Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Hill falls to Thayer Central 21 to 18

The Blue Hill Bobcats lost their first football game of the 2012 season August 31 on their home field. Thayer Central defeated the Bobcats in a close battle that ended with  a score of 21 to 18.  .

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nelson Welcomes New Federal Support to Fight Illegal Drugs in Nebraska

August 29, 2012— Today, Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson applauded the Office of National Drug Control Policy's (NDCP) announcement it has designated Nebraska's Lincoln County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) county. That will bring new federal resources to Federal, State, local and tribal law enforcement efforts aimed at curbing the distribution of illegal drugs in a critical drug-trafficking region in the United States.
"I fully support the designation of Lincoln County as a HIDTA county, and firmly believe today's announcement by the Office of National Drug Control Policy will further enhance drug law enforcement efforts to combat illegal drugs not only in Lincoln County and the State of Nebraska, but across the United States," said Senator Nelson.
Lincoln County serves as the crossroads of Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 83, both of which are major transportation routes for the distribution of narcotics across the country. The City of North Platte, included in Lincoln County, is home to the world's largest railroad classification yard where a high volume of railroad activity has made it an accessible target for the transportation of illegal substances.
In a press release announcing the designation today, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, said that Lincoln County will join other Nebraska counties including Dakota, Dawson, Dodge, Douglas, Hall, Lancaster, Madison, Platte, Sarpy, and Scotts Bluff Counties as part of the Midwest HIDTA.
"Drug use and its consequences stand in the way of raising healthy children, maintaining strong families, supporting economic prosperity, and keeping our communities safe," said Kerlikowske. "The innovative initiatives and support provided by the HIDTA program will play an important role in helping local authorities combat drug related violence and crime in Nebraska. Smart enforcement efforts like these serve as a key component of our balanced approach to drug control and complements the Obama Administration's emphasis on preventing drug use before it starts through education and providing treatment to those who suffer from substance use disorders."
In 2010, Lincoln County law enforcement agencies reported 69 violent crimes and 352 drug abuse violations and have been combating drug trafficking in the area. This railroad yard provides a mode of transportation for contraband traveling from the United States' coast to southwest border region. Additionally, six gangs have been identified in Lincoln County with ties to drug distribution which have increased the distribution of methamphetamine throughout the area (according to ONDCP).

In February, Senator Nelson sent a letter to David Barton, Executive Director of the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, noting the large amount of federal drug cases initiated in Lincoln County and encouraging the designation of Lincoln County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area county.

The text of the senator's letter follows:
February 10, 2012
Mr. David Barton, Executive Director
Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
10220 Northwest Ambassador Drive, Suite 620
Kansas City, MO 64153-2374

Dear Mr. Barton:
This letter is to express my support for the designation of Lincoln County, Nebraska, as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) county, as well as the allocation of funding for the Lincoln County Cooperative Operation for Drug Enforcement (CODE) Task Force. This Task Force is essential to drug law enforcement efforts in my home state of Nebraska, serving a total of 22 counties, including two areas identified as consistent source locations for a majority of the controlled substance distribution within the CODE area.
One of the two identified areas is Lincoln County, which includes the City of North Platte. Lincoln County surrounds the crossroads of Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 83, both of which are major transportation routes for the distribution of illegal substances across the United States. And the City of North Platte is home to Union Pacific Railroad's Bailey Yard, the world's largest railroad classification yard, where an average of 139 trains involving approximately 14,000 rail cars pass through daily. This extraordinarily high level of railroad activity provides an accessible method of unmanned transportation for contraband, as well as direct access to America's coasts and southwest border source regions.
Further, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Nebraska, there were 12 federal drug cases initiated in Lincoln County from 2009- 2011, involving a total of 17 defendants –a notable amount, particularly when compared with other HIDTA-designated counties.
Federal resources have been extremely important to the Lincoln County CODE Task Force, and continued funding is critical to the success of the task force in this critical drug-trafficking region. The two Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents currently assigned to North Platte work closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Nebraska State Patrol, and local law enforcement, facilitating a high level of cooperation and intelligence sharing.
In closing, given the area's relevance as a distribution center, the substantial number of cases initiated in Lincoln County, andthe high level of interagency interaction, I fully support the designation of Lincoln County as a HIDTA county and funding for the Lincoln County CODE Task Force. Thank you for your consideration of this request. I firmly believe an allocation of additional federal resources to this area would further enhance drug law enforcement efforts not only in Nebraska, but across the United States.
E. Benjamin Nelson

Monday, August 27, 2012

Webster County Represented at 2012 Nebraska State Fair

Webster County is being well represented at the 2012 Webster County Fair. The first week of the fair saw the judging of static exhibits. The 4-H youth had an excellent array of exhibits in many area of cooking, photography, sewing, art and many of the other static areas. The Webster County 4-H has a booth display on the northeast quadrant of the Nebraska State Fair 4-H & FFA Exhibit Hall on the North end of the fairgrounds. The booth as displayed is shown in the picture. Results of the judging can be found at: On Sunday exhibitors had a chance to show their skills in the canine arena with the State 4-H Dog Show. Open class dominates the area between weekends.

Labor Day weekend will see a host of Webster County 4-H and FFA Exhibitors showing some of the best rabbits, poultry, sheep, goats, swine and beef during the 4-H and FFA Nebraska State Fair Livestock Shows in new and impressive livestock barns and arena. If you haven’t been there, you need to go just to see those. You can find a schedule of events at the following web site: and scroll down to Livestock Schedule. It is fun to go the fair and doubly fun when you can support and encourage our area youth as they compete in the live animal shows and showmanship events. Our county is well represented in all areas and should be very competitive again this year. Good luck to our 4-H and FFA youth at the Nebraska State Fair.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Duane A. Lienemann,
 UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
August 25, 2012 Edition

