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Gas line easement request tabled for the second time

Donor does more than talk about Nebraska

Quilt of Valor awarded to Superior resident

Hoard Oil Company marks anniversary


Gas line easement request tabled for the second time

The Nuckolls County commissioners on Monday tabled a request for a natural gas line easement for the second time.
Requesting the easement is Perry Elting, who proposes to install approximately three miles of natural gas line in county road right-of-ways. The commissioners first entertained the request at their Aug. 11 meeting, when one of the adjoining landowners, Barry Melvin, attended the meeting and voiced opposition to the easement. Because one of the commissioners was scheduled for vacation during the Aug. 18 meeting, it was tabled until Monday.
Elting was not present on Aug. 11, but his presence, along with Melvin's, was requested at Monday's meeting. Both men turned up. Also present were Tim Schmidt, county attorney; Gary Warren, county highway superintendent, and Cindy Buescher, road department secretary.
Arnold Brown, county board chairman, said he consulted with the county's engineering consultant, who suggested two state statutes that might help the commissioners with this matter. After reading the statutes, however, Brown said he didn't believe either were applicable. Tim Schmidt said he agreed. The two statutes, 57-1101 and 57-1102, pertain primarily to acquisition of land through eminent domain for commercial pipelines.
Elting said all the landowners had been agreeable except Melvin, but now another, Ruth McLaughlin, said she was against it. Melvin said McLaughlin talked to him after the Aug. 11 board meeting and changed her mind. Those two landowners represent about one-third of the proposed three-mile route.
Brown said the board had never had a landowner protest an easement request for a utility on county right-of-way, and urged the two men to come to an agreement before the next board meeting, which is Tuesday because of the Labor Day holiday. The request was tabled until 9 a.m. Tuesday, but Brown said it was unlikely the board would table it again.
"We won't let this go on longer than that," Brown said.
Wim Kirsten from Berggren Architects in Lincoln met with the board about the ongoing gutter work at the courthouse and the proposed addition to the sheriff's department building. A test portion of courthouse gutter has been replaced and Kirsten said they are ready to seek bids for the work. He asked if the board wanted to combine the two projects for bid purposes.
The commissioners said they would rather bid them separately because there are probably no local contractors willing or able to do the gutter work, but several who would bid on the sheriff's building addition. The board directed Kirsten to proceed with preparing bid specifications for the gutter work and to work with Brad Baker on the plans for the sheriff's building addition. Berggren's fee for designing the addition will be 15 percent of the completed construction costs; the firm will continue with the gutter work on an hourly pay basis.
In other business:
· No protests were heard during a public hearing for abandoning a portion of Road 4000, from Road U north 2,407 feet across Oxbow Creek. The board directed Gary Warren to proceed with the process.
· The board denied a request from the City of Superior for payment in the amount of $7,340 from the county's 911 budget for two new sirens and receivers for the community.
· A request to lease a new copy machine for the courts was approved. The board asked Royce Gonzales, clerk of the district court, to provide firm quotes for the lease agreement. The county has slowly transitioned from owning to leasing the machines. They currently lease three copiers.
· Lonnie Lemke from the road department requested an executive session to discuss a personnel matter. Present were Lemke, the three commissioners and county clerk. No action was taken as a result of the private session.
· Meeting as the board of equalization, the commissioners approved the list of tax-exempt real estate within the county. They properties fall into three categories ­­ religious, cemetery and charitable. The complete list appears elsewhere in this issue.
· The county's health fair, a component of the employees' wellness program benefit, is scheduled for next Thursday in the courthouse basement from 7 to 10 a.m. Brodstone Memorial Hospital is contracted to perform the blood work and other tests.

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Donor does more than talk about Nebraska
By Colleen Kenney Fleischer
(Reprinted with permission from GoodNUz, a magazine published by the Nebraska Alumni Association and the NU Foundation. The story appeared in their fall 2014 edition.)
He talks of the day in the Dust Bowl when a tumbleweed knocked him down. He was a kid, standing next to a cousin on their grandparents' farm in south-central Nebraska. At first, he thought the cousin had hit him.
He talks of the dust, the chickens and the buckets blowing past the kitchen door.
He talks of the black cloud reaching "from the ground to the zenith. You'd see it blowing and get blacker and blacker and blacker," Robert McBroom said, "and the next thing you know it's blowing past you."
McBroom talks by phone from his home in Wisconsin.
"As I'm fond of saying, "Everything was quite awhile ago."
He laughs.
"When you're 91, everything was long ago."
McBroom talks of the day his mother died. He was eight. He remembers it in bits and pieces. The doctor removed her thyroid and the surgery was a success but a few hours later, she died anyway of post-operative shock.
And he talks of the way his dad kept going forward, despite the dark days.
His dad, McBroom said, would promote other people, not himself. His dad would always talk about them, not himself. Other people made him happy. He'd tell about his town, Superior, where he lived all of his life and where people called him "Mac."
His dad worked as a traveling salesman, a merchandising man, and, later, as the manager of the city's chamber of commerce, a perfect job for a promoter like him. He loved the city's celebrations, the fireworks, its school and its sports.
He loved the University of Nebraska even though he never got to go to college. He'd grown up on a farm, to people who weren't so prosperous.
"Farm people wouldn't even think of going to college in those days unless they had something special, special, special," McBroom said. "The nearest boy around was Ed Weir, who became a famous football player at Nebraska. He lived up the road half a mile from my dad. They were the same age, and friends.
"My dad didn't go to college, but he always thought I should."
His dad saved the money his mother had left when she died, money that had come from her own mother, to pay for his son's first two years of school in Lincoln. McBroom went to World War II for a few years and then returned to Lincoln to resume his studies at the university. Uncle Sam, he said, paid for his final two years. He graduated in 1948 with an engineering degree.
McBroom talks of the day his dad came to the campus to watch him graduate. That was 1948. He remembers how his dad was so proud because Robert was the first McBroom to earn a degree.
Education is the key to opening doors, McBroom said, and it's the key to opening minds. It opened his. It helped him have an interesting career as a mechanical engineer with General Electric. It gave him a great wife, Mary, who was a secretary at GE.
And though McBroom hasn't been back to Nebraska in years, he's given back for years because he feels the university gave him a great life.
The first few years, he said, he gave just a few dollars. That was all he could afford. He gave more as the years flew by. A decade ago, he started a fund that he named for his father: the R. Vernon McBroom Fund. The fund grew quickly because he capitalized on the GE Matching Gift Fund from his company, which matches his gifts up to $50,000 annually. The College of Engineering used the fund to support a professorship. It now provides support for Yuris Dzenis and his research team that focuses on nanofibers.
McBroom's father died in 1976, long before the fund was created. McBroom thinks he'd be pleased that the McBroom name is on something that mattered to the university, especially something that promoted other people.
"I'm very content at the moment because we're modestly prosperous," he said, "and what family we have is doing fine. My son is fine. My granddaughters are beautiful. Yes, anyway,
I'm okay."
He laughs again.
"Old men, we talk and talk. And I could talk to you for hours."

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Quilt of Valor awarded to Superior resident
Val Heim was presented with a Quilt of Valor at his Superior residence Friday. The quilt was awarded as a thank you from the Quilts of Valor Foundation for his service in the United States navy during World War Two. Heim a retired Ideal Cement Company mill supervisor, was playing professional baseball when the suggestion was made that he enlist in the service. He joined the navy and played on a service team in the St. Louis area until he was shipped out to Saipan. He was on board a ship in the pacific when the war came to an end. Heim is also recognized as the oldest living major league baseball player.
Heim was nominated to be a recipient by an anonymous individual from Kansas. Phyllis Schoenholz, UNL- Extension educator and Nebraska 4-H Quilts for Valor, made the presentation. She was accompanied by Jacie Milius, extension educator, and Jean Stichka, extension office manager. Gene Frerichs, adjutant, Steve Meyer, past commander of Superior American Legion Post 103, represented the veteran's group of which Heim is a long serving member. Heim was modest in his acceptance, saying so many others gave so much more in the service of their country. He was reminded that keeping up morale is as important a component of military success as arms and strategy. Baseball was truly the national sport of the United States at the time and service teams had many major league players on their rosters. Baseball provided a much needed entertainment outlet for troops of all branches of the service.
Heim said it was a very special morning in his life and was sorry his wife Betty, was unable to participate. She is recovering from a fall.

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Hoard Oil Company marks anniversary
Saturday will mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Hoard Oil Company, the operator of a Courtland service station.
Norman Hoard, a native of the Formoso and Randall communities purchased the business from Sam and Crece Burger on Aug. 30, 1954, soon after he and Doris Dunstan were married.
At the time the business looked promising. Highway 36, a major transcontinental highway passed by the station's front door. In the summer months it wasn't unusual to see vehicles from nearly every state in the union pass through Courtland and with the station located on the west edge of the community, many of those drivers stopped at Hoard Oil. The highway was also used Pacific Intermountain Express (P.I.E.) and one of those large trucks passed through Courtland every few minutes.
The station was open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week and offered gasoline, repaired tires and provided minor automotive repair. In addition to Norman and Doris the station employed Ron Spitler and Benny Free.
In 1958 Norman assumed the contract for the operation of the Standard Oil bulk plan and tank wagon service. Lawrence Mystrom had provided that service for 30 years prior to 1958.
During the second week of August, 1963, Highway 36 ceased to go through Courtland and traffic passing the station fell to a dribble. The bread and butter was gone and the future looked bleak. However, the emphasis was shifted away from gasoline to emphasize tires, lubrication and minor repairs. The good side of this shift was a reduction in the long hours of operation.
In 1966 the old station was torn down and the present office and service shop was built. In 1968 a car wash was added. In 1976 Norman purchased the bulk plant which he had been operating under contract. The next year he purchased the Standard Oil bulk plant at Mankato which his son Kris operated before it was sold.
In 1992 pumps which could be operated with credit cards were added. Eventually the full service pumps were retired and the self-service pumps became available 24/7.
In 1999 the company's affiliation switched from Standard Oil to Sinclair.
Today the station is owned by Scott Hoard of Superior but Norman continues to report for work nearly every day. In addition to Scott and Norman, Ben Buckland and Darcie Wilkinson are employed by the business.



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