Friday, December 31, 2010

Open Forum

Open Forum is your chance to comment on 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.).Go ahead and sound off on anything. News, sports, weather, current events, government, social events. We are listening.A new Open Forum link may 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, pictures, story idea, or suggestions to improve this site can still be sent to Blue Hill Today by e-mailing us at

Blue Hill Boys defeat Cozad

In their first win of the season the Blue Hill Bobcats defeated Cozad 56 to 33 during the Sandy Creek Holiday Tournament. Wood River defeated Sandy Creek to take first place in the tournament. (37-32) Brock Kumke scored 11 points for Blue Hill, Trent Kohmetscher had 9 and Maverick Busboom added 8. Also adding points to the Blue Hill score was Justin Toepher with 4, Dereck Poe and Dakota Hoyt each had 7, Matt Thramer with 5, Kyle Manns and Trevor Kohmetscher each had 3.

Blue Hill girls win consolation

With a score of 42 to 33 the Blue Hill girls basketball team took the consolation game over Cozad in the second day of play in the Sandy Creek Holiday Tournament Thursday. First place in the tournament went to the host team, Sandy Creek with Wood River placing second. Sara Alber led the Blue Hill team in scoring with 12 points followed by Kaitlin Kumke with 10 points. Blue Hill now has a 4-4 record for the year. Others adding points to the score were Alissa Overy 7, Emily Harrifeld 5, April Faimon 4, Maci Coffey 1, and Kelsey Karr 3.

Hoppin John - Blue Hill Tradition

Some people in Blue Hill have made it their custom to go to the Blue Hill Tavern for a helping of Hoppin John on New Years day. The custom was introduced to Blue Hill many years ago by Ralph Baird and Emil Wagner and has been continued by others who have owned the Tavern ever since. I was told that if you ate hoppin Johns on new years day everything that happened to you during the year after that would be better. Nothing could be worse. I some how doubt that. "Eat poor that day, eat rich the rest of the year. Rice for riches and peas for peace.-" Southern saying on eating a dish of Hoppin' John on New Year's Day. Hoppin' John is found in most states of the South, but it is mainly associated with the Carolinas. Gullah or Low Country cuisine reflects the cooking of the Carolinas, especially the Sea islands (a cluster of islands stretching along the coats of south Carolina and northern Georgia). Black-eyed peas, also called cow peas, are thought to have been introduced to America by African slaves who worked the rice plantations. Hoppin' John is a rich bean dish made of black-eyed peas simmered with spicy sausages, ham hocks, or fat pork, rice, and tomato sauce. This African-American dish is traditionally a high point of New Year's Day, when a shiny dime is often buried among the black-eyed peas before serving. whoever get the coin in his or her portion is assured good luck throughout the year. For maximum good luck in the new year, the first thing that should be eaten on New year's Day is Hoppin' John. At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, many southern families toast each other with Champagne and a bowl of Hoppin' John. If it is served with collard greens you might, or might not, get rich during the coming year. There are many variations to traditional Hoppin' John. Some cook the peas and rice in one pot, while others insist on simmering them separately. Most food historians generally agree that "Hopping John" is an American dish with African/French/Caribbean roots. There are many tales or legends that explain how Hoppin' John got its name: It was the custom for children to gather in the dining room as the dish was brought forth and hop around the table before sitting down to eat. A man named John came "a-hoppin" when his wife took the dish from the stove. An obscure South Carolina custom was inviting a guest to eat by saying, "Hop in, John" The dish goes back at least as far as 1841, when, according to tradition, it was hawked in the streets of Charleston, South Carolina by a crippled black man who was know as Hoppin' John. Hoppin' John Recipe 2 cups dried black-eyed peas Cold water 1 pound lean slab bacon or 1 pound meaty ham hocks 1 large onion, chopped 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 4 cups water or chicken broth 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice Salt and black pepper to taste Before preparing dried beans, sort through them thoroughly for tiny pebbles or other debris. Soak, rinse, and drain dried black-eyed peas. Place black-eyed peas in a large soup pot over medium-high heat and cover with cold water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 to 2 hours. Drain and rinse beans. Using the same large soup pot, over medium-high heat, add soaked black-eyed peas, bacon or ham hock, onion, and red pepper. Add water or chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the peas are tender (do not boil as the beans will burst). Remove bacon or ham hock and cut into bite-size pieces. Return meat to pot. Stir in rice, cover, and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 8 servings.

The Weather

A Winter Weather Advisory was Issued by NWS in Hastings, Nebraska December 31 at 12:58AM CST this warning is expected to Expire December 31 at 6:00PM CST The Areas affected by this warnining are Adams; Buffalo; Clay; Fillmore; Franklin; Furnas; Hall; Hamilton; Harlan; Howard; Kearney; Merrick; Nance; Nuckolls; Phelps; Polk; Thayer; Webster; York

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sandy Creek 22 Blue Hill 21

In the first round of play at the Sandy Creek Holiday tournament Wednesday Sandy Creek came out ahead with a one point victory over the Bobcats. The Cougars jumped out ahead of the Bobcats in the first quarter by three points, and although the Bobcats closed that lead to only one point that was enough for the Cougar victory. Scoring for the Bobcats were Kyle Manns with 7 points, Brock Kumke with 6, Derek Poe, Justin Toepher and Dakota Hoyt with 2 each and Matt Thramer and Maverick Busboom each had 1 point.

Blue Hill defeated by Sandy Creek in Girls game

The Sandy Creek Holiday Tournament Wednesday found the Cougars in good form as they defeated the Blue Hill Bobcat ladies by a score of 58 to 26. Blue Hill was led in points by Jordyn Atwater who had 10 points. Earning the title of high point shooter for Sandy Creek was Mikaela Shaw who had 26 points. Others who scored for Blue Hill were Alissa Overy 2, Emily Harrifeld 4, Kaitlin Kumke 5, April Faimon 2, Sara Alber 1, and Kelsey Karr 2.

Stopgap Funding Stops Nebraska Jobs, Starts Season of Uncertainty

BySenator Ben Nelson This is the season of celebration when families and friends gather across our state for fellowship, to catch up and look forward to the promise of the coming year. Unfortunately, for quite a few Nebraskans the next few months and maybe longer will be a season of uncertainty. Constitution Tells Congress to Set Spending In school, we learn that the U.S. Constitution gives the power of the purse to Congress. That doesn’t always work out for the best and how Congress recently handled federal funding decisions is a prime example. Every year, Congress is supposed to pass bills spelling out how much and on what the government will spend in the coming fiscal year that begins October 1. This year, partisans in Washington stalled the spending bills. So, since October 1, Congress had approved short-term Continuing Resolutions that froze spending at current levels a few weeks at a time. “Continuing Uncertainty” Bill Passed Just before the holiday break, folks back in Washington had a choice: pass a catch-all spending bill allowing federal agencies and the states and localities that depend on Federal funds to operate effectively in 2011-- or kick the can down the road. Congress kicked the can by passing, over my objection, a three-month Continuing Resolution. They really should call it a Continuing Uncertainty bill, because that’s what it does. This stopgap bill will result in job loss and add pressure on local governments to raise taxes in Nebraska. At a time when a $134 million cut in state education funding is on the table, it is dismaying Congress cut funding for Head Start. At a time when the University of Nebraska faces a possible $50 million cut in funding, Congress killed money for the promising Innovation Campus in Lincoln. National Security Improvements in Limbo With security concerns arising around the world, it’s discouraging that Congress killed $11 million to upgrade entrance gates at Offutt Air Force Base near Bellevue, home to U.S. Strategic Command and our nation’s nuclear command and control. It killed another $14.7 million for Army National Guard Readiness centers in Lincoln and Mead. Also left uncertain is $10 million for the new STRATCOM, and $56 million to start modernizing Omaha’s aging VA hospital that serves tens of thousands of Nebraska and Iowa veterans. These were Administration budget priorities, but now it’s uncertain whether any work will be done in the coming year. Despite what you might have heard from talk show entertainers, the difference between the 2011 spending bill and 2010 spending is not large, about 1 percent. But the difference in the impact certainly is. By passing just a three-month continuing resolution, Washington only made things worse. Here’s one example: the omnibus package would have increased funding for research to fight cancer. Killing it slows down research in every state to the point one cancer advocacy group says that we could see fewer than 1 in 6 research projects funded, the lowest in decades. So, Washington bailed out on critical research and it bailed out on funding jobs for all sorts of work making Nebraska a better place to live in 2011. Instead, Washington sent Nebraskans a season of uncertainty. ###

