4-H Week Greens Up The Horizon

By Mary Loftis

Extension Assistant

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis


Burt County 4-H Week is March 2-8 and it will start off with a bang on Sunday, March 2 with the 4-H Achievement Celebration/Kickoff afternoon of fun. The family fun will begin at 3:00 p.m. at the Tekamah Auditorium with a variety of fun activities including nerf kickball and bingo.

At 4:00 we’ll shift gears to recognize our 4-H award winners and present pins to our 1, 5 and 10 year 4-H members and our senior 4-H’ers. In addition we will honor our 4-H leaders who have served 2, 5, 10 and 15 years.

Then we’ll shift into eating mode with pizza and pop followed by a movie with popcorn.

We’ll make sure everyone heads home in time for the Oscars.

Make sure you and your family are signed up for the fun so we know how many to plan for. Call the UNL Extension Office by Friday noon at 402-374-2929 to say you can make it. And make sure you invite anyone who might want to become a 4-H member. It’s a kickoff event, but could also show someone new what there is to do and win in 4-H also.

With 4-H Week on the horizon I want to remind all our 4-H Clubs to make plans to celebrate it with a 4-H store display for the week. Remember the Burt County 4-H Council is offering $50 for each club making a display in a store window. Please send me a picture of your window display so you can show your display and we can promote them during the fair too! You can email them to me at mloftis2@unl.edu

4-H members are also reminded to plan some type of promotion in school for 4-H Week. Make arrangements to visit elementary school classrooms and tell them about 4-H, what you learn, what you do, friends, etc. Also, Thursday, March 6 is “Wear your 4-H t-shirt to School Day!” If you can’t find yours or need a new one for the fair we have them in the Extension Office of course!

Keep in mind the 4-H Snow and Snowless Sculpture Contest…as it’s snowing as I write, hopefully we’ll have a few entries in the Snow categories…otherwise, you’ll just have to get more creative for the snowless ones! Remember to send a picture of you with your creation to me at mloftis2@unl.edu or to the UNL Extension Office at 111 N. 13th Street, Suite #6, Tekamah, NE 68061 by April 1.


East Oaks 4-H Pancake Feed

Although the East Oaks Pancake Feed isn’t “officially” part of 4-H Week, it’s an annual tradition I know the club members look forward to each year. Mark Sunday, March 16 on your calendars and make plans to eat breakfast or lunch with the East Oaks 4-H Club at the Vet’s Building in Oakland from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. It’s always a great time to see the 4-H members in action!




Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930

Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

4-H Mindstormers Robotics Team Competes at State

The Burt County 4-H Mindstormers Robotics Team competed in the State 4-H First LEGO League (FLL) robotics competition on Saturday, February 22 at the SAC Museum near Ashland.

Team members are: Amelia & Caleb Schlichting of Lyons; Jacob Unwin, of Oakland; Michael Bracht of West Point; and Lucas Niewohner of

The Burt County Mindstormers 4-H Robotics team competed recently at the state First LEGO League competition at the SAC Museum near Ashland. Showing off their LEGO robot and lots of proud smiles are: front row: Lucas Niewohner, Caleb Schlichting, Michael Bracht, Jacob Unwin and Amelia Schlichting. In the back row are their team coaches: Scott Niewohner and Tricia Bracht. Photo Credit/Michelle Niewohner.

The Burt County Mindstormers 4-H Robotics team competed recently at the state First LEGO League competition at the SAC Museum near Ashland.
Showing off their LEGO robot and lots of proud smiles are: front row: Lucas Niewohner, Caleb Schlichting, Michael Bracht, Jacob Unwin and Amelia Schlichting. In the back row are their team coaches: Scott Niewohner and Tricia Bracht. Photo Credit/Michelle Niewohner.


4-H Mindstormers Robotics members are: Lucas Niewohner, Caleb Schlichting, Amelia Schlichtung, Jacob Unwin and Michael Bracht. Photo Credit/Rosa Schmidt.

4-H Mindstormers Robotics members are: Lucas Niewohner, Caleb Schlichting, Amelia Schlichtung, Jacob Unwin and Michael Bracht. Photo Credit/Rosa Schmidt.