There will be some years in Nebraska when, even following the recommended management practices, that the rainfall is not sufficient to support profitable grain yields. I don’t think it is a secret that this is one of those years. This is particularly true on our dryland corn fields. Drought, environmental challenges and insect pressure can cause problems such as molds and most critically Aflatoxins. We will discuss that later, let’s first look at what may be more prevalent, the high potential for high nitrate levels in many plants, including those that may be destined for livestock feed.
High Nitrates: When grain crops have been established satisfactorily, and rainfall is insufficient to support grain yields for economic harvesting, alternative uses of the crop should be considered very cautiously. This is especially true with respect to fields which have been fully fertilized with nitrogen for normal yields. Crops which are sufficiently drought-stressed that grain yields will be too low for harvest, and the alternative of harvesting the crop for its forage value is considered, the producer might want to consider collecting stover samples and have them analyzed for excessive nitrates. Plants that are stressed by drought may accumulate nitrate to lethal levels. Nitrates will not decrease in harvested crop plants but can be cut almost in half by making the forage into silage. Therefore it is very important to have the nitrate test run on the plant tissue before it is either grazed or mechanically harvested for livestock consumption.
Of course the best way is to take the samples to a professional lab but there is a quick and easy test that the farmer can do to determine if he should take samples in for quantitative tests. The diphenylamine quick test has been used in the field to determine tissue nitrate levels greater than 1 percent. The reagent is composed of 0.10 gm of diphenylamine salt dissolved in 30 ml of sulfuric acid. When contained in a bottle with an eye dropper, the solution can be dribbled onto the exposed pith of split corn stalks and the reaction observed. Within seconds, a blue or blue-black coloration will develop if high amounts of nitrates are present. Faint tinges of blue that rapidly dissipate are considered safe.
It should be noted that the test is not quantitative, but it may be useful to determine the need for more accurate testing at a commercial laboratory. The plant to be tested should be cut at the soil level and the stalk split lengthwise, with the exposed pith facing upward. Either place it on the ground or hold it at a 45-degree angle away from you. Allow some test solution to fill the dropper and let a drop fall on the pith 2 to 3 inches from the base of the stalk. Let another fall about 8 inches up, and place others further up the stalk. You will generally find that the reagent immediately turns dark blue or black where nitrates are present at levels greater than 1 percent. If you split an ear, a leaf midrib, or a tassel, you would probably find only a mild tinge of blue or no color change at all. It is the bottom 12 to 18 inches of stalk that contains most trapped nitrates. Now if you find that you suspect high nitrates and you need the feed we better sample.
Stover samples should be collected which includes the whole plant as will be harvested. The equivalent of five corn or sorghum plants should be submitted for nitrate analysis. It should be remembered that nitrates in the lower stalks will likely be higher than that in the leaf tissue. Therefore, before harvesting drought-stressed crop plants as forage, the nitrate content of a representative sample of these plants should be determined. Nitrate analyses of samples may be obtained from several agricultural laboratories the closest of which are Servi-Tech in Hastings and Ward Laboratories in Kearney.
Corn and sorghum stubble, or corn and sorghum fields, which are too dry to make a crop, can be utilized by livestock through haying, silage or grazing. If tests indicate that you are relatively safe you may want to consider some options for the drought-effected crop. It should be pointed out that corn, sorghum and even weed plants that contain more than 1 percent nitrates (on a dry matter basis), may result in livestock death when fed or grazed. Even if the animals survive this level of nitrates, other economic losses may occur, such as: abortion, weak or poor viability of recently born young, infertility and difficulty in conception, lameness, and decreased milk production.
Aflatoxin in Corn: Drought and high temperatures promote development of the disease Aspergillus ear rot. The fungi that cause this disease (most commonly, Aspergillus flavus) can produce aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is one of many chemicals in a group known as mycotoxins that are produced by fungi (molds). Mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin, can be toxic to animal and human consumers and, at certain concentrations, can lead to dockage or rejection of grain at elevators. These molds are usually found in fields that sustained substantial drought damage leading to early maturation and plant death. Farmers and crop consultants can scout high risk fields for Aspergillus ear rot as an indicator for aflatoxin, but only lab testing of grain samples can accurately identify the concentrations of aflatoxin in the grain. The highest risk fields include: drought-damaged fields, including rainfed (dryland) fields and non-irrigated pivot corners. Fields or areas with higher incidence of corn ear-feeding insects, such as the corn ear worm and rain damaged before or during harvest or after harvest while in storage. I understand that many terminals and grain elevators are using black lights to check for aflatoxin contamination in loads of grain. The component that produces fluorescence under black light is called kojic acid. Although kojic acid is produced by the same fungus that produces aflatoxin, its presence is not necessarily an indicator of aflatoxin and might lead to false positive results and unnecessary rejection of grain. Just be prepared for testing for this mold on your grain!

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Donald H. Hamik July 23, 1945 to Aug 21, 2012


Hastings resident, Donald “Don” H. Hamik, 67, passed away Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at his home.
Memorial Services will be Saturday, August 25, 2012; 3:00 P.M. at Butler Volland Chapel,  in Hastings.
Father Matthew Rolling will be officiating.
Burial will be at a later date in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Atkinson, Nebraska.
There will be no viewing or visitation. Memorials may be given to the grandchildren.
Don was born July 23, 1945 in Atkinson, Nebraska to Joseph & Clara (Ziska) Hamik.
He graduated from St. Joseph High School in Atkinson, Nebraska. Don worked for
T-L Irrigation since 1984 .  One the hobbies he enjoyed was deer hunting.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers.
Survivors include:
Sons & Daughters-in-law: William J. “Jerry” & Kim Hamik – Blue Hill, NE
Thomas J. “TJ” & Arlene Hamik – Hastings, NE
Grandchildren: Takiyah Hamik,     Madison Hamik,  Alexis Hamik, Blaine Hamik
Brothers & Spouses: Clarence “Corky” Hamik – Hastings, NE
LaVern & Vangie Hamik – Hastings, NE
Marvin & Ruth Ann Hamik – Chappell, NE
Sister & Spouse: Rita & Gene Batenhorst – Stuart, NE
Several Nieces & Nephews

Quote of the day

"A witty saying proves nothing."

~Voltaire, (1694 - 1778)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Smith Applauds Decision to Overturn EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

Washington, DC – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement in support of the U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR).

“The Circuit Court’s ruling against the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will help keep Nebraska’s energy costs low, and represents a step in the right direction as we work to rein in overreaching agencies and promote cooperation between the federal government and states. While the ruling is a positive development, we must continue pursuing regulatory reform to protect domestic energy production and grow our economy.”
The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule would have arbitrarily required a 73 percent reduction in certain emissions from 2005 levels by 2014. The rule covered 28 states, including Nebraska, and the District of Columbia, and would have cost the power sector $2.4 billion annually.
Nebraska was one of more than three dozen states to challenge the rule in court. The Court ruled EPA acted outside of its statutory authority and did not adequately work with states to set reasonable goals and timelines to implement the regulation.
Congressman Smith is a cosponsor of H.R. 2401, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act of 2011 which would, among other provisions, prevent the implementation and enforcement of the CSAPR rule. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on September 23, 2011.

Johanns Statement on CBO "Fiscal Cliff" report

August 22, 2012
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today released the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report finding the nation would be plunged into recession and unemployment would again grow to more than 9 percent if Congress allows the economy to go over the so-called fiscal cliff, something some members of the Senate have called for:

“This is another red-flag warning us of what we already know: Our nation's current economic path is unsustainable and time for action is growing short,” Johanns said. “Congress must get serious about where we're heading and act in a bipartisan fashion before our economic train runs off the cliff.”

The term fiscal cliff is often used to describe the mix of automatic tax increases and spending cuts expected at the end of this year. Johanns has long called for Congress to act on comprehensive deficit reduction and has worked across party lines to find a solution

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Johanns Praises Courts Decision to Strike Down Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today released the following statement on the U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to strike down the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“Today’s decision is a decisive victory for states and their ability to stand against EPA’s costly rules and regulations that threaten to increase consumer electricity bills and cripple local economies,” Johanns said. “EPA has a troubling history of overreaching beyond its authority and ignoring state enforcement agencies. I’m pleased the Court called EPA out on both counts in this case.
The EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which set strict new emission standards, would have forced energy providers to implement costly changes in just six months.
The Court’s opinion notes that EPA violated the Clean Air Act by failing to give state authorities a chance to submit plans to comply.
Last year, the State of Nebraska joined more than three dozen other petitioners in a lawsuit challenging the rule’s implementation.
Johanns introduced legislation in 2011, which would halt the implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The legislation also would require EPA to give states at least two years to submit their own regulatory plan and prohibit EPA from applying any federal plan if states have not been given enough time. Additionally, Johanns was one of four co-sponsors of S.J. Res. 27, which would have cancelled the cross-state rule and sent EPA back to the drawing board.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Column: Working Together Works Best for Nebraska and Nation