Straight from the Horses Mouth

Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County December 30, 2010 Edition
Last week I took a look at the US Census and in the impact on agriculture, or in particular what the Census showed about agriculture? There was so much more that I wanted to share so I think I will kick off the New Year with a little more about what the 2010 Census showed as we enter 2011. I gave some generalities in last week’s article. Let’s look as some specifics this week. Last week the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the 2010 Census showed the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2010, was 308,745,538, a 9.7 percent increase over the 2000 population. That means there are approximately 87.4 Americans for every square mile of this great country. And, the Census Bureau estimates, there is a net gain of one person every 13 seconds. Of course we don’t see that here, but it is what it is. For comparison, America’s population in 1910 was 92 million, about 26 people per square mile. By 1960 there were 179 million of us, about 50 people per square mile. It is not a surprise that California remains our most populous state with 37 million people, but Texas saw the greatest increase in population over the past decade. Texas checked in with 25 million residents, an increase of about 4.3 million since the last census. You may have noticed that those two states are sparring right now over political areas as they increase their Congressional representation – one affect of the census. Unfortunately, the census data also revealed some alarming data for rural America. Specifically, the majority of the nation’s sparsely populated rural counties saw continued decline in residents over the last decade. The rural counties that did show population gains, such as the Mountain West, are most likely the result of an influx of retirees. With the weather we are now experiencing perhaps I should try to convince my wife that it would be good for us become “snowbirds” too. The census indicated that there are roughly 1,400 counties with fewer than 20,000 people in the United States and they are mostly concentrated from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountain region, these counties constitute half the United States by area. For you that are geographically challenged that is pretty much where we live - right in the middle of the West Central Region of America. Keep this area in mind as I continue my discussion of this topic. It is no secret that we are losing people from our rural counties. I know that I have seen a big decline since I first moved to Webster County in South Central Nebraska in 1973 as an ag teacher. Not only are there fewer farms, fewer families and thus fewer kids, but also there has been a big affect on small business. Jobs and opportunity, of course, are the primary reasons people are fleeing rural America. I think this will have far-reaching impact on all of us living in this area. There are probably some big changes in the future, some brought on by these demographics and of course some brought on by the economy and resulting budget cuts. I don’t think we will see the kind of rural America or more important to us - rural Nebraska that we once knew. That being said, let’s look at some things that are bad and good. On the “downer side”, according to data from the Census Bureau, fully two-thirds of America’s rural counties had poverty rates above the national average in 2009. The national average poverty rate for all of America was 14.4 percent. Nationally, 42.4 million people fell below the poverty line in 2009, and 8.3 million of them (about 20 percent) lived in rural counties. The “upper” side of this discussion is that if you look at the map put out by the Census Bureau it doesn’t look that bad for the very region I described above. If you have access to a computer and internet, there is some pretty good reading and a map showing the poverty counties in the US. Please go to . This site illustrates poverty levels across America. Thankfully, the region in which we live has many counties with below average poverty levels and are actually labeled as prosperous counties – those with fewer than 10 percent of the population below the poverty threshold. Now, why is that? There’s a wide swath of counties identified on the map from the northern Panhandle of Texas, through western Oklahoma, western Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, eastern South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Illinois. Now here is the theory that I subscribe to---- For the most part doesn’t that coincide with what we like to call cattle country? At least it includes the majority of the nation’s cow/calf operations, dairy, cattle feedlots and the majority of the nation’s beef packing industry. I am not alone in this view and my unscientific observation indicated that this map provides strong evidence of the beef industry’s significant contribution to the economic health of rural America. Beef is the state's single largest industry and the engine that powers our state's economy. The multiplied impact of the over $6.5 billion in cattle sales each year is $12-13 billion. This is likely to be even better in 2011-13. Cattle, or for that matter livestock-related employment, means income for businesses up and down Main Street in towns and cities across the state. In short, the beef and livestock industry has an unmistakable impact on other economies in Nebraska. This underscores the impact that livestock production has on virtually everyone in the state. We all need to understand that as agriculture goes, so goes Main Street. Not only should producers be advocates for agriculture and particularly animal agriculture, but all of us who live in Nebraska or for that matter the people who live in the very area that is a bright spot on the Census map for America’s economy. Here’s wishing all of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year! 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:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tena M. Krueger, 12-16-1913 to 12-29-2010

Tena M. Krueger, 97, died Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at the Webster County Community Hospital in Red Cloud. Funeral services are being planned for 2 P.M. Monday, January 3, 2010 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Hill with the Rev. James Witt officiating. Burial will be at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Blue Hill, Nebraska. Memorials may be given to Webster County Relay for Life or to the donor's choice. Visitation is 1-8 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. until noon Monday at Merten-Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill and one hour prior to services atTrinity Lutheran church. **** Tena M. Krueger was born December 16, 1913 to John O. and Anna K. (Hartman) Rose at Rosemont, Nebraska. She attended school through the eighth grade. She married Elmer Krueger on February 23, 1938, at Rosemont, Nebraska. They had six children. She and her husband farmed south of Blue Hill. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Hill, Nebraska. Tena Krueger is survived by one son, Larry and his wife Sonja of Blue Hill, Nebraska; two daughters Kathy Stewart and her husband, Larry, of Mankato, Kansas, and Judy Voboril and her husband, Ken, of Sutton, Nebraska; One sister-in-law, Lenora Knehans of Hastings, Nebraska. Tena was also grandmother of twenty, great grandmother to 45 and great-great grandmother to nine. Preceding her in death were her parents, husband, three daughters, Irene Hohlfeld, Patty Terry and Lois Dack; one grandson, David Dack, one grand daughter, Sheri Sue Voboril; and two great-grandchildren.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Quote of the Day

The six most important words: "I admit I made a mistake." The five most important words: "You did a good job." The four most important words: "What is your opinion." The three most important words: "If you please." The two most important words: "Thank you," The one most important word: "We" The least important word: "I" Author Unknown

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Blue Hill Couple Plead Guilty in County Court

Wilbur J. Cox and his wife Jessica M. Cox, of Blue Hill accepted plea deals Wednesday in Webster County District Court. They were each accused of abusing their 9 week old daughter They each pleaded no contest to attempted child abuse. The prosecutor reduced the charge from child abuse causing injury and dropped a charge of first-degree assault in exchange for Wilbur Cox's plea of no contest to attempted Child abuse. . For Jessica’s plea of no contest, prosecutors reduced her charge from child abuse causing injury to attempted child abuse. Webster County District Judge Stephen Illingworth ordered pre-sentencing investigations and scheduled the couple’s sentencings for Feb. 16, 2011, at 10 a.m. During a preliminary hearing on Feb. 26, a Webster County Sheriff’s deputy testified the couple’s 9-week-old daughter was brought to the emergency room at Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital on Jan. 28 because she was coughing up blood. The infant was then life-flighted to Omaha Children’s Hospital. A bulb syringe reportedly used by Wilbur Cox to remove phlegm had been put back into the baby’s mouth too far and caused a cut that was repaired by surgeons. During the examination doctors also found three nickel-size bruises on the baby’s back, seven broken ribs, a small skull fracture and bone fractures in the left lower leg. The wounds were in various stages of healing, indicating they had occurred at different times during the nine weeks of the childs life. The infant was taken into the custody of the Nebraska Department of Human Services. Attempted child abuse is a Class 4 felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Had the couple been found guilty of the child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, a class 3 felony, they could have received a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Wilbur J. Cox has two children by a previous marriage.

