Wednesday, March 04, 2015
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Nebraska senator seeks to ban drivers from using cellphones

Nebraskans could be fined for using a cell phone while in the driver's seat of vehicle under a bill proposed to the Nebraska Legislature.

Sen. Merv Riepe of Omaha introduced a bill Wednesday that would prohibit drivers from using the devices on the road, even to make a phone call.

Riepe says the bill is aimed at texting while driving, but would define all games, photos and data transmission as a secondary driving offense. Officers could only ticket motorists after stopping them for another reason.

The bill excludes emergency phone calls to and from doctors, law enforcement and fire departments. Under the measure, drivers could use their phones only if they have pulled off of the road to a safe stop.


Congressional delegation reacts to Obama's speech

Members of South Dakota's all-Republican congressional delegation say ideas presented by Democratic President Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech will increase government bureaucracy and hurt the middle class.

Obama called for higher taxes on wealthy Americans and new initiatives to boost the middle class, but Sen. Mike Rounds says he thinks the taxes would impact small business owners, entrepreneurs, and farmers and ranchers.

Sen. John Thune says it's time for new ideas "after six years of the same stale policies," and he says the Republican-controlled Congress is focused on reform.

Rep. Kristi Noem says she thinks most of Obama's speech "was about politics." She says South Dakotans deserve to hear about opportunities instead.

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) issued the following statement regarding the President’s State of the Union address:

“Nebraskans tell me they want Congress and the President to work together to find solutions to our national challenges.  Unfortunately, the President’s State of the Union address focused on the same partisan policies which divide us rather than bring us together.

“Rather than seeking common ground with the new Republican Congress, the President suggested more taxes, more spending, more regulations, and more executive power.  The American people flatly rejected this agenda in the last election.  I hope the President will choose to work with us on serious proposals to empower individuals and families, encourage economic growth, and put our country on a better, more sustainable path.”


Report on Valentine Police Dept.

Valentine Police Chief Dana Miller released the annual report from the city police department noting several changes during 2014. Long time Chief Ben McBride resigned to pursue private business and Miller was hired as his replacement. Two new officers were hired this past fall to bring the department to full strength. Officers include Chief Miller, Lt. Jamon Slama, Jim McCormich, Brandon Ormesher and Jasmine Hoefs. Chief Miller will be on the KVSH Comment program this Thursday to discuss the report and details of the activities of the department. In 2014 the officers responded to 5,646 calls which was 200 more than in 2013.


TransCanada takes steps to acquire Keystone pipeline land

The developer of the Keystone XL oil pipeline has taken its first steps in Nebraska since the state's high court cleared the way for the planned route.

Officials with TransCanada said Tuesday they've filed paperwork in nine counties to acquire access to land that's needed for the construction and operation of the pipeline. The two-year window for TransCanada to invoke eminent domain closes Thursday.

The route still faces challenges as opponents have filed lawsuits to try to prevent the Calgary, Alberta-based company from using eminent domain and to overturn the state law that allowed ex-Gov. Dave Heineman to approve the route.

The pipeline will carry an estimated 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Canada to Nebraska.

TransCanada spokesman Andrew Craig says it will work to acquire easements voluntarily.


Vets’ Club Soup Contest 2nd Round Results

The finale of the 11th Annual Vets’ Club Soup Contest is shaping up to be a battle of the potato soups. The second round Friday night was won by Chris O’Dell’s Baked Potato Soup. Debbi Hoffman won the first round with her Country Potato.

O’Dell advances with Hoffman to the grand finale’ Feb. 6. He won a $25 beef gift certificate from Scotty’s Ranchland Foods.

Also entered in the second round were LeeAnn Wagner, Chicken Tortilla, Leo Driving Hawk, Gumbo, and Travis Connot, From Bowl to Bowl. The voting was very close with only 12 votes separating first and fourth places.

Entrants received gift baskets and $20 in raffle tickets. Those who came to taste the soups each received a free raffle ticket.

Raffle prizes will be given out at 9 p.m. Feb. 6 and you must be present to win. Ticket prices have not changed in 11 years. They are just $1 each or 6 for $5.

Three guns are slated to be given away at the finale’. The grand prizes for the raffle are a Winchester 12 gauge shotgun, a Savage .243 rifle, and a Savage .223 rifle.

There are myriad additional raffle prizes, including numerous gift certificates and donations from area businesses. Just a few of the many items to be given away are two star quilts, jewelry, pet products, pool cues, home decor and tools. Stop at the Vets’ Club to see all of the prizes that will be given away Feb. 6.

Check at the Vets’ Club 402-376-3603 if interested in entering the soup contest. Slots are available for two remaining weeks Jan. 23 and 30. Please sign up to enter a soup!

The Vets’ Club would like to thank all of the area merchants who help support all of its activities.


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