Karen Hetrick, 67, of Walthill NE

Karen Sue (Swanson) Hetrick, 67, of Walthill, Nebraska passed away Friday, April 26, 2019 surrounded by her family at her home.  Funeral services will be held on Monday, April 29, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walthill; with Pastor Brion Tolzman officiating.  Visitation will be held Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walthill.  Burial will be held at a later date in Evergreen Cemetery in Walthill.  Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation.  Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender.

Karen Sue Swanson was born on July 20, 1951 to Ray E. and Dorla A. (Warnock) Swanson in Walthill, NE.  Karen was baptized on October 13, 1957 and confirmed on May 6, 1981 in Trinity Lutheran Church in Walthill.  She attended grade school and high school in South Sioux City, NE.  On December 14, 1967 Karen married Philip E. “Flip” Hetrick in South Sioux City.  They moved to Walthill making this their new home.  Karen owned and operated a daycare for over twenty years in Walthill, before retiring and watching after her own grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Karen enjoyed gardening, watching birds fly around her gardens and watching the Huskers every chance she had.  She was an amazing cook and could make just about anything from scratch.  Karen loved spending time with her family especially her grandchildren great grandchildren.

Karen is survived by her daughters, Melissa (Tim) Ruge of Decatur, NE, Robin (Scott) Davis of Hubbard, NE, Jill (Tom) Ruge of Lake Park, IA; sisters, Kris (Chris) Hittle of Nickerson, NE, Kami (James) Pierce of Walthill, NE; brother, Jarrod Swanson of Wayne, NE; grandchildren, Nikki (Trevor) Mullanix and their children McKenna, Kallie and Mason, Noel Ruge (fiancé Sean Minton) and their children Brody and Jax, Hannah Davis, Hunter Davis, Tyler Ruge, Tanna Ruge and Taryn Ruge.

Karen is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Philip “Flip” Hetrick; brother, Stephen Swanson.

Karen Hetrick


Deborah Lund, 67, of Bancroft NE

Deborah Lund, 67, of Bancroft, Nebraska passed away on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at Methodist Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.

Memorial services are currently pending with Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Bancroft.  

Deborah Lund

Larry Zessin, 71, of Warsaw MO

Larry Zessin, 71, passed away surrounded by family on April 26, 2019, at Cox Medical Center in Springfield, MO.

Funeral Service will be  Monday, May 6, 2018, 10:30 am, at First Baptist Church in Tekamah, Nebraska.  Visitation will be Sunday from 4 to 6 pm, with family receiving friends, at Pelan Funeral Services Tekamah. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to service at the church.  Burial with Military Honors Tekamah Cemetery in Tekamah.

Memorials to the family for later designation.

He was born to Walter and LaVern (Bartels) Zessin on January 3, 1948 in Norfolk, NE. During his younger years, he lived in the Madison, NE area, and later moved to Oakland, NE. Larry attended Universal Tradeschool for autobody in Omaha.  Larry then worked for Jim Wheeler Chevrolet in Tekamah.

On November 4, 1967, he married the love of his life, Joan McMullin and they were the proud parents of four children: Todd, Lisa, Lori and Ryan. In January of 1968, Larry was drafted into the United States Army and served 18 months in Germany where Joan was able to join him. During Larry’s time in the Army, Larry and Joan found a love for travel.  Larry was able to visit Germany several times throughout his life.

After Larry’s discharge from the Army, Larry and Joan lived briefly in Central City, NE then moved to Fremont for a couple of years.  In 1973, Larry purchased Warren Tiedtke’s body shop in Tekamah, NE. A few years later, Larry moved the business to a new shop he built at the south end of town. Larry always took pride in his work and was a proud self-employed business owner in Tekamah for 30+ years.

Ever since he was a young kid, Larry enjoyed hunting, fishing and the great outdoors.  His passion for the outdoors was more than a hobby; it was a large part of his life.  Time spent in the woods and on the water led to many memorable times and cocktails with family and friends that will never be forgotten.  After retiring from the auto body business, he and Joan were able to fulfill a dream of his by living in Alaska for two years and experiencing life in the Last Frontier. Following the two years in Alaska, they came back to Tekamah where they lived for ten years. In 2016, they moved to Warsaw, MO where they enjoyed retirement and made many new friends.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and LaVerna; sister, Sandra; brother, Lonnie.

