Monday, May 31, 2010

Jason Kuhn Attacked in Curtis Bar

May-2010 - A midnight bar fight at the Yellow Rose bar in Curtis May 22 led to the arrest of a North Platte man for stabbing a Blue Hill man in the throat.
Nathan W. Vogt, 24, 712 S. Bryan, was charged in Frontier County Court with first-degree assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly slashed the throat of Jason Kuhn, 25, of Blue Hill.
Vogt was arraigned in court and released on a $30,000 bond.
The fight broke out at the bar just before midnight Saturday, according to witnesses who spoke to the Bulletin. Witnesses said Vogt “blindsided” a Kuhn inside the bar, which angered other patrons.
They said Vogt just approached Kuhn and began “pounding on him.”
A witness to the fight pulled Vogt off Kuhn. He and several other patrons pushed him to the exit. The witnesses said Vogt continued to fight and had to “be taken down before he agreed to leave.”
Several patrons, including Kuhn, followed Vogt out of the bar. The witnesses said Kuhn asked Vogt why he attacked him, since he didn't even know him.
The witnesses said Vogt then apparently slapped the left side of Kuhn's neck with an open hand, but Kuhn's neck was cut from back to front and muscles were severed.
Witnesses who spoke with the Bulletin insisted Vogt “slapped” Kuhn with an open hand and believe he had some kind of blade between his fingers. They said they never saw a knife.
Witnesses said Vogt then left the bar with his girlfriend and drove about a mile to the Wall Canyon bridge where he threw the blade into the canyon. He was arrested a little later after he returned downtown with his girlfriend.
Kuhn's friends said they applied a shirt to his wound and applied pressure to reduce the blood loss while waiting for an ambulance. Kuhn never lost consciousness until he was taken in for surgery, they said.
Kuhn was taken to Great Plains Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released Sunday, May 23.
Friends of Kuhn said that doctors at the hospital told Kuhn it was unlikely he would ever regain feeling on the left side of his face. The friends said doctors at GPRMC believe the injury was severe enough that Vogt could have been charged with attempted murder.
Frontier County Sheriff Daniel Rupp said in a press release Tuesday that the incident continues to be under investigation.
Investigators didn't locate the knife/blade used in the alleged stabbing.
Rupp declined to comment further on the investigation.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Memories

I am sitting here tonight watching a Memorial Day PBS special on television. It makes me wonder how many others are taking time this weekend to remember or honor our men and women in uniform serving today and give recognition to those who have served in the past. We should give thanks to those whose lives are changed forever because of what they did for this country and for me and for you. I will remember with gratitude those who are serving today and those who served in Vietnam, Korea, World War II, World War I, the Civil War, the war of 1812, the Revolutionary War and all those who honorably served throughout the years keeping us safe in our homes. It saddens me, when I think of the many sacrifices, that this is looked upon as a “holiday” as a time to go to the lake, a ball game, to relax and party with friends and never give a thought to why the day was really created or those who made it possible for them to have the freedom to celebrate as they please. Today I have family members serving in the military, My grandson, J T Haack is stationed with the air force in Mountain Home, Idaho. My grandson-in-law, Judson Gatch is a submariner serving in the Navy and stationed in Kingsland, Ga. Nephew Quintin White is serving with the Air Force stationed in Germany. Grandson,Grant Alber, recently served in Iraq fighting with the Stryker unit from Ft. Lewis Washington. Travis Stevens, step-grandson served in the army reserves. My son Jesse Alber, went into Iraq as part of the “tip of the spear “ when the order came to invade Iraq. Before the Iraq war my son Ted Alber served his country in the army and was stationed in Germany. Son in law Jerry Haack served in the United States Navy.  Two of my brothers served in the United States Army during the Vietnam war. Allen stationed in Vietnam and Willie stationed in Germany. My father was in the Navy during World War II and an Uncle, Jay Wollom suffered for 3 1/2 years as a prisoner of War of the Japanese, taken prisoner on the Philippine Island of Corregidor April 9, 1942. How do you say thank you to someone who spent 3 1/2 years in hell, so you can be free? My family has a rich, full history of military service to this country which family members have traced back even to the revolutionary war. Lt. James Albert Guinal was killed while fighting with Colonel Herkimer at the battle of Oriskeny on August 6, 1777. His daughter , Cornelia, who became my g-g-g-g-g-g-great grandmother wasn’t even born yet at the time of her fathers death serving his country. Pvt. Isaac Morgan, of the 10 NC regulars fought for freedom at the Battle of King Mountain in North Carolina in 1780. There was also Joseph White, Solomon Delong, (who also fought in the war of 1812) Joshua Grant, Capt. Nathaniel Squires, Abijah Perry Sr., Abel Johnson, and Joseph White all were ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War. Four or Five of Joseph White’s grandsons fought in the civil war. Thomas McGonagle served in the war of 1812, and Nathan Howard in the French and Indian War. My great grandfather’s Uncle Pvt. Wilson McGonagle of Company B 30th Ohio infantry was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the battle of Vicksburg (Mississippi) on the 22nd of May 1863. Hugh Birney of company F, 98 regiment Ohio Infantry was wounded on Oct 8, 1862 and died 19th of December as a result of wounds he suffered at the battle of Chapel Hills in Kentucky . Wesley Birney also served in the civil war. My grandfather Grant’s brother Austin served in World War I. We have always had family members serving to remind us of the sacrifice involved to keep our nation free. We know that "freedom isn't free." Someone will pay the price. I hope more people will take the time to remember and appreciate what these brave Americans and many others who’s names we don’t know and will never know, have done for all Americans. And remember those brave Americans who are serving today insuring that you and I have right to live in a “free” nation. Many of these brave heros are gone, you can not tell them that you appreciate their service, but you can show your appreciation by serving your country here, at “home”. Volunteer for non profit organizations that are making life better for the less privileged in our community, volunteer in your church, volunteer to help the elderly, volunteer to help the youth. Show your appreciation for what has been done for you by doing something for someone else.

Export 2010

As our economy struggles to right its course, we should be exploring every avenue to boost businesses and create jobs. The global trade market is one area which represents a tremendous opportunity for Nebraska's small and medium-sized businesses. It is fitting we are in the midst of celebrating World Trade Month, which honors and celebrates the nearly 300,000 American businesses which support millions of American jobs. Export markets are an integral part of America's economic recovery, and I want to make sure Nebraska products and producers make the most of the opportunities provided by international sales. Beyond the U.S. lies 73 percent of the world's purchasing power, 87 percent of its economic growth and 95 percent of the globe's consumers. More than 50 million Americans work for companies which engage in global sales, and one in three acres of American farmland grows food for consumers overseas. International markets provide the average American family $9,000 more a year in purchasing power. In 2008 Nebraska exported $5.4 billion in manufactured goods, which supported more than 34,000 jobs. That same year, we exported $5.9 billion in agricultural products, supporting more than 68,000 ag jobs. Nearly 80 percent of the 1,200 Nebraska companies which exported goods in 2007 were small and medium-sized enterprises. Unfortunately, approval of pending trade agreements with countries such as Colombia, South Korea, and Panama have languished awaiting approval by Congress. Every day we delay, the more ground our nation and our economy lose to our international competitors. Opening new and strengthening existing markets is tremendously important to Nebraska. It is a priority of mine to help Nebraska's producers and industries compete and succeed in the global market. To explore this topic further, on June 3rd, I will be hosting a seminar entitled "Export 2010" at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. This educational and enlightening program is ideal for Nebraska small and medium-sized businesses interested in growing their export business by tapping into international markets. Experts from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce, University of Nebraska, Small Business Administration, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States will join me for the event, which is free and open to the public. The seminar also will feature Nebraska businesses detailing their experiences and lessons learned through exporting products to the global marketplace, as well as information for those just starting to export. I'm very pleased my friend and colleague Governor Dave Heineman will be delivering the keynote address. Governor Heineman has long been a proponent of trade opportunities for Nebraska and I look forward to hearing his insights. Seating is limited, so if you are interested in attending the June 3rd seminar, I encourage you to register by calling my Grand Island office at 308-384-3900. You also can send an e-mail to: e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . International markets are an indispensable part of our economic recovery, and I want to help Nebraska companies make full use of the lessons learned from the experience of our seminar speakers. In order for Nebraska businesses to grow and succeed, they need to have the resources and knowledge to tap into these potential new customers. Export 2010 is designed to give our businesses these tools.

