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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102Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLIV: Jail break
98Lyman Review: Dog fun
96At the Monument: That old (historic) building
96Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLIII: Jail house rock
95Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
91Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
90Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
87Across the Fence: John Colter, the first mountain man
86Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
85Building Bridges: Asking officials to speak and work as a body
84Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
81Religious freedom must be protected
80Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
79Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
68Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
67Teen Voice: Inspire me
65Across the Fence: Amanda
65At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
64Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
64View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
64Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
59Teen Voice: Footprints
30Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
28Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
28Support emergency services personnel
26No-till Notes: Moving forward
26Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
25Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
25At the Monument: Art in National Parks
23In the Hills: Explore the state parks
20Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
17Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
16Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
Most Read News Stories of 2012
3491We need a few good people
2520Jane’s Secret, XXXX: A tale of mayhem
2313What's the deal with organic milk?
1996The Good Life: Today we celebrate Global Oneness Day
1940Across the Fence: The Soldier’s Free Homestead Colony of Gibbon
1887Completely Different: It's all in the family
1845Completely Different: The Disney princess debate: an exercise in the ridiculous
1830Across the Fence: Roosevelt’s campaign tour of the west
1820Elizabeth's top ten movie list of 2011
1814Completely Different : Could you come down off your soap box please?
1810Teen Voice: Thank you, Gering Speech Team
1765Lyman Review: Let’s get back to the subject of bullying
1760Life in the Rearview Mirror: Invisible scars have lasting effects
1754The Good Life: Campaign ad using Jesus goes too far
1742Our View... Preserve Gering’s form of government
1717A Small World: Time traveling
1710Jane’s Secret, part II: Gertrude’s choice
1690Teen Voice: Just ten minutes
1669Completely Different: Tales from the mat
1665Our View: Museum merger a good thing, but let’s go slowly
1657Life in the west: Betting on the end of the world
1654Time keeps flowing like a river
1637Completely Different: Look around, what are you missing?
1635A last look at the Nebraska Zone
1622Letter to the Editor
1614Teen Voice: March Madness
1598Observations Only : The orphanage
1596Our View: Mayor should insist on civility
1588My mini Pen and me
1582Our view . . .Sports Complex
1580Observations Only : Mission accomplished
1563Completely Different: Your local government and you
1557Bright Ideas! Brighter Future! Common sense prevails
1550Observations Only: Little Girl Lost: Adopted
1540Livestock Production: My Paradigm Shift
1539Curiosity Corner : The tale of the travelling train station
1536Being a Nebraskan – border to border
1534Our view... Gering stands upon important threshold
1533Totally Random: Astrology: It’s all in the stars…
1527Bright Ideas, Brighter Future: Leaving a Legacy
1525Observations Only: Little girl lost, part 3
1513Observations Only: Sisters lost, part I
1508Observations Only: Little Girl Lost, part six
1485Observations only : Sisters of the world
1459Teen Voice : Leave your legacy
1427It's a small world : Everything we do has meaning
1427Completely Different: The good, the bad, and the remedy
1417Our View: Scottsbluff attitude damages future collaborations
1384From the Pastor's Pen: Unbelievable breaking news
1341Teen Voice: What diabetes taught me
1296Across the fence: Something worth remembering
1291Across the Fence: James Butler Hickok: The thoughtful gunfighter
1232Completely Different: The Quest
1229Across the Fence: All aboard the Transcontinental Express
1218From the Superintendent’s Desk - Parent Teacher Conferences
1187Across the Fence: Bose Ikard; Texas Cowboy
1174Totally Random: December 6, the day I lived
1166Jane’s Secret, XXX: A new wrinkle
1126Our View: Come home to Nebraska, but not just anywhere
1111Across the Fence: Ah-ho-appa (fallen leaf)
1044Miss Movies: Miss Movies recommends her top 10 films of 2013
1022From the Superintendent's Desk: Thank You
1015Across the Fence: Building Barns
995Teen Voice: Don’t be fooled by fads
993Theatre West’s Cabaret torch burns brightly
980Across the Fence - Catherine’s boys
955From the Superintendent’s Desk: Get ready for Parent-teacher conferences
946Observations Only: Blinders aren’t just for horses
944Life in the Rearview Mirror: I’m on a road to someplace
936Cat on a Hot Tin Roof a mixed bag
935Across the Fence: Lions, wolves and bears
934Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part I
933Across the Fence: Wyoming settlers lay siege to the TA Ranch
929Life in the West: Inside the minds of serial killers
928Totally Random: The Golden Rule
917Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Governor’s Ag Conference overview
916Across the Fence: Sioux Ordnance Depot: stories to be told
914A Stray Moment : Carry the weight
913No-Till Notes: Plan to attend 2014 No-Till Conference
908From the Superintendent's Desk: NePAS – State Accountability
906Observations Only - Two ages of man
895From the Superintendent’s Desk: Welcome to new certified staff
889Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest, part 1
881Jane’s Secret, XXIV: The last drive
879Jane’s Secret, part XI: Grand Duchess
872The Good Life: Your dollar is a vote for what you care about
870Our view: Gering’s future needs your vote
867Across the Fence: On The road
863From the Superintendent’s Desk : Thank You for another Great Year
863From the Superintendent’s Desk - Option Enrollment
860The Good Life: Through my father’s eyes
856Jane’s Secret, part VI: Molly’s surprise
852Jane’s Secret, part IX: Mrs. Huber’s chagrin
850Assad’s endgame
846The Good Life: Hey, I’m a winner!
846Jane’s Secret, part XIII: Blackberry pie
844Jane’s Secret, part VII Clem’s confession
839Across the Fence: Consumed by fire
836Across the Fence: The Spirit of Crazy Horse
836Barr’s Bacon Wrapped Fantasy Picks: A rookie's guide to drafting your dream team
833A Stray Moment: Earth Day, am I doing my part?
825Guest Editorial: Fischer will see U.S. ‘living within means’
824Lyman Review: Hubby’s got my goat
816A Stray Moment: Merry Christmas – God save us all
814Teen Voice: I guess it’s just a western Nebraska thing
813Observations Only: Painting a picture
811Jane’s Secret, part XX: Change of plans
811From the Superintendent’s Desk: Early Childhood Education
810Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest: Part 2 of 2
808Miss Movies: “Bully” a powerful documentary
808Observations Only: A soul’s journey
804Jane’s Secret, part VIII: Molly's plan
803Across the Fence: Burnett’s Mound and the Topeka tornado
803Across the Fence: Discovering Ed Stemler
800Completely Different: It’s the end of the world as we know it
789Completely Different: New Year’s Resolutions
788Across the Fence: The Great Solomon River Stampede
786Across the Fence: Mud Springs revisited
783Jane’s Secret, XXIII: Molly’s plan
783Across the Fence: Class of ’67, last remnants of home
781Completely Different: The game is afoot, a look at Sherlock Holmes
777Across the Fence: Just For the Thrill of It
777Life in the Rearview Mirror: I hate coffee
775The zombie apocalypse and you
771Jane’s Secret, part V: Aggie’s complaint
771Jane’s Secret, XXV: Mysteries
769A Stray Moment: All's well that ends well, usually
767Across the Fence: First scalp for Custer
761Jane’s Secret, part XIV: Molly’s dream
760Across the Fence: The Wellnitz Fire, day 1 and 2
756Across the Fence: The much maligned Ms. Watson
756From the Superintendent’s Desk: Accountability
755Jane’s Secret, part XVI: Fate takes a hand
752Across the Fence: Judge Roy Bean : Texas prizefight promoter
750Across the Fence: A hometown 4th of July
747Teen Voice: Experiencing versus remembering
741Observations Only: A new direction
740Our View: County Manager option leads to Good Old Boys' Club
736Teen Voice: Today’s television
728Observations Only: Giving up
727From the Superintendent’s Desk
727Jane’s Secret, part XV: Unrequited love
726From the Superintendent’s Desk - Haig and Aurora Buildings
725Jane’s Secret, Part XVIV: Crystal Waters
724Jane’s Secret, part XVIII : Devil’s bargain
724Jane’s Secret, part XXII: While the cat’s away
724Teen Voice: Learning calculus more than numbers
723Trash cans
723Teen Voice: Respond to defeat
719Teen Voice: Let us be beautiful
719Across the Fence: Submarines and railroads
718Completely Different: That’s so Pinteresting
716Teen Voice: The road of hatred
716Jane’s Secret, part XVII : Plans gone awry
715From the Pastor's Pen: Lord, teach us to pray
715Across The Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part I
713From the Superintendent's Desk: Elementary attendance areas
713Jane’s Secret, part XII: Jane's Vow
712A Stray Moment - Celebrating Gering's Quasquicentennial
712Lyman Review - Tales of the renegade rooster
712Teen Voice: What senior year taught me
710Life in the Rearview Mirror: Cleaning off the ‘what if’ shelf
708Observations Only: The joy of money
708From the Superintendent’s Desk: Current enrollment count
707Teen Voice: 'Pretty Little Liars'
707Teen Voice: New Year’s goals
704From the Superintendent’s Desk: Parents’ role in the educational process
702Teen Voice: The more the merrier
700A Stray Moment: In praise of silence
699Miss Movies: Ten movies for romance
698The Good Life: Our most precious right, gagged
697Jane’s Secret, XXXIII: Night walk
692The Block
691Across the Fence: Faded photos and vivid memories
689Completely Different: Confessions of an out of shape twenty something
689Jane’s Secret, XXVIII: Lame Johnny
685From the Superintendent’s Desk - District purchase of building
683 Taking a big risk
680Across the Fence: Sitting Bull: The Last Surrendering Sioux
676From the Superintendent’s Desk: Summer School – 2013
676A Small World: Savoring county fair days
674Teen Voice: Fifty reasons to smile
674Teen Voice: Catfished
672Completely Different: What’s speech got to do with it?
671Observations Only: Saturday delight
671Across the Fence - Boston: April 18, 1775
671From the Superintendent’s Desk: Thanks for the memories
669The hills, part 1: Mustangs
669The Good Life: The best Christmas gift
664Life's curve balls
664Teen Voice: Lessons I learned from my eight-year-old brother
664Jane's Secret, part X: The arrival
662Seeing the works of the master
661From the Superintendent’s Desk : Draft Calendar 2013-14
661Across the Fence: Fort Mitchell on the Great Platte River Road
657Teen Voice: Confessions of the financially disabled
656Completely Different: Remembering Aurora
656Jane’s Secret, part XXI: Gertrude’s Agenda
655The ghost of Ayn Rand
654Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
653A Small World: Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair classes offer great variety
652A Stray Moment: Waiting on a train
652From the Superintendent's Desk: School year now in full swing
652Completely Different: The Hills, part 3: Rediscovering the spirit
652Across the Fence: Black Hills Gold and the Thoen Stone
651Completely Different: The Marilyn Monroe conundrum
649Observations Only: Extreme measures
648Teen Voice: Not just another ride
648Across The Fence: Billy Dixon; Plainsman, Hunter, Indian fighter and Scout
646Timing makes perfect
646Our View: Extreme caution needed with fireworks
646Pulpit of Bones: Man's best friend
643Across the Fence: Bloody Pocket, the final battle
642Observations Only: Counting chickens
642Observations Only: Sisters lost, part IV
641Observations Only: Sisters lost, part III
638A Small World: Chokecherry season evokes memories of yesterday
636Completely Different: The Hills, part 2: The Civilian Conservation Corps
636Completely Different: The Mind Palace Memory Technique
636From the Superintendent's Desk: Election over – work begins
636Across The Fence: The Hat Creek Outpost
635SELL-OUT!
633A Stray Moment: On Canada and the forgotten bicentennial
629Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part 2
628A Stray Moment: God Knows
627Life in the Rearview Mirror: Greensburg strong
626It's no surprise
625A Stray Moment: It's a dog's life
622Observations Only: Just around the corner
622A Stray Moment: Now is the winter of our disconnect
621Teen Voice: Not according to the plan
621Across the Fence: Fact, fiction or fragmented dreams?
619Anno Domini: Independence, an ideal worth celebrating
617A Stray Moment: Star Trek: Infinite diversity in infinite combinations
617Completely Different: The mystery of Vivian Maier
616Do You Tube?
616The Good Life: Leave the quilt shop and laundromat alone
613Observations Only: Scourge of violence
611Completely Different: Happy Hollowthanksmas
610View from the block
610Across the Fence: Rural free delivery
609Welcome to Gering
608Totally Random: I’m a backwards reader
607The Good Life: We are not separate, we are one family
606The Good Life: It’s hard to believe, the Citizen is four years old
605From the Superintendent's Desk: PLAS School
605A Stray Moment: Tacos! Our embarrassment of riches
604Observations Only: What's in a word?
603Silence please
602From the Superintendent’s Desk: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
601Guest Editorial: Bob Kerrey is the true fiscal conservative
600Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
600The Good Life: Mom, my partner in life
599A Stray Moment: I love Sookie Stackhouse
597A Stray Moment: The last time
594A Stray Moment: Without a net
593LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gering Public Schools seeks imput
592From the Superintendent's Desk: Student transportation changes for 2012-13
592A Stray Moment: Ready for the storm
590Observations Only: Together again
590Observations Only: The two faces of poverty
590Across the Fence: Cynthia Ann Parker, Comanche captive
588Age of reason
588Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
587Life in the Rearview Mirror: Is it possible to just drive in the 21st Century?
587Jane’s Secret, XXVII: Town Meeting
586A Stray Moment: World War Two is not forgotten
584The Good Life: A farm girl in my heart
582Economic development update
582Across the Fence: Wounded Knee; December 29, 1890
581Completely Different: How the savings stole Christmas
581Across the Fence: Standing on the wagon
581Across the Fence: A Cheyenne weekend
580Observations Only: Going home
580At the Library: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
579Observations Only: No thank you
579 Across the Fence: ‘Aunt Sally’ and Dakota Gold
578Life in the Rearview Mirror: The Moments we live for
577Observations Only: Curious things
577Our View: Pipeline not a solution to oil problems
576Teen Voice: An eventful homecoming
576Thinking About Health: The challenge of signing up for Obamacare
574Jane’s Secret, XXIX: Fred’s debacle
572Across the Fence: Tomb of the Unknown
572From the Superintendent’s Desk - Financial Outlook for Gering Public Schools
571Life in the Rearview Mirror: Personal control of an individual response
568Observations Only: Surprises
568Across the Fence: A boy called Slon-Ha
567From the Superintendent's Desk: Our goal: Improve student performance
564Observations Only: Uneventful flight
562Observations Only: Spider adventure
562Teen Voice: What’s so great about pizza?
562Guest Voices…
561Capitol View: Lincoln Highway captures spotlight
559Observations Only: North Powder
559Teen Voice: Sit back and enjoy YouTube
559Observations Only: Musings of an odd duck
559Teen Voice: Living within our means
559Teen Voice: Body image
559Rural America and immigration reform
558Observations Only: Sister odyssey
558Miss Movies: The top ten films of 2012: The year of the geek
557Miss Movies: Top ten holiday films, part II
557A Stray Moment: - The case for Hagel
556Across the Fence: Places near forgotten
555Teen Voice: Twitter as sleep criminal
555Teen Voice: The benefits of online learning
554Observations Only: Blue chip stock
553Teen: Voice : Drinking enough water
553The Good Life: Extending grace, the lost art
552Observations Only: Critical thinking
551Teen Voice: Shadow art
549Teen Voice: Congratulations, you’re awful
548A Stray Moment: Guilty pleasures
548Across the Fence: The hand dug well
547The Good Life: A very interesting meeting indeed
547Across the Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part II
546From the Superintendent's Desk: School Safety and Security
545A Stray Moment: A voice from the past, haunting myself
544Across the Fence: Thanks for the memory
543Permission to remember
541A Stray Moment: For the love of theatre
540Observations Only: A strange Thanksgiving
538Across The Fence: A day For thanks
537From the Superintendent's Desk: Why so soon?
537Teen Voice: Serendipity
537Observations Only: The awful truth
535Our View: County has some ‘splainin’ to do
535The Good Life: Christina Baker’s mom: Thank you
532Across the Fence: When Fiddler quit running
530Across the Fence: When Lady Luck sleeps
530Thinking about Health: Getting insurance under the Affordable Care Act
529Teen Voice: On becoming politically active
528Our View: The elephant in the room
526LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No tax state unrealistic
526Teen Voice: Eighth day of the week - Someday
526Observations Only: Journey's end
523Social time has important benefits
522Home of the Brave
521Completely Different: The bucket list phenomenon
520Across the Fence: Cheyenne County, Nebraska: cattle country
518Observations Only: Curious things, part II
517Teeing Off: Lessons learned from golf
516From the Superintendent's Desk: State report card
516Their View: Hey Gering, mind your own business!
516Completely Different: Hey there, four eyes!
515Miss Movies: Top Ten Holiday Films
515Observations Only: A soul's journey, part III
514Practice safe barbecue basics
513Observations Only: Sister lost
513Teen Voice: Gleek tragedy
510Observations Only: The meeting
509Across the Fence : November 1864: Pole Creek, Politics and Patriots
509Guest Voice: If I could do it over again
508Completely Different: Do you know John Green?
507Observations Only: Wilkerson Pass
506My Thanksgiving prayer
506The Good Life: The economic footprint of one small business
504Teen Voice: Outbreak of the Gamers
503A Stray Moment - A night owl born to an 8 to 5 world
502Across the Fence: Wasicu Wakan
501Our View: Bravo OTD committee
501The Good Life: The two different types of business people
497Teen Voice: Dealing with stress
497The Good Life: We are the Valley’s emissaries
495Totally Random: My journey, life after living
494I'm falling for Tumblr?
493Teen Voice: Pinning your interest
490Remembering When
490Jane’s secret, XXVI: The suitcase
489Jane’s Secret, XXXII Jane’s Bad Day
488Five Good Reasons to Create an Investment Strategy
488Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
487Teen Voice: Practice makes perfect
486A Stray Moment: Having a blast on the Fourth of July
486Completely Different: Perfect memories made in imperfect moments
486A ‘city’ kid goes to the fair
485Observations Only: Expect the best, part II
485Teen Voice: Being a girl
485Observations Only: A gift of serenity
480Capitol View: Wild life proposal costly but worthwhile
478Across The Fence: Union Pacific robbery at Big Springs
478The Good Life: The lasting effects of bullying
476Teen Voice: Happy news
475Totally Random: Hemp: considering the real benefits of the miracle plant
474Observations Only : White water
472Life in the Rearview Mirror: The cumulative effects of giving
469Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
467Anno Domini: The memorial nobody wants
462A Small World: Special guest
459Observations Only: Sisters lost, part two
456Observations Only: A soul's journey, part two
456Observations Only: A fine line
456Teen Voice: Say yes to branching out
456Life in the Rearview Mirror: Work is more than a four-letter word
456Jane's Secret, XXXI: Sixes and sevens
454Teen Voice: Making sense of the Sandy Hook tragedy
453Across The Fence: Jules, Jack and lawless justice
452Teen Voice: Indulge In moderation
452Building Bridges: Cleaning up for company--or not--reveals a lot
451Observations Only: Good and evil
451Teen Voice: Until we say goodbye
448Life in the Rearview Mirror: The world is a stage
447Teen Voice: Equality
445Our View: Visionaries wanted
445The Good Life: A holiday recipe for peace
443Observations Only: Expect the best
442A real leaning tree Christmas
442Building Bridges: Save the world, educate through agriculture
440Across The Fence: The Heartland plague of 1874-75
439Jane’s Secret XXXV: Bugs and things
437Across The Fence: The Spanish Flu
436Completely Different: I go to seek a Great Perhaps
429The Good Life: A time to be proud of our ancestors
427Building Bridges: Planning now for tourism season 2014
426The Good Life: Innovation and young energy enriches us all
425Teen Voice: By my side until the newness wears off
425Observations Only: The shadow of error
425Observations Only: A matter of matter
424The Good Life: Cooler breezes bring anticipation of fall
423The Good Life - The worst day on record at the Citizen
422The Good Life: People of the Valley, we have a choice
422Observations Only: Indifferent love
420Across The Fence: By the dawn’s early light
419Teen Voice: The daily struggle to a lifelong battle
418Teen Voice: Previously unwritten cell phone rules
418Observations Only: Beginnings
418Across The Fence: The hanging of Cornelius Donahue a.k.a. John A. Hurley
418Jane's Secret XXXIV: Gin Rummy
416Across The Fence: Crow Dog, Spotted Tail’s assassin
411Completely Different - The magic of spring
408Observations Only: Choices
408Observations Only: Divine spirit
408Building Bridges: Chautauqua will bring out the best in everyone
407Life in the Rearview Mirror: Experiencing life passion
406Teen Voice: Saying Goodbye
404Observations Only: Temptation
400The Lyman Review: I love baby ducks
400Totally Random: Life’s ripples
396Observations Only: Willfulness
392Building Bridges: Being grateful for the hardships in life
389Observations Only: Divine prompts
387Teeing Off: Around the Green
385Teen Voice: The need to get away
384Across the Fence: Pawnee legends in the Nebraska Panhandle
383Life in the Rearview Mirror: Life enhancing memories
381Observations Only: A matter of paradox
381A Stray Moment: Learning how to walk
381A Small World: Legends week promises fun for everyone
380Across The Fence: Billy Dixon at Adobe Walls, June 1874
375Life in the Rearview Mirror: Adapt and adjust
374A Stray Moment: In praise of encouragement
373Teen Voice: I’ll be healthy – tomorrow
373Observations Only: Off to the races
373Anno Domini: We gather together
373Building Bridges: Tend to 2014 and be Happy, Happy, Happy
371Teen Voice - On the outside looking In
370Observations Only: The vision
366Teen Voice: Do It Anyway
366Across The Fence: The Pawnee on Pumpkin Creek
364Across the Fence: The Overland Camel Company
364Teen Voice: Thanksgiving
359Across the Fence: The Pony Express
359Observations Only: The need to understand
359Totally Random: October, the pink month
359Dear Fellow Nebraskans: We Are Proud of the Nebraska National Guard
358Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
355Teen Voice:  Body bashing and self-image
350Building Bridges: Celebrating the Bulldog homecoming
349Observations Only: A good daughter
349Observations Only: Fuzzy angel
349Across The Fence: Freedom Triumphant Over War and Peace
346Teeing Off: Mind Gym
344A Halloween Story: The scary dream
343Building Bridges: Love your enemies
342Teen Voice: Silence
338Teeing Off: Persistence
335Welcome to Gering and the 92nd Oregon Trail Days Celebration.
335Across the Fence; Prelude to the Red River War of 1874
332Lyman Review: Devil calf
331Teen Voice: Stress test
329Teen Voice: Remember what you have
329Anno Domini: Ask the digital dust
328Observations Only: A sad week
327Teen Voice: The Other Side
327Observations Only: Afraid of the dark
318Observations Only: Waiting time
317Teeing Off: The thing about state
317Lyman Review: The elusive farm cat
316Teen Voice: What is love?
315Across The Fence: First train from Saply Grove
310Observations Only: The unvarnished truth
310Teen Voice: The rivalry
305Observations Only: Reality check
305Building Bridges: Observing bullies, abuse and pastors
304Building Bridges: Building us up to be what others see
300Up The Creek Without A Paddle: The NRD wants to do what with your money?
297Observations Only: Hog wash
296Update From the NRD: Winter has arrived
293Guest Editorial: The future of health care at Regional West
293Updates from NRD: NRD promotes conservation
290Building Bridges: Following the spirit of Gering
290Building Bridges: “New” will become a buzzword in the Valley
289Lyman Review: The love goat
288Across the Fence: A Cowboy kind of Christmas
287Our View: Why rush the interlocal agreement?
287Observations Only: Saint Marge
286Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Collegebound Nebraska
283Lyman Review: Now that's a set of handlebars!
276Jane’s Secret XXXVI:  The dream
276Jane’s Secret XXXVII: A starry night
275Totally Random: Happy Halloween
273Lyman Review: One mean chicken
270Across The Fence; ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of the Oregon Trail
270Across The Fence: Amos Bad Heart Bull
268Anno Domini: On this remembering day
267Teen Voice: Shopping days or holidays?
265Observations Only: Gone away
264Lyman Review: Something wicked this way comes
259
258Building Bridges: Serve on the school board—or say no more
257Final Point: Golf, cross country feats headline fall season successes
254Teen Voice: Self-expression
253Teen Voice: Is respect dead?
253No-Till Notes: Water Funding Task Force
249Teen Voice: Nobody else can lower you
247Across The Fence: The Three Guardsmen
246From the Hill: More Work Ahead
245Observations Only: The visit
245Jane’s Secret, XXXVIII: Bad girls
240 Across the Fence: Remembering Armistice Day
232Teen Voice: My rebellion
232Teen Voice: Cyber War
228Across the Fence: The Blizzard of ‘49
228Welcome to the ‘New’ in Gering
224Why you should visit the zoo in February
223Observations Only: A day in August
221Observations Only: The last goodbye
221Our View: Childcare not school district’s role
221Teen Voice: Hope for a New Year
221Across the Fence: New eyes on the Panhandle
219Jane’s Secret, XLI Black widow spider
218Building Bridges: Objectivity and fairness make a winning plan
216Across The Fence: Mustangs on Pumpkin Creek
208Teen Voice: The gift of caring
207Lyman Review: Goat-chasing cardio
206No-Till Notes: Joe Franks Memorial
206Teen Voice: My School, Their Rules
205Observations Only: Final moment
205Observations Only: The last toothpick
203Observations Only: One more time
201Updates from NRD: Happy New Year
200Totally Random: Trusting the fates
199Across the Fence; Massacre on the Marias River
198Across The Fence: Portugee Phillips and a horse named Dandy
196Observations Only: The vigil
194Across The Fence: Moc-chi, A Southern Cheyenne warrior
190Teen Voice: To the future
190Teen Voice: Family for all intents and purposes
188Across The Fence: Crazy Horse’s Last Battle
185Our View: Community responsible for kids
183Dear Nebraskans: Massachusetts should not determine Nebraska’s Presidential vote
180Building Bridges: Pause a moment...save a child’s life
178Teen Voice: Writing love on our hearts
171Christmas stories from Freshman Academy students
168SBNM View: Do you want to be a VIP?
166Across The Fence: Last Christmas
160Coach Schadwinkel promoted strong sense of tradition
160Across the Fence: Remembering English Joe
158Lyman Review: Taste of boot?
158Teen Voice: Trouble Maker or Hard Worker?
155Lyman Review: Nudge to the Butt
154Letter to Editor clarifies drug testing policy
153Capitol View: Yes, Virginia, the Legislature has done something, so far
153At the Library: March into a good book
149Mayor’s Monthly: Moving on Gering’s momentum
148Teen Voice: Where is the love?
146Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLII: Sunflowers
143Lyman Review: Winter's dog
140Dear Nebraskans: Nebraska is the place for business
136No-Till Notes: Looking Back
133Teen Voice: Holiday horrors
131Nature Notes: Love is in the air
129Totally Random: Where does it go?
125In the Hills: Arbor Day in Nebraska
121Across the Fence: Prelude to Battle
117Capitol View: Considering additional education choices
107Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
106Across the Fence: Roy Bean; scoundrel with a law book
102Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLIV: Jail break
98Lyman Review: Dog fun
96At the Monument: That old (historic) building
96Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLIII: Jail house rock
95Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
91Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
90Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
87Across the Fence: John Colter, the first mountain man
86Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
85Building Bridges: Asking officials to speak and work as a body
84Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
81Religious freedom must be protected
80Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
79Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
68Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
67Teen Voice: Inspire me
65Across the Fence: Amanda
65At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
64Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
64View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
64Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
59Teen Voice: Footprints
30Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
28Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
28Support emergency services personnel
26No-till Notes: Moving forward
26Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
25Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
25At the Monument: Art in National Parks
23In the Hills: Explore the state parks
20Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
17Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
16Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
Spectrum Photo
Panhandle Humane Society
Ag Market Online
Kendell Henderson