Best Painter in Omaha gives Modisett Ball Park a facelift

By Rachael Huether

Rushville alum Cory Shedeed, of Cory Dean’s Painting in Omaha, along with his crew of six, could be seen at the Modisett Ball Park in Rushville last week, giving the buildings a fresh coat of paint.

A 1991 graduate of Rushville High School, Shedeed talked about playing baseball at the Modisett Ball Park growing up. “My first year playing baseball was in little league for the Hinn’s Hornets. Lorna Hinn was my coach. After that, we started Legion Baseball. We played all of our games at Modisett Ball Park. My coaches were John Tausan and Mark Loosvelt - two of the best coaches a kid could have asked for. We actually traveled to Wakefield, Neb., (by Norfolk) to play in the state tournament. Baseball is great for the whole town.”

In 1996, Cory started his painting business, at the young age of 24. “My business name is Cory Dean’s Painting. Dean is actually my middle name, but it is a lot smoother so I decided to go that route,” he noted of the name. If you noticed his vehicles at the Ball Park, you may have noted the phrase, ‘Best Painter in Omaha,’ on the sides, and on the team’s t-shirts as the acronym of B.P.I.O. Cory stated, “The best painter in Omaha came in when I had a young man working for me who messed up a lot. He always said, ‘I hate to disappoint the best painter in Omaha.’ So I just kind of made it work. And it stuck.”

Cory received a call from Kirk Beguin, Street Superintendent of the City of Rushville, to ask if Cory would be interested in submitting an estimate for the paint job. “He said, ‘Why not have someone who grew up here and went on to become the best painter in Omaha do it?’ ” Cory stated.

Chuck Hinn donated the 76 gallons of paint used in the project, which took Cory and his team seven days total: one day to power wash, two to scrape, prime, and caulk, three to paint, and one day to do the trim.

Shedeed has eight employees working for him right now, and six of them were able to make the trip with him: Scott Dogget from Gretna, Mick Crockett from Gretna, Lou Vaughn from Omaha, Jackson Vaughn from Omaha, Cody Oliphant from Glenwood, Iowa, and Andrew Hughes from Omaha. “I really appreciate the town of Rushville showing all of my crew a good time. The hospitality was amazing. Everybody was talking to us about the job and why we were there. It was nice to get the city boys in a small town and show them what the good life is all about,” Cory said.

“It takes a community. Every night we had something to do after work. We ate a lot of pizza from the Twisted Turtle, went golfing in Rushville, went to the Gordon Country Club to go golfing, went fishing, ate breakfast at Farmhouse Coffee, played pool at the 20 Bar, and got fed a free meal at Rush Creek Roots for their one year anniversary. We stayed at the Nebraskaland Motel, which is perfect because they had a kitchenette,” Shedeed said of their time in Sheridan County. He also noted he was able to drive his crew by the ranch where he grew up. “A couple of the guys were very excited also because we got to see a true Longhorn, which are Bernard Strong’s. I also got to see old neighbors and classmates and aunts and uncle’s.”

Cory also said it was nice to see teams practicing on the field, despite the challenges the teams are facing due to restrictions in place from Covid-19. They were also able to watch the first game held at the Ball Park this season on Thursday.

“I would also like to thank Stuart Kozal for providing us help when needed, and I would like to thank Bob and Donna Shedeed for their volunteer work on the job. I don’t get back home often enough, but when I do it is always great to see family and friends,” Cory added.


Officer Mika joins Gordon Police Department

By Rachael Huether

Officer Brandon Mika recently joined the Gordon Police Department. While he may be new to the area, he is no stranger to law enforcement, or helping others.

Mika moved to Gordon about three months ago, after his family relocated here to work at the Pine Ridge IHS. Prior to that, he worked in Mission, S.D., as a police officer. Brandon had worked in the healthcare field as an ER tech, CNA, and EMT before deciding it was time for a change. “I’ve always liked helping people, I think the majority of police officers feel that way. I didn’t feel like I was doing enough working in healthcare, and I felt like I wanted to be more on the front lines, trying to do preventative measures, and I just wanted to be in on more of the action,” Mika stated.

