Wednesday, March 31, 2010


"Clean-up" will be held for residents of Blue Hill, FROM MAY 13TH THROUGH MAY 24TH, A 20 YARD DUMPSTER WILL BE LOCATED AT THE BRUSH dUMP FOR ITEMS OF DISPOSAL. There will be a designated location for tire disposal and the fees for tire disposal are $2.00 for car tires SUV & truck tires ( tires from 16" to 19") $2.50 Larger truck tires $8, small tractor tires $13 and large tractor tires are $30. These fees are due at the time of disposal to Rod Buss, Dump supervisor, payable to "city of Blue Hill." Access to the dumpster and designated tire location will be during scheduled open hours. MEYER SALVAGE WILL BE ACCEPTING APPLIANCES AND METAL ITEMS AT A DESIGNATED AREA ON GREELEY STREET IN BLUE HILL. Also as part of "cleanup" the city of Blue Hill will be issuing notices to residents with unlicensed vehicles parked on streets and alleys.

Blue Hill Scores in Red Cloud

The Blue Hill Girls track & field team finished first with a score of 99 and the Blue Hill Boys team came in third with a score of 91 in the Red Cloud track & field invitational tuesday. In individual standings first place honors were earned by Sara Alber in shot put, Kristen Kohmetscher in long jump, Desi Kohmetscher in the 300 hurdles and Brock Kumke in 300 meter hurdles. Emily Hubl came in second in both long jump and triple jump. Liz Schawb was second to Sara Alber in the shot put. Alyssa Willicot was third in the 200. Kristen Kohmetscher earned a third in the 100 hurdles. Emily Hubl finished second in the triple jump, Katie Poe was 4th in the high jump, April Faimon was 5th in the triple jump. Riley Bonifas was second and Jared Krueger thrid in the long jump. Shane Faimon second and Brock Kumke third in the triple jump, in the 110 hurdles Kumke was second and Nathan Hilligas thrid. In the 400 relay,the 800 sprint medley, and the 1600 sprint medley relay the Blue Hill girls team came in third.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Deer Hunting and Mountain lion control bill Passed

A bill intended to help control the states deer and mountain lion populations was passed by the legislature March 30. LB836 introduced by Omaha senator Scott Lautenburg authorizes the secretary of the state Game and Parks to extend by executive order existing deer hunting seasons. The secretary may determine the species to be hunted and the bag limits of depredations seasons and season extensions. The bill provides for an unlimited number of free permits for antler less deer to be issued during a deer depredation season or season extension to any person along with his or her immediate family owning or operating at least 20 acres of farm or ranch land within the geographic area specified by the commission. All revenue from the sell of special depredation permits are allocated for the abatement of damage caused by the deer. The bill permits hunting within a hundred yard radius of an inhabited building or feedlot, unless hunting by rifle in which case the radius is 200 feet.

The bill also allows landowners to kill mountain lions found stalking, killing or consuming livestock on their property or to apply for a 30 day permit to kill a mountain lion preying on their livestock or poultry It also clarified that a person may defend against a mountain lion that stalks attacks or shows unprovoked aggression towards any person.

Those who kill a mountain lion are required to transfer the carcass to the commission.

The bill passed 46 to 1.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Alber takes First Place

Trevor Alber earned a first place Trophy at the wrestling match held in Harvard Sunday. Alber won his weight class with a pin and two decisions. Trevor is the son of Wilson Alber of Blue Hill and Danielle and Brent Janda of Aurora.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nebraska Spirit Art Contest

Nebraska Students from kindergarten through the fifth grade are encouraged to enter the 2010 Nebraska Spirit Arts Contest The contest which is designed to promote Nebraska is sponsored by Secretary of State John Gale and, the states official web site. Contest entry started March 1. To be eligible entries must be post marked by April 26. An on line voting site will allow people to vote for their favorite work from May 12 to May 25. The finalists work will be on display in the state capital from May 17 to 21. The winners will be invited to a day of activities in Lincoln on June 4 including a ceremony with Secretary Gale and Governor Dave Heineman, a tour of the capital a luncheon of the governors mansion and an outing at the Lincolns childrens z00. A downloadable computer screen saver will be created featuring the winning artwork. For further information contact at 800 747 8177 or (402) 471 7810.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blue Hill Students participate in 21st Annual ACTIONS Day at CCC

The 21st annual ACTIONS Day -Academic Competition That Inspires Our Nation's Scholars - was held at Central Community College-Hastings wednesday. Students from 21 high schools participated Students tested in 40 different areas. Erin Kinley from Blue Hill scored first in Engish II, she scored second in both Humanities and Trigonometry. Eli VanBoening scored fifth in Biology. In physics Damon Gaede was third followed by Thomas Ostdiek who was fourth.

Med Student Assignment

The University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha recently held it's traditional Match Day ceremony where senior medical students received their residency assignments. From Blue Hill was Caleb Schroeder, who was assigned to surgery preliminary at St Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fire Department responds to explosion.

The Blue Hill Fire department responded today to a vehicle fire on sycamore street.. A gas tank exploded . The cause of the explosion is unknown to this writer. The fire was quickly extinguished and no buildings were involved. Approximately 8 to 10 volunteer firemen answered the call. No dollar estimate of damage was available.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Judge Offner hears Child abuse charges.

