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News from Bancroft Senior Center


Bancroft Senior Center News by Connie Bargmann

* The senior center provides Information and Assistance to any individual who is looking for services for themselves or another person 60 years and older, the center manager and/or center participant can provide information to individuals on services available within the community. We link individuals to the services and opportunities that are available within or beyond the community itself. We will then establish adequate follow-up procedures to see that their needs were met. For more information call 402-648-3387.

*If you are 60 years and older and need information on programs designed to help keep you in your home longer or if you need legal help, contact Connie at 402-648-3387 or in the evening at 402-648-7648.

* We have the following medical equipment to loan out on an as need basis, wheel chair, bath seats, toilet seat riser and portable toilet chair, crutches or walkers. Call 402-648-3387 during office hours.

Meals on Wheels

*Would you like to get Meals on Wheels? Anyone over the age of 60 years and lives within the city limits are eligible for these meals. You may sign up anytime for the Meals on Wheels program; you can get the meals delivered however many times you want them each week. You must call 402-687-2332 before 8:30 a.m. if you want a meal that day. The suggested donation for the meals is $4.00.

 

Weekly Activities:

Wed. Mar. 30:  There will be chair exercises at 1:00 p.m. Sign up to play in the pitch tournament at 1:30 p.m.

Thurs. Mar. 31: Tai Chi class at 9:30 and walking club at 10:45 a.m. Rolls and coffee,

9-11 a.m. Come and play golf using cards at 1:30 p.m.

Fri. April 1: Come and have coffee at 9:30 a.m. Sign up to play in the pinochle and/or hand and foot tournament at 1:30p.m.

Sat. April 2: Inviting everyone to come to the music jam at 7:00 p.m. to listen to some good music.

Mon. April 4: The potluck meal will be chili or chicken noodle soup, bring a salad or dessert. Cards will be played at 1:30 p.m.

Tues. April 5: Tai Chi class is at 9:30 a.m. Stop in for coffee at 10:00 a.m. Walking exercises 10:45 a.m. Sign up to play in the pitch tournament at 1:30 p.m.

Wed. April 6: We will have melody chimes practice at 9:00 a.m. Coffee time at 10:15 a.m. Chair exercises at 1:00 p.m. Come and learn how to play Skip-Bo at 1:30

1:30 p.m.

 

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Market Report


Dow +19.66

S&P +1.11

Nasdaq -6.72

U.S. stocks were calm Monday ahead of a flurry of data and end-of-month portfolio positioning expected this week.  Investors will receive readings on manufacturing production and consumer sentiment, and the highly anticipated March jobs report is set for Friday morning. The data will be closely monitored following a week of renewed talk about the timing of the next Federal Reserve interest rate increase. Traders attributed Monday’s light trading activity in part to other stock markets around the world remaining closed.  Many global markets, including the U.S. stock market, were closed for Good Friday, and many major exchanges in Europe, including those in London and Frankfurt, and some in Asia, including Hong Kong and Australia, remained closed Monday.

Grain Markets at Close:

Corn +0’4@3.70’4

Beans -1’4@9.09’0

 

Quick update for you this Monday as we have a USDA report later this week.

 

Markets continue to hold their gains and I expect them to do so until Thursday when the scheduled USDA report is released.  Then we will see what the USDA had for us.  Be sure to have “above the market” orders in place, just in case of a volatile market.

 

New Crop beans rallied to $9.26 over night filling every one that placed an order at $9.25.  I just want to stress the importance of making a small new crop sale if you have not already.  YES, it may go higher, or it MAY NOT!  On the other hand, no one wants to be sitting there at $8.50 saying I sure wish I would have sold.  Instead lets reward the rally, especially since fundamentals are not supportive at this time.  If you have a sale, be happy, and hope this rally continues!

 

-The outside markets see the Euro +70 ticks, crude oil +41 cts, gold -$2, and Dow Jones futures +21 pts.

-In economic reports, US Feb Personal Income +0.2% vs expectations of +0.1%, US Feb Personal Spending +0.1% vs expectations +0.1%

-Hotter/drier  conditions and limited precipitation for the US southwest Plains over the next 10 days.  Warmer /drier conditions are forecasted for the Midwest.

-Malaysian palm oil rallied 35 ringitts overnight as analysts Dorab Mistry estimated Malaysian palm production will be down 2.0 million MT due to the El Nino.