Brandon grew up in northern California, and his family has lived all over the country. Going into healthcare was only natural for him, as he comes from a family dedicated to the field. “The majority of my family members come from healthcare: my mom, dad, sister, and grandparents,” he said with a laugh.

After working in Mission, Brandon felt he wanted to do more in a larger town. “I thoroughly enjoyed my experience working there, I worked with a lot of great people. It is a very small town, though, even smaller than Gordon.”

Brandon feels his training as an EMT has been helpful in the line of duty, as he has the medical training to assess a patient and relay information to paramedics upon their arrival. He said there are also some challenges, as he has to be able to recognize the boundaries and be able to switch that mode off and focus on his job as an officer.

In the transition of moving to Gordon, Brandon worked for Farmer’s Co-Op, where he said he was able to meet a lot of locals. Getting out and meeting people has been difficult, though, with the social distancing guidelines in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

When asked what his favorite part of the area has been so far, he replied, “I would say the people.” He feels there is a great sense of pride in Sheridan County residents, and that people have been really friendly to him. “People wave and say ‘hi’ and talk to you here. It’s really great, kind of how I grew up in northern California on the ranch.” He is also excited about the amenities Gordon has to offer, including the movie theater and nearby lakes.

In his free time, Brandon likes to hunt, fish, mow his lawn, work on his dirt bikes, and take care of his pets; two dogs and three snapping turtles. If you see him out and about, feel free to stop him and say ‘welcome’!


Ray Misner charged with theft of property against Gordon Chamber of Commerce

By Rachael Huether

On April 9, 2020, a complaint was entered into Sheridan County Court against Raymond Misner, former Gordon Chamber of Commerce Director, for Theft of Property valued at $5,000 or more, which is a Class 2A Felony. This complaint states that from the time period of April 2017 to May 2019, Misner took or exercised control over movable property of the Gordon Chamber of Commerce with the intent to deprive them, or transfered immovable property of the Gordon Chamber of Commerce with the intent to benefit himself or another non entitled, and the amounts taken from the Gordon Chamber of Commerce is $5,000 or more.

In an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant by Nebraska State Patrol Investigator Clint Bruhn, it is stated that Misner was appointed Executive Director of the Gordon Chamber of Commerce in January 2017, which was an unpaid position at the time of appointment. In March 2017, Misner took control of all Chamber checking accounts and maintained control of the accounts until he was dismissed from the position in May 2019 due to suspicion of monies missing from Chamber accounts.

The affidavit goes on to detail the charge, stating that Misner opened charge/credit accounts with,, Staples and National Business Furniture in the name of the Gordon Chamber of Commerce. By the end of March 2017, over $4,600 in charges were made on these accounts. Misner told Chamber President, Rachel Lambley, of the Staples account, alleging its use would be to purchase office supplies for the Chamber. Between April 14, 2017, and November 10, 2018, Misner purchased prepaid gift cards totaling $5,500 through such Staples charge account. Upon examination of the records, the prepaid cards were used to pay for Ray Misner’s personal items. Some of the credits on the prepaid cards were deposited into Misner’s personal checking account.

Several checks were written to Misner from Gordon Chamber of Commerce accounts. The affidavit states that the total of checks written to Ray Misner was $4,551 in 2017, $3,488 in 2018, and $3,900 in January of 2019. The Board of Directors agreed to pay Misner a salary of $1,000 per month for his work, if funds were available to pay such salary, starting January 2019. The checks written to Misner were $2,900 over the agreed upon salary.

Misner also paid personal bills from the Gordon Chamber of Commerce checking accounts as follows: Discover credit card payments in August 2017 in three payments totaling $350; a NPPD bill in May 2018 in the amount of $275; and another NPPD bill in February 2018 in the amount of $574.

