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SATURDAY SALUTE: Castleberry has served Hall County 42 years

SATURDAY SALUTE: Castleberry has served Hall County 42 years

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A hearty Saturday Salute goes this week to Hall County Chief Deputy Jim Castleberry, who has announced he will be retiring in November after working in law enforcement for more than 42 years.

Reflecting on his career, Castleberry said working in law enforcement “has been the greatest job ever.”

From technology to policing techniques, a lot has changed during the decades. He considers himself “an old school cop.” But he obviously has adapted to be able to do his job well in the 21st century, just like he did when he was first hired by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office in 1979.

Castleberry was promoted from deputy to sergeant in uniform in 1983, and to lieutenant in 1987. For a little while, he was chief deputy back in the 1990s, but then he became an investigator. He will be retiring as chief deputy.

The Hall County community always has been supportive of its law enforcement officials, he said.

“This is the greatest area in the world to work in law enforcement,” Castleberry said. “My wife and I will be in a grocery store and we’ll run into people, victims or witnesses. Probably even 95% of the people I’ve arrested over the years, I could run into them in a store or on the street, and they’d speak and be appreciative, and say that it had helped turn their life around.”

It’s great that he can retire from a 42-year career with that confidence that he has done his job well and his work has been appreciated by the people he serves.

Congratulations, Deputy Castleberry, and thank you for your service.

Vote for Mr. Habitat

We also salute all five candidates for Mr. Habitat who are conducting events to raise funds for Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity this summer, leading up to the Mr. Habitat dinner and pageant scheduled for Sept. 14.

This year, the fundraiser is an All-Star event with men who have previously been Mr. Habitat candidates returning for another run at it. The candidates are Steve Anderson, Mr. Habitat 2017; Don Deitemeyer, Mr. Beachwear 2018; Jon Rosenlund, Mr. Congeniality 2015; Doug Schiefert, Mr. Congeniality 2019; and Jeremy Vlcek, Mr. Congeniality 2011.

The competition pits contestants against each other in a race to see who can raise the most money for Habitat for Humanity’s local efforts. Every dollar they raise equals one vote for them in their competition for the crown. Donors who give $10, in essence, casts 10 votes for their favorite contestant, while someone who gives $100 casts 100 votes.

The 2021 dinner and pageant will be at Peace Lutheran Church. It will include raffles, a dessert auction and a dinner of various kinds of salads. For those whose tastes are more carnivorous, there will be an additional meat option for a nominal fee.

These five men have stepped up to help raise funds to finance the great work that Habitat does in our community.

In the past two decades, Habitat has organized construction of 96 houses, which then became homes to families in need of quality housing.

To learn more about how to vote or reserve a table for the Mr. Habitat dinner, call the Habitat for Humanity office at 308-385-5510 or email

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