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Local
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Local businesses team up for weekly group run

Running is often times a solitary endeavor.

You strap on your running shoes, put on your headphones, and hit the road.

But recently, two local businesses partnered together to give area runners a chance to get out and run as part of a group.

“It’s a way to engage and build the community, and you also get to meet running partners and new friends,” Chris McBratney, owner of Run Nebraska, LLC said. “It’s just a way to foster that community aspect of running that sometimes can be so solitary.”

Run Nebraska, LLC, and Nebraska Sports have partnered together to offer a weekly group run that provides local runners of all ages and abilities a chance to get together and enjoy the sport they love.

The group run is held every Wednesday at 6 p.m., weather permitting, with runners meeting in Nebraska Sports at the Fremont Mall before heading out and hitting the pavement.

“It’s an all ages and abilities environment, no one gets left behind,” McBratney said. “It’s a very inclusive, no judgment type of run, just again to foster that positivity.”

Although the group run was started just recently, local runners have already taken advantage of the opportunity and are participating in the weekly event on a regular basis.

“Like with everything it starts small,” McBratney said. “We have had between 5-10 people join us each time and we have had people as young as 11 years old and people that are 60 plus.”

According to McBratney, the runs usually consist of lengths between 2-6 miles with each individual getting to choose how far they want to run on a particular night.

“We all try to run roughly the same route so that everyone is visible, but some people will splinter off and do a little more and some will do a little less,” he said. “A lot of times we have run the gravel roads north of town, getting out in the country a little bit to avoid the traffic and noise. You can just kind of get into your own little zone with people who are wanting to do the same.”

Although the group’s typical weekly meeting place is Nebraska Sports, McBratney has also tried to keep things interesting by having the group run on the trails at Hormel Park and Camp Calvin Crest.

“We want to try to keep it interesting so it’s not the same old route week in week out,” he said.

Following each run, Nebraska Sports provides water and snacks to all of the participating runners.

“Greg Pehrson at Nebraska Sports has been awesome,” McBratney said. “They provide water and snacks after every run for everybody, they let us come in and kind of congregate in their store and even provide changing rooms. It wouldn’t be possible without them.”

Along with providing area runners a support system and set running time each week, the group run is also away for McBratney’s newly started business, Run Nebraska, LLC to engage the community.

McBratney along with his wife Ashley, and longtime friends and neighbors Kurtis and Melissa Slater started Run Nebraska, LLC last November. The business offers professional chip-timing services for area road, trail and bicycle races.

“We wanted to create a solution for the smaller races that may don’t have the ability, or haven’t had the ability or experience working with a timing company,” McBratney said.

The technical side of the business is headed up by Kurtis Slater along with fellow friend and IT professional Hector Tercero-Suazo.

“Hector and I handle the tech,” Slater said. “So we do a lot of the managing of the timing systems and back end systems, and then pitch in where we can.”

Along with offering timing for area races, McBratney says the goal of the company is to disrupt the market by offering a variety of other services related to race running.

“We can offer not only race-timing solutions, but we can help with marketing, branding, race consulting all sorts of stuff,” he said. “We don’t just show up, time the race, and are gone in an hour. We will also set up the registration, we’ll help market it, set up e-mail blasts and post on social media, and we even do photography. So we really want to help build exposure for each event.”

With Slater and Tercero-Suazo providing most of the technical expertise in the business, McBratney focuses on marketing the company, running its social media page, and involving himself in the local running community.

Run Nebraska, LLC also offers merchandise like shirts and stickers, which are headed up by Ashley McBratney and Melissa Slater.

“Our wives help out and really pitch in with everything,” McBratney said. “It’s a small company with a lot of moving parts, so there are a lot of shared responsibilities.”

For more information and updates about the weekly group run, people are encouraged to visit the Run Nebraska, LLC Facebook page. Information about Run Nebraska, LLC’s services can also be found online at run-ne.com.


Local
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Woman finds journal

To Ellen Andrews, it just doesn’t make sense.

How could a tender journal written by a mother to her daughter end up at the local Goodwill store?

In beautiful handwriting, Rose Mary (Marshall) Johnson recounted all sorts of life experiences — like going to a country school, struggling to make gravy and attending a baseball game. There were poignant moments like how she met her husband and the way he proposed.

Thinking the book may have been taken to the Goodwill by accident, Andrews bought the journal for $1.99 about three weeks ago.

“There was too much history in this book to leave it on the shelf,” she said.

Now, she hopes to return the journal.

Andrews already has another journal — albeit less detailed — from her own mother, Shirley, who died in September 2017. Andrews knows how she’d feel if that book were lost.

“It would be important to me if somebody found it and gave it back to me,” she said.

The soft-cover book Andrews found was specially printed to be a journal and is called “Reflections from a Mother’s Heart — Your Life Story in Your Own Words.”

Inside, Johnson began with a letter to her daughter, Julie.

