Newspaper Archive of
The Superior Express
Superior, Nebraska
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August 25, 2011     The Superior Express
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August 25, 2011
 

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Midlands Edition 16 Pages Two Sections Plus Supplements I Our 112th Year, No. 34 I qhe Superior Express Official Nuckolls County Newspaper Member of Nebraska Press Association and National Newspaper Association i ISSN 0740-0969 2011 Superior Publishing Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved Superior, Nebraska 68978 I I I Price 50 National Edition 16 Pages in Two Sections I II HI Thursday, August 25, 2011 New elem00mLary school receives first students Superior Schools opened Wednesday morning. Above, elementary children wait outside the front entrance of the new elementary building waiting for class to begin. All vehicles were being directed into the unloading lane directly in front of the school. School started a week later than scheduled in Superior to allow for the completion of the buildling and time for school personnel to complete the moving process from both South and North Ward school& Effects o:F wind energy facilities on endangered species to be studied A vast majority of the Great Plains, essential behavior (nesting and repro- on each side of the center line of the roof leaks andtryto ascertain the cause touted as being ripe for wind energy development, is also vital to the con- tinued survival of the whooping crane and other endangered species. To be- gm to study this delicate "balancing act," the federal government will do what great bureaucracies do best. They have announced their intent to prepare a statement. Thank good- heSS. The Nuckolls County Board at Monday's regular meeting discussed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's plan to prepare an environmental im- pact statement (EIS) on a proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP). Be- ing one of the 490 counties (in nine states) included in the proposed HCP, Nuckolls County received a detailed letter about the process from Laila Lienesch. alternative energy coordi- nator, threatened and endangered spe- cies program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, southwest region. I'll bet her business card says, "Continued on back." Cutting through all the "legalese," it appears the wind energy industry will be subject to the same compli- cated and time-consuming permit and environmental impact study process that already applies to people who build bridges, communication towers and other large structures. Except here in the prime migratory bird "hourglass," they'll likely be held to an even higher standard. The Great Plains Wind Energy HCP is being proposed by the Wind Energy Whooping Crane Action Group (WEWAG), a group of wind energy industry companies that was formed in 2009. The goal of the HCP is to de- velon a consistent, systematic and pre- dictable approach for wind energy de- ,velopment while ensuring the conser- vation of certain specxes. The Objective ofthe EIS is to evalu- ate the potential impacts to the quality of the human environment which would result from the wind energy HCP and" an associated incidental take permit (ITP). Under the proposed action, the Fish and Wildlife Service would issue an ITP under the provisions of Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The HCP and potential ITP would regulate construction, operation and maintenance associated with commer- cial wind energy facilities in portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Mon- tana, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Incidental take permits are required when non-federal activities will result in the "taking" of threatened or endan- gered species. "Take" is defined by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as ha- rass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect any threat- ened or endangered species. Harm may include significant habitat modifica- tion where it actually kills or injures a listed species through impairment of duction). In 1982 amendmen& to the ESA, Congress authorized the Fish and Wild- life Service (through the Secretary of the Interior) to issue permits for the "incidental take" of endangered and threatened wildlife species, allowing permit holders to proceed with an ac- tivity, such as construction or other economic development, that may re- sult in the incidental taking of a listed species. An HCP must accompany an appli- cation for an incidental take permit. The habitat conservation plan associ- ated with the permit ensures the effects of the authorized incidental take are adequately minimized and mitigated. The HCP is a legally binding agree- ment between the Secretary of the In- terior and the permit holder. Species considered for inclusion in the HCP are those listed as threatened or endangered, or having the potential to become threatened or endangered during the life of the HCP, and having some likelihood of being"taken" within the proposed permit area. At this time, species considered for coverage in- clude the whooping crane, interior least tern, piping plover (all endangered), and lesser prairie chicken (a candidate for listing as threatened). The proposed' permit area will in- clude nonfederal