Forum Posts

Loup City Chamber Member
Dec 14, 2020
In Chamber Updates
By: Jerome Lobner Tee Plumbing is the October drawing winner for the Loup City Area Chamber of Commerce membership business of the month. Travis Kurtzhals started Tee Pee Plumbing in October of 2016. The home base for his business is at 275 L Street. He said the business name was chosen as is a common expression for toilet paper. Travis said he has over “eight years of experience in general plumbing”. Travis said the business “ is mostly work on farm and home pluming jobs” noting the most common calls are “faucet replacement and replacing the wax seals in toilets”. He also works on and install water heaters, clears clogged drains and bath tub installations. He plans on getting schooling this winter to obtain his license to work with septic tank systems. Travis said he does not do commercial work at this time. His rates for simple jobs taking a half hour or less are $25. For larger projects his flat rate per hour is $79. Travis has his step father Kim Dorsey assist him when needed. Travis said he “bought a used UPS truck and is outfitting it to be his business vehicle”. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed his business noticeably. He said he will use a mask when doing a plumbing job “if the customer asks him to”. Business hours are 8 AM to 6 PM Mondays through Friday. He is on call on weekends should a customer have a plumbing emergency. His phone is 308-870-6085. Travis currently does not have a web page for his business. Travis and his wife Paige (Person) and their two children, Kaily and Rorik reside at 275 L Street.
Tee Pee Plumbing LLC content media
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Loup City Chamber Member
Dec 14, 2020
In Chamber Updates
It’s definitely not your Grandmother’s Library. Since 1917, Loup City has been graced with a Library in one form or another. Residents will remember, the Library was located in the Carnegie Building until 1997, when the county decided to combine it with the Loup City High School Library. In that year Jerome Lobner (the school Librarian) and Lillian Kaslon (then Sherman County Librarian) worked together to merge the two facilities in the High School. The reasons for combining the two were obvious: a single location with a greater selection of books, better resources for students, and the economies of a single staff without replicated functions or resources. These advantages made the decision a win for all of Loup City and Sherman County residents. Our town library has continued to evolve according to Audrey Heil, and will continue with innovative and aggressive approaches to literacy, even during the pandemic. The current iteration of the Library includes Ms. Heil the County Librarian, School Librarian Holly Myers, and assistants Diane Thompson and Caroline Chilewski. The Library is physically open Tuesday and Thursday: 9-1 and 2-6, Wednesday: 2-8, Friday: 2-6, and Saturday from 2-5, though it must be stated that the reality of our Library is much more than a building full of books with a schedule on the door. Under Audrey’s leadership, the library has become a center for much more than reading. The Innovation Studio’s Makerspace program that she arranged two years ago is a perfect example. The State-sponsored program brought a plethora of creative tools to Loup City, and Audrey arranged for a strong local contingent of trainers. For two months, kids and residents could create buttons, three dimensional objects and gadgets, make films or sound productions, program complex Lego-bots, print T-shirts and acrylic stencils or labels, and etch wood, glass, and ceramics with print or images. Today, as a result of a great collaboration with the School, the Library hosts a laser engraver (also known as the Universal Laser System), free to the public, with tutors and guidance; only requiring a phone call to coordinate a time. The learning doesn’t stop there. The Library will loan cake pans with unique shapes like Pocahontas, Teddy Bears, Numbers, and much more. For fans of Audio-books, there is a large selection, downloadable to readers like Kindle, IPAD, or available on CD. Programatically, our Library is a whirlwind. This summer, despite the COVID issues, school age kids including preschoolers, read almost two thousand books. Twice a day on Mondays, the Library sponsors reading out loud at the CNCAP Pre-school. This program has backed down to Library staff due to “slowing the spread” guidance. During all previous summers, our Library tied in to Nebraska ESU (Educational Service Unit) to provide a major program: last year it was astronomy, curious kids or adults could enter an inflatable tent that showed the constellations on it’s ceiling! During the year, the Library hosts such diverse events as a Celtic Guitar and Storyteller, productions by Crane River Theater, and other events; primarily for students (and tuned to their grades), but also open to other residents. Mrs. Meyers teaches our young to conduct safe searches on the internet, how to use the catalog, how to find books or other items, and of course that perennial favorite: the Dewey Decimal system. And did I mention reading? Traditional libraries were limited to the books on the shelves, but Loup City is right at the front of the technological revolution. A person can actually search for books from the Library’s web site by clicking on the search button and getting ( https://lcpl-ind.kari.opalsinfo.net/bin/home ). If one doesn’t find what one is looking for, a quick call to the Library will allow a search of the Interlibrary Loan System through the Nebraska Library Commission for that elusive book. We’re fortunate to have such a great Library staff and a supportive Library Board; most summers they run a reading program with Chamber Bucks, gifts and prizes like Root Beer floats for achieving reading goals. Lately, Audrey has even been doing deliveries and pickups to locations in town (other than Rose Lane and West Side which she had been doing for years); perfect for those who are concerned about the virus. How else has the pandemic affected our Library? There was some initial staff and scheduling turbulence before information about the