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Apr 21
Ceremonies planned for nursing/med lab tech students

Brooke Sheets.jpg

Brooke Sheets, of Hershey, smiles after a nurse pinning ceremony at North Platte Community College last year. This year's Associate Degree Nursing ceremony is scheduled for May 7.

Mid-Plains Community College will honor students in its Associate Degree Nursing and Medical Laboratory Technician programs May 7. 

Activities will begin with an ADN pinning/commencement ceremony at 12:30 p.m. in the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium on the North Platte Community College South Campus, 601 W. State Farm Rd., in North Platte. 

Those unable to attend in person can view a livestream at:

At 1 p.m., MLT will host a certificate presentation across campus in Room 108 of the Health and Science Center. 

Both ceremonies will be open to the public. Guests will be required to wear masks and adhere to current social distancing protocols. 

The following students will be recognized. 

Associate Degree Nursing 

Bassett – Jessica Hollenbeck  

Brady – Madison Christophersen 

Broken Bow – Nichole Powers 

Callaway – Angela Ortiz  

Cozad – Kalynn Fleharty 

Culbertson – Jennifer Oltman             

Curtis – Angeline Marie         

Elyria - Jurnee Saner  

Gothenburg – Ashley Garza 

Grant - Taylor York               

McCook – Valisha Raile        

Mullen – Randii Byrd, Lindsey Fay 

North Platte – Keri Allen, Bryar Anthony, Brittany Davis, Katherine Donohoe, Shalee Fillmer, RaeLynn Foster, Jordan Goodell, Samantha Gutherless, Elisha Keim, Misti McEntire, Kendal Naranjo, Paul Njora, Brooke Rosales, Lexi Sandoz, Sydney Stroh, Alexandra Varney, Courtney Viter   

Ogallala – Kourtnie Gardner, Nathaniel Smith 

Stapleton – Kaylie Beierman, Stephenie Nelson  

Wauneta – Roseanna Vapenik 


Frederick – Antonia Villani           

Medical Laboratory Technician 

Arnold – Jessi Swopes 

Big Springs – Alicia Brown 

Hershey – Raychel Banks 

Keystone – Debra Cleveland 

McCook – Michaela Holdcroft 

North Platte – Jessica Rivera 

Ogallala – Kimberly Bassett, Kyle Podowski 

Ord – Brittany Pollard

Apr 20
MCC announces dates summer volleyball, fitness camps


McCook Community College Volleyball Coach Hayley Kobza has announced the dates for summer volleyball camps  and has added a new fitness camp for boys and girls this year.

Three volleyball camp sessions for girls Kindergarten through eighth grade are set for June 23-25 and a new "Jump Into Fitness" camp is set for June 22 for boys and girls in the third through eighth grade. Kobza said this new offering will include an assortment of physical activities, games, and learning about physical fitness. Cost for this camp is $50, campers will attend from 9 a.m-4 p.m.

According to Kobza, the fitness camp and all three volleyball camps will feature the great facilities available at the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center, individual camp awards, experienced staff, a camp T-shirt and free entry to the Wild West All-Star Volleyball Classic June 27.

All camps will feature current MCC volleyball players including: Makayla Brown, Suzy Cordova, Jisell Chumacero, McKenna Crews, Jordan Jerome, Adeline McIntire, Eisa Mondragon, Jaylee Palmieri, Amanda Pizzol, Janie Sommers, Jaycee Widener, and Anna Williams.

The volleyball camp for girls in Kindergarten through second grade will be June 23 from 9 a.m.-noon and will be $35.

For girls in third through fifth grade, the camp will be June 25 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and is $50.

The camp for girls in sixth through eighth grade will be June 23 from 1-4 p.m. and June 24 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. This camp is $80.

Coach Kobza just completed her fifth season leading the Lady Indians. Her teams have won or shared the past three Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference titles and has sent 15 former players on to four-year schools to continue their volleyball careers.

