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Red_Cross_Emblem_2Red Cross swim lessons will once again be conducted at Big Blue Bay this summer. Registration  for lessons will be offered at the KCOW Home Show on March 9-10.

The Home Show will be held at the AHS Gym.  Swim lesson sign up will be held at the City of Alliance Booth in the High School Gymnasium, from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday, March 9, and from 11 am until 2 pm, Sunday, March 10.  

To make registration easier, please bring the most recently issued Red Cross cards if you have them.

The cost for swim lessons will be $30 per child.

No phone  registrations will be accepted as payment is required at the time of registration.

If you have questions or need additional information please call the Knight Museum & Sandhills Center at  762-2384.

The following dates have been assigned for each level:

5yearolds – July 15 through July 19

Level One – June 17 through June 22 and July 22 through July 27

Level Two – June 24 through June 29 and July 29 through August 3

Level Three – June 17 through June 22 and July 22 through July 27

Level Four – June 24 through June 29 and July 29 through August 3

Level Five – July 8 through July 19.


Chadron Public Library      The Chadron Public Library is offer a 5-hour class on the use of the iPad2 this Saturday. Library director Rosella Tesch says it’s just the latest in a series of courses and events intended help patrons become more familiar and comfortable with technology.

Retired Chadron State College professor Dr. Roger Wess lead the class…which will run Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.  Cost of the class is $10 per student. For more information, contact to Dr. Wess at:  roger_wessyahoo.com


prairie dog-1     Sheridan County has become the first in Nebraska to adopt a prairie dog management plan under a state law passed last year to give counties the power help keep prairie dog colonies from expanding from the land of one private owner to another.

The county commissioners completed a roughly 3-month process Monday by holding a public hearing, then adopting the plan.

Seven members of the public, including 3 from Box Butte County, attended the hearing…and Commission Jack Andersen was pleased that all of them, representing both sides of the prairie dog issue, backed the plan.

“There were some people there that like to have prairie dogs and they felt the plan didn’t trespass on their rights to have prairie dogs…and were in favor of the way the plan was written,” said Andersen

The plan was crafted by a special working group headed by Sheridan County Weed Superintendent Kristi Paul, who was praised by the board for her work, but Andersen says it was pretty much the result of work by the private citizens on the panel who saw the need for it.

The plan gives the county the power to notify landowners that a prairie dog colony on their property is not being managed and require them to address the problem. If they don’t, the county can take action itself.

A landowner who wants prairie dogs on their land but is next to one who doesn’t “will voluntarily” create an abatement strip the full length of the property line…with the depth of the control area to be negotiated between the two owners.

Landowners found to be not managing their prairie dog colonies 60 days after notification can be fined $100 a day to a maximum of $1,500 and be billed for the cost management activities…including poison…taken by the county.

Complaints of violations would go to an appointed five member advisory council that would make recommendations to the county commissioners.

Andersen says anyone interested in serving on the council needs to submit their name through the county clerk’s office for consideration. He’d like to see the names in by the next board meeting in two weeks so the commissioners could make their choices at the following meeting, but doesn’t think they’ll make that timeline.

Copies of the Sheridan County black-tailed prairie dog management plan are available from the Sheridan County Clerk or online at http://www.sheridancountynebraska.com/archives/prairie_dog_plan2013.php



Jerome Lebeaux        A former economic development official and spiritual leader on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has pleaded guilty to drug charges.

35-year old Jerome Lebeaux faces up to 11 years in prison when sentenced March 18 on charges of possession of a controlled substance and driving under the influence of a controlled substance. He remains held without bail in the Pennington County jail.

Lebeaux was the cultural coordinator for Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation when arrested January 21, but Thunder Valley executive director Nick Tilson said Monday that he was no longer an employee.

Lebeaux founded the Thunder Valley Sun Dance, a focal point for cultural revitalization among families in the northern part of the Pine Ridge Reservation. He had also been a vocal opponent of gangs and drugs, warning of their negative impact on the reservation.



Alliance City Manager J.D. Cox is encouraging Alliance citizens to sign up for the city’s new communications system, known as Code Red.

Cox says Code Red is similar to the telephone communications systems implemented by the Alliance Public Schools and the Alliance St. Agnes Academy that have alerted parents to school closings, or important meetings.

Cox says Code Red will alert you about everything from tornado warnings to street closures.

You can sign up for the Code Red Communications system by logging on to the city’s web site at city of alliance dot net and click on code red.


As plans to continue to develop for an 80,000 square foot expansion at Box Butte General Hospital, a town hall meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb 26, at 7 pm to update you on the project.

Hospital CEO Dan Griess says the meeting, which will be held at the performing arts center, will include displays of the latest architectural renderings.

