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“Growing Together”
January 16, 2008


It’s January 16, 2008…already!

Friday night, January 18th, the SOS is sponsoring a free movie, The Rookie, at the Elmwood-Murdock Elementary school. Bring your blankets and pillows! A parent must accompany all students! Pizza (Valentino’s!) and drinks are available from 5:30 – 6:30 pm before the movie – cost is minimal. Popcorn and pretzels will be sold for the movie. The movie starts at 6:30…don’t be late!

The local Lions Club is having a used eyeglasses and hearing aid drive. Buckets are available at the elementary school so that students, parents, and patrons may bring used eyeglasses and hearing aids to the school to be deposited. Glasses that are collected are sent to Rochester, Minnesota where they are cataloged and distributed all over the world.

Lions club buckets at school

The Elementary Parent Organization (S.O.S.) will be having a Soup Supper at the Murdock School on February 15, 2008 during the Louisville basketball game. The soup supper will be held in the old gym from 5:30 – 8:00 pm.

If you would like to help out with the Soup Supper people are needed to work on Thursday, February 14th at 2:00 pm at the kitchen in Murdock. They would be preparing and cooking the soups. Can you imagine how good that will smell? They also need help at the Soup Supperon Friday, February 15th. Donations of chicken and broth, hamburger, brownies, and soup crackers are being accepted, too! Contact Kim Rust (994-4395) or Miki Bruns (994-2770) if you want to help out or donate.

Why in the world would anyone pay for the privilege to wear a hat? Well, if you are a kid and your school is holding a Hats On Day fundraiser you would gladly pay. The fundraiser sponsored by the Elementary Student Council and will benefit the Foundation For Children With Cancer in St. Louis, Missouri. This fundraiser was a big hit last year and the kids are looking forward to it again this year.

Founded in 1994 when Kevin Beffa, a fifth grade boy in west St. Louis County, was battling cancer. A group of his friends aim was to create awareness among their peers about the sensitive issue of children undergoing chemotherapy, and related issues like hair loss, illness and missing school. Although Kevin passed away, Hats On Day continues efforts in his memory.

In addition to having one day for a fundraiser the Elmwood-Murdock Elementary school has set the week of January 14th through the 18th aside for this effort. Donations will be accepted all week long. Children are encouraged to bring spare change in all week. There is a competition to see which class can raise the most money. Each class will get a jar at Monday’s assembly to start collecting money. The first fifty cents donated by the student will allow them to wear a hat on Hats On Day which will be Friday, January 18th. The class that raises the most money will win a movie party sponsored by the student council. There will be prizes awarded for the most colorful, the silliest, the fuzziest, the prettiest, the hat with the most school spirit, the biggest, the smallest, the most original, and the wordiest hat. All hats must follow the school dress code and be appropriate for a school event.

Fifth grader, Brenna Backemeyer was the winner of the Geography Bee! Now she will take a written test to qualify for the State Geography Bee. Brenna is the daughter of Curt and Cindy Backemeyer of Elmwood. Both are teachers are Elmwood-Murdock Elementary. Good Luck, Brenna! Congrats on doing so well!!! Now who’s smarter than a fifth grader?

Insert picture of Brenna

Brrr!!! Who is thinking about outside sports right now? The people who are planning ahead, that’s who! Soccer season is rolling around and the registration forms are available in the office at the Elementary School building. The Waverly Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring soccer for grades pre-K through 3rd. Registration deadline is February 7th.



Did you catch the story about the Flying Wheels in the Omaha World Herald this week? What a nice job the reporter and photographer did for us. John Ferak and his wife and almost 3 year old daughter came out one Saturday morning to skate and check us out. John’s wife was oh-so-pregnant and could not skate but he and his little girl were able to take more than a few turns. I had talked with John several times on the phone so it was nice to actually meet him. As always, it is a small world. His wife is cousins with a girl I grew up with in Auburn and I work with another of her other cousins.

