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Murray Newsletter - May 20, 2009

The 'Event Calendar' on the front page of the website is here to
help you plan your precious time.
Click the name of the month and year at the top of the small calendar to get a
color-coded glimpse of events in the current month.  Then, click on any of the events
included on the date that you choose
click on any of the red underlined items beneath in 'Latest Events' for more detailed
information about that particular event.

You can even 'jump' to a different month, for help in making those distant plans.

Wow,  your busy life just got a bit easier to keep track of!

(Send announcements to be included on this calendar to:
Please include, event name, location, date, time and contact information.)

Conestoga High School Class of 2009

A perfect mid-Spring day found forty-nine high school seniors inside Conestoga High School for their one last 'hurrah'.  At mid-afternoon, the band started playing the "True Blue March".
The classmates, donning stiff mortarboards and wide grins, filed into the gym, two by two. Some of their eyes looked downward at each careful, high-heeled step, while others scanned the audience, peeping through tassles, to catch a glimpse of loved-ones who held cameras at the ready.
The young men and women weren't in that huge gymnasium for a game this time, but to climb the steps of the stage where, in less than an hour, they'd receive a sheet of parchment which would declare both their achievement and independence from this building and all that it's held for them the past several years, nearly the entire span of their lifetimes.  They are now ready for their biggest adventure yet... in a whole new world...they are the graduating.

Conestoga High School Class of 2009.



Conestoga High School Chorus


Photos contributed by Jeanene Wehrbein

4th, 5th, 6th Grades' Spring Program is Always a Hit!

Under the direction of instrumental and vocal music teacher, Amanda Bair, Conestoga's upper elementary grades provided a wonderful evening of entertainment, with 'Music' as the theme, on Thursday, May 14th.

Fifth and sixth grade bands performed first, then one by one, the three classes took the stage for the vocal segment of the concert.

Musical selections, by group, were:

5th Grade Band - 'Old MacDonald Had a Band'
- 'Hard Rock Blues'
6th Grade Band - 'Excalibur'
- 'Shades of Blue'
4th Grade Vocals - 'Don't Let the Music Stop'
- 'Forever Friends'
Soloists:  Michaela Love, Mallory Abell, Hannah Lowe
5th Grade Vocals - 'To Music'
- 'Sing, Sing, Sing'
6th Grade Vocals - ' When We Sing'
- 'It's All Good'
Soloist, Claire Moore

As shown below, all three classes combined for the grand finale, 'Tomorrow Needs Us', an ode to this generation and to making each one a better person. 
Soloists for this selection were Josie Ritzman, Skyler Crees, Zeke Rouse, Whitney Todd, Ashlee Schwindt, Cami Larson, Ellen Rice, Kylie Congdon and Lucas Minor.



Black-tie sophistication and culture in Murray.......?

The Conestoga Elementary library was the site for a 'Black Tie Event' with the '700 Club' last week.  The '700' refers to the 'arts'' section of the library per the Dewey Decimal System.

Renee Thakur provided live piano entertainment, which set a lovely ambiance for the event, as Jan Madsen, school librarian, was teaching proper etiquette to the students.

Proper placement of the napkins and utensils at the dinner table and manners of both the 'host' and 'guests' were demonstrated and employed by all.  A truly elegant lunch of beef, cheese and pepperoni pizza and orange soda was enjoyed by all.






The DI Teams from Conestoga probably wouldn't have made it to Knoxville without the community's generous support.  The kids are now in Tennessee waiting for their turn to show the world their creative inventions.

A couple of more fundraising events helped to make it all possible.  Below are photos of their picnic dinner before the 4th-6th grade Spring concert and their ice cream social afterward.







Conestoga Elementary School Awards

On Monday, May 18th, an award ceremony took place at Conestoga Elementary.

Numerous awards were presented to the students for their outstanding achievements in 'HAL', (High-Ability-Learner), perfect attendance for 2nd semester and all year, citizenship, accelerated reading, band, physican fitness, student council, presidential educational achievement, Presidential educational excellence and  scholastic.


