Monday, February 28, 2011

Alan D. Meyer 10-29-1949 to 02-24-2011

Former Blue Hill resident Alan D. Meyer, 61, died Thursday February 24th at his home in Hastings, Nebraska. Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday March 2, at Merten-Butler mortuary in Blue Hill with Rev. Baldo Singh officiating. Private family burial will take place at a later date. There will be no viewing or visitation. A Memorial has been established.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Straight From the Horses Mouth

Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County February 25, 2011 Edition In the position that I have as an UNL Extension Educator, I get calls from horse owners who no longer want their horse or they have outlived their usefulness. It is never a good thing to tell them there isn't much they can do but put them down and then either send them out on a rendering truck, bury or burn them, or continue feeding them until they die a natural death-- which may be for many years. Many of those people cannot afford to keep those horses so that places them in a bad position and I am certain one that is not good for the horses as well. How did we get to this point? I believe that this problem has been caused by a ban of horse slaughter in the US and the resulting breaking and ultimate closure of horse slaughter plants. This ill-conceived ban brought about primarily by groups like HSUS and PETA has destroyed the horse market, dropping the price floor for horses that had no chance of going to slaughter to less than $50. Worse yet, one horse can cost from $1,500 to $3,000 a year to feed, house and pasture- which many families cannot afford. So this very fact, coupled with the recession horses nationwide are suffering from neglect and starvation we have the root of a major problem. Now the ultimate kicker - since it costs up to $100 to have a vet euthanize a horse and perhaps $500 to dispose of it, many horses are simply turned out and left to fend for them self. Let's call that humane! These types of scenarios seem to coincide with the passage of federal legislation several years ago that prohibited the funding of USDA inspection of horse processing plants. It is ironic indeed, that the care of unwanted horses is being furnished by land owners who understand responsible animal stewardship and the fallacy of the federal prohibition of inspection funds while extreme activists from mainly outside of Nebraska continue to demand for policies that have promoted abandonment of horses. Currently, there is no system for what to do with an unwanted horse. Horse owners, like I described above, have nowhere to leave them and law enforcement or veterinarians have nowhere to take them. The result is unwanted horses continue to suffer from neglect. As I understand it, a recent Nebraska legislative bill, LB 305, helps alleviate this problem. The current issue with horse slaughter is that horse meat cannot be inspected by the USDA. All meat has to be inspected for safety reasons-- so it can be sold across state lines, or possibly even on a global level. The 2008 Farm Bill including important provisions that created opportunities for livestock producers through state meat inspection programs. Before, only meat that was processed at a federally inspected plant could cross state lines. LB 305 creates, under the direction of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, a Nebraska meat inspection agency that would meet or exceed the USDA inspection levels and would establish a state-wide inspection service for all kinds of meat, including but not limited to horses. Where I believe that ultimate intent of the bill is to allow the slaughter of horses in our state, I understand it would also include exotic species like buffalo and elk down to the free range chicken. Therefore implications of this extend beyond horse slaughter. LB 305 would also allow people who raise buffalo or elk or other “exotic” animals to process and sell their products to a wider audience. The same would go for one of the fastest growing segments of animal agriculture - goats. Even the average cattleman, sheep and hog producers will have more places to slaughter their finished animals for local markets. I see that as another positive for this bill. I also see it as a boon to Nebraska for business and jobs. While commodity products will always have a base level market, progressive producers continue to seek avenues to add value to their cattle by pursuing creative marketing opportunities. LB 305 allows producers and smaller processing plants further options to pursue potential market prospects. Contrary to the claims of animal rights groups, horse slaughter is a humane form of euthanasia in the United States. The instantaneous incapacitation provided through American slaughter in our own plants is much more preferable and humane than starvation because the resources just aren't there to keep the horse fed or just letting them loose to fend for themselves against Mother Nature and all the ravages out there including possible collision with an innocent car driver on a county road or even state highway. There are worse things for an animal than slaughter - by far! A great partner to LB 305 is LB 306 - which would require - "Any entity representing itself as a humane society or an equine shelter or rescue operation that provides care and shelter for stray, abandoned, abused, or neglected equines shall accept custody and provide care and shelter for any equine that is presented by its owner or a law enforcement officer or agency." I think this bill creates accountability and would go a long ways to develop a system to humanely store unwanted horses and deal with them, either through adoption or slaughter. Extreme animal rights groups profess animal protection yet they turn their backs on the very animals they profess to be protecting and walk away. If these groups want to make and support laws that don't affect their bottom line and at the expense of the horse/exotic animal owner, it is only right that they share in the care of those animals or perhaps see that the humane slaughter near home is the best route. The simple truth of the awful situation that has been brought to us from the ban on horse slaughter is that this ill-conceived and poorly thought out slaughter ban, coupled with the recession, has created a crisis that stands to get worse before it gets better. I think we are just starting to see the ramification of what we now have in place. I think it will get to be a real problem, especially in light of today's economy and costs of feed. I suggest that we all support LB 305 and 306! 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:


On this day in: 1913 The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, was declared in effect.

Snow Day!! Again!!

Blue Hill Public Schools tops a short list of area schools closed this morning on the names running across the screen of the Television. Silver Lake is also on that list. Many others choose to start two hours late. It seems Blue Hill was the center of the snow storm that hit the area yesterday afternoon. The snow fell on pavement that had been warmed by the higher temperatures of the previous several days, it then melted and refroze, creating a treacherous layer of ice that made travel extremely dangerous. A very serious pile up of vehicles happened on I 80 near Seward and officials in Hastings were very busy taking care of the "fender benders" around the city. Early afternoon, yesterday, there were white out conditions, making just being able to see across the street in Blue Hill nearly impossible. When school was dismissed at around 3:30 p.m. school officials were concerned for the safety of the students and had those students that drove inform parents before they began their trip home. The local motel quickly filled up with travelers who choose not to continue on their way but sit the storm out. With a little Debbie's truck overturned north of town and a Pepsi truck off the road to the south that seemed to many like the thing to do. Some commuters who live in Blue Hill but work in Hastings decided to find a place and just stay in Hastings rather than face the slick roads and dangerous white out conditions. Those that made the trip home shared on facebook details of their white knuckled trips home seeing cars and trucks that had slid off the road. The weatherman has again forecast snow for today. Local roads crews are out now cleaning the snow from the roads but the clouds are keeping the sun at bay, and mother nature may have more in store. The snow is light and a good wind could move a lot of it around.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

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

Weather Warning

WEBSTER County 3:14 PM CST THU FEB 24 2011.. A winter storm warning is in effect until 8 pm this evening..The national weather service in Hastings has issued a winterstorm warning for heavy snow which is in effect until 8p.m. this evening It is expected that snow will fall through the remainder of this afternoon and continue into the evening.. Total snow fall accumulations are expected to range from 4 to 9 inches, with the higher amounts expected in the Blue Hill area. The snow will taper off during the evening. North East winds will average 15 to 20 mph and gusts near 30 mph at times. The winds combined with the snow will result in areas of reduced visibilities and blowing snow and white out conditions at times. Travel is not recommended. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A winter sotrm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel Keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
The picture was on I 80 near Seward, not in Webster Co.

Stimulus Anniversary a Dubious Mark

February 22, 2011 Last week marked the two-year anniversary of the stimulus, but you didn't hear much fanfare from those who once advocated for it. The spending package that cost over $1 trillion was supposed to lead our economy out of the doldrums and put the unemployed back to work. Supporters of the stimulus believed we needed to spend our way to a solution. Yet two years later, it has failed to live up to the promises. Think back to February 2009, when many were advocating for the stimulus as a means to boost the economy and create jobs. The Obama Administration presented us with a now-famous chart with two projections: one that estimated future U.S. job creation with the stimulus, and one without it. We were told that, without the stimulus, the unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2011 would be above 8 percent. If the stimulus passed, they argued, unemployment would be 7 percent. And yet, here we are in 2011 with an unemployment rate above 9 percent – a full percent higher than what we were told would happen had we done nothing at all. At the time, supporters of the stimulus claimed it would create about 3.5 million jobs, translating to about $229,000 per job. Given that the average salary in Nebraska at the time was about $35,000, it hardly seemed like a sound investment. Meanwhile, many economists were claiming the stimulus would produce far fewer jobs than that lofty projection, and given the unemployment figures cited above, they unfortunately appear to have been correct. Thus the cost of a stimulus-created job is far higher than $229,000. Given these numbers, it is all the more astounding that the Obama Administration last week sent to Congress a budget proposal that spends $3.7 trillion, imposes more than $1 trillion in new taxes, and skyrockets our national debt to a devastating $26.3 trillion by 2021. It would also run an annual budget deficit of $1.65 trillion – a shocking statistic when you consider the budget deficit in 2007 was $160 billion. Perhaps the most disappointing news is the manner in which the Administration presented it to the American people. They claim the budget would actually lower the deficit; however, this claim fails to mention that their budget does not include temporary spending for programs like unemployment insurance and Medicare doctor reimbursement rates. The Administration surely does not intend to simply let these programs expire, which will cost more money and add more to the debt. Furthermore, President Obama largely ignored the recommendations by his own Debt Commission. The commission's chairmen have stated the president's budget "goes nowhere close" to "addressing the nation's fiscal challenges," and "falls far short of comprehensive reform needed to … reduce the deficit." The budget proposal put forth by the Obama Administration demonstrates a continued lack of commitment to addressing our reckless spending. I remain determined to working toward solutions to balance our budget and rein in the debt. We must get our fiscal house in order, or our debt problem today will be our children and grandchildren's debt crisis tomorrow.