transmissibility and severity came out. Now, the schedule listed above is solid. Regrettably, some of the larger group events are on temporary hold. One such loss was the “Share the Love” program in which Senior Citizens read age-appropriate books to students on a monthly basis. This intergenerational bonding program promoted literacy and reinforced the ties and respect between generations. Other programs have been adjusted; the monthly Book Club meeting, sourced by the Nebraska Library Commission, is now held outdoors. With respect to the Library as a source of transmission, don’t worry! The staff goes through a “de-Covidizing” process with all loaned materials. On receipt back in the Library, all books, tapes, CDs, and other items are deep cleaned, and then quarantined for seven days. Of course, all staff are wearing masks (the interview from which this information came was conducted masked), and the school controls access and mandates distancing in the facility. Ms. Heil is optimistic, and looks forward to getting back to an aggressive program schedule. She would also like to increase the Library’s presence in the community. She believes in working with the Chamber of Commerce as a means of expanding both the reach and the quality of Library/community interaction. Things like including pamphlets in visitor/new residents bags (distributed by the Chamber), increasing Library membership, continued projects like the Innovation Studios (Maker Space), and soon, a presence on Instagram. She would like to re-engage students in Book related Podcasts where they can recommend books to their peers and others, and plans to post these on the Library’s Facebook page. This broad engaging approach recognizes the changing ways people (especially young people) are learning and communicating now. Of course, we had to ask about late fees and fines. While some Libraries have gone to Corporal punishment, Imprisonment, Branding, or possible Capital punishment for late returns, Loup City has gone another way. Late returns do not result in a fine, although all patrons are encouraged to be prompt in their turn-ins. According to Audrey, fines are actually counterproductive in that kids don’t want to go to their parents to get the money (so just don’t tell them about the late fee and hang on to the book), and no adult wants to go in and get charged for a book from a free Lending Library. Of course, all of us should be prompt in our returns, and there is a cost to either losing (not turning in) materials, or damage. The Library will charge up to the value of the item if lost or damaged. Still, no fees, and not getting jailtime or being pilloried in the town square for forgetfulness is a pretty good deal. The Loup City Library is included in the Chamber “Business of the Month” series for good reason. Though not a business, the Library is a fabulous asset to a community, especially when blessed with an energetic and aggressive staff like the one in Loup City. Reading is an essential part of learning and after all, if we’re not learning, we’re dying.
Bigger than a Building: The Loup City Library content media
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Loup City Chamber Member
Dec 14, 2020
In Chamber Updates
By: Jerome Lobner Dr. Andrew Benson and his business Loup City Dental was selected as the August business of the month by a drawing made by the Loup City Chamber of Commerce. He wrote: Thanks for selecting us! Nellie our hygienist and I started working here in July of 2012. At that time it was owned by Family First Dental a company based in Norfolk. On January 1 of 2016 I took over ownership of the Loup City and Saint Paul dental offices. They were renamed their respective town names “Loup City Dental” and “Saint Paul Dental.” The two offices work as an extension of one another and the staff works at both locations. We are able to coordinate appointments/care between the two. My great Loup City staff include: Nellie Campbell, our hygienist who has been with me since the beginning and everyone seems to know. Nellie does a great job of getting to know and developing relationships with her patients. Valerie McDonald, one of our dental assistants who has been working here for five years. Val has become very versatile and is capable of handling any situation. She is especially good at working with children. Deanna Baker, our front office coordinator who I have worked with from the beginning in Grand Island. She has worked in Loup City in the past and has since returned. Deanna has the hardest job navigating the world of dental insurance. Kinley Krzycki, our newest team member a dental assistant, she is a familiar face to many of you and has learned quickly how to do a great job. Our office hours are Mondays and Thursdays from 8AM-5PM. We are also available on the other days in St Paul should the need arise. We are a dental office that provides comprehensive family dentistry. We see patients of all ages 1-100+. We provide the broad range of services that include preventative/hygiene, restorative, oral surgery, root canals, crowns, dentures among others. There are busy seasons in a dental office too. The busy season usually starts when the weather warms up in March and runs through September. COVID update, we did have a shutdown from March 20th through May 4th. We opened back up and have slowly gotten back up to speed. There have been some additional infection control measures added to our office. I have noticed that people lately have been eager to get back on their dental schedule. Dr. Benson earned his undergraduate degree is from Wayne State College and his dental degree is from UNMC College of Dentistry. He is from Worms. His wife is Kristin and they have children-William 7, Hannah 5, Kate 3 and the newest member born August 3, Grace Louise. Working in Loup City for the people here and the surrounding area has really been my honor. We have been received warmly from the beginning and it continues now. We have developed very friendly relationships with our patients where it is really just great to see them. I should also mention this would not be possible without the people I work with. I have such a great staff and I am really excited about the future.
