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Sunday, Sep. 25, 2016

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Problems in Tulsa (Opinion Column ~ 09/23/16)
A former home town of mine and a city where I joined law enforcement as a police officer is in the national news this week because of a shooting incident involving a black citizen and a white, female police officer. Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old black male, was shot and killed by Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer Betty Jo Shelby after she stopped to investigate a vehicle left in the middle of the road with its engine running. ...
Problems in Tulsa (Opinion Column ~ 09/23/16)
A former hometown of mine and a city where I joined law enforcement as a police officer is in the national news this week because of a shooting incident involving a black citizen and a white, female police officer. Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old black male, was shot and killed by Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer Betty Jo Shelby after she stopped to investigate a vehicle left in the middle of the road with its engine running. ...
Into the lion's den (Opinion Column ~ 09/20/16)
Whew! This old guy got a taste of how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego must have felt like when cast into the lion's den. City Council meeting Tuesday the 6th. It was for the last reading and adoption of McCook's budget for next year. At least Daniel had two buddies for reinforcement. Your columnist had but one...
MCJ Football -- The Merle Confer era (Column ~ 09/19/16)
Note: For many years McCook High football was not the most popular pastime in the fall. That honor went to McCook JC football, The college had a series of good football coaches, who produced really fine football teams. Their games were wildly popular, to the extent that on a number of occasions extra bleachers were brought into Weiland Stadium to try to accommodate unusually large crowds. Among the best of these MJC coaches was Merle Confer. His best was the MJC Indians team of 1947...
Kneeling during the national anthem (Opinion Column ~ 09/16/16)
Colin Kaepernick, the back-up quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers pro football team, created a flashpoint of support and criticism last week by kneeling during the playing of our National Anthem as a protest against the continued oppression of blacks in this country and police brutality against that same group of people. ...
Inmate program changing lives, one class at a time (Local News ~ 09/15/16)
BRUCE BAKER City Editor McCOOK, Neb. -- Prairie Gold Homes has yet to construct a modular home at its indoor construction-skills training facility in McCook, although, that might not be much of an indicator if you're looking to gauge the program's success since coming to town, according to officials...
Inmate program changing lives, one class at a time (Local News ~ 09/15/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Prairie Gold Homes has yet to construct a modular home at its indoor construction-skills training facility in McCook, although, that might not be much of an indicator if you're looking to gauge the program's success since coming to town, according to officials...
It's time for a national mutiny (Letter to the Editor ~ 09/11/16)
The time is come to effect a radical change in course for the U.S.S. Columbia: to waylay the federal fervor for running our ship aground; to keel haul the deck hands that plot to scuttle her, and; to place in irons the haughty officers who have ignored the sage advice of her designers. It is time for these unfaithful servants to "walk the plank"--it is time for a national mutiny...
Hillcrest town hall clarifies ballot issues (Local News ~ 09/09/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- It won't fix everything, but if voters in Red Willow County approve via a mail-in ballot the 6-percent increase in the county's restrictive funds, Hillcrest Nursing Home will have enough to repair the roof. Ballots are being mailed today to residents, asking that the county be allowed to increase the restrictive fund by 6 percent, garnering $245,000 for the operation and maintenance at Hillcrest. ...
AP: Broncos win Super Bowl rematch over Panthers 21-20 (Other Sports ~ 09/09/16)
Cam Newton will get a few extra days to recover from his latest beating by Von Miller and crew. At least he won't have to seethe for seven months...
Retail official: 'Click Cancer' threatens Nebraska communities (Local News ~ 09/07/16)
McCOOK, Neb. - Jim Otto, President of Nebraska Retail Federation, visited McCook Tuesday to discuss proposed state legislation to combat "click cancer," a term Otto used to describe the loss of sales tax revenue that Nebraska and cities like McCook are experiencing when online retailers do not collect and remit sales tax. ...
Probation ordered in DUI, reckless driving, assault of officer plea agreement (Local News ~ 09/06/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- A McCook man facing multiple charges after he drove his pickup through several yards and created at least three different accident scenes, coupled with a felony offense alleging he assaulted a police officer, was sentenced to probation recently in Red Willow County District Court...
