Northwest Nebraka blizzard could have long-term economic impact

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - State officials say a blizzard that swept through northwest Nebraska last weekend could hurt the region's economy for more than a year.  Ranchers throughout the northern Panhandle spent the week counting their livestock losses after an unusual October blizzard dumped several feet of snow on the region.  State Sen. Al Davis of Hyannis says the losses were far greater than people from outside the region realize, and the losses could hurt ranching operations.   Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann says the area could see an economic impact that lasts a year or more. In addition, a federal program that could help ranchers is closed because of the government shutdown.  Heidemann says the losses reminded him of a blizzard in the 1980s that wiped out one-fourth of his herd.