Nelson Statement on Holiday Season

December 23, 2010 – Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson issued this statement wishing Nebraskans a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season: “This is Senator Ben Nelson wishing my fellow Nebraskans happy holidays and a very Merry Christmas. “This is a wonderful time of year. The warmth and joy of the season draws friends and family together to worship and celebrate, and I hope your holidays are full of cheer. “Some Nebraskans, though, won’t be home for Christmas and that includes the brave men and women in the military who continue to serve our country in faraway places. “Their mission isn’t done yet. And while they’re away I hope all of us will take time to remember them and their families. “As Nebraska’s Senator, it is my hope and prayer that they will soon complete their mission, and return home with the gift of Peace on Earth and Good Will to all".

Quote of the Day

The angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. -- 2nd Chapter of Luke


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator
Webster County December 23, 2010 Edition I find it interesting what the US Census is starting to show us. It has huge ramifications on things like redistricting Congressional Districts, allowing for school aid, governmental dollars to name a few. I of course am more interested in the impact on agriculture, or should I say…..What does the Census show about agriculture? The results are in and with the US Census showing more than 308 million people, it gives you pause to think about how many people there are in the world. The current estimate of 7.5 billion is forecast to grow to nine billion by the middle of the century. That says one thing to me. They will be hungry and will need to be fed with food that very few of them can produce for themselves. Somewhere, global food production will have to increase 70% to 100% in the next 40 years. You and I may not have to worry about that, but the younger generation on today’s farm’s or agribusinesses will be involved with the care and feeding of nine billion hungry people. How are they going to do that? The number of people expected in the global community is irrelevant, but what is a serious question is how will food production double in the next 40 years, given the challenges to food production that we have today? You are trying to grow corn for livestock, fuel, and export. It is the same for soybeans, and other grains. The challenge that today’s young farmers will have revolves around water, land use, yield increases, environmental regulations, and a myriad of other significant policy issues. Where is the starting point to create a plan for feeding nine billion people 40 years from now? It speaks to me that the goal of agriculture is not just to maximize productivity, “but to optimize across a far more complex landscape of production, rural development, environmental, social justice and food consumption outcomes.” There is no doubt that there are and increasingly will be national and international challenges to the development of the policies that will allow food to be produced in sufficient quality and quantity. Experts suggest that we will have to double our current production to fill all of the needs that are anticipated for food, fuel, and other needs that come from agriculture production. Doubling global food output over the next 40 years will require numerous scientific and production advancements, but will also face many governmental policy shifts, and societal change. I believe we are starting to see the societal change and I know it scares a lot of us involved in agriculture and it should. This is not the same agriculture or the same farming that our grandfathers and fathers knew. Heck it isn’t the same agriculture that I started my profession in teaching just a short 40 years ago. This is a topic that has received considerable attention in Europe already. Efforts are already underway to develop a blue print for agriculture to meet this challenge in a manner that is financially viable, sustainable, and acceptable by consumers. Everything is on the table, i.e. genomics, husbandry, feeding, etc. I can’t say that I don’t necessarily agree with everything that they do in Europe, but they have been around a lot longer than us – could they be showing us the future for our own country? One thing is for certain, we now live in an ever increasing global market and we need to be aware of what is happening beyond the shores of our country. I’ll give you an example of that. The European Commission has just released a statement to encourage the voluntarily end of surgical castration of pigs in Europe by Jan. 1, 2018. From Jan. 1, 2012, castration of pigs, if carried out, shall be performed with prolonged analgesia and/or anesthesia. What do you want to bet me that we will see similar thrusts in the near future in America? Think of the ramifications for beef, sheep, hog and goat producers. This is just one of many things that could loom in the future. I will assure you that we aren’t even close to seeing what I think will eventually be a full scale affront on agriculture from animal rights, EPA, legislation and over the top regulations. Take for instance the just recently passed bill that will overhaul the nation's food-safety laws for the first time since the Great Depression. It passed both the house and senate and I doubt too many of you even knew it or the ramifications it could have on small farms and mom and pop food suppliers. Throw in antibiotics, pesticides, and particulates (dust) for further review. Let’s now look at something else that showed up in the US Census. In the past 40 years, the United States has lost 800,000 farmers and ranchers. Another thing that a lot of us already knew or suspected - farmers are aging. From 2002 to 2007, the average age of a farmer increased from age 55 to 57. And the number of farmers aged 75 years or older increased by 20 percent over the same period. In the mean time, the number of farm operators under 25 years of age decreased by 30 percent. If you look at the people who produce the bulk of our food, it’s really about 200,000 to 300,000 farmers. There are about 2.2 million farmers – less than one percent of our population. Roughly one-tenth of 1 percent of those farmers produce 85 percent of our food. That compounds the task that is ahead of us. We are put in the position of feeding all of these people in the US and in the World and with fewer acres, more regulations and a changing society and their expectations. Our challenge will be to not only feed the world but to face those changing societal expectations, much of which is fueled by opponents of agriculture and even more so - attacks on animal agriculture. We are only just beginning a fight for our very survival. With all that--- Happy New Year! 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:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quote of the Day

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~Charles Dickens

Monday, December 20, 2010

State of Nebraska recognized with National Award For Employee Wellness Plan

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today announced the State of Nebraska has been awarded the Well Workplace Award presented by the Wellness Council of America for its wellness program for state employees. Nebraska is one of only two states to win the award. “I am very pleased with the success of our wellness program and I am even more pleased that state employees are embracing this program,” Gov. Heineman said. “We are working to create a culture of wellness across the state, which includes walking the walk as a major employer in Nebraska.” The Well Workplace Award has four levels: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The State of Nebraska was recognized at the gold level, which recognizes organizations that have developed comprehensive programs that are producing results. Developed in 1991, the award program is a rigorous set of criteria used to recognize the efforts of organizations with successful results-oriented wellness programs. Benchmarks for measuring award applicants include: capturing senior level support, creating cohesive wellness teams, collecting data to drive health efforts, developing an operating plan, choosing appropriate interventions, creating a supportive environment, and consistently evaluating outcomes. The state employee wellness program is known as WellnessOptions, which was introduced in 2009. To date, 4,690 or approximately 33 percent of state employees receiving health insurance benefits have enrolled in the wellness program. This year the program was expanded to include employee’s spouses, with an additional 1,670 spouses participating in the State of Nebraska wellness program. Areas of progress for state employees include an 11 percent improvement in employees reporting increased physical activity and a 19 percent increase in employees getting preventative screenings. More participants are also eating more fruits and vegetables, with fewer participants reporting tobacco use, stress and depression. The state contracts with independent provider to help maintain the privacy of individual employees. HealthFitness Corp works with Fortune 500 companies to provide wellness services that improve health and productivity.

Quote of the Day

"Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide–open–heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart." -- George Matthew Adams in The Christmas Heart.

