BAKE SALE
Bake Sale
  • MINATARE BOOSTER CLUB IS HAVING THEIR BAKE SALE
  • STARTS AT 4PM
  • BRING YOUR GOODIES

  • CLEAN UP DAY
    Minatare Clean-up Day
  • AUTUMN CLEAN-UP DAY 10/15/2022 FROM 8AM TO 12PM
  • They will not accept appliances or tires. Now's the time to do some sprucing up around the yard, throw away things that are making your yards look trashy or that you you haven't used for a while.
  • PLEASE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS DAY!

  • Love and Free Yourself
    Love Yourself
    Love & Free Yourself
  • 1 You are not your age 
  • 2 Nor the size of clothes you wear 
  • 3 You are not your weight 
  • 4 Or the color of your hair 
  • 5 You are not your name 
  • 6 Or the dimples in your cheeks 
  • 7 You are the books you read 
  • 8 And all of the words you speak 
  • 9 You are your croaky morning voice 
  • 10 And the smiles you try to hide 
  • 11 You’re the sweetness in your laughter 
  • 12 And every tear you cried 
  • 13 You’re the songs you sing so loudly 15 You’re the places that you been too 
  • 16 And the place that you call home 
  • 17 You’re all the things that you believe in 
  • 18 And the people that you love 
  • 19 You’re the photos in your bedroom 
  • 20 And the future you dream of 
  • 21 You’re made of so much beauty 
  • 22 But its seems that you forgot 
  • 23 When you decided that you were defined 
  • BY ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE NOT!!

  • Accreditation
    MINATARE POLICE DEPATMENT ACCREDITATION
    We want to share this Wonderful letter with the Community that Jared Shepard our hard working and dedicated Chief of Police received a letter July 20, 2022 which reads: Dear Chief Shepard: Per the Commission's assessment of your agency's accreditation submission, your agency has met the requirements to be accredited under the Commission's program. In the coming weeks you will receive a certificate that attests to your agency's accreditation status. Please accept my congratulations on attaining accreditation. should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the Commission Staff handling accreditation at NCC.Accredit@nebraska.gov. Sincerely, Dr. Don Arp, Jr., Executive Director, Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. According to Carolyn Nelson our City Clerk who has been City Clerk for 40 years told us in her 40 years as City Clerk, this is the FIRST TIME Minatare Police Department EVER Received Accreditation! CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR NEW CHIEF Jared Shepard & Officer MATT ROCKWELL FOR ALL OF THEIR HARD WORK AND DEDICATION FOR OUR CITIZENS! WE DO APPRECIATE YOU!

    Carolyn is Retiring (Retired) Apply Now!
    JOB OPENING
    Apply for City Clerk job at The City of Minatare here.

    JOB DESCRIPTION

    The City of Minatare is seeking applicants for the position of a fulltime City Clerk. Under supervision of City Clerk until she retires.

    The City Clerk performs general and specific administrative work such as:
  • Bookkeeping at least 2 years
  • Computer literate in Microsoft Office
  • Detail oriented and organized
  • Team Player
  • Excellent Organizational skills
  • Billing
  • Payroll
  • Can work without direct supervision.
  • Excellent written & verbal skills
  • Excellent Customer service skills.
  • Dress appropriately for the position

    * CONFIDENTIALITY IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE Will need to sign confidentiality agreement.

    This person will be the main point of contact for residents regarding City business, ordinances as well as working with Minatare Police Department Minatare City employees regularly. Generally, any combination of education and experience equal to graduation from High School, plus at least 2 years experience in accounting and bookkeeping is necessary to fulfill the functions of this position. Will also need to attend a Certification class for one week.

