[mccookgazette.com] Fair ~ 35°F  
High: 37°F ~ Low: 20°F
Sunday, Mar. 1, 2015
Should school buses have seat belts? (02/26/15)
Seatbelts have been required in American cars since the early 1960s, but not in school buses. Why not? That's what Dawn Prescott of Fremont wants to know, urging Nebraska lawmakers to adopt LB373, offered by Sen. Robert Hilkeman of Omaha, which would require public school buses purchased after Jan. 1, 2016 to come equipped with lap-shoulder belts. Schools would have to demonstrate twice a year how to properly wear the belts...
The long-running Planet Show continues (02/25/15)
The Planet Show featuring Venus and other planets continues in the west after sunset for the next few months through the end of July. In the coming weeks Uranus and Jupiter will get involved and the moon will pay a few more visits. Tonight -- Wednesday, Feb. 25 -- the moon has moved on to scooch up close to the star Aldebaran in Taurus, the Bull...
Red Tape shouldn't divide consumers from producers (02/25/15)
We've seen popular Facebook posts promoting the idea of teaching gardening in public schools as a way of letting children find out where food comes from, and even how to grow it for themselves. McCook has been home to a couple of community gardens, with varying involvement and success, and gardeners suffered a blow when one of the local nurseries went out of business just when seedlings should have been planted for this spring...
Can we be too careful when it comes to allergies? (02/24/15)
Cleanliness is next to godliness, right? They say plumbers have probably done as much as doctors to extend modern life spans, but can cleanliness go too far? According to the so-called hygiene hypotheses, allergies and autoimmune disorders are caused by the ultra-sterile environment made possible by antibacterial soap, disinfectants and other common cleansers...
'Eat yourself thin' idea may not be so far-fetched after all (02/23/15)
Sure, there's still snow on the ground, but the garden supplies are starting to appear in the stores and listen closely and you'll already hear a stray flock of Sandhill cranes on their way north. The YMCA's annual team weight-loss challenge is in full swing, and while many of us aren't all that concerned about how we'll appear in a bathing suit, it would be nice to shed a few pounds before we shed our heavy winter camouflage -- er, clothing...
Should you judge a man by his ratio? (02/20/15)
Beyonce's advice to men, "if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it" could apply to women as well, and they should check out the length of the finger, if a McGill University study is to be believed. If his index finger is shorter and his ring finger longer, he may make a better husband, according to the study...
Less-lethal weapons offer more options (02/19/15)
The Ferguson, Missouri, officer who left his job because of last year's killing of Michael Brown probably won't be sued by the federal government, but the Justice Department may sue the entire police department if it doesn't change tactics Washington sees as "racially discriminatory."...
More than one side to road rage story (02/18/15)
It was a horrible story. Tammy Meyers, a 44-year-old mother of four, was giving her 15-year-old daughter a driving lesson last week when they had an encounter with another driver. One thing led to another and she wound up with a bullet wound to the head, dying on Valentine's Day when she was taken off life support...
Pipeline, trucks, trains or boats all spill crude oil (02/17/15)
We notice developments every day in alternative means of transportation, from hybrid to plug-in hybrids to straight electric cars (Apple most recently mentioned) to hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. While alternative energy for transportation is showing promise, better batteries and breakthrough technology announced on a regular basis, most of us are going to be dependent on oil for many years to come...
Authorities show fear of free speech, free enterprise (02/16/15)
There are a lot of scary things in the world today, ISIS or ISIL or Daesh (the latter a derogatory term favored by opponents), Russia and the conflict in Ukraine, global warming, stray asteroids, cancer -- but there seems to be one common fear in the news, at least among some of those in power: Freedom...
She doesn't want anything Saturday? Don't believe her (02/13/15)
A warning to Romeos whose significant others say they don't want anything special on Saturday. They don't really mean it. According to WalletHub, in fact, 53 percent of women say they would break up with their significant others if they got nothing for Valentine's Day...
Facebook 'legacy' option welcome addition to site (02/12/15)
Achieve immortality through social media? Some of our church page columnists might have another point of view, but thinking about Facebook and death isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. Facebook for many of us fills a void that used to be filled by phone calls, letters and postcards -- postcards from the turn of the last century (1899-1900) seem eerily like the text messages, tweets and Facebook posts of today...
