices to also make them available on a website so that they may be viewed in the paper and, if citizens choose, on the Internet.
Through the NPA, electronic subscriptions to The Elgin Review are now possible. To the best of my knowledge, we are the only paper in Antelope County to be doing that at the present time.
Jeff and Naomi Pelster are pleased to announce the new blessing in their lives, Chisum Wilfrid Pelster. He was born March 7, 2011, at 10:49 p.m.
He weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 22 inches long.
His proud grandparents are Rod and Laura Gray of Harrison and Kenneth and Carol Pelster of Bartlett.
Great grandparents are Bette Nygren and the late Allan Nygren of Brewster, Wayne Gray and the late Joyce Gray of Tama, Iowa, Alfreda Pelster and the late Wilfrid Pelster of Bartlett, and the late Hillard and Hilda Maly of Croften.
The Elgin Review newspaper was recipient of four awards from the Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the Nebraska Press Association.
The awards were announced Saturday night at the closing banquet of the annual convention which was held this year at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln.
Judged by members of the Iowa Press Association, the awards were for advertising, spot news and photography which appeared in the newspaper between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010.
“We’re honored to be recognized by our peers for the work we do,” Publisher Dennis Morgan said. “We want to provide the best paper to our readers and these awards signify that we’re accomplishing that goal.”
The newspaper received two first place awards. The first was for Best Series of Ads, Black & White. The series was a celebration of 75 years of service to the community by the Bank of Elgin prepared for publication by co-publisher Lynell Morgan. In awarding the Review the first place award, the judges said, “Consistency of headline and logo, teamed with outstanding graphics and trivia makes this series nearly impossible to ignore. Great job!”
The other first place award was for sports news photography. The photo (pictured adjacent to this story) was of the Wolfpack football team players Evan Parks and Corey Schindler bringing down a Burwell ball carrier. It was taken by Dennis Morgan. The judges said, “The best in an exceedingly difficult category. Crisp action, up close and personal, it takes the reader into the game. Excellent capture.”
A second place award was received for best small ad, black and white. The ad was for the Elgin Swimming Pool. “It jumps out at you and makes you check it out,” the judge said. “It makes me want to have my kids take swimming lessons if I had kids.”
The newspaper also received a third place award for spot news coverage. The story was of a one-vehicle accident south of Elgin on Highway 14 which involved a truck belonging to the Nebraska Department of Roads. Two occupants were severely injured in the accident, one requiring a medical helicopter to transport him to Faith Regional in Norfolk. Judges comments about the article were, “Good narrative about a bad accident. The addition of the photo is good for illustrating how bad the damage was.”
“We feel the Elgin Review has improved significantly from where it was four years ago when we purchased it and we continue to be encouraged by the many positive comments we receive from our readers,” Morgan said.
More than 4,100 separate entries, representing 13 dailies and 79 weeklies, were judged by members of the Iowa Newspaper Association. First, second and third place winners were announced Saturday night at an Awards Banquet at the Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln, where more than 200 journalists attended.
The District #18 Board of Education Thursday night hired one new teacher and accepted the resignation of another.
Holding their regular monthly meeting, the board approved the hiring Meghan Boyle to serve as fourth grade teacher for the 2011-2012 school year. From O’Neill, she will soon graduate with a teaching degree from Mount Marty College at Yankton, S.D.
Then, just monents later, the board accepted the resignation of Ellen Davis as Spanish teacher.
“It has been a pleasure to teach here at Elgin Public School for seven years,” she said in her resignation letter. It was not an easy decision to make. Another chapter in my life is opening and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”
According to Superintendent Steve Dennis, a search will begin to find a replacement for Davis.
For the complete story, subscribe to The Elgin Review.
The Pope John 25th Annual Development Dinner was held on Sunday evening, April 17th in Werner Hall, Petersburg. Over 260 tickets were sold for the dinner. Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Larry Shavlik. John & Cindy Temme ran the live auction.
Highlight of the evening is the presentation of the Roncalli Award. The award recognizes an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to the long term advancement of Pope John. Recipients of the 2011 Roncalli Award were the Mildred and late Phillip Pelster family. The Pelster family has the distinct honor of being the only family to have a child, gra-ndchild or great-grand child at Pope John every year since the school opened in 1967. Mildred and Phillip have had 8 children who are Pope John graduates (Dodie Bauer, Bonnie Dinslage, Phyllis Cleveland, Bob Pelster, Jeanette Henn, Jeanine Saner, Marcia Redler and Ginni Fangman). To date they have also had 12 grandchildren graduate from Pope John. And there are 4 grandchildren and 1 great-grand child currently enrolled at Pope John. Their children continue to be actively involved in various committees at the school.
Estate gifts from Blue Legacy member Pearle Fritz were also presented by her attorney Jim Fehringer to school President Fr. Ross Burkhalter and Principal Betty Getzfred. A check for $24,161.92 was presented to the Pope John High School Endowment. An additional check for $ 24,161.92 is to be divided between the St. Boniface Church and School Endowments.
Development Committee members are: Co-presidents: Nick & Beth Ramold, secretary/treasurer Sandi Henn, Duane & Chelle Childers, Bill & Ginni Fangman, Gene Heithoff, Al & Lisa Schrage, Jerry & Tami Schrage, Keith & Diane Schumacher, Sally Meis, Deb Pelster, Kyle and Deb Warren.