    Paid vacation and Holidays, health insurance is included with the benefits package

  • Bench
    Buffalo Calf Shoe Company
    BUFFALO CALF SHOE COMPANY The early history of the Minatare Library is obscure, but, in 1902, the Presbyterian ladies began a library. The library, as we know it today, was started in about 1921, without the benefit of monies to purchase books or a building. Many People donated books and locations, including a bank and a grocery store. At one time the library was in the corner of Mr. Johnson's grocery store. When people came to browse through the books, they took advantage of a bench to sit on and escape with a good book. However, if you were in the store to purchase a pair of shoes, you had to stand up to try them on because the bench was crowded with book worms. When the store closed and the library moved to a new location, the librarian was told to take that "darn" bench along with the books. So, every place the library went the bench followed. Today the Minatare Library has a building of its own located on Main Street. The some time to check out a good book and see why former resident found this bench so comfortable. Story Laurie Baker, Minatare Class of 1988 taken from Minatare-From Moccasins to Main Street- The Story of Our Town, copyright 1982. Plaque sponsored by the Authors of Minatare Memories: Juanita Baker, Sharon Johns, Jolene Kaufman, Betty Kenyon, Wanda Mowry, and Alice Reuter

    Martinez Trucking
    Martinez Trucking
    Carlos and wife Nadia started Martinez trucking in 1997. Their children Jazmin, Jacqueline and Carlos Jr. have graduated from Minatare High School. His family is involved in the business in one aspect or the other to make his business thrive. He bought a building in downtown Minatare and refurbished it and an added their own touches and flare. They have brought some spark to downtown Minatare.

    We want to reach out to the Martinez family for taking pride in our community. Thank you!

    Making History / Minatare Fire Chief Brandi Ehler
    MAKING HISTORY 1ST WOMAN FIRE CHEIF

    She's got 10 volunteers in the Minatare-Melbeta department, with only three EMTs currently on the force. She now works as an EMS instructor, and hopes to get two more people certified. She said it's hard to get people interested in working for free.

    "It's not just us, a lot of departments are struggling with recruitment," she said.

    It's not an easy job, she said. There's plenty of midnight calls, and she wants to keep the small force from burning out, and hopes to push for more recruitment and trainings this year.

    She's not the only woman on the force. She inspired her daughters, Ashlee Wells, 19 and Lashae Ehler, 20, to join as well.

    The pay is $150 a month, and the hours long. Ehler also has her own business, Building Blocks daycare in Gering, meaning she has some flexibility to try and get to every call.

    She said, like everyone else, COVID impacted their department's operation.

    "It's changed the whole lifestyle of our class. We mask just like everybody else, we're trying to protect our people from getting sick," she said. "It's really hampered our trainings."

    Ehler said training is a core part of her mission at the station, saying that wildfire season this year could be grim if drought conditions worsen, which could spawn another incident like the dayslong fire that burned 4,000 acres in the Wildcat Hills.">Brandi Ehler has a moment which splits her life into a before and after: the summer of 2013, when her house in Melbeta burned down. "Our community's amazing," she said. "They helped us out so much that I figured the least I could do to give back was joining the fire department."

    In the aftermath, she joined the volunteer Minatare-Melbeta Fire Department, climbing the ladder to emergency medical technician, a lieutenant, a safety officer, search and rescue diver, and assistant chief to Brian Lore.

    Now, after seven years, she's the fire chief & the city's first woman to hold that position, after Lore stepped down in November.

    Ehler grew up south of Lyman, a farm kid, who didn't anticipate fighting fires in adulthood.

    "I never expected to get where I got. It was a big surprise," she said. She oversees a combined rural and city fire district spanning just over 300-square miles. It covers all of Minatare, McGrew, Melbeta, a portion of Banner County and a part of Sioux County. It also includes the town's namesake Lake Minatare, the Panhandle's largest body of water. That's a lot of ground to cover.

    "The nice thing is we have what's called a mutual aid agreement. So we work a lot with other fire departments. So if we ever have a major call, we can depend on them," she said.

    She's got 10 volunteers in the Minatare-Melbeta department, with only three EMTs currently on the force. She now works as an EMS instructor, and hopes to get two more people certified. She said it's hard to get people interested in working for free.

    "It's not just us, a lot of departments are struggling with recruitment," she said.

    It's not an easy job, she said. There's plenty of midnight calls, and she wants to keep the small force from burning out, and hopes to push for more recruitment and trainings this year.

    She's not the only woman on the force. She inspired her daughters, Ashlee Wells, 19 and Lashae Ehler, 20, to join as well.

    The pay is $150 a month, and the hours long. Ehler also has her own business, Building Blocks daycare in Gering, meaning she has some flexibility to try and get to every call.

    She said, like everyone else, COVID impacted their department's operation.

