Odean C. “Bob” Hagen of Oakland NE

Odean C. “Bob” Hagen of Oakland, Nebraska, passed away Monday, December 10, 2018 at Oakland Mercy Hospital, in Oakland.

Memorial Services pending with Pelan Funeral Services Oakland.


I Smile Through The Tears

For most people, at least I hope so, life is full of the love of family. Holidays are a special time. The family gathers to enjoy a holiday feast, but most importantly, they gather to share their love for one another.

That is most families. I, unfortunately, don’t know how that feels.

I used to. Before my dad died, family holidays were the best! Actually, we didn’t just get together for holidays. We got together all the time.

I was blessed to have two grandmas growing up and a grandpa. My grandpa Sundquist died when I was 3, so I don’t have many memories of him.

I also was lucky enough to have the extended family! Many aunts and uncles and great aunts and uncles. My great Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Leroy were more like grandparents to me than a great aunt and uncle.

Time passes People pass away. Family dynamics change.

Let’s fast forward to 1999. Dad died from an accident at work. We had to take him off of life support. I won’t go into details about that. Most people would understand how awful that would be.

I remember telling the love of my life, my husband Jeff, how I knew if Dad died before Mom, it wouldn’t be long, and I would be out of the family. I don’t know if it was just a feeling I had, or knowing how I was treated differently by mom.

I feared her all of my life. I still do. Nothing I ever did was right. She ridiculed my laugh. She actually told me to just shut up. Who says that? I know my laugh is loud. How do I change my laugh? I have laughed this way all of my life! I was born with my laugh. Her comments cut me to the core.

Three years ago in July, the family was to gather at Fremont Lakes for a sort of get together. This was a get together my sister Angie had been in charge of for a few years. Jeff and I had planned on going, as we usually did when it was his weekend off of work. Angie tried to plan it so all of us could go. But, later that morning, Jeff told me he didn’t want to go. He was just exhausted after a long week of work. He only gets every other weekend off, so being tired was understandable. So, we didn’t go.

I really didn’t think it was a big deal. Until later in the day when my sister Angie texted me calling me many names I won’t repeat.

Since then, I have been deleted from the family. So has my daughter Whitney.

She didn’t go because she was visiting her brother-in-law in the hospital.

I have reached out to my mother and my siblings only to be ignored or to have horrible things said to me that are not close to true. How can someone that has known me all of my life say such things? How can my own mother say the horrendous things she said to me that day? I had her on speaker phone so Jeff heard her. He was shocked. I just can’t repeat it. What she said is so beyond my realm of understanding. She had texted me months prior telling me that she was going to call Jeff and tell him he better straighten me out! What??? I do know how much Angie loathes me. She has all of her life. I tolerated her behavior because I wanted to get along. She took advantage of me and yes, I let her. I am beyond appalled at how this all turned out.

Maybe I shouldn’t share this. But, I am going to. If my dad was here, this would not be happening. I was his “sis.” He was always my good parent. He read to me when I was little. He was always there for me. He was the best dad ever. He would be ashamed at how the family that he loved and was so proud of, turned out.

At the end of the day, I have so much to be thankful for. Whitney and I have gotten so much closer. Her and her husband Tri, and the kids, Penelope and Rowen mean the world to me. And another one is on the way! We spend our holidays and so many other days together. I love them more than I can say.

Each and every night, when I close my eyes to go to sleep, I pray to my dad. I know he is looking out for me. I know I have his love each and every day. He gave me life, but more than that, he gave me all of his love. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.


James Stearnes of Oakland NE

James Stearnes of Oakland, Nebraska, passed away Monday, November 12, 2018 at his home in Oakland.

Funeral Services pending with Pelan Funeral Services Oakland.

Election is in Just Five Days!

I would like to start my column by reminding everyone to vote! Also, for the citizens of Oakland, remember, there is a debate tonight with the candidates for the Mayor and the candidates for the Oakland-Craig School Board. The debate begins at 6:30 p.m. at the gymnasium in the new school. This is your chance to learn about the candidates, where they stand on issues, why they are running for their respective offices and also for them to answer questions from those in attendance.