Remembering on Memorial Day

May 28, 2010 This weekend, many of us will enjoy an extended three-day break from work and school. Swimming pools will open and the corn and soy bean crops are emerging. For many, it will be a long weekend to mark the beginning of another great summer. We are blessed with many reasons to celebrate over Memorial Day weekend, but let us not forget the troops and their families, past and present, who have served, sacrificed and died for our principles and our freedom. Many Nebraskans are overseas as I write, putting their lives on the line to protect us. Many others are doing the same here at home, and millions have preceded them throughout history. We are grateful for all of them. In the past year, my colleagues and I on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee have pushed a host of bills through Congress to ensure that we do not lose sight of caring for our veterans and our appreciation for our military. Last July, I reached across the aisle to work with my colleagues in improving ballot access for our soldiers and other Americans overseas. The bill improved our system for administering, delivering, and receiving election ballots from the military, regardless of where they are stationed. In a polarized Washington, overwhelming agreement on this bill is a testament to the great importance placed on insuring that those who represent and protect our democracy are able to exercise their democratic rights. I was also able to help win passage for a bill to ease the bureaucratic strain on military families. The legislation I co-sponsored received unanimous support. It cuts much of the red tape for families who because of their service must move from state to state, and thus face varying tax laws. Another bill I've proposed would increase job training and apprenticeship opportunities for returning soldiers eager to get back into the workforce and civilian life. Lastly, I was very pleased with the wisdom and energy of both the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and the Veterans Administration (VA) as we went through the process of evaluating the Omaha VA Medical Center. I had the chance to host a field hearing last summer, facilitated by the VA Center, and I was thrilled to see the much-needed overhaul green-lighted in this year's Congressional Budget. Everyone involved throughout the process worked fervently to see that the quality of the VA Medical Center reflects the importance of its residents. As we spend much of this upcoming weekend relaxing and preparing for summer, let us reflect upon the great country we have built and remember our heroes who helped to build it. Spending a day remembering the fallen and praying for those currently serving is the least we can do for those Americans who are in a class all their own. Let us truly celebrate Memorial Day by remembering why we call our great country the Home of the Brave.

Governors Column

May 28, 2010 Dear Fellow Nebraskans: One of the most important investments Nebraskans can make in themselves is to increase their level of education. Jobs are increasingly requiring education beyond high school, and as a state we must be able to offer prospective employers a well-educated workforce. We have an obligation to prepare our students for the challenges of the knowledge-based, technology-driven economy. Today, 27 percent of Nebraskans have a bachelor’s degree. The higher the percentage, the more competitive we are as a state. The new statewide education goals the Nebraska P-16 Initiative announced last August are aimed at improving individual earning power, making Nebraska more competitive for 21st century jobs, and strengthening our long-term economic prospects. Increasing our high school graduation rates, college-going rates, and college retention and graduation rates are essential to Nebraska’s future growth. Technology offers more opportunities than ever to finish your education. One of the greatest opportunities is for Nebraskans who started college but didn’t complete their degree. More than 250,000 people in our state have completed some college credits and have not completed a degree. By going back to school, these individuals can earn a bachelor’s degree, pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D., or gain additional certification or endorsement in career-related areas. This week, the University of Nebraska announced an expanded initiative to improve access to a college degree for more Nebraskans. It’s called “Online Worldwide.” This initiative offers all of the University’s distance education programs through one website, The University of Nebraska already offers more than 1,000 courses online in areas that include business, education, agriculture, biology, computer science, engineering, history, journalism, political science, youth development and many more. More than 80 fully accredited degree and certificate programs are available online to help Nebraskans be better prepared for the job market, advance their current careers, pursue a new career, or increase their earnings while balancing jobs, families and other obligations. This initiative leverages the University’s century-long history in distance education to increase access for all Nebraskans. It brings together excellent programs from the four campuses of the University in a way that is cost-effective and easier to access for prospective students. A degree from the University of Nebraska is a great value – as you know if you’ve seen the cost of a degree from some of the for-profit institutions that advertise in Nebraska. I hope Nebraskans will take advantage of this new opportunity to improve their quality of life through education. This is a great way to prepare for success in today’s knowledge-based, technology-driven, global free market economy. I applaud the University of Nebraska for this expanded education initiative, and I appreciate the outstanding partnership that we have with the University of Nebraska in our combined focus on education and the economic vitality of our state. The leadership of President J.B. Milliken, the four campus chancellors and the Board of Regents with the University of Nebraska has been superb.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Duane A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County May 29, 2010 Edition They're big, they're loud and they're ugly. June bugs are on the attack, and I am amazed at how many people questions about these large pests, that only show up once a year. I would agree with everyone, however, that we do have an extra large population of them this year. They are around street lights, yard lights, filling stations and most anywhere where there is light during the night. Most people are of the opinion that these nasty pests seem to have no purpose. They fly around aimlessly, stick to anything they happen to land on and to some people --they are just plain frightening!! We have always called them “bugs”, but they are really a beetle, about an inch long, kind of reddish brown. They appear in late May or early June and then vanish until the next year. One thing is certain-- the birds are having a smorgasbord! It is actually a lot of fun watching them go after the live ones and be a little picky on the dead ones. Perhaps it is the spirit of the chase more than the delicacy of the insect. Even though many people are afraid of June bugs, they are basically harmless to humans and to dogs and cats that love to chase and even eat these things. That brings me to a couple of questions that I have been asked. “Can eating these things be bad on by dog (or cat)? The quick answer is – “Not if they don’t hit them in the eye!” Actually on the serious side, it is very natural and is really a part of the natural tendency that comes from their wild ancestors which lived on beetles, grubs, and of course small animals. They also have so much fun doing it and it is fun watching them, even if that crunch sound that is made when they bite on them is a bit unnerving to some people. I have to admit thinking of eating one of those things doesn’t appeal to me and in fact makes me a little queasy, it is however a very good source of protein. How about that? As I said earlier, June bugs are really “beetles”, which are in the group of insects with the largest number of known species. They are classified in the order Coleoptera, which contains more described species than in any other order in the animal kingdom, constituting about 25% of all known life-forms. June bugs (beetles) are scientifically known as “Phyllophaga”, which is a very large genus (more than 260 species) of New World scarab beetles in the subfamily called “Melolonthinae”. The generic name is derived from the Greek words “phyllon”, which means "leaf", and “phagos”, which means "eater", with a plural ending. Don’t worry we won’t have a quiz on this later. Common names for this genus and many other related genera are May beetles, June bugs, and June beetles. They range in size from 8–25 mm and are blackish or reddish-brown in color, without prominent markings, and often rather hairy ventrally. I think that everyone that has been around these pests know that these beetles are nocturnal (come out at night), and that they are attracted to lights. So that's where the banging, head knocking, and such goes on. You would not even be aware that they were around if it wasn’t for this weakness or habit which is annoying to us and fun for our pets. When I said they were harmless to humans and pets, it doesn’t mean that they are harmless to other things. They may cause significant damage when emerging in large numbers. The larvae (called white grubs) feed on the roots of grasses and other plants. This insect goes through a three-year life cycle. So they spend most of their life in the soil. The insects pupate underground in the fall and emerge as adults the following spring. After the eggs are hatched, the grubs eat the roots of grass. When they mature into adults three years later, they emerge to eat the leaves of trees and or bushes. The adult beetles are very clumsy, both on land and in the air. They are actually “chafers”, feeding on foliage of trees and shrubs. After the bugs emerge and lay eggs in the soil, the adult beetles simply die and the life cycle begins again. Adult chafers eat the leaves and flowers of many deciduous trees, shrubs and other plants. In fact you may hear or see them in trees, bushes etc. Especially at night which can be a little unnerving if you are right under them! However, their fat, white grubs (reaching 40–45 mm long when full grown) live in the soil and do the most damage. They feed on plant roots, especially those of grasses and cereals, and are occasional pests in pastures, gardens, and golf courses. The injury consists of poorly growing patches that quickly turn brown in dry weather. The grubs can be found immediately below the surface, usually lying in a characteristic comma-like position. The grubs sometimes attack vegetables and other garden plants, e.g. lettuce, raspberry, strawberry and young ornamental trees. Injury to the roots and rootstock causes small saplings and tender tap-rooted plants like lettuce to wilt suddenly or to show stunted growth and a tendency to shed leaves prematurely. Plants growing in rows are usually attacked in succession as the grubs move along from one plant to the next. You may want to write down the year 2013 as you can expect it to be a another huge year for the beetles and 2012 for grubs. You can bet that we probably had similar numbers in 2007. You can imagine that so many eggs should have been laid that year we should have expected this. But did any of you remember that? I know I didn’t. June bugs have always been a part of early summer or late spring. Finally, I want to thank everyone that was involved in putting on the South Central Nebraska Livestock Judging Contest that was held on May 28 at the Webster County Fairgrounds. We had over 50 young people learning and polishing their skills in livestock selection and judging. It was a fun and rewarding experience for me and I hope for the youth! The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jane and Verlin Rose Celebrate 50th