Yes, we'll all miss Jon Stewart, but what about Brian Williams? (02/11/15)
Not many red state political buffs may miss Jon Stewart, who announced Tuesday that he was leaving "The Daily Show" after 15 years, but they should. Yes, he took a decidedly left-wing view of current events, but there was no question what he thought about issues as they arose...
Trend is toward more robots (02/10/15)
We may not have our jet packs or flying cars, but while they might not look like the Jestons' Rosie, robot vacuum cleaners are not uncommon, prowling our homes and terrorizing pets while cleaning their hair from the floors. Automation is taking over more and more of the mundane tasks in our lives, from controlling the thermostat to parallel parking our cars -- self-driving cars are under development...
Perfect storm leaves millions vulnerable to identity theft (02/09/15)
Imagine the following scenario: We require everyone in the country to buy a product, which requires them to provide all their most sensitive information: Social Security numbers, banking information, salary levels, etc. Then we allow criminals to have that information...
Voter ID, mail-in ballots both reasonable ideas (02/06/15)
While Nebraska legislators are debating a bill to make voting more difficult, they are also considering one to make it easier. The Government, Military and Veterans Affairs committee voted 7-1 on Wednesday to advance Sen. Tyson Larson of O'Neill's bill that would require voters to show a driver's license, state ID card or other government-issued photo identification...
Net neutrality issue should be watched closely (02/05/15)
When we turn on the faucet, water comes out, and we don't give it much more thought than that. We pay the bill from the city, or the power company that provides the electricity to pump it out of the ground, and we expect it to appear in abundance when we turn the faucet...
Communicable diseases stay in news spotlight (02/03/15)
We've frequently taken to the soap box about vaccinations, and there is more affirmation about the importance of the topic. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported 215 cases of whooping cough in January, emphasizing the need for children to receive routine vaccinations to prevent this potentially fatal disease...
Don't trust just anyone with your tax return (02/02/15)
Potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee continues to push a national sales tax, the "Fair Tax," to replace the current IRS code. It sounds inviting to "abolish the IRS" as Huckabee contends, but opponents say it would lower the tax burden on the wealthiest while increasing it on the middle class. Lower-income people would receive "prefunds" on their purchases, but we have the right to be skeptical of any program gives the government money before sending it back...
Rural residents find many ways to make a living (01/30/15)
It's not surprising that a lot of people in rural Nebraska are farmers or have farm related jobs, but the self-employment trend is increasing, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's latest Nebraska Rural Poll. It's a glass-half-full, glass-half-empty sort of situation...
Don't let your home undermine your health (01/28/15)
Some of us are fatalistic when it comes to our health, especially "the big C," cancer. Yes, maybe we've quit smoking, or maybe we never did smoke, but a majority of us have anecdotal evidence that non-smokers can get lung cancer, too. Second-hand smoke, other environmental factors, bad genetics or just bad luck may be enough to make a non-smoker another cancer statistic...
Odds catch up with unvaccinated Disneyland visitors (01/27/15)
Measles was virtually eliminated in the United States 15 years ago, but inspired by now-discredited research linking vaccinations and autism and promoted by misguided celebrities, many parents are choosing not to have their children vaccinated. While many of those parents can afford to have their children immunized, other parents, those living in other countries, may not have the opportunity to obtain the shots...
Readers respond to online polls (01/23/15)
Readers had a few things to say about Thursday's editorial asking whether all cell phone use by drivers should be banned. That poll is still open, but so far, 19 readers said yes and 14 said no. "Head sets should be used. You see officers of the law driving around with a cell phone held to the side of their head all the time, or even on the computer device they have in the patrol cars," one reader commented. ...
Council has three good choices regarding old building (01/21/15)
The McCook City Council has a decision to make about the old public safety center, most recently the county "jail" before the new, proper county jail opened last fall. Council members can sell and/or lease the building to an automotive detail shop, offer a free lease to a program that trains prisoners skills to work in the building trade, while building homes, or keep the building for storage -- or perhaps some other option will come up...
