Thursday, January 31, 2013

February Birthdays

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

Johanns, Alexander, Cornyn File Bill Stopping Unconstitutional NLRB, CFPB Actions

January 31, 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) today introduced legislation prohibiting the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from enforcing or implementing decisions and regulations without a constitutionally confirmed board or director.

Johanns said, "These agencies have been operating under a ruse for more than a year. Any decisions or regulations made by the people who have no right to be there are invalid. This legislation forces them to stop functioning as if they legitimately hold office and recognize the reality that the President overstepped his constitutional authority."

Alexander said, “If they won’t take down their ‘Open for Business’ sign and put up one that says ‘Help Wanted,' then the Senate will. The President created this problem but the Constitution provides him with a way to fix it—send the Senate acceptable nominees to fill these important positions.”

Cornyn said, “American democracy was born out of a rejection of the monarchies of Western Europe, anchored by limited government and separation of powers. We refuse to stand by as this President arrogantly casts aside our Constitution and defies the will of the American people under the guise of defending them.”

The Restoring the Constitutional Balance of Power Act of 2013 prohibits NLRB from undertaking or enforcing any decisions that required the approval of a quorum of board members since the President’s overreach. The legislation also blocks CFPB's next transfer of funds from the Federal Reserve to carry out any actions that require the approval of a director.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that President Obama violated the Constitution when he made these invalid appointments to NLRB without confirmation by the Senate. He took the same unconstitutional actions with Richard Cordray, who has been illegitimately serving as CFPB Director under the same circumstances.

A copy of the legislation is available HERE.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blue Hill schools have late start Wednesday

Blue Hill school got off to a late start Wednesday morning because of blowing snow and icy roads

The icy conditions  caused the Nebraska Department of Roads to close part of I-80 between Aurora and York .
 Blue Hill area roads were cleared enough to make it possible for busses to have students to school by the 10 am. start of school this mornng.  
This is very common winter weather here in Nebraska.
  The Nebraska Department of Roads and State Patrol  provides 511 which is a travel condition system. It includes phoneline and a website. 511 is what you can dial your phone and the website is

Blue Hill girls win their first game of the TVC tournament

In the Twin Valley Conference girls basketball tournament action  last night the Blue Hill girls easily handled the lady warriors from Red Cloud.  The final Score of the game was Blue Hill girls team 54 and the Red Cloud girls team 24.   The Lady Bobcats now have a 15 -2 game record for this season.
Legislative Newsletter
Senator Tom Carlson-District 38
January 29, 2013
This, my 7th year in the Legislature, may be the most important to my constituency and Nebraskans in general. I was elected chair of the Natural Resources Committee for the next two years, which will complete my second, four-year term. Water issues that I have championed come before this three day committee and I look forward to continuing my emphasis on this most important state resource.
A three day committee has additional staff members and also caused an office change for me.
Barb DeRiese continues as my Administrative Assistant and answers my office phone, which remains the same (402-471-2732). Barb also maintains my daily calendar and greets visitors to the office. You may also contact me by email at or write to me at the Capitol. My office is located in Room 1210, which is in the far southeast corner of the first floor.
Nanette Hessee is also from my original staff as Legislative Aide. Nanette is beginning her 21st session with the legislature. She is an attorney and is the primary staff person on my personal legislation as well as constituent matters. Barb Koehlmoos, the Natural Resources Committee Clerk, is a long term staffer and the committee benefits from her expertise. Barb schedules hearings and does the recordings resulting in transcripts that comprise the legislative history of all bills.
Laurie Lage is the Committee Counsel. Laurie, also an attorney, works with me and special interest groups to determine legislation and also drafts legislation concerning natural resources. She has worked for several committees during her legislative career. I am very blessed to have such a competent, professional, friendly staff ready and able to serve you.
My second committee assignment is the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee, which meets on Monday and Tuesday. I have served on this committee previously and look forward to legislating in these areas once again.
Significant bills among the 655 introduced for this 90-day session include water issues, gun control, and tax exemptions. In addition to bills referenced to the Natural Resources Committee, I have introduced eight personal bills that will be heard in the Agriculture, Education, Revenue, and Appropriations Committees.
The Governor’s tax package will be introduced as LB’s 405 and 406. The hearings are scheduled for February 6th and 7th in front of the Revenue Committee. LB 405 provides for the elimination of individual and corporate income taxes. Twenty-seven sales tax exemptions totaling approximately $2.4 billion would also be eliminated to attempt to make the bill revenue neutral.
I’m convinced the measure needs to be revenue neutral for the agriculture and manufacturing segments of our state economy. From what I have seen so far, ag and manufacturing are taking the brunt of the loss of sales tax exemptions. LB 406, the second part of the Governor’s package, would end the corporate income tax and would lower income taxes on Social Security checks and pension income. This bill predicts those taxes would be made up through the elimination of nine sales tax totaling $395 million dollars a year. The question is the same with LB 406. How does it impact agriculture and manufacturing?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blue Hill 46, Shelton 47.

The Blue Hill Bobcats lost to Sheton 47 to 46 in TVC play Monday evening at Adams Central Gym.
Last week the Bobcats defeated Shelton.
Mitch Ruybalid was the top Bobcat scorer.  Ruybalid had 14 points for the Bobcats, he was followed by Maverick Busboon with 8 points, Jayden Hamel had 6, Jace Kranau also had 6, Luke Faimon had 3, Shame KOhmetscher 3, Parker Trumble 2, Chase Golter 2, and Keithen Drury 2.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Johanns Introduces Law Enforcement, Mental Health Legislation


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), along with a bipartisan group of 16 Senators, today introduced legislation, the Justice & Mental Health Collaboration Act (JMHCA), to reauthorize and improve current mental health laws dealing with the treatment of criminals suspected of mental illness.
“Our law enforcement professionals are often on the front lines when it comes to identifying and interacting with the mentally ill,” Johanns said. “The goal of this legislation is to help law enforcement ensure incarcerated people with mental illnesses receive the services they need. In doing so, we can help prevent future violent actions and give our officers more time to do their primary job of protecting our communities.”
The president of the Major Counties Sheriffs Association recently estimated that as many as 30 percent of inmates under his supervision are suffering from mental health conditions. The former executive director of the National Sheriffs Association echoed that concern saying in many areas, “the county’s jails hold more people with severe psychiatric illnesses than any psychiatric facility in the county.”
The JMHCA reauthorizes and improves current law known as the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), which passed in 2004. Key provisions in the act will:
• Continue support for mental health courts and crisis intervention teams, both of which save lives and money;
• Wisely direct grant funds to prioritize programs proven effective;
• Support the development of curricula for police academies and orientations to help officers identify the warning signs of inmates with mental illness;
• Increase focus on corrections-based programs, like transitional services that reduce recidivism rates and screening practices that identify inmates with mental health conditions; and
• Cuts federal red tape to give local officials greater control over an inmate’s enrollment in mental health programs.
Companion legislation was also introduced in the House with 10 sponsors. Nearly 170 organizations have endorsed the bill, including leading law enforcement and corrections groups like the National Association of Police Organizations, the Major County Sheriffs Association, and the Major Cities Chiefs of Police, veterans’ services organizations like the American Legion and the Wounded Warrior Project, and mental health advocates like the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Smith Applauds Progress on U.S. Beef Exports to Japan