Loup City Dental content media
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Loup City Chamber Member
Nov 11, 2020
In Chamber Updates
By: Jerome Lobner One of Loup City’s longest operating businesses is owned and operated by Diane Loeffelbein. She has the goal “to providing you with the best customer service available”. Diane noted “over the years many farm equipment manufacturers have experienced the highs and the lows in the farm economy” resulting in “changes and mergers that have allowed us to continue to sell equipment and parts to our customers”. Ken’s Equipment is the last local farm equipment business dedicated to supplying new and used farm equipment, specialized parts and repair. Rueben Cook operated Cook Implement in the 1960’s which became Dorsey-Cook Implement owned by Harold Dorsey and Cook, then owned and operated by Dorsey and Russell Ericson. In 1971 Kenneth Loeffelbein bought the dealership and renamed the business Tri-Valley Equipment. The name Ken’s Equipment, Inc came about in 1980. Diane became the owner and manager of the business following the death of her husband Ken. The staff for Ken’s include Krista Slobaszewski Assistant Manager, Dan Day Sales Manager, Jeff Phillips Parts Manager and Tim Ingranham Service Tech. The business has an ideal location at the intersections of Highway 92, 58 and 10. The location provides a large lot and parking area. Over the past 10 years extensive remodeling to the original buildings included a new sales room and parts area finished in 2010 and a service shop completed in 2016. Loeffelbein noted “the old buildings had served their purpose and became too costly to maintain”. Another factor leading to the need for new construction was “the size of machinery and the amount of parts inventory needed to service the many changes in the industry”. Loeffelbein said “We have been here for many years and have access and information on a variety of ag-related needs and services”. She said the industry is “always changing programs and deals on equipment” and “we are always ready to deal”. Ken’s offer brand name products from Massey Ferguson, Hesston, Sunflower, White Planters, Schuler Feed Wagons, Westfield Augers and more. She noted “the biggest changes we have seen has been the use of technology. This was a boon for our parts inventory”. She noted agriculture equipment is in the forefront with “lots of changes that make farm machinery easier to operate and be more efficient”, The business sells several products many people in the community may not be aware of. Ken’s Equipment offers a line of lawn mowers, including rider mowers, and a line of snow blowers. Loeffelbein and her employees are active with the Loup City Area Chamber of Commerce. One of the major events they sponsor and help man is the Kiddie Tractor Pull at Polish Days. Over the years many local youth have competed in the event and went on to compete and medal at the Nebraska State Fair in the contest. Ken’s is busiest during the growth seasons and sets their operating hours accordingly. Diane note “the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the daily business greatly due to the fact that we have customers that respected the personal space rules”. She does feel “the damages being done to the economy, especially the farm commodity area, is still cause for great concern”. She added “our foreign markets need to be stabilized” to bring agriculture back. She noted “there needs to be a realization that without ag producers and the businesses that support them we do not have a food chain” ending with “we are essential workers:”
Ken’s Equipment Aims To Serve You content media
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Loup City Chamber Member
Nov 11, 2020
In Chamber Updates
By: Jerome Lobner Polish Days 2011 was to be the opening weekend for one of Loup City’s most iconic businesses, the Loup City Diner. Unfortunately for Chuck and Cheri Radtke, “ our big refrigerator crashed and it took about a week to get another. Probably lucky we didn’t dive into that particularly deep pool without having some time to work things out!”. Nine years later, Chuck and Cheri and their staff are an important part of the life of Loup City. They had to decide how their business would fit into the town. Chuck noted,” other food service businesses in town informed our decision on hours. There was an obvious niche in the 0630 to 1900 (that’s 6:30 AM to 7 PM to non-military types) for residents and visitors to be able to get a good home-style meal without the burden of hours in the kitchen and dishes afterwards. Sundays are different since this is a community with deep roots in faith. So we run a breakfast buffet to allow people to come for a good meal after church. Then we cut the day short so everyone (our employees most of all) can spend some of the day with their families”. The Radtke’s think a lot of their Diner family. Chuck said, ”although we’re not related, sometimes the Loup City Diner “family” seems like it. Our long-term cooks are Mary Maret, Joyce Carter, and Brittany Crow. Our full-time waitresses are now Sarah Maret and Brittany Crow, and our part-time waitresses are Alicia Rhoads and Desirae Williamson. Cheri and I are really lucky to have such good people helping us. The drama is minimal, their work ethic is great, and we even have some fun working together. Looking back over 9 years, the most important things are talent (we would be absolutely lost without Joyce, Brittany and Mary who cook breakfast orders at the same time they’re cooking 20 servings of a lunch Special), and a very special loyalty”. Chuck had some thoughts on why the employees have made the business successful, “we’re lucky in that all of them are loyal to the concept of an eating establishment that focuses on the patrons having a good time. So they’re loyal to that concept even when those very patrons are having