Headline News







From our early files

Nuckolls County Courthouse News

Fed-up citizens, cowboys square off in 'Kearney War'

Dispute over animal care leads to felony charges

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From our early files

Eighty Years Ago
Since Jan. 1, Superior had received 4.51 inches of rain. The temperature rose above 100 degrees for 18 consecutive days. The season high temperature was 116 degrees.
Merle Vorg, 20, was seriously injured when he attempted to board a westbound Burlington freight. He fell clear of the wheels but hit his head on the steel rail. He suffered a serious scalp wound which required stitches.
The Republican River was dry and the swimming pool in Superior's Lincoln Park was drained because of lack of water to refill it.
Lights were installed at the softball field in Lincoln Park.
Men's dress shirts were 89 cents each at Howard's in Superior.
The Lyric Theatre was showing "Sorrell and Son."
Seventy Years Ago
Pfc. Marvin Smalley was killed in action in France. He was an infantryman and a former resident of the Oak and Beulah communities.
Donald Danehey, Lawrence, was a prisoner of war in Japan.
Cart. Robert Harkins, Superior, a United States Marine Corps fighter pilot, returned to the United States after flying 80 combat missions in the Pacific Theatre.
Wesley Shaw, 28, who lived north of Nelson, had his right leg amputated just above the knee. He was combining wheat when the machine became clogged. He attempted to get it started by pushing the grain into the cylinders with his foot. The combine suddenly started, pulling in his leg.
Full size Cheyenne Indian Blankets were $2.19 at the Superior Hested store.
The Lyric Theatre was showing "Higher and Higher," starring Frank Sinatra and Michelle Morgan.
Sixty Years Ago
Nelson voters approved a $43,375 bond issue to build a new gymnasium-auditorium.
Henry Peach, 71, died. He was a retired farmer in the Lawrence community.
The Nebraska Historical Society's Centennial Car, a traveling museum, was at the depot in Superior.
William Fuhrer, 60, died. He was a farmer in the Davenport community.
A four pound can of Argentinia canned corned beef was $2.39 at Roder's IGA Supermarket in Superior.
The Crest Theatre was showing "Arrowhead," starring Charlton Heston and Jack Palance.
Fifty Years Ago
The telephone system at Superior was converted to dial operation.
Mr. and Mrs. Burr Powell, Montrose, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.
Elsie Pfieffer Cope, 78, died. She was the publisher of the Nuckolls County Herald after Mr. Pfieffer's death.
Dessa Lloyd, 82, died. She was a longtime Superior resident.
Wilson's Bif was 39 cents per can at Hespen's Market in Hardy.
The Crest Theatre was playing "Under the Yum Yum Tree," starring Jack Lemmon and Carol Lynley.
Forty Years Ago
Randy Zuehlsdorf, 18, died when his motorcycle collided with an automobile which had crossed the centerline of Highway 8 west of Hardy. The Hebron resident was wearing a helmet.
Eleven cars of a Rock Island Railroad freight train derailed and overturned near the Highway 14 overpass west of Montrose. The wrecked cars were all jumbo grain hoppers loaded with wheat.
Burglars entered Superior's Hereford Inn and took two cases of beer. The Valley Building Center was also burglarized.
Helena Bagley, 88, died. She was a longtime Superior resident.
Breeze Cheese Spread was 88 cents per two pound carton at the Superior Safeway.
The Crest Theatre was showing Walt Disney's "Alice in Wonderland."
Thirty Years Ago
Workers at the Dubuque Packing Company in Mankato took a second vote and accepted a $1.25 per hour pay cut. The workers had accepted a $2.00 per hour pay cut in 1981.
The Superior City Council voted to triple landfill use fees.
The Rich-Mar store on Superior's north edge was burglarized. Two pistols were stolen. A 50 foot tarpaulin on a semi-trailer was extensively damaged in Superior.
Patricia Frasier, 38, died. She had been employed in the Leslie Hotel laundry department.
Propane was 50 cents per gallon, delivered, from the Farmers Co-op Elevators of Hardy and Superior.
The Crest Theatre was playing "Meatballs, Part II."
Twenty Years Ago
Glenn and Joan Kirchhoff, Hardy, purchased Beckler's Clothing in Superior and renamed it Glenn's Clothing.
Mark Hagge was named head football coach of the Superior High School Wildcats.
The Rev. Sam Reed was installed as the first full-time resident pastor at the Evangelical Free Church of Superior.
Arnold Hansen, 85, died. He was a lifelong Nuckolls County resident, a stockman, seed dealer and 4-H leader.
A six pack of Pepsi products was $1.85 at the Superior Gas'N Shop.
The Crest Theatre as playing "Maverick" and "The Flintstones."
Ten Years Ago
Melvin and Maxine Diehl, Superior, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Joseph Jensen, 53, died. He was a Superior High School graduate and the utilities manager for the City of Superior.
A-1, Inc., in Superior, installed an updated paint booth.
John Hanson, district director for Congressman Tom Osborne, met with constituents in Nuckolls County.
The Crest Theatre was playing "Around the World in 80 days" and "Spiderman 2."
Five Years Ago
The Nuckolls County community of Lawrence celebrated its 125th anniversary.
Agri-Products, Inc., York, donated two pairs of soccer goals to the youth soccer program.
Margaret Wrench, 84, died. She was a longtime Superior resident and a Girl Scout leader.
The two Quonset huts at the Nuckolls County road and bridge department in Nelson were repainted. It had been more than 18 years since they had been painted.
The Crest Theatre was showing "My Sister's Keeper" and "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."
One Year Ago
Brodstone Memorial Hospital closed their home health department.
The 128th Nuckolls County Fair was underway at the fairgrounds near Nelson.
Ina Persinger, Superior, celebrated her 102nd birthday.
Rudolph Harms, 89, died. He was a retired farmer in the Chester, Hardy and Byron communities.
The Crest Theatre was playing "The Lone Ranger" and "Turbo."

