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Local youth competes at National Pedal Tractor Pull


10/01/14 11:40 AM

Jessica Green
Atkinson resident Jessica Green recently competed in the National Pedal Tractor pull on Saturday, September 20th at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. There were 27 girls competing in the ten year old division. Jessica pulled 36.5 feet and finished in 7th place.

Holt County Youth Compete At State Shoot


10/01/14 11:30 AM

Pictured (l-r): Tony Fonseca, Tanner Storjohann, Derek Babutzke, Not pictured-Tony Bohnet
 
Derek Babutzke, Tanner Storjohann, Tony Bohnet, and Tony Fonseca placed 1st in the Open-Team competition at the Pressey State .22 Shot at Pressey Wildlife Management Area on Saturday September 27.. Individual awards were given to Tanner Storjohann for 3rd place finish in the Junior-High Division, Tony Bohnet for 2nd place finish in Light-Scope, and Tony Fonseca for 2nd place finish in the Novice Division.

LifeServe Glood Drive To Be October 15, 2014 in Spencer


10/01/14 11:07 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (October 1, 2014) – Each year, more than 500,000 lives are positively impacted because of generous LifeServe blood donors. Donating blood is safe, simple and only takes about an hour of your time; making it one of the easiest ways to give back to the community.
 
One blood donation can help save the lives of up to three different hospital patients. When blood donors donate blood with LifeServe Blood Center, they are helping to make an impact at a local level and are saving lives right here in our community.
 
You can make a difference by giving blood at an upcoming blood drive.
 
 
  • Spencer Community, NE Blood Drive, Wednesday, October 15, 2014 from 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 101 S Whipple.
 
Sign up to save a life today!  Schedule a blood donation appointment online at lifeservebloodcenter.org or call 800.287.4903.

O'Neill Library To Host Astronomy Presentation


10/01/14 09:26 AM
 

Kevin Manning, former NASA consultant

The O’Neill Public Library’s next presentation for the public could be described as “out of this world”. The O’Neill Friends of the Library will be hosting astronomer Kevin Manning, a former consultant with NASA, on October 10th in the Library Presentation Room. Manning’s program is called “Astronomy for Everyone: Size & Scale of the Universe”. He will be taking his guests on a virtual journey into the cosmos, looking at the very small and the very large. The demonstration begins at 7 pm in the Library Presentation Room on October 10th. Seating is limited for this event.
 

Celebrate Oktoberfest in Bonesteel


09/30/14 09:30 AM

It's Oktoberfest in Bonesteel this weekend as the town has put together a day of fun events. Click on the banner below to open a bigger image of the flyer and check out everything the day has to offer.




 

Alex Hedlund Crowned Princess At Hastings College Homecoming


09/30/14 06:41 AM

Carson Blum and Jauden Kauk were crowned King and Queen, 
while Isaac Mertens and Alex Hedlund (2nd from right) received Prince and Princess honors. 

 
On Friday, September 26 at Hastings College the Homecoming Dinner was held at the City Auditorium where students from the Junior class were crowned for the royalty court. Carson Blum and Jayden Kauk were bestowed the titles of King and Queen, and Isaac Mertens and Alex Hedlund were named Prince and Princess.  Alex Hedlund, of O'Neill, is the daughter of Dr. Mike & Carol Hedlund.

Johanns, Fischer Press for Answers on Federal Land Acquisitions and Habitat Cons


09/29/14 11:16 AM
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today wrote to the Army Corps of Engineers  and Fish and Wildlife Service pressing for answers about private land acquisitions and habitat construction along the Missouri River in Northeast Nebraska. The letter questions the federal government’s strategy to preserve fish and wildlife along the river in light of a scientific report suggesting that the habitat construction projects are not effective and concerns raised by citizens about the projects’ impacts to private property. Taxpayers have already spent millions of dollars on these projects, and the Army Corps is planning to spend millions more, with little or no evidence of effectiveness.
 
“We do not believe that the costs and scale of federal acquisitions along the Missouri River can be justified when the scientific evidence of their efficacy in preserving these species seems to be hypothetical,” the Senators wrote. “We urge you to cease burning through taxpayer dollars acquiring land and constructing habitat until evidence demonstrates that these projects are actually effective in species restoration.”
 