Senator Ben Nelson
It’s great to be home in Nebraska for an extended period of time during the August break from DC. I try to come back every weekend when Congress is in session, but this gives me a chance to visit with more people, such as I did during the Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce annual meeting at the Strategic Air and Space Museum between Lincoln and Omaha.
In a setting of vintage and historic aircraft where Nebraska’s rich military heritage is preserved, several hundred of the state’s top business leaders came together to discuss the economy and other issues that impact all of us. They do this every year and every year I am honored to speak with them about what’s going on in our Nation’s Capitol.
Nebraska Spirit
It’s a shame that this Nebraska spirit of working together to find common ground and solve our problems doesn’t exist in Washington where bitter partisanship has resulted in gridlock.
Undoubtedly, Chamber members gathered at this meeting have different opinions on various issues just as Nebraskans do and they are not all members of the same political party but they work together, find common ground and move forward. This is one of the reasons why Nebraska has weathered the economic storm better than many other states.
Return Bi-Partisanship to Washington
Imagine how it would be in Washington if bipartisanship returned to Congress. We would certainly work our way through problems that were left unsolved when Congress adjourned for the month. Those problems include passing a new five year farm bill, protecting our vital national data infrastructure from cyber attacks, deciding whether to let the Bush tax cuts expire, stopping an automatic across-the-board $110 billion defense and domestic spending cut, the future of the post office, and passing the appropriations bills.
As someone who has always tried to reach across party lines and work to bring all sides together, I know first-hand that the problems we face weren’t created by one party, or one president, one Congress, or even one generation.
We need to meet our challenges in a non-partisan way. There are countless examples of non-partisan successes in Nebraska, local, state, and federal. So many that we often take them for granted.
Working Together Pays Off
One example of Nebraskans setting aside politics and working together for the benefit of the state and the nation is the new STRATCOM facility located at Offutt Air Force Base.
It’s a $524 million project that began with a $10 million earmark and I like many Nebraskans am pleased the construction contract has been signed and that work will be underway soon. This project will create jobs and economic activity for Nebraska. It will strengthen the missions at STRATCOM and Offutt.
When it comes to securing the nation, the personnel I’ve worked with at STRATCOM and Offutt don’t check party registrations when doing their jobs of protecting all Americans, regardless of party affiliation.
We need to meet our challenges in a non partisan way, putting the nation ahead of partisan agendas and the needs of the public ahead of political parties. That’s what we’ve done in Nebraska. That is what needs to be done in Washington.

Sunday, August 19, 2012



Sorghum farmers are invited to attend the 2012 Sorghum Field Days to be held at Blue Hill and Trenton, NE. This is the first year for two demonstration plots featuring leading sorghum hybrids. The field day at Blue Hill will be held Thursday evening, September 6 at 5:30 PM with a tour of the Hybrid Demonstration Plot followed by a meal at the Blue Hill Community Center. Directions due to road construction: From Highway 281 – 2 miles south of Blue Hill, 1 mile east, 1 mile south to Highway 4 and 1.5 miles east. From Lawrence: 7.5 miles west on Highway 4.
New this year is the field day at Trenton to be held Friday morning, September 7 at 10:30 AM, with the field tour followed by lunch at the Trenton Community Hall. Directions: From Trenton – 3.5 miles north on Highway 25, west side of the road.
The plots are sponsored annually by the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association, UNL Cooperative Extension, the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board, participating seed companies, and ag businesses.
"We'll have representatives from the commercial seed companies on hand to discuss their plot entries," said Don Bloss of Pawnee City, NeGSPA President. "Farmers will be able to see and evaluate field performance. This year's extreme drought has certainly demonstrated the resilience and resourcefulness of the crop," says Bloss.
The program will also feature Dr. Scott Staggenborg, Director of Technical Services for Chromatin, Inc's Biomass Research Division. Gerald Simonsen, Past President of the National Sorghum Producers has been invited to provide an update on the Farm Bill and policy issues that impact sorghum.
"Chromatin is committed to improving sorghum for the benefit of sorghum producers and bioenergy processors," says Staggenborg. "We believe in the long term stability of the crop and are focused on maximizing it's, as yet, un-tapped potential in terms of yield, tolerance to stress and grain quality for food, feed and fuel."

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
August 17, 2012 Edition
I just got off the phone for an interview with a news service in Washington DC. They must have figured out that we are in the middle of a drought and wanted to know my opinion on several things that come out of a drought. For you that know me, I probably gave them more information than what they really needed, but they did ask. It seems to me that people in places that decide where you are as far as environmental disasters go are rather conservative in listening to us out here who have been trying to tell them that something extraordinary was going on. It is good to see that there are some efforts now in helping offset the effects of the drought.
I have become aware through our South Central Cattlemen Association that the National Beef Cattlemen Association has created a resource to be of help to its membership and other producers with updates on recent USDA announcements on the drought, important information related to taxes and hay hotlines. Please go to: Please note the links (red and underlined) in the resource are active and will allow you to access websites for additional information. If you don’t have access to a computer or internet, just call our office or stop by and I will give you a copy of the document that is on the web at that site. It is my understanding that the NCBA will update this resource as additional announcements are made at the federal level. There are a lot of things to consider this year, this resource may help.
For more state wide help I suggest that you utilize the resources made available through the University of Nebraska Extension which can be found at: and you can also go to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture at: which has references for information on hay and forage supplies and forage management and feeding strategies. This includes a Hay Hotline where you can buy and sell hay.
Grain Sorghum Field Day: I have always been a proponent of hedging your bet in crop production, especially in dryland fields, by planting more drought resistant crops such as grain sorghum or more commonly known as milo. This year really bears that out as the milo is holding on better than any other crop. I know that it has found some disfavor with some producers, but with the increased interest in gluten free alternatives, drought potential crops and some positive direction in the farm bill, grain sorghum may be something that producers, both irrigated and dryland, should take a look at. People in south central Nebraska have a golden opportunity to find out more about this much maligned crop at a field day that will be held just south and east of Blue Hill.
One of two 2012 Sorghum Field Days to be held in Nebraska will be at Blue Hill on Thursday evening, September 6 at 5:30 pm with a tour of the Hybrid Demonstration Plot on the Ronald Bolte farm, followed by a free meal at 7:00 pm at the Blue Hill Community Center. This is the first year for two demonstration plots featuring leading sorghum hybrids. Directions due to road construction: From Highway 281 – 2 miles south of Blue Hill, 1 mile east, 1 mile south to Highway 4 and 1.5 miles east or from Lawrence: 7.5 miles west on Highway 4. The plots are sponsored annually by the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association, UNL Cooperative Extension, the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board, participating seed companies, and area ag businesses.
Representatives from the commercial seed companies will be on hand to discuss their plot entries and farmers will be able to see and evaluate field performance. The program will also feature Dr. Scott Staggenborg, Director of Technical Services for Chromatin, Inc’s Biomass Research Division, who will speak on “Optimizing Sorghum’s Yield and Performance to Benefit Producers”. Gerald Simonsen, Past President of the National Sorghum Producers has been invited to provide an update on the Farm Bill and policy issues that impact sorghum. The field day will also include door prizes and a yield guessing contest for the plot. This year’s extreme drought has certainly demonstrated the resilience and resourcefulness of the crop and this may be an eye opening experience for producers who want to look at an excellent alternative to crop production that may pay big dividends, especially if this dry weather continues into next year.
Using Winter Annuals to Stretch Feed Inventory: With the loss of grasses in our pastures, and the lack of hay going into fall and winter, we may want to consider an alternative for livestock producers. They perhaps should be looking to winter annuals to sustain their beef herds and sheep flocks. Producers needing to provide quick grazing should consider planting winter annual forages such as annual ryegrass, wheat, or triticale all of which can be planted as early as late August with good soil moisture, which of course right now is at a premium, but could provide grazing into late fall. Adequate soil moisture during germination and early seedling growth is important for cool-season annuals planted for forage. While moderate water stress during vegetative stages can reduce yield, it often leads to improved forage quality.
Oats can also be planted in the first half of August with potential to produce 2.0 to 2.5 tons forage per acre for fall use. However, water needs during August and early September can be relatively high, reducing its production efficiency. Annual species including turnips, rapeseed, and other brassicas, either planted alone or in mixtures have also been used for forage. Adequate water for these small-seeded species is important during germination and early growth because of their shallow planting depth. There is no doubt that many producers are going to be creative this year… Good Luck!