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Nuckolls County Courthouse News

County Court, traffic
Speeding: Joy L. Schweer, Bruning, $25; Tami A. Bright, Lawrence, $125; Nathan S. Breland, Superior, $75; Andy R. Hart, Norfolk, $25; Chad M. Bumgardner, Lenexa, $25; Jeannie DeBerard, Superior, $25; Patrick A. Hermann, Juniata, $25; Brett T. Hynes, Clatonia, $125; Kody D. Illingworth, Fairfield, $25.
Leslie O. Deville, Sulphur, La., overweight single axle or group of axles by 4,000 pounds, $150.
Martin A. Tietjen, Superior, overweight single axle or group of axles by 3,400 pounds, $75.
County Court, civil
Credit Management Services vs. Jason Reinke, Superior; judgment entered.
Robert Joseph Rich and Kathy Ann Yohe were married on July 2 in Superior by The Rev. Dr. Jeff Collins with Orlyn Renz and Paula Renz as witnesses.
Anthony Michael White and Allison Elaine Brady were married on July 12 in Kearney by The Rev. Rebecca McDermott with Katie Nelson and Brian Duncan as witnesses.
Real estate transfers
Elvin Pritts Estate, deceased, to public N 12 18-2-8.
Tri-County Farms, LLC, Blake L. Mumm, member, Eldon E. Kirchhoff, member to Eldon E. Kirchhoff, Blake C. Mumm W 12 SE 14 24-1-5
Danny Corman, co personal representative, Kerry Corman, co personal representative for the Estate of William A. Corman, Jr., to Danny Corman Undivided 66/100 Interest in NE 14 20-2-5.
Danny Corman, co personal representative, Kerry Corman, co personal representative for the William A. Corman Jr. Estate, deceased to Tri-C Farms, Inc Undivided 34/100 Interest in NE 14 20-2-5.
Tri-County Farms, LLC to Danny Corman, Pam Corman Undivided 34/100 Interest in NE 14 20-2-5.
Danny Corman, Pam Corman to Tri-C Farms, Inc Undivided 12 Interest in N 290 Ft of W 941 Ft NW 14 35-1-6.
Danny Corman, co personal representative, Kerry Corman, co personal representative for the William A. Corman Jr. Estate, deceased, to Kerry Corman NW 14 26-1-6 Subject to easment.
Danny Corman, co trustee, Kerry Corman, co trustee for the Donna Mae Corman Family Trust, to Kerry Corman SW 14 3-1-6.
Danny Corman, co trustee, Kerry Corman, co trustee for the Donna Mae Corman Family Trust to Danny Corman SE 14 3-1-6.
Kerry Corman, co trustee, Danny Corman, co trustee for the Donna Mae Corman Family Trust to Danny Corman Undivided 12 Interest in SW 14 26-1-6 with Exceptions; Undivided 12 Interest Pt SW 14 26-1-6.
Kerry Corman, Laura Corman to Danny Corman Undivided 12 Interest in Pt NW 14 35-1-6.
Danny Corman, Pamela Corman to Kerry Corman, Laura Corman Undivided 12 Interest in SW 14 26-1-6 with Exceptions; Undivided 12 Interest in Pt SW 14 26-1-6.
Terrance L. Benson to Debra S. Atchison Lot 10 in Block 10, Original Town of Nelson.
Bridget L. Kenley to Daniel J. Mackin, Nicole S. Mackin Tract of Land in N 12 SE 14 4-4-7.
Ward L. Chapman, deceased, to public, Georgianna Chapman Lots 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 in Block 8, Storers 2nd Addition to Nelson.
Patrick J. Brockman, Rose A. Brockman to Philip Brockman, Amy Brockman Pt W 12 NE 14 27-3-8.
Vernon W. Kaldahl, Elizabeth A. Kaldahl to Vernon W. Kaldahl, trustee for the Vernon W. Kaldahl Revocable Trust, and Vernon W. Kaldahl, Elizabeth A. Kaldahl to Elizabeth A. Kaldahl, trustee for the Elizabeth A. Kaldahl Revocable Trust Undivided
1/10 Interest in SW 14 23-1-5; Undivided 12 Interest in SE 14 25-3-6; Undivided 12 Interest in SE 14 32-1-5; Undivided 12 Interest in W 12 SW 14 27-2-5; Undivided 12 Interest in NW 14 34-2-5; Undivided 12 Interest in SW 14 18-3-5; Undivided 12 Interest Lots 5 and 6 and S 20 Ft Lot 4 in Block 26, North Superior; Undivided 12 Interest in W 12 NE 14 19-3-5; Undivided 12 Interest in S 12 NE 14 19-3-5; Undivided 12 Interest in SW 14 35-1-6; Undivided 12 Interest in SW 14 36-2-6; Undivided 12 Interest in E 12 9-1-7 Except 5.745 Acres in SE 14; Undivided 12 Interest in W 12 NW 14 27-1-7 with Exceptions; Undivided 12 Interest in NW 14 21-2-7; Undivided 12 Interest in NW 14 24-2-7; Undivided 12 Interest in N 12 SW 14 6-1-8; Undivided 12 Interest in E 12 NE 14 23-2-8; Undivided 12 Interest in SE 14 5-1-7.

