2018-Year in Review


January 3

-Deeanna Engle is awarded MHCC Provider of the Year for 2017

-Niobrara County college students make the list: Matthew VandeBossche, Rachel Lashmett, Kassidy Miller, Jacob Muir, Morgan Lamar, Jacob Heil, and Nicholas Johnson.

-The long-lost Stat Rat returned reminiscing about Wyoming hoops celebrities Kenny Sailors, Curt Gowdy and Al Simpson.

January 10

-Councilwoman Katelynn Miller steps down from Lusk Town council to pursue her paramedic license

-Lusk local Brian Clark opens C&H Tire and Trailer Repair, LLC on Main Street in Lusk.

-Local artist, Carla Stroh, was featured in the “10 X 10: 10 Artists, 10 Subjects, 100 Points of View” exhibit at the West Nebraska Arts Center in Scottsbluff, Neb.

Obituaries: Carol Joyce (Hammond) Zerbe, September 5, 1941 – January 5, 2018; Larry Gubbels, June 8, 1942 – January 8, 2018

January 17

-The Lusk Herald announces the addition of Heather Goddard to their staff. She joins as an advertising sales rep and will focus mainly on digital media.

-An acronym for Moms of Preschoolers, a new MOPS Chapter has been formed by Niobrara locals Heather Goddard, Michelle Kremers, Lindsey Gill and Melissa VandeBerg.

-Niobrara School district continues with the homegrown lunch program with recent beef contributions by Paul and Lucy Luker, the Werner family and Bob and Polly Johnson. 

Obituaries: Mary Ellen (Wenner) Kaan Brightwell, July 14, 1932 – January 4, 2018

January 24

-Four individuals were involved in a multi-vehicle accident north of Lusk.

-Members of the Recreation Boys’ Traveling Basketball Team delivered water to the refs during time-outs and halftimes during the Tiger – Cyclone games. 

-Shawna Cole, Marianne Kaumo and Krissy Rasmussen, all from Lusk, made the Dean’s Honor Roll at EWC.

Obituaries: Roy Joe Gatzemeyer, August 30, 1936 – January 5, 2018; Anne Hill Sager, December 1, 1935 – January 13, 2018

January 31

-Miss Rodeo Wyoming is 21-year-old Morgan Wallace. She currently resides in Laramie where she is studying Ag Communications at the University of Wyoming. LEMS in Lusk was her first Wyoming-State official visit of her reign.

-Tiger Pride Booster Club serving meals at games to raise money for Post Prom, colored ink for athletic programs and scholarships.

-Emma Ceaglske, daughter of Kenny and Tammy Ceaglske, is NCHS January Student of the Month

Obituaries: Susanne Burnham “Sue” Cross, September 16, 1942 – January 24, 2018

February 7

-The High 12 Club Prize & Fun Night, (formerly known as the Sportsman’s Banquet) held their annual event and raised $5800 to help Tim Schrader who was severely injured in a car wreck in January. 

-Helpmate is seeking domestic violence advocates

-The museum has come into the possession of a large bell which is believed to have once hung in the belfry of the Baptist Church.

Births: Hayes Leonard Phipps – December 10 2017,  6 lbs  3 oz 19 in

Obituaries: Lori Ann Jacobson, May 13, 1958 – January 31, 2018

February 14

-Izaak Mendoza wrote about the amazing places that music can take you; like his trip to the Super Bowl LII half time show with the “Pride of Minnesota” Marching Band that played alongside Justin Timberlake.  

-A Valentine’s Day dance was held at the Pizza Place opened to all Niobrara County residents. This was a family-friendly event, and there are more events of this type in the planning. 

-Local woman, Kelly Sherman, suffered a stroke and, if not for the fast actions of her friend, Ellen Williams, things could have been a lot worse. The Pub is sponsoring a benefit Taco Bar and Auction in order to help raise funds for the family.

February 21

-2015 NCHS Meghan Proctor competed in the Miss Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo Queen on Jan, 27, 2018 where she took the crown.

-Clayton and Allison Williams have been selected to perform with the Wyoming All State Marching Band during the summer and fall of 2018. They will get to travel and perform in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade.

