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Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014
Republican River

Issues surrounding the Republican River.

NRD considers 15-inch pumping restriction (01/20/14)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- At its first meeting of the year, the Middle Republican NRD voted to set a hearing on a proposal to restrict ground water pumping to 15" for any year that is declared a compact call year. This will not affect the 5 year allocation and irrigation may resume with normal restrictions during regular allocation years. ...
NRD manager returning to roots (12/31/13)
CURTIS, Neb. -- After spending nearly a quarter of a century in North Dakota, a career-long conservationist is returning to his roots as manager of the Middle Republican Natural Resource District. Jack Russell, 57, takes over managerial responsibilities at the NRD office in Curtis on Thursday...
MRNRD may not cut water allocations (12/18/13)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- Water allocations for 2014 for Middle Republican Natural Resources District ground water irrigators may not be tighter than last year. Board member John Palic said during the MRNRD monthly meeting Dec. 10 in Curtis, "We won't know if they're looser until our January meeting."...
Red Willow Dam reconstruction 'substantially complete' (12/16/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow Dam is back in business, ready to fully resume the all-important tasks of flood control, irrigation, and recreation for the people of the Tri-State Region of Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado. Tired but happy, the project superintendent, Thor Shriver, spoke personally with the McCook Gazette on his way out of town. "The work is essentially complete," he said. "Only some fencing and seeding work is left to do."...
Irrigators ponder class action lawsuit (12/09/13)
CAMBRIDGE, Nebraska -- Smarting from the loss of 40,000 acre feet of water during the 2013 irrigating season, farmers from the Frenchman-Cambridge Irrigation District are giving consideration to a class action lawsuit to protect their interests. More than 100 F-CID irrigators gathered Friday at the Cambridge Community Building for a briefing by Dave Domina, a veteran attorney with extensive experience in the water field...
NRDs urged to better track costs (09/19/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A representative of the Twin Platte Natural Resources District urged members of the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project to "get a CPA on board" to keep track of the finances for the N-CORPE project that is designed to augment flows into the Republican and Platte rivers and ensure Nebraska's compliance with two inter-state water agreements...
NRD approves budget (09/12/13)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- At Tuesday's Board meeting, the Middle Republican NRD directors approved a budget for the 2013-14 financial year. The proposed $34,402,150 budget was based on a total levy rate of .037550 and an occupation tax rate of $10 per acre. The board voted to adopt a budget with a tax levy rate of .034141 which is the levy rate of the 2012-13 financial year. The change removes about $100,000 from Ground Water Management funds...
River augmentation project updated (08/15/13)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- At their monthly meeting Tuesday evening, Middle Republican Natural Resources District board members got an update on activities on the Lincoln County farm whose irrigation water eventually will augment flows into the Republican River and on into Kansas...
NRD board asks for lower budget (08/15/13)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District board of directors asked director Dan Smith to rewrite his proposed budget for 2013-14 with a tax levy of $.037597. That's approximately $30,000 less than the budget Smith proposes for next year, and $240,000 more than last year's budget...
State opens surface water appropriations to irrigators (06/28/13)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (Department) has begun to open surface water appropriations in the Republican River Basin after previously issuing closing notices for the Republican River Compact on Jan. 1, 2013. These openings follow on earlier administration by the Department building on management actions taken by the local natural resources districts in the basin. ...
NRD budget boost funds groundwater (06/13/13)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- Middle Republican Natural Resources District directors Tuesday evening reviewed a preliminary 2013-14 budget that almost doubles last year's property tax levy and increases the occupation tax by 53 cents. Early estimates show that the district's valuation could increase from $2,606,471,003 to $2,750,000,000, although some board members feel that the valuation could be closer to $3 billion when it's officially certified Aug. 20...
Water bill delayed until 2014 (05/23/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Sen. Mark Christensen will likely shelve his priority bill until next session after failing to gather enough support for it to pass. The bill, LB 522, sought compensation for surface water irrigators when they were prohibited from irrigating by the Department of Natural Resources...
MRNRD board OKs bond (05/16/13)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District board of directors approved a bond for permanent financing of a project to increase stream flows in the Republican and Platte rivers. At Tuesday's Board meeting, the directors gave formal approval to the Bond Resolution authorizing the issuance of the district's Limited Obligation Occupation Tax Supported River Flow Enhancement Bond, Series 2013...
Nebraska, Kansas irrigation district reach agreement to halt water releases (05/09/13)
ALMA, Nebraska -- The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources has reached a tentative agreement with the Kansas Bostwick Irrigation District. As a part of this agreement, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources will discontinue the required releases of water being made from Harlan County Reservoir in exchange for a commitment from Kansas Bostwick Irrigation District that their use of the water will not harm Nebraska's efforts to comply with the Republican River Compact. ...
Budget may leave water bill unpaid (05/09/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Sen. Mark Christensen's priority bill may run up against budget shortfalls. Sen. Christensen told members of the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce this morning, during his weekly legislative conference call, that he was attempting to get the bill to final reading but considering it would make the budget variance worse, it was going to be difficult...
Nebraska releases Republican River water after Kansas rejects deal (05/03/13)
ALMA, Nebraska -- Water is being released to Kansas from Harlan County Reservoir as part of Nebraska's ongoing efforts to comply with the three-state Republican River Compact. This action came after Kansas ultimately could not agree on a plan that would have allowed Kansas water users access to this water during future irrigation seasons...
Water task force bill clears second hurdle (04/30/13)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- Nebraska senators debated a bill on the state's long-term water management for a second time before moving it with amendments Monday. Legislative Bill 517, introduced by Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege, would create a task force to address the long-term sustainability of state water resources. About 20 years ago, people thought there was an unlimited supply of water, Carlson said...