I strongly encourage everyone to attend. I have always believed in getting the facts about those running for office before making a decision on whom to vote for. I don’t vote for someone just because I know them or like them. People often are different once they are elected to an office than who they are personally. I am also one that doesn’t like vague responses to questions. I want exact answers. To me, if someone is being vague, they are hiding something. I lose trust for those type of people quickly.

There is another item on the ballot that concerns Oakland citizens greatly. Do you want the sales tax in Oakland raised 1/2%? I will vote no for this. Why? Because as I just mentioned in the last paragraph, vague answers as to what the money will be used for. Do we need an auditorium? Maybe. But, bottom line to me is, do we want the library moved to a new building, possibly the upstairs of the auditorium? Or, more recently, the rumor has been going around town that the library could be moved to the Police Department building. As I said, rumor. Nobody is being clear on the future of the library. I will say, I have been in the Police Department, and that is not, in my opinion, a good fit for the library. Size is a concern to me. Keep in mind, the library purchased the vacant lot next to them to add on to the library. I am all for that happening!

I agree the city could use more money. Budgets are difficult to do. I am personally aware of that. But, definite answers are what I need to hear before I will vote for a sales tax increase. Maybe there are other ways to come up with the money? I have looked at the budget sheets for the last several years and this year. I wish everyone would. Then maybe you would see where your money is going. I am sure after looking over the budgets, you would have some serious concerns. I know I do.

Remember, every one of us has freedom of speech. I personally don’t care if you have a sign in your yard indicating who you favor in the election. You have every right to say who your candidate is, who you will vote for and yes, put the sign in your yard if you so choose. Nobody should treat anyone differently because of who they are supporting in an election. And, you should never fear backlash for doing so.

Let’s be kind.

Go to the debate.

Go to the polls.


Whoever is elected, we want the best for the community and the school.

Wednesday, the 7th, we move forward.


People Flock to Memories Cafe for Free Food on Halloween

Memories was a hit during the Halloween festivities on Oakland’s Main Street. The cafe was giving away free hot dogs, beef burgers, chips, cookies and drinks for people to enjoy while out trick or treating! My granddaughter, Snow White, was one of those that enjoyed a break from trick or treating, stopping into Memories for food and refreshments! All Photos credit of Denise Gilliland/Editor and Chief, Kat Country Hub.

Trick or Treating on Oakland’s Main Street

Oakland’s Main Street was full of kids on Halloween, going up and down the streets in their various costumes, trick or treating at the local businesses. It was a beautiful day and enjoyed by all. All photos credit of Denise Gilliland/Editor and Chief, Kat Country Hub.

The Grandkids Come to Trick or Treat in Oakland!

Penelope and Rowen, my grandkids, came to trick or treat on Oakland’s Main Street today. Photo credit/Whitney Tran and also Denise Gilliland/Editor and Chief, Kat Country Hub.

Debate for OC School Board Candidates and Oakland Mayor Candidates This Thursday!

The candidates for the Oakland-Craig School Board and for Oakland City Mayor will be in the spotlight Thursday, November 1, 6:30 p.m. at the Oakland-Craig Elementary gymnasium for a debate. The OC School Board candidates are Aaron Anderson, Brett Johnson, Ed Fredrickson, Diane Johnson, Tony Moseman, Dan Gramke, Marilee Groth and Jennings Johnson. The candidates for Oakland’s Mayoral race are Dan Jacobs and current mayor, Ted Beckner.

There will be prepared questions during the debate, with each candidate given an allotted amount of time to respond, along with each candidate stating why they are running for office. Afterwards the public will be allowed to ask questions. So come prepared! Have your questions ready! This is the time to become more informed about the candidates and possible assist voters in making a critical decision regarding whom is best to be voted to serve the community.

Hope to see everyone there!

Oakland City Council September Meeting Minutes

Minutes of City Council Meeting

City of Oakland, NE

Regular Meeting

September 17th, 2018

A meeting of the Mayor and City Council of the City of Oakland, Nebraska was convened in open and public session at 5:30 p.m. on September 17th, 2018 at the Oakland Auditorium.  This was the regular monthly meeting.  The meeting was called to order by Council President Greg Mockenhaupt. On roll call, Council members, Council President Greg Mockenhaupt, Matt Johnson and Dan Jacobs . Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc.

