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Boys State Citizens Named

Ethan Osnes, son of Mary Ellen and Aaron Osnes, along with Braxton Coleman, son of Kari and Tim Gaswick and Dallas Fowler, have been selected by Leo Brinda Post 90 and the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 90 as Valentine High School representatives.

They'll join nearly 400 other high school juniors from across Nebraska who will participate in the American Legion Cornhusker Boys State, May 31st through June 6th, 2015, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln downtown campus.

The annual citizenship program, sponsored by the Nebraska American Legion, is designed to provide youth with a better understanding of how city, county and state governments operate.

American Legion Cornhusker Boys State is set up as a functional "51st state" and each student learns how government subdivisions operate by actually doing the job.

Participants will campaign for offices, hold elections, take part in band and chorus, compete in athletics, and be involved in other various activities as part of the citizenship training program. They will set up their own state government and draft bills.

Special lectures and addresses will be delivered by experienced public officials and professional leaders, including Governor Pete Ricketts and Supreme Court Chief Justice John M. Gerrard. National acclaimed motivational speaker Dr. JoAnn Owens-Nauslar is also scheduled to address the group.

Congratulations to these two young men from the Valentine American Legion Family.

-Article from Midland News

 

Despite dry conditions, more than 3,000 acres burned during training

Fifty-five participants plus 14 days, minus some “red flag” days, equaled another successful Fire Training Exchange in the Niobrara Valley.

“The training was a huge success,” Rich Walters, program director for The Nature Conservancy’s Niobrara Valley Preserve, said. “The most important lesson we can impart is that safety is paramount. As much as we might want to, we simply do not burn when the wind isn’t right, or it’s too dry.  Fortunately conditions were favorable enough to get 3,691 acres burned.”

Walters said fire is a natural and necessary ecological process.

“Fire can be your best friend or your worst enemy,” Walters said. “We’ve certainly experienced both. Our aim is to maintain fire’s role in this landscape for the benefit of people and nature. Fire is a major influence on ecosystems, and when we can restore it successfully we manage against invasive species, and really invigorate grasses.”

This is the sixth year the exchange has been held at the preserve. A total of 55 firefighters, college students and professors, fire practitioners and ranchers met during the two weeks. As part of their lessons, they burned on seven units, both at the preserve and at the Fort Niobrara Refuge.

The exchange was the culmination of a year of planning and coordinating. Prior to any units being burned, months of preparation occurs.

“Burn units are based on grassland management needs, research and location,” Walters said.

He said all units are within grazed pastures.

“We don’t set aside grass to implement a burn. We use fire and grazing together, within the same pastures, to manage the rangelands. Our objective is to create a mosaic of grasslands that differ in vegetation species and structure. This diverse range of plant species and structure provides habitat for a diverse range of wildlife and resilient grasslands for grazing.”

Jeremy Bailey, associate director for fire training for The Nature Conservancy, said, “The trainings in Nebraska are exemplary. These trainings were really developed in Nebraska over the past several years. Now the Nebraska model is being replicated all over the world.”

The participants included 25 students and professors from six different universities: University of Idaho, Northern Arizona University, Colorado State University, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and Doane College.

“Nebraska has become a spring break destination for students who are interested in fire science,” Walters said. “They are serious about safety and professionalism.”

They were joined by 35 others from 12 different states, including personnel from Washington State, the Los Angeles Fire Department, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, the Gering Volunteer Fire Department, and other state and national agencies. The preserve also welcomed 11 participants from Spain.

They leave Nebraska having implemented techniques such as black lining, which is burning around a unit with very low, controllable flames, so the fire stays within control lines.  They spent classroom time learning about ecology, wildfire prevention, and cell phone technology to use during fires. They scouted units, patrolled assignments, practiced as teams, executed plans, and did mop-up after the burns.

“Nebraska’s resource managers are dedicated to bringing fire to landscapes that need it, and pooling resources and professional expertise makes this event a success,” Walters said. “We’re already thinking about next year.”

 

2015 VHS Prom Candidates

Prom candidates this year from Valentine High School are: Brooks Coleman, son of Lonnie and Renee Coleman, Cameron Perrett, son of Brian and Michelle Perrett, Lucas Stoger, son of Bob and Margaret Stoger, Savannah Dean, daughter of Bob and Marcella Dean, Sophie Lopez, daughter of Kent and Beth Lopez, and Caitlin Young, daughter of Shelly Young.

This year's theme is "Enchanted Forest". The Banquet will be held at the Peppermill Restaurant this Saturday, April 11, at 6 pm. Doors for the dance will open around 6:45 pm and will close at 7:30 pm to all students and dates. The dance is a one-way door at all times. Crowning of the Royalty will be after the start of the promenade between 8-8:15 pm in the gym. The public is invited to attend the promenade and crowning. The dance is from 9 pm until midnight. Parents will be hosting the Post Prom party at the 4-H building from midnight until 4 am.

   

Electric bill phone scam continues in state; NPPD warns customers not to fall for demands

Nebraska Public Power District officials are keeping a watchful eye on continued attempts by individuals contacting utility customers and businesses demanding that they pay their electric bill or face shutoff within 20 minutes.

On Monday, NPPD reported that the phone scam was occurring in Norfolk and based upon past history, other communities across the state could be targeted within the next few weeks. “Once the public recognizes the ploy, the scammers will take advantage of another community in the state. We expect similar calls may begin occurring in some of our retail communities such as Kearney and Scottsbluff, but this deceitful scheme may not be isolated to just larger communities,” said NPPD’s Customer Care Business Manager Robyn Tweedy.

The individuals, posing as representatives of the power company, will tell the customer that they are overdue on their electric bill and must pay up within 20 minutes or be disconnected. They are then instructed to purchase pre-paid cards in order to make immediate payment.

Tweedy said that several local businesses in the Norfolk area were unfortunate victims of the deception with the calls coming at busy times of the company’s operation

“NPPD does not do business this way,” said Tweedy. “If a customer is overdue on their electric bill and subject to disconnection, it will be printed on their monthly bill with instructions on what they can do to settle the account. They should call the number printed on the bill, not the phone number of the individual making the phone request.”

The malicious practice is not affecting NPPD alone. It has happened in other states with other utilities, and has occurred in Nebraska several times in the past, as recently as last year. If an individual or business not served by NPPD receives a call demanding payment on their electric bill, they are encouraged to contact their local electric provider to check on their account before making any attempt to pay.

Any customers that receive such a call should not attempt to make a payment and contact local law enforcement and NPPD’s Centralized Customer Care Center at 1-877-ASK-NPPD (877-275-6773) to report the request.

 

Electrical pole fire quickly contained

SHORTLY AFTER 3 PM ON MONDAY APRIL 6TH, THE VALENTINE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT RECEIVED A CALL ABOUT AN ELECTRICAL POLE BURNING BY MILE MARKER 210 OFF HIGHWAY 20. CREWS QUICKLY ARRIVED ON SCENE AND WAITED FOR KBR RURAL POWER TO ARRIVE AS THERE WERE LIVE WIRES WHICH SPARKED A SMALL BLAZE ON THE GROUND. THE FIRE WAS CONTAINED AND THE FIRE DEPARTMENT RETURNED TO THE BARN WITHIN APPROXIMATELY 35 MINUTES.

 

   

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