Sunday, November 23, 2014
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"Fill An Empty Stocking" Project in Valentine

Leo Brinda Post 90 and the Sons of the American Legion in Valentine are sponsoring the annual Fill An Empty Stocking and Share the Gift of Reading projects. Parents and guardians who wish to sign up their children need to fill out the forms at Union Bank & Trust on Highway 20 in Valentine on or before December 15.

A Christmas tree poster will be placed in the Veterans Club window, with each un-adopted family of children represented. Each note will display the family number, gender and age of each in that family. Local folks may choose a number and adopt a "family of children". Please phone 402-376-2443 to adopt on or BEFORE December 15. After adopting, select gifts of your choice, wrap them, mark them with age, gender, and family number; and then drop them off on the porch at 427 North Main Street.

The deadline to turn in "adopted family donations" and books is Thursday, December 17.

Books are also needed for children of all ages (1-18). Please donate books in new or in very good condition that you know your own children or grandchildren would enjoy. Drop boxes for books are located at the Valentine Library Lobby, Plains Trading Company Booksellers, and the Valentine Elementary School. These books will be sorted and distributed to the children who benefit from the "Fill An Empty Stocking" project chaired by the American Legion Family.

Delivery of these Christmas gifts and books will take place on Saturday, December 20 at 8 am. For more information, please phone 402-376-2443. Post 90 and the Sons are hopeful that no children will be left out and are grateful for the community's help with this annual holiday project that fills the heart of both the giver and the child.


Tribe rounds up and kills dogs after girl's death

Oglala Sioux officials have rounded up and killed a number of dogs on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation following the death of an 8-year-old girl who was attacked and killed by a pack on Tuesday.

Deputy Police Chief John Mousseau tells the Rapid City Journal that "a horse-trailer full" of dogs was killed Thursday.

Some residents are upset by what they say were unnecessary dog seizures and brutal tactics.

Tuesday's death happened while the girl was sledding near a housing complex. It renewed concerns among tribal leaders about the longstanding problem of packs of roaming dogs.

Pine Ridge resident Joe Locust described Thursday's dog roundup as "Gestapo tactics."

Mousseau said all stray dogs are being viewed as potential threats to public safety.


Nebraska October jobless rate drops to 3.4 percent

A newly released report says Nebraska's preliminary unemployment rate for October dropped to 3.4 percent.

The Nebraska Labor Department said in the report released Friday that the rate was four-tenths of a point under the October 2013 rate of 3.8 percent.

The new Nebraska figure remains well below the preliminary national unemployment rate of 5.8 percent in October. The new national rate is one-tenths of a point under the September figure of 5.9 percent and 1.4 percentage points below the October 2013 rate of 7.2 percent.


Nebraska graduation rate up to nearly 90 percent

Nebraska's public high-school graduation rate increased slightly this year, but came up just shy of the 90 percent goal set by state officials.

The Department of Education announced Friday that 89.7 percent of high school seniors graduated in 2014. Last year, 88.5 percent of seniors graduated.

School officials say this year's rate is a record high, and it has steadily improved since 2011.

The graduation target was developed by the Nebraska P-16 Initiative, a coalition of 27 business, education and government groups. State officials say 65 Nebraska schools graduated 100 percent of their seniors in four years, and 69 districts graduated all students within six years.


Nebraska patrol enforcement set for Thanksgiving

The Nebraska State Patrol has announced plans for stepped up enforcement to focus on seat belt usage over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The patrol says that as of Nov. 17, 200 people have been killed on Nebraska roads, compared with 184 by the same time in 2013. Of the 200 people killed this year, 117 were not wearing seat belts.

State Patrol Superintendent David Sankey says troopers will work overtime for the special enforcement period, which runs from Nov. 24 through Nov. 30.

The effort, funded in part through an $18,000 grant from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety, coincides with the national "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign.


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