OK Enters National Vernacular

On this day in 1839, the initials “O.K.” are first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for “oll korrect,” a popular slang misspelling of “all correct” at the time, OK steadily made its way into the everyday speech of Americans.

During the late 1830s, it was a favorite practice among younger, educated circles to misspell words intentionally, then abbreviate them and use them as slang when talking to one another. Just as teenagers today have their own slang based on distortions of common words, such as “kewl” for “cool” or “DZ” for “these,” the “in crowd” of the 1830s had a whole host of slang terms they abbreviated. Popular abbreviations included “KY” for “No use” (“know yuse”), “KG” for “No go” (“Know go”), and “OW” for all right (“oll wright”).

Of all the abbreviations used during that time, OK was propelled into the limelight when it was printed in the Boston Morning Post as part of a joke. Its popularity exploded when it was picked up by contemporary politicians. When the incumbent president Martin Van Buren was up for reelection, his Democratic supporters organized a band of thugs to influence voters. This group was formally called the “O.K. Club,” which referred both to Van Buren’s nickname “Old Kinderhook” (based on his hometown of Kinderhook, New York), and to the term recently made popular in the papers. At the same time, the opposing Whig Party made use of “OK” to denigrate Van Buren’s political mentor Andrew Jackson. According to the Whigs, Jackson invented the abbreviation “OK” to cover up his own misspelling of “all correct.”

The man responsible for unraveling the mystery behind “OK” was an American linguist named Allen Walker Read. An English professor at Columbia University, Read dispelled a host of erroneous theories on the origins of “OK,” ranging from the name of a popular Army biscuit (Orrin Kendall) to the name of a Haitian port famed for its rum (Aux Cayes) to the signature of a Choctaw chief named Old Keokuk. Whatever its origins, “OK” has become one of the most ubiquitous terms in the world, and certainly one of America’s greatest lingual exports.

Clover Stars 4-H Club Build Snowless Sculpture

The Clover Stars 4-H Club braved the wind and chilly weather to put together their “4-H is “Hulking” Incredible!” snowless sculpture outside the Burt County Courthouse. Club members able to help were: Mady Davis, Alex Davis, Connor Davis, Makenzie Evans and Coraline Davis.
Photo Credit/Mary Loftis.

Competing for Growth

By Governor Pete Ricketts

Over the last two years, Nebraska has hit some key growth benchmarks.  In 2015, for the first time, Nebraska had over one million non-farm jobs.  Our population hit an all-time high of 1.9 million people last year.  And just a few weeks ago, Nebraska won the Governor’s Cup for the most capital investment projects per capita in the nation.  Over 100 new investments helped Nebraska garner this coveted award.


Even with all these successes, Nebraska should not rest.  We must continue to look for ways to become more competitive nationally.  Other states are constantly working to develop new competitive edges to attract more people, jobs, and investment.  


One significant area that Nebraska is not competitive in is taxes.  We are a high tax state.  Bloomberg ranks Nebraska 16th highest for income taxes and USA Today rates us 5th highest for property taxes.  Recently, the Tax Foundation released a new study showing Nebraska ranks 14th highest nationally for income tax collections per capita.  High taxes stifle growth, hinder job creation, and burden family budgets.  Our tax rates also matter because site selectors in charge of picking venues for new investments screen out high tax states for new projects, meaning Nebraska can miss out on even being considered for some investments.


If we are going to stay competitive, we must make progress in bringing our tax rates down.  Over the past two years, we successfully delivered over $400 million in direct property tax relief for all property owners across the state, and an additional $40 million in property tax relief targeted at ag land taxpayers.  Additionally, we worked with the Legislature last year to put more resources towards state aid to K-12 schools along with new spending controls on school spending.  


This year, we are working with the Legislature on new reforms to income and property taxes to make our state more tax competitive. 


In the area of income tax, I am working with Revenue Committee Chairman Jim Smith to bring down our top tax rate from 6.84 percent to under six percent.  Bringing down the top tax rate is critical because 90 percent of income taxes are paid by Nebraskans who pay in the top tax bracket.  This includes solidly middle class families making more than $29,831 of taxable income.  Additionally, 90 percent of Nebraska businesses pay individual income taxes, according to the Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce.  Cutting income taxes will give more money back to family budgets, help Main Street grow job opportunities, and make our state more attractive to job creators.


On property taxes, I am working with Ag Committee Chairwoman Lydia Brasch to change the way ag land is valued for taxation purposes.  With the Agricultural Valuation Fairness Act, we are proposing to move assessments for ag land from a market-based system to an income-potential approach.  This will help valuations to better reflect the income of Nebraska’s ag producers.  This is long-term, structural reform that will help ensure our state’s number one industry remains strong.  This system has been suggested to me by ag producers across the state, because of the success other ag states have experienced.  If the Agricultural Valuation Fairness Act were in place for 2017, it would have reduced ag land valuations by about $2.2 billion.


Getting both income and property tax reform done this year is critical for growing both Main Street and agriculture, and key to bringing together both urban and rural senators in the Unicameral. 


While many senators are focused on getting tax reform done this year, a small minority have suggested no tax relief is needed.  Last week, one senator even suggested that the Legislature should consider raising taxes instead of providing tax relief.  Our income tax rates are already uncompetitive.  Raising our income tax would put an additional burden on our middle class families and small businesses.  Right now, our sales tax is middle-of-the-pack.  Raising our sales tax even a penny would give Nebraska the 14th highest sales tax in the nation, according to the State Chamber.


As you can see, we need to focus on bringing tax rates down if we want to ease the burden on our families and grow Nebraska.  Raising taxes would make us less competitive and less attractive to job creators as well as to families looking to move here.  If you have feedback on what you would like to see the Legislature do on tax reform, I encourage you to contact your senator.  You can find all their information at www.NebraskaLegislature.gov.  If you have feedback for me, I hope you will contact my office by emailing pete.ricketts@nebraska.gov or by calling 402-471-2244.

Governor Pete Ricketts


Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance Trainings Offered

By John Wilson, Extension Educator

Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance Trainings Offered

Nebraska Extension will be offering three Beef Quality Assurance informational meetings for area beef producers. The dates and locations are:

 Wednesday, March 29 – 9:00 a.m., Community Building, Stanton

 Wednesday, March 29 – 1:30 p.m., Courthouse Meeting Room, West Point

Thursday, March 30, 10:00 a.m., First Nebraska Bank Meeting Room, Emerson

Topics that will be covered at the meetings include Antibiotic Stewardship, Veterinary Feed Directive, and General Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Assessment topics. These meetings are also for those producers that need BQA certification or recertification. There is a $20 fee for those who wish to become BQA certified.

Pre-registration is encouraged by contacting Larry Howard, Nebraska Extension Educator in Cuming County located in West Point at 402.372.6006 or lhoward1@unl.edu. For additional information contact the Nebraska Extension office in Cuming County or Rob Eirich, Nebraska Director of Beef Quality Assurance at 308.632.1230.


East Oaks 4-H Pancake Feed

Frank Johnson of Oakland gets lots of service from these three East Oaks 4-H Club members at their annual pancake feed Sunday in Oakland.
The 4-H club members are: Bailey Pelan, Louden Pelan, and Lyndsey Johnson
Photo credit/Mary Loftis.

Senior East Oaks 4-H Club members, Jenna Bromm and Hannah Brudigam man the pancake grill during their annual pancake feed Sunday in Oakland. Photo credit/Mary Loftis. 

Happenings at Oakland Heights

Oakland Heights News by Nancy Silvey

This week we will be having our Movie Matinee on Thursday March 23rd movie starts at 2:00 pm. Next week on Monday March 27th at 2:30 pm is the monthly Resident Council meeting. On Tuesday March 28th is the Residents Choice diner meal at 11:30 am. Thursday March 30th is the resident general store it will be open for residents to shop from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm. We have a resident celebrating a birthday this, Delwin Benne has a birthday on March 23rd.

Church Service for Sunday March 26th be given by St. John Lutheran Church at 2:30 pm with a luncheon following service. On Tuesday March 28th is Catholic Mass at 9:30 am given by Father Paul.

Activities for the week of March 27th to April 1st   are as follows, reading with Jill, Manicures, Sing A Long, Game Day, Bingo the w/VFW Aux., Reading Group, Bible Fellowship, Let’s Play Ball, Crafty Cooking, Saturday Movie, and Lawrence Walk.

Volunteers signing in last week were; Dani Moseman, Bonnie Fleischman, Sue Beckner, Di Ruwe, Judy Nelson, Betty Hanna, Ann Anderson, Patty Miller, and Nadine Anderson.

Guests signing in this past week was: Mary Plageman to see Dorothy Larson.

Oakland Heights Activity Memory Fund

A new Bingo cage was given to the Activity department in memory of Tim Hawkins by Candice Fehrer.




News From Bancroft Senior Center

Bancroft Senior Center News by Connie Bargmann  

*If you are 60+ and need information on programs designed to help keep you stay in your home longer or if you need legal help, contact Connie at 402-648-3387 or in the evening at 402-648-7648. There are no membership fees or attendance requirements and new faces are always welcome.

* 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. March 22: Chime practice at 9:00 a.m. Coffee time at 10:00 a.m. Fitness chair exercises at 1:00 p.m. Caroline Zuhlke will talk and show slides of her trip to Mexico at 2:00 p.m.

Thurs. March 23: Tai Chi Class at 9:30 a.m. We serve rolls/coffee from 9 – 11 a.m. Please sign up for the pitch tournament at 1:30 p.m.

Wed. March 24: Join us for coffee at 9:00 a.m. If you would like to play in the pinochle tournament at 1:30 p.m. please remember to sign up.

Mon. March 27: Join us for coffee in the morning. Come and play cards or a board game at 1:30 p.m. The board meeting is at 3:30 p.m. The evening quilling class will start at 6:30 p.m., the class is free. Sign up if you are interested in taking the class.

Tues. March 28: Tai Chi class at 9:30 a.m. Coffee time at 10:00 a.m. Today’s meal will be fried chicken and cards will be played at 1:30 p.m.

Wed. March 29: Chime practice at 9:00 a.m. Coffee time is at 10:00 a.m. Fitness Chair Ex. at 1:00 p.m. If you would like to play Skip-Bo it will start at 1:45 p.m.


Track Meet Postponed

Event Rescheduled Tuesday – Track Meet Postponed

Donna Rae (Parsons) Miller, 81, of Decatur NE

Donna Rae (Parsons) Miller was born April 8, 1935 in Decatur, Nebraska to Ira Jack and Dorothy (Austin) Parsons. She passed away March 18, 2017, at Legacy Garden Rehabilitation and Living Center in Pender, Nebraska, at the age of 81 years.

Donna was married to Hymie Miller on December 3, 1954. They were blessed with their son Keith in 1956. Donna worked outside the home for several years. They built and opened their own business, D & H Bottle Shop, in 1984. She worked 7 days a week, where her customers soon became her friends. She retired from work in 1999, when they sold the business.

She was a gifted artist who drew illustrations for a published children’s book. She was a member of the women’s auxiliary of the fire department, the Decatur Fire Belles. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ Decatur Restoration Branch and enjoyed singing in the choir when she was younger. She loved being outdoors; many weekends Hymie and Donna could be found camping with family and friends, laughing and telling stories around the campfire. She was happiest when surrounded by her family and they felt the depth of her love every day.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Jack Parsons.

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Hymie; son, Keith and wife Julie Miller; grandson, Billy and wife Brandi Miller; granddaughter, Lisa and husband Nic Brown; great grandchildren, Hannah, Marcus and Allyson Miller, Brayden, Dayne and Kyler Brown; a host of family and friends.


Monday March 20th
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Pelan Funeral Services Tekamah1103 J Street
Tekamah, NE 68061

Prayer Service will start at 7 pm


Tuesday March 21
10:00 AM
Church of Jesus Christ, Decatur Restoration BranchDecatur, NE

Cemetery Details


Hillcrest Cemetery

Decatur, Nebraska 68020

Memorials suggested to the family for future designation.

Donna Miller

Donna Johnson, 82, of Oakland NE

Donna Johnson, 82 years, of Oakland, Nebraska, passed away Friday, March 17, 2017 at Dunklau Gardens in Fremont, Nebraska.


Saturday April 1st
10:30 AM
First Evangelical Lutheran Church201 North Davis Avenue
Oakland, Nebraska 68045

Cemetery Details


Oakland Cemetery

Oakland, Nebraska 68045

Memorials suggested to the family for future designation.

Pelan Funeral Services in Oakland is in charge of arrangements.


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