Don't discount short commutes as local advantage (01/20/15)
We had no trouble getting responses from local officials and readers when we sought comments on a USA Today story that listed Red Willow as the poorest county in the state. We suggested there were better ways to measure wealth than by median income, and now we've seen some confirmation of that idea...
If you get the flu,it will be more than a 'touch' (01/19/15)
Think you might have a touch of the flu? Think again; if' you've got the flu, it will be more than a "touch. We've seen social media debates on whether or not to get a flu shot, and while this year's flu vaccine is not very effective -- only 23 percent, on average, more if you're younger, less if you're older -- getting a flu shot is still your best bet...
Online filing is open for business today (01/16/15)
The IRS is in charge of enforcing Obamacare for the first time this year. The IRS has also had its budget cut by 17 percent from what it was five years ago. Despite official assurances, that means your return might be delayed, and the IRS will collect fewer taxes, compounding the budget shortfall, according to a leaked internal memo...
Opening up of Cuba trade long overdue (01/15/15)
The secret talks that led to a prisoner exchange and release of a U.S. governent contractor imprisoned in Cuba for five years have led to further thawing of the last remnants of the Cold War. Wednesday, the Obama administration announced that it was significantly loosening restrictions on American trade with, and investment in, Cuba...
Red Willow County poorest in state? We don't think so (01/14/15)
Red Willow County is the poorest in Nebraska, reports USA Today, citing a 24/7 Wall St. analysis of the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Yes, we have an unemployment rate of just 3.1 percent, and only 13 percent of people lived in poverty between 2009 and 2013, compared to a national figure of 15.4 percent, according to the figures...
'Free' college may be no bargain (01/13/15)
Free tuition at community colleges sounds like a great idea, but local college officials know nothing is really free. "Free sounds great if you're a student," said Ryan Purdy, Mid-Plains Community College president. "But from the taxpayer standpoint, the cost may exceed the anticipated outcomes."...
Some solutions can surprisingly be less costly (01/12/15)
Gov. Pete Ricketts outlined some worthy goals in his inaugural address Thursday: Create a stronger economy and more jobs. Cut property taxes, reduce regulatory burdens on businesses, and strengthen education to provide the skilled labor modern businesses will need...
Leap second coming, will we be ready? (01/09/15)
Three years ago, Qantas' reservation system broke down, leaving passengers stranded for hours and the planes that never crash lined up on the tarmac. Reddit, Foursquare, Yelp and LinkedIn all bogged down, as did systems using Java and Linux -- the operating system underlying all of those Android phones and tablets...
France pushed for forefront of free speech battle (01/08/15)
Americans enjoy jokes at France's expense. But jokers are forgetting the long relationship the United States has enjoyed with the French, arms and soldiers essential to defeating the British in the American Revolution, to the gift of the giant statue that greets ships arriving in New York Harbor, through two world wars and continuing today...
Celebrating another important state crop (01/06/15)
Nebraska: The Cornhusker State. Whatever the fortunes of our favorite football team, Nebraska is inexorably linked to those fields of corn growing along our highways, nourished with water drawn from the Ogallala aquifer through center-pivot systems, many of which are manufactured right here in McCook...
How will you spend your 'gasoline bonus'? (01/05/15)
We've got good news and bad news. First, the good news: the price of gasoline is down. And the bad news? See above. For most of us who depend on our cars and pickup trucks to get around, the fact that the average price of gasoline dropped for 99 consecutive days, as reported by AAA on Friday, that means more money in our pockets...
When it comes to flu, it may be best to 'phone it in' (01/02/15)
Get plenty of rest. Drink plenty of water. See your doctor. That's the usual mantra when it comes to colds and flu, but some health care providers are taking a second look at the third point. It makes sense -- flu is spread from person-to-person, so why increase the chances it has to be transmitted? If everyone in a community makes contact with a few health care providers, the chances are good those professionals will become sick themselves, and transmit the illness to other patients...
Many new tools available for self-improvement plans (12/31/14)
How did last year's New Year's resolutions turn out? That bad, huh? Not even going to try this year? That would REALLY be bad. There's no reason we can't change ourselves at any time of year, but flipping the calendar over to a new year is a natural time to turn over a new leaf in our lives...