Eunice A. Dunn 9-17-1915 to 12-17-2010

Eunice A. Dunn, the daughter of Clara Marie (Lundquist) and Eugene Walfred Rudolph Rydquist, was born September 19, 1915 in Decatur County, Kansas. She departed this life on Friday, December 17, 2010 at the Webster County Community Hospital in Red Cloud, Nebraska at the age of 95 years, 2 months and 28 days.
Eunice spent her childhood years in Decatur County on the family farm in the Lund community southwest of Oberlin, Kansas, which was homsteaded her grandfather, Erland Rydquist.
She received her formal education attending the Excelsior school and attended the Lund Covenant Church.
On September 26, 1937 she was united in marriage with Gene R. Dunn in Washington state. This union was blessed with eight children. They made their home in Hastings and Inavale, later moving to Red Cloud.
Eunice was employed for over twenty-five years with the Webster County Community Hospital. She remained in her home until December 1, 2003, when she moved to the Heritage Care Center.
Eunice's personality was pervaded by a determined commitment to her principles and a desire to help others. She remained active throughout her life and volunteered her musical talents playing both the piano and accordion, entertaining the resident of the Heritage for many years. Through the years she enjoyed working with her flowers and yard, and was always ready for a competitive game of dominos.
She loved to play the organ and gather with her friends. Her greatest loved and enthusiasm in life was for her family, and she especially cherished the time they spent together. She was faithful in remembering birthdays and special occasions, and will be lovingly remembered by family and friends for her quick wit and endearing nature.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Gene, on December 16, 1978; a daughter, Vicki Lynn Sibley on November 10, 1967; son, Steven Douglas Dunn on August 21, 1995; four sisters, Rena Hickson, Goldie Raulston, Neva Brown and Muriel Rydquist; and two brothers Norris and Kenneth Rydquist.
Left to treasure her memory are her children, Robert N. Dunn of Denver, Colorado; Donald G. Dunn of Red Cloud; David D. Dunn and wife Oma of Blue Hill, Nebraska; Sharon L. Kudrna and husband Ron of Red Cloud; Hiriam J. Dunn of Holstein, Nebraska; and Pauline M. Dunn and Larry Niles of Griswold, Iowa; 12 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, 2:00 p.m., December 21, 2010 at the Congregational Church in Red Cloud. Interment will be at the Red Cloud Cemetery.Visitation will be held Sunday and Monday, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Williams Funeral Home and Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. to service time at the church.In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established by the family
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Governor Announces State Patrol Superintendent to Retire Post This Spring

(Lincoln, Neb.) December 8th Governor Dave Heineman announced that Col. Bryan Tuma, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, is planning to retire from the post he has held for nearly five years. Col. Tuma is a 31-year veteran of the State Patrol. His retirement is effective March 1, 2011. Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins said Tuma gave no special reason for deciding to end his patrol career. She said that "he's just choosing to retire." In the coming months the Governor will announce his selection to replace Col. Tuma as the head of the Nebraska State Patrol. Tuma has led the organization since 2005. “Col. Tuma has been an outstanding Superintendant of the Nebraska State Patrol,” Gov. Heineman said. “During his service, he has honorably led the State Patrol and is very much respected by law enforcement professional inside or outside of the State Patrol. I wish him well in all of his future endeavors.” A native of Columbus, Col. Tuma, 55, was commissioned on November 2, 1979. He has served in a variety of command assignments including director of training, Troop Area Commander in the Field Services Division at Troop C Headquarters in Grand Island, and was assigned to State Headquarters for several years where he served as the Major responsible for administrative services. Gov. Heineman appointed Col. Tuma Superintendent on June 4, 2005. Among his many responsibilities, Col. Tuma has been actively involved with homeland security, emergency management, transportation and criminal justice for the state. Gov. Heineman has appointed Col. Tuma to serve on several boards and commissions related to his areas of responsibilities. Col. Tuma said, “It has been a privilege to serve Nebraskans and represent the state over the course of the last 31 years. My career has been challenging, but extremely rewarding. I want to thank Gov. Heineman for this opportunity and for the confidence and trust he placed in me to lead the Nebraska State Patrol. I will miss working with the men and women of the State Patrol, as well as our other law enforcement and safety partners. I’ve witnessed many changes in law enforcement over the years and appreciate the opportunity to have addressed many of the major issues impacting the law enforcement and criminal justice community and the state of Nebraska.” Col. Tuma is a 1977 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a major in Criminal Justice. He also is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Col. Tuma currently serves as the General Chair and a member of the Board of Officers for the Division of State and Provincial Police of the International Association of Chief of Police (IACP). Serving Nebraskans since 1937, Nebraska State Patrol officers perform a wide variety of duties. Those duties include working with communities to improve public safety; homeland security; enforcing traffic, criminal and drug laws; investigating crimes, as well as enforcing the laws and federal regulations pertaining to commercial motor carriers. The Nebraska State Patrol has six Troop Area Headquarters located in Lincoln, Omaha, Norfolk, Grand Island, North Platte and Scottsbluff. Across the state more than 700 sworn and civilian employees provide traffic, investigative, administrative and support services.

Breaking News Businesses Robbed

December 19, 2010 Blue Hill, Nebraska Law enforcement was called to Blue Hill Sunday morning to investigate a break in at the Country Store on highway 281. The Country Store is owned by CPI. Between the hours of closing near midnight, and 5:30 a.m. when employees came to open the business the front window in the door was broken out for the thief or theives to gain entry. The cash drawer from the register was taken. No cash was reported to have been in the register at the time of the break in. Authorities are currently investigating the break in. Thieves also entered C&D Service Center in Red Cloud some time Saturday evening or Sunday morning. The glass was also broken in the front door and the register draw was taken. A survelleillance camera did produce some evidence and the Webster County sherrif says he does have a few leads. He says some of the evidence may have ended up in Smith Co. Kansas and there is cooperation between the two sherrifs departments.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Court Ruling Marks Another Chapter for Health Care Debate

Senator Mike Johanns
I find it remarkable that, as I write to you in this space for the last time this year, we find ourselves where we started in January. We began 2010 in the center of the health care debate, with the bill dividing and polarizing our country. Eleven months ago I wrote that President Obama should keep his promise of holding the health care debate in the open. Instead, the closed-doors negotiations produced a law full of backdoor deals and kickbacks. Today we are faced with a fresh but familiar debate over the health care law after a federal judge ruled a key part of it unconstitutional. The constitutionality of the health care law has long been in question. Last December, I supported a Point of Order in the Senate which would have declared that Congress lacked the authority to enact the bill into law. Though it failed, it helped pave the way for legal challenges to a law that stretches Congressional authority beyond its constitutional limits. Since then, more than 20 states across the country have filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice disputing whether Congress has a right to compel Americans to buy government-approved health insurance. Proponents of the law assert the expansive requirements fall under Congress' constitutional right to regulate interstate commerce. On December 13, a judge in the Eastern District of Virginia outlined in a 42-page ruling that the individual mandate "exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power … At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it's about an individual's right to choose to participate." This ruling will likely go through an extensive appeals process. It is very likely that this case, or another similar to it, will eventually reach the Supreme Court. In the meantime, I support a full repeal of the law and co-sponsored a bill to repeal the individual mandate now being challenged in court. As long as President Obama is in office, this will remain very difficult, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Studies have shown the health care law will gut Medicare provider payments, increase our overall health care expenditures and increase individual insurance premiums. Many businessmen and women have written and spoken to me about the negative impact the law will have on their companies. One business owner bluntly but honestly stated the law's requirements "will far exceed our profit margin" and listed her bleak options as "a massive lay off, placing most employees on part-time status, rescinding all other benefits, or going out of business entirely." Two other district courts have upheld the law's constitutionality, but many more have yet to weigh in. I support the Virginia decision and believe the issue of whether this law is an unconstitutional abuse of Congressional power must be decided by the highest court in the land. It is my hope the Supreme Court will agree, and that in another year I can write to you with the positive news that the American people and American businesses have been spared the anxiety and hardship of the health care law.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Quote of the Day

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can------ John Wesley

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Straight from the Horses Mouth

