Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nebraska Delegation Announces 2012 Nebraska Breakfast Schedule

Jan 31, 2012
Today, Nebraska’s congressional delegation announced this year’s schedule for the Nebraska Breakfast, the gathering held each Wednesday Congress is in session for Nebraskans to meet with members of the delegation.
“We’re pleased to kick off another year of this great tradition and look forward to the give-and-take these breakfasts offer,” said Senators Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns, and Reps. Lee Terry, Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith. “Nebraskans have a chance to introduce themselves, tell us why they are in Washington, and what issues are of particular concern to them. All five members of the delegation are able to respond to their issues, tell them what we’re working on that particular week and offer some insight as to what they might expect.”
The 2012 Nebraska Breakfasts, with Nelson serving as host, will be held on:
February: 1, 8, 15, 29
March: 7, 21, 28
April: 18, 25
May: 9, 16
June: 6, 20, 27
July: 11, 18, 25
August: 1
September: 12
The Nebraska Breakfast originated in 1943. It was the idea of U.S. Senator Hugh Butler, who wanted to meet informally each week to discuss legislation with other members of the Nebraska Congressional delegation. They began inviting guests to the weekly gatherings, and soon a tradition was born.
The Nebraska Breakfast, now in its sixth decade, is the oldest and only ongoing state gathering for constituents on Capitol Hill. Every Wednesday when the House and Senate are both in session, Nebraskans can meet and visit with their delegation.
The breakfast is usually held in the Dirksen Senate Buffet on the "B" level of the Dirksen Senate Office Building at 8:00 a.m.
Nebraskans can make a reservation to attend by contacting any of the delegation member’s offices, or by visiting their websites:
Senator Nelson: 202-224-6551; Bennelson.senate.gov
Senator Johanns: 202-224-4224; Johanns.senate.gov
Rep. Terry: 202-225-4155; Leeterry.house.gov
Rep. Fortenberry 202-225-4806; Fortenberry.house.gov
Rep. Smith: 202-225-6435;Adriansmith.house.gov

Monday, January 30, 2012

Nebraska’s Proud Military Tradition

Senator Ben Nelson

Looking out over a gathering of about 200 people in late January as I sat in an auditorium waiting to speak, my thoughts went to Nebraska’s proud military tradition.
The 200 people were members of the Nebraska National Guard, who had recently returned from Afghanistan, and their families. They were the latest in a long line of Nebraskans who have served their country.
The military service of men and women in Nebraska has not only protected the American way of life, their service helped create it.
Nebraska’s First Fort
In 1819, Fort Atkinson was founded about 15 miles north of Omaha. It was, at the time, the largest military post under U-S command.
Soldiers were stationed at Fort Atkinson to protect American fur traders, show the American flag, and keep the peace with the native people.
Hundreds of miles from any civilized settlements, Fort Atkinson gave rise to the first school, the first farms, a saw mill, hospital and library west of the Missouri River.

As they tried to bring modern civilization to an unknown and seemingly isolated part of the world, I imagine those soldiers shared some of the same emotions the men and women I was about to welcome home had experienced in Afghanistan.
Just as the soldiers at Fort Atkinson served our growing country’s needs in the frontier era, the service of these Nebraska soldiers in Afghanistan is helping the United States meet the complex challenges of today’s world.
The difference is that many of those frontier soldiers stayed where they served and helped to settle the new American territories. As Nebraskans, we’re all glad that they did.
402nd Military Police Battalion of the National Guard
The ceremony was for M-Ps who had come home from Afghanistan around Thanksgiving but the public ceremony was postponed so it wouldn’t be lost in the holidays. I’m glad they waited because our troops deserve recognition and a show of appreciation. Both the troops and their families have made tremendous sacrifices to serve their country.
These M-Ps did an excellent job running the detainee facilities in Parwan Province. They helped to establish justice and order among the chaos of war.
Nebraska Role Models
They served as role models for the M-P soldiers of the Afghan National Army. They helped train them to manage their own detaining facilities so they will be humane, effective and secure.
We are all looking forward to the day, hopefully soon, when the Afghan people will run Afghanistan’s military and civilian justice systems for themselves. It will lead to more stability in Afghanistan and more security for the United States.
Thanks to these Nebraska troops, the latest to follow a long proud Nebraska military tradition, we are one step closer to accomplishing our mission in Afghanistan. We are one step closer to a transition of responsibility to the Afghan government and we are one step closer to successfully ending the longest war in U-S history.

Weather unseasonably Warm.

The area experienced record high temperatures today as the mercury climbed to 68-70 degrees today and weather in the mid 50's with wind for tomorrow.  By the weekend it may be much cooler and we may have some moisture.  This is a big difference from what we experience last year at this time.

Johanns Sponsors Legislation to Finalize Keystone XL Permit

Legislation allows pipeline construction to begin outside Nebraska while an appropriate route is identified through the state
WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today sponsored legislation allowing Congress to vote on granting TransCanada the required permits to begin construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The President gives speeches about energy security and creating jobs, but this legislation would actually do it. Our bill approves the pipeline while allowing Nebraska and TransCanada the time they need to find the right route through our state,” Johanns said. “This pipeline is not only a national priority because of the energy and jobs it will bring, it’s also a Nebraska priority.
“The President rejected this project because of politics. Congress now has the responsibility to approve it because it’s clearly in the best interest of our country.”
Upon passage, the legislation allows TransCanada to begin pipeline construction outside of Nebraska immediately. Construction in Nebraska would begin only after a route has been approved. The legislation builds off the completed Environmental Impact Statement finished by the U.S. State Department on August 26, 2011.
On January 20, a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report reaffirmed Congress’ Constitutional authority to oversee foreign commerce, as outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
The legislation Johanns sponsored will be introduced today by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.).

Sharp First at Red Cloud Meet

Garrett Sharp, 170# Junior from Blue Hill, took Championship honors in his division at the Wrestling meet held Saturday in Red Cloud.  Sharp was able to defeat Mike Cox of Sutton who had defeated  Sharp twice previously in other meets.  Cox had hoped to make his victory over Sharp his 100th win of his career. 
Also placing for the Warcats was Tanner Rupprect in the #138 weight class who took second.
In team results Blue Hill/Red Cloud placed 10th. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Blue Hill falls to Shelton

Both boys and girls basketball teams were defeated by Shelton teams tonight.  The score of the boys basketball game was 66 to 57.   The girls lost by only one point with a score of 53 to 52. 

Legislative Newsletter

Legislative Newsletter
Senator Tom Carlson-District 38
January 27, 2012
There were 468 new bills introduced during the first ten days of this session. Each of those bills will have a public hearing while, in the mornings, we have debate on “hold over” bills from last session.
Two of the bills on today’s agenda were advanced from the Ag Committee, which I chair. LB 459, introduced by Senator Schilz, would limit the adoption of any law by a political subdivision, regarding the ownership of an animal.
The bill is an important bill. As animal rights groups become more active in Nebraska, it is important to clarify statutes so that animals remain as personal property under ownership; and ownership not be confused with, or slide into, guardianship. The bill passed General File and advanced to Select File, which is the second round of debate.
LB 473, by Senator Louden, would adopt the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Act. This bill allows for counties to develop and implement a plan to manage Black Tailed Prairie Dogs. Such a plan can not conflict with state or federal management plans. Prairie dogs are a problem in some areas of the state and I believe it is appropriate to allow for such management plans. This bill also advanced to Select File.
I introduced three new bills, in addition to my bills referred to the Agriculture Committee. My priority will be Legislative Resolution 358 CA, meaning Constitutional Amendment. The bill extends term limits to three consecutive four-year terms, instead of the current two four-year terms.
If approved by the legislature, the measure will appear on the November ballot for voters to decide. The hearing for this bill is February 1st, at noon, in front of the Executive Board. Please contact me with any questions or suggestions on this resolution.
LB 1156 would exempt non-equalized schools from expenditure limits in the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act, more commonly referred to as TEEOSA. These schools, if they are under their levy limit of $1.05, feel their boards should be able to control district spending when they receive no equalization under the state aid formula. If LB 1156 would become law, the bill specifies that the extra spending would not be included in the state aid formula, and thus would not have the effect of increasing expenditures as a result of the formula. This bill is scheduled for hearing on February 13th in front of the Education Committee.
The third bill is LB 1058, which I introduced on behalf of the Department of Labor. The bill puts in statute rules and regulations that have been used by the department concerning employment law and makes changes to state law as required by the Federal government. It could be classified as a department clean up bill.