State releases draft rules on hydrologically connected water supplies (04/25/13)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources has released new draft rules and methods that it plans to utilize in its annual evaluation of availability of hydrologically connected water supplies. This annual evaluation is aimed at ensuring that streamflow water supplies for existing groundwater and surface water uses are protected into the future. ...
Bill would compensate surface irrigators for water (04/24/13)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- Nebraska farmers might be reimbursed for surface water taken by the state with a bill advanced by Nebraska lawmakers Tuesday. The bill (LB522), sponsored by Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial, advanced on a 27-0 vote with amendments. Senators plan to continue to amend this bill, however, before it moves to select file and final passage...
Lawmakers advance Christensen bill to compensate surface irrigators (04/23/13)
LINCOLN, Nebraska (AP) -- Farmers in the Republican River Basin could get paid by the state if Nebraska cuts off their access to surface water, under a bill that won first-round approval Tuesday from lawmakers. The bill was advanced in the midst of drought fears and repeated legal battles involving the Republican River. Lawmakers voted 27-0 to move the bill through the first of three readings...
Upper NRD buys more land (04/12/13)
IMPERIAL, Nebraska -- The Upper Republican Natural Resources District, based in Imperial, Nebraska, has purchased additional irrigated farmland to offset additional pumping on its Rock Creek augmentation project. The Imperial Republican reports that URNRD officials knew they would need to retire more irrigated acres after increasing the number of wells on the Rock Creek project, and the board has now purchased 1,900 acres from Wilder Farms in southwest Dundy County for $8.25 million...
Reclamation releasing water to comply with Nebraska order (04/08/13)
BILLINGS, Montana -- The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is responding to the order from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources by directing the release of more than 13,000 acre-feet of water from four federally managed reservoirs. The release order includes releases from Swanson Lake (3,232 acre feet), Enders Reservoir (452 acre feet), Hugh Butler Lake, 1,984 acre feet) and Harry Strunk Lake (7,548 acre feet) totaling approximately 13,200 acre feet. ...
Senator: No clear path on water problem (04/04/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Water continues to be a complicated issue for both Nebraska irrigators and legislators. Sen. Mark Christensen said this morning that he was receiving a lot of push-back pertaining to his priority bill, LB 522, and he welcomed local input on to how to proceed...
State orders release of water from reservoirs (04/03/13)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- Saying the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation doesn't have a workable plan for meeting Kansas' demands under the Republican River Compact, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources has ordered the release of all water stored in Nebraska reservoirs along the river since Jan. 1, 2013...
Water begins flowing in Rock Creek augmentation project (02/28/13)
DUNDY COUNTY, Nebraska -- On Feb. 18, water flowed from the Upper Republican Natural Resources District's water augmentation project in Dundy County, Nebraska, into Rock Creek. The water will flow down the creek, through Rock Creek Lake, into the Republican River and ultimately into Kansas, helping Nebraska comply with Republican River Compact lawsuit settlements with Kansas and the URNRD make up for overuse in 2012 and projected pumping in 2013...
Water conference (02/12/13)
During a water management seminar in McCook this morning, Dan Smith, director of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District based in Curtis, Nebraska, explains the water augmentation project coordinated by the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project (N-CORPE) and designed to help Nebraska comply with the 1943 Republican River Compact in the Republican River Basin and in the Platte River Basin with the 1977 Platte River Recovery Implementation Program. ...
Water persecution (01/25/13)
At the meeting of the Frenchman Cambridge Irrigation District, the Bureau of Reclamation gave notice to all surface water users that they will withhold 20,000 acre feet of water (one acre, one foot deep) to pay Kansas for Nebraska's overpumping. During the last drought (2001 to 2007) there was not enough water in Trenton Dam to supply the meeker system canals. ...
NRD board OKs changes to groundwater control plan (01/10/13)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District board of directors approved changes to the MRNRD's Ground Water Management Rules and Regulations following a public hearing and during their monthly meeting Tuesday, reducing irrigation pumping allocations for 2013 and setting penalties for overuse...
Draft ruling would not shut down wells (01/10/13)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- Kansas deserves $5 million in damages from Nebraska, not the $80 million it had sought, according to a draft report released by the Maine attorney appointed to review the dispute. Kansas had sought injunctive relief, shutting off Republican Valley irrigation wells, in order to comply with the 1943 Republican River Compact, but Special Master William J. Katta denied the request...
MRNRD irrigators did not overuse water allocation (01/03/13)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- Irrigators in the Middle Republican Natural Resources District will not be required to make up for a shortage of about 9,000 acre feet of Republican River water that must be delivered to Kansas. Brian Dunnigan, director of Nebraska's Department of Natural Resources, on Tuesday designated 2013 as a "Compact Call Year," which means that the department's forecast procedures indicate potential non-compliance with the 1943 Republican River Compact (which divvies up the river's water among Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas) unless sufficient surface water and ground water controls and/or management actions are implemented.. ...
No guarantees on water project (12/31/12)
Why should farmers be paying closer attention to this plan to retire 15,000 acres of irrigated ground in Lincoln County? There is no guarantee this will avoid severe pumping restrictions. The land cost $83 million, $27 million estimated for the pumps and pipeline to put water into the Medicine Creek, and the pipeline going to the Platte River will cost about $20 million more. ...
Irrigation districts file suit over NRDs' plans (12/31/12)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- Two Nebraska Irrigation Districts placed the state's water law policy at issue in filings made late Friday in the U.S. District Court. They seek a comprehensive decision on the right to waters in the Republican River Basin within Nebraska...
Officials prepare for water shortage (12/13/12)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- Local and state officials are preparing for a likely water shortage next year that would require extra conservation along the Republican River. Nebraska Department of Natural Resources deputy director Jim Schneider said Wednesday that his agency is in talks with Kansas and Colorado on ways to comply with the Republican River Compact. The water-sharing agreement among the states dates to 1943...
