Helen May Wickman, the daughter of Louise Lyda (Jettner) and Henry Edward Brezina, was born February 17, 1927 at Northbranch, Kansas. She departed this life on Friday, August 26, 2011 at the Webster County Community Hospital in Red Cloud, Nebraska at the age of 84 years, 6 months and 9 days.
Helen began her formal education attending rural schools in Jewell County, Kansas and moved with her family to the Guide Rock community in 1934. She graduated with a certificate in normal training from the Guide Rock High School in 1945. From 1945-1955 Helen taught area rural schools.
She was united in marriage with Francis "Bud" Wendell Wickman on June 23, 1953 at Guide Rock. This union was blessed with three children. They continued to make their home on the farm southwest of Guide Rock in Webster County. Helen worked with the Guide Rock Meal Site from 1978 through 1990.
Helen and Bud Wickman
Helen possessed a number of interests and activities in her leisure time. She diligently worked for years on the family genealogy history. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, sewing, raising her African violets, and painting pumpkins. She cherished her home and especially looked forward to the time spent with her family. Helen will be lovingly remembered for her patience and kindness.
Preceding her in death were her parents and three brothers-in-law, Wayne Rouse, Rex Fringer and Melvin Seeman.
Left to treasure her memory are her husband, Bud Wickman; daughters, Laura Ann Wickman of Guide Rock, and Lisa Delka and husband Leonard of Doniphan, Nebraska; a son, Mike Wickman and wife Kathy of Lee Summit, Missouri; 4 grandchildren, Jerad and Chad Wickman, and Thomas and Trevor Delka; 3 sisters, Hazel Rouse of Hastings, Nebraska; Edna Fringer of Odell, Nebraska and Evelyn Seeman of Blue Hill, Nebraska; other relatives and friends.
Longtime Hastings resident, Duane R. Hartman Sr., age 76, died Friday, August 26, 2011 at Mary Lanning Memorial HealthCare in Hastings.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, 10:30 a.m., September 3, 2011 at the North Shore Assembly of God Church in Hastings with Pastor Chris Johnson officiating. Duane chose cremation, so there will be no viewing. Memorials may be given to the North Shore Assembly of God Building Fund.
He was born November 4, 1934 to Lillie (Leetsch) and Carl Hartman, north of Guide Rock, Nebraska. He graduated from Eckley Consolidated High School, northwest of Guide Rock, on May 12, 1952.
Duane was united in marriage with Colleen F. Nash on april 10, 1955 at the Assembly of God Church in Red Cloud. He served in the United States Army from May 28, 1957 to May 28, 1961 in Texas and Germany, receiving an honorable discharge on April 30, 1963. He was employed at the Consolidated Concrete Company, Leverage Tools, Inc. and retired from Metz Baking Co. on april 1, 2000 after 16 years of service as a maintenance engineer, engineering supervisor and manager.
Duane was a leteral jack of all trades, a resource for family and friends on nearly anything that needed repairs. He dedicated member of his church, he volunteered his time to a number of positions including a church trustee and served as co-chair for the Keenagers.
Preceding him in death were his parents; a step-mother, Rachel; sisters Anne Morgan and Mildred Moothart; brothers Delbert, Carl Jr., and Marlin; sisters-in-law Sherry Tjaden Hartman and May Hartman; nephews Kenneth, Ronald and Phillip Hartman, Kim Burtis; niece Kathleen McGinnis; grand-nephews Terry Borrell and Jason Brockmann, and a host of cousins.
He is survived by his wife, Colleen of Hastings, Nebraska; sons Michael and wife Cheryl of Hastings; Mark and wife Melissa of Kearney, Nebraska; and Duane Jr. and wife Lara of Riverdale; a daughter Susan Anderson and husband Kirk of Davenport, Iowa; brothers Keith and wife Daisie of Guide Rock; Kenneth of Guide Rock; Edwin and wife Roberta of Ogallala, and Marvin and wife Phyllis of Guide Rock; sisters-in-law Ida Hartman of Hastings, and Phyllis Hartman of Blue Hill; grandsons Michael Dale and wife Michelle; Martin, and Matthew and wife Misty Iske Hartman, Ryan and Eric Woolsey, Jacob, Chance, Gavin, Colton and Luke Hartman; granddaughter Camille Hartman; great granddaughters Kaylene, Jocelyn, Abby, Aubree and Autumn; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Producers are finishing up their irrigating season, and some have already picked up pipe and are contemplating their next task. That means that it won’t be long and our area farmers will be busy preparing for the 2011-12 wheat crop. With the type of year we have experienced and the problems in wheat fields we have seen in the past in our area, I think that like never before it is crucial to follow the recommended guidelines to insure a productive and successful crop. With the ergot, loose smut and Fusarium head blight (scab) in the heads of this year’s wheat it behooves us to follow some good production practices for wheat. Let’s this week look at planting wheat and what we can do to insure a good crop next year.
Wheat Variety Selection: First, let’s look at the potential for disease and what we can do about it. Believe it or not, Fall is the best time to prevent wheat disease problems from robbing yields next spring. How can that be? Well, variety selection is the single most important factor in disease management and many producers are looking at what seed wheat they will be planting in the next few weeks. Although no variety is resistant to everything, modern varieties have much better resistance to diseases and insects than those from a decade ago. The 2011 Nebraska Fall Seed Guide is available in your local Extension Office at a minimal cost, or if you have access to the internet there are some very good places you can go. You can go for a “Virtual Tour of Nebraska Wheat Varieties” by going to: http://cropwatch.unl.edu/web/wheat/virtua/ l or additional on-line information on wheat varieties can be found at http://cropwatch.unl.edu/web/varietytest/wheat .
A fairly new tool for wheat variety selection for the area, UNL Extension Winter Wheat Variety Selection Tool, can be found at: http://citnews.unl.edu/winter_wheat_tool/index.shtml/ . You can also get a lot of good information at: http://wheatbook.unl.edu/. Since we in SC Nebraska have a lot in common with North Central Kansas I might also suggest utilizing the Kansas State wheat varieties and test results web site at: http://www.agronomy.ksu.edu/extension/ .
No matter which variety of seed wheat you select, I absolutely suggest using cleaned and conditioned Certified and treated seed that has a high test weight (56+). All of these qualities increase the success with winter wheat. The seed treatments need to thoroughly coat the seeds to give good results and should be applied with seed treating equipment. If you treat it with a fungicidal seed treatment (e.g. Dividend Extreme, Raxil-Thiram, or RaxilXT, Vitavax, Rancona, etc.) it can reduce the risk of problems later on. I have a list of treatments that you can use. Please contact me if you are interested, or you can go to Stephen Wegulo’s suggestions at http://cropwatch.unl.edu/web/cropwatch/archive?articleID=4266121/ .
Planting Considerations: It isn’t only seed varieties that can have an effect on disease and insects, there is no doubt that planting date has a strong impact on several diseases and insects. Early planting is a risk factor for wheat streak mosaic, barley yellow dwarf, take-all root rot, and of course Hessian Fly. To minimize risks, I suggest that you plant after the Hessian fly free date which is September 25 for South Central Nebraska. So from then up to two weeks after that date would be the optimum planting dates. If you get late in planting, the seed rate should be increased to compensate for the lack of tillering associated with that delayed planting. Use a seeding rate of 90 lbs/- 120 lbs/acre in rain fed row crop fields.