Wilbur Jacob "Jake" Cox and Jessica M. Cox of Blue Hill appeared before Webster County Court Judge Michael Offner. Each face a charge of child abuse that resuted in serious bodily injury to their infant daughter Alara Cox. Alara Cox was born November 26, 2009. January 30, 2010 she was taken to the emergency room at Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings by her parents because she was coughing up blood. In Mary Lanning emergency room doctors treated the infant and installed a breathing tube . Officials at Mary Lanning contacted Hastings Police who in turn contacted the Webster County Sheriff's department. Officer Ron Sunday respondedfrom Webster County Officer Sunday and Hastings Police officer Steven Murphy were advised by hospital personell that the baby had other injuries including broken ribs and bruises on her back. While the baby was taken by ambulance to Hastings airport and then life flighted to Children's Hospital in Omaha authorities interrogated the parents. Jessica Cox reportedly told officers that she and the baby's father had pulled on the baby during an argument in such a way that they might have injured the baby. She also said she had tossed the baby into he air during play time and this possibly might have injured her. The parents also reported that Wilbur Jacob Cox's three year old daughter from a previous relationship might have hugged the baby too hard. After the baby was examined by a child abuse pediatrician in Children's hospital in Omaha she was found to have a skull fracture, seven broken ribs and both shin bones in Alara's legs were broken. Some of her injuries were in the process of healing. Alara had surgery performed at Children's hospital to repair damage done to the back of her throad that cut her carotid artery. A medical report submitted to the court stated the baby's injuries were consistent with non-accidental trauma. Alara Cox had been cared for by only Jake and Jessica Cox, no day care had been involved so no one else is suspected of inflicting the injuries on the baby. Jessica Cox was represented by Attorney Michael Mead and Jake Cox was represented by Attorney Don Theobald. Mead agrued that no evidence was presented that pointed at who caused the baby's injuries. He also questioned whether the Coxes had been read their Miranda rights so anything said should not be used against them. After taking all the information presented into consideration Judge Offner bound over both cases to the District Court. No court date was set. Child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury is a class 3 Felony punishable by up to 20 years inprisonment and a $25,000 fine. After being dismissed from the hospital Alara Cox is in the custody of Nebraska Deopartment of Health and Human Services. The Red Cloud Chief reported that the parental rights of Jake Cox and Jessica Cox have been terminated.

Friday, March 12, 2010

County Sheriff's Department Searched for Missing Man

Although the skeletal remains found near the Blue Hill baseball field were only about five blocks from where Sidney Troxel lived at Life Quest at Belle Amis, Webster County Sheriff Troy Schmitz doesn't know what more could have been done in the search for the Mental Health care facility resident. In a news release March 5, the Nebraska State Patrol identified the remains as Sidney Troxel, who was 65 and living at the mental health center when he was reported missing by the staff of Life Quest at Belle Amis to the Webster County Sheriff's Office May 9, 2009. Troxel's decomposed body was spotted in the late afternoon on March 2 by some boys along a fence line on private property near the Blue Hill baseball field, at the north edge of town. The body had been covered by snow. "We went over it and over it and over it about what we could've done different, " Schmitz was quoted as saying by the Hastings Tribune. Even if a search grid had been set up, there's still no guarantee Troxel would have been found, Schmitz said. Webster County is 24 miles square and largely rural. Webster Co. has only six warrant officers including Schmitz. The Sheriff said it would have been like searching for a needle in a haystack. Schmitz said from his understanding, talking to the state patrol officer, Troxel may have been deceased prior to the search when he first disappeared. Due to the fact that it was skeletal remains without organs to do an autopsy, the time of death is a mystery that may never be solved. Troxel had a heart condition. Sherrif James Marr of Nucholls County said a search for missing persons typically includes outside assistance such as other area law enforcement agencies and even university forensics experts. He says if someone is missing they make a "pretty good" effort to find them. Troxel's name was entered in the Nebraska Missing Person's Clearinghouse data base. .

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Aurora Cooperative announces acquisition of four aerial application businesses

(March 2, 2010) – The Aurora Cooperative, a leading grain marketer and agricultural supplier in Nebraska and surrounding states, today announced the acquisition of four aerial application businesses to service its agronomy owner-patrons throughout its multi-state trade area. The acquired aerial businesses include: • Boardman Aerial Spraying – Henderson, NE • Pioneer Aerial Applicators – Minden, NE • Buffalo Air Services – Kearney, NE • Traudt Aerial Service – Aurora, NE The acquisition, along with the company’s owned aerial businesses in Grant, NE, (Cornhusker Ag Aviation) and Bertrand, NE, (FFC) will create one of the largest agricultural aerial application businesses in the United States. Owners of the acquired companies, Rick and Mary Boardman, Brent and Mary Stewart and James Jensen, will continue in management roles within the newly-created Ag Aviation Division of the Aurora Cooperative. “The Aurora Cooperative has emerged as one of the nation’s class-leading agronomy businesses. Our customers are demanding contemporary solutions to deliver crop protection products in a timely manner. The formation of the Ag Aviation Division, with its assets and management team, will be a significant enhancement to our existing agronomy business and create a unique business model in the industry,” said George Hohwieler, President and CEO of the Aurora Cooperative. “Within our strategic plan is the on-going mission to provide our owner-patrons with world-class agronomy products and services to support their crop production efforts. Next-generation crop protection products are emerging as vital inputs in the American farmer’s drive for increase yields of high quality grains. Our company’s financial performance over the past several years places us in a solid position to invest in this expanded agronomy platform,” Hohwieler said. “The American farmer wants solutions to today’s challenges. The Aurora Cooperative stands ready to deliver these solutions, both today and for the next generation of U.S. farmers.” Based in Aurora, NE since 1908, the Aurora Cooperative is a premiere, multi-purpose agricultural cooperative providing service and expertise in grain, agronomy, feed and energy. For more information, visit

Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Addtion for Spencer Family

Addison Grace Spencer 6 lbs 13 oz 20 inches long Born March 2, 2010 7:50 a.m. Parents Matt & Annette Sister Delaney

Skeletal Remains found in Blue Hill Identified

News release For immediate release Nebraska State Patrol March 5, 2010 (Lincoln, Ne) Skeletal remains found in Blue Hill on Tuesday March 2, 2010 have been identified as missing Blue Hill resident Sydney Troxel. Troxel was 65 when the assisted living center where he was residing reported him missing to the Webster County Sheriff's department on May 9, 2009. Sheriff's department personell conducted a search of the surrounding area before entering Troxel's name in the Nebraska Missing Persons clearinghouse and a national law enforcement data base. Foul play has not been indicated by the investigation. The identification of the deceased was made through forensic pathology and dental examinations.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Moderater's Farewell

A recent Anonymous commenter to this bog wrote, "this blog is not the opinions of blue hill. It's the opinion of Andy, Jessie and Slyvia Alber. It's your personel get back at everybody that wrongs you!! What a joke."

Last summer, I attended a workshop at Central Community College. At this workshop, one of the presenters introduced us to, a community blog for Dorchester, Nebraska. Dorchester does not have local newspaper and a group of citizens had put together this forum to share the news, events, opinions and people of their town.

Although Blue Hill is lucky to still have the Blue Hill Leader, I thought the idea of a community blog for Blue Hill to share our news, stories and opinions was a great idea. The Blue Hill Leader can only afford so much ink, but an online medium could share any story that community members wanted to share. News can be shared the same day it happens and readers could respond personally to each story.

So on Saturday, June 20, 2009, I launched Blue Hill Today with these words; "The intent of Blue Hill Today is to make the community itself the writers, photographers, editors and publishers of this new news source. No news is too big or too small for Blue Hill Today. There will never be any fees for submission, subscrition, or even advertising on Blue Hill Today. New news can be posted daily. The site also includes links to other local sites with valuable information about our community offering Blue Hill a quick and easy way to connect with our neighbors, our county, our history and our elected representatives."

Sadly, I agree with the anonymous commenter above. Unlike the Dorchester Times, this blog has not been adopted by our community. The community of Dorchester has 615 residents and their blog gets around 245 hits per day. Our community is closing in on 900 residents and this blog only averages 70 visits per day.

I have asked community members to join me as moderaters. I have repeatedly called upon the community to submit their news and views. Contrary to popular belief, my desire to be heard is not so overwhelming that I want to rant when I have nothing to say.

To my knowledge, I have no grudges to settle. I have no idea who I would be trying to get back at. I only intended to compliment our current sources of information about what is going on around us. The vast majority of Blue Hill's news has gone unreported. Not all the news is positive. This blog was not intended to report only the sunshine and roses of aBlue Hill. If there was not enough positive stories to balance out the bad news, I am sorry. I was hoping that others would help provide those stories.

Thank you to the readers of Blue Hill Today. Although this will be my last post, I would like to see someone else take up this task and will gladly provide anyone interested in managing this blog with the neccessary information to do so. If you are interested, just send an e-mail to I look forward to seeing how this blog will grow or fade away under different moderaters.

Jesse Alber

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Community gets behind Blue Hill girls basketball team