a bad day; which sometimes means deliberately not being upset by cranky people who then don’t tip. They‘re also loyal to each other, as each follows the prior and the sum of the work depends on each of them doing their part, or flexing hours for someone else’s family emergency”. Many people do not realize there are certain daily routines necessary for the successful operation of a restaurant. Chuck noted the daily schedule is starting the day at 6 A.M. and making the three pots of coffee and readying the equipment. At the end of the day, the business is cleaned and the business is closed for the day when all the dishes and pans are cleaned and put away. The menu is an important part of the Diner’s business. Chuck noted, “favorites change by the season; during the winter, our Soup & Sandwich Specials go really well. Come summer, Reubens, and Chicken Strip Baskets are most popular. Our best Lunch Special is Meatloaf by sale numbers, though I personally like the Pork Loin Special best. Cheeseburgers, Hamburgers, and Patty Melts always do well, and I’m proud to say that we have a small but extremely loyal group of customers who come in for the Liver and Onions!” Most people are aware from the news how the COVID-19 pandemic has effected the food service business. The Loup City Diner has been rolling with the changes. Chuck had a few thoughts about this, “COVID-19 has hit all the food service businesses hard. When we closed the dining area, that took a big part of the Diner experience away (eating with friends and family in a pleasant environment). The gift; however, keeps on giving and judging from the way it ramped up in Hall County, the potential for local outbreak is high. What does a business do to protect their customers and employees? There are two aspects to look at: physical impact, and effect on life. Physically, we started by replacing hospitality with service, adjusting by offering curbside and local delivery, and emphasizing take-out service. Our interface with customers is a handoff of good food for money at a distance (about 6 feet oddly enough, and over a counter when face to face) and pretty short time-wise. We do talk to people when they come in to pick up their meals, but we keep our distance. We just started a mask policy for all of us in the Diner, as a further barrier to possible transmission. Finally, we clean. We wipe down the counters and doors with a peroxide solution, letting it set for 30 seconds to kill . . . everything. We wash our hands after every exchange. We even wipe down our pens so customers don’t have to worry about “picking it up” when they sign their checks or credit slips. We believe all these things will reduce to zero the chance of the Diner being a transmission node, but there is more to the situation than distancing. Chuck has an interesting philosophy about the Corona Virus, “I believe human beings are like engines. Both are designed to operate against resistance; without that resistance they over-rev and sustain damage. Shutting down also creates a problem; without active circulation hoses rot, seals fail, fluids leak. I don’t envision our waitresses walking around leaking fluids, but it is important to focus on something other than either the all-encompassing bad news about the virus or about one’s own circumstance. Barring loss due to all our workers falling ill (and they will not get sick from the Diner!), we won’t close. We’ve already done repetitive deliveries to people self-isolating. We also maintain our focus by working through an extensive “to-do” list of things we always wanted to do but couldn’t due to customer’s presence or the time that service takes. Deep cleaning, re-organizing, fixing, painting and upgrades, or working on new meals are all examples of what our “family” is doing with the time available. We also have started making masks (Loup City Diner and Sewing Shop?), which we are giving to customers who make a purchase of more than $10. Not only do we give them away, but now we wear them when customers come in.” He finished, “In a nutshell; customers of the Diner will always be able to get a great meal, employees of the Diner will always have a good job to go to. When the therapeutics and vaccinations catch up, our people will be healthy physically and financially, and have the pride of not going belly up in the face of this”. Chuck and Cheri have some favorite things about their business. Chuck said, “I really enjoy two things; the conversation with all kinds of people in our dining area, and fixing things. Given that the Diner was built in 1907, I have many opportunities to fix things. Cheri added her favorites, “the customers, being creative with cooking, the people we work with. There is a lot of laughter at work. Makes for a good work environment”. Many people did not know Chuck’s plans when he moved to Loup City, “when we came out here, just retired from the military in Miami, I had planned to just flip houses. I’d always liked building things, and figured the money would help with my retirement. I’d just finished putting a new roof on our first house when Ron Czaplewski passed away. Shortly after, one of the ladies in town asked Cheri about taking on the Snack Shop as it was then known. Cheri had managed a place called Hobo Joe’s before we met, and she was interested, so it seemed like a good thing to do. I got all the remodeling I could ever want, and she got to run another restaurant.” Chuck told of how he was able to start the business, “We got a lot of help. First; the Loup City County Economic Development Corporation helped us to buy the main Diner building, then the second (what the public sees as our buffet room). Then Economic Corporation President Mike King actually negotiated for and bought all three of Ron and Betties buildings. The Corporation then loaned us enough money to purchase the buildings. A few months later, Michael