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Locally, Nebraska/SW Iowa Region Responds to 437 Large and Small Disasters in 2013

In a year that had deadly tornadoes, fierce wildfires and destructive floods in many states, the Nebraska/SW Iowa Region of the American Red Cross responded to two large disasters in the region the September South Platte River Flooding and the October tornado outbreak that damaged Wayne both are part of the 146 large disaster relief efforts led by the American Red Cross in 42 states and territories between January 1 and December 1in 2013.

This year, local Red Cross volunteers and staff continued to serve families in Iowa and Nebraska, responding to 437 of family fires, as well as two large disasters, said Tina Labellarte, Region CEO. 2013 was a busy year and we are so very thankful for everyone who supported our efforts to help those in need.

Here at Home

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Pressing Play on the 2014 Homestead Film Festival!

Get ready to take in an exciting selection of fun and powerful movies at this years Homestead Film Festival at Homestead National Monument of America! Films will be shown in the Education Center at2 p.m.on Saturdays and all but one Sunday in Jan. and Feb., 2014. How would modern families fare living like homesteaders of old? How did the Dust Bowl impact the Nation? What did the Civil War look like on the contentious Kansas-Missouri border? How has the vast plains landscape transformed over time? Who does the Lorax speak for?! Find out the answers to these questions in this years films.

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Sunny and Warm Break

Photo caption: This Photo Can Be Purchased at FairburyJournalNews.com Photo by Jim Headley/Fairbury Journal-NewsNick Markham, of rural Reynolds, washes his pickup truck at Fairburys Splash and Dash car wash Friday as nice weather entered the area.

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Jan. 1, 2014

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Loss of Unemployment Triggers Effect in the Local Economy

Long term unemployment benefits were allowed to expire on Saturday, Dec. 28. Now, over one million people across the United States are facing the effects of losing a primary source of income. While Jefferson County has a low number of people who are unemployed, the harmful effects are not limited to these people alone.

According to a chart found on the Nebraska Department of Labor website, unemployment in Jefferson county is at 2.8 percent, the lowest rate in years. This is down from its peak of 4.8 percent in Jan. 2013. There are currently 32,817 people in the state of Neb. who are unemployed. Jefferson County has weathered the unemployment crisis very well compared to other counties in the state.

Ryan Bailey, Family and Community Services Manager at Blue Valley Community Action, believes that the loss will be detrimental to families in need. It is going to be a slap in the face when people lose these benefits. We are bracing for the impact.

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Cleaning Up the Streets

Photo caption: This Photo Can Be Purchased at FairburyJournalNews.com Photo by Jim Headley/Fairbury Journal-NewsFairbury Police Office Anthony Whitmore washes his police cruiser last Friday as warm weather filled the area. On Friday and Saturday the high nearly hit 60 while temps dropped to a high of just 18 on Sunday.

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Flu impacts Southeast Nebraska

If you dont have the flu right now, it is likely you know someone who does.

Kim Plouzek, emergency and environmental health programs manager with Public Health Solutions in Crete, said local health departments surveillance programs monitor schools, long term care facilities, hospitals and doctors offices to monitor flu activity across the area and the nation.

As of Dec. 21, Nebraska was listed in the regional flu activity classification while influenza was in the widespread category in Kansas.

Most people with confirmed flu in the area are suffering with the H1N1 virus that caused more illness in children and young adults, compared to older adults, although severe illness was seen in all age groups in 2009.

Since Dec. 21, the influenza activity was steadily increasing. It is circulation throughout Nebraska, Poulzek said. We know its out there and the number of tests (performed) is increasing too.

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Postage Goes Up 3 Cents Per Letter

Postage Goes Up 3 Cents Per Letter

As a new year breaks, so does an increase in your postal rates.

The United States Postal Service will implement price changes, including an increase in the price of a First-Class Mail single-piece letter from 46 cents to 49 cents.

The changes, which take effect Jan. 1, are intended to generate $2 billion in incremental annual revenue for the Postal Service.

Highlights of the new single-piece First-Class Mail pricing, effective Jan. 26, 2014 include:

Letters (1 oz.) 3-cent increase to 49 cents

Letters additional ounces 1-cent increase to 21 cents

Letters to all international destinations (1 oz.) $1.15

Postcards 1-cent increase to 34 cents

The Postal Service maintains that stamp prices have stayed consistent with the average annual rate of inflation of 4.2 percent since the Postal Service was formed in 1971.

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Lady Jeffs Win Holiday Tourney

Fairburys Lady Jeffs got its eyes opened over the weekend as they were pushed in the title game by the Lady Warriors.

After starting slow in the first half, the Lady Jeffs put things together with a strong third quarter of play to remain undefeated claiming the championship in the Lincoln Lutheran Holiday Tournament with a 43-36 win over Lincoln Lutheran.

The game was not pretty for the Lady Jeffs as Lincoln Lutheran maintained a 20-19 lead at halftime.

The Lady Warriors 2-3 zone defense bottled up Lady Jeffs center Paige Husa in the first half allowing her to score just two points.

Coming back onto the court after halftime, the Lady Jeffs put on their game face after being pushed and battered around in the first half by the Lady Warriors.

Fairbury responded to the challenge in front of them, as the Lady Jeffs pieced together a strong third quarter of play outscoring the Lady Warriors 17-8.

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Fairbury Secures Second Win

The Fairbury Jeffs got some much needed momentum heading into the new year by earning its second win of the season Saturday afternoon in the Lincoln Lutheran Holiday Tournament.

The Jeffs had its lowest turnover total of the season coupled with solid play defensively in the second half limiting Raymond Central to just 11 points en route to a 44-35 victory against the Mustangs in the third place game.

Fairburys win snaps a four-game losing streak.

Fairbury Jeffs head coach Justin Harris was very happy with the win to place third in the tournament.

It feels really good to get a win. The team had only 13 turnovers in the game, and we had 13 assists in the contest. That is a pretty good ratio for us. Im happy with how the boys played, Harris said.

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