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Area UNMC Students Participate In Ceremonies To Mark Beginning Of Professions

09/18/14 01:01 PM

The University of Nebraska Medical Center recently held ceremonies to signify the beginning of health careers for students in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, Scottsbluff and Norfolk. The students are enrolled in programs for medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, allied health and graduate studies.
The white coats were paid for in part with a grant and donations from UNMC alumni, faculty, and friends.
Below are the colleges, hometowns and names of the students.
College of Dentistry – The UNMC College of Dentistry held its ceremony for 73 new dental and dental hygiene students in Lincoln.
Dentistry students 
Chambers - Brooklynn Barelmann
Dental hygiene students
Ainsworth - Claire Kozisek
Tilden - Jennifer Crabb
College of Medicine – The UNMC College of Medicine
Crofton - Spencer Steffen
O'Neill - Ethan Schneider
College of Nursing Northern Division (Norfolk) 
Neligh - Ashley Pofahl
O'Neill - McKayla Armstead, Halie Gribble, Sarah Vandersnick
College of Nursing Lincoln Division
Atkinson - Payton Kennedy
Ewing - Mary Hawk
College of Nursing West Nebraska Division (Scottsbluff) 
Chambers - Julie Jordan
College of Nursing (Omaha) 
Chambers - Samantha Beed
College of Pharmacy 
Bloomfield - Colton Wilson
Plainview - Randee Wright
Stuart - Lauren Olberding

Diagnostic Medical Sonography
O'Neill - Molly Gallagher
Physical Therapy
Emmet - Shane Cole
Spencer - Rebekah Sobotka
Physician Assistant
Atkinson - Maddie Schultz
Clearwater - Mikayla Wiese
Crofton - Caitlin Jones
Ewing - Hayley Thramer

St. Patrick's Catholic Church Rectory Torn Down

09/17/14 11:08 AM

The Rectory at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in O'Neill is coming down today, Wednesday, September 17, 2014.  Mold problems that affected the building were the main reason why the structure was torn down.  The Rectory was built in 1916.

Plainview To Receive CDBG Grant For New Library

09/17/14 10:52 AM
(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today awarded eight Nebraska communities with $1,779,800 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to pursue projects in the public works category. Funding went to Howells, Newman Grove, Peru, Phillips, Plainview, Scribner, South Sioux City and Wakefield.
The Nebraska Department of Economic Development administers the state’s CDBG program. Federal funds are made available to Nebraska from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s CDBG program, which assists with the development of businesses and communities throughout the state.

Plainview is receiving $250,000 to build a 7,000-square-foot library equipped with state-of-the-art technology, American with Disabilities Act approved access and facilities, and ample room to continue expanding the library’s collection and services. Remaining $750,000 funding is coming from the city and Plainview Library Foundation, as well as private contributions.

Plainview To Receive CDBG Grant For New Library

09/17/14 10:52 AM
(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today awarded eight Nebraska communities with $1,779,800 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to pursue projects in the public works category. Funding went to Howells, Newman Grove, Peru, Phillips, Plainview, Scribner, South Sioux City and Wakefield.
The Nebraska Department of Economic Development administers the state’s CDBG program. Federal funds are made available to Nebraska from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s CDBG program, which assists with the development of businesses and communities throughout the state.

Plainview is receiving $250,000 to build a 7,000-square-foot library equipped with state-of-the-art technology, American with Disabilities Act approved access and facilities, and ample room to continue expanding the library’s collection and services. Remaining $750,000 funding is coming from the city and Plainview Library Foundation, as well as private contributions.

KBRX To Host Legislative Forum September 23

09/16/14 08:29 AM
KBRX Radio will be the host for a forum with the two candidates for Nebraska Legislature District 40. Incumbent Tyson Larson and Keith Kube, candidates  for the Legislature,  will take the stage at the O’Neill Community Center on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm. 

The format will consist of a 5 minute opening statement from both candidates,   then 6 questions asked from members of the media,  which both candidates will have a 2 minute reply. To end the forum each candidate will ask their opponent one question and the opponent  will have 3 minutes to reply.

This forum is open to the public.

The forum will be recorded and replayed on KBRX 102.9 FM and on Tuesday, September 30 at 6:05 pm.