Eurek (Sherman County Economic Development Officer) told us about the LB840 program which allowed us to get an operating loan at a very low interest rate. We used that to pay off the Loup City Economic Development loan and get operating capital to remodel and start up. That loan was paid in full early last year. I was amazed at the trust granted to us by Loup City, and since then have always felt an obligation to return that favor”. The Radtkes are involved in Loup City with Chuck noting, “I’m proud to be a member of the Chamber, and the American Legion. Both organizations do well by the City, and the experience of owning a business allows me the perspective to have (sometimes maybe too much) input. I am also part of the Community Redevelopment Authority which is aimed at improving the physical and economic development in Loup City. I recently became a member of the Junk Jaunt Board of Directors, which is a total blast!” Cheri is a member of the Legion Auxiliary and contributes a lot to many organizations like the Boosters, and other social or civic organizations. Chuck’s final comments sum up what a lot of local business people feel about their own businesses when he noted, “besides “paying back” the trust of Loup City from our inception, I believe that the best way to have a good outcome in your life is to get involved in those things that affect you. ‘You can’t stir a pot without sticking your finger in’ is true in many ways; a person can get burned! On the other hand, stirring is important; I would rather spend some time and effort to make things better than sit on my couch lamenting living in a bad place. From a business perspective, I believe that there are great opportunities when a person has access to decisions about community events. Everyone has seen the test-tube filled with agar and a few fruit-fly larvae. They grow and fill the tube, but eventually die off for lack of food. A rural city, Loup City, is like that test tube. Life in Loup City gets better with outsiders coming to visit or stay. Many of the city and community organizations create opportunities for bring the rest of the world to Loup City. Those events benefit us all in quality of life, entertainment, new residents, sales, and yes, even taxes, sometimes it’s difficult, but it’s always worth the effort.” The Loup City Area Chamber of Commerce is proud of our city and is highlighting each month a local business chosen from a drawing of members of the Chamber. Good business is where you live, and patronage by you, our readers, makes for a good business.
Great Service and Food at the Diner content media
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Loup City Chamber Member
Nov 11, 2020
In Chamber Updates
Most Loup City residents know that the True Value store re-opened as Kozak’s Hardware on the first of January 2019. What might not be so apparent is that in the year prior, considerable family discussion, thought, and planning went into that opening date. As family businesses go, the hardware store is unique in that there are three sets of owners: Tony and Shauna, Mark and Marcia, and Eric and Stefanie. The True Value also has five employees: Chris and Jessica Stieb, Nancy Smith, Jason Ward, and Kiela Richards. There are challenges; Kuszak’ s Construction regularly takes half of the owners off premises during the building season. The Kuszak family balances those challenges with smart opportunity; on occasion, and during the winter they bring in construction side workers to do projects or surge for events. All in all, it’s the kind of juggling act that takes a strong family to perform, though there are non-monetary compensations. One of the things that surprised the Kuszak’ s was their collective anointing as “experts” in all-things hardware. Some of it is just knowing the specifications of what they sell, but Tony says there are surprising numbers of people who come in for advice. Whether it’s a plumbing, electrical, painting, or general fix-it question, he is often asked for not only what the item is needed, but how to mount/install/replace or finish it. He could not even estimate the number of people who came in with a photo or two on the smart phone and a question “Do you have anything that will help me with this?” While he never critiques the photography, Tony finds that one of the best and most rewarding things about running a Hardware store is that by, definition, almost everything they sell fixes a problem. (He is getting rather good at giving photographic tips too) Tony Kuszak believes it is important to any small community to have access to a hardware store. In addition to supporting the many professional local builders, the store supports a legion of at-home builders and do-it-yourselfers. He notes that demand during the past three months, has blossomed for home improvement products like paint, miracle grow, and many other “project” items. Much of this stems from the increased time at home or conversely, at the lake, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People now have time to work on all those activities that they couldn’t get to during normal times. Tony believes that an additional benefit may come from the increased visibility of what they carry. My own father in law used to say “If you can’t find it in our True Value, you probably don’t need it!” Family Hardware stores struggle during normal years with the common misconception that more is available in Grand Island or Kearney at the “Big-Box” stores. In most cases, it’s not quite so. There is also a price in going into the larger towns these days, and it’s not just the cost of gas! As a matter of fact, some things like floor coverings are much more economical if contracted through Kuszak’s. They carry a variety of engineered “click-together” floors as well as vinyl and carpet, and they coordinate the installation as well! Best of all, if there