Jane and Verlin Rose are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Here's wishing them many more years together.

Remembering Our Heros

Remember Our Troops During the ‘Patriotic Six’, The “Patriotic Six” are upon us—the six-weeks that begin with Memorial Day May 31, run through Flag Day June 14, and end on July 4, Independence Day. During this time, we especially remember those who have served and paid the ultimate price for our freedom, and we honor the veterans who have served and those currently serving our country at home and abroad. On Monday May 31, 2010 at 10 a.m. The American Legion A.L. Shirley Post No.176 sponsor Memorial day services in the Blue Hill Cemetery. The Advance of colors will be by Post No. 176. The assembly will salute the flag. The invocation will be offered by the Rev. Ron Kuehner. The National Anthem will be presented by Aaron Moser. Rev. Kuehner will speak. Afterward Harlan Siebrass will give the roll call. The Blue Hill Boy Scouts will place wreaths. Rev. Kuehner will give the benediction. The Legion will salute the dead and Aaron Moser will perform taps. In case of rain the program will take place at the Blue Hill Community Center. Lunch will be provided by the American Legion Auxillary at the Blue Hill Community Center at 11 a.m. following services. A free-will offering will be taken.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


"I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free and I won't forget the men who died and gave that right to me." Lee Greenwood

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Saluting Nebraska's National Guard on Memorial Day

By Governor Dave Heineman May 21, 2010 Dear Fellow Nebraskans: As we observe Memorial Day this year, I would like to ask all Nebraskans to take a moment reflect upon the sacrifices made by the men and women of our Nebraska National Guard, and the excellent work they are doing on our behalf. This is historically a time to remember and honor the sacrifices of our state’s fallen service members. Long before the start of the Global War on Terrorism on Sept. 11, 2001, the members of the Nebraska Army and Air National Guard were fully engaged in a variety of on-going operations overseas, including missions in Bosnia, Kosovo and the Persian Gulf. However, with the start of the current conflict, the commitments of the Nebraska National Guard to support overseas and domestic operations have grown exponentially and continue today. Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 3,600 soldiers and airmen from the 4,900-member Nebraska Army and Air National Guard have deployed overseas in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. These soldiers and airmen have performed admirably under some of the most difficult conditions imaginable, earning Bronze Stars, Purple Hearts and other many other commendations for heroism under fire. We’ve said farewell to nine Nebraska Army National Guard Soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. The memories of Jacob Schmuecker of Norfolk, William Bailey of Bellevue, Randy Matheny of McCook, Germaine Debro of Omaha, Jeffrey Hansen of Cairo, Joshua Ford of Pender, Tricia Jameson of Omaha, Jeremy Fischer of Lincoln, and Linda Tarrango-Griess of Sutton will be forever treasured by a very grateful state and nation, as will the memory of our other brave Nebraskans who have fallen during the Global War on Terrorism while serving in the armed forces. While our Nebraska National Guard men and women have been exceptionally busy in the past, the upcoming year looks even more so with hundreds of soldiers and airmen currently preparing for upcoming deployments beginning this summer. By the end of 2010, approximately 1,200 Nebraska Army National Guard Soldiers will be deployed overseas supporting missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. Additionally, another 350 members of the Nebraska Air National Guard will be deploying overseas and domestically in support of a wide array of missions. Currently, members of the Nebraska Army National Guard’s 67th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, a Lincoln-based organization that has units located in Hastings, Beatrice and Fremont, are completing a multi-week exercise at Camp Guernsey, Wyoming, to prepare for an overseas deployment later this summer. Along with the 67th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, soldiers from units located in Grand Island, Nebraska City, Wahoo, Hastings and Omaha will also be mobilizing in the upcoming months for a variety of overseas missions that will ultimately make 2010-11 one of the busiest years for the Nebraska Army National Guard since the start of the war. As Governor, one of my proudest moments is when I represent the citizens of Nebraska during a send-off or welcome home ceremony for one of our National Guard units. Many of these brave men and women serve part-time in our National Guard, but are our full-time neighbors and valuable community members. It is humbling to watch as these courageous soldiers and airmen are wished farewell by their equally valiant families and then welcomed home again to our great State approximately one year later. The community support our soldiers and their families receive is extraordinary. Every person that has ever attended a send-off or welcome home ceremony is deeply impacted by what he or she experiences. Recently, I attended the welcome home ceremony for the members of the Nebraska Army National Guard’s 1195th Transportation Company as they completed a year-long mission in Iraq. The reception these soldiers received from Kearney and the surrounding area was incredible. Thousands of Nebraskans lined the streets of Kearney, many holding signs and flags, to show their support and appreciation for what these Nebraska National Guard soldiers and their families had accomplished on our behalf. As the war has gone on, our commitments to our National Guard soldiers and airmen, their families and their employers have evolved. Today, we provide a wide variety of services to our soldiers and airmen, their families and employers designed to assist them before, during and after their deployments. These include peer-to-peer counseling sessions, Yellow Ribbon Program workshops designed to prepare families for the stresses they will undergo during long separations, Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve activities, marriage enrichment seminars, and youth programs, to name just a few. During Memorial Day weekend, I ask you to honor our fallen heroes and to keep the members of the Nebraska National Guard, their families and their employers in our thoughts and prayers. They are exceptional Nebraskans and great Americans.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Senator's Column

