Commentary

Wed
15
Jul

Family tree needs constant watering

What’s your life story? Do you know where you came from, and if so how far back can you trace the branches of your family tree?
My mother reminded me recently just how grounded I am here in Central Nebraska with a detailed review of my family lineage. I’ve always felt at home since arriving in Aurora 15 years ago, which I’ve come to realize may have a lot to do with the fact that my roots are planted deeply in Hamilton County soil.
As one of two remaining survivors from a family of six siblings, Mom felt compelled to update a document written in 1966 and passed on to her back in 1981. The Andersen Family Tree dates back to the mid-1800s and now, with her help, is a wonderful read for her extended family to enjoy and pass on for generations to come.

Wed
15
Jul

Long-term vision

Diversify and grow.
That’s been the goal of this community’s economic development efforts over the past few decades, a success story which is beginning its next chapter now with last week’s announcement of the first project on the Aurora Mission Critical site. It’s a positive development for the I-80 corridor, a parcel slowly but surely being tapped as one of Aurora’s most valuable assets.
State officials and local leaders had once hoped to land a high-tech data center on that 151-acre site, but learned the hard way that Nebraska didn’t make the cut in that intensely competitive industry for a variety of reasons. Kearney had an impressive proposal and was a finalist in Facebook’s search for a data center site, but ultimately came up short.

Wed
08
Jul

Welcome, neighbor

A new logo has been added to Aurora’s portfolio of corporate citizenry, an impressive sign of continued economic growth and diversity in a community that prides itself on progress.
Pacific Ethanol became the new owner of the two ethanol plants on Aurora’s western edge as of July 1, turning the page to the next chapter in a dynamic local story dating back to 1995. (See related story on Page C10) Nebraska Energy LLC opened the door 20 years ago to an industry that has since become a vital, though also volatile, source of ag-based jobs, investment and value-added opportunity.
So much has happened on the site now known as Aurora West in the last 20 years. It has changed the local landscape, to be sure, making Aurora one of few rural communities to host not one but two ethanol plants.

Wed
08
Jul

‘All in the Name of Science’ report makes one pause

I’ve always had confidence in our younger generation.
I marvel at our two middle school grandsons on the subject matter they discuss and the understanding of those “big, long words” describing any subject from science to economics. As much as I would like to say, “My grandkids are the smartest in school,” that’s not the case.
They are well-rounded students, have good grades and are a reflection of today’s educational system. With some initiative, hopefully they will be part of a future generation making a positive contribution to our society.
Of course at times there are doubters about the upcoming generation. I found this subject titled, “All in the Name of Science” containing actual excerpts from science test papers written by high school students. A reader moaned he hoped the writers were not aspiring to be scientists of the future or we are in trouble. Here are those student comments:

Wed
01
Jul

It’s ‘back to the future’ with goats and streetcars

For those who long for the days of yore, your days may be just around the corner particularly if you live in Nebraska.
According to a couple of news reports modern technology is being replaced with of all things, a herd of goats and streetcars. Well in all fairness, the herds of goats has already become state employees on a two-year contract and as for the street cars – the cars are still on the drawing board.
Happy Goats Grazing Service has entered into a two-year, $120,000-max contract that provides up to 1,300 goats to take care of undesirable weeds on wetland migration sites and interstate areas.
 In fact, some goats could be near our area when they go to work on 56 acres near the Rain-Water Basin. Apparently the “Rent-A-Goat” service is cheaper than chemicals, equipment and labor that had previously been used. I can’t help but wonder if the goats work an eight-hour day or charge additional for overtime.
***

Wed
01
Jul

Americans sold out, again, in Washington

Editor’s note: This guest column was written by Irl Gilliland of Aurora.
Shortly after the landslide midterm elections last year, half the country, the so-called conservative half, was ecstatic that now, finally, we can fix all the damage the progressive side had done in the previous six years.
The week immediately following the elections, I had the opportunity to attend a meeting of a friend and his cronies, all in their 70s and 80s, who meet weekly to discuss a variety of topics, not the least of which are world and national events. All of these men come from the conservative viewpoint.  I listened quietly, but intently for two hours as they rehearsed the previous six years and how the Republicans were now in a position to correct the ills perpetrated by the Democrats.

Wed
01
Jul

Worthy goal

Controlling your weight. Maximizing your energy. Feeling good about yourself physically all day, every day.
Staying healthy is a challenge all of us face in every stage of life, though that challenge seems to get harder and harder with each passing year. It’s a personal battle, inevitably, though it helps a great deal to have a support team in your corner encouraging you along the way.
That’s been the premise of the Hamilton County Health Challenge for seven years now and it’s been rewarding to see so many people engage in the process. By our count, participants have lost more than 4,300 pounds in this competition, which is fantastic. Hoorah to all who have been involved.

Wed
24
Jun

‘Early to bed’ works, only if you stay in bed

We’ve always been told that “early to bed” is a good health trait. My parents told me that from the early years and even now that I am older, doctors have chimed in with the same theory.
I’ve continued to follow through with this routine even though I’m old enough to do what I want. I struggle at my age to make it to the 10 o’clock TV newscast and the majority of the time 9 o’clock has become the time I turn to the bedroom TV and hit the sack. Simply put, a TV program is my nighttime lullaby.

Wed
24
Jun

Planting roots in a community

As a 24-year-old freshly graduated from college, newly married and starting a new career, landing in Aurora, Neb., was unexpected. After my husband, Jeremy, was offered a job at Aurora Cooperative two years ago, we took a drive through the small town, and I have to admit that I didn’t instantly fall in love (gasp!).
Growing up in a small community, I wasn’t new to the small town feel at all, but Aurora is half the size of my hometown of Gering. After getting my feet under me here at the News-Register and meeting more and more members of the community, I caught myself quickly enjoying nearly everything about this town.
My husband and I rented a small apartment for two years and during that period we both were skeptical about calling Aurora a long-time home. Despite our initial feelings, within a year, we were on the hunt for a home.

Wed
24
Jun

Welcome back

It’s time to celebrate.
Aurora will roll out the red carpet this weekend with another chapter of what has become an annual feel-good helping of hometown fun.
A’ROR’N Days is traditionally a highlight of the summer for this proud community, inviting alumni, family and friends to enjoy festivities that couldn’t be more genuine.
A core group of volunteers deserves a pat on the back for locking this weekend on the calendar each year. There is a lot of synergy now in the 26th year with other groups and organizations adding their own activities to the itinerary, but it simply wouldn’t happen without the focus and dedication of the original planners. The late Jim Schneider had a great idea back in the day and we’re glad it’s been kept alive, giving past, presents and perhaps future residents something to look forward to.

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