Bid process approved for pipelines (12/11/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- If water is to run in a Republican River augmentation pipeline by June 2013, bids for construction of the pipeline will need to be opened by Jan. 3. The Nebraska Cooperative Republican-Platte Enhancement Project -- N-CORPE -- board approved the bid-letting process to build about 17 miles of pipelines from recently-purchased farmland in southern Lincoln County to the Republican and Platte rivers at a meeting Dec. ...
Dry year predicted on Republican River (12/10/12)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources is continuing to prepare for dry conditions in the Republican River Basin next year. These continued preparations include efforts by the Department to update and refine its forecast for the Republican River Basin for the upcoming year as well as reassigning staff resources to carry out the administration that may be necessary. The preliminary forecast was released on Nov. 16 and is available at:...
Expert: Don't expect break in drought soon (11/27/12)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- Current forecasts suggest the state will not see any significant increase in precipitation this winter to reverse the drought, according to the state climatologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "We're probably going to see a more normal winter," said Al Dutcher, state climatologist in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UNL...
Four retain seats on NRD board of directors (11/14/12)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- Four board members of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District maintained their seats on the board in the Nov. 6 election. The top four vote-getters were the four incumbents: Rick McConville of Indianola, 4,805 votes, 16.77 percent of the vote; Joe Anderjaska of Hayes Center, 4,234 votes, 14.78 percent; James Uerling, Indianola, 4,162 votes, 14.52 percent; and Buck Haag, 3,680 votes, 12.84 percent...
NRD seeks 12-inch cap on irrigation (11/14/12)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The board of directors of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District propose a 12-inch hard cap for ground water irrigators in 2013. The hard cap and penalties for overuse will be set following a public hearing in January, the date of which has not been determined...
Officials see long-term solution in purchase, retirement of irrigated farmland (10/26/12)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- Following action by four Natural Resources Districts in the last week, a purchase contract has now been signed that officials hope will bring the group a step closer to launching a stream flow enhancement project expected to aid and protect the Republican and Platte Rivers, local schools and other political subdivisions that rely on property tax revenues, and both agricultural and municipal water users...
Flowing canal part of water use story (10/25/12)
CULBERTSON, Nebraska -- The Frenchman Valley Irrigation District, headquartered in Culbertson, Nebraska, is participating in a study to investigate how surface water use and groundwater use can be coordinated to make the best use of both water resources in the Republican River Basin...
Farmland proponents see purchase as method to retain control (10/25/12)
CONNIE JO DISCOE Regional Editor McCOOK, Nebraska -- Middle Republican Natural Resources District board member Kevin Fornoff of rural Hayes Center, Nebraska, sees the purchase of a 19,500-acre southern Lincoln County farm as an opportunity to "keep us in control" of the water situation in the Republican River Basin...
NRD votes 9-2 to buy, retire farmland (10/24/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District board of directors voted 9-2 Tuesday morning to participate with three other NRD's in the purchase of a 19,500-acre southern Lincoln County farm so that the water used now to irrigate its crops can be piped to the Republican and South Platte rivers...
Not everyone happy with plan for farmland (10/24/12)
CONNIE JO DISCOE Regional Editor McCOOK, Nebraska -- Not every one is pleased with the proposed purchase of a southern Lincoln County, Nebraska, farm to help Republican and Platte river Natural Resources Districts (NRD's) ensure compliance with interstate water agreements...
NRD won't take steps on certain wells (10/11/12)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- Just because they can, doesn't mean they will. Directors of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District (MRNRD) Tuesday evening reiterated earlier decisions to treat all irrigators equally, taking no action on state provisions that would allow different treatment of irrigation wells drilled after Jan. 1, 2001, when Nebraska became a defendant in interstate water compact litigation...
NRD accepts $1 million for "dry year" leases (10/11/12)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District (MRNRD) board of directors Tuesday evening officially accepted $1 million from the state to help fund its new "dry year lease program." Meeting in Curtis for its monthly meeting, the board approved a "memorandum of understanding" with the State of Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, which will reimburse each of the three Republican River Basin NRD's up to $1 million for payments made toward any new or expansion of any existing project or program designed to help the state meet compliance standards of the Republican River Compact in 2013 and beyond.. ...
Stream bottoms private property (06/22/12)
SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA -- With minimal or no water flow in area streams and rivers, the Red Willow and Furnas County sheriff's departments and local Game and Parks Commission conservation officers are reminding the public that the beds of streams are private property...
NRD OKs Ground Water Allocation for next five years (06/14/12)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican NRD Board of Directors approved (7-4) a 60-inch, five-year ground water irrigation allocation at Tuesday night's board meeting after hearing or receiving written testimony from 10 individuals at the 4:30 p.m. public hearing in McCook...
MRNRD adopts water rules (06/13/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District board of directors adopted the district's "Ground Water Management Area Rules and Regulations" at their monthly meeting in McCook, Nebraska, Tuesday evening. The vote was 7-4 for approval of Joe Anderjaska's motion; James Uerling, Steve Cappel, Buck Haag and Bill Hoyt cast the dissenting votes...
NRD, Riverside craft compliance plan (06/01/12)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Riverside Irrigation Co. has joined efforts with the Middle Republican Natural Resources District to help the state stay in compliance with the three-state Republican River Compact, meet standards in MRNRD's integrated management plan, and help protect the local economy, according to a joint news release...
Republican River case back to court (05/25/12)
Republican River case back to court PORTLAND, Maine -- Kansas is taking Nebraska back to court over alleged violation of terms of the 2003 settlement of a dispute over the Republican River. Attorneys representing Kansas and Nebraska will appear before Special Water master William J. Kayatta Jr. in Portland on Aug. 13, for a possible three-week trial...