Weekly Column May 17, 2010 Nebraska Sets the Standard for Smart Government A longstanding debate in our country is the role government should play in the lives of our families, communities, and businesses. While some favor an activist government, others favor a smaller, less intrusive role for our government - sensible, responsible policies that lead to job creation, allow businesses to flourish, and enable families to raise their children in a thriving economic environment. For proof of this, one must look no further than our own great state of Nebraska, where our cities and counties have recently received accolades that pay tribute to smart, accountable governance. Forbes annually determines the "Top Ten Most Livable Cities," using five factors: unemployment rates; crime rates; average income growth; cost of living; and artistic and cultural opportunities. Omaha and Lincoln rank as the sixth and ninth "most livable" cities in the country, respectively. Specifically, Forbes ranks Lincoln first in the nation and Omaha fifth in terms of low unemployment. In the wake of the financial meltdown and subsequent national spike in unemployment, the citizens of Lincoln and Omaha are, relatively speaking, flourishing. Forbes additionally compiled a second list, the top ten "Places for Business and Careers." Again, Lincoln (fifth) and Omaha (seventh) made the list. In fact, Nebraska is the only state in the nation to have two cities on both lists; Omaha and Lincoln are two of the three cities to make both lists (Provo, Utah is the third). Factors for these rankings include job and economic growth; education; the cost of doing business; and the rate at which businesses and workers migrate to the city. With Lincoln's renowned low cost of business and Omaha's five Fortune 500 companies, this should come as no surprise. Nebraska's success is certainly not limited to just Omaha and Lincoln. In March, The Associated Press released its annual rankings of the most and least economically stressed counties in America. Nebraska contributes zero counties to the "most stressed" list and three - Buffalo (seventh); Platte (twelfth); and Madison (nineteenth) - rank among the least stressed. These counties include the cities of Columbus, Kearney, and Norfolk, as well as many thriving rural communities. They embody the spirit of "the Good Life," the strength and work ethic of those all across Nebraska. Nebraska's balanced presence across all of these lists is no coincidence, not in a state that balances its budget year in and year out, and takes such great strides to boost businesses, both large and small. We spend within our means and rely upon our citizens to create jobs and foster economic growth. Amid the torrent of financial woes from California to New York, and across the ocean to Greece, Nebraska's pragmatic and responsible approach to government is a breath of fresh air. Nebraska's fiscal responsibility stands in stark contrast to the runaway spending in Washington. Nebraskans have every right to be proud of their state; we truly set the standard for our country. I am hopeful that more politicians in Washington will begin to realize that we need more of this type of Midwestern sensibility to rein in our out of control spending and ballooning national debt.

Congressman's Column

Health Care's Cost to Business Adrian Smith Small businesses are - quite literally - the lifeblood of our economy. They represent 99 percent of American businesses and employ millions of workers. Our economy's recovery depends a great deal on healthy small businesses and a friendly fiscal climate. Unfortunately, a storm is brewing for our nation's small businesses. After nearly a year of political wrangling - and despite bipartisan opposition - Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the largest government takeover of health care in our nation's history. This bill is already having a major impact on nearly every industry throughout our economy as businesses react to the uncertainty created by the law. I want to make sure small business owners have the information they need on what the new health care law means for them. Here are some effects of the health care law as it pertains to small businesses (further information is available on my website at •No later than 2014, states must establish Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOPs), which will enable small businesses to pool their resources to buy insurance; •Until SHOPs are established, businesses with 10 or fewer full-time employees with average wages of less than $25,000 will be eligible for a 35 percent tax credit toward employer provided health insurance. Firms with up to 25 workers earning an average up to $50,000 a year will receive a portion of the credit, while businesses with more than 25 workers will receive no credit; •Those tax credits will remain steady, covering up to 50 percent of costs for the first two years any company buys insurance via state exchanges; •Beginning in 2014, firms with 50 or more employees must offer health care to employees or pay penalties of up to $2,000 per employee for all but the first 30 workers if just one employee claims federal assistance in buying health insurance. Yes, this in confusing. Worse, though, the tax credits will actually do little to help small businesses. Employers with more employees or with higher average wages will not be eligible for any credit. The self-employed, which comprise more than two-thirds of small businesses, are also ineligible. In other words, growing your business comes with penalties. In addition the credits are only available for six years, further complicating long-term budgeting efforts for small businesses striving to provide health insurance to their employees. Some of the nation's largest employers such as AT&T, Verizon, Deere, and Caterpillar are already seeing impacts on their bottom line. These companies currently offer health benefits to more than 2.3 million employees, retirees, and dependents. Caterpillar, which has been forced to reduce its projected earnings by $100 million, would cut its health care expenses by more than 70 percent if it chose to pay the penalty levied by the law rather than provide health insurance. Additionally, just last month the Obama Administration's own Medicare actuaries warned 16 million Americans could lose employer-provided health insurance and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates 9 million Americans will lose employer-provided health insurance because of the new law. This concern is precisely what makes the legislation a government takeover, as penalties encourage employers to force employees into government-run insurance. While I support ensuring Americans have access to quality and affordable health insurance, it is important we uphold what works in our health care system. Nebraskans deserve a common sense, step-by-step approach to reform which lowers costs for families and small businesses and increases access to affordable, high-quality care. Instead of a government takeover which increases taxes and spending, Congress should work together in a fiscally disciplined, bipartisan manner to ensure fair competition in the insurance market, update provider payments, remove barriers to access for individuals with preexisting conditions, and seek cost savings through malpractice reform. We need to take an honest look at how much this legislation is going to cost American taxpayers. Small businesses - not the federal government - are the engine of job creation. The uncertainty created by this bill - coupled with the massive tax increases and spending levels - could very well ham-string our economy just as it begins it recovery.


