Jazzercise Dances into Louisville
With sparkle and dazzle Jazzercise pros Tracey Hartley, Owner Beth Morton and Sandy Melilli greet the first ever Louisville class last Saturday, 3/7/09
Grand Opening last Saturday - Big Success
From the Office of Senator Dave Pankonin
For Immediate Release: The Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee
March 6, 2009, Lincoln—The Legislature has 14 standing committees. Each committee is responsible for processing legislation that relates to specific issues. For some, like Agriculture, Judiciary or Revenue, the committee’s focus is easy to understand. However, the purpose of the Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee may be less clear. When I was encouraged by my legislative colleagues to seek the chairmanship of this Committee, I studied its role in the Legislature and its importance to all Nebraskans. I would like to describe what I learned and why my involvement with the Committee has and will continue to require careful time and attention from me.
The Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee has six members, including a chairperson. Unlike the other standing committees which hold public hearings on specific days of the week, this Committee meets at the call of the chair. The hearings are usually scheduled during the Legislature’s noon recess. The Committee studies legislative proposals and manages bills that affect retirement systems that have been established by the state of Nebraska or its political subdivisions. The Committee has jurisdiction over three administrative entities, which manage retirement plans for the state and the laws that govern them.
The Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems (NPERS), under the direction of the Public Employees Retirement Board, administers plans for state, county, school and State Patrol employees, and judges. County employees are eligible to participate in the applicable retirement plan, if their county does not offer a voluntary plan. Currently the plans have over 108,000 members and assets of more than $8 billion.
The governor appoints eight members to the Public Employees Retirement Board (PERB). Six members are participants in the retirement systems, and two are at-large members who are not employees of the state of Nebraska or any of its subdivisions. The State Investment Officer serves as a non-voting member of the Board.
The state auditor conducts an annual audit of the state retirement systems and reports the findings to the Legislature. The PERB and the Nebraska Investment Council also present an annual report to the Committee on the actuarial condition of the state retirement systems. In addition actuarial reports are presented annually on each plan.
The Legislature created the Nebraska Investment Council in 1969 to provide for the centralized investment of state funds. The Council has five voting members, who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature. The state treasurer and the executive director of the Public Employees Retirement Systems serve as non-voting members of the Council. The Council selects and the governor approves the selection of the State Investment Officer. The Council, with recommendations from the State Investment Officer, is responsible for the investment management of the assets of state funds, including those in the retirement system plans.
Because of the steep decline in financial markets that started in 2008, the Retirement and Appropriations Committees requested updated projections of the state’s obligations for the retirement plans. The analysis was conducted by Buck Consultants, which provides actuarial services for the state retirement systems. Actuarial projections are based on three market recovery scenarios – slow, modest and strong.
The state of Nebraska has a long tradition of meeting its obligations to state-administered retirement plans. Even with the recent steep decline in financial markets, current retirees will continue to get their retirement payments. During these uncertain times, state government will work with retirement plan representatives on long term sustainability issues.
The Appropriations Committee will budget some additional retirement plan state contributions based on a modest market recovery assumption. Future state obligations will depend upon actual market results, realized demographics (actual rate of retirement, the age at which people retire, etc), and potential changes in contribution rates.
In addition to our regular duties, the Committee’s legal counsel and I will begin soon to meet with plan representatives to review all options to minimize the negative financial impact to the state’s budget.
I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to represent District 2 in the Nebraska Legislature. We welcome your contacts by mail, phone or email.
Senator Dave Pankonin
PO Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
WHO WANTS TO BE THE LOUISVILLE
SPELLING BEE CHAMPION?
Each team shall consist of four players. No team will be allowed to compete in the spelling bee with any number other than four players.
Each team shall designate one of its members as its team captain. The team captain will be the spokesperson for the team, and will be the one team member that will communicate with the master of ceremonies.
RULES FOR EACH ROUND
Two teams will compete against one another in each round.
Each team will have the chance to spell 5 words per round.
Once the word is presented to each team by the pronouncer, the team can converse for a period of no longer than 5 seconds to designate one team member who will attempt to spell the word. During this conversation, the team members strictly forbidden from discussion of the word and it's spelling. They are only to decide which team member will attempt to spell the word. Any violation of this rule will be enforced by the M.C. and could lead to a forfeiture of the round by team found in violation.
Once the team has designated one team member to spell the word, the team captain will inform the M.C. which team member will be spelling the word.
The team member is allowed to ask the pronouncer to say the word again, define it, and/or use it in a sentence. The pronouncer shall grant all such request until the pronouncer feels that the word has been made reasonably clear to the team member.
The team member will have 30 seconds in which to spell the word.
If the team member spells the word correctly, the team is awarded 100 points.
Each team will be allowed to use one lifeline per round.
There are two "lifelines" available for teams to choose from if they would like additional assistance on a word. The two lifelines are as follows:
Choose a friend - In this lifeline, a contestant can choose a member of the audience to spell the word in the contestant's stead. The contestant does not have to have the audience member pre-determined or pre-authorized. Once the contestant chooses the audience member to spell the word for them, they are up to the mercy of the audience member selected and will have no more input into the spelling of the word in question. If the audience member spells the word correctly, the team will be awarded 100 points, the same amount that would have been awarded had the team member spelled the word correctly by themselves
Poll the audience - In choosing this lifeline, the team member will give the M.C. authority to ask the audience to spell the word for the team member. The M.C. will tell the audience how many letters are in the word in question. Then the M.C. will ask the audience to shout out which letter is correct for each letter in the word. For example: if the word in question is ludicrous, the M.C. will announce to the audience that the word contains 9 letters. The M.C. will then ask the audience what the first letter is, followed by the second letter, third letter, and so on. The contestant will have to commit the audience's assistance to memory, as the M.C. will ask the contestant to spell the word within 15 seconds of the completion of the lifeline.
No audience member who is competing in the spelling bee will be allowed to participate in a lifeline, unless they have been previously eliminated from the remainder of the competition.
Each member of the audience is eligible for both lifelines. However, each member of the audience can only be chosen once to participate in the Choose a friend lifeline.
If the team member spells the word incorrectly, the opposing team will have an opportunity to correctly spell the word for half the point total (50 points).
In this scenario, the team attempting to steal the word, will have 15 seconds to confer as a team before the team captain (or another team member designated by the team captain) must spell the word to the M.C. During this 15 second conversation period, the team attempting to steal the word will be allowed discuss the spelling of the word.
In the event of a tie score after a round, a tiebreaker would be held to determine which team would be declared the winner of the round and be allowed to advance in the competition.
The tiebreaker would consist of the M.C. announcing the same word to both teams. After the word is announced, all members of both teams will be given ten seconds in which to write down the word (with its proper spelling) on a provided pad of paper.
The team with the most team members spelling the word correctly will win the round and advance. In the event that there is another tie at the end of this tiebreaker, another word will be given and the team members who correctly spelled the previous word will attempt to spell the second word correctly. Team members who did not spell the previous word or any subsequent words correctly will be eliminated from the remainder of the tiebreaker in this round. The tiebreaker will continue until a winner is declared.
**Tournament brackets will drawn accordingly based on the number of entries received for the spelling bee.
**All words will be chosen from the Scripps National Spelling Bee list.
**The team that wins the tournament bracket will face a team consisting of the top 4 finishers in the Louisville Middle School Spelling Bee.
BUILD Secretary - Andy Mixan
Community Spelling BEE Official Rules Committee====================================================================
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