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) made the following statement after it was announced Japan would ease some restrictions on beef imports from the U.S.  Today’s agreement will allow for expanded exports of beef and beef products to Japan, the largest beef market in Asia:
“America’s farmers and ranchers are among the most productive and efficient in the world, producing high quality agriculture products sought by consumers across the globe.  The agreement announced earlier today will expand export opportunities for Nebraska’s beef producers and is a step in the right direction to bring down long-standing barriers to U.S. beef.”
The agreement, which was made public earlier today by U.S. Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, means Japan will permit the import of beef from cattle less than 30 months of age beginning February 1, 2013.  This increase from the existing limit of 20 months, could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in exports of U.S. beef to Japan in the coming years.
At a Committee on Ways and Means hearing on February 29, 2012, Congressman Smith asked Ambassador Kirk for an update on Japan’s age restrictions on U.S. beef imports, and what was being done to promote science-based food standards in the international marketplace.  Click here to view video from the hearing.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Red Cloud/ Blue Hill War Cats Host Wrestling Meet in Red Cloud

The WarCats of RedCloud/BlueHill hosted their annual invitational wrestling meet in Red Cloud on Saturday January 21. 
The Red Cloud/BlueHill team placed sixth with 87 points. 
Placing first was Russell, Kansas with 140 points, Kenesaw/Shelton placed second with 114 points, Franklin finished fourth with 90 points, Sutton was fifth with 89 points, Thayer Central had 82 points to take seventh place followed by Wilcox/ Hildreth with 10th and 44 points.
In individual action the WarCats team had a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
Dalton James received a 4th place.  Dillon Shannon received a 3rd place in the 152# class.  Tanner Rupprecht got a second place in the 138# class and Garret Sharp took first place in the 170# class.

Fall Dean’s List announced at Hastings College

(Hastings, Neb.) – Hastings College has announced the Dean’s List for its fall 2012 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.
With a 4.0 grade point average.
From Bladen,  Emily Lovejoy and Matt Lutkemier.
From Blue Hill Danica Olsen.

Earning a grade point average under 4.0 but at or above 3.7
from Blue Hill Leah Olsen.
Hastings College, founded in 1882, is a private, four-year liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). A total of 64 majors in 32 areas of study and 12 pre-professional programs are offered to more than 1,150 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 for more information.

Blue Hill Defeats Shelton

Friday evening in Basketball play the Lady Bobcats defeated the Shelton girls team with a score of 70 to 14.  This brings their season record to 14 wins and two losses.  With regular season losses only to Sandy Creek and St. Cecilia
The scoring was as follows:  Maci Coffey led Blue Hill with 16 points.  Mackenzie Willicot added 11 points.  Others who scored were Katie Schafer 7, April Faimon 7, Katie Poe 3, Lexie Himmelberg 2, Lenae Kohmetcher 2, Kelsey Karr 5, Rachel Reiman 5, Adrianne Lipker , Sydney Strasberg 2. 

The Boys Blue Hill basketball team also won their game with a score of 60 to 52.  Their record now stands at 6 wins and 9 losses.  They have won their last two games. 
Maverick Busboom led Blue HIll with 16 points Mitchell Ruybalid added 13 points while Luke Faimon had 11 points. Jace Kranau had five, Shane Kohmetscher 4, Chase Golter 4, Keithen Drury 4 and Jayden Hamel 3. 

The Twin Valley Conference is next on the Bobcat Schedule.


Duane A. Lienemann
  UNL Extension Educator, Webster County 
     January 25, 2013 Edition

     As I write this column the Annual Farmers Ranchers Cow/College - Partners in Progress Beef Seminar is history and it was probably one of the best seminars that I have been a part of. It was also one of the best attending meetings in that we had around 140 people in attendance. That is saying something, because I thought we had some very good topics and speakers in the previous 12 seminars. I think that the topics and the theme had a lot to do with it, as everyone that I talk to is concerned about what we faced in 2012 and are likely to face in 2013. Incidentally, if anyone that could not make the Cow/Calf College and wanted copies of any hand-outs, please feel free to give me a holler and I will get you a copy.
     Nobody likes uncertainty and that is a key word for this year.  Let’s take a look at why there seems to be that feeling in this week’s column. Why is there that uncertainty? Before we look at some of the things that came out of the seminar, let’s look at some areas of concerns. Soil moisture profile is high on the list. Just to put it bluntly, we are extremely dry. It is obvious to those that are digging post holes, taking out trees, renovating dams and ponds, or doing any kind of dirt work. We knew it was dry this past growing season and it was confirmed during harvest and then according to those that put on fall anhydrous that we have some hard, dry ground, particularly in last year’s soybean fields.  We have had some rains, which is good, but they have not been enough to really do anything but perhaps give the wheat and perhaps some pasture grasses a much needed shot in the arm to give some encouragement at least. The discouraging part is that we will likely need 8-10 inches of rain or about 12 feet of snow before planting to get us – just to get to normal moisture conditions. 
     That really is not uncertainty, because I am fairly certain we won’t be getting that much in either form of moisture. Now that makes some other things uncertain. Those uncertainties would include if we will have any grass to go to at the normal pasture entry time.  My own experience and the recommendations of range experts suggest that we need to likely hold off putting cattle into the pasture perhaps till June and then perhaps look at some things like early weaning, supplementation of pastures and shortening the grazing season. We may have to go in late and come out early. One of our speakers (Allan Vyhnalek) suggested just that, and then reminded people that pasture rent should be adjusted accordingly, something that some landlords may not understand.  We are going to have to be good communicators this year when it comes to discussing rental rates, stocking rates and even things like water, fence and control of weeds in our pastures.
     Another uncertainty is the quantity and quality of forages that will be availability, another speaker (Dr. Bruce Anderson) gave some good suggestions on the utilization of some alternative forages, and those that are available to us. He showed us how plants grow and what they need to survive the drought, let alone provide for our beef cattle. He had some very good suggestions on how to graze. Weeds of all sorts could be a problem and we can expect to be faced with control of those as well. He pointed out what we should expect this spring, even with “normal” rainfall.  Once again uncertainty creeps in!
     Another uncertainty that faces beef producers is the availability of corn stalks or other residue for late fall and winter grazing. It seems that there is uncertainty of the availability of that resource. For some reason corn and other crop producers have the idea that grazing cattle, especially on no-till fields dramatically affects their yields and soil tilth/bulk density, and as a result are reluctant to rent those stalks out which, especially in times of short roughage supply. Even seed corn dealers and crop consultants have furthered this bit of misinformation which adds to the specter of all that roughage out there waiting to be used.  Another speaker (Dr. Aaron Stalker) reported on research by UNL and other Land Grant Universities that showed that there is not the yield penalty and in fact it shows an increase in yields in corn and soybeans by running cattle on stalks with a non-depreciable effect on the soil. He pointed out that the corn producer should be working with the cattle producer for many reasons and that no-till producers should know that cattle only remove about 20-25% of the residue and in return give back readily available nutrients that pass through the digestive system of the cow.
     Uncertainty also exists in the reproduction side on how to develop heifers with low quality and short forage supplies. We were fortunate to have another excellent speaker (Dr. Rick Funston) go over his research and the response of beef heifers to development on corn and soybean residue and feeding to a pre-set target weight and using synchronized breeding programs. He also looked at calving timing and effects of different feeds or wintering systems on maturity and puberty. I found the comparison between heifer development in dry lot systems and residue grazing interesting.
     The biggest uncertainty is probably where we will be with the drought.  Our last speaker (Al Dutcher) didn’t pull any punches in showing us why we are likely to see more of the same from 2012.  When pressed on the chances of drought for us in SC Nebraska in 2013, he put the odds at 70%. He said we will likely get some rain, but it is doubtful that it will be enough to put us anywhere close to normal. Of course, weather is always uncertain, but then so is the uncertainty of the 2013 Farm Bill, how or what to sign up or even plant. The uncertainty of if there will be emergency payments for livestock producers that should have kicked in last year, or how the discussion on the “New” farm bill will line up is always in the back of the mind. Throw in the message that producers hear from many in Washington, that agriculture and farming is insignificant and uncertainty raises its ugly head again. The only thing certain it seems is uncertainty!