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Fed-up citizens, cowboys square off in 'Kearney War'
By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
Ed. note: Following is the last of four guest articles by Mr. Gray intended to help spread the word about the annual Oregon Trail reenactments scheduled for July 26 in Oak. This marks the 150th anniversary of the raids that occurred in Oak and across the region.
Millett and Mabry Cowboys seemed to always find trouble. Captain Eugene Millet and Major Seth Mabry were well known, successful Texas drovers with several herds on the trail annually. Bill Bland was a typical Millett hand; a good hand with cattle with a reputation for violence. Bland was said to be the first man to boss a trail herd of cattle from Texas to the Dakotas. Tom Peeler, another Millet-Mabry trail boss wore chaps with rifle cartridge loops down to the knees. In addition to the rifle he often carried a shotgun on his saddle. Peeler was known all over cattle country as Millett's "traveling arsenal."
Settlers had taken up nearly all the available land around Kearney. The only open range of any consequence was the old Fort Kearney Military Reservation and being public land, trail herds were continually grazing the reservation. The reservation represented some of the finest grazing lands still available in central Nebraska. Cattlemen were constantly coming and going from the reservation to the town of Kearney. According to the Andreas History of the State of Nebraska, "Those herders were continually armed with heavy pistols, and when visiting the town in squads, with the reckless manner peculiar to the cowboy, they would ride to the saloons, and after becoming half-crazed with whisky, ride up and down the streets with their ponies on a full run, and with unearthly yells and whoops, fire their pistols at any object that attracted attention, or fire them in the air with no manifest object other than to frighten the peaceful citizens." The continual push of the settler into cattle country rankled the cowboys who did all in their power to terrify the settlers.
One particular instance started as a barroom brawl in October of 1874. Kearney City Marshal Bricker rushed to quell the disturbance but Bill Bland took a shot at the marshal and a general gun battle broke out as townspeople came to the marshal's aid. Tom Peeler was shot twice by a needle gun, one shot taking effect in the neck. He survived the wound and was the only man hurt in the fight. Kearney residents boasted that they had taken "the sand" out of Peeler, but he was a tougher man than that.
Andreas' description of cowboy troubles in Kearney continued. "When crazy with liquor, they would dash up and down the streets firing their pistols. On many occasions they would shoot into business houses. Whenever this began, the people generally left the streets, fearing that some straggling bullet might reach them." A few days after the gun battle with Marshal Bricker and the emboldened Kearney citizens another Millett cowboy, Texas Spence, fired a shot into a saloon. But the people were no longer running for cover. The streets suddenly filled with irate citizens armed for confrontation. Pistol and rifle shots split the air, but no one was hurt.
The cowboys were certainly not going to let the townspeople think that they had "buffaloed" the Texans. Twenty-five or 30 of them rode into town ready to "set things straight."
After washing down the dust at one of the local saloons, the band of Cowboys headed for Marshal Bricker's office. The marshal was somehow indisposed. No one could find him so the outfit headed for Weibel's Saloon for more libations.
All the while the Kearney citizens were gathering. When their number reached 30 they surrounded the saloon, ordering the unruly trail hands to leave town. Given the circumstances of surprise held by the citizens, the cowboys saddled up and headed south.
Once across the tracks, the Texans found their courage and regrouped to "take the town." Shots rang out as smoke filled the rail yards. Texas Spence was shot through the body and fell from his horse. "Junebug" also took a bullet but managed to stay in the saddle. The citizens swarmed the paralyzed cowboy and as Texas Spence feebly tried to pull his pistol, one of the citizens clubbed him to death. The fight was over as the Texans retreated to an island on the Platte River.
The word was spread that they would soon return and burn the town to the ground. Folks began to call it the Kearney War. But Kearney was ready. The citizens formed a militia that drilled daily and using the depot as an armory posted a 24 hour guard at the city limits. The Texans knew they were outdone and saddled up to look for adventure far away from those irritating settlers on The Way West.
"The Cowboy," Jim Gray is author of Desperate Seed: Ellsworth Kansas on the Violent Frontier and also publishes Kansas Cowboy, Old West history from a Kansas perspective. Contact Kansas Cowboy, Box 62, Ellsworth, Kan., 67439. Phone 785-531-2058 or

