Newspaper Archive of
The Superior Express
Superior, Nebraska
April 11, 2002     The Superior Express
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April 11, 2002

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Year, No. 15 Superior Official Nuckolls County Newspaper Member of Nebraska Press Association and National Newspaper Association ISSN 0740-0969 2002 Superior Publishing Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved I Superior, Nebraska 68978 Price 50 National Edition 16 Pages in Two Sections Thursday, April 11,2002 t :last Wednesday evening with two represen- and Larry Lindquist. 20 patrons also at- "It is not a pretty We used to in student popu- are rapidly declin- 5 to prepare range plan future direction for education faces declining enrollment -identify innovative ideas to help the district move ahead -communication tool Who is going to be involved in the planning process? ( Understanding the unified board will be ultimately re- sponsible.) -local board members -teachers, staff -community members -administrators -students -parent advisory committees to four In several meetings, members have voiced concerns of how to involve entities from the various districts and to keep the total number of involved people small enough to progress with active planning. Katzberg suggested the board needed to personally ask people in the community they knew would make a difference and be able to give and take. What process will give the plan the best chance of being beneficial? -getting community members to understand "that was then, this is now" -comnmnity involvement -open mind to new ideas, new di- rections and to change - bring all communities on board -collection and analysis of data - education first Lindquist said, "We are living in a chaotic situation related to education. We are attacking social organisms that are the life blood of our society. Health care is also under attack." It is expected additional work on committee selection and establishing of ground rules, will be done at the unified boards regular monthly meet- ing Monday evening in Superior. planning expected the end of August. with related as follows: the issues which lead to plan ahead for decreasing of board plan , district, but to unify resources :people within the dis- and patrons expressed P a "We" mentality of Sessions? in the planning pro- )that shows where we are look at our situation process which will ad- without polarizing process used to close district boundary de- a in the best a priority Firemen Called Members of the Superior Volun- teer Fire Department answered a call to the 1300 block of Commercial Street Wednesday when smoke was reported combing from a basement. A burn permit had been issued earlier for that area. No structure fire was found. school boards joint meeting Guide Rock School met in Guide Rock for their regular Dave Healey was - Superior board and md Rick Duffy from up- Damon as sea- for the summer. will be mow- to replace the School S-Club is the project and will announced that action concerning of the conference mean time, Supe- from the Conference which South- County. By to wait Krea Confer- I teacher contracts are to be returned were distrib- School weather glass The a tornado stage, locker rooms. storm is more grouped gave their ap- darts. Rock board related to the site. Lester ]G'hnaman, and the Guide 10, 2002 New Crop .............. 1.85 1.92 ............. 1.87 1.92 ........... 2.81 2.70 4.26 4.19 Rock Rural Fire Department board. It was announced treated lumber cannot be burned at the Guide Rock bum pit. The floors, beams, floor and ceiling joist of the old high school building are all thought to be constructed of wood. District planning will continue to be a monthly agenda item. The board directed Alan Ehlers, principal to let teachers use $12 per student for field trips and activities of the teacher discretion this school year. The activity fund will have approxi- mately $10,000 after the trophy case is completed. Nelson council hires swimming pool management Members of the Nelson City coun- cil met Monday evening. They ap- proved the first of three readings of an annexation request. The proposed an- nexation is a small plot adjacent to the northeast comer of Nelson. Darrell Harrington plans to build a house at the site. Members also approved closing of one block of First Street between Elm and Park streets. Members also approved increasing basic rescue squad rates to $200 plus $5 per loaded mile. Swimming pool employees hired were Arlis Hohl, manager; Scott Watson, assistant manager; Leslie Reed, Emily Rumsey, Jennifer Stemper and Stacey Worman, lifeguards; Amanda Watson, Cortney VanSkiver and Stacy Stemper, substitute life- guards. Other business included: Purchasing a 1565 John Deere four-wheel drive mower from Twin Valley Implement for $16,315. , Hiring David Burkett as seasonal help for street maintenance. Proclaimed April 26 as Arbor Day. Approved the purchased of a.John Deere 670 motorgrader from Nebraska State surplus. Members examined proposed plans related to remodeling the former city hall. The proposed 70 by 42 foot build- ing uses some of the walls. A 10 by 20 foot addition has been suggested. The facility would provide an office space for city maintenance shop employees and house the computer system that controls the city wells. The roof on the current structure is in poor condition. Other items of discussion included the purchase of an additional truck and blade from state surplus, updating city ordinances and placing the Nelson Cemetery Walk-Way on the Nebraska Historical Registry. For the first time this year umbrellas were needed in Superior Monday morning. Approximately one-half inch of much needed rain was received. Teresa Christensen, a Superior elementary school teacher helps a first grade pupil, Shane Pedersen, across the street prior to the school startinglor the day. Superior's storm sirens fail preparedness test Problems with the emergency warn- now available are not designed to pen- ing sirens used to alert the residents of etrate buildings. Federal government Superior were identified during tests rulesforbidthesaleoftheloudersirens conducted last Wednesday and Satur- day. Members of