E. Ciro St. in Bloomfield is located between the elementary school and pool. Today, workers plan to pour a section that needs repaired. The whole road needs replaced, but the city has decided to start with a small section that was in dire need of repair.
Bloomfield junior, Jaiden Johnson, was recently chosen to be a state FCCLA officer for the 2019-2020 school year. She is one of 8 throughout the state chosen for the honor.
FCCLA is a career technical student organization that stands for Family Career and Community Leaders of America.
“Our main focus career area is Family and Consumer Sciences,” Johnson said. “Basically, we train and promote people to be leaders in society and prepare for their future when they enter the workforce.”
According to her, the FCCLA mission is focusing on the multiple roles of family member, wage earner, and community leader, members develop skills for life through character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge and career preparation.
FCCLA is one of the few student lead in-school organizations. The organization is beneficial to students because it provides participating youth with skills and knowledge that will last a lifetime.
“It's important since members can help build their self confidence and learn how to be a leader for today and tomorrow,” Johnson said.
The last time Bloomfield had a state officer, it was Sarah Oltjenbruns over 10 years ago.
“I knew that Bloomfield used to be an even stronger chapter back when Sarah was a state officer,” Johsnon said. “Knowing that Bloomfield hasn’t had a state officer in that long, I thought I should try to follow in her footsteps.”
Johnson’s older siblings had also had roles in the FCCLA program in Bloomfield. Her sister was President of the local chapter and her brother served as Treasurer. Johnson said they are ultimately the ones who inspired her to join FCCLA in 7th grade.
“ I never thought back then I would be where I am now,” she said, thinking back to her younger years.
She had considered applying to be a State Officer for awhile. She was nervous about applying because she was going to be a junior while most state officers are seniors. With encouragement from her family and adviser, she realized that this was something she really wanted to pursue.
“I also thought about how much I would be able to benefit my chapter if I made the team,” she said.
Johnson began the three part process and competed against students from all over the state who had applied.
The first step was filling out an application which was scored by a panel of judges. Only 20 applications submitted were selected to move onto round two. Johnson was one of the 20 and moved on to State Officer Candidate Interviews in February at the state office in Lincoln. According to Johnson, there were two different panels of judges that were interviewing.
This panels consisted of the current state officers, past state officers, and many people that help advise state officers. Along with being interviewed, that same day all of the State Officer Candidates got a test on FCCLA requirements and knowledge.
Application, test, and interview scores were combined and the students with the highest total would move on to the third and final round. Johnson was chosen for the final round was held at State Leadership Conference in April.
Candidates had to present to the entire Nebraska delegation at Opening Session. They had to prepare three sentences on what the future of FCCLA looked like to them, prepare a 3 minute speech on how FCCLA helps members believe in themselves, answer a fact and situation question and work through given a problem with all the other candidates.
“Later that night at 10:30 was the letter drop which had a congratulatory letter saying I had made the team” Johnson said.
Out of my team of 8 State Officers there is only two are juniors, the rest are seniors. Johnson said she is more than ready to take on her new role.
“Responsibilities I have are to lead all of our conferences throughout the year and help my team make all decisions on what this year will look like for Nebraska FCCLA,” she said. “Since we are a student led organization, our State Officer Team makes all the decisions on how we lead conferences, how we promote our membership, how we increase involvement, how we connect with members, how we teach people and help people become better leaders and what our theme is for this year.”
Johnson already attended State Officer Leadership Academy back in May. Her and her team networked with all the other Career and Technical Organizations and were trained and taught how to be a State Officer.
Johnson and the other state officers also have responsibilities on the National level as well. This first week of July her team visited Anaheim, Cal. for the National Leadership Conference. There she served as one of the three chosen voting delegates from Nebraska to assist in selecting the 2019-2020 National Executive Council.
“Also in California my team lead all of our three State Meetings for all the members who had qualified for Nationals,” she said.
Although this new journey has proven to be a challenging one for Johnson, she said that is what she enjoys most about it.
“I have always liked to challenge myself and try to push myself to do things outside of my comfort zone and do something different,” she said.
It has just been announced that Bloomfield School's first day for students will be Monday, August 19 due to construction delays.
