Megan Kay Cameron, 34, of Lyons NE

Monty “Rex” Preston, 86, of Lyons NE

Monty “Rex” Preston was born to Allen and Gladys (Crowell) Preston September 1, 1931 in Walthill, Nebraska. He passed away May 18th, 2018, at his home in Lyons, Nebraska.

He attended Parks School in rural Rosalie and graduated from Lyons High School in 1950. In December of 1950, he enlisted into the United States Navy. He proudly served 4 years. He was 20 degrees away from traveling completely around the entire world.

On January 7th, 1955, he was married to Donna Mae Swanson in Decatur, Nebraska. They lived most of their lives on a farm raising their 6 children. In later years, he enjoyed working at the Oakland Golf Club and Helena. He was also a member of the VFW, Lyons American Legion and Bethany Lutheran Church. He was also a Mason and Shriner.

He was preceded in death by his parents; 3 brothers: Dave, Duane and Kay; and 6 sisters: Betty, Audrey, Shirley, Bev, Margarite, and infant sister; grandchildren: Amy Anderson and Kevin and George Bacon.

Survivors include his wife, Donna; six children: Kim (John) Helzer of Tekamah, Denise (Jeff) Anderson of Lyons, Kristi (Gary) Bacon of Lyons, Janelle McCluskey of Lyons, Don (Shelley) Preston of Wayne and Ron (Lisa) Preston of Firth; 13 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; and brother-in-law, Rick Nelson; sister-in-law, Mary Bacon; numerous nieces and nephews and numerous great grandpuppies.

Pelan Funeral Services of Lyons is in charge of arrangements.


Upcoming Events



May 21st

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Bethany Lutheran Church614 Main Street
PO Box 168
Lyons, Nebraska 68038

Prayer Service will start at 7 pm. Family will be receiving friends.



May 22nd

1:30 PM
Bethany Lutheran Church614 Main Street
PO Box 168
Lyons, Nebraska 68038

Military Honors will be held at the cemetery.

Cemetery Details


Lyons Cemetery

Lyons, NE 68038

Memorial Contribution


Rex Preston

Megan Kay Cameron, 34, of Lyons

Megan Kay Cameron, 34 years, of Lyons, Nebraska passed away Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa as the result of domestic violence.

Memorial Services are pending with Pelan Funeral Services Lyons.

Megan Cameron

Audit Report For Village of Craig

On December 18, 2017, the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts (APA) received a complaint from the “Anonymous citizens of Craig” alleging the mishandling of public funds by the Clerk for the Village of Craig (Village) at that time, Kristie Jensen.

On December 21, 2017, the APA emailed Ms. Jensen to request certain Village financial records, including bank statements, claims listings, treasurer reports, etc. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-305 (Supp. 2017) grants the APA “access to any and all information and records, confidential or otherwise, of any public entity” and requires a response within three days to any such record request. Moreover, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-305.01 (Cum. Supp. 2016) states the following:

Any person who willfully fails to comply with the provisions of section 84-305 or who otherwise willfully obstructs or hinders the conduct of an audit, examination, or related activity by the Auditor of Public Accounts or who willfully misleads or attempts to mislead any person charged with the duty of conducting such audit, examination, or related activity shall be guilty of a Class II misdemeanor. Nevertheless, despite at least seven repeated attempts by the APA to obtain the requested Village financial records from her, Ms. Jensen continually failed to respond appropriately.


After several months of waiting for Ms. Jensen to comply with the initial request, the APA worked with Village Board member, Chris Swenson, to obtain the Village’s official bank statements from First Northeast Bank of Nebraska. Additionally, Mr. Swenson provided the APA with other financial reports submitted to the Village Board, such as certain approved claims listings, as requested. As a result of our subsequent preliminary work, which included a review of the bank statements and other financial reports obtained through Mr. Swenson, the APA identified specific concerns regarding Ms. Jensen’s handling of Village funds, especially in her role as the sole signatory of all Village checks during the period examined.

Those concerns included the following: 1. A significant number Village checks were payable to credit card companies, banks, or other potential personal vendors, including Visa, Home Depot, Synchrony Bank, Comenity Bank, Wells Fargo Financial, Verizon, and American Family Insurance. These checks did not appear on the claims listings created by Ms. Jensen and submitted to the Village Board for approval.