Governor's column

January 27, 2012
Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
We are fortunate in Nebraska to have one of the strongest economies in the country. Our unemployment rate is 4.1% while the national average is more than double at 8.5%. Nebraska is recognized nationally as a top state in which to do business and we continue to grow and create jobs in our state.
Our enviable position is the result of years of planning and implementing business-friendly policy. Six years ago, a new package of economic incentives known as the Nebraska Advantage went into effect that has helped attract outstanding new business opportunities to Nebraska while helping existing businesses expand.
We worked closely with the Legislature to develop and pass legislation creating the Nebraska Advantage, which was the first comprehensive update to Nebraska’s economic incentives since the mid 1980’s. Our goal was to stimulate statewide economic development and job creation. The resulting Nebraska Advantage is a performance based economic incentive program that rewards the creation of higher paying jobs.
Today, Nebraska is a global contender for businesses in a number of targeted industries because we worked closely with local leaders and the business community to promote opportunities that make Nebraska a competitive and attractive place to do business.
Aggressively recruiting businesses and utilizing the Nebraska Advantage has been successful in growing our state’s economy. Since the inception of the Nebraska Advantage in 2005, 269 companies plan to invest $5.9 billion in our economy and create more than 19,000 new jobs.
By industry, this translates to 36 projects at $2.9 billion and more than 2,100 jobs in the bio-medical and renewable fuels industries; 63 projects at $1.4 billion and more than 5,600 jobs in the telecommunications and related industries; 147 projects at $1 billion and more than 6,300 jobs in the manufacturing and processing industries; and 38 projects at $526 million and more than 5,300 jobs in financial and insurance services.
By location, 142 businesses have been established in the Omaha metropolitan service area with 53 businesses in the Lincoln metropolitan service area and 89 projects are in greater Nebraska.
From January 2006 through December 2011, a total of 111 companies applied for Nebraska Advantage Rural, resulting in a potential $223 million investment and 374 jobs. Finally 109 projects are currently under contract through the Customized Job Training Advantage with an investment of $16 million and more than 9,200 jobs.
Additionally, the Nebraska Internship Program is an important component of Nebraska’s strategic economic plan. It is designed to enhance technology and innovation, and assure 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.
Intern Nebraska is a win-win for students seeking valuable business experience to further shape their future careers and to keep our youth in Nebraska. It’s critical for business owners who are focused on developing a quality workforce to meet the demands of our vastly changing global economy.
Currently, 156 companies have filed applications to participate in Intern Nebraska with 115 of those approved. Of the approved candidates, nearly 40% are looking forward to welcoming interns to their rural Nebraska companies. Whether you’re a student seeking an internship, or company official interested in participating in the program, you’ll find more information at: http://internne.com/.
We continue to create initiatives that build a talented workforce, encourage entrepreneurship and have a positive impact on the economy of our state. The Nebraska Advantage and the Nebraska Internship Program are helping move Nebraska forward.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gov. Heineman to Call for Middle Class Tax Relief in Legislative Testimony

75% of Income Tax Relief Plan Benefits Middle Class
(Lincoln, NE) Today, Gov. Dave Heineman will emphasize the need for income tax relief for hard-working, middle class taxpayers. Scheduled to appearing before the Nebraska Legislature’s Revenue Committee this afternoon, Gov. Heineman will testify in favor of LB 970, the Governor’s $327million tax relief package, outlining the necessity of further tax relief.
“Nebraska has made significant progress in terms of taxes, but Nebraskans are still taxed too highly,” said Gov. Heineman. “Nebraskans deserve to keep more of the money they make instead of handing it over to government to spend. Nebraska is in the top half of highest taxed states and we can, and must, do better.”
Under LB 970, individual income tax relief will be provided by lowering rates and expanding brackets, supporting the middle class, with 75% of the relief going to Nebraskans with combined household incomes up to $150,000 annually.
Gov. Heineman outlined his tax relief package in his 2012 State of the State address, calling it the single most important priority of the legislative session. The tax relief package includes income and corporate tax relief, as well as elimination of the inheritance tax.
The proposal helps small businesses grow by lowering the top corporate tax rate to the same rate as the top individual rate. The repeal of inheritance tax is considered the final step in the elimination of Nebraska’s death tax. In 2007, as part of the largest tax relief package in the history of the state, the estate tax was repealed. However, Nebraska remains one of only 8 states in the United States to still have an inheritance tax, which hurts Nebraska significantly in tax competitiveness rankings.
“Nebraska’s current income tax system is unfair to middle class Nebraskans because they have to pay at the same marginal rate as Warren Buffett if a family’s adjusted gross income is greater than 54,000 a year,” said Gov. Heineman. “By improving our income and corporate tax rates, as well as repealing the final leg of the death tax, we will help hard-working middle class Nebraskans and our small businesses, while continuing to make Nebraska more competitive for high-quality jobs for the next generations of Nebraskans.”
LB 970 was introduced on the Governor’s behalf by state Senator Abbie Cornett of Bellevue. Gov. Heineman applauded her vision and leadership on this issue critical to Nebraska’s future.
The Governor highlighted the progress made in Nebraska’s tax climate improving from 45th to 30th since 2006 in the Tax Foundation’s state rankings. However, Gov. Heineman noted that there is more work to be done and middle class Nebraskans need tax relief.
“Some will say we can’t afford tax relief, but I say we can’t afford to miss this opportunity to help hard-working Nebraskans,” stated Gov. Heineman.

Twelve Nebraska Hunting-Related Incidents in 2011

Thursday, January 26, 2012- Twelve hunting-related incidents were reported to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 2011. Two of those incidents each resulted in the death of one person.
Seven incidents involved the discharge of a shotgun, three involved the discharge of a rifle, one involved a fall from an elevated stand and one involved a hunter being shot by an unknown person with an unknown firearm.
"All of the incidents occurred because one or more participants were not following safety rules," Nebraska Hunter Education Coordinator Mike Streeter said.
Four incidents occurred while hunting upland birds, three while hunting deer, two while hunting waterfowl, two while hunting furbearers and one while hunting nongame animals.
Historically, the most common cause for a hunting incident in Nebraska is a shooter swinging on a flying game bird and striking a hunting companion with shot from a shotgun.
To view the full Nebraska 2011 Hunting Incident report, visit http://www.huntsafenebraska.org/ .   and then click on Hunting Incident Report.

Tough on Crime

Zach O'Dell, a 19 year old college soccer player attending Northwest Community College in Powell, Wyoming, has agreed to pay a $200 fine, plus $10 Court costs and pay restitution of 79 cents for shoplifting a doughnut.
On Novemer 28 the teenager is allegeded to have taken the doughnut in Blair's market in Powell, ate it and left without paying for it.  Park County attorney Sandra Kitchen says she has deferred the prosecution and the charge will be dismissed in six months if O'Dell stays out of trouble.
O'Dell is a criminal Justice student.

Quote of the Day

If you are afraid to speak against tyranny, then you are already a slave. --JBR Yant


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
January 26, 2012 Edition
“I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years. I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.”
In the almost 30 years that I served as an ag teacher/FFA advisor I saw those first two paragraphs of the FFA Creed recited or written many times. Anyone that has been in the FFA is very familiar with those words. They mean even more to me in today’s world. It is really hard for me to understand that anyone could not see the future that is in agriculture in light of what segment of society in America is not only holding its own but flourishing. It is even harder to digest an article that came out on Yahoo Education website and virtually became plastered across the internet and news circles.
The article, entitled “College Majors That Are Useless,” claims that the number one most useless degree is Agriculture. Then to top it off, Animal Science and Horticulture are listed as the number four and number five most useless degrees respectively. The author of this article, Terence Loose, makes it pretty clear that he has a narrow view of the types of jobs available to a person with and Agriculture degree. Here is what he says: “If your idea of a good day is getting up with the sun and working till it sets as an agricultural manager, a degree in agriculture might be your calling” and then the absolutely brilliant…“Just don’t expect farms and ranches to be calling you.”….. Needless to say it got my attention!
It just seemed like a big slap in the face to a person who has been intimately nvolved with teaching the value of agriculture and education in agriculture. This view is so narrow that it really troubles me. I do, however, know that it is the view of many people who are disconnected from agriculture, which in itself could be a harbinger of challenges to come, and in fact is a big challenge that is and will continue to face all of us in agriculture. This assumption by the general public and academia, that agriculture is not important, is why it is imperative to be proactive in reaching the consumer. If we don't gather all of our resources together to approach the situation, we will be legislated out of existence. Whatever the legislation, from the 2013 Farm Bill to environmental regulations, or even HSUS ballot initiatives, politicians are swayed by what will be seemingly “popular” or “important” with the majority of their constituents. They listen to numbers, and non-agriculture population outnumbers us ninety eight to two. If nothing else this article has certainly reinforced the need and our collective responsibility to educate the public about the essential role of agriculture in their lives.
The writer, obviously, is oblivious to the fact that today’s agriculture industry is far more diverse and offers more opportunities than most people realize. It is feeding and clothing the world, creating jobs and protecting our planet’s natural resources. What’s useless about that? No one in their right mind should be so quick to discourage those who are interested in working as a farm or ranch manager or in any segment of the agriculture industry. The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. That means that we’ll need more farmers and ranchers and support personnel who have the education needed to produce more food, even more efficiently than they do now, in order to meet growing demand. Without those “useless” agriculture or ag related degrees, we may find ourselves in a precarious food situation in the near future!
The writer’s main reasoning behind ranking these degrees useless was – drum roll please—money. Do these people think that everything revolves around the all mighty dollar? Aside from money talk, this article is absolutely ridiculous in that the real fact is that the field of agriculture is one of the most rapidly growing career sectors. I would like to ask this gentleman, how are we going to feed the fastest growing population 15 years down the road? We need to encourage all students to pursue a career in agriculture. Food production has to increase 70 percent in 40 years in order to feed the expected 3 billion additional human beings and we need all of the great minds we can get! With the average farmer aging at around 60 years or more, and more farmers looking to retire, it is up to young people to take on the job of “saving the world.”
Does the advent of old or retiring farmers mean less need for food, fuel and fiber production for the world? Absolutely not! The demand for these products certainly remains steady if not increasing in certain parts of the world, demanding more from U.S. farmers and ranchers. This demand means greater opportunities for college graduates who want to enter the agricultural field; regardless of whether students aspire to return home to the family farm, become an agronomist, veterinarian, seeds salesman, veterinarian, or pharmaceutical/chemical representative, extension educator, or whatever have you. Agriculture plays a vital role in the US economy. It is responsible for 1 in 12 jobs. America leads the world in agricultural exports. Last year, Ag exports reached record levels of $137.4 billion in sales, creating a $42 billion trade surplus, supporting over a million jobs. One in three jobs in Nebraska is directly tied to agriculture or agribusiness, and, the richness of the natural resource base in the state makes it a leader internationally in production of agricultural products and services. If you ask me, I’d say it seems as if finding a career in agriculture is more promising than just about anything else. That future in agriculture is brighter than ever, and I believe that the promise is even greater than in previous years!
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

