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Fire displaces 10 Superior apartment residents

Executive sessions dominate county board meeting

Blood drive exceeds goal in Nelson

Nelson Fire Department raising money for new truck


Fire displaces 10 Superior apartment residents

Members of the Superior Volunteer Fire Department were called at 7:05 Monday evening when residents of Meadow Creek Villas, an apartment complex located in east Superior, reported smelling smoke.
When the fire department arrived, there was a smell of smoke throughout the complex's north building and the residents were exiting the structure.
The fire department found a bathroom exhaust fan serving Apartment 8 located on the second floor of the northern building had apparently overheated. The metal exhaust duct leading from the fan had gotten so hot that it had melted nearly three feet of electrical wire.
Apparently the fire was mostly put out when the bathroom ceiling fell. Firemen were able to do their work without having to use any water. Though the firemen had some trouble getting into the attic because of the size of the entrance opening, they did not have to cut additional holes.
There was smoke damage to the apartment where the fire started and minor smoke damage throughout the building. The apartment tenant was in the process of moving out and had not been in the apartment for two days.
Damage to the building was estimated at $7,500. The cause was ruled accidental by the fire marshal.
Because of the fire, 10 people were displaced until repairs can be made to the smoke alarm system. The Red Cross helped find accommodations for four of those displaced. Others found places to stay with friends or relatives.
Members of the fire department remained at the fire scene until about 11:30.

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Executive sessions dominate county board meeting
The Nuckolls County Board at Monday's regular meeting convened four separate executive sessions. Ironically, one of the few items they discussed in open session was a way to further avoid the glare of the press and general public while conducting county business.
To be fair, Commissioner Doyle Christensen, who raised the issue, emphasized that his idea has nothing to do with hiding anything from the public or in any way circumventing open meeting laws. His idea is for the board chairman ­­ which is currently Tim Zikmund ­­ to meet with Gary Warren, county highway superintendent, in his office to discuss any business or issues the road and bridge department may have. Warren will still meet with the board in open session twice per month, and, obviously, no official business will be conducted or action taken during these informal meetings.
Christensen said he believes this measure will improve the relationship between Warren and the board. The other two commissioners said they agreed, as did Warren.
The first of Monday's four executive sessions was called to discuss a personnel issue and included the three commissioners, county clerk, Gary Warren and Cindy Buescher.
The second included the three commissioners, county clerk, treasurer and assessor, and was reportedly necessary because of the potential for litigation.
The third included the three commissioners, county clerk and county treasurer and was used to discuss another personnel issue.
The fourth involved another personnel issue and included the three commissioners and Debbie Klein, courthouse custodian. No formal action was taken as a result of any of the closed sessions.
The board met with Ron Paul from Rasmussen Mechanical Services about leaking control valves in the courthouse heating and cooling system. Paul said replacing the valves is labor intensive ­­ about four hours per valve to replace the 19 valves. By a vote of 2-1, the board approved replacement of all 19 valves, not to exceed a cost of $22,489. Christensen was opposed.
Christensen asked Paul if he could recommend a more modern, energy-efficient system. Paul described a system he has installed in a number of facilities and estimated the cost for such a system at the courthouse would be between $300,000 and $400,000.
The commissioners asked Vicki Ensign, county treasurer, what the county spends on courthouse utilities annually, and she provided these figures from last year: $18,000 for electricity, $2,000 for water and $5,500 for heating fuel.
In other business:
· Gary Warren reported he has blades running on the gravel roads every day they are able, and also about some equipment maintenance being done at the shop. He said they are planning a motorgrader training session in Nuckolls County and reported on work needed on a structurally deficient bridge on Road 4800 between Road W and Highway 4.
· Jeff Wagner, the county's contracted engineer, was present and said he planned to begin county bridge inspections after the meeting.
· Gary Warren presented a list of items from the road department for the board to declare surplus, so he can take steps to get rid of them. The board approved the list.