Nebraska Food Banks receive Settlement

LINCOLN – Attorney General Jon Bruning today announced a gift of $425,000 in assistance for Nebraska food bank programs. Funds are distributed from a settlement reached with Dannon, Inc. regarding alleged unlawful marketing claims. The multi-state settlement of $21 million is the largest consumer protection food product settlement to date, with Nebraska receiving $425,000. “Many Nebraskans struggle to feed their families every day,” said Bruning. “These programs do more than provide meals – they work to fortify our people and strengthen our communities. I’m proud to help extend those efforts.” Bruning will distribute the settlement funds to five Nebraska hunger relief programs: Food Bank for the Heartland, Food Bank of Lincoln, Mid-Nebraska Food Bank, Northwest Community Action Program and the Norfolk Salvation Army. “With more families seeking assistance, our food distribution grew an alarming 35 percent in 2010,” said Susan Ogborn, President/CEO of Food Bank for the Heartland. “This contribution will enable the Food Bank to distribute approximately 675,000 meals to people struggling to put food on the table.” The recipient agencies provide direct aid to individuals as well as supporting smaller, community food pantries, mobile outreach and backpack programs. Last year, Nebraska food banks provided more than 12 million meals to area families and individuals. “Census figures show that in our service area we have had a 32% increase in people living below the poverty line over the last two years,” said Scott Young, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Lincoln. “We have over 14,000 kids under the age of 18 in our service area who need our help. This gift will impact the lives of thousands of southeast Nebraskans.” RECIPIENTS: Food Bank for the Heartland (Omaha) - $225,000 The non-profit organization serves more than 300 food pantries, emergency shelters, after-school programs, senior housing sites and rehabilitation centers in the area. It is the largest food bank in Nebraska and Iowa, encompassing 93 counties in the two-state region. Nearly 22,000 different individuals in Food Bank for the Heartland's service area receive emergency food assistance in any given week. Food Bank of Lincoln - $115,000 The program serves 16 southeast Nebraska counties including: Butler, Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Polk, Richardson, Saline, Saunders, Seward, Thayer and York. In 2010, the Food Bank of Lincoln distributed over 8 million pounds of food – the equivalent of more than 17,000 meals per day. It is estimated that the Food Bank and its member agencies serve 8,100 different individuals each week. Mid-Nebraska Food Bank (Kearney) - $45,000 The Mid-Nebraska Food Bank covers 31 counties in central and western Nebraska and distributes nearly 450,000 pounds of food a year. Counties served include: Adams, Brown, Buffalo, Chase, Clay, Custer, Dawson, Dundy, Franklin, Frontier, Furnas, Garfield, Gosper, Hall, Hamilton, Harlan, Hitchcock, Howard, Kearney, Keith, Lincoln, Merrick Norton, Nuckolls, Perkins, Phelps, Phillips, Red Willow, Sherman, Valley and Webster. The Mid-Nebraska Food Bank serves two types of charities: Emergency Food Pantries, where people needing assistance can pick up food for their own use and organizations that serve meals on site. Northwest Community Action Partnership (Alliance location) - $20,000 Northwest Community Action Partnership is a community benefit agency formed in 1965. The agency is one of the nine Community Action Agencies in Nebraska and provides services in Box Butte, Cherry, Dawes, Sheridan, and Sioux counties. Salvation Army of Norfolk - $20,000 The Norfolk location of the international outreach program, Salvation Army, provides a daily food pantry and soup kitchen services for area residents. In addition, the center provides food for backpack programs and financial support for households in need. Settlement Details: The settlement resulted from a lawsuit filed in December 2010 by Attorney General Bruning and 38 other Attorneys General. The suit alleged that Dannon made unlawful claims in advertising, marketing, packaging, and selling Activia yogurts and DanActive dairy drinks. As a result of the filing, Dannon paid a total of $21 million dollars to the states. Additionally, the company is now prohibited from making certain unlawful claims related to diseases and from making claims about the covered products’ benefits without adequate substantiation. Although Dannon, Inc. admitted no wrongdoing, the company cooperated with the multi-state investigation. Recipient amounts were determined by various factors, including: reach of operation, population served and prior-year assistance requests

Gov. Heineman Appoints David Sankey as New State Patrol Superintendent

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today named Lt. Col. David Sankey of Lincoln to serve as the next Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. A 23 year veteran of the State Patrol, Sankey will replace retiring Col. Bryan Tuma and will assume command on March 1. “Lt. Col. Sankey has an extensive background in law enforcement,” Gov. Heineman said. “Dave Sankey has earned the trust and respect of his colleagues within the State Patrol and the law enforcement community.” A Lincoln native, Sankey, 47, was commissioned as a State Patrol officer on Dec. 11, 1987. For the past two years he has served as Assistant Superintendent, working closely with Col. Tuma to establish policies, operating standards and oversee the agency’s budget. He supervises the three State Patrol Majors leading the field services, investigative services and administrative services divisions, in addition to the State Patrol’s professional standards and executive protection divisions. He has served in a variety of command assignments including: Major of the investigative services division and Commander of the internal affairs and professional standards divisions. He began his career with the State Patrol working in field operations in Fremont with Troop A and specialized in accident reconstruction. He serves on the national Homeland Security Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and represents the State Patrol on the Crime Commission’s Police Standards Advisory Council and the Nebraska Supreme Court’s Minority Justice Committee. He is a former chairman of the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Executive Committee, and was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Nebraska Interstate Compact State Council for Adult Offenders. Over the years, Lt. Col. Sankey has worked closely with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and played a key role in coordinating response to statewide emergencies. Sankey said, “I have experienced firsthand the level of commitment and planning needed to lead this agency and I am extremely honored to accept Command of the Nebraska State Patrol. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve the dedicated, professional men and women of the Nebraska State Patrol, as we work together to provide the highest level of service possible to the citizens of Nebraska.” He graduated from Kearney State College in 1986 with a degree in Criminal Justice. He is a 2003 graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, and completed the IACP Leadership in Police Organizations program in 2009. His salary is $107,700.

Smith reintroduces Hydropower Act to Address Energy Needs

February 22, 2011 WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE), along with Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA), today reintroduced the Small Scale Hydropower Enhancement Act (H.R. 795) to exempt hydropower projects generating less than one and a half megawatts from the Federal Regulatory Commission's (FERC) permitting rules. FERC regulates the licensing and inspection of private, municipal, and state hydroelectric projects. "One of the most difficult challenges facing our nation's future is providing clean, affordable, and reliable energy. While most think of hydropower as a resource requiring a massive dam, advancements in smaller hydropower plans offer tremendous opportunity. By focusing attention on small scale projects, we would not only expand hydropower as a viable energy option for rural consumers, but also help our irrigators," Smith said after filing the bill. Smith continued, "In addition to expanding the use of clean, renewable energy, there has been increased Congressional focus on the affects of agency regulation on entrepreneurship and economic development across the nation. Catch-all federal regulations - many of which are unnecessary or outdated � stifle innovation in the small scale hydropower field by making projects financially prohibitive. My bill would help stimulate the economy of rural America, empower local irrigation districts to generate revenue and increase domestic energy production - all at no cost to taxpayers."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Abraham Lincoln