For more information you can contact Kobza at 254-433-1968 or email her at

You can find out more about camps at the McCook Community College website

You can register for youth camps at:

Apr 20
MCC's International Club hosts 'passport' event

bpport 00.jpgIn a year when travel and international travel restrictions were prevalent, McCook Community College's International Club members offered a virtual tour of the globe Tuesday with personal tour guides from seven countries, represented by current MCC students. 

This passport event offered students, faculty, staff, and community members the chance to visit with international students, learn about each of the home countries, and even taste some cuisine. 

Countries represented included: Spain, Nigeria, Germany, Bolivia, Italy, Serbia, and the Czech Republic.

Apr 20
NPCC Volleyball announces dates for summer camps

VB camp NPCC.jpg

Area youth will have the opportunity to hone their volleyball skills this summer through three camps offered by the North Platte Community College Knights Volleyball Team. 

Team Camps 

The Knights will host high school team camps June 28-29 and July 12-13. Three divisions will be available to pick from: varsity, junior varsity and reserve. The cost is $40 per player, which includes a t-shirt. 

Junior Sports Camps 

Junior sports camps are planned for June 30-July 2 for girls entering third through fifth grades and July 14-16 for girls entering sixth through eighth grades. The camps will consist of a combination of volleyball and basketball instruction. 

The volleyball portion will be from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day, and basketball will be from 1:30-4 p.m. each day. The fee is $50 per sport or $70 for both. T-shirts will be included. 

Position Camp 

The Knights will also offer position camps July 19 for liberos, July 20 for setters and July 21 for hitters. Those camps are open to girls entering seventh through 12th grades. Each session is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $60, which includes a t-shirt. 

"We are excited to announce these dates," said NPCC head volleyball coach Alexa McCall. "Summer camps are one of our favorite things to do, and we are excited to have campers in the gym this summer learning from our current Knights players." 

Questions about the camps can be directed to McCall at Sign-up forms are available on the back of the camp brochures, which are posted under the "camps" section on the college's athletic website,

Apr 20
McCook Community College announces graduates

McCook Community College has released its list of graduates for the 2020-21 academic year. 

The following students will be recognized during a commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. May 7 at the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center in McCook. 

The ceremony is open to the public. Guests will be required to wear masks and adhere to current social distancing protocols. 

Associate of Applied Science 


Indianola - Sydney Mastin (Business Administration) 

Lexington - Weston Kunkee (Agribusiness) 

McCook - Jesse Dickey (Business Administration), Stephen Guthrie (Business Administration)

North Platte - Chesney Tatman (Agribusiness) 

Valentine - Sheyenne Hammond (Accounting) (Agribusiness) (Business Administration) 


Holly - Kallie Cathcart (Accounting) 


Ulen - Brooklyn Spencer (Marketing) 

South Dakota 

Ree Heights - Landon Sivertsen (Agribusiness) 

Wall - Wynn Schaack (Agribusiness) 

Emergency Medical Services: 

McCook - Christopher Hammond 


Wasco - Christopher Brown   


Echo - Jenna O'Brien 


Spokane - Dain Houske          

Graphic Design/Visual Communications: 

Arapahoe - Gavin Nelson 

Lexington - Karina Mendoza 

Information Technology: 

Arapahoe - Edwin Aguirre Carmona  (PC Support/Network Tech) 

Welding Technology: 

Firth - Gage Hansmeyer 


Sanborn - Ethan Wright          

North Dakota 

Rhame - Sterling Lee  

Associate of Arts Degree 

Bartlett - Zane Patrick 

Culbertson - Alexandria Erickson      

McCook – Deanne Crocker, Dylan Lepper, Audrey Paisley, Miranda Payton, Terra-Marie Sides