Wheat can emerge from various depths, but a planting depth of 1 to 2 inches is optimal. If deeper planting is necessary, producers should be aware of the coleoptile length of the variety to be planted. They should also be aware that soil temperature also has a big effect on coleoptile length. Soil fertility is always a big concern with any crop. Soil tests can go a long way in insuring a healthy plant and a great yield. There are always other key questions that producers have regarding recommendations to help with the wheat cropping enterprise. Let’s take a look at a couple of the most popular.
What varieties are best for continuous no-till wheat? This question comes up quite frequently and there has been almost no research done that tests variety performance under no-till, continuous wheat conditions. The best single criterion to use in selecting varieties for no-till continuous is tan spot resistant so look for varieties with high resistance. Other traits that are important for no-till continuous wheat are strong emergence and early growth, Hessian Fly resistance and septoria leaf blotch resistance. What ever wheat variety that you settle on, don’t forget also that wheat producers must follow the rules and regulations as set by the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVP). Be sure that you are in compliance.
Nebraska State Fair: I have spent the better part of this week helping prepare for the 2011 Nebraska State Fair. We hauled down over 90 static exhibits from Webster County and I have to tell you that our kids did a fantastic job. You can see the Webster County booth plus all the exhibits from across South Central Nebraska in the 4-H and FFA Exhibit Hall on the north end of the Fairgrounds in Grand Island. Our extension office staff did a tremendous job in designing and putting up a very attractive booth, so make sure if you are at the fair you stop by and take a look. You can track the results of competition at the fair by going to: http://www.nebraska4hresults.com./ As this column reaches the newspaper our livestock youth will be loading up and getting ready for the annual Labor Day weekend trek to show their prized livestock exhibits at the Nebraska State Fair. I know that South Central Nebraska is well represented in all species. I know that we have a lot of supporters for our 4-H and FFA youth. Please stop by and say hello when you walk through the barns or watch our kids make us proud with their exhibits. Oh and can it be –Husker football starts. Go Big Red! 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: email@example.com or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home
WASHINGTON – The dates and locations of two public meetings on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline requested in May by U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) have been announced by the U.S. Department of State. Today Johanns encouraged Nebraskans to attend these meetings, which will be held on September 27 in Lincoln and September 29 in Atkinson.
"I spent the past two weeks visiting with people across Nebraska, and it became increasingly obvious that Nebraskans have concluded the proposed route is a bad deal for our state," Johanns said. "I encourage Nebraskans to attend these public meetings to have their voices heard by the State Department. Many Nebraskans share the view that TransCanada has simply chosen the wrong route. I will reiterate that I'm not opposed to pipelines or utilizing tar sands as an energy source, but it is in the best interest of Nebraska to avoid a pipeline through the Sand Hills and the middle of the Ogallala Aquifer."
The Department of State is also expected on Friday to release its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the pipeline. Within 90 days of release, the State Department will make a determination as to whether the pipeline is in the best interest of the country. The Department has indicated they will accept public comments regarding this national interest question until midnight on October 9, 2011. Other federal agencies will have 15 days to agree or disagree with the State Department's national interest determination.
State Department public meetings in Nebraska
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
226 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.; 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
West Holt High School
100 North Main Street
Atkinson, Nebraska 68713
4:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
The month of August means it is time for students and teachers across the Third District to prepare for a new school year. Planning new lessons, meeting new classmates, and readjusting to the school schedule are just a few of the transitions which will be faced in the coming days. It is an exciting time of year. As the back-to-school season begins, I wanted to update you on the opportunities and services my office provides for students, teachers, and parents.
Throughout the year, I regularly meet with students of all ages throughout Nebraska and in Washington, D.C. As students ask questions and share their ideas, it is clear the quality of Nebraska’s youth is impressive and their futures are bright. To harness this energy and gain insight from these students, I formed a Youth Advisory Council. This group provides a forum to discuss the concerns of young Nebraskans and how they can help their local communities, while also offering the opportunity for me to hear their thoughts on issues facing the federal government.
Membership is open to high school students nominated by their teachers, principals, or guidance counselors. For more information about the Youth Advisory Council, interested students should contact their guidance counselor, call my Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900, or visit my website at http://adriansmith.house.gov/.
College-aged Nebraskans have the opportunity to experience the legislative process through an internship in my Washington, D.C. or district offices. These internships provide invaluable work experience for students interested in public policy. Interns have the opportunity to serve in a variety of capacities – from conducting legislative research to attending briefings with policymakers and constituents. For more information about internships, students should visit http://adriansmith.house.gov/ or call any of my offices.
In addition to information about internships and the Youth Advisory Council, my website includes an extensive section designed to help Nebraska students of all grade levels learn more about American history and the U.S. government. There are also pages for teachers interested in resources for lesson plans and learning activities.
The website also shares more about how my office can assist schools, classes, or families in planning a visit to our nation’s capital. If you are coming to the Washington, D.C. area, I can help arrange a tour of the U.S. Capitol Building and provide information about other sites. Please contact the office at (202) 225-6435 or log on to my website to request a tour online, and I will do all I can to help make sure your trip is educational and enjoyable.
Whether or not they participate in opportunities provided by my office, students across the Third District must be challenged to become active, responsible members of their communities. Each day Congress deals with major issues which impact people of all ages. Students have a stake at what is happening in Washington, D.C., so their participation is important and needed. I am confident the young people across Nebraska will continue to help lead our great state and nation to brighter days ahead.
For more information about opportunities available for students, the latest developments in Congress, or to sign up for my e-mail newsletter, please visit my website at http://adriansmith.house.gov/.
Nellie Larue, 60, of Lebanon, Kansas, was the driver of a 1992 Cheve s10 pickup that colided head on with a 1987 Cheve astro van, driven by 42 year old Joseph Schneider one mile north of Red Cloud Friday August 19th.
Larue was in fair condition in Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney hospital Tuesday according to a hospital spokeswoman.. Clifford Wise 49, also of Lebanon was a passenger in the pickup Larue was driving. Wise was transferred by helicopter from Good Samaritan Hospital to an unspecified hospital in Omaha. .
Joseph Schneider and his paassenger, 36 year old Brian Eberhardt, also were taken to the Kearney hospital where they were treated and released.
The collision which occurred on U. S. highway 281 one mile north of Red Cloud was reported to authorities around 9:50 p.m. friday evening.
All four injured parties were taken by ambulance to the Webster County Community Hospital in Red Cloud then transferre by ground to Keanrey. Wise then was transferred to Omaha.
- Janeth K. "Jann" Meyer, 61, of Blue Hill died Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bladen United Methodist Church with Mona Fassler officiating. Private family burial will be later.
The body was cremated. There will be no visitation.
Merten-Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill is in charge of arrangements.
She was born Jan. 22, 1950, at Ainsworth to Walter and Lenora (Forbes) Meyer.
Survivors include her son, Kasey Rogers of Mechanicsburg, Pa.; daughter, Keely Rogers of Kearney; brother, Richard Meyer of Aurora; sister, Daveta Brader of Glenvil; four grandchildren; stepchildren, Kelly Rogers, Kathy Jo McManus Martin, Tracy Bell, Christine Griffiths, Shary Griesfeller and Tanae, Tova and Taryn Ehrman; nine stepgrandchildren; and two stepgreat-grandchildren.
Harvard resident Myra May Buerer, 73, died Monday, August 22, 2011, at the Harvard Rest Haven in Harvard, NE.
Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 24, 2011, at the Harvard United Church of Christ in Harvard, NE with Pastor Dave Johnson officiating. Interment will be in the Edgar Cemetery at Edgar, NE. Visitation will be Tuesday, from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. with the family present from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., at McLaughlin Funeral Chapel in Clay Center, NE. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be directed to the family. Condolences may be left at www.mclaughlinchapel.com.
Myra was born February 26, 1938, at Ainsworth, NE to Cecil and Ruth (Banks) VanMatre. She received her education in Blue Hill and graduated from Blue Hill High School in 1957. On March 23, 1958, she married James A. Buerer in Blue Hill, NE. She worked as a homemaker until he husband James passed away in 1981. Myra was then employed with various cafés in Clay County before beginning employment as a CNA at the Sutton Community Home in Sutton, NE.
She enjoyed spending time with her family, attending sporting events and camping.
She is survived by her sons, James Buerer of Hastings, NE; Tim and wife Tina Buerer of Harvard, NE; Marty Buerer and his fiancé Stephanie Capps of Ogden, IA; brother Don and wife Judy VanMatre of Longmont, CO; ten grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren soon to be born.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, infant sister Leona Arlene VanMatre and a daughter Barbra Jean Shoemaker.
We are really getting to the time of year that I love most. It is getting cooler in the evenings, football season is just around the corner, school is back in session and the Nebraska State Fair is upon us! There is something else that always seems to happen this time of year. I would bet that in about every Co-op or coffee shop, or wherever farmers meet, there are probably fresh hand-picked ears of corn being compared and thoughts of harvest are being incubated. I know it happens every year in the local elevator where local farmers succumb to the aroma of coffee and the taste of donuts, cookies and perhaps a sliver of a roll or donut that somebody’s wife may have missing from their kitchen --or more likely an opportune stop at the Qwik Shop or the grocery store. This morning I witnessed the annual comparison of corn ears and heard farmers trying to determine possible yields. Of course the first liar never has a chance, but it did get me thinking back to Agronomy 101 and the lesson I learned years ago on determining potential yield, using an ear of corn.
OK, it isn’t quite that easy but there is a simple way that I thought I would share for those that are interested or always wondered how it was done. Of course in today’s world of computers, smart phones, and iPads a lot the work is taken out of it. But I am still of the old school and like hands on and perhaps the use of a pencil once in awhile. Let’s take a look at an age old way of trying to outguess Mother Nature. I know you won’t determine your market strategies with the outcome, or at least I highly suggest that you don’t, but it does give you a little idea of what may be out there. Let’s look at one of the standard methods called the “Yield Component Method.”
The Yield Component Method involves use of a numerical constant for kernel weight which is figured into an equation in order to calculate grain yield. This numerical constant is sometimes referred to as a "fudge-factor" since it is based on a predetermined average kernel weight. Since weight per kernel will vary depending on hybrid and environment, the yield component method should be used only to estimate relative grain yields, i.e. "ballpark" grain yields. You should be aware that when below normal rainfall occurs during grain fill (resulting in low kernel weights), the yield component method will overestimate yields. In a year with good grain fill conditions (resulting in high kernel weights) the method will underestimate grain yields. It will be interesting to see what the heat at pollination does to kennel size this year.
First we need to count the number of harvestable ears in a length of row equivalent to 1/1000th acre. For 30-inch rows, this would be 17 ft. 5 in. Now grab every fifth ear and then count the number of rows per ear and determine the average. (It will always be an even number.) On each of these ears count the number of kernels per row and determine the average. Do not count kernels on either end that are less than half the size of normal size kernels. Repeat the procedure for at least four additional sites across the field. Now comes the math exercise – here is the formula: Yield (bushels per acre) equals (ear #) x (avg. row #) x (avg. kernel #) divided by 90.
Let’s do an example: You are evaluating a dryland field with 30-inch rows. You counted 24 ears (per 17' 5" = row section). Sampling every fifth ear resulted in an average row number of 16 and an average number of kernels per row of 30. The estimated yield for that site in the field would be (24 x 16 x 30) divided by 90, which equals 128 bu/acre. Now if you are mathematically challenged and/or have a computer, you can simply go to an on-line calculator using this same method by going to: http://www.wfsag.com/wfs/calculator.aspx?key=cornyield/.
For the lazy ones out there, I have a simpler but probably less accurate method. This method is to select an ear (or ears) that represent the average ear size in the field. This would be appropriate for the example that I talked about of farmers bringing in representative ears to coffee. Now simply count the number of kernels per ear (# rows x #kernels/row) and then multiply that number by the standard multiplier of 0.300 to get a very rough yield estimate. To add a little more accuracy to the simplest method, you can count the kernels on each ear of 10 consecutive ears in a row. Then you average the counts from the 10 ears to have a better estimate of kernels per ear. Let’s do an example: You grab an ear and count 12 rows per ear and 50 kernels per row which will equal 600 kernels per ear. Take that 600 x 0.300 = 180 bushels/acre. Simple!
While this method is a very fast way of estimating yield, it makes several assumptions and could be misleading. The multiplier of 0.300 assumes 27,000 ears per acre and an average seed size of 90,000 kernels per bushel. Changes in either ears per acre or kernel size affect this multiplier. Seeding rate, stress on developing plants, and pests can all change the final number of ears per acre. Not every field will have 27,000 ears per acre. If you want to adjust seed size based on the growing season, you can use the multipliers from a chart, that I can provide you, that can come in handy and helps accuracy in making your yield estimate. This chart will adjust for seed size and population counts. It would be fun to have several farmers to try one of these methods and then see just how close they are, my guess on average we will be off about 20 bushels per acre either way.
On a side note for the BH Co-op crew…How much $7 corn does it take to feed a $1,000 pig? I just had to put that in…. I would be remiss if I didn’t close the column this week by wishing our South Central Nebraska youth and their parents the very best as they prepare their exhibits for the 2011 Nebraska Sate Fair. We will be taking static exhibits down to the State Fair this week and then of course Labor Day weekend is the big weekend for livestock. Good Luck to our 4-H and FFA Exhibitors! 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home
Joins rural veterans’ roundtable with VA Secretary Shinseki and announces legislation to help veterans secure good jobs as civilians
August 19, 2011 – Today, Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson joined a rural veterans' roundtable with Veterans Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki in Omaha, toured the Omaha VA hospital slated for major overhaul and announced he has cosponsored two bills to improve training, education and job counseling for veterans, particularly veterans from rural areas such as Nebraska.
Nelson discussed his legislation during the roundtable led by Shinseki that drew Nebraska area veterans, regional Veterans Administration and Agriculture Department officials, and others. The meeting fostered a discussion about veterans' health care, the need for specialty care, training, tele-medicine, education and job opportunities for rural veterans.
"Nebraskans believe, as I do, that we need to be as good at taking care of our veterans as we are at creating them," said Senator Nelson. "This is especially true considering the many veterans who have served, or will have served, in Iraq or Afghanistan. These men and women, including those who come from rural areas of our states, are the backbone of our national security. They have sacrificed much to preserve our freedoms."
"We owe them more than a debt of gratitude. We shouldn't just shake their hand for a job well done on the battlefield and send them out the door alone to look for a job back home."
"That's why I have cosponsored legislation to help ensure our veterans receive the training, job counseling and education they need to transition out of the military and into productive lives as civilians," said Nelson, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who has worked extensively on veterans' issues.
