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Murray Newsletter - August 12, 2009


The Cass County Fair has come and gone for another year. Although the weather for the first couple of days and nights of the Fair were 'fairly' pleasant, the last two days were 'sizzling' hot! Temperatures on Saturday reached nearly 100*, but that didn't keep many from enjoying the Fair's last day of fun with family, friends and neighbors.

By Wednesday, 4-H members and others entering the 'open-class' events had turned in most of their projects for judging. Some brought comfy quilts, gorgeous flowers and eye-catching photos, which hung on the walls of the Expo Center and in the 4-H Hall. Shelves and pegboards proudly held cakes, cookies, muffins and treats in shining jars from home kitchens. Freshly picked bounty from backyard gardens decorated tables with ribbons proudly displayed on them. Flowers lined-up in pretty vases would make any artist envy the rainbow of Mother Nature's color palette.

The animal barns were lined with clean straw for the menagerie of cows, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chicken, ducks and more! Food stands were overflowing with homemade pies, hot sandwiches, ice cream and menus that went on and on. Looking just like Cinderella going to the ball, pretty girls in flowing gowns proudly represented their hometowns and villages. Midway rides were screaming, spinning and flashing their lights on kids lining up to be whirled through the air. Parade floats rambled along, tugged by shiny tractors and pick-ups, their cargo laden with candy-tossing school kids, senior citizens, clowns and politicians while school bands marched past the welcoming crowds.

Contestants anxiously awaited the judges' verdict of their favorite cooky, pie or casserole, while a huge boa constrictor gently hugged the arms of brave participants. New parents went from booth to booth, trying to win big teddy bears, while other smiling sweethearts dreamily strolled by arm-in-arm. Outdoor tables contributed many shouts of 'BINGO' , followed by 'Oh, I only needed one more!'. Horses galloped around barrels, mutton busters got dirty and laughed and, sadly, the special week ended, not 'fair', but 'FANTASTIC'!

See more highlights here:

Please send any of your favorite Cass County Fair photos to and we'll put them in next week's newsletter!

































Defenders of Freedom Air Show and Open House

Aug 29-30
Offutt Airforce Base
Bellevue, NE

Featuring aerial acrobatics and many military displays.

Event time: 9am-5pm
Admission: Free

For More Information: Phone: (402) 294-3663




Nebraska State Fair

Aug 28-Sep 7
State Fair Park, 1800 State Fair Park Dr
Lincoln, NE

Come celebrate Nebraska's talent and enjoy hundreds of attractions including entertainers, exhibits, midway rides and food.

For More Information: Phone: (402) 474-5371


Husker Harvest Days

Sep 15-17
9000 W. Husker Hwy
Grand Island, NE

The world's largest totally irrigated working farm show. More than 80 acres of exhibits, field demonstrations, seminars, crafts and artwork and much more.

Event time: Tue-Wed, 8am-5pm; Thu, 8am-4pm

Admission: $5-$7

For More Information: Phone: (309) 582-0996





From what friends are telling me, their tomatoes have started ripening a little later than usual. Do you think it has anything to do with our cooler-than-normal summer? If you have lots of tomatoes and want to do something a little different with them, why not make your own ketchup? It's really easy and sure makes the house smell good while it's cooking. It's spicier than the regular stuff you buy at the store, but it's sure tasty!

This is an old recipe, (sorry I can't remember where it came from), so it calls for the 'water bath' method of canning. I always used the water bath, but for your pressure canner, you probably need to adjust times. Check the manufacturer's directions or call the County Extension office in Weeping Water at 267-2205. They are a valuable resource and just might be able to help you out.


1 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1/4 -1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. celery seed
1 c. white vinegar
8# whole, fresh tomatoes (about 24-25) OR 2 qts. tomato juice (canned)
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. salt

In small saucepan, mix cloves, cinnamon, celery seed and vinegar.

Cover, bring to boil, remove from heat and set aside.

Wash and core tomatoes (OR, if using tomato juice), place in large kettle.

