Headline News







From our early files

Nuckolls County Courthouse News

You can go home again, at least for awhile

Drought increases pressure for more water use regulations

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From our early files

Eighty Years Ago
The Superior High School Wildcats evened their season record at 1-1 when they defeated the Harvard Cardinals 37-0 at Superior.
Dr. T. L Bradshaw, a dentist in Superior for the past 28 years, and his family, moved to Chicago where he entered the insurance business.
Thirty six Superior businesses sponsored Trade Days, featuring free carnival rides.
Workers prepared wooden forms for the pouring of concrete foundations of Superior's new post office building.
Bossemeyer Brothers, Superior was the exclusive dealer for refined Sunflower coal at $7.75 per ton.
The Lyric Theatre was playing "From headquarters," starring George Montgomery and Margaret Lindsay.
Seventy Years Ago
Viola Preston, 82, died. She had been a Superior resident since 1912 and was a registered pharmacist.
Dana Fenimore, Superior, was awarded the Silver Star, for his part in sinking a German submarine.
Mr. and Mrs. William Riber, Hardy, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
Cpl. Lester Ray, 19, Superior, was awarded the air medal for meritorious achievements. He was a gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber flying over Europe.
Berliner was 32 cents per pound at the Superior Safeway.
The Lyric Theatre was playing "The Uninvited," starring ray Milland and Ruth Hussey.
Sixty Years Ago
Thieves broke into the Hardy schoolhouse and stole $45 from the superintendent's office.
The Teen-age Canteen, sponsoreed by the Superior Eagles club, reached a total of 172 members.
George Goodson, 79, died. He operated a general store in Cadams for many years before moving to Superior.
Richard Frey, 87, died. He was a farmer in the Bostwick community for many years.
Five pounds of fresh ground beef was one dollar at Superior's Corner Market.
The Crest Theatre was showing "Magnificent Obsession," starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson.
Fifty Years Ago
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Snell celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Superior.
Larry McCord, Superior, was elected president of the senior class at Kearney State College.
Ray Williams, 66, died. He retired after 35 years of service with Consumers Public Power.
A contract was awarded for a water softener and gas fired boiler at the Superior United States post office.
Colby cheese was 65 cents per pound at Hespen's Market in Hardy.
The Crest Theatre was showing "From Russia with Love," starring Sean Connery as James Bond.
Forty Years Ago
Vandals at Ruskin destroyed a light pole and fixture and bent the flag pole at the post office nearly to the ground.
The Megrue-Price Funeral Home underwent extensive remodeling which was on display at an open house.
Salem Lutheran Church, north of superior, celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding.
Eleanor Brockman Grote, 68, died. She was a lifelong member of the Lawrence community and a retired school teacher.
Elmer Brown, 78, died. He was a WWI veteran and a member of the Olive Hill Church.
A Truetone AM table radio was $7.19 at the Superior Western Auto store.
The Crest Theatre was playing "The Three Musketeers."
Thirty Years Ago
Peter Beck, 4, Hardy, died as the result of injuries received in an automobile accident near Nora.
Mike Ost, Guide Rock, used a call which imitates a wounded rabbit, to call 12 coyotes and was crowned the Nebraska state predator calling champion At the Nebraska Sportsmen's fall Expo held in Omaha.
Mr. and Mrs. Milton Rhoads, Superior, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
John Cook, 97, died. He was a retired chief of police and a painter in Superior.
American Eagle dove loads were $4.95 at Renz Construction and Lumber, Hardy.
The Crest Theatre was playing "Revenge of the Nerds."
Twenty Years Ago
A corn and soybean field caught fire one mile south of Oak, Fire departments from Deshler, Nelson, Oak and Ruskin responded with more than a dozen trucks. Fifty five acres of corn and soybeans were burned.
The Superior High School Wildcats football team ran their season record to 5-0, guaranteeing a winning season for the first time since 1983. Melvin Troudt, 58, died. He was a Superior High School graduate and a Guide Rock resident.
Ralph McKevitt, 53, died. He was a Superior High School graduate and owned a trucking company.
Ground beef was $1.18 per pound at Superior's Jack and Jill Food center.
The Crest Theatre was showing "Forrest Gump" and "True Lies."
Ten Years Ago
Members of the Superior City Council declined to act on a request to impose a curfew on residents under the age of 18.
Chuck Vaupel presented a collection of more than 200 neckties to the Nuckolls County museum.
The Fairbury Clinic closed its Deshler office after 24 years of service.
Alta Jensen Pedersen, 93, died. She was a longtime resident of the Hardy community.
The Crest Theatre was showing "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow."
Five Years Ago
A search was underway to fill the position of manager of the Superior Chamber of Commerce.
Ralph Clark, Hardy, suffered serious foot injuries, including the amputation of all the toes on his right foot, when a covering board he was walking across broke and his foot was caught by the auger running below
The Nebraska state fire marshal's office brought its rolling classroom to the Superior Elementary School to teach students about fire safety.
Vera Horst Schriever, 73, died. She was a 1954 Nelson High School graduate.
The Crest Theatre was playing "The Time Travelers Wife" and "Shorts."
One Year Ago
The Superior Good Samaritan Center celebrated its 50th anniversary with an open house.
Emil and Geraldine Stichka, Ruskin, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Several mosquitoes trapped in Webster County tested positive for West Nile Virus.
Cynthia Fullerton, 49, died. She was a 1982 Superior High School graduate and a registered nurse.
The Crest Theatre was showing "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2."