The full text of the letter is available below:
 
Dear Director Ashe and Lieutenant General Bostick:
 
We write to express concern about actions taken in the name of enforcing the Endangered Species Act that have impacted the livelihoods and security of Nebraskans living along the banks of the Missouri River. 
 
As you are aware, the Biological Opinion issued by Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in 2000 and amended in 2003 found the operation of the Missouri River Main Stem Reservoir System by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jeopardized the endangered pallid sturgeon, least tern, and piping plover and offered alternative measures to protect the species.  One of the alternatives identified by FWS was habitat restoration, creation, and acquisition.        
 
This alternative requires the creation of 20-30 acres per mile of shallow water habitat and 80 acres per mile of emergent sandbar habitat.  Thousands of acres of habitat have already been constructed.  Some of it was damaged in the 2011 flood and now has to be reconstructed.  Many more millions of dollars remain to be spent on these projects to bring the river into compliance with FWS’s Biological Opinion, and the Corps appears to be forging ahead.  
 
However, while the Corps proceeds with habitat construction, our understanding of the effectiveness of these projects has also progressed.  Specifically, the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee commissioned a report by its Independent Science Advisory Panel to assess the effectiveness of these measures.  This panel of scientific experts cast doubt on the hypothesis of the plan—that these habitat measures would reverse decline of sturgeon, tern, and plover caused by the Bank Stabilization and Navigation Act—as demonstrated in this excerpt: 
 
“From current information it is unclear whether or how habitat construction can contribute to the recovery of pallid sturgeon.  Recovery of pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River ultimately may be independent of habitat construction efforts, and may instead depend on successful recruitment below the Missouri and Mississippi rivers confluence, but this is an area of substantial uncertainty.  Enhanced population numbers of piping plovers and least terns that may derive from habitat restoration and construction efforts below Gavins Point Dam have unknown implications for the status, trends, and recovery of piping plover across its broader range in the northern Great Plains, or least tern across the interior of North America.”[1]
 
To summarize, the projects may not be contributing to species recovery.  And if that is the case, why is the Corps forging ahead with land purchases and habitat construction?  Has empirical research been conducted since this report was published that demonstrates the positive impact of habitat construction on species recovery?  
 
We do not believe that the costs and scale of federal acquisitions along the Missouri River can be justified when the scientific evidence of their efficacy in preserving these species seems to be hypothetical.  We urge you to cease burning through taxpayer dollars acquiring land and constructing habitat until evidence demonstrates that these projects are actually effective in species restoration.  Indeed, even then it is doubtful that the benefit of recovering plover, tern, and sturgeon populations outweighs the very real human and economic costs of returning the river to its original hydrological patterns.  
 
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 Section 4003(e) requires a report to Congress accompanying the budget describing activities related to the mitigation of fish and wildlife losses.  We request that this report include a description of the specific benefits expected from each proposed shallow water habitat construction project for which funds are requested and an analysis of changes in flood risks that result from habitat construction, including through notching, chutes, and any other features that may increase this risk.  
 
In the meantime, we respectfully request a response detailing current evidence of the effectiveness of these projects.  In the alternative, absent such evidence, we would appreciate a response by November 1, 2014, to our request that you cease land acquisitions and habitat construction along the Missouri River in Nebraska.  Residents of Nebraska’s river communities deserve to know the impacts of these projects.    
 
Sincerely,
 
Mike Johanns
United States Senator
 
Deb Fischer
United States Senator

Alex Hedlund Hastings College Homecoming Royalty Candidate


09/24/14 03:09 PM
Alex Hedlund, daughter of Dr. Mike & Carol Hedlund of O'Neill, is a Queen Candidate for Hastings College 2014 Homecoming Week.  Crowning of the King & Queen will be this Saturday, September 27 during the Hastings vs Dakota Wesleyan Football Game.

2014 Hastings College Homecoming Candidates! Back row: Lane Baker, Ian T. Tuttle, Tyler Donovan, and Matt Kissinger; Third row: Justin Arends, Carson Blum, Leland Dexter, and Isaac Mertens; Second Row: Chelsey Morten, Anna Lichti, Alex Hedlund, Haley Gebers, and Brooke Appelhans; Front row: Laura Hurley, Mollie Strain, Libby Kissinger, Kelli Poplau, and Jayden Kauk
Not pictured: Derek Kissinger and Aaron Pierce

O'Neill Fire Department Receives a $2,000 Grant for Power Cot


09/24/14 09:09 AM

The O’Neill Fire Department received a $2,000 Working Here Fund grant to equip its ambulance with a power cot. The grant is provided through Farm Credit Services of America’s (FCSAmerica) Working Here Fund.

