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Commissioners will inspect, repair abandoned cemeteries

County officials collecting items for veterans

Whooping cranes likely to stop here

Recent moongazing offers spectacular sights


Commissioners will inspect, repair abandoned cemeteries

The Nuckolls County Board at Monday's regular meeting discussed a complaint received about the Oxbow Cemetery. Located northeast of Nelson, Oxbow is one of a handful of abandoned cemeteries in the county. Abandoned cemeteries are typically no longer used for burials and no longer have active boards or sextons, but the county is responsible for mowing and other maintenance. Abandoned cemeteries are typically mowed and trimmed once or twice a year, at the county's expense.
Apparently, a descendant of someone buried at Oxbow recently discovered the cemetery fence had been damaged and cattle had been in the cemetery, damaging some of the headstones, including the one marking his ancestor's grave.
The man, who lives in Colorado, said he paid to have the grave marker repaired, but would like the county to repair the fence so it doesn't happen again.
The commissioners were in agreement that the repairs need to be made. Commissioner Doyle Christensen suggested this would be a good time to look at all the abandoned cemeteries in the county and do whatever repair or maintenance work is necessary. The county clerk volunteered to take photographs at each of the abandoned cemeteries for discussion at the Nov. 7 meeting.
Cindy Buescher, road department secretary, reported to the board in the absence of Gary Warren, county highway superintendent. Buescher said the department started winter hours (five eight-hour days) on Monday, and a new motorgrader operator, John Howe, also began working Monday in the Nelson Precinct.
Buescher said gravel trucks are running, some of the crew is mowing and others are doing culvert work in the Hardy area. The Webber blacktop road has apparently been completed and the county needs to get in and do culverts and shoulder work. Buescher said the sheriff's department reported on multiple counts of road sign destruction west of Superior in the vicinity of the former Ideal Cement plant.
In other business:
· The board voted unanimously to approve emergency medical assistance for an individual in the approximate amount of $1,200.
· Carissa Uhrmacher, project director, community-based juvenile services, met with the commissioners to provide a report of the group's efforts last year as well as an overview of future projects.
· Susan Rogers, county assessor, met with the board to discuss several legislative issues that NACO is closely monitoring.
· The board approved special designation liquor license applications for Superior Estates Winery for events on Nov. 18, Dec. 8, Dec. 10, Dec. 16, Dec. 31 and April 8.
· The commissioners conducted their quarterly inspection of county jail facilities, as required by state statute.

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County officials collecting items for veterans
Nuckolls County officials are joining the Nebraska Association of County Officials (NACO) in a goodwill project to collect personal care items for distribution to veterans.
Carrie Miller, county clerk, said she will have a box at the courthouse for donations. Nuckolls County is in NACO's central division, which is seeking donations of Kleenex, word search books, playing cards and boxed greeting cards.The remaining four divisions are collecting different groups of items.
Items should be placed in one-gallon zip lock bags for donation. Miller said she will take the donations to the NACO convention in Kearney in December.


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Whooping cranes likely to stop here
The entire Central Flyway whooping crane population is expected to migrate through this general area this fall and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has asked the general public to report whooping crane sightings.
Observers are encouraged to record the number of birds, location, type of activity and if can be determined the number of adults and juveniles.
Sandhill crane, American white pelican, great blue heron, trumpeter swan and snow goose are species that occasionally are mistaken for whooping cranes. Whooping cranes are approximately 5 feet tall and fly with their neck outstretched. Adults are all white with the exception of black wing tips and a reddish-black facial pattern.
It is thought 45 whooping crane chicks were fledged this year. Current estimates indicate there are at least 300 of the cranes. At the low point, there were fewer than 20.
It is against the law to approach a whooping crane. Harassing a whooping crane is a violation of federal law. Though few people have seen them, in past years whooping cranes have been reported on Lovewell Lake and this newspaper printed a picture of one taken by a local photographer.
Whooping crane sightings may be reported to 888-399-2824.