Pueblo - Trevor Pacheco         


Davenport - Adrienne LaBay 

New Mexico 

Las Cruces - Estrella Avalos  


Odessa - Jordan Muschalek 

San Antonio - Thomas Nourse 


Carrum Downs - Kojie Santos 


Nantes - Heiata Tauota 

Associate of Fine Arts Degree 

McCook - Lydia Hagan, Skyla Henning        

Associate of General Studies Degree 

Elwood - Jaycee Wooters       

Haigler – Jerrie Wheaton 

McCook - Keri Galarneau      

Wallace - Kaden Hager          


Oklahoma City - Destiny Davis 


Cochabamba - Fernanda Canedo 

Associate of Science Degree 

Arapahoe - Hunter Swanson   

Bartley - Alexis Burke, Laura Dreiling 

Cozad - Kaitlyn Kleinknecht  

Culbertson - Alexandria Erickson, Shayne Mintling  

Danbury - Brett Soderlund     

Hyannis - Mackenzie Anderson         

Indianola - Dylan Hofman, Cara Oltmer        

Loup City - Lake Reikofski    

McCook - Kirstin Collicott, Nicole Dewey, Terasa Emmons, Lydia Hagan, Skyla Henning, Cameron Lashley, Autumn Miller, Danielle Mowry, Laurel Schmidt, Bria Simmonds, Sydney Stewart, Kenna Ward 

North Platte - Emily Barr, Katrina Webster   

Scottsbluff - Kelly Snelling    

Sutherland - MaKenzie Derr 

Trenton - Kyleigh Scott          


Montgomery - Gail Whiting   


Holly - Kallie Cathcart 

Monument - Brandon Reynolds         


Ewa Beach - Marcus Tobin    


Lake Charles - Amiya Dartest           


New Bedford - Damien Perry Jr.        


Beaverton - Boaz Quinlan 


San Antonio - Thomas Nourse      


Delta - Lexee Johnson 

Richfield - Kristen Mogan      

Spanish Fork – Genevieve Hopkinson 


Monroe - Aiden Ferry 


Manchester - Niamh Kelshaw 


Koblenz – Deniz Sari  


Condove - Alice Midiri 


Melilla - Carla Cano  

Sant Joan Despí - Maite Garcia 


Emergency Medical Services: 


Antioch - Carlos Hawkins Jr. 


Montesano - Cody Lakner      

Practical Nursing: 

Arapahoe - Janine Harding 

McCook - Nova Atteberry, Feona Berry 

Welding Technology: 

Indianola - Jay Porter  


Business Administration: 

Lexington - Karina Mendoza 

Ord - Danielle Wray   

South Dakota 

Elkton - Kayla Engwicht 

Early Childhood Education: 

McCook - Kirstin Collicott     


Ord – Danielle Wray 


Onawa - Austin Madison 


McCook - Autumn Miller       


South Dakota 

Ree Heights - Landon Sivertsen 

Multimedia Design: 

Lexington - Abbygayle Zerr   

McCook - Deanne Crocker, Kyle Kinne, Marshall Sides      

Print Design: 

Lexington - Abbygayle Zerr   

McCook - Deanne Crocker, Kyle Kinne, Audrey Paisley, Marshall Sides   

Apr 20
NPCC releases list of graduates

North Platte Community College has released its list of graduates for the 2020-21 academic year. 

The following students will be recognized during a commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. May 7 in the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium on NPCC's South Campus, 601 W. State Farm Rd., in North Platte. 

The ceremony is open to the public. Guests will be required to wear masks and adhere to current social distancing protocols. 

Associate of Arts Degree 

Big Springs - Logan Osmera  

Brady - Kristyna Prickett 

Brule - ReAnna Pierce           

Fairbury - Dylan Rogge     

Hershey - Chanda Cooper      

Maxwell - Abigail Jurjens, Whitney Miller    

Mullen - Kaitlyn Crowe, Alysen Daniels, Courtney Rice      

Norfolk - Teagan Kennel        

North Platte - Brook Chromy, Kinzey Cooper, Rusty DeGarmo, Sierra Dowhower , Evan Eckel, Steven Garcia Jr., Brisa Jaramillo, Stephanie Johnson, Nicholas Lemke, Hallie Malsbury, Maxwell McIntosh, Peyton Negley, Allisa Overstreet, Gabrielle Scovill, Jacob Tobey, Ashtyn Winder 

