Work smarter but keep the Gering Police Department
February 24, 2011 Al and Lois Herbel   
The following is a letter written on Feb. 15 by Lois and Al Herbel to the Gering City Council members concerning the proposed merger of the Gering and Scottsbluff police departments. A condensed version of the letter was published in the Feb. 24 edition of the Gering Citizen as a guest editorial. Below is the letter in its entirety.

To: Gering City Council

It will be necessary for us to be out of town on February 24, 2011, the date for the combined city councils meeting. Therefore, we are writing to you to encourage you to vote “no” on any consolidation of the Scottsbluff and Gering Police Departments. This request is based on information given to the public in the form of newspaper articles and information discussed at city meetings. Listed below are some of our concerns with this proposal.

• No financial savings will be realized from employee salaries. The combined departments create a situation of comparability with larger departments across the state for salary negotiations which calls for higher salaries. No savings would be realized for many years, if ever.
• Costs to consolidate appear one way on paper but, in actuality, could end up costing more than projected. There are always unanticipated costs that cause projects to cost more than was predicted. Consolidation of the police departments would be no different.
• The additional costs in making the departments consistent have not been addressed in the studies. A consolidated department would need to have standardization throughout the department. That means weapons, badges, fleet, uniforms, letterheads, and other essential equipment would need to be purchased so both departments are standardized. These costs have not been addressed.
• Gering City Council would lose all control over the police department. As it stands now, Gering needs can be addressed by Gering City Council to improve quality of life for Gering residents, but consolidation would take that away. Gering would be at the mercy of Scottsbluff Council or some sort of joint service agency. Gering’s needs could easily be tabled or ignored because Gering would have relinquished control to another agency.
• Residents would be asked to pay an additional tax to support consolidation. Presently, we pay a city tax which funds the Gering Police Department but we do not pay an additional tax for protection. However, with consolidation, taxpayers would be asked to pay the additional tax as well as the city tax. Gering City Council, as a whole, will lose any power to control this new tax or how it is spent.
• If a joint service agency is formed, how would agency members be trained to govern police departments? It will be very easy for this agency and the chief of police to become quite political.
• If a joint service agency is formed, it was stated that the agency would be comprised of 1-2 council members from each city council. Gering has 8 council members and Scottsbluff has 4. If 2 council members from each city are members of the agency, Scottsbluff would have 50% of their council represented and Gering would have 25% of their council represented. Gering City Council would be at a disadvantage in representation to the joint service council.
• Recently, consolidation information has been presented by Scottsbluff only. We have not heard from Gering Police chief, Gering patrol officers, Gering captains, etc. The presentations have come from one department. If Gering Police Department is in the background prior to consolidation, one can only assume what could happen after consolidation. If consolidated, we see this one-sidedness continuing to be an ongoing and a growing problem.
• We need to hear from both Scottsbluff and Gering officers on the street. We have only heard from administration. Many are fearful of retaliation but the patrol officers have much “in the trenches” knowledge that could help in this decision and their information is being ignored.
• Living in Gering is different than living in Scottsbluff. Gering has a more relaxed, small-town atmosphere than Scottsbluff. We have something that most communities do not have – a choice of which city we would like to reside. Bigger is not always better and often times is less sustainable. We need to appreciate this luxury we have and capitalize on it.
• Gering and Scottsbluff are similar in location only. The cities are very different in philosophies, form of government, needs, crime rates, crime types, etc. If consolidated, it appears that it could be very difficult for Scottsbluff to understand Gering’s problems. Therefore, we could expect very little resolution when the need arises for such things as more staff, different ordinances, equipment, training, etc.
• Ordinances are not uniform. Gering needs are different than Scottsbluff and does not need uniform ordinances between the two cities. Ordinances need to be written to deal with situations at hand, not written for both cities because the other has to address a specific need.
• Several enticements have been mentioned in this consolidation proposal (Gering schools could have a resource officer, Gering could have another beat, there would be a child abuse investigator, 12 hour shifts, etc.) However, nothing has been mentioned as to when those enticements would be put into place. We know some of those enticements have been mentioned for years and they have never been implemented. After a consolidation is in place, there is no guarantee those enticements would become reality or they could be implemented and discontinued shortly afterwards. As funding becomes an issue, those enticements would be the first to be eliminated. Consolidation is not needed to implement these enticements because they could be implemented at any time without consolidation.
• Regarding 12 hour shifts, criminals don’t work shifts and they commit crimes at anytime during a shift. How will 12 hour shifts save overtime when officers respond to calls toward the end of shifts and then must write their reports? We wonder how many times report writing can not be completed in the 1 ½ hours at the end of shifts. Will the exhausted report writer be more or less accurate at the end of shift with longer duty days? How will reliability of those late hour reports affect court cases?
• Currently, Scottsbluff and Gering Police Departments, as well as Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Department and Nebraska State Patrol, share personnel, equipment and mutual aid. We would highly recommend that this cooperation, sharing of resources and support to Scottsbluff continue.
• Consolidation will only lead to more hard feelings between the two communities. One could blame the other when services are not rendered as expected. Over the last several years, efforts to create harmony between the two communities have been a priority. We foresee this police consolidation actually working in reverse if it were to take place.
• Scottsbluff Police Department is understaffed and often short-handed. This is not a new development but has been the standard mode of operation for the past few years. Since they have failed to fully staff their department, when would full staffing finally occur? How would they be required to keep their department fully staffed so officers are not pulled from Gering to cover the larger amount of crime that Scottsbluff experiences? We definitely foresee that Gering will lack adequate coverage in the event of consolidation. We do not see any concrete evidence, other than promises, that indicate otherwise.
