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An eventful year

December 31, 2018

The last day of a calendar year seems a particularly appropriate time to look back at all that took place in Northeast and North Central Nebraska in the past 12 months.

It was an eventful year but perhaps not as much so as some in the past. Perhaps that’s because this corner of the state was able to avoid anything similar to the 2014 tornadoes in Pilger or the Elkhorn River flooding that affected many communities several years back. That kind of breaking news often is destructive in its nature, so it’s welcome when it doesn’t occur.

Besides, we’d rather focus on the positive.

Like the opening of the renovated and expanded Norfolk Public Library. What a gem of a facility that is.

Or the progress made in plans to develop the North Fork of the Elkhorn River as it meanders near downtown Norfolk. To be sure, not all see the value and potential of this effort, but we do and many others, too.

There also was the naming of a new chief executive officer — Kelly Driscoll — for Faith Regional Health Services amid continued construction of a new medical office building on its west campus. Add to that a separate medical facility — Fountain Point — under construction west of Faith Regional, and Norfolk looks to be the home of impressive health care structures and services for years to come.

The 2018 elections — both the primary and general election — should be looked at as positives as willing men and women step forth to serve in elective office on the local, county and regional level. Madison County, in particular, will be served by a new county sheriff, county clerk, register of deeds and a new commissioner.

Of course, not everything can be positive over the course of a year.

The closing of Herberger’s at Sunset Plaza in Norfolk was a blow to retail shopping in the city. Low commodity prices negatively affected crop producers in this corner of the state. The decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to require an Environmental Impact Statement on the planned expansion of Highway 275 from Scribner to West Point translates into at least a two-year delay.

Overall, however, Northeast and North Central Nebraska continues to progress and move forward. That’s a tribute to its residents; the businesses and industries that provide jobs and spur the economy; and the efforts of many individuals to contribute where they can.

We have high hopes for 2019; we always do for a coming year. And we have no reason to believe they won’t be realized.

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