Herman. Their coaches are Tricia Bracht and Scott Niewohner. This is the first year the group has entered competition and to go to state is quite an accomplishment.

The Burt County team was in first place through the first round of the Robot Game portion of competition, however there are three rounds and only the highest score out of the three rounds is counted. During this competition the team programs their robot to do it’s “disaster rescue.” The theme for this year’s competition was “Nature’s Fury”. The Mindstormers chose a tornado as the natural disaster they wanted their robot to address. These young robotic engineers ended up in 5th place out of 44 teams in the Robot Game competition.

The other three parts of the contest are judged by two judges including: project solutions, core values and robot design. Only the top three teams are recognized in these parts of the competition. The Burt County team did not place that high in these judging area so they remain unaware of how well they compared.

The top two teams from the state competition go on to nationals either in California or Toronto, Canada. Unfortunately the Burt County Mindstormers won’t be packing their bags or getting a passport to continue their robotics experience, but they still have plans in the works.

While the official First LEGO League competition is now finished for the year, the Mindstormers have entered their solutions for their tornado disaster situation in the “FLL Global Innovation Award” competition. According to the award website many FLL teams have had the innovative solutions they created through the FLL project lead to some amazing opportunities. These include local and national media coverage, meeting government leaders and seeing their invention be patented and brought to the market. For some, their inventions have changed lives.

I expect great things from this young Burt County group…maybe not this year, but certainly in the near future. They are an extremely talented group of 4-H members who hit the ground running their first year in the FLL robotics competition. Hat’s off to the 4-H Mindstormers and their coaches for a job well done!



Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930

Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu


Social Speaks

Two convicted murderers in Nebraska wish to be married. Do you think they should be granted their wish?

  • Kathy Peterson nope… their freedoms are gone until they have served their time…….
  • Kathy Peterson once they have paid their debt to society they can do as free people do but not before…….
  •  Laura Marr Mittlestadt If they are both in prison then no. I don’t believe anyone in prison should get married. They lost their freedom until they have been released. Period!
  • Melissa Thomas Hawk Nope…..you are in jail for a reason and all life outside of jail should totally not allowed…….they are criminals, they gave up all rights when they made the choice to break the law……….if there was a child born…….????
  • Kris M Feauto Absolutely not
  •  Kay Gibbs Kommers In my mind when you commit murder you should not have anymore rights. Wishes. Or anything . They chose to end someone’s life. Etc. who cares what they want. The people they murdered probably wanted to live too and it didn’t matter to them. They need to be caged for the rest of their lives.
  •  Kelly Redding Like Kay said
  •  Jody Sell Graham Paul DITTO Kay!!!!
  •  Kim Guill I agree with Kay !!! ABSOLUTELY NOT !!!!!!!
  • Lauri Bundy Canarsky I don’t care what the Civil Liberties Union says, they gave up their rights to be “normal” when they killed. I’m still trying to figure out how they “fell in love.” She is 33, went to jail in 1998 without chance of parole. He is 42 & received 55-90 for killing someone in 2009. So she went to jail when she was 20, he was 29…doubt they were dating at the time, so why now. He said she’s funny & makes him laugh. Tell that to the mother of the young man she stabbed to death 57 times! It makes me sick.
  •  Donna Hirt Villwok Totally agree with all the above answers. Keep them locked up forever. They are no good to anyone.
  •  Cara Schulzkump Raabe NO!!!!! They get treated better than our elderly! HECK NO!!!!
  •  Catherine McMurtry Why do felons expect–and get–any more rights than simple ho0using &n food!

Throw Back Thursday

It’s Throw Back Thursday! If you have pictures to share on my paper, send them to me. Here is one of mine. Whitney Storie and Ashley Schwetz, pretending to go to the prom. April, 1999.

Throw Back Thursday. Whitney Storie and Ashley Schwetz. Photo Credit/Denise Gilliland, Editor and Chief, Kat Country Hub.

Throw Back Thursday. Whitney Storie and Ashley Schwetz. Photo Credit/Denise Gilliland, Editor and Chief, Kat Country Hub.

Sara Cameron, R.N., on Heart Health Month

Sara, in the middle in the blue top, with her family, from left, Luke, Steve (husband), Kristen, Sydney, Tom, Megan, Sam and Karsen. Photo Courtesy of Sara Cameron, R.N. Oakland Mercy Hospital.