Will Vraspir BLUE HILL — Despite a rocky start to their season, local fans have supported the high school girl’s basketball team as it rebounded and made its way to the state tournament in Lincoln. Coach Tim Streff said he has been impressed with the town’s continual support. “Our followings at games have been tremendous,” he said. “They were really supportive at 1-6, just like they were supportive at the district finals.” Streff said a group of mothers has put up posters and left messages around the school for team members. The team also is escorted out of town by a fire truck, he said. Demonstrations of support continue downtown as some of the businesses have painted messages wishing the girls luck at the tournament. Mandy Ockinga, owner of Main Street Styles, said she has always rooted for teams at the high school and decorating before the state tournament is just an extension of that. “I always think it’s important to support the youth,” she said. “We’re just really proud of them, that they made it that far.” Since many of the students spend money at the business, Ockinga said it’s natural to support the team. Main Street Styles employee Mel Iliff of Blue Hill decorated the windows for the business with a mixture of the basketball and business themes, “Bobcat Basketball: A cut above the rest … and going to Lincoln in style.” Iliff said her husband, Curt, is an avid fan and has been following the team since the first game. He and their children will be heading to Lincoln for the tournament. Iliff expects most of the townspeople to be in Lincoln for Blue Hill’s first match on Thursday at 2 p.m. against No. 1 Elmwood-Murdoch at Lincoln High School.“ I think in Blue Hill, everybody is pretty much supportive of anything that goes on at the school, whether it’s sports, academics or choir,” she said. “We have some pretty talented kids at the school.” Tim Thramer, owner of Thramer’s Food Center, said they enjoy supporting the local school teams and usually put something up on the windows for big events like a state tournament.“ Whenever somebody looks like they’re doing something exceptional, we try to get out there and paint things up,” Thramer said. “(We) have some fun with it and support them that way. It’s fun and kind of adds to the festive atmosphere.” As soon as news got out about the Bobcat girls heading to state, employees painted the windows in congratulations and rooted for the team. Thramer said the district conference win was especially momentous because of the 1-6 record the team had at the beginning of the season. “To see them excel makes us proud and we like to tell people about it,” he said. “They’re getting better fast. They’ve been an interesting and fun group to watch.” Blue Hill girls turn season around Ryan Murken Tim Streff doesn’t remember an “ah ha” moment for his Blue Hill girls basketball team this season. The head coach can’t single out that one moment in which his team saw the light bulb go on. There wasn’t one specific game that helped his team turn the corner or a particular time in which the Bobcats flipped the switch. Streff might not be able to say when exactly things turned around for the Bobcats but he can say how. “It was just a confidence thing we started to get some confidence and we gradually got better,” Streff said. “Each game we slowly improved. It wasn’t a dramatic turnaround it was just a slow gradual thing and just kind of steam rolled.” That slow gradual improvement has taken Blue Hill from a 1-6 start all the way to the state tournament. After opening the season by dropping six of its first seven games, Blue Hill has won 13 of its last 15 games and will take a five-game winning streak into tomorrow’s opening round of the Class C-2 state tournament against face top-ranked Elmwood-Murdock at 2 p.m. at Lincoln High. The Bobcats just keep getting better. After stunning No. 6 Sandy Creek in the subdistrict semifinals, Blue Hill downed Shelton 36-23 in the subdistrict final before cruising past Cambridge 57-42 in the district final. The 57 points Blue Hill scored in the district final came within one point of matching the Bobcats’ season-high. Since opening the season 1-6 Blue Hill’s only two losses are to state qualifiers Sandy Creek and Lawrence-Nelson, teams that the Bobcats have also defeated during the current stretch. “I think we are definitely playing our best basketball right now,” Streff said. “I think we by far played our best ball against Cambridge the other night so hopefully we can continue to build on that.” Blue Hill is making its first trip to the state tournament since 2007 when the Bobcats fell to Elkhorn Valley in the opening round. The 2007 team took a much different route to the state tournament. Blue Hill received a wild-card berth to state in 2007 and entered the state tournament 21-3, ranked No. 4 in the state and with a roster loaded great players. This year’s team hasn’t appeared in the state rankings at all in 2010 and will enter state tournament play with eight losses. “That team a few years ago had a lot of tremendous players, it had a lot of stars on it this team has a lot of good players on it but they have gotten there through a joint effort,” Streff said. “It has been a team thing.” That team thing has worked well for the Bobcats this season. Blue Hill has two players that average double figures in points but has three more players that score at least four points a game. Madison Coffey, the lone Blue Hill player with state tournament experience, leads the Bobcats in scoring at 11.6 points per game. Coffey was a freshman on the 2007 state tournament team and scored a team-high 18 points in the opening round loss. The senior guard also averages 5.2 rebounds per game and leads Blue Hill in assists and steals but is far from Blue Hill’s only option. Senior Alyssa Willicott averages 10.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game and Alissa Overy and Christine Herrick both reached double figures in scoring in Blue Hill’s district final win over Cambridge. “She has been there (to state) before and we rely on her every game to score points for us,” Streff said. “It’s not the type of situation where we are going to rely on her and if she has an off game we are going to fail.”