    "It's changed the whole lifestyle of our class. We mask just like everybody else, we're trying to protect our people from getting sick," she said. "It's really hampered our trainings."

    Ehler said training is a core part of her mission at the station, saying that wildfire season this year could be grim if drought conditions worsen, which could spawn another incident like the dayslong fire that burned 4,000 acres in the Wildcat Hills.">
    Making History for Minatare In the aftermath, she joined the volunteer Minatare-Melbeta Fire Department, climbing the ladder to emergency medical technician, a lieutenant, a safety officer, search and rescue diver, and assistant chief to Brian Lore.

    Now, after seven years, she's the fire chief & the city's first woman to hold that position, after Lore stepped down in November.

    Ehler grew up south of Lyman, a farm kid, who didn't anticipate fighting fires in adulthood.

    "I never expected to get where I got. It was a big surprise," she said. She oversees a combined rural and city fire district spanning just over 300-square miles. It covers all of Minatare, McGrew, Melbeta, a portion of Banner County and a part of Sioux County. It also includes the town's namesake Lake Minatare, the Panhandle's largest body of water. That's a lot of ground to cover.

    "The nice thing is we have what's called a mutual aid agreement. So we work a lot with other fire departments. So if we ever have a major call, we can depend on them," she said.

    She's got 10 volunteers in the Minatare-Melbeta department, with only three EMTs currently on the force. She now works as an EMS instructor, and hopes to get two more people certified. She said it's hard to get people interested in working for free.

    "It's not just us, a lot of departments are struggling with recruitment," she said.

    It's not an easy job, she said. There's plenty of midnight calls, and she wants to keep the small force from burning out, and hopes to push for more recruitment and trainings this year.

    She's not the only woman on the force. She inspired her daughters, Ashlee Wells, 19 and Lashae Ehler, 20, to join as well.

    The pay is $150 a month, and the hours long. Ehler also has her own business, Building Blocks daycare in Gering, meaning she has some flexibility to try and get to every call.

    She said, like everyone else, COVID impacted their department's operation.

    "It's changed the whole lifestyle of our class. We mask just like everybody else, we're trying to protect our people from getting sick," she said. "It's really hampered our trainings."

    Ehler said training is a core part of her mission at the station, saying that wildfire season this year could be grim if drought conditions worsen, which could spawn another incident like the dayslong fire that burned 4,000 acres in the Wildcat Hills.">Brandi Ehler has a moment which splits her life into a before and after: the summer of 2013, when her house in Melbeta burned down. "Our community's amazing," she said. "They helped us out so much that I figured the least I could do to give back was joining the fire department."

    In the aftermath, she joined the volunteer Minatare-Melbeta Fire Department, climbing the ladder to emergency medical technician, a lieutenant, a safety officer, search and rescue diver, and assistant chief to Brian Lore.

    Now, after seven years, she's the fire chief & the city's first woman to hold that position, after Lore stepped down in November.

    Ehler grew up south of Lyman, a farm kid, who didn't anticipate fighting fires in adulthood.

    "I never expected to get where I got. It was a big surprise," she said. She oversees a combined rural and city fire district spanning just over 300-square miles. It covers all of Minatare, McGrew, Melbeta, a portion of Banner County and a part of Sioux County. It also includes the town's namesake Lake Minatare, the Panhandle's largest body of water. That's a lot of ground to cover.

    "The nice thing is we have what's called a mutual aid agreement. So we work a lot with other fire departments. So if we ever have a major call, we can depend on them," she said.

    She's got 10 volunteers in the Minatare-Melbeta department, with only three EMTs currently on the force. She now works as an EMS instructor, and hopes to get two more people certified. She said it's hard to get people interested in working for free.

    "It's not just us, a lot of departments are struggling with recruitment," she said.

    It's not an easy job, she said. There's plenty of midnight calls, and she wants to keep the small force from burning out, and hopes to push for more recruitment and trainings this year.

    She's not the only woman on the force. She inspired her daughters, Ashlee Wells, 19 and Lashae Ehler, 20, to join as well.

    The pay is $150 a month, and the hours long. Ehler also has her own business, Building Blocks daycare in Gering, meaning she has some flexibility to try and get to every call.

    She said, like everyone else, COVID impacted their department's operation.