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Viola B. Gerloff Sept. 10, 1924 to Jan. 24 2012

Hastings resident Viola B. Gerloff, 87, died Tuesday Jan. 24, 2012 at Mary Lanning Memorial HealthCare in Hastings.
Services are 10 a.m. Friday at zion Lutheran Church in Hastings with the Rev. Paul Warneke officiating.  Burial will be at Blue  Valley Cemetery in Ayr.  Visitation is 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday with family present 6-8 p.m. at Merten Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill, and one hour prior to services at the church.
A memorial has been established.
Viola was born on Sept. 10, 1924 to Richard H. and Laura (Royer) Booker at Red Cloud, Nebraska.  She graduated from Guide Rock High School in 1942,  She married Paul W. Gerloff on April 21 at Zion Lutheran Church, Hastings, Ne.  She loved gardening , especially her rose garden. Her grandchildren were the joy of  her life.
She is survived by two sons, Michael P. (Becky) of Ayr, Neal (Mary) of Holstein, One sister, Goldie Umbach of Superior, four grandsons, Brian, Bradley, Justin and Nathan.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; seven brothers,  and four sisters.

Blue Hill Vs. Lawrence Nelson Basketball

Blue Hill Boys  Baskektball team defeated  Lawrence/nelson 44-32 Tuesday.   Maverick Busbpom led Blue Hill with 15 points.  Trent Kohmetscher and Garrett Williams  added eight points each.
In the Girls game the Lady Bobcarts defeated the Raiders by 53 to 29.  Kaitlin Kumke led the scoring with 18 and Jordyn Atwater scored 15 points.

Billy R. Brown 11-22-1950 to 1-2-2012

Harvard resident, Billy R. Brown, 61, passed away Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at Mary Lanning Memorial HealthCare, Hastings, NE.

Services will be Friday, January 27, 2012 at 2 PM at the Harvard United Church of Christ, in Harvard, NE with Pastor Dave Johnson officiating. Burial will be in the Harvard Cemetery, Harvard, NE. Visitation will be Thursday, January 26, 2012 from 5 PM to 9 PM at the Alberding-Wilson Funeral Home, in Harvard, NE. Condolences may be sent to the family from www.brandwilson.com.
Billy was born November 22, 1950 to Delbert and Lorna (Tjarks) Brown in Hastings, NE.
He worked at Wal-Mart in the automotive department.
He volunteered at the Trumbull Fire Department in Trumbull, NE for many years where he was fire chief for a number of years. He worked on steam engines and antique tractors with his good friend Jerry Schmidt. Wood working was another of his hobbies.
He is survived by his mother, Lorna Brown of Harvard, NE, one daughter, Tricia Hazen and husband Dave of Blue Hill, NE, one son, Mark Brown and wife Ariann of Elkhorn, NE, seven grandchildren, one brother, Bob Brown and wife Cindy of Harvard, NE, and two sisters, Susan Brown and Shirley Brown both of Harvard, NE.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Smith Responds to President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Washington, DC – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today released the following statement on President Obama’s State of the Union address:
“Strengthening our nation’s economy – creating jobs and putting Americans back to work – is the number one priority for Nebraskans,” said Smith. “But we aren’t looking for more of the same policies of the last three years – more government, more taxes, more stimulus spending. It hasn’t worked.
“We cannot continue to ignore the fundamental problems undermining our economic recovery. Our tax system needs a comprehensive overhaul which simplifies the code, lowers rates and broadens the base. We need a budget which reins in Washington’s overspending and fundamental reforms to uphold our safety net.
“In the end, Nebraskans are looking for real action from Congress and this Administration. We’ve done it before – together we’ve advanced an aggressive trade agenda which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs here at home. Going forward, I remain committed to finding other areas of common ground so we can take steps to improve our economy and move America forward.”

Whipples in Car Accident

Kerry and Carolee Whipple were involved in a car accident while visiting in Wichita, Kansas this past week end.  Carolee is doing alright but Kerry was hospitalized.  He suffered five broken ribs and is enduring a lot of pain.   Anyone wanting to send get well wishes to Kerry can send mail to him  P. O. Box 306  Blue Hill, Nebraska 68930.


January 24, 2012 –Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson made the following comments after President Obama delivered his State of the Union address tonight to a joint session of Congress and the American people:
“The President’s proposals tonight, and other ideas from Congress, are all headed to the dustbin of history unless Washington ends its job-killing gridlock. I believe that Nebraskans have had enough of the job-killing gridlock we’ve seen over the last few years. The job-killing gridlock is holding America back. It’s holding our economy down. It’s hurting middle class Nebraska families,” said Senator Nelson.
“I’m ready to work together with Republicans, Democrats and Independents to get the job done.
“We can start with the President’s ideas to expand American energy, whether from our natural resources or renewable sources such as biofuels including ethanol. Today, the ethanol we produce displaces 445 million barrels of oil that we don’t have to import from unstable areas of the world. It’s creating more than 400,000 American jobs, including more than 1,300 jobs in Nebraska.
“But we can and should do better—for the economy, the environment and America’s push for greater energy independence. By ending the job-killing gridlock, we can expand our domestic energy production from natural and renewable resources. We’ll create more jobs and have more “Made in America” energy.
“Tonight, I sat with my Nebraska delegation colleagues, as we did last year. And others crossed party lines, as well, to sit together in the House chamber. Let’s hope this example can pave the way to more partnerships, and less partisanship, and more real results that lower the debt, put people to work and help secure America’s future.”
VIDEO OF SEN. NELSON’S COMMENTS AVAILABLE HERE: http://bennelson.senate.gov/Video/ebn-1-24-12-post-sotu.mp4
AUDIO OF SEN. NELSON’S COMMENTS AVAILABLE HERE: http://gp1d.senate.gov/sdmc/Ben_Nelson/012412_BENNELSON_POST_1_RADIO.mp3

NE Farmers and Ranchers Call for Inheritance Tax Repeal

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today was joined by Steve Nelson, President of Nebraska Farm Bureau and Michael Kelsey, Executive Director of Nebraska Cattlemen to call for repeal of the Nebraska Inheritance Tax.
“Nebraska is one of only eight states that has an inheritance tax and we need to change that,” said Gov. Dave Heineman. “Four years ago we eliminated the state’s estate tax and this is the final element of eliminating Nebraska’s Death tax.”
In his State of the State address, Governor Heineman outlined his tax relief proposal that includes the repeal of the inheritance tax. “Farming and ranching is a capital intensive business which can show very high values on paper, but often times has slim operating margins,” said Nebraska Farm Bureau President, Steve Nelson. “So the inheritance tax makes it difficult for farmers and ranchers to pass their operations on to the next generation.” 
“It is so important today to make sure that Nebraska has a positive business environment to insure that the next generation of Nebraska’s beef farmers and ranchers can begin their life of food production with positive momentum rather than shackled by a government tax,” said Executive Director of Nebraska Cattlemen, Michael Kelsey.
Additionally, Gov. Heineman’s proposal lowers income tax rates and expands the tax brackets for Nebraska’s middle class taxpayers and reduces the corporate income tax rate to help small businesses grow. Tax relief for Nebraska’s is the primary focus of Gov. Heineman’s 2012 Legislative agenda.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rep Valley Trap Club Annual Beef Fry

The Rep Valley Trap Club invites you to their annual Beef Fry and Auction at the Lawrence Legion Hall Sat. Jan. 28, 2012.  Serving from 5 p.m. to ???  
Adults $9
6th grade and under $5
The Auction starts at 7:30 pm.
Raffled that night will be a life time Nebraska hunting permit donated by Mike Heaton Family, and a 25.06 Savage rife with a Bushnell Scope donated by the Webster County Pheasants Forever chapter.  Numerous auction items donated by area businesses too numerous to list.  (Something for everyone) 
All proceeds help support the Rep Valley Trap Shooters.