the Superior Volun- teer Fire Department met with the city council Monday evening to discuss the situation. Todd Kroeger, fire chief, reported a siren maintenance company had been contacted and a representative would be here this week During the tests some sirens failed to sound and others sounded the wrong tone. Two of the sirens having prob- lems were installed were purchased two years ago, others are older. Arlen Mickelsen, a member of the council, said the city must have sirens which work and can be heard. Complaints about not being able to hear the sirens have increased as new sirens were installed. Residents of some areas of the community report .they never hear the sirens and others report only hearing the sirens occasionally. Part of the problem was laid at the feet of the federal government. Sirens the residents of Superior want. However, Superior owns three louder sirens which are not currently being used. The loudest of the three is mounted on the roof of the Public Safety Building. When built in the 1950s, it was not designed to emit the distinctive sounds now used to differ- entiate between fire, weather and na- tional defense emergencies. Kroegtr said the siren still works but it has never been equipped with the controls needed for the dispatch center at Nelson to sound it. Currently the siren can only be sounded from the fire station. The other two sirens were taken out of service after they were struck by lightning and would no longer sound the three distinctive tones. Several suggestions were offered including adding remote controls to the fire station siren, reinstalling the two sirens not now in use, and raising the height of two existing sirens. Currently sirens located near Supe- Court clerk to retire Except for a four year span, Mildred Eilers has worked at the Nuckolls County Courthouse since December, 1960. She now serves as clerk of the district court and clerk magistrate. Although she plans to continue her current duties this entire calendar year, it became obvious she probably planned to retire when she did not file for reelection. Eilers, a Mankato native, married Bob Eilers and moved to a farm in Nuckolls County in the 1950s. She started her work in the legal field in Mankato where she worked three years for the Weltmer law firm. In Nuckolls County, she first served halftime as an assistant to County Clerk, Nora Wehrman, and simulta- neously worked halftime for Ellis Gar- rison, county attorney, as a reception- ist and legal secretary.. For four years she worked full-time for Garrison. This fall marked her twentieth year as dis- trict court clerk. Her work has included signing traffic tickets and some war- rants, performing marriages and book- keeping related to the court. Much of the work load as clerk of the district court was related to child support. She has worked with many judges including Coady, Illingworth, Sprague and Harder in district court and Bryan, Ott, Ide, Offner and Haverly in county court. "Most of the c,hanges in my work at the courthouse have occured in the last three to four years," Eilers said. "We've moved to the computer I became clerk magistrate in 1999 and recently the state has taken over child support." She has had a reputation for speed and quality. 'T ve heard my father-in- law, Henry Wehrman say, 'I'd go into Garrison's office and Mildred would be typing and listening to a dictaphone. She'd never skip a beat as she talked to you," Diane Wehrman, a co-worker said. Georgia Chapman, also a long time co-worker, added, "Mildred is the fastest typist I have ever known." "She is a walking Webster's Dic- tionary," said attorney, Wayne Garri- son. "She has an incredible ability to spell. Plus, her organizational skills are wonderful. She is a bright lady, Mildred Eilers who speaks when spoken to and said nothing. Everything was totally confi- dential." After a full day of legal work, Eilers goes home to work beside her hus- band, Bob, on the farm. For many years they raised and sold purebred hogs. She is known at the courthouse for her brownies. At home she likes to work jigsaw puzzles. Currently a 2,000 piece skyline puzzle fills the dining room table. She and Bob have two children, Stan a pathologist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Gayleen, a medical doctor at the University of Wisconsin Student Health Center at LaCross. rior Outdoor Power Center and the former Farmers Union Mill are about 35 feet above the ground. If the height was increased, it was thought the sound might carry a greater distance, Suitable siren installation locations are limited because three phase power is required and such electrical power is not available in all locations. Kroeger also said the fire depart- ment was discussing discontinuing using sirens to summon firemen. Cur- rently about 90 percent of the firemen can be reached via radio pagers. If the sirens were only used when additional personnel was needed, he said it might not be necessary to have sirens which sounded differentiating tones. He told of a fire call that came during a thunderstorm. When one of the sirens blew the storm alert instead of the fire alarm, a number of people were unnecessarily alarmed. In other action, the council approved a $12,940 contract with Patchmaster Central for street and alley repairs. The company will overlay small hot-mix asphalt patches in a number of areas. Areas to receive attention in- clude a portion of Central Avenue north of the anta Fe railroad tracks, the alley be[ween Second and Third and west of Central, the intersection at Elev- enth and Kansas, the street in front of the school's bus barn drive, and the Random Road culdesac. The company specializes in small projects and has previously worked in Superior. The addition of David Wroughton to the volunteer fire department roster was approved. The department officers were also approved. Serving will be Todd Kroeger, chief, Barney Freitag assis- tant chief, Ken Rempe, president; Rick Hiatt, vice president; Kirk Young, sec- retary; Elmer Rempe, treasurer; and Gary Keeling, Mike Fenimore and Robert Peterson as trustees. Permission was granted the Elks Lodge to restrict parking from the lodge south to Second Street from 5:30 p,m. to midnight May 3, the night of the Superior High School Junior-Senior Prom. Weather Ed Groves, Observer Temperature High for week ............................. 