The power cot will make it easier for personnel with the O’Neill Fire Department to lift patients in an emergency situation, said Fire Chief Dale Waterman. Just as importantly, he said, patient comfort will increase.

“The power cot will meet the needs of all those individuals needing the services of the ambulance,” Waterman said.
“Supporting projects that positively impact the communities we serve is important to rural Nebraska,” said Jeff Eisenmenger, vice president of FCSAmerica’s O’Neill office.

The O’Neill Fire Department is one of 25 organizations to receive a Working Here Fund grant. FCSAmerica awarded $42,300 during the latest grant cycle ending June 30, 2014.

The Working Here Fund provides up to $2,000 each for projects and organizations that make a positive, long-term impact in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota or Wyoming in the areas of agriculture education, young and beginning producers, or hunger and nutrition programs. To complete an application, visit www.fcsamerica.com/workingherefund.
 

Chambers Elementary Participates in Community Garden with UNL Extension


09/23/14 10:29 AM


Kneeling-Wyatt Ehlers, Chase Halsey, Back row-Karina Larson, Lilly Hoerle, Kade Youngblood, Solan Bowen

Last spring, youth in the Chambers Elementary kindergarten class and third grade classes planted potatoes, carrots, and flower seeds.  The flower seed were “Red Amaranthus”, which was the 2014 4-H Special Garden Project.  The seed from this flower was very tiny.  The plant grew to be over four feet tall, displaying a long and trailing red bloom.  The potatoes planted by the kindergartners were plentiful.  They worked hard digging the potatoes up and were all able to take some home.  The two classes wrapped up their project with UNL Extension 4-H Assistant, Megan Hanefeldt on September 4th.  They learned how to harvest, store, and how to prepare the garden for winter.


Mason Knox, Savannah Hansen, Clair Krysl, Kinley Kaczor
 

Nebraska Corn Harvest Progress Lagging


09/23/14 06:46 AM

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says sunshine and higher-than-normal temperatures across much of the state last week helped crops mature.

However, the USDA said in a report released Monday that only 3 percent of the state's corn had been harvested, compared with 9 percent on average by the date. The soybean harvest also lagged, with just 1 percent harvested compared with 5 percent on average by the date.

The USDA says 56 percent of the winter wheat had been planted by Sunday, compared with the average of 50 percent over the past five years.

O'Neill's Life Chain is Sunday, Oct. 5th


09/22/14 10:21 AM

O’Neill’s annual Life Chain is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, Oct. 5.  The peaceful vigil will be held from 2 – 3 pm.  Local registration begins at 1:30 pm at St. Mary’s Grade School.  Participants will pick up signs and prayer sheets when they register, then proceed to Douglas Street where they will hold their signs and witness in silent prayer.

Boyd Holt Right to life invites all to come and pray that all moms and their babies will be respected and supported, that all babies will be welcomed as blessings, and moms and dads will recognize and welcome their amazing capacity to create life.

This is the 27th annual Life Chain, one of thousands that will be held throughout the United States and Canada.  Many people from in and around O’Neill have joined in this prayer vigil over the years.  Organizers invite them all back again this year, along with everyone who is coming for the first time.
 

Katrina Gotschall Presents At Nebraska Holocaust Education Conference


09/21/14 09:06 PM

"Katrina Gotschall, an English instructor at O’Neill High School, will be presenting at this year’s Nebraska Holocaust Education Conference September 21-22 in Kearney, Nebraska.  

Sponsored by the Institute For Holocaust Education in Omaha, Nebraska, this annual conference provides educational resources, workshops, survivor testimony, and integrated arts programming to pre-service and in-service teachers from around the state. The IHE also provides support to Holocaust survivors in our communities.  

Mrs. Gotschall will be presenting a conference session called "Engaging 21st Century Learners With iWitness Survivor Testimony Video Features", where she will focus on how to engage students using iWitness survivor testimony to create meaningful student projects which not only meet educational standards, but also create peer understanding, meaningful connections, and life long lessons for our students.  

