Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Irma R. Grothen 7-2-1908 to 11-27-2011

Hastings resident, Irma Rosalee Grothen, 103, passed away Sunday, November 27, 2011 at Mary Lanning Memorial HealthCare, Hastings, NE.

Services will be Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM at First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Hastings, NE, with Rev. Joel Remmers officiating. Burial will be in Parkview Cemetery, Hastings; NE. Visitation will be Wednesday, November 30, 2011 from 9 AM to 9 PM with the family present from 6 PM to 8 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 First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hastings, NE.
Irma was born July 2, 1908 to Frank and Sarah Wilhelmina (Brandes) Toepfer on a farm southeast of Blue Hill, NE. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Blue Hill. She attended country school and graduated from Blue Hill High School in 1925. She attended Hastings College Normal Teacher Training and first taught a one room school in the sand hills of rural Garden County, NE from 1926 to 1928. From 1928 to 1930 she taught rural school in Adams County District 51, northeast of Blue Hill.
She married George Grothen, June 3, 1930 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Blue Hill and moved to a farm southeast of Juniata. There she was a homemaker and volunteer for over 75 years. They retired from the farm in 1970 and they moved to Hastings. Her husband passed away June 30, 1991. She had resided at the Homestead of Hastings since Nov 2005.
She was actively involved in church and community affairs. Her involvement in Lutheran Church Woman’s activities started in 1937 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hastings and continued to the present day. She served as First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church LCW vice president in 1965 and president in 1966, she helped host and served in many conventions. She was active in the Oregon Trails Juniata garden club from 1939 to 1953. She was a Sunday school teacher for many years and taught vacation Bible school in Hastings when they used the public schools.

Irma had a special love for all kinds of birds and animals, especially chickens. She had a special sense of the seasons, the time to plant and harvest and excellent weather predictions. She loved to play cards and was involved with a bridge club since moving to Hastings. She still played bridge Nov 7, 2011.
She is survived by one son Conrad and wife Joyce of Juniata, NE, nine grandchildren, Robyn Petersen of Los Alamos, NM, Scott Zwart wife LuAnn of Rio Rancho, NM, Stephen Zwart of Lexington, KY, John Bunch and wife Mary of Albuquerque, NM, Catherine (Kaeti) Stanley and husband John of Stockdale, TX, Phillip Grothen and wife Kim of Juniata, NE, Andrea Bissen and husband Scott of Overland Park, KS, Mark Grothen of Al Hambra, CA and Julia Grothen of Juniata, NE, eight great grandchildren, Brett Petersen and wife April, of Los Alamos, NM, Brad Petersen of New Orleans, LA, Eric Zwart of Lexington, KY, John Calvin Stanley III of Stockdale, TX, Rebecca Stanley of Stockdale, TX, Lauren Bissen and Alex Bissen both of Overland Park, KS, two sister-in-laws, Delores Keenan and Mary Ann Toepfer of Blue Hill, NE and one sister Loretta Arterburn of Blue Hill, NE, and many nieces and nephews and many special friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband George, infant grandson, Conrad Grothen, two daughters, Elayne Bunch, and Marnis Dietz, and six brothers, Carl, Ernest, Raymond, Edwin, Frank Jr, and Wilfred Toepfer, and one sister Esther Scholl.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jefferson Wisdom

A voice from the past to lead us in the future:John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe ." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."-- Thomas Jefferson

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."-- Thomas Jefferson

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." -- Thomas Jefferson

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." -- Thomas Jefferson

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."-- Thomas Jefferson

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."-- Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Social Security and Medicare No Place for Politics

Senator Ben Nelson

Most Americans are very thankful that we live in a country that takes care of its senior citizens and doesn’t break the promises that have been made to them about Social Security and Medicare. I intend to fight to make sure that these two wonderful programs are not dismantled by those who would do so for political reasons.
As we entered Thanksgiving week I had the opportunity to speak with thousands of Nebraskans on a telephone town hall meeting sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons.
The person who introduced me started off by saying no one should be playing politics with Social Security or Medicare benefits and she is absolutely right.
These are programs that have improved the lives of Nebraskans – and seniors throughout the country – for a long time. They work and I will fight to protect them.
We have to stay watchful. Can you imagine if the proposal several years ago to privatize Social Security had been adopted?
One look at the Stock Market’s ups and downs tells you that would have been a terrible move. More than 300,000 Nebraskans who get Social Security benefits would feel betrayed today.
Good from the Start
Back in 1966, I was a young man working for the insurance commissioner of the State of Nebraska. One of my responsibilities was to help implement a historic new program called Medicare.
I have been involved with Medicare from the beginning. For 45 years, I have heard the skeptics and the naysayers say Medicare is a bad idea … and I’ve heard a lot of plans to weaken or dismantle it.
But I’ve also seen how successful Medicare has been at providing Nebraskans with the health care they need. And I’ve seen how it … and Social Security … protect the quality of life for seniors during their retirement years.
No Privatization
As a result, I am passionate about Medicare. I am committed to protecting it from those who want to cut benefits … or to privatize Medicare by turning it into a voucher program.
A Different View
I believe that by reducing the cost of delivering benefits, we can continue this valuable program for future generations.
Preventive screenings and early detection saves lives and saves money. New technologies can reduce paperwork and reduce administrative overhead costs. We can provide incentives so doctors end the practice of defensive medicine.
And we can promote better coordination of care, so patients don’t need the same tests done over and over by different doctors … saving everyone time and preventing extra expense
These, and other steps, can add up to significant savings.
No Rationing of Health Care
I want to make clear; no one is talking about rationing health care to save money on Medicare. That would be morally wrong, and the law prohibits it.
Medicare and Social Security are promises we made to seniors, and I intend to keep them.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Smith's Holiday Statement

