Trayton Travnicek of Bayard wrestles his steer to the ground during the Camp Clarke Stampede Rodeo on Saturday, July 4th. He came in fifth place and took home some prize money. See rodeo results and additional photos on page A6, as well as next week’s paper. JOHN ERICKSON
If you thought your eyes deceived you two weeks ago when you saw a chuck wagon and team of horses riding through Bridgeport with a mule team scouting ahead, you were not dreaming. “Don’t text and drive” is the lesson that was learned the hard way by former Colby, Kansas high school classmates Kenneth Kleinsorge and David Pabst. They were passing through Western Nebraska earlier this month on Kleinsorge’s mules and Pabst’s authentic 1883 Chuckwagon with his four-up team. Bill & John are the lead horses, and Buster & Barney make up the wheel team and slack pullers for the pup trailer, getting through the rugged sandhills of Western Nebraska.
Anyone who has seen it knows that the new 57 passenger activity bus at the Bridgeport Public School lot is a real head turner, having come into town last week all shiny and bright, eagerly awaiting its first load of students this fall. The $144,000.00 bus is a 2008 MCI with 580,000 miles on it, completely refurbished on the inside and new tires on the underside.
Commencement exercises took place for thirty-four Bulldog graduates this past Saturday, at the Bridgeport Public Schools gymnasium. As has been the case for so many activities the past few months, this ceremony, too, was a bit different than in years past. Chairs were set up in groups of six, spaced an even six feet apart around the gym floor and Graduates sat apart from one another in the area reserved for the students. Some wore masks and some did not, but the atmosphere was jubilant, and nothing seemed to damper the enthusiasm the students exhibited on their special day.
Saturday, June 20, marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic deaths of Nebraska State Patrol officer Jerry Smith, 51, of Scottsbluff and Derek Lacrete, 28, of Lewellen. Smith was on routine patrol enroute to Bridgeport last summer when Lacrete’s vehicle crossed the center line and struck Smith’s patrol car head on. Smith was the 12th Nebraska State Trooper killed in the line of duty.In the year since his untimely death, his daughter Mechelle Smith of Texas has made it her mission to run in honor of him, spurred by an old email that her father had sent her while he was serving in Iraq. In it, he encouraged her to run when she was bored and didn’t have anything else to do. So, she started running and, since his funeral, has run 373 miles to commemorate Trooper Smith’s NSP badge number.