Duane A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County It does not seem possible that the Holiday Season is upon us. I hope all of you have bought your Christmas presents, decorated your Christmas trees, and started getting into the Christmas spirit. Of course most of us know the true meaning of Christmas and the reason for the season, but have you given much thought about some of the other traditions? Santa Claus: Can you believe that ‘Santa’ has been around since the 4th century? Originally known as Saint Nicholas, the patron of children and sailors, the bishop was immortalized because of his generous and loving nature towards children. He was said to have brought joy to the poor by throwing gifts through their windows. The Dutch called him Sint Nikolass, which eventually evolved into Sinter Klaas. It wasn’t until the Dutch began entering America that the colonials of New York began calling him Santa Claus. The original Santa was not jolly, fat, smoked a pipe or slid down chimneys. Christmas Trees: Did you know the tradition of the Christmas tree comes from Germany? The very first trees were oak, the same tree used for the Yule Log. Trees have been a symbol of good luck since the Middle Ages. In Germany, whenever someone would build a house, a small evergreen tree would be nailed to the highest beam. Soon people began bringing the tree inside during Christmastime and decorating it. When German immigrants came to the United States, they brought this tradition with them. Most of us know the song "O Tannenbaum", or, in its English version, "O Christmas Tree". This is actually a Christmas carol of German origin. Incidentally, in German “Tannenbaum” means fir tree. Christmas Presents: In pre-Christian Rome, the Emperors compelled their most despised citizens to bring offerings and gifts during the Saturnalia (in December) and Kalends (in January). Later, this ritual expanded to include gift-giving among the general populace. The Catholic Church gave this custom a Christian flavor by rooting it in the gift-giving of Saint Nicholas. When the Old World traditions became Americanized – there was Santa with a bag of gifts. Christmas Stockings: Do you know why we hang stockings on the fireplace? The tradition of the Christmas stockings began by a story told since ancient time about a kind, but poor man who had three daughters. His wife died and the daughters had to do all the work in the house. When they became old enough for marriage, the poor father could not afford to give the huge dowries to their husbands. One evening the daughters, after washing their stockings, hung them near the fire place to be dried. St. Nickolas (Santa Claus) being moved by the plight of the daughters, came in and put coins of gold in each stocking. The next morning they found the gold, and the father had enough for his daughter’s marriages. Since then children have been hanging up Christmas stockings, all hoping for gold instead of coal. Yule Log: Did you know the burning of the Yule Log was taken from ancient sun worship rituals? Yule Logs are supposed to be cut from red oak trees and burned all of Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day. It is unlucky to buy your own log and lucky ones usually come from your neighbor’s woodpile. It is also customary to light the new log with a scrap of last year's log. The scrap is kept under the homeowners’ bed to protect the home from fire and lightning. Holly: Can you believe people used to worship evergreen holly as a sign of eternal life because it did not brown or die in the winter? Some religious groups say that the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head was made of holly. The berries were supposedly white but turned bright red from Jesus’ blood. Holly is also said to represent the sun’s return after a long winter. We now place wreaths on doors or hallways to create a festive atmosphere during the holiday season. Mistletoe: Did you realize that mistletoe is rarely used in churches because it comes from the ancient Druid ceremony celebrating winter solstice? This once pagan tradition started when a girl would stand beneath the hanging plant and a boy would walk up, pick a berry and then kiss her. When the berries were gone…no more kisses! Eggnog: Did you know eggnog used to be made with beer? In the 17th century a strong ale called ‘nog’ was very popular in Britain around the holidays. It was made from beer, sugar, egg yolks, lemon rinds and cinnamon. Later in the 19th century North Americans took the French version of the drink called ‘Lait de Poule’, made from milk, sugar, and egg yolks and added spirits. With the addition of brandy, rum or sherry, we have our own modern day eggnog. We now cook the drink to remove the threat of salmonella, but the recipe has been the same for over 150 years. Candy Canes: Can you believe that someone once thought sugar would keep kids quiet? In the year 1670 the local choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral gave his young singers sugar sticks to keep them quiet during the long ceremony. He had the candy bent in the shape of shepherds’ crooks to celebrate the festive occasion. In the 1920’s a man named Bob McCormack made candy canes by hand for his friends and family. In the 1950’s his brother-in-law invented a machine that made lots of candy canes at the same time. Bob’s Candies, Inc. became the largest maker of candy canes in the world. It was only in the early 1900’s that red stripes were added and peppermint became the standard flavor. Christmas Caroling: The custom of singing Christmas carols is said to have come from 13th century Italy St. Francis of Assisi led songs of praise. It is very bad luck to send carolers away empty handed and was customary to offer food, drink or even a little money. It is also said to be unlucky if you sing Christmas carols at any other time of the year! Here’s wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas! Christmas traditions are fun, but don’t forget the real reason for the Season! 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:

Warcats 2010-2011 Wrestling

Emily Marie Mccleary, Merritt Barton, Chyanna Sharp , Corey Morgan , Hector Rodriguez, Garrett Sharp, Cale Olson, Eli Van Boening, Joshua Norris, Jared Krueger , Dylan Shannon, Tanner Rupprecht December 10th, at the Southern Valley invitational wrestling tournament, the combined team of Blue Hill- Red Cloud placed second behind Loomis/Bertrand. Loomis/Bertrand had 309.5 points. The Blue Hill/Red Cloud Warcats had 232, followed by Southern Valley with 203.5. Others participating in the tournament were Franklin with 189, Arapahoe with 166, Norton with 161, Elwood 101.5, Alma with 73.5., Axtel and Wilcox each had 36 and on the bottom was Centura with 19.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blue Hill Ladies 8th grade Jr. High Basketball team 2010

Mina Haussler, Tylynn Marie Dodson, Lexi Hartman, Sydney Strasburg, Montanna Lovette, Amber Kohmetscher, Kortney Ann Allen, Chyanna Sharp, Emalee Hilligas, Danea Dawn Buschkoetter, Taylor Lemke, Adrianne Lipker, Mackenzie Willicot, Takiyah Hamek, Becca Iliff. These girls had a sucessful year winning every game they played. Congratulations girls.

Tena Krueger celebrates Birthday

Blue Hill resident Tena Krueger will celebrate her 97th birthday, Thursday, December 16th. Her family wishes to honor her with a card shower. Birthday wishes may be sent to her at 1782 Road 1400, Blue Hill, Ne 68930. Happy Birthday, Tena.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Phyllis V. Grimshaw 1943-2010

Phyllis V. Grimshaw, 67, Blue Hill, Ne. died Monday, December 13, 2010 at Mary Lanning Health Care, Hastings, Ne. Services are Thursday, December 16, 2010, 2:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Blue Hill, Ne. with Rev. Joshua Lowe Officiating. Burial will be in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Blue Hill, Ne. Visitation will be Wednesday from 1:00-800 with family present from 6:00-8:00, Thursday from 9:00-12:00 at Merten-Butler Mortuary and one hour prior to services at the church. Memorials to the Nebraska Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation or Trinity Lutheran Sunday School. Merten-Butler Mortuary of Blue Hill, Ne. is in charge of arrangements.
Phyllis was born on February 25, 1943 to Ivan L. & Leona E. (Buss) Ruhs at Minden, Ne. She graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. She married Marshall D. Grimshaw on March 8, 1969 in Peoria, Illinois. She and her husband operated Grimshaw Landscaping. They moved to Blue Hill from Peoria in 1990. She designed their home they built in Blue Hill. She is survived by her Husband: Marshall, Blue Hill, Ne., Mother: Leona, Blue Hill, Ne. She was preceded in death by her Grandparents and her Father.