Cindy Klinger Receives Shining Star Award

09/16/14 06:48 AM

Cindy Klinger
ATKINSON — One of West Holt Medical Services’ greatest assets is the quality and dedication of our employees. With that in mind, a Shining Star Award is presented to an employee to recognize and acknowledge their outstanding contributions to West Holt Medical Services.
West Holt Medical Services is pleased to announce that Cindy Klinger has been selected as the September Shining Star Award recipient. Klinger works in our Health Information Management Department and has been with West Holt Medical Services for nine years.
Michael Coyle, CEO of West Holt Medical Services, shares, “Cindy’s Shining Star Award Nomination stated, ‘Cindy is always cheerful and willing to help wherever is needed. She brightens everyone’s day just by walking down the hallway. ’”
Shining Star recipients are selected monthly and any employee can nominate a fellow employee for the Shining Star Award. Nominations are reviewed by a Selection Committee comprised of employees from various departments throughout West Holt Medical Services.
For more, please visit, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
West Holt Medical Services provides well-rounded family healthcare with respect and understanding for the physical and emotional needs of our North Central Nebraska communities.

CNEDD Awarded Federal Grant

09/15/14 10:42 AM

The Central Nebraska Economic Development District (CNEDD) is excited to announce that it has been awarded $61,000 in Partnership Planning Grant funds for 2014-2015 from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).  These federal grant funds are made possible through county and community CNEDD memberships that are provided as a match.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the U.S. EDA encourages its partners around the country to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to addressing rapidly evolving economic conditions.

CNEDD, through meetings with counties and communities, has developed a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy that identifies major areas to be addressed, and create action plans and programs that improve and enhance economic viability and strength for the Central Nebraska region.

CNEDD is now implementing its action plans for business and community programs, and fostering partnerships with stakeholders and resource providers on behalf of Central Nebraska counties, communities, and citizens.

To become a CNEDD partner, or to receive more information about CNEDD’s programs and services, visit our website at, or call Judy Petersen, Executive Director at 402-340-0106.

The Central Nebraska Economic Development District serves fourteen (14) counties in Central Nebraska, including:  Blaine, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Holt, Keya Paha, Loup, Rock, Sherman, Valley and Wheeler, plus an additional three (3) counties for housing, including:  Hamilton, Howard and Merrick.

FCCLA Students Gain Training at Fall Leadership Workshop

09/15/14 10:39 AM

l/r:  Amanda Pischel, Grace Bunner, McKenzie Adamson, Ariel Lichty, Marie Sitz, Emma Krysl, and Abby Gillham

North Platte, Nebraska- The seven chapter office from the O’Neill FCCLA  Chapter recently attended the Nebraska Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America Fall Leadership Workshop.  This annual event was held this year at Mid-Plains Community College South Campus and featured over 170 students from the western half of Nebraska.  Attending from O’Neill were:  Ariel Lichty, Amanda Pischel, Grace Bunner, Abby Gillham, Marie Sitz, Emma Krysl, and McKenzie Adamson.

Students at this event heard from members of the State Officer Team, the State Peer Officer Team, and other chapter leaders about state and national programs, leadership development, and chapter management.  “The focus of this conference is really on preparing student leaders for the year ahead and equipping them with the skills necessary to have a successful year in FCCLA,” said Nebraska FCCLA State Adviser Allison Kreifels. 

Another highlight for students was hearing from speaker Dustin Galyon.  A Kansas native, Dustin spoke on the importance of relationships and how to build authentic and meaningful relationships with those around you.  With humor and heart Dustin shared the lessons he has learned about relationships and how those are the things that truly impact the person you are and will become.  Senior McKenzie Adamson was especially impressed that Mr. Galyon’s commented that he tells himself every morning that he is going to have a great day.

As members of the chapter bring this information and training home, they are looking forward to implementing it in a variety of ways.  

FCCLA is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education.  FCCLA has more than 200,000 members in nearly 6,500 chapters nationally.

Chambers FCCLA Officers Attend Leadership Workshop

09/12/14 09:38 AM

(Back row, L to R): Jeremy Hubel, Jacie Laetsch, Brant Pavel, Kyra Farewell
(Front row) Chyenne Burrell, Nicole Beed, Molly Lambert, Kacie Gribble

On Wednesday, September 10 at the FCCLA Fall Leadership Workshop, keynote speaker Dustin Galyon, head men’s basketball coach at Hesston College in Kansas, shared with the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America chapter how they could be awesome. His parents taught him the powerful lesson of being awesome by outworking everybody and being grateful. He encouraged the audience to be good to people and remember that both words and actions are powerful.

These and other powerful thoughts may his dynamic presentation one that could be critical to students trying to improve their leadership skills.