“The holidays are a special time to reflect on the past year, to celebrate, and to give thanks for the freedoms and opportunities we as Americans enjoy,” said Smith. “I urge all residents of the Third District to take the time to give thanks for the many blessings we’ve received and strive to live up to the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform and their families who make it all possible.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Duane A. Lienemann,
 UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
November 23, 2011 Edition
I want to first wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Of course by the time some of you read this via newspapers, it will have passed and you would be undoubtedly trying to recover from the abundance of food that we all seem to partake during this season – starting with Thanksgiving. In my case I usually refer to it as “bloating” or perhaps “overeating disease”. Actually I think that it is appropriate as many of us do just that. It is also appropriate in that it is because of efficiency and hard work of the American farmer that we are blessed with an abundance of good, nutritious, and safe food. That should not be lost on us as we celebrate all that we have to be thankful for. It is wonderful tradition that we have in celebrating harvest, family and all that makes America and our way of life---what it is!
Farm Labor Law Revisited: Back in September I wrote a couple of articles on the suggested changes that were being proposed by the US Department of Labor that I felt could have far reaching and negative effects on agriculture and farm families across the nation. I encouraged people to write their Congressmen and make comments to the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. At that time we had until November 1 to make comments. I understand that was then extended until December 1. I am glad to see that now people are starting to get concerned about this change in labor laws and hopefully we can still make a difference in the final decision of this new set of regulations. If we don’t, I think people will be dumbfounded and will say – “Oh gosh, we should have done something about this – what happened?”
For you that don’t know what I am talking about, the U.S. Department of Labor is proposing to change child labor laws pertaining to agricultural workers. I wrote in detail, and outlined some of my concerns in particular, in the September 22 edition of this column. You can access it at our web site at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/.   and scroll down to the “Horse’s Mouth” section. If you don’t have access to internet, please call our office at 402-746-3417 and we will get you a copy.
Yes, I know that there are deaths and injuries that occur every year on farms and ranches. I have been close to some that happened right here in this part of the country. There always has been, and I guarantee that more regulations won’t change that. Even with more regulations we will still have accidents. We know the risks and dangers of working on a farm and ranch and are cognizant of that aspect of our way of life. I am sure that those individuals wanting to change the laws are doing so with the intent of protecting our young people from potentially dangerous situations. I don’t disagree with their motivation. However, I do not believe a group of Washington, DC bureaucrats know enough about farm and ranch life to write a set of rules that will protect your children from farm accidents without seriously impacting your way of life.
I believe each of us know best how to teach and train our children to be safe while they work on the farm or ranch. All of us that grew up on a farm or ranch were the recipients of life-long learning. It was pounded in to us about the dangers of a nesting sow, or a cow that has just given birth. We understood that you don’t trust – even a “tame” bull or walk up unannounced behind a horse or milk cow. You knew better than to wear tennis shoes or sandals around livestock, and you knew what it felt like to get kicked in the shin, or get hit in the eye with the swinging tail of the cow we were milking. We knew what happened with PTO’s, or what happened if you got too close to equipment. My grandfather always held up his mangled hand as a reminder – that always drove home the point. You only had to touch an electric fence once to know what it did. Why, we even knew what happened if you put your tongue on a frozen pump handle!
It seems that more and more our government is becoming a nanny state – telling us what we can and cannot do. It is if they don’t believe that we have enough intelligence or sense to make our own decisions or to live with those decisions. It seems they don’t trust our grandparents and/or parents to teach and train us properly. The fact is, I really believe that you can’t regulate safety - you need to educate - and experience is the best teacher. This all speaks pretty loudly to me because it has far-reaching effects on our ag youth, including 4-H and FFA members who would be affected when they work on their 4-H projects, or FFA SAEs (supervised agricultural experiences), such as working on farms, feedlots, sale barns, or agribusinesses and even with raising and showing their own livestock. It could even impact detasseling crews!
I always viewed these opportunities as hands-on tools for learning and education and it would be a crying shame to lose that. I believe that because of these experiences students learned not only a great deal about agriculture, but also responsibility, work ethic and life skills. These are the very core of American tradition, morals, and work ethics – all things we should be teaching the youth of America. This experiential education is what actually helps to improve safety in the agricultural workplace, including farming and/or working with livestock. I have always found that to be the case. If we allow politicians to shove this kind of legislation or regulations down our throats it will just hurt all of us in the long run.
We need to make a stand! If you are concerned about these proposed rule changes, call your Senator or Congressman. Or you can still make public comments until December 1at: www.regulations.gov (Please identify all comments submitted in electronic form by the RIN docket number 1235-AA06). If you prefer to use the postal service, mail can be addressed to Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20210 – but you would need to respond very quickly. It is up to you if we lose more of our freedoms ---or not!
The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for WebsterCounty in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the !website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/me

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Quote of the Day

"A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and preasures - and that is the basis of all human morality."   President John F. Kennedy.

Leroy .J. Schumm July 23, 1924 to November 20, 2011

Lawrence  resident Leroy J. Schumm, 87, died Sunday November 20th at Blue Hill Care Center in Blue Hill.
Rosary is 10 a.m. and Mass is 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 23rd at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lawrnce with Father Loras Grell officiating.  Burial is at Blue Hill Cemetery in Blue Hill.  Visitation is until 8 p.m. today at Merten-Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill, and one hour prior to services at the church Wednesday.
Memorials can be directed to Mary Lanning Hospice.
Leroy was born on July 23, 1924, to William and Adeline (Himmelberg) Schumm in rural Webster County.  He was baptized and confirmed at St. Stephens Catholic Church, Lawrence Nebraska.  LeRoy attended St. Stephens Parochial School and other Webster County public schools. 
He married Jeanne Brower on July 31, 1961, at Grand Island, Nebraska.
They made their home in rural Webster County.  Farming was Leroy's first love that he followed until health problems forced him to retire.
He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Lawrence, Nebraska and the Eagles in Hastings, Nebraska.
He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, Lawrence, Nebraska; two stepsons, Allan and Daryl Fiscus, Moline, Illinois; four sisters, Alvira Kathman, Lawrence, Nebraska, Lorene Klein and Josephine (Francis) Mangers, Roseland, Nebraska, Betty (Wayne) Classen, Glenvil, Nebraska; one brother, Gilbert (Sharon) Schumm, Hastings, Nebraska; may nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by  his parents, three sisters, Marth Karmazin, Edna Hany and Eileen Wescoat; four brothers, William Jr., Sylvester, Leonard, and an infant brother.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects $26,904,691.30 in Civil & Criminal Actions in FY 2011

U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced  that the District of Nebraska collected a record breaking $26,904,691.30 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2011. Gilg noted that the collections represent almost five times the annual appropriated budget of the Nebraska office. Approximately $21 million of this collection was a result of fines levied against the Union Pacific Railroad in connection with the ASARCO lead contamination Super Fund site in Omaha. Ms. Gilg stated, “During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is dedicated to protecting the public and recovering funds for the federal treasury and for victims of federal crime. We will continue to hold accountable those whose seek to profit from their illegal activities.”
In conjunction with these numbers, the Department of Justice announced that nationwide the agency collected over $6.5 billion in debts owed to taxpayers in the same period which ended on September 30, 2011, surpassing $6 billion for the second consecutive year. The $6.5 billion represents more than three times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 United States Attorney’s Office for fiscal year 2011.
The U.S. Attorneys’ offices, along with the department’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims. Statistics indicate that the total amount collected in criminal actions totaled $2.66 billion in restitution, criminal fines, and felony assessments. The law requires defendants to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. While restitution is paid directly to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the department’s Crime Victims’ Fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.
The statistics also indicate that $3.83 billion was collected by the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in individually and jointly handled civil actions. The largest civil collections were from affirmative civil enforcement cases, in which the United States recovered government money lost to fraud or other misconduct or collected fines imposed on individuals and/or corporations for violations of federal health, safety, civil rights or environmental laws. In addition, civil debts were collected on behalf of several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Internal Revenue Service, and Small Business Administration.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $1.68 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2011. Forfeited assets are deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and Department of Treasury Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.
The nationwide collection totals for the U.S. Attorneys’ offices for FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined is $13.18 billion, which represents nearly a 52% increase over the FY 2008 and FY 2009 combined total of $8.55 billion.
For further information, the United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Reports can be found on the internet at  http://www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html.

Quote of the Day

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans are suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you."

Rita Mae Brown

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

Telling the truth to people who misunderstand you is generally promoting a falsehood, isn't it?


Webster County Early Market Beef Weigh-in December 4

4-H and FFA members have undoubtedly already found or will be looking for calves for the early Webster County Market Beef Weigh-in which will be held at the sale barn in Blue Hill (Blue Hill Livestock). The early date is set for Sunday, December 4. Because there will be just one early weigh-in this year it will start about 10:00 am and will go till 4:00 pm. Incidentally the late weigh-in is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, January 29 - also in Blue Hill
4-H and FFA tags must be put in before or at weigh-in to be valid for shows. FFA members will need to get their tags from the FFA advisor in advance of the weigh-in, or the advisor should be in attendance at weigh-in to put them in. The UNL Extension office will have the 4-H tags. Exhibitors and parents are reminded that the 4-H/FFA livestock ID/affidavit sheets need to be filled out, with all signatures, prior to/or at weigh-in and are not to be taken home.
Affidavits may be downloaded from the Web at www.webster.unl.edu or exhibitors may pick one up from their 4-H leader or at the UNL Extension office, and have it ready to go for weigh-in. Webster County will also once again be putting Electronic Identification or EID’s in the ears of all market beef, or exhibitors may use their own farm’s EIDs. Exhibitors who plan to show at either the 2012 Nebraska State Fair and/or Ak-Sar-Ben must have a DNA sample taken and they must be sent in with the ID/affidavit sheet for each animal that may be going.
. If any beef exhibitor would like guidance on how to pick out the right size of calf for fair, please contact the Webster County UNL Extension office for suggestions at 402-746-3417 or email

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rosemont Calvary Lutheran Soup Supper

Rosemont,  Nebraska
Calvary Lutheran Soup and Pie Supper
Monday, November 21, 2010
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Rosemont, Nebraska
Sponsored by the Members of the Lutheran Laymenn's League of Rosemont
Thrivent Financial will provide supplemental funding
Collection will be for: District Mission Project.