are any decisions or changes, they’re right here for a face to face adjustment! Nobody knows what the future will hold for small businesses. The Kuszak family is working hard now and hoping for the best. They have a few ideas like increasing their spring selection of lawn furniture, adding more in their outdoor sporting selection, or building up the types and quantities of rental items. Like the rest of us, they are optimistically cautious and looking forward to a return to normalcy, at which time they will remain one of the business staples of Loup City and its surroundings. Kuszak’s True Value Hardware is a member of the Chamber, and its influence can be felt in several other community activities through donations. We as a Chamber are proud to have their input and help in making Loup City a great place to live. This article is one of a continuing series highlighting local businesses.
Pictures and Questions: Kuszak’s Hardware content media
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Loup City Chamber Member
Nov 11, 2020
In Chamber Updates
How does a Postmaster with 27 years of experience become a Professional Photographer? In Cindy Baker’s case, it started with family. In 2005, she was admiring the photos her daughter Christine had been taking of the grandchildren. As it happened, Cindy’s daughter had just “upgraded” to a nicer camera, so she gave her Canon Digital to Cindy. Over the next twelve years Cindy explored her hobby when not working at the Post Office. She took pictures of flowers, birds, animals, and of course, family (The Bakers have six children and eleven grandchildren). During this period, she also took a few classes from the Community College, watched some “How to” videos, and perfected her art. Her home studio has some of her “Greatest Hits” displayed, and they truly capture the beauty of life in Nebraska. A person doesn’t have to take my word for it; she’s won numerous photography awards from the Sherman County Fair, and the Nebraska State Fair. How did this gifted amateur make the decision to open a Photography Studio? From mid-2014 through 2017, she was the Postmaster in Sutherland, NE. The 140-mile trip had her leaving on Sunday evenings, and returning to Loup City on Saturday mornings, for almost two and one-half years. She then worked for CNCAP for roughly nine months, until helping with the Grandchildren became more of a priority. In 2018, following her retirement, and with lots of time on her hands, she showed and sold some of her work in Grand Island at the Studio K Gallery, and expanded her repertoire here in Loup City. Cindy decided to try photography as a business, initially working from one of the spaces in the Carnegie Building, then later out of her home. Cindy chose the name of her business carefully. To dispel a few rumors; she’s not an entomologist, and though she’s hard working, “busy as a bee” doesn’t really capture her work ethic. She is serious and exacting in the photographic standards she sets for herself. In the end, the Bee is just a smart extension of the first letter of her last name: Baker. . . because Cindy Bee's looked better than Cindy Bs. She has some favorites; in addition to her nature photography, she loves photographing newborns. She does pet photography as well as family pictures. To date, she hasn’t done any Graduation pictures or Weddings, but Sherman County students and residents would be crazy to not take advantage of this talented local photographer, especially in the current period of limited travel! Her rates are pretty good too; she usually just charges $50 for a half hour session. Cindy also creates Postcards, Greeting cards, magnets, coasters, and other picture “platforms,” as well as hand-making photo albums. While she has set up a light studio at home, she often goes out to families and local sites for her work. She shows her pictures during the Junk Jaunt and the City-Wide Yard sale in Loup City, and has a booth at Art in the Park, a summertime arts and crafts fair in Grand Island. Cindy still enjoys the craft more than the editing and plans to continue for the foreseeable future. Her favorite thing about the business is seeing the smiles on the faces of her subjects when shown their pictures. She does, on the other hand, have some challenges, like the naughty, possibly attention starved cat that decided to mark her owners’ bag while Cindy and the owner were involved with some of the other pets. Her lesson learned? Always have a supply of pet-wipes when photographing animals! She also faces some tasks that are important, but collateral to the picture taking process. Cindy is currently working on the various aspects of what photographer’s call “Post-Production”. In other words, it is how they cut and edit pictures to bring out their best features. Unfortunately, it is not that moment when the eye and the camera are one, working seamlessly together to capture a colorful scene in a moment of time. It is more the grind of sitting down in front of a computer to make sure the focus is good, of cropping distracting materials from the edges of the picture, or even the discriminating process of saving the good and dumping the bad drafts. Despite the inconveniences and the labors of editing, it is obvious Cindy loves her craft. The proof is in her photos, which are a fascinating visual walk through the world one snap at a time. This article is part of the Loup City Chamber of Commerce “Business of the Month” program. Cindy Bee’s Photography is located at 313 N. 7th Street in Loup City, where she lives with her husband, Ralph. Her gallery is open Tuesday through Thursday. You can reach her at (308) 750-6654 and make an appointment for a session any day of the week . We are proud of our City, and it is our honor to highlight local businesses. Good business is where you live, and patronage by you, our readers, makes for good business.