Nelson has signed on as a cosponsor to the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, which is the first of its kind to provide broad job skills training for all service members returning home. Today, more than one in four veterans ages 20-24 are unemployed. To help combat that high unemployment, the bill requires each service member leaving the military to attend a transition assistance program. It creates new direct federal hiring authority, so that more service members have jobs waiting for them the day they leave the military. It will improve veteran mentorship programs and it requires the Department of Defense, the Labor Department and the VA to work together on job accreditation for veterans to identify the equivalencies between certain military skills and civilian employment.
Nelson also cosponsored the Veterans Unemployment Assistance Act, which seeks to increase access to employment opportunities for rural veterans. It will hire more veterans' job counselors in rural states to help veterans find work. It would increase the number of full-time job counselors from 11 to 14 in Nebraska.
"I am dedicated to serving our veterans," the senator said. "I will continue to combat high unemployment among veterans through job skills training, certification, improved federal hiring practices, and encouraging private business and companies to hire our veterans.
"They have helped safeguard our freedoms. We must help safeguard their future."
Nelson, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee since 2001, has worked on numerous veterans issues.
Earlier this week, he listened to Nebraskans discuss education programs that reach out to veterans during a visit to Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff. The college is using workforce development grants to help veterans and others receive accelerated training to get students quickly into a job.
On Thursday, August 18th, Nelson toured a Veterans Resource Center at Central Community College in Columbus to hear how it helps students who are military veterans receive resources, mentoring, career advice and advocacy to succeed in the classroom and in civilian life.
Previously, Nelson served as chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel where he held hearings to address concerns of active duty service members and veterans. He succeeded in improving federal law under the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act to address military suicides, travel reimbursements for soldiers, mental heath services, health benefits, strains on military families, compensation for caregivers treating injured service members and care for wounded warriors.
The senator also has worked for several years to ensure that serious shortcomings at the Omaha VA facility are addressed. In 2008, he hosted former VA Secretary James McPeake on a tour of the Omaha VA Medical Center to see conditions firsthand, and helped secure support for an independent study, which called for a major overhaul of the facility. Nelson has held several meetings and numerous discussions with the current VA Secretary Shinseki as the VA's modernization project for the VA hospital has gotten underway.
In 2010, the Administration committed to transforming the aging VA hospital built more than 57 years ago, into a 21st Century health care facility that serves thousands of veterans in a four-state area. Planning and design are underway now and construction is slated to begin in 2013.
Secretary Shinseki and Sen. Nelson toured the hospital today during the secretary's visit to Omaha.
Blue Hill resident, Glendon “Jack” Westby, 84, passed away Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at the Blue Hill Care Center, Blue Hill, NE.
Services and burial will be in Salinas, CA with military rites at a later date. There will be no visitation. Arrangements by the Brand-Wilson Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Hastings, NE. Condolences may be sent to the family from www.brandwilson.com.
Memorials may be given to the family.
Jack was born September 10, 1926 to Bennie A. and Blanche (Savold) Westby in Maddock, ND. He attended school in Maddock, ND. He served in the United States Army during WWII as a rifleman from Dec 18, 1944 to November 20, 1946 serving in the Philippins. He saw extensive combat action in dense jungle. After the war ended he was shipped to Japan, where he was a Guard Patrolman, guarding government property, supplies and equipment in Tokyo and Yokahama.
Decorations and Citations: Philippine Liberation Medal with one bronze service star, Asiatic Pacific theater service medal, Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal (Japan), and a Good conduct medal.
He married Mavis A. Schmid, on December 15, 1947 she passed away January 25, 1967. He worked as a plumber for the Pipe Trades District 36 in Salinas, CA.
After his military service he and Mavis, lived in Salinas, CA for many years. Jack moved to NE on March 29, 2011.
He was a member of the American Legion and VFW both in Salinas, CA.
He is survived by many nieces and nephews including, Marilyn Reynolds and Jackie Beeson both of Blue Hill, NE and Paula Menard of Norwalk, CA, and two sisters, Shirley Luidahl of ND and Norma Berghagen of CA.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Mavis, one sister and three brothers.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2011-As children go back to school to feed their hungry minds, parents will be turning their attention to feeding those hungry bodies with healthy and nutritious snacks at home. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today issued tips to keep kids safe from food poisoning as they prepare their favorite treats, sometimes unsupervised by mom or dad.
"Consumers of all ages need to be aware that bacteria in food can make them sick, but there are ways to reduce their risk of food poisoning," said Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen. "Back to school time is an excellent opportunity for parents and kids alike to review the importance of food safety in the kitchen."
Keep it clean:
Keep books, book bags, and sporting equipment off of food preparation and eating surfaces such as counters or the kitchen table where germs could be transferred to the food you eat.
Wash your hands. Hands carry lots of germs, and not washing hands is a top cause of foodborne illness. This is especially important after greeting the family pet, giving it a treat, or even touching its toys.
Always use clean spoons, forks and plates.
Wash fruits and vegetables with running tap water before you eat them, even if you plan to peel them.
Do not leave cold items, like milk, lunchmeat, hard cooked eggs or yogurt, out on the counter at room temperature. Put these foods back in the refrigerator as soon as you have fixed your snack.
Avoid these foods:
Any perishable food left out overnight, such as pizza, even if it is not topped with meat. Food that has to be cooked or refrigerated should never be left out for more than two hours.
Lunchbox leftovers, like perishable sandwiches or other foods that need refrigeration which were not eaten at school. Throw out these, and their plastic or foil wrapping, instead of saving them for later.
Unbaked cookie dough, because it may contain raw eggs that can have Salmonella bacteria.
Bread, cheese or soft fruits or vegetables that look bad or have even small spots of mold.
Microwave food carefully:
Use only microwave-safe plates, bowls, and utensils. Some containers can melt or warp, and they may leak harmful chemicals into your food. Ask your parents to keep microwave-safe dishes in a certain cabinet.
Read package instructions carefully, or ask your parents what settings to use for your favorite snacks. If a microwaveable meal says to let the food "stand" after the timer goes off, don't skip this step. The food is still cooking even though the microwave has stopped.
Cover food with a lid, plastic wrap, or wax paper, turning up one corner to let steam escape. Also, rotate or stir food halfway through cooking. This helps to heat food evenly and removes cold spots, which better destroys any bacteria that could be present.
Microwave hot dogs, luncheon meats, fully cooked ham, and leftovers until they are steaming hot. This indicates that they are at a temperature high enough to destroy bacteria. Just let the food cool for a few minutes so you don't burn your mouth!
FSIS has a Food Safety After School fact sheet with more information for families concerned about the safety of afterschool snacks. Parents and kids can also Ask Karen, USDA's virtual representative who answers food safety-related questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit Ask Karen at AskKaren.gov or call USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). Recorded messages are available 24 hours a day and the Hotline is staffed with food safety experts Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time.
Ask Karen is available as an app for your iPad, iPhone, or Android mobile device, so you can take her with you to the grocery store, or ask food safety questions right in the kitchen without having to sit at a computer. Go to m.AskKaren.gov on your mobile device's browser, or download the app for free from the Android app store.
Economic medicine that was previously meted out by the cupful has recently been dispensed by the barrel. These once unthinkable dosages will almost certainly bring on unwelcome after-effects. Their precise nature is anyone's guess, though one likely consequence is an onslaught of inflation.
(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today was joined by Nebraska education leaders to announce the creation of the Nebraska Virtual Partnership, and outline plans for the creation of the Nebraska Virtual School and the Nebraska Virtual Library systems. Efforts of the Nebraska Virtual Partnership will significantly increase educational opportunities for students throughout the state.
