Jan 13, 2020 8:38 PM

City of Alliance continues to move forward on 'Pillars For The Park' design

Posted Jan 13, 2020 8:38 PM

Alliance – At the January 7, 2020 Alliance City Council meeting, resolutions approving additional steps toward the completion of the Pillars in the Park project were approved. 

The Alliance City Council accepted the funds raised to date for the completion of the project. The funds turned over to the City totaled $231,038.79, in which were raised through community donations and fundraising activities.  In addition, Council approved moving forward with hiring a consultant to assist with the development and submission of a grant to aide with construction costs.

The City of Alliance continues to move forward with design, planning and engineering. 

Baker and Associates of Scottsbluff conducted public meetings to gather input from the community regarding preferences for the project.  Based on that input several design options were created and shared with the community through an on-line survey. These survey results are being used to create a final design that will allow construction documents to be developed. 

Once construction documents are created, the City will know the expected total cost of the pillars construction and sunken garden renovation. 

If the City successfully secures construction grant funding and donations continue to come in as expected, the combined total funds should be near to what is needed to complete construction. 

Future donations for the Pillars Project need to be submitted to the City of Alliance at 324 Laramie Ave and will be designated for use on this project. 

 The City of Alliance would like to thank the Pillars in the Park group for their tireless efforts to work with the community to raise funds for the completion of this project. 

The City would also like to thank the Alliance Park Foundation for their efforts in tracking donations throughout this two-year project.

Finally, the City is thankful for the overwhelming dedication of our community to this project because without it, this project would not be possible. 

The City is dedicated to continuing to work with the community to see this project through to completion.

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Jan 13, 2020 8:38 PM
Gov. Ricketts proclaims 'Religious Freedom Day' in Nebraska
Gov. Ricketts hosts State Senators, faith leaders, and non-profits to celebrate Religious Freedom Day in Nebraska.

LINCOLN, Neb.-Governor Pete Ricketts signed a proclamation declaring January 16, 2020 as “Religious Freedom Day” in Nebraska.  Governor Ricketts was joined at the ceremony by State Senators, faith leaders, educators, and representatives from the Nebraska Family Alliance and Nebraska Catholic Conference.  Religious Freedom Day is observed nationwide on January 16th, which is the anniversary of the 1786 passage of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.

“Religious freedom is the first freedom listed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  That’s no accident,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “Religious freedom is the cornerstone of a free society.  The Founders of the U.S. recognized the importance of religion to the health of our Republic.  They also knew that religion flourishes best when practiced without coercion.  Nebraskans are blessed with religious liberty, and they exercise this freedom by standing up for the most vulnerable, serving the disadvantaged, and seeking the well-being of their neighbors.”

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Article I-4 of the Nebraska Constitution recognizes that “All persons have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.”

“Religious liberty is deeply rooted in the heart of America, and it is deeply rooted in the heart of every human person in our search for truth, meaning, and ultimately, for God,” said Tom Venzor, Executive Director of Nebraska Catholic Conference.  “Religious liberty allows us to serve the poor, educate the young, work for the common good, and so much more.  The Nebraska Catholic Conference is committed to working with fellow citizens and with Governor Ricketts, our state senators, and other elected officials to ensure that religious liberty is protected, defended, and celebrated in our state.”

Governor Ricketts has taken steps to support religious freedom in Nebraska.  In 2017, Governor Ricketts signed LB62, a bill that ended criminal penalties for public school teachers wearing religious garb.  LB62 was carried through the Nebraska Legislature by Speaker Jim Scheer of Norfolk.

“Religious liberty is our most foundational freedom, and a sacred human right we are committed to defending for all Nebraskans,” said Karen Bowling, Executive Director of the Nebraska Family Alliance.  “The First Amendment guarantees that no one, regardless of their beliefs, is punished by the government or coerced into retreating from civil and political life as the price for following their faith.  Today’s press conference and proclamation signing demonstrates the diverse and passionate support for religious freedom in Nebraska.  Nebraska Family Alliance is proud to stand alongside Governor Ricketts today in support of this irreplaceable American freedom.”

In the United States, small business owners from florists to bakers have been harassed for conducting their businesses in accordance with their religious convictions.  The Supreme Court’s June 2018 ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission provided much-needed reaffirmation of the right to religious freedom in America.  Even so, the right to religious freedom requires vigilant defense.   

While religious freedom is generally respected in the United States, religious persons around the globe face harsh persecution for their beliefs.  Just before Christmas, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) launched a crackdown of Chinese house churches.  The PRC also continues its mistreatment of Uighur Muslims.  On December 18th, the U.S. State Department named Burma, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, PRC, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as Countries of Particular Concern in light of their violations of religious freedom.  The 2019 Report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is available by clicking here.

More information regarding Religious Freedom Day can be found at www.ReligiousFreedomDay.com.

Watch video from today’s ceremony by clicking here.