On July 22, the Bloomfield Ruritan Club donated scholarship money to two recipients. Mitchell Mackeprang (right) was awarded $300 and Will Fehringer (left) was awarded $600 by Garry Young (middle).
A fresh coat of paint and new sign adorn the front of Bloomfield’s newest restaurant, La Vaquera. The new establishment offers Mexican food and has already been providing customers with delicious meals even though their doors have not officially opened.
Last week, La Vaquera started providing pick up and delivery meals of quesadillas, tostadas, burritos, soft or crunchy tacos and bowls at $8.50 per plate.
Owner Sulymar Salazar, currently has hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday through Saturday.
Kristel Mackeprang, co-owner of Country Market right next door to La Vaquera praised the food.
“Their food is awesome,” she said. “Mexican is my favorite kind of food and it did not disappoint.”
In fact, while trying the food, she and some co-workers ordered 4 of the 5 options available right now. She said each one of them was fantastic.
La Vaquera plans on expanding the menu when the restaurant itself opens. Salazar hopes to open the doors to the public Thursday, August 1.Until then, lunches can be ordered by calling 561-376-0972.
The public has spent the last few weeks sneaking a peek on Christy Wagner and her new endeavor Blooms and Bling. After purchasing Petals and More, Wagner changed not only the name of the Bloomfield flower shop, but she is changing the whole aesthetic.
Since purchasing, Wagner has stripped the walls down to the exposed brick, put in new flooring and shiplap, painted and more. People can’t help but to be curious as to what she is up to in there.
Wagner is excited to announce that she has decided to open the doors for business on Monday, July 22.
There will be a grand opening at a later date. Wagner has so many ideas but hasn’t pinned anything down just yet. She has considered bringing in a food truck and make a collaborative event out of it.
She would like to have good deals, give-aways and have other businesses down Broadway stay open later. Her goal is to bring a lot of people to town.
People will definitely notice the new look, but Wagner also has new home decor pieces, wood flowers, candles and more in the store.
She has also gotten her feet wet by already arranging flowers for a funeral before her doors are even open.
“I’ve already sold a lot of plants and have a lot of flowers on hand and made some arrangements,” she said.
Wagner said she really enjoys arranging, especially after a day of working at the motel, it’s almost therapeutic.
“It’s so calming and relaxing,” she said.
Wagner knows that even with the great support she has seen from the community, it will take some time to get everything figured out.
“I’ve never done this before,” she said. “There’s so much to learn, like just how much time it takes when the flowers come in, like trimming all the flowers and putting them into quick dip and put them in the containers.”
She then has to clean all the flower containers and the inside of the cooler every week.
Another thing Wagner will find out with time is her hours of operation. Currently, she is planning on being open Monday through Friday noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon.
“Once we sell the motel, I will have more time to focus on the flower shop,” she said.
She is often there until midnight with these renovations and organizing in progress and has noticed some men coming in and wanting bouquets later at night. Once she gets going, her hours might reflect that as well.
Wagner also plans on delivering as far as Osmond and Niobrara. The previous owners had a lot of luck with receiving business from the north side of Knox County and she plans to continue working with them.
“It is kind of amazing,” she said. “Everyone has been so helpful and the community is so supportive.”
Many florists in the area have reached out to her, telling her to not hesitate to ask for help or advice.
Wagner said the most exciting part is getting to interact with local people again.
“I love working at the motel, don’t get me wrong. I get to meet people from all over and I enjoy that, but I’m excited to get to interact with local people at the flower shop,” she said.
Keep up with Blooms and Bling’s progress on their Facebook page and be sure to stop in on Monday.
Clif Gilsdorf, Lois (Juracek) Kreycik, Jerry Dieckman, Joan (McShannon) Ferante, Dennis Stewart, Sharon (Bingham) Young, Leona (Hallvin) Heithold and Arlene (Schnett) Hallen and their spouses got together to celebrate their 60 year reunion.
The millions of “lean, mean, egg-laying machines” left Governor Pete Ricketts amazed Thursday morning as he toured Michael Foods, where he saw first-hand the $100 million investment made to the local economy.
