Headline News







From our early files

Well Head Protection District Organized

Popular Rides Run Afoul of Nebraska Law

Do Nothings go home for pie

From our early files

Eighty Years Ago
Aaron S. Berry, 61, died. He was the publisher of the Superior Journal. He began work at the Journal in 1898 and purchased the newspaper twice in his career.
John Pfeiffer, 51, died. He was the owner and editor of the Nuckolls County Herald, Nelson.
The Superior High School football team would play their home games at night under the recently installed lights at the field in Lincoln park.
The Lyman store in Superior moved its ready-to-wear department from the second floor to the first because of heating and cooling issues.
Magic Lump Coal was $8.25 per ton delivered from Superior's Valley Lumber Company.
The Lyric Theatre was showing "Stamboul Quest," starring Myrna Loy and George Brent.
Seventy Years Ago
Lt. Benton (Bud) Jordan, Superior, was seriously injured while in combat in France.
The community of Oak received more than six inches of rain which flooded basements on the north side of town.
The Sargent and Company elevator and feed plant in Superior was sold to Eberhart and Simpson, a Salina grain firm.
Duane Dyas, a Superior High School graduate, received his wings as a glider pilot and appointment as a flight officer.
Armand Cold Cream powder was 49 cents at the Barnard Drug Store in Superior.
The Lyric Theatre was showing "Lady in the Dark," starring Ray Milland and Ginger Rogers.
Sixty Years Ago
Mrs. Henry Troudt, Superior, celebrated her 84th birthday.
Ruby Powers Parker, 53, died. She was a lifelong resident of the Republic community.
The Deluxe Liquor Store, Superior, was purchased by Dale and Carl Mooberry of Hebron.
Tom Meyers, a farmer who lived north of Superior, waited for the thieves who had been raiding his watermelon patch. While they pilfered, he let the air out of their tires and when they arrived at the truck, he met them with a homemade club. After a discussion, the harvest crew paid Meyers $25 and left with no watermelons. He donated the money to the polio fund.
Frying chickens were 45 cents per pound at Roder's IGA Supermarket in Superior.
The Crest Theatre was showing "Carnival Story," starring Ann Baxter and Steve Cochran.
Fifty Years Ago
Mr. and Mrs. B. L. Skinner, Superior, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
The Rev. Glenn Michael was the new pastor at Olive Hill Church.
Arthur Dillon, 75, died. He was a retired farmer in the Bostwick community.
Effie Cornish Farver, 79, died. She was a longtime Nelson area resident.
Sports suede flannel was 37 cents per yard at the Superior Hested store.
The Crest Theatre was showing "The Chalk Garden," starring Hayley Mills and Deborah Kerr.
Forty Years Ago
Searchers were looking for Marcia Gilbert, a 17 year old Guide Rock girl who had been missing for four days.
Vandals struck the Superior Municipal Swimming Pool, which was closed for the season, and caused considerable damage.
Nelson property owners were now eligible to purchase national flood insurance.
T. F. "Tim" Bellus, 76, died. He was a telegraph operator in Superior for many years.
Fresh cauliflower was 49 cents per head at Superior's Ideal Market.
The Crest Theatre was showing "Zardoz."
Thirty Years Ago
Superior held it's annual Harvest Festival. The event featured plane rides by Jim Butler at the Superior Municipal Airport.
Atha Stenson, 87, She was a longtime resident of the Hardy community.
Cathelma Reed Alford, 75, died. She was a longtime Superior resident.
Dr. Carl Plowman, Jewell, retired after practicing medicine there for 55 years.
Mufflers were $39.95 installed at Superior Tire.
The Crest Theatre was showing "Ghostbusters."
Twenty Years Ago
The Nuckolls county milo harvest was reported to be the best in years with test weights averaging between 57 and 59 and yields of more than 100 bushels per acre.
With its funding assured, the Superior Community Corporation proceeded to purchase the Hotel Leslie and let the first in a series of contacts to convert the building into a housing complex and senior citizen center.
Clinton "Turkey" Wehrman, Jr., 67, died. He was a lifelong Nelson resident and owned Nelson Electric.
Doris Scroggin Schumacher, 99, died. She was a longtime Oak resident.
A 12 pack of Pepsi products was $2.99 at the Superior Ben Franklin store.
The Crest theatre was playing "Speed," starring Kenau Reeves and Sandra Bullock, and "Andre."
Ten Years Ago
A tree board was formed in Superior and it secured a matching grant of $6,900 to purchase and plant trees along Superior streets and in the city parks.
The Superior Volunteer Fire Department received a hazmat trailer. The funds came from a Homeland Security grant.
Genevieve Ebsen, Superior, celebrated her 90th birthday.
Daniel Menke, 45, died. He was a 1977 Lawrence High School graduate.
The Crest Theatre as showing "A Cinderella Story" and "Superbabies: baby geniuses 2."
Five Years Ago
A controlled burn razed the clubhouse at the Superior Country Club to make room for a new structure.
The City of Superior opted to replace an inoperative clarifier at the sewage treatment plant rather than repair the unit.
The Nuckolls County Historical Society dedicated the church which had been relocated to the museum grounds from the Ruskin area.
The Zoltenko family purchased and donated a multi-station fitness area for Superior's Lincoln park.
The Crest Theatre was showing "Aliens in the Attic" and Julie and Julia."
One Year Ago
Nuckolls County and the Village of Ruskin agreed to swap real estate. The county will build a road department outpost.
Flooding in Colorado led to an increase in the number of trains passing through Superior.
Alfred and Janell Hansen, Oak, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
LeVon "Lee" Newhouse, 80, died. He worked for the United States Post Office in Nelson until his retirement.
The Crest Theatre was showing "The Wolverine."