Principal, Eric Dennis and Susan Rice, above.

Below, some teachers prepare to hand out the awards:




Principal, Eric Dennis also praised Susan Yeoman, (above), on 26 years of teaching at Conestoga and expressed best wishes from everyone to her upon her retirement. As a wonderful mentor and friend to the students, she will surely be missed.  Thank you, Mrs. Yeoman!

Nebraska 'on the Cheap'
Check out our list of 100 free (or nearly free) things to do

LINCOLN, NEB. (May 14, 2008)—Just because you’re pinching pennies this summer doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a vacation. Thinking local–and affordable–is what we’re all doing, and here in Nebraska, it’s what we’ve always done.

Our list of 100 Free (or almost free) things to do in Nebraska includes ideas for even the most discerning traveler, and it makes perfect sense for Nebraskans and non-Nebraskans alike to start planning their summer vacations now.

If no price is listed on an event or activity below, it’s free.
Everything else comes in at under $5 per person.

Read on, and start planning your vacation now with trip ideas, interactive maps and a downloadable copy of the 2009 Nebraska Travel Guide now at

100 free (or almost free) things to do in Nebraska:

Check out a small-town rodeo (typically less than $5 for admission; not recommended for vegans)
View a sunset in the Sandhills (less than $5 for bug repellent)
Hike the Panhandle’s Toadstool Park
Take a bike ride on one of Nebraska’s many roads, trails and bike paths
Go to Lincoln’s Jazz in June or…
Omaha’s Jazz on the Green
Browse used book or music stores while juggling a latte (~$5)
Visit a Nebraska State Park ($4 for a daily park permit)
Walk around Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium and soak up the atmosphere

Visit Lincoln’s Sunken Gardens
Visit Scotts Bluff National Monument in Gering ($4 per entering car)
Take in the architecture and artwork at the Nebraska State Capitol
Visit one of Nebraska’s many farmer’s markets
Visit Lincoln’s Pioneers Park and get ice cream at the store on the corner of Coddington and Van Dorn (~$5)
Go to a park and play softball or catch
Go fishing at a lake or pond (amortize the fishing license out over several fishing trips for adults)
Tour the Happy Jack Chalk Mine in Scotia
Hike the Pine Ridge region of the state

Gaze at stars in the Nebraska countryside
Watch a Nebraska thunderstorm lumber across the open sky
Go down the Cowboy Trail near Valentine to see a quarter-mile long former train trestle that rises 150 feet above the Niobrara River
Drink great, free Nebraska mineral water out of a drinking fountain
Check out the First Friday art walk in downtown Lincoln
Watch live horse racing at Lincoln’s State Fair Park ($2 general admission)
Discover your heritage at the Wilber Czech Festival Parade
Go swimming at Branched Oak Lake ($4/day park permit)
Check out Music & Mozzarella music event at the Lincoln Children’s Museum
Go four-wheeling in the Platte River Valley
Take your toddler to Lincoln’s Ager Play Center (Admission is $2.50/person)

Ride North Platte’s Cody Park Antique Carousel and eat an ice cream while you do it ($1 total)
Eat an apple at Nebraska City’s Kimmel Orchard (~$5)
Take in artwork at Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum, free every Saturday until noon
Check out the Welcome Camel in Cairo
Attend beer school at Lincoln’s Lazlo’s Brewery
Go to NEBRASKALand Days in North Platte
Water ski at Oliver Lake State Park near Kimball ($4/day park permit)
Grab a bite at the Annual Taste of Omaha Festival (~$5)
Visit Hastings’ Fisher Fountain
Sit a spell on the World’s Largest Porch Swing in Hebron