Alberta "Bertie" M. Donn

Blue Hill resident Alberta "Bertie" Donn, 88, died Saturday, February 19, 2011, at Grandview Manor Nursing home in Campbell. Services are 10 a.m. thursday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Hill with the Revs. Joshua Lowe and James Witt officiating. Burial will be in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Blue Hill. There is no visitation; the body was cremated. Merten-Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill is in charge of arrangements.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Cowardice asks the it safe?
Expediency asks the it politic?
Vanity asks the it popular?
But conscience asks the it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County February 18, 2011 Edition One of the most often asked questions in my office this past year and I am sure in the future months is rental values. I am sure we will see some changes from last year’s figures, but this year’s UNL Land Value and Rental Rate document won’t be out for about another month. When the data is compiled, you should be able to get the information sheet at
I would guess that it will be around the middle of March, so keep checking the website. I will probably do a report on it when it comes to our office, so if you wish you can wait till then. While you wait for those figures to determine your rental costs, I highly suggest that you work on some production budgets. With these prices and elevating input costs, we as producers need more than to ever be good record keepers, and be on top of our production enterprise budgets. That, I think, is a “necessary evil” as many people declare it to be. Budgets can help determine your future expenditures, marketing plans and much more. It can be a little daunting, but UNL Extension may be able to help. Each year our IANR Ag Economists put out some sample budgets and even tools that can help you in that process. I suggest that you not only make out some budgets but use the tools that are there to help you. UNL Crop Production Budgets: The 2011 UNL Extension Nebraska Crop Production Budgets (EC 872) are now available online at
In all, the budgets cover 50 production systems. The purpose of these budgets is to give producers an idea of the approximate costs they will incur for 2011 and allow them to fine-tune the information to their operation. For example, if producers have already bought seed for 2011, they can use the column provided to put in the actual cost of the seed. They can do the same for fertilizers and herbicides that they have already purchased or pre-paid. The budgets include average costs, based on statewide surveys taken in September. Of course with the volatile markets and economic climate, some prices may have changed slightly since then so UNL specialists advise to use known costs whenever possible to customize their individual budgets. Once a producer knows their cost of production, they can look at market prices and see where they may be financially – profit or loss. Individual budgets are available on the Extension Publications website and eventually Excel spreadsheets will be posted to the site to make it even easier. The 50 budgets are broken down by crop including: alfalfa, corn, dry bean, grain sorghum, grass hay, oats, pastures, millet, sorghum-sudan, soybeans, sugar beets, sunflowers and wheat. On top of that, each budget consists of five sections: system description, representative field operations, materials and services, operations and interest, and overhead costs including real estate taxes and opportunity charges. Tables of power, machinery, labor and input costs are also included. Budgets are presented in a worksheet format and include a column for users to input their own data to create a customized budget for their operation. National FFA Week: As a long time ag teacher (retired) I know that the week of George Washington’s birthday has, since about 1947, been designated by the FFA organization as National FFA Week. This year it falls on this week -February 19-26. During the week, individual chapters will initiate events to promote FFA and agriculture in their classrooms and communities. Events include community service projects, educational lessons for elementary students and promotional programs for students, teachers, and alumni. I always enjoyed the week and especially watching the activities that our youth came up with to celebrate the special occasion. Each year’s group came up with a little different slant, but always they celebrated the great organization that they belonged to. It helped put the FFA in front of the public. The FFA is a national youth organization of almost 525,000 student members - all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture - as part of around 7500 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. I think I even recall the FFA mission, “To make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.” Their teachers help make that happen. I am glad to see there is a National Teach Ag Day during the National FFA Week. As I understand it “Infinite Potential” is the theme of this year’s National FFA Week observance. Through this theme members are encouraged to envision, discover and achieve their potential within their communities. I can tell you, from personal experience, that FFA members have that “Infinite Potential” and have potential to do great things even beyond their FFA careers. I have witnessed it. I want to wish all of our FFA Chapters and their members a fruitful and successful National FFA Week. I, for one, am very proud of what you do and what you stand for! The Blue and Gold rocks!
LB 305 and LB 306: I know that a lot of you don’t spend too much time watching what comes through the docket of our state unicameral, or probably even less on the Federal level. I do want to spend a little time talking about a couple of state bills that I think are important for Nebraska and Nebraska agriculture. The first bill, LB 305, is set to create a state meat inspection program/agency that would meet or exceed the USDA inspection levels for all kinds of meat, including horses and non-traditional meat animals. This would basically open the possibility of horse slaughter here in Nebraska. A companion bill, LB 306, requires that entities that would prohibit horse processing be financially responsible for the care of unwanted horses. I will speak towards this more in next week’s column. Enjoy this nice weather while it lasts! 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, February 17, 2011

Lloyd Harvey Dana 3-8-32 to 2-15-011

Fairfield resident, Lloyd Harvey Dana, 78, passed away February 15, 2011 at Mary Lanning Memorial HealthCare, Hastings, Nebraska. Services will be Saturday, February 19, 2011; 2:00 P.M. at Butler Volland Chapel, Hastings with Pastor Charles D. Johnson officiating. Burial will be in Fairfield Cemetery, Fairfield, Nebraska. Visitation will be Friday, February 18, 2011; 9:00 A.M. – 9:00 P.M. with family present from 6:30 P.M. – 8:00 P.M., and 1 hour prior to service at the funeral home. Memorials may be given to the Fairfield Fire Department. Lloyd Harvey Dana was born to Lyman L. & Pearl (Sack) Dana on March 8, 1932.
He attended country school and graduated from Fairfield High School in 1949. He was baptized in the Christian Church at Fairfield and confirmed in 1952 in the Lutheran faith. In 1951 he married Ramona Mae Heinrichs at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Bruning, Nebraska. To this union four children were born; John, Diane, Lee, and Denise. Lloyd served his community well, he was on the Fairfield Fire Department; City Council where he served as Mayor for three terms; he was Scoutmaster; was on the Clay County Soil and Water District Board; Little Blue NRD; a charter member of the Fairfield Saddle Club; and a lifetime member of the North American Hunters Club Rifle Association. He also had a business with Cooper Feeds and sold building supplies. Lloyd worked on the family farm and in the 60’s established his own business, Dana Shop; he dug many basements, waterways, leveling of land, and other miscellaneous dirt work. When Lloyd’s health started to fail, he was unable to stay home and resided at Good Samaritan Perkins Pavilion for three years and eight months. He enjoyed music and social activities at the home, played cards, and visiting. Lloyd’s favorite saying in departing usually was “I’m glad you got to see me again.” He would want to convey that at this time. Lloyd was preceded in death by his parents, Lyman & Pearl Dana; brother, Leonard; sister, Mary Ellen; and an infant baby, Margueritte Survivors include:
Wife: Ramona Dana – Fairfield, NE
Children & Spouses: John & Deborah Dana – Lodgepole, NE
Diane & Rick Walters – Shickley, NE
Lee & Sharon Dana – Red Cloud, NE
Denise & Kevin Atwater – Ayr, NE
Grandchildren & Spouses: Adam & Tanja Dana
Brian & Jamie North
Aaron & Sara Dana
Eric Dana
Zach & Stesha Schneider
Spencer Walters
Amy Dana
Jessie Dana
Jared Dana
Lance Atwater
Jordyn Atwater
Great-Grandchildren: Isaac Dana
Sam Dana
Joslyn North
Adrienne North
Tanner North
Clayton North
William Dana

Wilbur and Jessica Cox Sentenced for Abusing Baby daughter

Wilbur J."Jake" Cox and his wife Jessica M. Cox, of Blue Hill were each sentenced to five years probation with 180 days in jail for abusing their nine week old infant daughter over a year ago. It was January 28, 2010 that the baby was life-flighted to Omaha Children's Hospital. Webster County district judge Stephen Illingworth set forth the sentence Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Illingsworth also suspended 90 days of the jail sentence for each defendant, to be reviewed at a later date. The couple 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 Cox’s plea of no contest, prosecutors reduced her charge from child abuse causing injury to attempted child abuse. During a preliminary hearing on Feb. 26, 2010 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, 2010 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 in Omaha. 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.