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Well Head Protection District

A committee comprised of city and county leaders, City of Superior staff members, farmers, business owners and residents of Superior held an organizational and informational meeting last Wednesday at the Superior Utilities office to determine the need for Superior to prepare a wellhead plan.
The plan applies to Superior's municipal water supply. The city has eight wells. Currently, any contaminant or nitrate issues stem from practices dating back several decades.
Heather Voorman of The Groundwater Foundation gave a presentation on "Growing Groundwater Awareness in Superior." The non-profit foundation has been providing educational progms for 29 years. Voorman stressed the importance of communities to achieve long-term ground water goals.
She said Nebraska's domestic water is supplied through aquifers and is susceptible to contaminants. Voorman pointed out being proactive with regards to water leads to a more cost effective water supply and potential economic growth. "If contaminated, the cost of water can double or triple."
Communities are encouraged to participate in the Groundwater Guardian Program. This program recognizes green spaces throughout a city, implements groundwater friendly practices and gets local residents and businesses involved. A city can complete an application with The Groundwater Foundation.
Voorman ended the discussion by reminding the group to "think about the bigger picture. Be proactive and make drinking water protection a priority."
Adam Rupe, JEO Consulting Group, Inc., spoke to the committee on Wellhead Protection 101. The goal of Nebraska's Wellhead Protection Program is to protect the land and groundwater surrounding public drinking water supply wells from contamination. Approximately 85 percent of Nebraskans get their drinking water from underground water supplies.
Developing a plan includes identifying the land around current and future water supplies and possible contamination sources. Emergency, contingency and long term plans are key to the success or failure of a wellhead protection plan.
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) provides computer-generated maps showing 20-year-flow lines, specific contaminants and current and future land use. The flow lines determine how long it will take for water to reach a designated well.
Contaminant management can include enactment of sanitary and water ordinances, public nuisance laws and zoning restrictions on specific land uses. Communities can work with natural resources districts and rural water boards to manage and preserve a designated water supply.
The goals of the wellhead protection committee are to establish a Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality approvable plan, review current ordinances, investigate new or updated ordinances or zoning, conduct community meetings and ensure concerns and questions are addressed.
The wellhead protection committe will be meeting again in late October. The committe anticipates having a townhall meeting after the first of the year.
The committee emphasizes the purpose of the group is not to change or restrict how residents or farmers use water. It is putting into action a plan to provide viable drinking water for generations to come.