-Tim Schrader is home after being involved in a multi-vehicle accident north of town. He suffered breaks in both legs, one arm, ribs, pelvis, nose, finger and severe head trauma.

Obituaries: Jane A. Price, July 25, 1939 – February 13, 2018

February 28

-The benefit auction held for Kelly Sherman brought in $3540 to help with medical bills and any travel expenses they may have.

-The LEMS Spelling Bee was held February 15, with 43 participants competing. The top five students were, in order, 1) Melody ZumBrunnen, 2) Phoebe Allbright, 3) Ann Daniels, 4) Jazmin Ladwig, 5) Harlee Blair. They will travel to the State Spelling Bee in Rock Springs on March 24.

-The Legend of the Hermit of Rawhide is revisited. Questions on Facebook brought about a reprint of the story from May 24, 1962 telling about Andrew Madsen, who was nicknamed “The Hermit of Rawhide”

Obituaries: Dustin Scott Bruegger, August 14, 1993 – February 3, 2018

March 7

-NCSD #1 adds two new faces. Phil Garhart will be the new high school principal and Kurt Gaukel joins the school board as its newest member.

-The Wyoming Coaches Association (WCA) and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) are honored to announce that Rich Murray of Niobrara County High School (Lusk) and Deb Murray of Niobrara County High School (Lusk) have been selected for induction into the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame.

-On The Hook, a food truck serving line-caught Alaskan cod, made its first appearance in Lusk on March 3. They were met by a long line of Niobrara County residents, eager to try the deep fried delicacy, which was sold out in just a short time.

Obituaries: Frederick Loyd Nance, April 4, 1933 – February 28, 2018

March 14

-Flowers, furniture, and chocolate truffles will be meeting stylish clothing, jewelry, and purses as Bloomers opens up the new extension of their business; a boutique.

-This year’s NCHS Rodeo Team includes Sadie Sturman, Kylie Strauch, and Peyton Kottwitz. Their annual dinner will be held Saturday, March 24 at the fairgrounds.

-NCHS March Student of the Month was Baleigh Abbott

Obituaries: Richard “Dick” S. Chopping, May 15, 1940 – March 11, 2018

March 21

-March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and National Cerebral Palsy Day is March 25th. Niobrara County has it’s own CP Aware Hero in Isaac Bauersachs. Isaac was a micro-preemie and as a result of his early delivery Isaac has Cerebral Palsy.

-Warden Catron of the Wyoming Women’s Center (WWC) is pleased to announce the promotion of Officer Chase Kupke to Corporal and Lt. George Kirkikis to Correctional Captain (Security Manager) at the WWC effective March 1, 2018.

-NCHS head coach Ryan Nelson and assistants Andie Hubbard and Taten Gaukel handed out team and post season awards to the Tiger Basketball team at the annual banquet. The Tigers finished 9-14, while the JV compiled an 11-8 record and the C squad went 4-4.

Obituaries: Ruth (Gies) Boner, January 30, 1922 – March 5, 2018; Delmar Lee Burns, October 12, 1932 – March 14, 2018; Sterling Ernest Norris, April 25, 1939 – December 28, 2017

March 28

-Elk’s Lodge No. 1797 held their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday March 24. Joshua Aguallo of Alliance (grandson of Jim and Deb Meng) was the finder of the $50 egg donated by Allbright’s True Value.

-Wyoming Veterans Welcome Home Day celebration plans are in full swing for March 30 at the Lusk Elks Lodge .

-Four Tiger tracksters prequalify for state out of the gate; Miranda Gilkey, Taylor Gaukel, Courtney Rowley and Alec Penfield.

Obituaries: Ruth (Gies) Boner, January 30, 1922 – March 5, 2018; Larry Dale Orr, June 22, 1946 – March 22, 2018

April 4

-Wyoming Veterans Welcome Home Day found the Elk’s Lodge meeting room filled to capacity. Governor Matt Mead, Senator John Barrasso, Wyoming Adjutant General, Major General Luke Reiner, Wyoming Veterans Commission, Chairman Keith Davidson and former Wyoming Veterans Commission Chairman, Ret. Lt. Lee Alley were in attendance. The Casper chapter of the Wyoming Patriot Guard Riders were on hand and presented our flag in welcome, honor and respect for all those in attendance. 