Richard L. Rose 1952 to 2011

Blue Hill Resident Richard  L. Rose died suddenly and unexpectedly at the CPI Convenience Store  in Blue Hill Sunday morning.  The store remained closed for the remainder of the day.
Rose was 59 years old. 
He was the son of Albert and Berniece (Degener) Rose.
Services will be held Friday at 3 p.m.at Merten Butler Mortuary chapel in Blue Hill with Mona Fassler officiating.   Burial will be at the Presbyterian Cemetery, Rosemont, Nebraska.
Visitation is 11 a.m. until services Friday at the Funeral home. 
Memorials may be given to the family.

Ethanol Remains a Top Priority in the New Year

Senator Ben Nelson

By Senator Ben Nelson
The ethanol producers of Nebraska and throughout the country got a big boost with the new year when a federal judge decided to block a tighter fuel standard in California from going into effect that would have cut back on the amount of ethanol going to California from producers here in the middle of the country.
This ruling is good news for Nebraska’s many ethanol producers who would have been shut out of the California market by unfair rules that created inefficiencies in state to state commerce, while failing to recognize renewable fuels such as ethanol are part of the ultimate strategy for improving our environment and reducing our reliance on foreign fuels.
Increasing the Use of Ethanol
The ruling comes at an important time as the federal ethanol subsidy expired on January 1st, so any reduction in the market would have been unfortunate to say the least. As it is, ethanol has a good future. We’ve seen to that in Congress with passage of the energy bill a few years ago.
The energy bill improves vehicle efficiency while increasing production of renewable fuels. By 2022, 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels must be used annually. That’s enough to displace 11.3 billion barrels of crude oil and reduce the outflow of dollars to foreign oil producers by $817 billion between 2008 and 2022. That will add $1.7 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product, 1.1 million new jobs, and generate $209 billion in new federal tax receipts.
Beyond Corn Ethanol
The newest standards set for 2012 will include a mandate to blend 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuel this year. This also includes an 8.65 million-gallon requirement for cellulosic biofuels, 1 billion-gallon requirement for biomass-based diesel, and 2 billion gallon requirement for advanced biofuels. These new standards reaffirm the base corn-ethanol will continue to play in the U.S. renewable fuel production, while providing the framework in developing advanced biofuels which can be produced nationwide.
Just think what ethanol means for America. It’s a cleaner burning, renewable fuel that cuts down on the amount of foreign oil the U.S. needs to import. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, in 2010 ethanol displaced 445 million barrels of oil. That’s 445 million barrels of oil we won’t have to import from other countries.
Ethanol is also good for America creating more than 400,000 jobs in all sections of the economy nationwide. In Nebraska, the ethanol industry provides more than 1,300 jobs, while producing as much as 2 billion gallons a year from 25 plants… quite a change from when I first became governor and there was just one plant.
Nebraska has always had a commitment to ethanol as have I because it’s good for the economy, the environment and America’s fight for energy independence.

Taking a Stand Against Earmarks

Senator Mike Johanns
After taking office as U.S. Senator, I pledged to never request or support earmarks – funding tucked into larger legislation aimed at one specific state, city or community. The practice of using earmarks as a legislative tool has evolved over the years, and today we generally consider them to be special requests from individual senators. They lack transparency, competitive awarding, and are often slipped into bills at the 11th hour, in the dead of night. In an effort to achieve a more open process to force more careful consideration of spending requests, I am a cosponsor of a bill aimed at permanently eliminating earmarks.
When I say I oppose earmarks, I don't mean I necessarily oppose every individual project; I oppose them being funded through a shadowy process. Many projects would stand on their merit during a transparent and competitive review. The problem lies in the earmark process: a well-intended bill injected with many earmarks suddenly becomes bloated with special projects and excessive spending.
Earmarks not only add up to hundreds of millions of dollars annually on their own, they serve as incentives for legislators to support larger spending packages. Legislators sometimes support spending tens of billions of dollars simply because a bill contains a few million dollars earmarked for their district. This is not the right way to legislate. If these projects are truly worthy of our hard-earned tax dollars, they should be funded through a transparent method outside the political process. I was pleased a two-year earmark ban was put into place last year; it will expire at the end of 2012 and I believe it should become permanent.
The Earmark Elimination Act literally makes it a violation of Senate rules to consider a bill containing earmarks. If any one senator believes a bill before the Senate contains earmarks, he or she can strike them from the legislation unless two-thirds of the Senate votes to retain them. Federal funds for states should be acquired through open and accountable processes, such as competitive grant programs. As our fiscal situation grows more pressing, we must be increasingly considerate of how we spend your tax dollars and mindful that the federal government borrows 42 cents of every dollar being spent.
The bottom line is our country's debt has skyrocketed to an unsustainable level. If we're going to get our fiscal house in order, we must reevaluate and reconstruct our approach to federal spending. We simply can no longer afford every special project on every public official's wish list. That's the reality we face in 2012. Earmarks represent what's wrong with government spending: excessive, reckless, and unaccountable. We must prove we are good for our debts by reining in spending. This bill is a positive step toward being more fiscally responsible as a country, and I look forward to being one of its advocates in the Senate.

Today Begins the Year of the Dragon

The first day of the Lunar Chinese New Year is Monday, Jan. 23, marking the beginning of the Year of the Dragon. The holiday is the most important in China and will be met with scores of fireworks and festivities in China, Taiwan, and Chinese communities around the world.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wrestlers travel to Louisville Invite

The Red Cloud/Blue Hill wrestling team finished in 11th place at the Louisville invitational Saturday with 59 points.  Garrett Sharp took 3rd place in the 170# class.

R. Eugene Koertner 11-2-1928 to 1-21-2012

Former Area resident R. Eugene Koertner, 83, of Fremont died Saturday, Jan 21, 2012, at Fremont Area Medical Center as a result of a very short illness.
Services are 11 a.m. Wednesday at United Methodist Church in Blue Hill with the Rev. Steve Marsh officiating.
Burial will be at Blue Hill Cemetery in Blue Hill.  Visitation is 2-5 p.m. Tuesday at Merten-Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill, and one hour prior to services Wednesday at the church.
in Lieu of Flowers, memorials may be given to the Webster County Food pantry.
Eugene was born in Hastings on November 2, 1928 to Oscar W. and Helen M. Kaufman Koertner of Bladen.  He graduated from Bladen in 1946.  he met his wife, Alice in 1947 at the Webster County Extension office and they were married on May 14, 1950, in Red Cloud.
They began their life together farming in the Webster and Adams County areas.
Gene was born a farmer, enjoying all aspects of the seasons- the miracle of growing crops and raising livestock and took pride in being a steward of the land.  He served the community on various boards including the Blue Hill School Board, the Co-op Board and a 4-H leader, and on the Blue Hill United Methodist Church Board, including serving as chairman of the building committee in 1976 when the present church building was constructed.
Gene also had a love of music, singing tenor as a young man in the Plainview Methodist Church.  he and Alice enjoyed community concerts and made sure all their children had music lessons.  In 1995, looking forward to an active retirement and travel with Alice, he suffered a debilitating stroke, which changed life for them.  They moved to Hastings, NE in 1997 where they lived for twelve years until moving to Fremont to be closer to their son and family.  Gene and Alice were blessed with three children.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years.  Alice (Reigle) Koertner who resides at 749 E. 29th St. #239, Shalimar Gardens, Fremont, Nebraska.  One daughter Marilyn Burrows and her husband Steve of Las Vegas, Nevada; two sons, Rodney Koertner and his wife Susan of Katy, Texas, Roger Koertner and his wife Debbie of Fremont, Nebraska.  He also enjoyed his family including five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, Adam and Briana Koertner, Adriana, Kayla and Clay of Newport News, VA,  Grant and Tiffany Koertner, Eric and Cameron of Lubbock, Texas, Natasha Koertner of Lincoln, Ne, Seth Koertner of Laramie, Wyoming, Nathan Koertner of Fremont, Nebraska, one sister , Marjorie Rippen of North Platte, Nebraska.  He was preceded in death by  his parents and his first grandson, Eric Koertner.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

AG Comments on Proposed EPA Rule to Regulate Livestock Operations

LINCOLN – Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning  led 12 state attorneys general in submitting comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in opposition to proposed reporting requirements within the Contained Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Reporting Rule. Pursuant to the proposed rule, all livestock operations in the United States falling under the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) definition of a CAFO would be required to respond to information requests from EPA.
“In another example of blatant federal overreach, the EPA is targeting Nebraska’s livestock industry,” said Bruning. “This unauthorized expansion of reporting is far outside the EPA’s jurisdiction and it imposes significant economic burdens on the smallest of livestock operations.”