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Blood drive exceeds goal in Nelson
The American Red Cross Bloodmobile was in Nelson last Wednesday. The weather was cool with light rain showers, so the farmers were able to come in and not worry about all of their work on the farm.  
With a goal of 55, we collected 64 units,  with 10 of them being double red blood cell donors. The Red Cross staff was pleased with all of the donations, and they are looking forward to coming back.
Several donors met gallon milestones: Mark Duffy and Kate Brown, one gallon; Joey McCutchan, two gallons; Jeanie Keifer, four gallons; Gaylen Cox and Sue VanSkiver, five gallons; Kelly Scheuerman, seven gallons; Steve Clabaugh, eight gallons; Sally Uhrmacher, 11 gallons.
James Koch rolled up his sleeve and donated for the first time.
Other donors for the day were Jim Woerner, Curt Carver, Dale Uhrmacher, Brad Worman, Ken Himmelberg, Deb Troudt, Roy Rempe, Paula Kinkade, Chris Hansen, Travis Pofahl, Dale Endorf, Vicky Garner, Jim Jensen, Dave and Kim Ochsner, Diane Gebers, Alfred Hanson, Sandra Schendt, Jerry Bargen,  Dorrel Lipker, Kenny Rempe, Brandi Erickson, Kevin Stout, Trish Honeycutt, Mike and Ellen Buresh, Tom Bargen, John Schutte, Mary Statz, Ivalee Jacobitz, Tammy F. T., Jennifer Jensen, John Hodge, Royce Gonzales, Lila Mertens, Leo Blackstone, Tanya Blackstone, Sarah Wheeland, Barry Melvin, Tina Kile, Julie Ferebee, Phylis Renz, Roger Watson, Donna Jensen, Susan Rogers, Betty McCutchan, Jenell Wood, Terri Oltmans and Aimee Ostdiek.  
The Nelson Legion Auxiliary, under the leadership of Diane Wehrman, served the lunch. Pepsi donated pop for the donors. Volunteer workers included Brenda Lynch, Sherry Hartman, Patsy Troudt and Dorothy Bell.   Thanks to the Nelson Loco/Gazette, Superior Express and KRFS Radio for the publicity.Volunteers from SCPPD helped with unloading and loading the Red Cross truck.
The Bloodmobile will be back in Nelson on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

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Nelson Fire Department raising money for new truck
Members of the Nelson Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad began a fund drive this spring to raise money for the replacement of their 1984 equipment truck. The old truck is experiencing mechanical and engine problems and has become unreliable. The replacement vehicle, which will cost more than $150,000, has been ordered and is scheduled to arrive in April. The new truck will be a 2017 Ford, four-door, four wheel drive, and will include custom-built, aluminum, LED-lit storage compartments for all the department's necessary equipment. All compartments will be either roll-out or tilt trays.
Item-specific compartments will hold such equipment as the Jaws-of-Life, hydraulic power unit and related tools, air bags, stabilization tools, air-packs and bottles, cascade system for filling air-packs, generator, extra fire-fighting equipment and tools, cribbing, traffic control equipment as well as extra medical equipment needed when an incident involves multiple victims. It will also provide extra space for future equipment needs.
The truck will include lights and sirens, two 100-foot reels of hydraulic hose for the Jaws-of-Life, an air-pack refill center, four telescoping lights (one on each corner of the truck box), heavy duty bumpers and a winch on the front bumper.
Fundraisers have been held to help raise the money necessary to make the purchase. A dance, drawing and split-the-pot fundraisers were held this spring, which raised more than $10,000, and others are planned for this fall and winter.
Any additional funds raised by the department will be used to help reduce the burden on city and rural taxpayers when the truck is paid for. Tax-deductible donations may me made payable to the Nelson Volunteer Fire Trust Fund and delivered using one of the following methods: hand-deliver to the Nelson City Office, give to any Nelson firefighter or mail to P.O. Box 133, Nelson, Neb., 68961-0133. Questions may be directed to Bob Byrkit, Nelson fire chief.

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