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, January 25, 2013

Tax Reform for All Nebraskans


Dear Fellow Nebraskans:

Governor Dave Heineman
Taxes are too high in Nebraska. High taxes impede economic growth. High taxes aren’t attractive for entrepreneurial growth and high paying jobs. Additionally 43 states exempt a portion of or all social security income from taxation, but Nebraska does not. Twenty-three states exempt a portion of or all retired military pay, but Nebraska does not.
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council states in their 2012 U.S. Business Policy Index that Nebraska’s top personal income tax rate is the 35th highest in America and higher than every one of our neighboring states.
According to the Tax Foundation, Nebraska’s Business Tax Climate is 31st out of fifty states. That’s mediocre at best. We are not even in the top half of all states.
While rankings are important, this is really about the next generation of Nebraska’s leaders – our sons and daughters, and our grandchildren. How many of us have family members who no longer live in Nebraska because they couldn’t find a job here or they couldn’t find the right career here in Nebraska? The answer is too many.
Nebraska needs to reform its tax code so that we have a modern, simpler and fairer tax code. The question is how to do it.
The State of Nebraska’s sales and income tax system generates approximately $4 billion in revenue. The income tax system raises nearly $2.4 billion. The remainder comes from sales tax revenue. But, did you know that the State of Nebraska provides $5 billion in sales tax exemptions? Nebraska exempts more than we collect. That’s not fair to small businesses and working Nebraskans.
Imagine if we eliminated just half of the current exemptions. What would that mean for Nebraskans? Nebraska wouldn’t need to have an individual income tax or a corporate income tax. Without the individual income tax and the corporate income tax, there would be no income tax on working Nebraskans.
Social security and military retirement income would no longer be taxed. There would be no tax on small business income. We need a modern tax code that rewards productivity, profits and job creation and our tax system shouldn’t favor one industry over another.
The world has changed and our current tax system needs to be modernized. It’s been nearly five decades since Nebraska had a serious debate about our overall tax system.
Life has changed drastically since the 1960s. We were operating in a completely different economic environment then. The average cost of a new home was $24,000. A first-class stamp was five cents and gas was 33 cents a gallon. In the 1960s, Americans didn’t even have personal computers in their homes.
Today, we live in an electronic age. Today, we are operating in a technology-driven, global free market economy.
Earlier this week, Legislative Bill 405 was introduced that proposes eliminating many business sales tax exemptions that could lead to the elimination of the individual income tax and the corporate income tax or at least lowering Nebraska’s individual and corporate tax rates.
This will provide a starting point for our discussion. I want to emphasize one point – our proposal will not tax food.
This tax debate will be challenging, but it is necessary. Nebraskans have strong opinions, and we are able to disagree on policy in an agreeable and respectful manner. I welcome and look forward to your input. I am prepared to work with all Nebraskans, because together we can develop a better tax system for Nebraska.
We want good jobs and good careers for our young people so they won’t leave the state. We need to exempt Social Security and retirement income from taxation so that seniors and retirees won’t leave Nebraska for Wyoming, South Dakota, Florida or Texas where their Social Security and retirement income won’t be taxed.
The choice is ours. This is about Nebraska’s future. We care about this special place we call home. We want Nebraska to be an even better place to live, to work and to raise a family in the future. Let’s begin this statewide conversation, and together we will find a Nebraska common sense solution.

Johanns Writes Unconstitutional NLRB Appointees, CFPB Appointee Calling for Immediate Resignations

.  -U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) called for the two remaining NLRB appointees as well as Richard Cordray, who was appointed to head the Consumer Financial Relations Board (CFPB), to immediately resign and provide a list of actions taken during their tenure. Johanns’ wrote to the appointees after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that President Obama violated the Constitution by making Presidential appointments without Senate confirmation when the Senate was in session. Click HERE to read Johanns’ letters to the appointees.
Johanns also wrote to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) asking how to unwind any regulations or rules imposed by these two agencies, which would now be void due to the unconstitutional nature of the appointments. Click HERE to read Johanns’ letter to the GAO.
"This isn’t about politics or the qualifications of the individuals involved,” Johanns said. “It’s about upholding the checks and balances enshrined in our Constitution. The only way to lift this cloud is for these appointees to immediately resign the posts they have unconstitutionally held for more than a year. We must also determine what actions the NLRB and CFPB have taken during that time, which are also likely unconstitutional.
“This Administration’s disregard for the Constitution has put a permanent stain on these organizations. It is a victory for our democratic system of government that this alarming power grab has been rejected.”
The President appointed Sharon Block, Richard Griffin, and Terence Flynn (who resigned in May) to the NLRB and Richard Cordray to head the CFPB on January 4, 2011. The court ruled the NLRB appointments were unconstitutional because the President only has the power to bypass the Senate’s roll to approve nominees during periods of Senate recess. The Senate, however, was not in recess when these appointments were made.
The D.C. Circuit Court only addressed the NLRB appointments because it ruled on a case brought by Noel Canning against the NLRB, but Cordray was appointed under the same circumstances.
The court’s opinion reads that, “allowing the President to define the scope of his own appointments power" and allowing these nominations to stand, “would wholly defeat the purpose of the Framers in the careful separation of powers.”

Velva E Overy March 31, 1920 - January 23, 2013

Velva E Overy
Hastings resident, Velva E. Overy, 92, passed away Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at the Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital, Hastings, NE.
      Services will be Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10 am at All Saints Chapel, Good Samaritan Village, Hastings, NE with Rev. Charles Johnson officiating. Burial will be in Blue Valley Cemetery, Ayr, NE. Visitation will be Sunday, January 27, 2013 from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Brand-Wilson Funeral Home, Hastings, NE and one hour prior to services at the church.
 Condolences may be sent to the family from .
Memorials may be given to the Blue Valley Cemetery, near Ayr, NE. Velva was born March 31, 1920 to Paul and Goldie (Schroeder) Breithaupt in Huntley, NE.
She grew up in Spring Ranch and Pauline, NE.
She married Glenn Overy on December 3, 1938 in Smith Center, KS. After which the couple lived southeast of Pauline where they farmed.
 In 1983 she moved to Hastings after her husband Glenn passed away. She worked at Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital Snack Shop, retiring in 1993.
       She became a member of Pauline Methodist Church in 1933 and was also a member of the Ladies Aide.
During her years on the farm she enjoyed gardening, cooking and socializing with a group of friends called the Happy Homemakers. They shared County Extension tips, ideas and recipes to aid in creating a happy home.
 When she moved to Hastings she enjoyed golf and playing cards and rarely missed the monthly lunches with the “Pauline Group”.
      She is survived by, 3 sons, Larry of Pauline and fiancée Diane Sanford of Ayr, Richard and wife Cheryl of Prospect, KY and Bill and wife Michele of Hastings, NE, 6 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and one brother Marvin Breithaupt of McKinney, TX. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Glenn, one sister Lela Jones and daughter-in-law, Pat Overy.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Smith Cosponsors Regulatory Reform Bill



Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) made the following statement today after the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act was introduced by Congressman Todd Young (R-IN):
“Overreaching federal regulations continue to devastate Nebraska families, small businesses, and agriculture producers.  The REINS Act would serve as an important check on the growing power of the Executive Branch and ensure Congress is able to review new rules with the largest impact on our economy before they take effect.  I look forward to working with Congressman Young to pass this needed regulatory reform measure.”
The REINS Act would require new regulations with an annual economic impact of more than $100 million to be approved by a stand-alone vote in Congress and signed by the President before they are enforced.
Congressman Smith is an original cosponsor of the REINS Act.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WarCats to host Invite In Red Cloud Saturday

