The senator, the judge and the game

Friday, November 18, 2005

I received a call a couple of weeks ago from Senator Nelson's appointment secretary in Washington, D.C. She advised that the Senator wanted to talk to me and she was calling to set up a time we could have that conversation. The Senator called at the prescribed time, which happened to be during McCook first playoff game and the first thing he wanted to know was how the Bison were doing. I told him we were already way ahead and he was pleased to hear that. The purpose of the call was not the Bison football team, however, but the column I had written a week earlier about the fund raiser that was held locally for the Senator. He liked the idea I suggested in the column of having a rally for him that all of his supporters could attend and asked if I would be interested in co-hosting such an event in the near future. I accepted his invitation. He thought the best time would be after the holiday season, probably sometime in January. We agreed that he would get back in touch with me as that time period approached to discuss the final details. As the event rounds into shape, I will post the location, time, and date in this column.

Sen. Nelson was very gracious during the phone call, as he always is, and the phone call reconfirmed to me why I am a supporter of his. He has never forgotten his roots and has done much for this corner of the state, both as Governor and Senator. He has always been that independent thinker that Nebraskans take pride in and I trust he will continue to be.

I was appointed in September of 2003 to the Eleventh District Judicial Nominating Commission by Governor Mike Johanns and that Commission will be holding a public hearing in the District Court Courtroom at the Red Willow County Courthouse, beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, to assist in filling the vacancy in the office of District Judge due to the retirement of Judge John J. Battershell. The public is welcome to attend the hearing and present information concerning candidates for the judicial opening. The candidates will make public presentations to the Commission and the gallery. The Commission will also listen to any information presented by the public in support or opposition to any of the candidates for this vacancy. The Commission will then retire to discuss the qualifications of the candidates and will send one or more recommendations forward to the Governor who will make the final decision. The public hearing and the Commission meeting will be presided over by Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice John V. Hendry.

The public can also contact Commission members with information or recommendations about the candidates. There are eight active members on the Commission, five alternate members and one alternate member slot that is vacant. The Commission is comprised of eight attorneys and six lay people. The attorney members are Russell L. Jones from North Platte, Robert B. Reynolds of Ogallala, Eric B. Eisenhart of Cambridge, and Jon S. Schroeder of Curtis. The alternate attorney members are Patrick B. Hays of North Plattte, John F. Hanson of McCook, and Todd D. Wilson of Elwood.

The Lay members are Dr. Paul Foy of Ogallala, Mike Hendricks of McCook, Julie Vak of Madrid, and Phyllis Gardner of Max. The alternate lay members are Douglas Teaford of Ogallala and Don Brockmeier of Eustis. Their addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses can be found on the Nebraska Judicial Branch Web site at

Tonight the McCook Bison will meet Omaha Skutt at 7 p.m. in the Class B Championship football game, to be played at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. This will be the Bison's fourth straight championship game appearance and they will be shooting for their third championship in the past four years. Coach Gross and his staff do a marvelous job each year, both in getting the boys prepared and ready to play not only every game but literally every down, and also in instilling Bison pride in the junior high and even elementary school students who will become Bison themselves in the years to come.

There will surely be a large contingent of fans making the trip to Lincoln as there always is. Last year most people rallied up for the pre-party at the Embassy Suites in downtown Lincoln and then the post-part at Barry's Bar and Grill, also downtown. McCook is the home team this year so McCook fans will be sitting on the east side of the stadium. There's also a 20 percent chance of rain mixing with snow and temperatures in the 30s so take your cold weather gear with you. Hope to see as many of you there as possible.

Go Bison!!!!!

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