Commentary

Wed
10
Jan

Construction surge in 2017 says a lot about our community

With a backdrop of $3 corn and an economy that is struggling in several sectors, this community posted a 10-year building permit total high of $14.4 million in 2017. That’s good news in and of itself, but the good news gets even better when you look closely at how and why that number is as high as it is.
“How did that happen?” some might ask.

Wed
03
Jan

Christmas ornaments reflect life’s blessings

There are two things I don’t like about the Christmas season. Number one is lugging the box with the artificial Christmas tree up from the basement. Number two is toting the artificial Christmas tree back to the basement when in our house that duty means the season is officially over.
The task of decorating our tree is left to the Betterhalf. My work entails making sure the tree stands straight and re-adjusting some artificial branches to fill a few vacant spaces in the tree.
However, my favorite part of Christmas is taking a moment to look at the hanging Christmas ornaments that are highlighted by the strings of colored lights. In that Christmas glow, lots of memories spring particularly from those ornaments that represent several generations of previous Christmas celebrations.

Wed
03
Jan

Property tax relief likely to drive agenda for 2018 session

The stakes are high this year as Nebraska lawmakers return to Lincoln.
An issue talked about for years is dialed up front and center and will likely be a dominating factor in the 60-day session that starts Wednesday, Jan. 3. Adjusting the state’s tax structure in a way that will lighten the load on Nebraska’s largest industry has been a priority issue for several years now, though finding a palatable way to shift that load has been a challenge.
Dist. 34 Sen. Curt Friesen pulled no punches in a recent speech previewing this year’s session. The Henderson area farmer ran for office touting the need for property tax relief and after three years in office he’s “tired of the game.” Friesen has been at the table leading this discussion for the past two years and says he’s ready to do what’s necessary to move the needle in 2018.

Wed
27
Dec

Many unanswered questions remain as we enter 2018

Well, a new year is about to begin. We know only a few people think many of their questions have been answered in 2017 which means a lot of questions still remain unanswered with the hope to be answered in 2018. Following are some questions we have put on our list.
Do bleached blondes just pretend to have more fun?
Is there a denture fairy who leaves slugs instead of real money?
Was the pole vault accidentally discovered by a lousy javelin thrower?
Instead of having to lick your finger every time you turn a page, why not just dunk one corner of the book in a bowl of water?
Why don’t masked robbers hold up ski lodges?
How do you throw away a garbage can?
Whose stupid idea was it to have an ‘s’ in the word ‘lisp’?
Did the early settlers ever go on camping trips?
Could it be that boulders are just statues of really big rocks?
Do police sketch artists start out as the guy who outlines dead bodies?

Wed
27
Dec

Solar eclipse a clear favorite as year’s most memorable story

People will not soon forget where they were and what they were doing when the sky went dark just after high noon on Aug. 21, 2017. A total solar eclipse that dramatically came and went over Hamilton County that day left a lasting impression, easily topping a random sample of ANR readers asked to rank the top stories of the year.
The News-Register conducted its annual news survey last week, seeking reader input on what the community as a whole perceives to be the Top 10 stories of the year. It’s a very subjective, non-scientific process from by its nature, but always a fun and interesting one.
We scanned our pages from January through December, taking note of on-going issues and timely, breaking news. Then we asked local residents from all walks of life to weigh in, ranking their top 10 choices.

Wed
20
Dec

Christmas lights are well known for faulty wiring

A little over a week ago a terrorist suicide bomber attempted to explode a bomb strapped to his body as he went through the crowded New York subway system near Times Square. While the bomb attempt did injure a few people and did not kill him, luckily a faulty wire failed to trigger the full impact of his homemade device and no lives were lost.
An observant Betterhalf after seeing the newscast said, “The bomber must not have been very smart. I could have told him the bomb wasn’t going to work.”
Foolishly I asked her, “Why?”
She explained that the wire he used to hopefully detonate the bomb was wire from Christmas tree lights. The Betterhalf then continued, “From my experience with my Christmas lights I have found about 50 percent of the lights fail shortly after I get them on the tree and the cause is from faulty wiring.”
***

Wed
20
Dec

Connecting with old friends and new a reason to give joy

It’s become a tradition; a warm, fuzzy slice of the Hamilton County holiday pie.
The edition you are reading today is more than just the latest version of all the local news that’s fit to print. It is a giant Christmas card from the community, to the community, filled with tidings of goodwill.
It’s a feeling former publisher Butch Furse helped create years ago with the News-Register’s annual holiday edition. It’s a tradition Paula and I are pleased to carry on, and it wouldn’t be possible without a month of extra effort from our entire staff.
There are pictures of staff members from local business and industry, photos from family-owned businesses, and letters to Santa from area children that make me laugh out loud every year. We like to tell upbeat human interest stories and tales of goodwill throughout the year, but in late December it takes a whole lot of extra pages to share just a sample of the genuine holiday spirit being shared in a variety of ways.

Wed
13
Dec

In with the old: consumers want Christmas catalogs

In the thick of the holiday season and again with a booming e-commerce it’s hard to believe there’s an old standby possibly only we senior citizens can recall.
It’s reported many national retailers this year are taking a fresh look at an old holiday wish book known as a “Christmas catalog.”
One observer said, even in a time of explosive growth for online buying, retailers and shoppers are showing a renewed interest in that humble purchasing device that uses paper instead of pixels. Fewer catalogs are in the mail these days compared to the peak 2007 year when 19.6 billion were sent out. However, even more customers are paying attention to them. Response to catalogs increased 23 percent from the year before.
The catalog report found in a recent newspaper story along with a rusty pair of clamp-on roller skates tucked away in the basement near my old electric train brought back fond memories to me.

Wed
13
Dec

Frost hiring means Christmas came early to Husker Nation

Though there wasn’t much surprise in the air by the time Scott Frost was introduced last week as the new face of Nebraska football, there was certainly joy. Big Red fans couldn’t have asked for a better present, one that will hopefully bring smiles, satisfaction and a renewed sense of unity for years to come.
In a state where Husker football has long been celebrated as part of our culture, both on and off the field, Frost’s hiring felt like one of those moments that belongs on the all-time Big Red highlight reel. It’s as though he was flipping a switch, in real time, instantly putting a once proud program back in the national spotlight.

Wed
06
Dec

A job forgotten brings back memories of long ago

     We all have a knack for putting off a chore we don’t want to do. I’ve accumulated a long list of those jobs, but found I may have established my own personal “putting off” record.
Last week while searching through “stuff” on a back shelf in our garage I came across a tricycle tire. I instantly recognized that little spoked tire. It was to be a replacement tire for our child’s trike. I had backed over his little three-wheeler many years ago -- as I also did my Betterhalf’s bike many years later.
Just how many years ago and just how long had that tire set on the shelf? Well, according to my calculation, that ‘child’ is now 56 years old.
The damaged trike has long been gone and dust has settled on the white rim and spokes. Dust has also clouded my memory, but there’s no way to deny I must have been pretty slow to implement my well-planned trike repair. Much quicker than I ever imagined life has, and continues to, move on.

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