Add onion and cayenne.

Bring to boil; cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put tomatoes through a food mill or sieve; discard peels.

Add sugar to juice; bring to boil, then simmer briskly for 1 1/2-2 hours or till reduced by half.

(You may want to use a ruler to be sure.)

Strain the vinegar mixture into the reduced tomato juice, discarding the spices.

Add salt.

Simmer about 30 minutes or till of desired consistency, stirring often so it won't scorch.

Fill hot pint jars to within 1/2 inch of top.

Place lids on and process in boiling water bath 5 minutes, (timed AFTER water returns to boil).

Makes 2 pints.


Bryson's Airboat Tours

S. on Cty Rd 19 from US Hwy 30

Fremont, NE

S. on Cty Rd 19 from US Hwy 30 - Enjoy unique airboat tours on the Platte River with opportunities for wildlife photography, great scenery or relaxation. Private and group tours available.

Open Apr 15-Oct 2, tours daily.

See website for pricing details. 402-968-8534 or 877-972-8627

For More Information: Phone: (402) 968-8534


Joslyn Art Museum

2200 Dodge St

Omaha, NE

A premier center for the visual arts since it opened in 1931, Joslyn Art Museum features works from antiquity to the present with a special emphasis on 19th- and 20th-century European and American art.

You will find impressive works by El Greco, Veronese, Monet, Degas, Grant Wood and Jackson Pollock among others. In addition, the museum is world-renowned for Karl Bodmer's watercolors and prints which document his 1832-34 journey to the Missouri River frontier.

The museum presents 6-8 special exhibitions yearly as well as year-round music and educational programs. The building itself is one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the nation.

Open year-round, Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, noon-4pm. Closed Mon and major holidays.

Admission $7 adults, $5 seniors (62+) and college student (with I.D.), $5 youth (5-17), children under five and Joslyn members free.

Museum free on Sat, 10am-Noon.
Group rates/Group tours.
Handicapped accessible.

For More Information: Phone: (402) 342-3300




Lofte Actresses Receive Three Nominations

The Lofte Community Theatre's 2008 musical production of Rogers and Hammerstein's "Sound of Music" was certainly special. Anyone who bought a ticket or performed in the show knew that. Each and every night the cast consistently delivered a world-class performance that left many in tears or begging for another ticket to the next performance. In recognition of their fine work, three of the Lofte's finest actresses received nominations from the Theatre Arts Guild of Omaha.

Jennifer Gilg of Omaha received a nomination for lead actress in a musical for her role as "Maria." Her touching portrayal of the nun-turned-nanny, and beautiful singing voice left a deep impression on nominating Guild members. Mrs. Gilg also had a nomination in the category for Supporting Actress for a role in Omaha at SNAP! Productions.

Two of the Lofte's von Trapp children received nominations in the category for Outstanding Performance by a Youth Actress. Kabrianna Mumford of Elmwood portrayed the youngest daughter, "Gretl." Anna Schoettger of Lincoln received a nomination for her role as "Louisa."

While none of the nominated Lofte actresses won in their category, each was still very honored by the recognition. There are literally hundreds of performers who participate in theater in the Omaha metro each year, and to be mentioned in the top five in any category is certainly a credit to their talent.


Front Row from L to R, Abigail Raasch, Jenniger Gilg, Kabrianna Mumford. Back Row, Matt Bailey, Samantha Colbert, Luke Heidbrink, Anna Schoettger and Jordyn Marcoe.


PotashCorp-PCS is Lofte's Platinum Donor for 2009

The PotashCorp-PCS Phosphate plant in Weeping Water, Nebraska has stepped up to the highest level of corporate sponsorship available as a Platinum Sponsor for the 2009 season at the Lofte Community Theatre near Manley. Mr. Bill Donohue presented the $10,000 in sponsorship funds to Lofte Artistic Director Kevin Colbert in a recent ceremony.

