By: Jim Chapman
From the moment she strode confidently onto the stage, Boys’ and Girls’ Staters alike were held transfixed by her vivacity, entertaining anecdotes, and powerful message of kindness and responsibility in leadership. Dr. Joanne Owens-Nauslar, affectionately known by her audiences as Dr. Jo, has been inspiring participants at both the Boys’ and Girls’ State programs for over two decades, and this year was no exception. Partly through her cheerful demeanor and audience engagement, the motivational powerhouse of a woman held her listeners spellbound for just under an hour as she passionately described the responsibilities that come with leadership. Central topics of her address included turning problems into opportunity (she herself was an unplanned pregnancy), thoughtful communication, enthusiasm for every task set before us, and, perhaps above all, kindness in our actions toward others. And as the assembled audience sent shock waves through Kimball Hall with a tremendous standing ovation at the conclusion of Dr. Jo’s address, it became sparklingly clear why Dr. Jo has become one of the most hallowed and highly anticipated of Boys’ State’s many traditions.
By: Logan Becher
Citizens of Cornhusker Boys’ State tried their hand at presenting actual court cases being debated on in the Supreme Court during a session on Thursday. In this session, Staters were split into groups to decide which case they would be presenting and who they were to represent. Once these groups were determined, the towns were also split by County, each presenting the same cases to different judges. The cases selected were Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado, Carpenter v. United States, Collins v. Virginia, and Byrd v. United States.
To begin the session, representatives for the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado presented their cases. This case came to court after the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to bake a personalized cake for a same-sex couple. For Costello County, the judges determined Masterpiece Cakeshop the winner of the case 3-0. Rohan County judges determined Masterpiece Cakeshop the winner by a vote of 2-0.
In the case of Carpenter v. United States, police had reason to believe that Carpenter was involved in criminal action. Police authorities pulled information from his cell provider and then used the information to track his phone location for 127 days, resulting in his arrest. Costello County voted United States the winner 3-0, and Rohan County found United States as the winner with a vote of 2-0.
Collins v. Virginia was a case that came to the Supreme Court when a police officers found a motorcycle violating traffic laws on two occasions. Later finding a similar looking vehicle, a police officer arrested the driver without a warrant, violating the 4th Amendment. Costello County found Collins the winner by a vote of 2-1. Rohan County could not decide a winner, having a vote of 1-1.
The final case of Byrd v. United States was brought to the Supreme Court when Byrd was pulled over, while using a rental car under another name, for violating traffic laws. When stopped, police asked to search the car and found heroin and body armor. Costello County judges decided the United States won this case 3-0. Rohan County decided that Byrd won the case 2-0.
By: Michael Steele
Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley started his career in Nebraskan Politics running for Senator. Eighteen years later, he is now our state’s Lt. Governor. During the 2018 Boys’ and Girls’ State Lt. Governor Foley came to discuss some of the more pressing issues in today’s government. He opened with discussing some of the recent accomplishments of the Nebraskan Unicameral, some of which were international trade talks for Nebraska agriculture products such as beef and works on a successful budget.
One of the noteworthy facts about this new budget is how comparable it is to those drafted by Boys’ Staters. All week the main solution given out by campers was to lower and raise different taxes, but what Lt. Governor Foley told the attentive listeners was the cutting of funds instead of raising taxes.
During questions, campers asked many of the issues discussed throughout the week. When the topic of Property Tax got brought up the Lt. Governor made it clear how those in Western and Central Nebraska, especially those affiliated with the agriculture business, need relief by having it lowered. The only thing in the way is the bickering within legislation in which a handful of senators can’t agree on one solution. He stressed how detrimental this is to the agriculture business in Rural Nebraska and Nebraska as a whole who rely on agriculture.
The hope is that those of you who are reading will be able to find the answer to this problem for Nebraska and can accomplish what politicians of today can’t.
Governor Ricketts took time out of his schedule to visit, one on one, with delegates at lunch.