Welcome to spring, even though it didn’t feel that way early this week! Hopefully by the time you read this column, temperatures have hit the 50s and we can enjoy a warm weekend for a change. I have to admit, I’m a bit of a doubting Thomas when it comes to believing the forecasts. I’ll believe "warm" when I feel "warm."

There’s a lot happening around Nevada as we come into spring. At the far west edge of town, we have DuPont’s new cellulosic ethanol plant rising into the skyline. Each time I drive by, it changes. Also to the west, the Van Wall project – a new John Deere dealership for the Nevada/Ames area - looks to be nearly complete. At the east edge of town, Casey’s is working on its new Nevada store at the corner of South B Avenue and 19th Street. I’m told that store will open soon.

From the sounds of it, we’ll be seeing lots of construction on more new houses in the Indian Ridge development this year, as the properties between Lincoln Highway and the existing homes get filled in with more dwellings.

I’ve also received a chart from City Planning and Zoning officer Shawn Cole that shows that street improvement work along C Avenue and Eighth Street is beginning - the first of a number of street improvement projects set for the warmer weather period.

Spring is that time of year when things really start happening, and we finally come out of our homes long enough to notice. Certainly, it will feel good to get out and about after the very cold and windy winter we’ve been through.

It’s hard to believe this is the week of the school’s annual PTA Carnival, which happens Friday evening at the elementary school. I’ve always identified that as one of the biggest events that ushers in the turning of the season. When my kids were younger, it was always a fun night to get out and socialize with others, while helping the school district in a worthwhile fundraising endeavor.

For those of you who like to bicycle, it’s time to sign up for NABR – the Nevada Jaycees Nevada Annual Bike Ride. This event takes place May 3 for the 14th year. I remember when the riders used to gather by the old Minsky’s restaurant along Lincoln Highway. Now, the starting point is the community building at the corner of I Avenue and First Street at the Story County Fairgrounds. It’s a great ride for all levels of riders, as you can choose routes of 14, 32 or 43 miles. To receive a registration form, send an email to: nevadajaycees@gmail.com. Congratulations to the Nevada Jaycees on continuing your ride for this many years.

This spring has definitely been a celebratory one for Cyclone basketball fans, as their men’s team has done very well in the NCAA tournament. Congratulations to the team and all of you who are ISU fans. I’ll also throw in a sentence for my favorite ISU team – the women’s softball team. Good luck as you get into the meat of your season; I hope for you to have some warm weather during your upcoming games, especially those played at your home field, where I plan to watch a few!

Nevada’s senior parents are reminded that work will begin soon here at the newspaper on our annual Senior Graduation Edition. Even though it doesn’t come out until mid-May, there is much work to be done. All senior parents should have received an email about the section and deadlines for getting us the needed information and placing open house ads. If you did not receive this information, please call our office, 382-2161, and talk to Lauri Dodd.

(Marlys Barker is editor of the Nevada Journal.)