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THE SUPERIOR EXPRESS

NEWS!

Courtland's Fun Day featured on Kansas radio program

Augmentation project prevents irrigation shutdown in basin

County Court office temporarily moved because of mold

Hayes to perform in spring concerts at Concordia Univ.


 

Courtland's Fun Day featured on Kansas radio program

Information about the annual Fun Day celebration in Courtland was featured on a recent installment of the Kansas Profile radio series, produced by the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University, with assistance from the K-State Research and Extension Department of Communications News Media Services. Following are some exerpts:
Fun Day. No, not Sunday, as in the first day of the week or an ice cream treat. I refer to an event called Fun Day in Courtland. For 50 years, the rural community of Courtland has put on a community Fun Day.
Luke Mahin is the economic development director for Republic County and is the one who told me about Fun Day in his hometown of Courtland.
In 1964, businessmen in Courtland wanted to have a community celebration. It morphed into an annual community picnic and much more. It is called Courtland Fun Day. Posters, koozies and T-shirts commemorate the event yearly.
The event is held annually on the last Saturday of July. During the week preceding Fun Day, called Fun Week, a downtown clean-up is held on Monday. "Everybody pitches in to clean up the town," Luke said. "They will literally bring brooms downtown and sweep the sidewalks." Talk about a hands-on way to take responsibility for your community's well-being!
Wednesday is the set-up day for the entertainment stage, seating, and displays downtown. Activities begin on Friday and continue with a full day on Saturday. The number of activities is incredible for a community this size.
Friday night has often featured a barbecue contest and talent show, with local bands performing. Tickets for this contest have been known to sell out in 10 minutes. Twelve to 14 cookers compete in the barbecue contest. In addition to ribs and shrimp, one can find such delicacies as fried pickles and barbecued cupcakes.
Saturday is a huge day. The beer garden is located in an empty lot on main street, with parachutes providing shade. Activities vary from year to year depending on the theme, but over time they have included such things as a bake sale, sand volleyball tournament, cake walk, hot air balloon rides, three-on-three basketball tournament, mutton busting, archery shoot, 5K fun run, a rock-paper-scissors tournament, and much, much more.
Courtland has found ways to celebrate its agricultural assets and build on them. For example, the parade includes lots of tractors and combines. A plastic duck race takes place at the local irrigation canal.
A hay tarp is set up with water running over it to be a belly slide. The corn pile features a huge mound of kernels of field corn in which the local bank has placed donated coins for the kids to dig and find.
Another big draw is the pit chicken barbecue. Huge numbers of half-chickens are slow-cooked on an open-air cooker. One of the guys who helps cook is a character named Tater. The liquid concoction which he shares with the other cooks is called Taterade.
In contrast, a live chicken can be found in another contest called Chicken Bingo. For this contest, one buys a chance on a particular square, and the winner is determined by where the chicken drops its droppings.
Some hilarious attractions from previous years were brought back in 2014. These include the belly dancers (a bunch of big guys with their bare bellies painted in various designs), the ladies who do a choreographed precision dance with their lawn chairs, and Republic County Riverdance (a bunch of guys in tank tops, kilts over cutoffs, and workboots, dancing to Celtic music). On top of everything else (pun intended), a ping pong ball drop will drop into city park hundreds of ping pong balls marked with prizes.
"I look forward to this more than Christmas," Luke Mahin said. For the 50th anniversary celebration, some 3,000 people attended. That's a remarkable achievement for a rural community like Courtland, population 285 people.

