August 21, 2014

Analysts watching propane inventories carefully

Last winter’s high propane prices were caused by lower inventories, high demand and transportation to get it to the Midwest. Due to the severity of the problem close attention is being paid to inventories now. T. Mason Hamilton is one of those watching. He is an analyst with the U-S Energy Information Administration and says this is the key time period to be watching supplies.

 The latest inventory report shows 23.4-million barrels compared to 21.5-million this time one year ago. The bad news is that is 1.6-million barrels under the five year average.

 Hamilton says where we go from here depends a lot on the weather. He says in 2013 there was a record corn crop and a lot of propane was used to dry wet corn. He says shortly after came record cold temperatures and the demand for propane skyrocketed. He says some of the high costs propane users saw last year were due to emergency measures to get propane from other areas to meet the demand.

School is in session – how to combat the bully

Many Nebraska schools are already underway and while it is an exciting time for some it can be a time of dread for others – meaning the bully.  Peggy Caruso is a personal development coach and sees this problem all too often and says children don’t report it out of fear or further humiliation.

Caruso says even though kids may not talk there are signs to look for. She says if a child is experiencing mood swings, lack of friends, wanting to be alone, a big change in grades or eating habits it is time for parents to start asking questions.

Caruso also has a lot of experience working with the bully and says they typically are insecure, lack empathy and show aggressive behavior. She says many of them show signs of criminality and taking frustration out on animals. These are the children that really need counseling and therapy.

According to new statistics 77% of all students report being bullied at one time or another in the U-S and 42% report being bullied online. The American Justice Department shows that one-in-four children will be bullied sometime throughout their adolescence.


Sesquicentennial celebration in Valley this weekend

 In 1864 the DouglasCounty community of Valley was established by the Union Pacific Railroad as they developed plans for the Transcontinental Railroad. That means Valley is 150 years old and they are celebrating their sesquicentennial this weekend. Mayor Carroll Smith says events kick off this afternoon with a golf tournament at the Pines. From 3 until 4 o’clock Valley native Gail Rock, author of “A House Without A Christmas Tree”, will be at the town library. Also on Friday there will be a street dance and fireworks.

 Mayor Smith says the parade is Saturday at 11 am and it will feature more than 60 entries. Other activities include a pancake breakfast, trolley tours, music, food and fun.

 Valley is located in western DouglasCounty.

One person killed, others injured in pick-up, bus crash (UPDATE)

One person has died, two others have been critically wounded in a pick-up, school bus crash in eastern Nebraska.

None of the students on the East Butler Public Schools bus was seriously injured, though they all went to a local hospital as a precaution.

Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz says the pick-up driver, 50-year-old Steven Jedlicka of Schuyler, was thrown from the vehicle when it rolled. Stukenholtz says emergency crews rushed Jedlicka to Bryan LGH Medical Center West in Lincoln by medical helicopter, but he was pronounced dead. The two passengers in the truck suffered serious injuries and are being treated at the hospital. Their names have not been released.

The accident continues to be under investigation. The Nebraska State Patrol is assisting with the investigation.

Stukenholtz says the pick-up was heading south on County Road 29; the bus westbound on County Road H. The intersection is not marked.

Brent Martin contributed to this article.



Scammers targeting more utility customers

Scammers apparently are working overtime to take advantage of hard working Nebraskans. Omaha Public Power District spokesperson Jodi Baker says so far this month 36 customers reported receiving calls from someone claiming to be from the utility demanding money. Customers reported seven calls in July and 27 in June.

Baker says customers have reported the callers claim they are behind on their bills and if they don’t pay up immediately using a credit card or a green dot card their service will be cut off immediately. Another scam targets business owners and callers claim their utility meter needs to be replaced but they first have to pay a deposit or risk interruptions in service. In both cases the scammers are demanding, intimidating and have even threatened their victims to pay up.

OPPD reminds customers this is not they way they operate. Never give personal or financial information to a stranger during an unsolicited phone call. If someone knocks on your door claiming to be with OPPD make sure you ask for identification. If a customer is asked to turn off their security system for any reason they should call law enforcement immediately.