-Friday, the USDA announced daily sales of soybeans sold to unknown destination, of which  214,000 MT  were for the 2015/16 marketing year and 90,000 MT for the 2016/17 marketing year.

 

Unicameral Rejects LB 1032


Lyons, Nebraska – Today, a bracket motion to LB 1032 – the Transitional Health Insurance Program Act – successfully doomed the legislation and any chance of closing Nebraska’s health coverage gap in 2016. Twenty eight Senators voted to bracket LB 1032 until after the session, effectively killing the bill.

 

“Failing to pass LB 1032 will doom tens of thousands of working Nebraskans, from cities, small towns and rural areas, to the continued economic struggle of living without access to affordable health insurance. It will cost lives. It will also cost insurance premium savings for those who already have insurance. And it will cost Nebraska as many as 10,000 new healthcare jobs.

Lauren Kolojejchick-Kotch, Center for Rural Affairs

 

“We have struggled for 4 years to close the health coverage gap in Nebraska. We applaud the 20 Senators who stood up for the Nebraskans who fall into the gap, and especially for the sponsors,” added Kolojejchick-Kotch. “Senator John McCollister and all the Senators who joined him and worked so hard to address this crucial issue have shown courage and leadership by standing up for tens of thousands of working, uninsured Nebraskans.”

 

“We’ve worked with these Senators and our organizational allies for four years, presenting solutions to the challenge of the health coverage gap each and every year,” continued Kolojejchick-Kotch. “However, opponents have yet to offer any real solutions to the stern challenges in our current healthcare system. Nebraskans who fall into the gap work hard, the vast majority have sought and secured a job and work full-time or very near it. They deserve a chance at a happier, healthier life.”
“The 28 Senators who stood in the way of passage of LB 1032 owe real solutions to the Nebraskans who live in the health coverage gap, not just partisan rhetoric, political posturing, and empty words,” concluded Kolojejchick-Kotch. “Voting to preserve a public policy of negligence that leaves 97,000 Nebraskans by the side of the road with no health care options is unconscionable.”

To Consolidate or Not to Consolidate, That is the Question


I have not personally made a decision on how I will vote on Oakland-Craig and Tekamah-Herman Schools consolidating or not. Below is just a brief thought on the subject and how to come to your own decision. Please remember to thank a school board member if you see one from either district. This has been a very difficult task for each of them and they deserve our appreciation.

“I don’t envy the position the local school boards, Oakland-Craig and Tekamah-Herman, are facing. With the prospect of consolidating two schools, or maybe not consolidating, many things are to be taken into account. I don’t doubt that the board members are taking everything into account. This will also be an issue for the voters of each school district. When deciding on how to vote on such an important issue, please take into account BOTH sides of the issue. If need be, go to a meeting. They are open to the public and will provide the information needed to make a decision. Generations of children to come will be affected by the outcome. Their education is what’s important.” Denise Gilliland Editor and Chief, Kat Country Hub.

Governor Ricketts Unveils New Standard License Plate


Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles Director (DMV) Rhonda Lahm unveiled the new standard license plate, which will be issued beginning in January 2017.

 

“Our standard license plate is one important way we brand our state,” said Governor Ricketts.  “This new plate features a simple, classic design, using the blue and gold of our state flag.  One of our state’s most recognizable images, The Sower,  is displayed in the background above the recognition of our state’s 150th year of statehood.”

 

“As the department developed the plate, our team focused on creating a simple, streamlined design,” said DMV Director Rhonda Lahm.  “Nebraskans will begin to see this plate on vehicles starting next January.  I encourage all Nebraskans to visit www.dmv.nebraska.gov to see the new plate and all available specialty plates.”

 

The top of the plate prominently features “Nebraska” in gold lettering on a blue field.  Centered in the background is the watermarked image of The Sower, the sculpture which sits atop the Nebraska State Capitol.  The bottom of the plate highlights the year of Nebraska’s statehood as well as the year of Nebraska’s 150th birthday.

 

The new design was developed by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles.  A digital copy of the design is attached for use by news media covering this announcement.

 

In addition to the standard issue plate, several specialty plates are available for purchase through the DMV.  Interested Nebraskans can visit www.dmv.nebraska.gov for more information on how to purchase specialty plates.

2017 License Plate

 

Crop Insurance Subsidies Impact Land Costs


Lyons, Nebraska – The Center for Rural Affairs along with Mike Duffy, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Iowa State University, released a report that explores the impact subsidized crop insurance places on land values.
“My greatest concerns are whether unlimited crop insurance subsidies interfere with smaller farmers and beginning farmers getting access to land affordably. And whether the way in which crop insurance programs work undermine our nation’s collective efforts to conserve our soil and water. I’ve seen and heard about things happening with crop insurance here in the Midwest for years that make me believe those concerns are well-founded.”
Bill Furlong, farmers, Iowa City, Iowa
“Farmers have told us the program was helping mega-farmers outbid beginning, and small and mid-sized farmers on farmland, putting upward pressure on land values,” explained Traci Bruckner, Senior Policy Associate with the Center for Rural Affairs explained. “We decided to investigate. And to explore the impact subsidized crop insurance places on land values, we worked with Mike Duffy, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Iowa State University.”
Duffy’s research shows that subsidized crop insurance indeed has an impact on land values. He identifies a couple of ways the program impacts land values.
The first is subsidization of the insurance premium. Duffy points out that the premium farmers pay is not the actuarially sound premium. Rather, it is the premium minus a subsidy from the government. That premium subsidy is a benefit the farmer receives.
Second, crop insurance reduces the income risk associated with crop production, either through loss of revenue or crop failure. This risk reduction adds value because future returns are not as uncertain as they would be without crop insurance.
Duffy used data available from the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) to examine if federal crop insurance programs influence land values by the amount of the subsidy and the reduction in risk. The RMA provides detailed summaries of their business for the nation, by crop, by state, and by year going back to 1989. For this study, he used Iowa as the example.
A full copy of the report can be viewed and downloaded at:
The table below displays the impact. The first two columns show the value of risk reduction per acre. The last three columns show the percentage impact to land values in three ways: 1) with only the premium subsidy and no risk reduction factored in; 2) with a low factor of risk reduction; and 3) with a higher factor of risk reduction.
“These findings demonstrate that subsidies have value to producers, and some of those subsidies get bid into land costs. When those subsidies also serve to reduce risk, they have an even greater value than the subsidy alone,” explained Bruckner.
“While we agree that federal crop insurance is an important tool in the risk management toolbox, we can recognize it drives up production costs by increasing the cost of land,” added Bruckner. “The net effect is to prop up the nation’s largest and wealthiest farms, often at the expense of smaller farms.”
The full report also examines the impact crop insurance subsidies have on cash rental rates.
“We intend to use this analysis to further our efforts to come up with policy reforms that will ensure federal crop insurance programs work in the best interest of small and mid-sized family farms,” concluded Bruckner. “These are the people that those who oppose reform often suggest the program is designed to benefit. We beg to differ. And we know that the nation needs reform that targets the root of the problems created by unlimited crop insurance premium subsidies.”

Severe Weather


By John Wilson, Extension Educator

Last week, March 21-25, was Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week. I think it is interesting that we have a whole week designated as Severe Weather Awareness Week, but only one day in November designated as Winter Weather Awareness Day.

Since we are just entering the severe weather season, I thought this would be a good time to review terminology used with severe weather and the appropriate actions required with each. In general, watches indicate conditions are favorable for the development of certain weather conditions. Usually these cover a large area and don’t require immediate action, but let people know they should keep advised of developing weather conditions.

On the other hand, warnings indicate that the weather condition is occurring, is imminent, or has been indicated by radar or confirmed by a trained weather spotter. In the case or a warning, you should take immediate action to protect yourself and others.

A severe thunderstorm watch means that the potential exists for the development of thunderstorms which may produce large hail or damaging winds. When a watch is issued, you can go about your normal activities, but keep an eye to the sky and an ear to a weather radio or your local radio and television stations for further updates and possible warnings.

A severe thunderstorm warning, on the other hand, means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent, based on doppler radar information. You should move indoors to a place of safety. The term severe refers to hail that is quarter size, 1.0 inch in diameter, or larger and/or wind gusts to 58 mph or more. If golf ball size hail, about 1.6 inches in diameter, or larger is falling, it indicates that a storm is very well organized and likely has a rotating updraft. Any storm producing giant hail should be monitored closely for signs of a possible tornado.

Although lightning can be deadly it is not a criterion for what the National Weather Service defines as severe since any ordinary thunderstorm can produce lots of lightning. Also, excessive rainfall may lead to flash flooding, but heavy rain is not a criterion for the term severe. Severe strictly refers to hail at least one inch in diameter or wind gusts of at least 58 mph.

A tornado watch, like a severe thunderstorm watch, means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to form, but it also means that a few storms may be capable of producing a tornado. A tornado warning is the ultimate in severe warnings, it means that a tornado is either occurring or imminent based on radar. You should take cover immediately.

A flash flood watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flash flooding in flood-prone areas, usually when grounds are already saturated from recent rains, or when upcoming heavy rains will have the potential to cause a flash flood.

A flash flood warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring in the warned area. A flash flood is a sudden, violent flood after a heavy rain, especially when runoff is channeled through narrow valleys or ditches. Rainfall intensity and duration, topography, soil conditions, and ground cover contribute to flash flooding.

For more information on weather watches and warnings, visit the National Weather Service website at www.weather.gov or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, website at www.noaa.gov.

John Wilson

John Wilson

April Outdoor Calendar


LINCOLN – The following is a listing of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission events and important dates in April:

April 1 – Basic Archery Instructor Training, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 – Explore Archery, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 6-7 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 2 – Learn to Hunt Spring Turkey, Mormon Island State Recreation Area (SRA), Grand Island, 10 a.m.-noon, 308-660-6955

April 2 – Archery Fun Shoot, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, noon-4 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 2 – Critter Corner, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, noon-4 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 2-3 – Platte River Art Show, Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (SP), Ashland, 8 a.m., 402-944-2523

April 4 – Learn to Hunt Spring Turkey, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 6-8:30 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 4, 11 – Centerfire Challenge, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 5 – Light Goose Conservation Order closes in Rainwater Basin and West zones

April 5 – Women’s Firearm Series: Introduction to Handguns, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 6:30-9 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 5, 12, 19, 26 – Outdoor Skills Club, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 2-4 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 5, 12, 19, 26 – Best Shots Rifle Marksmanship, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 6-8 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 5, 19 – Ladies Day at the Range, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 6:30-8 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 6 – Statewide crow hunting season closes

April 6, 13, 20, 27 – Introduction to Gun Safety and Technique for Young Shooters, ages 8-10, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 5:30-6:15 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 7 – Learn to Hunt Spring Turkey, Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium, Gretna, 6-8:30 p.m., 402-332-3901

April 7, 14 – .22 Pistol League, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 7-9 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 7, 14, 21 – I Can Camp Series, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 6-8 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 7, 14, 21, 28 – Explore Archery, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 6-7 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 7-9 – Master naturalist certification, Ponca SP, Ponca, 402-937-8601

April 9 – Angry Cow Trail Run, Rock Creek Station State Historical Park (SHP), Fairbury, 7 a.m., 402-432-3622

April 9 – Spring youth shotgun turkey season opens

April 14 – Learn to Hunt Mushrooms, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 6-8 p.m., 402-471-6141

April 14-17 – Coalition of Historical Trekkers, Fort Atkinson SHP, Fort Calhoun, 402-468-5611

April 15 – Light Goose Conservation Order closes in East Zone

April 16 – Spring shotgun turkey season opens

April 16 – Family Fishing Event, Swanson Reservoir SRA, Trenton, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 308-345-5899

April 16-17 – Great Plains Garrison Troop Muster, Fort Hartsuff SHP, Burwell, 308-346-4715

April 18 – Application period begins for bighorn sheep lottery permit

April 18 – Lake and Pond Management Workshop, Agricultural Research and Development Center, Mead, 402-643-2981

April 21 – Lake and Pond Management Workshop, Johnson County 4-H Building, Tecumseh, 402-643-2981

April 22 – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission meeting, Chadron, 8 a.m.

April 24 – 3-D Archery Shoot, Red Willow SRA, McCook, 2 p.m., 308-345-5899

April 25 – Family Fishing Event, Terry’s Pit, Terrytown, 5-7 p.m., 402-471-5447

April 26 – Lake and Pond Management Workshop, Lifelong Learning Center, Norfolk, 6 p.m., 402-643-2981

April 29 – Arbor Day, Game and Parks offices closed

April 30 – 5th Annual Outdoor Adventure, Indian Cave SP, Shubert, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., 402-883-2575

April 30 – Living History, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, Fort Calhoun, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 402-468-5611

April 30-May 22 – Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Education Complex open on weekends, Platte River SP, Louisville, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 402-471-5547

Contact Game and Parks at 402-471-0641 or visit OutdoorNebraska.org for more information. Visit HuntSafeNebraska.org for a list of hunter education classes and BoatSafeNebraska.org for a list of boating safety classes.

