Nebraska Game and Parks

Jerry Kane
Public Information Officer | | 402.471.5008


Boating Accident Claims One Life, Injury in Another

LINCOLN – A boating accident on the morning of June 29 in the tailwaters below Gavins Point Dam in Cedar County claimed the life of a 68-year-old Creighton woman.

Two boats collided at approximately 9:55 a.m. The victim was a passenger in one of the boats. She was transported to Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, S.D., where she was pronounced dead.

Conservation officers with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nebraska State Patrol, Cedar County Sheriff’s Office and Cedar County Emergency Management, responded to the accident.

The investigation is ongoing. Alcohol does not appear to be a contributing factor in the accident. The Cedar County Attorney has ordered an autopsy on the victim. Both boats have been impounded.

A boating accident on the evening of June 28 at Whitney Lake in northwest Nebraska sent a woman to a hospital with serious arm and shoulder injuries.

A 40-year-old Crawford man was operating a boat on the Dawes County lake approximately 9 miles south of Crawford. The boat apparently struck a wake while making a turn, throwing the woman overboard. She was struck by the boat’s propeller. The victim was transported to Chadron Community Hospital and then later flown to a hospital in Fort Collins. Colo. The accident is under investigation.


Meat Processors May Apply for Hunters Helping the Hungry

LINCOLN – Meat processors have until July 20 to apply for participation in the 2015 Hunters Helping the Hungry program, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. This program provides ground venison to Nebraskans in need.

 The application form and program guidelines are available at Processors and Charitable Organizations. Game and Parks will accept applications for participation in any of the Nebraska 2015-2016 deer hunting seasons. Game and Parks will contact eligible applicants by Aug. 7, 2015.

 Contact Teresa Lombard at 402-471-5430 or for more information.


Habitat Project Planned on Bassway Strip WMA

LINCOLN – A habitat project will begin sometime this summer on Bassway Strip Wildlife Management Area in Buffalo County to benefit bobwhite quail, wild turkey, white-tailed deer and many other species.

The primary focus of the project will be to remove invasive cedar trees and smooth brome grass and to establish food plots and shrub thickets. This will provide nesting, brood-rearing and escape cover for quail and turkeys.

Cedar tree and limited deciduous tree removal will open up heavily timbered areas, promoting the growth of early successional browse plants to benefit deer and other wildlife species. Some of these openings will also be interseeded with legumes and forbs to produce a greater diversity of habitat that benefit many huntable wildlife species.

Biologists also will maintain some selected areas with heavy escape cover for deer that will not be affected.

Bassway Strip is located along the Platte River just southeast of Kearney.


Commission to Consider Early Teal Season Dates

LINCOLN – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will consider 2015 early teal season dates at its meeting July 16 in Sidney. The commissioners will consider the following recommended season dates: Low Plains, Sept. 5-20; High Plains, Sept. 12-20.

The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at the Hampton Inn, 635 Cabela’s Drive.

Teal hunting season dates are set to coincide with the teal migration through Nebraska, and the opening day is typically the Saturday following Labor Day. This year, because Labor Day is Sept. 7, an earlier opening day in the Low Plains is recommended to accommodate a 16-day season while avoiding conflicts with possible youth and regular duck season openers later in September and October. Regular duck and goose season dates will be considered at the August 28 Commission meeting in Burwell.

For the second year in a row, the teal season in the northern portion of Nebraska will be on an experimental basis. Continuation of the teal season each year will be dependent on hunters and their ability to distinguish teal from other duck species. During the early season experiment, Game and Parks will evaluate the rate at which nontarget species are shot at or taken. If the rate is considered unacceptable by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nebraska will lose its teal season, and most likely, never get it back. Those who take or attempt to take ducks other than teal also will be subject to prosecution.


Women’s Rifle Series Held on Wednesdays in July

LINCOLN – Women interested in learning all aspects of rifle shooting are invited to attend a series of Beyond Becoming an Outdoors-Woman classes in July at various locations across southeast Nebraska.