-NCHS Rodeo Team dinner a big success raising $7500 for assisting the team with entry fees, training and camp costs as well as travel.

-Lusk Herald Easter coloring contest winners were Hudson Leimser, Kale Williams and Timberlyn Meng

April 11

-The Lusk Early Childhood Center planted a pinwheel garden to bring awareness of child abuse and for Wyoming’s Child Abuse Prevention Day that was Friday April 6th.

-7th annual Local Foods Expo will be held on April 25th at the Niobrara County Fairgrounds. It is sponsored by the Niobrara County Extension Office and is designed to get everyone excited about gardening and all of the associated benefits of gardening and eating local foods.

-LVFD 2018-2019 election of officers: Chief-John Eddy, President-Royce Thompson, Vice President-Danny Matney, Secretary/Treasurer-Tom Dooper, Member at Large-James Santistevan, Assistant Chief-Shawn Leimser, Captain-Duke Lashmett, Captain-Jim Pontarolo, Captain-Chantry Filener, Safety Officer-Rory Norberg, Safety Officer-Ryan Meng, Fire Marshall-Jay Hammond.

Obituaries: Barbara “Bobbi” Ann Brooks, January 3, 1941 – March 31, 2018; Frank Leroy Ladwig, February 15, 1956 – March 2, 2018

April 18

-PROM 2018 “Can I Have This Dance”: Royalty was King-Teagan Tschacher & Queen-Taylor Gaukel, Prince-Alec Penfield & Princess-Mackenzie Lyons, Crown Beareres were Marleigh Gill and Cooper Skeen.

-NCHS Student of the Month for April is Makayla Waldock

-Lusk Volunteer Fire Department benefit auction held at The Pub, In a generous showing of support, close to $11,600.00 was raised. The benefit also doubled as a tribute to the late Pat Miller who was a heavy supporter of LVFD.

Obituaries: John E. Lohr, February 6, 1932 – April 11, 2018; Floyd A. Tschacher, May 27, 1937 – April 13, 2018; Wanda Mae Schmidt, May 29, 1942 – April 15, 2018

Births: Kaleb Allen Long – April 9, 2018

April 25

-Treaty of 1868 was celebrated with a commemorative ride to Fort Laramie

-Five hopefuls vied to be Town Council Members (4-yr term): Rebecca Blackburn, Dean Nelson, Calvin Carstensen, Brandie Collins and Edward Tirado 

-Lady Tiger Gilkey signs with Chadron State College

Obituaries: Ronald Norman Compton, March 2, 1937 – March 31, 2018; Charles Pfister, January 29, 1951 – April 11, 2018; Russell Carl Ommen, November 25, 1953 – April 22, 2018

May 2

-Three hopefuls seek to be Town Council Members (2-yr term): Tom Dooper, Sebastian Ochs, and Lawrence Pavone Jr.

-Lusk Rawhide FFA won silver and bronze at the 2018 Wyoming State FFA Convention in Cheyenne.

-Tiger tracksters garnered lots of hardware and personal bests

May 9

-Phyllis Hahn was presented with the Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award.

-Niobrara Sportsman’s Club receives FNRA checks in the amounts of $5,925.15 & $1,998.00

-Trisha Hales was the Student of the Month for May

May 16

-Miranda Gilkey was awarded the SEWAC Track Athlete of the Year by the coaches

-Rebecca Marie Lashmett and Tod Allen Wenger announce their upcoming wedding.

-Jarit Krejci, Traylin Bruegger, Emma Ceaglske and Jacob Heil all participated in the UW Signing Day for Academics

Births: Bjorn Michaelson VanBuskirk – May 8, 2018

May 23

-Twenty-Four Seniors made up the graduating class of 2018

-Wyoming Virtual Academy (WYVA) graduated 35 students

-Tigers competed well at the Wyoming State Track and Field Championships in Casper. Four Tigers brought home All State accolades.

Obituaries: Chad Bartow, May 19, 1971 – May 12, 2018; Eugene (Gene) A. Erickson, November 10, 1924 – May 20, 2018

May 30

-Twenty-Three students participated in the Eighth Grade Promotion

-Makayla Waldock signed her letter of intent to golf at Central Wyoming College.