Duane A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County May 22, 2010 Edition What a difference one week can make when it comes to wheat and wheat diseases. I had a feeling we would start seeing some problems and have been encouraging producers with wheat to periodically check their wheat and in particular the flag leaves as that is what we need to protect. We have been finding tan spot, septoria, and some leaf rust all along, but not to the degree that was of major concern to me other than in very isolated situations. I have actually early on talked more to producers about the yellow color and stunting of wheat, which seems to be more environmental, rather than diseases. Now the environment is dealing wheat another problem. Let’s see what that may be. Wheat Stripe Rust: Cool, wet weather has always given concern towards, in my opinion, one of the nastiest wheat fungus problems and right now it looks like this disease has hit us. That disease is Wheat Stripe Rust. Stripe rust, caused by the pathogen P. striiformis, normally occurs in Nebraska during cool periods in early June. That is what is surprising to me, as I did not really expect to see it in the middle of May. I believe I remember a rash of it in 2001- 2003. During these years, cool, wet weather in Texas during April and early May resulted in the extensive development of stripe rust inoculums that blew north and affected production throughout Nebraska, even though we were in the beginning of a long drought. This disease is also called yellow stripe rust. That is mostly because the pustules are light yellow and occur on leaves in distinct, straight-sided stripes about 1/16 inch wide and of irregular length. Pustules also may develop on the heads, which of course compounds the problem with this disease. Stripe rust develops at slightly cooler temperatures (55-75°F) than does leaf or stem rust. The good news is that once temperatures exceed 75°F, stripe rust develops very slowly and in fact during years when June temperatures are in the high 80s and 90s, only trace levels of stripe rust can be found. Unfortunately June is still a ways off, and of course we live in Nebraska, so you can always expect the unexpected when it comes to crops, and it always seems to start in Webster County, although this time Nuckolls may get the credit (a field just outside of Webster)! This past week UNL Extension plant pathologist, Dr. Stephen Wegulo, and I looked at some fields in the Lawrence and Guide Rock areas and along the eastern half of Webster County. As you might suspect, we found stuff that I really didn’t want to see. The producers we visited with, of course, didn’t want to see it either! It didn’t take long to find this disease in some fields and in fact one field was about 100% infected, while we found other fields that were clean, and others with percentages of infection of varying degrees. I had earlier looked at some fields across the south central Nebraska area and found some solid evidence of concerns so made a call to Dr. Wegulo. I have since found more fields with Stripe Rust in the western half of Webster County from Bladen south to the Kansas border, while others seem clean or with minute pressure. This cool wet weather we have been having has caused stripe rust to be widespread in wheat in south central and southeast Nebraska. During the survey of fields in south central Nebraska on May 18 with Dr. Wegulo, we found stripe rust ranging from low to covering more than 70 percent of the plant. What is perplexing is that symptoms are ranging from no visible symptoms to isolated spots showing yellow leaves to large affected areas. In one field, there was a sharp contrast between a susceptible variety and one planted next to it that appeared to have some resistance. In talking to Dr. Wegulo, wheat stripe rust has the potential to cause 100 percent loss of a wheat crop. The prolonged cool, wet weather has favored and continues to favor development and spread of stripe rust. He says that if you see stripe rust in your field, you need to apply a fungicide to protect the flag leaf. Even if the variety you planted is known to be resistant, it may still be affected by damaging levels of stripe rust because of the possibility that the stripe rust we are seeing may consist of a new race or races. Wegulo suggests that if wheat is headed and or is beginning to flower, you should apply a fungicide that has good to excellent efficacy against both stripe rust and Fusarium head blight, or scab. Please note however, a fungicide application will not be effective if stripe rust has already progressed to severe levels. The optimum timing for a fungicide application is when the disease is just beginning with trace levels of severity or before disease symptoms are observed. If disease severity is low to moderate and the top three leaves are still green, some yield loss will be prevented by a fungicide application. He goes on to say that yield loss also will be prevented by a fungicide application only if small areas of a field are affected by severe stripe rust. In this case, the fungicide will protect the wheat crop that is not yet affected within the field. There are several fungicides that work well at this juncture, but the one most often suggested is a product called “Prosaro”. The product you may choose to use will mostly depend on how close your wheat is to flowering. If it is headed and will be flowering soon, producers may want to wait until it begins flowering and use Prosaro, Caramba or perhaps Proline/Folicure mix that provides prevention for head scab in addition to killing wheat stripe rust and other fungal diseases on your leaves. If you feel that you have a few more days before flowering, you may want to consider other fungicides. Dr. Wegulo has several items in the CropWatch web site, and there are other discussions that will be of aid to wheat producers at I also have a lot of good material in my office with pictures, explanations, etc. Just give us a call and we will get it out to you. Whatever you do, check your wheat – and not from the pickup window! The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Open House

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blue Hill Girls State Track & Field results

Sara Alber, Blue Hill High School junior placed 6th in the shot put at the State Track & Field meet with a throw of 38 feet 6 inches. At district C8 On May 13th Sara was first with a throw of 38 feet 6 inches. First place at the State tournament went to St. Cecelia Sophomore Kaityln Ernst with 40 feet even. The state record in the event was set in 2005 by Jenny Svoboda of Howells at 49 feet five inches. Sara was ranked number 10 in the state by the Sara is the daughter of David and Tammy Alber. Blue Hill Sophomore Elizabeth Schwab participated in the discus but did not place in the top ten with her throw of 67 feet even. To qualify for state Elizabeth was first in the district C8 with a throw of onehundred eleven feet and 8 inches. First place at state wtih 126 feet 1 inch went to Danyell Coons a Junior from Elm Creek. The state record for the Discus was set in 2002 by Melanie Uher of Wilber Clatonia at 185 feet 4 inches. Elizabeth is the daughter of John and Pam Schwab.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


"The struggle to break out of the cocoon develops the butterfly so it can fly. Without that adversity, the butterfly would never have the strength to achieve its destiny. It would never develop the strength to become something extraordinary."

Friday, May 21, 2010


"A little nonsence, now and then, is relished by the wisest of men." Willy Wonka

Sunday, May 16, 2010


"Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote." George Jean Nathan

Ann Schunk 95th Birthday

Former Blue Hill resident Ann Schunk will be celebrating her 95th birthday Friday May 23rd. Her address is Ann Schunk, 24140 West 55th street, Shawnee, Kansas, 66226. Ann was the proprietor of Schunk's Hardware store and lived in a home on Nemaha Street in Blue Hill for many years. She has many friends in Blue Hill and the surrounding area as well as family.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Webster County Sheep & Goat Weigh-in May 21

Webster County will be conducting a tag/weigh-in day for all 4-H and FFA sheep and goats that will be shown at county fair, State Fair, or Ak-Sar-Ben. The weigh-in will be held at the Webster County Fairgrounds in Bladen on Friday, May 21 from 3:00-7:00 pm. Tags and affidavit forms are available at the UNL Extension Office in Red Cloud if an exhibitor wants to have it done before weigh-in. Webster County will once again have a sheep and goat “Rate of Gain Contest” much like the beef, but in order to compete, you must weigh in market lambs or goats at the Webster County sheep and goat weigh-in. One of the main reasons that we are doing this however, is that there is a required mandate for any lambs or goats going to State Fair or Ak-Sar-Ben which is stated as follows: “All sheep and goats have to be checked in, weighed and tagged at a designated place and time this spring if there is a chance they will be going on to State Fair and/or Ak-Sar-Ben and all Ak-Sar-Ben bound market lambs and goats have to be DNA Sampled!” Another reason for the weigh-in is that any market lamb or goat that may end up at the Nebraska State 4-H Fair and/or Ak-Sar-Ben will also have to be DNA typed. So we will be pulling samples on those lambs or goats that may be identified for either one of these shows, and a common site makes this process a lot more proficient. There will be a cost for this for each lamb or goat that will be passed on to the exhibitor ($6 per DNA test) and is payable to the Webster County Extension at collection time. If exhibitors cannot bring their lambs or goats to the fairgrounds and are not interested in the market lamb ROG contest they must still check in your sheep, but it will be at the Webster County Courthouse by appointment. It has to be done prior to the June 15 due date, which is set for all livestock identification sheets. Exhibitors are reminded that any ewe and/or intact ram of the ovine species (sheep) and any doe or intact buck of the caprine species (meat goat) must have a “scrapies” tag in it’s ear and be identified with this unique tag number in addition to the 4-H tag on the 4-H/FFA entry form. If an exhibitor hasn’t found that special lamb or goat for either county fair, State Fair or Ak-Sar-Ben, you still have some time. Most sheep producers that have lambs that will be ready for county fair have weaned their lambs for quite some time now. We have approximately 53 days from the May 21 weigh-in until the Webster County Fair. Most show lambs on a good quality ration and on full feed can gain between 0.75 and 1.0 pounds per day. However, in most cases, this gain will probably be too high, leading to over finished lambs. So realistically then, if you figure 1/2 -3/4 lbs a day and assuming that a good lamb will gain on the average about 4 pounds a week you need to put on about 30 pounds. If you want a 120-140 # lamb at fair, then a lamb weighing between 85-100 lbs at weigh-in is what you will be looking for. If you are searching for a State Fair lamb or goat then you have about 105 days, or 125 days for Ak-Sar-Ben, so you would need to adjust accordingly. If you are looking at a meat goat project, you may want to look at a goal of about 90-120 lbs at county fair depending on breed and frame. Boer cross goat kids usually reach a weight of 75 to 90 pounds at about 5 months of age. A weight gain of 1/3 – 1/2 pounds a day (or more) in crossbred kids is not considered unusual. Goats usually gain 2.5 to 3.5 lbs. per week, depending on the genetics, nutrition, etc. Using an average of .40 lbs per day or about 3 pounds per week, you would probably put on about 25 pounds. So you will need to have a goat weigh about 70-85 pounds at weigh-in for county fair, and adjust accordingly if you are intending to go to State Fair or Ak-Sar-Ben.

