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Superior Express
Superior, Nebraska
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April 29, 2010     Superior Express
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,klpae.a shearing time at Repubie Ray and Brenda Danielson began raising alpaca in 2004. They now bare 21 alpaca on their farm near Republic. "When we first got them," Ray said, "people asked us if they laid eggs. They confused them with emu." Brenda explained how alpaca were raised and domesticated by Incan Indi- ans in Peru, A relative of the llama, alpaca weren't allowed outside their native Peru. Bolivia and Chile until 1984, when exporting finally opened to include the animals. "Only rulers got to have clothing made from al- pacas.'" Brenda said. "The alpacas were prized by the Incas for their luxu- nous. softfleece. Alpaca fiber is stron- ger, warmer and softer than merino sheep wool. It has the silky look and feel of cashmere." "There are two distinct types of alpaca." Brenda said. Huacavas have a round, woolly appearance with shorter, crimpy fleece. Surf fiber grows in long, silky, pencilqike locks that hang down from the body like a cur- tain." "When we decided to raise alpaca. we went to see both types," Ray said. "We just liked the huacaya more." The Danielsons did their research and began breeding the animals. "The first pair came from alpaca breeders in Linn. Kan.. and since then. we've grown the herd." Ray said. "They're very clean animals," Brenda said. "They have dirt piles, similar to a cat box. They'll even line up and wait to use the area. When the young ones are ready to begin using the area. the older,ql paca gather around them to give encouragement." Danielsons have been sheering the alpaca for the last severalweekends. careful to sprinkle those who haven't been shorn with water when it's warm outside. Coming from South America. the animals have to be shorn before the summer heat. because they can ha'e as much as eight pounds of fl'eece. The fur is great for keeping them warm m the wintemme but much too hot ff)r Kansas summers. Ray does tractor and machine re- pair in Republic. and used his shop and skills to build some of the tools used in the couple' s alpaca business. Ray fab- ricated a tumbler to remove dirt and twigs from newly shorn fur. He also created a shearing station, which looks like a table with a large clamp. The alpaca are backed between clamp and .table. and the clamp is put into place. ,Then the table moves from vertical to horizontal and the alpaica's legs are restr/ained to kee, p theaninml from in- juring itself or the sheerer. 'T ve heard of people sheering alpaca the way they do sheep, but it's hard to believe. An alpaca is much bigger. You can't just put it between your legs the way you can a sheep," Ray said. After sheering and tumbling, the fur is separated into two piles, longer hair and sh0rier hair. "The shorter hair .is for use in rug-m aking," Brenda said. "and the longer we use [or spinning into yarn " Danielsons send the fur to the Shepherd's Mill in PhiIlipsburg, Kan. "'A woman at the mill cards and spins the fur into yarn, then places packag- ing around the 20.0- or 400- yard skeins," Ray said. "They include the name of the animal the yarn came from .'" Alpaca wool yields two types of yarn, fingering weight, made from the fur of young alpaca, and worsted weight, a coarser, larger yarn which comes flom the older animals. "The first sheering is when you get the fin- est, softest yarn," Brenda said. "That yarn can only be used for fingering. The worsted yam is what you would use to make scarves, sweaters, mittens. hats. etc." Brenda's sister. Sandra Bostwick. of Wichita. uses the yarn to crochet. 1t e St iperior Member of Nebraska l -P-rress Association and National Newspaper Association Midlands Edition Official Nuckolls County Newspaper 18 Pages in Two Sections Plus supplements ISSN 0740-0969 2010 Superior Publishing Company, Inc. Our 111th Year. No. 17 All Rights Reserved Superior, Nebraska 68978 Thursday, April 29, 2010 Brenda and Ray Danielson hold Natasha and Oreo, two of their 21 huacaya alpaca. The Danielsons have been raising alpaca since 2004. Danielsons have been sheering the herd each weekend to prepare for summer. Alpaca, natives of South America, must be shorn to withstand warmer Kansas summers. Danielsons send the: fleece to Phillipsburg where it's made into yarn. Sandra owns two black alpaca at Danielson's farm. She got into the family hobby, she said. "because 1 couldn't find any black yarn." Brenda and Sandra took a class together to learn felting. "You layer the yarn on a fiberglass screen. Then itself together. When we tumble it. we have to be careful not to do it for more than 10-minutes. The fur would just become a ball.'" Danielsons plan to attend a few alpaca shows this year. They take the alpacas and yarn to expos. They also hobby into n b,,,siness," Ray said. Danielsons also enjoy teaching people about alpacas. An open house