“It really is amazing,” Ricketts said from the viewing room of one of the new cage-free poultry barns west of Bloomfield. “Just thinking of the logistics of bringing them in, feeding them, taking the eggs out. It’s pretty amazing.”
For the third straight year, Nebraska won the Governor’s Cup for having the most economic development projects per capita in the nation, and Michael Foods played a key role, Ricketts said.
During his stop, Ricketts praised the Knox County facility, which employs 110-120 full-time and 30-40 part-time staff.
“When Michael Foods invests here, that’s great for Bloomfield and all of the surrounding communities — all of Northeast Nebraska — because their $100 million investment is helping to create jobs,” he said.
Ricketts said by 2023, Michael Foods hopes to hire an additional 150-200 employees, which not only is more job opportunities, but it also creates opportunities for local farmers.
“They expect to be using 1 million more bushels of corn. Think about that: That’s on top of the 3 million they’re already using,” he said. “This economic investment is a big deal for the state of Nebraska.”
One of the highlights of the stop included a tour of a newly constructed barns for cageless birds. Michael Foods employees told the governor each building holds about 400,000 birds, and after construction is completed, there will be 2.4 million cage-free birds and 1.6 million caged. Eventually, they said, the Bloomfield farm will be entirely cage-free.
Ricketts asked managers a multitude of questions, ranging from the amount of feed consumed (22-25 pounds per 100 birds) to their life cycle (90-95 weeks with 79 weeks spent laying). The birds are hatched and spend their entire life at Michael Foods, where they are raised specifically for laying eggs.
“The logistics are amazing,” Ricketts repeated while viewing the facility where birds have free run of the system. Michael Foods uses an automated system for egg collection.
Managers said the Bloomfield facility will surpass 1 billion eggs for the year in late November or early December. They said each bird lays about 300 eggs per year.
While at Michael Foods, Ricketts presented a signed copy of the Site Selection magazine as a thank you for their continued commitment and part in winning the national accolades. He said Michael Foods is an example of commitment to the community, and he hopes other communities are as welcoming to companies as Bloomfield.
“It’s important to remember that no company invests in a generic place called Nebraska,” he said. “They only invest in communities and want to be welcomed into those communities. That’s important for Bloomfield and all of the communities. You have to think about how you are welcoming those companies. You have to be pro-active and let them know you want them.”
The Bloomfield/Wausa Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops enjoyed a Family Fun night on Wednesday, June 26 th . Many Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and their families attended a night filled with rain gutter regatta races, roasting hot dogs and singing campfire songs. The winner of the regatta races was Pierce Jeannoutot. All the scouts and family members had fun making the regattas and also racing them. A meal was enjoyed that included roasted hot dogs made over a campfire. Then there was another family activity that included learning some Scout songs and singing them with actions. Attending the event were the following Scouts, Jay Jeannoutot, Noel Kumm, Cliffdyn Pruitt, Gavin Chambers, Cole Pinkelman, Carter Kuhlman, Trace Wakeley, Pierce Jeannoutot, Jase Gerdes, Brock Jeannoutot, Alex Ramponi and Casey Jeannoutot. Siblings of scouts attending, and participating were Reed Pinkelman, Harper Chambers, Brening Kumm and Brooklynn Wakeley. Anyone interested in participating in the next Family Fun night can join them on Wednesday, July 31 st at the beach on the South Dakota side of the Lewis and Clark Dam. Please contact Dana Jeannoutot or Tiffanie Wakeley for details.
Glenda Byerly, her parents Ken and Janet Gill and five children, took two goats to visit residents at the local nursing home a few weeks ago.
“We all thought it would be fun to surprise the staff and residents with the goats,” Byerly said. “They are fainting goats so they are unique.”
These particular goats are small enough for the children to carry throughout the home. The Gills diapered the goats so no messes would be left behind which made for some laughs.
“It sure made the residents smile,” Byerly said. “They would see the diapers on them and just laugh!”
The residents weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the visit. Sophia Lauck, Cohen Gill, Tiernee Freeman, Kaitlyn Byerly and Ava McFarland also enjoyed bringing the goats to see the residents.
They are all 4-H members of various Knox County clubs, according to Byerly.
“They are just good friends wanting to do a random act of kindness,” she said. “The residents all hoped we’d come back again.”