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Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017
Unusual weather creates danger around the world (01/23/17)
Not to contradict Bob Dylan, but you might need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. If the weather service issues a warning, it's a good idea to pay attention. We received several tragic reminders of that this weekend. On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons won a chance to play in the Super Bowl, but while that game was going on, four people were killed at Albany, Ga., bringing to 19 the number of people who died in two days of tornadoes across the South -- 15 in south Georgia alone...
'Stay involved' good advice for Inauguration Day (01/20/17)
You won't find many Red State voters agreeing with Madonna much, but we've found a point in common. Dressed in black with a shirt reading "Feminist," the Material Girl told an anti-Trump audience they should read the Constitution and get more involved in the political process...
Perhaps this is a good year to end daylight saving time (01/19/17)
A day before the first African American president leaves office and Donald Trump checks into the White House, there are few things less important than daylight saving time. That's especially true in Nebraska's capital, where Gov. Pete Ricketts, in response to projected budget shortfalls, is proposing sweeping changes to the state's property tax system as well as agency reform and spending cuts finding opposition in from many quarters...
Before condemning richest, check out your own lifestyle (01/18/17)
Perhaps we should be outraged by the Oxfam report that the six richest people on earth own as much combined wealth as the poorest half of the earth's population. Outraged, but not surprised. According to a 2014 World Bank study, while poverty is on the decline globally, two-thirds of the world's poorest people live in India, China, Nigeria, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of Congo...
Regaining our momentum in space (01/17/17)
The weekend brought a couple of reminders of how our attitudes have changed about space exploration. One prompted images of just how much history we are losing as the prior generation of explorers leaves the earth. The other shows possibilities for the future...
Better safe than sorry when it comes to storms (01/17/17)
Winter Storm Jupiter (the Weather Channel's name) turned out to be somewhat of a bust in McCook, but there were scattered power outages in the area and a few non-injury accidents reported around McCook. The latter is probably true because many businesses, including the Gazette, chose to close their doors Monday rather than risk the safety of their employees and customers on the icy streets and highways. ...
Successful or not, Ricketts plan worthwhile effort (01/13/17)
Gov. Pete Ricketts' budget proposals were just as predictable as the response. Faced with a projected $267 million shortfall in the current budget and the potential for a $900 million gap through 2019, Ricketts did what most of us do when our paychecks won't make it to the end of the month...
'One Book' choice offers old insight into current issues (01/12/17)
Protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline picked up, with gusto where the Keystone XL protests left off, only backing off slightly when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a construction easement under the Missouri River in the final months of the Obama Administration...
Determined, brave reporter broke new of World War II (01/11/17)
There was a day when you couldn't post pictures of your breakfast to hundreds of friends, share a Tweet from the president-elect or berate officiating in front of thousands of football championship game viewers. In those days, one had to be a professional journalist, dedicated to getting the story first, getting it right, and getting it past your editor before anyone could read a single word of your report...
Graff Events Center continues growing into its full potential (01/10/17)
McCook has been an area trade center since before the time the Newsboy plied the skies of Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas delivering the Gazette. Generations of area high school students have traveled to Nebraska's oldest two-year college for events like Band Days and Inter-High Day, many of them returning after high school graduation once they got a taste for the quality education it could offer on one of the most attractive campuses around...
Radon testing, remediation worth expense (01/09/17)
We've know or have heard of people who have contracted lung cancer, "but have never smoked a day in their lives." We've also heard anecdotal evidence, and some empirical as well, of high cancer rates in Nebraska. The answer could lie with radon, which health experts know is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers...
Singer's woes not high on list of worries (01/04/17)
If you were still awake, or not too busy celebrating, you might have caught Mariah Carey's botched performance in front of a billion people on New Year's Eve. We tend to believe her producer's story, that she repeatedly complained about faulty earpieces before ever going on stage. Her dancers, however, didn't seem to have any trouble following the music...