South Central Livestock Judging Clinic & Contest

Webster County Fairgrounds – Bladen, NE The South Central Livestock Judging Clinic and Contest is scheduled for Friday - May 28, 2010 at the Webster County Fairgrounds in Bladen, NE. This event is designed for area youth to improve their basic livestock evaluation/selection skills and provide a good foundation for all youth interested in livestock. It will be conducted by Dr. Matt Ellicott, UNL Livestock Judging Team Coach and area UNL Extension Staff. Classes will include market and breeding beef, sheep and swine and will include a market class of meat goats. The clinic and contest will be open to all youth, ages 8 -18, as well as adults. Parents, leaders and advisors are encouraged to attend. Age divisions are as follows: Adult-19 years & older; Senior -12-18 Years; Junior-11 years & under. Teams will consist of 3 or 4 members in the same age division. They can be from the same club, chapter and/or county. Trophies will be presented to the Top overall individual in each youth division. Rosettes will be present to top teams in each division. Ribbons will be awarded to all participants. Cost is $5/person or $15/team. Concessions will be available at the fairgrounds. The clinic starts with registration from 9:00-9:30 am with the clinic starting at 9:30 and going till 11:00 am. The judging contest will run from 11-12:30, followed by lunch. Reasons will be taken from 1-2:30 pm followed by the official placing and discussion of classes from 2:30-3:45 pm followed directly with results and awards. The clinic and judging contest is cooperative sponsored by UNL Extension in Webster, Harlan, Thayer, Nuckolls, Adams & Clay Counties; UNL Livestock Judging Team; Harlan County Cattlemen; South Central Nebraska Cattlemen; and D. M. Schluntz Corp. For more information, contact: Tony Anderson @ Harlan County UNL Extension, 308-928-2119; Crystal Fangmeier @ Nuckolls/Thayer UNL Extension, 402-768-7212; or Dewey Lienemann @ Webster County UNL Extension, 402-746-3417.

Webster County Horse Show in Bladen June 12

The Webster County Horse Show will be held on June 12th at the Webster County Fairgrounds in Bladen. This is an annual show put on by the Webster County Wranglers and other volunteers. It is open to 4-H and FFA members from all counties as well as adult exhibitors. There is a nominal fee for competition that is outlined on the show flyer. There are ribbons and $1000 worth of prizes for the winners, with prizes for first place through third place and ribbons up to sixth place. There will also be high point competition in all age divisions. There are classes for 11 and under through 19 and above. Exhibitors should take notice that normal 4-H rules, with the exception of the official dress code, will be in place. Dress code will be appropriate for the class. Chaps will be allowed. Other points of interest include: Classes may be combined; Lead line and walk-trot do not count towards high point competition. Please note that all entries will close two classes ahead of the particular event. Exhibition will be run after event completion. There will be lunch served and available on the fairgrounds. Official Classes Judge will be Dave Birt and the Trail Judge will be Kim Post. For flyers or further information on the show please contact Sylvia Fink @ (402) 756-3404; Linda Grummert @ (402)-257-2985; or the Webster County Extension Office @ (402) 746-3417. You can also find the flyer at the Webster County UNL Extension website at: or contact Dewey Lienemann at

USDA Helps Retiring Farmers Transition their Land to Beginning Farmers in New Farm Bill Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 14, 2010 - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced the Transition Incentives Program (TIP) - a new program under the Conservation Title of the 2008 Farm Bill - to encourage retired or retiring owners or operators to transition their land to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. “Ensuring that our nation’s land is returned to production using sustainable methods is critical not only for our future food supply, but also for the economic future of our rural communities,” said Merrigan. “Access to land is one of the greatest challenges faced by new farmers. The Transition Incentives Program is one more tool in the USDA toolkit to protect family farms and support beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers.” Producers who want to apply for the TIP can start signing up on Monday, May 17, 2010. If all program requirements are met, TIP provides annual rental payments to the retiring farmer for up to two additional years after the date of the expiration of the CRP contract, provided the transition is not to a family member. To learn more about program, producers interested in applying and participating in TIP should visit their USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office or To be eligible, TIP requires that the retired or retiring farmer or rancher: •Have land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that is in the last year of the contract. •Agree to allow the beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher make conservation and land improvements. •Agree to sell, or have a contract to sell, or agree to long-term lease (a minimum of 5 years) the land under CRP contract to a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher by Oct. 1 of the year the CRP contract expires. Supporting local economies and providing opportunities for beginning or socially disadvantaged Americans with a desire to farm or ranch is one of the many ways the Obama Administration and USDA are working to rebuild and revitalize rural America USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).


Duane A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County May 15, 2010 Edition I have to tell you, I really like this kind of weather. You can’t beat this environment for sleeping and working comfortably on lawn, garden or even (drum roll please) spring cleaning. Unfortunately our crops probably do not like this same comfortable weather. I addressed the yellow wheat last week and suggested that it was highly probable that the lack of growing degree days (warm weather and photosynthesis) was likely the cause along with perhaps some problems with nutrient uptake and perhaps some nitrogen abnormalities. Now we are seeing more of the same in our other crops. More Yellow: That should not be too big of a surprise to us however, considering that the same environment that is affecting our wheat, will of course affect other crops as well. The difference has been that corn and soybeans have for the most part just emerged. Yes, some of the seed has been in the ground a long time. Can you blame those developing plants for staying under cover? The rain this past week ended up being a Godsend. It is no secret that many of our planted acres were crusted over, and I might add about as thick of a crust as I have seen in many years. Corn and beans were having trouble breaking through and there weren’t many options to break that crust. The rain was exactly what the crop doctor ordered. I know that a lot of embryonic plants and farmers were all breathing a sigh of relief. Now we have some funky things going on in those fields. I have seen varying heights of corn plants in the same row from just emerged and yellow to 4 inches tall and perhaps a pale green. The good news is, that a lot of producers who were worrying about replanting, probably won’t have to now. The bad news is that right now some of the fields look a little rough, but I can assure you that with some warm weather and open skies you will see dramatic changes and an evening up of the plants. What amazes me is that the soil temperatures are still pretty cool, but germination seems to not be hindered too badly. When corn and bean plants stay that long in the soil and go through some stress, I always am a little concerned about susceptibility to some insects like grubs, cutworms and wireworms as well as some diseases. Farmers may want to check their fields periodically for these pests and make decisions accordingly. Bird Cherry Oat Aphids: While we are in pests, you may want to check your wheat for small dark colored aphids. These critters are called Bird Cherry Oat Aphids and the bad part is that they carry a virus called Barley Yellow Dwarf which shows up as stunted wheat with yellow, reddish and even purplish leaves. It is usually found in fields that are adjacent to areas with volunteer wheat. A producer from over by Guide Rock brought in a specimen this past week that showed the classic symptoms. I have not seen too much of it this year, but it would not surprise me to see it several areas throughout South Central Nebraska. If your wheat has it, there isn’t much you can do as it is too late and a fungicide or any other treatment other than good growing conditions won’t help. Save your money on that one. The conditions are such that you can expect to see some diseases in wheat and other crops. It doesn’t hurt to be proactive and keep an eye out, especially right now with wheat, with the flag leaf waving and newly emerging heads. Crabgrass and Grub Control in Lawns: One thing about cooler soil temps is that our window of opportunity for putting on crabgrass control on our lawns has expanded. If you have a lawn that is prone to crabgrass infestation it probably isn’t too late to still put on a preventative, pre-emergent herbicide. It also helps to maintain a dense, healthy turf and mow at 3-3.5”, letting grass compete with crabgrass. How about those grubs that are showing up in the lawns right now? The best advice here is to simply ignore white grubs found now. However, if you need to take out some aggression, and feel a little better, two bricks hit together works pretty good. You do need to however control the next generation. The best means are by using preventive insecticides like “Merit”, or “Mach 2” which are best applied between mid June and early July. If you want to get at them right away or you don’t want to wait that long, you can use products like Scotts “GrubEx” which contains the insecticide “Acelepryn”, which can be applied as early as late May or early June. Ugly Red Bumps on Maple Leaves: I have had several samples of maple leaves brought in to the office that really are creepy looking. While ugly, this anomaly on the leaves wouldn’t in reality hurt much other than your pride or the aesthetic value of the tree. These bright red bumpy growths on the top of maple leaves are the result of Maple Bladder Gall Mites. Most likely you had adult mites overwinter beneath the bark and bud scales on the trees. As the tree started to leaf-out they moved to the newly developing leaves and started feeding. The pouch-like galls (bladders) develop in response to this feeding activity. At first, the galls are green but gradually turn red and then black. Adults deposit eggs in the galls as they feed. Ultimately, the adults and their offspring will leave the gall in search of newly forming leaves and continue the cycle. Mite activities drop off as summer heat arrives. I have more information on this insect in my office if you are interested. Cedar/Apple Rust: Another creepy looking thing is the orange colored appendages hanging on cedar trees. This is Cedar/Apple Rust and is more damaging to apple trees than to the cedars. There is a relationship between cedars and apple family trees causing it. I have more info on this disease in my office if you would like to learn more. You can also go to for lawn, garden and tree questions and tips. The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Review the Status of DNA Technology in Beef Cattle at MARC June 7

