The Northeast Community College music department will present its Winter Concert on Sunday, February 11, at 2 p.m. in the Lifelong Learning Center in Norfolk.
Under the direction of Dr. Linda Boullion, the Northeast Concert Choir will perform.
Vocal selections at the concert will include “Go into All the World," by Sally Albrecht; "The Silence Speaks," by Vicki T. Courtney; “Riversong,” by Roger Emerson; "Homeward Bound," arranaged by Mark Wilberg; "Come to Me, O My Love," by Allan Robert Petker; and "May the Road Rise Up," arranged by Jay Rouse.
Margaret Schultz is accompanist for the concert choir.
The Northeast College/Community Concert Band, under the direction of Kevin McLouth, music instructor/director of instrumental activities, will also perform. The concert band will entertain with "Creole Belles," by Lampe; "American Folk Rhapsody #3," by Clare Grundman; and "Chorale and Shaker Dance," by Zdechlick.
Members of the Concert Choir from Knox County include alto Tory Tammen of Crofton.
Members of the Concert Band Knox County include alto sax Rhyan Kotrous of Verdigre and percussion Madisen Randa of Verdigre.
A potential tax on irrigation usage has farmers across Nebraska, especially Northeast Nebraska, rallying against it.
More than 300 people came together Monday night for a meeting at the Neligh American Legion to discuss several bills that were introduced during this legislative session, namely LB 1022. The bill was introducted by Columbus State Senator Paul Schumacher and would impose a one cent tax for every 10 gallons of water used to irrigate ag and horiculture land. Schmacher’s bill would also change land assessment as all ag land would be valued as dry land.
However, during the meeting in Neligh, several individuals said the proposed bill is already dead. Ron Cemper of O’Neill said LB 1022 will not go to vote. “They already abandoned it. That’s as of last Friday.”
Allan Bentley of Neligh, who was one of the organizers agreed with Cemper, but said the purpose of the meeting was deeper than the one bill.
“I’ll even admit that it’s not going to pass in this form,” Bentley said. “But I also know how politicians work. They ask for the world and then they’ll argue with the other half, and they’ll come together at some point. And they will get a watered-down version of this tax on our water.”
While the 2 1/2 hour meeting yielded no official action and no committee formed, it did spark much conversation about being active on various boards from Nebraska Farm Bureau to the Natural Resources District.
Randy Reinke of Neligh urged those in attendance to use their voice.
“You have to be loud; you have to be a voice,” Reinke said. “For God’s sakes, let’s load a cattle pot when the time is right and let’s go down to Lincoln. If we get pulled over, it’s going to hit the papers. Do something about it - land the plane.”
He added, “Get on a board. If you’re not on a board, get on a board and get involved. Those boards are united. We got people down in Lincoln lobbying for us.”
Tom Borer of Neligh, who helped organize Monday’s event, said it was important to immediately call the gathering in Neligh because of what the proposed bill represented.
“We just wanted to raise an awareness of this proposed tax bill and what it could do to the communities,” he said. “Our point was it was going to pretty much ruin the local farm economy, not only in Antelope County, Holt County, anybody that has a lot of irrigation in their county. It’s going to pretty much ruin it.”
Also organizing the meeting was Craig Bollwitt of Ewing. State Senators Tyson Larson, Tom Briese and Paul Schumaucher were invited but did not attend.
Many of those attending shared the organizers’ views on the impact of the proposed bill. The presentation used the example that with the proposed bill, 10 inches of water on 135 acres would be taxed at $36,650.
Greg Koinzan of Tilden spoke about the state’s ownership of the water, taxing the water, disadvantages of unicameral system and property tax relief.
“The simple fact is they can tell you how much you can pump, when you can pump and they can tell you where you can pump it. They not only own it, the state of Nebraska controls your water,” Koinzan said.
During conversation on selling of water rights, Aaron Rice, who serves as a director on the Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources District, clarified that the state owns the water, not individuals. Dennis Schueth, general manager of the Upper Elkhorn NRD, further clarified that the correct term people should be using is transferring rights.
“We never use the word ‘sell’ because that gives a part of ownership. We have allowed the acres to be transfered from Point A to Point B. The same amount of irrigated acres, so amongst the discussion the happens outside of the NRD and you want to use the term ‘sell,’ that’s your vocabulary,” Scheuth said.
Doug Hall of Neligh said he too belives LB 1022 will be abandoned, but he’s concerned about what happens next since taxing irrigation water usage has been proposed.
“They’ll negotiate this thing down. They’ll figure out some way,” Hall said. “I don’t know what the hell they’re going to come up with, but they have the idea out there.”