Plan ahead to have a safe celebration New Year's Eve (12/30/14)
The Nebraska State Patrol felt compelled to issue a news release about a speeding ticket on Interstate 80 on Christmas eve. What made it newsworthy? According to the release, Brandon P. Vasquez of Scottsdale, Arizona, was clocked at 127 m.p.h. in a 75-m.p.h. zone...
Obama action may raise prices of fresh produce (12/29/14)
If the price of your produce goes up over the coming year, you may be able to chalk it up as another example of unintended consequences. President Obama's executive action to prevent some 5 million people from being deported is expected to make an agricultural labor shortage even worse, according to trade organizations...
Even Nebraska lottery winners are level-headed folk (12/26/14)
Keep a level head and you'll do well. It has served folks like football legend Tom Osborne, investment icon Warren Buffett and numerous other Nebraska leaders very well over the years. Even when it comes to behaviour many of us view as foolish -- playing the lottery -- Nebraskans tend toward level-headedness...
Is it time for a general holiday reboot? (12/23/14)
Happy Festivus! It's time to erect the aluminum pole, for airing grievances and exhibiting feats of strength. The faux fest was popularized by a 1997 Seinfeld episode, but actually was invented by the father of one of the show's writers, who created it in February 1966 as a celebration of his first date with his future wife. ...
Missing pets still a mystery, but keep yours from being next (12/22/14)
Staff and volunteers at the McCook Humane Society know a lot about missing pets, but that's usually because they are on the receiving end of them. What's different this time is that the dogs aren't wating at the shelter on South Street in McCook to be returned to their owners...
Lessons learned from incidents with Korea, Cuba (12/18/14)
It was quite a day in international relations, but what are the lessons? First, there was the surprise announcement that the United States and Cuba would swap prisoners and begin the process of normalizing relations that have been frozen since Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, punctuated by the Bay of Pigs disaster, Cuban Missile Crisis and U.S. sponsored attempts on the dictator's life...
Nebraska's most underutilized natural resource (12/17/14)
Quick, name some of our region's top natural resources. Water? Yes, we're sitting on one of the largest freshwater resources in the world, the Ogallala Aquifer. It's the source of consternation and conflict, declining at the shallow edges and the focus of opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, which skirts the aquifer to the northeast...
Don't let scam artists rob you of Christmas joy (12/16/14)
More and more of us do more and more of our business over the Internet, and it's not all buying baubles from China -- we're now able to order a pizza across town or refill a prescription using a smart phone app. That means more of our money is zipping around as digital data and an increasing number of criminals are following the footsteps of Willie Sutton, who, asked why he robbed banks, supposedly answered "because that's where the money is."...
Make sure Santa's gifts are safe this year (12/15/14)
You can almost feel the level of activity building up to a Christmas Day crescendo, followed by another, smaller peak on New Years Eve and Day -- a quiet minute is a rare commodity in the waning days of December. Holidays are a great time for spending time with family and friends, but not for a trip to the emergency room...
Study shows potential for wind energy (12/12/14)
There are plenty of economic and bureaucratic obstacles to be overcome in the long term, but Nebraska's wind energy industry has immediate potential for even short-term expansion. The Wind Coalition is pointing to results from an official report released today by the Nebraska Power Review Board, which commissioned a study by the Brattle Group as aresult of passage of LB 1115 last legislative session...
Smart phones, medical data raise questions (12/11/14)
Back in the analog age, we would have been amazed to know the amount of computing power most of us carry around in our pockets and purses today. Digital capabilities that would have taken a railroad box car to ship in the 1950s can now be clipped to your belt or, increasingly, strapped to your wrist in the latest wearable technology...
Carbon monoxide can be pernicious killer (12/10/14)
Nebraska's weather can be unforgiving if you find yourself out in it unprotected, but the alternative can be just as dangerous if your heating equipment isn't up to snuff. Unfortunately, that's too often the case, and it's getting worse, according to the Nebraska Poison Center, which reports a 24 percent increase in carbon monoxide calls so far this year compared to last year...
Microscopic life plays big role in staying healthy (12/10/14)
Germs: They're everywhere. From the common cold to Ebola, we're pretty much at the mercy of our microscopic companions. The flu virus is especially devious -- because of haphazard replication of its DNA, new strains are appearing all the time. Flu vaccines that have to be prepared months in advance are sometimes effective against the strains that actually appear, and sometimes not...
Nebraskans keep up giving tradition (12/08/14)
We just experienced the seasonal celebration when we're supposed to give thanks for all our blessings, and we're now knee-deep in preparing for what is supposed to be a day for giving -- although most of us tend get a little more excited what we might receive rather than what we're giving...
Immigrants more important share of citizenry (12/05/14)
Today's young adults -- millennials age 18-34 -- are less likely to have been married than their counterparts from 1980 and are more likely to live in poverty despite being more likely to have a college degree. Oh, and they're more likely to speak with a foreign accent, having been born somewhere other than the United States...
Public perception not always best market regulation (12/04/14)
Natural market forces are always preferable to government control of the economy, but they sometimes fly in the face of logic. The "pink slime" flap of a few years ago is one example -- after a television network "exposť" of the way "finely textured meat" was produced, the industry basically collapsed, closing factories, throwing thousands out of work and wasting nutritious food that formerly was added to beef products to reduce the fat content...
Medicaid expansion or no, fair, equitable system needed (12/03/14)
Red Willow County is being used as an example of what can happen to people without health insurance. Nebraska Appleseed testified Tuesday before a legislative committee examining the effects of our state's decision not to participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act...
Body cameras could help separate fact from fiction (12/02/14)
You can't watch a television commercial or visit YouTube without seeing video of someone sky diving, skateboarding, skiing, surfing or scuba diving, usually as a vehicle for selling a sports drink or beer. The advent of the GoPro camcorder, not to mention video-capable smartphones, means more and more of our lives are being captured on videotape...
Use common sense to stay safe this holiday season (11/28/14)
Once you get your Black Friday shopping done, you'll need somewhere to put the presents. It's a happy time of year, but not if that Christmas tree and those outdoor lights happen to start a fire. Year after year, we hear just such tragic stories. According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2007 through 2011, U.S. ...
Red Willow County's first Thanksgiving (11/26/14)
Our thanks to the Nebraska State Historical Society for providing the following: Thanksgiving in 1896 was celebrated on November 26, and editor F. M. Kimmell of the McCook Tribune took advantage of the holiday to reflect on Red Willow County's recent past. "I wonder if any one has thought of this month being the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first settling of the county," he wrote in the Tribune on November 27, 1896...
Reconciliation effort, leadership needed in Missouri (11/25/14)
President Obama was considering whether to visit Ferguson, Missouri, today while he's in Chicago to promote his executive order on immigration. "We are a nation built on the rule of law, so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury's to make," the president said after the grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer who shot and killed a black teenager last summer...
Latest water agreements step in right direction (11/24/14)
The dispute is far from over, but common sense seems to have prevailed in the most recent activity concerning the Republican River. Colorado and Nebraska entities have responded to downstream demands for water by converting groundwater into surface water, through augmentation projects Colorado's North Fork Republican River project, Rock Creek by the Upper Republican Natural Resources District and N-CORPE the Middle, Upper, Twin Platte and Lower NRDs...
All things considered, local shopping is a bargain (11/21/14)
UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service are busier than ever delivering packages as Internet shopping become easier and more popular. That package comes at the cost of knowing that anyone with a Wifi connection and a credit card can buy the same thing. And, with the knowledge that the dollars spent go into the pocket of some Internet billionaire or the Chinese government, which owns the factory where the gift was produced...
Quit smoking, enjoy benefits immediately (11/20/14)
Talk about smoking these days, and the subject is probably cannabis, not nicotiana tabacum solanaceae more commonly known as tobacco. If you use the latter, however, we hope you will give consideration to today's event, the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout...
Hydrogen cars are becoming closer to reality (11/18/14)
The car will cost $57,600 and Toyota plans to sell only 700 of them over the next couple of years. They won't be all that cheap to operate and you'll be lucky to find a fuel station -- there are only a couple dozen of them in the world. Still, after years of talk, it was exciting to hear that the first production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is going on the market...
McCook influences continue to be felt in major national events (11/17/14)
In February, we wrote about the disproportionate role McCook has played in national events by being home to four governors and two senators, but a closer look at current events expands that influence even farther. The House passed legislation Friday to advance the Keystone XL pipeline, and the Senate is poised to do so Tuesday (in a maneuver by Democrats to prop up Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana's runoff chances), and President Obama seems likely to veto the bill when it reaches his desk...
Serious issues put discipline to ultimate test (11/14/14)
In case you don't think self-discipline is an issue in this country, check out today's news about how the lack thereof has serious consequences. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel wants to spend billions of dollars to fix the system in charge of our nuclear weapons, but it's not entirely clear to us how simply throwing money at a problem can solve leadership lapses, security flaws and sagging morale...
Housing rental, purchase not always clear-cut (11/13/14)
It's the American dream, but it isn't always a sweet dream, according to a research firm. Owning one's own home has historically been a good idea, particularly if the numbers are right. According to HeroWallet, a workforce optimization and research firm, for more and more people, particularly with younger workers, the numbers show it's better to rent than to buy...
Should we all be required to spend time in public service? (11/11/14)
Today we honor those who have risked and even given their lives in the service of our country. For the past few decades, they have all been volunteers, chosing to enlist in one of the branches of the military in exchange for experience, promised benefits, and, at least, the satisfaction that they have done the right thing...
Veterans deserve a leg-up when it comes to jobs (11/10/14)
In hindsight, Americans felt guilty about the way Vietnam vets were treated upon their return from that unpopular war. Perhaps we've overcompensated for that disgrace by assigning the "hero" label to almost anyone who wears a uniform. In other ways, however, we still fall short in honoring those who have sacrificed the best years of their lives -- and risked those lives -- in the service of their fellow citizens...
Marijuana, gay marriage not sure things (11/07/14)
Gay marriage and legalized marijuana are the wave of the future, right? Well, maybe or maybe not. And it's not just because of the results of Tuesday's mid-term election. Since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, a number of state bans on gay marriage have been struck down...
Conservatives have their work cut out for them (11/06/14)
There's no time to horse around for fiscal conservatives who have been champing at the bit to "rein in government spending." Republicans have control of the legislative branch of government, and some would say they control another, the Supreme Court, as well. President Obama has vowed to work with the new congress, but that hasn't happened since Obamacare was passed, and it's hard to see how putting Republicans in charge of the Senate will make him more receptive to the idea...
Don't let SAD give you the winter blues (11/05/14)
If you're feeling blue today, it may be because your candidate didn't do so well on election day. On the other hand, it might just be because we're headed into the winter months, after an especially pleasant late summer and fall. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real condition, and here are some symptoms:...
More attention than usual for a mid-term vote (11/04/14)
For a mid-term election, today's vote is drawing more than the usual amount of attention. Legislative District 44 voters are choosing between two candidates from the upper stretches of the Republican River basin and Natural Resources District, after McCook Mayor Dennis Berry was defeated in the primary. That left Middle Republican NRD voters short of a choice they think might offer our irrigators better representation in Lincoln...
Bloody Sunday leading up to dangerous driving season (11/03/14)
There was a home Cornhusker game, hunting season is under way and the weather was unusually nice for the first weekend of November. For whatever reason, it was a bloody Sunday on Nebraska highways. We noticed a number of Facebook entries concerning an Interstate accident that blocked traffic for a time, and an Associated Press story gave the details: Witnesses said a tire fell off a car, which then crossed the median and struck the back of a semitrailer...
Let's make a busy Halloween night a safe one, too (10/31/14)
Halloween will be different in McCook tonight, with the Bison in a football playoff game in town and, no, no one has officially decided to move trick-or-treating to Saturday night as some rumors have contended. Church youth groups are collecting food for the McCook Pantry, and we encourage everyone to do what they can to meet that growing need...
Rolling out new supersize crash test dummies (10/30/14)
Before you help yourself to your kids' Halloween candy, you might want to consider new risks. Yes, you should check any candy your children receive to make sure it's safe, but it's probably OK. No, what we're talking about are the health and safety risks all those sugary calories carry with them...
Parents might like lecture, homework swap (10/29/14)
Public schools get more than their share of criticism, what with "common core" and other "innovations" raising the hackles of parents who prefer traditional subjects taught in traditional ways. But we recently heard of an innovation that we think many parents will embrace with open arms, especially those with experience battling with kids to do their homework...
Survey measures stress, laughter as parts of parenthood (10/27/14)
It's the worst job in the world. It's the best job in the world. When it comes down to it, being a parent is all about living. According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 45.1 percent of adults with children at home say they experience greater stress as a result -- as opposed to 36.8 percent who don't live with children...
Conservatives get most of their news from fewer sources (10/24/14)
If you think America has become too polarized, you might not have to look as far as Washington to find the reason. You might check the buttons on your remote control to see which ones are worn out. We were a lot more homogonized when everyone tuned in to the 5:30 p.m. news to see what Walter Cronkite had to say about the Vietnam war or the Watergate scandal...
Still another health risk worse than Ebola (10/23/14)
One of the ironies of the ebola "crisis" is that Americans have become more aware of the relative risks of more common diseases such as influenza. In fact, by some reports, more people are better prepared to prevent flu infection, through vaccination, handwashing and other measures, as a result of the ebola scare...
Putting virus outbreaks in perspective (10/22/14)
Diseases have been prominent on the Gazette's front page in recent days, from Tuesday's story about Community Hospital's preparations to deal with Ebola, to the confirmation of the enterovirus to a death associated with the West Nile virus. Ebola victims die a horrible death, and while there officially have been about 5,000 deaths among fewer than 10,000 cases, worldwide, the vast majority of them in Africa, some believe the actual numbers are much higher...
World agriculture has new tool for better efficiency (10/21/14)
We've been keeping an eye on the nascent agricultural drone industry and are convinced it has a bright future once regulatory roadblocks are overcome. The technology allows a farmer to "scout" every field as often as desired, spotting problems with irrigation systems, finding specific spots with infestations or lacking nutrients, or myriad other issues...
'Tis the season for inappropriate costumes, toys (10/20/14)
Free enterprise keeps our country running, but it also keeps commentators on the job as it pushes the boundaries of good taste. Halloween has turned into one of the year's biggest holidays when it comes to retail sales, so it's not surprising when companies go a little overboard to try to land their piece of the pie...
Cellular phones no longer a luxury to be taxed as such (10/17/14)
Remember the "luxury tax"? The idea is understandable -- anyone who can afford luxury items like furs, cars, yachts, private jets and jewelry probably won't bat an eye at a few extra dollars. Congress bought the argument, enacting such a tax in 1991, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush...
News events undermine CDC confidence (10/16/14)
We're told repeatedly that Americans don't have anything to fear from Ebola, but recent events haven't done anything to engender public confidence. Because she took a flight, at last 100 airline passengers are now at risk of contracting Ebola. While space-suited workers prepared to load the latest patient onto a private plane bound for Atlanda, an unidentified man walking with the group, carrying a clip board and dressed in shirt sleeves, handling a container and hazmat trash bag from one of the workers in full-protective gear and later boarding the flight.. ...
Minden may bring sales tax to bear on water repair issues (10/10/14)
Minden residents sometimes can't tell whether they've flushed the toilet or not. Tests show the water is safe to drink, but city officials are getting tired of people bringing in photos and samples of water ranging from yellow, to red and brown. It stains clothes and, in parts of town, barely dribbles out of the faucet...
Turkey trauma (10/09/14)
As a busy mom, Hubby and I don't get the chance to spend a lot of alone time together so when we do, I look forward to it. Last Friday, he and I had to go to some mandatory all-day meetings out of town for our jobs, and it worked out just so, that we would be traveling just the two of us the day. ...
New Events Center name is fitting tribute to generous family (10/09/14)
The MCC Events Center is a clean, no-nonsense modern facility that quietly goes about the business of supporting McCook Community College and the students it prepares for the future. It's only fitting that it now bears the name of Peter and Dolores Graff, who have quietly gone about the business of improving the community they and their family call home...
Even green energy can have its costs (10/08/14)
Not everybody is completely sold on green energy, judging by comments made by neighbors to a proposed wind farm in Southwest Nebraska. "I think it's going to negatively impact our property values," neighbor Larry Chapman said at a Hallam Village Board meeting Monday. "I don't oppose the project, but I don't want one (wind turbine) that's close to my house. Nobody's going to want to buy that acreage."...
Electricity shares blame, credit in household fires (10/07/14)
Too often, when authorities make a news report following a fire, "electrical" is listed as a suspected cause. It's true that electricity can cause destruction when it's not confined to the proper circuits -- or occurs in the wild, such as the bolt of lightning that ripped the bark from a tree on West 10th Street Sunday evening...
Casting votes best way to honor forebears (10/06/14)
It's popular to be patriotic on the Fourth of July, Veterans Day and Memorial Day, and to honor those who have served and are serving in the military, but too many of us don't take advantage of the most appropriate way to honor those who have won us our freedoms...
Are lifestyle changes key to victory over Alzheimer's? (10/03/14)
It's too early to say they've found a cure, but there's reason to hope scientists are on to something when it comes to Alzheimer's disease. At the very least, research begun by UCLA scientists should be expanded to many more test subjects. The California team subjected 10 Alzheimer's patients to a personized regimen including a comprehensive diet change, brain stimulation, exercise, sleep optimization, specific drugs and vitamins and other steps affecting brain chemistry...
It takes reliable workers at all levels to keep things humming (10/02/14)
For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail...
We should stay vigilant against threats (10/01/14)
The world has enjoyed instantaneous electronic communication since the invention of the Internet, but worldwide air travel has put physical "communication" close behind. In the old days, crossing the ocean took days or weeks, meaning many diseases would have run their course by the time the carriers reached shore. Airline travel has cut transit time to the point that travelers may as well be beamed by Star Trek transporters...
Let's work to reverse rural accident trends (09/30/14)
School consolidation has been a fact of life in rural Nebraska for decades, and while there are budgetary advantages, families pay the price through increased travel, whether by school bus or private car. Unfortunately, that travel can be dangerous and is getting worse in rural Nebraska, according to AAA Nebraska...
Congratulations on another great Heritage Days (09/29/14)
Congratulations to the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce on another successful Heritage Days, which certainly lived up to its theme, according to Executive Director Taci Fawver. "Grow With Us" was the chosen theme for this year's Heritage Days celebration, and in many aspects of the weekend, it fit so well!" she said...
State ranks high when it comes to highways (09/26/14)
Nebraska and its neighbors are often disparaged as "flyover states" when the national political season heats up, but most of us do our traveling on the ground. With that in mind, it's nice to hear we're doing a good job of making that a pleasant experience...
It's shaping up to be a great Heritage Days (09/25/14)
Congratulations to all the honorees for this year's Heritage Days festivities -- Parade Marshalls Howard and Janet Kool, Grand Marshalls brothers Brett and Toby Warren, Honor Family Eugene and Marilyn Anderson, Queen Erica Wood and King Isaac Langan...
Learning safety by playing with dangerous things (09/24/14)
You have to feel for the teachers. Four students were injured, one seriously, when a teacher was pouring methanol onto a table top and igniting it during a chemistry class demonstration Monday at Denver's Science, Math and Arts Academy, a charter high school...
Income not whole story of happiness (09/23/14)
Money can't buy happiness goes the old saying, and it's as true as ever. Or can it? Yes it can, up to a point, if you want to believe a recent study. Let's just hope Washington isn't paying attention. Otherwise, they'd be tempted to impose a 100 percent tax rate above $75,000, the point above which researchers contend we gain no more happiness with each additional dollar...
Food waste not confined to the school lunch line (09/22/14)
From the "you can lead a horse to water" department, there's more frustration on the lunch line as schools see millions of dollars a day of food dumped into the trash because kids refuse to eat it. Of the $12 billion a year the U.S. Department of Agriculture spends on the National School Lunch program, researchers at Cornell and Brigham Young universities estimate some $4 million in food a day is being wasted...
Skills, education best investment for state's workers (09/19/14)
While fast-food workers nationwide are campaigning for $15 an hours, there's a more modest drive under way in Nebraska, a ballot issue to raise the state's minimum wage to $9. Nebraskans for Better Wages released a study in support of the change, saying one out of six workers in the state would receive a raise as a result...
McCook Gazette
Our opinion