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Blue Hill Care Center contains Salmonella outbreak

Blue Hill Care Center seems to be moving past the salmonella outbreak that started about two weeks ago and may have sickened at least 17 people.
It may also have led to -- or contributed to -- at least one death as well.
Initial fears that the bacterium involved at the 62-bed Blue Hill Care Center might be a Newport strain resistant to a broad range of antibiotics were receding by Thursday afternoon, said Michele Bever, executive director of the South Heartland District Health Department in Hastings.
“We have not formally declared it over, but we’ve not had any additional cases recently,” she said.
Bever  did not name the person who died, but said the person had other medical issues as well.
“So, at this point, we don’t know if salmonella contributed to that person’s death,” she said.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services still was working toward a final determination on the effectiveness of antibiotics against the bacterial strain Thursday.
“What we can probably say right now, from the test results we’ve seen so far, is that the salmonella appears to be susceptible to antibiotics,” Bever said.
Leah Bucco-White, spokesperson for HHS said state officials are working with South Heartland, which includes the counties of Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster, to identify the cause of the outbreak.
“We had 17 confirmed illnesses out there,” Bucco-White said. “And I think initially the word was that there were two additional probable cases. And we’ve gotten the testing back on those, and it was negative.”
Sheila Huskey, administrator at Blue Hill Care Center, directed inquiries to its owner, Five Star Quality Care Inc. in Newton, Mass.
Associate General Counsel Lisa J. Cooney responded with a prepared statement Thursday.
“Beginning about two weeks ago,” Cooney said, “individuals at our community began showing signs and symptoms of Salmonellosis. Prior to this recent issue, the community has not had any prior incidents of Salmonellosis in its residents or staff.
“We have taken prompt and thorough action in implementing all disinfection and sanitation protocols (and) ... we feel the matter is under control.”
Bucco-White said a final determination on the bacterium involved probably would not be available for several more days.
Bever said one person was still hospitalized as of Wednesday, but there have been no new hospitalizations in the past few days.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nebraska State Fair Adds Additional Parking for 2012 Event

The Nebraska State Fair has added just under 40 acres of additional parking to the east of the fairgrounds. The new parking area will accommodate 3,500 vehicles and the State Fair will have tram service from the lot to the east entrance of the Nebraska State Fair.
According to State Fair Executive Director, Joseph McDermott, "There's no question that we were caught off guard by the overwhelming crowds we experienced over Labor Day Weekend last year. On that Sunday alone, the crowd was the third largest in State Fair history at 68,000 fairgoers. We know that number would have been higher if we would have better anticipated traffic and parking needs."
McDermott says, "As is always the case, we work with city officials, Grand Island Police, the Nebraska State Patrol and others to work with traffic flow and parking. Once cars are on the fairgrounds, our parking attendants show fairgoers where to park. There is a synergy between all entities to make the route to the Nebraska State Fair as easy as possible, but we know the addition of this parking area will ease parking and traffic concerns a great deal."
The new parking area is at the corner of Fonner and Stuhr Roads and extends south along Stuhr Road, which is directly across the street from the fairgrounds east boundary. When lots on the fairgrounds become full, traffic will be directed from South Locust to Fonner Road East that will then take fairgoers to the new parking area.
"This is a culmination of listening to what fairgoers told us in 2011 and making improvements that are necessary to keep our guests happy and safe during Nebraska's largest entertainment event," McDermott says.
The Nebraska State Fair runs from August 24 through September 3 at Fonner Park in Grand Island.

Nebraska Lottery Day at the Nebraska State Fair Aug. 26

Sunday, August 26, is Nebraska Lottery Day at the Nebraska State Fair. To celebrate, they are offering their players a coupon for $2 off adult gate admission on August 26. Just print the  coupon available on the lottery web site and present it at the State Fair Gate to receive the discount.
This offer is limited to one discount per person, per coupon, and is not valid with any other offer.  
While you’re at the State Fair, be sure to stop by the Nebraska Lottery trailer near the northwest corner of the Heartland Events Center. You can purchase tickets, win great Nebraska Lottery prizes, and watch our Truck$ & Buck$ Second-Chance Giveaway live at 2 p.m. on August 26.
The 2012 Nebraska State Fair runs from August 24 through September 3. For more information on the Nebraska State Fair, visit

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Smith Announces Tax Reform Roundtables

Washington, DC – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) has announced two tax reform roundtable discussions to hear from constituents and answer questions about the current tax code and proposals for reform. Smith serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means which has jurisdiction over tax policy and will lead efforts for comprehensive tax reform in 2013.
“America’s tax code is broken,” said Smith. “As we work to pass comprehensive tax reform, I look forward to input and ideas from Nebraskans on how to make our tax code fairer, simpler and more competitive in a global economy.”
Details about the Tax Reform Roundtables are as follows. All stops are open to the public.
Tuesday, August 21
Cheyenne County Community Center
627 Toledo Street
Sidney, NE
9:00 – 11:00 AM MT
Media Availability: 10:30 AM MT
Thursday, August 23
Wayne State College
Student Center – Frey Conference Suite
1111 Main Street
Wayne, NE
9:00 – 11:00 AM CT
Media Availability: 10:30 AM CT

Allen R. Schutte July 18, 1936 to Aug. 12, 2012

Allen Schutte, the oldest of nine children, was born July 18, 1936 to Hildred (Bangert) and Alfred Schutte north of Guide Rock, Nebraska in Webster County. He departed this life on Sunday, August 12, 2012 at his home in Kearney, Nebraska.
On August 9, 1936 he was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church into the Christian faith and reaffirmed his faith at his confirmation at Salem Lutheran Church on July 3, 1949. Allen attended Zion Lutheran Parochial school for seven years until he went to Eckley, where he graduated with his class at the age of 16. He missed most of the first half of his senior year due to polio. He got his pilot's license in 1954, and then worked for Westland Construction Company, Kealy Construction Company and H.V. Beahm Drywall Company to help pay farm bills.
On November 24, 1966 he was united in marriage with Norma Griess at Faith Lutheran Church in Hastings. This union was blessed with three children. His love for his family was immeasurable and he cherished the time they spent together.
He served on the Guide Rock School Board for 12 years, handing each of his three children their high school diplomas. He loved his profession as a farmer and cattleman, and he highly valued his
relationships within these close-knit communities. In 1965, he joined NFO and worked for parity prices for farmers. In 1970, he joined his father and brother Ron in a partnership of registered Polled Herefords, Schutte and Sons Polled Herefords. Their first annual cattle sale was in 1974. They hosted many cattle tours including the World Hereford tour. In 1999, they raised the National Champion bull, received the Outstanding Breeder Award in 1997 and the Heritage Breeder Award in 2009.
Allen was a faithful member of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rosemont until retirement in 2009, when he moved to Kearney and joined Holy Cross Lutheran Church. At Calvary he served as Elder, Chairman, Treasurer, Sunday School teacher and LLL (local officer and Zone 8 Chairman and Treasurer). He also was a member of Walther League serving as local and zone president, district assistant Christian Growth Chairman and State Wheat Ridge Seals Director.
"Sale Day"
Preceding him in death were his parents; two sisters, Mary Ann Schutte and Janice Shambaugh; a brother Garry, and a nephew Ben Schutte.
A loving husband, father and grandfather, left to treasure his memory are his wife Norma; his children and families, Eric and Deanna Kitzelman, Jordan and Taylor of Kearney, Nebraska; Timothy and Wendy Schutte, Spencer and Jackson of Kearney; John and Janelle Andreini, Rachel and Chloe of Lincoln, Nebraska; three sisters, Marjorie Martin and husband Jerry of Acton, California; Kay Schutte of Hastings, Nebraska and Merilee Wood of Helotes, Texas; two brothers, Marvin and wife Cindy of Canon City, Colorado and Ronald and wife Nancy of Guide Rock; other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held Friday, 2:00 p.m., August 17, 2012 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Hill with Rev. Ronald Kuehner officiating. Interment will be at the Zion Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Wednesday and Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Williams Funeral Home in Red Cloud with the family present on Thursday from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be directed to Allen's favorite charity the Orphan Grain Train.
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970

Bob Kerry Takes Back "Welfare Rancher" Smear



“Bob Kerrey knows that Nebraskans are overwhelmingly rejecting his blatantly false and offensive attacks on Deb Fischer and her family. Now that Bob Kerrey’s smear campaign has backfired, he can’t backtrack fast enough.”