Congressman's Column

The Stimulus: One Year Later by Adrian Smith A little more than a year ago, on February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the so-called "stimulus" act. The $862 billion stimulus bill was supposed to create 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010. In reality, my concerns it wouldn't work regretfully held true, and since it passed in February 2009, 3.3 million Americans have been put out of work. When this bill was signed into law, national unemployment was 7.6 percent. The President promised the stimulus bill would hold unemployment to less than 8.2 percent nationally. But in the year since, unemployment has soared to more than 10 percent, and in fact is much higher. The total unemployment numbers, including those who have given up looking for full-time work, are now estimated at 17.3 percent. Unless robust job creation begins immediately, the gap between the President's rhetoric and reality will grow to six million or even seven million jobs by the end of the year. The stimulus bill was put together so quickly and so secretively, no Member of Congress had a chance to read it before it passed, and it shows. Unemployment is increasing as businesses continue to shed jobs, including 20,000 more lost just last month. The cost of this bill is truly staggering. In ten years, the federal debt will be 77 percent of America's Gross Domestic Product, our total national economic output. To make matters worse, every single dollar of the stimulus was borrowed, and the Administration has absolutely no plan to pay it back or the interest payments it has spawned. The end result is predictable. Instead of continuing to try to put lipstick on a pig, President Obama should follow the examples of Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Both instituted policies which cut taxes, reduced government interference, and freed small businesses to do what they do best - expand the economy and create jobs through hard work and perseverance. It is time for Washington to take a new approach to get this economy moving again, based on doing what works: fiscal discipline and immediate tax relief for working families. To this end, I cosponsored the Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act (H.R. 470). This legislation contains numerous short- and long-term tax provisions for individuals and businesses to spur the economy. The bill would immediately assist individuals and businesses by lifting existing tax burdens. Families would benefit from a five percent across-the-board cut, a child tax credit between $1,000 and $5,000, repealed Alternative Minimum Tax, increased student loan deductions, and tax-free retirement account withdrawals. Under this alternative proposal, businesses would experience a reduced top corporate tax rate, immediate expense deductions, and a permanent research and development tax credit.In these tough economic times, Congress must work to promote growth and prevent our economy from backsliding. Taxpayers aren't getting their money's worth from the stimulus, and struggling families and small businesses are rightly dubious of its positive impact. By passing legislation I support, the Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act, Congress can still do the right thing by focusing on legislation which creates jobs to put our economy back on track the right way.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Local Youth Find Dead Body

Several local seventh graders ended up with quite a suprise this afternoon when they stumbled upon a dead body located just a little west and south of Terry & Penny Drury's big shop building near the Blue Hill baseball diamonds. The body was wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes a baseball cap and a short sleeve shirt and had some signs of decay. As of this reporting, law enforcement has been on the scene since prior to 6:45 pm. Conflicting reports suggest that the body was either located partially in a snow bank or under an old pick-up truck topper. Although no confirmation or connection has been made, one Blue Hill resident reports having heard on his radio scanner that a guest of the Life Quest at Belle Amis Assisted Living Facility had been reported missing about a month or so ago. Other (mostly less likely) rumors related to this incident are also running rampant. Police told KHAS-TV 5 that they had no comment at this time and were in the process of investigating the incident.

Monday, March 1, 2010

School News from Mrs. Kranau

Dear Parents/Guardians~ Congratulations to the coaches and the Lady Bobcats on making it to STATE! **No School on Friday, March 5 due to Winter Break. Flashcards due on Thursday. **Math Treats (extra credit) are due Tuesday, March 9. **Math Activity Checklist is due April 16. Many students have the activity completed. **Powerschool is available for you to see your child's grades and lunch accounts. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Uridil. **Students should be taking home graded papers, as they are either passed out in class or put in mailboxes. **Hopefully, you are seeing graded/corrected math papers. Please let me know if you are not seeing any math graded papers. **Students have a Morning Break every day and could be using it if they need to ask teachers questions, take make up test/quizzes, etc. **New Scholastic Book Orders were passed out to those students who wanted copies. They will be due Wednesday, March 17. Parents PLEASE WRITE CHECKS TO: SCHOLASTIC. Book orders are on-line. Passwords needed: kranausclass and bookorder. Thank you for your online and paper orders!!! **Please be watching for the PAW TRACKS newsletter that is put in mailboxes every Tuesday. **Many items of unclaimed clothing are in the office. **Students that have three or more strikes are in the "Reach for the Stars" program. He/she needs to be checking in with Mrs. Miller, Mr. Uridil or Mrs. Keogh each morning before school starts and before he/she goes home. **Our school website is Some 5th graders have been researching his/her mathematician already, and I have listed many mathematician websites on our school website. **The DEADLINE for Thramer's and Allen's receipts is a month away! Please be saving Thramer's and Allen's receipts. You may drop your receipt in the box designated Blue Hill at Thramer's or drop off the receipts at school. Continue to save Box Tops 4 Education, Campbell Soup Labels, old cell phones, and empty ink cartridges and other fundraisers. Thramer's and Allen's receipts are due March 31. Your support is truly appreciated! Remember: I included information regarding a Cartridge/Cell Phone Drive in the school's newsletter. Thank you for bringing in cartridges, cell phones, and other items for our "Drive". 4th Grade: --Equal Groups, Multiples, and Percents will be covered this week. --Students will have Monday to work on Dynamath w/partners. It is due Monday, March 8. --Highlight Vocabulary Terms to Lesson 65. --Students had to write the basic facts that were difficult for him/her on index cards. --Students need to be correcting every daily math assignment! --I have pieces of oak tag available for your child to write down any basic facts that are difficult for your child. Only a few students asked for the piece of oak tag last week. --A Pop Quiz is scheduled for Thursday. 6th Grade: --Prime and Composite Numbers are concepts that will be covered this week. --We will review for a test on Monday. --The Test is scheduled for Tuesday. --Students will have part of Wednesday to finish Dynamath. It is due March 4. --Students should continue to highlight math terms in glossaries to Les. 60. --Continue to work on flashcards! Thank you to the students that are doing at least two sets every week! --Basic Facts which are difficult for your child were to be written on index cards. --A Math in the Real World letter was distributed to the 6th graders. If you have questions, please contact me. 5th Grade~~Homeroom Class: --We will cover Simplifying Mixed Measures and Reading and Writing Whole Numbers in Expanded Notation this week. --Students need to continue to research a mathematician. Several students have told me his/her mathematician and have started writing the 7-10 good questions. GREAT Job! --Dynamath is due March 4. --Please work on flashcards! Thanks for taking the time to do the required amount. -- We will have DARE on Tuesday, March 2 from 2:30-3:30. Keyboarding is scheduled in the morning. We sure appreciate the BH Fitness Center and Glenwood as they paid for the shirts! We have scheduled the DARE program on Wednesday, April 14 from 2:30-3:00. It will be held in the Commons Area. Please mark your calendar.