The rifle series is held each Wednesday in July from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Each class is $5. Participants may attend as many classes as they desire. Equipment and ammunition can be provided.

The class schedule: July 8 – Introduction to .22 Rifles, Firearm Safety and Range Rules, Platte River State Park, Louisville; July 15 – High-Powered Rifles and Shooting Techniques, Eastern Nebraska Gun Club, Louisville; July 22 – High-Powered Rifles and Shooting Techniques, Weeping Water Gun Club, Weeping Water; July 29 – High-Powered Rifles and Shooting Techniques, Izaak Walton League, Bennett.

For more information, contact Christy Christiansen at 402-471-5547 or


Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
2200 North 33rd Street
Lincoln, NE 68503

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is responsible for stewardship of the state’s fish, wildlife, parklands, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Gwen Kaup, 57, of West Point NE

Memorial services for Gwen Kaup age 57 of West Point, NE will be on Thursday, July 2nd at 11:00 a.m. at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in West Point, NE. Interment will be at a later date. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. till 8:00 p.m., with the family present from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Minnick Funeral Home in West Point, NE.

Gwen passed away on Friday, June 26, 2015 at her home.

Gwen Faye Kaup was born July 27, 1957 at Pender, NE to Harry and Lola (Peterson) Persson. She attended Cuming Co. Rural School District #22 and graduated from West Point High School in 1975. On June 2, 1979, she was united in marriage to Jeff Kaup at St. Paul Lutheran Church in West Point. Gwen worked for various businesses in West Point and for the last 20 years has been employed at CharterWest National Bank.

Gwen was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, helping with the Cuming Co. Relay for Life, and was a member of the West Point Optimist Club. She loved spending time with her family, attending everyone’s activities, camping, and helping her family with fundraisers at Christmas time. Gwen could always be seen with a smile and her laughter filled the room.

Survivors include-
Husband- Jeff Kaup of West Point, NE
Son-Dustin and Jamie Kaup of West Point, NE and children-Allie and Riley
Daughter-Megan Kaup of Omaha, NE
Parents- Harry and Lola Persson of West Point, NE
Siblings and their families- Nadine and Robert Hagedorn of West Point, NE
Dudley and Diane Persson of Oakland, NE
Shellie and Randy Wietfeld of West Point, NE
Ilene and Brian Evert of Omaha, NE
Kellee and Monte Pflueger of Norfolk, NE
Kevin and Lori Persson of Bancroft, NE
Kyle and Judy Persson of West Point, NE
Lisa and Pat Yosten of West Point, NE
Deb and Bob Yosten of West Point, NE
Donna and Ryan Voelker of Newcastle, WY
Penny Grovijohn of Wisner, NE
Paula and Brian Christianson of Elkhorn, NE
Jennifer and Jamie Bumgardner of Gretna, NE

Gwen was preceded in death by her grandparents.


Gwen Kaup

Gwen Kaup

William “Bill” Lester Bowden, 92, of Lincoln NE

William “Bill” Lester Bowden was born to Clarence Miles and Hazel Charlotte (Lester) Bowden April 5, 1923 on a farm two miles west of Tekamah, Nebraska. He passed away June 27, 2015 at The Legacy Retirement Community in Lincoln, Nebraska at the age of 92 years.

He was four years old when his mother passed away, and was raised by his grandparents, Eli and Lenora Bowden. He attended kindergarten through high school in Tekamah, graduating with the class of 1941.

During his freshman year in high school, he met Betty Lou Hart of Herman, Nebraska. They were married June 25, 1944 in Shiloh, North Carolina, while Bill was stationed in Elizabeth City, North Carolina at the US Coast Guard Air Station. He worked for Consumers Public Power (now NPPD) for 34 years, retiring in 1981. After retirement they moved to a farm near Adams, Nebraska to watch their grandchildren grow up.