Soaring With the Eagles

By Senator Ben Nelson Of all the achievements in my life I consider becoming an Eagle Scout as the most important because it set the stage for everything else that would follow. It taught me to complete what I start, no matter how difficult the task. Scouts can certainly understand that becoming an Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest award, is not easy to do. It would be easy to quit not only because the task is difficult but because it comes at a time in a young man’s life when he is being overtaken by fumes….. Car fumes and per-fumes. In other words, he is beginning to develop other interests. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in scouting in the small town of McCook, where I grew up, or in much larger cities; life is changing. It makes completing the requirements to earn the Eagle a real challenge.
The Two Percenters Because it is such a challenge only two percent of all new scouts go onto become Eagle Scouts. Given the odds, it’s not only a major achievement for the scouts; it’s also quite an accomplishment for their parents and their scoutmasters to keep the kids focused and working on their projects. I thought about my Eagle Scout experience this month in Washington, DC when the U.S. Senate welcomed another Eagle as a member. Senate Welcomes Another Eagle Newly elected Senator Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania is the 11th Eagle Scout, out of a total of 100 U.S. Senators, to serve in the Senate this year. Others in this bipartisan group of Eagle Scout senators include: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon. Leaders of all kinds around the country are Eagle Scouts including past presidents, actors, astronauts, athletes and military officials. Eagle Scouts learn how to set goals, solve problems, be self-starters, never give up, and become active members in their communities. As an Eagle Scout, I know what an immensely valuable organization the Boy Scouts of America is to both the state of Nebraska and to the country as a whole. Their continued emphasis on civic engagement, self-reliance, and strong character has certainly shaped my life for the better, and it is my hope that the Boy Scouts of America are around for many years to come so that they may teach these same lessons to our future generations.

Attorney General Bruning Announces Top 5 consumer Complaints

LINCOLN - Attorney General Jon Bruning announced the top 5 complaints received by his Consumer Protection Division mediation center in 2010. In 2010, recoveries topped $1.1 million after closing more than 4,800 consumer complaints. “Dealing with faulty products or services from legitimate companies can be just as tricky as avoiding scam artists,” said Bruning. “Our highly-trained staff works hard to resolve conflicts and recover hard-earned money for Nebraskans.” Top 5 Consumer Complaints 1) Credit and Financial Services (inaccurate billing) – 600 complaints 2) Personal Services (unauthorized charges) - 432 complaints 3) Professional Services (debt collection calls) - 421 complaints 4) Motor Vehicles (non-delivery of pre-paid goods or services or services not performed) - 300 complaints 5) Home Improvement (non-delivery of pre-paid goods, contracts, down payments or poor workmanship) - 195 complaints Since Bruning took office in 2003, an annual average of more than $1 million has been returned to Nebraska consumers through mediation. The Consumer Protection Division’s mediation center is staffed by highly-trained volunteers that work to resolve issues between Nebraskans and private businesses. The Division also provides timely information on scams operating in Nebraska through direct community outreach across the state. For more information, call the consumer hotline at 1-800-727-6432 or visit the website at

The Coming Storm: Animal Welfare Grops and Ballot Initiatives in Nebraska

There is no question that Nebraska’s animal agriculture industry is under attack by vegan and animal rights/welfare groups like PETA and HSUS. There is likely a coming storm that producers and anyone interested in the sustainability of the animal agriculture industry must be aware and ready for. These groups have obtained footholds in several states using ballot initiatives to put in legislation that dictates how and even where a producer can raise their livestock. It has been very costly to producers in these states and has even put many producers out of business. There is nobody who knows how to best take care of their animals than the Nebraska farmer/producer. We do not want our producers in Nebraska to succumb to the same pressure and legislation without at least people knowing what could be coming down the pike, and being educated on what these initiatives are and what they could do to our animal agriculture industry. Nebraska and in particular, Nebraska agriculture, needs to be ahead of the game. Probably no segment of the animal agriculture industry has been hit harder with these initiatives than the poultry industry, but all other livestock industries face the same scrutiny and challenges. The Nebraska Poultry Industries convention is being held on February 23-24 at the new World Inn in Columbus, NE. They have invited a nationally known speaker, Dr. Wes Jamison, Associate Professor of Communications - Palm Beach Atlantic University, on this topic. He is well versed in all segments of animal agriculture, animal welfare and ballot initiatives. Because they feel this is so important of an issue to all Nebraskans engaged in livestock/poultry production, the Nebraska Poultry Industries have invited and encouraged interested parties to attend. They do know however, that it won’t be feasible or possible for many to come, so they have teamed up with the Nebraska Soybean Board to give the opportunity for interested producers and other people to view the presentation via Webinar at selected sites throughout Nebraska with no charge. One of the sites will be in Hastings at the Adams County Fairgrounds. Any interested party is welcome to come for the Webinar which is on Wednesday, February 23. The program starts at 2:00 pm and should end about 3:00. The meeting room will be in the northwest corner of the exhibit hall. If you cannot attend the Webinar but are interested in listening in, you can join the presentation, audio only, by calling a toll-free number (408) 600-3600 and use the access code: 803 525 401. As a further service to our livestock producers, the presentation will be recorded and archived for later viewing at the leisure of the interested person. Please contact Joline Gordon at the UNL Nebraska Poultry Industries at (402) 472-2051 or email her at, or contact the individuals or extension offices below for more information on how to access that information. For more information, please contact Beth Maricle at the Adams County UNL Extension office. She can be reached at (402) 461-7209 or via email at You can also contact Dewey Lienemann at Webster County UNL Extension at (402) 746-3417 or email at . Dr. Jamison’s WEBEX presentation is brought to you by the support of the University of Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Soybean Board promoting Nebraska’s livestock industries.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Inviting Your Ideas on Ag Policy

February 15, 2011 Agriculture has always been the backbone of Nebraska’s economy. Our state’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities are directly impacted by our nation’s ag policy, which is up for renewal. The farm bill is passed every five years or so by Congress, shaping programs that deal with agriculture, nutrition, trade and a matrix of policies that affect all Americans. As the sun begins to set on the 2008 farm bill and ideas take shape on its renewal, listening to the ideas of those who feed our growing world becomes even more important. That’s why I'm seeking your insight. Some ideas for the upcoming farm bill have already surfaced and committee hearings are likely to be added to the Senate calendar in the coming months, making the time ripe to hear your thoughts on what our ag policy should look like. As citizens of a top ag-producing state, Nebraskans’ perspectives are critical to the success of farm programs. That’s why I will be hosting Nebraska Ag Policy Perspectives, a series of open forums across Nebraska. My first forum will be February 24 at the Burwell American Legion at noon, and I’d like to invite all farmers, ranchers, rural development representatives and anyone with ideas about ag policy to come share your thoughts. Those who cannot attend the Burwell event will have opportunities to participate in other forums across the state. I invite you to visit my website at to get information as upcoming forums are scheduled and to learn more about ag policy. I've also created a farm bill contact form on my website so you can easily share your ideas as the farm bill begins to take shape. A strong agriculture sector is important not only to the health of our state’s economy, but the economy of our entire nation. For proof, look no further than a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing this week that addresses the resounding importance of agriculture to our country’s economy. A recently-released report from USDA shows American farm exports reached an all-time high last year—which alone support nearly one million jobs in the U.S. I have the honor of serving on the Senate Ag Committee, which will play an important role in upcoming discussions and development of future ag policy. Just as families, businesses, and state and local governments across the country are tightening their belts, the federal government must do the same. With less wiggle room, your voices will be crucial to understanding not only which programs are critical to your success, but also those that could be improved to more wisely utilize your tax dollars. Your perspectives will help pave the path for policy that expands opportunities in rural America and maintains a strong safety net for producers in a responsible manner so you can continue to feed the world. The success of our state is directly tied to the success of our farmers and ranchers, and I look forward to hearing from you to make the 2012 farm bill a win for Nebraska and our nation. Together, we can help shape ag policy that will empower our farmers and ranchers to continue leading the way in agriculture.

Johanns: Obama Plan Would Deepen Budget Crisis

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) denounced the budget proposal released by the Obama Administration as a failed effort to make serious headway in confronting the country's mounting debt crisis. The President's proposal would cost American taxpayers $3.7 trillion in Fiscal Year 2012 and would yield a deficit of more than $1.1 trillion, a year after the current $1.6 trillion deficit broke the Administration's own record. Its long-term projections do not account for the costs of extending temporary programs classified as "emergency spending," for which the Obama Administration will likely advocate. "Instead of taking the initiative on reining in spending, this budget proposal would impose more than $1 trillion in new taxes, would triple our national debt in ten years, and would continue our unsustainable spending behavior after the biggest one-year deficit hike in our country's history," Johanns said. "America's debt is now equal to its GDP, and this plan makes things worse without even beginning to address the root causes of our debt crisis. It's not acceptable to nibble around the edges of our financial problems when we need to take a number of big bites. "What I find most disheartening is that the reality of this debt crisis does not seem to be acknowledged by the White House. This proposal is built on large tax increases that have been repeatedly rejected by the American public, while largely ignoring the more serious approach taken by the President's own debt commission. The Administration touts long-term savings that simply will never materialize by pretending short-term spending programs will not be extended. "Families from coast to coast have tightened their belts, but this budget suggests even more taxes on the backs of job creators instead of serious cuts in Washington. We no longer have a debt problem, but rather a debt crisis, and we need a budget that starts to resolve instead of compound it."