Bentley said landowners are guilty of being too complacent by allowing property taxes to increase. He said from 2005 to 2015, property taxes in Nebraska increased 176 percent for ag land, compared to 35 percent for residential and 49 percent for commercial property.
But as far as how to fight such potential legislation, even Bentley said those in attendance united couldn’t foot the bill for lobbyists. That’s when the discussion moved to joining other organizations that have resources in place.
Lance Knigge of Verdigre said a key issue is where a majority of the votes are from, which is urban areas. Knigge said Nebraska’s population is 1.92 million with Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy, Buffallo and Hall counties accounting for more than 1 million voters.
“That gives you an idea of where we’re sitting with votes in this state,” Knigge said. “If any of this gets to a vote and we’re going to save something with property taxes, they’re not going to slow down.”
After hearing the discussion, Marvin Hochstein of Bloomfield stood up and questioned how many people in the crowd were in the irrigation business and attending to support the farmers.
“Would it be out of line to ask for a showing of hands for how many people are in the irrigation business and related industry and let us know how much more support we have from those we’ve supported over the years?” he asked.
About a half dozen hands raised.
Toward the end of the meeting, organizers asked several times for advice on how to proceed and if a committee should be formed. The audience dispersed without nominating anyone to speak on their behalf. Instead, organizers suggested another meeting toward the end of February.
“The way we left the meeting was everybody was going to go home and think about it. We’re going to have a meeting again in a month, bring back your ideas. From there, we’ll try and decide how we should proceed because we don’t think this issue is going to go away,” Borer said. “Even if it doesn’t make it through this legislative session, it’s going to keep popping up. We want to be proactive and try to fight this every time it comes up. The only way to do that is to stay informed, keep organized and try to work with the other farm organizations and see if we can’t work together and get these crazy bills stopped.”
The Lewis & Clark Visitors Center hosted Bald Eagle Days over the past weekend. Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR) brought along several of their education birds to help visitors learn the importance of SOAR's objectives.
SOAR is a non-profit organization based in Carroll County, . Executive Director, Kay Neumann heads the organization with the help of her staff and many volunteers.
With the help of Linette Bernard, SOAR's Communications Director and Alex Lynott, visitors were given the chance to get up close to four of SOAR's education birds which include a Kestrel, an Eastern Screech Owl, a Ferruginous Hawk and Thora, a Bald Eagle.
Lynott has been a mentee under Neumann for four years now. She currently holds a sub-permit under SOAR so that she may provide temporary critical care to the birds until she can transport the animals to Neumann at SOAR. "I'm honored that she invites me to help with programs", Lynott said. Neumann has offered Lynott her own educational Screech Owl, Aldo Leopold which was a part of the program this weekend.
Neumann hopes that visitors will take a few things away from her presentation. While her requests are minor, they have a great impact. The first thing she say is that she hopes to encourage people to go out and watch the wildlife. This will help folks acknowledge wildlife and will remember that we coexist with wildlife. We need to be conscious of all wildlife, not only the avian.
Her second take-away are the "simple little things like with our screech owl and kestrel is if we can provide safe nesting areas by putting up nesting boxes and providing grassland habitat and woodland areas", said Neumann.
Finally and probably the most important is to avoid using lead ammunition. "We just published a paper that half of the eagles that come to us for rehabilitation come in because they have ingested lead", Neumann said. She further says that poisoning is not an acceptable form of mortality of any form of animal.
The way that eagles get lead poisoning is from an ammunition source as the lead is ingested through consumption of animal carcasses. Eagles eat not only the food that they catch but also through scavenging. Through the scavenging is where the lead generally comes into play.
SOAR is hoping to get people to use nontoxic shots, copper slugs, copper or tin bullets. "There are 130 different species of wildlife that can ingest lead ammunition and will get sick from it", Neumann continued. "Eagles are just an indicator species".
SOAR is a nonprofit that operates on grants and donations. They take in birds from the western half of Iowa. "That is where our facility is and where we do the rehabilitation", Neumann explained. We also have volunteers spread out all over the place as far as helping perform rescues in the field and getting animals transported.
While volunteers contribute a great deal, monetary donations are always welcomed. SOAR accepts donations through their website at several different levels. If you would like to help their cause or just find out more information on their organization, you may visit www.soarraptors.org
Two hundred fifty-three students completed their degree, diploma or certificate programs in Summer and Fall 2017 from Northeast Community College. One hundred and ninety-six completed during the fall term while another 57 completed in the summer.
The Northeast Community College commencement ceremony is schedule for this May.