Nebraska contends the EPA lacks jurisdiction to require CAFOs that do not discharge to waters of the United States to provide information in regards to federal enforcement of the Clean Water Act. In addition, the states allege the proposed rule usurps the role of state permitting authorities vested with the duty to collect information in relation to the CWA.

In addition to the 12 states that jointly submitted today’s letter, at least 3 other states have also filed comments opposing the EPA’s proposed rule.

Quote of the Day

"If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability."

~ Henry /Ford

Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioners Approve Projects

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioners on Jan. 20 approved four outdoor trail projects for 2012 federal funding through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

The projects are:
— City of Lincoln, $148,800 to renovate a 4,200-foot long asphalt trail with concrete at Pioneers Park.
— City of McCook, $110,005 to build a 1,198-foot long, 8-foot wide concrete trail that would connect to an existing trail.
— Sarpy County, $164,600 to build 3,000- and 800-foot long segments of 10-foot wide concrete trail that will connect to an existing trail system.
— Game and Parks, $12,880 to buy a snowmobile, trailer and groomer to groom and cut cross country ski trails at Ponca State Park.

Friday, January 20, 2012

E-Filing tax returns Encouraged.

By Governor Dave Heineman
January 20, 2012
Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
It is time to begin thinking about filing your tax returns for tax year 2011 and I want to encourage every Nebraskan to consider filing their individual income taxes electronically. E-filing is a convenient and secure way to file state and federal taxes. I also want to encourage taxpayers who are making state income tax payments, including estimated income tax, to use the state’s electronic payment program located at http://www.revenue.ne.gov/.
Last year, we achieved our 85 percent e-file goal. This compares to an e-file rate of 62 percent in 2008, and a 78 percent e-file rate in 2009.
Nebraska had the number one ranking for percentage of income tax returns e-filed for tax year 2010. Our goal this year is to continue to be a leader in electronic filing.
E-filing allows taxpayers to submit both their federal and state tax returns together. Taxpayers can go online, purchase software or visit a participating tax preparer to file their returns using the federal and state e-file programs. Some software providers allow free federal e-filing, but may charge a fee for state e-filing. Visit http://www.irs.gov/  for more information.
NebFile allows Nebraska residents the opportunity to file their Nebraska individual income tax return online at no charge with the Nebraska Department of Revenue at http://www.revenue.ne.gov/ . Nebraskans have embraced e-filing at much higher rates than most taxpayers across the country.
In addition to being quicker and more efficient, filing tax returns online reduces the risk of errors, provides confirmation that a return has been received, and allows tax refunds to be received much sooner. Those taxpayers entitled to a refund who e-file and choose to have their refund returned via direct deposit typically receive their refund in seven to 10 business days.
The ability to file and pay taxes online is another way our state is providing the services Nebraskans want, while helping ensure greater efficiency in government. The switch to e-filing has reduced the number of temporary workers at the Department of Revenue. No temporary workers were hired again this year, compared to the approximately 150 temporary workers hired in years past before e-filing became an option.
Our progress is due in part to the cooperation of the professional tax preparation community who have embraced the speed and convenience of e-filing coupled with the cooperation of individuals and families who converted to this faster, more convenient option in the last several years.
Every single taxpayer choosing to file online saves the staff time needed to open envelopes, remove staples or paper clips, and review the enclosed documents to ensure everything is in order before each tax return can be processed.
For more information on new developments and other electronic options available, visit the Nebraska Department of Revenue website at http://www.revenue.ne.gov/.

Twin Valley Conference Wrestling tournament Held in Blue Hill Thursday

The WarCats Wrestling Team  (combined Blue Hill/Red Cloud)  placed 4th in the TVC wrestling tournament held in Blue  Hill Thursday.  The team had one team mate who placed first in  his division, Garrett Sharp.
Team results  1. Kenesaw/Shelton 65.5   2. South Cenntral 57  3. Franklin 40  4. Red Cloud/Blue Hill  38 5. Harvard 20.75 
Individual Results
106  2nd  Levi Vogler
 113  2nd Jared Bostock 
120  3rd Garrett Vogler
125  2nd Dalton James
138   4th  Tanner  Rupprecht
145  2nd  Jorne Smith
152   4th Eli VanBoenning
160  2nd Clint James
170 1st Garrett Sharp
182 4th Hector Rodriguez

Bobcats Battle the Cougars

Both the Boys and girls basketball teams from Blue Hill high school went down to the Sandy Creek Cougars Thursday.  In a last minute a three point shot by Sandy Creeks Mitch Hinrich bounced through the net to bring his team a 52-49 win at the buzzer. 

The Blue Hill girls eight game winning streak was broken by the Cougars win with a score of 59 to 32.  The girls now have an 11-4 record.

Tuesday both teams will see action again against Lawrence-Nelson.

Reward $100,000 for Information about the death of David A. Degener

David Degener
David Alan Degener was found dead at his home at 180 Gold Street in Riverton, Nebraska on Friday, September 16, 2011. His death is still being investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol. Degener appeared to have died as a result of “blunt force trama “ to the head.
Riverton is a town of about 150 residents beside Highway 136 in Franklin County just over the border from Webster county.
Relatives of Degener suspect that foul play was involved in his death, but four months later no one has been arrested.
Family members are now offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information and testimony leading to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the person or persons responsible for David Degener's death.
A private investigation service has been retained by the family to seek out further information regarding his death.
Dave Degener lived with is family on a farm south of Rosemont, and attended school in Blue Hill for a few years. He also attended school in Red Cloud, Orleans, Axtell and Byron. After graduation from high school in Roswell, New Mexico in 1978 he returned to Nebraska. He lived in Red Cloud, Bloomington and Riverton. In 1989 he married Daphne Powell who died in 1998.
In 2006 Degener met Carol Ann Bybee in McCook. He and Bybee were married in 2010 and lived in Riverton. Degener was employed by Bladen Sand and Gravel Company.at the time of his death.

Anyone with any information that might be useful in the investigation of anyone responsible for the death of David A. Degener should call the Franklin County Attorney 308- 425- 6273, or the Nebraska State Patrol 308- 385- 6000 or the firm hired by the family to investigate,  Compton Investigations 308- 237-7574

Kelley on Hastings Middle School Honor Roll

Austin Kelley
Blue Hill resident Austin Lee Kelley has been named to the Hastings Middle School honor roll for the first semester of the 2011-2012 School year.  This is the third quarter in a row that Kelley has earned that honor. Kelley began attending Hastings Middle School in December 2010. He has been at HMS for a full 3 semesters.
  Austin Kelley is the son of Jesse and Rose Alber of Blue Hill.

Blue Hill Elementry School Honor roll

Officials at the Blue Hill elementry school have released the names of students who have excelled and been named to the honor roll for the first semester of the 2011-2012 school year. 
 On the HIGH HONOR ROLL are  Fourth grade Kaelyn Drury,  Josh Gilbert, Andrew Hiller, Allison Karr, Madison Menke, Maci Poe, Jillian Smith and Caroline Thallman.  Fifth Grade:  Kacey Allen, Oliva Buschow, Brianna Danehey, John Himmelberg, Colby Karr, Jami Kirchner, Rylee kohmetscher, Tanner Lemke, and Eric Wademan.
Sixth Grade, Trent Karr, Maccoy Menke, Trace Ockinga, John Rouse, Joel Smith, Grant Streff and Britney Toepher.  These students had a grade point average of 94 to 100 percent.
On the Honor roll earning a grade average of 90 percent - 93.99 percent are  Fourth grade; Trinity Cox, Kade Golter, Katie Hodson, Katrina Krueger, Jasmine Menke, Kyra Meyer, Max Moorman, Shaye Porter, Jared Schmidt and Destinee Wills.
Fifth Grade Erica Allen, Jamie Bonifas, Madison Hamik, Sarah Henkel, Erika kelley and Nick Ockinga.
Sixth Grade:  Taylor Bonifas, Morgan Herbek, Bradley Morse, Felicia Overy and Shawnie Shaw.