LINCOLN, Nebraska, August 15, 2012 - Today, Bob Kerrey said that attacking Deb Fischer as a “welfare rancher” was a “bit of a stretch.”
“We asked Democrat Bob Kerrey if he believes Fischer is a Welfare Rancher.
‘I think that’s a little bit of stretch, I would say, but I’m not a Carpetbagger either,’ Kerrey responds.”
(Brent Martin, “Senate campaign smear: Welfare Rancher vs. Carpetbagger,” Nebraska Radio Network, 8/15/12)
Kerrey also offered Fischer a truce:
“I’m certainly willing to say to her, ‘If you’re willing to say I’m not a carpetbagger, I’m willing to say you’re not a Welfare Rancher,’ Kerrey says.” (Brent Martin, “Senate campaign smear: Welfare Rancher vs. Carpetbagger,” Nebraska Radio Network, 8/15/12)
Kerrey’s comments are astonishing considering the fact that he and his staffers have been constantly attacking Fischer as a “welfare rancher” for the last several months.
In fact, it was Kerrey himself who coined the term “welfare rancher” at the Nebraska Democratic Party Convention on June 23, 2012:
“Democrat Bob Kerrey ratcheted up his criticism of Republican Deb Fischer on Saturday, accusing her of being a ‘welfare rancher’ who dislikes big government except when it’s subsidizing her own family and its ranching operation.” (Robynn Tysver, “Kerrey slams Fischer over grazing fee ‘welfare’” Omaha World-Herald, 6/24/12)
“Bob Kerrey knows that Nebraskans are overwhelmingly rejecting his blatantly false and offensive attacks on Deb Fischer and her family,” said Fischer campaign spokesman Daniel Keylin. “Now that Bob Kerrey’s smear campaign has backfired, he can’t backtrack fast enough.”

Salmonella Outbreak at Blue Hill Nursing home. 17 Confirmed Victims

 An outbreak of Salmonella poisoning at the Blue Hill nursing home is currently under investigation. At least 17 people and 2 more possible cases have already been confirmed.

Salmonella Strain Tied to Nursing Center Outbreak Likely Drug-Resistant

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services expects to have results on the isolates regarding susceptibility of the Salmonella Newport serotype later this week, according to spokeswoman Leah Bucco-White.
Four residents of the Blue Hill Care Center were hospitalized for a short time after showing symptoms, and one visitor remains in the hospital.
The outbreak is being investigated by the state and local South Heartland District Health Department, and health officials said the "Blue Hill Care Center is cooperating fully with the investigation to help identity the source and eradicate the issue."
.Salmonella Newport causes significant clinical disease in humans, livestock, particularly cattle, and in other animal species.
Multiple antimicrobial-resistant strains of S. Newport have been recorded in the U.S. and Canada, according to Purdue University. All of these strains are resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulphonamides and tetracycline.
In addition, many of these strains show intermediate or full resistance to third-generation cephalosporins, kanamycin, potentiated sulphonamides and gentamicin.
Salmonellosis is caused by an infection with bacteria called Salmonella, which live in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals, including birds. It is usually spread to humans when they eat food contaminated with animal feces, such as beef, poultry, milk, or eggs. Non-animal products such as vegetables can also become contaminated. Thorough cooking kills Salmonella.
Salmonella can also be spread through contact with pets and pet feces, including birds and reptiles. People should always wash their hands immediately after handling an animal or touching its environment, even if the animal appears healthy.
It is not yet clear whether the Salmonella Newport bacteria that caused this outbreak originated in a food or water source
Symptoms of Salmonellosis include fever, diarrhea and intestinal cramps. Symptoms usually appear 12 to 72 hours after a person has been infected and the illness and last 4 to 7 days. While most people recover without treatment, severe symptoms or spread of infection to the blood stream can lead to hospitalization.

South Heartland District Health Department Director Michele Bever said the first cases were reported in early August, and officials are still looking for the source.  Bever said they are looking at food as well as pets as a possible sourse of the contamination.  
No source of the outbreak has yet been determined. That investigation is ongoing and officials with the South Heartland District Health Department have joined the effort to identify the source of the infection.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Column: Nebraska Hit Hard By Spreading Drought

Senator Ben Nelson
I got up close and personal with the drought of 2012 this August, and it’s as serious as all the news stories have shown. After a detailed briefing by the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln and visits with farmers and ranchers around the state, it was plain to see that Nebraska needs help, and Nebraska needs it now.
This was the warmest July on record, actually the warmest month ever recorded in the U.S., and we’re not through the thick of it yet. These hot and dry conditions are expected to last through autumn.
Largest Natural Disaster on Record
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared natural disaster areas from the drought in more than half the nation. The announcement was the largest declaration of national natural disaster on record. It was intended to speed relief to about a third of the country's farmers and ranchers who are suffering in drought conditions. While the declaration makes farmers and ranchers impacted by drought able to access federal aid and low interest emergency loans, more is needed.
Nebraska will have a rough recovery, but Nebraska will pull through. However, our road to recovery could be smoother with the long-term certainty of the natural disaster aid in the five-year farm bill. 
One Extreme to Another
Last year Nebraska experienced record flooding. This year we are dealing with record droughts, but just as our ag producers persevered then, they will persevere now thanks to their hard work and support from the farm bill.
It’s hard to believe that it was just 10 years ago when we were dealing with yet another drought, and facing the worst conditions since the Dust Bowl days 70 years ago.
I nicknamed the 2002 drought “David,” to raise awareness of the devastating impact that droughts have. The thought was that while droughts and hurricanes are both damaging and costly natural disasters, droughts don’t receive the same degree of public attention and response because droughts aren’t fast moving and attention demanding like hurricanes. 
Maybe the unfolding drought should be given a name so it can get the attention of certain members of the House who are standing in the way of passing a new five-year farm bill before the present bill expires at the end of September.
Agriculture is Important to America
Agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation's economy and every American should be concerned that the hot, dry weather has severely impacted ag producers around the country.
Now is not the time to play politics with them.
Hopefully, those who are stonewalling the farm bill in the House catch an ear and eye full when they’re back in their districts this August. Ideally, they’ll understand the importance of approving the farm bill as soon as they go back into session in September.


