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Sunday, Sep. 21, 2014
Thumbs Up to Business Stories
Skills, education best investment for state's workers
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...
A competitive governor's race?
I was sitting in Ben Nelson's childhood home which had been moved to Norris Avenue on the Saturday morning of the Heritage Days celebration 8 years ago speaking with him about an upcoming rally to garner support and campaign contributions for his re-election race against Pete Ricketts. Three of his aides were standing against walls in the living room and they were all on their cell phones...
Fall TV coverage: ABC's vets will have to carry the load
The fall TV season is here, and that means it's time for a look into the future -- the near, near future, that is -- to identify the good, the bad and the rest on broadcast television. Over the next few weeks, I'll provide an overview of the fall offerings, and give my take on what will work, what won't, and where everyone will be standing at the midseason mark. This week, it's ABC's turn under the microscope...
Insurance controversy continues
Treatment of an Ebola patient in an Omaha hospital reinforces Nebraska's reputation as a state with good medical care, but a dispute between a major health insurance company and one of its largest medical networks stands to undermine that status. An Aug. ...
Ebola, ISIS issue have a familiar ring
An American aid doctor being treated in Nebraska is expected to recover after receiving an experimental drug and a transfusion from another aid worker who had recovered from Ebola. Before the doctor can be discharged from the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, he must have had two blood tests, 24 hours apart, that are negative for Ebola...
Event offers chance to learn more about dogs, support shelter
A story on the wire caught our eye this morning, about how a Nebraska breeder had "donated" 26 small dogs to the Grand Island animal shelter. How generous! Despite the questionable wording, turning the dogs over to the shelter was certainly preferable to actions taken by other mysterious breeders, who have chosen to dump dozens of small dogs in the Southwest Nebraska countryside a couple of times in the past few years...
Our newest second lieutenant
Meet Second Lieutenant Asher Brooks United States Air Force one of McCook's finest. As your columnist alluded in last week's column Grannie Annie and I were privileged to travel to Maxwell AFB, Alabama to "swear him in" or more properly to administer the oath of office and commit him to commissioned officer duty in the Nebraska Air National Guard and the US Air Force. ...
Ice bucket caution
The Ice Bucket Challenge is currently the big craze and most of you have probably heard about it and may have already taken the challenge. Those challenged are asked to either dump an ice bucket of cold water over their head or donate to ALS research. Most do both and it has been very successful in raising awareness of ALS which is a good thing. But people should consider where their donations go and how the money is used...
Recycling
A current television advertisement follows a discarded plastic milk bottle as it j journeys precariously over a dangerous terrain until it comes to rest at the base of a recycle bin. A passerby leans over, picks up the discarded plastic bottle and deposits it in the recycle bin. In the background a narrator is heard, "Give life to your garbage."...
Emergency preparedness must include pets
It's heart-warming to see -- and write -- stories about first responders taking care of family pets once they know the people at the fire or accident are taken care of. But, while the firefighters and paramedics do have soft hearts when it comes to cats and dogs, they know there's more to it than that...
New jail is positive addition for McCook
It's been a long time coming, and the new jail's existence and location were far from unanimous decisions, but congratulations to everyone involved in construction of the new county law enforcement facility. County Commissioner Vesta Dack's symbolic ribbon cutting -- using bolt cutters to sever a link on a pair of leg irons -- frees Red Willow County from the shackles of "farming out" our long-term prisoners to jails in places like Trenton and Curtis...
Goodbye, my friend
I was sitting at the computer in my apartment next to my deck when I heard the sirens. I looked out the sliding glass door like I usually do and saw an ambulance followed by a police car zipping up the street. I live across the street from the hospital so I thought that's where they were going but they weren's. ...
New tools available to fight crime
Many Nebraskans take pride in being able to leave their doors unlocked and keys in the ignition of their pickup trucks. They used to, anyway. Unfortunately, there has been an uptick in certain crimes, especially those involving theft of items left in unlocked, unattended vehicles...
Times have changed, but our resolution must not
We hope you take time to attend tonight's performance of "The Guys," which promises to revive personal memories and emotions all of us felt, even here in mid-America, far from the attacks in New York and Washington. The play will be presented by McCook Community College at 7 p.m. at the Fox Theatre; admission is a free-will donation to the McCook Fire Department...
Heidemann's woes are loss for entire state
There's good news and bad news from Lincoln, if you have political ambitions. The good news is, there's an opening in the statehouse. The bad news is, it's the office of Nebraska Lieutenant Governor. Lavon Heidemann took that post only 18 months ago, after the Omaha World Herald discovered that Rick Sheehy had been using the state cell phone to make thousands of personal phone calls to four women other than his wife. They had since divorced...
Enjoying a slice of the South
Cajun Cuisine Yep that is what the ad on Grannie's iPad read! Cruising southbound on I-55 just north of Cape Girardeau, Missouri the clock said it was time for supper (that is rural Nebraskaneze for "dinner" the more sophisticated appalachian for the evening meal). ...

Invest in apple
Many speak of investing in gold or silver but those investments must go up in price to make you money. I offer what we did as an option. Kathy and I bought an apple tree seedling for $5 back in 1979. took most of 5 years to start to produce but year in and out it does...
Right on mark
The recent opinion submitted by Mr. Lyle Wilcox, retired real estate broker and appraiser, is toally accurate and comprehensible and that which I concur. His comments are based on a lifetime of professional real estate appraising. We were taught that land should be valued at its highest and best use, and the income that it is typical of producing under normal management and average conditions be capitalized at an investment rate common to certificates of deposit or that of bonds...
Good news, bad news on latest health concerns
One of the hazards of sending kids back to school is knowing that they'll probably come home with the latest bug that is making the rounds. That's true again this year, but instead of contracting the common cold, kids in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Colorado are reporting hundreds of children being hospitalized with an unusual strain of summer cold, Enterovirus 68...
Trees hold special place in hearts of Nebraskans
Nebraska's new marketing slogan, "Visit Nebraska. Visit Nice" has met with some negative reviews, both from Nebraskans who prefer "The Good Life" and from Minnesotans who have long claimed "Minnesota Nice" as their own. But it is true that Nebraskans do tend to be nice, thanks to their neighborly heritage and to the simple fact that there just aren't that many of us, especially places that aren't Lincoln or Omaha...
Something for nothing
It has been interesting to follow the trials of the residents in Calabria. The residents' concern appears to be the upkeep of the streets leading to their homes within the City-of-McCook-approved subdivision. Their plight points to a flaw in the way we do local government. ...
Farmland fallacy
The county assessor is guided in placing the value of farmland in the county on the basis of the sale prices of recent land sales. The fallacy lies in the fact that all the farms in the county are valued on the selling price of a few farms. If all the farms in the county were put up for sale at the same time, the price of farmland would drop precipitously, as would the assessed value...
Let's pay railroads full respect
Note to team photographers: While it's great to be creative, don't get the railroad involved. The Union Pacific, which sends 50 trains a day across tracks near North Bend, halted them Thursday after railroad workers found the North Bend Central volleyball team was using the tracks as a prop for team photos...
Katrina anniversary important reminder for preparedness
Nine years ago, New Orleans was going through the nightmare created by Hurricane Katrina, people stranded on roofs and in attics, patients dying in hospitals and rest homes. Despite the backhanded "good job, Brownie" compliment President George W. Bush gave his soon-to-depart FEMA director Michael D. Brown, the administration received heavy criticism for its response to the disaster...
Natural selection
Why do we meet hundreds of people throughout our lives, date many of them but only fall in love occasionally if ever? The reason is called natural selection and it's something almost all of us have experienced. We're not attracted to nor have any emotional or physical connection with most people but we do with some and we experience all those things with one...