[mccookgazette.com] Fair ~ 51°F  
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Friday, Apr. 18, 2014
Thumbs Up to Business Stories
Good news, bad news on property values
We've got good news and bad news; which would you like to hear first? The good news: if you're an average Nebraska property owner, your property has increased 12.45 percent in value, 29.1 percent if it's agricultural land. The bad news: if you're an average Nebraska property owner, your property has increased 12.45 percent in value, 29.1 percent if it's agricultural land...
Area gardeners are getting into volunteer spirit
Nearly everything public figures do during the run-up to the primary election is seen as political, but there are some things all sides can agree upon. Outgoing Gov. Dave Heineman and First Lady Sally Ganem are leading one example, encouraging Nebraskans to volunteer during ServeNebraska Week April 20-26...
To vote
Great News!!!! Grannie Annie's Adopt-A-Chaplain organization was pleased to report that there were Zero casualties in March 2014 -- No ramp ceremonies held for warriors who died in combat for first time in a decade!!!! Yes casualty free for the first time since June 2007...
Skate park project should get go-ahead
There's been an effort to build a skate park for McCook since at least 2005, and that effort will take a little while longer, thanks to a 4-1 school board vote Monday night against leasing school property to the city for that purpose. Unconfirmed reports are that the City of McCook has an alternative site in mind for the skate park...
Company invents pot vending machine; tobacco, booze next?
Remember cigarette machines? They used to be a common sight in gas stations and restaurants, but they're about as rare as 45 juke boxes these days. The problem is, they are legal only in establishments where people under 18 are not allowed. A Colorado company is getting around that problem with modern technology, but it's not cigarettes they're dealing with...
An election and a correction
If you read the editorial in this newspaper's April 3 edition, you should have cause for concern. Red Willow County has a population of 11,055 people with 7,144 of them being registered voters. Of that number, 2,826 of them are registered with a party affiliation other than Republican. ...
Local faith film among mix of popular movies
Hollywood has discovered that Americans are interested in religious topics, and recent releases are a good example. The Fridley Theater in McCook, for example, is showing "Noah," a controversial adaptation of the Old Testament flood story, and Friday will start showing "God's Not Dead," a story about a college student risking his future to attempt to prove that God is real...
Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
In the waning days of the Second Session of the 103rd Nebraska Legislature, one has to wonder if spending money on prison reform can survive a lame duck governor who has already vetoed millions of dollars to allegedly provide property tax relief. The Legislature's Judiciary Committee has advanced a measure (LB907), which appears to address numerous problems with the system, and is broadly aimed at reducing recidivism. ...
State's central issue headed for a solution?
Native Americans called our region "flat water" when, after being pushed westward by European settlers in the 18th century, they encountered the Platte River. In 1714, French explorer Etienne de veniard, sieur de Bourgmont -- perhaps his friends called him "Spike," -- adapted the Otoe or Omaha word and called it the "Nebraskier River," a name later applied to the state...
Assault, child abuse happens in small towns, too
April is a time to nationally raise awareness for victims and survivors of sexual assault and child abuse. Throughout April programs in Nebraska and across the country are working to increase their efforts to help raise public awareness of these violent crimes. DASAS is striving to overcome the myth that violent crimes such as these only occur in major cities. It's time to open our eyes and see that these violent crimes are occurring here in our small rural communities...
Two legends almost gone
Drive north out of McCook about five miles. Look to the West and you can see the bleaching bones of the remaining hangars from the World War II McCook Air Base. In 1944, the base was dynamic, full of life, training crews to fly the then-brand-new B-29...
Misinterpretation of safety ratings
The Opinion Column in the Weekend Edition (April 4, 2014) of the Gazette featured Mike Hendricks commenting about "Surviving your hospital stay". In his column, he stated "Many hospitals in Nebraska have not yet been given an overall safety score and Community Hospital in McCook is one of those that hasn't, although it does get a negative rating for readmissions, defined as a patient being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of initial discharge." Mr Hendricks was citing the May edition of Consumer Reports Magazine which featured several articles related to hospital safety.. ...
Goodbye, old friend; XP is now an orphan
Remember Windows 3.1? There was a major hew and cry when Microsoft decided to drop that operating system to issue Windows 95 -- remember that, as well? There hasn't been the uproar this time, but today is the last day the Redmond, Washington, company will issue security updates for the Windown XP operating system on a computer you might just have on your desk right now...
How to save a billion lives
Norman Borlaug might not be a name many would put on a list of American icons, but a statue of this Iowa farmer now stands with sculptures of former presidents and other great American figures in the U.S. Capitol. Inscribed on it is the phrase, "The Man Who Saved a Billion Lives."...
LEAD program provides ag's most important component
We can have the best agricultural conditions possible, and without one key component, they won't mean a thing. Land and water resources, strong commodity prices and markets, capital and credit, infrastructure -- they're all meaningless unless we have people with vision to take the lead and make things happen...
Surviving your hospital stay
People go to the hospital because they're sick and their objective is to get well, or at least better. Unfortunately, according to the May edition of Consumer Reports magazine, that sometimes doesn't happen. The report, quoting John James, the founder of Patient Safety American, says that medical errors and infections contracted while in the hospital are linked to 440,000 deaths every year. ...
It will be good to see Capitol completed
Ninety two years after it was begun, Nebraska's Capitol is poised to be completed. That's despite the best efforts of Gov. Dave Heineman, who saw his veto of $2.5 million for four bronze fountains, one for each of four open-air courtyards, that were part of the original design, overturned...
Ex-Husker urges support for LB485
From 2003-2006, I was an openly gay Husker football player hailing from Pierce, Nebraska. Teammates, coaches, fellow athletes, my family, and people from all over supported and accepted me for who I was. What mattered to them was the person I was on the inside; someone with strong moral values and great character...
U.S.-funded Cuban 'Twitter' stale cold-war tactic
"Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't after you," wrote Joseph Heller in "Catch-22." A little paranoia is understandable in light of revelations about the National Security Agency, and Cuba has a long history of justified suspicion when it comes to its neighbor to the north...
Good-paying jobs
Whenever I speak with Nebraskans looking for work, they always tell me one thing: they want a good-paying job so they can provide for themselves and for their families. Rather than holding back economic progress with an outdated tax code, burdensome regulations, and government-driven uncertainty, Congress should pass policies that actually help the unemployed obtain good-paying jobs...
Every vote will count in race for sheriff
Campaign signs are sprouting around town like tulips and daffodils as four contenders seek votes to replace retiring Red Willow County Sheriff Gene Mahon. The four candidates hope to catch the eyes -- and votes -- of residents in the May 6 primary. They've got their job cut out for them...
Read a book
Are you bored senseless? If not, I suggest reading Prof. Fungus Braindead's new book, "The Philosophy of Health Insurance," (938 pp., published by Roe & Boate). Here, Prof. B, formerly of the University of Northern South Dakota, but now based at the New College of Eastern West Virginia, concludes his book with the astute observation that "Health insurance professionals are not in business for their heath."...
Reverse mortgages
Kudos to the editorial staff of the McCook Gazette for its viewpoint, published on the March 27 issue of the paper, highlighting pitfalls in the use of a reverse mortgage. The caveats and suggestions made in that article are the same ones I have preached to my family for several years (ever since Fred Thompson began pitching the use of reverse mortgages). ...
Musings while driving
It was six o'clock in the morning. I was headed east out of town well before sun up. It was McCook but could have been anywhere in Southwest Nebraska. The clouds were absent, no moon, just stars and the wind hadn't kicked back up -- yet. It is a time to exercise the mind, solve the world's problems, think of what to write and rejoice in a life well lived. Quiet time hard to find in today's hustle bustle; thinking time that I miss from solitary hours on the tractor when I used to farm...
Let's keep local celebration for local celebrities
We've always been impressed with McCook's community spirit, and the way volunteers are always willing to put out extra effort to make events a success. Such was the case with another success story, the Lorrie Morgan concert to benefit the new oncology center at Community Hospital...