Or travel back in time with the World’s Largest Time Capsule in Seward
Take in a movie at one of the state’s two remaining drive-in theaters in Alliance or Neligh (~$5)
Eat a piece of pie at Crawford’s High Plains Homestead (~$5)
Take in the scenery during Omaha’s Annual North Hills Pottery Tour
Visit the Ft. McPherson National Cemetery, near Maxwell
Feel positively ancient at Alliance’s Carhenge
Snap a photo under the 100th meridian sign at Cozad near the train depot
See the only Union Pacific 3977 Steam Locomotive on display anywhere at the Cody Park Railroad Museum in North Platte
Visit the arboretum on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus

Absorb some culture in UNL’s Sheldon Art Gallery
Visit the Sachtleben Observatory at Hastings College, where you can use one of four telescopes free on two Saturday nights per month
Take the Fountain to Fountain Walking Tour of Hastings Historic District
Ride ‘em cowboy at Omaha’s River City Roundup
Hear the story of Buffalo Bill Cody at Buffalo Bill State Historical Park in North Platte ($4)
Visit Centennial Hall, near Valentine, which is the oldest standing high school in Nebraska and also reportedly haunted ($2)
Take a stroll through a small-town downtown
Go back in time on Hastings’ WWII Naval Ammunition Depot Driving Tour
Take in the Annual Intertribal Gathering at Fort Robinson State Park during the second weekend of June
Visit Robidoux Pass National Historic Landmark, eight miles southwest of Scotts Bluff National Monument, where you can view wagon wheel ruts made along the Oregon Trail

Visit a county fair and enjoy the parades, root beer floats, races, etc. (~$5)
Go off the main roads and drive up a scenic overlook. Free beautiful views.
Have a picnic in a small town park
Visit Smith Falls State Park, near Valentine, and see the state’s highest waterfall ($4/day park permit)
Play disc golf
Visit Merritt Reservoir and enjoy fishing, swimming and excellent beaches in June, July and August ($4/day park permit)
Get historical at the Lincoln County Historical Museum in North Platte ($3)
Enjoy a free concert at Lincoln’s Antelope Park 
Take a boat ride at Omaha’s Gene Leahy Mall (~$5)
Visit Beatrice’s Homestead National Monument

Pitch horseshoes
Visit the Fort Cody Trading Post in North Platte
Visit Hastings’ Holiday Island
See some western art at the Stones and Bones Gallery and Emporium in North Platte
Visit the new Golden Spike Tower in North Platte ($5 for students, $4 for seniors)
See the animal displays at the Cabela’s location closest to you, or road trip to the store’s original Sidney location
Visit Wildlife World in Gering
Go to Nebraska’s Highest Point in Kimball
Stroll along  one of the many historic walking tours around the state
Go to a small town Nebraska high school sporting event

Take in the vast Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, near Red Cloud
Visit a town that only has one stop light
Pace Union Pacific trains across the Sandhills
Drive down one of Nebraska’s nine scenic byways
Honor and remember 20th century veterans at America’s 20th Century Veterans Memorial in North Platte
Ride  a bike to the Nebraska state line
Watch a calf being born on a Nebraska ranch
See wheat, bean, corn or sunflower harvests
Visit Nebraska’s most famous Chimney Rock in Bayard ($3)…
Or check out Court House and Jail Rocks, near Bridgeport for a more individual rocky experience

While you’re on the pioneer trail, see California Hill, where the Platte River divides in two…
…and then follow the Oregon Trail from Oshkosh to Bridgeport
Absorb culture at the Western Nebraska Art Center in Scottsbluff
Visit the Nebraska Major League Baseball Museum in St. Paul
Visit the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha
Harken back to the first spectator rodeo in Nebraska that took place in 1882 at North Platte’s Cody Park Wild West Memorial near the Old Glory Blowout siteWalk along the Omaha riverfront and cross the new Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
Go on a public art tour of Omaha or Lincoln
Relive the life of homesteaders at Kimball’s Brookside Farm
Shop the annual central Nebraska Junk Jaunt (free but will cost you some gas and a few bucks on junk)
Eat a tin roof sundae in Potter (~$5)
Visit the Pawnee Earth Lodge in Goehner

Have fun!!!

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