The APA also questioned the total dollar amounts of certain Village checks signed by Ms. Jensen, including over $80,000 paid to Visa from September 2015 through December 2017. 2. A significant number of Village checks were paid to Ms. Jensen for amounts in excess of her approved monthly salary. 3. A document obtained from Cleo Toelle, a CPA who performed accounting work for the Village, was a September 2016 Village bank statement that Ms. Jensen had provided to him while preparing the Villages’ audit waiver and budget. When compared to the actual September 2016 Village bank statement received from First Northeast Bank of Nebraska, the copy that Ms. Jensen presented to Mr. Toelle appears to have been falsified. Furthermore, the bank statements received from the Village records did not contain the deposit or check images, which had been removed. VILLAGE OF CRAIG – 2 – BACKGROUND (Continued)

These specific concerns led Assistant Deputy Auditor Craig Kubicek, along with two other APA staff members, Dakota Christensen and Marielle Saathoff, to drive from Lincoln, Nebraska, to the Village office on April 9, 2018, to meet with Ms. Jensen on a surprise visit. The purpose of the surprise visit was to interview Ms. Jensen about the financial concerns noted. During that interview, Ms. Jensen admitted to having signed the Village checks made payable to Visa, Home Depot, Comenity Bank, Wells Fargo Financial, Verizon, and American Family Insurance for her own personal expenses; however, she claimed to be unable to recall the purpose of the payments to Synchrony Bank. Ms. Jensen also admitted to writing Village checks to herself in excess of her approved monthly salary. Additionally, Ms. Jensen admitted to manipulating the September 2016 bank statement to try to prevent an audit. Furthermore, Ms. Jensen admitted to removing the deposit and check images from the Village bank statements in an effort to prevent the CPA who was preparing the Village’s audit waiver and budget from discovering her activities. After the interview, Assistant Deputy Auditor Kubicek asked Ms. Jensen if any Village Board members were in town. Ms. Jensen telephoned Melissa Pedersen, a Village Board member, who arrived at the Village office soon thereafter.

Assistant Deputy Auditor Kubicek then described to Ms. Pedersen the activities to which Ms. Jensen had recently admitted. At that time, Ms. Jensen confessed once more to those same activities. Assistant Deputy Auditor Kubicek also telephoned Duane Hinman, the Village Board Chair. With Ms. Jensen participating in the conversation, Assistant Deputy Auditor Kubicek explained the situation to Mr. Hinman over a speaker phone. Ms. Jensen emphasized to Mr. Hinman that no one in her family was aware of the activities to which she had confessed. At the conclusion of these exchanges between Ms. Jensen, Ms. Pedersen, and Mr. Hinman, Assistant Deputy Auditor Kubicek contacted Frank Barron, the Burt County Attorney, to inform him of what had occurred. T

The Burt County Sheriff’s office discussed the case with the APA on April 13, 2018, and the APA provided information on the situation, including an Affidavit completed by Assistant Deputy Auditor Craig Kubicek. On April 19, 2018, an arrest warrant was issued for Ms. Jensen. As a result of her having confessed to the above activities, the APA subpoenaed certain personal records of Ms. Jensen. A municipality located in Burt County, Nebraska, the Village employs a Clerk – who, as permitted by Neb. Rev. Stat. § 17-209.02 (Cum. Supp. 2017), serves also as the Village Treasurer – a maintenance/water operator, and a seasonal part-time worker. According to records obtained by the APA, Ms. Jensen began working as a temporary Clerk for the Village in 1997. On April 12, 2018, only three days after the APA’s surprise visit, the Village Board terminated Ms. Jensen’s employment as the Village’s Clerk. VILLAGE OF CRAIG – 3 – BACKGROUND (Continued) As of March 31, 2018, the Village Board consisted of the following members:  Duane Hinman – Chairman of the Board  Chris Swenson – Trustee  Steve Nesemeier – Trustee  Melissa Pedersen – Trustee  Jean Meyer – Trustee The APA obtained records for the following Village bank accounts from the First Northeast Bank of Nebraska (Bank) in nearby Lyons, Nebraska. The Schedule of Bank Activity for the Village was prepared from these records. For security reasons, the account numbers will not be published in this report, but they are available to the Village or other authorized personnel upon request. Account Owner per Bank Account Name per Bank Village of Craig N.O.W. Account Village of Craig – Sewer Account Regular Savings Village of Craig – Craig School Demo Regular Account The APA has also accumulated the deposit and withdrawal banking details for all three accounts as Exhibits A-F herein.