May 14, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The use of DNA technology in beef cattle will be addressed at a June 7 conference at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center. Officially entitled “DNA Technology in Beef Cattle: Where We've Been, Where We Are, and Where We're Headed” the meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. with lunch and end at 5:30 p.m. There will be a minimal registration fee to help cover handouts, lunch and snacks. Attendees will learn about recent advances in the application of DNA technology as it relates to making selection decisions in beef cattle. This will include how this information is used in combination with expected progeny differences in some breeds, the benefits of parentage testing, economic considerations of using this technology and issues in which scientists are exploring. Speakers at the meeting include Dr. Matt Spangler, UNL Extension beef genetics specialist; Alison Van Eenennaam, animal genomics and biotechnology extension specialist at the University of California-Davis; Sally Northcutt, genetic research director at AGI, Bob Weaber, extension beef genetics specialist at the University of Missouri; Larry Keuhn, research scientist at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, and Steve Kachman, professor, statistics, UNL. A talk on beef parentage will be given by Connee Quinn of Quinn Cow Company near Pine Ridge, SD. There will also be a producer panel which will be comprised of Dick Helms from NE and Dave Nichols from IA. All cattle producers, educators and affiliated industry personnel who have a vested interest in the genetic improvement of cattle are encouraged to attend. To obtain a flyer/agenda for the program, pre-register or obtain more information, please contact the Webster County UNL Extension office in Red Cloud at 402-746-3417 or email You may also contact Dr. Spangler directly at 402-472-6489 or email him at

Justin Allen Kumke, 29

Kearney resident Justin Allen Kumke, 29, died Thursday, May 13, 2010, at Mother Hull Home in Kearney. Services are 1 p.m. Tuesday at Westminster United Presbyterian Church in Campbell with Pastor C.L. Wimer officiating. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery in Smith County, Kan. Visitation is 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and 9-11 a.m. Tuesday at Campbell Funeral Home in Campbell and one hour prior to services at the church. Memorials may be given to Westminster United Presbyterian Church or the Campbell Volunteer Fire Department. *** Justin was born on Aug. 10, 1980, to Allen D. and Carol A.(Leadabrand) Kumke at Minden, Neb. He graduated from Blue Hill High School in 1998. He then attended Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Neb., graduating in May 2000. He had worked for Monsanto in Kearney since 2001. He married Misti L. Harlan on October 25, 2008, at Minden, Neb. He was a member of Westminster United Presbyterian Church, Campbell, Neb. He is survived by his wife, Misti of Kearney, Neb.; parents, Allen and Carol Kumke of Campbell, Neb.; one sister, Jessica Kumke of Laramie, Wyo.; one brother, James and his friend Jen Hickey of Elm Creek, Neb.; maternal grandmother, Betty Banks and her husband Bob of Campbell, Neb.; paternal grandmother, Mabel Kumke of Minden, Neb. He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Raymond Leadabrand and Delton Kumke; and one uncle, Roger Leadabrand.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Blue Hill Fire and Rescue Answer Call

(May 9 2010) Blue Hill Fire and Rescue was called to the scene of a one vehicle accident south of Blue Hill on the graveled Bladen Road just by of the first corner this afternoon. About 3 p.m. several fire men and four EMT's responded to answer the call to find black SUV and the two accident victims. the vehicle had rolled but was on it's wheels when rescuers arrived. One victim was under the vehicle, but was able to get himself out with minimal assistance. He appeared to have several wounds. Another victim was already walking around when firemen arrived. Several members of law enforcement were also on scene. Both were taken by ambulance to Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings. Names of the victims were not available.


