Handwriting champ once was 'horrible'
Emma Crews, a fourth-grader at Belleaire Elementary School in Bellevue, said a former teacher used to “say I was horrible at handwriting.”
No more. The 9-year-old has won the state portion of the National Writing Contest.
Emma said her mother stresses handwriting and would make her rewrite any sloppy homework.
“It feels like my hand's going to fall off when I practice sometimes,” she said.
Explained her mother, Jennifer Crews: Handwriting is “a representation of you, who you are and what you stand for.”
Emma's writing samples will be submitted to compete on the national level with other students in grades three through eight. Entries are judged on shape, size, spacing and slant. The contest is sponsored by Zaner-Bloser, a group emphasizing education and literacy programs across the country.
Before houses go in, dirt road needs work
The future of the proposed 147-home Spring Ridge subdivision may hinge on a dirt road.
The Bellevue City Council has approved a preliminary plat of the first phase of the planned Spring Ridge development east of 25th Street and west of the Kennedy Freeway.
But the approval is contingent on Gilmore Lake Road being paved and extended around the east edge of the existing Spring Creek housing subdivision.
Council members made it clear they will not consider final approval of the first phase — 45 of a planned 147 lots — until plans to improve Gilmore Lake Road are in place.
The sole access to Spring Ridge initially anticipated by developer Melvin Sudbeck of Sudbeck Homes would have been Spring Creek's Nola Avenue, which brought protests about additional traffic choking streets not designed to serve almost 150 homes.
Paving Gilmore Lake Road, a steep dirt road, would divert Spring Ridge traffic around the eastern boundaries of Spring Creek.
Bellevue Planning Director Chris Shewchuk said talks are ongoing between the city, Sarpy County and Sudbeck about improving Gilmore Lake Road.
“Nothing is firmed up yet,” he said. “But we have talked to the county and it seems they are willing to participate in improvements.”
Bellevue wants to hear from residents on pools
Bellevue residents are being encouraged to take an online survey that could be the first step in redesigning the city's aquatics program.
Parks Director Mike Francis said Larkin Aquatics of Kansas City, Mo., wants to know how many residents use the city's five swimming pools and how often. The firm is being paid $26,540 to conduct a review of the city's aquatics programs; findings and recommendations are likely by early to mid-summer.
Kyle McCawley, project manager with Larkin Aquatics, said people signing up for Bellevue's recreation programs this year will receive a flier directing them to the survey. A link to the survey also is available on the city's website, www.bellevue.net.
“We want to understand people's feelings about the existing swimming pools, how they're using them, if they meet their needs, and how frequently they use them,” McCawley said.
The oldest of Bellevue's five pools is Dowding, built in 1956. Sorensen, Cascio and Sun Valley pools were built in the 1970s. The newest facility, Gilbert, was built in 1980.
— World-Herald News Service