The Village did not utilize accounting software, and much of the recording of financial activity was done manually by the Clerk. The Village billed for water, sewer, and garbage services provided to its residents. The Village also collected funds from rental of the community center, loan proceeds, Burt County receipts, State highway allocation funding, and other sources. The Village utilized receipt books for funds paid in cash; however, Ms. Jensen claims to have discarded those receipt books dated prior to November 2017. Village Ordinance No. 200, Section 17, “Audit,” which states, in relevant part, the following: The Village Board shall cause an audit of the Village accounts to be made by an independent and qualified accountant once every year beginning with the year 1971. Since the year 2000, the Village has not had an audit conducted by an independent certified public accountant. During that time, however, the Village did have audit waivers completed by independent certified public accountants and filed with the APA.

Although satisfactory for purposes of State law, this failed to meet the above Village ordinance’s requirement that actual annual audits be performed. Based on the information collected, the APA assisted the Village in completing the audit waiver form for the fiscal year 2017. This assistance was provided so the Village would have accurate fund balances going forward. As a result, the fund balances as of September 30, 2017, for the Village are shown in the table below. VILLAGE OF CRAIG – 4 – BACKGROUND (Concluded) Fund Fund Balance General Fund ($23,826.23) Special Revenue Funds – Park & Street $30,849.51 Debt Service Funds – Sweep Account ($13,000.00) Enterprise Funds – Water, Sewer, and Garbage $8,535.57 Total Fund Balance as of September 30, 2017 $2,558.85 The bank balances as of September 30, 2017, are shown in the table below. Bank Bank Balance General Bank Account $1,649.44 School Demo Bank Account $6,763.00 Sewer Bank Account $7,146.41 General Sweep Account ($13,000.00) Total Bank Balances as of September 30, 2017 $2,558.85 The completed Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements for the fiscal year 2017.

Mardelle LaMae (Nelson) Cates, 87, of Omaha NE, Formerly of Lyons NE

Mardelle LaMae (Nelson) Cates , age 87, of Omaha formerly of Lyons, Nebraska passed away May 16, 2018 at Elk Ridge Village in Omaha.  Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 21, 2018, 11:00 am at First Presbyterian Church in Lyons with burial in the Lyons Cemetery.  Visitation will be Sunday 1-3 p.m. with family receiving friends and Prayer Service at 3 p.m. all at Pelan Funeral Services Lyons.  Memorials to the family for later designation.  Pelan Funeral Services in Lyons in charge of arrangements.

Mardelle LaMae (Nelson) Cates was born to J. Peter and Ethel (Johnson) Nelson on May 21, 1930 in Oakland, Nebraska. She passed away on May 16, 2018 at Elk Ridge Village in Omaha, Nebraska, at the age of 87.

Mardelle grew up on a farm west of Lyons, Nebraska. She graduated from Lyons High School in 1947. On January 1, 1948 she married her high school sweetheart, R. Harlan Cates. They enjoyed 60 years of marriage.

Mardelle grew up on a farm west of Lyons, Nebraska. She graduated from Lyons High School in 1947. On January 1, 1948 she married her high school sweetheart, R. Harlan Cates. They enjoyed 60 years of marriage.

Harlan and Mardelle farmed several years before moving to Lyons with their children Sandi and Randy. Mardelle was very active in the First Presbyterian Church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday and Bible School, serving as a Deacon and belonging to the Mariners group. She also served as a leader in 4-H and Cub Scouts, was a part of Job’s Daughter Council and was an Eastern Star Worthy Matron.

Harlan and Mardelle were very active in the Lyons community, owning Swine Service Specialists, helping start Logan Valley Manor and supporting kids and grandkids as Lyons Lions and Lyons-Decatur Cougars. In later years, Mardelle enjoyed her time with friends and said her granddaughters were her pride and her great grandchildren were her joy.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Harlan.

