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Today, mostly sunny, high 85.  Tonight, mostly clear, low 57.  Friday, mainly sunny, high 84



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A very successful showing in Olympic Stadium yesterday propels the United States back to the top of the total medal standings.  Americans earned seven medals in track and field alone, boosting their total to 81, four more than China.  The U.S. trails China by two in the race for gold, 36-34.


Kobe Bryant scored 20 points to lead the United States basketball team to a 119-86 victory over Australia and into the semifinals of the Olympic tournament against Argentina.  Teammate LeBron James registered a triple-double, finishing with eleven points, 14 rebounds and twelve assists.  Former Nebraska standout Aleks Maric played only two minutes for Australia in the loss.  Coach Mike Krzyzewski's club is on track for back-to-back gold medals.  Next up is Argentina, a team the U.S. already has beaten by 29 points in this tournament. 


The Nebraska football team has added another recruit for 2013.  After several unofficial visits to NU, including a June trip with extended family for Big Red Weekend, Kansas City Rockhurst offensive lineman Zach Hannon committed to the Huskers yesterday over Arkansas and home-state Missouri.  The Omaha World Herald reports that the 6’5, 300-pounder is the 13th verbal pledge for Nebraska's 2013 class.  The Huskers had to fend off the Razorbacks, who hosted Hannon in July, and Missouri, who enter their first year in the SEC with 14 commits for 2013.  Four major recruiting services:  247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout, all rate Hannon as a three-star prospect.  N-U already has one 2013 offensive line commit in Dan Samuelson, who could play a variety of positions.  Hannon will play tackle his senior year for Rockhurst.


Nebraska’s final season of men’s basketball at the Devaney Sports Center will feature a tournament named for one of its top former coaches.  According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the Huskers will play four home games as part of the Joe Cipriano Nebraska Classic, an unusual seven-team tournament from Nov. 15-24, with four host sites.  Nebraska, under first-year coach Tim Miles, will host Valparaiso on November 15th, Nebraska-Omaha on the 18th, Tulane on the 21st, and Kent State on the 24th.  The event honors Cipriano, the Husker coach from 1963 until 1980, when he died from cancer only four days before the start of his 18th season.


Local Scores:  Colorado Springs 4 Omaha Storm Chasers 2 (Bsbl).



Of the Lion, Tiger & Jaguar, the Lion has the loudest roar


News Briefs:

About 65 area citizens turned out yesterday to meet with First District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry in Norfolk. Although Fortenberry talked about budget issues and the federal deficit, he spent a lot of time talking about the need for a return to individual responsibility and family values. He told the crowd that the concept of detasseling by teenagers every summer in Nebraska explains a lot about why the state is doing better than most of the rest of the nation. To deal with the federal budget, Fortenberry is calling for what he calls a "bold" change in policy that includes a move toward a balanced budget with a simplified tax structure that is realistic, fair and helps the economy. He says the right policy could turn the current situation around in three to five years.


Just as school is getting ready to start in many Nebraska communities, teachers have access to a new resource. State Education Commissioner Roger Breed says the Nebraska Virtual Library is now online, and will help teachers quickly access material for the classroom. The virtual library, maintained by Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, contains 20,000 multi-media resources including audio, video and interactive components.


Producers cutting silage on drought-damaged acres are reminded that they may be required to plant a cover crop. Dan Gillespie with the Madison County NRCS says cover crops do more than protect against soil erosion. Gillespie says a cover crop is required on acres classified as Highly Erodible Land; but NRCS is considering a waiver if there is not enough moisture available on dryland for seed to germinate. Some options for cover crops that producers might want to consider are oats, rye, wheat, turnips or radishes.


Norfolk State Senator Mike Flood says he will make a decision on running for governor next month. Flood is the current Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature, but will lose his position at the end of this year because of the state's term limits law. He says he plans to travel around the state throughout August, talking with citizens. Flood says he has enjoyed his nearly eight years in the Legislature, working on issues and helping opposing sides reach compromise. He has formed a committee for a possible run for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2014.


Gov. Dave Heineman says he's willing to seek additional state money from the Legislature if needed to help pay for firefighting in drought-parched Nebraska. Heineman said Wednesday he wouldn't be surprised if more money is required to reimburse local fire departments and other agencies for their expenses. Wildfires sparked by dry lightning have scorched tens of thousands of acres in central and western Nebraska. State officials say they don't yet know the exact cost, but Nebraska Emergency Management Agency assistant director Al Berndt estimates that the state has spent around $7.5 million so far. Berndt says his agency started the year with about $10 million available for emergencies. He says state officials will start conducting damage assessments next week to see if Nebraska can qualify for federal aid.


Today's Tickler:

Writing has its up & downs.  One day you’re writing a column and the next day you’re painting one.


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