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Dispute over aminal care leads to felony charges
A dispute concerning the care of farm animals turned violent in Superior on Sunday, according to Perry Freeman, Superior chief of police.
Freeman said the owner of the animals became upset with two brothers who were supposed to be providing care and watering the aminals. The owner of the animals reportedly chased the brothers, confronted them and fired a handgun to scare them and terminate their relationship, causing the two men to scramble for cover.
The incident occurrred at approximately 6:15 p.m. on Sunday in the 500 block of East Third Street.
Diane Nelson, 54, of Superior, was confronted by Superior police officers, a handgun was recovered and Nelson was charged with making terroristic threats, a Class IV felony. Because Nelson is already a convicted felon and not allowed to possess firearms, additional charges are expected related to this incident.

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Nebraska News Service

Stories of statewide interest

Prepared by UNL journalism students


Photo ID to vote bill brings threat of lawsuit
By Demetria Stephens, Nebraska News Service
March 7, 2013
LINCOLN ­ Nebraskans want some kind of voter ID law, but a senator's second attempt to bring such a bill misses the mark, according to Secretary of State John Gale.
Larry Dix, executive director of the Nebraska Association of County Officials, read Gale's statement during Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on Legislative Bill 381, Thursday, March 7. The bill, introduced by Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, would require Nebraskans to show a photo ID when voting. Janssen, a candidate in the 2014 governor's race, introduced a similar bill last year, which failed.
Former senator Brenda Council of Omaha said LB381 might be unconstitutional. Amy Miller, ACLU Nebraska legal director, and Adam Morfeld, the Nebraskans for Civic Reform executive director, agreed. Morfeld said his group of 27 Nebraska organizations would sue the state if the bill passes.
"Voting is a fundamental constitutional right, not only the U.S. constitution," she said. "But I urge the members of this committee and the Legislature as a whole to not forget the Nebraska Constitution."
The Nebraska constitution prohibits anything hindering a qualified voter, which is a registered voter, she said.
Thirty-three states now have voter ID laws, with one of the strictest being Indiana. Janssen based LB381 on that law. His bill would make the Department of Motor Vehicles offer a state identification card at no cost to a voters who can't afford another government photo ID. Mail ballots wouldn't require a photo ID, unless it was the person's first time voting. Anyone who doesn't provide the ID at the polls would have to cast a provisional ballot, which means voting officials have to verify the person's identity.
Janssen was amending the bill to allow election officials in rural areas to vouch for the identity of voters if they forget to bring their ID to vote. He cited a 2012 report by the Pew Center on the States that found 24 million U.S. voter registrations, or one out of eight, were no longer valid or significantly inaccurate.
"The report also found 1.8 million dead people listed as voters and 2.75 million people registered in more than one state," he said.
But because Nebraska hasn't had widespread voting fraud, Gale said the bill might not be appropriate for the state. Gale's statement was read in a neutral position. Other opponents said the bill could reduce the amount of people who vote by putting up barriers. Some groups who might be hurt included students and adopted children who might be on the move, and people who can't easily travel such as the elderly and disabled, including veterans.
Former judge Jan Gradwohl said veterans might be in homes or hospitals and not able to go to the Department of Motor Vehicle to get the ID required by this bill.