Duane A. Lienemann,
 UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
August 10, 2012 Edition

Last week I ended my column with some comments on the USDA/APHIS proposed revision of regulations implementing the Animal Welfare Act to redefine "retail pet store." I was concerned by the way it was written that if a farmer or breeder sells even one animal as a "pet" in a situation where the buyer does not come to their home, farm or place of business, they will be required to become USDA licensed, and if a farmer sold an animal for purposes such as 4-H or FFA projects, that would come under the impact of the rule. I guess that the USDA must have got the message from people and they came out this week with an update on their ruling. I feel a little better about the direction it is now going, but still have a lot of reservations about the involvement of government, even though livestock used for food production are not currently included in this rule, it could potentially present an opportunity for APHIS inspectors to gain access to agricultural operations, which is unprecedented and I feel sets an agenda that could keep creeping up to haunt us.
According to the USDA/APHIS officials the proposed rule that would redefine what a retail pet store is, will not affect farmers and ranchers as previously thought. The USDA’s APHIS held a conference call to discuss the proposed revision of regulations implementing the Animal Welfare Act. The proposed rule would expand the number and type of animal breeding and husbandry facilities subject to licensure, inspection and recordkeeping under AWA. The officials stated publicly: “We are not going to be regulating farm animals … and cold-blooded species.” The USDA officials also cleared up questions about whether farmers would be regulated if they raise and sell domesticated farm animals such as cattle, hogs and sheep to 4-H programs. They stated “All such activity would be exempt from the rule”. USDA has extended the comment period for this proposed rule change until August 15. It seems to be that we have to always be vigilant and watch our government entities like APHIS and EPA more closely than ever because of groups who would like to end farming as we know it in the United States have a huge foothold in Washington DC, and we cannot afford complacency.
Upcoming Crop Related Field Days: This next couple of weeks has some good things in store for crop producers and I think it worthwhile to spend some time talking about them and encouraging producers and all interested parties in looking at attending them. First, on August 16th near Bladen, NE, Gabe Brown of Bismarck North Dakota will be the keynote speaker at the Cover Crop School and Field Day which will be held at the Green Cover Seed Headquarters, 1 mile south and 1 ½ miles east of Bladen NE. In addition to Brown, Doug Peterson, State Grassland Conservationist from Missouri, will also share his insight and experience on grazing cover crops and other forages.
The field day will begin at 9:00 and run until approximately 4:00. Brown is one of the leaders in the field of soil health, regenerative agriculture, cover crops and grazing. Tours and other topics will complement Gabe’s presentations, as well as discussions on cover crop options for fall planting and for fall/winter grazing. I think this is going to be very important for our livestock producers after the ravages we are and will be experiencing with the current drought. There is a noon meal provided and fee to attend. You can go to: to register or to get further information.
UNL research updates will be featured during an Aug. 22 Field Day at the UNL South Central Ag Research Laboratory near Clay Center. The day begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. followed by the program from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Three tour topics will be held during the day including demonstrations on the SoyWater decision aid for irrigating soybeans and state-of-the-art small autonomous aerial vehicles for crop management research. There is no fee to attend, however a noon lunch is being provided so potential attendees are asked to please pre-register by Aug. 17 to , 402-762-4403. SCAL is located 7.5 miles west of the Highway 14 and Highway 6 intersection or 13 miles east of Hastings on Highway 6 on the south side of the highway. More info at:  
Nebraska soybean producers can get the latest in production research and take a chance to win some fuel by attending one of the Soybean Management Field Days, Aug. 14-17, on four Nebraska farms. UNL Extension and industry consultants will address several topics, including soybean seed treatments; row spacing and seed rates; soybean-variety development and breeding-advancement; and soil fertility options for soybean production. The Soybean Management Field Days provides an excellent opportunity for farmers to see research being conducted in real situations and farms and discuss topics and issues that are very relevant to soybean production across the state. Registration begins each day at 9 a.m. One-hour sessions rotate from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Farm locations include the Tim Rowe farm in Lexington, the Bob Kracl farm in O'Neill, the Keith Pillen farm in Platte Center and the Hotovy farm in David City. For more detailed information on the event, visit
Friday, August 10 brought something that may become rather interesting. I think I will close this column today with a suggestion that beef producers watch what is going on with a law suit brought against the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, the Cattlemen's Beef Board and the Beef Operating Committee to enjoin them from channeling beef check-off dollars to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. This is compliments of the Organization for Competitive Markets in Lincoln who is joining with the Humane Society of the United States and a huge New York based law firm. Oh my!!!

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Men are not disturbed by things, but the view they take of things."
~Epictetus, 55 - 135 A.D.

Fischer Target of Nelson's "Spin"

HUB OPINION  Kearney Hub |                      
Republican Senate candidate Deb Fischer and her ranching family lease nearly 12,000 acres of federal land in north-central Nebraska. For use of that land to graze cattle, the Fischers pay $4,700 for seven months.That fee is considerably less than the market rate for private land leasing in Cherry County, a disparity that has become the central issue in a barrage of negative television commercials launched by Democrats.
The theme of the commercials is predictable — wealthy rancher eagerly collects government “welfare” at taxpayer’s expense — but only minimally accurate.
What is not pointed out in the ads, of course, is that by leasing the federal land, the Fischers shoulder costs for ongoing maintenance that other private pasture renters typically don’t face.
Furthermore, the Fischers didn’t establish the federal leasing program, nor have they pulled strings to get their rent discounted. No, they simply are participating in an established federal program — open to other ranchers as well — and paying the established rent.
Contrary to the theme and snarky tone of the commercials, the Fischers are not doing anything illegal or immoral. Rather, they are following the rules that have been long established for federal grazing land.
Playing point in the attack on Fischer is Ben Nelson. The good senator has been in a position of influence for 12 years but only now discovered that taxpayers are getting ripped off by wealthy “welfare ranchers” right here in our own back yard.
Making up in righteous indignation what he lacks in alacrity, lame-duck Nelson just recently introduced in the Senate a plan to increase federal grazing fees.
Yes, the timing does seem a bit opportunistic. But when political points can be scored, it’s always better late than never.
Nelson “welfare hunter”?
If Sen. Nelson’s sudden enlightenment on federal grazing fees seems to be a shameless political ploy, we shouldn’t be surprised.
After all, it was only a few years ago that Nelson sought special tax-favored greenbelt status for 90 acres of hunting property in Sarpy County.
In politics, what passes for both shame and “welfare to the rich” are in the eyes of the beholder.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

LINCOLN, Nebraska, August 8, 2012 - Today, the Deb Fischer for U.S. Senate campaign announced their County Chairs for all of Nebraska’s 93 counties.
The Fischer for U.S. Senate County Chairs will be leading get out the vote efforts in their respective counties.
Fischer’s impressive County Chair team demonstrates the incredible momentum the campaign has built since Fischer’s come-from-behind primary win.
The grassroots team also includes several Democrats who have crossed party lines to support bipartisan problem solver Deb Fischer.
“We’ve assembled one of the strongest grassroots teams Nebraska has ever seen, composed of leaders—both Republican and Democrat—from every county in the state,” said U.S. Senate candidate Deb Fischer. “Traveling over 60,000 miles across the state, Nebraskans have made it very clear to me that they want a U.S. Senator who will bring Nebraska to Washington and not Washington to Nebraska. Our grassroots team is energized and determined to make that a reality.”
Quotes From Deb Fischer for U.S. Senate County Chairs:
“There is only one Nebraskan in the U.S. Senate race who is fully committed to stopping federal government’s overreach and defending Nebraska values. Deb Fischer will make us proud in Washington, and I am honored to be her Saunders County Chairman.”
Hon. Curt Bromm
Wahoo, NE

“I’m a Democrat, but a Nebraskan first and foremost. That’s why I’m supporting Deb Fischer, a proven bipartisan leader in the Unicameral who will continue to work across party lines in Washington to better the lives of Nebraska families.”
Jim Hiatt
Spencer, NE

“Sen. Deb Fischer is a commonsense Nebraska conservative who will fight for smaller government, a balanced budget, and lower taxes. With Washington in disarray, Deb Fischer will be a Senator Nebraskans can trust to help get our country back on track.”
Dan Benes
Lincoln, NE