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Nuckolls County Courthouse News

County Traffic Court
Don F. Kughler, Clay Center, Neb., speeding, $25..
Ryan G. Koehler, Nelson, speeding, $25..
Courtney F. Lovett, Blue Hill, speeding, $25.
James R. Payton, Grand Island, illegal U-turn, $25.
County Civil Court
Credit Management Services vs. Dawn White, Superior, judgment entered.
County Criminal Court
State of Nebraska vs. Erin Shepard, Nelson, maintaining a nuisance, $400.
State of Nebraska vs. Michael A. Thompson, Superior, theft, less than $200, probation ordered.
State of Nebraska vs. Christopher J. Thompson, Superior, resist arrest, second or subsequent offense, probable cause found, case bound over to district court for trial.
State of Nebraska vs. Leann M. Trompke, Superior, criminal mischief, less than $200, $100.
State of Nebraska vs. Corie J. Jamison, Hardy, forgery second degree of $300 or less, $100.
State of Nebraska vs. Corie J. Jamison, Hardy, four counts issuing bad check ­less than $200, eight days in jail for each count to run concurrent.
State of Nebraska vs. Justin T. Lowery, Oak, violation of hunting regulations, unplugged shotgun, $100, liquidated damages, $175.
State of Nebraska vs. Corey E. Lipker, Oak, violation of hunting regulations, unplugged shotgun, $100, liquidated damages, $375.
Neil Andrew Bouray and Ashley Nicole Hayes were married on Sept. 13, at the United Methodist Church in Superior, by Pastor Jocelyn Tupper with Nathan Bouray and Danielle Gruber as witnesses
Trevor Alex Johnson and Brooke Kay Oswald were married on Sept. 13, in Nelson, by District Judge Lori A. Maret with Samantha Manter and Tyler Johnson as witnesses
Philip Ryan Schroer and Lacie Anne Burgess were married on Sept. 13, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lawrence, Neb., by Fr. Thomas Bush with Steven Schroer and Brianna Beam as witnesses
Real Estate Transfers
Charlotte Christensen Trust Agreement to Marietta Free, Part NW 14 15-2-5.
John T. and Donna K. Jensen to Sandra Kaltenbach, tract in SE 14 7-2-6.
James C. Pursell to James Ellwood Pursell, Lot 9 and Part Lot 8 in Block 31, East Superior, subject to life estate.

