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What role should the news media play in our democracy, and what are the obligations of citizens and journalists in today’s news media environment? Those were some of the questions addressed during three community conversations in Nebraska last fall.

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Opinions vary on the West Point Trails & Pathways project that is underway in Wilderness Park. Some like what’s been done while others are unhappy about the paved paths and amount of dirt work that took place.

Local budget hearings aren’t exciting events, but they are important. Important enough, the State Legislature thought, that in March it passed a new law requiring local governments to hold a second public hearing if they were preparing to collect more in property taxes than the year before.

Maybe it was just the heat. Or the humidity. Or both. Or maybe it was just me not being 33 years old anymore. Whatever it was, Sunday’s 30th annual Last Fling ’til Spring Car Show felt like the steamiest Last Fling I can remember.

It took a bit of restraint not to comment on the news reports about West Point’s water issue that were aired on WOWT the past couple of weeks. But after seeing the one that aired after last week’s West Point City Council meeting, we feel we have to provide some clarifications.

A recommendation from the State Department of Health and Human Services last week that West Point residents are advised to drink bottled or filtered water raised the level of frustration of both city officials and local residents who have been dealing with the water issue for more than a year.

This week I have some space to address a couple of questions that came my way the past few months. One was about local government meetings and why I wasn’t asking any questions.

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Sometime soon, we think, there will be other key public hearings that residents of Cuming County will want to pay attention to. The Cuming County Planning Commission (PC) is nearing the end of its preliminary review of current rural zoning regulations and will need to hold a public hearing i…

It’s budget setting time for cities, villages, counties, schools, townships and other taxing entities.

This week’s Capitol News column, printed elsewhere on this page, calls attention to an important issue that needs to begin this summer. The chair of the Legislature’s Revenue Committee wants the Governor to join in a discussion now so that a new tax package can be ready for lawmakers in January.

I confess, I wasn’t in town for West Point’s annual 4th of July celebration. I think I’ve hit just about all but two or three in my many years of working at the West Point News.

Surprised. That was our reaction when hearing Friday that Jerry Wordekemper had submitted his resignation as President/CEO of Franciscan Care Services in West Point. He will leave that position in three weeks.

During the recent Nebraska Legislative session we suggested state lawmakers consider an excise tax on e-cigarettes, similar to the tax imposed on tobacco products in the state. That’s a tax imposed in addition to the state sales tax.

After seeing results of some of the tests of the water samples that passed through the filters brought to West Point last week, we’re optimistic that the city is on the correct path to lowering the amount of manganese that has shown up in the water.

West Point’s water quality issue is a cancer that, to date, is growing and for which no cure is within easy reach. If the city had an easy answer, it would patent it and make good money selling it, because other communities are also seeking answers to similar issues.

Unless something happens in the waning days of the Nebraska Legislature, lawmakers will adjourn once again without having enacted much in the way of property tax relief for agricultural land owners.

We’re unsure about what it’s like in other communities, but West Point and area high school seniors are fortunate to be able to apply for and receive so many local scholarships to help them with their post-secondary educations.

Services for Norman Abrahams, age 87, of West Point were held Saturday, May 4, 2019, at St. Paul Lutheran Church with Rev. Richard Bringewatt as officiant. Burial was at Mount Hope Cemetery, West Point. Norman died Wednesday May 1, 2019, at Fremont Health Center.

Stanley Sindelar, Sr., 98, of Howells, Nebraska, died Sunday, May 5, 2019, at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in West Point, Nebr.

Services for Bill C. Schroedter, age 82, of West Point, were held Friday, May 3, 2019, at Trinity Church (UMC/UCC) in West Point.

Services for Marian Thompson, 102, of West Point, were held Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at Grace Lutheran Church with Reverend Priscilla Hukki as officiant. Burial was at Mount Hope Cemetery. Marian died Friday, May 3, 2019, at Premier Estates in West Point.

An April 17, 2019, West Point News story about a possible wind turbine project in Cuming County has created some discussion, especially in the Wisner area.

We’re not sure what kind of a world we live in when our state senators have to pass a bill to ban tattooing of eyeballs, but that’s evidently where we’re at.

It’s not uncommon for me to be asked if I get tired of going to so many city, school and county meetings. The honest answer is “yes.”

There is no truth to the rumor that West Point’s City Council voted to spend a few million dollars on a recreation center and swimming pool. Where do these stories originate?

Friday night is a biggie for the West Point-Beemer girls’ basketball team.

We’re not sure how many state senators attend their local city, county and school board budget hearings and regular meetings, but our guess is “not many.”

Momma said there’d be days like this... I just hope not many. Minus 15 degrees and brutal wind chill.

On Tuesday, Governor Pete Ricketts unveiled his budget recommendation and legislative initiatives for fiscal years 2019-2021 during his annual State of the State address.