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The Pender High School wrestling team was introduced in a parade of championship teams at the state tournament tonight prior to the semifinals in Omaha. They will be one of eight Class D teams competing in the state dual tournament in Kearney a week from Saturday, qualifying by winning the D-3 district title. Go Pendragons!

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Congratulations and good luck to the Pender High School wrestling team! The team took the Class D-3 district title last Friday and Saturday at Elm Creek which notched them a No. 8 seed in the dual tournament at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Feb. 24. With five state qualifiers in Omaha this weekend, the Pendragons burst into a solid lead in the team race after the semifinal round and held on to edge the hosts in a 21-team race. Here, Kaiden Mrsny celebrates an overtime win over Shelton's Jesse Sauceda, 3-1, making him a state qualifier. The other individual state qualifiers are Juan Moreno, Brady Oliver, Layne Heese and Jesse Thompson.

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Congratulations to Pender Elementary School on being named a National Blue Ribbon School today . . . Some perspective here: Only about 350 out of roughly 140,000 United States schools earn this designation each year, and there were only 18 Nebraska schools since 1982! This video shows the moment that students and staff saw Pender broadcast as earning the designation during a school assembly. Superintendent Jason Dolliver noted it was "exceptional test scores" that qualified the local school district. Closing achievement gaps is another way schools can qualify.
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The Thurston County Law Enforcement Center is on pace to house its first prisoners on March 1, and the $5.9 million project is going to be open for public tours and viewing on Saturday, Feb. 17.
dakotacountystar.net
Pender Community Center needs stuff, and now there’s a way to go about giving.That’s the simple way of putting it. A special “Giving Wall” has been set up in the south entrance of the facility to highlight needs of the center so that donors might have ideas to make donations.
penderthurston.com
The new Thurston County Law Enforcement Center is finally set to open soon, and an open house is in the works so the public can get a good look at the new facility.
penderthurston.com
The Pender Times updated their cover photo.
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100th DAY MARKED AT PPS– The kindergarten classes at Pender Public Schools celebrated the 100th day of classes on Friday, Jan. 26 by dressing up as if they were 100 years old. The tradition dates back many years in Mrs. Shauna Kinning’s (back row, right) and Mrs. Amy Bargholz’s (back row, left) classes. Photo by Jason Sturek.

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It’s an election year and races in Thurston County are only beginning to take shape, but there has already been some activity, according to the clerk’s office. Four supervisors are up for re-election, including Leonard Peters (District 1), Mark English (District 3), Roger Nelson (District 5) and...
penderthurston.com
The Pender Times added 150 new photos to the album: Santa Claus visits Frontier Bank.

Thanks to Frontier Bank for partnering with us again on bringing Santa Claus to Pender. It's always one of the biggest pleasures of the Christmas season to photograph so many wonderful families. Happy Holidays!

Pender High School football fans should be digging out the cold weather gear (red, if you've got it) and making plans for the second round of the D1 football playoffs Wednesday afternoon as the Pendragons (4-5) are heading to Johnson-Brock (5-4) fresh off of a 52-50 win over unbeaten Guardian Angels Central Catholic on Thursday. The playoff bracket is linked here: http://nsaahome.org/nsaaforms/officials/fbbracket.php… In the photo is Tyler Nelson breaking free from the clutches of the GACC defense. Check out this week's Pender Times for this and many more game photos!

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The Pender Times was proud to share a breast cancer journey story written by Chris Reha of Pender about his perspective on his wife's successful battle with the disease . . . it was originally written as a contribution to a project called "Real Men Wear Pink" in an effort to raise awareness and funding with money going to the American Cancer Society. Here is the link, as promised in the newspaper, for those who would like to donate any amount to the cause: http://main.acsevents.org/…/MakingStridesAgain…/MSABCCY17NE…

Real Men Wear Pink events are raising money and awareness to help the American Cancer Society fight breast cancer. Learn more here.
main.acsevents.org

The Pender community is celebrating our local school district this week. Read all about it in The Pender Times, on the way to your mailbox or available on newsstands this afternoon at our office or convenience stores!

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Congratulations to Pender Elementary School on being named a National Blue Ribbon School today . . . Some perspective here: Only about 350 out of roughly 140,000 United States schools earn this designation each year, and there were only 18 Nebraska schools since 1982! This video shows the moment that students and staff saw Pender broadcast as earning the designation during a school assembly. Superintendent Jason Dolliver noted it was "exceptional test scores" that qualified the local school district. Closing achievement gaps is another way schools can qualify.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK • September 7, 2017
Raising funds and recruiting their husbands to help were, from left, Katie Gutzmann, Laura Wiese, Kira Swinton, Jessica Weborg, Mandy Moeller, Lindsey Robinson and Amanda Huntington. Not pictured is group leader Carissa Hansen. The new equipment is located in the Pender park.

Eight Pender moms were charged with an effort to place new preschool-aged playground equipment at the Pender Park last summer.

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The idea originally started with the Main Street Thriftique in Pender, and organizers recruited a group of young moms in the community to help the idea become a reality.

Carissa Hansen took the charge as leader of the group, with other members including Laura Wiese, Mandy Moeller, Kira Swinton, Jessica Weborg, Lindsey Robinson, Katie Gutzmann and Amanda Huntington. The group met several times to identify potential fundraising opportunities as well as to develop plans on what to envision at the site.

“Our group was very excited about the opportunity to add structures to the Pender park that are focused more on kids who are ages 0-3. Our park is already such a great gathering place, but we wanted to enhance it even more for little ones,” Hansen said.

The group met with the Pender Village Board several times to gain approval for the playground equipment placement and to ensure future maintenance of the equipment would be handled through the village.

The site of the new playground equipment is on the south side of the large playground structure at the Pender city park.

After meeting with several playground equipment vendors, the group chose a “nature” themed concept for the new equipment and wanted to house structures that allowed children to climb, crawl and use their imagination to play.

Through Krispy Kreme fundraising, selling meals at the Thriftique, as well as through generous grants from the Main Street Thriftique, the Pender-Thurston Education & Community Foundation Fund and the Lower Elkhorn Valley Natural Resources District, the group was able to raise enough money to purchase the equipment. When it came to installation, husbands were were recurited to put the new equipment into place. Blake Hansen and Rodney Zvacek provided heavy equipment that saved the project as much as $8,000 off of the cost of a professional installation. Keith Thomsen and Travis Dunn also loaned equipment.

The group would like to give a special thank you to Susan Strahm for her assistance in providing ideas and inspiration to the group in the development and Diann Ballard for writing the grant for the Lower Elkhorn NRD.

“We are so lucky to live in this great town that supports ideas that make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Katie Gutzmann, who noted the Krispy Creme fundraiser was a huge success.

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