CRP Expanded

USDA Announces Additional 300,000 Acres for Wildlife Habitat Expansion and Intent to Conduct General Conservation Reserve Program Signup In 2010 DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb. 27, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA has approved an additional 300,000 acres for conservation projects under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). These additional areas include 150,000 acres for the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) Initiative; 50,000 acres for the Duck Nesting Habitat Initiative; and 100,000 acres for the Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds Initiative. Vilsack made this announcement at the Pheasant Fest annual meeting. "Increasing acreage caps to meet the demand for these critical programs will help us do more for wildlife on the same number of acres," said Vilsack. "This is part of our efforts to target conservation to give the American taxpayer more bang for the buck in terms of improved water and air quality, reduced erosion, and benefits to the climate." Secretary Vilsack also announced that USDA would conduct a general CRP signup later this year, with program details and the specific signup start date to be announced upon completion of an Environmental Impact Statement. "It is my goal to ensure that we maximize CRP enrollment - and holding a general CRP signup is an additional step we can take to enroll acres in this program," said Vilsack. Currently USDA's SAFE portfolio includes 75 approved projects in 22 states covering up to 500,000 acres. With these additional acres, SAFE projects may now cover up to 650,000 acres. SAFE helps state and regional agencies, non-profit organizations and others address local wildlife objectives by partnering with farmers and ranchers to restore wildlife habitats. SAFE provides conservation partners the flexibility to create projects and install conservation practices that target the specific needs of highly valued wildlife species. By developing SAFE projects, these organizations and their partners enhance the effectiveness of CRP by helping to establish higher quality habitat and healthier ecosystems for species of concern and other wildlife. Restoring an additional 50,000 acres of wetland ecosystems for the Duck Nesting Habitat Initiative will provide nesting ducks with critical habitat, food and nesting cover as well as security from predators. This habitat encompasses ecosystems in the Prairie Pothole Region, including parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. The initiative also benefits other wildlife species, filters runoff, recharges groundwater supplies, protects drinking water and reduces downstream flooding. With the additional acres, the initiative is now authorized to cover up to 150,000 acres. The Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds Initiative was created to provide 250,000 acres of early successional grass buffers along agricultural field borders. With these additional acres, upland bird habitat under the initiative may now total up to 350,000 acres. The initiative partners USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) with landowners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 32 state fish and wildlife agencies, and numerous conservation and wildlife groups. CRP is the nation's largest private land conservation program with authority to enroll 32 million acres. CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them safeguard environmentally sensitive land. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion and enhance wildlife habitat. For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit your local FSA county office or

USDA Signs MOU With Pheasants Forever To Enhance Conservation Efforts

DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb. 27, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) have entered into an agreement with Pheasants Forever to identify and create more opportunities to conserve plant and animal species and their habitats. Vilsack made the announcement in keynote remarks at the National Pheasant Fest 2010. "USDA is excited to expand its partnership with Pheasants Forever to establish conservation measures that will benefit our wildlife habitat, our environment, and our communities," said Vilsack. "Partnerships like these are critical to conserving America's private working lands, enhancing our water resources, and improving economies and quality of life across Rural America." The memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishes a framework of cooperation among NRCS, FSA and Pheasants Forever to maintain and enhance the productivity of pheasant, quail, and other wildlife habitats on private and public lands. These activities include, but are not limited to, pheasant, quail and other upland bird habitat conservation projects, habitat restoration, technical assistance, delivery of information and educational materials, collaboration on habitat and wildlife research, and development of habitat restoration and enhancement techniques. The agreement will be in effect for five years. Among other deliverables agreed to in the MOU: --Increase assistance and training of USDA and Pheasants Forever personnel regarding pheasant, quail and associated wildlife conservation, management and habitat restoration; --Enhance public information efforts about pheasants, quail and associated wildlife habitat conservation practices and programs including when appropriate, distribution of technical and financial assistance information; --Increase coordination implementing USDA Farm Bill programs, collaborative conservation programs; --Cooperatively share information on conservation programs and technical guidance regarding the improvement of conservation techniques and practices; and --Enable more strategically focused and effective conservation efforts for wildlife habitat and species especially pheasant and quail. To learn more about conservation measures to preserve wildlife habitat, visit the USDA and agency Web sites, including, and