Seneca - Mollie Finney           

Sutherland - Colton Hasenauer, Madisen Walters     

Wauneta - Emily Kennicutt    

Wellfleet - John Blackmon     


Yuma - Taylor Hansen, Tania Lerma 

Associate of Fine Arts Degree 

Fairbury – Dylan Rogge 

Grant - Christopher Terry       

North Platte - Gillian Allen, Sabrina Rivera   

Associate of General Studies Degree 

Broken Bow - Rebecca Neumiller     

Juniata - Nolan Sughroue 

Kearney - Jeffery Donnally, Darci Marr 

North Platte - Jessica Rivera   


Fort Lupton - Jessica Trujillo  


Victoria, British Columbia - Sophia Kiss       


Novi Sad - Danilo Matovic     


Kyiv - Slavomyr Marchenko 

Associate of Science Degree 

Ansley - Jaime McAbee         

Big Springs - Keli Heath        

Brady - Kristyna Prickett        

Broken Bow - Mahala Sanchez          

Cody - Grace Ford, Sara Ford 

Cozad - Tatiana Orozco          

Curtis - Reid Stout      

Gothenburg - Jordan Lewis    

Grant - Aryn Seiler     

Hershey - Caje Naranjo

Madrid - Betzy Castellanos    

Maxwell - Abigail Jurjens, Hayley Yost 

Maywood - Dylan Davis-Mack, Aaron Weismann    

Mullen - Alysen Daniels, Courtney Rice        

North Platte - Abbi Allberry, Alexa Beltran, Autumn Brinker, Lauren Brott, Brook Chromy, Kinzey Cooper, Kylie Dircksen, Troy Douglas, Brittney Douglass, Remingten Elsen, Alexander Fourtner, Steven Garcia Jr., Emilee Gibson, Caleb Horne, Stephanie Johnson, McKynzie Kelsey, Keegan Knott, Jenny Lim, Hallie Malsbury, Maxwell McIntosh, Madison Merritt, Kristina Miller,     Vanessa Myers, Peyton Negley, Carol Nielsen, Paul Njora, Cailey Nutt, Bailey Oetken, Ashleigh Olson, Jessica Owens, LuAnne Schrader-Songster            , Megan Shannon, Samantha Sonneman, Samuel Stacy, Amy Sydow, Jacob Tobey, Hope Toole, Riley Wiese, Mason Woodward 

Purdum - Sarah Horn  

Sidney - Janay Brauer 

Stapleton - DeLynn Aden       

Sutherland - Erica Hopping, Gabrielle Perlinger 

Valentine - Emmy Nadeau, Lexee Reichert   

Wallace - Ansley Wood         


Springdale - Gabrielle Moore 


Rialto - Marianne Mata 


Commerce City - Jennessy Aragon-Dennis    

Lakewood - Brittany-Marie Bui         

Milliken - Morganne Brown   

Weldona - Ruby Valle Machado 

Westminster - Isabela Valenzuela      

Yuma - Viridiana Escobar, Taylor Hansen, Tania Morales Lerma    


El Dorado Springs - Jace Cundiff 


Mesquite - Jalyn Reagans 

Associate Degree of Nursing 

Bassett - Jessica Hollenbeck   

Brady - Madison Christophersen        

Broken Bow - Nichole Powers

Callaway - Angela Ortiz 

Cedar Rapids - Kaylie Beierman        

Cozad - Kalynn Fleharty         

Curtis - Angeline Marie         

Gothenburg - Ashley Garza    

Grant - Taylor York    

Lincoln - Jurnee Saner            

McCook - Jennifer Oltman, Valisha Raile     

Mullen - Lindsey Fay

North Platte - Keri Allen, Bryar Anthony, Brittany Davis, Katherine Donohoe, Randii Endorf, Shalee Fillmer, RaeLynn Foster, Jordan Goodell, Samantha Gutherless, Misti McEntire, Kendal Naranjo, Paul Njora, Brooke Rosales, Lexi Sandoz, Sydney Stroh, Alexandra Varney, Courtney Viter 