Griess says public feedback will be very important. He says they want to engage the community as much as possible through this process, and allow them the opportunity to give them feedback at different points in the progress of the design phase. Griess says that should take until at least summer if not fall of this year.

Medical planners and architects from BWBR from St. Paul, Minnesota, and others involved in the process will be on hand to share with the public to share all the work that’s been done since around Thanksgiving.  Griess says they will then open it up for questions and feedback throughout the evening.

The 80,000 square-foot addition will be constructed west of the current facility and run adjacent to Box Butte Avenue.  Griess says the building designers will also be looking for public input on color schemes.

BBGH Expansion Image #1 _ Jan 30 _ Looking N_NE


Lona Vroma and Kevin Bogus of the CSC Child Development Center
Lona Vroma and Kevin Bogus of the CSC Child Development Center

“How many of you have been called a genius, as a sincere compliment, lately?” This question by keynote speaker, Holly Elissa Bruno of Sterling, Mass., kicked off the discussion about Intelligence Quotient vs. Emotional Quotient Saturday morning at the 24thannual Early Childhood Conference hosted at Chadron State College. “We have a profession that we know is important but the rest of the world doesn’t really get it,” she told childcare providers from the region.

Bruno, an author, attorney and radio host, explained that while a high IQ results in good test scores it is only important in 20% of life’s situations. “These folks are paid more and given more respect but they can be stunningly poor pilots of their personal lives,” Bruno stated.

EQ, a phrase coined by author Dr. Daniel Goleman, is, in part, the ability to read underlying messages in body language, tone of voice and eye contact. She asked the audience if they had ever given or received the “look” across the room. “Nothing is spoken but the message is loud and clear. Ninety-three percent of human emotion is communicated without words. With your EQ, you know information without being told outright and from there you can create a human solution tailored to each situation using your psychological, social, and spiritual abilities,” Bruno said.

Speaker Holly Bruno and conference coordinator Dr Kim Madsen
Speaker Holly Bruno and conference coordinator Dr Kim Madsen

“For example, if an infant comes in and you sense the tension in his or her body, you know they didn’t sleep well or something else is wrong, no matter how happy the mom acts,” Bruno said.

She emphasized that the participants possess extraordinarily high EQ levels or they would not be successful in childcare. “Don’t ask children how intelligent they are but instead ask them to tell you in which ways they are intelligent.”

Bruno shared the example of her son, Nick, 29, who even though he has two disorders knows every Marvel character in detail and many other details from movies, television, and popular culture. “He has it down to a science. This is his way of being intelligent. Do this with adults. Find out in what ways they are intelligent and then capitalize on that.”

She explained Alexithymia, a condition that is opposite of EQ, in which we teach ourselves not to pay attention to our own or others emotional cues. “Have you ever got a new outfit, had a manicure, bought new earrings and then met your friend for lunch and this person says, ‘Where we going to lunch?’ instead of noticing all these things about you? That is an example.”

The group participated in a number of activities during the keynote including analyzing and offering various solutions to case studies about behavior issues with co-workers, children and parents.

Dr. Kim Madsen, professor in Applied Sciences, director of the CSC Child Development Center and director of the conference, said she was especially pleased with hosting Bruno since she had heard her speak on multiple occasions and tried for years to secure her as a keynote speaker for the conference.

—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator



A 12-year-old boy died after a collision on an icy highway near Gordon. 

The Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office says the accident occurred around 7:30 a.m.

Thursday, about five miles west of Gordon. The office says Melissa Jaggers, of Rushville, lost control of her vehicle on U.S. Highway 20 and slid into the path of an oncoming truck. 

National Weather Service records say light snow had been falling in the area since Wednesday night. 

Deputy Richard Anderson says Jaggers and her 12-year-old son were taken to Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, where the boy died Thursday evening.

Jaggers’ 10-year-old daughter was flown to a Denver hospital. The children’s names have not been released. 

The truck driver, 32-year-old Ken Costello, was treated at Gordon Memorial Hospital and released. 



Dry bean producers who want to switch to direct harvest need to do more than simply change their harvest routine. They must adapt their entire production system, according to several speakers at a packed meeting in Alliance.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension experts and others shared research and experience in direct harvest at a recent meeting at Alliance to an audience of 84 people who included producers, bean processor representatives, equipment company reps, and others.

Direct harvest is a one-pass harvest method in which a combine with a specialized header removes the beans from plants still standing in the fields. It is not widely used yet in Nebraska, but it is in several other areas where dry beans are grown. North Dakota growers direct harvest 70 percent of the state’s 200,000 acres of pintos. Nebraska direct harvested less than 5 percent of the 60,000 acres of pintos grown here in 2011, according to John Smith, retired UNL Machinery Systems Engineer and Professor Emeritus.