was held during the past weekend. complete with photographs of the whole process, from sheering to scarves. Interested groups can contact you use Ivor3 soap and work the layers logether," Brenda said. Ray added, 'It's like plywood, in a way." Brenda said. "We have to be careful with the way the fur felts. If you put a scarf made from the fur into a washing ma- chine, it would just become a brick. sell yarn online through the Shepherd's the couple if they would like to learn Market. "We're working to turn a more abouthuacaya alpacas. Superior fourth grader lands hugh carp A lot of people seem to have a "big "'The scale said 28 pounds." Gilbert - Thecrimpyfurnaturallybeginstolock fish" story, or a story about the ;'one that got away." Some people wait a Weather Superior Observations For the week April 27. 2010 Lynn Wilton. NOAA observer Temperature High for the week ......................... 74 Low for the week .......................... 37 Precipitation Total this week .......................... 0.90 Year to Date ............................... 5.86 Average April precipitation ....... 2.19 Ruskin. Kenneth Hanson, observer Precipitation this week ............. 1.65 Burr Oak, Larry Gillett, observer Precipitation ............................... 0.81 lifetime to land a 28-potmd fish. "Young Conner and Madison Blackstone. with their grandfather. Gilbert Smidt. caught just sncli a fish last weektnd at the pond in Lincoln Park in Superior. Madison cast a line "without an3 bail,'" Gilbert said. The hook caught the tail finof a huge buf- falo carp, and Smidt had to help reel tile fish in. "We'd been fishing for two or three hours, and hadn't caught any- thing, so they decided to just practice casting," Smidt said. "'so when she told me she'd caught something, I didn't believe it." Smidt said it took nearly a half hour to reel the fish in. said, "but I think it may be more." Conner. Madison and Gilbert brought the fish to the Blackstone home. where one of the commumty wide garage sales was going on. The truck was soon mobbed with children who wanted to see the enormous carp. Smidt then returned to Linco!n Park to throw the fish back. but lbund two guys there who decided to take the fish. "They say there aren't any fish in that pond," Smidt said. "but 1 was down there again Sunday afternoon. hooked another big fish. but didn't get it in. Anodler guy who was down there reeled in ahalfdozen large'mouth bass. but nothing big enough to keep." Madison and Conner Blackstone, with their grandfather, Gilbert Smidt landed this 28-pound buffalo carp at Lincoln Park pond on Saturday. They brought the enormous fish to the Blackstone'sl,garage sale and children gathered around to see. From left: Madison Blackstone, Emily Tietjen, Payton Frahm (hidden), Conner Blackstone, Dylan Blackstone, Gilbert Smidt, Trent Tietjen and Cale Frahm. Plans ,for dream home snagged by city rules Mr. and Mrs. Craig Hale's plans to construct their retirement home on a North Park Street acreage hit another in a long line of roadblocks Monday evening. Craig's mother's family lived on the property when she was born 80 years ago. Since then an uncle called the property home for many years. Now Craig and his wife plan to retire from their big city jobs and move back to Superior. They would like to live on the property. They previously cleared the prop- erty which until 2004 was zoned agri- culture and developed plans for the construction of a new house and barn. When they applied for a building permit, they learned the property' s zon- ing had, been changed to medium and low density residential. Such zoning would not allow them to keep the small number of animals they planned to have. In late 2006, the process was started to change the zoning back to agricul- ture. Along the way the city's zoning officer decided a rural estates designa- tion would be more appropriate. Following a public hearing held on March 4, the Superior Planning Com- mission unanimously recommended for approval the zoning change from residential to rural estates. City coun- cil action was needed to finalize the change. If adopted, the rural estates desig- nation would allow the keeping of two horses on the property. However, Mr. and Mrs. Hale would like to keep al- pacas (see story in this issue about alpacas raised in the Republic area). They were then required to go be- fore the planning commission again and request a special use permit for the alpacas. The planning commission considered their request on April 1 and unammously voted to approve it. Since then it was determined the process followed by the city was flawed and the permit was revoked. Following a public hearing Mon- day evening ,the city council was asked to make the zoning change as recom- mended by the planning commission. According to procedure, a public hearing was held: At that hearing, a former city councilman who lives on Eighth Street across from the proposed zoning area. Dick Schwieger, spoke in opposition to the change. He sgid the