Charlotte Y. Ayers Obituary

Blue Hill resident Charlotte Y. Ayers, 80, died Saturday Feb. 12, 2011 at Blue Hill Care Center in Blue Hill. There will be no services; the body was cremated. Merten-Butler Mortuary of Blue Hill is in charge of arrangements.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Governor Heineman encourages E-file this tax season.

February 11, 2011 Dear Fellow Nebraskans: As we begin to think about our final accounting for tax year 2010, I want to encourage every Nebraskan to consider filing their individual income taxes electronically. E-filing is a convenient and secure way to file state and federal taxes. E-filing allows taxpayers to submit both their federal and state tax returns together. Taxpayers can go online, purchase software or visit a participating tax preparer to file their returns using the Fed/State e-file program. Some software providers allow free federal e-filing, but may charge a fee for state e-filing. Visit for more information. NebFile allows taxpayers to file their Nebraska individual income tax return online for free with the Nebraska Department of Revenue at Nebraskans have embraced e-filing at much higher rates than most taxpayers across the country. In 2008, approximately 62 percent of tax returns were filed electronically. The following year Nebraska achieved 70 percent and last year we set a new all-time high with 78 percent of tax returns filed online. Our goal this year is to achieve an e-filing rate of 85 percent. We are off to a good start. Of the 160,000 state income tax returns filed so far this year, 99 percent have been e-filed. In addition to being quicker and more efficient, filing online reduces the risk of errors, provides confirmation that a return has been received and allows tax refunds to be received much sooner. Those taxpayers entitled to a refund who e-file and choose to have their refund returned via direct deposit typically receive their refund in seven to 10 business days. The ability to file and pay taxes online is another way our state is providing the services Nebraskans want, while also helping ensure greater efficiency in government. The ability to file and pay taxes online is one of the many ways our state is striving to provide services that make it easier for Nebraskans to interact with state government. The switch to e-filing has reduced the number of temporary workers at the Department of Revenue. For the first time, no seasonal employees were hired this year, compared to the approximately 150 temporary workers that used to be hired before e-filing became an option. Our progress is due in part to the cooperation of the professional tax preparation community who have embraced the speed and convenience of e-filing, along with the partnership of the individuals and families who converted to this faster, more convenient option in the last several years. Whether working in the tax return processing section of the department, or another division within the department, at tax time every Revenue employee in Lincoln, including Tax Commissioner Doug Ewald, pitches in to help process paper returns. Every single taxpayer choosing to file online saves the staff time needed to open envelopes, remove extra staples or paper clips and review the enclosed documents to ensure everything is in order before each tax return can be processed. Please visit the Nebraska Department of Revenue website for information on new developments, and other electronic options available to taxpayers at support of e-filing is greatly appreciated.

Private Pesticide Applicator Training in Webster County Starts Feb. 22

A valid certification is needed to allow the purchase and use of restricted use pesticides on the farm. Producers will therefore need to attend a training session for initial certification, or to renew their certification for another three years. This applies if they received a letter from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, haven’t held a PSEP card, or if their card has expired. Producers that received a bar-coded letter from the NDA should bring it to the meeting that you choose to go to. The UNL Extension in Webster County will present several sessions where producers or ag workers may re-certify or extend pesticide certification. Dewey Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, will be doing the Private Pesticide Applicator training at four sites in Webster County. They are as follows: Blue Hill - at the Community Center on February 22 starting at 7:00 pm; Bladen - at the Fire Hall on March 9, starting at 9:00 am; Guide Rock - at the City Hall (Old HS) on March 16, starting at 1:30 pm; and Red Cloud - at the Webster County Museum Exhibit Hall on March 23, starting at 1:30 pm. Producers should plan to spend about two and ½ to three hours to certify or re-certify. A $30 materials fee will be charged for attending the session. Attendees should plan to arrive 15 minutes early to register and pick up their material. Basic information that will be covered in the private applicator training meetings include: protective clothing, equipment and safety; reading pesticide labels and mixing herbicides; update on new pesticide laws, and regulations; record keeping agreements and forms; fumigation procedures for grain and rodents; records and pesticide application reporting; pesticide and container storage, disposal, & bio-security; pesticide drift management, nozzles, wind, and compass use; Worker Protection Standards; and new information that affects production agriculture, integrated pest management and/or pesticide application. Attendees will get the current pesticide information guide, hand-outs and other materials, and the new UNL 2011 Guide for Weed Management in Nebraska. There are of course other trainings across the state. Please contact our office in Red Cloud if you are not sure if you are certified, or if you need further information on the classes described in this news release or for other classes that are available in other counties. You may go to for information on applicator status or training sessions. Producers may also take the class through a self-study method. Please contact Dewey Lienemann at the Webster County Extension office in Red Cloud at (402) 746-3417 or via his cell phone at (402) 469-0357 or email at for questions or for more information.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Straight From the Horses Mouth

Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County February 11, 2011 Edition In this column, a couple of weeks ago, I put in a blurb about some new regulations that came into effect at the end of December 2010, concerning a new thrust by the Nebraska State Patrol that I feel could have an effect on our area farmers. I explained that there were several meetings in Nebraska that were set to explain what the Nebraska State Patrol's Carrier Enforcement Division is calling the "biggest changes to affect motor carrier enforcement in decades." I have had several phone calls and emails concerning these classes and who has to go, so I checked it out further. New Nebraska Truck Regulations: The Nebraska State Patrol says a “compliance, safety and accountability program”, implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the basis for the changes that have been made to the regulations that cover vehicles including farm trucks, trailers and even pickups. Basically, in December 2010, the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA 2010) program will increase the monitoring of motor carrier on-the-road performance, and implement new penalties for unsafe driving behaviors. Area farmers may want to check on this! The patrol says the meetings should be attended by those who operate any of the following vehicles in Nebraska: Any farm truck displaying farm plates and registered for more than 16 tons; pickup pulling a trailer of more than 10,000 pounds combined weight or gross combination of weight rating; a pickup or truck weighing more than 10,000 pounds; and any pickup, trailer, truck or semi requiring a class A, B or C commercial driver's license. It also applies to any motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials in a quantity that requires placards; any passenger carrying vehicle designed or used to transport 8 or more passengers, including the driver, for compensation; and any passenger carrying vehicle designed or used to transport 15 passengers, including the driver and not used to transport passengers for compensation Due to overwhelming interest (or perhaps fear of the unknown), the Nebraska State Patrol Carrier Enforcement Division has scheduled several more additional town meetings to the original sites which included the closest to our area at Lexington. The additional meetings in fairly close locations will be held in Lincoln, Columbus and Grand Island. The Grand Island meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 29 from 7:00 pm- 10:00 pm at the Howard Johnson Motel which is located at corner of S. Locust Street and Hwy 34 in Grand Island. More meeting places and an explanation can be found on the internet at: I contacted the Nebraska State Patrol Carrier Enforcement Division and they gave me some further information on the program. If you want more information, you can contact Gary Bergmeier with the NSP-CED at 402-326-3470. According to Bergmeier and the NSP, these meetings are set up to offer an explanation of the federal regulations that apply to any one who is operating a CMV (commercial motor vehicle). The regulations apply to anyone operating a vehicle or combination of vehicles that is over 10,000 lbs in commerce both in interstate or intrastate traffic. This would include pickups and trailers, semi-trucks, dump trucks, etc. I pressed for some further information that may clear up some things. That information follows. Hopefully it may clear up some confusion – but then maybe not! These regulations are not just for commercial truckers or transporters, they also apply to farmers; although, the farmer does enjoy some exceptions – particularly if they stay in Nebraska. First, as I see it, the regulations only apply to farm vehicles that are farm plated for more than 16 tons; a pickup pulling a trailer of more than 10,000 pounds combined weight or gross combination of weight rating; or a pickup or truck weighing more than 10,000 pounds. The farm trucks can operate anywhere inside of Nebraska and do not fall under any regulations. I would assume it would be the same for the pickup pulling a trailer or weighing more than 10,000 pounds, but I am not completely sure on that. However, one thing is for sure, we do see a lot of farmers driving semi-trailer trucks and these vehicles do fall under some regulations --even if they stay in Nebraska. There are a couple of questions that commonly come up concerning truck and trailer regulations that affect farmers. (1) Yes, a farmer does need a Class A CDL license; (2) Yes, their unit does need to have annual inspections; and (3) Yes, the drivers need to be in a random drug testing program. If any of the vehicles cross the state line, then more regulations may apply, depending on which type of vehicle they are driving and how far they travel. These exceptions are too lengthy to explain in this column, so I would encourage everyone to attend one of the town hall meetings. I would also suggest that you download the “Nebraska Truck Information Guide.” It can be found at Private Applicator Training: I might suggest that if you have had previously, or need a new license to handle restricted use pesticides, that you check to see if you need to certify or re-certify your Private Applicator License. If you are not sure, you can call our office or simply look on the internet at: If you do need to do the training, I might remind you of 4 sessions that I will be conducting in the near future: February 22 in Blue Hill at Community Center @ 7:00 pm; March 9 in Bladen at Fire Hall @ 9:00 am; March 16 in Guide Rock @1:30 pm at City Hall (Old HS); and the final one on March 23 in Red Cloud at the Webster County Museum Exhibit Hall starting at 1:30 pm. I suggest getting those on your calendar as the time will really pass fast! Here’s wishing for an early Spring! 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:

