Council adopts new code book

By Deanna Anderson
Cedar County news
HARTINGTON — The Hartington City Council took the final step and adopted a new municipal code book Monday evening.

Hartington City attorneys Steven Pier and Vanessa Gorden used a model code and the city’s current codes to bring the book up to date.
The last time the code book was revised as a whole was in the 1970s.
In other action Monday, the Council authorized the city attorney and the city police department to proceed with removing two abandoned vehicles from the city limits.
Council members will use the ordinance on unsafe buildings to enforce the ‘cleaning up’ of two properties on Main Street.

Dan Kathol presented the City Council with budget requests for 2007-08 year.
Kathol would like to see the city gear up for the Q125 celebration.
“This is the time,” said Kathol.
Kathol would like to install white fencing on the east side of the complex road with the city paying half of the cost with the balance coming from donations.
Funds in the amount of $1,000 are needed for a matching grant for scrub tree plantings along the road.
“Bob Eickhoff has completed the fencing on his side of the road — what he has done looks great. We will be finishing up the landscaping when the weather cools down,” said Kathol. “We would like to have the city have the responsibility of mowing on both sides of the road to ensure the road to the complex looks good.”
Patriotic half moon banners, welcome signs and banners which announce the Q125 celebration and a first class city float for the Q125 Parade are all included in the items to be considered by the Council.
Temporary RV pads were also included in the total amount, which comes in around $13,000.
Council members were concerned with adding additional expenses to the budget for next year.
“We have a lot of expenses that are coming up on the complex,” said Council member Ed Bottolfsen. “We need to put aside $6,000 each year for track replacement costs. We are looking at doing some erosion control and I would like to see some sprinklers added.”

Councilman Tim Burbach agreed the expenses are adding up.
“The football field grass is not getting any better,” said Burbach.
Councilman Gerald Thoene said there is also a need for a storage shed at the complex as well.
Kathol said grants and sales tax money will be used to promote Hartington.
“We want to put together a marketing plan for all of the people who come back for the Q125 celebration,” said Kathol. “We want to put together a list which will be used for a mailing along with a DVD which would encourage people to move to Hartington.”
Carla Becker, Economic Development Coordinator asked the Council for approval in making an application for a BECA (Building Entrepreneurial Communities Act) grant.
The grant will be used to promote the area through a mailing campaign specifically targeting the Q125 as a means to bring back family and friends for the three to four day celebration.
“While they are back we would like them to take a look at our area and consider moving back and getting a job here,” said Becker.

According to Becker, Hartington will be partnering with the community of Fordyce to apply for the grant.
Becker said she was not asking the city for funds, but for a letter of support in making the application.
Council members said they would have Mayor Bill Yates, who was absent at the Aug. 13 meeting, write the letter of support.
Kathol was excited about a couple who are visiting Hartington.
They are from Hartington, England he said.
“I gave them a tour of Hartington and they took a lot of pictures,” said Kathol. “Today they are at the library reading up on Hartington. We are in the process of doing an article for the newspaper about this couple.”

Burbach said he would like to thank a Hartington business who has helped support the local baseball and softball association.
“Northeast Nebraska Equip-ment has allowed us to use their machinery for the baseball tournaments,” said Burbach. “I appreciate that.”
Bottolfsen said he would like to find a way to thank all of the volunteers who do so much for the city and the community throughout the year.

Country music will fill the air this week when the 126th Cedar County Fair opens.
The Fair opens Wednesday night with team penning. The midway, 4-H judging and grandstand entertainment all get underway Thursday.
Two big nights of country music are planned for this year’s fair. The country group ‘Heartland’ will be here Thursday. The group’s song, “I Loved Her First,” hit number one on the charts earlier this year. It is still ranked this week at number 20 on the Billboard charts.
Heartland member Keith West describes the Heartland sound as a true mixture of styles.
“If you take some Beach Boys and a little Alabama and put them in a cup and shake them up, you get the Heartland sound,” he said.
West said the group’s show is power-packed.
“We like putting on a very lively show that might make you think back to the 80’s rock days—maybe not as crazy,” he said.
Long-time country favorite Sawyer Brown will hit the stage Saturday night.
Sawyer Brown first hit the national stage when they won Star Search in 1984. The next year three songs hit the charts, ‘Leona,’ ‘Step that Step,’ and ‘Betty’s Being Bad.’ In all, they have recorded 17 albums.
The group is also well known in Nebraska for the song, ‘The Nebraska Song.’ The song was written by lead singer Mark Miller after the tragic death of University of Nebraska quarterback Brooke Beringer.
Vaught is known for
his high energy shows

By Rob Dump
Cedar County news
HARTINGTON — Area residents have heard hit songs from two of the three country music acts that will hit the stage here during this week’s Cedar County Fair.
The third act — relatively unknown to most area residents — is just on the verge of hitting the big time, though.
After five years of touring across the country performing over 200 shows a year, Phil Vaught is about to sign a new recording contract with a major record label.
Vaught’s talent will be showcased when he does two performances at the Cedar County Fair. He will open Thursday night for country stars ‘Heartland.’ He will also be the opening act Saturday night for ‘Sawyer Brown.’
Vaught said he’s really enjoyed making music for fans, but feels he is established enough, now, to move to the next stage in his career.
“I was very careful to not expose myself to the business of music here in town while I was out on the road making a living,” Vaught said in a Monday phone interview from his Nashville area home. “When the time came to think about a recording deal. I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t interfere with my livelihood.”
Vaught said a lot of musicians move to Nashville and work odd jobs and earn little money while trying to find their big break.
“It seems the standard is that you move to Nashville to make it big, then you starve waiting for your big break. I didn’t want it to be that way,” he said. “I came in and said, ‘hey I’ve been doing 200 shows a year and I can make it.”
The 28 year-old western Kentucky native said he enjoys putting on live shows and opening for such big name acts as Big and Rich and the Wreckers.
It is time to hit the studio and lay down a few tracks to see if he can’t take his career in a different direction, though.
Vaught has earned a reputation during his five years of touring as a musician that can fire up a crowd with his high energy performances.
His own brand of country music, which sounds a bit like the country group ‘Blue County,’ is only part of the act, though.
He can also handle a rock tune with the best of them. He enjoys doing covers of hits by Journey and Steve Perry.
Vaught first began performing hymnals with his siblings at his father’s Baptist church. His brothers taught him how to play guitar and he also learned to play the drums.

By the time he was in high school, he had graduated to playing local and regional clubs.
Vaught said music has always been a part of his life. For a few years he worked in a factory, but he missed the music, so he gave that up and began touring instead.
“I just love getting up and sharing my music with people,” he said.
Local audiences will have two chances to see him perform this week. He opens for Heartland Thursday and he will open for Sawyer Brown Saturday.