“This is a significant step forward for the future of education in Nebraska,” said Gov. Heineman. “The Virtual School will provide Nebraska students a rigorous online high school curriculum with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, commonly referred to as STEM courses, and Advanced Placement courses in both rural and urban areas. Additionally, the Virtual School establishes a single, centralized website informing students, parents, teachers and schools of virtual learning opportunities in Nebraska.”
Nebraska educational leaders signed a Memorandum of Agreement (M.O.A.) formally establishing the Nebraska Virtual Partnership. The M.O.A. represents the commitment of the Department of Education, the Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council, the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) to the construction of the Nebraska Virtual School.
In addition to the Virtual School, the Nebraska Virtual Partnership will establish the Nebraska Virtual Library. NET has proposed to make multi-media and digital instructional resources available to students and teachers across Nebraska.
To help kick off the Nebraska Virtual Partnership, the University of Nebraska is announcing the launch of the NU Virtual Scholars pilot program, which will extend the benefits of high-quality online learning to more students in Nebraska.
Through the Virtual Scholars program, the Independent Study High School at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will offer 50 free course enrollments to high schools across Nebraska on a competitive application basis. A school may apply by accessing the application on the Independent Study High School’s website: http://highschool.unl.edu./
University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken said, “The Nebraska Virtual High School will be an important part of providing educational opportunities to students across Nebraska and the University is very pleased to join Governor Heineman in this initiative. We look forward to working with our partners, leveraging the successful record of UNL's Independent Student High School as well as other state resources to increase access to science and math curriculum, Advanced Placement courses and other opportunities all Nebraska students should enjoy. This represents a true partnership among educational and political leadership in Nebraska and the beneficiaries will be our high schools students.”
Fully accredited by state, national and international agencies, the Independent Study High School now serves more than 300 Nebraska students as well as students from 135 countries around the world in a flexible, asynchronous environment.
LINCOLN - Attorney General Jon Bruning released a statement following the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s decision affirming the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional.
“We are pleased the Court of Appeals agreed Congress’ attempt to impose an individual mandate on every American was a blatant overreach of its authority,” said Bruning. “Although the Court ruled the mandate severable, the entirety of the Act was built on that foundation. Without the mandate, this house of cards comes tumbling down. It’s time for Congress to realize its mistake and repeal this unconstitutional law.”
The Court found there was no principle that “would permit us to uphold the mandate without obliterating the boundaries inherent in the system of enumerated congressional powers.”
Filed in July 2010, Kinder v. Geithner names U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as defendants.
SmithApplauds Decision Striking Down Individual Mandate of Health Care Law
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) issued the following statement after the Appeals Court of the 11th Circuit found the individual mandate in the new health care law to be unconstitutional.
"Nebraskans deserve the freedom to make their own health care decisions without the federal government interfering. Today’s ruling is another step toward replacing this misguided law with reforms which reduce costs and increase access for Americans."
This decision is the third legal ruling against the new health care law since it was signed into law.
Last Wednesday Michael J. Sell pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of theft by taking, one charge of burglary, 11 criminal mischief counts and two counts of unauthorized use of a vehicle and one aiding a abetting a felony charge in Adams County District Court. The 18 year old Seward resident denied the accusation that he had been involved in the crime spree that covered several counties, including but certainly not limited to, crimes committed in Blue Hill.
Sell and Kurtis Dobrovolny and another youth were allegedly involved in a string of thefts across several counties in 2010. Some of the vehicles involved appeared to have been deliberately rammed into each other.
Michael Sell and Kurtis Dobrovolny have both also been charged with crimes they are alleged to have commited in Webster County.
Theft by taking, value more than $1,500 and burglary are each a class 3 felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine. Theft by taking, value $500 - $1500 and accessory to a felony are each a class 4 felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Colleen Luree (Fassler)Richard was born in Webster County Nebraska on July 26, 1950 the daughter of Harold Clayton Fassler (1999) and June Elaine (Favinger) Fassler (2003).
Colleen attended Bladen Public Schools from Kindergarten till graduating in May of 1969. The day after graduation she married Billy Jack (Bill) Richard in Bladen, NE and resided in Wichita, KS until later moving back to Bladen, NE. They moved to Valliant in the early 1970’s where they have made their home since that time.
Colleen worked for the Weyerhaeuser Company in Fort Towson, OK until the facility closed and at that time she started working for a dear friend at Blackard’s Feed Store. After retiring, she spent the rest of her days with her husband, Bill riding in their pickup and taking care of her beloved dogs. For the past year, she and her husband have resided at Hills Nursing home in Idabel where they have enjoyed conversing with their many friends.
SURVIVORS INCLUDE her husband, Billy Jack (Bill) Richard of Idabel, OK; brothers: Roger Fassler and Pat Faber of Bladen, NE, Richard and Mona Fassler of Campbell, NE; sisters: Peggy and Vern Timm and Nancy and Arlen Kumke also from Bladen NE; many brother and sister in laws, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins along with tons of friends because she never met a stranger.
Gene Hugh Williams, son of Bernice (Scott) and Lloyd J. Williams, was born February 9, 1931 in Omaha, Nebraska. He passed away Thursday, August 11, 2011 at Mercy General Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, California at the age of 80 years, 6 months and 2 days after a lengthy battle with heart disease.
Gene spent his early years in Omaha, Nebraska where he received his formal education and then attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He was united in marriage with Jean Ann Peck on January 26, 1951. This union was blessed with five children. Gene was a Christian and a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church. He worked in Sales and Marketing for Westinghouse Electric until 1977 with his career transferring him from Omaha, NE to Chicago, IL, and finally to northern New Jersey. He then moved to Blue Hill, NE and worked in sales for Dutton-Lainson Company in Hastings, NE until 1985. Gene farmed near the 14-mile corner north of Red Cloud, NE for 10 years. In 1987 he moved to Dallas, TX and worked in sales for Phillips Lighting Company. He retired and moved to Council Bluffs, IA in 2000 and moved to Lodi, CA in 2005, where he resided at the time of his death.
Gene was active with all aspects of his family. He was a hands-on grandfather, possessed a wonderful charm, and always looked forward to spending time with family and friends. In his leisure time, Gene enjoyed farm sales, livestock, playing horse-shoes, fishing, gardening, traveling, and working on house projects. He had come to build many beautiful things during his retirement years. He will be greatly missed.
Preceding him in death were his wife Jean, on October 25, 1986; his parents, and his older brother.
Left to treasure his memory are his children Jack Williams and wife, Sandie, of Omaha, NE; Jerry Williams and wife, Peggy, of Plattsmouth, NE; Danny Williams and wife, Connie, of Fritch, TX; Jeff Williams and wife, Kris, of Hastings, NE; Melissa Showalter and husband, Reed, of Acampo, CA; fourteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be Wednesday, August 17, at Korisko-Larkin-Staskiewicz Funeral Home in Omaha, NE from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Graveside services will be held Thursday, August 18, 2011 at the Plainview Cemetery southeast of Bladen, Nebraska at 11:30am. with the Simonson-Williams Funeral Home of Red Cloud in charge of the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Heart Association in Gene's name.