Congratulations on your academic achievment!
Associate of Arts Degree
Creighton - Chasity Wilmes
Wausa - Jordan Burns
Associate of Applied Science Degree in Accounting
Creighton - Vanessa Naprstek
Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business
Wausa - Amanda Goeden
Republican Shane Greckel recently filed paperwork with the Nebraska Secretary of State's Office to run for Nebraska Legislature in District 40. Greckel is seeking the seat currently held by State Senator Tyson Larson who cannot run again due to term limits.
District 40 is made up of Dixon, Cedar, Knox, Holt, Boyd and Rock Counties in northern Nebraska.
"Since I announced my candidacy in June, I have traveled throughout the district meeting with community leaders and voters," commented Greckel. "I look forward to continuing my campaign, sharing a vision that includes meaningful tax relief, infrastructure improvements, and ending burdensome regulations that hold back rural economic growth."
In 2016, Shane was appointed to the Nebraska Information Technology Commission where he has made it a priority to represent the needs of agriculture and rural businesses. Rural businesses and agriculture are essential to the growth of Nebraska as well as retaining population and industry in our rural communities. By bringing forward these issues to help spur the expansion of technical infrastructure in our rural areas, Greckel believes we can ensure a bright future for our local schools and communities.
“By improving technology, our Ag producers can work more efficiently and maximize profits. It also gives our farm families an opportunity to keep younger generations in rural Nebraska, closer to home,” added Greckel.
Greckel is a fifth-generation farmer in Knox County near Bloomfield, where he produces corn, soybeans, and has a small cow/calf feed yard.
He studied Computer Programming at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, and pursued a degree in Computer and Systems Design at Mount Marty in Yankton, South Dakota.
Winter Storm Jaxon dropped just over a foot of snow in Knox County on Monday.
Due to the wind, snow fall totals have varied, but official reports from the National Weather Service said 17.6 inches of snow fell in the county.
All schools in Knox County were closed Monday and Tuesday, and all sporting events planned for Tuesday were postponed due to blizzard conditions. Besides the heavy snowfall, wind gusts of more than 40 mph were reported.
Most of the communities also declared snow emergencies and asked for vehicles to be moved off of city streets until the snow could be removed.
In Bloomfield and Creighton, snow piles running through the middle of the downtown areas were visible from the outskirts of town since the piles were so large.
Both communities hauled the snow out with trucks.
No travel is advised in Northeast Nebraska due to rapidly deteriorating conditions.
The Nebraska Department of Transportation said conditions are not suitable for travel and are dangerous. Roadways are completely snow covered at this time and wind gusts are exceeding 40 mph.
Snow is continuing to fall across the area and a blizzard warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. Monday.
The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis announced academic honors for the fall semester of 2017 with 73 students recognized by NCTA Dean Ron Rosati.
Twelve Aggies were named to the Dean’s List with a 4.00 grade point average and 61 students were named to the Dean’s Honor Roll with 3.50-3.99 GPA, said Dean Rosati.
Students must be fulltime enrollees, with at least 12 credit hours for the semester to be eligible for this designation.
NCTA Dean’s Honor Roll: (3.5-3.99 GPA, Nebraska students)
Wausa: Chantelle Schmit
Congratulations on your academia achievement!
Wayne State College included more than 900 students on the dean's list for exemplary academic achievement during the past semester. Students listed on the dean's list are full-time undergraduate students who have achieved a GPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale for the semester.
An asterisk (*) denotes a 4.0 GPA for the term.
Bloomfield: Kenna Fiedler*, Braston Maibaum, Brooke Schmeckpeper
Creighton: Makayla Brockhaus*, Rebecca Eggerling, Anne Fanta, Jessica Gragert*, Kelsey Hornback, Grant Mathis*, Samuel Morrill
Crofton: Mariah Dendinger*, Tracy Leader*, Kurtrina Parsons*, Maria Wortmann, Joshua Zuhlke
Niobrara: Cade Kalkowski, Shania RedOwl, Jace Forker*
Verdigre: Alec Hrbek*, Tessa Ives*, Haylee Klawitter*, Cole Kopejtka, Hannah Sucha*
Wausa: Lauren Bengston*, Mary Johnson, Hanna Knox*, Leanna Rosberg*
Congratulations on your academic achievement!
Jared Leonard is wanted by the Cedar County Sheriff's Office for felony child abuse, felony strangulation, misdemeanor domestic assault and misdemeanor willful reckless driving.
If you see Jared Leonard or know his whereabouts, please contact your local law enforcement or the Cedar County Sherriff's Office at (402)- 254 6884
Defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.