    "It's changed the whole lifestyle of our class. We mask just like everybody else, we're trying to protect our people from getting sick," she said. "It's really hampered our trainings."

    Ehler said training is a core part of her mission at the station, saying that wildfire season this year could be grim if drought conditions worsen, which could spawn another incident like the dayslong fire that burned 4,000 acres in the Wildcat Hills.">
    "The nice thing is we have what's called a mutual aid agreement. So we work a lot with other fire departments. So if we ever have a major call, we can depend on them," she said.

    She's got 10 volunteers in the Minatare-Melbeta department, with only three EMTs currently on the force. She now works as an EMS instructor, and hopes to get two more people certified. She said it's hard to get people interested in working for free.

    "It's not just us, a lot of departments are struggling with recruitment," she said.

    It's not an easy job, she said. There's plenty of midnight calls, and she wants to keep the small force from burning out, and hopes to push for more recruitment and trainings this year.

    She's not the only woman on the force. She inspired her daughters, Ashlee Wells, 19 and Lashae Ehler, 20, to join as well.

    The pay is $150 a month, and the hours long. Ehler also has her own business, Building Blocks daycare in Gering, meaning she has some flexibility to try and get to every call.

    She said, like everyone else, COVID impacted their department's operation.

    "It's changed the whole lifestyle of our class. We mask just like everybody else, we're trying to protect our people from getting sick," she said. "It's really hampered our trainings."

    Ehler said training is a core part of her mission at the station, saying that wildfire season this year could be grim if drought conditions worsen, which could spawn another incident like the dayslong fire that burned 4,000 acres in the Wildcat Hills.">Brandi Ehler has a moment which splits her life into a before and after: the summer of 2013, when her house in Melbeta burned down. "Our community's amazing," she said. "They helped us out so much that I figured the least I could do to give back was joining the fire department."

    In the aftermath, she joined the volunteer Minatare-Melbeta Fire Department, climbing the ladder to emergency medical technician, a lieutenant, a safety officer, search and rescue diver, and assistant chief to Brian Lore.

    Now, after seven years, she's the fire chief & the city's first woman to hold that position, after Lore stepped down in November.

    Ehler grew up south of Lyman, a farm kid, who didn't anticipate fighting fires in adulthood.

    "I never expected to get where I got. It was a big surprise," she said. She oversees a combined rural and city fire district spanning just over 300-square miles. It covers all of Minatare, McGrew, Melbeta, a portion of Banner County and a part of Sioux County. It also includes the town's namesake Lake Minatare, the Panhandle's largest body of water. That's a lot of ground to cover.

    "The nice thing is we have what's called a mutual aid agreement. So we work a lot with other fire departments. So if we ever have a major call, we can depend on them," she said.

    She's got 10 volunteers in the Minatare-Melbeta department, with only three EMTs currently on the force. She now works as an EMS instructor, and hopes to get two more people certified. She said it's hard to get people interested in working for free.

    "It's not just us, a lot of departments are struggling with recruitment," she said.

    It's not an easy job, she said. There's plenty of midnight calls, and she wants to keep the small force from burning out, and hopes to push for more recruitment and trainings this year.

    She's not the only woman on the force. She inspired her daughters, Ashlee Wells, 19 and Lashae Ehler, 20, to join as well.

    The pay is $150 a month, and the hours long. Ehler also has her own business, Building Blocks daycare in Gering, meaning she has some flexibility to try and get to every call.

    She said, like everyone else, COVID impacted their department's operation.

    "It's changed the whole lifestyle of our class. We mask just like everybody else, we're trying to protect our people from getting sick," she said. "It's really hampered our trainings."

    Ehler said training is a core part of her mission at the station, saying that wildfire season this year could be grim if drought conditions worsen, which could spawn another incident like the dayslong fire that burned 4,000 acres in the Wildcat Hills.">
    Making History for Minatare In the aftermath, she joined the volunteer Minatare-Melbeta Fire Department, climbing the ladder to emergency medical technician, a lieutenant, a safety officer, search and rescue diver, and assistant chief to Brian Lore.

    Now, after seven years, she's the fire chief & the city's first woman to hold that position, after Lore stepped down in November.

    Ehler grew up south of Lyman, a farm kid, who didn't anticipate fighting fires in adulthood.

    "I never expected to get where I got. It was a big surprise," she said. She oversees a combined rural and city fire district spanning just over 300-square miles. It covers all of Minatare, McGrew, Melbeta, a portion of Banner County and a part of Sioux County. It also includes the town's namesake Lake Minatare, the Panhandle's largest body of water. That's a lot of ground to cover.

    "The nice thing is we have what's called a mutual aid agreement. So we work a lot with other fire departments. So if we ever have a major call, we can depend on them," she said.

    She's got 10 volunteers in the Minatare-Melbeta department, with only three EMTs currently on the force. She now works as an EMS instructor, and hopes to get two more people certified. She said it's hard to get people interested in working for free.

    "It's not just us, a lot of departments are struggling with recruitment," she said.

    It's not an easy job, she said. There's plenty of midnight calls, and she wants to keep the small force from burning out, and hopes to push for more recruitment and trainings this year.

    She's not the only woman on the force. She inspired her daughters, Ashlee Wells, 19 and Lashae Ehler, 20, to join as well.

    The pay is $150 a month, and the hours long. Ehler also has her own business, Building Blocks daycare in Gering, meaning she has some flexibility to try and get to every call.

    She said, like everyone else, COVID impacted their department's operation.

    "It's changed the whole lifestyle of our class. We mask just like everybody else, we're trying to protect our people from getting sick," she said. "It's really hampered our trainings."

    Ehler said training is a core part of her mission at the station, saying that wildfire season this year could be grim if drought conditions worsen, which could spawn another incident like the dayslong fire that burned 4,000 acres in the Wildcat Hills.">Brandi Ehler has a moment which splits her life into a before and after: the summer of 2013, when her house in Melbeta burned down. "Our community's amazing," she said. "They helped us out so much that I figured the least I could do to give back was joining the fire department."

    In the aftermath, she joined the volunteer Minatare-Melbeta Fire Department, climbing the ladder to emergency medical technician, a lieutenant, a safety officer, search and rescue diver, and assistant chief to Brian Lore.

    Now, after seven years, she's the fire chief & the city's first woman to hold that position, after Lore stepped down in November.

    Ehler grew up south of Lyman, a farm kid, who didn't anticipate fighting fires in adulthood.

    "I never expected to get where I got. It was a big surprise," she said. She oversees a combined rural and city fire district spanning just over 300-square miles. It covers all of Minatare, McGrew, Melbeta, a portion of Banner County and a part of Sioux County. It also includes the town's namesake Lake Minatare, the Panhandle's largest body of water. That's a lot of ground to cover.

    "The nice thing is we have what's called a mutual aid agreement. So we work a lot with other fire departments. So if we ever have a major call, we can depend on them," she said.

    She's got 10 volunteers in the Minatare-Melbeta department, with only three EMTs currently on the force. She now works as an EMS instructor, and hopes to get two more people certified. She said it's hard to get people interested in working for free.

    "It's not just us, a lot of departments are struggling with recruitment," she said.

    It's not an easy job, she said. There's plenty of midnight calls, and she wants to keep the small force from burning out, and hopes to push for more recruitment and trainings this year.

    She's not the only woman on the force. She inspired her daughters, Ashlee Wells, 19 and Lashae Ehler, 20, to join as well.

    The pay is $150 a month, and the hours long. Ehler also has her own business, Building Blocks daycare in Gering, meaning she has some flexibility to try and get to every call.

    She said, like everyone else, COVID impacted their department's operation.

    "It's changed the whole lifestyle of our class. We mask just like everybody else, we're trying to protect our people from getting sick," she said. "It's really hampered our trainings."

    Ehler said training is a core part of her mission at the station, saying that wildfire season this year could be grim if drought conditions worsen, which could spawn another incident like the dayslong fire that burned 4,000 acres in the Wildcat Hills.

    Jerad Shepard Chief of Police
    Chief of Police
    Mayor and City Council are proud to announce, that we hired Jared Shepard for our Chief of Police. He started with Minatare January 3, 2022.

    Jared began his career in law enforcement with the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office in December of 20211 and graduated from the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center Basic Academy in April of 2012. He remained employed by the Sheriff’s Office to mid-2016 when he and hiss family moved to Washington State. Jared worked as an officer for the city of Wenatchee for just over 5 years before he and his family relocated back to the Scottsbluff area.

    Throughout his career Jared has served in the capacity of a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, School Resource Officer and SWAT Team Operator, and now the New Chief of Police for Minatare NE. Jared and his wife have two daughters, Ruth and Bette. Jared and his family are happy to be back in Western Nebraska with family and friends.

    Jared has appointed Matt Rockwell as his fulltime Officer, Matt has 23 years in law Enforcement and is respected by all of his peers. They make a GREAT Team.

    CONGRATUALTIONS TO BOTH OF THESE GREAT OFFICERS IN THEIR NEW ROLE

    Mayor Cheryl Spencer
    MAKING HISTORY/ FIRST WOMAN MAYOR

    The small town has had struggles - like many rural areas - with a lack of jobs and a small population to balance upkeep of roads and buildings. Main Street, which Spencer reminisced once had several beauty shops, a laundromat, a drugstore and a place to pay your electric bill.

    The town's only grocery store closed in 2016, and people have to travel into Scottsbluff for gas and banking. The old Platte Valley Bank branch is now City Hall and only a handful of businesses remain: An auto shop, the post office, a beauty salon and the Broken Spoke Bar and Grill.

    Spencer said there are some new prospects, with a Dollar General and a development at Stonegate and County Road 26.

    "It would be great to see those develop and open up to our community," Spencer said. Spencer, 65, didn't start in small-town politics. She was born and raised in Scottsbluff, and moved with her husband in 1976 to Minatare.

    She raised two daughters while working as a registered nurse at the Bayard nursing home. She returned to school and earned her licensed practical nurse certification to work at Northfield Villa and later a doctor's office.

    She also got involved, joining the Minatare School Board in the early nineties while her children were in junior high and high school, and later held a term on the City Council. She lost her husband to a work accident in 2016, but said she continued to look for ways to help in the community.

    "I'm still trying to find who I am. Because I've always been mom, wife and stuff," Spencer said. "But I've always liked to be involved in the community, and here I am."

    With small-town politics, the tactics were a little different. She bought one banner, hand-painted old signs given to her by a friend to put lettering onto, was given an extra cloth sign made by a neighbor and supporter. She didn't participate in a forum but said she tried to be available. She was inspired to run by friend and new city councilwoman Celeste Sanchez.

    Sanchez said she pushed Spencer to run because of her "open mind, and willingness for trying something new."

    "We just need some new ideas," Sanchez said. "It's like winning a lotto ticket: 'Why don't I ever win a lotto ticket?' Well, you have to enter to win."

    Sanchez, who's lived in Minatare 44 years, said she will balance her human resources career with being on the city council, her first public service position.

    "I would like to see Minatare evolve, as far as housing, improving the looks of the city," Sanchez said. "And working with other people getting new businesses in, what can we offer companies to come in to this area, we don't have a lot. As far as downtown, I would like to really put a new facelift on downtown."

    Spencer said the election was the easy part, now it's time for the real thing.

    "I do realize the mayor doesn't always have a lot of power. You're more of a figure head - but you vote, when there's a tie, she said. "But surely you know if you see issues and address them as a council, maybe we could get some things done."

    ">Forty-five years ago, Cheryl Spencer fell in love with Minatare's small town charm.

    "It's just, to me, a nice little town. People that you don't even know will wave to say good morning. We look out for each other." she said. "I think that's what Minatare is about - is helping each other."

    Now, Spencer, is in her first week as mayor. In the town of 896 people, she wants to see the place where she put down roots to grow back.

    Spencer won the election over incumbent Bob Baldwin by a margin of 45 votes, winning 142 of the 239 votes cast in the election. Baldwin did not respond to a request for comment. Spencer said her focus is to promote businesses, clean and maintain properties, fix roads and reimagine housing.

    "I don't think any city ever has enough money to do everything they'd like to do. But if we could just maintain both that small town atmosphere, that when you come here, this is nice, well-maintained and it would be great to see some new housing."

    The small town has had struggles - like many rural areas - with a lack of jobs and a small population to balance upkeep of roads and buildings. Main Street, which Spencer reminisced once had several beauty shops, a laundromat, a drugstore and a place to pay your electric bill.

    The town's only grocery store closed in 2016, and people have to travel into Scottsbluff for gas and banking. The old Platte Valley Bank branch is now City Hall and only a handful of businesses remain: An auto shop, the post office, a beauty salon and the Broken Spoke Bar and Grill.

    Spencer said there are some new prospects, with a Dollar General and a development at Stonegate and County Road 26.

    "It would be great to see those develop and open up to our community," Spencer said. Spencer, 65, didn't start in small-town politics. She was born and raised in Scottsbluff, and moved with her husband in 1976 to Minatare.

    She raised two daughters while working as a registered nurse at the Bayard nursing home. She returned to school and earned her licensed practical nurse certification to work at Northfield Villa and later a doctor's office.

    She also got involved, joining the Minatare School Board in the early nineties while her children were in junior high and high school, and later held a term on the City Council. She lost her husband to a work accident in 2016, but said she continued to look for ways to help in the community.

    "I'm still trying to find who I am. Because I've always been mom, wife and stuff," Spencer said. "But I've always liked to be involved in the community, and here I am."

    With small-town politics, the tactics were a little different. She bought one banner, hand-painted old signs given to her by a friend to put lettering onto, was given an extra cloth sign made by a neighbor and supporter. She didn't participate in a forum but said she tried to be available. She was inspired to run by friend and new city councilwoman Celeste Sanchez.

    Sanchez said she pushed Spencer to run because of her "open mind, and willingness for trying something new."

    "We just need some new ideas," Sanchez said. "It's like winning a lotto ticket: 'Why don't I ever win a lotto ticket?' Well, you have to enter to win."

    Sanchez, who's lived in Minatare on and off for 44 years, said she will balance her Human Resources career with being on the city council, her first public service position.

    "I would like to see Minatare evolve, as far as housing, improving the looks of the city," Sanchez said. "And working with other people getting new businesses in, what can we offer companies to come in to this area, we don't have a lot. As far as downtown, it would be nice to see if we could get a grant to put a new facelift on downtown."

    Spencer said the election was the easy part, now it's time for the real thing.

    "I do realize the mayor doesn't always have a lot of power. You're more of a figure head - but you vote, when there's a tie, she said. "But surely you know if you see issues and address them as a council, maybe we could get some things done."

    ">
    Now, Spencer, is in her first week as mayor. In the town of 896 people, she wants to see the place where she put down roots to grow back.

    Spencer won the election over incumbent Bob Baldwin by a margin of 45 votes, winning 142 of the 239 votes cast in the election. Baldwin did not respond to a request for comment. Spencer said her focus is to promote businesses, clean and maintain properties, fix roads and reimagine housing. "I don't think any city ever has enough money to do everything they'd like to do. But if we could just maintain both that small town atmosphere, that when you come here, this is nice, well-maintained and it would be great to see some new housing."

    The small town has had struggles - like many rural areas - with a lack of jobs and a small population to balance upkeep of roads and buildings. Main Street, which Spencer reminisced once had several beauty shops, a laundromat, a drugstore and a place to pay your electric bill.

    The town's only grocery store closed in 2016, and people have to travel into Scottsbluff for gas and banking. The old Platte Valley Bank branch is now City Hall and only a handful of businesses remain: An auto shop, the post office, a beauty salon and the Broken Spoke Bar and Grill.

    Spencer said there are some new prospects, with a Dollar General and a development at Stonegate and County Road 26.

    "It would be great to see those develop and open up to our community," Spencer said. Spencer, 65, didn't start in small-town politics. She was born and raised in Scottsbluff, and moved with her husband in 1976 to Minatare.

    She raised two daughters while working as a registered nurse at the Bayard nursing home. She returned to school and earned her licensed practical nurse certification to work at Northfield Villa and later a doctor's office.

    She also got involved, joining the Minatare School Board in the early nineties while her children were in junior high and high school, and later held a term on the City Council. She lost her husband to a work accident in 2016, but said she continued to look for ways to help in the community.

    "I'm still trying to find who I am. Because I've always been mom, wife and stuff," Spencer said. "But I've always liked to be involved in the community, and here I am."

    With small-town politics, the tactics were a little different. She bought one banner, hand-painted old signs given to her by a friend to put lettering onto, was given an extra cloth sign made by a neighbor and supporter. She didn't participate in a forum but said she tried to be available. She was inspired to run by friend and new city councilwoman Celeste Sanchez.