The RedCloud/BlueHill  Warcats will host the annual  RedCloud/BlueHill wrestling Invite this coming Saturday January 26th in RED CLOUD.    A report by another source indicated that the Meet would be held in Blue Hill.  This was not correct. 
The meet is scheduled to be held in Red Cloud beginning at 9:30.  Please pass this  along to anyone you know who might have been misled by the erroneous information and as a result could miss the meet.  The WarCats are doing well this season and deserve the support of the community.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Together, We Serve


Senator Mike Johanns
When a rash of wildfires broke out across Nebraska last year, volunteer firefighters traveled as far as 350 miles to assist. Many of them left their families and businesses for days on end to fight blazes that blackened more than 300 thousand acres across the State. Crews went through vacation days and midnight oil in unimaginable conditions to protect nearby communities and valuable grassland now even more coveted by ranchers in search of feed for livestock.
The display of selflessness was echoed by people in the local and neighboring communities anxious to lend a hand. Empty fire halls quickly filled with pallets of food, water and other supplies donated by concerned citizens across the state. Folks contributed their time to help coordinate efforts to rejuvenate exhausted firefighters taking brief respites from the flames.
Residents in the Ainsworth area also donated fence posts and wire to ranchers whose permanent fences were destroyed in the Region 24 Complex fire, where more than 100 volunteer fire departments responded to extinguish the blaze.
In the face of great adversity, folks from across the state came together with nothing more than a desire to help. As it turns out, in Nebraska, this reaction is not all that uncommon. Nebraska ranks among the top states in community service participation. We have always been a state of neighbor helping neighbor—a place where we look out for one another and are quick to lend a hand when needed.
But it doesn’t just take a disaster for Nebraskans to get involved in their communities. Many times, Nebraskans proactively seek ways to volunteer to make their communities even better. I was touched when I heard the story of Millard West High School senior and Eagle Scout Drew Grandgenett, who created and distributed nearly 120 fleece blankets to veterans and their spouses at Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home in Bellevue. The residents were impressed and thankful to receive such a heartwarming gift. Grandgenett said it was just a way for his generation to say thanks.
This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has been declared a National Day of Service, and Americans across the country will give of their time and resources to help in ways big and small to make this country the best it can be. Dr. King once said, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?’” Our state’s dedication to helping others is evident in the above stories and ones forever unspoken.
I want to say thank you to all the Nebraskans who have taken the time in many ways to help improve our state, and I encourage all Nebraskans to help maintain our state’s proud history of community service whenever you can. To find volunteer projects in your community, visit Volunteer work not only helps those directly impacted, but also instills a sense of pride in communities and individuals taking part to lend a hand. This sense of community is one of the many reasons I feel privileged to call Nebraska home. I could not be more proud to represent a state so dedicated to selflessness and service.

Bonnie Greenhalgh May11, 1920 to January 21, 2013

Bonnie Greenhalgh went home to be with her Lord on Monday, January 21, 2013 at the Heritage Care Center in Red Cloud, Nebraska. She was born on May 11, 1920 to George and Lena E. Reichstein of Campbell, Nebraska. Bonnie and nine of her siblings grew up in the Campbell community.

She was a graduate of Eckley High School and was united in marriage with Lloyd Greenhalgh in 1939 at Leadville, Colorado. They resided there for two years before moving back to a farm in Webster County near Guide Rock.

Bonnie was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Royal Neighbors, the United Methodist Church, and she had the time to be a 4-H leader while being a full time farm wife. She always had a garden and enjoyed many beautiful flowers in their yard. She was a wonderful cook and her chocolate cake and banana cream pies were enjoyed by all of her family. She also was a great seamstress and did needlework and quilting. Through the many years she made quilts and afghans for each of her grandchildren and children. Bonnie was employed at the Webster County Community Hospital for many years. She and Lloyd were active members of the Blue Hill Methodist Church in Blue Hill, where they reside from 1984 to 2010.

Due to declining health, she and Lloyd moved to College View in Hastings in March of 2010 and later to Heritage in Red Cloud in September 2012.

Preceding her in death were her daughter, Lila Crane in 2011; her parents and eight of her ten siblings.

Left to treasure her memory are her loving husband, Lloyd; son, Bob Greenhalgh and wife Doreen of Denton, Texas; daughters, Jan Moranville and husband Ron and Sandy Ohmstede and husband Roger all of Southlake, Texas; a sister, Gerri Rasser of McCook, Nebraska. Also surviving are 10 grandchildren: Teri (Irv) Moranville Gable, Jim (Christy) Moranville, Lisa (Steve) Greenhalgh Knapp, Lanny (Kristen) Greenhalgh, Mike (Sherri) Ohmstede, Debbie (Manny) Ohmstede Fernandez, Steve (Kim) Ohmstede, Stephanie Crane Schwab, Stacy (Andy) Crane McLane and Stephen (Kara) Crane; 28 great grandchildren; 1 great-great grandchild, other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, 10:30 a.m., January 24, 2013 at the Williams Funeral Home in Red Cloud with the Rev. Steven Marsh and Rev. Baldeo Singh officiating. Interment will be at the Guide Rock Cemetery.

Visitation will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. and Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to service time.

Memorials are suggested to the Blue Hill United Methodist Church or the Guide Rock Cemetery Fund

Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Warcats place 7th at Louisville

The WarCat wrestling team took 7th place in the Louisville invitational tournament held January 19th in Louisville Nebraska.  Fifteen teams from across Nebraska and Iowa Participated.

In Individual results in the 138# class Tanner Rupprecht won a first place medal as did Garret Sharp in the 170# class.   At 132# James Fuller took a 4th place.   

Sharp pinned his opponent in  four  matches .  One match was won by forfeit.  He had the second fasted match pinning his opponent in just 13 seconds.  The fastest pin of the meet was completed in 9 seconds.

Team Results
  Louisville 145,
 Underwood (Iowa) 143.5,
Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto (Iowa) 140.5,
 Malcolm 117.5,
 Avoca-Hancock-Shelby-Tennant (Iowa) 108.5,
Sutton 107,
Friend 100,
 Red Cloud/Blue Hill 100,
Wilber-Clatonia 91,
Weeping Water 81,
 Harvard 39,
Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer/Pawnee City 32.5,
Johnson County Central 24,
 Palmyra 22

Saturday, January 19, 2013


     The Webster County 4-H and FFA beef exhibitors who have yet to weigh-in potential market beef for the Webster County Fair or perhaps for Nebraska State Fair and/or Ak-Sar-Ben will have the opportunity to do so at the Blue Hill Livestock Sale Barn on Sunday, January 27 from 10:00 am till 3:00 pm. Exhibitors from other counties are welcome to weigh-in with permission from their county extension office or FFA advisor.     Webster County had conducted an “early weigh-in” for market beef on December 9 for those that already had identified beef or perhaps are looking towards progress show competition, so this will be the final weigh-in event. 

     The 2013 Webster County Fair this year will take place July 20-27 with the county fair weigh-in on Tuesday, July 23. An exhibitor should plan for finding a beef that will fit within certain parameters. In planning for 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 27 to July 23 for time on feed, which computes to 177 days.  Figuring that an exhibitor would want their calf to gain at least 2.5 lbs a day (2.2 is required) and then assuming a county fair weight of 1300 lbs, the biggest calf that and exhibitor should weigh in on the January 27 weigh-in would be 850 pounds. If you figure 3 lb. per day ROG, then a 775 lb steer would be the limit weight.  