For 2017, less may be more (01/03/17)
If you're like most of us, you've gained a few pounds over the holiday season, and taking them off may be a high priority. When it comes to our bank account, however, excess probably isn't the problem. Like many things in life, less is more where finances are involved...
Trump's judicial appointments to have long-term consequences (12/30/16)
The supply of ammunition seems to have improved and not everyone was clamoring to buy guns following the November election, thanks to the perception that Trump was less likely than Hillary Clinton to push for gun control. That's not the case in California, where sporting goods stores have been struggling to supply semi-automatic rifles ahead of a new law which bans certain features...
Don't let your celebrating ruin New Years Day (12/29/16)
It's been quite a year if you follow celebrity deaths, and 2017 promises to be even more "interesting" as the Trump administration takes power. It's always best to practice moderation when marking the end of one year and beginning of a new one with celebration and/or dread, but if you've succumbed to temptation, there are some steps you can take to make New Year's Day a little more tolerable...
'What's Up' column offered more than celestial information (12/28/16)
Montana's motto may be "Big Sky Country," but there's plenty of "big sky" in our neck of the woods as well. We've always enjoyed stargazing, especially in the countryside away from the city lights, and we were pleased when Vernon Whetstone, then of Benkelman, offered to add us to the list of papers carrying his "What's Up?" column...
Celebrity heart news reinforces holiday stress idea (12/27/16)
We wrote about a study linking heart attacks and the holidays in Friday's weekend edition and almost on cue, three celebrities died of heart attacks, one despite the quick actions of passengers and crew of the airliner on which she was a passenger. The first was Alan Thicke, who died from a ruptured aorta three hours after suffering a heart attack, according to his death certificate...
Study links heart attacks, holiday (12/23/16)
If you have a heart attack at Christmastime, it might not be because of shoveling snow in the cold weather. With temperatures expected to be in the 40s and 50s over the holiday weekend, we're not likely to have much of a white Christmas. It's the holiday itself that stresses the heart, not the weather, Australian researchers have concluded...
Now is best time to plan for next Christmas (12/22/16)
Many of us are basking in the pre-holiday glow, feeling comfortable and charitable, watching "It's A Wonderful Life" and attending children's Christmas programs. The stock market is ready to top 20,000, an all-time high, unemployment is at a nine-year low, and consumers are spending like it's 2007 -- just before the 2008 meltdown...
Make sure a gun would be a safe Christmas present (12/21/16)
It's always fun to try to figure out what's hiding under the Christmas tree, but there are some gifts that shouldn't be a surprise. One of those is a firearm, and that's a popular category of gift, according to FBI statistics. More gun background checks were conducted on Black Friday than any other day in history, the federal agency said...
TSA-style system impractical for trucks (12/20/16)
If you've flown recently, you know the drill; take off your shoes, pack all your liquids over 3.5 ounces in your check-in luggage, take off your shoes and subject yourself to a full-body scan. All because of the 9-11 terrorists, and others, who sometimes choose to use loaded airliners to make a political point...
Godspeed, John Glenn (12/09/16)
John Glenn was an inspiration to the generation of Baby Boomers now moving into their retirement years, from his initial exploits as America's first astronaut in orbit, to his political career in the U.S. Senate, to his return to orbit aboard the space shuttle Discovery at the age of 77...
February program will celebrate town's political traditions (12/08/16)
The late Gov. Frank Morrison once mused that there was something in the water that caused so many residents to seek political office. Storyteller Garrison Keillor once observed that the nearby Republican River was shallow, winding to and fro, "following the most expedient path."...
Presidential travel issues in the news (12/07/16)
It's always big news when the president travels, but the subject has drawn more than it's share of attention this week. President-elect Trump, Time Magazine's Man of the Year, found time to tweet about the price of a couple of new Air Force Ones. "Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump" tweeted...
Pentagon could save $125 billion; so why doesn't it? (12/06/16)
The U.S. military has 1.3 million troops on active duty, the fewest since before the Pearl Harbor attack 75 years ago Wednesday. Yet it has more full-time employees involved in logistics or supply chain jobs than the entire United Parcel Service workforce, and its purchasing bureaucracy would rank among the top 30 private employers in the United States...
Don't let winter weather take you by surprise this year (12/02/16)
Technically, it's nearly three weeks until winter arrives, but we've already found our heavy coats now that "meteorological" winter arrived with Dec. 1. Cold winds can be dangerous out here on the Plains, but they're nothing like conditions thousands of feet above our heads, where jet streams can bring in snow, ice and whiteout conditions at 200 mph...
Racket sports best activities to boost your heart health (12/01/16)
We've got a few weeks until the end of the holiday overindulgence season, but it's not too early to think about burning off those extra calories stored as body mass. The popularity of racquetball ebbs and flows, less demanding pickleball is gaining popularity and tennis seems to hold steady...
Whooping cough latest old disease to make comeback (11/30/16)
We've made great strides in modern public health, but it's easy to take it for granted. Unfortunately, old diseases like measles and polio are still around, decades after they should have been wiped out -- perhaps we mean centuries -- bubonic plague bacteria is still being detected in squirrels in the California mountains...
Ohio State attack reopens guns-on-campus debate (11/29/16)
Schools should be a safe place, but they can also be a "soft target" for someone with evil intent. One side thinks there are already too many guns in circulation, while the other is fond of the quote "the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."...
Online shopping adds danger as well as convenience (11/28/16)
Will you dread opening your credit card bills come January? If you're concerned, you might want to turn off your "one-click" purchase button on your favorite online shopping account. If it really gets out of hand, say you're considering a consolidation loan to clean up last year's Christmas credit card bills, you might want to get professional help...
For maximum safety, experts list toys to avoid (11/25/16)
If you survived your Black Friday shopping excursion (that started Thursday afternoon) you and your family may not be in the clear yet. If you already bought toys for the kids on your shopping list, you might want to check with the safety experts before putting them under the tree...
Good news just in time for Small Business Saturday (11/23/16)
During the presidential campaign, President Obama voiced concern about his legacy -- unless Hillary Clinton won, his achievements would be lost to posterity. He probably didn't expect it to begin before he even left office. Businesses across the country were struggling to comply with a regulation going into effect Dec. 1, that would require them to pay overtime for salaried administrative or professional workers who make less than about $47,500 a year...
Recruiting rural lawyers important for region's future (11/22/16)
They say one lawyer will starve to death in a small town, but two lawyers will each be able to make a living. There are better lawyer jokes, but it's true that lawyers are becoming a rare commodity in many rural Nebraska communities. That puts rural residents at a disadvantage, should they need legal help...
Add volunteers to your thankful list this Thursday (11/21/16)
A neighbor in trouble seems to bring out the best in small-town Nebraska, and Sunday morning's fire in Cambridge was no exception. Someone who stopped at a convenience store about 5:30 a.m. turned in the fire, and volunteers from at least seven neighboring towns were on scene or on the way within a few minutes to help out Cambridge volunteers...
Thanksgiving made easier with this advice (11/18/16)
Many a stand-up routine and more than one movie have created around the personal interactions that accompany the Thanksgiving holiday. Traveling on a tight schedule, as demanded by a Thursday holiday, dining with relatives who may have differing political views (horrors!) and seasonal illnesses can take their toll on what should be an enjoyable day off...
Fewer smokers today, but threat to health remains (11/17/16)
We recently saw an Internet meme about all the things a high school graduate should know how to do, like drive a stick shift and balance a check book. Good luck finding a stick shift; only 10 percent or fewer of American cars are sold with a clutch pedal these days...
Canada too cold? Try Hungary (11/16/16)
If the election didn't go your way, and you decided Canada is too cold and you couldn't get the immigration website to work anyway, there's another place you might consider moving. A Hungarian parliament committee has given initial approval for the country to remain on daylight saving time all year around...
Buffalo Jones Festival has potential to be among largest of the year (11/16/16)
Kudos to the groups organizing the Buffalo Jones Outdoor Festival, set for next June in Barnett Park. Inspired by this year's HEAR Nebraska event, The McCook Area Chamber of Commerce, McCook Economic Development and McCook/Red Willow Visitors Bureau got together to plan a festival honoring the bison conservationist while filling out a busy Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival weekend...
Supply, demand and the changing energy picture (11/14/16)
Health insurance and immigration are the first things to come to mind when the subject of Donald Trump's election comes up, but no issue is off the table when it comes time for the new administration to take over the reins of power. The Dakota Access pipeline was the current flash point, drawing protests before and after the presidential election...
When it comes to opinions, some carry more weight (11/11/16)
Demonstrators are protesting the election of Donald Trump and some schools, where teachers have been seen crying, are offering counseling for students who are afraid how the results of the election will affect them. You won't see much of that in Nebraska, especially in our end of the state, but that doesn't mean we're immune to effects from changes in Washington leadership...
Voters spoke forcefully on death penalty (11/10/16)
The voters have spoken. They wanted the death penalty back, and they were willing to go over the heads of the Legislature to do so. Perhaps turnabout's fair play, since the Legislature went over the head of a veto by Gov. Pete Ricketts to abolish capital punishment in the state...
Time to heal wounds, move nation forward (11/09/16)
We were little surprised when a mock election at Central Elementary this week went for Donald Trump. Such votes have been very accurate over the years, in our recollection, and all the polls indicated that Hillary Trump would win. Score another one for the kids...
Is it time to rethink our voting system? (11/08/16)
There's an Internet meme going around that would be funny if it weren't so true. Me: I don't like Trump. Everyone: "So you support a liar like Hillary? She should be in jail!" Me: I don't like Hillary Everyone: "So you support a racist like Trump!? He doesn't stand for American values!"...
Clinton, Trump will both carry heavy baggage (11/07/16)
Most of us need all the friends we can get, but how strong is "friendship" in this day of social media? The 2016 election has provided an answer: Not very. Facebook says the election has generated over 5.3 billion posts, likes, comments and shares, with nearly 110 million Americans taking part in the online debate between January and October this year...
Extra hour of sleep sounds great, but don't fall for it (11/04/16)
Looking forward to an extra hour of sleep this Sunday? You might want to rethink that strategy. Sleeping in seems nice, but the abrupt change can throw off your body's internal biological clock, or circadian rhythm. That can lead to sleepiness in the day, accidents, depression, migraine headaches and other health problems, according to some studies...
Sober reflection not necessarily election tradition (11/03/16)
Cynics see U.S. elections as a contest between politicians to see who can bribe the most voters with handouts and other goodies. They are not without a certain amount of justification in their beliefs -- although some Republicans might be shocked to learn that the promise of "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage" originated with one of their own, Herbert Hoover, in 1928...
Somebody should do something? Now you can! (11/02/16)
Somebody should do something about that. How many times have you thought that after you saw someone suffering through an injustice, abuse or neglect? Someone in need or with a potential unrealized? Many are quick to act on their own, and we're grateful people like them...
Despite political intrigue, voter turnout is low (11/01/16)
It's almost boring to watch television shows about fictional political intrigue -- it can't hold a candle to the real thing this election year. Despite the controversy over both candidates' character issues, way too many of us don't care enough to vote...
Edible marijuana creates new cautions for a safe Halloween (10/31/16)
We all remember the true-life Halloween scares over the years of children finding razor blades and other objects in the treats they going door-to-door. Fortunately, most of the stories turn out to be false and dental cavities and obesity are more realistic Halloween hazards...
Enforcing fashion at polling places goes too far (10/28/16)
Are the PC police fashion police as well? Apparently they are, in the tiny town of Bulverde, Texas, 30 minutes north of San Antonio. Brett Bartlett Mauthe arrived to vote wearing a hat supporting Donald Trump and a "basket of deplorables" T-shirt -- a reference to Hillary Clinton's remarks that half of Trump's supporters were "a basket of deplorables" such as racists, sexists, homophobes or xenophobes, a generalization she later said she regretted...
Station has right reaction to being part of the story (10/27/16)
It's every reporter's nightmare. No, not making a mistake in a story, that's a serious issue, but something that can usually be corrected in the next news cycle, if not sooner. This is something worse: Becoming part of the story. That's the situation NTV News found itself in this week, when a mistrial was declared after the Kearney television station inadvertently aired video footage of potential jurors in a Norton County murder trial...
Big Give Day chance to prove our thankfulness (10/26/16)
"Spooky" season will soon be over and we'll be on the slippery slope toward Christmas, with only a brief pause -- for Thanksgiving. We'll get together the last Thursday in November, but just how thankful are we? It feels good to give to a worthy cause, not only for the affluent but for those who may have received help from a charity in the past, who are often among the most generous...
Veterans should not be forced to repay costs of war (10/25/16)
Despite America being involved in foreign conflicts for decades, the war protests that marked the 1960s are absent for the most part in the 21st century. What's the difference? We'll leave it to sociologists, psychologists and other academics to answer that question, but the obvious answer is the simplest:...
Plan to take a ballot selfie? Check local laws before you do (10/24/16)
If you're one of those who can't resist posting a picture of your lunch on Facebook or your cat on YouTube, you might be surprised to learn you might be subject to a fine for taking a selfie during a patriotic activity. Until this year, you could have been fined $100 for sharing a photo of your market ballot in Nebraska...
Make sure our homes are safe for cold weather (10/21/16)
It's impossible to read the story of a family of six, including four little girls, killed in a farmhouse fire in southeast Nebraska without shedding a tear. We can only imagine how the friends, family, neighbors and firefighters who responded to the scene in rural Nehawka early Thursday...
Worried about the news? Open up a good book (10/20/16)
Major outlets seized on Donald Trump's offhand remark that he would cross the concession bridge when he came to it, leading nearly every story this morning with speculation over a possible coupe. We're involved in a land war in Iraq to retake Mosul from ISIS forces, and Turkey just killed 200 of our Syrian Kurdish allies north of Aleppo...
Journalistic ethics and campaign contributions (10/19/16)
Journalists often hear charges that their stories are biased, but if they're doing their job, what the critics are more likely saying is that the story isn't slanted in the direction they would like it to be. Occasionally, they hear complaints from both sides of an issue, which many writers wear as a badge of honor...
Changing market makes multiple jobs more common (10/18/16)
Spend time talking to the servers or clerks in a resort town and you'll probably hear stories about one or two of their other jobs. It's expensive to live in a ski resort town, so it takes several streams of income to make ends meet. More and more, however, holders of multiple jobs are living in everyday American communities...
Changing market makes multiple jobs more common (10/18/16)
Spend time talking to the servers or clerks in a resort town and you'll probably hear stories about one or two of their other jobs. It's expensive to live in a ski resort town, so it takes several streams of income to make ends meet. More and more, however, holders of multiple jobs are living in everyday American communities...
How to be a good passenger for a teenage driver (10/17/16)
Officials have been hammering drivers of all ages with the message for years. Be sober, rested and pay attention to your driving. Mobile devices have added to the distractions, with more restrictions put in place to deal with them, especially on younger drivers...
New synthetic drugs proving deadly (10/12/16)
Not that many years ago, it wasn't that unusual to read on these pages stories about "meth labs" being broken up around our area. Laws were passed to make it more difficult to obtain the cold medicine necessary to manufacture methamphetamine -- be prepared to spend extra time at the pharmacy counter and have your ID handy if you're looking for effective relief from sniffles and coughing of the common cold...
Too late for an October Surprise? (10/11/16)
Too late for an October Surprise? Politicos often talk about incidents like the release of Donald Trump's "locker room talk" video as "October Surprises," but any campaign counting on just such a game change may be in for a shock. It's already too late...
Smartphone woes highlight dangers of modern batteries (10/11/16)
Think you have problems? You could be the CEO of Samsung Electronics. The South Korean company has halted entirely production of its best smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, after a number of battery fires were reported in the phones, as well as fires in the supposedly safe replacement phones sent to consumers...
Clash of cultures difficult to navigate (10/10/16)
The issue of immigration came up in Sunday night's presidential debate, as it has throughout the campaign and as it no doubt will in the administration of the next president. It's also a topic of discussion this week, with governmental offices observing Columbus Day today while the traditional holiday was Wednesday, Oct. 12...
Options available for young women in crisis pregnancies (10/06/16)
Few issues are more divisive or generate more controversy than abortion, legalized on a 5-4 Supreme Court decision in 1973. "Pro-choice" women and men took to the streets in Poland Monday to derail a complete ban on abortion that was making its way through the national legislature...
Uncashed checks and false economy at DHHS? (10/05/16)
Check out almost any governmental budget, and you'll see the largest line item is salaries. Paying people is the most expensive part of almost any enterprise, and it's the obvious choice when budget cuts are needed. What happens, however, when you don't have people to do important jobs like deposit checks and reconcile accounts?...
Bass Pro, Cabela's purchase offers lessons for towns (10/04/16)
In 1961, Dick Cabela started selling fishing flies by mail from his kitchen table in Sidney, Neb., with the help of his wife, Mary and brother, Jim. Today, the company he founded has 85 retail stores, primarily in the western United States and Canada...
Drivers have no control over some hazards (10/03/16)
We've mentioned a greeting before that might be called the Nebraska "aloha." "Watch out for deer!" We've heard of many collisions and near-misses with deer and other animals recently, thanks to a combination of the time of year, human and animal travel habits and longer nights that come along with the fall and winter seasons...
Mentoring program offers chance to make a difference (09/29/16)
News outlets like ours are proud to report on the achievements of our youth on the school and sports pages, but too many young people, unfortunately, appear in the crime and court reports. We have a choice to make. Will we just wring our hands and lament the direction the next generation is headed?...
Ballot rejection not sign voters don't support Hillcrest (09/28/16)
One hundred sixty more people opposed than favored giving Red Willow County power to levy taxes for Hillcrest Nursing Home, according to unofficial results from the mail-in ballot. The ballot question, which would have raised Red Willow County's tax levy slightly to target the nursing home's roof repair needs, was rejected by 1,292-1,136, according to Tuesday night's count...
Protesting athletes should make their points on their own time (09/27/16)
Cornhusker senior linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey says he's criticizing America because he loves it more than any other country in the world. Rose-Ivey should receive credit for informing his coaches of his intention to kneel for the National Anthem before Saturday's football game...
Will Americans hear real issues or will circus continue? (09/26/16)
The chances of anyone "winning" tonight's presidential campaign are extremely thin, according to an AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. At best, performances by Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will make most of their supporters feel less negative about their candidate...
Highway expansion welcome announcement for Southwest Nebraska (09/23/16)
Announcements Thursday in Lincoln and Friday in North Platte illustrate just how long major public works projects can take and how many people need to be involved. Benefits of the highway projects announced will be felt for multiples of years by millions people more, however...
Highway expansion welcome announcement for Southwest Nebraska (09/23/16)
Announcements Thursday in Lincoln and Friday in North Platte illustrate just how long major public works projects can take and how many people need to be involved. Benefits of the highway projects announced will be felt for multiples of years by millions of people more, however...
Marine recalls wartime kindness at McCook depot (09/22/16)
On the eve of the annual Heritage Days celebration, McCook Mayor Mike Gonzales received a reminder of a key part of his community's history. Besides being home to a major air base, McCook did its best to make thousands of troops feel at home, if only for a few minutes, when troop trains stopped here during World War II...
Lincoln's example shows how hard budget cuts can be (09/21/16)
Local governmental bodies have been taken to task on this page many times over the years, including recent weeks when budgets for the coming years have all seemed to include levy hikes as well as the usual real spending increases. Speaking in McCook this morning, Jamie Karl of the state chamber of commerce made a good point, that it does little good to complain to state legislators about property taxes which are levied by local governments, mostly in support of schools...
Mosquitoes pose new threat to area residents (09/20/16)
Summer officially ends Thursday, and it seems to be hanging on to the very end with temperatures in the 80s and 90s this week. Some local health officials, however, wouldn't be disappointed to have an early freeze. Not that they want crops or gardens to be ruined, but they are concerned about the human population of Southwest Nebraska...
Community plans often overlook important group (09/19/16)
Local economic development efforts often concentrate on attracting young families back to small towns, and rightfully so. Young families are a vital component of any thriving community, filling classrooms and athletic teams with young people, providing dedicated employees and stepping in as leadership for local organizations, churches and government...
Pot petitions promise to deal with inconsistencies (09/15/16)
Nebraska and adjoining states have had to take a whole new look at the issue since Colorado legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use. A couple of groups are forcing the issue, collecting signatures to place a couple of different issues on the 2018 ballot...
Sugar studies should be taken with grain of salt (09/14/16)
The nexus of science, politics and commerce has been in the news recently with topics like global warming, EpiPen pricing and even flossing of teeth pushing it to the forefront. The EpiPen manufacturer backed off somewhat, offering a generic version and offering discounts after it political maneuverings and huge management bonuses were revealed...
Voters have right to expect results from Hillcrest vote (09/13/16)
If you haven't detected a trend in recent budget stories, here it is. They're all going up. After approving a 1.5 percent sales tax for 15 years, with part of that for economic development, local voters were rewarded with increases in the city, county and school levies in recent weeks...
Don't avoid talking about a difficult subject (09/08/16)
Other issues have come to the forefront in this year's presidential race, but gun control is never far from the surface. The Black Lives Matter group focuses attention on officer-involved shootings, while the other side points out that the majority of African Americans who die from gunshot wounds are killed by other blacks...
Most Nebraskans won't complain about rain, but ... (09/07/16)
What was that I just heard, a complaint about rain? Most long-time Nebraskans would bite their tongue rather than mention something about there being too much rain. Weekend rains of as much as 8 inches left us more than 5 inches ahead of normal precipitation for the year and nearly that for the month alone, however, and we've been reminded that too much rain can, indeed, be a problem...
Wild weather, quake are good reminders for preparation effort (09/06/16)
One of Gazette founder Harry Strunk's lasting legacies is the lake north of Cambridge that bears his name, honoring his efforts to create irrigation and flood control dams on the Republican River. Those dams have helped prevent a repeat of the 1935 flood that killed 110 people and 20,593 head of livestock and damaged 275,000 acres of farmland...
New evidence, new hope for dementia patients (09/02/16)
Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001? It was a beautiful clear Tuesday morning, and there's a good chance you were doing the same thing you did this morning, provided your circumstances haven't changed much in the past 16 years. In the interim, those who were directly involved in the aftermath have had plenty of time to experience the aftereffects of the trauma, and few groups have provided more fodder for researchers...
Ballfield names stir great memories, gratitude (09/01/16)
Kelley, Barnett, Norris, Weiland, Elks, Russell, Karrer, Jaycees. They're local parks and ballfields that bear the names of individuals and groups that could see beyond themselves to make things better for generations to come. They've provided settings for thousands of memories and life lessons that sports can provide...
Is reciprocity an option for U.S. immigration law? (08/31/16)
After spending the primaries touting a "deportation force" and vowing to have Mexico pay for construction of a wall on the U.S. southern border, Donald Trump is reconsidering his stance on illegal immigration. He made a quick trip to meet President Enrique Peņa Nieto in Mexico today in preparation for a major immigration speech in Arizona...
Sex scandals through the years, from Washington to Lincoln (08/30/16)
How much of a sex scandal does it take to force a politician out of office? That question is playing out in Lincoln with State Sen. Bill Kintner given until Friday to resign or face the consequences for his admitted sexual encounter through the use of a state laptop computer...
Republican River resolutions welcome development (08/29/16)
Our thanks to the Upper Republican Natural Resources District staff for shedding some light on the new agreement signed by Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska that everyone hopes will put an end to the conflict over the river's water supply. While officials like Gov. ...
The EpiPen saga continues (08/25/16)
The company that purchased the rights to a device used in emergencies to treat anaphylaxis, then raised the price by more than 500 percent, has bowed to public pressure somewhat. Mylan announced today it would cover up to $300 of what people pay for a two-pack of EpiPen, provided they were previously paying the full amount of the company's price...
Drug price issue not as simple as we think (08/24/16)
The rising price of a life-saving injection device is getting the attention of consumer advocates and members of Congress. EpiPens are used to treat food allergy reactions in what can be life-or-death emergencies. There's no generic version of the device, and no direct competitor...
Lincoln project proves going green no easy task (08/23/16)
We've watched with interest Lincoln's project to recover methane gas from the city's landfill and turn it into electricity. It seems like a good idea since the federal Clean Air Act requires the gas to be collected from a series of wells and purified anyway. The recovered methane is then sent to the Terry Bundy Generation station, where it's turned into power for Lincoln Electric System customers...
Community colleges poised to play even bigger role in nation (08/22/16)
McCook's junior college is celebrating its 90th year next week and there's plenty to celebrate, but the college has plenty to look forward to, as well. The Mid-Plains board of governors are expected to approve the purchase of four small homes in eastern McCook this week to be used for student housing, and to approve more bids for work associated with construction of an extended campus location in Valentine...
Choice of words provides insight into lawmakers' thinking (08/18/16)
Remember when President (Bill) Clinton tried to explain away his lies about Monica Lewinsky thusly: "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." The same type of parsing reveals some insight into lawmakers' thinking when it comes to budget discussions...
Academics, attorney general argue facts in capital punishment (08/17/16)
The Nebraska Attorney General is taking issue with a study that concludes the state would save $14.6 million a year by doing away with the death penalty. Dr. Ernie Goss of Creighton University, who issues regular reports on the Midwest economy and does studies for a conservative think tank, said he was surprised by the results...
Will market forces spell the end of Obamacare? (08/16/16)
Donald Trump and other Republicans have repeatedly called for the repeal of Obamacare, but it looks like market forces might do that job for them. What isn't clear is what Republicans or Democrats will come up with to replace it. Is a Canada-style single-payer system as inevitable as many believe?...
Be careful no matter how you decide to travel (08/15/16)
Local athletes, family and friends got together for a touching tribute run Saturday to honor Michelle Walters, tragically killed during the bicycle portion of a Boulder Ironman triathlon a week earlier. It was an appropriate way to remember a young fitness enthusiast taking part in only the latest challenge she took on with determination...
Social media plays into hands of those who seek attention (08/11/16)
"He'd like us to mention his name," the late radio commentator Paul Harvey used to say, while reporting on someone who committed a mass murder or some other atrocity in an effort to gain notoriety. "We won't" was always his next sentence. The attraction of fame for warped minds has only grown stronger with the growth of social media in the years since Harvey's death...
Tough laws don't tell complete story on drunk driving (08/10/16)
Nebraska is pretty tough on drunk driving, according to a WalletHub analysis, but the available numbers don't tell the whole story. Drunk driving results in more than a million arrests, nearly 10,000 deaths and more than $40 billion in economic damage each year, and Nebraska lawmakers have responded appropriately...
Farmers markets win-win for state, local communities (08/09/16)
Americans enjoy some of the cheapest and most abundant varieties of food in the world. Some question the production methods that are used to provide that abundance, however, and a GMO labeling bill recently signed by President Obama is controversial because it allegedly overrides state laws requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods...
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