Lofte Chairman Larry Bauers expressed his thanks to PCS for their generous donation. "In an economy when giving of all types - especially corporate giving - is tough to come by, PotashCorp has really gone the extra mile to show their support. Donations by our corporate sponsors are a big reason we have been able to continue to provide quality, affordable entertainment for more than 30 years. They are definitely a big factor in our track record of running on budget every single year in our history. Even before our corporate sponsorship program began several years ago, PotashCorp has been a strong supporter - buying numerous season tickets for most if not all of our 34 years."

Bill Donohue, plant manager at the PCS facility, said the reason PotashCorp stepped up as a premiere sponsor this year was: "We want to give back to our community, and support arts/theater. We enjoy providing opportunities to our youth, enabling them to experience the theatrical field. The Lofte has a long history of providing exceptional quality programs to our community."

As a part of their sponsorship, PotashCorp received space in all Lofte programs for 2009, a large banner in the Lofte lobby, and a private showing of the 2009 summer musical, "Crazy For You." PotashCorp-PCS used their private showing to provide employees and friends, assisted living and low-income housing residents from throughout the area, and Weeping Water school board and staff with their own opportunity to see the summer musical free of charge.

PotashCorp-PCS Phosphate facility has been a part of the community for over 45 years, producing dicalcium phosphate, monocalcium phosphate and monocalcium coarse phosphate, which are used for animal feed ingredients.


Pictured: PCS Plant Manager, Bill Donahue presents a check to Lofte Artistic Director, Kevin Colbert.





2010 Event Information Needed

The Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism is searching for information about events in your community in 2010 - events geared toward the traveling public that attract visitors from outside your local area.

Please use the form below to submit your 2010 event information by August 17th, 2009. Not all submitted events will be included in the 2010 Nebraska Travel Guide, as there will be limited space available in the printed publication. All tourist-related events that are submitted will be posted online at All event listings are free.

Please note that our event listings are not meant to be community calendars. We do not include alumni reunions, sidewalk sales, health fairs, auctions, student recitals, conferences, registration-only events or other non-tourist related events.


Please submit a separate form for EACH event. Type or print all information-illegible entries will not be considered. NOTE: Not all submitted events will be included in the Travel Guide, as there will be limited space available in the printed publication. All tourist-related events will be posted online at





LOCATION OF EVENT (name of business/address)




(be sure to check your dates on a 2010 calendar and be as specific as possible)

BRIEF EVENT DESCRIPTION (May be edited for content.)




EMAIL _________________________________________

WEBSITE ______________________________________

EVENT TIMES (am/pm) ____________________________

ADMISSION ____________________________________

CONTACT NAME _________________________________

CONTACT PHONE ________________________________


______Community Festival


______Farmer's Market

______Food Festival

______Craft/Quilt/Antique Show

______Flea Market

______Home/Garden Show






______Large Format Films/Planetarium

______Sporting Event

______County/State Fairs





Please provide the following contact information in order to receive a reminder next year:




Mailing Addresss

City ______________________________


Zip ____________


Fax __________________________



This form prepared by_________________________________

Your Phone________________________________

Please return this completed form by August 17, 2009.

Send your completed form to

Events submitted after the deadline will only be listed online at and will not be included in the printed publication. Questions? Call Heather at 1-800-426-6505 or 402-471-3796.



CCNEDC Quarterly Investor Reception

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
5:00 p.m.
Plattsmouth Community Center
Senior Center Room (308 So. 18th St.)

A short update presentation will begin at 5:30.

John Yochum
Executive DirectorCass County Nebraska EDC
Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership1301 Harney St.Omaha, NE 68102402-978-7909



You will be sharing the roads, on Sunday, August 23, 2009, with individuals and families of the Great Plains Bicycling Club who will be riding bikes on area roads in the Platte River Valley area.

This is the 4th year for the event in the Platte River Valley area and it has become very popular. Riders will come from the Lincoln and Omaha area as well as many persons from the Platte Valley River area.

Let me know if any questions and thank you in advance.

Steve Clements
Great Plains Bicycling Club
For more info, click here:

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