“You have grown into a beautiful person inside as well as outside. You are an excellent mother, good friend to many, a great listener and just all-around wonderful person that we dearly love and respect,” Johnson wrote. “May God’s blessings be with you on this your 40th birthday.”

That entry is dated: November 2003.

After buying the book, Andrews read it.

“It was just like reading a novel,” she said.

In the book, Johnson tells how she wanted to become a hairdresser and went to Bahner’s College of Hairstyling in Fremont in 1962-63. She then worked in a beauty shop for Ardy Harding from 1969-79. After Ardy died at age 42, her daughter took over the shop, Andrews said.

Johnson answered statements and questions like: “Describe a memorable Valentine you received,” “Describe your father in his working clothes” and “Did you ever go to a dance?”

The journal also includes four old-time, black-and-white photographs taken in 1909 and in the 1920s.

With so many dates and details, Andrews believes this book could be precious to Johnson’s family and was given away accidentally — perhaps when she or someone else moved out of their homes.

“I’m wondering if when they cleaned out the place, maybe they just saw a book and not looking at it — it was mixed in with the rest of the books — not realizing it was a journal,” Andrews said.

Brief inquiries about the book may be made at the Tribune by calling 402-941-1433.


Brent Wasenius / Evan Nordstrom / Fremont Tribune 

Fremont High School senior Riley Harms watches a tee shot during a quadrangular last month at the Fremont Golf Club. The Tigers competed Thursday at the Kearney Invitational.


The Rev. Russell McDowell and his wife, Becky, are shown during a celebration Sunday at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Fremont. McDowell has retired after serving as a pastor. He and his wife plan to move to Minnesota.


Govt-and-politics
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S2 ends free recycling pick-up at HyVee

S2 Roll-offs and Refuse is ending its free recycling collection program at Fremont’s HyVee, the company confirmed with the Fremont Tribune on Thursday.

The company has had a collection bin at HyVee for eight years, where Fremonters could drop off their recyclables to be taken away. The collection spot moved from the front of the building to the back of the building more recently. But now, due to prohibitive costs, S2 has decided to end the program.

“The cost just got to be too much and we couldn’t absorb it anymore,” said S2 General Manager Nathan Williams, adding, “Between fuel and increased labor costs and the decrease in commodity prices, it’s kind of been a perfect storm.”

Williams said the company reached out to Keep Fremont Beautiful and the City of Fremont to see if there were any opportunities for financial help to keep the program going. But Keep Fremont Beautiful Executive Director Leila Hybl said that, as a non-profit, its grant funds can’t go toward private companies. And City Administrator Brian Newton said that, without having budgeted for it, the city had no funds available to help pick up the service.

Newton suggested it could be possible for the city to find a grant, adding that S2’s free recycling program was “a very important service and we certainly want to keep it.”

But, in part from transporting frequent loads of recyclables by semi-truck to Omaha, the costs for the program added up, Williams said.

“It’s been a really gut-wrenching decision for us to do it, because we have enjoyed being able to support that in the community and we really wish that there was some way that we were able to continue to do it,” Williams said.

Companies in the area, including S2, still offer at-home recycling pick-up services that residents can pay for. There are other collection programs in the city as well, including at the Waste Connections Recycling Facility at 1200 Hamilton St.

“It just means that instead of taking the recycling when you’re going grocery shopping at HyVee, you can do it elsewhere,” said Hybl of Keep Fremont Beautiful. “Companies and organizations like Keep Fremont Beautiful will just continue to work on adapting to the current climate of recycling because it’s ever changing.”


Crime-and-courts
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Student arrested for terroristic threats toward Fremont High School

A student was arrested after allegedly making a threat of violence against Fremont High School on Thursday.

At approximately 10:45 a.m., the Fremont Police responded to an alleged threat made by a student toward the school located at 1750 N. Lincoln Ave.

According to the Fremont Police Department, the alleged threat was made by a student at the school’s Pathfinder Program located at 130 E. Ninth St.

As a result, an 18-year-old student was arrested and charged with terroristic threats. The charge is a C3A felony, which is punishable by three years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.

The student was allegedly overheard by staff members making a comment that was an implication of future violence. Staff and police responded immediately to ensure no threat to student safety was present.

“The threat wasn’t against any particular student or person, but the staff obviously took the comment seriously and reported it,” Lt. Ed Watts said.

Watts also added that the Fremont Police Department takes any potential threat to school safety seriously.

“We are not going to tolerate any threats or implications of school violence,” he said. “Persons making such threats will be arrested and charged to the full extent of the law.”

The student was not in possession of any weapon at the time the alleged threat was made.

Following the incident Fremont High School Principal Scott Jensen commended the Fremont Police Department and staff at the Pathfinder Program for their diligence in the matter.

“Any comments or any reports that are made, we take extremely seriously,” he said.

He also added that student safety is the school’s top priority.

“Our teachers and paraprofessionals all take school safety very seriously,” he said. “We have plans in place, some are public some are not, on how to best approach these types of things and student safety in general. It is definitely our top priority.”