U-S Senator Deb Fischer says the E-P-A ignored thousands of comments from the public while it moved forward with the new Waters of the United States rule. That rule is an expansion of the Clean Waters Act, giving the federal agency more jurisdiction over streams, rivers and other bodies of water. The Nebraska Republican points out that the Environmental Protection Agency got 20-thousand comments on the changes, at least two-thousand called “substantive.” Many are critical of the new rules. Fischer says the E-P-A is ignoring federal law, which requires the states to be consulted before rules like those are enacted. She points out 32 states have filed formal protests over the expansion of those rules.
As the soil temperature in the Nebraska river corridor tops 60 degrees, millions of cicadas (sih KAY duhs) are emerging from 17 years underground. Although they can damage trees when the females are laying their eggs, cicadas are actually beneficial. They are a food source for wildlife and they return nutrients to the soil when they die. A lot of people are annoyed by the noise created when the male cicadas are trying to find a mate. Their presence is very noticeable right now. Entomologists say they should be gone in four-to-five weeks.
A Beatrice man has been arrested on suspicion of child abuse after his daughter was found swimming alone at Big Blue Water Park. Zachary Shepardson is in legal trouble for failing to notify police the five-year-old child was missing. That placed her in a hazardous situation. A pool worker found the girl in the water shortly before the park was to open last Saturday. Shepardson told police he knew his daughter had been missing for about an hour before that, but he didn’t file a report because he was afraid he would get in trouble. The girl was not injured.