A Beatrice student has been named one of the top two youth volunteers in the state for her work creating quilts for area veterans.
Jetta Harvey, 16, is a sophomore at Harvey Academy for Higher Learning. She received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for leading 30 students from her 4-H club and 10 others from a local middle school as the groups put together quilts to honor veterans in the community.
“I love to quilt,” Harvey said. “I also love my country and am very grateful for the veterans who sacrifice to keep me safe.”
The award includes a $1,000 prize, an engraved medallion and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C., where she will join another Nebraska winner, 10-year-old Kadynce Mullins of Nebraska City, as well as the top two honorees from each state and the District of Columbia.
After learning that she was selected as a winner, Harvey said she was “elated.” She applied for the award in October, she said, but had nearly forgotten about it until she received a letter in the mail last week saying that she had won.
Now, Harvey is looking forward to her trip to Washington D.C. From April 28 through May 1, Harvey will join fellow Prudential Spirit of Community Award winners as they attend a series recognition events and sightseeing activities throughout the capital. Of all the events planned, Harvey said she is most excited to go to the Smithsonian.
Harvey was inspired to start making quilts for veterans several years ago, when a fellow 4-H member began sewing Quilts of Valor.
“It really struck me how much time and energy she put into these quilts,” Harvey said.
Harvey began learning to sew years ago, and with the help of her mother, she constructed a quilt for a fellow 4-H member's father who had served aboard a submarine off the coast of North Korea for five years.
She enjoyed sewing the quilt so much that she decided to continue making them, and eventually began teaching others to quilt. In all, Harvey has helped make five quilts for veterans in her community, and has taught more than 40 others to sew and make quilts.
“I love passing on the skills that I know, and to help younger 4-Hers,” Harvey said. “It was so rewarding to watch them gain confidence.”
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump unveiled a $4.4 trillion budget plan Monday that envisions steep cuts to America's social safety net but mounting spending on the military, formally retreating from last year's promises to balance the federal budget.
The president's spending outline for the first time acknowledges that the Republican tax overhaul passed last year would add billions to the deficit and not "pay for itself" as Trump and his Republican allies asserted. If enacted as proposed, although no presidential budget ever is, the plan would establish an era of $1 trillion-plus yearly deficits.
The open embrace of red ink is a remarkable public reversal for Trump and his party, which spent years objecting to President Barack Obama's increased spending during the depths of the Great Recession. Rhetoric aside, however, Trump's pattern is in line with past Republican presidents who have overseen spikes in deficits as they simultaneously increased military spending and cut taxes.
"We're going to have the strongest military we've ever had, by far," Trump said in an Oval Office appearance Monday. "In this budget we took care of the military like it's never been taken care of before."
Trump's budget revived his calls for big cuts to domestic programs that benefit the poor and middle class, such as food stamps, housing subsidies and student loans. Retirement benefits would remain mostly untouched by Trump's plan, as he has pledged, although Medicare providers would absorb about $500 billion in cuts — a nearly 6 percent reduction. Some beneficiaries in Social Security's disability program would have to re-enter the workforce under proposed changes to eligibility rules.
While all presidents' budgets essentially are dead on arrival — Congress writes and enacts its own spending legislation — Trump's plan was dead before it landed. It came just three days after the president signed a bipartisan agreement that set broad parameters for spending over the next two years. That deal, which includes large increases for domestic programs, rendered Monday's Trump plan for 10-year, $1.7 trillion cuts to domestic agencies, such as the departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development even more unrealistic.
Trump also is proposing work requirements for several federal programs, including housing subsidies, food stamps and Medicaid. Such ideas have backing from powerful figures in Congress including Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who promises action on a "workforce development" agenda this year.
There was immediate opposition from Democrats.
"The Trump budget proposal makes clear his desire to enact massive cuts to health care, anti-poverty programs and investments in economic growth to blunt the deficit-exploding impact of his tax cuts for millionaires and corporations," said Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.
Some Republicans, on the other hand, said spending was much too high.
"This budget continues too much of Washington's wasteful spending — it does not balance in ten years, and it creates a deficit of over a trillion dollars next year," said Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. "We cannot steal from America's future to pay for spending today.