keeping of animals within the city was contrary to city codes. He further stated the creation of the rural estates zoning district would be the first for the City of Superior. A member of the city council, Ron Springer, also spoke against the pro- posed change. He said city govern- ment had been working to get the ani- mals out of town and to approve the zoning change would be a reversal of the previous policy. Other members of the council present spoke in favor of the change. When the zoning change came time for a vote, members of the council declared an emergency, waived the three reading rule and the proceeded to vote 4-1 in favor of the change. However, the issue wasn't settled. Before Mayor Billy Maxey ruled the change was adopted, Jan Diehl, city clerk questioned the legality of the action. It was decided to delay the mayor's ruling until the city attorney could be consulted on Tuesday. Tuesday morning Wayne Garrison, city attorney, advised the action to waive the three reading rule had failed because not enough votes were cast. Carrie Lemke. a member of the council was not present for Monday's meeting and the vote to waive the three reading rule did not have the required three-fourths of the council needed to proceed. Thus the motion to waive the rule failed and the process was stopped before the council voted 4-1 to adopt the change. The issue is expected to return to the council agenda for consideration at the May 10 meeting. The property under consideration is generally north of Eighth Street, west of Lost Creek and east of North Park Street. It consists of all or a por- tion of several lots. Much of the area Is in the flood plain and has never been developed for residential use. In other, less controversial action. it was reported construction of the new 34.5 kW subtransmission line for the electric department is nearly completed and the line supplying power from the Nebraska Public Power Substation at the north corner of Superior to the city' s south sub-station is in operation. It was noted Jay Neilsen, as prom- ised, is making progress on improving a substandard house at 962 East Fourth Street. The council extended the project deadline another 60 days. A proposal to repaint streel parking lines and curbs was unanimously ap- proved. The resignation of Mike Worm from the council effective May 25 was ac- cepted Worm said he has sold his house and will be moving outside Su- perior later this year. (Continued to Page 9A) County Board limits health -insurance bidders to two The Nuckolls County Board at Monday's regular meeting voted to limit potential bidders for the county' s health insurance business to two -- the Krull Agency in Hastings and Cobecon. the insurance broker for the county's cur- rent self-funded health insurance plan. The commissioners have met sev- eral times with Dave Meyer, Ruskin. who represents Kollmorgen and Asso- ciates of Lincoln. and last month gave him permission to have the county employees fill out health questionnaires so his agency could provide accurate premmm estimates for several differ- ent types of coverage. . Some county employees began to complain about the type of informa- tion sought on the questmnuaire from Meyer and several refused to provide all the intbrmanon requested or to sign the document. Commissioner Arnold Brown said he agreed with the em- ployees about a lot of the information requested on the form. "If I won't fill it out. I can't very well ask the employees to." Brown said. "And I'm not filling it out." At issue primarily were requests for employees' Social Security numbers. which Brown said should only be re- quired to be given after the bid is awarded and a new policy is written, and specific information about life in- surance policies held by the individual employees, which the commissioners said is simply not relevant for the com- pany to pro vide health insurance quotes. The board has also met several times with Dan Swartzkoff fromthe Krull Agency in Hastings, and in February changed the broker of record for their current self-funded health insurance plan from Meritain to Cobecon. In another matter, Von Wehrman. Nuckolls County noxious weed super- intendent, and Brent Meyer, who over- sees noxious weed programs in 33 Nebraska counties for the United States Department of Agriculture, met with the board for the annual county nox- ious weed report. Meyer said with a few minor excep- tions, Wehrman had done an excellent job with the state and federal paper- work. considering he is reasonably new to the position. Meyer also reported on Bohemian Knotweed. a newinvasive species the U.S.D.A. is watching closely. The plant, compared to bamboo, is being sold as an ornamental in Lincoln and Omaha and is already spreading m those cities. Bohemian knotweed is the hybrid created from a cross between Japanese knotweed and giant knotweed. Origi- nated from Asia, knotweeds were im- ported to the United States for orna- mental use and stream bank stabiliza- tion. Bohemian knotweed is character- ized by having hollow stems up to 10 feet tall, broad oval shaped leaves. small white flowers, and underground stems used for vegetative reproduc- tion. Small piecesofstemsorrootsare known to produce new plants, making the spread of Bohemian knotweed easy with the movement of soil. Once estab- lished, Bohemian knotweed spreads quickly, forming dense stands prevent- ing native vegetation re-growth. Roundup is effective in controlling the above ground biomass, but repeated applications are necessary to control the extensive root structures under- ground. In other business: Cindy Buescher. road department secretary, met with the board and pro- vided an update on activities and projects of the road and bridge depart- ment. Buescher said the temporary tubes have been installed where the historic concrete structure was removed near Sedan. and that work on the Sedan road would commence next week. She also said the road department crew would soon begin lhe concrete repair work on the south steps and north steps and sidewalk at the courthouse. The board met in execunve ses- sion for about 10 minutes to discuss the potential for litigation. Included in the private session were the three commis- sioners, Cindy B uescher. County Clerk Jackie Kassebaum and County Attor- ney Tim Schmidt. Commissioner Brown requested the executive ses- sion. The commissioners approved hir- ing Bob Kotinek. Lawrence. as the new veteran service officer, replacing Gary James, who retired last month. The county's veteran service board received three applications tbr the part- time posit!on and recommended the commissioners hire Kotinek. He will be paid $770 per month during his probationary period. Members of the veteran service board present for the meeting were Jesse Jensen. Randy Koehler and Arnold Krebsbach. A request for county burial by Brand-Wilson Funeral Home in Itastings was tabled pendirig the gath- ering of additional intbrmation. Special designation liquor licenses were approved for Superior Estates Winery for threg events -- June 19. July 3 and 4, and Aug. 21. The courthouse will be closed tomorrow (Friday) for the observance of Arbor Day. The commissioners conducted their quarterly inspection of the county's jail facility. Superior North Ward earns awar(l for establishing wellness program Superior North Ward Elementary School received a bronze award at the Nebraska Action for Healthy Kids sum- mit on April 13. The purpose of the award is to acknowledge the creative work schools are doing to promote health in students and staff. North Ward has established a school wellness council whose missions are to provide a healthy environment and to instill lifelong health habits in the students. The school wellness program is receiving support and funding from a grant provided by South Heartland District Health Department. The coun- cil is led by school nurse Murlene Schleufer; its members also include teachers, principal Doug Hoins, di- etary staff, parents and students. The North Ward School wellness council was awarded for striving to improve student eating habits by dem- onstrating healthy snacks which they provided during a week of testing. The third grade class learned more about nutrition and the fourth grade class learned about the benefits of physical activity when they all participated in a poster contest sponsored by the wellness council. The school wellness council also promotes increased physical activity for students by encouraging the classes to participate in JAMmin' Minutes. an activity that allows students to exer- cise in their classrooms. Allowing stu- dents to take a few minutes to exercise in class allows the squirmy students to blow offsteam and wakes up the sleepy Students. Studies are showing that stu- dents who move more in the classroom are able to concentrate better resulting in increased learning. Accepting the bronze award at the Nebraska Action for Healthy Kids summit on behalf of North Ward School are Murlene Schleufer (left), Superior school nurse, and Nancy Meyers, fourth grade teacher at North Ward According to a 2009 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report, "F as in Fat," nearly one-third of American children are overweight or obese. Ne- braska is slightly higher than thatnum- ber,'with 34.2 percent of our children ages 10 through 17 being overweight and obese, according to the 2007 "Na- tional Survey of Children's Health." Locally, data gathered by the school wellness council showed that this year 34 percent of North Ward students are overweight or obese with 22 percent being considered obese. Childhood weight problems can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma,joint problems depression and anxiety. North Ward students are fortunate to attend a school that is working to improve their health education and en- vironment. With the help of their school, families and the community students may be able to improve their diet and physical activity and avoid becoming a statistic.