Saturday, October 10, 2015
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Bison Roundup at Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge Sept 28 -Oct 2

The annual roundup of bison at Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge (NWR) will take place September 28 - October 2nd, 2015. Sections of walkway above the refuge corrals have designated safe zones for public access, enabling visitors the opportunity to watch bison and photograph roundup action up close.

During roundup week, small groups of bison will be cut from the main herd of approximately 420 animals located in the adjoining pasture and pushed down the runway into the corrals. Once in the corrals, bison are processed through the hub one at a time where the animal's microchip is read, body condition recorded and a portion of the herd is sorted off for additional handling. Calves will have a microchip implanted at the base of the ear for individual identification and blood and tail hair samples collected for genetic analysis. Approximately 50 bison, 1 year or older, will have samples collected for ongoing herd health monitoring.

To keep the bison herd in balance with refuge grasslands while retaining as much genetic diversity as possible, about 60-70 bison with common genetics will be removed from the Fort Niobrara herd this year. In mid-October, 75% of the surplus animals will be sold through a competitive, sealed bid process and 25% will be donated to the Intertribal Bison Cooperative.



Valentine High School Homecoming Friday October 2nd

Valentine High School's Homecoming is Friday, October 2nd. The theme for the week is "Roast the Eagles". Decorating windows, hallways and classrooms will take place Sunday afternoon, September 27th. A Color War will be held on the driving range east of the school at 6pm. The Pep Rally will also be on Sunday at the Fire Hall with a hamburger feed and bonfire to follow at 6:30 pm.

Spirit week with dress up days kicks off on Monday with Multiplicity Days, Tuesday: Tacky Tourist, Wednesday: Salad Dressing (ranch-cowboy, 1000 Island-tropical, Caesar-Togas), Thursday: Decades (staff-50s, freshman-60s, sophomores-70s, juniors-80s, seniors-90s) and Friday is Spirit Day.

The Parade is on Friday at 2:30 pm, beginning at the Bull Market and Main Street intersection. Varsity Football will take on the O'Neill Eagles at 7 pm on Friday.

The Homecoming Dance will be held in the gym shortly after the football game and ending at midnight. The doors to the dance will remain open 1 hour after the conclusion of the football game and will be one-way. Admission is $5 per person.

Crowning of King & Queen will be during halftime of the football game. Queen Candidates are: Jaydn Hollenbeck, daughter of Jay & Jody Hollenbeck; Chloe Jones, daughter of Mardell & Scott Egelhoff; and Nicole Ray Lurz, daughter of Darrell and Marta Lurz.  King Candidates are: Caden Billings, son of Coby and Kimberly Billings; Braxton Coleman, son of Kari & Tim Gaswick and Dallas Fowler; and Corbin Trey Standing Ready, son of Annisa Bordeaux.

Many other activities will take place during homecoming week, including JV Football home vs. Todd County on Monday, MS Volleyball home vs. Winner on Monday, Girls Golf at Gordon on Monday, Cross Country and Girls Golf Parent's Night on Tuesday, Volleyball at home vs. North Central and Hyannis on Tuesday for their first home game, travelling to Hershey on Thursday, Southwest Conference Golf at the Prairie Club on Thursday, High School and Middle School Cross Country at Gothenburg on Thursday and MS Football at Winner on Thursday. Good luck Badgers!


Public Invited to Dedication of Cowboy Trail Section in Sheridan County

There will be a dedication and celebration on Oct. 3 in Rushville for the construction of bridges and benches built along two sections of completed Cowboy and Recreation and Nature Trail in Sheridan County.

The public is invited to the 7:30 p.m. dedication at the Rushville American Legion Club, 206 Sprague St. State Sen. Al Davis, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Director Jim Douglas and Commission Chairman Dr. Kent Forney will speak at this event.

Three miles of the Cowboy Trail in the communities of Gordon and Rushville, including three bridges and benches, have been completed, with a crushed limestone surface, thanks to the efforts of Cowboy Trail West, Inc. and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

They are the first completed sections of the trail west of Valentine. When eventually completed, the trail would span 321 miles from Norfolk to Chadron. The 195-mile span of trail from Norfolk to Valentine is complete.

Cowboy Trail West, Inc. is a community group of volunteers that wants to help Game and Parks develop the western portion of the trail, especially the connection between Gordon and Rushville in Sheridan County.

Work on the project began in the summer of 2013 with Cowboy Trail West, Inc. cleaning up railroad ties and trash on the right-of-way in areas around Gordon and Rushville. Game and Parks contracted ballast removal to start preparing more of the corridor for trail surfacing with crushed limestone. The three miles of surfaced trail was funded with the profits from the salvage of the ballast as agreed to by the Commission and the contractors. Twelve miles of trail between Gordon and Rushville have yet to be surfaced.

Game and Parks provided the materials and Cowboy Trail West, Inc. volunteers provided the labor and this summer built the bridge decks and benches. The volunteers also hauled away more than 60 truckloads of discarded railroad ties.

The most recent data show almost 20,000 annual users of the Cowboy Trail, which is the nation’s longest rail-to-trail conversion. The trail was designated a National Recreation Trail in the National Trails System in 2001. Game and Parks is working on a new management plan to involve communities along the trail to actively promote the recreational use and habitat restoration along the trail.


New state website lets Nebraska voters register online

Nebraska residents with a driver's license or state identification card can now register to vote at a new state website.

Secretary of State John Gale said Tuesday that the site is now online at . The announcement was timed to coincide with National Voter Registration Day.
Nebraska is the 24th state to enact an online voter registration system, following Pennsylvania, Hawaii and Massachusetts earlier this year. Nebraska's website is also available in Spanish.
Gale says he anticipates an initial surge in registrations. He previously has said the new system will mark one of the biggest technological advancements in voter registration in years.
The website can also be found at the Nebraska Secretary of State's home page at .



ALS Walk and Ice Bucket Challenge A Huge Success


The Sandhills ALStars held their 2nd annual fun day on Saturday morning. According to Kathy Colburn, approximately 100 walkers attended, and about 50 people took part in the ice bucket challenge. A kids carnival on site kept the kids entertained, and the silent auction and bake sale were considered a complete success. The total amount raised was $6040.26 for ALS research and awareness, and every penny raised remains in-state.


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