She is survived by her daughter, Sandi (Doug) Anderson; son, Randy (Pam) Cates; four granddaughters, Kristin (Chuck) Lewis, Jennifer (Duane) Bartelt, Stephanie Cates, Sarah (Ryan) Kriss; sister, Darlene (Don) Wiese; great grandchildren, Ryan, Spencer, Grant and Chase Lewis, Carson and Ava Bartelt; many nieces and nephews, cousins and many, many friends.

Mardelle Cates


Judd Bogseth Notice

The Bogseth family are accepting calls and visitors.

Private family services will be held.

Judd Bogseth

Eunice LaVae Persson, 84, of Minneapolis, MN, Formerly of Oakland NE

Eunice LaVae Persson was born to George and Emelia (Willnard) Moseman on Jan. 27, 1934 in Oakland, Nebraska. She passed away May 11th in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the age of 84 years.

Eunice lived most of her life in Oakland, Nebraska where she graduated from high school in 1951. She graduated from nursing school in 1956 and worked as a nurse at Oakland Memorial Hospital, Oakland Heights Nursing Home and St. Francis Hospital in West Point, Nebraska as an LPN. On April 10, 1959 she and Lloyd Persson were married and made their home in Oakland. They had 3 children – Carl, Joanie and Jim. Jim married Michelle Sloma and now live in Omaha, Nebraska and has 3 children – Ashley, Andrew and Alex Persson. Joanie married Stephen Johnson of Minneapolis and has 2 children- Emelia and Alexander Johnson. Their son Carl resides in Rockford, Minnesota. Eunice spent most of her life in Oakland, but after the death of her husband, she moved to Minneapolis to stay with her daughter Joanie. Eunice was a lover of nature and loved to spend time sitting in the garden, watching the birds and helping her daughter decide what and where to plant! She loved to be with her grandchildren and sitting in her chair reading a good book. Eunice was a gentle soul who touched many lives. She will be greatly missed.

She is preceded in death by her husband Lloyd Persson, her parents George and Emelia Moseman, and her siblings Kermit Moseman, Bernice Nielsen and Erwin Moseman.

The family appreciates and is so thankful for the extraordinary outpouring of sympathy received since their mother’s death but per their mother’s request, a private graveside service for family only will be held at a later date.



 Private family services will be held


Memorial Contribution


Eunice Persson

Harold “Punky” Frye, 75, of Honey Creek, IA

Harold L. Frye, age 75, of Honey Creek, Iowa, passed away on May 14, 2018.

Visitation is 5:00p.m. to 7:00p.m. on Wednesday at the Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home. Funeral service is 10:00a.m. on Thursday at the funeral home. Interment will be in the St. Michael Cemetery in West Point, Nebraska. The family will direct memorials.

He was born in Herman, Nebraska on December 15, 1942 to the late Robert and Mattie (Whitnack) Frye. Harold was a boilermaker and retired from Local #83 after 46 years of service.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Kathleen; brothers, Monte Frye and Robert “Bobby” Frye; sisters, Mary Snyder and Betty Grady.

Harold is survived by his children, Kathy Copple, Jodi Frye, Jason Frye (Tina)  and  Tammy Harper (Shawn); brother, Stanley “Cork” Frye (Tammy); sisters, Alice Gorman and Rose Ackerman (George); 9 grandchildren; Tanner and Braden Copple, Jazmine and Jade Duhsmann, Madison and Gavin Voelker-Frye, Dawson Frye, Lane Harper and 1 great grandson; Ryker Doud, his dog Tigger, a host of other family and friends.

Harold Frye

Kats’ Korner: What the Prospect of a New Community Center Could Mean for the Oakland Public Library

On May 5th and 6th, there were meetings held at the Oakland City Auditorium to discuss the possibility of a new Community Center being built in Oakland. I wasn’t able to attend, but I have opinions on the subject. To those that attended, please don’t hesitate to contact me and share your views. Even if you didn’t attend, I want to hear from you!

My first concern is the library. Granted, the plans aren’t set in stone. But, all the same, as citizens of Oakland, we should all be aware of what the potential plans involve.