Official: Compact call year no surprise (04/19/12)
CONNIE JO DISCOE Regional Editor CURTIS, Nebraska -- An official with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources told directors of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District that a compact call year "isn't going to sneak up on us, or jump out of a bush at us."...
Water table rises in Upper Republican NRD for third year in a row (04/12/12)
IMPERIAL, Nebraska -- For the first time since the Upper Republican Natural Resources District began regulating groundwater use in the late 1970s, the average groundwater level in the district has risen for three years in a row. The average groundwater level in the district rose about a third of a foot from spring 2011 to spring 2012, marking the third straight year water levels have increased. ...
NRD awards $2.1 million water pipeline contract (04/12/12)
IMPERIAL, Nebraska -- Bids to construct a pipeline for the Upper Republican NRD's augmentation project near Rock Creek came in well below estimates and the NRD board has awarded a contract to a Kansas City company to do the work. It is expected that Kansas City-based Garney Companies will begin laying the pipeline in June and be completed this fall. ...
Feds fund Republican River study (03/22/12)
WASHINGTON, D.C.--Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that Interior's Bureau of Reclamation is providing $2.4 million in new funding for comprehensive water studies in five western river basins, including the Republican River Basin in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska...
Better production, lower water use focus of conference (03/05/12)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- Agricultural producers will have to do more with less to feed a hungry world, according to an expert who will speak at an upcoming event in McCook. Local irrigators, producers, farm managers, agronomists and bankers are invited to attend the 26th annual Southwest Nebraska Water Conference, Wednesday, March 14, at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds Community Building in McCook...
NRD funds 'Ogallala Aquifer Initiative' (02/16/12)
TRENTON, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District board of directors voted Tuesday afternoon to help fund payments to landowners permanently retiring irrigated acres through the "Ogallala Aquifer Initiative." The Ogallala Aquifer Initiative is a voluntary program to provide technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers who want to improve water conservation on their agricultural land. ...
NRD board strikes well shutdown language (02/16/12)
TRENTON, Nebraska -- Citing their desire to treat all irrigators equally, board members of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District Tuesday afternoon struck language from their proposed rules and regulations that would have shut down wells in rapid response areas during years of predicted water shortages...
Republican River group works toward cooperation (01/25/12)
OBERLIN, Kansas -- At least two speakers at the January meeting of the Republican River Restoration Partners in Oberlin, Kansas, encouraged Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado to work together to solve challenges facing the Republican River. Lorre McKeone, representing the Nebraska Water Balance Alliance, told the 40-or-so at the conference and meeting, "We can no longer afford to fight over water. We need to learn to work together."...
NRD delays action on water plan (01/12/12)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The board of directors of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District took no action Tuesday to adopt proposed amendments to its Ground Water Management Area rules and regulations. During their regular monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon and following a public hearing Tuesday morning, several board members suggested waiting to adopt the rules and regs until they can further study testimony offered at the hearing...
MRNRD reaches compromise with surface water irrigators (09/14/11)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- A compromise was reached with surface water irrigators concerning the occupation tax levied by the Middle Republican Natural Resources District. By a vote of 7 to 4, directors decided to reimburse surface water irrigators for the $8.50 occupation tax levied on irrigated acres, if timely proof of payment is brought to the MRNRD office...
Budget hearing Tuesday for Middle Republican NRD (09/09/11)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- A budget hearing will precede the regular meeting of the Middle Republican Natural Resource District, Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Center in Curtis. The proposed property tax request for 2011-12 is $703.388.74. The proposed 2011 tax rate is 0.030281, or 3.2 cents...
Dam bid opening delayed to Aug. 23 (08/17/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has delayed the opening of bids for repair of Red Willow Dam north of McCook, Nebraska, until Tuesday, Aug. 23. The Bureau advertised plans and specifications for the project in early July, and scheduled a bid opening for Aug. 9, and then Aug. 16...
MRNRD board sets budget; levy lowest rate since 2005 (08/10/11)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resource District approved its 2011-12 budget for publication for a hearing during a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night at the Curtis Memorial Community Building in Curtis. The budget will be heard during the MRNRDs next regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 13. The budget will be heard prior to the meeting...
NRCS: Watershed projects save half-million in damage (06/27/11)
HAYES CENTER, Nebraska -- Southwest Nebraska continues cleaning up and drying out from powerful storms, which dumped more than 5 inches of water in some areas earlier this week. Although there are many people personally affected by flood damages, flooding could have been much worse if not for the watershed control structures in Hayes and Hitchcock counties, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service...
Water balance on NRD agenda (06/10/11)
JUSTIN BASS McCook Daily Gazette CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District's monthly meeting is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Curtis Memorial Community Center in Curtis. As previously reported on May 25, by the McCook Daily Gazette, a presentation on the water balance study for the Republican River Basin will take place. The presentation will be done by engineering firms Brown and Caldwell, and H20ptions...
NRDs to retain additional groundwater levy authority (05/31/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Despite opposition from State Sen. Mark Christensen, LB 400 was approved by Gov. Dave Heineman Thursday. Earlier that day, during a morning conference call with the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce, Christensen had called the bill a tax increase and saw a veto by Heineman as a possibility...
Water study presentation planned (05/25/11)
IMPERIAL, Nebraska -- The findings of a wide-ranging report on the relationship between water availability and uses across the entire Republican River Basin and in the Middle Republican NRD will be presented during the Middle Republican NRD's board meeting on June 14 in Curtis...
NRD has questions over signature (05/11/11)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District tabled Geraldine Clark's request for a variance for a second time Tuesday night at their monthly meeting at the Curtis Memorial Community Center. Clark's request was tabled a second time because the board is having the legality of the signature on her certification form checked by legal counsel. Clark's form was submitted and signed "Geraldine Clark by Anna Lucero."...
NRD seeks support for RC&D program (04/13/11)
JUSTIN BASS McCook Daily Gazette CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District voted unanimously to send letters of support for Resource Conservation and Development to all five Nebraska U.S. Senators and Representatives. During a regular monthly meeting Tuesday night at the Curtis Memorial Community Center, the board agreed to ask that delegates vote against any resolutions that would defund the RC&D...
Upper Republican receives funding to retire acres, comply with compact (04/06/11)
IMPERIAL, Nebraska -- The Upper Republican Natural Resources District has been approved to launch a new, multimillion dollar program that could lead to the retirement of thousands of irrigated acres, aiding compliance with the Republican River Compact while boosting stream flows and replenishing underground aquifers...
Sales tax for roads may get super priority status (03/31/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- LR3CA, the constitutional amendment that would authorize the state to use sales and use tax revenue to pay off highway bonds, may get speaker super priority status, according to State Sen. Mark Christensen. Christensen told members of the McCook Chamber of Commerce, Thursday morning during his weekly conference call at the Keystone Business Center, that the status can only be given twice a year and would provide the speaker of the Legislature control over the order in which amendments to the bill are debated.. ...
Official: No risk in chemicals (03/18/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The levels of the other two chemicals, tetrachloroethylene -- PCE -- and chloroform, that were discovered during a December 2010 soil and vapor sampling of the trichloroethylene -- TCE -- contaminated area neighboring the former TRW Facility in McCook, are also too low to cause a health risk for residents in the area. ...
NRD fears feds will cut funds (03/09/11)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District board of directors received news during the monthly meeting Tuesday that the U.S. Congress may be cutting all funding to the Watershed Rehabilitation Program and Resource Conservation and Development in order to reduce the nation's budget deficit...
Conference emphasizes efficiency (03/07/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Southwest Nebraska Water Conference featured six different speakers at its 25th annual conference Friday at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds Community Building. Featured speakers included both the Upper and Middle Republican Natural Resource District managers, extension educators, and various agriculture specialists from around the state...
NRD ups ante to retire acres (02/16/11)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District Board of Directors has approved an increase in its portion of the payout to permanently retire acres in the district. The board voted unanimously to increase the district's share of the payout for permanent retirement of acres from $150 to $250. ...
Groundwater issues on agenda (02/07/11)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District will discuss specifics about groundwater management at Tuesday's monthly meeting at 1:30 p.m. at the Curtis Community Center. Steve Cappel has asked the board to discuss the current occupation tax and six items about the groundwater management: option three consideration, wells and certification after Jan. ...
Upper NRD passes augmentation, retirement plan (02/02/11)
IMPERIAL, Nebraska -- The Upper Republican Natural Resources District unanimously voted to approve a multi-million dollar augmentation and irrigated land retirement project. The project involves purchasing 3,300 irrigated acres north of Parks, Nebraska in Dundy County with 24 center-pivot systems north of Rock Creek State Fish Hatchery for $10 million. The project also includes building a 10-mile pipeline to Rock Creek, for use only during water short years...
NRD elects leadership (01/12/11)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District board was reorganized after the swearing in ceremony that installed the newly elected members and two incumbents, Kevin Fornoff and Brad Randel. New members are Steve Cappel, Bill Hoyt, John Palic and Blaine Stinson...
Middle Republican NRD corrects news story, clarifies occupation tax issues (12/16/10)
Middle Republican NRD revises occupation tax (12/15/10)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- In their final meeting in 2010, the Middle Republican Natural Resource District board of directors approved the correction to the 2011 Occupation Tax, 10-1, raising it from $4.78 to $4.90 per acre. James Uerling was the lone dissenting vote...
Water: It's all about balance (12/14/10)
CAMBRIDGE, Nebraska -- A Lincoln, Nebraska, man representing the month-old Nebraska Water Balance Alliance explained the "water balance" concept at a meeting of the Republican River Riparian Restoration Partnership Dec. 7 in Cambridge, Nebraska. Frank Kwapnioski of North Platte and Lincoln said that Nebraska's water use is out of balance in some places, "but, in most cases, its' not significant, and we can correct this."...
Middle Republican NRD to adjust occupation tax (12/13/10)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- A software error will force Middle Republican Natural Resources District board members to adjust the 2011 occupation tax accordingly. They will discuss the change during a regular monthly meeting Tuesday, 1:45 p.m., at the Curtis Memorial Community Center. The request to change the tax to 4.90 cents, from 4.78 cents per $100 valuation, comes after the MRNRD staff was informed that there was a miscalculation by the software used to determine the tax...
NRD sets occupation tax rate (11/10/10)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District Board of Directors approved the 2011 Occupation Tax of $4.78 per acre of irrigated land by a vote of 10-1 at a monthly meeting at the Curtis Memorial Community Center, Tuesday evening...
NRD to set 2011 occupation tax (11/05/10)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican National Resources District staff has completed research detailing the impact of the 2011 Occupation Tax and will present that report to the MRNRD Board at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Curtis Memorial Community Center in Curtis. The board is scheduled to set the tax rate following the report...
Official rules for Kansas in 3-state water dispute (10/08/10)
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A federal arbitrator has ruled in favor of Kansas in disputes with Colorado and Nebraska over the use of water from the Republican River. Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said Friday two issues were in play regarding a compact that governs use of the water that flows from Colorado, through Kansas to Nebraska and back into northern Kansas...
Arbitrator rules in favor of Kansas (10/08/10)
TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) - A federal arbitrator has ruled in favor of Kansas in disputes with Colorado and Nebraska over the use of water from the Republican River. Kansas Attorney General Steve Six says Friday two issues were in play regarding a compact that governs the use of the water that flows from Colorado, through Kansas to Nebraska and back into northern Kansas...
Water allocations cut over bypassed meters (10/08/10)
IMPERIAL, Nebraska -- The Upper Republican Natural Resource District board of directors has cut water allocations to five irrigation wells on 990.8 acres owned by Wilder Farms of Dundy County. Earlier this year, according to the Imperial Republican newspaper, NRD staff members found devices on the five wells that allowed pumped water to bypass meters that measured the amount of irrigation water pumped onto the land...
NRD candidates offer views on issues (10/08/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Whiskey's fer drinkin', and water's fer fightin'. That's what Mark Twain said, and at the very least, water's responsible for generating lots and lots of opinions. And the Middle Republican Natural Resources District is responsible for protecting that water...
Not to late to face Republican River reality (09/22/10)
EDITOR'S NOTE -- The following opinion piece originally appeared in the Omaha World Herald: **By ANN BLEED Conflict over water use in the Republican River Basin is growing. Continuing down our current path will cost millions of dollars spent on lawsuits, possibly reduce local control in the basin, and squander the financial, human, and hydrological capital we will need to meet the basin's long term water challenges. ...
Middle Republican NRD sets budget (09/16/10)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican NRD has adopted its fiscal year 2010-11 annual budget during its regular board meeting in Curtis. The general fund budget of $5,222,020 includes more than $2 million in federal funds to be used in the repair of two flood control structures and $1,500,000 in new occupation tax. ...
University to host Republican River Basin Water Sustainability Task Force (09/14/10)
Lincoln, Nebraska -- The University of Nebraska Public Policy Center will facilitate a task force appointed to address water sustainability of the Republican River Basin. The center will assist the 26-member Republican River Basin Water Sustainability Task Force in meeting its requirements established by LB 1057, introduced by state senators Tom Carlson of Holdrege, Mark Christensen of Imperial and Deb Fischer of Valentine...
NRD to reduce levy to make up for illegal tax (07/23/10)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District will collect no property taxes to make up for a property tax collected in 2008 that was later ruled to be unconstitutional. The NRD levied the 2008 tax to fund a $9 million bond fund, to buy surface water to keep Nebraska in compliance with the Republican River Compact, but a state court ruled the tax unconstitutional...
Middle NRD reports no violations (07/23/10)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- Middle Republican Natural Resources District officials have inspected wells owned by an irrigator who bypassed water meters on wells in another district and found no violations, MRNRD officials said in a release today. "As in the Upper Republican NRD case, some wells within our district were also dug up to be inspected," Middle Republican NRD manager Dan Smith said. The inspections found no violations...
$3 million in penalties for water meter cheats (06/25/10)
IMPERIAL, Nebraska -- The Upper Republican Natural Resources District has imposed tough penalties on irrigators the District found to be in violation of the URNRD's rules and regulations. The URNRD board took action at its meeting Tuesday. "A recent investigation, conducted in cooperation with other districts, found that in some instances the flowmeters used to measure water use by the district had been bypassed with underground piping, either currently or at some point in time, so that part of the water pumped would not be measured," said Jasper Fanning, General Manager of the URNRD.. ...
Republican River Task Force convenes (06/24/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A group of Southwest and Central Nebraska residents as diverse as the challenges facing the Republican River Basin met in McCook Wednesday afternoon to determine the future of the river that has pitted state against state, east against west and one NRD against the other...
Republican River Task Force convenes (06/24/10)
Irrigators accused of bypassing meters (06/10/10)
Irrigators want compensation during shutdown years (06/10/10)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- After irrigators sought compensation for having their wells and surface water shut off, the Middle Republican Natural Resources District put off a decision on an agreement between the NRD and state regarding water short years. About 50 people attended a public hearing on revisions to the joint integrated management plan between the Middle Republican NRD and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources Tuesday in Curtis...
Commission ends alcohol ban in state parks, WMAs (05/28/10)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on Friday ended the ban on alcohol consumption in state park and wildlife management areas (WMAs) at its meeting in Gering. The new regulations that end the ban on alcohol consumption in state park and WMAs, effective Jan. 1, 2011, include the following restrictions:...
Governor appoints water task force (05/21/10)
CURTIS, Nebraska -- Gov. Dave Heineman has appointed the members of the Republican River Sustainability Task Force. This task force, as proposed by Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege, is made up of a broad spectrum of interests across the Republican River basin. ...
Lower Republican NRD drops out of group (04/12/10)
CURTIS -- A member of the Republican River Basin Coalition has dropped out of the organization. The coalition was formed in 2007, with representatives from the Upper, Middle and Lower Republican Natural Resources Districts in the Republican River Basin...
Still no refund on illegal NRD property taxes (04/01/10)
Don't look for any tax refunds from the Natural Resources Districts any time soon. The Legislature, so far, has failed to pass a law that allows the NRDs to return some $2.5 million in property taxes collected in 2007 under a law, later ruled unconstitutional, to raise money to buy water and take other steps to send enough water down the Republican River to fend off Kansas' lawyers...
Tax refund lawsuit is dismissed (04/01/10)
The latest attempt to return unconstitutional property taxes collected three years ago under the water law LB 701 has sunk. Red Willow County District Court Judge David Urbom has dismissed a case brought by the three natural resources districts in the Republican River Basin. ...
Republican River Basin Water Sustainability task force seeks members (04/01/10)
If water issues in the Republican River Basin are important to you, a newly created task force wants to hear from you. The Nebraska Legislature passed on final approval this week a bill that creates the Republican River Basin Water Sustainability Task Force. ...
Official says repair of dam to be expedited (03/05/10)
The water level in Red Willow Dam is "about where it's going to be for the next couple of years until we get it fixed," an official said Thursday. Marv Swanda, of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, gave an update of the dam at the 2010 Southwest Water Conference Thursday in McCook...
NRD considers revising plan (02/08/10)
CURTIS -- Board members of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District will discuss how to revise its water plan to include Option 3, at their regular meeting Tuesday, 7 p.m. at the Community Center. Option 3 is one of three that the state has asked the NRDs in the Republican River Basin to implement in water-short years. ...
River refund running slow (02/04/10)
A bill to refund property taxes collected in the Republican River Basin, taxes later ruled illegal, is not exactly dead in the water but may have trouble going anywhere. LB 898, introduced by Sen. Mark Christensen, called for refunding property or occupation taxes that have been declared unconstitutional and was heard in the Revenue Committee Jan. 29...
Water bill up for hearing in Legislature (01/28/10)
A bill from State Sen. Mark Christensen to refund property taxes that were later declared unconstitutional will be discussed at a legislative hearing scheduled today for the Revenue Committee. The bill takes care of several issues that ultimately defeated a similar bill introduced last year to refund the taxes, Christensen said this morning at the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative conference call...
Proposed water tax takes cue from Qwest Center (01/21/10)
State Sen. Mark Christensen planned to introduce a water bill this morning that could make a big splash -- or at least cause a few ripples. Speaking at the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative conference call, Sen. Christensen said his bill would use 70 percent of sales taxes collected from rapid response areas in the Republican River Basin -- those closest to the river -- for a water solution fund...
River group calls for less talk, more action (01/19/10)
OBERLIN -- What'd Shakespeare say? "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"? The vice chairman of a grassroots organization whose goal is to improve the health of the Republican River isn't really advocating killing lawyers. But Bud Meckelburg is frustrated by too much talk and not enough action...
River group calls for less talk, more action (01/19/10)
OBERLIN -- What'd Shakespeare say? "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"? The vice chairman of a grassroots organization whose goal is to improve the health of the Republican River isn't really advocating killing lawyers. But Bud Meckelburg is frustrated by too much talk and not enough action...
Arguments Thursday on water tax refund (01/15/10)
Arguments concerning how an unconstitutional Natural Resources District tax will be refunded will be heard Thursday, Jan. 21 at Red Willow County District Court. No ruling will be issued at that time. Instead, District Court Judge David Urbom will hear from the Upper, Middle and Lower NRDs on Jan. 21 and then take the case under advisement. A ruling on the case will be issued in the following months...
NRD tax refund ruling expected Jan. 21 (01/13/10)
CURTIS -- A ruling determining how an unconstitutional Natural Resources District tax will be refunded will be made in Red Willow County District Court on Jan. 21. Middle Republican NRD members learned about the judgment, which covers a property tax collected in 2008, at their meeting Tuesday in Curtis...
NRD picks plan, but still wants other options (12/17/09)
CURTIS -- After a lot of foot-dragging, nearly three hours of discussion and, by barely a majority, board members of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District reluctantly chose to consider shutting down irrigation to those closest to the river in water-short years...
Occupation tax to judge (12/16/09)
LINCOLN -- Republican River Basin Natural Resources Districts were back in court Monday, defending the constitutionality of an occupation tax collected on irrigated acres in the Republican Basin in 2008. A lawsuit filed by several Republican River basin landowners against the State of Nebraska and the Upper, Middle and Lower Republican Natural Resources Districts, claims that the occupation tax brought on by LB701 is unconstitutional, as it is only imposed upon residents of the Republican River basin while the returns from those taxes directly benefit the State of Nebraska by helping to achieve compliance with the Republican River Compact.. ...
NRD meeting may include option vote (12/14/09)
CURTIS -- Middle Republican Natural Resources District board members plan their regular monthly meeting at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, at the Curtis Memorial Community Center, 201 Garlick Ave. The meeting was rescheduled from Dec. 8 because of inclement weather...
Middle Republican NRD will consider options (12/07/09)
CURTIS -- Board members of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District will consider and possibly vote on one of the three options the state has presented to NRDs for water-short years, at their regular meeting Tuesday, 1:45 p.m., at the Curtis Community Center...
DNR to unveil forecast on Monday (11/25/09)
CURTIS -- The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources will be presenting the annual Republican Basin forecast at the Monday meeting of the Nebraska Republican River Management Districts Association, to be at the Curtis Community Center at 1 p.m. The meeting is open to the public...
Irrigators calling for fair treatment (11/18/09)
Some irrigators who will be affected by the state's proposal to reduce irrigation in dry years are none too happy about the prospect. "The solution is to treat everyone equally," said Roger Goltl at the presentation given by state water officials at the McCook Memorial Auditorium Tuesday. ...
NRD approves meetings on DNR's short year administration avoidance strategies (11/11/09)
CURTIS -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District Board of Directors met November 10 at the Curtis Memorial Community Center to discuss, among many other items of official business, the proposals presented last month that address the State's ability to stay in compliance with the Republican River Compact, in particular, the three option proposal presented by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)...
Ag interests oppose water plan (10/19/09)
A plan proposed by the state to shut down irrigation in water short years is inequitable and targets a select group of irrigators to carry the load, while enabling the continued depletion of water in the rest of the basin. That's the concern of area businessmen and ag producers, who are drafting a resolution to Gov. Dave Heineman...
Officials offer three options for water cuts (10/14/09)
CURTIS -- State water officials have offered three options to keep Nebraska in compliance with the Republican River Compact during dry years. One option to make sure enough water gets to Kansas could be to reduce Nebraska groundwater irrigation allocations to 3.6 inches in the Lower Republican Natural Resources District, 4.8 inches in the Middle Republican NRD and 5.9 inches in the Upper Republican NRD...
Water Problem No. 5 -- Ignored elements (09/29/09)
Problem No. 5 with the Republican River Model is Ignored Elements. Kansas State Scientist, James Koelliker, says 60 to 80 percent of the stream flow depletion in western Kansas is caused by conservation practices such as terraces, minimum till, and retention ponds. While the study is watershed specific, almost identical conditions exist in Nebraska. In fact, Koelliker has tested his model on the Republican River Basin, including the Nebraska portion...
Alternate water plan would 'spread the pain' over water cutbacks (09/23/09)
Tour raises awareness of Republican River issues (09/18/09)
IDALIA, Colo. -- The Republican River Restoration Partnership, Colorado Association of Conservation Districts and Colorado Agriculture Preservation Association conducted a meeting Sept. 14, to address the need to increase outflow for Bonny Reservoir. Bonny is located near Idalia, Colo...
Irrigation shutoff called 'last resort' (09/18/09)
By NATE JENKINS, Associated Press Writer HOLDREGE (AP) -- Shutting down irrigation in parts of the Republican River basin during dry years in order to send Kansas more water is being considered, but only as a "last resort," Nebraska water officials told about 300 farmers on Thursday...
Republican River Compact compliance options to be presented (09/16/09)
HOLDREGE -- Brian Dunnigan, director of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, will outline options on how Nebraska can comply with the Republican River Compact and Kansas v. Nebraska lawsuit settlement during dry years, Thursday, 1 p.m. at the Holdrege City Auditorium, 421 Grant Street...
Republican River arbitrator leaves many questions unanswered (07/01/09)
An arbitrator said Nebraska isn't doing enough to comply with the Republican River compact, but leaves details of how to do so up to the state. Kansas should receive a nominal $10,000 award until it proves how much damage it has actually suffered, the Colorado-based arbitrator said...
LB 701 refund will be up to judge (06/15/09)
CURTIS -- How to refund property taxes collected under LB 701, taxes later ruled illegal by the Nebraska Supreme Court, will be up to a judge to decide. Board members of the Middle Republican natural resources district voted Tuesday night at its regular meeting to retain a lawyer, who will ask for a declaratory judgement from the district court as to the responsibilities of the NRDs in repaying these taxes...
$2.5 million in refunds in limbo (06/05/09)
CURTIS -- About $2.5 million of property taxes collected by Republican River Basin natural resources districts under LB 701 remain in limbo, as no procedure is in place to repay the taxes. The taxes were ruled unconstitutional by the Nebraska Supreme Court Legislature but as there are no legal means to return them, they remain with the NRD districts...
Business group urges LB701 refunds (04/17/09)
State lawmakers will get a nudge in the form of a resolution that requests a prompt refund of property taxes that were ultimately declared illegal. The resolution was crafted at Tuesday's meeting of the South Platte United Chamber of Commerce with Gov. Dave Heineman as the keynote speaker...
Tax refund bill dead in the water? (03/26/09)
A bill that would refund property taxes found unconstitutional by a court ruling may be dead in the water. That's because senators in the committee hearing LB 681 want some kind of guarantee that the nearly $9 million the Republican River Basin natural resources borrowed last year will be paid back...
Kansas lowers water demand to $9 million (03/11/09)
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Kansas officials say Nebraska owes their state about $9 million for overusing Republican River water in 2005 and 2006. Nebraska officials submitted documents to an arbitrator in Denver on Wednesday with a much lower estimate of damages -- $615,000 to $1.23 million...
NRD may buy more water (03/11/09)
CURTIS -- Buying water shows Kansas that the district is willing to do what it takes to come into compliance with the Republican River Compact, said Dan Smith, general manager of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District. But not all board members agreed. ...
Water refund bill hearings set next week (03/05/09)
A bill introduced on behalf of Gov. Dave Heineman, which would refund property taxes determined to be unconstitutional, will have its committee hearing March 11 at 12 noon. Sen. Mark Christensen plans to designate that bill as his priority if it's advanced from committee onto the floor, he said this morning at the Government Affairs Legislative conference call at the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce office...
Governor wants to pay back Republican Basin taxpayers (03/03/09)
LINCOLN (AP) - Chances that residents of Nebraska's Republican River basin will be repaid millions of dollars in property taxes have improved. On Tuesday, Gov. Dave Heineman introduced a measure (LB681) to the Legislature that would require tax dollars paid under part of a water law later found to be unconstitutional be paid back. Water officials in the basin have estimated the amount to be $2 million to $2.5 million...
Committee hears testimony on water bill (02/27/09)
and the LINCOLN -- Residents of Southwest Nebraska who paid millions in property taxes under part of a water law deemed unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court could get their money back. On Thursday, State Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial said he would introduce a measure to the Legislature requiring that residents of the Republican River basin be repaid the roughly $2 million to $2.5 million in property taxes...
Senator agrees property tax refunds due (02/12/09)
Property taxes collected under the water law created by LB 701 could be refunded with an amendment added on to LB 651, one of the bills Sen. Mark Christensen has introduced this session. But whether the taxes will be refunded to only those who filed a protest remains to be seen, Christensen said this morning at the Government Affairs Legislature conference call at the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce...
Method uncertain for LB 701 refunds (02/11/09)
CURTIS -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District has collected about $2.5 million in property and occupation taxes under the law created by LB 701 -- but how the property taxes are returned to taxpayers in the district is unclear at this point, according to Dan Smith, MRNRD general manager...
Sens. Nelson, Collins negotiate bipartisan economic stimulus agreement (02/08/09)
WASHINGTON, D.C.--After days of leading bipartisan negotiations, U.S. Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) announced an agreement on an amendment to the Economic Recovery Act currently before the Senate. The Nelson-Collins amendment would reduce the total cost of the package to $780 billion--$110 billion less than the bill that the Senate is currently considering...
High court agrees, LB 701 unconstitutional (02/06/09)
LINCOLN -- Residents of three Southwest Nebraska Natural Resources Districts won't be paying property taxes to help put more water into the Republican River. In a ruling released Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that special taxing authority approved by the state Legislature in 2007 is unconstitutional. ...