Held at the East Campus Student Union, attendees were divided into groups and attended two breakout sessions. Presenters included Sarah Smith, National First Vice President from Creighton, NE, Dustin Galyon, Nebraska State Officers, and Nebraska Peer Officers.

Star Spangled Banner 200 Years Old This Weekend

09/11/14 11:43 AM

This weekend is the 200th Anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner.  This morning on KBRX Scott Poese gave the history of our National Anthem and then Rahtaya Young, daughter of Heather and Bob Young Jr. was live in our studio to sing the National Anthem.   Click here to Listen to the history and to Rahtaya singing our National Anthem.
The Star Spangled Banner actually contains four verses and they are below:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner—O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.


O'Neill Public Library Features Celtic Fingerstyle Guitarist Jerry Barlow

09/11/14 08:11 AM

The O’Neill Friends of the Library are pleased to welcome acclaimed Celtic fingerstyle guitarist and storyteller Jerry Barlow for a special Concert. The event will be held on Tuesday, September 30th, at 7:00 PM at the O’Neill Community Center, 501 S. 4th St. in O’Neill.  The program is free to the community.

Barlow is a warm, accessible performer and storyteller. His unique and skillfully delivered repertoire incorporates favorite traditional pieces as well as his own Celtic-inspired compositions.  His expressive arrangements of lively jigs, spirited reels, and haunting airs is described as music to soothe the soul, warm the heart and lift the spirit.

Music from all of Barlow’s recordings can be heard regularly on National Public Radio stations.  He has been featured in Fingerstyle Guitar magazine, and was profiled in the February, 2011, issue of Celtic Connection. He has performed in the Gates Auditorium for the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts, and is a favorite of High plains Public Radio’s Living Room Concert Series in Amarillo, TX.

For more information contact the Library at 402.336.3110.

Bison Roundup at Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge

09/11/14 08:05 AM

The annual roundup of bison at Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) will take place September 22 – September 26, 2014.  According to Project Leader Steve Hicks, “sections of walkways above the refuge corrals have designated safe zones for public access, enabling visitors the opportunity to watch bison and photograph round-up action close-up.”    

During roundup week, small groups of bison will be cut from the main herd of 400+ animals located in an adjoining pasture and pushed down the runway into the corrals.  Once in the corrals, bison are checked from above for abnormalities and then processed through the hub one at a time where the animal’s microchip, condition, age, and sex are recorded.  Calves, yearlings, and approximately 50 adult bison will be sorted off for additional handling and data collection related to ongoing herd health monitoring and genetic management.  To keep the bison herd in balance with its food supply, about 40-50 bison will be identified as “surplus” and sold by sealed bid. If you are interested in receiving a bid package, please contact the Fort Niobrara NWR office at 39983 Refuge Road, Valentine, NE 69201.  You can call Refuge Manager Steve Hicks, at Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, 402-376-3789 for more information. Awarding of sale animals through the bid process at 12:00 noon on October 8, 2014 is open to the public.

Fort Niobrara NWR is located four miles east of Valentine on Highway 12 and the corrals are located just east of the office/visitor center.  To find out what is taking place each day and to plan the best times and days to visit, please call the refuge at (402)376-3789. 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

Local Fire Departments Fight Simultaneous Fires, One House Destroyed

09/10/14 05:23 PM
fire report by O'Neill Fire Cheif Dale Waterman

The O'Neill Fire Department was called to a house fire at 87328 North Highway 281 shortly after 4:00 A.M. Wednesday. Upon arrival the house was fully involved. The house and contents were a total loss. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Mutual aid was provided by Atkinson and Ewing fire departments. Fire personnel were on scene until 12:30 P.M. The family was able to safely exit the house due to working smoke detectors.

While personnel were on scene at the house fire, the O'Neill Fire Department was called to a bale fire shortly after 7:00 A.M. at Holt County Feeders. The cause of the fire has not been determined. The Page Fire Department provided mutual aid.

Firearm Hunter Education Course To Be Offered In Stuart

09/10/14 04:16 PM
 A firearm hunter education course will be offered by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission volunteer instructors in Stuart on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 from 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m., Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m., and  Saturday September 20, 2014 from 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

The free course will held at the Geremy’s Garage at 46754 Dove Rd. The course will provide instruction in the areas of safe firearms use, shooting and sighting techniques, hunter ethics, game identification and conservation management. Students must attend all of the sessions to complete the course.

Students must pre-register by September 15 at,, or by calling the Nebraska Game and Parks office in Bassett at (402)684-2921. Please print off and complete the parental release form to bring with you the first day of class.