A-FAN Teams With RFD-TV to Tell Nebraska’s Agriculture Story February 17

RFD-TV AND A-FAN (Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska) are proud to announce a special 90-minute RFD-TV “LIVE” prime-time broadcast on Thursday, February 17th beginning at 8:30pm central time. The Nebraska grain and livestock organizations formed their alliance in 2006 with the primary goals of helping consumers better understand where their food comes from and the people who produce it. Willow Holoubek, spokesperson for A-FAN, says, “We’re pleased to be teaming up with RFD-TV and to be able to tell our story of what we’re doing in Nebraska to promote agriculture. We’re in a real battle in rural America. There’s a lot of misinformation in the media about how food is produced. We want to show every consumer that Nebraska farmers and ranchers safely and responsibly provide food for our tables. We’re proud of Nebraska’s strong agricultural traditions and way of life, and we’re working hard to keep our family farms successful, while remaining environmentally responsible.” Patrick Gottsch, RFD-TV founder and president added: “What this organization has done in Nebraska should be done in every state. I hope every farmer and rancher in America tunes in Thursday night to hear the story of A-FAN. RFD-TV is ready to help any state that wants do the same thing. I encourage viewers to call in that night and ask questions.” A panel of Nebraska farmers and ranchers will take part in his special broadcast, hosted by RFD-TV News Director Mark Oppold. Short videos will highlight Nebraska farm families and their dedication to food production, and their way of life. A toll-free number will be available for viewers to call-in and participate once the show starts.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rural Airports Help Nebraska's Economy and Create Jobs

By Senator Ben Nelson This winter has been a rough one on the east coast. When snow storms closed airports and shut down commercial air travel for one or two days people didn’t know what to do. Life came to a standstill. I hope it makes people think what it would be like if those airports were closed to commercial airlines forever because that’s what could happen to some rural Nebraska airports if some in Congress have their way and eliminate the Essential Air Service (EAS) program. Just because our state has a small population and the airports aren’t servicing jumbo jets doesn’t mean they are any less important to people who live in rural areas. As a budget hawk, with a proven record of spending cuts, I continue to look for ways that Congress can tighten its fiscal belt by reducing spending, but it concerns me that with the new-found budget restraint by some in Congress there are proposals to completely eliminate a program that is essential to Nebraska communities. Rural Airports Need Federal Help Without this federal support, many rural airports, including seven in Nebraska, would no longer be able to offer commercial airline service and may be forced to close because they haven’t had enough passengers to make a commercial service economically feasible so far. This is not just a convenience issue for Alliance, Chadron, Grand Island, Kearney, McCook, North Platte and Scottsbluff. This is an economic development issue. Washington politicians need to recognize that small, rural airports are absolutely critical to the success of rural communities. If EAS is ended it would devastate the economies of rural communities it serves and those nearby as well. It’s an Economic Issue I’ve heard from numerous people in cities that benefit from EAS subsidies who’ve told me stories about businesses and industries that wanted to locate or expand and one of the first questions they are asked is if the city is served by commercial airlines. These job-creating companies don’t want to be located in cities where it takes company representatives several hours to drive to get to their plants. In a letter several senators and I sent to Senator John McCain, who’s proposing the EAS elimination, we point out that as the Nation’s economic recovery is starting to gain momentum, it makes little sense to cut off these Americans simply because of where they live. And at a time when jobs are already so hard to come by in our rural communities, it makes even less sense to enact cuts that will only make the problem worse. Nebraskans Always Do Our Part Nebraskans have always been more than willing to do our part in any crisis and we’ll take our share of cuts but Congress should not try to balance the budget on the backs of rural Americans by completely eliminating programs like EAS. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When it comes to rural living Washington just doesn’t get it. We may be small in numbers but we deserve equal treatment with larger cities and certainly not treatment that will hurt our economy.

Farmers and Ranchers: America's First Conservationists

Adrian Smith's Washington Report Farmers and ranchers remain our nation's first conservationists. Nebraska's farmers and ranchers recognize the responsibility of good stewardship toward their land. However, they understand conservation not only applies to protecting their land, but to the animals in their care. Farmers and ranchers know producing safe, high quality foods requires careful and well-reasoned livestock practices. Because their livelihood depends on cultivating crops and livestock to develop our nation and feed the world, the success of any operation is tied directly to land quality and livestock well-being. Livestock and poultry organizations already have adopted codes of conduct out of commonsense concern for animal well-being and food safety. However, restrictive and onerous government regulation, like the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to regulate methane under the Clean Air Act, adds cost, reduces efficiency, and puts another hurdle in front of farmers and ranchers. The burden of doing business forces small producers into tough decisions and associated costs are passed along to the consumer. Modern animal agriculture is not an accident, and we must preserve sound, science-based animal husbandry practices. Improved housing, updated handling practices, and modernized health and nutrition products are the result of generations of investment and research into raising high quality animals. Let's look at the facts about Nebraska's thriving agricultural sector, which is tremendously important to our economy. In 2009, our state ranked first in commercial red meat production and fourth in cash receipts from all livestock and livestock related products. We currently boast 6.2 million head of cattle, making us second in the nation; and 3.1 million hogs and pigs, placing us sixth. Further, Nebraska's dairy cows produce nearly 1.2 billion pounds of milk annually. In 2008, the Nebraska livestock industry accounted for 48 percent of the state's total agricultural cash receipts; livestock or poultry operations could be found on 50 percent of Nebraska farms. I will continue to work to promote practical policies which are not detrimental to our rural way of life and also protect and promote the safety of our nation's livestock. Every day, Nebraska's farmers and ranchers provide for the needs and welfare of livestock and poultry. It's simple, really: produce high quality products depends on producing high quality, healthy animals. The landscape of American agriculture continues to evolve, but the concern and care farmers and ranchers show their animals remains unchanged. Our producers continue to demonstrate they are dedicated to providing the highest quality, safest, and most affordable food in the world.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rabid Skunk confirmed in Blue Hill area.