UNMC Study to Gauge Heart Risk in Nebraska Farmers


Most people think American farmers lead an active lifestyle that keeps them in shape. But just as advanced machinery, computers and fast-food have influenced the general population, so has it influenced farmers.

 

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing Lincoln Division has launched a pilot study to gauge heart disease risk in farmers. The $20,000 study is funded by the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the UNMC College of Public Health and will recruit farmers with the help of two public health districts that cover nine counties in northeast and southeast Nebraska.

 

“We picture farmers as lifting hay bales and working with cattle,” said Paula Schulz, Ph.D., associate professor, UNMC College of Nursing Lincoln Division. “But, so much of farming is automated today that farmers don’t do as much physical work.

 

“They have air conditioned cabs with GPS. They drive to the range or the barn or to check on livestock, they are in front of their computers and eating more fast food like the general population,” she said.

 

Dr. Schulz, principal investigator of the study, said those living in rural areas with geographical and cultural barriers experience greater health disparities in receiving standard risk factor reduction strategies.

 

She said little is known about the physical activity levels and dietary habits of farmers in today’s environment.

 

“We have a large number of farmers in Nebraska and because of the disparities that exist, different lifestyle strategies are needed to reduce the risk of heart disease and address health promotion. We saw a need and found out no one has done studies to objectively measure physical activity in farmers.”

 

Researchers will recruit 40 individuals age 19 and older whose main occupation is farming. Recruitment will occur through two public health districts — Public Health Solutions in southeast Nebraska and Elkhorn Logan Valley in northeast Nebraska. The counties include Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Saline, Thayer, Burt, Cuming, Madison and Stanton counties.

 

In the one-year study, researchers will collect information about physical activity and dietary habits, quality of life and cardiovascular disease. The study requires participants to complete survey questions and wear a device that measures activity during peak farming season and during off season.

 

Researchers hope the information from the small study can be used in future grant proposals to identify strategies that could be tailored to the farming lifestyle to reduce heart disease risk.

 

Co-investigators of the study are Lani Zimmerman Ph.D., College of Nursing Lincoln Division and Patrick Johansson, M.D., UNMC College of Public Health. Farmers interested in participating can contact Paula Schulz at (402) 472-7336 or pschulz@unmc.edu or call Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department at (402-529)-2233.

Preliminary Health Assessment Survey Data Released for Public Input


Patrons that completed the 2016 Community Health Survey recently gave their input regarding a variety of health issues in the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department (ELVPHD) health district. This year, nearly 1,500 people completed the survey, which represents a 30% increase from the total responding in 2013.
Following are a few of the findings in a preliminary report released today by the health department, the organization that administers the survey, in collaboration with Oakland Mercy Hospital, St. Francis Memorial Hospital and Faith Regional Health Services:

 

  • On average, 67 percent state that in the last year, someone in their home had a mental health or emotional problem that affected their ability to do daily activities
  • 74 percent of people reported a need to lose weight
  • 137 out of 597 parents reported that their children “rarely or never” wear protective equipment (such as a helmet) when riding a bike, scooter, skateboard, inline skates, etc.
  • 84 percent of tobacco/nicotine users reported that they would like to quit

 

A detailed report of preliminary findings from the survey is available at www.elvphd.org. The public is invited to give their input regarding this data between now and April 5, 2016. Concerns or comments can be submitted by email or phone to: info@elvphd.org or 402.529.2233.

 

In addition, the public is invited to participate in either of two community focus groups coming in April. The focus group for the Burt and Cuming county communities will take place Wednesday, April 13th from 10:00 AM—3:00 PM in the Nielsen Community Center, 200 Anna Stalp Ave. West Point, NE. Focus group for the Madison and Stanton county communities will take place Wednesday, April 14th from 10:00 AM—3:00 PM in the Ponca Tribe Transit Facility, 1800 Syracuse Ave. Norfolk, NE. Lunch will be provided for both focus groups. Please register for either event by email at: info@elvphd.org or by calling 402.529.2233

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