A few years ago, the library purchased the lot to the north of its’ location in anticipation of future expansion. If the current plans for the new Community Center come to fruition, those plans will go by the wayside.

The plans include renovating the current city auditorium, expanding to the north, which will mean the police department will also lose their building. From what I gather, they may relocate to another building.

Back to the library. If, and I mean if, this happens, the city office would move into the library. The library would move to the top floor of the city auditorium.

For one, in my opinion, the city office does not need that much space. I know for a fact that more people go into the library in one day than go to the city office in a week. The library is the leading source of information in Oakland. The library benefits our youth. They have access to hundreds of books and the computers, assisting them with their educational needs.

In my opinion, if it is moved to the top floor of the auditorium, less people will use it. Our elderly in the community can park close to the library, and within a few steps, they are in the door. There isn’t as adequate parking at the city auditorium. It is in the business district. The grocery store, Golden Oaks, a beauty shop, just to name a few, have many patrons. Parking would not be adequate.

I assume they would have to bring the city auditorium up to code, providing handicap access, thus providing an elevator to the second floor. But yet, I ask you, will you walk extra steps to get to an elevator? You may park a block or more away to go to the library.

I realize there may be a need for the community center. West Point built a new community building where many wedding receptions have been held. People from Oakland have had their receptions there due to Oakland not having an adequate building for such an occasion. Lyons also remodeled their city auditorium and many local events are also being held there too. Oakland maybe does need one, maybe. But, should it be at the expense of relocating the library? I am hoping not. As I compared Oakland to West Point and Lyons’ community centers, compare Oakland’s library to Lyons and Tekamah. They are much larger and newer. Tekamah recently built a new addition onto their existing structure. Lyons relocated their small library to a new, remodeled building, providing a much greater service to the community. Oakland’s library was looking into this before the idea of a new community center became the discussion. Now, who knows what will happen?

Yes, it is important to keep up with the times, as they say, and building a community center would do that. But, this is not keeping up with the times for the library. It is going in reverse.

If you have concerns, please make your voice heard. Each and every one of us in this community need to take responsibility for what happens in Oakland. I for one, am against moving the library. I hope other plans are considered, keeping the library where it is and allowing the library to expand, providing even greater service to the community.

That is my opinion. What is yours? Contact me and share your thoughts, but also let the city office hear from you!



Merle Kilgore, 87, of Oakland NE

Merle Kilgore was born May 31, 1930 to William and Hazel (Raitt) Kilgore in David City, NE. He spent all of his childhood years there as an ornery brother to 3 siblings: Dolores, Kate, and Denny. After graduation from high school in 1947 he joined the army and went to Korea during the war there. He met his wife, Doris Kroft on a double date. She left her purse in the car, so he would have to bring it back to her and meet again. They married Nov. 2, 1952. They had 2 daughters, Debbie (Carl Fritsch in Minneapolis) and Sheri (Gary Duff, in Omaha).

After his time in the military, Merle worked for the Nebraska Power Company, traveling around the state, putting up power lines until he settled in Crawford, NE and lived there for 9 years. During that time, he was adventurous and started a real stagecoach in Fort Robinson with his partner, Vernon Rockey. He often took his family hiking in the Pine Ridge hills.

In 1968, he moved his family to Oakland, NE to be the superintendent there for NPPD. He was instrumental in the Four Trees and other low-rent housing developments. At times, during his life he was a volunteer for the fire department.

Merle was one of the key people involved in both the planning and construction of the New Life Assembly of God Church building. The Church owes the existence of its current building in large part to Merle’s experience, expertise and volunteered time in planning, design and construction.

Merle was always attentive to the needs of the New Life Church building. He was quick to notice any needed upkeep projects and was often first to start on them.

Because he saved well in a good time of growth, he was able to retire at the age of 60 and went on the road to volunteer for the MAPS program for 22 years. MAPS (Mission America Placement Service) is a branch of the Assembly of God church that organizes volunteers to build churches and buildings for their Teen Challenge ministry. He did this until he had a stroke in 2012, which dampened his physical abilities, but not his spirit.

He passed away after a short illness. He is survived by his wife Doris, daughters Debbie and Sheri, 9 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Mon., May 14th at the New Life Assembly of God Church at 10:30 a.m.


Merle Kilgore

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