In Nebraska, hunters ages 12 through 29 must have on their person proof of successful completion of firearm hunter education while hunting with a firearm.

Sales Tax Seminars To Be Held In O'Neill September 18, 2014

09/10/14 02:06 PM
The Nebraska Department of Revenue will be holding sales tax seminars in O’Neill on Thursday, September 18 at the Northeast Community College Education Center in O’Neill at 409 East Adams.  There will be a “General Sales and Use Tax” seminar from 8:30 am to noon and there will be a “Sales Tax for Construction Contractors” seminar from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm. Please pre-register for these seminars by calling the Northeast Community College Education Center in O’Neill at 402-336-3590.

Nebraska Lt. Gov. Heidemann Resigns Office

09/09/14 10:21 AM

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann has resigned from office and ended his candidacy one day after a judge granted a protection order to keep him away from his sister, who accused him of assault.

Heidemann made the announcement Tuesday at the Capitol alongside Gov. Dave Heineman.

The Elk Creek farmer had been the running mate of Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts.

The protection order was granted Monday after Heidemann's sister, Lois Bohling, testified that she was afraid of her brother. Bohling said in a sworn statement that her brother grabbed her wrists and pushed her out of their mother's bedroom during an August dispute involving farmland and their 84-year-old mother's care.

Heidemann has said he disputes much of his sister's story, but has not elaborated.

Sedlack Elected President of State Association

09/08/14 04:20 PM
Nicole Sedlacek, executive director of Holt County Economic Development, has been elected president of the Nebraska Economic Developers Association at the fall conference in Columbus, Neb.
NEDA is an association of professional economic developers dedicated to strengthening economic development in the State of Nebraska through the education and professional development of its members.
Sedlacek has been a member of NEDA for 7 years, served on its board of directors for two terms and executive board for three years.
"Nicole is knowledgeable, energetic and passionate about economic development. She has worked on some innovative strategies to increase and improve the economic environment in Holt County," said Jim Brennan, Chairman of Holt County Economic Development. 
Sedlacek will serve a one-year term as president and then, as a past president, serve on the group's board again.
The association has approximately 350 members from urban, suburban and rural economic development groups across the state.  Members also come from public utilities and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
Holt County Economic Development is the economic development agency for O'Neill and the surrounding region.  Sedlacek focuses on expanding existing businesses and attracting new businesses to Holt County.
As president of NEDA, Sedlacek will have a significant role in dealing with legislative issues important to economic development in the state and in arranging the group's educational conference and training seminars for its members.  The conference agenda includes topics ranging from public policy to member training on the use of business incentives and other development tools.
Being president will add more duties to Sedlacek's already-busy workload but she is eager for the challenge.  "I look forward to a rewarding year as president of this important Nebraska economic development organization.  Great things are happening here-new businesses are deciding to locate in Nebraska and existing companies are expanding.  This is an exciting time for growth in our state and I'm thrilled to be a part of it," she said.

American Red Cross is Calling for Nominations for the Heroes Game

09/08/14 09:03 AM

OMAHA, NEBR., — Who’s your Hero?  Do you know someone who has performed an extraordinary act of courage or dedicated countless hours to a special cause?  We are looking for the common citizens, the unheralded and unselfish pillars of our community. 

A hero from both Iowa and Nebraska will be honored before a crowd at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, IA when the Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers play the Heroes Game presented by Hy-Vee on Friday, November 28, 2014.  Go to or visit your local Hy-Vee Store to nominate your hero today.

“There are Heroes walking among us every day—the people who put others above themselves—and it is our pleasure to work with Hy-Vee, the University of Nebraska and the University of Iowa again to recognize Heroes across Iowa and Nebraska,” said Tina Labellarte, Region Executive of the American Red Cross Nebraska/SW Iowa Region.

A hero must be at least 18 years of age and live, work or go to school in either Iowa or Nebraska; however, the act of heroism or good deed need not have occurred in either state.  One person from both Iowa and Nebraska will be selected to represent each state at the Hy-Vee Heroes Game on Friday, November 28th in Iowa City, IA, receive four tickets to the Iowa vs. Nebraska NCAA football game and have their name and hometown inscribed on the Heroes Game trophy.

Nominations will be taken September 6 – October 14, 2014.  Nomination forms, rules, and further information can be found online at or may be picked up at local Nebraska and Iowa Hy-Vee stores.  Hero nominations not selected for the Heroes Game will be considered for recognition at the Annual American Red Cross Heroes of the Heartland events in selected Nebraska and Iowa cities and towns in 2014.