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Popular Rides Run Afoul of Law
By Angela Hensel
Nebraska News Service
While rideshare services are growing rapidly and have increased transportation access in cities across the country, many argue these services operating illegally under current state laws, which was the debate at the Nebraska Capitol on Sept. 11.
Uber and Lyft, two of the most popular rideshare services, are operated by a mobile app. When passengers are looking for a ride, they can order and pay for a driver to pick them up through the app. The drivers are everyday citizens who use their own vehicles to transport passengers.
These rideshare services were first introduced to Omaha this spring and have now expanded into Lincoln, with the hope that they could expand in the state even more. Uber now operates in approximately 200 cities and 45 countries.
"I know Nebraska. I know Nebraska needs services like ride sharing," said Dave Barmore a representative from Uber and a Lexington native.
During the hearing, the transportation and telecommunications committee heard testimony from the Nebraska Public Service Commission, the Omaha City Council and Uber, Lyft, taxicab and insurance company representatives to determine the legality of these services and whether changes are needed to state laws for such services to operate in the state.
The Public Service Commission and taxicab companies argued these services are illegal because they aren't operating under the same "common carrier" standards as taxicab companies.
"These companies need to play by the same rules we've had to for years," said Kirby Young, Servant Cab co-owner.
Some of the specific regulations in question are that these ride-share companies don't perform the same kind of background checks, don't have the proper insurance and can charge different rates compared to the cab companies. The Public Service Commission has begun issuing citations to some Uber and Lyft drivers because of these violations. Uber and Lyft have said in these cases the company will be in charge of paying the citations, not the driver.
The representatives from Uber and Lyft said they don't fall under the definition of common carriers and said they properly regulate their services according to their own insurance and background check procedures. They emphasized their services are safe and are important in increasing transportation options in communities.
While the services currently only operate in cities, committee Chairwoman Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton asked about the applicability to rural areas where transportation services are especially lacking.
"I don't know what it looks like, but there is room for innovation," Dubas said.
Lawmakers are expected to consider the issue in the next legislative session that begins in January. But in the meantime, Dubas asked about the "800-pound elephant in the room." What do these services do now if they are operating illegally under state laws?
Uber and Lyft said they would be open to creating some sort of interim agreement with the state and continuing to operate, while the Public Service Commission and taxi cab companies said the services should stop until legislation has passed that allows them to operate legally.
"We deal with black and white rules, not grey matter," said John Davis, director of operations for Happy Cab.

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Do Nothings Return Home for Pie
The Do Nothing Group had a dreary day to travel on Thursday. Betty Bouray played host after Nadine Adams asked her to switch dates with her. So early on Thursday Betty went to Courtland to pick up her traveling friends. Loading luggage in the trunk some would of thought they were going to be gone for awhile but only one of us was doing that. Members drove to Grand Island. During this trip, road construction they encountered provided a laugh. They stopped for a flag man and a man jumps out of the truck in front and proceeds to the Johnny on the spot AKA as a port-a-potty. He comes out leaving the door ajar which the poor flag man had to go shut.
Members enjoyed a breakfast sandwich at the airport cafe that was big and yummy before seeing their friend off for her trip.
It rained all the way up and all the way back so the travellers were really in a mood to go venture out anywhere. After a few needed stops at stores they opened the envelopes Nadine left with them and all were given $5 to have pie and coffee on her.
They shopped for pie and then Shirley said, "This is nonsense. Let's call Larrym have him take a pie out of the freezer and lets head home."
That is what they did with a quick stop to the Depot Market where some yummy bread and cheese were purchased before a fun game of 3-13 and apple pie alamode.


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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.