Ogallala - Kourtnie Gardner, Nathaniel Smith 

Omaha - Elisha Keim 

Stapleton - Stephenie Nelson  

Wauneta - Roseanna Vapenik 


Frederick - Antonia Villani     

Associate of Applied Science Degree 

Auto Body Technology: 

Cody - Sara Ford        

McCook - Isaak Rockenfield  

North Platte - Emmalee Schanou 

Automotive Technology: 

McCook – Jacob Mockry       

Sutherland - Christian Folchert 


Haiku - Koby Jacobson 

Building Construction Technology: 

Imperial - Kinberlyn Benitez 


Benedict - Tad Racek (Agribusiness) 

Dunning - Amanda Payne (Entrepreneurship) 

Farnam - Lisa Einspahr (Business Administration) 

Lexington - Jacqueline Reyes (Administrative Assistant) 

Lincoln - Alexis Stephens (Medical Administrative Assistant) 

Madrid - Rachel Klahn (Accounting) (Business Administration) 

North Platte - Karen Allision (Medical Administrative Assistant), April Claussen  (Accounting) (Business Administration), Heather Douglas (Business Administration), Steven Gies (Business Administration), Tara Krupicka (Nonprofit Management), Nichole Rawn (Administrative Assistant), Brooke Tucker (Administrative Assistant) 

Ogallala - Allison Houser (Business Administration) 


Snyder - Amber Wolever 


Wloclawek - Przemyslaw Zygmunciak (Business Administration) 

Dental Assisting: 

North Platte - Malorie Foster, Rainah Holm, Rachelle Uldrich 

Wauneta - Alejandra Almanza 

Diesel Technology:

Wallace - Caleb Vote 

Electrical Automation Control: 

McCook - Colby Claflin, Jessie Gashler, Nicholas Ralston   

Sargent - Stephen Nichols 

Electrical Technology: 

Cozad - Kade Mason 

Culbertson - Matthew Searcey           

Grand Island - Grant Kohles   

Maxwell - Levi DeStefano     

McCook - Tyler Gray 

North Platte - Kristyn Morris, Scott Mustion, Cooper Sponie, Andrew Stevens, Daniel Wardyn 

Ogallala - Ethan LeGrande     

Overton - Morgan Olmstead   

Trenton - Remington Hodges 

Emergency Medical Services: 


Yuba City - Morgan Coleman 

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology:

Palisade - Caleb Durham        

North Platte - Cody Matthews 


Wray - Jeron Lippert  

Information Technology:

Gothenburg - Mark Boson (PC Support/Network Technology) 

North Platte - Carl Anderson  (PC Support/Network Technology)    


Marietta - Sylvan Singh (PC Support/Network Technology)

Medical Laboratory Technician: 

Arnold - Jessi Swopes 

Big Springs - Alicia Brown    

Hershey - Raychel Banks 

Keystone - Debra Cleveland   

McCook - Michaela Holdcroft

North Platte - Jessica Rivera   

Ogallala - Kimberly Bassett, Kyle Podowski 

Ord - Brittany Pollard 

Welding Technology: 

Imperial - Joel DaMoude 

North Platte - Adam Sandoval 


Auto Body Technology: 

Gothenburg - Tarina Beenblossom     

Imperial - Kent Silvester         

North Platte - Ignacio Perez    

Wakefield - Jacob Dorcey      

Automotive Technology: 

North Platte - Justin Kara       

Sutherland - Tyler Taylor 

Building Construction Technology: 

Mullen - Jade Lovitt   

Dental Assisting: 

North Platte - Madison Cooper 

Sutherland - Dewey Davis      


Paoli - Emily Trejo     

Diesel Technology: 

Arnold - Blake Brown , Matthew Corbin        

Bartley - Garrett Mead           

Cambridge - Cody Runner     

Central City - Jacob Bonczynski 

Haigler- Kelly Eversole         

North Platte - Jonathon McConnaughey, Andrew Woodcock           

Ogallala - Lyle Harms 

Stapleton - Kurtis Main 

Electrical Technology: 