     If the exhibitor plans to take their market beef on to the Nebraska State Fair and for it to weigh around 1300 pounds, then they have 216 days to feed and at 2.5 #/day then the calf should not weigh much more than 750 on January 27.  Incidentally Ak-Sar-Ben is 243 days from weigh-in and with the same goal weight the exhibitor should probably consider using a 700 lb. calf.

      The exhibitor should keep in mind his/her goal weight (most common is 1250-1350 pounds for steers), 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. The exhibitor should not just pick out the biggest calf in the pen, but the one that will best fit their situation.  Exhibitors should feel free to bring several calves to weigh-in and then decide later.

Positive Influence/Negative Influence

Commentary by R. Tone Kister
I watched a Sonia Sotomayor interview on television this past week with great interest.  She has written a book I may be interested in reading, but more to the point of this letter.
She stated in the interview that her values of today are primarily guided by what she read and watched as a child.  When asked what she watched and read, she stated “Perry Mason and Nancy Drew”.  The interviewer half-heartedly suggested that without Nancy and Perry we would not have Sotomayor as a Supreme Court Justice today.  Her response indicated that was likely true.
Now what does that tell us and the world about inputting into children positive or negative influences?   We did not have school or theater or church shootings on a regular basis 60 years ago.  What changed?  The schools, the guns, the ammo, or the people?  Think about it.  The people changed, and what changed them?  The stuff that influences them!  Quality-in \Quality out, junk-in / junk-out!  Seem too simple?  Denial is a most powerful emotion, but the truth is usually simple.
For the most part the games, television and books of our time preach bullying, violence, subterfuge, scheming, double-dealing, lying, cheating, killing, etc.  Our moral values promoted in the movies and soap-operas are the exact opposite from good.  Why is it so easy to understand positive input into children, works good.  But negative isn’t proven to work bad?
Take away all the guns, 100%, and what will you bet the folks will build their own pipe bombs and take down the entire school or theater . . .  And take pride in building it themselves!   Just keep looking away from the source of changed attitudes, the media and we will turn ourselves into a police state with the same problems and no freedoms.  Maybe we can stop the senseless killings from drunken driving or texting while driving, caused by outlawing motor vehicles.  Take them all off the road, and the jerks can’t kill with ‘em.  Problem solved??? 
Please wake up to what really must be done.  Clean up the games, movies, commercials, books and whatever else is dragging us down as a society.  Put quality back in our children’s minds and we will get quality out down the road.  Sonia Sotomayor the only Hispanic Supreme Court Justice is living proof that it works

Friday, January 18, 2013


Duane Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County 
 January 18, 2013 Edition

     As I write this column I am running off handouts for the Annual Farmers and Ranchers Cow/Calf College that is held at the US-MARC near Clay Center this time each year. The theme, appropriately this year, is “Facing the Drought”.  Speakers will undoubtedly give us some ideas for forage, pasture management, etc., all things that are of high importance.
 After looking at a couple of bull sale catalogs sitting on my desk it occurs to me that maybe we should look at another factor that may be a tool for consideration. That may be our genetics. With the shortage of grass, hay and other forage resources that we have experienced in 2012, coupled with the potential for even further shortages in 2013 we are going to have to look at how efficiently our cows utilize that feed that is available to them. Feed efficiency is becoming more and more important, as feed costs have skyrocketed and are a major factor in a cattle producer’s ability to be profitable. Feed cost is the single greatest cost for ranchers. If you’re not a cost-effective producer, you’re not going to be in business regardless. But many of those costs you don’t have much control over because of your cow choice and that all starts with genetics.
     Perhaps the greatest challenge in seed-stock production is making the best genetic decisions for your herd and environment. There are so many different EPDs in the cattle industry, not only within a single breed, but across breeds. This makes it difficult to sort through all the numbers and know what is best for each producer’s given situation. A commercial cattle rancher has a lot of irons in the fire. They have to manage livestock, grass and people. Producers may only purchase bulls or semen once a year.
Keeping abreast of all the information and technologies is a challenge for all of us. I know that every rancher looks at different things, not only phenotypically, but in the EPD’s of the bulls they are selecting. The chance to improve genetics in your herd should be something that everyone is looking at. Structural soundness is a bare minimum, but after that producers look at benchmarking tools like EPD’s, and more recently new programs like GeneMax or other DNA testing. Things we look at would fall into several categories including: mothering ability and calving ease, growth and carcass quality. Recent trends have  included tenderness, stayability, and even demeanor. Of course bulls that are going to have maternal traits would be a big piece of that and that includes milk and marbling. I just read an interesting article that puts EPD’s, genetics, feed efficiency and drought all in the same analysis and it makes sense to me.
     In study after study animal scientists and cooperating beef producers have found that their high marbling cattle are the easiest keeping cattle. That tells me that marbling may be a more valuable reproductive trait than it is as a carcass trait, and it ties directly into feed efficiency, which is an important aspect of facing these shrinking feed sources because of the drought and potential drought.  I know that a lot of people have selected for milk, which I did with my own Simmental herd, and I always figured there was a correlation between milk and marbling. But now it may be that people like me have been confusing marbling and milk. I know that in looking in these catalogs that there are a lot of high-marbling cattle that are also high milk, which makes it pretty easy to misread which one of those traits is costing you money. Common sense, and my own experience, tells me that high-milk cows are going to be much more expensive to maintain and rebreed.  Now studies are showing us that high-marbling cows are the ones that survive in tough times – like under drought conditions. 
     With that in mind, perhaps during this tough time we maybe ought to look at the trait of marbling, which  is a moderately to highly heritable trait (about .40) which means that significant progress can be made by selecting for it within a breed. Most breeds now provide for marbling in their genetic evaluation programs. By selecting sires having marbling EPDs that are well above breed average, a reasonable increase in a herd’s marbling potential can be made. Progress can be especially rapid if one uses highly proven A.I. sires with high marbling EPDs. Percent intramuscular fat, or %IMF, is the common ultrasound term for marbling, but it needs further explanation to fully understand the concept. In short, %IMF is simply an indicator trait for marbling, much like birth weight EPD is an indicator of calving ease. With high marbling EPDs and carcass quality genetics demanding top dollar, it is extremely important we understand what we are buying or using. 
     I would caution that when selecting for a specific trait such as marbling, it is important to be aware of any economically important traits that may be negatively correlated with it. There is evidence to suggest that extreme single-trait selection for marbling could eventually result in cattle that are lighter muscled, fatter, and have a lower percentage of retail product. This can be avoided by the judicious balancing of marbling with other economically important traits, in other words, the strategic use of EPDs. The good news is that the scientific literature indicates that in general there are no major negatives between marbling and growth traits. It also suggests that marbling may be related to “easier-keeping” cows which would be especially advantageous in those environments where feed resources are limited.  For cow-calf or seed stock producers, understanding what this information means and how to effectively use it to make positive genetic change is critically important. Dr. Matt Spangler, UNL Extension Beef Genetics Specialist, has recently recorded a webinar titled “Understanding and Utilizing EPDs in the Selection of Sires” that describes how this information is obtained and clarifies what it means. You can view it by going to  UNL also has some new NebGuides that explain EPDs that you can get in your local extension office. Take a good look at those catalogs and… Good bull hunting!

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, January 17, 2013

Soup Supper Fund Raiser Webster County 4H Junior Leaders

Webster County
4-H Junior Leaders in conjunction with the Webster County Ag Society
Soup Dinner
Sunday, January 20, 2013Bladen Bar
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Free Will Donation

WarCats earn Third place at TVC

The RedCloud/BlueHill Warcats were in Harvard Thursday January 17, 2013 to participate in the TVC wrestling meet.
The team brought  home third place honors.
Those on the team that earned first place were Tanner Rupprecht@138# and Garret Sharp @170# .  Earning second place was Dalton James @    #,  James Fuller @132 #,  and Dillon Shannon @152 #, and Nick Anderson @285 #.  Hector Rodriques earned a third place.
The Warcats will be in Louisville, Ne  Saturday for the Louisville invitational. 