Most Nebraska dry bean growers harvest the crop in several steps, first cutting or rodding the mature bean plants into windrows, and finally combining the beans out of the windrows. John Thomas, Extension Educator in Box Butte County, said more Nebraska growers are trying direct harvest every year.

Smith, Thomas, and several other speakers discussed factors in the production system that lead to success or failure with direct harvest. The important factors in a production system, according to Smith:

·       An upright bean variety with long branches.

·       Level soil surface.

·       Good weed control.

·       Early, uniform plant development throughout the field.

·       A good combine header.

Smith said direct harvest is worth considering because it saves labor, requires fewer passes over the field, cuts the risk of harvest loss due to wind and rain, disturbs the soil less, and results in less soil going through the combine, reducing damage to machinery.

On the other hand, not everybody is doing it yet because the harvest will require waiting until beans are more fully mature, means learning a new production system, might require a new combine header, will result in higher harvest loss, and, in some cases, a neighbor has had a bad experience with it, he said.

Typical harvest loss for the conventional method is 1 ½ bushels per acre, Smith said. Harvest loss in direct harvest has varied from one study to the next, but a realistic target for growers is 3 to 4 bushels per acre for pintos and 4 or more bushels for Great Northern beans.

Smith addressed changes in the production system that need to occur even before harvest.

One factor is bean variety. Plant height, height of the bottom pods, long branches, and growth are important, in addition to traditional traits such as seed size and quality and disease and insect resistance. Further work is needed in plant breeding, evaluating varieties, and conducting field variety trials, he said.

Several tillage systems can work with direct harvest, Smith said. In any event, soil compaction must be avoided. The field surface must be level. Planting into standing cover crops will work. Narrower rows, from 15- to 22-inch spacing, and higher plant populations, tend to work well, he said.

Smith said uniform and strong plant development is important so the field matures at the same rate. This might mean early planting, and timely irrigation.

UNL Weed Specialist Bob Wilson discussed the importance of weed control. An integrated weed control program includes numerous factors, such as crop rotation, crop residue management, preplant preparation, narrow row width, crop architecture, tillage system, and other factors, he said.

Wilson also discussed special considerations, such as controlling weeds in no-till systems, combining herbicides, scouting for weed outbreaks, and late-season weed control

At harvest time, growers can choose from several types of combine headers, including flex drapers, flex augers, and rigid headers. Smith reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of each, and the features and capabilities that growers should seek when considering headers.

Thomas demonstrated a method that growers can use to determine harvest loss, a homemade, 5 ½-square-foot framework made of iron rod that measured 66 inches long by 1 foot wide. The frame is placed in a harvested area of the field, perpendicular to combine direction. The number of beans lying within the frame is counted and divided by 10 to get a good estimation of harvest loss. For example, 50 beans would represent a 5 bushel per acre loss.

Directions for making a harvest loss frame are on the UNL Extension Panhandle web site,panhandle.unl.edu.

Thomas presented data collected from an on-farm direct harvest research plot near Hay Springs that compared pinto varieties and how they performed using direct harvest. The study was conducted by Stateline Bean and the University of Nebraska in cooperation with Roger Rasmussen. Some data was also shared of measured harvest losses from direct harvest operations in 2012 on a number of different farms in Box Butte County.

Thomas also gave advice on how to obtain crop insurance coverage for direct-harvested beans. Representatives of MacDon Company, 21st Century Equipment and Alliance Tractor discussed combine headers made by MacDon, John Deere and Case IH. And a growers panel shared their experiences with direct harvest. Kelley Bean, New Alliance Bean, Stateline Bean and Trinidad Bean companies sponsored the lunch and refreshments.


Charlie Sampson       The Chadron State College rodeo team holds its annual Black Tie Calf Fry fundraiser tonight (Friday) at the Dawes County Fairgrounds Events Center beginning at 6 p.m with tickets available at the door.

Rodeo coach Dustin Luper, in his fifth year running the team, is excited because of a special guest who will be attending…Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer and former world champion bull rider Charlie Sampson.

Sampson won’t be speaking, but will be mingling with the other guests…giving them a chance to meet the rodeo legend, the PRCA’s first black world champion even though he grew up in urban California.

The $10 price of admission for the evening includes dinner of fries, roast beef, baked potato, salads and dessert along with music and both live and silent auctions. Luper is impressed with the items gathered for the auctions, and credits the involvement of his cowboys and cowgirls as well as their parents.

As for the “black tie” in the name of the event, Luper says that’s just to rhyme with “calf fry” and that dress is actually casual.

Last year’s Black Tie Calf Fry drew about 275 and…between the tickets and auction…raised nearly $19,000 to help with the expenses of the CSC Rodeo team.

Cowboy Boots at BootBarn.com!

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