Picture Perfect: Cindy Bee’s Photography content media
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Loup City Chamber Member
Nov 11, 2020
In Chamber Updates
Citizens Bank & Trust Co is the February Loup City Chamber of Commerce business of the month. Businesses are chosen from paid up chamber members by a drawing. Citizens Bank & Trust Co started in Loup City in 2000 as a Loan Production Office of Citizens Bank and Trust in St Paul in the building currently occupied by Loup City RX Shoppe at 133 S. 7th Street. A drive up ATM machine was available in the alley besides the office. A full service bank, Citizens National Bank, was nationally chartered in 2002. Shortly afterwards, the new bank began the planning for a new Loup City location and employees moved into the new bank building at 650 P Street December 20, 2004. Citizens National Bank converted to a Nebraska State bank in 2006 and the word National was dropped from the bank name. Citizens Bank merged with its sister Citizens Bank & Trust Co in St. Paul in 2009 along with the purchase of Central Bank in Central City. A recent ad noted “Citizens Bank & Trust provides superior financial service with honesty, professionalism and confidentiality, while promoting economic growth and stability in the communities they serve”. The bank has locations in St. Paul and Central City as well as Loup City “offering convenient locations. All the sites “are experienced in real estate, agriculture, commercial and consumer lending, offer savings accounts, deposits, checking accounts, debit cards and online/mobile banking”. The banks are “proud supporters of all student activities” in the local schools. The bank has made a significant donation every year to the Loup City Library summer reading program for a number of years. Vice president Tina Chilewski said the bank “prepares snack sacks for all the state qualifying teams from the school”, provides ice cream bars at the Sherman County Fair barbecue and is active in Loup City Area Chamber of Commerce activities including having “Chamber Bucks” available to purchase for use with Loup City businesses that are chamber members. The Citizens Bank & Trust Co. of Loup City recently began a program at the Loup City Schools after school program. Banking specialist Kelsey Stanczyk said “we just started the “Bonzai Program” which is an online game students can use to learn about earning and saving money for a bicycle”. She said the game has the students “set up a lemonade stand from scratch by learning how to get a loan to buy the supplies they will need for their business”. She said they will learn about “selling, saving, loans, buying supplies and spending their profits”. Stanczyk said there is a similar program available to high school students where they can start a business to earn money to pay for a car. Employees of the office “are the most important part of the business” and are featured in the yearly holiday issue of Sherman County Times. Lonnie Tvrdik is President of the Loup City Branch, Tina Chilewski is Vice President and Kathy Lutz is Administrative Assistant. Loan officers are Ryan Hircock and Deb Higgins; Darcy Smith is the Loan Administration Clerk and Brittany Orsborn is a Loan Officer Trainee. Banking specialists are Kelsey Stanczyk, Ione Bruha and Gayle Johnson. Vice President Tina Chelewski said one item the public might not know about the bank is they have a “monthly give away” aimed mostly “for their customers”. She said “it is open to the public and all a person needs to do is enter into the contest at the bank”. Some of the contests have included guessing the number of pieces of candy in a jar or can. Every month something different will be tried. The bank offers a wide variety of services for customers. Regular checking accounts and budget checking accounts, business accounts and a “Classic Club” package of “banking services for our present and new customers who are the age of 55 and over”. The perks include free checks and regular checking account, discount on a safe deposit box, free cashier’s checks and money orders, free stop payments, free fax services and exclusive social events throughout the year”. Savings services include regular savings accounts, money market accounts, Lil’ Savers Account, Christmas Club, Certificate of Deposits, IRA accounts, All savings accounts are “are insured to the applicable limits of the FDIC. Educational IRA and Health Savings Account. Other services inclue ATM/VISA Debit Card, credit cards, online banking, mobile banking, PopMoney, electronic statements, automatic fund transfer and ICS/CDARS. Regular lobby hours for the bank are 8 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday and 8 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday for the drive up window. The lobby and drive up window is open from 8 AM to 11 AM on Saturdays.