lands within 100 miles whooping crane migration corridor, extending from the Texas gulf coast to the Canadian border, as well as the historic range of the lesser prairie chicken a total of 268 million acres. As part of a scoping period, the Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting, a series of meetings to collect public input. The Nebraska meeting will be Tuesday at the Holiday Inn in Kearney at 6 p.m. In other business: The county road department is in the market for a good, used farm trac- tor to replace their two International tractors (a 1978 and a 1980). The tractors are used primarily for mow- ing and occasionally pulling a sheep' S foot or other equipment. Board mem- bers said they had no brand prefer- ence, but Arnold Brown suggested front-wheel assist and said low hours were more zmportant than age as far as he's concerned. Commissioner Dan Corman said the current used tractor market is "very strong." Gary War- ren, county highway superintendent. said he didn't think they needed a brand new tractor for the 200 or 300 hours per year they put on one, and he will pu t together bid specifications and advertise for sealed bids. Amold Brown said he went to the attic of the courthouse during Friday evening's heavv rain to inspect for WI IL LA The area outlined in black s a proposed permit area,for wind energy development currently being evaluated for possible imracts on endanqered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. of a severe leak on the north side. He said there were too many leaks to count or mark them and asked county attor- ney Tim Schmidt to "get involved" because the board has not been suc- cessful in getting the contractor to guar- antee the workmanship. Brown said the roof was put on about 10 years ago by C & F Roofing, Fairbury, and the work was apparently "suspeqt." Warren said blades arecurrently on the roads and will remain for a few weeks because they are seeing a weed problem. He also said he has three trucks hauling gravel and one in the shop for brakes. The board approved replacing Warren as the responsible charge (RC) person for the Superior Eighth Street Project with Derek Clark, Superior city planner. Clark. who recently became certified as an RC, attended the meet- ing. A public hearing allowing for comment on the proposed selhng of surplus county property in downtown Superior was scheduled for Sept. 12 at 11 a.m. A special-designation liquor li- cense was approved for Superior Es- tates Winery for a dance and reception on Nov. 26. Weather Lynn Wilton NOAA, Observer Superior Tuesday Morning, Aug. 23,2011 Temperature High for week ...... ......................... 92 Low for week ................................ 63 Precipitation This week ............................... .... 0.56 Received in August .................... 3.80 Average for August .................. 3.24 Year-to-date ............................. 20.77 Average .................................... 16.97 Nelson This week ................................... 1.71 Total for August ........................ 4.77 Year to date .............................. 24.62 ..... MrKt-s ............. Superior Grain Market Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 Today's Price New Crop Corn .............................. 7.25 7.06 Milo .............................. 6.89 6.89 Wheat ............................ 8.01 8.02 Soybeans ....... . ............. 13.22 13.22 The Superior Express is now more than a just a printed newspaper avail- able once a week. The Superior Express is now avail- able on the internet. Electronic sub- scriptions offer scanned copies of all pages. The newspaper's web site at superirne'cm offers the top stories and many unpublished pictures. Facebook offers news updates through- out the week. Youtube offers videos taker by The Express photographers. Kawence will host grain sorghum day Sorghum farmers are invited to at- tend the 2011 Sorghum Field Day to be held Wednesday, Sept:. 7 at Lawrence, Neb. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. with a tour of the hybrid demonstration Plot located 1 mile west of Lawrence on Highway 4, then 1.5 miles south on Road 2500 - on the west side of the road. The plot is sponsored annually by he Nebraska Grain Sorghum Pro- ducers Association. UNLCooperative Extension, the Nebraska Grain Sor- ghum Board, participating seed com- panies, and agri business. This year's sponsorship also includes the Sorghum Checkoff. "We'll have representatives from the commercial seed companies on hand to discuss their plot entries." said Kenneth Herz, NeGSPA director and plot coordinator "Farmers will be able to see and evaluate field performance for themselves. This year the sorghum is really demonstrating its drought tol- erance and water use efficiency," said Herz. A dinner, featuring sorghum cook- ies for dessert, will be served at 7 p.m.. The evening program will also feature a representative from CPI Marketing who will give a presentation on the sorghum market outlook. Bill Greving, Prairie View, Kan., past chairman of the United Sorghum Checkoff Pro- gram board, has been invited to pro- vide an update on the national sor- ghum checkoff. "Producers successfully passed the referendum on the sorghum checkoff last February," stated Herz. "We're looking forward to learning what new opportunities lay