Commentary

Wed
22
Oct

Worthy celebration

Hamilton County’s rich history in ag-based innovation and record-breaking production was on display again last week with the grand re-opening of Syngenta’s new $63 million expansion project.
Though the facility was essentially completed in time for last year’s harvest, the company took some extra time to celebrate the finished product, which is indeed a shining star for Hamilton County. This is a success story that continues to evolve, and will for generations to come.
On a site that has been producing seed corn since 1943, Syngenta continues to build on a legacy of success. What started with a 2-acre field named Prairie Valley Farm by the Heuermann family has since grown to a sprawling 60 acre complex with some of the most cutting-edge technology on the planet. Fittingly, Keith Heuermann was in attendance last week, as were many of the growers who have dedicated their land to growing seed for many years.

Wed
22
Oct

Insight, observations on a changing world

Over the past few weeks I’ve made some observations. Noting that the world is changing you are welcome to take what those observations are worth.
I was always thankful that I felt the Midwest was exempt from the troubles of the metro areas of the East and West Coasts. Apparently those troubles have entered our Midwest. The Omaha Public Schools budgeted $1.1 million for its share of Omaha police officer employment on OPS sites based on a 50-50 cost split with the law enforcement agency. The Omaha Police Department counted 844 arrests at OPS middle and high schools this past year – 42 felony arrests and 802 misdemeanor arrests.
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Now for other observations how our world is changing:
It takes someone older than most people now living to remember why 10-cent stores were so named. But, wait a minute! We still have those stores. Counting inflation factors they are now called “Dollar General Stores.”
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Wed
15
Oct

Major milestone

Quality health care facilities are an essential ingredient to a strong and stable community, something Aurora’s forefathers figured out more than 50 years ago.
The vision and perseverance of a handful of men and women who had the community’s health and well being at heart is worth celebrating in this golden anniversary year. It is simply impossible to place a value on what a hospital means to a town and its residents, but we know for a fact that Aurora wouldn’t be the place it is today without Memorial Hospital and the MCHI health care umbrella.
Marking the hospital’s 50th anniversary has been a year-long celebration, beginning with an open house in January. Another event is planned in December, and the News-Register devoted some well-deserved front page space today to a story that deserves to be told, retold and remembered.

Wed
15
Oct

Baseball more fun with skin in the game

My Kansas City Royals are winning, again, in the postseason. What a concept.
As a lifelong Royals fan, I’m enjoying the heck out of the playoffs this year, reliving emotions and pitch-by-pitch reactions I haven’t felt for almost 30 years. It’s been a long, long time for my boys in blue.
What’s not to like about these Kansas City Royals? These guys are good. They are fast, fun to watch and there’s a hometown hero on the roster in former Husker Alex Gordon. That’s a bonus giving Husker fans something to cheer about six other days of the week this fall.
I was ecstatic after the dramatic 12th-inning wildcard win last week over Oakland, thinking they at least made the playoffs. All of September felt like the playoffs due to the wildcard format, which is good for the game, the players and especially the fans.

Wed
15
Oct

Early curfew works for me on Halloween night

When the month of October rolls around, even at our age, it’s hard not to relate to that big date of the year, Oct. 31, or best known as Halloween. Of course the viewpoint of Halloween is relative to the age of the viewer. The younguns relate to Halloween and candy handouts, or treats. The teenagers have visions of a few tricks and thankfully those seemed to have mellowed over the years. And speaking of mellowing, we oldsters figure it’s time to turn out the house lights by 9:30 p.m.; put away the candy dish by the doorway; and hope the trick and treaters didn’t grab all the Milky Way candy bars (Don’t we always buy our favorite candies for Halloween hoping only a few Halloween’ers grace our doorway?).

Wed
08
Oct

A proud tradition

What makes a community?
That question could draw thousands of different answers if asked here in Hamilton County, though we would suggest one common denominator is the sense of belonging and ultimately the connection to people who live here.
Providing that connection, sharing stories and strengthening ties that bind is the mission of the Aurora News-Register, something we proudly celebrate during National Newspaper Week.
To be sure, our industry has changed dramatically in the last decade or more. We are no longer simply a weekly printed product, though some loyal, longtime readers may still see the News-Register in that light. I do see anxious readers standing by the news racks on Tuesday afternoon when fresh weekly copies of the paper are delivered, but more accurately, these days, our core business can be defined as gathering and sharing local information in whatever format our readers prefer.

Wed
08
Oct

Some things change with retirement, some don’t

Lifestyles are supposed to change when those retirement years come around.  I was led to believe retirement would be, “Doing what you want when you want to.” With that vision in mind, I’ve found after 13 years of retirement I have been deceived.
“What are you doing in your spare time?” That was generally the first question directed at me during my early years of retirement. Next came, “I’m looking for volunteers and since you’re retired, could you help me?”
However the biggest lesson came from the betterhalf addressing me how my retirement years would unfold. She was quick to point out that I may be retired, but she wasn’t. There would be certain days she played bridge and my lunch could be found in the fridge. She also explained Monday was wash day and if I needed a certain garment for end of the week wearing, I better have that garment in the clothes hamper by early Monday morn.

Wed
01
Oct

A worthy view

The view, and the vision, are amazing.
For more than 20 years now Bill and Jan Whitney have been working hard to preserve, explore and share the diversity of nature through their efforts with the Prairie Plains Resource Institute. Those efforts have helped create the wildly successful Summer Orientation About Rivers (SOAR) program, as well as the Charles Whitney Education Center, both of which are feathers in the cap of Hamilton County.
Not far from Aurora, people of all ages, backgrounds and interests can gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Platte River and the Midwest’s soils, plant and animal life. There is something very special, and grounding, about spending time on the Griffith Prairie, for example, which helps any and all who experience such scenic beauty realize the importance of preserving our natural resources.

Wed
01
Oct

Life’s stages all good, if you can remember them

It’s disappointing at my age to realize you’re still going through a stage in your life. Even when you feel you’ve reached adulthood there are still stages of life ahead of you – if you’re lucky.
Looking back I believe I could best describe those stages as the baby stage, toddler, teenager, college, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and then the stage, “I don’t remember,” or “I didn’t hear you say that.”
I can’t say much about the baby stage, because, first of all, I don’t remember my baby stage. I assume my mother and dad couldn’t wait until the diaper stage was over and they looked forward to no more changing diapers and as for me, no more wetting my pants.

Wed
24
Sep

Seasonal danger

“Safety counts -- protecting what matters.”
That’s the theme of this year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week, and we couldn’t agree more. As much financial value as there is standing in the fields these days, waiting to be harvested, nothing is more precious than the health and well being of the men and women who will soon be logging long hours to help feed the world.
It’s a good time for all of us to remember that it won’t be business as usual for a few weeks on the highways, byways and country roads in and around our community. Large ag equipment, combines and lots and lots of semis filled to the brim with No. 2 yellow corn will soon be rolling, raising the risk factor for everyday travel substantially.

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