Michael Batchelder

Staff Writer

Location icon United States of America

I write about businesses, churches, community events and feature articles fro the Bellevue Leader, Papillion Times and Ralston Recorder. I also take all my own photos. You can contact me at [email protected]

Worth the weight: Papillion resident sets powerlifting records

Ronnie Powell is a regular at powerlifting competitions across the country. He competes in three lifts - deadlifts, squats and bench press - but deadlifts are his favorite. Unlike many of his powerlifting cohorts in their 20s and 30s, Powell is 69 years old. Powell has been lifting and competing consistently for the past 19 years.

Leonardo to focus on community outreach as chief of police

After more than a quarter century serving with the Ralston Police Department, Marc Leonardo, the department's newest police chief, is more than ready to lead. On Tuesday, lifelong Ralston resident Leonardo was scheduled to be sworn in for his new, more permanent position.

Hilpipre defines 'regular customer'

Don Hilpipre's day isn't complete without a trip to Stella's Bar and Grill. Over the course of the past eight years, Hilpipre has eaten there almost every day. He even celebrated his 90th birthday there on March 27 and received a plaque as an official member of the Stella's family.

RHS mock crash warns of deadly consequences of drinking, driving

On Friday morning - the eve of prom night - Ralston High School juniors and seniors received a powerful message about the dangers of drunken driving. After being led to the parking lot for a special event, students saw two cars that appeared to have been involved in a head-on collision.

Getting in gear

Auto tech prepares students for a career with cars Nick Flick has always loved working on cars. A senior at Ralston High School, Flick finds it relaxing to pop under the hood of a car and make some fixes, whether he's working on his own or cars of friends and family members.

RHS students gain health care experience

From holding a newborn baby to observing a complex heart surgery, many seniors at Ralston High School have gotten a closer look at what it means to work in the health care industry. The program that gives them that experience is the Ralston Medical Academy, which is in its sixth year at Bergan Mercy Medical Center.

50/50: Ralston man adds to marathon count

On April 17, Dan Fucinaro completed the Boston Marathon and his 50th marathon overall. Two days later, he turned 50 years old. Fucinaro never planned on his 50th marathon landing so close to his 50th birthday, but, since 2004, he's been running as many marathons as he can, ranging from two per year to five per year.

Whispering Roots take hold at Two Springs

At Two Springs Elementary School, the nonprofit organization Whispering Roots set up a vertical growth station that grows organic lettuce and other vegetables year-round using coconut husks instead of soil.

School board interviews superintendent candidates

The Bellevue Board of Education has a big decision to make. Three candidates hoping to replace Frank Harwood as Bellevue Public Schools superintendent were interviewed Wednesday by board members at the BPS Welcome Center. An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety.

Farmers' Market draws huge crowd opening day

Cool temperatures Saturday morning didn't stop crowds from gathering at the first Bellevue Farmer's Market of the year at Washington Park. Carol Blood, a member of the Bellevue City Council and organizer of the weekly Farmers' Market, estimates more than 1,000 people came to the event throughout the day.

Bellevue University celebrates Global Festival

A variety of food, dress and music from around the world were on display Friday at Global Festival, an annual tradition at Bellevue University that brings together international and American students. "For Bellevue, we wanted to present the culture of the local community," said Julie Verebely, international student experience specialist at Bellevue University.

Springfield portion of trail nears completion

Work on the project was suspended on Dec. 8 due to weather conditions. Construction is set to resume on March 24, weather permitting. The Springfield portion of the trail should be completed in the following several weeks. TAB Construction is the company contracted to work on the trail.

Campus connection

Mother, daughter to graduate college in same semester When Serenity McAndrews walks up to the podium to receive her college diploma, her mother Tricia Gushard will be in the crowd to cheer her on. And a few weeks later, when Gushard dons her cap and gown, McAndrews will be right there, too.

Mycal Huff, 19, found a way to stay positive

Mycal, a 2015 graduate of Bellevue East High School, was killed in a car crash on Highway 75 near Capehart Road on Oct. 20. He was 19. "He would be the guy who would walk into a room with a smile on his face and brighten everything up," his brother Andrew Huff said.

Not your parents' bookmobile

More than 100 librarygoers got a glimpse into the future of reading on Saturday when the Digital Bookmobile visited the Bellevue Public Library. The Digital Bookmobile, a semi-truck and trailer stationed in the library's parking lot, had different exhibits and instructors inside to help people learn how to check out and download e-books and audiobooks.

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