Larry will be greatly missed by all who knew him, especially his family. He is survived by his wife, Joan Zessin; son, Todd (Becky) Zessin of Elkhorn, NE;  daughter, Lisa (Becky) Zessin of Kansas City, MO; daughter, Lori (Joe) Breckenridge of Bennington, NE; son, Ryan (Erika) Zessin of Aurora, CO; eight grandchildren: Brooklyn, Brennen, Justice, Samantha, Drew, Austin, Griffin and Jacob; brothers: Vern, Lennie and Ronnie; sister, Shirley.

Larry Zessin

Ursula Gudren DeMond, 79, of Craig NE

Ursula Gudren DeMond was born January 13, 1940, in Kaiserslautern, Germany, to Carl and Auguste (Höehn) Biehl. She passed away April 27, 2019 at her home in Craig, Nebraska.

Ursula completed her schooling in Germany. On July 4, 1957, Ursula was married to Benjamin Arthur DeMond in Kaiserslautern. They moved to the United States a short time after, and to this union were born three children: Michelle Ann, Constance Marie and Nicole Corrine.

Ursula worked for and managed two Hesteds Department Stores. She also worked as a manager at Goldstein Chapman Company and JCPenney. Upon her retirement from JCPenney, she resided in Bellevue, Nebraska. She moved to Craig, Nebraska in 2014.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Auguste Biehl; husband, Ben DeMond; sisters: Waltroud, Hedwig, Erna and Hannalore.

She is survived by her daughters: Michelle (Duane) Raynor of Omaha, NE, Constance (Timothy) Landsperger of Craig, Nicole (Dan) Crecelius of Harlan, IA; three grandchildren: Timothy (Gina) Landsperger of Herman, NE, Telia (Kyle) Day of Tekamah, NE, Benjamin Landsperger of Wisner, NE; four great grandchildren: Rory Landsperger, Hunter Landsperger, Audrey Landsperger, Kye Day.

In keeping with Ursula’s wishes, there are to be no services held.


Memorial Contribution


% University of Nebraska Foundation
1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300
Lincoln, NE 68508
Pelan Funeral Services is in charge of arrangements.

Ursula DeMond

The Missouri River by Decatur is Still Running High

We went for a drive last Saturday around Burt County. We decided to see how high the Missouri River is. It is still running high as can be seen in the photos I took. I assume they are still letting water out at Gavin’s Point. This has been such a tragic year for so many people who have lost so much due to the widespread flooding. One never knows what Mother Nature has in store. All photos credit of Denise Gilliland, Editor and Chief/Kat Country Hub.

Flood Warning

…The Flood Warning continues for the following rivers in South

Big Sioux River Near Brookings
Big Sioux River below Dell Rapids
Big Sioux River At Sioux Falls North Cliff
Big Sioux River above Hawarden
Big Sioux River At Akron
Little Sioux River near Milford
Little Sioux River at Spencer
Little Sioux River At Linn Grove
James River At Huron
James River Near Forestburg
James River At Mitchell
James River Near Scotland
James River Above Yankton
Missouri River At Niobrara
Missouri River At Springfield
Big Sioux River near Estelline
Big Sioux River Near Bruce
Big Sioux River near Flandreau
Big Sioux River near Egan
Big Sioux River near Trent
Big Sioux River near Dell Rapids
Big Sioux River At Sioux Falls I-90
Big Sioux River at Brandon
Big Sioux River near Canton
Big Sioux River at Fairview
Big Sioux River near Richland
Split Rock Creek Below Jasper
West Fork Des Moines River near Avoca
West Fork Des Moines River Near Windom

.The following river forecasts include forecast precipitation through
tonight. Any additional future rains could affect the crest
The Flood Warning continues for
The Big Sioux River near Canton.
* until further notice.
* At 09AM Monday the stage was 1238.12 feet.
* Flood stage is 1235.00 feet.
* At stages near 1238 feet…Nearly all crop and pasture land in the
1/2 mile wide flood plain will be inundated.

