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Nebraska players celebrate their win in overtime against Iowa in an NCAA college basketball game in Lincoln, Neb., Sunday, March 10, 2019.

A circus on the stage

The Hevelone Center in Beatrice hosted Cirque Zuma Zuma Sunday night thanks to the Beatrice Area Arts Council with support of the Hevelone Foundation.

Known as the “ultimate African circus,” Cirque Zuma Zuma combines African culture with the excitement of a theatrical cirque performance through dance, acrobatics, tumbling and music. The group was previously a finalists on the television show "America's Got Talent."

Cirque Zuma Zuma features performers from Kenya and Tanzania. The cast performed limbo dances, balancing acts, South African gumboot dances, Gabonese tumbling and South African contortionist feats.

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Five given Quilts of Valor

Five military veterans currently residing at the Kensington in Beatrice were awarded with a Quilt of Valor March 8 during a special ceremony. Ann Freese of Quilt Stitches and Jane Esau with Gage County 4-H presented the quilts.

“The Quilts of Valor Foundation began in 2003 after Charlotte Robertson had a dream involving her son, who was deployed to Iraq. A quilt was draped around him in the dream bring comfort and healing,” Freese said. “It became the mission of the Foundation to cover all those service members and veterans wounded physically or psychologically with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”

Since its inception more than 200,000 Quilts of Valor have been awarded.

Each of the five veterans and their family were invited to the front while their service record was read and they were draped in their Quilt of Valor.

James Knisely served in the United States Army from September 1946 to March 1948. He was awarded the World War II Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal for Japan. He competed on the Army Rifle Team and won honors as part of that team.

LaVern Parde served in the United States Army from October 1951 to October 1953. He received the Korean War National Defense Service Medal.

Larry Carlson served in the Army National Guard. He served six years and received the Sharp Shooter Award in September 1975. He earned an Honorable Discharge June 1, 1976.

“We didn’t get this nice of quilt when we were in the service. I hope someday people recognize what’s been done by the Veterans. I’m honored,” Carlson said.

George Weirs served six years in the Army Reserve beginning in January 1958.

Family member, Mark Weir, said his dad never felt like he deserved anything, but he was so glad he was chosen to receive the honor of the Quilt of Valor.

Richard Drewes enlisted in January 1956 and was discharged in January 1961 at the rank of Specialist 4.

“It’s so humbling to be a part of these ceremonies,” Freese said. “As a certified Quilt of Valor store, we have so many volunteers that give of their time and talents. We couldn’t do it without them.”

“It’s so nice to have the store here in Beatrice that we can draw from for the quilts,” Esau added. “ It is invaluable to be able to call and request several quilts. It allows us to give more to deserving veterans.”

Trudy Spicer, Activities Coordinator at the Kensington, made arrangements for the surprise ceremony and was able to attend after having knee surgery the previous week.

“I wouldn’t have missed seeing my guys honored in this way,” Spicer said.

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Lewiston student becomes FFA finalist

LEWISTON -- A local student is a finalist in the Nebraska FFA Small Animal Proficiency award.

Treyton Hippen, a senior at Lewiston Consolidated Schools, raises and sells German Wirehair Pointers.

Hippen’s dogs have been purchased from people living as far as New York, Washington and Texas.

“In the past three years I’ve sold to over 25 different states,” Hippen said.

“I’ve actually had a couple litters where I didn’t have a single one stay in Nebraska,” Hippen said. “Very rarely do they stay in Nebraska.”

Hippen said most people drive or fly to retrieve the dogs, but he’s traveled to deliver them as well.

Hippen decided to raise German Wirehair Pointers because his family had them when he was growing up. He started his business, Cedar Ridge Wirehairs, in eighth grade. Hippen has taken care of three to four litters a year.

“I feed them and clean out kennels morning and night,” Hippen said. “Whenever they have pups I have to go out there every hour and check them.”

Hippen said his school lets him go home every couple hours to check on the dogs.

Hippen plans to continue breeding wirehair pointers as a career, and is excited about the proficiency award.

“I’ve been putting in for it for three or four years now, so it’d be nice to finally win it,” Hippen said.

Hippen will be interviewed for the award at the Nebraska FFA State Convention in Lincoln on April 4.

More information about Cedar Ridge Wirehairs can be found at