Could it be, the drought is on its way out?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Did you hear what the state climatologist, Al Dutcher, had to say about the end of the drought? Whether you did or not, his remarks bear repeating.

"I don't know for sure if the drought is coming to an end," he said, "but I've got all 10 of my fingers crossed. I've got my legs crossed ... I'll even cross my eyes, if it helps."

Well said, Al. You speak for many of us in Western Nebraska. Like you, we would do just about anything if it will help end the drought.

We don't want to jinx ourselves by speaking aloud, but there are hopeful signs that the weather pattern may, indeed, be changing.

You can feel it in the air, like this morning when the morning dew and light rain heightened hopes for even more moisture. The forecast looks good, too, with rain forecast throughout the coming week.

It's too late in many cases, as the drought losses of the last five years have been staggering. But a turnaround in moisture patterns would do wonders for morale and the future of this area's economy.

We're watching closely what the climatologist has to say. We're watching the skies and reading the forecasts. And, for good measure, we're also crossing our fingers. Because, when it comes to ending the drought, we don't want to miss any chances.

Senators Form Hergent Panel -- It's good to see that two senators from this part of the state are on the panel to look into Dave Hergert's campaign violations during the 2004 Regent's race.

Among the 11 senators determining possible action against Hergert will be State Sen. Tom Baker of Trenton and State Sen. Ed Schrock of Elm Creek.

Baker's placement on the panel is appropriate because he comes from the district which is the home of Dr. Don Blank, the candidate who Hergert defeated. Schrock, who represents the next district to the east, has been among Hergert's harshest critics.

Hergert, from Mitchell, has already paid $33,000 in fines for violating campaign finance laws.

Now, the question is, should he censured or removed from office. This is serious business. Candidates should not be allowed to flaunt the law without consequence. The legislative panel needs to recommend action, if not impeachment, at least censure.

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