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Article in Lincoln Journal Star this morning August 2nd, 2010

General News

Closed Campus

It's been 35 years since John F. Kennedy College in Wahoo closed. Some in the community still hope to find a use for the wooded, picturesque campus. They have words of advice for Blair, which just saw its college close.
WAHOO -- On a brisk night in March 1971, Linda Collins stepped outside her Wahoo home and watched the stately three-story brick building -- where she had fallen in love with her husband, Michael, while producing and performing in theater productions -- burn.
"It was an absolutely gorgeous campus before Old Main burned," she said of her alma mater, John F. Kennedy College, which closed in 1975.
The college's third fire in two years left its students, faculty and staff heartbroken, said Carl Wirth, who serves as the historian for the college's unofficial alumni association.
"It was just very devastating, because that was the centerpiece of the campus," he said.
Within four years, the college had closed after failing to overcome financial challenges and increase its student enrollment.
Thirty-five years later, the campus remains a heavily wooded, picturesque place marred by dilapidated buildings whose windows largely are broken out and roofs are leaking.
It's a quiet place today, with much of the campus having been sold over the years to private interests.
A boys' home used some of the buildings for a few years in the 1990s. A medical center, physical therapist's office and real estate office are located on parts of the old campus.
Some of the land was sold to a housing developer, and a developer built condominiums for senior citizens on part of the campus.
Other businesses -- a substance abuse treatment center, an arcade game repair shop -- have looked into locating there but never did.
Three of the buildings remain empty.
As the community of Wahoo has watched the closure this summer of Dana College in nearby Blair, they have begun looking into possible solutions for their own aging campus.
At a July 15 community forum, people interested in the college gathered to talk about possible solutions. Mayor Jerry Johnson said he organized the forum to take place at the same time as a reunion of John F. Kennedy College alumni.
Several alumni who attended the reunion also attended the forum.
Johnson said it would be cost-prohibitive to restore most of the buildings on the campus. And, since much of the campus has been sold off, it's unlikely another educational institution would be interested in it, he said.
"We've got to determine if there is a possible use," he said of the college. "With the economy today, there's just not a lot of speculators out there."
And, with Dana College closing, any speculators interested in buying a site for an educational institution likely would look there first, Johnson said.
When John F. Kennedy College opened in 1965, it was one of three private colleges that opened in Nebraska around the same time. The Wahoo college stayed open longer than either of the other two: Hiram Scott College in Scottsbluff and Pershing College in Beatrice.
Wirth suggested turning the land into a park and restoring the former president's house -- where the current owner of the property, Thomas Widlar, now lives -- into a library housing memorabilia from the college.
He said he and another alumnus have begun seeking grants and donations to collect and digitize printed memorabilia from the college.
"I really hope that the people of Wahoo are successful in some way to do something with the campus," he said.
Widlar said he has tried to find a buyer for the property for years and is in contact with potential buyers today, though he declined to elaborate.
He said he gained the property through a foreclosure in 1999 and moved to live on the campus in 2003.
"I've been trying to sell it since I got here," he said recently, standing on the front porch of the former president's house, now his home.
He said he realizes the property has become an eyesore but also criticized those who complain about the campus for not helping to do anything about it.
"I still think it's probably the nicest piece of property in Wahoo," Widlar said.
Johnson said he is considering calling together a facilities committee made up of public and private interests to examine possible solutions for the campus. He said it will be important for the community to think of non-traditional uses for the campus.
And he offered some advice to community members in Blair as they consider the fate of the Dana College campus.
"Don't hang onto that dream forever," he said of the idea of reusing the campus as a college. "I think that's what Wahoo did."

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Jim Cantrell Watercolor Award

Jim Cantrell has won the 1st Place in Watercolor Award for his painting "Barn near Murphy's Park" at the prestigious “First Brush of Spring” Plein Air Event in New Harmony, Indiana.  Approximately 150 artists from around the country participated in the paint-out from April 15-17th sponsored by the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association.

 

Cantrell maintains his studio at the Bardstown Art Gallery, 214 W Stephen Foster Ave.  He has painted many local scenes in the Historic District as well as capturing numerous local people in his artworks.   His work can seen and purchased at the art gallery. 

 

For more information contact Jeannette Cantrell, Director, at 503-348-6488.

 

Image attached:  Jim Cantrell and wife Jeannette with his award winning watercolor.

 

 

Jeannette Cantrell, Director
Bardstown Art Gallery
214 W Stephen Foster Ave
Bardstown, KY  40004
Phone: 502-348-6488
www.bardstownartgallery.com
www.thomasmertonbooks.com
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Manstedt’s influence reaches beyond his team at High Plains

General News

PREP WRSETLING

By Marc Zavala
marc.zavala@theindependent.com

Published: Friday, December 18, 2009 8:49 PM CST

 

Norm Manstedt has been around the sport of wrestling for a number of years.

And it doesn’t appear he isn’t going anywhere soon.

Manstedt’s High Plains wrestling team was one of 20 teams competing this weekend at the Fla*censored*er Fracas at the Heartland Events Center.

During his 41 years of coaching at Clarks and High Plains, he has produced 31 individual state champions, one team state title in Class D in 1972, and one runner up finish in Class D in 1978.

Manstedt said wrestling has always been a part of his life.

“It’s the one thing I have been successful at year after year,” Manstedt said.

A few of Manstedt’s wrestlers have taken that next step in becoming head coaches. In fact, there are two coaches competing in the Fracas that have wrestled for Manstedt. Those coaches include his son, Gothenburg coach Eric Manstedt, and Grand Island Central Catholic coach Marc Starostka.

Norm Manstedt said he’s happy to see former athletes get into coaching and making an impact on the wrestler’s lives.

“That’s really neat to see,” he said. “To know that they are trying to do the same things that I have taught them. I hope they are picking on some other things as well because I don’t have them all figured out. I know both Eric and Marc have used the same philosophy that I have.”

Eric said he owes his coaching success to his dad.


“He’s always been a big coaching influence on me in terms of my coaching style in how I talk and treat my kids,” Eric said.

Starostka, who won a state championship for Norm Manstedt in 1983, said the same thing, but also added that he also teaches kids more about life than wrestling.

“I don’t think I have time to discuss how much Norm has meant to me and what it was like wrestling for him,” Starostka said. “He’s always been a mentor of mine and I still always call him. He’s a teacher about life. He’s a believer of every kid, whether you are good or bad. He’s got the ability to make you believe in him as a coach in the lifestyle. He’s a life builder.”

Eric also said there’s been a lot of talk around the dinner table about wrestling, which is something Eric said his mom, Janet, didn’t mind.

“I think she was more of a wrestling fan than me and my brother Mitch have ever been,” Eric said. “She grew up around the sport with her brothers and nephews. She would sit front and center and scream at the top of her lungs. We are just a wrestling family.”

Norm Manstedt is involved in a areas when it comes to wrestling. He is one of the original members and president of the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association and also started the Nebraska Invitational Dual Team Championships held in Columbus every year.

“I don’t know if we would know how much impact he has made for the sport,” Eric said. “I tried to ask my dad how much of the stuff he is involved in. He hasn’t just been trying to get Clarks or High Plains better, it’s about trying to get the sport in Nebraska better for everybody. He really has influenced a lot of kids.”

Norm Manstedt hopes the wrestlers get more from the sport than wins and losses, like the lessons learned from competing in the sport.

“I hope what they get out of it is to be successful not just by winning,” he said. “The sport takes daily work. The wrestlers will face many challenges in their life and they know they will have to work hard every day to get better in practice to prove themselves. A lot of things in life might not be as difficult as what they are facing right now. The thought process is being prepared every day to go to work. Every kid I have coached have been fun to have, whether they have been good or bad.”

 

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Kennedy Online's New Home

General News
New Site! New Features!
 
As some of you may have noticed things here are looking a bit different.
We have been busy implementing lots of new features for the site.
We now have a brand new MediaGallery where you can post your Kennedy related pictures, videos, music.
There is now a fully functional message board, calendar, survey system, and much more.
 
Please poke around, If you have any questions, concerns or idea’s please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

P.S. If you want to know more click the read more link right below.

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Special Notice

General News

On August 8th, 7 Kennedy alumni visited the Nebraska Softball Hall of Fame in Hastings, Nebraska. Betty Alig Sweet, Casey McAtee Pontow, Beth Richards, Lindy Albertson, Marian Raider DeShazer, Carl Wirth and LuLu made the nostalgic and sometimes emotional trip. KHASTV, the local Hastings tv station, taped interviews of the former JFK players as they toured the museum and saw pictures and tributes to former classmates and players. Cathy Buell, Marv Razor, Harry Kasischke and Coach Don "Pappy" Joe are honored there. The tape will be on the stations website for a limited time around August 9th. The former players made a point of clearing up facts about the origination of the womens college world series in 1969 in Omaha and not in 1982 as posted. Final moments of the trip were dedication of the uniform of former teammate, Karen "Trixie" (Peitz) Studen in her honor.

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address book

General News

 Lynette, I am wondering if you still have the database of addresses of alumni. 

I have lost track of Kathy Corwin Hunt and would like to know if you have an

e mail address for her? The last postal address I have is Fremont, Calif., but I

know they were moving...How is everyone handling the heat this summer?  Thinking

of getting a swimming pool for an afternoon chill out.....like Texas.......Is there any talk of another reunion

in 2013 or 2014?  I can help somehow.....

Cyndy Lammert

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