Investigator Bruhn also states that upon investigation of inflatable structures/party bouncy houses purchased by Misner, that Misner entered into a contract with Time Payment Corporation for monthly payments of $208.06 for 48 months. Payments to Time Payment were made out of the Gordon Chamber of Commerce checking account in October 2018, December 2018, February 2019, March 2019, April 2019, and May 2019, totaling $1,699.48. According to Chamber President Lambley, the Chamber was not aware of this agreement or payments. A ticket booth and snow cone machine were also purchased. A freight bill to the Gordon Chamber of Commerce for the ticket booth was found, which showed delivery of the booth to the home address of Ray Misner. This bill was never paid. 

Misner was interviewed by Investigator Bruhn, in which Misner stated that Big Top Party Hop was his personal business, and the inflatables were rented out to customers. Checks for rental of such inflatables were deposited into Misner’s personal account. In the interview, Misner reported that he was using the proceeds from rent of the inflatables as salary, but he was responsible personally for the monthly payments. Also in the interview, Misner was asked about charges to the Dell and Staples accounts under the Chamber of Commerce’s name, and Misner admitted some charges were for personal purchases to include a Fitbit and band at $179.90, Dell laptop computer at $386.85, a Sony PlayStation at $290.99 and Grand Theft Auto PC game at $59.99. Misner stated he had not made any payments for these items, but had informed Dell and Staples that he was responsible for payment of some of the “personal” charges on the Dell and Staples accounts.

Bruhn ended the affidavit stating, “Your affiant believes there is probable cause to believe that Ray Misner has committed the crime of theft of funds from the Gordon Chamber of Commerce in an amount of $5,000 or more during the time period from March 2017 to May 2019, and requests a warrant be issued for his arrest. Your affiant further states that this affidavit contains a partial list of funds believed to have been stolen from the Chamber of Commerce.”

On Friday, April 10, the Complaint and Affidavit for Arrest Warrant were filed by Special Deputy County Attorney Douglas Warner with the Attorney General’s Office. Misner turned himself into the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office over the weekend, and was released on bond. A court date has not been set yet for these charges. If convicted, Misner could face a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.


Panhandle schools will be operating in an alternative learning environment for the remainder of the school year

After consultation with COVID-19 Unified Command, it has been determined that all schools in the Nebraska Panhandle will remain closed and operate in an alternative learning environment for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year.  

Traditional graduation ceremonies are not going to be possible this May.  Schools will be working to determine appropriate alternative methods to honor the Class of 2020 in each community, whether that be a ceremony at a later date or some other locally determined alternative graduation that complies with the guidance of health officials.

We continue to monitor the unfolding COVID-19 epidemic to anticipate its impact on the Panhandle.  We are working as a unified command with Region 21, 22, and 23 Emergency Managers, and Scotts Bluff County Health Department on this evolving situation.  We will continue to communicate important updates to the public and our partners.  The CDC is putting out updated guidance daily; for the most up to date information visit:  To learn more about COVID-19, go to

Panhandle Public Health District is working together to improve the health, safety, and quality of life for all who live, learn, work and play in the Panhandle.  Our vision is that we are a healthier and safer Panhandle Community.  Visit our website


Farmhouse Coffee opens for business in Rushville

By Berklie Haag

There is no shortage of love in the new Farmhouse Coffee shop in Rushville. Owner Emilee Hinn has had big dreams of owning a coffee shop for many years and recently, her dreams became a reality. With friends and family by her side, Emilee serves homemade food and hot coffee with a side of love in every sip. 

The building at 133 South Main Street - adorned with the authentic copper ceiling - was a bank in the early 1900s, and then a law office for years after. Since then, the structure has been sitting vacant waiting for someone to come in and see it’s worth. That is exactly what Hinn did. She took the old and made it new by incorporating pieces of the building’s history - like the antique law books and authentic chicken wires windows - and blended them seamlessly with her farmhouse-themed decorations. An eye-catching stained glass window sits above the door calling visitors inside. Made by local Wendy Scheenen of Craven Creek Studio, it features a rooster, barn, and colorful sunset. “I called Wendy up and said ‘I have this area and would like a stained glass window. Do you think you could do something for me?’ Then, I told her that I would like: maybe a red barn and a rooster and a sunset if she could add that, and she couldn’t have done a better job. It is beautiful,” Hinn said. Farmhouse Coffee has a downhome feel with a unique twist. 