Bill served in the United States Coast Guard from September 5, 1941 to October 27, 1945 – four years, one month and 22 days, as he liked to say. After his discharge, he attended radio/TV technology school in Washington, DC, and returned to Tekamah in the spring of 1947. He was a member of the Tekamah American Legion Post #15, VFW Post #3304, and was a 60+ year member of the Masonic Lodge in Tekamah.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents and parents.

He is survived by his wife, Betty; two daughters, Janice Bowden of Tekamah, Sharon (Bill) Hitzeman of Lincoln; two sisters, Joan Stenson and Carol (Larry) Moyer of Colme, SD; grandchildren, Ryon (Maggie) Hitzeman of Salina, KS, Annie (Shawn) Othmer of Tecumseh, NE; great grandchildren, Austin and Olivia Hitzeman, Emma, Sydnie and Shawna Othmer; numerous nieces and nephews.

MEMORIAL SERVICE: Thursday, July 2, 2015, 11:00 a.m. at United Methodist Church in Tekamah. MASONIC SERVICE by Tekamah Masonic Lodge #31 A.F. & A.M. following the memorial service at the church.

MEMORIAL VISITATION: one hour prior to services at the church.

BURIAL: Tekamah Cemetery with MILITARY HONORS by VFW Bataan Post #3304 and American Legion LaFrenz Post #15

MEMORIALS: VFW Bataan Post #3304, American Legion LaFrenz Post #15, or donor’s choice.

Please feel free to send your condolences to the family.
Each condolence will be printed and given to the family after the service.

William Bowden

William Bowden

Raymond “Pete” Seymour, 83, of Decatur NE

Raymond “Pete” Seymour was born in Decatur, Nebraska on January 14, 1932 to Ray and Lucielle (Ball) Seymour. He got the nickname from his dad. He was the only boy in a family of four sisters; Marquetta, Mary, Joan and Patsy. Pete transitioned to Heaven on Saturday, June 27, 2015, following 83 well-lived years.

After Pete graduated from Decatur High School, he began working in Walthill, Nebraska at
McGregor Lumber Company. He married his first wife, Roylene (Burkhart), and joined the Air Force as a Sgt. Air Policeman, serving from 1951-1958.

Pete and Royal had their first daughter, Theresa, while being stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia. Five more children were born to this union, a son, Timothy and daughters, Tamara “Angie”, Rita, Rhonda and Jacklyn.

Pete became an entrepreneur in the real estate business in Sioux City, Iowa, owning several homes and duplexes that he remodeled and rented out. He was in the fix it, flip it, and rent it business before it became popular on HGTV.

Pete also worked for IMT Insurance Company from 1974-1991. He started out as a Claims
Adjuster, and ended his career as the Regional Claims Manager for Sioux City, Sioux
Falls, South Dakota and Omaha, Nebraska.

For those in the area that love watching stock car races, they may also remember Pete as the
Announcer at Interstate Speedway in Jefferson, South Dakota. Those traveling through Decatur remember Pete wearing his Cornhusker baseball hat while collecting money for the toll bridge that unites Iowa and Nebraska. Pete was also a member of the Iowa Air National Guard 185th unit in Sioux City, where he served as a reservist for 12 years in the military police.

In his 50s, Pete met and married his current wife, Janey (Kellogg) Seymour, and they shared 25 years together. Three more daughters became a part of his life, Lana, Becky and

Pete and Janey were introduced by Janey’s mother at the Eagles Club, and they fell in love
dancing together. They spent many years square dancing, and traveling throughout the country
to visit family and friends. They retired to Decatur, and bought a second home in Texas, that they
enjoyed while escaping Iowa and Nebraska winters.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Lucielle; sister, Patsy Glassmeyer; step-son Daryl French; grandson, Trey Wheeler.

He is survived by his wife, Janey; children, Theresa (Smail) Setka, Tim Seymour, Angie (Dean) Weaver, Rita Seymour, Rhonda (Sherwood) Gross, Jackie Mahaney; step-daughters, Becky (Ryan) Wheeler, Lana (Tom) Lambert, Jennifer (Justin) VanHorn; sisters, Mary, Joan, Marquetta; 17 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren.

FUNERAL SERVICE: Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 1:00 p.m. at Decatur City Hall in Decatur, Nebraska.

VISITATION: Tuesday 6-8 p.m., with family receiving friends, at Pelan Funeral Services Tekamah in Tekamah, NE, and one hour prior to service time at Decatur City Hall.

BURIAL with MILITARY HONORS: Hillcrest Cemetery in Decatur.

MEMORIALS: To the family for designation at a later time.

Please feel free to send your condolences to the family.
Each condolence will be printed and given to the family after the service.

Raymond Seymour

Raymond Seymour

John J. Brasch, 57, of Rosalie NE

John J. Brasch, 57, of Rosalie, Nebraska passed away Monday, June 29, 2015 at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

Funeral services for John are pending with Munderloh – Smith Funeral Home in Bancroft, Nebraska.

A Minute with the Lyons Mayor: Andy Fuston

Wow, it seems like a long time since I’ve spoken with you. Sorry about that. I felt like I really didn’t have anything new to say and was concerned I was starting to sound like a broken record. Our two long standing projects have either been completed or are just about finished. The swimming pool is amazing. I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback on how well it is being received by everyone. As I’ve said in the past, good things come to those who wait. Although we had to wait an extra pool season to get it up and running, those memories and frustrations quickly faded with all the smiles found on the kids’ faces as they played on all the amenities and in the water. We should be so proud as a community. Similarly, we should be proud of the “new and improved” community center. There are just a few details left to finish up with the project but it is done for the most part. It looks totally different on the inside. The finished walls, large windows, new flooring and new bathrooms have transformed the interior from a tired, outdated and unfinished space to a modern and contemporary community center that will represent the true spirit of Lyons for years to come. Due to engineering concerns the front entry has turned out to be less grand than originally thought but once the signage is up it will present it very nicely to the public. The one thing people will notice is that the kitchen space did not receive much cosmetic work. There is new flooring; a new stove vent hood, new air conditioning and paint but the cabinets, walls and ceiling are all the same. We just didn’t have enough money to finish off that space. If more donations come in or another grant can be achieved, that space will have additional work done to it. We have already opened it up to events and weddings but will be planning some sort of open house and dedication in the near future.

I know it hasn’t been all good news since we last spoke. The unexpected closing of Logan Valley Manor was a big loss for our little town. It has been hard for their residents, family members and the LVM team. All we can do now is look to the future and start dreaming of possibilities again. There has been correspondence with the owners of the building about what their plans are for the property. Things are still up in the air as of now. As more of the dust settles, the fate of the property will become clearer. Until they decide what they are going to do, we will stay in contact with them.

For our next big adventure we’ve applied for grant funds to improve lighting on Main Street. If we would be fortunate enough to receive the grant, all of the 1970’s street lights along Main Street will be replaced along with new wiring and concrete. We already contracted with an engineering firm out of West Point who completed a lighting study for the grant application. Again, the street lights are old and tired. A project such as this would easily provide necessary upgrades and ascetically alter the view of our downtown corridor. The grant is reviewed as they are submitted and awarded as funds are available from the state. Hopefully we will know sooner than later if our application is accepted or not. We’ll let you know one way or the other.

The city guys have been working some more on Main Street trying to take some of the ruts and bumps out of the really bad areas. We will continue to do that has time allows. As you’ve read already, the city worked with the school to remove their existing playground equipment and relocate it in Burlington Park. It was a win-win for all. If you haven’t noticed the old motel house on the highway is finally gone. It looks so much better and that area no longer creates a negative first impression when coming into Lyons. It is once again budget time. It comes around so quickly it seems. The city office and council will be formulating the city’s budget to be approved by the state by the end of August/first part of September. It is always a challenge to meet our wants and needs (mostly needs) with what we’ve got to spend. No different than at home I guess!

Finally are you gearing up for the 4th of July/Bluegrass Festival? It is going to be another fantastic day of fun events, food, fellowship and fireworks. I hope you take advantage of all the great things happening that day. There should be something going on for everyone so there are no excuses for not coming down to the park; even if for just a little while. It sounds like the weather is going to be nice as well.   Please make sure you thank your Community Club and fire department members for putting on such a wonderful experience year after year. They deserve many, many kudos for all their hard work and effort. The best way to thank them however is to come down to the park and enjoy the day! That’s if for now. Enjoy the 4th of July and all it stands for. Be safe

Mayor Andy Fuston

Mayor Andy Fuston

Medicaid Expansion a Fiscal Winner for Nebraska

The Center for Rural Affairs released the third and final Rural Policy Brief examining the basic economic and income issues for all Nebraskans connected to expanding Medicaid. The brief is part of a series examining findings of the University of Nebraska at Kearney report on the implications of LB 472 and their significance to rural and small town Nebraska.


Evidence shows that states that have expanded Medicaid have witnessed substantially faster growth in healthcare jobs than those states that have not expanded. Medicaid expansion will support 10,779 jobs in Nebraska in FY 2019-20. And Nebraska has already foregone half a billion federal dollars because of inaction on Medicaid expansion. The bottom line is… Medicaid expansion is a fiscal winner in Nebraska.

John Crabtree, Center for Rural Affairs


To view or download a copy of the Center’s Policy Brief go to:


On April 1, 2015, Dr. Allan Jenkins, Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and Dr. Ron Konecny, Professor of Management at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, released Nebraska Medicaid Expansion: Protecting a Critical Infrastructure, Supporting Main Street, Improving Worker Health and Productivity (the UNK Report). The UNK Report is an extensive benefit-cost analysis of several factors that should be considered in the debate on LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, and Medicaid expansion in Nebraska.


“The UNK Report finds that Medicaid expansion will support 10,779 jobs in Nebraska in FY 2019-20,”  explained John Crabtree of the Center for Rural Affairs. “This is crucial in lower income areas of the state, including rural Nebraska, where Medicaid expansion would have a larger effect and where jobs, particularly well-paying healthcare jobs, are needed.”


According to analysis of the UNK report by Jon Bailey, the Center for Rural Affairs’ former Director of Rural Policy, Kentucky, one of the most aggressive states in their Medicaid expansion program, found that by 2021 the number of new jobs created as a result of expansion is expected to grow to approximately 40,000, with an average salary of $41,000. In comparison, the UNK Report finds jobs created as a result of Medicaid expansion in Nebraska will have an average salary of $44,845 in FY 2019-20.


The UNK Report also found that Medicaid expansion is a significantly more cost-effective state policy approach that also creates employment. For example, the UNK Report compares Medicaid expansion (through LB 472) with the Nebraska Advantage Act’s per job cost amount. The Nebraska Department of Revenue estimated that the Nebraska Advantage Act cost from $42,747 to $234,568 per job created. In comparison, the model used in the UNK Report finds that each $46,572 increase in Medicaid spending creates one job – about 20 percent of the largest Nebraska Advantage Act cost per job figure.


According to Crabtree, the UNK Report definitively settles one of the major opposition points to Medicaid expansion, namely that it would eventually cost the state too much in General Fund expenditures, particularly when the federal cost share for expansion declines to 90 percent in 2020 and thereafter.


“Medicaid expansion in Nebraska would bring about $69.3 million in General Fund savings for the five year period in programs already funded through the state’s General Fund, and which would no longer be necessary if Medicaid were expanded,” said Crabtree


“As we have pointed out in previous policy briefs, the UNK report contains a solid and rigorous benefit-cost analysis, showing the multiple benefits to Nebraska’s economy, its communities, and to individuals and families,” concluded Crabtree. “And Nebraska taxpayers have already watched half a billion dollars of federal support for Medicaid expansion slip away because of the Unicameral’s inaction. For the sake of over 77,000 Nebraskans  who fall into the Medicaid Gap, and for all Nebraska taxpayers, policymakers must act on expanding the state’s Medicaid program.”


