Can you believe half of June already flew by? Before you know it, it'll be time to watch a fireworks show. In anticipation of the 4th of July, we'll start out with a fun Independence Day fact.

Did you know?

Philadelphia is the birth place of much American history and is home to the Liberty Bell. Each Independence Day, the Liberty Bell is tapped (not rung, as the vibration would further damage the cracked bell) 13 times in honor of the original 13 American colonies.

Utica Playground ribbon cutting

Utica held a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for a new playground at the ballfields on May 16. Pictured with the ribbon are, from left: Becky Sandman, Mike Fehlhafer, Kayla Rystrom, Don Sandman and Melissa Grantski. Behind them are (from left) Jim Swanson, Ewald Fehlhafer (Carl Fehlhafer is obscured), Garry Dittmar and Autumn Walford with her daughter, Ella.

In Utica playtime’s not over, it’s just begun

Utica residents recently joined efforts to make their community a little safer and a little more fun for kids.

Last summer, volunteers installed a new playground near the ballfields on the northwest side of town, and they held a dedication ceremony for the new equipment this spring on May 16.

Autumn Walford, who helped spearhead the project, said the village board approached her and fellow residents Melissa Grantski and Carrie Gumaer three years ago about improving the old equipment.

“There wasn’t much of it, and what was there wasn’t safe for our children to play on,” Walford said.

In three years, they raised $3,838 from the community to help pay for the equipment, which totaled $25,984.

“That doesn’t sound like a whole lot of money, but this is a small community,” Walford said.

They sent fundraising letters to local businesses, farmers, families and community organizations like the Lions Club and Heritage Committee, in addition to holding fun run events.

“Your participation is greatly, greatly appreciated,” Walford said to a crowd that gathered at the dedication.

The village board paid about $20,000 of the total cost, much of which came from local Keno proceeds.

Read more about Utica's new playground HERE.

Run St. Lo

Competitors in the Run to St. Lo June 8 leave the starting line at the Nebraska National Guard Museum in Seward.

Run marks 75th year since liberation

The fourth annual Run to St. Lo Memorial 5K and 1 Mile Run/Walk is in the books. Over 80 runners and walkers competed in the memorial race to remember the 52 Nebraska National Guard soldiers killed during the liberation of the French city in World War II.

The course was modified because of recent flooding in the fairgrounds area (race records this year will note that the course was not certified for the 5K/3.1 mile distance).

The race brought in over 80 volunteers to serve as sentinels, run the start/ finish line and provide logistics.

See who placed in the top 10 HERE.

This weekend

Give blood in Seward - Cattle Bank and Trust will host a blood drive for the Nebraska Community Blood Bank Friday, June 14, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Center plans Father’s Day event - The Utica Senior Center will host a Father’s Day activity Friday, June 14, at 1 p.m.

Municipal band to give concert - The Seward Municipal Band’s next concert is Sunday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Seward Bandshell. In case of rain, the concert will be in the Civic Center. Call Pat Herrold at (402) 643-6202 with any questions.

Thunderstorms early. Highs in the low 90s and lows in the low 70s.

Today

92° 72°

Thunderstorms early. Highs in the low 90s and lows in the low 70s.

Humidity:
67%
Cloud Coverage:
%
Wind:
SSE at 15 mph
Chance of Rain:
100%
UV Index:
9 Very High
Sunrise:
05:58:01 AM
Sunset:
09:04:18 PM

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