Locals Call Eclipse ‘Once In A Lifetime Event’

Many who traveled from far and wide, and locals here at home, waited anxiously Monday morning for a weather forecast that showed developing clouds mid-day. With the advancing solar eclipse at hand, a brief pop up shower caught some early outdoor enthusiasts by surprise late morning. As noontime approached however, clouds broke up, and only a thin layer allowed complete experience of what many termed a once in lifetime event.

Upwards of 2,000 people were estimated in attendance, including busloads of school children at the Lakeview Sports Complex, which was an official viewing site. Others gathered in yards or parking lots, fields or roadsides. Traffic in and around northeast Kansas and southeast Nebraska was steady, and reportedly increased on major highways as you went further north.

In Beatrice, the Homestead National Monument was asking the public find alternate viewing sites by mid-morning, as they were at capacity. Clouds broke just in time to allow the eclipse.

Traveling east, many in Brown County were left somewhat disappointed as cloud cover, and at times moderate rain showers, spoiled the occasion. Arriving on cue, and returning to normal a short time later, the crowds dispersed, and lines of traffic were seen returning home.

Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.