Sandy Creek defeats Blue Hill in Basketball

The Blue Hill basketball teams played Sandy Creek Thursday January 17, 2023.  Both teams lost to the Sandy Creek athletes. 
Blue Hill girls lost by a score of 40 to 50.
The boys team final score was 51 to 37.
The boys and girls will play the Lawrence/Nelson teams on January 22.

A Culture of Life


Rep. Adrian Smith
The Supreme Court issued its controversial Roe v. Wade decision, which forced states to legalize abortion on January 22, 1973.  Rather than ending the debate, the pro-life movement has continued and made some progress over the last 40 years.  However, much work remains to protect the sanctity of innocent life, and I have worked with my colleagues in both parties to bring pro-life legislation to the floor and advance the rights of the unborn.
Perhaps the best reflection of the growing pro-life movement is the success of the Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.  The first march in 1974 drew about 20,000 supporters.  In recent years, the event has included hundreds of thousands of supporters from across the country.  This year, the March for Life will be held on January 25 and could bring nearly half a million right-to-life participants to the nation’s capital.
While the pro-life movement has grown many Americans hold strong opinions on both sides of this important topic.  Because of the passion and controversy associated with this issue, I hope we can find common ground to end federal funding of abortions.  Taxpayers should not be asked to pay for a practice so many find morally objectionable.
The Hyde Amendment, first passed in 1976, prohibited the federal funding of abortion.  However, this amendment is not permanent law, but rather an amendment attached to annual appropriations bills.  The amendment only applies to direct federal funding of abortion through programs such as Medicaid, and does nothing to stop funding of organizations which provide or fund abortions.
Title X programs have provided family planning support and related health services since 1970.  The grant program prohibits the funding of abortions, however, grants have been awarded to organizations which perform abortions.  While the grants may not directly pay for the abortions, they support the ability of these organizations to continue a practice many of us find wrong.
To address this problem, I signed-on as an original cosponsor of the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act which was recently introduced by Representative Diane Black (R-TN).  This commonsense bill would restrict federal funding to any entity which performs or funds abortions.
This legislation would save lives, restore the original intent of Title X grants, and save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars every year.  At a time when Congress must make difficult decisions to cut spending, ending federal funding for abortion would be a good start.
I will continue to monitor this and other pro-life bills as they are reintroduced for the 113th Congress, and I am hopeful we will continue to make progress on this front.  I believe all persons – regardless of age or stage of development – have a right to life, and I will continue to work to end taxpayer funding of abortion.

Gov. Heineman Announces Tourism Investments at State Parks


(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today outlined a plan to invest $1.7 million for improvements and expansion at Mahoney State Park in eastern Nebraska and Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area in western Nebraska.
“Tourism is important to Nebraska, and these strategic investments will help meet the current demands at two of our outstanding, popular state parks.”
Nebraska’s Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas said, “Nebraska’s State Park system touches Nebraskans in so many positive ways. We at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission appreciate the opportunity to work with Governor Heineman on these important investments which will provide great dividends for all Nebraskans and our visitors.”
McConaughy State Recreation Area will be receiving improvements to Lone Eagle and Cedar Vue campgrounds.  At Lone Eagle, campers will enjoy full service capabilities at 84 sites that provide water and sewage hook-ups, in addition to 50 amp electrical hook-ups. The project will also allow upgrades to the Cedar Vue campground providing 20 full service sites, 40 electrical sites, and new equestrian friendly accommodations at 35 of these 60 sites.
In 2010, more than 1 million people visited Mahoney State Park, generating more than $52 million in retail sales. With all trip related expenditures are factored in, the yearly economic impact of Mahoney State Park is nearly $87 million. This economic activity supports more than 800 jobs.
At Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, Nebraska’s second busiest tourist attraction, the funding will go to expanding deluxe cabins, of which there is a significant demand. The luxurious six bedroom cabins are modern full service units, which sleep twelve and are outfitted with a queen bed and vanity, giving each room privacy and comfort.  Each cabin features three full bathrooms, a great room with a wood burning fireplace, fully equipped kitchen and dining and a deck offering scenic views. These lodging units will be available year-round and will greatly enhance one of Nebraska’s premiere state parks. 
In 2010, nearly 1 million people visited Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area, generating more than $44 million in retail sales. With all trip related expenditures are factored in, the yearly economic impact of Lake McConaughy is more than $73 million. This economic activity supports 950 jobs.
This funding is included in the Governor’s currently proposed biennium budget for Fiscal Years 2013 – 2015.

Sens. Johanns & Fischer Announce Nebraska Participants for U.S. Senate Youth Program

WASHINGTON – Nebraska Senators Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer today announced Alex Brechbill of Aurora and Justin Korth of Randolph were selected as delegates to this year’s United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) in Washington, D.C., on March 9 – 16.

“I am proud of these students for their academic achievement, dedication to public service and interest in our nation’s civic process,” Sen. Johanns said. “They are future leaders, and I know they will represent Nebraska well during their time in Washington.”
“The Senate Youth Program is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about public policy in our nation’s capital and engage with leaders from around the nation,” Fischer said. “I congratulate Alex and Justin on their selection and am pleased Nebraska will be so well represented in the program.”
Brechbill and Korth will join 102 students from across the country to learn more about the American political process.  They will visit with Congressional leaders, a Supreme Court justice and the President as well as agency officials, ambassadors and influential members of national media.  They will also receive a $5,000 college scholarship provided by The Hearst Foundation.
Students selected for this program must be high school juniors or seniors who demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities, a strong commitment to volunteer work and rank academically in the top one percent in their state. For more information on this program, contact Ms. Carol Wipf at (402) 471-2446 or, or visit

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Basketball Report

The Blue Hill Girls basketball team have a season record of 12 wins and one loss for this season.  They played the Harvard girls on January 15th and defeated them 68 to 12.  On  January 12th they played franklin at Franklin and defeated them 44 to 19.  On the 11th they played Red Cloud on the Blue Hill court and defeated them 46 to 25.
In the Red Cloud game the scoring was as follows:  Maci Coffey led Blue Hill with 16 points.  Mackenzie Willicot added 11 points.  Others who scored were Katie Schafer 4, Lexie Himmelberg 2, Lenae Kohmetcher 2, Kelsey Karr 3, Rachel Reiman 2, Adrianne Lipker 2, Sydney Strasberg 2. 
For Red Cloud, Bailey Lewis  12, Brealyn Lockhart 4, Haley Fisher 2, Katie McCleary 7.
 The Lady Bobcats next game will be Thursday January 17th against Sandy Creek who has a 9 - 5 record.
The Blue Hill Boys Basketball team record now stands at 4 wins and 8 losses. 
They fell to the Red Cloud warriors by a score of 46 to 48 and the following day they defeated the Franklin Flyers 63 to 46.
In the Red Cloud game  Maverick Busboom led the bobcats with 21 points, Mitchell Ruybalid had 15, Luke Faimon 2, Jason Poe  2, Shane Kohmetscher 2, Chase Golter 2,  Keithen Drury, 2.
Their next game will be against Sandy Creek.  The Sandy Creek record for this season now stands at 8 to 5. 

Smith Statement on President’s Gun Proposals


Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) made the following statement today after President Obama announced new proposals regarding guns:
“Reducing violence is a necessary goal, but I am concerned this plan would infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Nebraskans, and is yet another instance of the President bypassing Congress to impose his agenda.  I also fear many of the President's proposals would do nothing to address the underlying causes of violence.  I look forward to reviewing the plan in more detail, and to being a part of this debate in Congress.”