68 Low for week .............................. 22 Precipitation . Snowfall total for year ............. 20.2 Total this week ......................... 0.52 Total this month ....................... 0.52 To date in 2002 ........................ 2.36 To date in 2001 ........................ 4.70 Normal for Apr ........................ 2.19 Normal to May 1 ....................... 5.10 Merlin Luben, Observer Oak ........................................... 0.40 Kenneth Hansen, Observer Ruskin ...................................... 0.50 Kenneth Garst, Observer Webber ..................................... 0.98 Larry Giilett, Observer Burr Oak .................................. 0.54 Ralph Herz, Observer Lawrence .................................. 0.07 Council wants to update city plan The City of Superior is seeking a $25,000 Community Development Block Grant to assist with the updating of the community's comprehensive plan. The current plan was prepared more than 30 years ago. If the grant is received, the city will retain a consulting firm to develop the plan. It is expected the plan will con- sider future city developments and in- clude such areas as land use, housing, economic trends, infrastructure needs and community goals. It is expected the plan will assist with making com- munity decisions and assist with se- curing other grants. Monday evening the council met with Gil Wilcox, a representative of Olsson & Associates, the consulting firm hired to prepare the grant applica- tion. Wilcox reported the grant appli- cation would be ready for submission Wednesday. As part of the application, it was required the city hold a public hearing to consider community, com- ment. At that hearing, only Wilcox and members of city government com- mented on the proposal. Wilcox predicted the application would have a high likelyhood of being funded. The governor is expected to announce the awarding of the grants sometime in July. Nuckolls Co. board begins budget plan Monday morning Arnold Brown, Joe Sullivan and Dan Corman, Nuckolls County Commissioners lis- tened as a representative from Regional Insurance Managers summarized the county's health related expenses from July I through Mari:h 31 this year. The review was the first step in next year's budgeting process. Thus far this fiscal year, monthly average costs per employee are down nearly $150, from $754 to $606. The plan covers medical, prescription and dental claims for the 48 county em- ployees. The county is self-insured up to $20,000 per employee. Discussion focused on possible incentives to en- courage county employees to get regu- lar checkups, use generic drugs and minimize emergency treatment. Commissioners appeared to concur the insurance fund should be increased every year to keep up with medical inflation which is expected to increase 15 to 20 per cent this year. It was pointed out on average 10 percent of employees use 90 percent Of a health insurance plan. Many catastrophic costs could be avoided if a diagnosis were made a year earlier. A representative from the Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (NIRMA) reviewed the county's incidents related to worker's compensation. This year the county has had only one incident. The average is four. "G(xxl employees who are trained and retrained keep statistic below the national norm," said Jason Clancy, NIRMA loss control specialist. The severity of incidents is mea- sured by the injury itself and related cost factors. Last year, four incidents cost the county $4,200. Clancy indi- cated the costs would indicate minor severity. NIRMA is a pool of 67 entities joined together to minimize liability claims. Clancy complement the county's safety committees work and training Kassebaum to serve as register of deeds Doris Thornberry, assistant to the Nuckolls County Clerk, plans to retire at the end of April. Her first exposure to county government probably was as a grade school child when her father, Herb Peters, was elected county com- missioner. He later served as county clerk. "Thornberry officially started county work in November, 1969, and is primarily the register of deeds," said ' Selma Ferguson, county clerk. "She records all instruments or legal papers filed against a property." She also assists with other duties of the clerk. She has primarily cared for voter registration, and updated the plat book. Ferguson said, "She is reliable. You could almost set your clock by her." "Thornberry is the expert in Nuckolls County indexing of instru- ments and has been for several de- cades." said Wayne Garrison, aNelson attorney. "If there is any question in Oak, Nora or Superior about who owns what, she knows and has got the infor- mation right away. Records in county courthouses on the prairies get con- fused over time as a county elects vari- ous clerks. Thornberry has spanned county clerks in Nuckolls County and provided consistent organization. She is a patient public servant. She will be missed," Garrison said. Attorneys, real estate agents, bank- ers and those interested in genealogy regularly search county records in- dexed by Thornberry. During the month of April, Thornherry has been training Jackie Jackie Kassebaum Kassebaum, Lawrence. Eight years ago, the Michael Kassebaums moved to a farm northeast of Lawrence where they still live. During those years, Jackie has been employed for a short time at Hoelting Grocery and Kohmetscher Locker. Then most recently at the Adams Land Title Company in Hastings. The Adams Land Title Company is owned and operated by the extended Kassebaum family. Concerning her new position, Kassebaum said, "I found this job by reading the ads. I showed it to Michael and he said, 'Looks like a great oppor- tunity. Go for it!'" Michael and Jackie have three daughters: Dusty, 16; Dawn, 14; and Danielle. 11. Doris Thornberry has been responsible for the duties associated with the Nuckolls County Register of Deeds office since 1969 but she plans to retire atthe end of this month. The recording of deeds and mortgages is among the jobs assigned to the county clerk's office.