Sara, in the middle in the blue top, with her family, from left, Luke, Steve (husband), Kristen, Sydney, Tom, Megan, Sam and Karsen. Photo Courtesy of Sara Cameron, R.N. Oakland Mercy Hospital.

February Is American Heart Month. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has some great information on heart disease. Much of the following is reprinted from there.

During the month of February, Americans see the human heart as the symbol of love and February is a time to show yourself the love. Learn about your risks for heart disease and stroke and stay “heart healthy” for yourself and your loved ones.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities.1 CVD costs the United States over $300 billion each year, including the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

CVD does not affect all groups of people in the same way. Although the number of preventable deaths has declined in people aged 65 to 74 years, it has remained unchanged in people under age 65. Men are more than twice as likely as women to die from preventable CVD.

Having a close relative who has heart disease puts you at higher risk for CVD. Health disparities based on geography also exist. During 2007–2009, death rates due to heart disease were the highest in the South and lowest in the West.

Many CVD deaths could have been prevented through healthier habits, healthier living spaces, and better management of conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Take it one step at a time. You can control a number of risk factors for CVD, including:

  • Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes

As you begin your journey to better heart health that can last a lifetime, keep these things in mind:

Try not to become overwhelmed. Every step brings you closer to a healthier heart, and every healthy choice makes a difference! Partner up. The journey is more fun—and often more successful—when you have company. Ask friends and family to join you.

Don’t get discouraged. You may not be able to take all of the steps at one time. Get a good night’s sleep—also important for a healthy heart—and do what you can tomorrow.

Reward yourself. Find fun things to do to decrease your stress. Round up some colleagues for a lunchtime walk, join a singing group, or have a healthy dinner with your family or friends.

Plan for Prevention. Try out these strategies for better heart health. You’ll be surprised how many of them can become lifelong habits!

Work with your health care team. Get a checkup at least once each year, even if you feel healthy. Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis. You can check your blood pressure at home, a pharmacy, or at a doctor’s office.

Get your cholesterol checked. Your health care team should test your cholesterol levels at least once every 5 years. Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid CVD and its complications. Limiting sodium in your diet can lower your blood pressure. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—adults should have at least five servings each day. Eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber. For more information on eating a healthy diet, visit CDC’s Nutrition page and ChooseMyPlate.govExternal Web Site Icon.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for CVD. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, health care professionals often calculate a number called body mass index (BMI).

Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate-intensity activity for at least 150 minutes per week. Remember to incorporate exercise into your day in different ways: take the stairs instead of the elevator, or rake the yard instead of using the leaf blower. Exercising with friends and family can be a great way to stay healthy and have fun.

Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for CVD. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. Your health care team can suggest ways to help you quit.

Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure. Men should stick to no more than two drinks per day, and women to no more than one. For more information, visit CDC’s Alcohol and Public Health Web site.

Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and talk with your health care team about treatment options. Visit CDC’s Diabetes Public Health Resource for more information.

Take your medicine. If you’re taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or another condition, follow the instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something. If you have side effects, talk with your health care team about your options.

More information can be found on the CDC website. Healthy lifestyles begin with addressing your risk factors you can control. Wishing you a happy healthy heart!

Visa/Mastercard Fraud

This is a heads up for everyone regarding the latest in Visa fraud. Royal Bank received this communication about the newest scam. This is happening in the Midwest right now and moving across the country.

This one is pretty slick, since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want.

Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it.


This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard telephone Credit Card Scam works, you’ll be better prepared to protect yourself.


The scam works like this:

Person calling says – ‘This is (name) and I’m calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460, your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I’m calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?’ When you say ‘No’, the caller continues with, ‘Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching, and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address). Is that correct?’ You say ‘yes’.

The caller continues – ‘I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. ‘Do you need me to read it again?’


Here’s the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works – The caller then says, ‘I need to verify you are in possession of your card’. He’ll ask you to ‘turn your card over and look for some numbers’. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the last 3 are the Security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the last 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he’ll say, ‘That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?’