Let’s Fight Stigma

By Scot Adams, Ph.D., Director,
Division of Behavioral Health
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
It seems that every day’s news brings us stories about horrible crimes that are committed without apparent reason. We want to ascribe a reason to things, an explanation in terms of cause and effect. And for seemingly inexplicable crimes, we naturally want to assume the perpetrator had a mental health disorder, because it doesn’t appear to be rational to assault someone without reason or to go on a killing spree.
We need to remember that people who don’t have mental health disorders sometimes act irrationally, too.
The majority of people with mental illness in the community are not violent and are not more likely to commit violent crimes than non-mentally ill people. The truth is that people who are mentally ill are more likely to be the victims of crime than to harm others.
People with mental illness are parents, siblings, friends and neighbors, who, with help, can get treated for their illness, and who, like all of us, have good days and bad days.
Mental illnesses are physical illnesses, like cancer, diabetes or arthritis. They can be treated with medication, peer support and counseling. Most people with mental illnesses go on to live fulfilling, productive lives.
There is a great deal of stigma in our society attached to having a mental illness. That is one reason many people do not seek treatment. (For a great video addressing stigma, directed by Ron Howard, go to  http://www.bringchange2mind.org/ . )
 Let’s make it so that prejudice and discrimination, the products of stigma, have no place in our society.


Executive Director Nicole Dobbins (right) presents Senator Ben Nelson with Voice for Adoption's Legislator of the Year Award.
 Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson was honored as Legislator of the Year by Voice for Adoption, a national special needs adoption advocacy organization.
“This award is personal for me. I am proud to be an adoptive parent, and my two grown children are proud of the fact that they are adopted,” Senator Nelson said. “The joy of creating a family is so special that I believe we should do everything we can to encourage adoptive families. I am both honored and humbled by my role in passing legislation that helps parents choose to create adoptive families.”
The inscription on the award presented to Nelson reads: “In recognition of your efforts to promote adoption from foster care and your leadership on behalf of waiting children and adoptive families, specifically your leadership to extend and expand the federal Adoption Tax Credit through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.”
The Federal Adoption Tax Credit has existed in different forms since 1997, but was set to expire last year. Nelson successfully increased the value of the adoption tax credit and made it refundable for the first time, so it will be able to help more middle- and working-class families who choose to adopt. By making the credit refundable, families may claim it even if the amount exceeds their federal tax liability.
“With grandparents on fixed incomes choosing to adopt, and loving families of limited means choosing to adopt children out of foster care, we know that the refundable tax credit makes a difference,” Nelson said. “We all know there are potentially wonderful parents out there who struggle to meet ends meet. So, if a little bit of extra assistance makes it easier for any of them to choose to adopt, then it was certainly the right thing to do. Every child deserves a loving family.”
Roughly 100,000 families have been able to benefit from the federal adoption tax credit this year. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 75 percent of all Nebraska families who adopted in 2010 received the credit.
The credit may be claimed for each adopted child and offers incentives to adopt children who have special needs or come from foster care.
Nationally, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care, but only 53,000 were adopted into permanent homes last year. More than 5,000 children are in foster care in Nebraska.
Nelson added that the tax credit creates significant cost savings for federal, state and local governments, as children who are adopted are much more likely to graduate from high school and have productive lives than children who “age out” of the foster care system without families.
According to the Pew Charitable Trust, of children who age out of foster care without being adopted:
•Only one quarter earn a high school diploma or GED
•Fewer than 2 percent graduate from college
•More than half experience homelessness or unstable housing
•Nearly 30 percent are incarcerated at some point in their lives
“Virtue can be its own benefit, but there are also real cost benefits to finding stable homes for children who need them,” Nelson said. “For instance, keeping a 14-year old from dropping out of high school will end up saving taxpayers about $500,000 over that child’s lifetime; keeping him from becoming a career criminal will save as much as $5 million.”
The awards presentation was made in conjunction with the launch of Voice for Adoption’s Adoptive Family Portrait Project, which displays the photos and stories of adoptive families.
“It is my hope that through this year’s project we raise visibility to some of the ongoing challenges adoptive parents face when raising children who have experienced abuse or neglect or instability in foster care, and also reflect on the growth of these children and the difference that having a consistent and loving family can make in the life of a child,” Voice for Adoption Executive Director Nicole Dobbins said.
As part of the Adoptive Family Portrait Project, Nelson is honoring the Schindler family, of Norfolk, Nebraska.
Lincoln and Heather Schindler have nine children, including four they have adopted. They first adopted Scotty, a friend of their teenage son, and then adopted three of Scotty’s biological siblings when they were placed in foster care. All of the Schindlers’ adopted children have special medical needs.
“We would have to do whatever it took to give them a home with their brother,” Heather Schindler said. “Lincoln and I have become better parents and better people for having these kids in our lives.”
The Schindlers are grateful they were able to utilize the Federal Adoption Tax Credit to help cover some of the expenses of raising such large family; the Schindlers spent $13,000 on groceries last year alone.
Asked what adoption has meant to him, 16-year-old Dwight replied, “Before I came into fostering, I never imagined that I would ever get adopted, let alone want to be adopted. After coming into the Schindler home, I can recall waking up – I think on the 2nd week – and deciding I wanted to stay. To me, adoption didn’t only happen because of my mother’s bad choices, but also for the love Heather and Lincoln gave to me and the love that grew from me to them.”
Mardell, 14, said, “Adoption is when your foster parents want to adopt you, to keep you in their family as their own child. I can remember the day we went to the courthouse and got adopted. That day was probably the best day of my young life!”
She also had a heartfelt message to share with the children waiting to be adopted: “Hang in there. I know it is taking longer than you expected, but when that day comes, you are going to be the happiest EVER!”
In addition to Voice for Adoption’s Legislator of the Year Award, the North American Council on Adoptable Children honored Nelson with its Child Advocate of the Year Award this past August.

Smith: Failure Of of Balanced Budget Amendment Is A Missed Opportunity

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today issued the following statement following voting in support of H.J. Res. 2, which would propose a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
“Today’s vote is a missed opportunity to rein in Washington’s unsustainable spending levels,” said Smith. “A Balanced Budget Amendment enjoys the support of the vast majority of Americans. With the nation’s debt topping $15 trillion, a Balanced Budget Amendment is needed now more than ever. Getting our fiscal house in order is imperative if we are going to turnaround our economy and create jobs. I will continue to fight for this commonsense solution to ensure we pass a stronger country onto future generations.”
Smith is a cosponsor of H.J. Res. 2. Amendments to the United States Constitution require a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress before being sent to the states for ratification. A three-fourths majority of the states would then have to approve the amendment for final ratification.

Bipartisan Cooperation Deserves More Recognition

With so many negative headlines coming out of Washington, it's easy to get wrapped up in the storyline that business in Congress has come to an unproductive standstill. Amid the many stories about Congressional "obstruction" there are ways in which we come together in Washington to make good policy. What Congress achieved last week deserves recognition – a week which demonstrated when good, responsible policy initiatives are offered, there is clear and vocal bipartisan support for them.
Last week's bill, which passed overwhelmingly in both houses, will fix a long-troublesome tax reporting problem. Congress passed a law in 2005 intending to crack down on tax evasion. The law stated, if you were a contractor doing business with the federal government or state and local governments, that the government would withhold three percent of what you're owed until you've paid your taxes for that year.
Contractors will tell you that three percent can be critical to their bottom line and remaining profitable. Following its passage, many worried the law would discourage contractors from working with government bodies at all, and in fact it has twice been delayed and has yet to go into effect. Congress came together last week to repeal this misguided law for good by a significant bipartisan margin.
The legislation repealing this provision also contained some very positive pieces of veterans legislation. This includes a tax credit for businesses that hire out-of-work veterans, as well as job training and a program to help transition returning veterans back into civilian life. I'm pleased one of my proposals was included – a study to determine the potential benefit of the Department of Defense certifying servicemen and women for civilian jobs that match their military occupation. This could help service members already trained as electricians, mechanics, EMTs, truck drivers, and other jobs, when they return home. It could also potentially save the government money by eliminating the need to retrain and re-educate veterans for jobs they already know how to do.
The veterans provisions and the repeal of the three percent withholding provision are examples of what happens when sound policy is proposed and advanced in Congress. Partisan gridlock often occurs when policy is proposed not to better the country, but to "send a message" by offering something most know will receive substantial opposition. On the other hand, consider the three percent withholding bill and its accompanying veterans legislation; or the free trade agreements signed into law last month; or the repeal earlier this year of the 1099 tax reporting mandate, which received an exceedingly rare 87 Senate votes. These are the result of sound policymaking and resounding bipartisan support.
The Senate passage of these pieces of legislation to create jobs, lower the deficit, boost our ag producers and overall economy, and free up our job-creating small businesses are all a result of Republicans, Democrats and Independents working together for our country. I will continue to support proposals like these. To be clear, I will also continue to oppose policies I believe to be bad for our country. But we should not overlook the power of good policy to bring Congress together in the best interest of our country.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Quote of the Day