"Here are people who have fought for the right to vote and who would be themselves unable to vote," she said.
Supporter Marty Brown, vice president of Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, said the American flag in the hearing room reminded him of his service in the military in 1965. People spit on him when he returned from service, he said.
"We don't have any respect for that flag," he said. "In reference to LB381, we'd give some of that respect back."


March. 6, 2013

Tax breaks for wind energy could attract development, revenue
By Joseph Moore, Nebraska News Service
LINCOLN ­ Nebraska would become one of only two states in the country that offer tax credits for renewable energy generation under a bill introduced by Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha.
The Legislature's Revenue Committee heard testimony March 6 on LB 411.
The bill would offer a new tax incentive for solar, wind, biomass and landfill gas energy producers just as the federal tax credit on renewable energy production is set to expire at the end of 2013.
"Us having something like this in place would make us a magnet for renewable energy developers," Nordquist said. He said the tax incentive would give Nebraska a competitive advantage over other states in attracting investment in renewables.
Currently, only Oklahoma offers a production-based tax credit on renewable energy.
Despite covering several categories of renewable energy, Nordquist said the bill's goal is to attract wind developers.
Nebraska currently ranks fourth in the nation in wind resources, according to the American Wind Energy Association. The state had 260 wind turbines operating in 2012 with a total capacity of 459 megawatts, providing 2.9 percent of Nebraska's power.
By comparison, Iowa, which ranks seventh in the nation in wind resources, had a total wind energy capacity of 4,536 megawatts and generated more than 18 percent of its power from wind in 2011, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
Even with plentiful wind resources, Nebraska is falling behind neighboring states in wind energy production.
Nordquist's bill would provide a tax credit of .5 cents for each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated from a renewable source. That amount would increase to a peak of 1.5 cents between 2015 and 2017, dropping back down to .5 cents after 2019.
Producers would be eligible for the credit for up to eight years.
The estimated cost to the state for these tax credits is about $2 million for the fiscal year 2014-2015.
Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus asked if the tax credit is necessary to attract developers considering Nebraska's abundant wind resources.
Richard Lombardi, representing the Wind Coalition, a nonprofit group that advocates for wind energy production, responded by saying that the energy market is heavily subsidized and energy producers are forced to go where the incentives are greatest.
"Tax policy is everything in energy policy," he said.
Lombardi said the state, and particularly rural areas, would benefit from an increase in wind energy production. "Wind projects become one of the largest taxpayers," he said.
David Levy, representing Midwest Wind Energy, a wind farm development company with operations in Nebraska, agreed that the tax credit is necessary to attract more investment.
"Other states' tax incentives put Nebraska at a disadvantage," he said.
Levy said Midwest Wind Energy projects in Custer, Knox and Boone counties would generate an estimated $66 million in local and state tax revenue over the next 10 years, adding, "We would like to build more projects in Nebraska."
No one testified against the bill.
Nordquist said the committee would hear testimony on a number of related bills and encouraged members to consider some form of incentive for renewable energy development.