Notice of the meeting was given in advance thereof by the posting of a notice, one of the designated methods for giving notice, as shown by the certification of posting attached to these minutes.  Availability of the agenda was communicated in the advance notice and in the notice to the Mayor and City Council.

Council President Greg Mockenhaupt reminded all present of the location of the Open Meeting Laws poster in the back of the Rosen Room and stated that the council would be conducting business in accordance with said law. Mayor Ted Beckner asked all present to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Motion made at 5:31pm by Dan Jacobs to accept the September 17th, 2018 agenda. Seconded by Matt Johnson. All council present voted AYE. Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc.

The minutes of the August 20th and September 10th, 2018 meeting were presented. M.Johnson made a motion at 5:32pm to approve the minutes as presented-D.Jacobs seconded.  All council present voted AYE. Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc.

Motion made to approve August 2018 Treasurer’s Report  by  M.Johnson and seconded by D.Jacobs at 5:32pm. All council present voted AYE. Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc.


At 5:33pm Danielle with Firstar Fiber and NDEQ approached Council with the “Needs Assessment Report” that they had gathered going over recycling options and what directions Oakland could go to increase our recycling. She touched base on what Oakland’s landfill is currently made of for recycling and what could be added-what funds and grants there are out there to help with supplies to allow Oakland to become more up to date on recycling. With the help of Dannika Nelson’s Chemistry students we can start a “Dual Stream Recycling” in Oakland. At 6:24pm M.Johnson made a motion to move the topic of “Dual Stream Recycling” to be tabled until October’s Regular Meeting. D.Jacobs seconded the motion. All council present voted AYE. Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc. Mrs. Nelson’s students will return with information/material that they will gather up for November 2018’s Regular Council Meeting.

Police Department

  • Oakland’s Police Department Chief Poland reviewed what the School Resource Officer’s program reports will look like – given to School Board Members each monthly meeting- as well as to the City Council monthly.
  • The Oakland Police Department participated in the nationwide “You Drink & Drive You Lose Crackdown.” Results from this grant funded enforcement yielded in the 15 citations, and 59 warnings/defect violations for a total of 73 vehicle stops.
  • The Oakland Police Department was awarded several grants in the months of August and September- $700 towards K-9 Program – $2,000 towards update of radar equipment- and $60,000 towards vehicles from the Nielsen Foundation.

Departmental Reports-

  • Street Department-
    • Discussion about curb numbers needing to be painted- it was finalized that it is the property owner’s responsibilities to repaint them unless a school related or volunteer group volunteer their time to repaint for owner. Curb number are needing to be visiable not only for postal services but for 911 Emergency purposes.


  • Park & Recs Department-
  • Solid Waste Department-
    • At 7:00pm M.Johnson made a motion to approve the 2018 Lease of Re-Purchase Agreement for Solid Waste 242D Caterpillar Skid Steer Loader, seconded by D.Jacobs. All council present voted AYE. Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc.
  • Water Department-


  • Superintendent Matt Johnson discussed with Council and fire detergents being painted. Fire Chief Nick Seery and Water Supervisor Dan Tanksley III Jr. are in communication on this topic.
  • Pool Department-



At 7:14pm M.Johnson made a motion to approve the 2018/19 Budget , seconded by D.Jacobs. All council present voted AYE. Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc.


At 7:15pm M.Johnson made a motion to approve the 2018 Tax Levy of 1%, seconded by D.Jacobs. All council present voted AYE. Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc.


At 7:16pm M.Johnson made a motion to table topic E-1 on the Agenda – Auditor request and proposals to be on October 2018’s Agenda. Seconded by D.Jacobs. All council present voted AYE. Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc.


At 7:28 M.Johnson made a motion to find more bids/quotes on Computer backup services for the City Office, seconded by D.Jacobs. All council present voted AYE. Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc.