Nominations may be filled out online or mailed to the American Red Cross Omaha office, 2912 S. 80th Ave., Omaha, NE 68124, or faxed to (402) 343-7777 by midnight on October 14, 2014.

Northeast to provide more EMS workshops in area communities

09/05/14 02:30 PM
NORFOLK – The Allied Health Department at Northeast Community College in Norfolk has announced several free, one-session workshops for emergency medical service technicians in the area. 
All workshops are offered for three continuing education credits. They will be held in local fire halls from 7-10 p.m.  There is no need to pre-register.
The workshops, dates and locations include:
Infants and Pediatrics                 Thursday, September 18                                      Pierce
Extrication/Farm Emergencies    Monday, September 22                                       Butte
Stay & Play vs. Load & Go          Thursday, September 25                                      Hadar
Vehicle Trauma Dynamics          Thursday, September 25                                     Stanton
EVOC                                           Saturday, September 27                                     Elgin
Skills Night                                  Monday, September 29                                       Newcastle
Diabetic Emergencies                 Tuesday, September 30                                       Crofton
This program is funded in whole or in part with public funds provided through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant administered by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services System Emergency Medical Services Program.
For additional information, call the Allied Health Department, Northeast Community College, at (402) 844-7702.

Keystone XL Pipeline Oral Arguments go to Supreme Court

09/05/14 02:25 PM

By Julia Jackson and Angela Hensel, Nebraska News Service

LINCOLN--Keystone XL pipeline supporters and opponents gathered in large number Friday morning to hear the oral arguments over the constitutionality of Nebraska's highly debated pipeline siting law.

The Nebraska Supreme Court justices showed no reluctance in questioning each side of the argument, focusing largely on the technical legal question of whether landowners Randy Thompson, Susan Dunavan and Susan Straka had legal standing to sue over the pipeline's route.

Deputy Attorney General Katherine Spohn approached the justices first to argue against the landowners' standing. Spohn argued that there were others better suited than the landowners to file a lawsuit against the route.

Justice Lindsey Miller-Lerman asked Spohn, "What do you think the trial judge did wrong?" regarding the district court's unconstitutional ruling.

Spohn said that she believed Judge Stephanie Stacy ruled that the state was granting the power of eminent domain to a common carrier, TransCanada, which wants to build the pipeline.

Eminent domain is the right of a government or its agent to seize private property for public use with payment of compensation.  Spohn said that common carriers that do business across state lines are not given that power.

The landowners' attorney David Domina argued that LB 1161, the law under which the pipeline route was sited, violates provisions of the Nebraska constitution and provides a pipeline route without an opportunity for judicial review.

Domina argued that the law set no standards for the governor to make a decision.

The landowners were present, among many, to hear Domina and his team argue against the long-debated pipeline route. The initial district court ruling in February ruled the pipeline violated the Nebraska constitution allowing the governor, not the Nebraska Public Service Commission, to approve pipeline routes.

The district court ruled in favor of the landowners in February, saying they did have standing as taxpayers in this case.

Since 2008, TransCanada has been trying to obtain a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would be an extension of a current pipeline.  The new 1,664-mile pipeline would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of 830,000 barrels of oil per day.  The first route crossed through the Ogallala Aquifer.

In 2011, the Nebraska Legislature held a special fall session to provide clear regulation regarding the pipeline.  During that session, two laws were passed. The laws required any company that was planning on building a pipeline to get approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

The company also had to have the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality work with the federal government to prepare an environmental impact statement.

But as the approval process for the pipeline dragged on, the Nebraska Legislature made another change to these laws.

In January of 2012 President Obama denied the permit request for TransCanada. The next day, the Nebraska Legislature introduced and later passed legislation allowing TransCanada to seek permit approval through the governor instead of the Nebraska Public Service Commission. 

The law also set aside $2 million for the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality to conduct a review of the pipeline. TransCanada would then pay the state back for those funds.

The review has since cost $5 million, which TransCanada has paid back.  The landowners argue that this was an unconstitutional use of taxpayer funds.  They also claim that the pipeline is a common carrier and must go through the Public Service Commission for approval, instead of the governor.

The state argued that the 2012 law was a constitutional use of state funds because TransCanada paid the funds back to the state and it didn't cost taxpayers.  The state also argued that TransCanada didn't have to follow common carrier laws in Nebraska because the pipeline goes through several states.

Soon after the new legislation was passed, TransCanada reapplied for a presidential permit that rerouted the proposed pipeline and Thompson, Dunavan and Straka filed a lawsuit against the state.

