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ALCO Store closing a big blow to local community PDF Print E-mail

By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican

“Yes, there were some tears.”
Those were words from Imperial ALCO Store Manager Nicki Sailors after store employees learned last week their store was closing.
Imperial’s is one of 198 stores operating in 23 states that will close its doors in January. There are 13 ALCO stores in Nebraska.
Employees at the Imperial ALCO were informed of the store’s closing last Tuesday, Nov. 18, via conference call that went out to all stores.
Sailors said they will close for good Jan. 31, 2015.
All the merchandise including shelves and fixtures will be sold. A Going Out Of Business sale offering 5 to 30 percent off started last Friday.
“It will be an empty building” the end of January, Sailors said.
One checker Sunday said it’s been busy there. Before noon that day, she said sales looked like they were already above what was taken in Saturday.
Imperial’s ALCO Store at the corner of Highways 6/61 has been a big part of the retail community in Imperial  since opening in May 2006. A new store was built for the retailer at the T-Junction intersection after operating downtown at 4th and Broadway Sts. as Duckwall’s for several years.
The local store now employs 14 people. All but three are fulltime, said Sailors, who was named manager last month after former manager Jill Anderson moved to Wray, Colo., to take over store management there.
Sailors said she had some suspicions of their future when learning the stores were being purchased by a liquidation company.  
She said it’s hard to believe a company in business 113 years is now closing.
However, there were concerns in October when ALCO filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal bankruptcy court.          At that time, Sailors and a spokesperson from ALCO’s Abilene, Kan. distribution center both said they had heard nothing about stores closing.
Last Thursday, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas approved an order from the company’s creditors to close all of its stores.
Tiger Capital Group, SB Capital Group and Great American Group are conducting the “Going Out of Business” sales, all of which started last Friday in each of ALCO’s stores throughout the country.
Other Nebraska ALCO stores closing are in Ogallala, McCook, North Platte, Cozad, Broken Bow, Valentine, Gordon, Ainsworth, Albion, O’Neill, Ord and West Point.
City sending out info
Jason Tuller, the city’s community development director, said once he learned of ALCO’s closing last week, he began contacting retail businesses that had previously expressed interest in locating in Imperial.
“We’ve contacted several businesses to see if they are interested” in moving here, he said Monday.
Packets of information on the city were sent to each, Tuller said.
In addition, he’s been in contact with the company that owns the ALCO building, Realty Income Corp., and sent them info to use in their marketing of the building.

Nebraska will gain full credit for 2015 augmentation pumping PDF Print E-mail

Work to continue on long-term solutions
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican

When Special Master William J. Kayatta issued his findings on water disputes between Kansas and Nebraska, he strongly suggested the states start working together to even out their differences.
Those words proved prophetic as Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado came together on how best to serve their states and the water users in the Republican Basin.
On Wednesday, Nov. 19, the three states signed resolutions that give both Nebraska and Colorado 100 percent credit for their augmentation pumping. That pumping will help keep the states in compact compliance with Kansas.
Upper Republican Natural Resources District (URNRD) Manager Jasper Fanning said it’s a major step forward to have the three states on the same page working together.
“The fact that the discussions have produced agreements that will have practical benefits for water users in both states shows resolve and competency on both sides that provide hope that future differences can continue to be settled outside a courtroom,’’ Fanning said.
He said the Nov. 19 meeting in Manhattan, Kan., was a mere formality as negotiations had already been completed in advance.
Fanning praised Nebraska Department of Natural Resources Director Brian Dunnigan for working with Kansas’ secretary of agriculture to craft a solution that will benefit all three states.
Dunnigan said Kayatta’s comments played a role in getting all three states in accord.
“It is in that spirit that the states have negotiated the resolution that was approved today,” said Dunnigan last week.
Last week’s agreement on 2015 pumping credits came on the heels of a similar agreement between Nebraska and Kansas signed Oct. 22.
In that agreement, Kansas agreed to give Nebraska 100 percent credit for 2014 augmentation pumping and extended Colorado’s 100 percent credit to 2015.
19,000 acre-feet offset
Fanning said preliminary projections by the state show that Nebraska will need to deliver about 19,000 acre-feet (AF) to Kansas in 2015 to comply with the agreement.
He said Kansas wanted to be sure the water was available when needed so augmentation pumping will be done prior to June 1.
Of the 19,000 AF, Fanning said the URNRD will be responsible for offsetting 12,800 AF.
As noted during the regular URNRD meeting earlier this month, Fanning said the plan will be to rest the Rock Creek augmentation project next year.
The URNRD didn’t use its share of pumping this year from the Lincoln County augmentation project. As a result, he said most of the pumping will come from the Lincoln County project.
As part of the resolutions signed last week, all three states agreed to work together to find long-term solutions to compliance issues. These issues have long been the source of contention between Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado.
The issue has come up twice before the U.S. Supreme Court, with the latest action still pending. A decision on those issues is expected no later than June 2015.
Dunnigan resigns post
In a move that surprised most everyone, Dunnigan submitted his resignation from DNR last Thursday, the day after he signed the resolutions with the three states.
His resignation becomes effective on Dec. 7.
Fanning said Dunnigan has contributed significant achievements to water policy in Nebraska since taking over the post in 2008.
Fanning said people in the water community are disappointed to see him go.
From the outset of his tenure, Dunnigan wrestled with key interstate water matters in both the Republican River and Platte River basins.
His leadership was instrumental in resolving critical interstate water matters and improving the overall resilience of Nebraskans to respond to extreme droughts and floods.
He leaves the post after stabilizing disputes with Kansas and opening a new path of cooperation with Kansas on compliance issues.

Wheat Growers choose North Platte for annual meeting site PDF Print E-mail

The Nebraska Wheat Growers Association (NWGA) will hold its annual meeting Monday, Dec. 8, at the West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte.
The NWGA meeting will be followed by a brief meeting of the Nebraska Wheat Board (NWB) at the same location.
The NWGA meeting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT, will include reports from the National Association of Wheat Growers and University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers, along with a review of NWGA finances for the previous fiscal year, a look at upcoming mobile baking lab events and the election of officers and board members.
Lunch will be provided for NWGA members. Those interested in attending should RSVP to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or to the office at 402-471-2358.
The NWB meeting will run from 3 to 5 p.m. CT. It will include contractor reports, a second reading of recently received funding proposals and a review of upcoming events.
The public is welcome to attend any open portion of the meeting. Interested individuals may contact the NWB office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for a copy of the agenda or for more information.
The Nebraska Wheat Growers Association is a non-profit, membership-based organization that works to improve and stabilize the profitability of the Nebraska wheat producer. NWGA works to do this by representing Nebraska’s wheat producers in state and national policy and providing educational opportunities to producers and consumers.
The Nebraska Wheat Board administers the check-off of 0.4 percent of net value of wheat marketed in Nebraska at the point of first sale. The board invests the funds in programs of international and domestic market development and improvement, policy development, research, promotion and education.


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