John is a good reporter and asked all kinds of great questions about the rink and our customers. I couldn’t say enough good things about the people of Elmwood and the surrounding towns. Everyone is so glad to have a skating rink nearby and is always encouraging us. I have interviewed people for the stories I write for this newsletter so it was fun to be on the other side of the notebook. I think John captured us very well in his story and maybe it will bring more kids to the rink. Can we ever have too many? Last Saturday night the photographer, Rebecca, came out and spent the evening with us. She was there for hours and took tons of pictures. The final pictures that made it in the article were of Raeanna Jordan and Catherine Sauer spinning around and another picture was of Jessie Spaulding, Cassie Novak, Sheridan Spohr, and Wyatt Stroy lounging on the couch wearing silly hats. Well, Wyatt wasn’t wearing the silly hat in the picture but that is only because the girls had taken it away from him. Another picture showed the racks of quad skates. Rebecca enjoyed her time with us because she grew up in Ohio going to a skating rink, too. It brought back a lot of old memories for her. It was fun being the interviewee for a change. The kids loved talking with Rebecca, too. They were all very curious as to why she was taking pictures. We’ll post the story with the pictures at the rink so they can all see the results. If you missed the story on Monday you can click this link or go to and search the archives for it.



The Elmwood Public Library has recently been the recipient of a grant from the Libri Foundation. The Libri Foundation was established in 1989 for the sole purpose of helping rural libraries acquire new, quality, hardcover children’s books they could not otherwise afford to buy. Since October 1990, the Foundation has donated over $3,500,000 worth of new children’s books to more than 2,300 libraries in 48 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.

The Foundation supports the concept that children who learn to enjoy reading at an early age continue to read throughout their lives. In order to develop a love of reading, children must have access to books which stretch their imaginations, touch their emotions, and expand their horizons.

The Foundation works with the local library’s Friends of the Library or other local organizations because we believe in community involvement and want to encourage and reward local support of libraries. The Friends, or other local sponsors, can contribute from $50 to $350 which the Foundation matches on a 2-1 ratio. Thus, a library can receive up to $1,050 worth of new, quality, hardcover children’s books through the Foundation’s BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program.

Library Director, April Andersen, did the research to find out if the library was eligible for the grant and found out it was this year. Apparently you can only use it every three years. They were able to raise $100 from the Christian Church & Bits N Pieces, $100 from Ken Snyder with Snyder Photography, and $150 from the Library Board. Ultimately they were able to purchase 67 new books ranging from preschool books to sixth/seventh grade level books.

Once they were awarded the grant April asked two teachers to help review the list of books she had selected. Kindergarten teacher, Diane Vice, and third grade teacher, Cindy Backemeyer, provided helpful advice as to which books would be beneficial and to make sure they work with the school curriculum. Most of the books are award winning books and range from non fiction, fiction, to fantasy.

In order to celebrate their good fortune April invited the SonShine Daycare, Mrs. Vice’s kindergarten class, Mrs. Backemeyer’s third grade class, Mrs. Diane Willadsen’s fourth grade class and Ms. Sarah Sempek’s fourth grade class to the library on Monday for treats and to see the books. Over 100 kids packed into the library to “check out” the new books. The books were made available to students with library cards that day. These books will come in handy this summer for the summer reading program.

April also has some news about the computers at the library. Merl Merchant, with Specialized Computer Solutions, is reviewing the computers at the library to ensure that the set up meets the needs of the library patrons. Currently one computer is available but when Merl is done there will be three computers available for patrons to search the internet, type reports, or play games. Children eighteen and under need a parent to sign a permission slip in order to use the computers. No library card is required. There are time limits depending on how many people are waiting in line. If no one is waiting there is a one hour time limit but if someone is waiting it will be limited to 30 minutes. If you need a longer amount of time just check with the librarian to see if it is possible. There is an online filtering system to ensure kids are safe but adults can use a password to get to other sites. The library does ask that the patrons keep their searches to appropriate sites. When I asked April if there was a rule about what sites adults could visit she said they could go where ever they were comfortable as long as they realized her and Jody would be looking over their shoulders!