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Augmentation project prevents irrigation shutdown in basin
The NCORPE augmentation project in Lincoln County has ceased Republican River Compact compliance operations for 2015, having prevented an irrigation shutdown on approximately 300,000 acres in the Republican Basin in 2014 and 2015.
"An irrigation shutdown of that scale would have been a severe and unnecessary blow to the regional economy," said NCORPE manager Kyle Shepherd. "We're pleased the project helped the basin avoid that outcome."
In 2014, Nebraska faced a projected shortfall of more than 42,000 acre feet to maintain compliance with the Republican River Compact. The NCORPE project was finished and operational in February 2014, and the Rock Creek augmentation project in Dundy County, operated by the Upper Republican NRD, also enhanced stream flow in 2014. Combined, the two projects and other actions by the NRDs in the Republican Basin generated the more than 42,000 acre feet necessary to prevent a massive irrigation shutdown in 2014 and maintain compact compliance. By providing that volume of water quicker than an irrigation shutdown would have, surface water was administered for compact compliance for a shorter amount of time.
This year, there was a projected shortfall of 18,800 acre feet. Within about three months, the NCORPE project generated that amount of water, again preventing an irrigation shutdown. It will not be known until November how much, if any, water will have to be generated by the project in 2016.
Moving forward, a compact compliance accounting change approved by the U.S. Supreme Court will significantly decrease the amount of water that has to be pumped from NCORPE. The change ensures that in compact compliance accounting, Nebraska is no longer charged with consuming water that seeps into the Republican Basin from the Platte Basin. The credit may be approximately 10,000 acre feet annually. Had the credit been in place from 2013-2015, it would have reduced the deficit Nebraska and the NRDs had to make up with NCORPE and other actions by about 70 percent.
NCORPE is an interlocal agency comprised of the Upper Republican, Middle Republican, Lower Republican and Twin Platte NRDs. The project enhances stream flow with water that otherwise would have irrigated 16,000 acres owned by NCORPE in Lincoln County. It is also the largest grassland restoration project in Nebraska.

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County Court office temporarily moved because of mold
The Nuckolls County Board at Monday's regular meeting wasted no time deciding to temporarily relocate the county court office because of mold discovered in the duct work above the office.
The commissioners met with a representative from Yellow Van in Hastings, who conducted an initial inspection for mold, which he apparently discovered in high concentration throughout the building's duct work and in the basement, which is no longer in use. And, apparently, the courthouse duct work is insulated, which means it cannot be cleaned, only replaced.
While considering what long-term action to take, including perhaps getting a second opinion on the mold situation, the commissioners decided to temporarily relocate the county court office to the county board meeting room on the first floor. During this time, the weekly board meetings will be held in the law library on the second floor.
In other business:
· The board and Sheriff Brad Baker continued discussion about a new sheriff's building or the remodeling of the current building. Baker said the department needs more space than they currently have, and the commissioners said they agree. Chairman Dan Corman said he favors remodeling the current building. It was decided a definite plan is needed for how to proceed, but the new roof should be done as soon as possible. The matter was tabled.
· Royce Gonzales reported on the most recent meeting of the county safety committee. He said the minutes were kept by Jean Stichka because he was at an out-of-town meeting. He reported the county's fire extinguishers have been inspected and serviced, and the committee would like to have the road department seal the concrete slab beneath the lift at the north entrance of the courthouse, to see if that helps with the operation of the lift.
· Chairman Corman said the Adams County Courthouse has gone to one single entrance for the public for security reasons. The board is considering an offer from the U.S. Marshal's Office to do a courthouse walk-through, which would focus on courthouse security.
· It was reported Cody Wyatt of Superior is interested in the noxious weed superintendent position. It will be a contracted, part-time position, with an hourly wage. Training will be provided in part by the Webster County noxious weed superintendent.
· Special designation liquor licenses were approved for Dick's Place for an event on July 25 at the Nuckolls County Fairgrounds, and Superior Estates Winery for an event on May 2.
· The following easements were approved: Dorrel Lipker for a water line in Elk Precinct, Tri-C Farms for a sewer line in Hardy Precinct, Shamrock Farms for a water line in Garfield Precinct and Wanda Langer for an electrical line in Albin Precinct.

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Hayes to perform in spring concerts at Concordia Univ.
Four musical ensembles from Concordia University will perform two combined concerts in April. The Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra will perform at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, in the recital hall of Concordia's Music Center. The Male Chorus and Women's Chorale will perform at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward.
Among the students participating in the concerts include is Emily Hayes, a freshman from Superior, a first soprano in Women's Chorale
"Each semester the ensembles rehearse to prepare for concerts that are as close to the end of the semester as possible," said Kurt von Kampen, conductor of Chamber Choir and Male Chorus. "Not only does the music need to be learned but also internalized so the performances can be done with confidence and meaning."
The Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra will each perform a variety of musical pieces. They will also come together to perform two pieces written by the orchestra director, David von Kampen. The first is his latest composition, "Go To Dark Gethsemane," published by Concordia Publishing House, and the second is the final movement from his Lutheran Divine Service setting "Benediction."
The Male Chorus and Women's Chorale concert is titled "Lessons and Anthems" and will include a variety of sacred music sung by each choir. The men and women also will combine to sing "Lamb of God" by Women's Chorale conductor Jeffrey Blersch and "Festival Sanctus" by John Leavitt.
Concordia alumnus Paul Soulek of Seward contributes to the concerts on piano and organ.

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