Webster County has already conducted an“early weigh-in” for market beef back on December 11, but still has one remaining. Exhibitors wanting to show market steers or market heifers at the Webster County Fair, Nebraska State Fair, and/or Ak-Sar-Ben must identify and weigh in their projects. The beef will be weighed at Blue Hill Livestock Sale Barn on Sunday, January 29 from 9:30 am till 3:30 pm. Exhibitors from other counties are welcome to weigh-in with permission from their county extension office or FFA advisor.
The Webster County extension office asks that all exhibitors have your animals identified and affidavits filled out by that date if at all possible. Electronic Identification for all beef will be done at each weigh-in. This will be a second tag in addition to the 4-H/FFA tag. EID is voluntary, but highly suggested. We further request that if you put your tags in before weigh-in, that you reserve the one-third of the left ear closest to the head for the EID tag. 4-H tags and market beef affidavits are available from the Extension Office in Red Cloud. FFA tags and affidavits are available from agriculture education instructors including: Melissa Bonifas, at Blue Hill high school; Joe Strickland, at Red Cloud high school; and Seth Going at Superior. For those that cannot get the tags or affidavits prior to the weigh-in, they will be available at the weigh-in sites.
What information does the exhibitor need to bring to weigh-in? Each exhibitor will need to tell officials at weigh-in if the animal is for the “PB Breed Steer” competition, and also if it is “Bred & Fed” or “Bought & Fed”. There is clarification on the “Bred & Fed” in the Webster County Fair-book. Basically that title will mean that – “You or your family owned the cow or heifer, which is the mother of the steer, at the time of the calf’s conception, and that it was born and fed on your farm or place of project care”. Officials will also need to know the place and date of birth of the market beef (Premise ID is ideal). It works best when exhibitors have that information ready for the clerk or already on the affidavit at weigh-in.
What Should A Potential Market Steer Weigh? The 2012 Webster County Fair  will take place July 21-28. In planning for the market beef enterprise, exhibitors should try to match the size of the calf that they pick out to match their intent. If it is the intent to “dead-end” the calf at the county fair then exhibitors should figure from January 29 to July 24 for time on feed, which computes to 177 days. Figuring that you want to gain at least 2.5 lbs a day (2.2 is required) then assuming a county fair weight of 1300 lbs, then the biggest calf that you should weigh in on the January 29 weigh-in would be 850 pounds. If you figure 3 lb. per day ROG, then a 775 lb steer would be your limit weight. If you plan to hit State Fair with the 1300 pound calf then you have 216 days to feed and at 2.5 #/day then your calf should not weigh much more than 750 on January 29. Incidentally Ak-Sar-ben is 243 days from weigh-in and with the same goal weight you could use a 700 lb. calf.
The exhibitor should keep in mind his/her goal weight (most common is 1250-1350 pounds), expected average rate of gain, and the environment (both cold and hot) and the growth potential of their calf in making their decision, and then to keep a 2.2 average daily ROG for steers and 2.0 for heifers. I don’t suggest just picking out the biggest calf in the pen. Feel free to bring several and then decide later. Exhibitors should also take note that the number of beef animals allowed to bring to the fair has changed this year. Please refer to the January Webster County 4-H Newsletter for those requirements.

SCCA Bull Bonanza in Edgar February 4

If you want to see bulls on Main Street and do not want to travel to Pamploma, Spain--- then you can simply travel to Edgar, NE on Saturday, February 4. No they will not be running down the street - but instead safely confined in pens. The South Central Cattlemen Association is holding their fourth annual Bull Bonanza or Bulls on Main Street. Pens of bulls will line the street featuring consignments of bulls from cattlemen from across the south central Nebraska region. Display times will be from 10:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m.
The Bull Bonanza will provide an opportunity for area cattlemen to showcase their bulls! It also provides the opportunity for the public and potential bull buyers, from south central Nebraska and beyond, to view a very nice selection of area raised bulls of various breeds and ages. They can also visit with the cattlemen about their breeding/genetics program and their cattle, or perhaps discuss issues concerning the beef industry. Attendees can also register for a nice array of door prizes to be given away during the day. There will be a lunch available for guests at noon.
It is a nice venue to have representation of the best beef genetics in the area all in one place so you can go from pen to pen and analyze the breeding and production potential of each bull. You can just come and look, talk to the cattlemen and of course if you find the “right one”, the bulls are for sale. The season for selecting next year’s bull is upon us and this is a great opportunity to get a head start. It will also be interesting for 4-H and FFA youth and the public to see the genetics that are available in south central Nebraska all in one place and talk to the cattlemen and families that raise them.
There is still time if interested cattlemen would like to consign their bulls to the event. A registration form and entry fee is required by January 30. For questions or more information please call: Jamie Watts @ 402-984-0177 or Amber Illingworth @ 402-469-2952 or you may contact the Webster County UNL Extension office in Red Cloud (402-746-3417) or email dlienemann2@unl.edu if you would like a flyer and registration form.


The Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association (NeGSPA) and Grain Sorghum Board announce their annual Sorghum Cropping Profitability Seminars. Red Cloud will be the site of one of two Nebraska Sorghum Profitability Seminars to be held the first week in February. The meeting is supported in part by the Sorghum Check-off and the University of Nebraska Extension and will be held at the Red Cloud Community Center on Thursday, February 2, with registration and refreshments starting at 8:30 a.m. The meeting is scheduled to run from 9:00 am through 3:00 pm. The other similar meeting is on Wednesday, February 1 at at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Exhibition Building in Fairbury.
The Sorghum Profitability Seminars, sponsored in part by the Sorghum Checkoff and the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension Service, focus on new ideas and updates on production and management information to make sorghum production more profitable. The program is designed to provide farmers information they can apply immediately to their operations and gives them a chance to offer input on the sorghum check-off.
This year’s topics include Current Markets, Defining Risk, Recognizing Opportunities by AgWest Commodities; Managing Sorghum for Success by Dr. Kraig Roozeboom, Kansas State University; Nutrient Management by Dr. Dave Mengel, Kansas State University and Randy Pryor, UNL Extension Educator; Focus on Pheasants by T.J. Walker, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission; Sorghum Checkoff-Renewed Optimism, Bill Greving, USCP Board Member, Prairie View, KS; Marketing Sorghum Beyond the Border by Kevin Roepke, U.S. Grains Council; Protecting Nebraska’s Agriculture by Duane “Dewey” Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator; and Weather Outlook-Will LaNina Bring Dry Conditions by Al Dutcher, UNL State Climatologist.
The noon meal will feature a unique sorghum soup and sandwich lunch. Vendors will have exhibits to showcase new products, production/management information, and new technology. There is a nominal fee at the door however, members of the Grain Sorghum Producers Association will be admitted free.
Producers, or anyone interested in the program, wanting more information are encouraged to contact the Webster County UNL Extension Office in Red Cloud at 402-746-3417 or email Dewey Lienemann at dlienemann2@unl.edu or Barb Kliment at the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board/NeGSPA office at 402-471-4276 or email: sorghum.board@nebraska.gov.