-Local Veteran Jack Garner flew to Washington DC with the Honor Flight program 

Obituaries: Charles (Chuck) Wayne Sommers, August 20, 1959 – February 26, 2018; Joe Theodore Andrews, November 26, 1929 – May 24, 2018

June 6

-Third year for Niobrara Strong Day celebration

-Bloomers celebrated 15 years in business

-Wyoming Women’s Center promoted 19 at annual spring graduation

June 13

-On The Road Without Jack is the title of the documentary that two Belgium travelers are in the process of making. Luc Vrydaghs and Matthias Rodeworst spent three days in Lusk for their “small-town America” film.

-The first ever Annual Corky Greenough Memorial Scotch Doubles Pool Tournament was held at The Pub.

-Ron Nelson’s Welding/Metals class manufactured a new sign for the Lusk Animal Shelter.

Obituaries: Harold Frank Ladwig, January 10, 1926 – June 5, 2018

June 20

-Ross Diercks retires from LEMS after 37 years of teaching.

-Niobrara County Attorney, Cally Lund, has been named as Casper’s new municipal court judge.

-Fifty-five kids participated in the second annual Tiger Youth Football Camp which took place at the NCHS football field.

Obituaries: James Lee Crawford, August 26, 1935 – June 10, 2018; Mary Kathleen Hanselmann, April 6, 1947 – November 21, 2017

June 27

-The Alumni Golf Tournament completes its third successful year, bosting nine new teams this year for a total of 36.

-Lance Creek 4-H Club planted a Canada Red Cherry tree at the Niobrara County Fairgrounds as a community project.

-Local authors Larid Johnson, Helen Pugsley, Judy Trohkimoinen and Dennis Rollins were on hand at the Library’s Annual Book Sale to sell and sign their wares.

Obituaries: Dean E. Plumb, September 29, 1944 – June 12, 2018

July 4

-Trees for the Legend of Rawhide started making their way to the fairgrounds.

-Lusk Recreation holds first basketball camp with eighteen participants.

-Niobrara Community members heard the results of the April meeting to learn what the needs are for the community

Obituaries: Dennis (Denny) Dale Hable, July 9, 1947 – June 21, 2018; Toni Lea De Buse, February 8, 1972 – June 5, 2018; Ida Roxina (Cross) Elvaker, June 10, 1924 – June 16, 2018

July 11

-Our new Public Health nurse, Anna Foreman, was introduced to the County Commissioners

-Peyton Kottwitz has qualified to compete at World’s Largest Rodeo; the 70th annual National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs.

-Winifred “Wini” Bryant retired from the Chamber of Commerce office after over 17 yrs of service.

Obituaries: Earnest ‘Ernie’ Rae Lemons, February 11, 1931 – July 2, 2018; Glenn Crofutt, January 27, 1932 – July 5, 2018; Dean E Plumb, September 29, 1944 – June 12, 2018; Harry Parker Earl, March 12, 1936 – July 6, 2018; Chester Dalton, April 8, 1938 - June 28, 2018

July 18

-The Legend of Rawhide had another successful year and honored the Goddard family this year.

-Lady Tigers, Miranda Gilkey and Amanda Smith got to represent Lusk at the Wyoming Coaches Association All Star games at Casper College

-Local up and coming model/actress, Renae Marker got a chance to be seen on the popular “Today Show”.

Obituaries: Nancy Jo Herrin, June 20, 1958 – July 2, 2018

July 25

-The Niobrara County Sheriff’s Office updated their 911 system

-The Niobrara Conservation District turned 50

-Joe LeBlanc came to town and mentored kids at a two-day wrestling camp held in Lusk July 12 & 13.

Obituaries: Esther Marlene Castor, May 3, 1955 – July 14, 2018

August 1

-Weekend events including the stray gathering, ranch rodeo, and gymkhana kicked off the 2018, “A Grand Fiesta” themed Niobrara County Fair.

-T.O.P.S. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) formed a new chapter here in Lusk.