Sue Frink, Hastings
Reg Green, Creighton, Ed Nierodzik, Tilden
Travis Wenzel, Hyannis,  Kimberly Wenzel, Hyannis
Bob Gifford, Gering
Gordon Bradley, Brewster, Margaret Bradley, Brewster
Jay Wolf, Albion
Mary Crawford, Alliance, Greg Olson, Alliance
Jim Hiatt, Spencer
Sid Salzman, Ainsworth
Jack McSweeney, Kearney, Janice Wiebusch, Kearney, Deb VanMatre, Gibbon
Tim Anderson, Oakland, Deb Anderson, Oakland
Alan Zavodny, David City, Mark Holoubek, David City, Willow Holoubek, David City
Lou Allgayer, Lincoln, Brandon Benson, Louisville
Ron Brodersen, Hartington, Joan Brodersen, Hartington
Kathy Christensen, Imperial, Wayne Bahler, Lamar
John Ravenscroft, Nenzel, Cheryl Ravenscroft, Nenzel
Pat Dorwart, Sidney, Peggy Popps, Sidney
Dawn Caldwell, Edgar
Chuck Hamernik, Clarkson
Mary Lauritzen, West Point
Barb Cooksley, Anselmo
Doug Garwood, South Sioux City
Steve Cleveland, Chadron
Bill Stewart, Lexington
Milton Rogers, Chappell, Anita Rogers, Chappell
Debbie Borg, Allen
John Grothusen, Fremont
Nancy McCabe, Omaha
Dallas Watkins, Benkelman
Judy Glassburner, Geneva, Rochelle Monroe, Geneva, Kurt VanDeWalle, Ohiowa, Brandy VanDeWalle, Ohiowa
Henry Schenker, Franklin
Doug Schultz, Curtis
Tom Patterson, Cambridge, Tom Shoemaker, Cambridge
Doug Ferguson, Blue Springs, Amber Ferguson, Blue Springs, Jeff Davis, Beatrice
Mike Fischer, Oshkosh
Skylar Loeffler, Burwell
Ken Rahjes, Elwood
Eric Storer, Whitman, Tanya Storer, Whitman
Rick Vlach, Scotia, Tom Boyer, Spalding
Melissa Purdy-Griffith, Grand Island
Curt Friesen, Aurora
Wayne Dietz, Orleans
Rita Erickson, Hayes Center
Tom Baker, Trenton
John Madsen, Stuart
Dan Deibler, Mullen
Fred Meyer, Saint Paul, Tom Knutson, Saint Paul
Kim Allen, Fairbury, Ron Schwab, Fairbury
Monty “Scotty” Gottula, Elk Creek
John Kuehn, Heartwell
Karen Knudsen, Ogallala
Stan Tuton, Springview
Beverly Atkins, Dix
De Carlson, Crofton
J.L. Spray, Lincoln, Dan Benes, Lincoln, Kathy Benes, Lincoln
Tom Hansen, Wellfleet, Michelle McNea, North Platte
Karen Hough, Arnold
John McFadden, Taylor
Ron Stauffer, Norfolk, Diane Becker, Madison
Gail Nason, Tryon
Kent Malm, Central City
Robin Lapaseotes, Bridgeport
Marilyn Sonderup, Fullerton
Mary Gerdes, Johnson
Betty Zadina, Superior
Orv Gigstad, Syracuse, Carolyn Gigstad, Syracuse
Mike Schilling, Pawnee City, Sharon Schilling, Pawnee City
Ted Tietjen, Grant, Dana Freiberg, Grant
Lori Erickson, Holdrege,  Roy Brand, Holdrege
John Doerr, Osmond
Matt Jedlicka, Columbus
Scott Langemeier, Stromsburg, Steve Davies, Stromsburg
Mike O’Dell, McCook, Dennis Berry, McCook
Beth Sickel, Falls City
Dennis Swanson, Bassett
Brandon Draeger, Crete
Tim Gilligan, Gretna, Jacquie Price, Bellevue
Curt Bromm, Wahoo
Brandi McCaslin, Scottsbluff
Dennis Richters, Utica
Vern Terrell, Hay Springs
George McFadden, Loup City
Jackie Herren, Harrison
Bob Paden, Stanton
Gordy Fleming, Deshler, Jerry Catlett, Bruning
Al Atkins, Halsey, Sallie Atkins, Halsey
Naomi Brummond, Rosalie, Alyson Adams, Pender
Mike Wells, Ord
John Orr, Blair, Brenda Orr, Blair
Shari Dunklau, Wayne
Jerry Schaefer, Blue Hill, Cheryl Schulenburg, Red Cloud
Jack Poulsen, Ericson, Cheryl Henrichs, Ericson
Ken Kunze, York

Schwab’s Daycare
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501 W Lancaster
Blue Hill, Nebraska

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

2012 Shakespeare with Noodles performances scheduled for Hastings, McCool Junction

The role of King Lear is played by Austin Kelley of Blue Hill.

Shakespeare with Noodles, a theatre troupe featuring all-children casts and props made from swimming noodles, returns to Hastings this summer with its third production, King Lear’s Backside. Performances in Hastings are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sunday, August 5 at Libs Park (16th St. and Baltimore Ave.), in conjunction with Art in the Park and 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 11 at Kool Aid Days’ 2nd stage behind the Hastings City Auditorium (4th St. and Hastings Ave.) In the event of rain both performances will be moved to Hastings College’s Scott Studio Theatre (806 N. Turner Ave.)

Additionally, the troupe, which is sponsored by the Hastings College Department of Theatre and Mishmash Productions, is taking its show on the road with a 7 p.m. performance on Saturday, August 18 at McCool Junction’s Two Men and an Oven (406 East M St., McCool Junction, Neb.)

There is no admission charge for any of the performances, although the group accepts donations of cash or even swimming noodles.

Founded in 2006, the troupe seeks to create theatrical opportunities to children in the Hastings area. In 2009, the group moved its productions to parks in Hastings to increase its visibility and accessibility to children not participating in theatre. 

“There is a danger of the arts becoming an exclusive activity, supported and attended only by people who can afford it,” said Margaret Marsh, the group’s director and Adjunct Professor of Theatre at Hastings College. “If you don’t know what a play is, it isn’t likely you’ll shell out 15 or 20 bucks to buy a ticket and find out.”

The strategy is paying off for the troupe whose current cast includes nine children who are bilingual.

“It’s a really relaxed atmosphere. People are sitting around on blankets or in lawn chairs so you don’t have to worry about the rules of performance etiquette that can be intimidating when you don’t know what they are. Since we’ve focused on kids, we understand that it’s hard for a toddler to sit still for an hour.  It’s okay if they want to get up and move around,” she further explained, although she boasts that seldom happens.

“The show is really fast paced. Characters run in and out and our props are usually pretty funny. Once they start watching kids usually want to see how it ends.”

This is the second year the group has taken their show on the road.

“It was really fun. There aren’t many small towns visited by groups like ours.  It’s a really festive atmosphere. We couldn’t wait to go back,” Marsh said.

Note: For more information, contact Margaret Marsh, Adjunct Instructor of Theatre, at (402) 463-0159.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Johanns Invites Public to Community Coffees August 7-15

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) would like to invite the public to attend his community coffees August 7 – 15 throughout Nebraska. Johanns will traveling across the state to meet with constituents and hear their ideas and opinions. His first two weeks include community coffees in Lincoln, Omaha, Pierce, Hastings, Red Cloud, Alma, McCook, Trenton, Hayes Center and Elwood.