Don’t forget you can drop off your dry cell batteries for recycling at the library, too! This does not include car batteries! And don’t drop them in the book return slot!

New Library Hours – effective October 1st, 2007
Monday: 9:00am-12:00pm & 2:00pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday: 2:00pm-8:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am-12:00pm & 2:00pm - 8:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am-12:00pm & 2:00pm - 5:00pm


The Village of Elmwood is taking applications to contract with an Animal Control Officer. Applicants must show qualification, experience, and proof of insurance.
Interested individuals should contact the Elmwood City Hall at 994-6705 or Ed Blunt at 994-3295.

You may ask why we need to control our animals…I have two dogs and a cat and I haven’t been able to control them but if someone else wants to try more power to them! If you see either of these two dogs below roaming free please call me.

We keep them on a tight rein and allow them little freedom. I don’t know what they would do if they got loose…yes, I do…they would get ran over because they have no sense. We had a yellow lab that escaped last winter and got ran over. It wasn’t the driver’s fault. We still don’t know how she got out of her pen but she must have heard the call of the wild and answered it. Venus was a wonderful dog but we couldn’t let her run loose. It was obviously deadly for her. And it was very upsetting for the nice guy who hit her. He put her in the back of his truck and drove around town for an hour trying to find someone who knew who owned her. Of course, we were at work but he stopped at CD’s Express and our neighbor happened to be there so he called me. It was a hard lesson for all of us but we will be more careful with the little dogs. We also help look after our neighbor’s dog that sometimes gets loose. Chevy likes the freedom but is exhausted by the time she is caught. We love the dogs but they clearly can’t be responsible for thinking for themselves. If you have dogs please keep track of them. I like to walk my dogs around town but we often are followed by big dogs that are just roaming free. Sometimes they aren’t nice. It is very scary to go for a walk and find out half way through it that someone’s two pitbulls are loose and are very agitated. That happened to me. I was far from home and had to walk past where they were congregated. My little dogs seem fierce when they are in our yard and someone walks by. I don’t know that they wouldn’t chase them so I keep them tied up. Just in case. You never know what they might do. They could lick you to death.

Aunt Edie & Uncle Wes,
Mom & Dad finally came and got their U-Haul and are officially moved in to their new home! Just wanted to let you know they have been reunited with their junk.

My parents collected their vehicles and took them to their new home in Bolivar, Mo., which is 27 miles north of Springfield. They were living in Rio Linda, California and decided it was too expensive to retire there so they loaded up the truck and headed East. They parked the truck here and put the Studebaker in storage and started driving around the Midwest. They made it to Bolivar and liked what they found. They bought a nice house with two and a half acres. Enough room for dad to build a shop. Probably for all his junk and the Studebaker. But that gives him a place to go and mom some peace. There might even be room for a go-cart track. Now we have somewhere to vacation! A big thanks to Lou and Suzie for accommodating their vehicles and especially to Suzie for giving up her personal garage during snow season. Apologies to everyone who drove by the truck everyday wondering just who owned that redneck mobile. The red International has been in the family longer than I have. Dad hauled it to California and back. I would never ask him to choose between me and it…I know who would win!


Once again, I have had plenty to say. Hopefully I am not speaking as much as I am writing. I’m sure my husband would have a comment on that. I just have a lot to say! But I’m learning that not everyone wants to hear it. Vince has found one way to shut me up…no, not the duct tape…although we did get a lot of good ideas from that book we got for our wedding…(thanks John & Shirley!). Vince put a wood stove in our living room. All he has to do is stoke that with some logs and it is so warm and cozy in the living room we just fall asleep. So I’m working on the resolution!

Have a great week!

Julie Anderson


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Village of Elmwood, NE, 2006- 2007