    Sanchez said she pushed Spencer to run because of her "open mind, and willingness for trying something new."

    "We just need some new ideas," Sanchez said. "It's like winning a lotto ticket: 'Why don't I ever win a lotto ticket?' Well, you have to enter to win."

    Sanchez, who's lived in Minatare 44 years, said she will balance her human resources career with being on the city council, her first public service position.

    "I would like to see Minatare evolve, as far as housing, improving the looks of the city," Sanchez said. "And working with other people getting new businesses in, what can we offer companies to come in to this area, we don't have a lot. As far as downtown, I would like to really put a new facelift on downtown."

    Spencer said the election was the easy part, now it's time for the real thing.

    "I do realize the mayor doesn't always have a lot of power. You're more of a figure head - but you vote, when there's a tie, she said. "But surely you know if you see issues and address them as a council, maybe we could get some things done."

    ">Forty-five years ago, Cheryl Spencer fell in love with Minatare's small town charm.

    "It's just, to me, a nice little town. People that you don't even know will wave to say good morning. We look out for each other." she said. "I think that's what Minatare is about - is helping each other."

    Now, Spencer, is in her first week as mayor. In the town of 896 people, she wants to see the place where she put down roots to grow back.

    Spencer won the election over incumbent Bob Baldwin by a margin of 45 votes, winning 142 of the 239 votes cast in the election. Baldwin did not respond to a request for comment. Spencer said her focus is to promote businesses, clean and maintain properties, fix roads and reimagine housing.

    "I don't think any city ever has enough money to do everything they'd like to do. But if we could just maintain both that small town atmosphere, that when you come here, this is nice, well-maintained and it would be great to see some new housing."

    The small town has had struggles - like many rural areas - with a lack of jobs and a small population to balance upkeep of roads and buildings. Main Street, which Spencer reminisced once had several beauty shops, a laundromat, a drugstore and a place to pay your electric bill.

    The town's only grocery store closed in 2016, and people have to travel into Scottsbluff for gas and banking. The old Platte Valley Bank branch is now City Hall and only a handful of businesses remain: An auto shop, the post office, a beauty salon and the Broken Spoke Bar and Grill.

    Spencer said there are some new prospects, with a Dollar General and a development at Stonegate and County Road 26.

    "It would be great to see those develop and open up to our community," Spencer said. Spencer, 65, didn't start in small-town politics. She was born and raised in Scottsbluff, and moved with her husband in 1976 to Minatare.

    She raised two daughters while working as a registered nurse at the Bayard nursing home. She returned to school and earned her licensed practical nurse certification to work at Northfield Villa and later a doctor's office.

    She also got involved, joining the Minatare School Board in the early nineties while her children were in junior high and high school, and later held a term on the City Council. She lost her husband to a work accident in 2016, but said she continued to look for ways to help in the community.

    "I'm still trying to find who I am. Because I've always been mom, wife and stuff," Spencer said. "But I've always liked to be involved in the community, and here I am."

    With small-town politics, the tactics were a little different. She bought one banner, hand-painted old signs given to her by a friend to put lettering onto, was given an extra cloth sign made by a neighbor and supporter. She didn't participate in a forum but said she tried to be available. She was inspired to run by friend and new city councilwoman Celeste Sanchez.

    Sanchez said she pushed Spencer to run because of her "open mind, and willingness for trying something new."

    "We just need some new ideas," Sanchez said. "It's like winning a lotto ticket: 'Why don't I ever win a lotto ticket?' Well, you have to enter to win."

    Sanchez, who's lived in Minatare on and off for 44 years, said she will balance her Human Resources career with being on the city council, her first public service position.

    "I would like to see Minatare evolve, as far as housing, improving the looks of the city," Sanchez said. "And working with other people getting new businesses in, what can we offer companies to come in to this area, we don't have a lot. As far as downtown, it would be nice to see if we could get a grant to put a new facelift on downtown."

    Spencer said the election was the easy part, now it's time for the real thing.

    "I do realize the mayor doesn't always have a lot of power. You're more of a figure head - but you vote, when there's a tie, she said. "But surely you know if you see issues and address them as a council, maybe we could get some things done."