After you say no, the caller then thanks you and states, ‘Don’t hesitate to call back if you do’, and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. A person who received this call called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. They were glad they did as the REAL VISA Security Department told them it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to their card. They made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing a new number.What the Scammer wants is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don’t give it to them. Instead, tell them you’ll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation.


The real VISA told them that they will never ask for anything on the card, as they already know the information, since they issued the card! If you give the Scammer your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you’re receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you’ll see charges for purchases you didn’t make, and by then it’s almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.


If you get a call, don’t let them finish. Hang up! Then file a police report. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily!Spread the word to everyone you know as it appears to be a very active scam, and evidently quite successful.




Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930

Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

Emerson-Hubbard Down Cougars

LDNE              11        9          10        22        -52

E-H                  16        13        15        22        -66



2pt       3pt       FT        Rb        F          TP

Chevy H           2          4          0/1       1          5          16

Alex B              3          0          0/0       7          1          6

Bobby S           1          2          0/1       2          1          8

Taylor F           0          0          0/0       1          2          0

Dakota R         5          0          0/1       2          1          10

Marcus H         2          0          2/6       3          1          6

David B            1          0          0/0       1          1          2

Dylan H            1          0          0/0       0          0          2

Tyler H 1          0          0/0       1          0          2

Cole C             0          0          0/0       2          0          0

Team                16        6          2/9       20        12        52

E-H                  24        4          6/8       34        15        66


Through the years Cougar fans have come to recognize that Emerson-Hubbard seems to have a home court advantage when the two teams meet for the season’s final game. Coach Lahm expressed a concern about this road game and it proved to be true as Emerson-Hubbard took the contest by a score of 66-52.


If there ever is a snake pit for the Cougar boys to play basketball at, it has to be Emerson-Hubbard.  For the last two decades the Northeast boy have had trouble winning on the E-H court.  There have been buzzer beater shots, missed free throws, and over time games.  Northeast went ten years without a win in the Pirate gym before the Cougars claimed one in 2012.  That game was decided  by free shot as 51 fouls were called and 71 tries shot.  On 13 double bonus situations only one Cougar made both shots.


“That was really a bizarre game in 2012,” said Lahm.  “There were hot and cold streaks for both teams and in the fourth quarter nobody could make a pressure free throw.  It was really one of the weirdest games I have ever coached in.”


Coming into the game the (11-10) Cougars should have been a heavy favorite over the (6-15) Pirates.  Northeast scored on four of five possessions and took an 8-4 led.  All their points came from the paint as Riecken scored twice and Brehmer and Simpson each put in a runner.


Things changed after the Pirates went to a zone defense.  They out scored the Cougars 12 to 3 as they closed out the period with six straight points after a trifecta by Bobby Simpson had given Northeast an 11-10 lead.


Lyons-Decatur spent the next two quarters struggling to penetrated the Pirate’s defense.
They had five passes intercepted in the second period.  At the half, Northeast trailed by  score of 29-20.  In the third period the Cougars cut the lead to five with an 8-4 run.  After Alex Brehmer’s second basket of the period, the Pirate lead stood at 35-30 with 3:20 left in the period.   E-H heated up and scored on their final four shots and took a 44-30 lead.


The Pirates’ fourteen point margin stood up in the fourth period as the teams traded points.  Chevy Henneman got the hot hand and scored 11 of his team-high 16 points for the Cougars.


It was a tough shooting night for the Cougars who made only 22 of 48 shots and went 2 of 9 from the line.  This was compounded by the Pirates 34 to 20 advantage on the boards.  E-H made 28 of 49 from the field.


The Cougar head into a sub-district game against Walthill on February 25.  The (10-8) Blujays had beaten Emerson-Hubbard 74-51 the previous week.

Lady Cougars Season Ends

By Clare Wiltse

Sports Contributor

The Lady Cougar’s basketball season came to an end at sub-districts, but not before a record breaking first round game against Walthill.  In a wide open run and shoot game Northeast defeated the Lady Blujays 82-39.  The shots were harder to find in the finals as Bancroft -Rosalie claimed the title with a 40-21 win.