Duane A. Lienemann
 UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
January 19, 2012 Edition
I just got a note from my daughter that her calving season has begun and I thought, wow that is a little early, but then I thought about it and we are coming up on the end of January already. I know that a lot of heifers are bred early to give them more time to recover before the next breeding cycle and a lot of AI calves usually arrive a little earlier than the traditional pasture bred cattle. Either way “the season” is upon us!
I always loved calving season when I had my cows. I will have to admit that I didn’t really enjoy checking those cows in the dead of a seriously cold night like the old Dr. Pepper commercial, 10-2 &4, which most likely was referring to the middle of the day. But what I did like is seeing that newborn literally come to life and marveling at how quickly they could get up and find their first meal. Yes, I felt I had to help some of the “dumb” or slow ones, but then I wonder sometimes who really was the dumb one. There still is nothing like the feeling of your planning, hard work, care and nervous anticipation come to fruition. Even better is when the grass starts greening up, the days get longer and warmer and you can see a whole herd of little bovines with their tails up in the air racing each other with nervous mothers looking on. Now when you take them to pasture and they timidly get off the trailer and then immediately look for mom when they see the large expanse before them. That was a little humorous to me. I guess in reality all kids are kind of the same.
I even experimented with feed timing to affect when calves were born. I found that the easiest and most practical method of inhibiting nighttime calving seemed to be by feeding cows at night. I always wondered why, and as I understand it, the physiological mechanism is really unknown, but some hormonal effect may be involved. Rumen motility studies indicate the frequency of rumen contractions falls a few hours before parturition. Intraruminal pressure begins to fall in the last 2 weeks of gestation, with a more rapid decline during calving. The theory is that night feeding causes those intraruminal pressures to rise at night and decline in the daytime. Now that sounds pretty scientific. My take was always that I didn’t really want to do much on a full stomach after a smorgasbord, so why would it be different for cows. I do know that it seemed to work on a high percentage, but I still did the late night checking. I guess I didn’t trust that intraruminal stuff.
That all leads me to a little research I want to report on. With calving season rapidly approaching for spring-calving cows, I believe that nutrition becomes the most critical. Research has shown that a cow’s body condition at calving is a good indicator of her ability to cycle and breed back in a timely manner. But given the high price of high-quality hay in many areas, producers might be looking for ways to boost the nutritional value of lower-quality feeds such as wheat straw. Depending on local availability, by-product feeds such as beet pulp or distillers’ grains could fit the bill, based on University of Nebraska research. I know we have several farmers in Webster and Adams County already doing this.
The researchers conducted two experiments to evaluate feeding wheat straw supplemented with distillers’ grains or distillers’ grains and beet pulp, compared with feeding alfalfa hay to late-gestation cows. For the first experiment, the researchers prepared a high-moisture combination of 30 percent wet distillers’ grains plus solubles (WDGS) and 70 percent ground wheat straw three months ahead of the test and stored the feed in agricultural bags. They randomly sorted 40 pregnant cows into eight five-head pens, with half of the pens receiving the mixed feed and the other half receiving ground alfalfa hay. They limit-fed both groups for 77 days, with the diets formulated to meet the cows’ energy needs.
They ended the experiment two weeks prior to calving and measured initial and ending body weights, initial and ending body condition score (BCS) and calf birth weights. In this trial, average weight gain over the 77 days for cows receiving the wheat straw-WDGS mix was167 pounds compared with 144 pounds for the group receiving alfalfa hay. Change in BCS and calf weights did not differ between the groups, and the researchers concluded the stored mix of 30 percent DDGS and 70 percent wheat straw can maintain body weight and BCS in gestating cows.
In the second experiment, the researchers sorted 57 cows into pens receiving one of three rations: 1) Ground alfalfa hay; 2) 30 % DGS and 70% wheat straw; and 3) 20% WDGS, 20 % beet pulp and 60% wheat straw. In this case, all the rations were mixed and fed fresh, rather than mixed and stored like in the first trial. The researchers limit-fed each treatment group for 84 days, with rations formulated to meet the cows’ energy needs. They ended the experiment four weeks before calving and measured initial and ending body weights, body weight change, BCS change and calf birth weights.
Weight gains for the cows on the alfalfa treatment averaged 66 pounds compared with 147 for those on the WDGS-wheat straw diet and 162 pounds for those on the WDGS-beet pulp-wheat straw diet. Average BCS scores for cows on the alfalfa diet were 5.3, and cows in this group lost an average of 0.4 BCS through the course of the trial. Cows in the WDGS and beet pulp groups finished the trial at BCS 5.7 and 5.8 respectively, and maintained BCS through the trial. The researchers conclude that cows in late gestation will maintain body weight and BCS when limit-fed WDGS and beet pulp mixed with wheat straw to meet their energy requirements and may have some advantages in weight gain.
You can go to 2012 UNL Beef Report for more. Whatever you do, the main thing is to see to the nutrition of those cows as they near the end of their third trimester. I believe that it is a critical management tool. Good luck and good calving!
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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Johanns: President Obama Playing Politics Over Keystone Decision

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today issued the following statement regarding reports that the U.S. State Department will reject the Keystone XL pipeline permit.
"The President apparently lacks faith in Nebraska's ability to select a route. By arguing that the Nebraska route could force them to deny the permit, he's implying Nebraska can't get it right. There is no legitimate justification for the delay. To suggest a few dozen miles of the route in Nebraska – which will be identified by the Governor, consistent with the law – affects the overall public interest for more than 1,600 miles of pipeline is laughable and reeks of political gamesmanship. The President says he wants to help create jobs, but when presented with an opportunity to create tens of thousands of jobs in middle America, he turns his head. This is pure politics aimed at not riling up his base during an election year."
The State Department in November announced it would work concurrently with the state of Nebraska and TransCanada to find a responsible route for the pipeline around the Sand Hills. In December, Congress passed legislation requiring the President to approve or reject the non-Nebraska portions of the pipeline within 60 days, while leaving Nebraska time to determine its route.

Gov. Heineman Disappointed in President Obama's Decision to Deny Pipeline Permit

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today issued the following statement following the announcement by President Obama’s administration to deny the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Gov. Dave Heineman said, “I am very disappointed with the actions of President Obama and his decision to deny a jobs-creating pipeline, leaving thousands of Americans unnecessarily unemployed. President Obama should be focused on putting Americans back to work, and could have done so by issuing conditional approval of the pipeline. Approval of the pipeline would have allowed TransCanada to move forward with the project while Nebraska finished the review process of a new segment of the route around the Sandhills. The President’s decision is disruptive and we are now going to review in detail what this means for Nebraska.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Smith Votes to Reject Obama’s Debt Ceiling Hike

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today issued the following statement after voting for H.J. Res. 98, which disapproves President Obama’s request to increase the statutory debt limit:
“We cannot continue spending money we don’t have,” said Smith. “With the national debt at more than $15 trillion, we now owe more than the value of our entire economy to our creditors. No Nebraska family or business could operate this way and survive financially. Washington’s spending-driven debt crisis is a serious drag on economic growth and is saddling job creators with even more uncertainty. Nebraskans expect Congress and the President to work together to get our fiscal house in order so we can continue the uniquely American tradition of passing onto future generations a stronger and more prosperous nation. I will support nothing less.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wanda Faye Schriner Jan 7, 1931 to Jan 16, 2012

Service for Wanda F. Schriner will be  held on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 0:30 am  at the United Methodist Church in Guide Rock with internment in the Guide Rock Cemetery.
Wanda Faye Schriner, the daughter of Alicia Malinda (Deakins) and Ray H. Stuckey, was born January 7, 1931 at Wichita, Kansas. She departed this life on Monday, January 16, 2012 at the Blue Hill Care Center in Blue Hill, Nebraska at the age of 81 years and 9 days. Wanda grew up in Kansas and received her formal education attending schools at Fredonia, Mulvane and graduated from the Dodge City High School with the class of 1948. On April 8, 1950 she was united in marriage with Paul Schriner at the Methodist Church in Dodge City. Following Paul's service to his country with the United States Army, they moved to their farm northeast of Guide Rock in 1953.

Wanda and Paul

She was a dedicated and loving wife, mother and grandmother. Wanda was an active member of the United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Women and the Legion Auxiliary. Additionally, she dedicated her time and talents serving as the Webster County Democratic Party chairman and with the Webster County Community Hospital Board of Trustees. Wanda's personality was pervaded by a strong work ethic and her willingness to serve others. She was happiest when she was raising her boys, following their many activities and working on the farm. In her leisure time she enjoyed sewing. Her greatest love and enthusiasm in life was for her family and she especially cherished time spent with them.
Preceding her in death were her parents; an infant daughter, Alicia Rae on July 10, 1951; her son, Robert J. on October 9, 1972; a sister Edith Denner and two brothers, Charles and Carl Stuckey.
Left to treasure her memory are her husband, Paul; four sons, Harold D. and wife Gail of Guide Rock; Harlan G. and wife Colleen of Lincoln, Nebraska; Craig W. and wife Linda of Eaton, Colorado, and Loren P. and wife Barb of Chesterfield, Virginia; 8 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren: Allison Meyer and husband Shane and daughters Emily and Abigail, Eric Schriner and wife Megan, Charlie Schriner, Ann Schriner, Kaitlyn Schriner, Lauryn Schriner, Sarah and Emma Schriner. Also surviving are her sister, Roberta Pugh of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, 10:30 a.m., January 21, 2012 at the United Methodist Church in Guide Rock with the Rev. Joel Rathbun officiating. Interment will be at the Guide Rock Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Wednesday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Williams Funeral Home in Red Cloud, and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to service time at the church.
Memorials are suggested to the Guide Rock United Methodist Church.
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970

Monday, January 16, 2012

Legislative Newsletter

Senator Tom Carlson

District 38
January 16, 2012
The One Hundred Second Legislative Session, which is a 60 day session, is set to adjourn in mid April. This is the 6th year that I will represent the 38th District and the 4th year that I chair the Agriculture Committee. My office staff, Barb DeRiese, Nanette Hessee, and Rick Leonard, are all ready to assist you in person, by phone, by mail, or by email as the session progresses.
The interim time between sessions passed quickly last year as I attended meetings in the district, came to Lincoln for the November special session to deal with the Keystone XL Pipeline issue, and prepared for this year’s legislation.
The first weekend in January was a special meeting in Washington, D. C. The SARL conference is an annual meeting of legislators who serve on Agriculture and Rural Development Committees in their respective states. I invited Governor Heineman to speak concerning the HSUS, or Humane Society of the United States. The HSUS’s main goal is to stop the killing of animals for food. That objective is disastrous for Nebraska grain and livestock producers.
The HSUS is pursuing federal legislation for mandatory control of egg producers in the United States. In my view, this type of legislation is unnecessary, a threat to states’ rights, would cost the egg producers four billion dollars over the next 20 years, and not provide any meaningful public good.
I believe we should encourage all of our federal congressional representatives to oppose this legislation, again, which would be mandatory for all states. I don’t believe we want or need this type of legislation in Nebraska. Most people give money to the HSUS because they believe the money will be used to rescue abused cats and dogs. In reality, most of the money is used for salaries, administrative expenses, and for raising more money.
Governor Heineman stated during his speech that it is important to stay on offense against the group and that approach is showing results in Nebraska. His speech received many favorable comments and applause and the World Herald sent a reporter to cover his remarks.
A piece of legislation that I have introduced this session is LR358CA. This is a Legislative Resolution Constitutional Amendment, but it is treated as any other legislative bill. LR358CA would increase term limits from two, four-year terms for state senators to three, four-year terms. I am convinced this change would better serve the citizens of Nebraska. If my Resolution passes, it will appear on the November, 2012, General Election ballot. It must be approved by you, the voters of Nebraska. I will keep you informed on the progress of this bill.