Straight from the Horses Mouth

Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
December 10, 2010 Edition
We have had that taste of winter and that always signals to me the starting of the third trimester of the spring calving cow. Keeping that in mind, if you are a beef cow-calf producer, it's time to start doing some management strategies to get the most that you can from your cowherd. This week lets look at some steps that we should take in dealing with some good management practices. Now is a good time to finish culling cows. I subscribe to the theory that you should cull in order of priority. I usually suggest that you want to hold them until after the first of the year when cow prices have a tendency to be higher, however you may want to study the markets as they are not too bad right now. I always suggest using the “3-O Rule”. It is a good idea to get rid or the “Open, Old and Ornery” cows. You should also pay particular attention to physical problems like structure, including feet and legs, eyes, teeth. Use those as tiebreakers. Finally, cull out poor producers.
Now let’s look at some feed and nutrition. Until we get a good snow cover, I suggest that producers continue the feeding/grazing programs that were started in October and November. I recommend that cattlemen pay particular attention to supplementing the cows depending upon the average Body Condition Scores (BCS) of the herd. You should supplement to achieve ideal body condition scores at calving. One of the most important nutrients we need to watch is protein. Many times cost is a deciding factor for producers in determining the protein source that they use. I get a lot of questions this time of year on how to figure the cost of protein. Use this formula to compare the basis of cost per pound of crude protein: (Cost of supplement, $/cwt) ÷ (100 x Percent crude protein) = cost per pound of crude protein. Now if you want to compare energy sources, use this formula to compare energy sources on basis of cost per lb of total digestible nutrients: (cost, $/ton ÷ (2,000 x dry matter percent x %TDN in dry matter) = cost per lb of TDN.
Now let’s look at some common sense kind of management practices. Be sure the herd has an adequate water supply. Depending on body size and stage of production, cattle need 5 to 11 gallons per head per day, even in the coldest weather. Provide some protection, such as a windbreak, during severe winter weather to reduce energy requirements. If you haven’t got the cows on a parasite management program it will pay you to at least do a lice management program. Hair is going to be critical as we enter the cold season. Body condition score cows and sort into management groups. Put thin and young cows together and feed accordingly. Don’t make them compete with the experienced running age cows. When feeding forage I suggest that you feed your lowest quality forage to mature dry cows during late fall/early winter (mid gestation) and that you feed medium quality forage to dry cows during late pregnancy. Save your higher quality feedstuffs to be utilized for replacement females, younger cows and thin cows which may lack condition and be more nutritionally stressed.
Last but not least, address environmental concerns as we really get into the cold weather of winter. See to protection from the wind and protection from the cold of the ground if at all possible. Increase the amount of energy 1% for each degree of cold stress (no effect on protein, mineral and vitamin needs). Cold stress involves both wind chill and lower critical temperatures. I have some very good information on how to determine critical temp if you would like it. In order to see to the energy needs of cattle, many producers have turned to feeding distillers grains. Feeding Corn Ethanol By-Products: A new edition of “Feeding Corn Milling Co-Products to Feedlot Cattle,” a popular publication that provides feedlot operators, animal nutritionists and others with the latest research and sound recommendations on feeding corn co-products like distillers grains to cattle, is now available from the Nebraska Corn Board and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The availability and use of corn co-products like distillers grains, which are produced by ethanol plants, has increased significantly since 2007. At the same time, we’ve expanded our knowledge and understanding when it comes to recommendations that are backed by quality research. This new manual mirrors those gains in new knowledge and research to keep cattlemen up to date.
“Feeding Corn Milling Co-Products to Feedlot Cattle” is a 36-page printed publication that is available free by request to the Nebraska Corn Board. Electronic copies are also available for download by simply by going to also find it the UNL’s Beef Education website: under the publications section. Most of the research cited in the manual was completed at the University of Nebraska, with portions of that being funded by the Nebraska Corn Board. The beef publication is the second research compilation to be released by the Nebraska Corn Board and UNL this year. The first – “Feeding Corn Milling Co-Products to Forage Fed Cattle” – was published in August as a 24-page printed and electronic publication available at . This is the first printing of the forage manual. This manual is more geared toward the Cow/Calf producer, and I think you will find it a valuable resource if you are contemplating feeding by-product to your cows. Stay warm..
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:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Truck Burns in Blue Hill

A burning truck in the City truck parking lot resulted in 11 Blue Hill volunteer fire fighters responding to extinguish the blaze. The truck was owned by David Bauman. The call for help to fight the fire went out about 7:15 this evening. The truck cab is a total loss. The trailer was saved. The cause of the fire has not been determined but speculation is that it may have been an electrical problem that caused the blaze. Freezing temperatures made the fire fighting more difficult. The volunteer fire fighters prevented any damage to other trucks in the parking lot or other damage to surrounding property.

Johanns Column

December 10, 2010 Food Safety Bill Important to Nebraska's Health and Livelihood The livelihood of Nebraska's agricultural producers depends upon consumer confidence in the entire food safety system. If this confidence is lost in any part of the system – from production to the produce aisle – our state's number one industry, agriculture, pays a heavy price. As Secretary of Agriculture, I witnessed firsthand how outbreaks and scares of food-borne illnesses devastated certain food industries and their producers. To help safeguard against future outbreaks and panics in our food system, I voted for the Senate food safety bill last week. I do not like legislation that expands the scope of government. My voting record clearly demonstrates this. Yet if we cannot demonstrate in a convincing way that we can ensure the safety of our food supply, our producers suffer, families suffer, and our economy suffers. A food outbreak cripples the demand for food products and this hurts our producers, many of whom have nothing to do with the processing and distribution of their crops and livestock, where contamination often occurs. If taking action means we give producers the assurance and consumers the confidence that our food system is healthy, that is something I support. In 2006, when our spinach supply became tainted with E. coli, the industry's recall process was unorganized and inefficient, and as a tragic result, lives were lost and thousands fell ill. People understandably stopped buying spinach, and spinach producers across the country suffered from a serious crisis of confidence. The food safety bill will make a difference by enabling the FDA to ensure dangerous products are recalled. To offer another example, a 2003 hepatitis outbreak in green onions was particularly troubling because no one knew its origination or how far the tainted onions were spreading. This bill enhances FDA's ability to trace back potentially unsafe foods, so in the event of a future outbreak we'll know where the problem came from and have a better idea of how far it could spread. The bill focuses on risk-based prevention for both domestically produced and imported foods. Imports from overseas will have safety verifications and U.S. officials will be able to inspect foreign food production plants. The baby formula scare that occurred in 2008 after China found tainted bottles would have been much less likely to occur if we had at the time more assurances of the safety of our imported foods. Lastly, a common misunderstanding is that this bill will hurt small farmers and growers. It will not. Producers currently under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – which most in Nebraska are – will remain under USDA jurisdiction. Small farms won't be required to keep any new food safety records; home gardens and farmers' markets won't be outlawed. Those are myths which unfortunately gained traction last week. What the bill does is enhance the ability of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to confront an outbreak of food-borne illnesses. By protecting consumer confidence in the safety of our food, this bill helps to protect our farmers and ranchers who grow it; truck drivers and railroad workers who ship it; grocery store employees who sell it, families who enjoy it; and everyone who appreciates the economic benefits throughout the state when our food supply chain is healthy and productive.

Open Forum

Open Forum is your chance to comment on 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.).Go ahead and sound off on anything. News, sports, weather, current events, government, social events. We are listening.A new Open Forum link may 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, pictures, story idea, or suggestions to improve this site can still be sent to Blue Hill Today by e-mailing us at

Nelson Statement on Tax Cut Plan

December 13, 2010 – Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson issued this statement after voting to move to final debate and vote on the bipartisan Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010. “I don’t believe Nebraskans want anyone’s taxes to go up while our economy remains so shaky, but that will automatically happen to nearly every taxpayer if Congress doesn’t act soon,” said Senator Nelson. “I support the bipartisan tax cut plan because it will provide the clarity and certainty Nebraska families and businesses need to pay their bills, meet payrolls, hire new employees and help pull our economy out of the ditch. “The tax cut plan extends income tax cuts for millions of Americans that expire on December 31st. It cuts payroll taxes for all workers, encourages business investment and job creation in such areas as renewable energy and continues unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans. “This tax cut plan may not be the best possible solution. But it is the best solution possible. It’s notable that small and large businesses and chambers of commerce say it will create jobs and grow the economy. And Nebraskans know that holding taxes down now is critical, or we risk driving up hardship and unemployment, now nearly 10 percent nationally and 4.7 percent in our state. “We need to pass this tax cut plan now for jobs, for our economic recovery and for America’s future.”

Johanns Votes for Senate Tax Proposal

December 13, 2010 WASHINGTON D.C. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today voted to ensure taxes for every American will not increase beginning January 1. The Tax Relief Act also would implement a payroll tax cut, extend ethanol and biodiesel tax credits, and continue unemployment benefits through December 2011. Today's vote was to invoke cloture, or end debate, on the bill, which required 60 votes. A final vote, expected tomorrow, would require only a simple majority vote. "I believe this proposal is necessary to prevent the largest tax hike in American history," Johanns said. "The American people are asking Congress to ensure their taxes don't go up in a struggling economy. It is my hope that the Senate builds on this compromise into 2011 to continue charting a positive economic course for our country."