The bills and warrants were presented to the City Council as follows:


AETNA                               26,359.16

AMERICAN BROADBAND CLEC                373.94

Anderson Hardware                      505.50

ANDY’S QUIK STOP                       739.16

Barco Municipal Products Inc.          490.00

Bomgaars Supply Inc.                   172.92  *

Braniff Service                        352.24

Burt Co. Sheriff’s Office               30.00

Central Valley Ag Cooperative        1,163.33

DEARBORN NATIONAL                       98.93

Encyclopedia Brittannica Inc.          500.00

Farmer’s Pride                         510.39

FIRST NATIONAL BANK OMAHA              410.67

Gene Steffy Chrysler                   175.80

GENERAL FIRE & SAFETY                   49.25

JUSTIN MEADER                          515.00

GREAT PLAINS UNIFORM                   352.00

Helena Chemical Co.                     40.63

Holmquist Lumber Inc.                   73.63

HYDRO OPTIMIZATION                   1,781.86

Ingram Library Services                811.65

IOWA PUMP WORKS                        669.07

  1. P. Cooke Co. 72.90

Johnson & Mock                         140.00

ALAN ROCKY LANE                      3,000.00

League Assoc.of Risk Managmnt.      68,933.31

League of NE Municipalities            818.00

Library Journal                        157.99

Midwest Laboratories                   416.50

NE Dept. of Revenue                     30.16

Nebraska D.E.Q.                        500.00

Nebraska Library Commission            500.00

NEBRASKA SPORTS                         60.00

Nelson’s Food Pride                    179.35

NNSWC LANDFILL                       1,918.81

Nebraska Public Power District            .00  *

Nebraska Public Power District       9,610.17

Oakland Independent                    174.49


Officenet                              158.80

ONE CALL CONCEPTS INC                   13.98

Plaindealer Publishing Co.              32.00

Quality Printing                       137.37

RIC ORTMEIER                        10,000.00

Robertson Implement Co.                 19.10


D.Jacobs made a motion to accept the warrants. M.Johnson seconded and all council present voted AYE- at 7:29pm. All council present voted AYE. Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc.

There being no further business to come before the council motion to adjourn meeting made by D.Jacobs, seconded by M.Johnson at 7:29pm. All council present voted AYE. Absent Mayor Ted Beckner and Councilman Luke Blanc.


_____________________________________________                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Ted R. Beckner, Mayor

______________________________________________                             _____________________________________________

Kayla Eisenmenger, Clerk                                                                                                      Greg Mockenhaupt, Council President

Election Time is Nearing!

Where did freedom of speech go?

Why can’t people voice their opinion, especially in politics, and not be verbally abused for doing so?

I am one to speak up! As I say over and over again, we are to leave this world a better place than when we found it.

I take freedom of speech seriously. I also respect those that disagree with me. Isn’t that what makes the world go around? Just because you disagree with someone, doesn’t mean you can’t respect them. I cherish my friends. We don’t always agree. But, they are still my friends.

On one news site, I made a comment supporting President Trump. I cannot tell you the verbal abuse I received over that! I was called names that would make Joan Rivers cringe by people that didn’t even know me.

Do I stop speaking? Do you know me?! I ALWAYS SPEAK UP! I appreciate a dialogue with others where conversation and varying opinions are respected. I don’t appreciate being called names for having my own opinion by people that don’t even back up their opinions. Instead, they choose to be verbally abusive.

Responsibility begins with YOU! Not just on a national level, but on a local level. Do your duty! Do your research. Call those running for office, no matter what office it is, and ask questions. Pay attention to where your tax dollars are going! I recently picked up the budget sheets for Oakland. I haven’t had time to review them yet, but I will be doing so very soon. Oakland citizens, are you wondering what the budget is for each department? Did you know you can go to the city office and pick one up? They are available to the public! It is our government!  You can also get budget sheets from the past years so you can compare them. That is what I did. I also have budget sheets from when I was on the council a few years ago. Take the time, pick them up, look them over and ask questions!

It is your right and responsibility! Ask the questions! Do your due diligence!

Stay tuned!

More to come!


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