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Wed
26
Jan
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Governor Testifies For State Aid Cuts To Local Governments

By Emily Nohr

Nebraska News Service

Gov. Dave Heineman made a rare appearance at the Legislature Wednesday, testifying at a committee hearing to cut $22 million in state aid to cities, counties and natural resources districts.

"My budget priorities are education and jobs," Heineman told the revenue committee. "In order to do that, we have to make tough budget decisions. This bill does that."

Heineman said that the proposed state aid elimination to local governments would save the state about $44 million over the course of two years.

Heineman said he believes local governments are capable of dealing with the loss and could consider implementing salary freezes to make up for losses. The state aid also makes up a small percentage of their total budget, he said.

Wed
26
Jan
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Tri County Preschooler Remains In Critical Condition

A four-year-old Tri County pre-schooler, Josef Parker, remains in critical condition from the complications of bacterial meningitis.

"I visited Josef a week ago Saturday when he was in Children's Hospital in Omaha, but they have since transported him to Iowa City," Jesse Gronemeyer, TC Elementary Principal said. "They have state of the art dialysis machine there."

Josef's ordeal began on January 12 when his parents, Todd and Jennnifer Parker noticed that their son was feverish and lethargic, thinking he had taken ill with the flu. His temperature reached 104 that night and the next morning they noticed spots on their son. At that point they thought he may have chicken pox. Later that morning, Josef developed a rash and began acting confused. The couple went to the internet and found photos of rashers that looked similiar. The cause...meningitis.

Wed
26
Jan
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Elks Collected Over 200 Hides For Veteran's Program

Thanks to some local hunters a member of the Fairbury Elks Club will be making a road trip to a small town near North Platte with a load of deer hides.

"We started the middle of September and ran through about the 15th of January collecting hides for the Veteran hides program," Jim Schroeder, local Elks member, said. "We have completed our gathering of hides and I believe we have around 225 hides. They are salted and stored until we get ready to ship them. They are taken to the state collection site and then loaded on semis and taken to Wisconsin to a tannery. From there they are shipped to Chicago to make gloves and kits for veterans. It all goes to Veterans and it is all compliments of the Elks, they pay for all of it."

The local chairman of the project is Alan Riggins and he will put the hides on the trailer and take them to the collection point. Riggins, Schroeder, Howard Zimmer and Judd Stewart are on the committee.

Wed
26
Jan
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"Kids Count In Nebraska" Reports Some Positives, Some Negatives

A recent report released, "Kids Count In Nebraska" is a mixed bag, some positives, some negatives. On the plus side, graduation rates have increased and dropout, school expulsion and infant mortality rates have dipped, but on the negative, poverty and its many related issues have increased.

One noticeable increase is in the number of children who live in poverty.

Wed
26
Jan
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Wind Farms In Jefferson County?

Wind farms in Jefferson County? A wind energy company working out of Lincoln may be considering Jefferson County for the location of a future wind farm.

Green Capital Power representatives attended the commissioner's meeting on Tuesday hoping to spark an interest.

The commissioners listened to a presentation Tuesday morning on the benefits of developing wind farms given by Jennifer Korgie of Green Capital Power in Lincoln.

Green Capital Power (GCP) is a renewable energy development corporation headquartered in Lincoln.

Wed
26
Jan
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Lantz Charged With Two Counts Of Sexual Assault

Two counts of sexual assault of a minor, a Class II Felony, has been filed in Jefferson County court on a Fairbury man.

Bond was set at $25,000 10 percent for Ronald Lantz, 42. Lantz was released Jan. 19 from jail after posting bond.

Lantz appeared in County Court this morning and waived the preliminary hearing. He was bound over to District Court and is to appear March 3.

Wed
26
Jan
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Local TeamMates Mentors Recognized

January is National Mentoring Month and the board for the Fairbury Chapter of the TeamMates Mentoring Program took the opportunity to thank their local mentors for making a difference in the life of a child.

"Fairbury is very fortunate to have 29 adults who have dedicated themselves to mentoring a local student each week," Cathy Simmerman coordinator for the Fairbury Chapter said.

The TeamMates board hosted a Mentor Appreciation Night with a complementary supper and entry into the varsity basketball game on Jan. 18. All mentors were recognized at half-time for their commitment to the TeamMates Mentoring Program and especially to their mentee. The Fairbury TeamMates Chapter is continuously seeking mentors (male and female) for students in the community.

"We currently have approximately 19 students waiting to be matched with a caring adult mentor.

Wed
26
Jan
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"Building New Directions" Chamber Banquet Feb. 4

The Fairbury Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet is coming up on Friday, February 4 at the Elk's Lodge. Social hour and appetizers will begin at 6:00 p.m. with dinner at 7:00.

The Guest Speaker will be Barry Kennedy, President of the Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce. This year's theme is "Building New Directions", the evening will be filled with fun, food and lots of entertainment. The guest entertainers will be Fairbury's own Crimson Elite.

Awards will be given for the Chamber Volunteer of the Year, Community Service Award and a special presentation on a 4-H Scholarship. There will also be a blockbuster auction with a percentage of the proceeds going towards "Acts in Motion".

Tickets are available for $25 each and are limited to a first come, first served basis.

Wed
26
Jan
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Nominations Sought For First Lady's Outstanding Community Service And Impact Awards

ServeNebraska is accepting nominations to honor individuals and organizations throughout Nebraska with the 2011 First Lady's Outstanding Community Service Awards and Impact Awards. The nomination deadline for these awards is March 14, 2011. Honorees will be recognized at the First Lady's Awards Luncheon on April 28, 2011 at The Thompson Alumni Center on the University of Nebraska-Omaha campus.

The First Lady's Outstanding Community Service Awards reflect Nebraska First Lady Sally Ganem's passion for education, and honor adult, youth and group nominees in a variety of categories. These include Lifetime Achievement in Volunteerism, as well as outstanding achievement in Service-Learning, School Leadership and Environmental Education programs.

Wed
26
Jan
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Budget Cuts For Public Schools

by Steven Cain, Nebraska News Service

With Nebraska, as well as the rest of the nation, in financial turmoil the Legislature is searching for areas to make significant budget cuts. On Tuesday the Education Committee heard witnesses reactions to cutting state aid for public schools.

Committee Chairman Greg Adams of York proposed two bills to cut state aid by changing several elements of the state school aid formula for the next two years. His emphasis in these bills was to make balanced cuts to school districts across the state.

"If we're going to get at the kind of numbers that the budget is demanding, we can't nibble around the edges," Adams said. He proposed making large cuts to some of the core elements that make up that state aid. "This hurts. Bottom line, it hurts."

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