• With Scottsbluff Police Department understaffed, attrition seems to have already taken place in that agency. Yet, in reality, Scottsbluff is still short-handed many times and must call on other agencies for assistance, require their officers to work on their scheduled days-off or work extended shifts, require supervisors to work beats, etc. If the departments were consolidated, Scottsbluff would probably be using Gering officers to alleviate staffing shortages they are currently experiencing.
• It has been suggested that a chief and two captains would be retained in a consolidated department. The remaining chief and two captains would be demoted but receive the same salary. How demoralizing it would be to be the chief and captains who were demoted! They posses the skills and abilities to perform the tasks of the job yet they would not be allowed to do so. This seems to be a real waste of talent and skills. Those who had been demoted might want to seek chief/captain positions with other agencies. How is a demotion going to be viewed by future potential employers? The demotion would be no fault to the employee but a future employer is not going to know that. How would sergeants view demoted captains receiving more pay for doing the same job the sergeants are doing? Would the demoted chief/captains receive annual raises like the other employees or would their salaries be frozen until it equaled the other sergeants? No morale building would take place with this decision.
• We have been told that through attrition, money would be saved. In reality, the departments do not have extra manpower now. We do not foresee a situation where attrition can ever take place to save additional budgeted funds.
• Since Gering has statistical proof of less crime and is considered a safer community, our seasoned officers could be placed or called into coverage of heavier Scottsbluff crime scenes. Logic follows that new officers will be sent to Gering for lighter duty to begin their law enforcement experience while experienced officers could be assigned beats in Scottsbluff. Once again, Gering would be at a disadvantage if new or inexperienced officers were only placed in Gering.
• Scottsbluff seems to have more difficulty with their budget than Gering. (ex: funding shortcomings for their cemetery, the zoo, fire department, etc). When Scottsbluff makes cuts to the budget, Gering police department could expect to be affected negatively if the departments were consolidated. Without consolidation, Gering is not affected by Scottsbluff’s budget.
• If consolidation results, Gering City Council and City Administrator will not have any control over the hiring and firing of the officers placed in Gering. They will not have control over who goes to training, what training the officers in Gering receive, or how often officers receive training. Gering’s crime rate is considerably less than Scottsbluff so one would wonder if the officers in Gering would receive less training. How will a joint service agency ensure Gering officers receive the same amount of training as officers in Scottsbluff? How often would officers receive training? Who determines who goes to training, or what training is needed?
• If combining Gering with Scottsbluff, we need to open the position of Police Chief to a nation-wide search and application process. We deserve a chief who has the experience, background and knowledge to blend two departments. We deserve someone we can all trust for our communities’ best interest. To our knowledge, neither chief nor any of the 4 captains have that expertise.
• Before any consolidation of agencies would take place, an external review of each agency needs to be conducted. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each agency? How are they working internally as far as following written policies, morale of officers, the scheduling of trainings for officers, etc.? Both have unions but how is that working for each department? Having an unbiased team come in and evaluate each agency is critical for Gering’s best interest. Why would we want our officers to join another force without knowing how that force is really functioning? That knowledge would come from examination of practices that exist when following policies, viewing the policies and procedures, interviewing employees at the administration and patrol levels, etc.
• Currently, Gering Police Department has a very excellent response time. Gering officers working in a much larger area with train tracks to cross would decrease the response time for Gering residents immensely.
• Distance in responding to Gering will inevitability increase the fuel budget, a cost that must be added to the expense of consolidation. This budget item would probably never decrease due to increased fuel usage and rising fuel prices in increasing response distance. This budget increase goes against efforts to otherwise be more sustainable.
• Economic development will be negatively affected for businesses of Gering with the consolidation. Scottsbluff and Gering Police Departments do not use the same facility to supply fuel, tires, etc. for their patrol fleets. With consolidation, the supplier of these goods would probably not be a Gering business. Gering officers patronize Gering food establishments during meal times. Those businesses could expect less patronization if consolidation were to happen. Both of these items affect the amount of sales tax Gering would collect, which is vital so several programs/projects continue and property tax relief is realized. Our downtown business world has decline greatly and we need to encourage as much business as possible.
• In order to strive to be more sustainable, a community needs to be walkable with services and business accessible to the residents. In a consolidated police department, the main office would be in Scottsbluff. Currently, the location of the main office in Gering is easily accessible to our residents. In order to be more sustainable, Gering needs to protect the walkability of its community.
• We strongly believe that implementation of the city sustainability plan will do more to conserve current and future city budgets than any possible financial savings that could result from a police consolidation. Even on paper, there appears to be no financial savings, immediately or within the next several years. However, by embedding the sustainability plan into daily city operations, savings could be realized immediately.

When marketing our communities, we need to advertise the resources we have and build on them. We have two distinct, unique communities that provide diversity to the residents of this area. We need to capitalize on that and promote it to others that might want to re-locate here. Let’s not destroy what we have, but instead let us promote it.

We need to work smarter but keep our police department as Gering’s. We need to continue to work with, be supportive and cooperative with Scottsbluff. We need to be the best neighbor we can be without giving away ourselves and our city. We encourage the Gering City Council to vote “no” on any consolidation option.

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303Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLII: Sunflowers
300Christmas stories from Freshman Academy students
300Mayor’s Monthly: Moving on Gering’s momentum
299Observations Only: The vigil
297Coach Schadwinkel promoted strong sense of tradition
296Totally Random: Where does it go?
295Across the Fence: Roy Bean; scoundrel with a law book
294Teen Voice: Trouble Maker or Hard Worker?
294View from Capitol Hill: Solutions for our economy and the budget
293Dear Nebraskans: Nebraska is the place for business
292Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
292In the Hills: Arbor Day in Nebraska
291Building Bridges: Be a Destination Ambassador
290Lyman Review: Taste of boot?
