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Noah Styskal strikes a victory pose after winning the 152-pound championship at the 50th annual High Plains Invite.

New sheriff in town: Dion sworn in

It was a joyous occasion for those in attendance.

The newly elected Butler County officials were sworn into office on Jan. 3 in the county courtroom in David City. Among them taking an oath of office was newly elected Sheriff Tom Dion.

“It is a sense of relief, but now the fun begins,” Dion said, about getting sworn into office and taking over as the county's sheriff. “ I know it will be a busy year, but that’s what I signed up for.”

Dion’s family was there to watch the ceremony. His spouse, Theresa Dion, said she was proud of his accomplishment.

“This has been a dream of his for a long time. He’s reached his goal,” she said. “His mom and dad would be so proud.”

Dion began his career with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office in 1999. He would work his way up to the rank of sergeant until 2015, when he left the department for personal reasons. After spending the last two years employed at the power plant in David City, Dion said he is eager to take over the local law enforcement agency. He said his first priority on the job is to get to know his staff.

Family relative Marie Bruegger, of Schuyler, said she was also happy for Dion.

“I’m excited. I think he’s going to do a great job,” Bruegger said. “I’m excited for Butler County.”

Several county officials joined Dion in being sworn in. Butler County Attorney Julie Reiter was re-elected to office but was unable to attend the ceremony as she said she was home sick with the stomach flu that day. However, she noted she was able to take the oath of office and was sworn in on that Friday. She added she is excited to get to work with the newly elected county officials.

“I felt that the board members seemed interested in everything going on, and I’m excited to work with all the new people,” Reiter said.

Anthony Whitmore and Scot Bauer were present for the ceremony and sworn into office. The two will be joining the Butler County Board of Supervisors, representing District 7 and District 3, respectively. In a previous interview with The Banner-Press, Whitmore said his main priorities were improving county roads and overreach from the board.

Bauer shares Whitmore’s priority of improving and maintaining county roads. In a previous interview, he said addressing high property taxes and managing the county budget were of great concern to him. After being sworn in, Bauer said he was ready to get to work.

“It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to a new adventure,” Bauer said. “I’m proud that the county voted me in with such strong percentages.”

District 1 Supervisor David Mach and District 5's Scott Steager were also sworn into office. The two ran unopposed in this year’s election. The newly elected board had its first meeting on Jan. 8.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at

David City teacher to receive special training

In order to better prepare students for the future, one David City Public Schools teacher will be attending a Nebraska Department of Education workshop in the neat future.

Special Education Teacher Tiffany Heins has been selected to take part in the Transition Assessment Training Conference on Feb. 25 in Kearney. The event is aimed at training education professionals on how to better facilitate in different types of transition assessments.

The state government website defines transitioning as the act of going into adult life after high school. This can include preparing students for what they want to do after graduation, indicating what education/training is needed to obtain these goals and where they want to live.

All students with disabilities, ages 16-21, have transitioning as a component of their Individual Education Plan, according to the NDE’s website. A variety of assessments are used to look at students' strengths and to gauge their interests. Through this workshop, Heins said she wants to learn how to better prepare her students for adult life.

“I just want to be more knowledgeable and learn about this area, especially since it goes into our reports, our kids' futures,” Heins said. “I’m one of the pieces of the support system for them so that they’re heading in the right direction.”

The workshop will focus on going over different types of tests to help teachers and students better understand their transition goals after graduating and what skills they will need to reach them. Heins said these different types of tests can help show what skills a student is lacking in and what school classes could help prepare them for their career goals.

“My job is to not only be more knowledgeable so I can help my students with the transition, but also I will be a peer mentor to teachers in the state of Nebraska,” Heins said. “I think I’m most excited to learn about all the transition assessments that are out there and available to use that I have not received any information about before. So receiving extra tools that I can bring back to my own classroom."

David City Public Schools Special Services Director Shane Keeling said previously that there was a general push among high schools to gear students toward four-year college programs. Now schools are trying to help students also consider other career and education opportunities, such as trade schools and apprenticeships.

“It’s really about trying to develop a more robust goal as they transition,” Keeling said, adding the school aims to indicate students' “overall picture of where they are, what they want to do and how we can best align that post-school options when they’re done.”

Heins had to apply and get accepted into the conference. She said she believes her passion for improving her skills is what resulted in her application being selected.

“I think that the passion that I show - because I want to be more knowledgeable, I just have a desire to find what’s best for our students,” Heins said. “And I want to grow, professionally, and I think we should all want that as educators -- to continue to build more knowledge so we can serve our students. We’re in the 21st century now, and it’s a lot different than when I started teaching 16 years ago.”

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at

Carter Austin Johnston-Runyan came into the world at 7:18 p.m. on Jan. 3. He weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces, and was 21 inches in length.

New genealogy club to utilize library resources

Want to research your family history but don't know where to start? Well, there’s a club for that.

The Hruska Memorial Public Library is starting up a new genealogy group, which will have its first meeting at 10 a.m. on Jan. 28 in the library, 399 N. 5th St. in David City. Free coffee and cinnamon rolls will be provided for all those who attend.

The club is meant to help support and encourage people as they research their family trees. Library Executive Director Kay Schmid said the club is casual, informal, and meant for beginners and experts in genealogy, the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. She said the library has the researching resources and is hoping this group will take advantage of them. Similar groups have sprung up in the past, but this will be different, organizers noted.

“I think we’ve always done it (genealogy), it’s just that we’ve never had perhaps a more structured program. So this is a more structured program,” Schmid said, adding that the goal of the new club is “to promote genealogy research and promote the library as a source for that information.”

Catalog/Circulation Librarian Cheryl Hein will lead the club. She said it has been about seven years since the library has had a genealogy-related group. The previous club was centered around the library’s Boston Studio collection, a series of photos taken in David City between 1898 and 1970.

“We tried to get one together years ago through the Boston Studio, but it just didn’t work,” Hein said, noting the group back then only had three members and didn't advertise too well.

The library’s heritage room is full of resources for all Butler County residents interested in researching their family history. The rooms have texts recounting the history of all towns in the county along with obituary and wedding databases, as well as a collection of high school yearbooks. Hein said people would be surprised to learn all kinds of things about their ancestors.

“A lot of times people find out that grandpa owned a business in town, and that’s exciting for them,” Hein said.

Recently, the library got a hold of a brand new microfilm reader. This machine allows people to scan through old newspapers to look up obituaries and other articles. Hein said she is hoping the new club will utilize it.

“There’s no sense leasing it if we don’t have people using it,” Hein said. “And mostly, people don’t use it to look up anything current. It’s mostly used for obituaries. So by getting this group together, then I can encourage them to use the microfilm machine.”

The library also recently acquired a Wolverine Film to Digital Converter, which can be used to digitize film negatives. Hein said from time to time, people will bring in old photos and the library will scan it, ever adding to their collection.

Hein said she’s hoping for the club to gain the interest of people.

“It would be awesome if we could even have five,” Hein said. “We want to make it fun. I don’t just want to stand up there and teach a class.”

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at