Katrina has been teaching Holocaust related studies for 10 years, including a Literature Of The Holocaust course at OHS for the last 4 years and has applied, been accepted into, and participated in rigorous training programs in Holocaust Education through the Institute for Holocaust Education, The Holocaust Educator’s Network, Echoes and Reflections, The Holocaust Memorial Library New York City Summer Seminar, and most recently, the National Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teacher’s Program.  She participates in activities sponsored by the Nebraska Holocaust Educator’s Consortium and is co-facilitator of the Nebraska Holocaust Education Summer Seminar, which will be held June 22-26th, 2015 in Lincoln, NE.  

Teachers interested in attending the summer seminar are invited to email Katrina at kgotschall@esu8.org or katrinagotschall@oneillschools.org for application information."

Two Local Boy Scouts Earn Eagle Scout Ranking


09/21/14 08:35 PM

(left tor right) John Humrich, Garrett Gleason, Lenny Schaecher & Keith Gillham

(left to right) John Humrich, Miles Thomas, Lenny Schaecher & Keith Gillham

 
Saturday O’Neill Boy Scout Troop 245 held an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony at the United Methodist Church.   Two O’Neill Boy Scouts, Garrett Gleason and Miles Thomas, received Eagle Scout Ranking, the highest honor in Boy Scouts. It should be noted that of all boys that enroll in Boy Scouts less than 2% become an Eagle Scout.

Garrett Gleason is the son of Tim & Kari Gleason and joined Pack #245 in August 2004.  In his route to becoming an Eagle Scout he earned 26 Merit Badges and Garrett’s Eagle Scout Project was coming up with funds for supplies, drawing up plans, forming and pouring concrete foundations under dog kennels and assembling the kennels at the Holt County Animal Shelter.  He completed his Eagle Scout requirements June 5, 2014

Miles Thomas is the son of Bob & Lori Thomas and joined Pack #245 in September 2003. In becoming an Eagle Scout he earned 22 Merit Badges and Miles’ Eagle Scout Project was Landscaping at the United Methodist Church in O’Neill and having a spaghetti dinner to raise money for the project.

Along with receiving their Eagle Scout pins and neckerchief, Miles Thomas’ grandfather presented them with a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

At the ceremony each of the inductees presented a Mentor Pin to an individual who had helped them along the way.  Miles Thomas presented his Mentor Pin to Scout Leader Tim Gleason and Garrett Gleason presented his Mentor Pin to Scoutmaster John Humrich.

Congratulations Garrett Gleason and Miles Thomas on receiving this honor.

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.

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 www.westholtmed.org, 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.

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.

 

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.
 

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.

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

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 scott@kbrx.com

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.

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 www.oneillchamber.org or call the office at

O'Neill Police Department Holds Jail N Bail Event


07/22/14 11:18 AM
                
The O’Neill Police Department would like to thank the public for their overwhelming support during the Jail N’ Bail fundraiser to support the O’Neill Police Department K-9 Unit.  A total of 114 “warrants” were issued and we were able to raise over $6,100 and only had one jail break.  The donations will be deposited in the O’Neill Law Enforcement Account with the O’Neill Community Foundation.  This money will be used to maintain and further enhance the K-9 Unit program through purchasing equipment, continued training, and regular maintenance/expenses.  We at the O’Neill Police Department had a lot of fun Friday at the Jail N Bail and we hope you did too.
 A special thanks goes out to the those who helped make the event possible and enjoyable.  Thank you to Stock Realty (John and Toni Waterbury), Delray Kumm, Bomgaar's, Viaero Wireless, Ranell Otte, KBRX Radio, The Holt County Independent, Holt County Sheriff's Office, Big Red Bakery, The Horseshoe Restaurant, Dairy Queen, and Tim and Nikki Davis. 
 

EEOC Report


11/26/12 10:44 AM

The EEOC Report

 

February, 1, 2013

During the period February 1, 2012 through January 31, 2013 Station KBRX AM & FM had no new hires

 In an effort to keep the public informed of our personnel needs, KBRX AM & FM broadcasts two 30 second ads per week, informing the public to apply when an opening occurs.  The help ads are run in class A times, and are scheduled
   
Call KBRX at (402) 336-1612