Because of the amendment to the pipeline law in 2012 and the report developed by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Heineman had the power to approve the pipeline, which he did on Jan. 22, 2013.

President Obama isn't expected to rule on the current presidential permit for the pipeline until a decision in Nebraska has been made.  The Nebraska Supreme Court isn't expected to rule on the case for several months, possibly into next summer.

Pipeline Hearing Draws Statewide Crowd

09/05/14 02:24 PM

By Angela Hensel and Julia Jackson, Nebraska News Service

LINCOLN - As the Nebraska Supreme Court prepared for oral arguments in the Thompson v. Heineman case Sept. 5 regarding the Keystone XL pipeline, numerous community members began lining up early and filling the overflow rooms to hear the case and voice their opinions.  

The landowners in this case, Randy Thompson, Susan Dunavan and Susan Straka, argued that a 2012 pipeline law that allowed Gov. Dave Heineman to approve the route of the Keystone XL pipeline was unconstitutional.

Before the hearing, Nebraskans for Jobs and Energy Independence expressed their support for the pipeline and the potential jobs it could bring to the community.

But the majority of the crowd appeared to be against the pipeline, including members of Bold Nebraska and those in support of David Domina's Democratic run for U.S. Senate against Republican Ben Sasse.  Domina was arguing for the landowners in the case.

Following the oral arguments, the landowners, in conjunction with Bold Nebraska and the Sierra Club, held a brief press conference to express their concerns and encourage the political actions of others.

Bold Nebraska, which was founded in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, highlighted the continuous support and political activism that has taken place from everyday citizens in response to this issue.

"The pipeline fight has become something where we are redefining politics," said Jane Kleeb, president and founder of Bold Nebraska.

Those in opposition of the pipeline filled the crowd with their "pipeline fighters" T-shirts and were eager to tell their stories about why the pipeline should not be built.

Some of those pipeline fighters included Art and Helen Tanderup of Neligh, Neb.  The Tanderups own a 160-acre family farm that would be on the route of the proposed pipeline.

One of the biggest concerns for them is if the oil from the pipeline were to leak into the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides irrigation and drinking water for them and many other western Nebraska residents. 

"It's going to ruin the livelihood of Nebraska residents," Helen said.

And given recent drought conditions in western Nebraska and throughout the United States, the Tanderups say the water is something they can't afford to lose.

While a decision on the case isn't expected for months, the members of Bold Nebraska vowed to continue their efforts to keep the pipeline out of Nebraska.

"The only reason the pipeline's not in the ground already is because we fight," Kleeb said.

Jaci Palmer Ag Educator attends CASE Conference

09/04/14 07:50 AM
(Lincoln, Neb.) – Jaci Palmer, Agricultural Educator & FFA Advison at Chambers Public School, has completed a STEM based CASE (Curriculum for AgriScience Education) training in Lincoln on Animal Science.  Through a scholarship provided by the Nebraska Soybean Board and the Nebraska FFA Foundation, Palmer is supplementing this STEM based curriculum by using soybeans as a model, focus and method for learning. This fall Palmer will be implementing this curriculum in their classroom by utilizing soybeans in various segments of the animal science systems.    
    Through its curriculum Palmer will be teaching her students about the process, benefits and challenges related to the use of soybeans in animal agriculture.  
    “I will be teaching future soybean producers and consumer about the uses and benefits of soybean for animal agriculture” says Palmer

Walk to End Alzheimer's to be held in Atkinson

09/03/14 09:38 AM
A Walk to End Alzheimer's will be held in Atkinson on Saturday, September 20, beginning at 3:30 p.m. It will be held at the Mill Race Park.
This walk is open to anyone wishing to unite in a movement to reclaim the future for millions by participating.
This event is more than a walk. It is an experience for participants to learn about Alzheimer’s disease and how to get involved with this critical cause, from advocacy opportunities to the latest in Alzheimer’s research and clinical trial enrollment.
Each walker will also join in a meaningful ceremony to honor those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
This disease is a growing epidemic and is now the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. As baby boomers age the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease will rapidly escalate, increasing well beyond today’s more than five million Americans living with the disease.
You may start or join a team by going to where you will be asked to enter the zip code (68713). You will then be directed to the Atkinson walk page and be able to register.

