The North Bend Eagle

 

 

North Bend dental office 'like coming home'

by Nathan Arneal
Published 9/25/19

Dr. John Riha’s favorite thing about his new dentist office in North Bend might just be the phone number. It’s one he’s had memorized since he was a little kid.

Dr. RihaDr. John Riha opened his dentist office in North Bend this week. A native of Beatrice, he has deep family ties to North Bend.

When Riha was finalizing plans to open North Bend Family Dentistry in recent weeks, he called up the phone company and asked if 652-8226 was available.

It was, so he claimed it. In fact, he already had the number programed into his cell phone under the label “Grandpa.”

For decades, the phone number had belonged to his grandfather Bob Mehaffey, a lifelong North Bender and former mayor who passed away in 2015 at the age of 89.

“So when I call here, I’m calling my grandfather,” Riha said. “When I told my family about that they got goose bumps.”

Riha’s connections to North Bend last a lifetime. His mother, Mary Mehaffey Riha, graduated from NBC in 1971, “and she wanted me to say she was the Homecoming queen of 1970,” he added with a laugh.
He attended Old Settlers in the summer nearly every year, and the family still owns farm ground in the area.

Riha himself graduated from Beatrice High School in 1997. He earned his undergraduate degree from Hastings College before graduating from dentistry school at UNL in 2005.

Right after he graduated, he found out the dental clinic in Valley was available, another community he was familiar with since his family had a cabin nearby.

He worked in the Valley office three days a week and was an associate dentist with an office in Omaha the other two days. For the past four years, that associateship has taken the form of a travelling dentist visiting nursing homes.


 

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