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Are You Better Off Now?

This week I harken back to the words of President Ronald Regan as he used a single sentence to take the White House away from Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Four Years Ago?

Back in 1980 our nation faced doom as the economy was nearly collapsed and gasoline shot up to more than $1 per gallon. We all thought the end was near.

Gasoline shortages caused long lines of people waiting for their turn to buy fuel and often consumers were limited to five or 10 gallons per visit. Interest rates were so high that people could no longer purchase houses and cars.

We all looked towards a famous actor and Governor of California named Ronald Regan.

Regan had it all going on. He was smart, quick on his feet, funny as the day is long and not Jimmy Carter.

He was our savior; at least we thought he was.

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Ask the Gnome

As Ive been out bearding locals, discussing human trafficking and raising support for Ive Got A Name, people have questions about just exactly what all this fuss is about. Thankfully, the Fairbury Journal-News is working with me Harry the Gnome, to bring you some answers to these frequently asked

questions.

Does trafficking really happen in Nebraska?

Weve heard the statistic from UNICEF that 1 million children around the globe enter the sex trade annually, but did you know that it is estimated 300,000 of those are within the borders of the United States?

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Cleaning Out The Cupboard for 2013

Over the course of the year I find clips of news items, odds and ends of things that I think are sort of interesting that I would like to pass along to the FJN readers.

While I tend to have most of them used up, there are a few left and feel this would be a good opportunity to use the leftovers up, so to speak.

1. A couple of weeks ago I lamented that I missed getting handwritten Christmas cards. In an e-world social media has taken most of the personal touch out of Christmas. Shortly after that column I received a lovely Christmas card from Sara Hutchison and Jeremiah Paige of Fairbury. It was much appreciated.

2. Last weeks column was about how people should be nicer in 2014. An anonymous reader wrote that I should take my own advice.

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We Want Names, Addresses of Local, Area Military Personnel

As we thrust headlong into another new year, we all should be mindful of the things we are thankful for. Not the least of these are the freedoms that we enjoy and the men and women of our armed forces who make that possible.

Going forward into 2014, the Journal-News would like to start a campaign whereby we print the names and addresses of area men and women who serve in the armed forces, whether they are stationed stateside or abroad. It would be our intent to publish these names in the paper each week in the event readers, friends or relatives wish to contact them. A note from home would be a great way to express our thanks.

What we would ask for from those wishing to submit to this Military Honor Roll would be: the name, address, rank and branch of service of the person.

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Looking Back

Photo caption: Rollie Hughes, pictured at right, trained many area horses at Fairbury's fairgrounds in the 1940s and 1950s. Hughes is pictured with Mr. Bleu, a race horse belonging to Bruning and Snyder that won first place in the five-furlong race on May 21, 1952, at AK-SAR-BEN Field in Omaha, a premiere horse track in its time. Jockey D. Rosebrook rode the horse to victory. Photo courtesy of Frank Bruning, of Bruning.

120 Years Ago

1894

The Fairbury Journal

J.A. Axtell, teacher in District No. 28 (two miles north of Thompson), commended pupils Ernest and Ralph Koch, Ernest Lenger, John Quick, and Nell Smalldon.

Honor pupils in district No. 18 (one mile east and one north of Daykin), taught by Carrie D. Fornery, included Albert, Fred, George and Stella Patzman, Willie Foster, Cyrus Saylor, Anna and Emma Haake.

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Lady Mustangs 1-1 at Axtell Tournament

Meridian took advantage of strong free throw shooting to end a six-game losing streak in Saturdays third place contest at the Axtell Holiday Tournament.

Capitalizing off 16-18 shooting at the free throw line, Meridian earned a 40-37 victory against Arcadia-Loup City.

Meridian trailed, 26-24 after three quarters but rallied to claim its second win of the season by nailing 12 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Blair Hofstetter was 4-4 at the line, Ashli Soukup hit 2-2 while Mikayla Schafer and Miranda Johnson each were 3-4 at the stripe.

Hofstetter led the (2-6) Lady Mustangs in scoring with a game-high 24 points, Johnson, five points, Bridgette Jackson, four points, Schafer, three points, and Allison Klipp and Ashli Soukup tallied two points each.

In opening round action on Friday, the Lady Mustangs struggled offensively in the fourth quarter and were handed a 51-45 loss by Axtell.

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Mustangs Improve against Axtell, Blue Hill at Axtell Holiday Tournament

Even though its two weekend games didnt result in wins for Meridian, the Mustangs put forth competitive efforts against Axtell and Blue Hill at the Axtell Holiday Tournament.

In Saturdays third place contest, Blue Hill defeated Meridian 48-36.

Meridian was never able to gain the upper hand against Blue Hill, trailing 14-10 after one quarter and 28-19 at half.

Blue Hill put the game out of reach outscoring Meridian 15-8 in the third quarter to open a 43-27 advantage.

Meridian outscored the Bobcats 9-5 in the fourth quarter but could only trim the deficit to 12 points.

Kyle Schwisow topped the (1-7) Mustangs in scoring with 15 points while Ty Brakhage had 13 points, Tyler Nolte, four points, and Michael Groves and Jakub VanWestern contributed two points each.

Friday afternoon, Meridian suffered its third single digit loss of the season falling to Axtell 43-40 in first-round tournament play.

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Meridian Wrestlers Second at South Central

Competing in thier final meet of 2013, Meridians wrestling team placed runner-up at the Sandy Creek Invite on Dec. 21 at Clay Center High School.

Meridian Mustangs wrestling coach Chris Placek was happy with how the team performed against a number of quality schools.

It was great to see Riley Noel achieve his 100 win milestone, but for him I believe it was just another match on the road to state. The last and first wrestler to achieve this was Brandon Bartels (2006-2010). He had a total of 122 career wins. Riley has a chance to surpass this total this season. It is really special to have been able to coach and know Brandon and Riley. They are the only two wrestlers tight now to have ever achieved this in Meridian School History from the first wrestling team in 1971, Placek said.

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Defense Propels Lady Griffins

Following a sluggish first quarter of play, the Diller-Odell Lady Griffins turned up their defensive pressure in the second quarter resulting in a number of Johnson-Brock turnovers which helped lead to a 51-26 road win Saturday over the Lady Eagles.

After expanding its lead to 29-12 at half, Diller-Odell maintained control in the second half by outscoring Johnson-Brock 22-14.

The Lady Griffins struggled in the first quarter, scoring only eight points and playing of sync. That is typically the case coming off the five-day Christmas holiday break, Lady Griffins Coach John Mohr said. The girls upped their defensive pressure in the second quarter, outscoring Johnson-Brock 21-8. The team took advantage of Johnson-Brock turnovers, as many of the Lady Griffins points came in transition after steals were made.

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Four Area Football Players Earn All-State Honorable Mention

Photo caption: Photo by Jim Phelps/Fairbury Journal-NewsALL-STATE HONORABLE MENTION Three Fairbury football players and one Meridian football player received All-State Honorable Mention honors by the Lincoln Jounral Star and the Omaha World-Herald. Honorees from Fairbury were seated (l-r), Connor Livingston, Nate Klaumann, and Tyler Theye. Earning honors for the Mustangs was Brandon Jackson.

For their exceptional play on the field this past season, Fairbury and Meridian had players being selected All-State Honorable Mention by both the Lincoln Journal Star and the Omaha World-Herald.

A trio of Fairbury players were tabbed All-State Honorable Mention.

Honorees were senior Tyler Theye, junior Nate Klaumann and junior Connor Livingston.

Theye was chosen by both the Lincoln Journal Star and the Omaha World-Herald.

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