North Platte - Kody J Miller, Jeff Pearson, Jason Taylor      

Graphic Design/Visual Communications: 

North Platte - Michael Richey            

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology: 

Arapahoe - Skyler Webster     

Cozad - Brecken Loftin          

Gothenburg - Ethan Myers     

Holbrook - Jacob tenBensel    

Lewellen - Shaun Swoboda   

Practical Nursing: 

Ainsworth - Michell Sease     

Arthur - MacKenna Turner     

Butte - Makala Reiser 

Gothenburg - Jordan Lewis, Brittany Masters, Taylor Walker          

North Platte - Lindi Bassett, Jordan Baron, Jalissa Falcon, Sara Maaske, Della McDole, Emma Schrotberger, Braidyn Vierra 

Ogallala - Caroline Draucker  

Welding Technology: 

Maywood - Seth Robinson     

North Platte - Dustin Nickerson         

Ogallala - Joshua Gill 


Automotive Technology: 

Broken Bow - Gabriel Coon   

Basic Auto Body: 

Wakefield - Jacob Dorcey 

Business Administration:

Culbertson - Matthew Searcey 


San Antonio - Autumn Sandoval 

Business/Office Technology: 

North Platte - Karen Allision  

Customization and Restoration: 

Broken Bow - Gabriel Coon   

Medical Administrative Assistant: 

North Platte - Nicole Caudillo 

Medical Billing and Coding: 

North Platte - Karen Allision, Bridget Lange, Jessica Silva  

Medical Documentation Specialist: 

North Platte - Karen Allison   

Multimedia Design: 

North Platte - Michael Richey 

Print Design: 

North Platte - Michael Richey

Apr 19
MPCC Rodeo Team off to a great start in South Dakota

team roping.jpg

The Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team started out strong in its first competitions of the season – taking home two championships. 

The team was up in both rodeos that made up the Black Hills State University Will Lantis Yellow Jacket Stampede in Spearfish, S.D. Thursday through Saturday. 

Rodeo #1 

Danielle Wray, of Ord, scored the women's all-around championship for MPCC in the first rodeo. Wray placed second in the team roping with partner Zane Patrick, of Bartlett. She also split fourth, fifth and sixth alongside teammate Sheyenne Hammond, of Valentine. 

Caitlyn Comfort, of Elwood, finished sixth in the team roping for MPCC with partner Wyatt Ohlman, of Gibbon, a sophomore at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. 

Representing MPCC in the steer wrestling, Austin Madison, of Whiting, Iowa, placed second. Marshall Still, of Oconto, split fourth, fifth and sixth, and Sterling Lee, of Rhame, N.D., was seventh. 

Madison also tied for the fifth and sixth spots in calf roping with Nick Rettinger, of Amidon, N.D. 

Overall, MPCC's men's team finished third, and the women's team came in fourth. 

Rodeo #2 

MPCC's women's team took the reserve champion title in the second rodeo, while the men's team ended up fifth. 

Jacob Haren, of Erie, Colo., was named reserve all-around cowboy. Haren placed second in the steer wrestling for MPCC and also won the short round in the tie-down roping to finish second in the average. 

Mykelsi Schnose, of Oelrichs, S.D., won both rounds of the breakaway and the average for the championship. 

Wynn Schaack, of Wall, S.D., won the first go-round of steer wrestling and finished seventh in the average. He was also eighth in the tie-down roping. 

Quade Potter, of Stockville, ended up third in the steer wrestling, followed by Rettinger in fifth, Patrick in eighth and Madison in ninth place. 

Koby Jacobson, of Hershey, rode to a second-place finish in the bull riding. 

Jentri Hurlburt, of Arcadia, and Barrett Schlieker, of Fort Lupton, Colo., were fourth in the team roping followed by Comfort and Ohlman in eighth place. 

Landon Sivertsen, of Ree Heights, S.D., was 10th in the tie-down roping. 