"In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the U.S.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Did you know the average grocery store stocks more than 30,000 items? If you’re thankful for all of the items in your grocery store, then you need to join in celebrating National Farm-City Week. We’re blessed in our country to be able to go to our local grocery stores and find a wide variety of food that has been grown following the safest quality standards in the world, but the food at the local grocery doesn’t just magically appear on the shelves, farmers work all year to produce beef, milk, pork, chicken, vegetables and many other good safe things for us to eat. Then, employees of agribusinesses work to prepare, market and transport the food to stores for consumers. It takes all of us to feed and clothe America and this partnership is what we’re celebrating with Farm-City Week.

The National Farm-City Council will celebrate Farm-City Week Nov. 18-24. This year marks the 56th anniversary of the annual celebration. National Farm-City Week is celebrated each year beginning the Friday before Thanksgiving and ending Thanksgiving Day. The Kiwanis International began National Farm-City Week in 1955 to increase the understanding of the partnership between urban and rural residents and to focus on their interdependence. Farm days at schools, farm tours, banquets and mayoral proclamations are just a few of the observances that will be held in communities across the country to mark this annual event. The safe, plentiful food that is available to us, and the products used to produce the clothing, housing, medicines, fuel and other products we use on a daily basis, didn’t just appear in a store. They got there thanks to a tremendous partnership of farmers and ranchers, processors, brokers, truckers, shippers, advertisers, wholesalers, and retailers.
Farm-City Week is a great time to discuss how the economy is impacting farmers and consumers. Although farmers have received higher prices for their crops in the past year, they are also experiencing record-high production costs. Production costs have increased from last year due to higher fuel, seed, fertilizer and irrigation costs, the economists say. USDA statistics show farmers receive only 16 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home. The rest of the food cost covers the expenses of wages and materials for food preparation, marketing, transportation and distribution, all of which have increased in price recently.
The National Farm-City Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing links between farm families and urban residents, has launched a Facebook page supporting the mission of the organization. You are encouraged to visit the site to discover what the various Farm-City units are doing to tell the story of agriculture to urban residents. As the social media are playing an increasingly important role in fostering better communication between rural and urban citizens, it's fundamental to use these mediums to communicate to core audiences the importance of agriculture to our very existence. To visit the page go to Facebook and simply search for “National Farm-City Council” and click "Like" at the top of the page. Organizers of the event are also suggesting a brand new children’s book that can be placed in children’s hands and in school libraries across the country that relates to agriculture. The book, “Growing Up Strong” is written by Dan Yunk and is published by Kansas Farm Bureau. It was written to educate young people, parents, and teachers about the importance of agriculture in their lives.
We have been celebrating Thanksgiving since 1863 — together we can give thanks for the unity of city and country life blending the format and future for generations to come. It brings thoughts of the old prayer. “May your blessings be plenty and your harvest be full.” This applies to both our agriculture producers and their city brethren. As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year and list the things for which you’re thankful, consider adding the farmers and urban agribusiness employees who helped get the food you will eat this holiday season to your table. Americans are reminded of their blessings and many reasons to be thankful. It is the hope of the organizers that all residents can take a moment to reflect on the importance of agriculture and how it brings city and country life together. One could not survive without the other.


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
November 17, 2011 Edition
I think we have probably seen the last of the crops get harvested this week and from what I can ascertain we had an outstanding crop year with excellent yields. I have to think that our farmers, as a whole, have to feel pretty good about the yields and the accompanying prices this year. Oh I know, everyone will be playing the marketing game and it seems that most people will say they never hit the high, but just think back a couple of years when yield didn’t seem so important because of low prices. That brings me to some interesting reading that I did last night in regards to corn yields.
It doesn’t take an agronomist or extension educator to tell you that with increasing corn yields there is an increasing amount of corn residue on the fields. Some people see that as a problem, but I see it as the potential to create an opportunity-- to turn what was once considered a liability for the grain producer into an asset for both he and for cattlemen. Here is one that I think has a lot of potential for both our cattle producers and grain farmers.
Add Lime to Your Corn Stover: Studies have been done that show that adding lime in corn stover, and especially if the stover is put into wind rows, makes the stover more digestible. Scientists say that it the same basic idea as how corn tortillas are made. By adding lime to the corn stover, the stover is softened, it makes the sugars in the cells more accessible and that in turn increases the feed value in a cattle ration. This new research has shown that a substantial portion of the grain in cattle feed can be effectively replaced with corn stover—the plant’s stalks, cobs and leaves—when these harvest residues are treated with a common food ingredient known as hydrated lime, or some may even know it as “pickling” lime. The alternative feeding strategy, which could improve feeders’ financial returns by lowering input costs without impacting the animals’ physical development, has been validated through recent studies conducted at ISU and UNL.
In cattle-feeding trials, adding hydrated lime to corn stover rendered the plant material sufficiently digestible to constitute up to 25 percent of cattle rations after the treated stover was combined with wet distillers grains and solubles. WDGS, a protein-rich feed ingredient, is a co-product of corn ethanol production. Hydrated lime, or calcium hydroxide is used in a variety of food applications, from pickling and preserving fruits and vegetables to adding calcium to fruit juices and baby formulas. It is formed by mixing water with calcium oxide derived from limestone.
For the grain producer who also has cattle as a side line, I see corn stalks as a no-brainer to stretch to the time that it is necessary to feed hay. Even if you bale up some of your corn residue for winter feed, this practice could even help with the nutrition of cattle in dry-lot conditions. For this to work even better the treatment process would involve combining ground or chopped stover with the hydrated lime solution, then storing the treated stover in an oxygen-free container, typically a plastic “ag bag” or a bunker, for at least a week. The solution loosens the chemical bonds between the stover’s less-digestible lignins and its more digestible components. The relaxing of these bonds enables natural enzymes in the cattle’s front stomach to effectively digest the stover. The same treatment process can make wheat straw digestible to ruminants as well. Now with the new study, it may even be more attractive to utilize the residues that are out in our fields.
The added benefit is that the lime used out in the corn stalks is also good for the soil. I would venture to say that you will find if you take soil tests that the pH of our soils as probably over the years and time become more acidic and I quite honestly have not seen farmers lime like we used to. With the influx of cattle from the south, there is an opportunity to get a few more dollars per acre for grazing of the stalks. I know that some no-till farmers are a little resistant to this, but there are definite advantages. There is some good information on affects of grazing stalks on fields gathered by studies by UNL Extension. Please see for yourself at: http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/live/ec278/build/ec278.pdf
Door Begins Reopening to Horse Processing: A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that the Ag Appropriation bill had moved to Conference Committee to reconcile the differences between the pro-horse industry Senate bill, and the House bill (H.R. 2122) which still includes the annual riders that have been included at HSUS' behest since 2007 that prohibits USDA from providing inspection to ensure humane handling and food safety in the United States.
GOOD NEWS! Language that ended domestic horse slaughter and processing in the United States has been stripped from the Ag Appropriations bill approved by the House/Senate Conference committee. The Moran amendment that was on the House bill that was still the house version – that left the riders on the bill - was stripped off in conference (committee). And, the language has already come out and now there are no riders prohibiting the inspection of horse meat.
The Senate bill did not contain those riders. As soon as the bill is passed and is signed by the President (which seems likely at this point) the market for horses in the U.S. can resume. What it means is that somebody will be able to process horses right away. Nebraska has positioned itself nicely with its earlier legislation should someone or business should decide to venture into the processing of the unwanted, rank, and old horses. This is a wonderful relief from an ill-conceived bill brought forward by HSUS to an unwitting and unknowing Congress- which has led to LESS humane treatment of horses through increased abandonment, neglect and needless suffering as many died slow deaths or long trips out of this country--as well as adding to the financial strain to those people who owned them. I see this as a big win for agriculture!
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 WebsterCounty in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/me