Holt County Youth Do Well At State Fair Pedal Tractor Pull

08/29/14 02:45 PM
Local youth compete in the Pedal Tractor Pull on Saturday, August 23 at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island. These youth competed and placed at local county level events, allowing them to advance to the State Fair. The top 3 placing’s at the NE State Fair are able to advance to Nationals at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota on September 20, 2014.
Local youth placings at the State Fair include:
Girls – Age 6 – Clair Krysl – 2nd place
Girls – Age 9 – Autumn Hoppe – 4th place
Girls – Age 10 – Jessica Green – 1st place

Excavation Work Underway For New NECC Campus in O'Neill

08/29/14 02:41 PM
Excavation work is underway at the site of the new Northeast Community College Extended Campus in O’Neill. A capital campaign raised $3 million in order to construct and equip the 15,075 square foot facility, to be located at 507 East Highway 20. The extended campus will have state-of-the-art classrooms, high technology computers, advanced health and science labs, and an attached technical training wing that will accommodate welding, industrial, and agriculture-related courses.  It will replace the use of a 76-year-old former elementary school building that Northeast has used for a number of years. The extended campus is expected to open in Fall 2015. 

2014 Has Been A Busy Year For The Irish Capital And We Still Have 4 Months Left

08/26/14 12:49 PM
KBRX's Scott Poese took a 45 minute drive around O'Neill with his camera and thought we'd let you see how busy O'Neill is!  This was done in 45 minutes and if he missed something please let him know.  E-mail him at

Ground has been broken for the new Northeast Community College campus in east O'Neill

O'Neill Electric Motor Company removed a deteriorating building this week.

The "Solid Rock Youth Center" at Faith Community Church is nearing completion. 
It will offer classrooms and a large hall for activities.

AMK Dental Lab, Anne Kersenbrock opened her new lab.

Finish Line Chiropractic, Dr. Daniel Nekolite, opened in the former O'Neill Family Practice building.

Kracl Irrigation will be moving to this new building on North Hwy 281.

Grosch Irrigation have a new office.

First Christian Church has a new addition to their church.

M & M Auction has a new building and on a new lot just Northeast of O'Neill.

Cargill has new offices and the two big silos behind are new.

The Holt County Animal Shelter in south O'Neill has new outside fence and a new central air unit.

Pioneer Seeds in south O'Neill has new offices and updated storage facilities.

On a sad note, the Rectory at St. Patrick's Cathlolic Church is beyond repair
and will be tore down.

North Central Problem Solving Courts Holds Graduation Ceremony

08/20/14 05:02 PM

(left to right) Chief Justice Michael G Heavican, Tara Price, Ross Tomjack, Judge Francie Riedmann Tommy Newcombe, Tera Newcombe, Judge Karin Noakes, Judge Tami Schendt, Judge James Orr, Judge Alan Brodbeck, Doug Stanton
The North Central Problem Solving Court met Wednesday afternoon at the Holt County Courthouse in the District Court Room for a graduation celebration for Tera Newcombe.

In attendance for the ceremony was Chief Justice Michael G. Heavican, Judge of the Court of Appeals Francie Riedmann, Judge Alan L. Brodbeck, Judge Karin Noakes and Judge Tami Schendt. The courtroom hosted a capacity crowd for this event.

Judge Francie Riedmann spoke and told those that have graduated from Problem Solving Court that they are an inspiration to all of us.  The hard work, effort and changes that they make show those that are in the program that it can be done. She stated that “no change can be made without a challenge” and she commended them for taking a giant step toward a better life. Judge Riedmann ended with this quote, “Failure is not when we fall down, it’s when we refuse to get up.”

Chief Justice Heavican then commended the new graduate and all of those that have went through Problem Solving Court.  He presented the new graduate with a medallion to symbolize her hard work and new beginning.

Judge Alan Brodbeck then spoke and emphasized the importance of the this program and that it gives those involved something you rarely get and that is a second chance.  Brodbeck told the graduate to use this second chance and to “always have a plan, have something to look forward to.”

To read about graduate Tera Necombe's journey thorugh the North Central Problem Solving Court CLICK HERE

Willie Nelson & Neil Young To Play Benefit Concert Near Neligh

08/18/14 03:44 PM
Neligh, Nebraska — Two music legends — Neil Young and Willie Nelson — will perform a benefit concert Sept. 27 on a farm near Neligh, Nebraska that is on the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and also crosses the historic Ponca Tribe "Trail of Tears."
Proceeds from the "Harvest the Hope" concert will go to Bold Nebraska, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and the Cowboy & Indian Alliance, to fund the ongoing fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as a number of small, community-based clean energy projects on farms and tribal lands. The daytime, outdoor concert will take place in a field on a farm owned by the Tanderup family, who are part of a strong collective of Nebraska landowners refusing to sell their land to TransCanada for the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline.
WHAT: "Harvest the Hope Concert" featuring Neil Young & Willie Nelson
WHY: Benefit for Bold Nebraska, IEN and the Cowboy & Indian Alliance