Quote of the Day

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” –Strength to Love    Martin Luther King

A Perfect Case for No Labels

Senator Ben Nelson

Most Americans, no matter which party they’re in, want Congress to work together. They understand that extreme partisanship has led to gridlock and an inability to solve our problems.
A perfect time to put aside partisan differences is during the President’s State of the Union address. Instead of sitting by party on different sides of the aisle, we should sit together with no division showing political affiliation.
No Political Labels
I’ve joined with about a dozen other members of Congress from both sides of the aisle in a movement by a group known as No Labels to call for bipartisan seating at this year’s State of the Union address on Jan. 24.
Last year many of us voluntarily sat together at the State of the Union. People had fun with it calling it, “Date Night Under the Dome.” My “date” started out with my Republican colleague Mike Johanns. Eventually the entire Nebraska delegation sat together as Nebraskans and as Americans, rather than separated by party affiliation.
It may seem like a small thing, but it’s not because of the message it sends to America and because when you sit together as friends it makes it easier to work together to find common ground on the problems facing our nation.
Tear Down This Aisle
I felt so strongly about it last year I suggested sitting together all the time either by state or alphabetical order but not by party. My thought was to not just bridge the aisle but to get rid of the aisle paraphrasing the words of a Republican President, Ronald Reagan, “Mr. President, get rid of this aisle.”
In my calls for more bipartisanship in Congress I have often quoted the words of a former Nebraska Senator, the late Ed Zorinsky, who said, “there are too many Republican Senators and too many Democratic Senators and not enough United States Senators.”
In the true spirit of bipartisanship I should also quote an Independent, Senator Joe Lieberman, who says of the No Labels night, “When we sit together as Americans rather than as partisans we can begin sending the message that we are willing to stand up for the powerful principle of putting progress before partisanship.”
Speaking With One Voice
Americans are at our best when we speak with one voice and it begins with a display of unity showing the nation that Congress can put aside differences and compromise in order to move forward and solve problems. There is more that unites us than divides us. A visual showing at the State of the Union Address is only the beginning, but it’s an important step toward working together for the good of all.
No Labels seating may be a symbolic gesture, yet it’s a welcome gesture by the public which has expressed growing dissatisfaction with the partisan divide in Congress and the inability to work together for the good of the country. As the No Labels group states, “No left – no right – forward!”

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Danica Olsen on Hastings College Dean's List for Fall 2011 semester

(Hastings, Neb.) – Hastings College has announced the Dean’s List for its fall 2011 semester. To be eligible for the Dean’s List, students must achieve a grade point average of 3.7 to 4.0, on a 4.0 scale, and be registered for full-time course work.  From Blue Hill, Danica Olsen, from Bladen, Emily Lovejoy, and from Lawrence, Amber Himmelberg each had a grade point average of 4.0.  With a grade point average between 4.0 and 3.7 are from Blue Hil,l Caleb Groves and from Bladen, Christopher Jones and Mark Lutkemeier.
Hastings College, founded in 1882, is a private, four-year liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). A total of 43 majors in 32 areas of study and 13 pre-professional programs are offered to more than 1,20 students. Hastings College was named among “America’s Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review, and a “Best Buy in College Education” by Barron’s. Visit www.hastings.edu for more information.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quote of the Day

‎"Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is an attitude."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blue Hill Basketball teams defeat Red Cloud

The Blue Hill basketball teams were in Red Cloud tonight to take on the warriors.  Both the boys and the girls teams defeated the Red Cloud teams on their own court.  The final score of the boys game was Blue Hill 57  -  Red Cloud 34  and in the girls game the final score was 47 - 29.  Good Job, Blue Hill.!!

Supreme Court Must Strike Down Entire Health Law

Rep. Adrain Smith
Jan 13, 2012
President Obama’s unpopular health care law is back in the news again, but not for the reasons its supporters would like. In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will take a hard look at the law to decide whether it passes constitutional muster. The question at the heart of the legal challenge brought by 26 states, including Nebraska, as well as the National Federation of Independent Business is whether the federal government has the constitutional authority to force every American to buy and maintain health insurance – the so-called individual mandate.
There are many problems with this law. ObamaCare’s tax hikes are a drag on job creation and the employer mandate is certainly a burden on businesses. When honestly accounted, the law is also an unaffordable budget-buster. But the worst offense is the individual mandate’s unprecedented intrusion on our individual liberty. These are some of the many reasons I voted against this misguided law and in favor of its full repeal. The profound implications of the mandate find their way into many of my conversations with constituents in the Third District. Your concerns are well founded.
Legal scholars warn if the individual mandate were to stand there virtually would be no limit to what activity the federal government could control. There is no telling whether this new authority would stop at just health care or whether it would be the first in a series of other such government mandates. Make no mistake: if permitted, future governments will exploit this power.
The question of the individual mandate also has a second part: if it is ruled unconstitutional, could the remaining provisions of the law still stand? In theory this should be easy for the Court to answer. ObamaCare’s proponents celebrated the individual mandate as the very basis of its viability. So even by their standards, this misguided law cannot endure without it.
Congress demonstrated it did not intend for the individual mandate to be severable when it deliberately rejected legislative language which would make it so. The Administration also has conceded the individual mandate is not severable from the rest of the law. Writing in court documents, Justice Department attorneys state the law’s remaining portions would not be able to function “in a manner consistent with the intent of Congress” if the mandate were to be struck down on its own.
To let the remaining provisions of the law stand would be shortsighted and result in additional unintended consequences. To that end, I recently signed a legal brief with 117 of my House colleagues urging the Supreme Court to rule against the mandate’s severability and render the entire law invalid. You can view the entire brief at my website http://adriansmith.house.gov.
Nebraskans deserve the freedom to make their own health care decisions without the federal government interfering. Our Constitution provides for a federal government of significant, but defined and limited powers. By ignoring the constitutional limits on federal power, President Obama’s health care law tramples on the rights of all Nebraskans. We need to defend the checks and balances our Constitution creates through its divisions of power and protect the people of Nebraska and every other state from this massive federal overreach. The Supreme Court has a unique opportunity to halt the advance of big government and it should take it by striking ObamaCare down in its entirety.

Larry Krueger October 26, 1950 to January 10, 2011

Life long Blue Hill area resident Larry Krueger, 61,  died January 10, 2011, at his home, South west of Blue Hill after battling cancer for several years. 
Larry was born to Elmer A. and Tena M. (Rose) Krueger.  He graduated from Blue Hill High School.
He married Sonja L. Kerr of Blue Hill on June 2, 1984. Two children were born to this union.
He farmed south west of Blue Hill and was a life long member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
He is survived by his wife  Sonja and his children Elmer and Katie  all of Blue Hill, two sisters, Judy Voboril and her husband Ken of Sutton, and Kathy Stewart and her husband Larry of Mankato, Kansas. three brothers-in-law, Dennis Terry of Red Cloud, Stuart and wife Peggy Kerr of Blue Hill, Robert and wife Donna Kerr of Wauwatosa, Wis, one sister in law Shelia and her husband Gary Fullerton of Salina, Kansas and his mother-in-law Donna Kerr of Blue Hill; numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceeded in death by  his parents, three sisters and brother-in-laws, Irene and Darrell Hohlfeld, Lois and Darreld Dack, Patty Terry; one sister-in-law Valerie Kerr, father-in-law Houston R. Kerr, niece, Sherri Voboril and nephew David Dack.

Funeral services were held Saturday January 14 at 2:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church. Rev. Joshua Lowe and Rev. James Witt officiated.  Interment at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery following service.
Memorials can be directed to the Trinity Lutheran Church Roof fund or St. Judes.