Check out the Center’s counter on Medicaid dollars lost to Nebraska taxpayers at:

Celebrating our Independence

By Governor Pete Ricketts

Across Nebraska on Independence Day, Nebraskans will perform annual traditions as they gather to watch fireworks, grill on the back porch, march in parades, participate in community-wide festivals, and share the holiday with family and friends. While these rituals may seem commonplace, they are at the heart of who we are as Nebraskans and Americans as we celebrate the 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 


This day is not only an opportunity to spend time with our loved ones, but it is also an opportunity to reflect on and recall the significance of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. For the members of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, the signing of the Declaration was not a certain event. Even after it was drafted, the document was heavily debated and edited before representatives finally voted to approve the document on July 4th. The tireless work of the representatives who met in Independence Hall that summer resulted in an unprecedented articulation of the freedoms and liberties that would serve as the intellectual basis for the founding of the United States.


In the 18th century, the existence of a document that outlined the rights of citizens authored by colonial rebels was unprecedented. Today, the Declaration of Independence remains an unmatched intellectual achievement and continues to serve as a guiding light not only to Americans, but also to those who champion freedom around the globe.


Here in Nebraska, we continue to enjoy the blessing of freedom that started with the first 4th of July celebration. Since the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the pioneers who broke the prairie sod to build the first homesteads, Nebraska has been a place of great opportunity. While the Declaration of Independence served as the framework for the freedoms we enjoy today, countless men and women have defended and protected them over the last 239 years. Throughout our state’s history, many Nebraskans, like Captain Dustin Lukaesiewicz this year, have sacrificed everything for the cause of freedom.


To ensure that future generations enjoy the same liberties, our generation and subsequent ones must recommit to their protection. It is particularly important that all public servants, who have sworn to uphold and support the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Nebraska, remember their solemn oath. We have a special duty to safeguard freedoms because of the responsibilities we have accepted and the trust the people have placed in us. 


As we celebrate with our families at home or in Seward, Central City, Ralston, Norfolk, Sumner, or one of the many communities across our state with 4th of July festivities, let us honor the people who made the Good Life possible and remember these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”


We hope you have a safe and memorable holiday. From our family to yours, Happy Independence Day!

Governor Pete Ricketts

Governor Pete Ricketts


Gary R. Strong, 75, of Tekamah NE

Gary R. Strong, 75 years, of Tekamah, Nebraska passed away on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Memorial Community Hospital in Blair, Nebraska.

FUNERAL SERVICE: Friday, July 3, 2015 10:30 a.m. at United Methodist Church in Tekamah, Nebraska.

VISITATION: Thursday 6-8 p.m., with family receiving friends, at Pelan Funeral Services Tekamah, and one hour prior to service time at the church.

BURIAL at a later date.

MEMORIALS: United Methodist Church – Tekamah, Tekamah Public Library Foundation or Tekamah Fire and Rescue.

Please feel free to send your condolences to the family.
Each condolence will be printed and given to the family after the service.

Raymond “Pete” Seymour, 83, of Decatur NE

Raymond “Pete” Seymour, 83 years, of Decatur, Nebraska passed away Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

FUNERAL SERVICE: Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 1:00 p.m. at Decatur City Hall in Decatur, Nebraska.

VISITATION: Tuesday 6-8 p.m., with family receiving friends, at Pelan Funeral Services Tekamah in Tekamah, NE, and one hour prior to service time at Decatur City Hall.

BURIAL with MILITARY HONORS: Hillcrest Cemetery in Decatur.

MEMORIALS: To the family for designation at a later time.

Please feel free to send your condolences to the family.
Each condolence will be printed and given to the family after the service.

Raymond Seymour

Raymond Seymour

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