Safety message…Do not drive cars through flooded areas. the water
depth and road condition may be unsafe.

Additional information is available at


Our Family’s Easter! We Are Blessed!

Jeff and I are truly blessed. We enjoyed a beautiful Easter Sunday with our loved ones. And, Penelope and Rowen stayed with us for 2 days after Easter! Life is precious. We enjoy every minute with those near and dear to us. Memories made. Our family is our world! All photos/Denise Gilliland, Editor and Chief/Kat Country Hub.

Frost Advisory

…FROST ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 AM CDT SUNDAY… The National Weather Service in Omaha/Valley has issued a Frost Advisory, which is in effect from 10 PM this evening to 7 AM CDT Sunday. * TEMPERATURES…As low as 31. * TIMING…Frost is expected to develop late this evening and persist through early Sunday morning. * IMPACTS…Frost could harm sensitive outdoor vegetation. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A Frost Advisory means that widespread frost is expected. Sensitive outdoor plants may be killed if left uncovered.

Senator Hansen’s Bill LB 304 “Cottage Foods” Passes First Round of Debate

By Senator Ben Hansen

It was a great week at the Capitol as we moved through a good amount of committee and senator priority bills.  As I mentioned in an earlier column, the rest of the 2019 session is going to be made up bills senators have chosen as their priority bills or bills the different committees have identified as priority bills for the session.  I really felt like we were able to make some progress this week, taking action on some big issues.

We kicked off Monday with debate on my priority bill, LB 304.  As a reminder, the bill would allow individuals and families to sell the same cottage foods sold at farmers markets from their homes.  We made some changes to the bill to require producers have their water tested if using a private well, register with the Department of Agriculture, and to clearly label the foods they sell.  On the floor I talked about how selling cottage foods could help a family make ends meet or could help kick start a small business, giving them the experience and funds to expand.  Nebraskans produce food for the rest of the world so it makes sense that these same producers should be able to sell food directly to consumers from their homes.  It’s a pure form of farm-to-table food production and one that we should encourage.  My priority bill passed the first round of debate with 41 votes.

Another major bill passing the first round of debate was LB 512 introduced by Senator Linehan.  The bill is the Department of Revenue’s annual cleanup bill, making changes as needed to Nebraska tax law.  Senator Erdman brought an amendment to include parts of his LB 482, introduced to make changes in assessment of destroyed property.  Sen. Erdman’s bill was introduced on January 22nd, long before the floods ravaged our region and even before they were predicted.  The new changes would allow for a reassessment of damaged property for tax purposes.  For example, if a building was damaged by a natural disaster, a landowner could request the building to be reassessed while it is being rebuilt or repaired.  Once the building is restored it would then be assessed again for tax purposes.  This bill, although not its original intent, could provide tax relief to victims of the flood and I was happy to vote yes on the bill along with 41 other senators.

On Thursday I and other senators on the Health and Human Services and Appropriations committees received a brief from state officials on the expansion of Medicaid, set for an implementation date of October 1st, 2020.  There’s a lot of work to do and I expect to be a part of many more hearings and briefs about expanded Medicaid as the year goes on.

The Revenue Committee is expected to release its proposals for property tax relief next week.  I’ve spoken about property taxes many times on the floor, and I’m excited to begin in-depth discussions about the #1 reason I ran for the legislature – property tax relief.

If you have questions or comments, please contact the District 16 office at (402)-471-2728 to speak with my Administrative Assistant, Ellie Stangl; or my Legislative Aide, Jacob Campbell.  You can also email me at bhansen@leg.ne.gov.  To follow along with the session please visit nebraskalegislature.gov or you may watch the live stream when available at netnebraska.org



Lisa Maise, 48, of Pender NE

Lisa Maise, 48, of Pender, NE, passed away Sunday, April 14, 2019 at Pender Community Hospital.

Memorial services are pending with Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender.

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