A skunk that bit a dog on a farm south of Blue Hill has been diagnosed with rabies. As the population of skunks, raccoons and other small animals seems to be plentiful this year it is good to remind all readers to make sure their pets vaccinations are up to date. Although there are still some people that will keep skunks as pets, the majority of the thinking population would rather not come into contact with one. If there are skunks on your property, near your home or if you have seen skunks out during the day, it is best to familiarize yourself with some signs of a rabid skunk. It is better to be informed than to be in danger. Although there are no absolutely sure visible signs that any skunk has rabies, there are some things a person can look for. An absolutely conclusive test for rabies requires a look at, or scan of, the brain by a professional usually done in a state health office. Most skunks are not aggressive. If you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. Do not scream, yell, move in a quick manner, or start acting crazy. If you slowly back away from a skunk quietly, everyone will usually be fine. Skunks are known rabies carriers. Not every skunk will have rabies. The most common wild animal in the United States to carry rabies is a raccoon, and there are plenty of raccoons in Webster co. Worldwide, dogs are the most common rabies carriers because they are more likely to encounter, and make contact with, rabid wild animals. However, in the United States we have an aggressive campaign that is ongoing promoting pet vaccinations. That is why dogs are not #1 here. Every responsible pet owner should make sure their pets vaccinations are kept up to date. Although it is very easy to neglect getting those booster shots letting those vaccinations expire can lead to heart break if your pet happens to encounter a rabid animal. With all of that being said, you should still know what to watch for. Here are some things to look out for: The most telling of the signs of a rabid skunk from a strictly visual standpoint is a skunk that is not afraid of humans or dogs. Skunks are generally afraid of humans. If a skunk keeps coming at your or your pet, it is best to assume the skunk is rabid. Do what you can to keep your pet and family away for any skunk that seems to have no fear. Is the skunk walking funny? Does it appear as if the skunk has had one too many beers? A skunk that is staggering, stumbling, wobbly or appears to be drunk may have rabies. Of course, it may be injured. But I would not suggest doing an examination to find out! Rabid animals will sometimes attack inanimate objects. They are aggressive to anything they encounter. They may appear to be confused. A rabid animal, or skunk, may drool excessively. He or she may even foam at the mouth. Some rabid animals experience hind-quarter paralysis. Though not all experience this. These are just some of the classic symptoms of a skunk carrying rabies. Classic symptoms are exhibited anywhere from 1-14 days before the skunk dies. Not all rabid skunks will show signs as soon as they are carriers. Use caution and good judgment at all times. It is best to avoid contact at all times, regardless of whether the skunk appears to be rabid or not. Lindsay Waechter-Mead, a veterinarian with the Animal clinic in Hastings said " Just to clear it up, all pets (cats, dogs, horses, ferrets) need to be vaccinated for rabies at 3 months of age, then booster the vaccine after one year. They then need to be vaccinated every 3 years in Nebraska. "

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Southwest Invite Results 2-5-2011

 1. Oberlin, KS (OB) 171
2. Franklin (FR) 109
 3. Hershey (HE) 105
4. Southwest (SW) 104
5. Medicine Valley (MV) 104
 6. Red Cloud/Blue Hill (RCB) 100.5
7. Cambridge (CA) 68
8. Southern Valley (SV) 50
9. Hitchcock Co. Wauneta Palisade (HCW) 46
10. Gothenburg (GO) 43.5
11. Dundy County Stratton (DCS) 41
12. Gothenburg JV (GOJ) 13
13. Hershey JV (HEJ) 9
14. Cambridge JV (CAJ) 7
15. Red Cloud Blue Hill JV (RCJ) 3
103 1. Matthew Helm, OB Pin 2. Colton Thompson, HE 3. Thomas Foster, MV Pin 4. Levi Vogler, RCB **Helm over Foster 5-3 in semis
112 1. Dayton Dreher, OB Dec 4-0 2. Mack James, FR 3. Jesse Hays, SV Pin 4. Marcus Florom, MV 119 1. Jacob Helm, OB Dec 5-0 2. Dillon Schnuerle, FR 3. Marcos Ramirez, HCW Dec 10-6 4. Zack Riley, SW
125 1. Brent Juenemann, OB Pin 2. Brandon Trueblood, SV 3. Tyler VanPelt, SW Dec 12-10 4. Ben Fox, DCS **Trueblood pins Fox in semis
130 1. Tanner Teel, SW Pin 2. Dylan Shannon, RCB 3. Chris Anderson, OB Dec 2-1 2OT 4. Jacob Thompson, HE
135 1. Kade Brown, OB Pin 2. Aksel Wiseman, HE 3. Tanner Rupprecht, RCB Dec 4-1 4. Cyrus Thomas, SV ** Wiseman over Thomas 6-2 in semis
140 1. Hunter Timmons, MV Dec 5-0 2. Tanner Noyes, SW 3. Kyle Kleinknecht, GO forfeit 4. Nolan Peters, OB **Timmons named OW 145 1. Tyler Frederick, HE Pin 2. Paul Downey, DCS 3. Cale Olson, RCB Dec 6-0 4. Sam Osterman, SW
152 1. Mason James, FR Dec 13-7 2. Zach Herman, SW 3. Jon Samson, OB Pin 4. Tyler Block, GO 160 1. Jarod Krueger, RCB Pin 2. Tommy Schroeder, MV 3. Alec McCurdy, CA Pin 4. Matt Glading, OB
171 1. Heath Shannon, FR Pin 2. Ryan Klaasmeyer, HE 3. Garrett Sharp, RCB Pin 4. Logan Huxoll, CA
189 1. Justin Romeo, MV Pin 2. Keagan Haarberg, HCW 3. Jacob Larue, OB Pin 4. Brock Shoff, CA 215 1. Juan Martinez, HE Pin 2. Kale Schmidt, FR 3. Rulon Taylor, MV Dec 4-2 4. Channing Fortin, OB 285 1. Mike Shoff, CA Pin 2. Alex Pollmann, HCW 3. Dillon Gartner, GO Pin 4. Bret Neel, SW

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fire takes down Blue Hill History

Saturday February 5, 2011 a piece of Blue Hill History went up in flames. Residents of Otoe, Cass, Webster and Pine street, the neighborhood surrounding Trinity Lutheran Parochial school building, began to notice unusual activity as a single fire engine and a half dozen of Blue Hill's volunteer firemen arrive to participate in a controlled burn of the large two story brick building that had once housed the Trinity Lutheran parochial school. Barricades were set up on corners to keep vehicles at a distance. This was neighbors only notice that the controlled burn was about to take place. The morning was cold, windless and quiet as the stench of the fire began to fill the air. By 8 a.m. flames were bursting through the windows of the upper floor of the building. By 8 p.m. the fire truck was gone, the firemen were gone and the building was a pile of smoldering stinking rubble and ash beside a steel stairway, a fire escape that had become the stairway to nowhere. In be back of a pickup truck Kami Bumgardner fingers the keys of an old piano rescued from the building before the fire was set. On the other side of the pickup flames burst from the windows in the upper floor of the building.
Flames can be seen creeping up a stair way inside the building as the firemen set the flames that would eventually send the old building into the history book and out of the city.
A single fireman walks by on Webster street as flames burst through the windows on the top floor of the abandoned school that stood on that corner for nearly 80 years. For nearly 30 years the building had been used for little besides storage. The last school classes were held there in 1979.
Flames can be seen in openings of the building as it was ravaged and the structures integrity is destroyed and with the help of an excavator it begins to fall into a heap.
Snow is left on the front entrance steps of the building as flames destroy the once beautiful interior of the school where children were once instilled with christian values and given the knowledge to lead them into the productive lives that lay ahead of them. Smoke and ash rise from the burning rubble as the building has been destroyed by the fire and the excavator brought in is finishing off the destruction of the building.
In the right hand corner of this picture the roof of the Trinity Lutheran Church can be seen behind the smoldering pile of rubble and the big yellow excavator as it maneuvers around the piles of burned brick and steel.
Monday large machinery continued to remove rubble and haul in dirt to fill where the building had been. There is little left to be a reminder of what was once there.
Trinity Lutheran Church has not announced what it intends to do with the space gained by removing the building but local speculation is that the space may one day become a parking lot.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County February 4, 2011 Edition Well, here we go again. Oprah Winfrey took another shot at the animal agriculture industry this week—and not just meat. This time she included dairy and eggs as well. I don’t watch the Oprah show, nor will I ever, but I have good sources that told me that this last Tuesday’s show focused once again on veganism. It was entitled “Oprah and 378 Staffers Go Vegan: The One-Week Challenge.” Oprah put out a promo on the show, “No meat, no milk, no animal anything!” What is troubling is that she has a huge following of people that will do her beck and call, and even worse is that she has the power to reach millions of people in just one hour, and no one is allowed to question her. I doubt she would ever allow a beef producer or eloquent speaker on behalf of animal agriculture get equal time. I was hoping that this “influential” person would leave us alone after her first famous “Meat Stinks” campaign about 15 years ago. In 1996 when Oprah did a show on BSE in cattle and exclaimed that she would never eat another hamburger. A group of Texas cattlemen, including Nebraska’s own Paul Engler, filed a defamation lawsuit against Winfrey, but eventually lost their case. What many people may not remember that their lawsuit in 1998 was also against, believe it or not, another cattleman. Most of us had not even heard of the Humane Society of the United States back then, or if we did didn’t really know what they were up to. I did some back-checking and wouldn’t you know it, that beef producer, Howard Lyman, is an organic food proponent, was president of the International Vegetarian Union and get this---Program Director of the HSUS and a good friend of Wayne Pacelle. Hmmmm…Are we starting to see a pattern here? One thing was very obvious. Winfrey’s irresponsible and biased show did do great damage to the million American farm and ranch families who raised cattle --including myself. The show, in giving vegans and anti-meat activists a platform for biased and unsubstantiated claims against beef, also did a tremendous disservice to millions of American consumers. The show was one of beef-bashing -- not a responsible discussion of BSE and the safety of the American beef supply. She took a complex technical issue and turned it into an hour of unjustified scare-mongering all on the basis of “we are all going to get this! Well, she was wrong then, and I think she is wrong again in attacking animal agriculture, and my base opinion of her has not changed one iota. I will, however, give her this: one segment of the show did feature a tour of a Cargill meat packing plant near Ft. Morgan, Co. and a beef spokesman from there ( ). But of course to off-set any positives for the meat industry she also had “modern agriculture” critic, Michael Pollan, as one of her guests. That is the same guy that wrote “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and was instrumental in the film “Food Inc.” both of which bashed the meat and animal agriculture industry. Oh, and did I forget Kathy Freston, a vegan model, hawking the virtues of veganism and of course her new book “Veganist.” She, of course. espoused the health, spiritual and environmental benefits (as she sees them) of shunning all animal products. My guess is that those 378 staffers didn’t have much choice in if they would participate or not. After all, Oprah is the boss. I did find it humorous, however, in that one staffer was brave enough to say --“It tastes gross; no wonder people lose weight on this stuff!” I would guess she was mourning her daily hamburger routine. She was promptly ‘corrected’ by Freston, who told her –“Your protesting taste buds and hunger rumblings are because you are an ‘addict’ going through withdrawal”. The rest of the ‘vegan resistors’ were met with similar corrections by Freston and Oprah. I am probably ruined now. Shoot every time my stomach growls when I smell the delightful aroma of a steak on the grill, I will have to join a support group, stand up, and admit that “I am an addict!” The one thing that we must remember in all of this is that a “vegetarian” makes a choice not to eat meat, and a “vegan” doesn’t want anyone to eat meat or use any animal product. I guess we know where Oprah stands. I thought she was retiring….! What bothers me is that people like Oprah and this vegan fringe likes to portray their opinion as the majority view and want to implement rules and regulations that limit consumer choice and decrease food production. I think we are faced with the task of making sure that consumers, retailers, and policy makers understand that the food we produce is safe and that agriculture needs to produce more to meet growing world food demands. What we need even more than ever are efforts by all agricultural groups to bring about a unified voice to speak for agriculture. We can no longer sit back, watch Oprah and think all is well in our world. This is getting to be serious stuff. I know it sounds daunting and that we don’t have anything really on our side, but take heart. There are some positives, but we need to work on those positives. In my opinion everything pretty much lines up for our message; the consumer data is on our side, the economic impact, the environment, and I think even the moral reasoning are all on our side. Right now there is a willingness to listen and learn, and we must take advantage of it. I believe however that with everything that is happening with the anti-animal agriculture movement --that the timing is critical. We must begin to get this message out quickly. My reasoning is that over the next two years, food prices will likely rise to the highest-ever levels and this will cause consumers to ask some tough questions. Agriculture must be ready with the answers when the time comes. Are you ready? 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, February 4, 2011