March Birthdays

March 2 Eric Hubl March 3 Edgar Schmidt March 3 Albert Gray March 5 Jason Kort March 5 Veldon Nemacek March 6 David Wademan March 6 Ryan Meyer March 6 Roger Schunk March 6 Carolyn Willicot March 8 Larry Kort March 8 Margret Armstrong March 9 Tony Krueger March 12 Shelly Auten March 14 Lonnie Kort March 14 Tim Allen March 14 Trisha Allen March 17 Clayton Mohlman March 20 Violet Boettcher March 21 Myrtis Alber March 22 Anthony Toles March 23 Emily Harrifeld March 24 Tandi Porter March 25 John Kinley March 25 Terry Burge March 26 Lois Mohlman March 28 Tim Krueger March 29 Taylor Premer March 30 Trevor Alber March 30 Dona Krueger March 30 Jeff Kort

Senator's Column

Using Budget Reconciliation for Health Care Unwise Senator Mike Johanns March 1, 2010 Dear Nebraskans, With the health care debate back in the spotlight, Americans continue to call for a new approach to health care reform. The original Senate bill was very partisan and costly, and required multiple special deals just to garner support from all Democrats. The House of Representatives did not even consider it. As this bill limps toward the President's desk, Republicans stand waiting with ideas to confront the problems of cost and access on a step-by-step basis. Instead, it looks as if bipartisanship will be passed over in favor of a process called reconciliation to circumvent Senate rules and railroad through this deeply flawed, partisan bill. Reconciliation does two things: it drastically limits debate, and it allows legislation to pass with only a simple majority vote. Sixty votes are required for a reason: this threshold requires and indeed encourages greater cooperation and agreement. It fosters bipartisanship. President Obama agreed as recently as 2005, when as a Senator he stated that removing the 60-vote threshold would "change the character of the Senate forever" and that having "majoritarian, absolute power on either side" was "not what the Founders intended." Weeks later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also proclaimed, "The right to extend a debate is never more important than when one party controls both Congress and the White House. The filibuster serves as a check on power and preserves our limited government." Reconciliation has never been used to pass a bill of this magnitude and on a strictly partisan basis. When it was utilized for tax cuts, 12 Senate Democrats supported it; when used for welfare reform, half of all Democrats approved. Using reconciliation to pass health care reform, which would overhaul one-sixth of our economy, has been rejected by all Republicans and a majority of the American people. It is an intolerable parliamentary trick to jam an ill-advised bill through Congress. Some have been quick to blame the 41 Republicans for being obstructionist. Let us not forget that the Senate has historically operated smoothly when neither party had anywhere close to a 60-vote supermajority. How? By crafting sensible and thoughtful bills that enjoyed bipartisan support. That is how the Senate has always worked. Yet with such a strong majority, Democrat leadership decided to abandon bipartisanship entirely. They produced a health care bill that Republicans and most Americans view as terribly flawed. Now they want to double down on their one-sided bill, ignore compromise, and pass it with a simple majority using a method never intended to be used for such far-reaching legislation. President Obama was right: the Founding Fathers were frightened of what they called "tyranny of the majority," and created the Senate so that cooperative agreements would be reached. It is my hope that Democrats will resist the temptation to use this parliamentary maneuver and instead return to the drawing board so we can give the American people a bill they want and deserve.

Seven Candidates File for City Council

Seven candidates have filed for three Blue Hill city council seats to be filled in December of 2010. All seven candidates will be on the primary ballot on Tuesday, May 4, 2010. Six of those candidates will proceed to the general election on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. The candidates include incumbents Jesse Alber and Albert Gray as well as former Councilman Lee Ostdiek. Also on the ballot will be James Johnson, Arlo Kranau, , John "Jack" Mohlman, and Rochelle Seeman. Voters will be asked to select up to three candidates on both their primary and general election ballots. Keri Schunk has filed to retain her position as Mayor and will run un-opposed. The Blue Hill School Board has had five candidates file for three positions. There will be no ballot for school board on the primary election as all five will advance to the general election. Those candidates include James Mackin, Rick Meyers, Jennifer Reiman, Tom Schmidt, and Robbey Willicott. Candidates who have filed for other positions which Blue Hill voters will help decide include; District 3 Representative in Congress -- Adrian Smith (R), Gering; Dennis L. Parker (R), Columbus; and Rebekah Davis (D), Alliance. Governor -- Dave Heinemann (R), Lincoln; Paul Anderson (R), Omaha; Christopher N. Gearey (R), Omaha; and Mark Lakers (D), Omaha. Secretary of State -- John Gale (R), Lincoln; Kris J. Pierce (D), Ralston; and Janet Stewart (D), Fremont. State Treasurer -- Don Stenburg (R), Gretna; Tony Fulton (R), Lincoln; Tom Nesbitt (R), Lincoln; and Mark Stoj (D), Omaha. Attorney General -- Jon Brunning (R), Lincoln. State Auditor -- Mike Foley (R), Lincoln. District 5 Public Service Commission -- Jerry Vapp (R), McCook; Justin Jensen (R), Royal; and Mike Delka (R), Kearney. District 38 State Legislature -- Tom Carlson, Holdrege. District 5 State Board of Education -- Patricia H. Timm, Beatrice. District 1 Central Community College Board of Directors -- Diane R. Keller, Harvard. SubDistrict 1 Little Blue NRD -- Randy Uhrmacher, Juniata; and Neal Hoff, Hastings.

