Wind Turbines

Schmidt-Shaw

This summer our little town of Blue Hill got some major upgrades near by. The state energy board approved a $140 Million wind farm.

The Cottonwood Wind Project plans to have 52 turbines and a capacity to generate 89.5 megawatts of power.

Wind-farm-Wintering-Hills-in-Canada

Funded by NextEra Energy Resources, the nation’s biggest wind developer, the project will produce about $800,000 a year in lease payments to 35 landowners and about $864,000 a year in local taxes. They project a 7% increase in tax revenue for Webster county. It will also create five permanent, full-time jobs, and about 300 temporary jobs during their construction. 

The Nebraska Power Review Board approved the project on the condition that it sign a power purchase agreement with them. It is expected to be signed by the end of the year. NPPD is currently in the process of lining up industrial and manufacturing customers that are seeking to use nature friendly energy resources. Those companies will be contracted for “renewable energy credits” to cover most of the wind farm’s generation.

At least two companies have expressed interest in buying about 65 megawatts of credits through the Blue Hill project. It’s also possible that the project will help attract a new company to Nebraska seeking to use green energy and lock in a good price for electricity through a 15-year contract. Since the developer purchased equipment prior to January 1st, the project will qualify for federal energy production tax credits.

Mrs. Bonifas, Blue Hill Teacher, speaks her mind about the wind turbines, “In many ways I think they are a good addition because of the power that we can generate without coal, and the revenue that can be generated for our school and for landowners.”

She goes on to say ”I don’t like the fact that they are permanent, so at this point there is no changing of anyone’s mind whether they want them or not.I think there are many pros and cons to the windmills, but the truth is that we as a society use a lot of power, and as the population continues to grow, and we continue to use more power, we have to prepare ourselves for new ideas in alternative sources of power and fuel.”
The new additions south of Blue Hill have already caused controversy and debate, but they will provide benefits to the community for years to come.

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“I love you guys” Safety Procedures

Schmidt

Blue Hill Schools are implementing new protocol to keep the school safe. These changes are happening throughout the state of Nebraska for consistency in procedures should an emergency situation arise.

The school canceled classes on Wednesday, November 22nd to train the staff and on Friday, December 1st, committee members (Mrs. Brown, Mr. Muth, and Mr. Moore) presented students with new safety procedures.

This new program came about after a dad lost his daughter in a school shooting. The program got the name “I love you guys,” because that was the last text she sent before being killed. The dad, a graphic designer, created graphics for schools to post. 

Some of the new procedures include students going out back of the school for fire drills, instead of the front. Another new safety procedure is locking all doors in the school, including classroom doors. Every teacher’s room must be locked, and to get into the classroom you must knock. If a shooter were to come into the building, students would be safer, as he/she would not be able to easily enter the classrooms.

Another new rule is if anyone is in the hallway when a shooter enters the building, teachers are not allowed to let them into the classroom. It is a safety rule in case the student would happen to be the shooter or if the shooter is close enough to follow into the classroom. In the past, students and staff have been trained to stay in the classroom at all times, but the new procedures tell them to run awa

y if possible if a school is on lockdown.

Other changes include verbiage used to communicate procedures and numbers posted in all classroom windows to help emergency vehicles find students. Posters around the building show different procedures for various threats and students and staff members will continuously practice and train on what each of these mean.

Students are being taught what to do in different situations. These new rules will help keep students safe at anytime something tragic happens.

Veterans Day Program

Shaw

This Tuesday, November 7th, Blue Hill Schools hosted the Veterans Day Program in honor of our local and national military veterans.

The Blue Hill American Legion & Auxiliary Post #176 sponsored and ran the program. The school is thankful for their contribution to the program, and their contributions to our country. Their Post Commander, Mr. Harlan Siebrass, conducted the program like years before.

After welcoming everyone to the program, he lead the 4 members in the posting of the colors. The band played the “Star Spangled Banner” as everyone saluted the flags. Mr. Siebrass then led the Pledge Of Allegiance. The elementary stated it loud and proud.

Siebrass introduced the Girls’ State and Boys’ State representatives. Senior, Taylor Bonifas spoke about her experiences at the Girls’ State. She reminisced about her experiences at Girls’ State and the passion girls throughout Nebraska had for politics. Trent Karr gave an inspirational speech about his experience at the Boy’s State as well. He was detailed, overviewing, and finished it out with a call to the crowd to be the best you.

After those spectacular speeches, Mrs. Drury lead the Choir in a special song to the Veterans. They sang “We Honor You,” an angel-like tribute to war veterans.

Afterwards, Mr. Siebrass introduced the last speaker of the program, Pastor Harold King. The Pastor presented the history of how Veterans’ Day came to be. Ethan Sharp, Senior, says, “I learned from the speech that Veterans’ Day was not originally called that.”

This lead to a perfectly timed song from the band. They played “Marches Armed Forces.” At the end of the song, Siebrass lead the 4 men back to retire the colors and close the program.

Trent Karr ended the experience with a final tribute. A tribute to the fallen, the wounded, and the people. With his trumpet cloaked behind the stage curtains, he honorably played “Taps.”

Mr. Siebrass thanked the people for attending and allowing them to put on this program year after year.