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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118Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
117Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
117Across the Fence: Roy Bean; scoundrel with a law book
117Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
109Lyman Review: Dog fun
107Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLIII: Jail house rock
107Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
104At the Monument: That old (historic) building
102Across the Fence: John Colter, the first mountain man
99Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
99Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
97Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
96Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
93Religious freedom must be protected
81Teen Voice: Inspire me
80Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
78At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
76Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
75Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
73View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
73Across the Fence: Amanda
69Teen Voice: Footprints
55Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
54In the Hills: Explore the state parks
50Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
49Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
46No-till Notes: Moving forward
46Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
45Support emergency services personnel
40At the Monument: Art in National Parks
37Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
35Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
28Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
Most Read News Stories of 2012
3497We need a few good people
2526Jane’s Secret, XXXX: A tale of mayhem
2323What's the deal with organic milk?
2002The Good Life: Today we celebrate Global Oneness Day
1949Across the Fence: The Soldier’s Free Homestead Colony of Gibbon
1892Completely Different: It's all in the family
1849Completely Different: The Disney princess debate: an exercise in the ridiculous
1847Across the Fence: Roosevelt’s campaign tour of the west
1828Elizabeth's top ten movie list of 2011
1823Completely Different : Could you come down off your soap box please?
1819Teen Voice: Thank you, Gering Speech Team
1772Lyman Review: Let’s get back to the subject of bullying
1768Life in the Rearview Mirror: Invisible scars have lasting effects
1761The Good Life: Campaign ad using Jesus goes too far
1751Our View... Preserve Gering’s form of government
1722A Small World: Time traveling
1721Jane’s Secret, part II: Gertrude’s choice
1697Teen Voice: Just ten minutes
1673Completely Different: Tales from the mat
1671Our View: Museum merger a good thing, but let’s go slowly
1663Life in the west: Betting on the end of the world
1657Time keeps flowing like a river
1646A last look at the Nebraska Zone
1642Completely Different: Look around, what are you missing?
1627Letter to the Editor
1622Teen Voice: March Madness
1606Observations Only : The orphanage
1605Our View: Mayor should insist on civility
1596My mini Pen and me
1588Observations Only : Mission accomplished
1587Our view . . .Sports Complex
1567Completely Different: Your local government and you
1564Bright Ideas! Brighter Future! Common sense prevails
1557Observations Only: Little Girl Lost: Adopted
1546Livestock Production: My Paradigm Shift
1546Being a Nebraskan – border to border
1543Curiosity Corner : The tale of the travelling train station
1540Totally Random: Astrology: It’s all in the stars…
1537Our view... Gering stands upon important threshold
1534Observations Only: Little girl lost, part 3
1532Bright Ideas, Brighter Future: Leaving a Legacy
1516Observations Only: Sisters lost, part I
1513Observations Only: Little Girl Lost, part six
1490Observations only : Sisters of the world
1473Teen Voice : Leave your legacy
1435It's a small world : Everything we do has meaning
1435Completely Different: The good, the bad, and the remedy
1423Our View: Scottsbluff attitude damages future collaborations
1389From the Pastor's Pen: Unbelievable breaking news
1346Teen Voice: What diabetes taught me
1300Across the fence: Something worth remembering
1298Across the Fence: James Butler Hickok: The thoughtful gunfighter
1239Completely Different: The Quest
1238Across the Fence: All aboard the Transcontinental Express
1234From the Superintendent’s Desk - Parent Teacher Conferences
1195Across the Fence: Bose Ikard; Texas Cowboy
1178Totally Random: December 6, the day I lived
1173Jane’s Secret, XXX: A new wrinkle
1138Our View: Come home to Nebraska, but not just anywhere
1116Across the Fence: Ah-ho-appa (fallen leaf)
1051Miss Movies: Miss Movies recommends her top 10 films of 2013
1032From the Superintendent's Desk: Thank You
1024Across the Fence: Building Barns
1005Teen Voice: Don’t be fooled by fads
1001Theatre West’s Cabaret torch burns brightly
999Across the Fence - Catherine’s boys
965From the Superintendent’s Desk: Get ready for Parent-teacher conferences
956Life in the Rearview Mirror: I’m on a road to someplace
956Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part I
955Observations Only: Blinders aren’t just for horses
943Across the Fence: Lions, wolves and bears
942Across the Fence: Wyoming settlers lay siege to the TA Ranch
939Cat on a Hot Tin Roof a mixed bag
937Totally Random: The Golden Rule
935Life in the West: Inside the minds of serial killers
930Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Governor’s Ag Conference overview
926Across the Fence: Sioux Ordnance Depot: stories to be told
922From the Superintendent's Desk: NePAS – State Accountability
921A Stray Moment : Carry the weight
919No-Till Notes: Plan to attend 2014 No-Till Conference
910Observations Only - Two ages of man
906From the Superintendent’s Desk: Welcome to new certified staff
899Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest, part 1
895Jane’s Secret, XXIV: The last drive
888Jane’s Secret, part XI: Grand Duchess
881Our view: Gering’s future needs your vote
879The Good Life: Your dollar is a vote for what you care about
877Across the Fence: On The road
872From the Superintendent’s Desk - Option Enrollment
870From the Superintendent’s Desk : Thank You for another Great Year
868The Good Life: Through my father’s eyes
864Jane’s Secret, part VI: Molly’s surprise
859Jane’s Secret, part IX: Mrs. Huber’s chagrin
858Assad’s endgame
857Jane’s Secret, part XIII: Blackberry pie
853Jane’s Secret, part VII Clem’s confession
852The Good Life: Hey, I’m a winner!
851Barr’s Bacon Wrapped Fantasy Picks: A rookie's guide to drafting your dream team
843Across the Fence: Consumed by fire
842Across the Fence: The Spirit of Crazy Horse
841A Stray Moment: Earth Day, am I doing my part?
833Guest Editorial: Fischer will see U.S. ‘living within means’
832Lyman Review: Hubby’s got my goat
824Teen Voice: I guess it’s just a western Nebraska thing
822A Stray Moment: Merry Christmas – God save us all
822Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest: Part 2 of 2
822From the Superintendent’s Desk: Early Childhood Education
821Observations Only: Painting a picture
821Observations Only: A soul’s journey
817Miss Movies: “Bully” a powerful documentary
817Across the Fence: Burnett’s Mound and the Topeka tornado
816Jane’s Secret, part VIII: Molly's plan
816Jane’s Secret, part XX: Change of plans
811Completely Different: It’s the end of the world as we know it
811Across the Fence: Discovering Ed Stemler
806Completely Different: New Year’s Resolutions
797Jane’s Secret, XXIII: Molly’s plan
795Across the Fence: The Great Solomon River Stampede
793Across the Fence: Mud Springs revisited
793Across the Fence: Class of ’67, last remnants of home
788Completely Different: The game is afoot, a look at Sherlock Holmes
786Jane’s Secret, XXV: Mysteries
785The zombie apocalypse and you
784Life in the Rearview Mirror: I hate coffee
782Across the Fence: Just For the Thrill of It
777Jane’s Secret, part V: Aggie’s complaint
776A Stray Moment: All's well that ends well, usually
775Across the Fence: First scalp for Custer
768Jane’s Secret, part XIV: Molly’s dream
766Across the Fence: The Wellnitz Fire, day 1 and 2
763Across the Fence: The much maligned Ms. Watson
763From the Superintendent’s Desk: Accountability
763Jane’s Secret, part XVI: Fate takes a hand
762Across the Fence: Judge Roy Bean : Texas prizefight promoter
756Across the Fence: A hometown 4th of July
752Teen Voice: Experiencing versus remembering
749Our View: County Manager option leads to Good Old Boys' Club
747Teen Voice: Today’s television
745Observations Only: A new direction
735Jane’s Secret, part XVIII : Devil’s bargain
735From the Superintendent’s Desk - Haig and Aurora Buildings
734From the Superintendent’s Desk
734Jane’s Secret, part XV: Unrequited love
733Observations Only: Giving up
733Jane’s Secret, Part XVIV: Crystal Waters
732Jane’s Secret, part XXII: While the cat’s away
730Teen Voice: Learning calculus more than numbers
729Trash cans
727Jane’s Secret, part XVII : Plans gone awry
726Teen Voice: Let us be beautiful
726Teen Voice: Respond to defeat
725Across the Fence: Submarines and railroads
725Completely Different: That’s so Pinteresting
724Teen Voice: The road of hatred
724From the Pastor's Pen: Lord, teach us to pray
723A Stray Moment - Celebrating Gering's Quasquicentennial
722Jane’s Secret, part XII: Jane's Vow
722Teen Voice: What senior year taught me
721Life in the Rearview Mirror: Cleaning off the ‘what if’ shelf
720From the Superintendent’s Desk: Current enrollment count
720Across The Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part I
718Lyman Review - Tales of the renegade rooster
718From the Superintendent's Desk: Elementary attendance areas
716Observations Only: The joy of money
715Teen Voice: New Year’s goals
714Teen Voice: 'Pretty Little Liars'
712From the Superintendent’s Desk: Parents’ role in the educational process
712Jane’s Secret, XXXIII: Night walk
707Miss Movies: Ten movies for romance
706Teen Voice: The more the merrier
706The Good Life: Our most precious right, gagged
705A Stray Moment: In praise of silence
703Across the Fence: Faded photos and vivid memories
699The Block
699Jane’s Secret, XXVIII: Lame Johnny
696Completely Different: Confessions of an out of shape twenty something
692 Taking a big risk
692From the Superintendent’s Desk - District purchase of building
690A Small World: Savoring county fair days
687Across the Fence: Sitting Bull: The Last Surrendering Sioux
684From the Superintendent’s Desk: Summer School – 2013
684Completely Different: What’s speech got to do with it?
681Teen Voice: Fifty reasons to smile
679Observations Only: Saturday delight
679Teen Voice: Catfished
679From the Superintendent’s Desk: Thanks for the memories
678Across the Fence - Boston: April 18, 1775
674The Good Life: The best Christmas gift
673The hills, part 1: Mustangs
672Across the Fence: Fort Mitchell on the Great Platte River Road
671Seeing the works of the master
670Life's curve balls
670Jane's Secret, part X: The arrival
670From the Superintendent’s Desk : Draft Calendar 2013-14
667Teen Voice: Lessons I learned from my eight-year-old brother
666Teen Voice: Confessions of the financially disabled
666Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
666Across the Fence: Black Hills Gold and the Thoen Stone
664Completely Different: Remembering Aurora
662A Stray Moment: Waiting on a train
662Completely Different: The Hills, part 3: Rediscovering the spirit
661The ghost of Ayn Rand
661Jane’s Secret, part XXI: Gertrude’s Agenda
660Completely Different: The Marilyn Monroe conundrum
659A Small World: Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair classes offer great variety
658From the Superintendent's Desk: School year now in full swing
657Observations Only: Extreme measures
655Teen Voice: Not just another ride
655Across The Fence: Billy Dixon; Plainsman, Hunter, Indian fighter and Scout
654Timing makes perfect
653Pulpit of Bones: Man's best friend
652Our View: Extreme caution needed with fireworks
649Across the Fence: Bloody Pocket, the final battle
648Observations Only: Sisters lost, part IV
647Observations Only: Counting chickens
645Completely Different: The Hills, part 2: The Civilian Conservation Corps
645Completely Different: The Mind Palace Memory Technique
645Observations Only: Sisters lost, part III
644From the Superintendent's Desk: Election over – work begins
643A Small World: Chokecherry season evokes memories of yesterday
643Across The Fence: The Hat Creek Outpost
640SELL-OUT!
639A Stray Moment: On Canada and the forgotten bicentennial
637A Stray Moment: God Knows
635Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part 2
632A Stray Moment: It's a dog's life
631Observations Only: Just around the corner
630It's no surprise
630A Stray Moment: Star Trek: Infinite diversity in infinite combinations
630Life in the Rearview Mirror: Greensburg strong
629A Stray Moment: Now is the winter of our disconnect
628Teen Voice: Not according to the plan
627Across the Fence: Fact, fiction or fragmented dreams?
626The Good Life: Leave the quilt shop and laundromat alone
626Anno Domini: Independence, an ideal worth celebrating
623Do You Tube?
622Completely Different: The mystery of Vivian Maier
619Completely Different: Happy Hollowthanksmas
619Totally Random: I’m a backwards reader
618From the Superintendent's Desk: PLAS School
618Observations Only: Scourge of violence
618Across the Fence: Rural free delivery
617View from the block
617Welcome to Gering
614From the Superintendent’s Desk: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
613The Good Life: We are not separate, we are one family
613A Stray Moment: I love Sookie Stackhouse
613A Stray Moment: Tacos! Our embarrassment of riches
613The Good Life: It’s hard to believe, the Citizen is four years old
612At the Library: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
610The Good Life: Mom, my partner in life
609Guest Editorial: Bob Kerrey is the true fiscal conservative
608Silence please
608Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
607Observations Only: What's in a word?
603A Stray Moment: The last time
602A Stray Moment: Without a net
601Across The Fence: Portugee Phillips and a horse named Dandy
599From the Superintendent's Desk: Student transportation changes for 2012-13
599LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gering Public Schools seeks imput
599A Stray Moment: Ready for the storm
598Observations Only: Together again
598Across the Fence: Cynthia Ann Parker, Comanche captive
597Age of reason
596A Stray Moment: World War Two is not forgotten
596Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
596Jane’s Secret, XXVII: Town Meeting
593Observations Only: The two faces of poverty
592Life in the Rearview Mirror: Is it possible to just drive in the 21st Century?
592 Across the Fence: ‘Aunt Sally’ and Dakota Gold
591The Good Life: A farm girl in my heart
590Across the Fence: Wounded Knee; December 29, 1890
589Economic development update
589Across the Fence: Tomb of the Unknown
589Across the Fence: Standing on the wagon
588Observations Only: No thank you
588Observations Only: Going home
587Across the Fence: A Cheyenne weekend
586Observations Only: Curious things
586Life in the Rearview Mirror: The Moments we live for
585Completely Different: How the savings stole Christmas
585Our View: Pipeline not a solution to oil problems
585Jane’s Secret, XXIX: Fred’s debacle
584Thinking About Health: The challenge of signing up for Obamacare
582Teen Voice: An eventful homecoming
580From the Superintendent’s Desk - Financial Outlook for Gering Public Schools
580Totally Random: Hemp: considering the real benefits of the miracle plant
579Life in the Rearview Mirror: Personal control of an individual response
575Observations Only: Surprises
574Observations Only: Musings of an odd duck
573Across the Fence: A boy called Slon-Ha
573Guest Voices…
572From the Superintendent's Desk: Our goal: Improve student performance
570Observations Only: Uneventful flight
570Teen Voice: What’s so great about pizza?
568Observations Only: Spider adventure
568Teen Voice: Sit back and enjoy YouTube
568Teen Voice: Living within our means
568Capitol View: Lincoln Highway captures spotlight
566Observations Only: North Powder
565Miss Movies: Top ten holiday films, part II
565Miss Movies: The top ten films of 2012: The year of the geek
565Teen: Voice : Drinking enough water
565Rural America and immigration reform
564Observations Only: Sister odyssey
564A Stray Moment: - The case for Hagel
563Teen Voice: Body image
562Across the Fence: Places near forgotten
561Teen Voice: The benefits of online learning
558Observations Only: Blue chip stock
558Observations Only: Critical thinking
558Teen Voice: Twitter as sleep criminal
558Teen Voice: Shadow art
558The Good Life: Extending grace, the lost art
557Teen Voice: Congratulations, you’re awful
556A Stray Moment: Guilty pleasures
556From the Superintendent's Desk: School Safety and Security
555Across the Fence: Thanks for the memory
555The Good Life: A very interesting meeting indeed
555Across the Fence: The hand dug well
554Across the Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part II
552A Stray Moment: A voice from the past, haunting myself
551Permission to remember
547Observations Only: A strange Thanksgiving
546From the Superintendent's Desk: Why so soon?
546A Stray Moment: For the love of theatre
546Across The Fence: A day For thanks
545Our View: County has some ‘splainin’ to do
543Observations Only: The awful truth
541Thinking about Health: Getting insurance under the Affordable Care Act
540Across the Fence: When Fiddler quit running
540The Good Life: Christina Baker’s mom: Thank you
539Teen Voice: Serendipity
537Across the Fence: When Lady Luck sleeps
535Our View: The elephant in the room
534Teen Voice: On becoming politically active
532Social time has important benefits
532Teen Voice: Eighth day of the week - Someday
531LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No tax state unrealistic
531Observations Only: Journey's end
529Across the Fence: Cheyenne County, Nebraska: cattle country
527Completely Different: The bucket list phenomenon
527Observations Only: A soul's journey, part III
526Home of the Brave
526From the Superintendent's Desk: State report card
526Miss Movies: Top Ten Holiday Films
526Their View: Hey Gering, mind your own business!
526Observations Only: Curious things, part II
526Completely Different: Hey there, four eyes!
523Teeing Off: Lessons learned from golf
521Practice safe barbecue basics
520Teen Voice: Gleek tragedy
519Observations Only: Sister lost
518Guest Voice: If I could do it over again
516The Good Life: The economic footprint of one small business
515Observations Only: The meeting
515Across the Fence : November 1864: Pole Creek, Politics and Patriots
515Observations Only: Wilkerson Pass
515Completely Different: Do you know John Green?
514My Thanksgiving prayer
510Teen Voice: Outbreak of the Gamers
509Across the Fence: Wasicu Wakan
508A Stray Moment - A night owl born to an 8 to 5 world
507Our View: Bravo OTD committee
505The Good Life: The two different types of business people
504I'm falling for Tumblr?
503Teen Voice: Pinning your interest
503Jane’s secret, XXVI: The suitcase
502Teen Voice: Dealing with stress
502Totally Random: My journey, life after living
501The Good Life: We are the Valley’s emissaries
498Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
498A Stray Moment: Having a blast on the Fourth of July
496Five Good Reasons to Create an Investment Strategy
496Jane’s Secret, XXXII Jane’s Bad Day
494Remembering When
494Teen Voice: Practice makes perfect
493Observations Only: Expect the best, part II
493Teen Voice: Being a girl
493A ‘city’ kid goes to the fair
490Observations Only: A gift of serenity
490Completely Different: Perfect memories made in imperfect moments
487Teen Voice: Happy news
487Capitol View: Wild life proposal costly but worthwhile
484The Good Life: The lasting effects of bullying
483Life in the Rearview Mirror: The cumulative effects of giving
482Observations Only : White water
482Across The Fence: Union Pacific robbery at Big Springs
476Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
476Anno Domini: The memorial nobody wants
471A Small World: Special guest
468Observations Only: Sisters lost, part two
465Observations Only: A soul's journey, part two
463Teen Voice: Making sense of the Sandy Hook tragedy
463Observations Only: Good and evil
463Jane's Secret, XXXI: Sixes and sevens
462Observations Only: A fine line
462Life in the Rearview Mirror: Work is more than a four-letter word
462Building Bridges: Cleaning up for company--or not--reveals a lot
459Teen Voice: Say yes to branching out
459Teen Voice: Indulge In moderation
459Across The Fence: Jules, Jack and lawless justice
457Teen Voice: Until we say goodbye
454Teen Voice: Equality
454Life in the Rearview Mirror: The world is a stage
452Our View: Visionaries wanted
450Observations Only: Expect the best
450The Good Life: A holiday recipe for peace
449A real leaning tree Christmas
449Building Bridges: Save the world, educate through agriculture
445Across The Fence: The Heartland plague of 1874-75
444Jane’s Secret XXXV: Bugs and things
443Completely Different: I go to seek a Great Perhaps
442Across The Fence: The Spanish Flu
435The Good Life: A time to be proud of our ancestors
433Teen Voice: By my side until the newness wears off
433Observations Only: The shadow of error
433Building Bridges: Planning now for tourism season 2014
432Observations Only: A matter of matter
431The Good Life - The worst day on record at the Citizen
430The Good Life: People of the Valley, we have a choice
429The Good Life: Innovation and young energy enriches us all
429Observations Only: Indifferent love
428The Good Life: Cooler breezes bring anticipation of fall
427Across The Fence: By the dawn’s early light
425Teen Voice: Previously unwritten cell phone rules
425Observations Only: Beginnings
425Teen Voice: The daily struggle to a lifelong battle
424Across The Fence: The hanging of Cornelius Donahue a.k.a. John A. Hurley
423Across The Fence: Crow Dog, Spotted Tail’s assassin
421Completely Different - The magic of spring
421Jane's Secret XXXIV: Gin Rummy
415Life in the Rearview Mirror: Experiencing life passion
414Observations Only: Divine spirit
413Teen Voice: Saying Goodbye
413Building Bridges: Chautauqua will bring out the best in everyone
412Observations Only: Choices
410Observations Only: Temptation
404The Lyman Review: I love baby ducks
404Totally Random: Life’s ripples
400Observations Only: Willfulness
398Building Bridges: Being grateful for the hardships in life
395Teen Voice: The need to get away
395Observations Only: Divine prompts
393Teeing Off: Around the Green
390Across the Fence: Pawnee legends in the Nebraska Panhandle
389Across The Fence: Billy Dixon at Adobe Walls, June 1874
388Life in the Rearview Mirror: Life enhancing memories
387A Stray Moment: Learning how to walk
387A Small World: Legends week promises fun for everyone
385Observations Only: A matter of paradox
382Life in the Rearview Mirror: Adapt and adjust
380Teen Voice: I’ll be healthy – tomorrow
380Building Bridges: Tend to 2014 and be Happy, Happy, Happy
379A Stray Moment: In praise of encouragement
379Anno Domini: We gather together
376Observations Only: Off to the races
374Observations Only: The vision
374Teen Voice - On the outside looking In
372Teen Voice: Do It Anyway
370Across The Fence: The Pawnee on Pumpkin Creek
370Across the Fence: The Overland Camel Company
369Across the Fence: The Pony Express
369Teen Voice: Thanksgiving
365Observations Only: The need to understand
364Totally Random: October, the pink month
364Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
363Dear Fellow Nebraskans: We Are Proud of the Nebraska National Guard
362Teen Voice:  Body bashing and self-image
358Building Bridges: Celebrating the Bulldog homecoming
355Observations Only: A good daughter
353Observations Only: Fuzzy angel
353Across The Fence: Freedom Triumphant Over War and Peace
352Building Bridges: Love your enemies
350Teeing Off: Mind Gym
349A Halloween Story: The scary dream
346Teen Voice: Silence
345Teeing Off: Persistence
343Across the Fence; Prelude to the Red River War of 1874
342Welcome to Gering and the 92nd Oregon Trail Days Celebration.
340Lyman Review: Devil calf
337Teen Voice: Stress test
337Anno Domini: Ask the digital dust
333Teen Voice: Remember what you have
333Observations Only: A sad week
329Observations Only: Afraid of the dark
328Teen Voice: The Other Side
324Observations Only: Waiting time
322Teeing Off: The thing about state
321Lyman Review: The elusive farm cat
319Across The Fence: First train from Saply Grove
319Teen Voice: What is love?
318Teen Voice: The rivalry
313Observations Only: The unvarnished truth
312Observations Only: Reality check
309Building Bridges: Observing bullies, abuse and pastors
308Building Bridges: Building us up to be what others see
305Up The Creek Without A Paddle: The NRD wants to do what with your money?
303Observations Only: Hog wash
302Updates from NRD: NRD promotes conservation
300Guest Editorial: The future of health care at Regional West
299Update From the NRD: Winter has arrived
297Building Bridges: “New” will become a buzzword in the Valley
296Across the Fence: A Cowboy kind of Christmas
295Building Bridges: Following the spirit of Gering
295Lyman Review: The love goat
293Observations Only: Saint Marge
291Our View: Why rush the interlocal agreement?
291Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Collegebound Nebraska
290Across The Fence: Amos Bad Heart Bull
288Lyman Review: Now that's a set of handlebars!
283Totally Random: Happy Halloween
282Jane’s Secret XXXVII: A starry night
279Jane’s Secret XXXVI:  The dream
278Lyman Review: One mean chicken
274Across The Fence; ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of the Oregon Trail
273Anno Domini: On this remembering day
271Teen Voice: Shopping days or holidays?
269Observations Only: Gone away
268Lyman Review: Something wicked this way comes
268Building Bridges: Serve on the school board—or say no more
266
264Final Point: Golf, cross country feats headline fall season successes
259Teen Voice: Self-expression
258No-Till Notes: Water Funding Task Force
257Teen Voice: Is respect dead?
255Teen Voice: Nobody else can lower you
253Across The Fence: The Three Guardsmen
252From the Hill: More Work Ahead
252Jane’s Secret, XXXVIII: Bad girls
250Observations Only: The visit
246 Across the Fence: Remembering Armistice Day
240Teen Voice: Cyber War
239Teen Voice: My rebellion
237Across the Fence: The Blizzard of ‘49
234Welcome to the ‘New’ in Gering
234Why you should visit the zoo in February
232Teen Voice: Hope for a New Year
228Observations Only: The last goodbye
228Across the Fence: New eyes on the Panhandle
227Observations Only: A day in August
227Our View: Childcare not school district’s role
227Jane’s Secret, XLI Black widow spider
221Building Bridges: Objectivity and fairness make a winning plan
219Across The Fence: Mustangs on Pumpkin Creek
214Lyman Review: Goat-chasing cardio
214Teen Voice: The gift of caring
212Dear Nebraskans: Massachusetts should not determine Nebraska’s Presidential vote
211Observations Only: The last toothpick
211No-Till Notes: Joe Franks Memorial
210Teen Voice: My School, Their Rules
208Observations Only: One more time
208Across the Fence; Massacre on the Marias River
207Observations Only: Final moment
207Updates from NRD: Happy New Year
203Totally Random: Trusting the fates
200Observations Only: The vigil
199Across The Fence: Moc-chi, A Southern Cheyenne warrior
196Teen Voice: To the future
196Teen Voice: Family for all intents and purposes
196Building Bridges: Pause a moment...save a child’s life
193Across The Fence: Crazy Horse’s Last Battle
189Our View: Community responsible for kids
186Teen Voice: Writing love on our hearts
176Christmas stories from Freshman Academy students
172Across The Fence: Last Christmas
172SBNM View: Do you want to be a VIP?
170Coach Schadwinkel promoted strong sense of tradition
168Across the Fence: Remembering English Joe
166Mayor’s Monthly: Moving on Gering’s momentum
165At the Library: March into a good book
164Teen Voice: Trouble Maker or Hard Worker?
162Lyman Review: Taste of boot?
160Lyman Review: Nudge to the Butt
160Letter to Editor clarifies drug testing policy
158Teen Voice: Where is the love?
158Capitol View: Yes, Virginia, the Legislature has done something, so far
157Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLII: Sunflowers
154Lyman Review: Winter's dog
152No-Till Notes: Looking Back
146Dear Nebraskans: Nebraska is the place for business
144Across the Fence: Prelude to Battle
144In the Hills: Arbor Day in Nebraska
141Teen Voice: Holiday horrors
140Totally Random: Where does it go?
139Nature Notes: Love is in the air
129Capitol View: Considering additional education choices
122Building Bridges: Asking officials to speak and work as a body
121Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLIV: Jail break
118Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
117Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
117Across the Fence: Roy Bean; scoundrel with a law book
117Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
109Lyman Review: Dog fun
107Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLIII: Jail house rock
107Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
104At the Monument: That old (historic) building
102Across the Fence: John Colter, the first mountain man
99Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
99Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
97Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
96Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
93Religious freedom must be protected
81Teen Voice: Inspire me
80Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
78At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
76Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
75Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
73View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
73Across the Fence: Amanda
69Teen Voice: Footprints
55Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
54In the Hills: Explore the state parks
50Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
49Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
46No-till Notes: Moving forward
46Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
45Support emergency services personnel
40At the Monument: Art in National Parks
37Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
35Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
28Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
Culvers
Panhandle Humane Society
Ag Market Online
Kendell Henderson