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House overwhelmingly approves Keystone XL pipeline

The House has overwhelmingly passed a bill authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline despite a veto threat from the White House.

The bill passed Friday on a 266-153 vote, one of the first pieces of legislation considered by the Republican-controlled Congress. It was the 10th vote the House had taken since July 2011 to advance the $7 billion project, which would carry oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

The Senate has a test vote on Monday with enough support to pass an identical bill.

Hours before the House vote, Nebraska's highest court tossed out a lawsuit challenging the pipeline's route, an obstacle the White House said it needed removed to make a decision on the project. The White House veto threat was based partly on the outstanding Nebraska case.

The director of a group leading opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is denouncing the Nebraska Supreme Court's tossing of a lawsuit over it.

Jane Kleeb, executive director of Bold Nebraska, sobbed Friday morning following the release of the court's opinion throwing out the lawsuit, even though a majority of judges agreed that the landowners who sued should have won their case.

Because it raised a constitutional question, a supermajority of five judges was needed to rule on the law. But three justices found that the landowners didn't prove they had standing to file the lawsuit.

Kleeb says she is still confident the White House will not approve federal permits needed to build the pipeline, but says opponents will consider other ways to try to block the project.


Valentine City Council Meeting

The Valentine City Council met on Thursday evening, January 8th, for their regular monthly meeting. The council approved several agenda items including the Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway sign on city property on Highway 12 just east of Valentine. They accepted the sixth place hanger bid. The cooperative effort between the city police and the Borders without Boundaries animal rescue was approved on a six-month trial basis.

Snow removal procedure were discussed, noting the slick condition of the city streets. The city ordinances concerning snow removal were reviewed. A lot of the discussion centered around getting out earlier when snow is occurring. The question was asked as to what puts the plows in motion in the city, and the answer was "whenever it is needed". No action was taken.

Ron Bauer, with the Bull Bash committee, gave a report on the Red Dress Event, the Bull Bash, and the Bash after the Bulls.

The new lease agreement with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission was approved to accommodate some boundary changes for the new golf course.

The NPPD Wholesale Power contract had little discussion and was tabled by the council.


NE Court Rejects Keystone Lawsuit

Nebraska's highest court has tossed a lawsuit challenging a proposed route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, saying the landowners who sued didn't have legal standing to do so.


The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that the three landowners failed to show they had legal standing to bring their case.


The split decision upholds a 2012 state law that allowed the governor to empower Calgary-based TransCanada to force eastern Nebraska landowners to sell their property for the project.


President Barack Obama has said he was waiting for the Nebraska ruling before making major decisions for the pipeline, which would carry more than 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to Texas refineries.


Republicans say the pipeline is a top congressional priority.


Valentine Police Dept. to host Coffee with a Cop on January 29, 2015

On January 29, 2015, officers from the Valentine Police Department and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members are invited to attend. The event begins at 9 a.m. on January 29th at Bob’s Sign Mini-Mall, South Main Street. Please contact Chief Dana Miller with questions: (402) 376-3055 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Valentine.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said Valentine Police Chief Dana Miller. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.


Valentine Lions Club Benefit Tonight


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