Alien spotted near Blue Hill

Can you identify this creature???

Pheasants Forever Banquet Febr. 5

The Blue Hill Senior/Community Center will be the site of the fifth annualWebster Co. Chapter of Pheasants Forever Banquet Saturday evening. February 5.
The event is the major fund raising event for the Webster Co. Pheasants Forever chapter. The Chapter members will be serving a beef supper with all the fixin's before the games and auction. Area businesses have generously donated numerous prizes to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. There will be a silent auction as well as a live auction under the direction of local auctioneer Joe Shanle. Some of the items to go will be half a hog, numerous art pieces by nationally know artists as well as a one of a kind pencil drawing by local artist Andi Meyer, a shot gun, seed corn, a guided hunt at Bunker Hill near Hastings, and many more items.
Funds from the event will be used locally to promote the protection and enhancemnt of pheasant and other wildlife populations through habitat improvement, public awareness and education and land management policies that benefit private landowners and wildlife alike.
Virtually all of the funds raised by local chapters, exclusive of membership fees, remain with the chapter for local habitat projects.
The chapter uses some of the funds for their annual Pheasants Forever Youth mentor hunt. This year 30 volunteers were on hand to teach 20 Webster County youth to be safe and responsible hunters and to respect the rights of the property owners. More information about the youth mentor hunt can be found else where on this blog.
Jamie Reiman of Blue Hill is the President of the Webster Co. Pheasant Forever chapter and can inform anyone wanting more information about the chapter and what they are doing to improve habitat in the county.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Feb. 1. Lee Kumke Feb 1 Sherri Lynn Feb. 2. Dale Myers, Feb. 2 Rebecca Kearney Feb. 4. Seth Wengler Feb. 5. Marlys Kort, Feb 5. John Meyer, Feb 5. Charles Hoit Feb. 6. Joe Hubl, Feb.6. Brooke Schmidt, Feb.6. Doris Martin, Feb. 6, Brenda Trumble Feb. 7. Craig Strasburg, Feb. 7. Linda Waechter
Feb. 7. Dakota Lovett and Montanna Lovett Feb. 8. Dick Schmidt Feb. 10. Dewey Lienemann, Feb. 10 Lee Wright Feb. 15. Tom Schmidt, Feb. 15 Sarah Weddingfeld, Feb. 15. Fred Hesman, Feb. 15. Rochelle A. Seeman, Feb. 15. Cassie Henderson Feb. 16. Mary Tenhoff, Feb. 16. Evart Barton Feb. 17. Duane Delay Feb. 18. Marcia Woods Feb. 20. Lloyd Post,
Feb. 20 Elaine Soucie
Feb. 21 Stephanie Ruybalid Feb. 22. Margie VanBoening, Feb. 22 Dennis Henderson, Feb. 22 Todd Meents, Feb. 22 Sylvia Alber Feb. 26. Verlin Rose Feb. 27. Sue Toepher, Feb. 27. Rose Kelley & Thad Kelley Feb. 28. Brenda Piel, Feb. 28 Jean Krueger, Feb. 28 Nila Gartner, Feb. 28 Bonnie Stertz

Glen R. Hartman 8-26-1941 to 1-28-2011

Hastings resident, Glen R. Hartman, 69, died Friday, January 28, 2011, at the VA Medical Center, Grand Island, Nebraska. Rosary will be Tuesday, February 1, 2011; 7:00 P.M. at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, February 2, 2011; 10:00 A.M. at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church with Father Joseph M. Walsh and Father Scott Courtney officiating. Burial with military rites will be in Parkview Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the family. Visitation at the funeral home will be Monday and Tuesday from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Visitation at the church will be Tuesday 6 P.M. to 7 P.M. with the family present, and one hour prior to the service on Wednesday. Glen was born August 26, 1941 on a farm, south of Blue Hill, Nebraska, to Elmer & Anna (Tietjen) Hartman. He grew up around the Hastings area and graduated from Hastings High School in 1959.
Within a year after graduation he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served for almost eight years.
He met his wife, Claire L. Struckhoff, while stationed in Denver, Colorado. They were married on October 28, 1967. They returned to Hastings in 1972, where he owned and operated Hartman’s TV Service.
Glen had many interests and hobbies including, bowling, billiards and baseball. He was a member of the American Legion Baseball Committee of Hastings, and was the driving force in the creation of the American Legion Indians Baseball Team. He was actively involved as a baseball coach and mentor. He started the Billiard Congress of America Pool League of Hastings, the highlight of which was his team’s national tournament appearance in 1988. This St. Louis Tournament was the most prestigious 8-Ball tournament in the country.
Above all, Glen’s passion was his family. He lived for attending his children’s and later grandchildren’s activities and events. He will be sorely missed. Glen R. Hartman was preceded in death by his parents and brother Wayne Hartman. SURVIVORS: Wife: Claire Hartman – Hastings,
Children & Spouses: Kevin & Vicki Hartman – Hastings,
Suzanne Morehead – Hastings,
James Morehead – Beatrice,
Terese & Clayton Anderson – Lincoln,
Roxanne & Greg VanSkiver – Hastings,
Brian Hartman – Denver, CO
Joseph G. Hartman – Omaha,
Grandchildren: 20 Great-Grandchildren: 6
Brothers & Spouse: James & Frances Hartman, Richard Hartman and Leon Hartman, all of Hastings, NE