Johanns Statement on Gun Control, Second Amendment Rights

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today released the following statement after President Barack Obama announced his gun control plan:
“We all share the same goal of reducing gun violence and I will carefully review any legislation before Congress, but placing a heavier burden on responsible gun owners will do little to prevent troubled individuals from carrying out violent acts. The Second Amendment is very clear and so is my commitment to protecting the Constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms.
“As sound as their intent may be, the President has a responsibility to fully explain his unilateral executive actions because their implementation deals directly with the freedoms enshrined in our nation’s founding documents.
“Our country must have an honest conversation about violence and how to prevent it. We should also strive to move past the easy talking points to address the glorification of violence in movies and video games, as well as our society’s understanding of mental health care issues.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gov. Heineman: Eliminate the Income Tax for Nebraskans & Corporate Tax for Businesses


          (Lincoln, Neb.) - Gov. Dave Heineman delivered his State of the State address today focusing on the need for tax reform that will benefit working and retired Nebraskans, and growing the State’s economy by helping small businesses prosper. Gov. Heineman is calling for the elimination of the individual income tax and the corporate income tax.
“Today, we are operating in a technology-driven, global free market economy,” Gov. Heineman stated in his State of the State address. “Our current tax system needs to be modernized and transformed. It’s been nearly 5 decades since Nebraska  had a serious debate about our overall tax system. Life has changed drastically since the 1960s, when we were operating in a completely different economic environment.”
“Nebraska has good schools, affordable homes, a strong work ethic and a low unemployment rate, but taxes are too high in Nebraska,” said Gov. Heineman. “High taxes impede economic growth. High taxes aren’t attractive for entrepreneurial growth and high paying jobs.”
Key points in the Governor’s tax reform proposal:
  • No individual income tax for working Nebraskans.
  • No taxing of small business income.
  • No taxation of Social Security income.
  • No taxation of military retirement income.
  • No taxation of any retirement income.
  • No corporate income tax.
Twenty-three states exempt a portion of or all retired military pay, but Nebraska does not. Forty-three states exempt a portion of or all Social Security income, but Nebraska does not. Nebraska’s top personal income tax rate is 35th of 50 states; and is higher than all neighboring states.
Nebraska’s Tax Foundation Business Tax Climate Ranking is 31st out of the 50 states – a respected index that businesses rely on when choosing where to locate a business. Gov. Heineman added, “Being in the bottom half of all states is mediocre, at best.”
The State exempts more in sales taxes then it collects. Currently, the State exempts $5 billion in sales taxes annually, while only collecting $1.5 billion annually.
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council states in their 2012 U.S. Business Policy Index that “A high personal income tax rate raises the costs of working, saving, investing, and risk taking…the personal income tax influences businesses far more than generally assumed because more than 92 percent of businesses file taxes as individuals and therefore pay personal income taxes rather than corporate income taxes.”
“In recent months, I have asked business leaders if they would give up their sales tax exemptions if we could eliminate the individual income tax and the corporate income tax or at least lower the individual and corporate tax rates,” said Gov. Heineman. “They want simplicity and fairness. They want a modern tax code that rewards productivity, profits and job creation rather than having their lawyers and accountants spending time mining the tax code for exemptions. Our tax system shouldn’t favor one industry over another.”
During this Legislative Session, Gov. Dave Heineman will have legislation introduced to eliminate the individual income tax and the corporate income tax or at least lower these rates. The proposal will be budget neutral and revenue neutral by reducing some of the State’s current business sales tax exemptions. These exemptions have been enacted over the last fifty years, since the sales and income taxes we first introduced in Nebraska in the 1960s.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Shelton invitational Wrestling tournament

.  The Warcats of Red Cloud/Blue Hill finished 4th at the Shelton Invitational held January 12th.  
Those Warcats bringing home first place awards were at 132 # was Freshman James Fuller,  at 138# was Tanner Rupprecht, and at 170 # in first place was Garret Sharp.  Bringing home  second place honors at 113# was Levi Vogler and Dylan Shannon at 152#.  Bringing home a 4th place at 285# was Nic Anderson. 

Team Scores
Shelton-Kenesaw 145, Loomis-Bertrand 135, Meridian 115, Red Cloud/Blue Hill 107, Doniphan-Trumbull 80.05, Arapahoe 63, Overton 54.50, Pleasanton 49, South Loup 38, Wilcox-Hildreth 35, Dorchester 21, Alma 17, Hastings St. Cecilia 8.
Championship Results
106 — David Jimenez, SK, pin, Kevin Lienamann, AL, 2:54. 113 — Tom Roach, DT, pin, Levi Vogler, RCBH, 0:43. 120 — Teak Edwards, LB, pin, Guadalupe Dimas, ME, 3:33. 126 — Jake Neal, PL, pin, Zach McNally, DT, 1:54, 132 — N/A 138 — Tanner Rupprecht, RCBH, dec, KC Defillips, OV, 4-0. 145 — Joe Dinan, DT, dec, Austin Brown, LB, 15-6. 152 — Riley Noel, ME, pin, Dylan Shannon, RCBH, 2:48. 160 — Patrick Gardner, AR, dec, Garrett Dockweiler, SL, 7-4. 170 — Garret Sharp, RCBH, dec, Tyler Kipp, AR, 9-7. 182 — N/A 195 — Michael Duffy, SK, pin, Cody Lundholm, ME, 1:32. 220 — Zach Oliver, SK, pin, Dieonisio Tapia, PL, 2:25. 285 — Zachary Zaleski, OV, pin, Zach Edwards, SK, 2:33,

The remainder of the Warcats schedule is listed below

01/17Twin Valley Conference (1-Day Tourney)Harvard
01/19Louisville Invitational (1-Day Tourney)Louisville, NE
01/26Red Cloud/Blue Hill Invite (1-Day Tourney)Red Cloud
02/02Southwest Invitational (1-Day Tourney)Bartley NE

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Duane A. Lienemann

 UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
                                                   January 11, 2013 Edition
     Anyone that lives in the South Central area of Nebraska is very much aware of the value of water and of course the problems with water we have been having with the Republican River. I guess you could say one problem is what was caused by the several years of drought that started about 2000, and for those that are historically challenged - the 2012 drought, and yes of course the potential for a 2013 continued drought. But the problem I am going to address with a compact that we signed in 1943 as a part of a Federal grant to put a series of dams in the river, including Harlan County. I don’t think many people even knew that this compact existed until we were sued by Kansas several years ago.
     In this past decade we have particularly tried to be good stewards of our land and our water. We have through our NRD went into a moratorium on drilling wells, metered wells and put in restrictions for water use in irrigation. A lot of work has been done through the Twin Valley Weed Management Association in conjunction with grant projects with groups like the Nebraska Environmental Trust, stipends and help from the State of Nebraska spearheaded by Senator Tom Carlson and LB701. You can find out more about these efforts by going to our website at:  The association has done many activities like deep disking the channel and sandbars; clearing the channel of debris and unwanted species of trees, shrubs and grasses; as well as spraying phragmites, saltcedar and other invaders with helicopters, ATVs and by foot. When we did get rain, you could physically see the difference in scouring of the river, water quantity and velocity. The TVWMA will continue this thrust to help preserve the water and basin integrity in the Republican River Valley and comply with the compact with Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.  
   Farmers have helped considerably with being some of the earliest adaptors of no-till farming operations, use of low output irrigation systems and working with the NRD in retiring irrigated acres to help take the pressure off the entire basin. They have complied to the moratorium, meters, and restrictions of water use and irrigation. Our NRD’s have worked to keep the water running - so to speak - with several thrusts including the latest effort in the Lincoln County land acquisition/water project. But still Kansas continued their efforts to sue Nebraska and particularly the Republican Valley basin based on the stipulations set by a compact 6 years older than me. That should tell you something. This thing had gone back and forth, meeting after meeting, Nebraska legislation, attorney general efforts and a very long time of waiting to see what the results would be of the ruling of a special water master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court. We were told we would probably know by this week. Well we did find out and it boils down to the fact that there is good news this week for Nebraska and particularly the Republican Valley in its dispute with Kansas over the Republican River Compact.
    This special water master, from Maine of all places, ruled that Kansas might be entitled to five-million dollars, but not the 80-million it was demanding. The two states have a couple of weeks to comment on the finding before it is forwarded to the Supreme Court. However I am sure that we can expect more legal wrangling as the drought lingers and water becomes ever more precious. The decision is especially good news for Republican Valley irrigators in that the special master denied Kansas’ requests for injunctive relief. That means their irrigation wells will not be shut off in order to comply with the 1943 Republican River Compact. That doesn’t mean we can irrigate like we did years ago, but it is a step in the right direction.
     The special master however did determine Nebraska violated the compact in 2005 and 2006 by exceeding its water use by nearly 71-thousand acre feet. That finding prompted the five-million dollars in damages. There is, of course, questions facing the state on such water issues like who should pay the tab: just the farmers who primarily use the water, or all taxpayers. There are a lot of valid points on both sides of that, but we are getting closer to resolution. I do think that the special master made the right decision, now we just have to see how the appeals come out. You have to believe that we finally are getting to the point that we can start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
    Weeds of course are a big problem in and along the river, but they also can haunt farms and gardens. It is not unusual for our office to have several plants find their way into our office to see if they are a weed and what it is. There may be some help for those that are technically savvy. University of Missouri Extension has released a free app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices to help people easily identify weeds in the field, lawn or garden and help them become the expert. The app, called ID Weeds, has information on more than 400 plant species that could be encountered as weeds in crop fields, pastures, lawns, gardens or aquatic areas. ID Weeds lets users narrow the list of suspects with a series of drop-down boxes for various plant characteristics. Don't worry if you're not familiar with technical terms such as "ligules" or "spatulate."
     For most characteristics, users can click on "what's this?" to see an illustration. Clicking on "Identify" will produce a list of weeds that match the characteristics you've chosen. The more characteristics you specify, the shorter the list will be. Selecting a weed on the list brings up detailed information and one or more photographs. You can also look up a weed by searching for its common or scientific name, or select from an alphabetical list, from "Alligatorweed" to "Yucca." To download: iPhone and other iOS devices:  for Android: Search for "ID Weeds" at There is also a web version is available at   Have fun!

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, January 11, 2013

Unfinished Business

Rep. Adrian Smith
The beginning of a new Congress is typically a time of great excitement and an opportunity for lawmakers to refocus their priorities as we look ahead to the next two years.  I remain optimistic about what can be accomplished in the 113th Congress, which began on January 3rd, however much of our business from the previous Congress remains unfinished.  Before we can move forward, Congress must pass a responsible, long-term Farm Bill; agree to real spending reductions and reforms to stop the out-of-control growth of government and debt; and enact comprehensive tax reform to simplify the code for everyone and grow our economy.
My top priority for the coming year is passage of a Farm Bill to provide certainty for Nebraska’s producers. The recent fiscal cliff legislation did include an extension of certain provisions of the Farm Bill; however, this stopgap measure cannot substitute for a long-term bill.  The bill did not provide disaster assistance for drought-stricken livestock producers, nor did it include reforms to direct payments and the nutrition title.
I am deeply disappointed we did not come to an agreement on farm policy last year, and I am hopeful the new Congress presents an opportunity to let the process work.  The American people expect a Farm Bill, but they also expect reasonable reforms to control spending.  The House of Representatives needs to pass a responsible measure, and get it to a conference committee where compromise with the Senate rightfully takes place.
Another top priority for 2013 is to find agreement on spending reductions and reforms to begin reining-in our deficit and debt.  Congress and the President could not come to an agreement to replace arbitrary, across-the-board spending cuts as part of the fiscal cliff agreement, so the cuts were effectively punted until March.  We cannot afford further delay.
Congress must make the difficult decisions necessary to responsibly reduce spending.  Replacing the arbitrary defense spending cuts, continuing to fund the government, and debating a debt ceiling increase will provide ample opportunity to enact meaningful spending reductions in coming weeks.  Last year the House passed legislation which would have offset arbitrary cuts and further reduced the deficit by more than $200 billion.  The spending reforms included in this bill could be a starting point this year.
In addition to cutting spending, the best way to reduce the deficit is through economic growth, which could be encouraged through tax reform.  A report released this week by the National Taxpayer Advocate found it takes more than 6.1 billion hours and $168 billion for U.S. taxpayers to complete their tax filings every year.  Comprehensive reform to simplify the code would reduce the burden on taxpayers, leaving families more money to spend, and businesses more flexibility to invest, grow, and hire.
Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, of which I am a member, has been clear we intend to pass comprehensive tax reform this year.  With the debate over certain tax rates behind us, we can now turn our full attention to making the tax code flatter and fairer for all Americans.
The work of Congress is never complete, but wrapping up unfinished business should be our highest priority.  I look forward to working with my colleagues in the 113th Congress to address these and other critical issues.  Together, I am optimistic we will accomplish great things for the American people and put our nation on a better, more sustainable path.

Sowing the Seed for Fresh Ag Policy


Sen. Mike Johanns
Last year’s attempt at a new five-year farm bill to replace the expiring policy was uprooted when the clock ran out.  While I was pleased with the Senate-passed legislation, it never made its way to the President’s desk. The result was a last-minute extension of the current policy enacted in 2008 for yet another year.
While this development was far from ideal, the alternative—reverting to policy from the 1940s—was a much worse option for farmers, ranchers and consumers.  The archaic policy would have been difficult for the Department of Agriculture to implement, and could have impacted producers’ planting decisions and grocery store prices.
The one-year extension has no impact on the existing crop insurance program, which is quickly becoming farmers’ favorite method of managing risks. It also authorizes disaster assistance for livestock producers, which expired in the last quarter of 2011, and protects consumers from volatile prices for milk and essential foods that would have been triggered by the 1940s ag policy.
Now, Congress must refocus its efforts, building upon momentum generated last year to finally pass a five-year reform-minded farm bill that provides for better risk management and improved trade opportunities while at the same time, reducing the deficit. We did this in the Senate last year, and I am optimistic we can do it again in 2013.
Legislation last year would have saved between $23 and $35 billion. The Senate-passed version achieved this by ending direct and countercyclical payments, simplifying and streamlining conservation programs, trimming nutrition spending and curbing fraud and waste.  It also increased emphasis on the crop insurance program, which has proven to be a better use of tax dollars than the historic, costly ad hoc disaster assistance packages for farmers faced with weather-damaged crops.
The Senate passed a strong farm bill with an encouraging demonstration of bipartisan commitment to improve outdated policy and save taxpayer dollars. This is, at the very least, a strong foundation to resume talks for a new, reform-minded and fiscally responsible five-year farm bill this year.
While momentum is on our side, we cannot let any grass grow under our feet.  The sooner we start, the quicker we can move forward with a final bill.
Chairwoman Stabenow and Chairman Lucas of the Senate and House Ag Committees have indicated they are making this a priority in 2013. I am optimistic that all of this can get done in a way that serves our farmers well and saves the taxpayer’s money.
America’s farmers and ranchers feed and fuel the world.  They continue to be a bright spot in an anemic economy, and it is important that we give them the certainty they need through up-to-date ag policy.