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Nov 11, 2020
In Chamber Updates
What does it take to run a Beauty Salon? According to Kathy Obermiller, owner of Kathy’s Exquisite Beauty Salon, a person has to know how to listen. Furthermore, the art of listening extends far beyond “take an inch off the top”. The relationship between a Hair Stylist and their customer is really about the current and future image of the customer. Discussions can be wide-ranging, including family, friends, pets, politics, weather, and any or all of the things that affect life. In effect, Kathy fulfills roles that can range from her job out to friend, advisor, and sometimes even mother confessor. She and her long-time friend/coworker Sharon Schwaderer have been ministering to the cosmetologically needs of Loup City for over 55 years! Kathy should know about cosmetology; she started in May of 1965. She’d always liked to cut hair, starting as a young woman with her family (haircuts for brothers, styles for Sisters, even giving the dog and cat an occasional trim!), then heading to Hastings Beauty Academy in 1962. Upon graduation her life, as often happens, took an abrupt turn when she married Richard, her husband of 57 years. She and Richard then left for a 3-year posting in Germany where he was assigned to the Army Security Agency. Upon returning, Kathy opened her first salon in downtown Loup City. She said it was tough, taking the first year to build a clientele, and a total of 3 years to pay off the loans and payments she needed to start the business up. With some help from family in 1978, she and Richard moved to their current residence on 249 North 7th Street and built the shop into the southern part of the duplex. Looking back, it took Kathy 16 years to reach the final shape of the dream she had on that first day at the Hastings Beauty Academy in 1962. In our current environment of “instant gratification”, her journey is the kind of success story that illustrates the true value of persistence. Kathy considers her job as full time, conducting most of her business through appointments, though she does take occasional walk-ins. She does a weekly round at Rose Lane, offering her services for a minimal fee to the residents. When asked what was best about running her own Salon, she replied, “Something new all the time, meeting people, and having the ability to create as a job”. Of course, constant variety does not come without risk; in addition to weather and power issues, she has had to call for emergency medical support several times over the years as customers had heart or breathing issues during their appointments! There have also been cultural changes. Although she did both haircuts and styling from the beginning, in the last ten years, she has seen a steady up-tick in the numbers of her male customers. She notes that men are generally in a hurry, and not too worried about the look of their haircuts, while women invariably take their time and are extremely involved in how they will look with their new styling. In addition to running the Salon, Kathy has other interests. She has been a Sunday School teacher in the Lutheran Church for over 50 years and is active in the Lutheran Women’s Group and other Church activities. She’s also the current President of the American Legion Auxiliary (her third tour as President!) and has been on several State Auxiliary committees. From 2004 to 2005, she was elected the Auxiliary District 6 President. She’s an avid gardener and enjoys working with ceramics. She also likes to decorate, evidenced by the interesting home style décor of their house, the Salon, and the surrounding yard. Finally, she is a great cook; the result of many years of practice and learning. Despite being a little north of 70, Kathy intends to keep cutting and styling hair for the foreseeable future. She obviously enjoys the work and plans to continue with it as long as she is able. She does recognize the fact of her age, noting that when buying gift certificates for their Mom or Dad, sometimes the adult children of her customers will ask; “You Are planning on staying open for the next year or so, aren’t you?”! Regardless, Kathy loves the work, and she still finds her customers becoming friends, and relishes turning mops into smart looking styles. Kathy’s Exquisite Beauty Salon is the first in a monthly article “Business of the Month,” from the Loup City Area Chamber of Commerce. Copies of the articles can be found on the Chamber Website (www.loupcitychamber.org). Future months will showcase some of your favorite local businesses and possibly even newer ones you hadn’t yet heard of. The order of selection is random, yet we are proud to write about Kathy’s Exquisite Beauty Salon and it’s 70-years young proprietor as our first entrée.
The Depth of Beauty content media
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