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North Hwy 15 accident

March 15,2011

At approximately 1803 Jefferson County Communications received a call of a two vehicle accident just south of Superior Deshler on Highway 15.

Vehicle #1 was a 2008 Dodge Magnum driven by Kim C. Thomas 56 yoa of Fairbury, Ne. and sustained approximately $7000.00 damage. Vehicle #2 was a 2002 Ford pickup driven by Lisa Svoboda 45 yoa of Bruno, Ne. and was considered a total loss.

Vehicle #1 was south bound on Hwy 15 and Vehicle #2 was northbound on Hwy 15. Vehicle #1 crossed the centerline and struck Vehicle #2. Vehicle #2 rolled over and came to rest in the road way. Vehicle #1 came to rest in the east ditch. The driver of Vehicle #2 was transported to Jefferson Community Health Center by ambulance for minor injuries. Restraints were in use in both vehicles and air bags did deploy.

Responding emergency services were Jefferson County Ambulance Dist. #33, Fairbury Rural Fire, Jefferson County Rescue, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

New officer sworn in

Keith Trimm

Fairbury-Stanley Colby was sworn in tonight as Fairbury’s new full time police officer. Colby, who is currently working at Cabela’s in Kearney, is a certified officer with 12 years experience

At the March 15th 2011 city council meeting, councilman Vossler made the comment that not enough information about the applicant had been made to the council to make an informed decision stating, “in the future, it would be nice to have more information about any city employee that we approve. It would be nice to have more information before the night of the city council meeting.” Councilman Kelly Davis added, “its’s a pretty important vote and all we have is a name.”

Councilwoman Shirley Bender stated that the meeting was only posted at the city council offices, the courthouse and the library, and it was only two days before that meeting and “that was my problem with the whole thing, it should have been on a regular night where the public doesn’t think we are trying to deceive them. We have to have the perception that we are open and honest.” Davis said that he would have liked to see a resume or some references or a background check. Councilman Doug Brown replied, “Was the chief available between Wednesday and tonight to answer any questions?” Davis replied that it would be nice if the information was added to the councils pre council packets.

According to information gathered at the previous meeting with police chief Chad Sprunk, the new officer Colby is currently employed at Cabelas in Kearney, has 13 years in law enforcement and has worked at McCook police dept. and Dundee Co. Sheriffs dept. Colby was voted in unanimously and sworn in by city attorney David Bargen. Police chief Sprunk declined an interview with the new officer stating, “Maybe later, I don’t want to put him through that now.”

Arrest Made in Fairbury Homicide

Keith Trimm

(Fairbury, NE)- Investigator’s with the Nebraska State Patrol in conjunction with the Jefferson County Attorney, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Lincoln Police Department have arrested a Fairbury woman in the death of her husband.

Susan Dejong, 54, Fairbury, is lodged in the Jefferson County Jail on a charge of 1st Degree Murder for the Friday, March 11, 2011 death of her husband, Thomas Dejong, 52, Fairbury.

Just before 4:00 p.m., Friday, Fairbury Rescue responded to a 911 call from a female requesting medical assistance for an unresponsive male at 55930 Highway 136, approximately nine miles west of Fairbury. The male, Thomas Dejong, 52, Fairbury was transported by ambulance to Fairbury Community Health Center. He was then transferred by ambulance to Bryan LGH-West in Lincoln.

Dejong, who appeared to have been severely beaten, was treated for multiple blunt force trauma to the head, torso and limbs. He was pronounced dead shortly before midnight on Friday, March 11, 2011.

Around 7: 00 a.m., Saturday, March 12, 2011, NSP investigator’s arrested Susan Dejong, 54, Fairbury on a charge of 1st Degree murder. Susan Dejong was taken into custody at the Lincoln Police Department where she had been undergoing questioning. She was then transported and lodged in the Jefferson County Jail.

Results of an autopsy are pending.

Fire south of Gilead

Keith Trimm

A grass/field fire approximately 4 miles south of Gilead. At the time these pictures were taken 3pm, there were no firemen at the scene. The smoke rose 500 feet into the air and was heading towards a wooded area. No additional information is available at this time.

Wells, Andrea Darleen Fugitive from Justice

Depression and Anxiety

Keith Trimm

You may have experience with anxiety and depression and you may not, but to those who suffer it is an all to real part of their lives that can control their thoughts, emotions and behaviors. And these are not crazy people, they are your friends and neighbors and coworkers. I decided to write this article, not to teach anyone about anxiety and depression, there are a million websites out there that can do that for you. I wrote this to give you real life examples from people you may or may not know. I put out a call for people who would be willing to share their personal stories and these are the responses I received. I am not putting any names out, but these are real people that you have probably met in the grocery store or anywhere downtown. It often helps others to understand and feel more comfortable when they know they are not alone.

I’ll start out with myself. Started back when I was going to the University of Ne. @ Kearney, around 1994. That’s when the symptoms started, the shortness of breath, the tightness in the chest and the obsessed worrying over things that were not in my control. I knew something was wrong, and as many do, thought it might be a physiological problem with my heart and lungs. Over time I found out the problems started in my brain and worked their way down. I had known for many years that I had a family history of anxiety and depression, I didn’t realize how bad till recently. But the symptoms have caused problems in my life and I have had to seek help to keep my on track and focused. If any of you know me, I tend to be a high strung kind of guy going about 2 million miles an hour. With help, hopefully I can get this down to 1 million.

The next story is from a young woman named Amanda who wanted to help by sharing her story:

I was first diagnosed with depression at 16. I was having several issues that went beyond the normal teenager stage. I wasn't really depressed, however I had an attitude from hell. My mother knew that I needed help and then getting in trouble and being put on probation, they decided (the court and my mother) together that I needed to go talk to a therapist. I was sent to some lady at Blue Valley who told me that every problem and situation that occurred in my life, was my fault. I quit going to her and started to see another therapist. He made me take an 800 question assessment, so he could better help me. He said that I scored high for depression. I think the first medication he put me on was Zoloft.

I've noticed lately, with the help of my doctor, we're working on combinations to help level out my ups and downs. I can't really say that I'm depressed, but I get upset easily. I guess you can say that I'm a little high strung at times.

I don't see a therapist right now, I have seen many over the past years though and besides one of the first therapists, I don't see that they're really any help. I'm taking Lexapro right now and I will be starting Abilify with it on Monday to see if we can get emotions under control Depression runs hard in my dads side of the family. My father has suffered from depression for many many years and after the death of my oldest brother 12 years ago, he seems to suffer more.

I have had suicidal thoughts, but I have never once acted on them. Winter is a very bad time for my depression. I realized a couple of years ago that I desperately need the sun to make it through. Last winter was horrible for me as by the end of December I was already feeling the winter blues and becoming extremely cranky. I look forward to the spring and summer as I know my moods won't be so bad.

The only thing I ask is if someone doesn't have these symptoms, please try to be sympathetic and understanding and know that most of the time things are only temporary, but when I need time to myself, I need time to myself and please be respectful. It has nothing to do with me not liking you as a person, but I just may need some time to myself.

Realize that anxiety and depression are mental illnesses. They are not contagious and please don't look down on people and make fun of them because they're different than you.

From another woman we will call Mary:

I first realized I had some severe issues in my early 20s. I was almost paralyzed with anxiety, anxiety about anything and everything, there was a new "fear" every day. I went to the doctor and I walked away from that experience with a bad taste in my mouth. The doctor made me feel like I was being ridiculous and basically told me to snap out of it. I went to a psychologist who literally took a phone call in the middle of our first session to talk to another doctor about a sale of a classic car. The rest of the time he told me I was just depressed because I needed to lose some weight. Ok. Well, I never went back to him. I finally went back to the doctor, a different doctor, and was prescribed Lexapro for depression, that was later switched to Celexa.

I continue to take my celexa, although I don't really feel like it does anything. I feel depressed somedays and have to literally force myself to get out of bed. It does NOTHING for the anxiety. Sometimes, out of the clear blue, I feel like I can't breathe and have this horrific attack of anxiety. It really is paralyzing. I really really try to keep this hidden, I don't know how well I do at it. At work I think I'm ok, although I have found I get irritable very easily and am pretty withdrawn from "friendly" interaction. I don't really interact much with my coworkers unless it is work-related, because I just don't want to. It's strange, I used to be the "life of the party" but now, if I could have my choice, I'd be home, in the dark, all day long. I hate that. And it's weird because one moment I'm so full of anxiety that it hurts to breathe, and the next minute I don't really care about anything at all and just want to sleep or sit alone.

I am on Celexa, but I don't think it helps. I don't see a therapist or a doctor. I'm just pretty embarrassed to go to the doctor about it. I feel like they think I'm crazy or paranoid or a hypochondriac. I have had suicidal thoughts in the past, many years ago. But I do not have them now. It's actually pretty painful and exhausting, especially when you have NO idea why you feel this way.

This story comes from Maxine:

When I was 28, I was at work one night (I worked 3 to 11 shift) and as I was sitting there getting report from the leaving shift, I suddenly felt antsy. I had an urge to run out the door. Over the next 20 min or so my heart began to pound. I tried to begin my shift, but I suddenly started shaking and crying uncontrollably. I had no idea what was going on, but I was scared that something bad was going to happen. I was lucky enough to work with a nurse who knew the number to a psychiatrist friend, and she told him what was going on. my pulse was 140 and my BP was 150/100s.

I was sobbing and gasping for air. She talked to him for awhile and then she had me talk to him. He tried several different things to get me to calm down. finally he was able to use a visualization technique and I could feel myself starting to relax. He had me floating on a pool with some big white fluffy clouds floating by. The kind you can see animals in. in the meantime, the nurse I was working with came back from the pharmacy with a prescription for me, and I was given Ativan 2mg po. My roommate was called to come take me home. I stayed on Ativan 2 mg every 4-6 hours for the next 3 days. I had a physical exam and lots of blood work to check kidneys thyroid and hormones, and no other cause could be found, so I was given an official dx of panic attack. on day 4 I had to go back to work.

I was scared it would happen again, but I took a deep breath and went inside. As I sat down in the same chair I had been in last time, I could feel my heart start to pound. I jumped from my chair and ran to my locker. I popped an ativan. it somehow made me feel better right away, just knowing I had it on board. but about 30 min later I could feel my pulse slowing down and I was able to make it thru my shift. I was lucky. I have never had another one. But I will never forget that feeling.

3 years later I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism with a mulitnodular goiter. Coincidence? cause research found that a failing thyroid can have periods where abnormal amounts of thyroid hormone can be excreted. Too much thyroxine can cause symptoms of a panic attack.

Then, about 2.5 years ago, the dog knocked over the trash can. the next thing I knew, I was sitting on the floor in the middle of the trash crying again. My heart was pounding, but I knew I was in trouble. As I looked back, I realized that over the last 5 years or so I was shorter to temper and easily upset. I was nervous and tired all the time. I think I was depressed but didn’t want to admit it. I tried to hide in my work. I had 3 part time jobs but hated them all. I was not happy. Well, I finally stopped crying over the trash and called my health care provider. They saw me the next day and said it could be fluctuating female hormones, or it could be actual depression. Either way, she felt that a low dose of an antidepressant would do the trick. I started on Lexapro 10 mg daily in the morning. It made me so nauseous I could hardly eat for 3 days before I started to take it at bedtime. Nausea improved and about 10 days in I had no more nausea. took about 2 weeks before I noticed any improvement in my moods and mood swings.

- I have tried to "stop" my medication - but the first time I did we were on vacation, and my husband commented that I was being awful bitchy, so I went back on the medication immediately. I have not tried to quit since. My child would occasionally tell me I seem angry today - and if I count my meds, I have forgotten to take them for a day or two. I am more careful now to not forget my "happy pill."

I still take Lexapro 10 mg nightly. I have seen a therapist who helped me get thru what I refer to as my midlife crisis about a year ago. he asked me some tough questions about my life and helped me prioritize what I wanted out of life.

My grandfather had both anxiety and depression - he had been on antidepressants and has even had ECT for his severe depression. There is research that says some women only need antidepressants during the week before and the week of their cycle - I tried that but I have found I feel more "stable" if I take every day - no matter what day of the week or month it is.

Don’t judge - until you've walked in my shoes - don’t judge. I have a friend who thinks people with depression are "faking it" and I used to have a little doubt about the severity of problems this could cause people until I experienced it myself.

Next we hear from 33 year old Jane:

I was officially diagnosed at age 17 with depression which is a difficult age. It's a time in your life when you are at the point of making so many big decisions in your life, it should wonderful and exciting, so when I wasn't happy or excited to be making the decisions, I came to the realization that something wasn't right. I think I may have been depressed prior to this, but just couldn't put a name to it. I cried a lot and was labeled "moody" by those around me. I became more withdrawn than normal. I finally went to a parent and asked to have an appointment made with a counselor for help. I went through several months of counseling at that time and went on Zoloft and had good results.

At this point in my life, I have better management of the symptoms. When you have had the issue over a good time of time, you learned how to better manage the symptoms of it. With better management, you feel less depressed. I have some symptoms of depression currently, mainly on a seasonal basis. In the past, I have had issues with depression and anxiety. They do go hand in hand, but you can have one without the other. When you are depressed, you become more aware of how others may be judging the symptoms that you have and how it effects your communication skills. It affects personal relationships, work relationships. People notice when you withdraw or are nervous around them. I take 50mg of Zoloft. I do not currently see a therapist, but have done so in the past. Zoloft does help. Medication helps with the symptoms, but it doesn't always "fix" the causes of the depression. I use a general friend based support system right now as therapy.

My mother has had depression. There is a list of relatives on both sides of the family who have had seasonal depression. One of my cousins has anxiety and depression issues.

I did come close to acting on suicidal thoughts once. I began to experience symptoms again and went to my Dr for medication. I was placed on a new kind of drug. The result was that the drug made me worse and suicidal. A feeling of being extremely low and high at the same time. I was to the point of having pills in hand and a glass of water ready to do it when I pulled back. No two depression medications work the same. They all work with our body chemistry differently. I can be a guessing game of trial and error until you find the right one.

I have issues with sleeping. When I can't sleep, depression gets worse. Major trigger. Occasional panic attacks, can't say I have had one in years, but have in the past on occasion. People around you don't know what to think you you have one. It can range from, "are they having problems breathing?" to "is she crazy?"

In winter, it is more seasonal depression anymore. I do the best in the fall usually. Can't say I notice any changes during a day or a week. The only times one month is better or worse was if I had something bad occur in that particular month.

I wish that everyone could have depression at some point in his or her life. To go through it, then to find the cause of it and then to go from down in the dumps to having your life's an amazing feeling. In the end, you appreciate your life more. When you know the feeling of hitting rock bottom, the feeling of being on top of the world is that much stronger. You look at life differently afterward.

I have found that having depression is not well understood. Depression is a disease. Just like Diabetes or high blood pressure. People are unique. Many folks have the mind set that you pop a pill everyday and then "poof," a magic cure and you are wonderfully happy again. It doesn't work that way. With Diabetes or high blood pressure, you make lifestyle changes to improve symptoms, whether it involves changing your diet, exercising or going on medication. Depression is the same but is far more complex to understand. Medication may help you...It may not...this medication may help, this medication may make you worse. Sometimes it can take years of trying before you find the right combination of medication, therapy, support and/or lifestyle changes before a difference is found.

One of my therapist in the past told me that Prozac is one of the most prescribed medications in the country and that Prozac is only one of dozens of anti-depressant medications available. In other words, millions of Americans suffer from depression each year. When you are in the middle of suffering, you feel like you are alone, hearing her say that changed my perspective. If millions are taking the medication, they must feel the same way that I do.

It continues to boggle my mind the misunderstanding and stigma attached with having any mental illness. Misunderstanding leads to more confusion, more suffering and less healing.

And last, we hear from Grandma Mac: I was born 2 pounds 4 oz. to a family of alcoholics, I cried all the time and had no friends was very unhappy seen school councilor they blamed it on the family, Then the abuse started , at this point I finally said enough and went to the school councilor as I was full of bruises, they removed me from the immediate home and placed me in foster care, I hated it so bad I wanted to kill myself but that is impossible when you are placed in foster care you are watched closely, the other kids would hit me on the head with books and make me do their chores. I went to bed early one night and had a plan to get kicked out of that foster home, I placed a trash can(plastic) heater and turned the heated up as far as it would go, low and behold it got hot and melted the can, yep kicked out, gosh cant imagine why I would have done something to hurt others. I was then moved to a childrens home where the counciling started and oh did I cry a lot. I am not sure the meds they had me on at that time but it was the counciling that helped the most.

I feel like a jealous person now, wish I had close family I have 4 brothers and 2 sisters and none of us talk. I don’t think I am depressed now but I did go to counseling for 7 years. I do have anxiety but on rare occasions. It has effected my jobs from time to time you become very short and snappy towards people,I also believe it effected my family I think my daughter is very very depressed and chooses not to seek help and if she did she could not afford it.

I take prozac every morning and Xanex if anxiety kicks in. I did have suicidal thoughts many times in my younger days not so much now and no I have never acted on them. I have OCD and BIPOLAR they can drive you to the point of crazy, here is how it had effected my life, going to work in Beatrice live in Fairbury, count the dead animals on the side of the road, turn around and do it again because there is one missing. There is no grey for ocd you have to know why everything. Bipolar is way worse when it is cloudy, I take depakote for this every night for this due to the fact that your mind does not shut off and you get no sleep. when ever it is nice enough to go outside without a heavy coat on is when it is better. Also my 2 grandgirls help make it better.

As I learned in the past do not tell them to get over it , that just makes it worse, just listen no need to reply, and get them help if they threaten harm.

These illnesses are terrible imaging being in a box berried gosh knows where and you cant get out and you don’t even know where you are except in a box . How would you get help when your trapped in the box berried remember ,SPEAK KIND WORDS HEAR KIND ECOES.

I would like to say thank you to all that sent in their stories and I hope this will help you if you also suffer from these kinds of symptoms. We want you to know you are not alone and the feelings you share are common. The hard part is seeking treatment and finding out what will work for you. It can take years to find the right combination of drugs and therapy. Don’t give up, and if you have feelings of suicide, call for help or click here.

Citizens That Care

Gary Oden

Beatrice-One brief moment on Feb. 27, 2007 changed the life of SFC Michael (Kid) Schlitz. While serving his country in Iraq, as a Ranger in the United States Army, an IUD exploded next to the vehicle he was riding in. Three of his comrades were killed and he was severely injured from the blast. Now living in Texas he has endured numerous surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy.

In late February 2010, Don Myers, Brad Anderson and Troy Stevens were sitting in Don’s Garage; he calls it The Westside Saloon, trying to figure out how they could raise money to help Kid. When they called Kid to get ideas, he told them they needed to do something for the troops that were still deployed overseas, not to worry about him. He suggested raising money for Care Packages.

Within a few weeks the group was using the name “Citizens That Care” A Facebook page was set up and a Benefit for the troops was being planned for Sept. 11, 2010. Only having a few months to set up the benefit, Jon Potter, Kids brother, and Gary Oden was recruited to help. Others joined to help as time went on. The group decided that 100% of the proceeds from this event was going to be put toward care packages. The members volunteered their time and used their own money to support the effort.

Local bands were contacted to see if they would be willing to play for free for the benefit. The response was overwhelming. After awhile bands from across SE Ne. started calling asking to play. Not wanting to turn anyone down other local bars were contacted and again the response was great. Wanting to start small, a fundraiser for the Beatrice food pantry was planned for June 5th, 2010. Whizker Bizket donated their time to play and approximately 100 pounds of food items were raised from their first event. Local businesses were contacted and some donated prizes for a raffle. Others helped with discounts for printing and other items needed. Facebook was the main source for advertising but the Eagle and the Blaze, radio stations in Lincoln, gave free airtime.

Fifteen bands played. A Poker Run Car and Bike Show and Shine were held. Offutt Air Force Base Color Guard presented the colors in the evening. The Patriot Project out of Marysville, Ks. had a booth along with the Army, Navy and The Air Force recruiters.

Over $2,000 was raised for care packages. Middle and high school students wrote letters that were sent along with the packages. A group from California that specializes in sending these packages sent 189 packages filled with $50-$75 worth of items to the troops.

Wanting to expand their reach, late in 2010 CTC contacted the Adopt – A – Highway program and adopted a two-mile stretch of west highway 136. Also a friend of the group has started the process of incorporating the group so CTC can become a Non-Profit organization.

Another food drive is scheduled for June 5th. August 19-20 is the next Troop benefit. Other projects are in the planning stages for the future.

Possession Child Pornography, Sexual Assault of child

Fairbury-A 38 year old Fairbury man is jailed in Jefferson County on Child Sexual Assault, Child Abuse and Child Pornography charges.

He was arrested without incident at his Fairbury home Thursday afternoon, March 3, 2011.

The Nebraska State Patrol Technical Crimes Unit served a search warrant on the suspects residence in Fairbury, after a computer owned by the man was found to contain images depicting child pornography. During the subsequent investigation it was determine the suspect was also sexually abusing a minor child who resided with him. The minor child was removed from the home and placed in protective custody. An infant was allowed to remain in the custody of its mother.

The suspect was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail on one count Felony Sexual Assault of a Child, one count Felony Child abuse and nine counts Felony Possession of Child Pornography. (JCSO/NSP)

Every Little Crook and Nanny

Performed at the Endicott Town Hall, March 11th 7:30pm Sunday March 13th 3 pm. This marks the 7th performance by the Endicott Town Hall Players. The play features the acting talents of Betty Novotny, Deb Sutton, Becky Meredith, Dennis McAtee, Larry Lange, Richard Rhoden, Lori Sweetser, Keden Boeve, Cody Boeve, and Jennifer McPherson.

Written by Pat Cook, all the humor and crazy antics take place in the living room of a boardinghouse owned by a sweet retired nanny named Lillie Scones

The plot follows the tomfoolery of two bumbling Al Capone-like crooks who are renting a room out of Lillie’s boardinghouse to more effectively pilfer the bank on the corner. Unfortunately, the two would-be robbers encounter several setbacks when they catch wind that another individual in the boardinghouse is planning to rob the same bank as well and a young boy, prone to mischief, secretly uncovers their plan.

The play is directed by Cheryll McAtee. She states that, “the money we make goes back into the hall for things we need like ceiling fans, handicapped bathrooms and chairs. And in the park we bought equipment. It seems like we go 3 years and skip a year and we go 3 years and we skip a year, not on purpose, it just works out that way.”

To purchase advance tickets, contact Cheryll McAtee 300-0080, Sharee McAtee 729-5640, Deb Sutton 587-1520 or any of the cast members.

Wymore city council update

Wymore-At tonights Wymore city council meeting, a new council member, Sue Sapp was voted in to fill the vacancy created after Daniel Guenther was voted in as Mayor. According to Mayor Guenther, Beth Hookstra-Cordry notified him by email that she no longer was interested as a candidate for the open council position. In what has become a regular occurrence, councilman Daniel Hawkins changed his routine and did not leave the floor and cast a vote in favor of the new appointment.

According to Wymore resident Lee Carr, “When it came to electing the open seat, for the city council our Mayor Dan Guenther withdrew Beth’s name which has been an issue with Mr. Hawkins.” Carr started a recall effort against Hawkins a month ago, “I filed it and he got 20 days to respond, he received it on the 2nd and responded on the 20th day and then they called me and I got the stuff and we’ve been getting signatures.”

Wymore resident Lisa Munstermann commented on Hawkins evolvement with the Wymore Fire and Rescue, “It’s personal with him and fire and rescue, and to me the walking out of the meetings was the big point with the recall. He was making fire and rescue personal when it was actually city business. The city is not just fire and rescue, that’s not what we are all here for and when you take an oath, you take and oath to do what’s right for the citizens of the community you don’t take an oath to do what’s right for yourself.”

Asked about the recall, Munstermann stated, “The reason why I made sure we weren’t stopping the recall is becausewe have 53 signatures and the citizens now expect us to follow through with the recall and it doesnt fix the problem that they filled the seat.” Carr added, “For some reason he had a major issue with her (Hookstra) and it was a personal reason.” Munstermann went on to explain, “He was trying to have one man control of the community by walking out because he didn’t want to do the right thing by voting on her. He has a conflict of interest with her over what I believe is the fire and rescue. Dan was manipulating the community for 10 weeks now ( 5 meetings).” ”

Hawkins declined to be interviewed but Mayor Guenther stated that Sapp would be a great addition to the city council and had no comment on Hawkins behavior over the last 5 weeks.

BVCA facing possible budget cuts.

Blue Valley Community Action is facing proposed budget cuts which could scale down or even eliminate some services in the 9 county region they serve. According to BVCA C.E.O. Rick Nation, “There are some issues with the funding we are concerned about, so we’ve been asking our friends in the community and leaders in the community to express to their congressman and senators the way they see the value of the organization to the community.”

The President in his 2012 budget and the house in the original budget for 2011 had eliminated BVCA’s programs. “The President cut it in half and made the rest of it competitive rather than earmarked to us. Both of them would eliminate the community services block grant which is our core funding.”

Programs effected would include the weatherization program, Head Start and early head start , food pantry, housing rehabilitation, loan assistance, tax assistance , FYI center, clothing rooms. Blue Valley contributes over $10 million dollars each year to the local economy, through payroll or purchases. “It’s not just the low income families that this will effect, it could effect the whole community because if we had to close down our centers, programs such as W.I.C. and the commodity program for example the local economy would loose hundreds of thousands of dollars in the area through the W.I.C. vouchers. The commodity program serves over eleven hundred individuals each month and 80% of those are seniors.”

According to Nation, the community and local business could also suffer from funds no longer being available for purchases in the local community. “A lot of our first time home buyers programs run through local banks.” Blue valley has a 10 million dollar budget over the 9 counties they serve, about 3 million comes from the federal government another 3 million from the federal government through the state. “So when the Federal government starts cutting funds it also hurts the state.”

There has been some good news though, states Nation, “The two week extension they are talking about apparently we came up to be added to the list of programs to be eliminated and the house defeated that and so some people contacting our congressman and senators is starting to work a little bit. So we hope people will continue doing that.”

BVCA has 22 locations in the 9 county region they serve, “and we would not be able to keep 22 operating. The cost would be prohibitive. Our volunteers are way up, almost double from last year, so we are getting support.” Currently BVCA has 155 employees and serve about 14 thousand people a year. They have locations in all 9 counties along with distribution centers. “And those are the programs most at risk because those are the funding they were eliminating.”

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