This isn’t the only familiar face who has helped get Farmhouse Coffee up and running. Collette Snyder bakes fresh muffins and goodies to be served to customers, while Carol Vincent whips up pans of cinnamon rolls for the breakfast rush. Clint Vincent helps to make breakfast burritos every morning, and Roger Vincent helped Emilee with the remodeling of the place. Tess Hinn, Tracy Fedderson, Sissy Hinn, Kaden and Kyler Vincent and others come in to help with various other projects like the making of drinks and ringing up of customers. Their efforts don’t go unnoticed by Emilee. She can tell you all about the people who have helped her from day one. From the sheer number of people who help Emilee on a daily basis, it is clear that this is a friends and family affair full of love and hard work. 

Emilee said “Things are going good. I am overwhelmed with how the community has been.” The support from the community makes everything worthwhile for Hinn and the rest of the Farmhouse Coffee crew. Monday through Friday, Farmhouse Coffee is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. serving breakfast items, salads, sandwiches and a fresh lunch special homemade daily. “Everything is made from scratch – except the bread on the sandwiches. Otherwise, everything else is homemade. That is what we go off of. We serve real, homemade food around here. It’s a big key in this place,” Hinn stated.

When you walk in, smell coffee and cinnamon rolls, see people laughing, and see Emilee with an apron on and a smile on her face with a whole bunch of friends and family at her side, you know you have come to the right place – Farmhouse Coffee. 


Sidetracks opens for business in Gordon

By Jordan Huether

A new business has come to Gordon’s Main Street. Sidetracks, a new liquor store on the south end of Gordon’s downtown business district, officially opened their doors January 13, 2020. The store is owned by Jordan and Amanda Strain and Ward Wacker of Gordon. 

The Strains, who grew up in Martin, S.D., were looking to return to a small town after several years living in Rapid City, S.D. Wacker, who is married to Amanda’s mother, pitched the idea of opening the store and the Strains were in. They decided to purchase the building at 100 South Main Street, which has recently been home to PT West and the Gordon Chamber of Commerce. 

Several renovations have been done, including a custom-built walk-in cooler and a new countertop made from old barn wood and tin. The store features a wide variety of beers, liquors, wines and other drinks. 

The store also sells snacks, pop, tobacco products, and lottery tickets, as well as the Sheridan County Journal Star. The business is looking to expand their snack offerings in the near future, including plans of adding a fountain pop machine and coffee pot.

Jordan spent many years working for Budweiser and was able to see all the new products  coming out and tries to keep a variety of craft beers and regionally brewed options on hand. “We’re really going to try to expand everybody’s horizon with these craft beers,” Jordan said. “People don’t realize that craft beers have kind of become the new wine. You can drink them with your meals and pair them with foods.”

They are taking suggestions from the public to see what people would like to see in the store, and will always continue to carry the classics.

While the business isn’t able to have on-premise drinking, they are allowed up to 12 permits per year to do special events like tastings and beer gardens. They hope to use these opportunities to participate in community events and bring in different companies to do tastings.

The Strains are excited to be a part of the community and continue to meet everyone. “It’s nice to get to know people. You didn’t get to do a lot of that in Rapid,” said Jordan.

They are also looking forward to becoming more involved through volunteering and school activities as their three kids move through the school system.

Sidetracks is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. You can also follow them on Facebook to see what they have going on and keep on top of all the new products they bring in.


Tiensvold to be featured on this week’s episode of Forged In Fire

By Jordan Huether

Master Smith Jason Tiensvold of Rushville recently had the opportunity of a lifetime when he was invited to compete on the television series Forged In Fire. The History Channel program features a competition between bladesmiths as they attempt to recreate some of history’s most iconic edged weapons.

Tiensvold was contacted by the show last year and had to go through several interviews and reviews of past work before being selected. A few months later, he received a call that he was chosen for a show in August and would be flying to Hartford, Connecticut. 

Jason was allowed to bring three items he felt would help him in the competition – a difficult task considering he had no idea what he would be asked to create. He decided on his grinding jigs, his hammer, and his apron.

He was not allowed to bring anyone with him to the show, but ended up running into fellow Nebraskan, Journeyman Smith Peyton Ramm of Valentine at the hotel. Tiensvold, having earned his American Bladesmith Society Masters in 2004, is able to test other knife makers for their Journeymans and Masters, and had tested Ramm for his. Having been forbidden to tell anyone about their participation in the show beforehand, neither man knew the other would be there. 

For Jason’s first challenge of the competition, he had to make a knife of his own design, with a through tang, out of materials he found inside a clay crucible. Tiensvold’s crucible contained two different types of steel he used to make Damascus.

The competitors had three hours to complete their blades, and in that time, also had to do three interviews while the clock ran. “When they come to you, you have to put down whatever you’re doing and sit down and answer their questions,” Tiensvold explained. “And they tell you right up front that if you don’t answer their questions the way that they think that they should be answered, that they’ll stand there with you until you do answer them that way.”

His last interview came with only ten minutes left on the clock and about 45 minutes worth of work to do.

Tiensvold also had to deal with 120 degree heat from the four forges nearby and having a camera man in his face throughout the competition. “You have one camera guy that’s assigned to you and he’s in your face all the time,” he said. “They tell you you’re not allowed to touch the camera man. You can’t push them back or anything. Every time you turn around the camera is right in front of you, and they’re following you around.”

Despite the inconveniences, Tiensvold was happy with his blade and made it to the second day of the competition.

On day two, the competitors were given two and a half hours to make a guard and handle for their blades. The first step was to cast their own guard by melting down bronze and pouring it into a mold of sand. Tiensvold had never done casting before, but had stayed up most of the night doing research, and was able to make a guard he was happy with before spending the remaining time finishing his handle. Overall, he was happy with the blade, but not so much with the handle.

The first test was to see if the knife would chop through a cinder block. Jason’s was the first to go. His knife successfully chopped through the block, but as the judge held the knife out, the handle broke in half. He wasn’t immediately eliminated, because the other two contestants still had to pass the test.

In hindsight, Tiensvold says he would have given himself more time for his handle. He would have liked to have welded all-thread rod onto the end to thread a pommel onto it, but wasn’t able to find any in time. “It was really difficult in there, because when you get to the show, they only let you walk through the studio for like five minutes… so you don’t know where anything’s at material-wise.”

He also regrets not leaving enough time for the handle. “The hardest thing for me was to walk away from my knife. If I would have just walked away from the blade and said, ‘it’s good enough’, and concentrated on my handle, I would have been way ahead. As a knife maker, you’re kind of a perfectionist. When you’re making something at your shop, you don’t work on something, even if you know that it’s not quite right, and leave it. You always work on it until you’re happy with it. On that show, you don’t have time to do that. I knew that going into the show, but things are going so fast, you get wrapped up in it. I could not step away from my blade and say that’s good enough, and start working on my handle. By the time I got my blade to where I was happy with it, I didn’t have nearly enough time to finish my handle.” 

Tiensvold says that while he really enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to see how the show operates behind the scenes, he doesn’t know if he would do it again. “I’m glad I did it. I don’t know if I would do it again. It was a lot of stress.”

The show airs Wednesday, January 15, at 7 p.m. MT on the History Channel. The show will also be available to stream at after it airs.

Jason’s knives can be viewed online and can be ordered by emailing Tiensvold Custom Knives at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Gordon Memorial Health Services welcomes new provider, Megan O’Neil

By Jordan Huether

Gordon Memorial Health Services is welcoming their newest provider, Megan O’Neil, DNP, FNP-C, to the community with a meet and greet next Wednesday, January 15, from noon to 1 p.m., in the Hutchins Room of the hospital.

O’Neil came to Gordon in November after having lived in Cody, Wyo., for five years. She and her husband, Case, were looking for a family practice clinic in a rural area that would allow them to raise their daughter in a tight-knit community. Megan attended school with the hospital’s other recently-hired DNP, Kaleigh Krebs, and Krebs mentioned the opening to her.

O’Neil earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature in 2009, with plans of being a high school English teacher. While in school, her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer and she saw how the nurses and providers helped to make the experience better. She quickly decided to return to school for her nursing degree.

She graduated with her BSN from Andrews University in Southwestern Michigan in 2013. After several years of working as a nurse, she went back to school and earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice, specializing as a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner, from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in 2019.

She began her nursing career as a staff nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, on the Stem Cell Transplant and Hematology Oncology floor. After moving to Cody, Wyoming, in 2014, she made the change to work in rural, outpatient oncology and infusion, where she worked until 2019 when she graduated from NP school.

Megan has a strong passion for working in rural health care, as well as oncology, and her Doctoral Scholarly Project was a reflection of this. Titled, “Use of the Distress Thermometer in Rural Outpatient Oncology,” Megan implemented a distress screening tool in a rural oncology clinic.

“My background is strongly in oncology,” said O’Neil. “Before I became a Nurse Practitioner, I was an Oncology Nurse and I worked both inpatient and outpatient. I have a very strong passion for cancer care and taking care of cancer patients. I would like to at least in some capacity provide care for those patients, so they don’t have to travel so much in the future.”

O’Neil has been enjoying her first few months on the job, getting to know the patients and staff. “I think that when you live in a small town, you really get to know your patients. You’re not just a number. You really have a connection with the people that you’re seeing. It’s been really cool to be able to become a part of the community and get to know the people of this area.”

In her free time, Megan enjoys spending time with her husband, Case, and her daughter, Caroline. They enjoy hiking, road trips and scenic drives. She also spends much of her time while away from the clinic working as the Director of Clinical Education and as an adjunct faculty member of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions for doctoral nursing students.


Scherers take over Sheridan County Journal Star

On January 1, 2020, the reins of the Sheridan County Journal Star will be turned over to Mandy Scherer, of Martin, S.D., who, along with her husband Bob, have entered into a purchase agreement with current owners Jordan and Rachael Huether.

Mandy started her newspaper career when she began working at the Bennett County Booster in December of 1999.

With the purchase of the Journal Star, the Scherers do not expect any major changes in the local newspaper.

“I would like to modernize the layout of the newspaper somewhat,” Mandy shared, “and maybe seek more printing jobs.”

“Two of my main beliefs in business,” Mandy explained, “are customer service and shop locally. We believe strongly that you should do business with people who do business with you.”

The third main belief in business, according to Mandy, is the importance of a good staff.

“Right now,” she explains, “we have very good staff at the Journal Star, and that will not change. I can’t stress enough, the importance of staff. It’s what makes a business successful. They are key.”

Courtney Ostrander currently handles all the advertising and legals for the Sheridan County Journal Star. Rachael Huether will remain on part-time helping with circulation and bookkeeping duties. Janet Sasse will continue to help with stuffing inserts and mailing/delivering. Scott Bidroski and Mike Kreitman will continue to broadcast the sports. Marti Haag will continue to report on local meetings and events. Jordan Huether will also continue to help part-time with writing sports stories and taking photos at sporting events.

The couple formed Scherer Publishing, LLC October 1, 2018, when they purchased the Bennett County Booster II in Martin, Todd County Tribune in Mission, Mellette County News in White River, and the Fall River County Herald Star in Edgemont and Hot Springs. In addition the newspaper publishing and printing, the business also offers a wide variety of other services including photo printing and job printing. 

Rachael is looking forward to the beginning of a new career, as well. “I am very excited about this merger. I know that Mandy and Bob will continue to provide the same great local coverage that Jordan and I strove to attain over the past eight years. Also, I look forward to the ability to follow my dreams of becoming a Registered Nurse,” Rachael stated. “Jordan and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal customers and readers, who have supported us in making this paper what it is today.”

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