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970
Tel: 402-746-2500 http://www.wmsfh.com/ email@example.com
Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
August 12, 2011 Edition
Two weeks ago I wrote a column on the value of food produced by farmers and the simple fact that we spend less than 10% of our income on food, the lowest in the world. I had intended to continue my discussion on that topic the following week but got wind that the DOT was fielding comments on a proposed change to regulations concerning the need for CDL to run any farm equipment. It was of concern to me and felt that our area producers should be aware of this potential change in regulations. It appears that during the public comment sessions that ended on August 1, common sense won out!
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced this week that it has no intention to propose new regulations governing the transport of agricultural products. The agency also released guidance designed to make sure states clearly understand the common sense exemptions that allow farmers, their employees, and their families to accomplish their day-to-day work and transport their products to market. If you want to read more on it go to: http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2011/fmcsa2411.html. Finally, some good news for agriculture!
Farmer’s Share of the Food Dollar: Evidently that column from a couple of weeks ago resonated with some people and I got some pretty good input back as well as some challenges. I am cognizant that people have seen an increase in the cost of food. I like to eat too (that should be obvious to most of you that know me) and my wife shops the local grocery store. The point was that on an average the farmer still gets about the same percentage of the food dollar for his product that he has been getting for years. There are of course a lot of reasons that food costs is higher and yes I agree that the commodities prices have gone up. But you would be surprised how much that increase in per bushel price transcends into a per pound increase and remember that most food products are less than a pound. Here is an example: $7/bu. corn = 9¢ of grain for a $4 -12 oz. box of cornflakes. Consider bread: $11/bu. wheat = 19¢ of grain in a $3.89 loaf of bread. Incidentally, wheat is now less than $7.
In my research on this topic I found some interesting information that breaks down what a farmer gets for his product. It kind of helps put things in perspective. What do you think would be the portion of the consumer dollar that the farmer gets for his product? According to a recent USDA report the farmer’s share of the food dollar is less than 12¢. How can that be you might ask? Let’s break it down a bit. Non-farm costs, including marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing, account for 88¢ of every food dollar spent in the United States. The fact is, the farmer’s share of the consumer food dollar has been shrinking for decades. In 1952, farmers earned 47¢ of every dollar spent on food. Today, they earn only 11.6¢. Only a small percentage of our food dollar actually pays for the production of the raw commodity itself
I think we need to set the record straight. When it comes down to it there are several factors that come in to play. First high energy costs are driving food prices. Don’t think for a moment that the price of oil, gas and other fuels, as well as other shipping costs don’t have a huge affect. Food costs are not driven by the commodity prices farmers receive or by the demand for corn due to ethanol production. Rising energy prices have twice the impact on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food than the price of corn. If you are so inclined to read what the USDA has to say on the price of goods, and you have an internet connection go to: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/ERR114/ERR114.pdf/
Secondly don’t forget about inflation which is adding to increased food prices. Food prices have always, and will continue to increase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 25-year average annual food inflation rate is 2.9%. Government statistics confirm that the increase that consumers face is standard. It is true that farmers are receiving higher prices for many crops they produce. One of the positive sides of this is that instead of relying on government subsidies, farmers are now able to get a good price from the marketplace. In the case of corn, increased ethanol production is creating economic opportunities for rural communities, restoring profitability to family farms, and providing a safe, renewable fuel for our nation’s future. We shouldn’t begrudge farmers the current prices they are now getting for their commodities. How many years has those prices been below the cost of production. One of the biggest things we need to remember is that high commodity prices help small town and big city Main Street.
The National Farmers Union has calculated the farmer’s share a little differently and their study indicates that farmers and ranchers receive 15.8¢ of every food dollar that consumers spend on food at home and away from home. The difference being in that they also consider the restaurant, which does make sense to me. One example that they use: When a shopper pays $5.50 for a pound of bacon, the hog producer receives less than $1. You may find interesting a NFU chart breaking down the farmer's share of several grocery-store basics studied in June of 2011 which can be found at: http://www.nfu.org/images/stories/June2011_Farmers_Share.pdf /
When it comes down to it, only a small percentage of our food dollar actually pays for the production of the raw commodity itself. I think it’s easy to see that what you pay at the store has even less to do with the price of what the farmer gets for the commodity that he works so hard and so efficiently to produce – don’t cuss the farmer –Thank him! 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home
The victim of a pickup/moto cycle accident Wednesday at the junction of U. S. Highway 6 and Bladen Avenue has been identified as a 47-year-old Juniata man, Troy A. Henry. Henry died at the scene despite the fact he was wearing a helmet.
Henry was driving his 2010 Harley Davidson motorcycle westbound on U.S. Highway 6 about 2:12 p.m., when he drove into the rear of a red 1997 Ford F-150 pickup truck also west bound driven by Richard Weichman, 62, of Juniata. The pickup reportedly was attempting to make a left turn onto Bladen Avenue. Weichman was not injured.
Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.
The collision is still under investigation. Authorities called for assistance from an accident reconstructionist with the Nebraska State Patrol. The Kenesaw Fire department was also on hand to check on the victims and provide scene security.
Troy A. Henry was the owner of Black Dragon Tattoos, 232 N .Lincoln in Hastings.
Troy A. Henry December 2, 1963 to August 10, 2011
Juniata resident, Troy Allen Henry, 47, passed away Wednesday, August 10, 2011 due to a motorcycle-vehicle accident.
Services will be Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 10 AM at the Brand-Wilson Funeral Home Chapel, Hastings, NE with Rev. Dr. Lee Wigert officiating. Burial will be in the Juniata Cemetery, Juniata, NE at a later date. Visitation will Friday, August 12, 2011 from 5 PM to 9 PM at the Brand-Wilson Funeral Home, Hastings, NE. Condolences may be sent to the family from www.brandwilson.com.
Memorials may be given to the family.
Troy was born December 2, 1963 to Bobbie D. and Marilyn (Timm) Henry in Hastings, NE. He graduated from the Hastings Senior High in 1982 and then attended Central Community College in Hastings, NE. He owned Black Dragon Tattoo, in Hastings, NE and was a Tattoo Artist.
He was a member of the Abate of Nebraska Motorcycle Club District 8. He sponsored the Black Dragon Skateboarders in Hastings, NE.
His 2 loves were, motorcycling and tattooing.
He is survived by his mother Marilyn of Juniata, NE, 3 Aunts, Harriet Jorgensen of Minden, NE, Sue Henry of Hastings, NE and Billie Begannis of Cheyenne, Wyoming, 3 Uncles, Wayne Timm and wife Janice of Hastings, NE, Dale Schmidt and wife Lois of Monument, CO and Edward Henry of North Platte, NE and his girlfriend, Valerie Johnson of Holdrege, NE.
Effort is part of the Governor's Talent & Innovation Initiative
(Lincoln, Neb.) - Gov. Dave Heineman today announced the launch of a new website which will link students and businesses interested in internship opportunities throughout the state. The Nebraska Internship Program is part of a four-part legislative package signed into law in May.
“The Nebraska Internship Program is an important component of Nebraska’s strategic economic plan,” said Gov. Heineman. “The Talent and Innovation Initiative is about enhancing technology and innovation, and assuring a technology-focused workforce for Nebraska companies. With this initiative, Nebraska has one of the strongest public policy strategies in place to advance business recruitment and development.”
The Talent and Innovation Initiative was a 2011 legislative priority for the Governor and introduced by several State Senators on his behalf. The initiative is aimed at advancing business innovation and strengthening workforce recruitment efforts in Nebraska. The Nebraska Internship Program provides $1.5 million a year in job training funds and combines it with matching funds from the private sector to encourage new internship opportunities across Nebraska.