-437 Airlift Wing in Charleston, SC welcomes Col. Clinton R. ZumBrunnen as new commander

Obituaries: William C. Blackmore, September 1, 1933 – July 23, 2018; Lurene Rabern, July 9, 1931 – July 26, 2018; Annabelle Hamilton, October 18, 1922 – July 26, 2018; 

Births: Emily Ann Irvin-July 10, 2018

August 8

-Niobrara Senior Center welcomes Lee Blake as its new Director.

-“A Grand Fiesta” indeed as it was another great year for the fair with a great turn out to continue support of the youth and exhibit competitors that work so hard throughout the year

-News Media Corporation announces new president, financial officer

Obituaries: Barry Dale Travnicek, October 13, 1968 – August 3, 2018; Merry Estelle (Wade) Miller, June 4, 1953 – July 27, 2018

August 15

-The Farm Bureau Candidate Forum was very well received, with over 30 candidates in attendance as well. 

-Planning for the Friends of the NRA banquet is underway

-Niobrara students will be heading back to school soon. Classes start August 22.

Obituaries: Larry D. Solberg, May 1939 – August 2, 2018; Elizabeth Anne “Betty” Smeenk, January 6, 1928 – August 9, 2018; Mary Joan Stoner, August 9, 1937 – August 4, 2018

August 22

-Lusk/Niobrara EMS Benefit & Community Carnival is being planned for August 25.

-Tiger golf started 2A season off with a bang.

-Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies Food Distribution planned for August 24

Obituaries: Melinda Rae (Collins) Norris, 1942 – August 1, 2018

August 29

-EMS Community carnival a success raising approximately $10,000

-Abraxas Oil and Gas building gets a front face-lift.

-Wyoming State Trappers Association holds convention in Lusk

Obituaries: Michael P. Polen, December 28, 1962 – August 26, 2018; Beverly Jean Hoy, November 11, 1932 – August 7, 2018

September 5

-Connie Baker celebrated 37 years of service to the Niobrara Senior Center

- Allison and Clayton Williams were chosen to participate in the Wyoming All State Marching band.

-Lady Tigers split with Crawford and Guernsey-Sunrise

Obituaries: Kenneth Walter Canfield, October 4, 1948 – August 29, 2018 

September 12

-Lusk Town Council conducted interviews for new Chief of Police

-Tiger football travel to Tongue River and get victory

-Drove No. 64 holds DOES State meeting in Lusk

Obituaries: Douglas Allen Blaney, December 16, 1953 – September 3, 2018

September 19

-Niobrara County Carnegie Library to celebrate 100 years

- Brent McQuery is the local Artist of the Month

-Justin Bo Krein appointed new Chief of Police

Obituaries: Dale Robert Gunn, March 22, 1929 – September 14, 2018; Elise Jane Packard, July 4, 1937 – September 4, 2018

September 26

-NCHS Homecoming Royalty: Attendants Julianne Graham and Declan Jensen, Queen Mackenzie Lyons and King Jayden Matthews, Attendants Kianna Blackburn and Alec Penfield

-A mother load of Heavy Haul power units made their way through town.

-Gray Ranch near Orin Junction hosted the St Jude trail ride

Births: Jackson Thomas Cecil – September 7, 2018

October 3

-The Wilson/Ruffing/Holloman Ranch is celebrated for 122 years as a family farm

-Kyler Copsey is promoted to Sergeant at WWC

-James Stone was recognized with the Good Sportsmanship Award 

Obituaries: Velma Louise Butler, March 20, 1928 – September 26, 2018; Joyce Olson, November 26, 1927 – September 30, 2018

October 10

-The Stage Coach Museum to celebrate an Open House October 14

-P.E.O. host its 40th annual Soup and Salad luncheon

-Ellis’ Harvest Home in Lingle is a great fall experience

Obituaries: Jeraldine M. Hineman, August 3, 1943 – October 2, 2018; Esther Garhart Moore, January 29, 1934 – September 22, 2018

October 17

-77 Ranch receives Landowner of the Year award

-Heather Goddard is the local Artist of the Month

-Stagecoach Museum open house is well attended

Obituaries: Benjamin George ‘Benji’ Brozovich, January 11, 1979 – October 4, 2018; Esther Garhart Moore, January 29, 1934 – September 22, 2018; Kathleen Gilbert, April 12, 1934 – October 8, 2018

October 24

-36th annual 4-H Halloween carnival is in the works

-Lady Tigers head to Regionals as No. 4 Seed

-Funds raised at 16th annual Friends of the NRA Banquet break records

Obituaries: Donald “Don” Watson, June 29, 1955 – October 19, 2018; Ina Louise Wheaton, May 13, 1927 – October 22, 2018

October 31

-Rocky Mountain Puppets presented a Halloween puppet show “The Great Witch Hunt” at the library

-Voters prepare to go to the polls with the Herald Election Guide

-Main Street Committee meets to discuss upcoming events

Births: Opal Lynn Paad – October 24, 2018

November 7

-Costume Contest, Business Trick or Treat and 4-H Carnival: Halloween met with annual celebration in Lusk

-Voters voices heard at midterm elections

-Albany County has state’s only ‘one-kid school’

Obituaries: Donald Lynn Nelson II, July 7, 1986 – October 31, 2018; Megan Marie (Megarita) Campbell, October 21, 1997 – October 31, 2018

November 14

-Rachel’s Challenge presents program at Lusk schools

-Jason Avilez is the local Artist of the Month

-Teagan Tschacher is the November Student of the Month

Obituaries: Larry Albertus Eddy, July 15, 1915 – November 10, 2018

November 21

The local talent of the Silver Cliff Theatre Company presented “The Ever After – A Musical”

-Niobrara County High School Tigers Drake Lamp and Damien Molzahn were named to the Class 1A All-State team. 

-A planned attempted school shooting in Gillette touches home

Obituaries: John Stiles, 1934 – November 15, 2018; John K. Eberspecher, August 10, 1937 – November 15, 2018

November 28

-Eleanor Aamodt retires from the Historical Society after almost 50 years.

-Santa Helpers pushing full speed ahead to prepare for their big event.

Obituaries: Scarlett Shea Herndon Taylor October 7, 1963 – November 16, 2018; Diane Rabern July 27, 1950 – November 14, 2018

December 5

-Lish Murphy travels to Washington D.C. to decorate the White House.

- The Niobrara County Homemaker’s Annual Christmas Bazaar went off without a hitch in spite of predicted winter storms and snow. 

- The class of 2020 presented the Lusk Community with their version of “Happy Birthday, Dear Grandpa” on Friday night, November 30th 

December 12

-The annual Friends of the Library Christmas cookie and candy sale was such a hit, it ran Deckers out of sugar.

-Niobrara County Chamber calls new office home.

-Roarke Aleita Barner was born December 8, 2018 at 5:45 a.m. She weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces and was 21 inches long. She is the daughter of Trevor and Kaylee Barner of Lusk.

Obituaries: Shirley Louise Owens July 9, 1927 – December 8, 2018

December 19

-The Christmas Village is set up and ready for viewing. For the last five years, Lusk locals Matthew and Jeannette McConnell, Lawrence Pavone Jr. and Lawrence Pavone Sr. have been setting up the Christmas Village at the fairgrounds, 

-Roughly 125 people partook in this years’ ‘Santa’s Helpers’ Christmas dinner held at the fairgrounds. For a little over two decades, Sigvartsen has brought the presence of Christmas to families during the holiday times and was presented by the Santa’s Helpers volunteers with a token of their affection before the crowd. “It’s been an honor to help the town, just seeing one kid smile, that’s all it takes for me to melt. I’m sad that I won’t be here to do it [next year],” lamented Sigvartsen.  

Obituaries: Patricia McLain David February 7, 1932 – November 27, 2018

December 26

-Changing of the guard for Niobrara County-Three Niobrara County residents were honored for their dedication to our community this December. Rick Zerbe, Kayla Courtright, and Richard Ladwig all shook hands with a steady stream of appreciative community members as they took time to show their gratitude for the trio’s commitment to Niobrara County over the years.  

-Christmas concert performed before break, Niobrara County High School paired with Lusk middle School, held their Christmas Convert on December 13 of this year.  Under the direction of Niobrara County School District music teacher Ivy Palmer, the moniker “Tiger Music Winter Concert” gave those in attendance the privilege to hear an array of holiday tunes.  

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