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Recent moongazing offers spectacular sights
The skies have been clear and area residents have viewed some spectacular moons in recent days. The moons have not just been full moons, they have had more descriptive names. First we had the supermoon which was closely followed by the harvest moon. Local photographers have been flooding social media websites with pictures of beautiful moons.
We thought about trying to capture one of the moons for publication in this paper or asking one of our friends to share one of their spectacular photos with our readers, but our black and white printing process wouldn't do justice to the beautiful picture.
In the process of thinking how we should treat the moon story, we were reminded of the newspaper photographer in the days before picture reproduction had reached its current state of quality, decided to fabricate a moon shot. He placed a quarter on a piece of photography paper which was then exposed and developed to make a white circle on a black ground. The cutline talked about the beautiful full moon but it didn't fool many readers. Most correctly determined the picture was a fake.
So we began looking for what others more versed in the ways of the moon had to say about this week's sights. Here's some of what we learned:
Star gazers noted on Monday night the moon was sweeping past the famous dipper-shaped Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters.
Tuesday night the moon was near the bright star Aldebaran and, in fact it passed in front of Aldebaran if viewed in the right part of the world.
The most noticeable moon at night is the one that stays out all night long. That would be around the time of full moon each month, when the moon is 180 degrees from the sun, or opposite the sun in our sky. The most recent full moon was on Sunday.
Every full moon rises around sunset and sets around sunrise. But now the moon is in a waning gibbous phase ­ rising later each night ­ and setting in the west later each day after sunrise.
So, in the several mornings after full moon (now) ­ after sunrise ­ look for the waning gibbous moon in the west during the morning hours. At mid-northern latitudes in North America, the moon is setting a few to several hours after sunrise and after Tuesday it was setting one hour (or more) later each day thereafter.
By the way, the moon is up during the day half the time. It has to be, since it orbits around the whole Earth once a month. A crescent moon is hard to see because it's so near the sun in the sky. At the vicinity of last quarter moon about a week from now, you might have to crane your neck, looking up, to notice it after sunrise.
Ordinarily, we don't look up to see the waning last quarter moon and waning crescent after sunrise. That's one reason why people so often miss the moon during the day.
Day by day, the lighted portion of the waning gibbous moon will shrink and the half-lit last quarter moon will come on Oct. 22. We were told to watch for the daytime moon to climb higher and higher into the western sky after sunrise all this coming week!
Bottom line was starting on Tuesday we should look for the daytime moon in the west after sunrise.
On Monday the moon was is in a Waning Gibbous Phase. This is the first phase after the full moon occurs. It lasts roughly seven days with the moon's illumination growing smaller each day until the moon becomes a last quarter moon with a illumination of 50 percent. The average moon rise for this phase is between 9 a.m. and midnight depending on the age of the phase. The moon rises later and later each night setting after sunrise in the morning. During this phase the moon can also be seen in the early morning daylight hours on the western horizon.
What is a supermoon?
Ever looked up at the night sky to see a full moon so close you could almost touch it? Well done, you've spotted a supermoon!
The impressive sight happens when a full moon is at the point in its orbit that brings it closest to Earth. To us Earth-lings, the moon appears 30 per cent brighter and 14 per cent bigger to the naked eye. 
By the way, supermoon is not an astrological term. It's scientific name is Perigee Full Moon. But supermoon is more catchy, and is used by the media to describe our celestial neighbor when it gets up close.
There are six supermoons in total this year. We've already had four, and there's two more to go, on Nov. 14 and Dec. 14.
Each full moon of the year is given a name - although they vary according to the source. October's full moon is referred to as the Hunter's moon because it appears very soon after sunset, and traditionally generated more light for farmers working in the fields and hunters to spot wildlife. 
So, how close does the moon get?
It might look close, but of course it's not that close. Nov. 14's full moon will be the closest supermoon of the year. The moon will come 221,524 miles from Earth - almost touching distance in space terms. In fact, the November moon will be the closest the moon has got to Earth so far this century. It won't be this close again until Nov. 25, 2034. 
The closest full moon of the whole of the 21st century will fall on Dec. 6, 2052.
As well as being closer and brighter than most, this week's supermoon looked orange and red. This was because as moonlight passes through the thicker section of the atmosphere, light particles at the red end of the spectrum don't scatter as easily as light at the blue end of the spectrum. So when the moon looks red, you're just looking at red light that wasn't scattered. 
As the moon gets higher in the sky, it returns to its normal white with yellow color. 
Doesn't affect us here but when the moon is closer to Earth, it can lead to slightly higher tides, and greater variations between the tides.
There's lots of other moons too. In our research we found the following descriptions:
Full moon: We all know what these are. They come around every month and light up the night at night.
Harvest moon: The full moon closest to the autumn equinox.
Black moon: Most experts agree this refers to the second new moon in a calendar month. The last black moon was at the start of October 2016 and the next one is expected in 2019.
Blue moon: A phenomenon that occurs when there is a second full moon in one calendar month. A second full moon in a single calendar month is sometimes called a blue moon. A black moon is supposedly the flip side of a blue moon; the second new moon in a single calendar month.
The infrequent nature of this lunar event led to the phrase "once in a blue moon" to signify a rare occurrence. It does not actually mean the moon will be blue.
Blood moon: Also known as a supermoon. It's when the shadow of Earth casts a reddish glow on the moon There was one in September 2015, and before that in 1982 but the next one won't be until 2033. 
Strawberry moon: A rare event when there's a full moon on the same day as the summer solstice.  It happened in June ,2016, for the first time since 1967 when 17 hours of sunlight gave way to a bright moonlit sky.
Despite the name, the moon does appear pink or red. The romantic label was coined by the Algonquin tribes of North America who believed June's full moon signalled the beginning of the strawberry picking season.

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