UPDATE: In remembrance, and in solidarity with all individuals suffering prejudice or who are victims of violence, we are planning a gathering at the UNK Bell Tower at noon Thursday. We will have a moment of silence that will last 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time that George Floyd was kneeled upon, unable to breathe, leading to his tragic death. Those who attend Thursday’s event are asked to wear a mask or face covering.
UPDATE: The Buffalo County DMV office plans to reopen on June 8. Just like many other locations, the DMV will prescreen individuals with a series of questions along with taking their temperature.
UPDATE: The City of Hastings announced it would be canceling the annual Fourth of July Concert and Fireworks Show at Brickyard Park amid ongoing health concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will go on as planned in 2021.
UPDATE: The Harmon Park and Centennial Park Swimming Pools are scheduled to open in late June once aquatic staff are trained and the pools are filled, heated, and chlorinated. Multiple sessions will be offered each day to compensate for the reduced occupancy requirements. Season passes will not be available for purchase. City staff will release more details prior to the pools opening. For more information, please contact the Kearney Park and Recreation Office.
UPDATE: Auto Racing is back in Nebraska. US 30 Speedway, located outside of Columbus, will begin racing tonight (Thr). It will mark the first organized sporting event in Nebraska since the boys state basketball tournament. Kearney Raceway Park opens its season this Saturday and Sunday. Eagle Raceway near Lincoln opens their season on Saturday. Also Kam Raceway in Hastings will open up on June 12th. All tracks will be operating with limited attendance and under guidelines set by the state and by local Heath districts.
The Kearney Public Schools CLASS Act fundraiser event will now be an online auction June 15-20. You can register for the event to place bids for auction items and receive information and announcements during the event. To register go to, https://kpsfoundation.gives/CLASS-Act/Event
NEBRASKA GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE GOOD LIFE:
UPDATE: With Hot Meals USA serving its final lunch Saturday, a collaboration of food assistance programs in the region have developed a transition plan to support residents who need food assistance. All services listed on the BCCP website, bcchp.org begin Monday, unless otherwise noted. Hot Meals USA has served 100,000 free meals since March 16 in Kearney.
UPDATE: On Saturday June 13th wheels for Warriors USA will be at Kearney Power Sports giving away a motorcycle to a veteran! Wheels for Warriors USA is a non profit organization based out of Lincoln Nebraska to raise awareness and lower veteran suicide through 2 wheel therapy.
UPDATE: To provide items without contact, Hastings Public Library now has 18 metal lockers set up outside the building, allowing visitors to pick up items they’ve requested and will be located in the alley. To request an item, visit the library web site or call (402) 461-2346. A staff member will call patrons back once their items are ready for pickup, and patrons will have 48 hours to collect the items. Requests will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, starting with materials requested in March. Patrons will be limited to five items each. The library remains closed to the public at this time, and some interactive services are still unavailable.
The 65th annual Spring Conference at the Willa Cather Center will keep the event as scheduled but change the way it looks. For the first time in its history the Conference will take place entirely online as opposed to in person on the grounds of the National Willa Cather Center in Red Cloud. The Conference is scheduled to begin June 4 and end on June 6. It consists of panel discussions, lectures, virtual exhibits and more. The topic of this year’s conference centers around the 100th anniversary of Cather’s short story collection “Youth and the Bright Medusa”. Anyone interested in registering for the 65th Spring Conference can visit the Center’s website here
Stuhr Museum is re-opening, after being closed during one of the busiest times of the year. The museum’s executive director said they’re taking several steps due to the coronavirus, including temperature checks and asking visitors to wear masks. They also have hand washing stations set up at the living history museum in Grand Island. Classes are underway and starting June 15, members can visit. Monday, June 22 they’ll reopen to the public.