ahead for sorghum producers in the areas of crop improve- ment, renewables and high-value mar- kets." City Council rejects latest plan to reopen City Auditorium Monday evening on a 4-2 vote mem- bers of the Superior City Council nixed the latest renovation plan proposed by the Superior Auditorium Committee. City council action during a budget crunch in 1997 closed the auditorium. Attempts to reopen it to limited use have since failed. Because of the 1997 closure state regulators have required the building be brought up to current code before it is reopened. At the Aug. 8 meeting of the coun- cil, members of the committee re- quested permission from the council to advertise for bids and use up to $200,000 of sales tax money to fund the first of a multiple phase renovation plan. Committee members had previ- ously agreed to usd'donations to match dollar for dollar the tax dollars in- vested in the project. Plans called for the conversmn of the former city office area in the south wing into a public meeting room. The present kitchen would become a restroom large enough to serve the entire building. The serving kitchen and storage room would located to the east of the restrooms. A dry sprinkler system was to be installed in the main auditorium room so the room could again be used. The use of the main auditorium would have been limited during phase I as the plan did not include electrical system or climate control. The plan called for zone heating. The only area to require heat would be the bathrooms and kitchen area. Under the current sales tax plan approved by the voters and subsequent council action, $35,000 a year had been pledged toward auditorium reno- vation. Throughout the term of the sales tax authorization the tax is ex- pected to provide $525,000 for the auditorium Of this amount, about $80,000 has been spent for architec- tural and engineering designs. The committee had hoped to draw on that fund to help pay for the first phase workexpected tO cost $400,000 or less. Sam Clark, city comptroller, re- ported the sales tax fund currently has $243,402 but only $145,073 is ear marked for the auditorium. The re- mil'inder is pledged to other city projects. The proposal drew a number of area residents. ,,some supported the plan, gome were opposed. Approximately 25 crowded into the council chamber and probably that many more gathered in the hall outside the chamber. Among those speaking against the project was Marvin Smidt. A member ofthecouncil when the building closed, he said, the building wasn't being used when closed and isn't needed now. He said the city couldn't handIethe cost m 1997 and can't handle it in 2011. He also noted those promoting the con- struction of a new elementary school said it was cheaper to build new than to upgrade the existing school buildings. Tim Schmidt, chairman of the au- ditorium renovation committee chal- lenged the idea that it is cheaper to build new. Based upon what it cost the county to tear down the three buildings associated with the Hereford Inn. Schmidt estimated it would cost more than $400,000 to tear down the audito- rium building. Rather than investing $400,000 to create valueless vacant lot, he suggested investing the money to create a usable space. Completion of the entire audito- rium renovation as now proposed has a price tag of $2.2 million. Over the years several plans have been proposed with various features including the addition of a second large multipur- pose room. Some of those plans were determined to be overly ambitious and have since been abandoned. Dick Schwieger, a former city coun- cil member opposed to the project said he was told by someone at the court- house that Superior voters had twice turned down an auditorium project. That assertion was challenged by Mayor Sonia Schmidt. Sam Clark reported that prior to the last council election bond counsel had advised against listing specific projects on the ballot as had previously been done. At that time counsel said to list the projects committed the city to do- ing the named projects even if they proved to be impractical. At the time of the last sales tax election it was gener- ally implied a portion of the funds raised would be used for swimming pool and auditorium improvements. Speakers voiced concerns the audi- torium project would require morethan the amount of money plddged "which would result in a hike in the sales tax which would result in more local stores closing. The speaker failed to realize the sales tax can not be increased with- out a community vote and the current (Continued to Page 3A) Member of the Superior Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire in the dumpster in front of the new elelmentary school, Monday afternoon. The cause of the fire is unknown, but Todd Kroeger, Superior fire chief, said, "It could have been caused by spontaneous combustion. Contents of the dumpster were those typical of construction site waste; sawdust, plastic wrap, paint and finishing material." (72= e- Wednesday, Superior ochools opened with school administrators, elementary cross walk personnel and lho Superior police chief all in plac.e to direct traffic. Perry Freeman. chief of police, asked this drive r to back out to the soutr because both the unloading lane and driveway in front of the new elementary building is designed to be one way.