Thursday, November 17, 2011


November 16, 2011 – Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson today commended the Nebraska Legislature and Speaker Mike Flood for their leadership in stepping forward to assert the state’s rights concerning the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project.
“This has always been a state’s rights issue for me and it’s been gratifying to see Nebraskans’ rights being exercised on a major project in our state,” Senator Nelson said on his weekly conference call with members of the Nebraska media. “I commend the Nebraska Legislature for stepping forward to address issues concerning the proposed pipeline’s route, safety and impact.
“I also commend the Speaker of the Legislature, Speaker Flood. He’s done an outstanding job in negotiating with TransCanada a new route taking the pipeline out of the Sand Hills, and for working on legislation asserting the state’s rights in determining an acceptable alternative route.”
For nearly two years, Nelson has pushed the U.S. State Department through letters, meetings and communication to make sure Nebraskans are heard on the proposed pipeline, a major project involving energy, jobs and Nebraska’s environment.
Nelson urged the State Department to extend its public comment period on the project to enable concerns and suggestions from the State of Nebraska be included it its review of TransCanada’s request for a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
“I’ve been pleased to see that through extensive State Department-run public hearings and with the Legislature’s special session now underway in Lincoln, Nebraskans have been heard. And now, through action by the Legislature, the State of Nebraska is taking action,” Nelson said.
“Based on my communications with the United States State Department, I’m confident that the State of Nebraska and the State Department will be able to move forward with a new supplemental Environmental Impact Statement evaluating the new route,” Nelson said.
“It’s unfortunate that an acceptable route wasn’t negotiated at the beginning of this process. It could have been. That would have avoided the unnecessary costs to both TransCanada and our Nebraska taxpayers. But I’m pleased to see that state senators are stepping forward to make sure an acceptable route alternative is developed and that jobs aren’t lost in Nebraska,” the senator said.

Johanns Welcomes Announcement of Keystone XL Reroute in Nebraska

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) issued the following statement after Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature Mike Flood announced a legislative pathway to reroute the propose Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska, which has been agreed to by TransCanada Corporation and the U.S. State Department:
"This is welcome news and it certainly appears to me common sense has prevailed," Johanns said. "The original route never made sense and I applaud Speaker Flood for outlining a way forward. Based on my understanding of Speaker Flood's approach, it would certainly address my concerns. I'm optimistic this could be a pathway to responsible completion of the pipeline so we can begin transporting more energy from a friendly ally and decrease our dependence on countries which may not share our values."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Legislative Newsletter

Senator Tom Carlson
One Hundred Second Legislature, First Special Session
Senator Tom Carlson-District 38
November 16, 2011
This is Day 11 of the Special Session called to deal with the Keystone XL Pipeline issue. Special Sessions proceed under different rules than regular sessions. The Governor makes the “call” and only one subject can be addressed. Any number of bills may be introduced as long as they come under that heading. The Legislature does not have to give seven days notice for public hearings as interested parties organize as soon as the call is public.
Due to the one subject rule, one standing committee hears the majority of bills. This year that was the Natural Resources Committee, of which I am a member. We spent three full and long days listening to 25 hours of testimony. Two bills, by Senator Langemeier and one by Senator Dubas, advanced to General File for full debate and both are now on Select File.
While we were debating LB 4 this week, the Speaker made an announcement that changed the course of the special session. TransCanada made a voluntary decision to move the pipeline out of the Sand hills and Nebraska agreed to pay for a supplemental environmental study in an effort to expedite the process.
LB 1 is a pipeline bill for future projects. During floor debate on Monday of this week, I made it very clear that for me to support a pipeline siting bill, three components had to be satisfied:
1. New legislation must exclude companies currently in the process of seeking a federal permit for oil pipeline construction in Nebraska. I don’t believe in changing the rules in the 4th quarter of a ball game.
2. Siting legislation for oil pipelines should not exempt any geographical area in the state. I believe exempting certain areas forever would not be sound public policy. Things change, times change, and we must maintain a position of concern for national security as we move forward.
3. Siting legislation should best fit the attitudes of most Nebraskans and be done the Nebraska way. Economic development for our state and the need to become energy independent are important concerns for the vast majority of most citizens of our state. We also care about our natural resources and will proceed to see that these resources are adequately protected now and in the future.
I intend to support LB 1 as it will be amended by Senator Dubas. I believe it addresses my concerns about a siting bill. We should be very careful about additional amendments beyond that of Senator Dubas.
This has been an unusual November for the legislature. I believe the Unicameral is working as it was intended with the citizens being the second house. Margo and I send sincere wishes to you and your families for a bountiful and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jam session in Blue Hill

Do you know we have good clean family entertainment once a month in Blue Hill at Westgate? It is our LIVE Country Music Jam. It is FREE and open to everyone, of all ages. We do have a free will donation, but that is only to help pay for our room rent. In return you get live music, lots of fun, cookies and a drink.

Our Entertainers come from Minden, Hastings, Carleton, Sutton, Fairfield and other places. Sometimes we have some very special Entertainers drop by for a song or two, like the “Mellow D’s” from McCool Junction, NE and a “Man out of Canada” and others.
These people come here every month to play and sing their hearts out to entertain you, but sad to say this last Jam (Nov 13) we only had 8 people in the audience and only three were from Blue Hill. That sure does not speak well of Blue Hill. I’m sure if it were a sporting event it would be well attended.
The music and fun starts at 1:30 and go to 5 pm on the second Sunday of every month at the Westgate community room. The Jam is advertised on Channel 5, The Blue Hill Leader Happenings, Yahoo Events, Face book (internet), and signs around town.
These Entertainers also perform in Hastings and Sutton. The Hastings Jam is the first Sunday of the month at Good Samaritan Village, 2 to 4 pm and the Sutton Jam will be starting up again in April 2012 the second Thursday of the month at the Sutton American Legion Hall, 10:30 am to 3 pm. These Jams are all free entertainment.
The Late Orville Meyers started this event 4 years ago here in Blue Hill. His last wish was to keep it going. You can come and go as you please. Stay for an hour or all afternoon but please come and check us out, we need an audience.

The comments above were left as a comment in another area of this site.  We thought it worthy of a more visible space.

Sunday, November 13, 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 bluehilltoday@hotmail.com

Friday, November 11, 2011

Quote of the Day

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. -- Dr. Seuss

Car Thief active in Blue Hill

Thursday evening Jason Paul Soden, a 34 year old resident of Life Quest at Bella Amis in Blue Hill was transported to Mary Lanning hospital after stealing and wrecking  a car parked at the country store,  a gold buick regal belonging to Katie Poe.  The events were witnessed by several individuals who were in the store.   He struck a car belonging to Parker Trumble as he was leaving the convience store.  He then traveled south out of  Blue Hill.  He was followed by  area residents who called 911 to report the stolen car,   He drove south on 281 and turned west  on the gravel road by LaDonna Jesske's and rolled the car befor reaching Shane Meyers.   The Poe's car is believed to be a total loss.
The residents who followed Soden called the 911emergency line a little after 11 p.m.
Chief Deputy Ron Sunday of the Webster County Sheriff's Department said Soden lost control and wrecked the vehicle in a cornfield.
The Blue Hill volunteer fire and rescue department responded to the accident and Soden  was transported to Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital in Hastings with minor injuries.
Soden told officers he was just going for a ride and didn't know the person who owned the alleged stolen car.  It is believed that drugs and alcohol were involved.  .
Soden is a resident at Life Quest at Bella Amis in Blue Hill -- a mental health facility with a history of problems involving residents .
 Deputy Sunday says he believes Soden knew what he was doing.
He has not been arrested, but is being charged with theft of a vehicle, hit and run of another vehicle, DUI and refusal to submit -- all felonies.
Jason Soden is formerly of Sidney, Nebraska.


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
November 10, 2011 Edition
I want to start out this article with a tip of the hat to Sen. Jerry Moran from our neighbor state to the south who this week soundly criticized the USDA Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) for its plans to involve the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in planning an animal welfare scientific forum with the exclusion of agricultural organizations or oversight. It is hard for me to even comprehend that they would do that. Kansas should be proud of their Senator for calling them out on this issue. I would bet a lot of people are sick of hearing about HSUS, as am I, but I could not let this go. We have to keep a vigilant eye on this group and how they align themselves against animal agriculture.
I was of course shocked and dismayed when I heard of the intent to hold this forum and especially that the USDA, who have the resources and should be relying upon the advice of animal scientists at our land grant universities or even within the Department of Agriculture, to plan and conduct a program on a “scientific approach to animal welfare.” I could easily myself have lined them up with an outstanding array of animal scientists and experts that would provide a qualified and accredited common sense and scientific approach to animal welfare. I could get most of them right from our own UNL-IANR and UNL Extension personnel.
It disgusts me that this “scientific” forum being planned by the Department of Agriculture is being done in league with the HSUS. You would think that the USDA and especially APHIS would base their forum on science-based research and opinions from agriculture animal experts-- not animal rights organizations, like HSUS, who I would not consider to be experts in animal agriculture or science --and in my opinion are the opposite. The USDA's mission is supposed to be to work to promote agriculture - not to work against the American farmer and rancher. In fact I looked up the USDA’s mission statement, and it reads like this: “We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues based upon sound public policy, the best possible science, and efficient management.” Senator Moran hit it right on the nose when he stated that this proposed forum has very little science involved, and in his opinion is nothing more than the Department of Agriculture spending taxpayer dollars on a gig to provide the Human Society of the United States a public forum to espouse its anti-agricultural and especially their anti-animal agriculture views and ideology. I absolutely agree.
Senator Moran serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee and came across the request for funding for this ill-conceived forum when reviewing appropriation requests from the USDA-APHIS. To him it was clear that the Department of Agriculture is catering to an outside organization, instead of doing what they should be doing in using the resources that are a part of their own system. He also asked: “If USDA-APHIS was interested in science, why would it allow an animal rights organization to steer its agenda?”
I agree with Senator Moran that the USDA should live up to its mission statement and work to promote agriculture, not to work against farmers and ranchers best interest—and I would say, not to work against the best interests of the consumer of food in this country. Senator Moran referred to a USDA memo that states that HSUS and other welfare advocacy groups would be invited to participate in a pre-planning meeting for the forum with senior leaders from wildlife services, animal care, and veterinary services. These groups would have input into the topics to be discussed, potential speakers for the topics, dates and times for the forum, how the forum should run, etc. No mention is made in the memo of asking any agricultural organization or animal scientist for pre-planning assistance. According to the memo, HSUS is going to set the agenda for this forum. Now you know full well that even if legitimate members of the agriculture industry were later invited to the event, that agriculture would already have the cards stacked against them.
HSUS is a national lobbying organization that spends most of its budget to lobby against farmers and ranchers that provide us with the food and clothing that we enjoy in this country. In fact, tax documents show that HSUS spends less than 1% of its budget on grants to animal shelters. Most of their money comes primarily from donations given by people who think it actually goes to animal shelters to protect and serve the sad eyed cats and dogs that are portrayed in the ads that they play on prime time TV and on the radio. It instead goes primarily to pay people to raise more money for them, lobbyists, lawyers to initiate ballot initiatives, and mostly to pay extravagant wages and retirement packages for Wayne Pacelle and his group, which are primarily moved up from extreme groups like ALF and PETA.
Given these facts, you would have to wonder why the Department of Agriculture is giving this organization this platform and shunning producer-based organizations or Land Grand College personnel. I, for one, will be writing or calling my Senator and Congressman to express my displeasure with this forum and how they are setting it up. I hope some of you will join me. There is absolutely no end to what this group of Vegan-based, extreme animal rights/activists will do to get to their goal of eliminating animal agriculture in the US. This just gives more credence to how sneaky and dangerous they are. Now, even our USDA/APHIS is giving them a tax payer funded platform to spin their web. USDA should live up to its mission statement and work to promote agriculture, not to work against farmers and ranchers best interest—and I would say, not to work against the best interests of the consumers of food raised by those farmers and ranchers in this country.
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 WebsterCounty in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/me

Protecting Nebraska’s Agriculture Topic of SC Cattlemen Dinner Meeting Nov. 18

Willow Holoubek,  "A-FAN"

The South Central Cattlemen Association will be holding an information meeting on Friday - November 18, 2011 at the Blue Hill Community Center in Blue Hill. The evening will start at 6:00 pm with a social time & registration, followed at 6:30 pm with a Hamburger Fry. The meal will be the precursor to the informative meeting which is entitled: “Protecting Nebraska Agriculture- Animal Rights & Other Issues”. The meeting is sponsored by the South Central Cattlemen Association and UNL Extension in Webster County. There is no cost to attend the meeting, and anyone who is interested is cordially invited to attend. The purpose of this meeting is to inform and educate the public about groups who are at work spreading misinformation, and attacking conventional agriculture and, in particular, the livestock industry. Several states have had legislation forced on them, creating regulations that have adversely affected animal agriculture, compliments of extreme animal rights and other activist groups. Think it can't happen in Nebraska? Think again! They are already at work in this state! How can this affect you?
The guest speakers for the evening will include: Willow Holoubek, Organizational Director for “A-FAN”; Pete McClymont, President of “We Support Agriculture”; and Dewey Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County. The South Central Cattlemen Association encourages everyone to attend and learn the facts about the issues facing animal agriculture in Nebraska, and the detrimental effects that efforts of animal rights and other activist groups could have on producers, our local economy, our choice of foods, and the prices we pay for them. Find out what is happening and what we can, and need to do. It doesn’t just affect our farmers and ranchers it affects our whole state – including you as a consumer.
For more information please contact: Randy Lemke @ 402-469-2284 or Webster Co. UNL Extension @ 402-746-3417. You can also find a flyer on the event at www.webster.unl.edu or email dlienemann2@unl.edu.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day Proclamation




Today, our Nation comes together to honor our veterans and commemorate the legacy of profound service and sacrifice they have upheld in pursuit of a more perfect Union. Through their steadfast defense of America’s ideals, our service members have ensured our country still stands strong, our founding principles still shine, and nations around the world know the blessings of freedom. As we offer our sincere appreciation and respect to our veterans, to their families, to those who are still in harm’s way, and to those we have laid to rest, let us rededicate ourselves to serving them as well as they have served the United States of America.

Our men and women in uniform are bearers of a proud military tradition that has been dutifully passed forward—from generation to generation—for more than two centuries. In times of war and peace alike, our veterans have served with courage and distinction in the face of tremendous adversity, demonstrating an unfaltering commitment to America and our people. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the country they loved. The selflessness of our service members is unmatched, and they remind us that there are few things more fundamentally American than doing our utmost to make a difference in the lives of others.