Duane A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County May 8, 2010 Edition As I sit down to write this column it is the beginning of Mother’s Day Weekend, which for many schools in the area also marks high school graduation. I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to wish all of the moms out there a very happy Mother’s Day and to remind everybody how important that our mothers are in our lives and our society. To our area graduates – Congratulations and good luck as you start your first steps towards your chosen career paths. I think back to all of the graduations that I have attended and can remember all kinds of weather that we have experienced including the beautiful day following a morning freeze on May 8. That is the sedge way into this week’s column – the weather. Frost on the Pumpkin? Well, that term is mostly used for the first frost in fall but you heard those words in coffee shops Saturday morning after we woke up from a chilly night, to frost on the windshields and even ice in the dog’s water bowl. Did anyone forget to dump out their rain gauge? I have already fielded quite a few questions about the effect on newly emerged corn and beans and particularly on alfalfa. The quick answer is – “I don’t think it got cold enough, long enough to do much damage”. That being said however, there could be some tissue damage to cold sensitive crops like newly emerged soybeans and even alfalfa that was located in low land areas (especially in early bloom), but I doubt enough to do major damage, and corn should have avoided any damage, since the growing point should still be below the surface. I am actually more worried about the effect that “crusting” may have on the corn and beans that are trying to emerge. How about the wheat? Wheat in South Central Nebraska is in several stages of development depending upon where it is located and how early it was planted. Just like every other year, the wheat in the southern third of the southern tier of counties along the Kansas border is further along with flag leaf showing and even some wheat in the boot stage while further north we are seeing flag leaves, but are a bit behind with boot. I know that we lost some wheat in southeast Webster County and southwest Nuckolls County to hail and wind. I feel bad about that happening, but I guess it shows us that we don’t have any control on that phase of our production cycle. Since the wheat does look pretty good this year, people are worried that the frost could affect their wheat. I always refer to an old rule of thumb for wheat. – It has to be 24 degrees for 2 hours for wheat in the jointing stage to be lethal and 28 degrees for 2 hours if it is in the boot stage. Once again, I don’t believe that we experienced this in our part of the country. Producers should know by the time they read this in the paper! Yellow wheat: I believe that the higher degree of moisture, cool soil and air, and lack of optimum growing conditions have caused an environmental problem for our crops. I know a lot of you have looked at the wheat this past week and have noticed the wheat fields with yellow areas. My gut feeling is that we are seeing the results of environmental stress. I would say that about 50% or more of our wheat fields have yellow or at the very least light green patches across the fields. It seems to me that a lot of those spots were on side-hills. I know that several producers were concerned that these spots were disease, but in reality it is more environmental. Most is a simple lack of nitrogen or at the very least tied up nutrients, including nitrogen. I know that most people put on what they thought was adequate N, but others assumed that wheat on soybeans didn’t need much nitrogen. Still others have told me that they put on more N this year than usual. Let’s assume that it is a lack of N causing the anomaly. Lack of N symptoms are primarily caused by three things: under-application of N fertilizer needs; leaching of nitrate after heavy rain or above average rainfall or perhaps runoff from heavy snows; or loss of N as a gas after water ponding (sound familiar?) or in compacted soil sites. It may also be because we just haven’t had the growing degree days and warm sunlight needed for photosynthesis and thus the stress expression. I think in most cases, let Mother Nature work. Good growing conditions, warmth and sunlight are the best medicine. Disease in Wheat? I think we are starting to find some signs of disease in our wheat. I have found some powdery mildew on lower leaves, but primarily in irrigated wheat fields. In those cases, it is recommended that you consider spraying your fields with a fungicide at flag stage if the mildew persists. Speaking of flags, the bulk of the wheat fields I have looked at are actually in early flag stage. We are going to see flags waving proudly across our wheat fields this coming week. That means that boot stage is very close, in fact I have found some heads migrating up the stems in the southern portions of our region. It won’t be long! We are starting to see Tan Spot, Septoria Leaf Blotch, and Leaf Rust and some Stripe Rust has been reported. With the high degree of dew in the mornings and if we eventually see some warmth, conditions will be ripe for fungal disease. Take a moment and walk through your fields, kneel down and take a look at the lower leaves, grab a flag leaf and hold it up to the sun. You may be surprised at what you see or hopefully don’t see. If you are not quite sure of what you are looking for, please feel free to give me a call or stop in. I put together a pictorial guide that may be of some help. You may also want to consult for weekly reports and information on wheat and other crops. The thing to remember is that the flag leaf is responsible for 75% of your potential yield, so that is what we have to check and protect. Here’s hoping that your flag leaves are bright, green and clear. Last but not least….. Check your Alfalfa: The alfalfa looks great, but you may want to do a sweep, I am getting reports of weevil and pea aphids working in alfalfa fields, especially in the southern parts of Nuckolls, Webster and Franklin Counties. Oh, why not? The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Letter to the Editor

I would like to take this opportunity to share my thoughts on Sheriff Troy Schmitz quest for election. Since becoming Webster County Sheriff, Troy has displayed a tireless commitment to the duties of his office and the citizens of Webster County. I have witnessed Sheriff Schmitz's consistent and progressive efforts to update the department. A task which, in my opinion, he has made great strides. His personality is pervaded by his high ideals and standards and a sense of fairness to those he serves. He has maintained great visibility and involvement throughout the county. Sheriff Schmitz has never wavered from his persistent willingness to duty and his dedication to service. I would like to thank all those who are called to public office, and encourage all registered voters to cast their ballots on May 11th. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sheriff Troy Schmitz for his dedication and professionalism. Respectfully, Dayre M Williams Red Cloud, Nebraska


Dear Friends, I am writing this letter to you in support of Mr. Clyde Beckman, a republican candidate for Webster Co. Sheriff. While I served as your Sheriff, Clyde served under my supervision as Deputy Sheriff. Over the years I had the oppertunity to employ several people as deputies. Some were good and some were, should we say, not so good. Clyde was one of those that stood out. He had a desire to work and work he did. The deputy's position was not just a job to Clyde, he was dedicated to law enforcement. If I had work that needed to be done or needed additional help with an investigation I always knew out of all the deputies in the department I could count on Clyde. It did not make any difference to him if his shift ended at 2 a.m. if he needed to be out there until 6:00 a.m. to get the job done he was there. Many times I came to work in the morning to find Clyde still working on a case. Like myself Clyde had a distaste for drug dealers. He worked with me along with the state and Federal agencies to bring about the many Federal Indictments against meth manufacturers and distributors in Webster County. If you want a Sheriff for the next four years that will work as hard, or maybe harder, than I felt I did while I served as your Sheriff, I urge you to consider casting your vote for Clyde Beckman for the next Sheriff for Webster County on May 11, 2010. I know he can do a good job for you. No favoritism, no going home at 4:30 when the court house closes and no sitting in the coffee shops talking about you. I am sure he will be out working during the night as I was, he will be there when he is needed. Sincerely, Jim Disney, Retired Webster County Sheriff

Monday, May 3, 2010

Thoughts on Community Service

Orginally published on the NTV website April 3, 2008
A couple of years ago Oprah had a contest. People were invited to submit an essay and request Oprah's financial assistance for a worthwhile project that provided assistance to their fellowmen. At that time Jesse Alber wrote the following submission on behalf of the Hastings Kiwannis Club. I found it interesting, so I decided to post it here. SA
Oprah's Big Give Submission
We have all heard the worn out old chinese proverb " Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a life time."I have often wondered if I teach a man to fish, what else will he do, will he give others fish, will he teach others to fish or will he just be a fat and happy fish eater for the rest of his life. What if I taught a man not only to fish but to teach others to fish as well by teaching him to fish I may be able to change his life By teaching him to teach others to fish I may be able to touch a hundred lives. America's Greatest Generation, those born between 1910 and 1930, is slowing fading away, the Baby Boomers (1940 - 1960) are reaching retirement, and Generation Xers (1960-1980) are starting to take the leading roles. However, our society is being shaped today by the Millenials (1980-2000) more than any of these other generations. The amazing thing is, they just may be better than we ever dreamed of being. The Millenials represent a return to patriotism and community service that easily rivals that of the Greatest Generation. They are civic minded. They were taught to think in terms of the greater good. They have a high rate of volunteerism. They expect companies to contribute to their communities-and to operate in ways that create a sustainable environment. These kids, now age 8 - 28, are starving for the chance to serve their communities. So, we give them opportunities to sell cookies for cancer or to clean up local parks each spring. But aren't we really just giving them fish? Wouldn't we serve them better if we taught them to fish? What if we set up and supported long term programs to teach them to fish? To teach them how to serve their communities? Even to teach them how to teach other's to serve their communities? Hastings Kiwanis advocates this vision every day by providing opportunities to serve and learn service for every member of our community through Service Leadership Programs. Through these opportunities, youth and young adults become competent, capable, and compassionate leaders who are prepared to go fishing and to give fishing lessons. Kiwanis programs include K-Kids for elementry students, Builder's Clubs for junior high students, Key Club for high school students, Circle K for College students and Aktion Club for adults with disabilities. The goal of these programs is not just to give kids an opportunity to serve, but to create life long service providers who in turn will teach the next generation the value of service.Participation in these clubs has been outstanding. As I said, these kids are starving for the chance to serve their community. Their enthusiasm is so great that the teachers (Kiwanians) sometimes have trouble keeping up with the students. With the right support, I can only imagine how valuable the impact of these kids will be to our communities when they reach their full potential. On behalf of the Hastings Kiwanis Club, I respectfully request the support of NTV and Oprah's Big Give for the training of service leadership to our youth. Your support would enable us to provide more opportunites to experience the rewards of service and to learn from that experience. Your support would enable us to prepare more service leaders for the future and to ensure that the values of service were passed from generation to generation with each generation's capacity to think in terms of the greater good even more profound than the last. The name “Kiwanis” means “we trade” or “we share our talents.” It was coined from an American Indian expression, Nunc Kee-wanis. Please help us share our commitment to service for generations to come.