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 27 at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: The farm of Art & Helen Tanderup, near Neligh, NE
Art and Helen Tanderup are part of the "Cowboy & Indian Alliance," a group of farmers, ranchers and tribal members united in their desire to protect land and water, and in their opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. This spring, the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma partnered with the "CIA" to hand-plant several acres of sacred Ponca corn on the Tanderup farm — the tribe's ancestral homeland — where it will be harvested this fall for the first time since the Ponca people were forced out of Nebraska 137 years ago.
Last fall, the same land also became home to the world's largest living crop art installation, when artist John Quigley collaborated with Art Tanderup to create an image the size of 80 football fields featuring the Cowboy & Indian Alliance icon along with the words "Heartland #No KXL."
"Our family has worked this land for over 100 years. We will not allow TransCanada to come in here and destroy our land and water for their profit," said Nebraska farmer Art Tanderup. "The Heartland is more than a place, it's our home. We hope Americans from across the country join us to Harvest the Hope and stop the Keystone XL pipeline."
"Farmers, ranchers and tribes that have been standing up to TransCanada are rock stars in my eyes," said Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb. "Now we will have the honor to have music legends Neil Young and Willie Nelson stand with us against this risky pipeline that threatens our water and our livelihoods. It is our hope that Pres. Obama in the end stands with us over Big Oil."
In addition to sets from Neil Young and Willie Nelson, the "Harvest the Hope" concert will also feature performances by Frank Waln, a Native American hip-hop artist from the Rosebud Sioux tribe, and the "Stopping the Pipeline Rocks All-Stars," a collection of local Nebraska artists who performed on a benefit album recorded inside the clean energy-powered barn built by Bold Nebraska and volunteers on land directly in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline last year, near York, Nebraska.
The event will also be a "Get Out the Vote" effort by Bold Nebraska, which is aiming to help elect candidates in November who give a darn about protecting our land and water.
Tickets for the benefit concert will go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 20 online via The "Harvest the Hope" concert is being produced locally by 1% Productions in partnership with Bold Nebraska. 

NPPD Warns Customers About Phone Scams

08/15/14 08:34 AM

Columbus, Neb. –There have been an increased number of phone scam incidents reported this week to the Nebraska Public Power District by NPPD customers. Incidents in Kearney and O’Neill have prompted NPPD to advise all customers, statewide, to be wary of suspicious calls.

Customers have reported receiving scam calls from individuals stating that they are with ‘the electric utility’ and they are collecting for a past due amount on an electric bill. They state the bill must be paid immediately or the power will be shut off. Sometimes the scammer’s caller-identification is falsified so it appears to originate from the utility company, a practice known as ‘spoofing’.

In the case of a Kearney customer, the caller advised to go to a local store, purchase a “green dot” or pre-paid card, then contact the caller with the card information.

In O’Neill, NPPD customers have been told there would be a ‘meter upgrade’ or a power outage, situations that sound like utility business, but when questions are asked, the caller hangs up or puts the customer on hold.

To help customers be wary of such scams, NPPD offers the following tips and suggestions:
  • NPPD, as a business practice, does not call to ask customers for a credit card number.
  • NPPD does not demand payment with a pre-paid card.
  • Any customer receiving such a call should not attempt to make payment over the phone.
  • Write down the call back number or consider asking where the caller is located.
  • Contact law enforcement.
  • Let NPPD’s Centralized Customer Care Center at 1-877-ASK-NPPD (877-275-6773) know about the call.
  • If served electrically by a rural public power district or municipality, customers should contact that organization before providing any type of payment.

“Unfortunately, these scams take place every year throughout the country,” said Vice President of Customer Services Ken Curry. “Anyone who receives such a call should not let their guard down. Instead, know that NPPD offers a variety of payment plans to help customers who may have challenges paying their bills, and inform local law enforcement of the incident.”

Doublin Our Fun On This 5K Run

08/13/14 11:25 AM
Get in the spirit for St. Pats and celebrate half way to St. Pat's, O'Neill's Annual Celebration!! Register for the Half Way to St Pat's 5K Run/Walk on September 13! This is an untimed event. Don't to forget to wear your best St Pat's/Irish gear for the costume contest! You can register by filling out the form on our website or call the office at
Call KBRX at (402) 336-1612