Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Benefits to Landowners --Receive payments on a per-acre basis for land or water enrolled. --Protection under the Nebraska Recreation Liability Act for allowing access. --Hunters and anglers would be provided walk-in access. No vehicles are allowed, except on trails specified by the landowner. --Help ensure Nebraska's rich outdoor heritage by allowing expanded hunting and fishing opportunities. --Play a role in conservation by providing a means to control problematic wildlife populations. --Signs will be posted on enrolled lands by Commission staff. --All enrolled lands will be published in an atlas. --Encourage hunting and fishing, which will lead to increased conservation funding and actions.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Although arguments and examinations proceeded for over eight hours, the lightning speed at which the jury reached its verdict obviously confirms that the prosecution really added nothing of value to the discussion.
Nuckolls County Attorney, Timothy Schmidt, acting as special prosecutor for Webster County, alleged that Alber had committed the crime by plotting to entice Scott and Jeff Kort onto his property so that he could shoot them, a claim that apparently jurors quickly dismissed.
Animosity between the Korts and Alber goes back to an October 6, 2007 incident in the Blue Hill Tavern where Scott & Jeff Kort assaulted Mr. Alber. Despite numerous witnesses to the event, Webster County Attorney, Jerry McDole, selected not to charge either Scott or Jeff Kort in the incident.
Alber cried foul and protested with the Nebraska Bar Association.
Jerry McDole owns agricultural property near Red Cloud that is farmed by Ken Kort, the father of Scott and Jeff Kort (Kort and McDole also own ground in partnership). Alber felt that the failure to prosecute was an obvious show of favoritism on what should have been a slam dunk on a third degree assault charge. McDole should have excluded himself from the prosecution due to a conflict of interest.
Since the attack was on Mr. Alber, we cannot dismiss Alber's 2006 campaign for Webster County Attorney against McDole, where Alber gathered over 1/3 of the votes as a non-attorney and a write-in candidate, which obviously did no put him in the good graces of Mr. McDole.
Flash forward to January, 2009. On January 9, Scott Kort came to the home of Mr. Alber in the late evening hours causing damage to Mr. Alber’s property and threatening Alber and his family. Alber called law enforcement and remained in his home.
Alber filed for and was granted a restraining order by the District Court.
Between January 9 and January 23 (and beyond), the Korts continued to harass and attempt to intimidate Alber and his family by circling their home, driving by their farm property, following them around and more.
On January 23, Alber was flagged down in Blue Hill by Webster County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Martin. Martin reported to Alber that the Korts had alleged that Alber was following them around, calling them on their cell phones and harassing them. Alber told Deputy Martin his side of the story in which he expressed his concern for his family, his frustration with the process, lack of discipline administered by the system to the Korts and his willingness to defend himself if cornered.
On a related side note, Alber’s co-worker, Mike Hall, was verbally assaulted in Klancy’s Kafe and at his home on January 30 by Ken Kort. The incident went on for a considerable amount of time and was observed by many witnesses. Hall was targeted because he was a "friend" of Alber’s. When confronted at Hall's home home by law enforcement, Kort told the Webster County Sheriff's Deputy that he would "just call the County Attorney and get rid of him."
Now the story can finally transition to the actions of the real criminals in this sordid series of events. Webster County Attorney, Jerry McDole hand selected Nuckolls County Attorney, Timothy Schmidt to serve as special prosecutor for the January 9 incident concerning actions by Scott Kort, January 23 statements by Alber, and January 30 verbal attack by Ken Kort. As Mr. Schmidt failed to take action on Scott Kort’s case, Alber filed and won judgment on a civil suit for damages incurred to his property on January 9. Alber also inquired to both McDole’s and Schmidt’s office as to the criminal progress of Kort’s case. Apparently Alber’s insistence on justice was a bit too much for Schmidt to handle. Mr. Schmidt informed Alber that he had been doing his job for over 30 years and that he didn’t need any help from Alber. Alber responded that his lack of results indicated that he obviously did need some help. So, Mr. Schmidt allows Scott Kort to plead to the reduced charge of disturbing the peace.
Ken Kort was ordered to pay court costs and write an apology letter to Mr. Hall, an apology letter that read, “I’m sorry you were offended.” And Mr. Alber is dragged into court on trumped up charges with no real weight at a cost of thousands of Webster county tax-payer dollars.
Had the jury taken even an hour to deliberate, one might be able to justify the actions of McDole and Schmidt. But a ten minute deliberation only proved Alber’s accusation that Schmidt was incompetent and unable to effectively discharge his duties and says even less for McDole who had to agree to the case moving forward.
Mr. Schmidt was obviously offended by Alber’s statements and attempted to retaliate by maliciously prosecuting Alber. Because the pride of Mr. Schmidt had been wounded, Webster County tax payers are saddled with the thousands of dollars in court costs to include jury fees, witness fees, formal depositions, special prosecution fees, a court appointed defense attorney, travel costs to Nelson, and much more. Preliminary estimates suggests costs may exceed $15,000. How do you think Mr. Schmidt’s pride is holding up now that he was absolutely disgraced and humiliated in court?
Alber has indicated his intent to file a formal complaint with the Nebraska Bar Association regarding the actions of these two lawyers.
- The Future of Food Safety: How it Affects Cattle Producers – Drew Gaffney, Nebraska Cattlemen.
- Calving Date Economics – Brian Strauch, UNL Extension Educator.
- How Size Affects Heifer Development – Randy Saner, UNL Extension Educator.
- Benefits of and Tips to Achieve a Short Calving Season – Rick Funston, UNL Extension Beef Specialist.
- Annual Forage Options – Jerry Volesky, UNL Extension Range Specialist.
- The Value of Corn Stalks vs. Range – Aaron Stalker, UNL Extension Beef Specialist.
- Ranch Profitability: What are the choices? – Doug Anderson, UNL Extension Educator.
- Mandatory COOL, Source and Age Verification – Noel Mues, UNL Extension Educator.
- Utilizing Genomic Information in Sire Selection – Randy Saner, UNL Extension Educator.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Services were 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Blue Hill with Pastor Dan Cosson officiating.
Burial was at Blue Hill Cemetery in Blue Hill.
Ardus was born January 20, 1935, to Raymond and Lula (Cox) Lantz at Deadwood, S.D.
She graduated from Deadwood High School in 1952. She married Charles L. Hewitt, Sr. on October 25, 1953, in Midland, Texas.
They lived in Rapid City, S.D. from December 1953-1973, When they moved to the Denver Colorado area. She retired in December 2000, and they moved to Blue Hill.
She worked as a paralegal for a law firm in Denver.
She was a member of the Red Hat Society in Blue Hill.
She is survived by her husband, Charles, Sr. of Blue HIll, Neb., two sons, Charles, Jr. of Blue Hill, Neb. and Raymond of Philadelphia, Pa. Two sisters, Eva Wooley of Rapid City, SD and Janet Johnson of Cuba, NY, two brothers Donnie Lantz and David Lantz of Rapid City, SD; five grand children, Paul, Rhianna, Constance and Nicholas Hewitt, and Stacy Hanzo; two grat grand children, Alexes Hewitt and Tristan Thibodeau.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and two sisters, Carol Ashem and Beverly Lantz.