Trump's plan aims at other familiar targets. It would eliminate the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The administration wants NASA out of the International Space Station by 2025 and private businesses running the place instead.
But the domestic cuts would be far from enough to make up for the plummeting tax revenue projected in the budget.
Trump's plan sees a 2019 deficit of $984 billion, although White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney admits $1.2 trillion is more plausible after last week's congressional budget pact and $90 billion worth of disaster aid is tacked on. That would be more than double the 2019 deficit the administration promised last year.
All told, the new budget sees accumulating deficits of $7.2 trillion over the coming decade; Trump's plan last year projected a 10-year shortfall of $3.2 trillion. And that's assuming Trump's rosy economic predictions come true and Congress follows through — in an election year — with politically toxic cuts to social programs, farm subsidies and Medicare providers.
Last year Trump's budget promised such ideas could generate a small budget surplus by 2027; now, his best-case scenario is for a $450 billion deficit that year, more than $300 billion of which can be traced to his December tax cut.
In stark numbers, the budget rewrites the administration's talking points for last year's tax plan, which administration figures, such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, promised would more than pay for itself.
"Not only will this tax plan pay for itself, but it will pay down debt," Mnuchin declared in September.
Instead, Trump's budget projects that tax revenues will plummet by $3.7 trillion over the 2018-27 decade relative to last year's "baseline" estimates.
Beatrice 52, Northwest 42
Norris 71, Lincoln Christian 60
Tri County 73, College View Academy 23
Diller-Odell 54, Friend 42
Johnson-Brock 66, Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer 33
Parkview Christian 60, Lewiston 42
Schuyler 54, Fairbury 42
Silver Lake 47, Meridian 43
Southern 61, Thayer Central 44
Tri County 63, Sterling 60
Wilber-Clatonia 55, David City 51
Beatrice 51, Omaha Mercy 34
Beatrice 55, Northwest 50
Lincoln Christian 52, Norris 45
David City 52, Wilber-Clatonia 33
Fairbury 67, Schuyler 21
Friend 49, Diller-Odell 28
Johnson-Brock 56, Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer 30
Lewiston 37, Parkview Christian 35
Meridian 72, Silver Lake 44
Sterling 29, Tri County 24
Thayer Central 30, Southern 26
The Homestead Running Club hosted its annual Healthy Hearts Run on Saturday afternoon in Beatrice. Runners could choose between a mile-long fun run or a 5K race. Competitors and spectators braved a snow-covered trail and freezing temperatures to take part in the event. A total of 85 competitors took part in the run/walk. A portion of the event's proceeds were donated to Willow Center in Beatrice. After the event, competitors gathered at the Beatrice American Legion Club for food, hot chocolate and warmth.
Beatrice City Council member Dwight Parde has filed to seek another term on the council.
Parde, currently in his fourth term on the city council, will run again for council member for Beatrice’s Ward 3, saying there’s more work to be done.
There’s the issue of the fire station, Parde said, a conversation which started 10 or 15 years ago and is picking up steam again. The building could be completely replaced or the existing one may simply be refurbished, Parde said, either way, there’s a big push to see the project completed.
Parde also said that with the help of Abigail Stark, the city’s new legal assistant, the council is working on updating civil codes to clean up the commercial areas of town. He also sees work on the landfill becoming an issue over the course of the next four years.
Before being elected to the city council, Parde said that the city hadn’t done too much with tax increment financing, something that, in recent years, has helped to develop parts of the city.
“There's a lot of discussion whether it's good or bad, because you do postpone the taxes, but you're getting stuff built on areas that wouldn't have much at all if any taxable income,” Parde said. “So why not have something there good and have it eventually come back on the tax roll? That's a lot of the city right now, a lot of different areas we have developing.”
Parde was born in Beatrice, and outside of a few years living in DeWitt, he’s been a resident of town and has worked at the Beatrice State Developmental Center for 37 years in multiple capacities.
Being on city council has been an illuminating experience, Parde said, especially when he speaks with people on the outside of city politics and he is able to explain why certain projects are tenable or not.
“The great part is, you have a lot of support staff,” he said. “It's great working with the city administrator, the city attorney, the department heads are all real great to work with.”