Sewer hike likely to join property tax, rate hikes (Local News ~ 09/02/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The City of McCook 2016-17 fiscal year budget is scheduled for third reading approval Tuesday evening and includes a variety of proposed tax and rate increases, in addition to employee wage increases as high as 5.5 percent. City Council advanced a 3-cent property tax levy increase on second reading earlier this week and a rate increase for residential and commercial trash rates similarly advanced during the first reading of the proposed budget in August. ...
New evidence, new hope for dementia patients (Editorial ~ 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...
Is reciprocity an option for U.S. immigration law? (Editorial ~ 08/31/16)
After spending the primaries touting a "deportation force" and vowing to have Mexico pay for construction of a wall on the U.S. southern border, Donald Trump is reconsidering his stance on illegal immigration. He made a quick trip to meet President Enrique Peņa Nieto in Mexico today in preparation for a major immigration speech in Arizona...
$45K for security glass considered for new city budget (Local News ~ 08/31/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Just prior to the McCook City Council approving a second reading budget which featured the first property tax hike in more than a decade, stemming from what city leaders describe as a budget shortfall of more than $100,000, city staff asked for funding to install bullet resistant windows in the main lobby of the Municipal Center...
The continuing budget saga (Opinion Column ~ 08/30/16)
Sure they do. According to an August 26 article by Bruce Baker, the City Editor of the McCook Daily Gazette, City Leadership (whoever that might be) prefers a "levy bump" over cuts in reserves. Sure they do. It is the easy way out. I love the "levy bump" verbiage. ...
Overtime bump for retirees? (Letter to the Editor ~ 08/30/16)
It was recently brought to my attention by a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 57 that there had been what he characterized as a gross misstatement of facts made by Dick Trail in an opinion article published in the McCook Gazette on Aug. 23, 2016. I read the article and felt compelled in the interest of accuracy to respond...
Tax hike, city budget advance on second reading (Local News ~ 08/30/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook City Council unanimously approved a city budget for the upcoming fiscal year on second reading Monday evening, including the first increase to McCook's property tax levy since 2002. The final reading for the 2016-17 fiscal year budget is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m. at the Municipal Center...
On the record (Other Records ~ 08/29/16)
This information is gathered at the McCook Public Safety Center, the McCook office of the Nebraska State Patrol, the Red Willow County Courthouse, the Red Willow County Sheriff's Office and the McCook Humane Society. Police activity Activity log...
Levy bump preferred over cuts in reserves (Local News ~ 08/26/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- City leadership is leaning towards increasing McCook's property tax levy for the first time since 2002, while also indicating reducing the levy in two years would be considered. The levy increase is being described as the preferred option to cover a $118,000 budgeted shortfall and reducing the levy back down was described as a possibility once debt from the multi-million dollar Municipal Center is retired in 2018. ...
Second time's a charm (Local News ~ 08/26/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Thursday afternoon, Jason Leever bought a 1997 Pontiac Firebird. For the second time. After paying $1,900 for the fire-engine-red muscle car at the City of McCook surplus auction Thursday, Jason said he's going to restore it. Sure, a Firebird's powerful. Sure, it's classy. And that red makes it look fast even when it's sitting still. But why restore the 19-year-old car?...
On the Record (Other Records ~ 08/26/16)
This information is gathered at the McCook Public Safety Center, the McCook office of the Nebraska State Patrol, the Red Willow County Courthouse, the Red Willow County Sheriff's Office and the McCook Humane Society. Activity log These items are taken from reports filed by the McCook Police Department. The locations refer to block numbers, not specific addresses. If you have information about any of these reports, call the police department at (308) 345-3450...
City budget includes cuts to new purchases (Local News ~ 08/25/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The 2016-17 City of McCook budget advanced last week with city leaders raising concerns related to shrinking revenues and indicating a budgeted shortfall is prompting the need for a property tax increase. Prior to City Council providing first reading approval of the budget, City Manager Nate Schneider indicated a $118,000 budget shortfall was originally projected to be even worse but was improved by eliminating some requested equipment purchases...
A whole lot of hot air (High School Sports ~ 08/24/16)
Despite speeds that would disturb all school-zone police, McCook High's best golfers didn't let a swirly bad hair day ruin their focus at the first 18-hole tourney of 2016 on Tuesday...
Transmittal letter comparison shows $200K increase (Local News ~ 08/24/16)

Official cites cuts in expenses (Local News ~ 08/24/16)

Man arrested for sending explicit photos (Local News ~ 08/24/16)

Bite the other side of the apple (Opinion Column ~ 08/23/16)

Police: Abduction claim unsubstantiated (Local News ~ 08/22/16)

Man arrested for drugs predicts, receives reduced sentence (Local News ~ 08/19/16)

New car, new hose in city budget (Local News ~ 08/18/16)

Trash hike, employee wage increase advance; property tax hike likely (Local News ~ 08/16/16)

Official: A lot going on tourism-wise in McCook area (Local News ~ 08/12/16)

Property, cell phone tax eyed for city shortfall (Local News ~ 08/12/16)

On the Record (Other Records ~ 08/09/16)

Our faulty memories (Opinion Column ~ 08/05/16)

On the Record (Other Records ~ 08/03/16)

Names released in Keith County fatality crash (Local News ~ 08/01/16)

What was he thinking? (Opinion Column ~ 07/29/16)

On the Record (Other Records ~ 07/29/16)

On the Record (Other Records ~ 07/27/16)

On the Record (Other Records ~ 07/26/16)

Part II -- The Hubbard Glacier and humpback whales (Column ~ 07/25/16)

Election year shapes up as strangest since '68 (Editorial ~ 07/25/16)

Local troopers deserve credit for traffic safety (Editorial ~ 07/22/16)

Man gets 180 days for threatening officers (Local News ~ 07/21/16)

County, city play 'catch up' on dispatching fees (Local News ~ 07/20/16)

Guard mission to remain relatively the same (Letter to the Editor ~ 07/19/16)

Police urge caution in playing smartphone app (Local News ~ 07/19/16)

Two major projects set for local highways (Local News ~ 07/15/16)

Hearing set for paving, walkway (Local News ~ 07/15/16)

The west will have to admit it's at war (Editorial ~ 07/15/16)

On the record (Other Records ~ 07/15/16)

Pay it forward (Local News ~ 07/12/16)

Helping our neighbor (Opinion Column ~ 07/12/16)

Latest electronic game gets players off Mom's couch (Editorial ~ 07/11/16)

Officers deserve support, even after honest mistakes (Editorial ~ 07/08/16)

On the record (Other Records ~ 07/08/16)

Police: Fewer fireworks calls this year (Local News ~ 07/06/16)

Independence and the EPA (Opinion Column ~ 07/05/16)

Darrel W. Messersmith (Obituaries ~ 07/05/16)

Barnett Park closed (Local News ~ 07/03/16)

Pieces of McCook (Column ~ 06/24/16)

On the record (Other Records ~ 06/22/16)

Uncle Charlie (Opinion Column ~ 06/21/16)

Big cats not unheard of in Southwest Nebraska (Editorial ~ 06/20/16)

Fireworks safety: Keep up the good work (Local News ~ 06/20/16)

Las Vegas, then and now (Opinion Column ~ 06/17/16)

Accidents happen (Column ~ 06/16/16)

Vacation no time to let down your guard (Editorial ~ 06/16/16)

Repeat drug offender sentenced to prison (Local News ~ 06/15/16)

Man serves 180 days for assault that broke officer's nose (Local News ~ 06/10/16)

Impacting on crime (Opinion Column ~ 05/27/16)

On the record (Other Records ~ 05/27/16)

Culbertson native among those saved by new medical device (Local News ~ 05/26/16)

Recycled sewer gas to power buses (Editorial ~ 05/24/16)

On the record (Other Records ~ 05/23/16)

Councilman: City not paying huge pensions (Local News ~ 05/20/16)

Officer's nose fractured, plea reduced to attempted assault (Local News ~ 05/19/16)

On the record (Other Records ~ 05/19/16)

Section offers thanks to officers during National Police Week (Local News ~ 05/18/16)

Police step up camper parking enforcement (Local News ~ 05/16/16)

Neighbor grateful for teen's timely CPR training (Local News ~ 05/16/16)

On the record (Other Records ~ 05/16/16)

late McCook police officer inducted into Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial (Local News ~ 05/13/16)

Watt birthday (Birthdays ~ 05/13/16)

On the record (Other Records ~ 05/13/16)

Teacher injured in mishap at school (Local News ~ 05/12/16)

Police seek calls on sidewalk issues (Local News ~ 05/10/16)

On the record (Other Records ~ 05/10/16)

Playground now officially 'A Street Park' (Local News ~ 05/06/16)

Police Week, City Clerks Week proclaimed (Local News ~ 05/06/16)

Project advances (Local News ~ 05/03/16)

Starve the beast (Letter to the Editor ~ 05/02/16)

On the record (Other Records ~ 05/02/16)

City asking to change ordinance, snow removal obligation (Local News ~ 04/29/16)

Left, then right, and repeat (Local News ~ 04/27/16)

Firearm education needed (Editorial ~ 04/26/16)

Accident with injuries (Local News ~ 04/26/16)