The Walthill game started slowly with Northeast leading by only 5-4 when the Cougars went on a 14-4 run to break away from the (5-14) Blujays.   The game plan to feed the ball to senior post Vanessa Peterson worked well as she had 12 of her game-high 22 points in the first period.  Lexie Bacon chipped in with two treys and Northeast led 25-13 at the quarter.


The scoring slowed in the second period as the Cougars got only 11 points on 4 of 14 shooting.  Bacon added another trey which tied the school record of 32 three pointers in a season.


Six players scored in the third period as the Cougars raced away from the Blujays.
They out scored the Walthill girls by 26 to 3.  Madie Ronnfeldt was 6 for 6 from the line.  Libby Henneman struck twice from the out side. The Peterson sisters tallied 8 points. Haley Bacon scored a basket.  With 4:04 left in the period Lexie Bacon took a pass from Haley, spotted up from outside the arc and made her 33rd trifecta of the season, a new school record.


The Cougars scored 20 points in the fourth quarter;  fifteen of the points were bench points.  Kelly Wakeley had six and Tessie Collins had four points.  Ronnfeldt and Henneman also scored.


“I thought that we might have a shot at the school record for points in a game,” said Coach Cronin, “but the new running clock rule makes it pretty hard to do.”


82 points is the second highest total ever scored by the Lady Cougars. Their 75 scored against Allen early this year ranks as number four.


The Cougars had two players score in double figures, both were in the 20’s.  Vanessa Peterson had a career-high 22 points while Lexie Bacon contributed 20 while getting her first double-double with a team leading 11 rebounds.


A defensive battle turned into a blowout for Bancroft -Rosalie in the finals.  The first quarter both teams player some solid D as it took three minutes for B-R to score.  They ended up making only 2 of 12 shots.  The Cougars were hampered by ten turnovers and did not put up any points until Vanessa Peterson scored with 46 seconds left.  They had only two shots during the period.


Turnovers continued to plague the Cougars the rest of the game.  B-R’s trapping zone defense forced the Cougars away from the basket and jumped the passing lanes when L-D players  picked  up the dribble.  The Panthers used  a 12-4 run to vault to a 24-10 half time lead.


The Cougars recouped to stop the Panther scoring after intermission, but had not answer for the pressure defense.  Northeast had only 18 shot during the game, half their turnover total.


Seniors Haley Bacon and Vanessa Peterson finished their careers with two and ten points respectively.  They were team leaders for a young squad which finished with an 8-16 record.


Lexie Bacon could not add to her three point total.  She was limited to one shot.


Allie Vogt led (14-9) B-R with 11 points.  Kayli Wheaton had 6.



L-D                  25        11        26        20        -82

Walthill 13        9          3          14        -39


2pt       3pt       FT        Rb        F          TP

Madie R           1          0          6/6       5          1          8

Darcey S          1          0          2/2       4          0          4

Kelly W           4          0          0/0       1          4          8

Blair P              0          0          0/0       0          3          0

Haley B            2          0          0/0       2          3          4

Tessie C           2          0          0/0       1          0          4

Lexie B            3          4          2/2       11        2          20

Libby H            1          2          0/0       2          1          8

Vanessa P        9          0          4/6       7          2          22

Abby P            1          0          2/5       5          0          4

Team                25        6          16/21   41        14        82

Walthil  l           14        3          3/6       28        16        39


L-D      2          8          6          5          -21

B-R      6          18        8          8          -40


Madie R           1          0          0/2       3          1          2

Darcey S          1          0          2/3       4          2          4

Kelly W           0          1          0/0       0          0          3

Blair P              0          0          0/0       1          0          0

Haley B            1          0          0/2       2          1          2

Tessie C           0          0          0/0       0          0          0

Lexie B            0          0          0/0       1          0          0

Libby H            0          0          0/0       0          0          0

Vanessa P        3          0          4/10     6          1          10

Abby P            0          0          0/0       8          1          0

Team                6          1          6/17     25        6          21

B-R                  19        0          2/4       25        16        40

Social Speaks: Convicted Murderers Wish to Marry

Two convicted murderers in Nebraska wish to be married. Do you think they should be granted their wish?

Book Club Meeting at Oakland Public Library

Stephen King’s 11/22/63 is on for discussion tonight…and a slice of Jelly Doughnut Cake? What’s not to like about that?!


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