"Overall, we had a solid weekend in the arena," said Aukai Kaai, MPCC Rodeo Team coach. "The women's team was outstanding in the team roping and breakaway. On the men's team side, we started really well to begin the rodeo - just missed a few key opportunities in the short round. I have no doubt that we will regroup and finish the season off strong." 

That puts MPCC halfway through the spring rodeo season. The team is up next at the 2021 Nebraska Cornhusker College Rodeo at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln this weekend. 

Apr 19
First National Bank of Omaha donates $100,000 to NPCC Health and Science Center

FNBO check HASC.jpg

Pictured left to right: First National Bank of Omaha Vice President of Commercial and Agribusiness Banking in North Platte Cory Johanson and FNBO Vice President of Commercial and Agribusiness Banking in North Platte Lance Polk hand a check for $100,000 to Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy on Monday. The donation will be put toward the expansion of North Platte Community College's Health and Science Center.

North Platte Community College's Health and Science Center expansion project received a major boost this week thanks to First National Bank of Omaha. 

FNBO contributed $100,000 toward the project Monday during a check presentation at the college. 

"All of us at FNBO are proud to support Mid-Plains Community College and the expansion of its NPCC Health and Science Center," said Lance Polk, FNBO vice president of commercial and agribusiness banking in North Platte. "It's rewarding to be involved in efforts to enhance the education of students in Western Nebraska pursuing careers in health care." 

MPCC President Ryan Purdy said the NPCC Health and Science Center expansion would not be possible without the generosity and support of the Mid-Plains Community College area.    

"FNBO made a generous gift in 2011 toward the initial Health and Science Center construction," said Purdy. "They have confirmed their continued support with this additional gift toward the expansion to allow for additional enrollments in the college's health care programs." 

Meeting a need 

The Health and Science Center is located on NPCC's South Campus. Constructed in 2012, it is home to the college's nursing, medical laboratory technician, emergency medical services, paramedic, dental assisting, math, biology, physics and engineering programs. 

As the demand for more nurses and health care professionals has increased throughout the college's 18-county service area and beyond, so has the need for more space to train those professionals. 

The planned expansion of the building will include additional classrooms to accommodate increased enrollment in nursing courses, lab space for nursing and emergency services and an office area for new faculty. 

Conference rooms, a classroom with flexible table and chair arrangements, private workspaces for students and a virtual innovation lab will also be constructed to complement existing programming and enhance learning experiences. 

Construction is anticipated to start by spring of 2022. 

The total cost of the project is expected to be nearly $4 million. 

Those interested in contributing to the expansion project can contact Kayla Thurman, the college's interim director of Institutional Advancement, at or (308) 535-3607.

Apr 19
MCC’s Lorrie Mowry named NBEA’s national teacher of the year

Lorrie Mowry.jpg

The National Business Education Association has named McCook Community College's Lorrie Mowry, their Post-Secondary Business Teacher of the Year.

Lorrie Mowry received the award for outstanding contributions to business education by a business instructor at a community, a two-year college or technology institution. The awards announcement came at the organization's annual event held virtually and in New Orleans earlier this month.

The three key areas considered for the national award were: Contributions to business education through teaching; Contributions to business education through publishing which includes major articles, both refereed and non-refereed publications and grant proposals' and Contributions to business education through participation. This involves offices and committee work held in local state, regional and a national professional association.

In the letter of nomination, Mowry was described by her students as "an intelligent, passionate teacher, who comes to class every day with the same enthusiasm as she did on the first day."

According to a news release from the NBEA, Mowry's fellow associates speak of the energy and excitement she brings to projects and her willingness to go beyond to promote business programs. She has been praised by colleagues as a forward thinker that always comes up with creative ways to implement needed changes in class and in student organizations.

She has been awarded her McCook County College's highest honor, The Gene Budig Outstanding Faculty Award.

The National Business Education Association (NBEA) is the nation's leading professional organization devoted exclusively to serving individuals and groups engaged in instruction, administration, research, and dissemination of information for and about business.

Apr 19
Hormel Competition winners to be named Friday

Six local entrepreneurs with ideas for start-up/expanding business have been named finalists for the 2021 Hormel Entrepreneurship Competition and are looking for a share of $25,000 in prizes.