281Lyman Review: Nudge to the Butt
281Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLIV: Jail break
279Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
279Their View: Goal post move unfair
279In the Hills: Nebraska Bighorn Sheep
276Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
269Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLV: Gun smoke
268Religious freedom must be protected
267Capitol View: There was more to the session than just the big ticket items
264Lyman Review: Winter's dog
264At the Monument: Junior Rangers
263Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
262Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
258Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
257Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
257Across the Fence: David F. Cook and ‘Indian Joe’
257Building Bridges: Five years old IS a milestone
256In the Hills: Explore the state parks
255Teen Voice: Holiday horrors
252Capitol View: Redistricting needs new procedure
252Linked Lives
250At the Monument: That old (historic) building
249In the Hills: Pollinators – the buzz
245Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
241Capitol View: The 103rd Legislature is history … finally
240Lyman Review: Dog fun
240Across the Fence: Amanda
239Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
239For the love of the game – best courses in the valley
238Support emergency services personnel
237Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
234At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
234Capitol View: The Legislature did provide tax relief
234At the Library: “I Shall Be Near to You” By Erin Lindsay McCabe
232Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
231College Thoughts: Rotten for the minds? Think again
230Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
229Across the Fence: Who was Martha Jane Canary?
226Teen Voice: Inspire me
223Greetings from the State Capitol
223Across the Fence: Charles Badger Clark
222Across the Fence: Investigation at Spring Creek
221From the Capitol: The conduct we choose reflects our character
221At the Monument: Where are the animals?
218Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
218No-till Notes: Moving forward
217Website Resources
215Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
208Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
206No-Till Notes: Back in the field
204New at the Zoo: Volunteer at the Zoo
200Teen Voice: Home is where the heart is
200Gering ninth graders answer the questions of life
198View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
198Across the Fence: The Spring Creek Raid
198No-Till Notes: Cheat grass
196Final Point: Citizen receives first honor for ‘Final Point’
195Across The Fence: Justice in the Big Horn Basin
194Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
191No-Till Notes: “Fish and Mud”
189Jane’s Secret XLVI: Sour grapes
188At the Monument: Art in National Parks
184Washington Report: Honoring America’s heroes
182Building Bridges: When ‘FAMILY’ and fellow Nebraskans are all you’ve got
177No-til Notes: Changing plans
175Anno Domini: The Textbook of Freedom
172Building Bridges: Dive into summer—dive into living
170Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
163Teen Voice: The clock is ticking
161At the Library: “My Name is Resolute” By Nancy E. Turner
158Fellow Nebraskans: Congratulations on graduation day
158History Revisited:A Stray Moment: Life (and death) on the Oregon Trail
150Across the Fence: Battle of Summit Springs, Part I: Tall Bull Killed
149Across the Fence: Six went to the gallows
146Jane’s Secret XLVII: A stormy afternoon
139Lyman Review: Sheep Royalty
138No-Till Notes: Annual PNTP Tour
128Across The Fence: Hinhan Kaga Paha
119Synchronicity:What brings me back
117No-Till Notes:Enjoyable meeting
100Be kind through communications
96Jane’s Secret XLVIII: Jane’s agenda
74Building Bridges: Oregon Trail Days—making our present a celebrated past
72Letters to the Editor
60Letter to the editor
49Fourth of July meetings
36Battle of Summit Springs, part II: Warpath to White Bear Creek
7Building Bridges: Turning a space into a sense of place
Most Read News Stories of 2012
12444Across The Fence: Portugee Phillips and a horse named Dandy
3622We need a few good people
3056What's the deal with organic milk?
2743Jane’s Secret, XXXX: A tale of mayhem
2271Across the Fence: Roosevelt’s campaign tour of the west
2160Being a Nebraskan – border to border
2157The Good Life: Today we celebrate Global Oneness Day
2118Across the Fence: The Soldier’s Free Homestead Colony of Gibbon
2089Completely Different: It's all in the family
2019Completely Different: The Disney princess debate: an exercise in the ridiculous
1974Completely Different : Could you come down off your soap box please?
1962Lyman Review: Let’s get back to the subject of bullying
1945Elizabeth's top ten movie list of 2011
1903Life in the Rearview Mirror: Invisible scars have lasting effects
1900Teen Voice: Thank you, Gering Speech Team
1884Our View... Preserve Gering’s form of government
1872Jane’s Secret, part II: Gertrude’s choice
1851The Good Life: Campaign ad using Jesus goes too far
1824A Small World: Time traveling
1813Our View: Museum merger a good thing, but let’s go slowly
1788Teen Voice: Just ten minutes
1777Completely Different: Tales from the mat
1763Time keeps flowing like a river
1738A last look at the Nebraska Zone
1737Life in the west: Betting on the end of the world
1729Our View: Mayor should insist on civility
1728Completely Different: Look around, what are you missing?
1720Totally Random: Astrology: It’s all in the stars…
1719Letter to the Editor
1698Observations Only : The orphanage
1694My mini Pen and me
1681Teen Voice: March Madness
1677Observations Only : Mission accomplished
1658Our view . . .Sports Complex
1646Observations Only: Little Girl Lost: Adopted
1645Completely Different: Your local government and you
1637Observations Only: Sisters lost, part I
1633Observations only : Sisters of the world
1630Bright Ideas! Brighter Future! Common sense prevails
1624Our view... Gering stands upon important threshold
1622Livestock Production: My Paradigm Shift
1621Curiosity Corner : The tale of the travelling train station
1618Observations Only: Little girl lost, part 3
1617Bright Ideas, Brighter Future: Leaving a Legacy
1610From the Pastor's Pen: Unbelievable breaking news
1597Observations Only: Little Girl Lost, part six
1582Completely Different: The good, the bad, and the remedy
1571It's a small world : Everything we do has meaning
1566Teen Voice : Leave your legacy
1562Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part I
1552Our View: Scottsbluff attitude damages future collaborations
1534Teen Voice: What diabetes taught me
1516Across the Fence: James Butler Hickok: The thoughtful gunfighter
1497Across the Fence: All aboard the Transcontinental Express
1481From the Superintendent’s Desk - Parent Teacher Conferences
1471Across the Fence: Ah-ho-appa (fallen leaf)
1442Across the Fence: Bose Ikard; Texas Cowboy
1414Across the fence: Something worth remembering
1396Jane’s Secret, XXX: A new wrinkle
1381Totally Random: December 6, the day I lived
1369Jane’s Secret, part XVIII : Devil’s bargain
1330Across the Fence - Catherine’s boys
1307Completely Different: The Quest
1304Our View: Come home to Nebraska, but not just anywhere
1255Teen Voice: Don’t be fooled by fads
1218Miss Movies: Miss Movies recommends her top 10 films of 2013
1201Totally Random: The Golden Rule
1184Barr’s Bacon Wrapped Fantasy Picks: A rookie's guide to drafting your dream team
1176Across the Fence: Building Barns
1175Jane’s Secret, XXIV: The last drive
1160The Good Life: Extending grace, the lost art
1142Theatre West’s Cabaret torch burns brightly
1141Across the Fence: Sioux Ordnance Depot: stories to be told
1136From the Superintendent's Desk: Thank You
1135From the Superintendent’s Desk: Get ready for Parent-teacher conferences
1134Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Governor’s Ag Conference overview
1133Life in the Rearview Mirror: I’m on a road to someplace
1120Observations Only: A soul’s journey
1115Across the Fence: Lions, wolves and bears
1115Across The Fence: Union Pacific robbery at Big Springs
1101From the Superintendent's Desk: NePAS – State Accountability
1097Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest, part 1
1095Observations Only: Blinders aren’t just for horses
1091Building Bridges: Save the world, educate through agriculture
1085No-Till Notes: Plan to attend 2014 No-Till Conference
1081Across the Fence: Burnett’s Mound and the Topeka tornado
1079Totally Random: Hemp: considering the real benefits of the miracle plant
1076Our view: Gering’s future needs your vote
1070Jane’s Secret, XXIII: Molly’s plan
1067From the Superintendent’s Desk: Welcome to new certified staff
1064Across the Fence: Wyoming settlers lay siege to the TA Ranch
1064The Good Life: Through my father’s eyes
1063Life in the West: Inside the minds of serial killers
1056From the Superintendent’s Desk - Option Enrollment
1053Across the Fence: Class of ’67, last remnants of home
1050Jane’s Secret, XXV: Mysteries
1048Cat on a Hot Tin Roof a mixed bag
1042A Stray Moment: Merry Christmas – God save us all
1041Completely Different: It’s the end of the world as we know it
1036Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest: Part 2 of 2
1031A Stray Moment : Carry the weight
1030Jane’s Secret, part XI: Grand Duchess
1026Across the Fence: On The road
1026From the Superintendent’s Desk: Early Childhood Education
1017Across The Fence: Crow Dog, Spotted Tail’s assassin
1014Completely Different: New Year’s Resolutions
1012From the Superintendent’s Desk : Thank You for another Great Year
1010Jane’s Secret, XXXIII: Night walk
1009Jane’s Secret, part VI: Molly’s surprise
1009The Good Life: Hey, I’m a winner!
1009Assad’s endgame
1006Completely Different: The game is afoot, a look at Sherlock Holmes
1003Jane’s Secret, part XIII: Blackberry pie
1003Across the Fence: Judge Roy Bean : Texas prizefight promoter
999Jane’s Secret, part IX: Mrs. Huber’s chagrin
986Lyman Review: Hubby’s got my goat
986Jane’s Secret, part XX: Change of plans
985Observations Only - Two ages of man
982Jane’s Secret, part VII Clem’s confession
980Across the Fence: Discovering Ed Stemler
978Jane’s Secret, part VIII: Molly's plan
978Teen Voice: I guess it’s just a western Nebraska thing
977Guest Editorial: Fischer will see U.S. ‘living within means’
975The Good Life: Your dollar is a vote for what you care about
966A Stray Moment: All's well that ends well, usually
963Across the Fence: Consumed by fire
957Across the Fence: The Spirit of Crazy Horse
957Miss Movies: “Bully” a powerful documentary
950A Stray Moment: Earth Day, am I doing my part?
950From the Superintendent’s Desk: Thanks for the memories
944From the Superintendent’s Desk - Haig and Aurora Buildings
933Jane’s Secret, part XVII : Plans gone awry
932Observations Only: Painting a picture
930Jane’s Secret, part XVI: Fate takes a hand
929Thinking About Health: The challenge of signing up for Obamacare
927A Small World: Savoring county fair days
922Across the Fence: The Great Solomon River Stampede
916From the Superintendent’s Desk: Accountability
915Jane’s Secret, part V: Aggie’s complaint
915Life in the Rearview Mirror: I hate coffee
910Jane’s Secret, Part XVIV: Crystal Waters
906Completely Different: That’s so Pinteresting
903Across the Fence: Black Hills Gold and the Thoen Stone
902Jane’s Secret, part XIV: Molly’s dream
901Teen Voice: Today’s television
900Across the Fence: Mud Springs revisited
900Across the Fence: The Wellnitz Fire, day 1 and 2
900Across The Fence: Billy Dixon; Plainsman, Hunter, Indian fighter and Scout
896Jane’s Secret, part XV: Unrequited love
894Across The Fence: The Hat Creek Outpost
893Across the Fence: First scalp for Custer
893Across The Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part I
891Across the Fence: The much maligned Ms. Watson
886Our View: County Manager option leads to Good Old Boys' Club
886Jane’s Secret, XXVIII: Lame Johnny
884Jane’s Secret, part XXII: While the cat’s away
883Teen Voice: New Year’s goals
882Across the Fence: Just For the Thrill of It
879Across the Fence: A hometown 4th of July
876Across the Fence: Sitting Bull: The Last Surrendering Sioux
873From the Superintendent’s Desk: Current enrollment count
871From the Superintendent’s Desk
871Teen Voice: What senior year taught me
869The zombie apocalypse and you
868From the Superintendent’s Desk: Parents’ role in the educational process
867From the Superintendent’s Desk: Summer School – 2013
866Jane’s Secret, part XII: Jane's Vow
861From the Superintendent’s Desk - District purchase of building
861Miss Movies: Ten movies for romance
861From the Pastor's Pen: Lord, teach us to pray
861A Small World: Chokecherry season evokes memories of yesterday
860Observations Only: A new direction
858Teen Voice: Learning calculus more than numbers
851Life in the Rearview Mirror: Cleaning off the ‘what if’ shelf
849Teen Voice: Experiencing versus remembering
847Across The Fence: A day For thanks
840Across the Fence - Boston: April 18, 1775
838Completely Different: What’s speech got to do with it?
835From the Superintendent’s Desk : Draft Calendar 2013-14
835Across the Fence: Fort Mitchell on the Great Platte River Road
834Observations Only: Giving up
833Teen Voice: Fifty reasons to smile
833Completely Different: The Marilyn Monroe conundrum
832Teen Voice: Respond to defeat
831Across the Fence: Submarines and railroads
825Trash cans
823Across the Fence: Faded photos and vivid memories
823 Across the Fence: ‘Aunt Sally’ and Dakota Gold
818Jane’s Secret, part XXI: Gertrude’s Agenda
817A Stray Moment - Celebrating Gering's Quasquicentennial
817Completely Different: Confessions of an out of shape twenty something
813Teen Voice: The road of hatred
812The Good Life: Our most precious right, gagged
812The hills, part 1: Mustangs
811Lyman Review - Tales of the renegade rooster
810From the Superintendent's Desk: Election over – work begins
810From the Superintendent’s Desk: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
809Teen Voice: Let us be beautiful
809From the Superintendent's Desk: Elementary attendance areas
808A Stray Moment: In praise of silence
807A Stray Moment: Star Trek: Infinite diversity in infinite combinations
807Jane’s Secret, XXVII: Town Meeting
804Teen Voice: 'Pretty Little Liars'
803Observations Only: The joy of money
802Across the Fence: Bloody Pocket, the final battle
802Observations Only: Sisters lost, part IV
801Totally Random: I’m a backwards reader
800Teen Voice: Catfished
798The Good Life: It’s hard to believe, the Citizen is four years old
792The Block
792From the Superintendent’s Desk - Financial Outlook for Gering Public Schools
790Teen Voice: Lessons I learned from my eight-year-old brother
790Teen Voice: The more the merrier
790The Good Life: The best Christmas gift
789Observations Only: Saturday delight
789A Stray Moment: Waiting on a train
787A Stray Moment: Now is the winter of our disconnect
787Anno Domini: Independence, an ideal worth celebrating
787At the Library: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
785Completely Different: The Hills, part 3: Rediscovering the spirit
785Completely Different: The mystery of Vivian Maier
782Across the Fence: Cynthia Ann Parker, Comanche captive
780A Stray Moment: God Knows
778Thinking about Health: Getting insurance under the Affordable Care Act
777Observations Only: Sisters lost, part III
773Life in the Rearview Mirror: Greensburg strong
770From the Superintendent's Desk: School year now in full swing
770Observations Only: Curious things
769Life's curve balls
767A Stray Moment: On Canada and the forgotten bicentennial
767Across the Fence: Fact, fiction or fragmented dreams?
766Jane's Secret, part X: The arrival
765 Taking a big risk
765A Stray Moment: Without a net
763Across the Fence: Rural free delivery
760A Stray Moment: Tacos! Our embarrassment of riches
760Across the Fence: A Cheyenne weekend
759Completely Different: Remembering Aurora
758Completely Different: The Mind Palace Memory Technique
756The Good Life: Mom, my partner in life
754The ghost of Ayn Rand
754A Stray Moment: I love Sookie Stackhouse
754Jane’s Secret, XXIX: Fred’s debacle
753Teen Voice: Not just another ride
753A Stray Moment: It's a dog's life
752Completely Different: The Hills, part 2: The Civilian Conservation Corps
751Teen Voice: Confessions of the financially disabled
751Across the Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part II
750Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
749A Small World: Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair classes offer great variety
747Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
747Across the Fence: The hand dug well
746Observations Only: Extreme measures
746Observations Only: Counting chickens
744Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part 2
742Seeing the works of the master
741From the Superintendent's Desk: PLAS School
738Our View: Extreme caution needed with fireworks
738The Good Life: We are not separate, we are one family
737Teen Voice: What’s so great about pizza?
735Timing makes perfect
735Pulpit of Bones: Man's best friend
735Across the Fence: Standing on the wagon
734The Good Life: Leave the quilt shop and laundromat alone
734A Stray Moment: World War Two is not forgotten
733Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
732Observations Only: Scourge of violence
730Observations Only: Just around the corner
726View from the block
726SELL-OUT!
725Life in the Rearview Mirror: The Moments we live for
724Across the Fence: Wounded Knee; December 29, 1890
724Observations Only: Going home
723A Stray Moment: The last time
718The Good Life: A farm girl in my heart
717Completely Different: Happy Hollowthanksmas
717Across the Fence: When Fiddler quit running
716Teen Voice: Not according to the plan
714Welcome to Gering
714It's no surprise
714Teen Voice: Congratulations, you’re awful
713Observations Only: The two faces of poverty
710Teen Voice: Gleek tragedy
708Across the Fence: When Lady Luck sleeps
707A Stray Moment: A voice from the past, haunting myself
706Observations Only: Uneventful flight
705Teen Voice: Body image
705Capitol View: Lincoln Highway captures spotlight
705The Good Life: Christina Baker’s mom: Thank you
703A Stray Moment: - The case for Hagel
702Completely Different: How the savings stole Christmas
702Our View: County has some ‘splainin’ to do
702Rural America and immigration reform
701Across the Fence: Places near forgotten
700Observations Only: Surprises
698Do You Tube?
698Silence please
698Teen Voice: Living within our means
697Life in the Rearview Mirror: Personal control of an individual response
696Across the Fence: Tomb of the Unknown
696Across the Fence : November 1864: Pole Creek, Politics and Patriots
696Our View: Pipeline not a solution to oil problems
695Across the Fence: Cheyenne County, Nebraska: cattle country
694A Stray Moment: Ready for the storm
694Observations Only: A soul's journey, part III
693Observations Only: No thank you
692Observations Only: What's in a word?
692Observations Only: Musings of an odd duck
691Guest Editorial: Bob Kerrey is the true fiscal conservative
691Miss Movies: Top ten holiday films, part II
691Across the Fence: A boy called Slon-Ha
691Observations Only: A gift of serenity
689Jane’s Secret, XXXII Jane’s Bad Day
689A ‘city’ kid goes to the fair
687Economic development update
687From the Superintendent's Desk: Student transportation changes for 2012-13
687LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gering Public Schools seeks imput
687Teen Voice: Twitter as sleep criminal
687The Good Life: The two different types of business people
685Completely Different: The bucket list phenomenon
684Observations Only: The awful truth
683Age of reason
683Observations Only: Journey's end
682Observations Only: Together again
682Teen Voice: Shadow art
680Teen: Voice : Drinking enough water
680Teen Voice: Serendipity
680The Good Life: We are the Valley’s emissaries
679Life in the Rearview Mirror: Is it possible to just drive in the 21st Century?
679From the Superintendent's Desk: School Safety and Security
679Teen Voice: The benefits of online learning
678Teen Voice: Sit back and enjoy YouTube
677Observations Only: Critical thinking
676From the Superintendent's Desk: Our goal: Improve student performance
676Across the Fence: Thanks for the memory
675Teen Voice: Eighth day of the week - Someday
674A Stray Moment: For the love of theatre
673Miss Movies: The top ten films of 2012: The year of the geek
671Observations Only: North Powder
669Teen Voice: An eventful homecoming
669Capitol View: Wild life proposal costly but worthwhile
669Guest Voice: If I could do it over again
667Observations Only: Sister odyssey
667A Stray Moment - A night owl born to an 8 to 5 world
666Observations Only: A strange Thanksgiving
664Observations Only: Spider adventure
663Observations Only: Curious things, part II
662Completely Different: Hey there, four eyes!
662Completely Different: Perfect memories made in imperfect moments
660The Good Life: A very interesting meeting indeed
659A Stray Moment: Having a blast on the Fourth of July
659Across The Fence: Jules, Jack and lawless justice
658Guest Voices…
657Teeing Off: Lessons learned from golf
655Observations Only: Blue chip stock
652Across the Fence: Wasicu Wakan
652Observations Only: Sister lost
652Totally Random: My journey, life after living
651Their View: Hey Gering, mind your own business!
650Life in the Rearview Mirror: The world is a stage
648Completely Different: Do you know John Green?
646Teen Voice: On becoming politically active
644I'm falling for Tumblr?
643From the Superintendent's Desk: State report card
639From the Superintendent's Desk: Why so soon?
637Permission to remember
635A Stray Moment: Guilty pleasures
635Building Bridges: Cleaning up for company--or not--reveals a lot
634Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
633Anno Domini: The memorial nobody wants
629Observations Only: Expect the best, part II
629Jane’s secret, XXVI: The suitcase
627My Thanksgiving prayer
627Observations Only: Sisters lost, part two
627Teen Voice: Dealing with stress
627Across The Fence: The hanging of Cornelius Donahue a.k.a. John A. Hurley
626The Good Life: The lasting effects of bullying
622Five Good Reasons to Create an Investment Strategy
620Completely Different: I go to seek a Great Perhaps
618Teen Voice: Being a girl
617Miss Movies: Top Ten Holiday Films
616Teen Voice: Pinning your interest
615Our View: The elephant in the room
615The Good Life: A holiday recipe for peace
615A real leaning tree Christmas
612The Good Life: A time to be proud of our ancestors
611Home of the Brave
611Observations Only: The meeting
611Jane’s Secret XXXV: Bugs and things
611Across The Fence: The Spanish Flu
609Social time has important benefits
609Teen Voice: Indulge In moderation
608The Good Life: The economic footprint of one small business
608Teen Voice: Until we say goodbye
607LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No tax state unrealistic
607Across The Fence: The Heartland plague of 1874-75
606Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
605Life in the Rearview Mirror: The cumulative effects of giving
605Jane's Secret, XXXI: Sixes and sevens
604Observations Only: A soul's journey, part two
603Observations Only: Wilkerson Pass
603Teen Voice: Say yes to branching out
603Building Bridges: Chautauqua will bring out the best in everyone
601Teen Voice: Outbreak of the Gamers
601Across The Fence: Freedom Triumphant Over War and Peace
600Practice safe barbecue basics
596Teen Voice: Practice makes perfect
596Teen Voice: Happy news
595A Small World: Special guest
594Observations Only : White water
594Life in the Rearview Mirror: Work is more than a four-letter word
593Remembering When
591Across the Fence: Pawnee legends in the Nebraska Panhandle
590Observations Only: Expect the best
589Our View: Bravo OTD committee
588The Good Life: Innovation and young energy enriches us all
587Observations Only: Good and evil
587The Good Life: People of the Valley, we have a choice
587Building Bridges: Planning now for tourism season 2014
586A Small World: Legends week promises fun for everyone
585Observations Only: A fine line
585The Lyman Review: I love baby ducks
584Teen Voice: By my side until the newness wears off
584Across The Fence: Billy Dixon at Adobe Walls, June 1874
583Teen Voice: Saying Goodbye
582Teen Voice: Making sense of the Sandy Hook tragedy
582The Good Life: Cooler breezes bring anticipation of fall
576Across The Fence: By the dawn’s early light
575The Good Life - The worst day on record at the Citizen
575Observations Only: The shadow of error
575Teen Voice: The daily struggle to a lifelong battle
572Teeing Off: Around the Green
570Observations Only: A matter of matter
569Observations Only: Beginnings
559Observations Only: Indifferent love
558Teen Voice - On the outside looking In
557Across the Fence: The Overland Camel Company
556Jane's Secret XXXIV: Gin Rummy
552Teen Voice: I’ll be healthy – tomorrow
551Observations Only: Divine spirit
551Observations Only: A matter of paradox
550Teen Voice: Equality
550Observations Only: Choices
547Completely Different - The magic of spring
543Observations Only: Divine prompts
543A Stray Moment: Learning how to walk
543Anno Domini: We gather together
541Building Bridges: Being grateful for the hardships in life
539Life in the Rearview Mirror: Experiencing life passion
538Across The Fence: The Pawnee on Pumpkin Creek
536Totally Random: Life’s ripples
533Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
532Teen Voice: Previously unwritten cell phone rules
532Life in the Rearview Mirror: Adapt and adjust
532Teen Voice:  Body bashing and self-image
532Building Bridges: Tend to 2014 and be Happy, Happy, Happy
531Teen Voice: Silence
525A Stray Moment: In praise of encouragement
520Observations Only: Willfulness
518Observations Only: The vision
517Our View: Visionaries wanted
517Observations Only: Temptation
516Dear Fellow Nebraskans: We Are Proud of the Nebraska National Guard
515Teen Voice: The need to get away
515Observations Only: Off to the races
515Across the Fence; Prelude to the Red River War of 1874
512Book Review: I Forgot to Remember By Su Meck
510Totally Random: October, the pink month
509Teen Voice: Do It Anyway
509Observations Only: A sad week
509Teen Voice: Thanksgiving
508Observations Only: The need to understand
505Life in the Rearview Mirror: Life enhancing memories
503A Halloween Story: The scary dream
501Lyman Review: Devil calf
501Observations Only: Fuzzy angel
493Building Bridges: Celebrating the Bulldog homecoming
490Anno Domini: Ask the digital dust
489Across The Fence: First train from Saply Grove
489Building Bridges: Love your enemies
487Teeing Off: Mind Gym
487Teen Voice: Stress test
484Teeing Off: Persistence
481Welcome to Gering and the 92nd Oregon Trail Days Celebration.
480Across the Fence: The Pony Express
480Observations Only: A good daughter
479Guest Editorial: The future of health care at Regional West
479Across The Fence: Amos Bad Heart Bull
477Observations Only: Afraid of the dark
475Teen Voice: The rivalry
469Updates from NRD: NRD promotes conservation
464Lyman Review: The elusive farm cat
464Across the Fence: A Cowboy kind of Christmas
462Observations Only: The unvarnished truth
458Dear Nebraskans: Massachusetts should not determine Nebraska’s Presidential vote
456Observations Only: Saint Marge
455Observations Only: Waiting time
454Teeing Off: The thing about state
453Teen Voice: Remember what you have
452Building Bridges: Observing bullies, abuse and pastors
452Building Bridges: Building us up to be what others see
451Building Bridges: Serve on the school board—or say no more
447Teen Voice: The Other Side
446Teen Voice: Is respect dead?
446Teen Voice: Footprints
444Building Bridges: “New” will become a buzzword in the Valley
443Lyman Review: The love goat
441Up The Creek Without A Paddle: The NRD wants to do what with your money?
440Our View: Why rush the interlocal agreement?
439Observations Only: Reality check
433Teen Voice: What is love?
431Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Collegebound Nebraska
428Building Bridges: Following the spirit of Gering
428Anno Domini: On this remembering day
426Jane’s Secret XXXVII: A starry night
424Update From the NRD: Winter has arrived
423Final Point: Golf, cross country feats headline fall season successes
422Totally Random: Happy Halloween
422Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
420Lyman Review: Now that's a set of handlebars!
419Teen Voice: Nobody else can lower you
415Across The Fence; ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of the Oregon Trail
413Observations Only: Gone away
412Across The Fence: A Fourth of July Montage
411Across the Fence: The Blizzard of ‘49
408Observations Only: Hog wash
408Across The Fence: The Three Guardsmen
404Teen Voice: My rebellion
403Lyman Review: Something wicked this way comes
403Welcome to the ‘New’ in Gering
402Teen Voice: Self-expression
401No-Till Notes: Water Funding Task Force
401Teen Voice: Shopping days or holidays?
400Building Bridges: Pause a moment...save a child’s life
398Jane’s Secret XXXVI:  The dream
398Building Bridges: Asking officials to speak and work as a body
397Lyman Review: One mean chicken
391 Across the Fence: Remembering Armistice Day
388Jane’s Secret, XXXVIII: Bad girls
386Why you should visit the zoo in February
382Teen Voice: Cyber War
378Observations Only: The visit
378From the Hill: More Work Ahead
376Across the Fence; Massacre on the Marias River
375Building Bridges: Objectivity and fairness make a winning plan
370
369Across The Fence: Mustangs on Pumpkin Creek
368Across The Fence: Moc-chi, A Southern Cheyenne warrior
366Observations Only: A day in August
363Across the Fence: New eyes on the Panhandle
362Jane’s Secret, XLI Black widow spider
360SBNM View: Do you want to be a VIP?
358Teen Voice: Hope for a New Year
356At the Library: March into a good book
355Across The Fence: Crazy Horse’s Last Battle
354Updates from NRD: Happy New Year
352The Good Life: What a wild ride it’s been
350Observations Only: The last goodbye
345No-Till Notes: Looking Back
344Our View: Childcare not school district’s role
344Teen Voice: My School, Their Rules
340Observations Only: Final moment
340Teen Voice: The gift of caring
339Observations Only: One more time
337No-Till Notes: Joe Franks Memorial
337Teen Voice: To the future
336Teen Voice: Family for all intents and purposes
335Teen Voice: Writing love on our hearts
334Lyman Review: Goat-chasing cardio
332Across the Fence: Remembering English Joe
331What’s really going on with our water?
327Capitol View: Yes, Virginia, the Legislature has done something, so far
326Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLIII: Jail house rock
324Across The Fence: Last Christmas
324Observations Only: The last toothpick
322Across the Fence: John Colter, the first mountain man
320Our View: Community responsible for kids
320Teen Voice: Where is the love?
320Capitol View: Considering additional education choices
319Across the Fence: Prelude to Battle
317Lyman Review: Branding Time
316Totally Random: Trusting the fates
314Across the Fence: The Colorado Coalfield War
310Letter to Editor clarifies drug testing policy
310Nature Notes: Love is in the air
303Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLII: Sunflowers
300Christmas stories from Freshman Academy students
300Mayor’s Monthly: Moving on Gering’s momentum
299Observations Only: The vigil
297Coach Schadwinkel promoted strong sense of tradition
296Totally Random: Where does it go?
295Across the Fence: Roy Bean; scoundrel with a law book
294Teen Voice: Trouble Maker or Hard Worker?
294View from Capitol Hill: Solutions for our economy and the budget
293Dear Nebraskans: Nebraska is the place for business
292Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
292In the Hills: Arbor Day in Nebraska
291Building Bridges: Be a Destination Ambassador
290Lyman Review: Taste of boot?
281Lyman Review: Nudge to the Butt
281Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLIV: Jail break
279Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
279Their View: Goal post move unfair
279In the Hills: Nebraska Bighorn Sheep
276Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
269Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLV: Gun smoke
268Religious freedom must be protected
267Capitol View: There was more to the session than just the big ticket items
264Lyman Review: Winter's dog
264At the Monument: Junior Rangers
263Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
262Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
258Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
257Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
257Across the Fence: David F. Cook and ‘Indian Joe’
257Building Bridges: Five years old IS a milestone
256In the Hills: Explore the state parks
255Teen Voice: Holiday horrors
252Capitol View: Redistricting needs new procedure
252Linked Lives
250At the Monument: That old (historic) building
249In the Hills: Pollinators – the buzz
245Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
241Capitol View: The 103rd Legislature is history … finally
240Lyman Review: Dog fun
240Across the Fence: Amanda
239Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
239For the love of the game – best courses in the valley
238Support emergency services personnel
237Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
234At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
234Capitol View: The Legislature did provide tax relief
234At the Library: “I Shall Be Near to You” By Erin Lindsay McCabe
232Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
231College Thoughts: Rotten for the minds? Think again
230Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
229Across the Fence: Who was Martha Jane Canary?
226Teen Voice: Inspire me
223Greetings from the State Capitol
223Across the Fence: Charles Badger Clark
222Across the Fence: Investigation at Spring Creek
221From the Capitol: The conduct we choose reflects our character
221At the Monument: Where are the animals?
218Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
218No-till Notes: Moving forward
217Website Resources
215Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
208Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
206No-Till Notes: Back in the field
204New at the Zoo: Volunteer at the Zoo
200Teen Voice: Home is where the heart is
200Gering ninth graders answer the questions of life
198View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
198Across the Fence: The Spring Creek Raid
198No-Till Notes: Cheat grass
196Final Point: Citizen receives first honor for ‘Final Point’
195Across The Fence: Justice in the Big Horn Basin
194Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
191No-Till Notes: “Fish and Mud”
189Jane’s Secret XLVI: Sour grapes
188At the Monument: Art in National Parks
184Washington Report: Honoring America’s heroes
182Building Bridges: When ‘FAMILY’ and fellow Nebraskans are all you’ve got
177No-til Notes: Changing plans
175Anno Domini: The Textbook of Freedom
172Building Bridges: Dive into summer—dive into living
170Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
163Teen Voice: The clock is ticking
161At the Library: “My Name is Resolute” By Nancy E. Turner
158Fellow Nebraskans: Congratulations on graduation day
158History Revisited:A Stray Moment: Life (and death) on the Oregon Trail
150Across the Fence: Battle of Summit Springs, Part I: Tall Bull Killed
149Across the Fence: Six went to the gallows
146Jane’s Secret XLVII: A stormy afternoon
139Lyman Review: Sheep Royalty
138No-Till Notes: Annual PNTP Tour
128Across The Fence: Hinhan Kaga Paha
119Synchronicity:What brings me back
117No-Till Notes:Enjoyable meeting
100Be kind through communications
96Jane’s Secret XLVIII: Jane’s agenda
74Building Bridges: Oregon Trail Days—making our present a celebrated past
72Letters to the Editor
60Letter to the editor
49Fourth of July meetings
36Battle of Summit Springs, part II: Warpath to White Bear Creek
7Building Bridges: Turning a space into a sense of place
Dominos Pizza
Fresh Foods
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson