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Lemmings are small (3 to 6 inches in length), thick furred rodents related to voles and muskrats. They are found in the northern regions of Asia, America, and Europe.

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Everybody loves the weekend. Its a couple of days to decompress after a long work week. Its time to spend exclusively with your family. Its the opportunity to attend events, family-oriented, sporting or any other.

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Meal planning might sound like an intimidating concept. But I promise you, if this isn't something you’re already doing, it can be a game changer.

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As I update this column, I am sitting in my camper listening to the rain drops on the roof. Rain was falling as I left Omaha on Wednesday, but the rain stopped and skies cleared as I approached Ogallala. Thursday was a pleasant day to tour sights along the Oregon Trail between Ogallala and S…

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I have been fortunate to meet many of our community members, but after 2 ½ years in my position as president and CEO at Memorial Community Hospital and Health System (MCH&HS), I want to reintroduce myself with the hope that my face will become more familiar and you will feel comfortable …

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Nudibranchs are a group of bottom-dwelling, soft-bodied marine mollusks that are grouped with snails and slugs in the class Gastropoda. They differ from snails by not having a shell. They shed their shells after their larval stage and end up with naked or exposed gills from which they derive…

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Nikola Tesla, whose name is now associated with one of the world's first electric cars, was a wizard of the Industrial Revolution. He was born in 1856 in Croatia, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time. He died in 1943 after having laid the foundation for much of our elect…

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I recently saw a guy on the side of the road, putting gas in to his van with a gas can. This wasn’t some vintage van from the 1950s either. It was a fairly new, modern vehicle, which made me wonder — how? How, with the technology in even the most base models of cars today, does one ever run …

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Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. It's an opportunity for families to get together for cookouts, camping and other fun activities before the weather turns.

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If August isn’t National Tomato Month, it should be.

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Greetings to all in Legislative District 16 and the surrounding area. On Aug. 13, we officially adjourned the 2020 legislative session, and though it was only my second session as your senator, it was a session unlike any other. When we first convened in January of this year, no one could ha…

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The school year is upon us once again, and the hard work can't be done without school supplies. The list has changed over the years, but we all got one in preparation for our annual studies. So, what supply was the most important to you? Could you live without the proper box of Crayons or wi…

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For most of us, whenever we see a buzzing insect with a stinger on it, we’ll run away, find a way to squash it or grab some spray and take it out.

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Tempers and emotions continued to run high last week in the Legislature as we near the close of the session.  Debates about rules, rule changes and abuse of rules made their way into almost every aspect of our work last week.  Nevertheless, we were still able to move on a large compromise bi…

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"Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark.  You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.” — Steuart Henderson Britt.

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One thing I've recently rediscovered is the fun of going to garage sales. In this crazy time of pandemic, it's an easy way to shop and not be closed in as much as in a big box store. Some people even wear masks!

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We've all had that favorite TV series that we've invested hours, months and even years into watching only to have it end in an unsettling way. Some shows end abruptly or with a cliffhanger after it was canceled by the network before the ending could be resolved. Others just end poorly as wri…

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Days 49 through 53 of this year’s 60-day legislative session concluded July 31.  Though real progress during the second half of this session has been hard to come by, senators took some steps last week that will make a difference.

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I’m always amazed at the contestants on game shows when they find out their dreams are crushed. Whether they miss the big question or simply get beaten by their opponent, they’re always so happy and cheery. And always with that weird and awkward game show smile. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d h…

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Days 44 through 48 of this 60-day legislative session were full of heated debate, name-calling and more than enough drama. What was missing, however, was real, tangible action on property tax relief for those in District 16, the region and the state.

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This summer reminds me of the first time I retired many years ago. After a satisfying 32 years of teaching, I was looking forward to new opportunities. Like most retirees, I had a long list of things I was going to "get around to” after I retired. A good share of those things are still on th…

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Raise your hand if you need a vacation. We could all use a vacation from work, from the stress of everyday life and even this pandemic. 

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Alfie and I try to have a new hiking adventure each weekend. One of the weekend days is a “Doug day” for working around the house and yard, and the other a “dog day” for hiking with my four-legged companion.

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Dementia is an overall term for a series of diseases and conditions involving the brain. It is characterized by a decline in memory, language, problem solving and other thinking skills that affect a person's ability to perform everyday activities. It is a very scary condition since the funct…

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My go-tos for pop culture, entertainment and hobbies, as most who know me might say, are books, video games, writing, TV shows and concerts. But I've been known to dabble in the outdoors, specifically camping, so long as I have someone else there to make sure I don't get eaten by bears (is t…

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As we continue to adapt our daily lives dues to COVID-19, there’s almost no doubt that someday we will all be able to return to what we have come to know as “normal.” With that thought in mind, there are many things to look forward to. Once the pandemic has passed, what events or activities …

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Greetings to all in Legislative District 16 and the surrounding area. The Legislature will reconvene Monday after a break since mid-March due to COVID-19. When it does, the situation will have changed dramatically in some ways, and in some ways stayed the same.  Let’s review a bit where we are at.

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It had been months since I had seen my brother, AJ. The pandemic had kept us apart. I was here in Nebraska, while he was at his house — a group home for people with disabilities — in Davenport, Iowa.

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There's a lot to love about county fairs. Though many have been canceled by COVID-19, Washington County vows to host a trimmed-down, safe edition at the end of the month.

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One of the most famous science research ships in history was the British Royal Navy vessel the HMS Endeavor. It sailed under the famous Captain James Cook and made voyages to the South Pacific that resulted in huge advances in European scientific knowledge. This knowledge became an important…

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Divisive issues are probably always a part of any society, especially a democracy that we enjoy here in the United States. Lately, we’ve been a part of some pretty major situations that have many Americans on opposite sides of the fence. From virus talk to protestors to politics, there’s ple…

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As fall is quickly approaching, the decision whether to play college football this year or not will need to be made soon. Some think there’s no possible way universities can have seasons while we’re still without a COVID-19 vaccine. Others think that there’s adaptations that can be made to m…

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Whoever says salt is an absolutely necessary ingredient in cooking, hasn’t been using herbs and spices to their full potential.

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As we all know, we’re going through some truly unique times. Never in the history of the world, has there been a time like this. Sure, there have been pandemics, and yes, there have been protests. But never have we had both at the same time, while being fueled by social media.

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The wandering albatross, with an adult wingspan of 10 to 11 feet, is the largest and most spectacular of the world's approximately 360 kinds of flying seabirds.

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The breadfruit tree is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry and jackfruit family. It is believed to be a domesticated descendent of a tree originating in New Guinea, the Maluku Islands and the Philippines. It was later spread throughout the vast Pacific by voyaging islanders.

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In today’s Hollywood, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find comedies that give you a belly laugh and also have a brain. Thank goodness for Judd Apatow. Apatow is behind the camera once again in “The King of Staten Island,” a semi-biographical story of the life of comedian and “Saturd…

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Stores sell swimsuits in winter and some spend months trying to get their bodies to be swimsuit ready. The coronavirus pandemic made the potential for outdoor swimming uncertain. However, both Arlington and Blair pools are open now.

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The plastic tiara I am wearing in a photo taken by my daughter announces that I am, “Officially Retired.”  And I am. Well sort of. The tiara was a gag gift from my kids when they unexpectedly showed up at my house to give me a surprise retirement party. 

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The secretion of sweat — perspiration — in humans serves as a mechanism for the excretion of some waste products and, more importantly, for regulating body temperature.

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“Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Lion King,” “Jurassic Park,” “Jaws” and “Avengers: Endgame” all have what in common? The quick answer is they're incredibly popular. The next answer is they're huge financial successes, and the most specific answer for the movie buffs among us is that they wer…

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With movie theaters around the country closed due to coronavirus concerns, Hollywood film studios have skipped the theater and pushed their movies straight to streaming services like Amazon Prime, Disney+, Netflix and Hulu.

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Think of almost any consumer product in the world. Now, think of those items five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago. In virtually every area, products have evolved. But, it just hit me the other day that a few things haven’t. Since I can remember, potato chip bags are exactly as they wer…

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