Just as our veterans stood watch on freedom’s frontier, so have they safeguarded the prosperity of our Nation in our neighborhoods, our businesses, and our homes. As teachers and engineers, doctors and parents, these patriots have made contributions to civilian life that serve as a testament to their dedication to the welfare of our country. We owe them a debt of honor, and it is our moral obligation to ensure they receive our support for as long as they live as proud veterans of the United States Armed Forces. This year, as our troops in Iraq complete their mission, we will honor them and all who serve by working tirelessly to give them the care, the benefits, and the opportunities they have earned.

On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to our veterans, to the fallen, and to their families. To honor their contributions to our Nation, let us strive with renewed determination to keep the promises we have made to all who have answered our country’s call. As we fulfill our obligations to them, we keep faith with the patriots who have risked their lives to preserve our Union, and with the ideals of service and sacrifice upon which our Republic was founded.

With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation’s veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2011, as Veterans Day. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Senator Fulton will not seek relection.

Senator Tony Fulton announced Thursday morning in the Capitol rotunda that he will not challenge Secretary of State John Gale's decision that bars Fulton from filing for re-election to the Legislature in 2012.

Appointed by Governor Heineman to represent Legislative District 29 in 2007 after Mike Foley's election to State Auditor of Public Accounts, Fulton was elected in 2008 with fifty-seven percent of the vote. Gale's decision to prevent Fulton from running again is based on Gale's interpretation of the term limits provision of the Nebraska Constitution which prevents Senators from seeking relection after serving more than one and a half terms. Gale's decision directly conflicts with an Attorney General's opinion issued by Attorney General Jon Bruning which states that Fulton has only served half of Foley's last term, and not more than half, thus allowing Fulton to file for re-election. Both Bruning and Gale have indicated that the correct interpretation of the Constitution must be determined by the Nebraska Supreme Court.
“The original American experiment of self-governance required farmers and merchants, cobblers and lawyers to lay down their respective crafts to serve their country. This model has remained in the Nebraska Legislature,” said Fulton. “It has been an honor to serve the people of this great state. Once my term ends, I plan to return to my small business and take up activities within my community. Let us choose another to take my place in service.”

Johanns Statement on Veterans Day

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today issued the following statement on Veterans Day:
"Today we pause to thank the servicemen and women who have fought to defend our freedom and pay homage to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. With so much unrest across the globe, I find comfort knowing we have the best military in the world keeping us safe here at home. To those in uniform and their loved ones, we are forever in your debt.”

Johanns: Take Current Keystone XL Route Off the Table

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) issued the following statement regarding the State Department's announcement to delay its decision on the Keystone pipeline:
"If this is a sincere effort to identify a more appropriate route through Nebraska, I applaud it. The State Department should make clear right now the current proposed route is off the table because it's the wrong route.
"I will note the timing looks suspiciously political. Why would this review require eighteen months? The State Department spent many months examining multiple routes through Nebraska, one of which is adjacent to the Keystone pipeline operating today.
"The State Department needs to provide a clear explanation as to why it would take an additional year and a half to analyze alternative routes, and to eliminate the current proposed route."

Johanns Asks Clinton to Remove Current Keystone XL Route from State Consideration

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following the State Department's announcement it will be delaying its decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. Below is an excerpt from the letter:
"If the announcement is a sincere effort to identify a better route within my state, I applaud the decision. I am concerned, however, that the Department's move today may serve only to delay the final decision until after the Presidential election…
"…Considering your agency has studied the proposed route for several years, keeping it under consideration makes no sense given today's announcement. Please therefore consider this letter a formal request that the Department of State immediately acknowledge that the current route is no longer being considered."


November 10, 2011 – Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson is scheduled to speak at Veterans Day ceremonies in Omaha’s Memorial Park tomorrow, November 11, 2011. The event is sponsored by Omaha American Legion Post #1. Senator Nelson will be available to speak with media representatives after the ceremony.
The following is Senator Nelson’s Veterans Day message for 2011:
“Veterans Day is an important and somber time when we pause to honor the dead and the living; the young men and women who in every war have shown their courage and their loyalty to our country.
“This is a day when Americans celebrate and honor our veterans, for their patriotism, their love of country, their willingness to serve, and for their sacrifice for the common good.
“As President Kennedy said during Veterans Day ceremonies 50 years ago, ‘I do not believe that any nation in the history of the world has buried its soldiers farther from its native soil than we Americans……
“Or buried them closer to the towns in which they grew up.’
“Veterans kept their promise to us by carrying out their duties with honor and America must always keep its promises to them. We’re helping to do that in the Heartland area by overhauling the Omaha VA Medical Center and establishing a new National Cemetery in eastern Nebraska.
“The contributions veterans have made for liberty cannot be measured, and their sacrifice will never be forgotten.”


November 10, 2011 – Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson issued this statement today, after the U.S. State Department announced that it will undertake an in-depth assessment of alternative routes for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline slated to pass through Nebraska that could conclude in early 2013:
'For more than a year, Nebraskans have voiced concerns about the proposed route of the pipeline. I have been in regular communication with the Department of State urging them to extend the comment period to allow Nebraska state agencies to comment, and to conduct hearings in Nebraska to hear firsthand from Nebraskans. The State department has responded to those concerns,” said Senator Nelson.
“Today’s decision now allows the State of Nebraska another opportunity to exercise its authority and take action on behalf of Nebraskans, rather than waiting until it’s too late,” said Senator Nelson. “The State Department noted today that state laws govern routes of interstate pipelines, but Nebraska currently has no such law or process in place.
“It is my hope that the State of Nebraska will use the State Department’s decision today to protect the interests of Nebraska citizens by exercising its authority to determine the appropriate pipeline route in Nebraska, and that the State Department will support Nebraska’s decision. As I’ve said before, this is a fundamental states’ rights issue.”


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nelson co-sponsored amendment to offer tax credits for employers who hire veterans, which passed on bill containing Nelson’s Medicaid fix
November 10, 2011 – Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson applauded the Senate’s passage of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a measure he co-sponsored to create job opportunities for veterans.
Tomorrow, Nebraskans will join all Americans in paying tribute to our veterans for their contributions and sacrifices in the cause of liberty, but the men and women who wear our country’s uniform deserve our gratitude every day,” said Senator Nelson, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Helping to create job opportunities for our veterans after they return home is a meaningful way to say thank you to our veterans and help the economy at the same time.
“The need is great. Today, unfortunately, more than one in four veterans between the ages of 20 and 24 is unemployed.”
Overall, roughly 8,300 Nebraska veterans are unemployed, an estimated 5.8 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“When our veterans come home, we shouldn’t just shake their hands for a job well done on the battlefield and then send them out the door to look for a job back home,” Nelson said. “Just as it takes specialized training to become an effective soldier, the transition back to civilian life can be a lot more difficult than a returning veteran might expect.”
The VOW to Hire Heroes Act is the most comprehensive veterans employment legislation since the post-9/11 GI bill. It includes:

• Tax credits of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months and a $2,400 credit for veterans who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks, but less than 6 months;

Tax credits of up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months;

•The Transition Assistance Program (TAP), an interagency workshop coordinated by the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs, to help service members moving on to civilian life secure 21st Century jobs;
• An expansion of education and training opportunities for older veterans, by providing 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras with an additional year of Montgomery GI benefits to go towards education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools;
An additional year of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits for disabled veterans;
following service members to begin the federal employment process prior to separation, in order to facilitate a truly seamless transition from the military to jobs at VA, Homeland Security or many other federal agencies.
The bill is fully paid for, largely with a non-controversial Veterans Administration mortgage fee extension.
The VOW to Hire Heroes Act was passed as an amendment to the 3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act, which included Nelson’s Medicaid Savings Through Eligibility Fairness Act to require that Medicaid benefits only go to the low-income Americans who need them.
Nelson’s provisions would count Social Security benefits as income when determining eligibility for Medicaid – just as it is today. Social Security benefits would not change.
The adjustment is estimated to save $13 billion, which will pay for repealing an imminent 3-percent withholding requirement that cities, universities and businesses say would have a dramatic and negative effect on job creation and business expansion.
“By improving two existing laws, we’re maintaining Medicaid as a safety net only for Nebraska’s most vulnerable citizens and repealing a burdensome withholding requirement, so job creators, communities and businesses can get to work helping our economy recover,” Nelson said. “It’s a win-win making sure middle-class citizens don’t inadvertently receive Medicaid, and that our cities, colleges and businesses aren’t subject to heavy-handed rules that slow down our economy.
“While I would prefer steering the savings to deficit reduction—as I proposed in my original bill—I fully support repealing the 3 percent withholding requirement, and using the Medicaid savings for jobs and to help our economy grow.”
The 3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act gained final approved in the Senate today with 95 votes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Annabell "Ann" M. Wright 3-21-19 to 10-31-11

Former Blue Hill resident, Annabell “Ann” M. Wright, 92, passed away Monday, October 31, 2011 at Chadron Community Hospital, Chadron, Nebraska.
Memorial services will be Monday, November 7, 2011; 9:00 A.M. at Butler Volland Chapel, Hastings with Pastor Joel Remmers officiating. Burial will be in Blue Hill Cemetery, Blue Hill, Nebraska. There will be no viewing or visitation. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Hay Springs Fire Department.
Ann was born March 21, 1919 to William & Rosa Horn. She grew up and graduated from Hay Springs, Nebraska. Ann attended Beauty School in Lincoln, Nebraska. She worked seven years in Scottsbluff, Nebraska where she met and married Wilbur K. Wright of Ayr, Nebraska. They moved to Ayr, Nebraska in 1945 where she started her own beauty shop in 1948. She moved her shop to Blue Hill where they lived and operated her shop until 1990. After the death of Wilbur she moved to Hastings in 1991 on account of her health.
Ann was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Wilbur Wright; three brothers; and two sisters.
Survivors include:
Son & Spouse: Billy & Tammy Wright – Lochbuie, CO
Grandchildren & Spouses: Kenneth & Laurie Wright – Eustis, NE
Joshua Wright – Lincoln, NE
Tasha & Josh - Aurora, CO
Clairesa - Goodland, KS
Great-Grandsons: 2
Sisters: Rose Amundson – Hay Springs, NE
Lois Connely – Las Vegas, NV
Brother: Lyle Horn – Hays Springs, NE
Numerous Nieces, Nephews, Cousins, and friends

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Smith Participates In Annual Red Cross ‘Holiday Mail For Heroes’ Program

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith (NE-3)  joined other members of Congress for the annual ‘Holiday Mail for Heroes’ card signing to show support for American military personnel, veterans, and their families this holiday season. Smith’s offices in Scottsbluff and Grand Island again will serve as collection points for constituents to drop off postage-free cards.
“The holiday season is an important time to show support for our brave men and women in uniform,” said Smith. “Our military has made enormous sacrifices in order to keep our country safe. Let’s all come together to make this holiday season a special time for our troops and their families.”
Now in its fifth year, the Red Cross ‘Holiday Mail for Heroes’ program provides Americans with the opportunity to extend holiday greetings and thanks to service members, veterans, and their families around the world. The program first was started in 2007 when the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. approached the Red Cross to distribute thousands of holiday cards for wounded troops.
Cards should be sent to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
Postage-free cards may also be dropped off at either of Smith’s district offices:
Scottsbluff Grand Island

416 Valley View Dr., Suite 600 1811 W. 2nd Street, Suite 105

Scottsbluff, NE 69361            Grand Island, NE 68803
To ensure cards reach their destination, the following guidelines apply:
• All cards being sent in for 2011 Holiday Mail For Heroes program should be postmarked no later than Friday, December 9, 2011.
• Ensure that all cards are signed.
• Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program.
• Only cards are being accepted.
• Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
• Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
• Participants should limit the number of cards they submit to 25 from any one person or 50 from any one class or group. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope. Envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
November 3, 2011 Edition
Agriculture has actually had some good news come its way this past couple of weeks. I am always a little reserved when it comes to these things, because it seems that just when you think you may have a little sunshine it seems that the another hammer comes down in some fashion. You get to the point that you just hope for little victories instead of counting on winning the battles.
The first little victory is definitely the harvest. I cannot in my 50 years of agriculture awareness remember a better year for harvest, both from a climate point of view and especially a yield stand point. Almost everyone that I have talked to has experienced one of their best yield years in most every crop. In many cases, the dryland crops were probably the best surprises of all. You could see it all growing season. There weren’t even the usual calls concerning insects and disease and very little – “What is wrong with my beans (corn, milo, etc.)” this year. That is not to say there weren’t some concerns. Take for instance the extremely hot weather during pollination. I fully expected some negative effects from that. It turns out that the high humidity that I, and many others, were cussing at that time, probably saved our corn.
We not only have great yields, we have decent prices to go along with those yields. I know a lot of farmers have pinched themselves to make sure they aren’t dreaming. I fully understand, along with the producers, that inputs are also high and we must not lose sight of that. Input costs are those things that we cannot really control. One thing is for sure, it is a given that prices for grain will come down, but I can tell you that it takes a lot longer for those input costs to come down. We also know that this current set of events is not the norm, and again I know that a lot of farmers are waiting for the hammer to fall. We certainly will take what the Lord and the economy is willing to give us now. These past years have gone along ways to healing up some of the wounds that farmers had in low prices, high input costs and shrinking income potential. I know a lot of farmers who, in order to continue with their farming enterprise, needed this reprieve.
Another little victory was the EPA recent announcement that it is planning to retain the existing EPA dust standards rather than adopt new ones. I have been concerned for a couple of years that a revision of the current law which would evolve into a more stringent “dust or particulates law” which was likely to be wrote into stone, at dire consequences felt by Nebraska’s ag base. While that is indeed good news, I will have to admit that I am a little disappointed that our Congress hasn’t been a little more demanding. I know full well that in five short years, EPA will likely be in review again of the “particulate matter standards” and with the pressures that are likely to continually come from environmentalists and anti-ag groups, it could likely lower that standard again, and most likely as high as twice as stringent as the current standard.
I, for one, am disappointed that Congress has not yet passed the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011. The last I heard it was scheduled for a hearing on October 25 with the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power. The bill was introduced originally in the House by South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem, and by Nebraska Senator, Mike Johanns. I do think that the threat of this legislation probably convinced the EPA director Jackson that she probably shouldn’t go forward with the revision, as I am pretty sure they were contemplating. It would not hurt if all of us worried about EPA over-regulation would contact our Congressmen and Senators to encourage them to pass this bill and give us some peace.
I also learned today that we may have another little victory. The Senate passed the 2012 Ag Appropriations bill without any riders prohibiting humane horse processing! If you are not aware, the Humane Society of the U.S. and other radical animal rights groups several years ago used a back door strategy to dupe Congress into denying the horse industry the legislative process and full hearings on the horse processing issue. They then lobbied successfully to deny people that have horses, a market for unneeded, rank or old horses. It denied the process of slaughtering horses in all states, forcing a long, grueling ride to Mexico or Canada and even worse fates. I could spend several pages talking about the negative things that came from this ill-conceived and counter-productive policy that actually decreases the welfare of horses and at the same time unfairly destroys an entire sector of animal agriculture. Here again is proof that HSUS thinks they can do a better job of managing livestock and forced the issue with their lawyers, slick ads, lobbying, and their television and internet videos and in actuality make things worse, not better for horses and their owners. Go to http://www.united-horsemen.org/
Now the Ag Appropriation bill moves to Conference Committee to reconcile the differences between the pro-horse industry Senate bill, and the House bill (H.R. 2122) which still includes the annual riders that have been included at HSUS' behest since 2007 that prohibits USDA from providing inspection to ensure humane handling and food safety in the United States. We need to convince the House to follow suit with the Senate. So if you love horses and want to go back to a sane, common sense, and fair means of handling your unwanted horses, then contact your Congressmen to encourage that the conference committee reconcile the bills, and come out on the side of horse slaughter and processing. What we now have is unfair and damaging, to not only the people that raise and use the horses for productive purposes, but in actuality is dreadful for their horses. Encourage our legislators to come back to the side of reason and common “horse sense”.
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: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/me