Classified Ads -- 3/1/10

Whether you're searching the Web for a new home, promoting your business, looking for help on the farm, or selling your kitchen table -- Blue Hill Today is the right place to advertise locally. This site is currently averaging about 70 hits a day, so your ad is sure to get noticed. And you can take comfort that if you find a product or service you want, you will likely be doing business with someone who has a local tie. Best of all, posting ads is absolutely free as a service to our readers. It is easy to post your classified ad online. Simply click on the "comments" link at the end of this post. Then, in the "Leave Your Comments" box, just enter all the details and information you want people to see. If you are uncomfortable leaving your phone number or permanent e-mail, we recommend using or other service to establish a new e-mail for responses to your ad. Browsing the classifieds is easy, too. Just click on the "comments" link below and scroll down to view the ads in the left-hand column. Online classifieds can make life easier for both buyers and sellers in our local area. Blue Hill Today does not require an account and, again, there is no charge to post a classified on this site. If you sell your item or no longer want your ad to be seen, simply e-mail us at and we will remove your ad. Blue Hill Today assumes no responsibility for claims or representations made by any classified ad. Please check and authenticate every classified that interests you. Blue Hill today has the right to reject classified ad listings at any time and for any reason. By posting an ad or responding to an ad, you acknowledge Blue Hill Today is under no circumstances liable for the product or service offered, nor is Blue Hill Today responsible for payment or delivery by either party. In short, all we are doing is providing a format for you to advertise or shop locally and online. Our involvement ends there. As with the Open Forum, this post will be re-posted periodically to keep it towards the top of recent posts. The first classified post had no listings and has been deleted from the blog.

Open Forum #10 -- 3/1/10

The Open Forum is your chance to say something, report breaking news or ask a question -- on any issue. Any topic is fair game, although Blue Hill Today's comment policies still apply. (see bottom of left hand column.) This will be Open Forum #10. The first nine have had 56 comments including topics on; fundraisers, Jason Kort's recovery, sexting, local honors, locals earning statewide honors, fundraisers, crime and punishment, local participants in a variety of activities, national weather, local weather, local businesses, elected officials, the Census, politics, basketball, citizen of the year, Haiti, good samaratins, child safety, tax deductions for pet owners, parking, personal property, academic achievement of local alum, local service men, birth announcements, quotes, church services, trash disposal and much more. Go ahead and sound off on anything. Your community is listening. A new Open Forum link will be re-posted every Monday (or there abouts) to keep it towards the top of the recent posts.Of course, your completed news article, news information, story idea, or suggestions to improve this site can still be sent to Blue Hill Today by e-mailing us at

Governor's Column

The Value of Nebraska’s State Colleges By Governor Dave Heineman February 26, 2010 Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
This week, I’d like to highlight the work of our Nebraska State College System. These colleges offer a great value in higher education. The system consists of three colleges located in Chadron, Peru and Wayne.
The Nebraska State College System began in 1867, the same year as Nebraska was admitted to the Union, as a resource to prepare teachers for their careers in the classroom. Adding colleges and programs along the way, the system has responded to the changing needs of individuals, businesses and communities during its long history.
In 1867, Peru State College, located in the southeast portion of the state, was Nebraska’s first public postsecondary institution. Wayne State College, anchored in northeastern Nebraska, joined the system 100 years ago. Chadron State College in the rural northwestern part of the state was added in 1911.
While the scope of our state colleges has expanded, the core mission remains the same: Providing a high quality and affordable education allows these three colleges to add to the intellectual, cultural and economic development of their respective regions and throughout our state.
Today, the Nebraska State College System serves 9,000 students on campus and online. During the past two years, the three colleges were ranked for academic quality by U.S. News & World Report due in part to the hands-on research opportunities that start during a student’s freshman year, honors programs, attentive, caring professors, study abroad programs, small classes, and over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree options.
Online courses have provided students anywhere in the world the opportunity to take courses and earn a degree including students located in Iraq, Afghanistan and even Antarctica. Currently, more than 700 undergraduate and graduate courses are offered online with more courses added each year.
Nebraska’s state colleges work closely with community colleges across the state. A joint enrollment program allows students attending any state or community college to take courses from other colleges and campuses. The South Sioux City College Center is being built as a partnership between Northeast Community College in Norfolk and Wayne State College. Chancellor Stan Carpenter, the Board of Trustees and the staff and faculty of Nebraska’s three state colleges work to ensure these opportunities are available at reasonable rates. Efficient use of resources is helping keep tuition and fees as low as possible.
To help ensure that more families can send their children to state colleges, two new programs were started recently that provide financial assistance to qualified students. The Nebraska State College System Advantage guarantees that first-time Nebraska freshmen who receive federal Pell Grants will pay no tuition while attending Chadron, Peru or Wayne State Colleges. The Yellow Ribbon program exempts eligible military veterans from tuition and mandatory fees at the three campuses. In addition, colleges are exploring creative ideas such as Peru State College’s ‘One Rate, Any State’ program to increase enrollment.
While the Nebraska State College System has expanded over the years, its campuses have also been quick to adapt to a changing learning environment in order to provide students with a valuable education that enriches their earning power and adds to the development of communities across Nebraska.
I encourage Nebraskans interested in more information to visit the Nebraska State College System online at