The community is invited to participate in Kearney Public library’s 7th Annual Edible Book Festival. Anyone can enter by creating something edible that is book-related. The library suggests to think about titles, characters, plots, literary book figures, puns on book titles. Entry form and more info is available at www.cityofkearney.org
The Hastings Parks and Recreation Department will reopen on June 8, the Libs Park splash pad will be open to the public. On June 15, the Heartwell Park wading pool and Lincoln Park wading pool will be open to the public. Visit their website to find guidelines in place.
Free meals will be provided to Lexington residents in need four the next four weeks on a first come, first serve basis. Meals will be available for curbside pickup at St. Ann’s Parish Center at 1003 Taft St. in Lexington or they can be pre-ordered to have meals delivered. One box of groceries per family will also be available every Thursday. For free delivery to your home, call (308) 324-4647. The meals are provided by Lexington Community Foundation, Orthman Manufacturing and St. Ann’s Parish in partnership with Hot Meals USA.
The Nebraska Passport for 2020 program is underway. Travelers will have from June 1 through October 31 to visit attractions and receive stamps, according to Nebraska Tourism. Due to COVID-19 some stops have had to adjust their business hours and some will be reopening at a date later than June 1, so check for updates before beginning your travels. Passports will be available at participating stops starting June 1 or can be ordered at NebraskaPassport.com.
The Archway in Kearney has will reopened to visitors. The hours will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of The Archway.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is now open. ALL indoor exhibits will be closed and capacity will be limited to 3,000. Visitors are required to sign up in advance for a time slot to attend up to two days in advance at www.omahazoo.com/hours-and-admission.
Starting June 18th the Hasting Parks and Recreation will get the summer adult softball league season underway. To practice social distancing they will be extending the dugouts to the bleachers. Any fans that come to the games will have to bring their own chairs and sit along the foul lines or in the outfield. For more information on the summer leagues you can visit the City of Hastings website.
Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska is slowly re-opening their nine stores, with six open so far. Requiring masks and delaying donation processing, these are just a couple new practices in place at Goodwill stores across central Nebraska. They said items donated are not being processed or put onto the floor for at least a full 24 hours. Management said at this time they do not know when the Grand Island or Lexington stores will be opening.
Relay for Life of Central Nebraska in an effort to support and protect cancer survivors, caregivers and the community, the event will be held virtually from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 12. People can tune into Relay for Life of Central Nebraska’s Facebook page, where they’ll be able to watch videos and live feeds. Relay for Life of Central Nebraska covers Phelps, Kearney and Buffalo Counties. You can create a team or donate online.
For the first time ever, The Kansas Biggest Rodeo is selling tickets online right now at kansasbiggestrodeo.com. The tickets will also go on sale in person on July 1 at Heritage Insurance Group in Philipsburg (685 Third St.).The rodeo will be held July 30-August 1 in Phillipsburg and begins at 8 pm each night.
Kearney Jubilee Center remains open to serve customers and community members in need. The Center also hosts a food pantry while providing financial assistance for rent, utilities and medications.
The Hastings College football team still plans to host its Annual Bronco Football Gridiron Classic on June 19 at Southern Hills Golf Course.The four man scramble is a fundraiser for the Bronco football team. For more go to Hastingsbroncos.com.
Mobile food pantries providing free food are offered in the area every two weeks by the Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska in cooperation with the Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha. Drivers should remain in their vehicles while masked volunteers load groceries. Food pickups, by appointment only, begin at 9:30 a.m. Call Kyla Martin at 308-440-0153 to set up a time. The pantries rotate to serve Buffalo, Custer, Dawson, Hall, Kearney and Phelps counties. Future dates include: June 12, Phelps County Fairgrounds, Holdrege, June 26, Community Action Partnership Food Bank, Kearney.
You can keep yourself safe in these times, show your Husker spirit, AND help Nebraska Food Banks. Husker Face Masks are on sale right now at the shop at NRG sister property huskermax.com. The masks are handmade, available in four styles, and will ship in late May. GO HERE: http://www.shophuskermax.com/houndsmax-huskers-mask