AG Bruning: U.S. District Judge Rules Health Care Law Unconstitutional in Virginia's Challenge

12-13-10 LINCOLN – Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning released a statement following U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson’s ruling today in Virginia that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate violates the United States Constitution: “The Court’s ruling is an important step toward limiting the reach of the federal government,” said Bruning. “This decision bodes well for Nebraska’s challenge.” Nebraska is part of a 20-state coalition that filed suit against the federal health care law in March 2010. The coalition includes Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Washington, Colorado, Michigan, Utah, Alabama, South Dakota, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Alaska. Oral arguments on the cross-motions for summary judgment in the States’ challenge are scheduled to be heard Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. in Pensacola, Florida. The suit is filed in the Federal District Court in Florida. The states are joined in the lawsuit by the National Federation of Independent Business, and individual plaintiffs Mary Brown and Kaj Ahlburg.

Smith Statement on Court Ruling Health Care Law Unconstitutional

December 13, 2010 WASHINGTON DC - Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today released the following statement after a judge ruled the federal health care law unconstitutional. Today's ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson found Congress lacks the authority to impose the law's "individual mandate" which forces Americans to purchase individual health care or pay a penalty. Smith has cosponsored legislation in the House of Representatives repealing the individual mandate and has signed an amicus brief in a similar suit filed by 20 other states (including Nebraska). "Americans should have the freedom to make their own health care insurance decisions without the federal government looking over their shoulders. Today's ruling is an important first step toward replacing ObamaCare with a commonsense, step-by-step approach to reform which lowers costs for families and small businesses without encroaching on our personal liberties," Smith said.

Governor Heineman and State Officials Support MADD Red Ribbon Cammpaign

(Lincoln, NE) - This holiday season Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) units will sport red ribbons in support of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Red Ribbon Campaign. On Wednesday, December 8, 2010, members of the Nebraska State Patrol joined Governor Dave Heineman, First Lady Sally Ganem, Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and other public safety partners to “Tie One On for Safety” during the MADD Red Ribbon Campaign kick-off. The event was held at the Governor’s residence. “The holidays are often deadly times on our roadways,” said Colonel Bryan Tuma, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “It is our goal to engage the motoring public in efforts to save lives by drawing attention to the dangers of impaired driving. Enforcement campaigns and safety initiatives such as the one today play a key role in reducing the potential for fatality crashes.” NSP will also be conducting special enforcement efforts to remove impaired drivers from our roadways as a part of the nationwide “You Drink & Drive You Lose” campaign. Troopers and dispatchers will put in overtime hours during the special enforcement period which began, Friday, Dec. 3, 2010 and will continue through Saturday, January 1, 2011. A grant from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety (NOHS) helps to pay for the added enforcement. Motorists are also encouraged to pay special attention to the weather when preparing to head out for holiday travel. Travelers are reminded to call 511, the state’s automated road and weather condition information reporting system. The system can also be accessed via the internet at Individuals outside of Nebraska wanting to check weather and road conditions can dial 1-800-906-9069.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deer Harvest Successful

Officials say hunters killed more than 63,000 deer during the Nebraska firearm season. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says the record figure was nearly 18 percent higher than in 2009, when almost 54,000 deer were killed. The commission says most of the increase was in antlerless white-tailed deer. The commission had allowed an extra 21,000 tags for antlerless white-tailed deer. An antlerless deer is any deer without antlers or with antlers less than 6 inches long. ; The weather was no obstacle during the Nov. 13-21 season. In addition, the corn harvest was nearly complete, creating better hunting conditions than in 2009.

Blue Hill Fire Department Responds to Blaze

The Blue Hill Volunteer fire department was called to a fire about 7 p.m. this evening. The fire was south west of Blue Hill where some hay bales caught fire. About 9 volunteers and six vehicles responded and helped put out the fire. The bales belonged to Larry Krueger. The fire may have been caused by a trash fire that had not been completely put out before being left unattended. Dan VanBoening assisted the firemen in spreading out the bales so they would be throughly extinguished. The fire department spent about two hours and a half hours fighting the fire. No Buildings were involved in the fire.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Open Forum

Open Forum is your chance to comment on 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.).Go ahead and sound off on anything. News, sports, weather, current events, government, social events. We are listening.A new Open Forum link may 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, pictures, story idea, or suggestions to improve this site can still be sent to Blue Hill Today by e-mailing us at

Straight from the Horses Mouth

Duane A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County December 3, 2010 Edition December is here and that means the start of winter programming for UNL Extension across not only the South Central Area of Nebraska, but across the whole state. We will soon be coming out with the list of Winter-Spring events, but there are some coming up quickly that I thought I should highlight in this week’s column. Several offerings will come via webinars, some are face to face, and this year you have the chance to watch The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's 2010-2011 Beef Short-Course program on NET 2 in December and January. That’s right, you can watch these sessions from the comfort of your own homes. We used to meet at satellite capable sites like at the Webster County museum. This gives more leeway to those that want to participate, but do not want to make the trip in to town or get too far away from their homes and perhaps cows as we near calving. 2011 Beef Short-Course: "Staying Competitive in an Ever-Changing Beef Cow-Calf Industry", is the topic of this year’s 2010 UNL Beef Short-Course. Each session will be broadcast at 7 p.m on NET2 television. Please mark Dec. 16, Jan. 13, 20 and 27 on your calendars. Each presentation will end at 8 p.m. and be followed by a question and answer session. The short-course series is designed to help cow-calf producers remain competitive in an industry that is constantly changing. The target audiences for these programs are cow/calf producers, but anyone is welcome to watch them. You just need to tune in your TV to the NET 2 channel. Beef producers may want to keep this column on hand as it will give you information on each of the sessions. The cow-calf enterprise is a complex production system. For producers to be competitive, they need to integrate human, financial and feed resources in their operation. The first show is the Dec. 16 session which will focus on "Adding Value to the Cow/calf enterprise." Presenters during this session will be UNL Extension Beef Specialist, Dr. Rick Rasby; Nebraska Department of Agriculture's Lynn Gordon; beef producers Mark and Bonnie Wagner; and Midwest Microsystems' Tim Davis; and Dan Ellsworth from Destron Fearing. The session on Jan. 13 will cover "Working with Your Banker in Tough Economic Times: What to Include and how to Get Your Financial Portfolio Ready.” Two topics will be covered Jan. 20 with Dr. Rasby and Matt Spangler, UNL Extension beef cattle specialist who will team up on the subject "Optimum Cow Size: Matching Cow Size and Milk Production and Your Resources". The other topic is "Getting Your Bull's Battery Ready for the Breeding Season." The final session on Jan. 27 with Rick Funston, UNL Extension beef cattle reproductive physiologist, who will focus on "Managing Calving Interval and Its Impact on Profit Potential" along with "Estrous Synchronization Protocols for Beef Cows and Heifers." Dr. Kohl comes to Nebraska: Now let’s go from cows to economics. Back by popular demand is Dr. Dave Kohl, Professor Emeritis from Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech. He will speak on “Agriculture: What to Expect” from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Bruning Opera House in Bruning, NE on December 13th. If you haven’t heard Dr. Kohl you are in for a treat as he is a dynamic speaker and has a real command of what is going on in the world of economics and markets. He takes a futurist’s view of agriculture. It is definitely worth the time and travel to Bruning to take part in this seminar. Nebraska Ag Classic: The 6th annual Nebraska Ag Classic will be held December 14-16 in Kearney at the Ramada Inn. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the various commodity groups at their annual meetings on the 14th. The general sessions on the 15th and 16th include: Mark Gold (Top Third Marketing) Discussing Current Marketing Topics. Breakout Sessions including: Larry Kopsa, New Tax Issues; Mark Gold -Marketing follow-up and questions; Go Grain - Trading Techniques: Lessons with cash and futures market. The December 16 agenda includes: David Martosko, (Center for Consumer Freedom) who will be speaking about his efforts to "expose" the HSUS and their tactics/true agenda. After his talk he will moderate a panel who will give short presentations on their experiences with animal activists and how it has affected their state's agriculture. They will also touch on why Nebraska needs to be aware of the agendas of these activist groups and what we as a state can do to proactively defend our agriculture industry. Those on the panel include: Jack Fisher, Ohio Farm Bureau; Chad Gregory, United Egg Producers; and Craig Head, Nebraska Farm Bureau. The sessions will end with an update on national agriculture issues from Karen Ross, Undersecretary for the Secretary of Agriculture, USDA. For complete agendas and registration information go to: Cow/Calf College at MARC: While you are marking your calendar, please put down Tuesday, January 18 on your calendar for the annual Cow/Calf College Beef Seminar that will be held at the Meat Animal Research Center near Clay Center. The program always has good speakers and topics. Flyers and more information will be available in a couple of weeks. Registration and refreshments will be from 9:00 -9:45 am with the program starting at 10:00 am and finishing around 3:45 pm. Lunch is provided and registration is required by Friday, January 14. And we are just getting started!! 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, December 3, 2010