 Tuesday, August 7
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Lincoln Community Coffee
Isles Reception Hall
232 Havelock Ave., Lincoln
Wednesday, August 8
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Omaha Community Coffee
Omaha Public Library, Millard Branch
13214 Westwood Lane, Omaha
Thursday, August 9
3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Pierce Community Coffee
Pierce Public Library
207 West Court St., Pierce
Monday, August 13
7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Community Coffee in Hastings
Garden Cafe
2205 Osborne Drive East, Hastings
Tuesday, August 14
 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Community Coffee in Red Cloud
Red Cloud Opera House
413 North Webster St., Red Cloud
 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Community Coffee in Alma
Joe Camera
717 Main St., Alma
 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Community Coffee in McCook
Keystone Business Center
402 Norris Ave., McCook
Wednesday, August 15
 8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Meet and Greet in Trenton
Trails West Gas Station and Convenience Mart
Junction of Highways 25 and 34, Trenton
 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Community Coffee in Hayes Center
Bull’s Bar and Grill
504 Tate St., Hayes Center
 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Community Coffee in Elwood
Elwood Senior Center
406 Ripley St., Elwood

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Beverly L. Weiland January 26, 1957 to Aug 2, 2012

Beverly Louise Weiland

Former Blue Hill resident Beverly L. (Toepfer) Weiland, 55, of Decatur, Ne.  , died unexpectedly Thursday, August 2, 2012 at her home.
Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Monday, August 6, 2012, at First Lutheran Church in South Sioux City.     Graveside services will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday, August 6, 2012, at the Blue Hill Cemetery in Blue Hill with a luncheon to follow at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Blue Hill. Visitation: 4-7 p.m. Sunday, August 5, 2012, at Root Funeral Home (formerly Pearson Chapel) in Onawa, Iowa. Arrangements by Root Funeral Home, Onawa, Iowa.

Beverly Louise Toepher was born January 26, 1957 to Edwin and Ruth Baker Toepher in Hastings Nebraska.  She grew up on a farm near Blue Hill.  She attended Blue Hill Community School.  She graduated from Kearney State College with a degree in Business Education. 
Her first teaching assignment was at Bushnell and that was where she met the man who was to be her husband, George Patrick Weiland.  When the school at Bushnell closed she accepted a position at -Anselmo -Merna public schools.  She then taught at the Omaha Nation Public school at Macy, Ne.
Beverly was a member of the First Luthern Church of South Sioux City, she servd as a Sunday School teacher and was an active member of the Lydia Society.    She was a 4H Leader for Burt County. 
Beverly enjoyed crafts, scrapbooking and photography, she was seldom without her camera. 
Survivors include her husband George, and their two children, Ruth Elaine and William Russel,
her sisters, Kayrn (Duane) Loudenklos, of Monroe, Ne, Joann Peper of Hastings, Shelly (Jack) Moles, of Cook, Ne, Rhonda Wickman of Omaha, brother-in-law Merle Osgood of Hastings,  Her mother and father-in-law, George and Delores Weiland of Sioux Falls, SD  and aunts, neices and nephews. 
She was preceeded in death by her parents and her sister Bonnie Osgood.

Lightening Strike Hits Trinity Lutheran Church.

Trinity Lutheran Church, located on North Pine Street in Blue Hill was  hit by a lightening strike this week.  The cement block at the top of one of the pillars at the main entrance of the church was knocked loose.  Pieces of masonary fell to the sidewalk below and the top block was moved and sits at an odd angle, but little other damage can be noted. 
People living near the church and across town heard the loud thunder and crack as the storm produced the bolt that caused the damage.  The area in front of the church has been marked with orange cones to warn  of potentail falling debris from the damaged area.  
The church recently received a new roof and work men spent a week or more on the roof.  Equipment will have to be brought in again to repair the damage done by the lightening strike.
During the storm the area received some much needed moisture.  Reports of the amount of rain received varied from .70 to an inch and a half. 

Friday, August 3, 2012


Duane A. Lienemann
 UNL Extension Educator,
 Webster County
August 3, 2012 Edition
I suppose I should first start out with an update on my state of body condition. I don’t mean Body Conditioning Score like we do or should do in our cattle herds. I am sure that I would be in the BCS 6 category for that. For you that were not aware, about three weeks ago I pitched off the back steps of our house and did some damage to my body, and then in a foolish bit of stubbornness reinjured my hip, but with a little more damage. It was enough to ground me completely from our county fair and another week to boot. As I write this I am still confined to the house and bed, but am up and about and able to walk, how-be it, carefully. This down time has given me the opportunity to do a lot of reading and time to catch up on things including what is now ravaging our land and crops. Let’s call it what it is – a full blown drought.
We have seen it all, from plant emerging problems, hail, wind, and of course incessant heat and wind. We have had a couple of very welcome showers this past week, but there is an adage “Too little, too late” which is applicable in this case. Of course anything we can get is welcome and these little “drinks” I am sure had a positive effect on the soybeans and grain sorghum. Unfortunately, I doubt it did much good for the corn as from what I hear a lot of that is already in the dent stage. It would not surprise me to see some corn harvested in August. How weird is that? The way this year is going it would also not surprise me to see an early freeze. Why not? I want to remind everyone that UNL Extension has some wonderful material for dealing with the drought. It doesn’t matter if it is livestock, lawns and gardens or crops and pastures. Simply contact your local UNL Extension office or go on line to  .  
Also during this down time readings, I have been keeping up with some things that really concern me in regards to our “friends” in Washington DC and of all places the USDA. I think I need to catch up a little on that in this week’s comments. What really caught my eye and my attention was a ridiculous item that happened last week. I will preface this by saying – What if you were a livestock producer and you find that the USDA sent out a newsletter that encourages everyone to participate in “Meatless Mondays”? Yep, that was my reaction too. I will bring you up to date on that and the actions that were taken and then go to something else that I think we need to watch closely.
If you don’t believe me you can simply request a copy of the newsletter from me or you can go to Senator Moran from Kansas:   It was interesting to see the action and the reaction on this typical Washington DC over-reach. I know my blood was boiling when I first heard about it, and I fired off a couple of letters. I am happy to report that the USDA/APHIS, following a whirlwind of activity on social media and visits from the various livestock associations and from disgruntled Senators and Congressmen, disavowed the “oversight” last week, claiming that the item had not undergone proper approval. It was just an unfortunate, innocent event - yeah right. You might find Senator Moran (R. Kansas) reply rather interesting
It should be pointed out that the data on the effect on greenhouse gasses was taken from an early United Nations study that was found to be erroneous, so the misinformation is still being used to go after the livestock industry, and this time by USDA. It was part of a "Greening Headquarters Update" provided to USDA employees. From what I understand there was input from an USDA/APHIS official that used to be associated with – surprise – HSUS. Her name is Sarah L. Conant.
What is troubling to me is that Conant serves as the chief enforcer for APHIS within the USDA? Why is that important? She has spent the majority of her life trying to end animal agriculture and being an activist for animal rights. Her last employer was the Humane Society of the United States. It would not surprise me if she is still on their payroll, and for sure I would bet they still have her ear. My guess is she is a plant, compliments of HSUS. HSUS is the world's largest animal rights organization, yet nobody will answer the question of why the USDA hired her. Why not?
If that isn’t enough you should be aware that the USDA/APHIS is now proposing revision of regulations implementing the Animal Welfare Act to redefine "retail pet store." The proposed rule would expand the number and type of animal breeding and husbandry facilities subject to licensure, inspection, and recordkeeping under AWA. You might say, will that doesn’t affect me, big deal. I have concerns about its potential impact on farmers and ranchers.
As it is written, it appears to me that if a farmer or breeder sells even one animal as a "pet" in a situation where the buyer does not come to their home, farm or place of business, they will be required to become USDA licensed. A farmer selling an animal for purposes such as 4-H or FFA projects could potentially come under the impact of the rule. It also requires a USDA license (with annual costs between $30 and $750), and are subject to regulatory requirements for standards of care and unannounced warrantless inspections by APHIS personnel. APHIS is authorized to seek civil monetary penalties for violations of animal care standards of up to $10,000 per day, per animal. Under certain circumstances, APHIS may also seize animals or work with state and local authorities to seize animals. While livestock used for food production are not currently included in this rule, it potentially does present an opportunity for APHIS inspectors to gain access to agricultural operations, which is unprecedented. Now what do you think? Call your Senator!

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at: