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Murray Newsletter - January 27, 2010


'Letter to the Editor'

Have you been the unsuspecting recipient of a kind deed and want to challenge others to 'pay it forward' or is something just kind-of bugging you and you want to get it off your mind? Say it here!

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Read about

Radon Action Month


Military Spouses Residency Relief Act

in Senator Pankonin's following letter:

A Quieter Beginning

January 19, 2010
Lincoln -

The One Hundred First Legislature, Second Session began with a more moderate pace than I have previously experienced.

In the first seven days of the 2010 session, about 275 new bills were introduced. Clerk of the Legislature Patrick O'Donnell noted that 500 bills are usually proposed in a 60-day session. All new bills must be introduced by the tenth legislative day, so we probably won't reach the average bill count this year. Fewer proposals probably result from the legislature's desire to manage the state budget without spending increases.

Twice during my first three years in office, the legislative session began with the swearing in of a large class of newly elected or re-elected senators and the body's selection of members to serve in leadership positions. The only changes required for the 2010 session were actually addressed last fall during the budget-cutting special session. In November District 10 Senator Bob Krist arrived to replace former Senator Mike Friend. Senator Friend resigned his legislative seat in order to accept a gubernatorial appointment to a new state position. Senator Friend's departure also created a leadership vacancy for the Urban Affairs Committee. The Committee's Vice Chair Senator Amanda McGill from Lincoln was elected in November to chair the Committee through the 2010 legislative session.

The quieter beginning this year has allowed a little more time for me to review the vast array of information that state senators receive. Individuals and organizations in Nebraska and throughout the United States provide senators with details about specific events, as well as research and perspectives on policy issues. Here are two examples of news reports I received last week.

From the Department of Health and Human Services came news that the governor proclaimed January as Radon Action Month. Most people know that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, but they may not know that nonsmokers are also susceptible to the disease. Exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer, and it is the primary cause for nonsmokers. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year are due to radon exposure. Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring gas that originates in the soil and builds to dangerous levels in homes. In Nebraska 50 percent of radon tests conducted yield elevated levels of radon. For nonsmokers, the best way to reduce risk of lung cancer is to test for radon, and if levels are high, to mitigate the home. Winter months are the best time for Nebraskans to test for radon, because homes are closed up and can trap the toxic gas, causing it to build to dangerous levels. The Nebraska Radon Program offers low-cost radon test kits to encourage people to test their homes. Most homes with high levels of radon can be successfully treated using a standard radon mitigation system. The program provides technical assistance to those who have questions about the mitigation system.

A list of trained professionals is available at the Nebraska Radon Program website:

To purchase a short-term radon test kit for $5, send a check or money order with name and mailing address to: Nebraska Radon Program, 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, NE 68509.

State Tax Commissioner Doug Ewald announced the Department of Revenue's implementation of the federal Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA). For spouses who are residents of the same state as the military servicemember, the income earned by the spouse while accompanying the servicemember to Nebraska is only taxable in the spouse's state of legal residence. This change is effective beginning with the 2009 tax year. The income earned for services performed in Nebraska by the spouse, who is a legal resident of a state other than Nebraska, is exempt from Nebraska income tax if: 1. The servicemember is present in Nebraska solely in compliance with military orders, 2. the spouse is in Nebraska solely to be with the servicemember, and 3. the spouse is a legal resident in the same state as the servicemember. All three conditions must be met to qualify for the exemption. More complete information is available on the department's web site at

I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to represent District 2 in the Nebraska Legislature.

We welcome your contacts by mail, phone or email.

Senator Dave Pankonin
State Capitol
PO Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2613






at Mahoney State Park

an official U.S.F.S.A. program for

ages 4+

Skater’s Name:_________________________________________________

Age:________        Date of Birth:__________       Gender:  M / F


Phone:_____-_____-_______        Email:____________________________

Parent’s Name:______________________    Signature:_________________

Have you skated with Precise Ice before?    Yes / No

Session 2

10:00-10:50 a.m.

Jan.  30

Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27

March 6, 13

Cost: $66.50*

*Add a once-per-year fee of $11.00 for a required membership in the USFSA and administrative costs

*Skate rental is available from the park for $3.00

*Park permit needed for entry into Mahoney State Park

Send application and make check payable to:

Precise Ice

5150 N. 90th Street Omaha, NE 68134

For information call:  571-3030



The Old Avoca (Nebraska) Schoolhouse will celebrate the seventeenth annual Play-the-Recorder Month in March by offering a Beginning Recorder Workshop on Saturday, March 13, from 1 PM - 3 PM.   Deborah Greenblatt, Master Artist with the Nebraska Arts Council, and member of the American Recorder Society, will lead the workshop.  Pre-registration is required, and enrollment is limited.  The $30.00 fee includes an instruction book, and a soprano recorder.  Pre-registration is required, and enrollment is limited.  For more information, call 402-275-3221, or send an e-mail to

Founded in 1939, the American Recorder Society is celebrating 70 years of service to its members and constituents--all recorder players including amateurs to leading professionals, students to teachers.  It has some 130 chapters and consorts in the U.S. and Canada, where its membership base is over 2200, plus 130 members in 28 other countries.

Play-the-Recorder Month grew out of an event staged as part of an "ARS 50" anniversary celebration, during which members all over the world played a recorder piece simultaneously on April 1, 1989.  Play-the-Recorder Day was first officially held in 1992, and then expanded to Play-the-Recorder Month the following year.

The ARS office in St. Louis, Mo, may be contacted at 314966-4082, or, or through the ARS web site, www.


Let's face it, sometimes we need a little help in the romance department.  Well, the Lofte Community Theatre in Manley has taken steps to create an enjoyable evening for singles, sweethearts and even old married folks!  

On Saturday, February 13th, the Lofte is holding a special Sweetheart Event to celebrate Valentine's Day.  The doors will open at 6:30pm.  Wine tastings will be provided by Slattery Vintage Estates of Nehawka.  You can purchase a tasting, a glass, or buy a bottle of your favorite to share with friends!  A variety of delicious hors d'oeuvres will be on-hand and later, the instrumental group, "Skylark" will take the stage.  New this year, Krambeck Photography will be present for professional photo opportunities.  Wine, appetizers, dancing, photo opps; the only ingredients missing are you and your date! 

Tickets to this event are $20 per person.  Due to liquor license requirements, wine tastings will be priced separately at the door.   Advanced reservations are not required, but are strongly suggested.  For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the Lofte Box Office at (402) 234-2553.  You may also visit their website

The Lofte Community Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization supported in part by The Cooper Foundation, The Midlands Community Foundation, and the Cass County Visitors Promotion Committee.  The Lofte Community Theatre is dedicated to providing opportunities for area residents of all ages to participate in the creation process and companionship of live theatre in rural Nebraska and to enjoy the social, artistic, and educational benefits of this art form.


Conestoga Geography Bee Finalists

by Susan Rice

The 4th through 8th grade students have participated in the National Geography Bee at Conestoga despite all the snow!!  Winners for the preliminary rounds were Calyton Haynie, Adam Olson, Regan Ruffner, Tyler Sawyer, Sylan Walter, Jessie Brashear, Courtney Wagner, Jenevieve Davie, Alexus Hansen, Nathan Houfek, Adam Parrette in the 4th grade.

(The bold-faced names were in the final rounds for the championship.)

Fifth grade winners were: Mandi Jamison, Zach Schwindt, Ryan Arrington, Elizabeth Lowe, Hannah Lowe, Morgan Ramet, Zeke Rouse, Steven Sarvis, Lydia Cole, and Jacob Hickey.

Sixth grade winners were: Skyler Vonder, Stacey Safarik, Camille Larson, Breanna Jensen, Kaitlyn Drake, Allyson Hickey, Aaron King, Tyler Moore, Jeryn Wallace, Monika Angelo, Reecie Earith, and David Clawson.

Seventh grade finalists were: Madison Abell, Ellen Rice, and Dalton King, and K. Parriott, Skyler Waters, and Beau Montange.

Skyler Waters was declared the winner and took a written test to try to qualify for the state contest in April.


Geography Bee, back row, left to right:  Tyler Moore, Cami Larson, Adam Olson, Ryan Arrington, Skyler Waters, K. Parriott

Front, left to right:  Madison Abell , Dalton King, Ellen Rice













(also includes SALAD, BREAD, DESSERT & DRINK)

ALL for only $5.00!



4 - 8PM  (During the Basketball Games!)






MEET the FUTURE with Nebraska 4-H Month during February.

Ever wonder what the future will look like?  Just take a look at your local 4-H today.  It's where young people explore, learn and discover in a safe environment.  In 4-H, kids find their true passions, gain confidence and give back to the community. Did you know that you can bcome a 4-Her at any time during the year?  4-H membership is open to all youth ages 5-18.  Why not consider joining 4-H today!

Celebrate 4-H's efforts in helping today's kids become tomorrow's leaders. 4-H volunteers keep busy helping youth Meet the Future with Cass County 4-H throughout the year.  Without volunteers to present and help with 4-H events, activities, workshops and clubs, the 4-H program could not exist.  Volunteers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the program and have a huge impact on youth.

Diane Mayfield, Cass County Extension Associate, works with volunteers to plan and implement hands-on learning.  Please won't you consider sharing your time and talents to help enhance our youth?  Short and/or long term volunteerism is available!

Contact UNL Extension in Cass County for more information at 402-267-2205 or  For more information about Cass County 4-H, visit the 4-H page of the website at


Welcome, Paula!

Nebraska Community Websites would like to welcome Paula Anderson as the editor for our neighbor, Louisville's,  newsletter. Paula's first newsletter will be today. You can see what she has to say and what's going on in and around Louisville at


My friend, Joyce Mills, sent this recipe to me. It came from her little grandson's teacher. I haven't tried it yet, but it sure sounds good on this cold, windy night!



2 cans ( large) apple pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup butter (cut into chunks)
1/4 cup brown sugar
approx. 1 tsp. cinnamon

( I'd spray the crock-pot first before adding the ingredients.)

Spread apple pie filling into bottom of crock pot.

Sprinkle dry yellow cake mix on top.

Cut up butter into chunks and place on top on cake mix.

Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top.

Turn crock pot on High for 3-4 hours (or low for approx. 6 hours).

Great served over ice cream.

You can omit the butter for a lower fat version and it tastes just as good!





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Send in plenty of time to be received by noon on Monday to:

201 N How Ave
Murray, NE

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Looking for an Old Newsletter Article or Photo?

Just click on the 'What's New' tab above and go to the bottom of the page.

There you'll see, in red, articles taking you 'back in time' least till the spring of 2009 when the Murray Newsletters started.

Click through to read past news, photos and recipes that you might have over-looked or that were posted before you became a subscriber.


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