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Comfort Dogs

Four purebred Golden Retrievers are being trained to become comfort dogs as part of Peace Lutheran Church’s ministry. A training class is held every Thursday as dog handlers take their puppies to church for various training exercises. At the end of class the dogs are rewarded to play.

Dog handler Brad Keasling gives praise to his six-month-old purebred Golden Retriever Dinah during one of several training exercises inside the Peace Lutheran Church sanctuary.

Dog handler Brad Keasling gives praise to his six-month-old purebred Golden Retriever Dinah during one of several training exercises inside the Peace Lutheran Church sanctuary.

Comfort dog Jude makes it to the top of two flights of stairs during one of several training exercises at Peace Lutheran Church.

Comfort dog Jude makes it to the top of two flights of stairs during one of several training exercises at Peace Lutheran Church.

Comfort dog Levi is tempted by Cheez-it crackers, but doesn’t move during one of several training exercises in the Peace Lutheran Church parking lot. (Independent/Andrew Carpenean)

Comfort dog Levi is tempted by Cheez-it crackers, but doesn’t move during one of several training exercises in the Peace Lutheran Church parking lot.

Two of four comfort dogs chase one another while playing fetch with a tennis ball at Peace Lutheran Church.

Two of four comfort dogs chase one another while playing fetch with a tennis ball at Peace Lutheran Church.

Levi has his service vest put on by Carol and Rich Deardorff during training exercises at Peace Lutheran Church.

Levi has his service vest put on by Carol and Rich Deardorff during training exercises at Peace Lutheran Church.

Comfort dog Bethany takes a rest on a tile floor at Peace Lutheran Church.

Comfort dog Bethany takes a rest on a tile floor at Peace Lutheran Church.

 

Human Foosball

Human foosball would most likely fall into a category of a weird sport. Weird but, a lot of fun to photograph and fun to play by looking at the faces of those participating. And for a good cause, a fundraiser for a local hospital. Orie Friesen got the idea by seeing it online and built the plywood box which is the playing field. Human foosball was played after a town barbecue in conjunction with Henderson (Neb.) Community Days.

Spencer Friesen, right, kicks the ball during a game of human foosball at Henderson Community Days.

Spencer Friesen, right, kicks the ball during a game of human foosball at Henderson Community Days.

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Summertime Scenes

Here is an update from events I’ve covered lately that’s conducive with summertime.

The Kait Berreckman Band performs during Hear Grand Island at the Railside Plaza on a Friday evening.

The Kait Berreckman Band performs during Hear Grand Island at the Railside Plaza on a Friday evening.

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The Power of Social Media

Hannah Huston became a household name as a finalist on The Voice in the show’s 10th season. Being a Grand Island, Neb. native she attended a homecoming at her former high school, Grand Island Senior High in which a live broadcast was conducted. While on the popular show Hannah became a hit sensation and made a lot of Nebraskans proud. I tweeted a photo of Hannah that included her Twitter account. She re-tweeted it and it went viral.

A screenshot of the Tweet activity is below the main photo which currently has 17,587 impressions (times people saw this Tweet on Twitter) and 1,131 total engagements (times people interacted with this Tweet).

The Voice finalist and Grand Island native Hannah Huston has a selfie taken with Jack Sheard of Grand Island Public Schools during a homecoming at the senior high auditorium Saturday.

The Voice finalist and Grand Island native Hannah Huston has a selfie taken with Jack Sheard of Grand Island Public Schools during a homecoming at the senior high auditorium Saturday.

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Nebraska Truck Driving Championships

Grand Island is host to the Nebraska Truck Driving Championships which is held at Fonner Park. Ninety-eight truckers competed in six stations to show to officials their driving expertise. The stations were simulated as every day circumstances professional drivers face.

Alan Rogers, safety director with Wynne Transport Service, motions for driver Joe Busch to come up to the starting line during the Nebraska Truck Driving Championships at Fonner Park Saturday. Ninety-eight drivers competed in six stations that are simulated challenges drivers face every day.

Alan Rogers, safety director with Wynne Transport Service, motions for driver Joe Busch to come up to the starting line during the Nebraska Truck Driving Championships at Fonner Park Saturday. Ninety-eight drivers competed in six stations that are simulated challenges drivers face every day.

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Fifth Generation Wedding

A recent assignment was to cover a fifth generation wedding in which five brides were all married in the same church, Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran. Once a country church located outside of the town of Hampton, Neb., relocated at the Stuhr Museum in 1966. It was a beautiful ceremony with a young couple.

Mrs. Laura Goodwin and her husband Shawn smile as a couple after getting married at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church at the Stuhr Museum. (Independent/Andrew Carpenean)

Mrs. Laura Goodwin and her husband Shawn smile as a couple after getting married at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church at the Stuhr Museum.

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Recent Favorites

Here is a collection of images taken throughout this spring that are some of my favorites.

Hannah Huston’s name is in lights as a watch party takes place inside the Grand Theater during the season finale of The Voice.

Hannah Huston’s name is in lights as a watch party takes place inside the Grand Theater during the season finale of The Voice.

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Nebraska State Track & Field Championships

I had an enjoyable and demanding opportunity to photograph a two-day state track & field championship at Omaha Burke High School. It was neat to see the sportsmanship held with rural athletes from opposing schools as I saw just as many teammates embracing as I did certain rivals schools.

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Sand flies as Grand Island’s Mackenzie Puckett lands while competing in the Class A triple jump during finals Saturday. Mackenzie won with a leap of 39-1 1/2.

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Structure Fire

The Winfrey Plumbing and Heating building became fully engulfed in a fire after an explosion on a late Sunday night at 808 W. North Front St. in Grand Island, Neb. This as a result of the business owner, Mike Winfrey, who was making homemade bombs in which he lost his life. Three businesses and a residence were without power because of the fire.

Firefighters gather while battling an overnight fire.

Firefighters gather while battling an overnight fire at  Winfrey Plumbing and Heating at 808 W. North Front St. in Grand Island, Neb.

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Easter Eggstravaganza

One of my many enjoyments and strengths as a photojournalist is going to what may be considered an ordinary event and coming back to the newsroom with good images. I had to improvise a little in which there weren’t many people at the event to start, but also the events were stretched out across the afternoon. Having two other assignments later that afternoon I saw how a small photo essay would come together with a beginning (children and their families constructing devises for an egg drop). Secondly, the egg drop itself from the rooftop of Edgerton Explorit Center and lastly reactionary images as a result.

Kris Yockey, left, helps her granddaughter Micole with preparing an egg for a drop from the Edgerton Explorit Center rooftop during Easter Eggstravaganza in Aurora, Neb.

Kris Yockey, left, helps her granddaughter Micole with preparing an egg for a drop from the Edgerton Explorit Center rooftop during Easter Eggstravaganza in Aurora, Neb.

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