Early Webster County Beef Weigh-in December 12

The early-bird Webster County 4-H/FFA Beef weigh-ins will be held December 12 in Blue Hill. Exhibitors wanting to show market steers or market heifers at the Webster County Fair, Nebraska State Fair, and/or Ak-Sar-Ben must identify and weigh in their projects. This weigh-in is designed for exhibitors who want to attend early progress shows with their animals and need the weigh-in information, tags, and identification on their animals. The beef will be weighed in Blue Hill at the Blue Hill Livestock Sale Barn on Sunday, December 12 from 9:30 am till 3:30 pm. There will only be one weigh-in site this year. The Webster County UNL Extension office asks that all exhibitors have their animals identified and tagged by that date if at all possible and that the affidavits are filled out and signed prior to, or at weigh-in, and are not to be taken home. Exhibitors may download their ownership affidavit from the internet or pick one up from their 4-H leader or our office and have it ready to go for weigh-in. 4-H tags and market beef affidavits are available from the Extension Office in Red Cloud. FFA tags and affidavits are available from agriculture education instructors. For those that cannot get the tags or affidavits prior to the weigh-in, they will be available at the weigh-in sites. Electronic Identification (EID) for all beef will be done at each weigh-in. This will be a second tag in addition to the 4-H/FFA tag. EID is voluntary, but highly suggested. We further request that if you put your tags in before weigh-in, that you reserve the one-third of the left ear closest to the head for the EID tag. 4-H exhibitors are reminded that if they intend on going on to State Fair or Ak-Sar-Ben, they must have their animals DNA sampled. FFA requirements are somewhat different, for instance beef going on to State Fair must have either a nose print or EID tag, as well as their FFA tag. We will also be asking again this year that each exhibitor tell us at weigh-in if the animal is for the “PB Breed Steer” competition, and also if it is “Bred & Fed” or “Bought & Fed”. “Bred & Fed” animals mean that – “You or your family owned the cow or heifer, which is the mother of the steer, at the time of the calf’s conception, and that it was born and fed on your farm or place of project care”. Conversely, “Bought and Fed” means that you bought the steer from somewhere other than your family operation. We will also need to know the place and date of birth of the market beef. As far as we know, the Webster County Fair dates are July 10-16, 2011. In planning for a market beef enterprise, exhibitors should match the size of the calf that they pick out to match their intent. If it is the intent to “dead-end” the calf at the county fair then you should figure from December 12 to July 12 for time on feed, which computes to 212 days. Exhibitors should not just go out in a lot and pick out the biggest calf. That calf may just be too big to get to the county fair or beyond successfully. On the other hand you don’t want too small a calf, that can’t possibly make weight by county fair. Beef exhibitors will need to do some research and get a weight on the calf if at all possible when they choose it. How will you know how big a calf you need to bring to weigh-in? Figuring that you want the calf to gain at least 2.5 lbs a day (2.2 is required) then assuming a county fair weight of 1300 lbs, then the biggest calf that and exhibitor should weigh in on the first December weigh-in would be about 730-780 pounds. Now that is considering the July 12 fair date, so the exhibitor would have to adjust accordingly if it changes. If you figure 3 lbs. per day ROG, then a 650-700 lb steer would be about right. If an exhibitor plans to go to State Fair with the 1300 pound calf then they would have 260 days to feed and at 2.5 #/day the calf should not weigh more than 650 on Dec. 12. If a 4-H or FFA exhibitor waits till the late January weigh-in then they have about 160 days until the Webster County Fair and figuring 2.5 lbs/day, then the calf, for a 1300# finish weight, should be no more than 880 lbs and 800 lbs on January 30 if you can get 3#/day gain. The second, more traditional Webster County market beef weigh-in for all others who need to weigh, tag, and ID their cattle will be held on January 30 in Blue Hill with the same location, and time frame. Please contact Dewey Lienemann at the Webster County Extension office in Red Cloud at (402) 746-3417 for more information.

Meth Distribution Charged.

Jacob L. Hodgdon, 22, of Blue Hill took a plea deal Wednesday in Adams County Court. Hodgdon Pleaded no contest to a charge of distribution of meth for a drug purchase through a confidential informant on May 15. In exchange for his plea prosecutors agreed to recommend concurrent time which would allow him to serve the sentence for this case at the same time as his current sentence. Adams County District Judge Terri harder ordered an updated pre-sentencing for Jan. 12, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. Distribution of a controlled substance (meth) is a class 2 felony punishable by up to 50 years in prison. Hodgdon was released from the custody of the Nebraska Department of corrections April 19, 2009. He served a one year sentence on charges of felony burglary.

Holiday Bazaar

December Birthdays

December-1-1984 Mandy Nelson December-1-1950 Jerry McShane December-1-1921 Mabel A. Schmidt December-4 Ed Anderson December-4-1962 Tammy Reiman December-5 Diane Karr December-7 Janie Hartman December 7 Yvonne Krauau December 9 Peyton Schmidt
December-10 Jerry Koepke December 10 Kaisha Jo Alber December 10 Leslie Waechter Means December 11 Ted Alber December-11-1985 Scott Kort December-12 Ryan Atteberry December-13-1969 Julie Buschow December-13 Kristi Alber December 15 Meggie Coffey
December 15 Markie Coffey
December-15 Don Robinson December 15 Sandi Schmidt December-15-1977 Sarah Moorman December 16 Kylee Schmidt
December-16 1960 to-4-27-2010 Tim Krueger December 17 Terry Schunk December 18 Jared Schmidt
December-18 Don Goodrich December-18-1993 Taylor Lemke December 19 Ramona Buschow December-19-1961 Rita Petska December-19-1991 Sidney Dawn Gannaway December-20 Jane Rose December-21-1930 Wendell H. Krueger December-21-1960 Bradley N. Gilbert December 22 Brian Johnson December-22-1945 Ron Ostdiek December-22-1975 Brian Johnson December-24-1979 Rebecca Johnson December 27 Jill Kinley December-27 Mary VanBoening December-27 Lori Berns December-28 Jadaysa Fraiser December-29 Dorwin Carper December-30-24 Tina Kort December 31 Donna Anerson December 31 Jeff Rose December 31 Vivian Kottwitz December-31-46 Jerry Frazier

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blue Hill Holiday Bazaar

The Annual Blue Hill Holiday Bazaar will be held as usual on the first Saturday in December which this year falls on December 4. The Event will be held in the Blue Hill Community Center. This years offerings include crafts, gift ideas, food and more. Doors will open to the public at 9 a.m. and it is expected to conclude at 3 p.m. The event has been a standing tradition in Blue Hill since the first such event organized by Alvin Willems approximately 25 years ago and has always attracted an appreciative crowd. Many consider it a essential part of the Christmas season in Blue Hill.

Quote of the Day

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. -F. Scott Fitzgerald