Nebraska is the only state to offer a Nebraska Internship Program like this effort. This effort is expect to create at least 500 new internships annually in Nebraska.
The program began on June 1. Currently, 79 businesses have applied for Intern Nebraska funding. 45 businesses are approved and now participating in the program. Nearly $640,000 of the $1.5 million available in funding is currently committed. Funding has been allocated to a diverse group of businesses.
Thirty-one qualified businesses are in rural Nebraska and 14 businesses are in urban parts of our state. Approximately 38 qualified businesses are still looking to hire around 124 interns as of today.
Department of Economic Development Director Richard Baier said, “We expect the InternNE website to become the premier location for publicizing high-quality, paid internships across Nebraska for students and business owners alike. InternNE is a win-win for students seeking valuable business experience to further shape their future careers, as well as business owners who are focused on developing quality workforces to meet the demands of our vastly changing global economy.”
On http://InternNE.com/ , students can search for a paid internship, where businesses can post internship openings. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more than 50 percent of interns are offered and accept full-time employment.
Students seeking a paid internship are invited to register on the site and then apply directly for any number of available internships. Other useful resources, including resume writing and tips for interviewing are available on the website.
Additional information on the Nebraska Internship Program is available online at http://InternNE.com/ .
August 9, 2011
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today announced the release of a smartphone app to provide Nebraskans with another way to stay connected with the senator's work and activity in the Senate. The app is free and available by download for Android, and will soon be available for the iPhone and Nook.
"We live in a changing world, with more people and new generations accessing their news in different ways," Johanns said. "An app for my office is just another way for Nebraskans to stay connected with what I'm doing and what's happening on Capitol Hill, as well as a one stop shop to call or email my office with thoughts and questions. I'm pleased to be able to provide this new technology and expand my communication across the state."
Confirms New STRATCOM HQ is on Track
August 5, 2011 – Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson praised the service members stationed at Offutt Air Force Base for their sacrifices and for “protecting our national security,” as he joined Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta during Panetta’s first visit to Offutt, U.S. Strategic Command, and the Air Force Weather Agency.
“The outstanding people at Offutt help carry out missions that are critical to our war efforts and safeguarding America’s national security,” said Senator Nelson. “They deserve all of the credit and our gratitude for their service to our country. Having a visit from the secretary of defense, I believe, reminds our service members and their families here at Offutt just how important their role is in the security of our nation.”
Nelson, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, welcomed and introduced Panetta, who traveled to Nebraska to meet with more than 100 service members from Offutt, STRATCOM and the Air Force Weather Agency.
The senator took the opportunity to ensure that plans for a new STRATCOM headquarters continue to move ahead, and Panetta confirmed that they are.
“While bringing down the debt remains Priority Number One, we won’t shortchange essential projects, such as replacement of the aging and outdated STRATCOM headquarters,” Nelson told the audience at Offutt.
“A new headquarters is crucial for our national security. Building the new headquarters and assuring STRATCOM’s mission success in Omaha is also important for the economy of the Omaha metropolitan area,” Nelson said.
Today’s trip to Offutt and STRATCOM is the second stop in Panetta’s tour of the Defense Department’s nine Unified Combatant Commands. These commands provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of branch of service, in peace and war.
STRATCOM is one of three combatant commands with specific functional missions, while the other six have specific geographic areas of responsibility.
Senator Nelson began his remarks by saying, “Mr. Secretary, you know you are visiting a remarkable base engaged in safeguarding America’s national security interests. The Fighting 55th and Strategic Command has a notable history dating back to its Cold War roots.
“Since STRATCOM was created in 1992, its missions have continued to grow. Today, they include nuclear deterrence, protecting space, thwarting cyber-attacks, global strike, combating weapons of mass destruction, overseeing missile defenses, providing real-time battlefield intelligence, and more. There is no doubt that STRATCOM is critical to our national security.”
Before introducing Panetta, Nelson highlighted the history of the Air Combat Command’s 55th Wing, which is the host unit at Offutt Air Force Base.
“Since its early days as the 55th Fighter Group escorting bombers during World War II, the Fightin' 55th has led the fight and continues to in today's world of constant change,” Nelson said. “I love their slogan: The sun never sets on the 55th!”
Nelson then introduced Panetta.
“Secretary Panetta also has an exceptional record of service stretching back more than 40 years. Like many in this room, his service started in the military.
“He served as an Army Intelligence Officer and then went on to serve as a multi-term Congressman, director of the OMB, and chief of staff to a President.
“Most recently, he was the director of the CIA, where he spearheaded the mission to take down Osama bin Laden.
“Needless to say, he is familiar with the sacrifice of our military, civilians, and their families,” Nelson said.
Panetta was sworn in as the nation’s 23rd secretary of defense on July 1, 2011.
Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
August 5, 2011 Edition
Evidently my column from last week resonated with some people and I got some pretty good input back as well as some challenges. I will have to wait until next week to continue with that educational opportunity as something has come up on my radar that really got my attention and I think needs to be put before the farmers and ranchers in this part of the country. I hope I am wrong on this, but I think I need to be the bearer of some potential bad news for farmers.
CDL for Farm Tractors and Equipment? Do you remember this winter when there was a push for farmers with grain trucks and livestock trailers having to attend meetings concerning licensing? The Department of Transportation (DOT) is now going a big step further and it is of big concern to me. The DOT is currently deciding whether or not to continue to exclude agricultural equipment drivers from having to have commercial driver's licenses (CDL). Of course when dealing with the federal government nothing is simple as that. About June 1, the DOT proposed a rule change for farm equipment, and if it this allowed to take effect, it will place significant regulatory pressure on small farms and family farms all across America – costing them thousands of dollars and possibly forcing many of them out of business. Let’s take a look at it.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), part of the Department of Transportation (DOT), wants new standards that would require all farmers and everyone on the farm to obtain a CDL (Commercial Drivers License) in order to operate any farming equipment. The agency is going to accomplish this by reclassifying all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs). The move by the DOT appears to be “legislation through regulation.” This proposed change literally means family farms could no longer legally allow young workers, not old enough to drive as a CDL requires that you be at least 18, and seniors who no longer drive on the public streets, to operate a tractor… even on the family’s private property. This new rule would affect smaller farmers with smaller trucks like me who don't have a CDL, which would present a big challenge. It would also cause some problems if a farmer has help, whether hired or family members. All tractor and combine operations would have to have CDLs, excluding young people and seasonal help.
The proposed change also means anyone driving a tractor or operating any piece of motorized farming equipment would be forced to pass the same rigorous tests and fill out the same detailed forms and diaries required of semi-tractor trailer drivers. This reclassification would bury small farms and family farms in regulation and paperwork. Some of the additional paperwork and regulation required: 1) Detailed logs would need to be kept by all drivers – hours worked, miles traveled, etc. 2) Vehicles would have to display DOT numbers. 3) Drivers would need to pass a physical as well as a drug test – every two years. Think about the normal farm family. How will this affect them or your own farm? Talk about messing with tradition and the very lifeline of the farm. Good Lord, what is next?
The proposed guidance by the FMCSA would result in an initial increased cost to each farmer and employee of at least $100 just for the CDL license, permit and test; not to mention the time and cost for the behind-the-wheel training that is several thousand dollars. Additionally, I believe this regulation will also force new restrictions on trucks used in crop-share hauling. These crop-share trucks are typically limited-use vehicles that often travel fewer than 3000 miles each year, mainly hauling crops from the fields to nearby grain elevators. To require them to follow the same rules as semis would also mean a farmer would be forced to purchase substantial insurance.
Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) began to define crop-share tenant farmers as “for-hire“ carriers and implements of husbandry as ”commercial motor vehicles”. The”for-hire” designation for crop-share tenant farmers would have a dramatic effect on farmers because it voids exemptions from the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program and would require a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage for the farmer.
This has really flown under the radar in that the DOT held hearings for public comment on the topic, but only through Monday, August 1st. Did you hear about this? I know I didn’t. In my opinion, no matter what the feedback is from the people who actually grow the food, it appears that the DOT’s mind is made up. It seems to me that the DOT is targeting America’s farming communities with costly and oppressive regulations, once again through stealth legislation.
The FMCSA has said their intent is to create uniformity in how federal safety regulations are carried out across America. I would think that the farming community and many of the states that would be affected by this change would feel differently. I would think this should be at the very least a local issue, and best handled by state governments, and not some Washington DC agency. If you are a member of any farm organization and are not happy about this idea I would encourage the members of your organization to send a letter from your group to the DOT expressing this opinion. I don’t know if it is too late, but in order to make a comment to the DOT please go to – http://www.regulations.gov/ . Individually you may want to write or call them on your own and for sure you want to contact your US Senator or Congressman on this issue. Don’t just sit back and hope it goes away. It seems like the government and the people in it have lost all common sense when it comes to agriculture and how it operates. It makes you wonder if they ever had any of the sense that God gave a goose! 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: email@example.com or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home
A sudden rain about four o'clock yesterday caused roads and bridges to flood east of Blue Hill. A barricade was set up near a bridge on road Z east of Blue Hill to warn travelers of the danger. Up to 3.10 inches of rain was reported by the public in that area.
Water was also crossing the road at low spots on road Y a couple miles east of Blue Hill. Further south of Blue Hill in the Rosemont area no rain was reported. The heavy rain fall seemed to be very spotty. Overnight a nice gentle soaking rain fell on Blue Hill. The public reporting about half an inch overnight. Flooding is visible in the area of the golf course. The rain brought relief from the very hot temperatures we have been experiencing.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today voted in favor of the Budget Control Act, a bipartisan agreement to significantly reduce the deficit by $2 trillion and increase the federal debt ceiling in order to meet the country's financial obligations. The bill passed, 74-26, and now heads to President Obama for his signature.
"Our country's ballooning debt is the challenge of our time and this agreement to cut $2 trillion is just the first step toward reining in spending," Johanns said. "We've changed the debate from one focused on how much more money the government should spend to one focused on how much spending we must reduce, but much work lies ahead.
"I would have preferred a long-term plan that addresses insolvent entitlement programs, requires a balanced budget and reforms the tax code, but I also believe our country must pay its bills. Defaulting on our debt could have cost trillions in higher interest rates, not to mention hardship for individual Americans trying to pay off loans.
"We must now tackle the broader challenge of restoring our country's overall fiscal health. Failing to do so would be failing future generations – the situation is that serious."
There have been at more than twenty-two deaths of children in hot vehicles in 2011. In 2010 there were at least forty-nine deaths of children due to hyperthermia (heat stroke) from being in hot vehicles. In the previous year (2009) there were a total of at least 33 such fatalities in the United States due to hyperthermia after they were left in hot cars, trucks, vans and SUV's. Since 1998 there have been at least a total of 516 of these needless tragedies. A study shows that these incidents can occur on days with relatively mild (i.e., ~ 70 degrees F) temperatures and that vehicles can reach life-threatening temperatures very rapidly.
As recently as August 1, the Macon, Ga. telegraph reported the death of three year old Andrew Callway
who died at a day care center when left in a van, in the heat. July 12, 2011 four year old Lilly Parson died in a hot car in Cleburne, Tx. July 17th, in Jamacia 20 month old Dwayne Bancy died while his three year old brother survived being left in a car but was rescued by neighbors who saw them pounding on the windows of the car. July 9th a three year old boy died in Norman Oklahoma in a hot car. And the list goes on.
Since 1998 through the first of June, more than 500 children have died after being left unintentionally in a hot car according to the child safety organization Kids and Cars and now that the warm weather is upon us that number is, unfortunately, rising.
To help prevent more tragedies in 2011, it is time to educate parents and drivers on the dangers of leaving children unattended for any period of time in a car especially during the warm summer months.
These tragedies can and do happen to anyone. A change in routine, stress, a sleeping baby in the back, can all contribute to a parent or caregiver forgetting to take their child out of a car. Some knowingly leave children in a car “just for a minute” not realizing how quickly the temperature in a car can rise to dangerous levels. Even on a 70 degree day, the inside temperature of a car can exceed 120 degrees even with windows partially open.
Statistics also show that these incidents occur more often with younger children--75 percent of those killed were under 2 years of age.
Here are some tips to help avoid these unnecessary deaths and keep your children safe.
Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle (not even for a minute).
Check the car to make sure that all occupants leave the vehicle or are carried out when unloading. If you lock the door with a key, rather than with a remote, it would force that one last look in the car before leaving it.
Always lock your car and keep keys and remotes away from children.
Keep a stuffed animal in the front passenger seat as a reminder of a child in the backseat.
Place something in the backseat that you would need, such as a purse, briefcase or cell phone.
Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up.
If you see a child alone in a car especially if they seem hot call, 911 to help get them out.
For additional information on keeping your children safe in and around motor vehicles, visit the Kids and Cars website and our special section on kids and car safety. Also read: "Hot cars: A deadly danger."
An examination of national media reports about the 500+ child vehicular heat deaths for a 13 year period (1998 through 2010) shows the following circumstances:
• 51% - child "forgotten" by caregiver (253 Children)
• 30% - child playing in unattended vehicle (150)
• 17% - child intentionally left in vehicle by adult (86)
• 1% - circumstances unknown (5)
August 1 Daniel Kinley
August 4 Alicia Gibson & Walter Witte
August 5 Robbey Willicott & Terry Schunk
August 6 Maintainer man, Toby Alber
August 6 Donelda Hartman (RIP)
August 7 Dick McConkey, Mildred Willems & Torey Kranau
August 8 Agnas Britton & Lois “Blondie”Mohlman
August 9 Andy Alber
August 11 Clint James & Amanda Wademan
August 12 Elmer Rae Krueger & Ron Hartman
August 13 Darlene Engel & Kevin C. Kort
August 14 Robert Meents & Sammy Jo Lemke
August 15 Marilyn Alber, Bryan Groves & Marla Coffey
August 16 Nickol Frazier-Dirks
August 17 Johnny Kearney & Krista Olson Karr
August 18 Mary Schliesinger, Danece Meyer & Nancy Kort
August 19 Kelli Gilbert & Bessie Skarin
August 20 Roger Bunner
August 22 1936-2008 Norman Alber
August 22 Tami Wells Zubrod, Chuck Hewitt, Hulda Scheiding
August 22 Gerald Toepher
August 23 Kim Hargis Ernst, Ron Faber & Jeff Coffey
August 24 Brad Johnson
August 25 Sheila Hesman & Jerry Shaw
August 26 Kelly Brady Willicott
August 27 Jeff Toepher
August 28 Jane A. Moore
August 29 Tim Hoffman
August 30 Kay Jordening, Rocky Premer, Ted Armstrong
August 30 Irene Hesman
August 31 Burnell Kottwitz, & Evelyn Seeman