Business and will make their final presentations Friday at McCook Community College's McMillen Hall, room 213. Because of directed health measures, members of the community will not be allowed to hear presentations this year and each of the presenters are limited to five guests.

This year's six finalists include:

* - Heritage Acres Drive-thru Market, Chris and Paul Sandberg, Stratton (Hitchcock County) -- expanding their farmer's market established in July 2020, selling their own products and food items from other producers. They specialize in foods grown sustainably by small producers.

* - Happy's Feed Store and Fuel Center, Camie Cox, Wauneta (Hitchcock County) -- a business startup plan for a 24-hour fuel station with food, drinks, snacks and a full inventory of bagged animal feed, mineral and supplements.

* - Katie Farrell Yoga & Pilates, McCook (Red Willow County) – a plan to expand her one-on-one reformer pilates personal training, private yoga and mat pilates sessions, in-person and online/virtually, group yoga and mat pilates.

* - Travis Henne Repair, McCook (Frontier County) -- expanding an ATV/UTV repair shop specializing in repairing Polaris, Suzuki and Kawasaki repairs and other brands.

* - Becky Wallen Videography, McCook (Red Willow County) -- starting up a full-service video and film business for weddings and events, and for businesses needing video for websites, social media, workshops or other presentations.

* - Impact Closet Boutique LLC, Casha and Dan O'Byrne, Culbertson, (Hitchcock County) -- expanding their mobile women's clothing boutique based from their driveway, taking their 30-foot, enclosed mobile shop throughout the area.

These finalists will make their 30-minute presentations Friday at McMillen Hall starting at 1:15 p.m. Judges will deliberate at 4:30 p.m. with the winners announced at 5:30 p.m. The competition was open to participants with a startup business idea or an existing business that has been operating no more than five years, who were looking to expand in southwestern Nebraska (consisting of Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, and Red Willow counties.)

According to Sharon Kircher, Mid-Plains Community College Business & Community Education Coordinator, because of COVID-19 challenges, the college is only allowing 50 percent occupancy in each room and masks must be worn when participants enter the building and in the hallways.

Since finalists will be social distancing, they won't have to wear masks during their presentation. All other occupants in the room must wear their masks if closer than six feet apart. Each contestant is only allowed five guests into the presentation room this year and once the presentation is complete, the room will be cleared for the next contestant and their five guests.

The competition opened Nov. 1. Judges selected semifinalists who received scholarships (valued at about $336) to attend a mandatory eight-week online Entrepreneurship Business Plan writing class offered through Mid-Plains Community College this spring.

Kircher said the main objective of the Hormel Entrepreneurship Competition at McCook Community College is to stimulate entrepreneurship and support business expansion in southwest Nebraska.

Past winners of this plan have included: Citta' Deli, Game On Games, and The Loop Brewing Company and the 2019 winner, Tyler McCarty's Saltwater Hills, bringing a shrimp farm to the area.

The Hormel Family Foundation was founded in 1999 by the late Ben F. Hormel, a McCook entrepreneur, to support McCook Community College. Among his many business ventures, Hormel operated the Chevrolet dealership in McCook. When he passed away in 2002, he passed on the torch to his children and grandchildren, who operate the foundation today.

Their foundation is committed to education, entrepreneurship and business development in the McCook and southwestern Nebraska economic region. They believe that education and entrepreneurship are the strongest weapons against the population loss.

This year's sponsors are: McCook Economic Development, MNB, McCook Community Foundation Fund, Community Hospital, McCook Community College Foundation, McCook Community College, a Division of Mid-Plains Community College, and the Hormel Family Foundation.

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Heather Johnson
Area Communications Specialist

Heather produces and distributes press releases for the college. She began work at MPCC in 2014. Prior to that, she spent five years as the news director/web manager for Eagle Radio in North Platte. From 2009-2014 she worked as a reporter/photographer for The North Platte Telegraph. Heather has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chadron State College.

Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator​