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Monday, Dec. 5, 2016
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 Peńa 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...
Festival, concert work together for worthy local goals (08/08/16)
Barnett Park was revived as a great events venue with Sunday night's Hear Nebraska/Good Living Tour/Prairie Roots Festival, when the stars aligned just right for what should be the first of a successful series of community gatherings. This one differed from other traditional events in that it was initiated and carried out by young people who have the most to gain and the most responsibility for providing nourishment for community growth...
Time for a third party in America? Perhaps, says poll (08/05/16)
With Donald Trump's runaway mouth and Hillary Clinton's character questions, the future isn't looking good for America's two-party system, let alone the country's fate in general. A new GenForward Poll at the University of Chicago is bad news for both parties, regardless of demographics...
Prairie Roots Festival raises bar on celebrations (08/04/16)
Heritage Days is always a busy weekend, but this weekend promises to challenge its status as the biggest in McCook's yearly calendar. We'd better hope it arrives soon, or someone will add so many events there will be no hope of keeping track of them...
Latest fatality compounds tragic story of I-80 crash (08/03/16)
Any traffic death is a tragedy, but the news from the Interstate 80 crash Sunday seems to get worse. A sixth victim was declared brain dead Monday, but his body was being kept on life support so that organs could be harvested to keep others alive. The man, Terry Sullivan, 56, was in a minivan struck by a van carrying a family of five from St. Paul, Minn., which was struck by a semi that failed to slow for a construction zone in Keith County...
State Fair 'triples down' on big-name outdoor concerts (08/02/16)
The Nebraska State Fair is expecting its 2 millionth visitor this year in the Grand Island site it has called home for the past seven years. Fairboard member Bob Haag of Indianola joined Executive Director Joseph McDermott and Marketing and Sponsorship Director Shaun Schleif on their annual promotional swing through Southwest Nebraska, but they had no trouble finding something new to talk about for Nebraska's big party...
Playing in virtual world can lead to real dangers (08/01/16)
Pokémon Go players tend to be younger and perhaps less wise in the ways of the world, so it's not surprising that there is no shortage of criminals willing to take advantage of them. We saw a recent YouTube video of how easy it was for one man to lure two teenage girls into his car under the guise of capturing a popular character...
Hinckley release revives Simants concerns (07/28/16)
Cynics will find some way to connect the release of the man who tried to killed the Republican Party's icon Ronald Reagan and the Democratic Party's national convention but it's only the latest twist in a process that started 35 years ago. John W. Hinckley Jr., 61, who shot the president and three others outside the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981, no longer poses a danger to himself or others, according to a 103-page court order issued by U.S. ...
Time to get kids' immune systems ready for school (07/27/16)
Summer was fun while it lasted, but you can now count on one hand the number of weeks until school starts again. With school opening comes the chance to meet new friends and become reacquainted with old ones. But while kids' minds are adjusting to the new social situation, their bodies are reacting to new microbes those interactions bring along...
Even binge-watching TV can be dangerous (07/26/16)
If you're tire of convention coverage, you might be tempted to binge watch those old episodes of "Orange is the New Black" or "House of Cards." You might want to go for a walk or play a round of golf instead, according to some studies. First there was a University of Texas at Austin study that found a connection between binge-watching and depression, lack of self-regulation or loneliness...
Election year shapes up as strangest since '68 (07/25/16)
Despite the Republican Party's selection of a sometimes belligerent nominee and Cleveland residents open-carrying assault-type weapons -- or perhaps because they were -- the GOP convention came off relatively smoothly. This week's Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia is shaping up to be entirely different...
Local troopers deserve credit for traffic safety (07/22/16)
Troopers would be the first to say they didn't deserve all the credit, but local troopers certainly deserve their share for helping prevent needless traffic fatalities last year. The McCook Sergeant Area was the only Nebraska State Patrol work area in the state to record zero fatality accidents during the 2015 calendar year...
Two messages, one goal: Healthier lives for children (07/21/16)
"Team Henry" rolled through McCook this week with the message that kids can overcome obesity with an active lifestyle and healthy eating habits. You can read about Dr. Pierre Rouzier's cross-country bicycle trip on mccookgazette.com or in Wednesday's Gazette, where a story and pictures about his visit to the McCook Public Library were printed on page 7...
FEMA offers smartphone app to deal with heat (07/20/16)
If you were around in 1936, this weather may feel familiar. Nebraska's all-time highest recorded temperature was 118 °F on July 24, 1936 in Minden. That was just one of many days and weeks of weather over several years that led to vast dust storms, crop failures and depopulation of parts of the Plains and migration to California during the Depression...
No great artists among Mrs. Trump's speech writers (07/19/16)
The quote "good artists imitate; great artists steal" has been widely attributed to Pablo Picasso. It's also been credited to everyone from Steve Jobs to T.S. Eliot and Igor Stravinsky. When it comes to speech writing, however, Melania Trump's scribes are not being praised as great artists following her speech Monday night to the Republican National Convention...
Report lays out plans to help sex trafficking victims (07/18/16)
We read about prostitution stings each year in Nebraska - usually around major events such as the College World Series when law enforcement conducts stings, but most of us like to think "The Good Life" doesn't include "great" opportunities like that, especially in rural Nebraska...
The west will have to admit it's at war (07/15/16)
Internet wags were quick to call on authorities to ban trucks following Thursday's terrorism in France, but the truck attack shows just how difficult it is to fight an enemy that will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who disagrees with their religion and are only too happy to kill themselves in the process...
Road rage possible, even in sparsely populated regions (07/14/16)
Southwest Nebraskans joke about traffic jams, but dangerous conflicts arising from road disputes are not unheard of, even in our sparsely populated corner of the state. Wait at the corner of West Fifth and J on a busy school morning, and you'll agree that road rage is possible anytime motor vehicles and time schedules are in use...
Thinking outside the box on road repair, construction (07/13/16)
We haven't made a study of it, but a couple of innovative ideas have caught our eye in recent days when it comes to streets and highways. A television report Tuesday how injected foam was being used to repair a major traffic artery in Grand Island, which apparently was improperly constructed in the first place...
New GMO rules should tell whole story (07/12/16)
Rather than let Vermont dictate GMO food standards for the country, the Senate passed a labeling law last week and the House will take up the issue in short order. There's no guarantee the House will go along with the requirement. While humans have been modifying their foods for centuries through selective breeding, it's only been a few years that they've been able to manipulate DNA directly, by inserting a gene from one plant or animal into another...
Latest electronic game gets players off Mom's couch (07/11/16)
On one hand, the newest video game craze encourages exercise. On the other, it can have dangerous consequences. If you see someone staring at their screen and walking down the street, they may be playing a new "augmented reality" game. The game, Pokemon Go, has exploded in popularity since it was released Wednesday, sending players out into the real world to find online "pocket monsters" -- Pokemon. ...
Officers deserve support, even after honest mistakes (07/08/16)
Many have dangerous jobs, and we're wise not to take our loved ones for granted when they head off to work. Even so, it's shocking and outrageous to hear that five police officers lost their lives Thursday night as they were working to protect the rights and lives of peaceful protesters only a few blocks from where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963...
Sorry, but your hoverboard may not be safe (07/07/16)
If you're disappointed that it's 2016 and you still don't have a jet pack, you might have consoled yourself by riding your hoverboard. Sorry about that, but you'd better pay attention to a notice from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Basically, if you've got a hoverboard more than a couple of months old, you should send it back, including those received as Christmas presents...
Can U.S. oil reserves keep us out of more wars? (07/06/16)
Oil has always played a pivotal role in wars from the B-24 raids on Hitler's refineries in Ploiești, Romania, the Imperial Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) to Dick Cheney's contention that the invasion of Iraq could be paid for with oilfield proceeds...
Whatever reason, now is good time to donate blood (07/05/16)
One of our staff members at the Gazette who has O negative does his best to show up for local blood drives, but he has selfish reasons. Yes, O negative blood is much in demand because it can be given to anyone who needs it. But when someone with O negative blood needs a transfusion, it can't come from just anyone. It has to be O negative blood...
Good news, bad news for Fourth of July holiday (06/30/16)
It could be a great weekend if you plan to travel, but it could also be one of the worst, according to AAA Nebraska. Starting today and extending through Monday, July 4, nearly 43 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more away from home. It will be the cheapest travel in years if gasoline prices are taken into account, with U.S. drivers saving about $20 billion on gasoline so far this year compared to the same period in 2015...
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