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You can go home again, at least for awhile
By Marty Pohlman
One of the pleasures of newspaper work are the unexpected surprises that occasionally occur and brighten your life. When this reporter arrived at work recently he was informed that two ladies had been inquiring if he was present. They were advised he would be in shortly and they said they would return. I was called to the front counter when a spritely pastel dressed lady inquired if I was said reporter> After asking her if she represented the IRS and was assured by her that she did not, I said yes, I was the person she was inquiring after. She brightened and said "You wrote this story about me." She proffered a copy of a story and indeed I had. But she looked just a bit different than the photo which accompanied that story. Betty Ann Thomas was featured in a story written about her when she and several other Superior residents were members of Jo Davison's vaudeville troupe in 1936.
Betty Ann Thomas was seven years old when the phot was taken. She and her family relocated to southern California in 1937 when economic hardships led many Superior residents to seek employment elsewhere. She took dance and singing lessons in California and returned to Superior in 1943 to visit her grandparents. She wanted to pursue a career in motion pictures and the theatre but life intervened. She married, became Betty Ann Emery, raised a family and embarked on two different careers. Now a resident of Whittier, Calif., Emery stopped by The Superior Express office with her daughter, Melissa, a resident of Diamond Bar, Calif.
After a career in the steel industry ended in 1997 with her retirement as a vice-president, Emery spent the next 16 years serving as the office manager for a Lutheran church. She also published two books as she entered a third career as a writer.
Emery and her daughter were in Superior conducting research into her family history and taking photographs of places that she had lived and known. Some of the places were no longer present but she seemed to glow when recalling her childhood days in Superior.
Now a sprightly 85, she keeps physically fit playing golf and exercising while keeping her mind young with her writing. And possibly spoiling grandchildren.
When asked if she would consider returning to Superior to live, she replied she wouldn't trade her growing up years here for anything but she was too much a southern Californian to ever leave. By the way, as to those dance lessons she took out west. Debby Reynolds was one of her classmates. I don't think she would trade her family for Debby Reynold's stardom either.

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Drought increases pressure for more water use regulations
By Angela Hensel
Nebraska News Service
With ongoing summer droughts in many states across the country, water scarcity continues to be a threat, shifting water regulation policies in some states to focus on more local management plans like Nebraska has.
Nebraska's system of regulating water is managed at a local level with its 23 natural resources districts (NRDs). The NRDs are divided by river basin boundaries and have legal authority to create water regulation policies within each district. Nebraska's system is unique compared to other states because of the way boundaries are drawn and the significant legal authority NRDs are given, said Dean Edson, executive director of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts.
In contrast to Nebraska's local-level system, many other states have water laws controlled at the state level or are beginning to change their water laws in response to increasing concerns. A number of factors can affect water regulation in a state, such as number of irrigated acres, population size and how much water the state has.
"When you look at the states that actually have the groundwater, they all have less regulation than the states where the groundwater is really scarce," said Dave Aiken, University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor and water law specialist. "And so the states where it is really scarce, they regulate the most, because it is so scarce."
This differentiation in water law is especially apparent between the western and eastern halves of the United States.
In the eastern U.S., most states follow a riparian rights system, which allows only those who border streams or water basins to use the water from that source. In certain cases these water users can divert the stream flow if it doesn't harm anyone else and the use is reasonable. During times of water shortage, lawsuits often arise over whose water use is reasonable and whose is unreasonable.
In a few other eastern states, water use is governed by water permits. All high-volume users must obtain water permits, and during times of water shortage, how much water they take can be regulated if their water uses aren't for cities or homes.
While riparian rights and water permit laws govern water use in most eastern states, the situation becomes much more complicated in the western states, many of which are top agricultural producers. In Nebraska and these other states, irrigation is a big source of water consumption and is essential for many farmers.
"We've got a robust irrigated ag economy," Edson said. "If you didn't have irrigation you'd lose billions in economic activity."
Along with Nebraska, Texas and California are two other top western states that have large sources of groundwater and rely heavily on irrigation, Aiken said. California in particular is in the middle of one of its biggest water debates after a number of drought years. For a state that produces nearly half of the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the U.S., protecting the diminishing water supply has forced lawmakers to pass tougher groundwater regulation.
"They've taken a step in the right direction," Aiken said.
Previously, most of California's groundwater regulation had developed out of lawsuits and there were still no real restrictions on groundwater pumping, Aiken said. The law, passed earlier this month, requires local and state agencies to develop management plans and gives them the power to restrict groundwater pumping.
This shift toward state and local regulation in California is something Edson and Aiken say has already taken place in Nebraska for many years with its Natural Resources Districts.
"We're 42 to 43 years into water management; we're ahead of the curve," Edson said.
Also similar to Nebraska's water management approach, water regulations in Texas are determined at a more local level with Texas Underground Water Conservation Districts. Unlike Nebraska's system however, these districts are determined by county boundaries and have more strict state supervision.
Texas, Nebraska and many other western states share other similarities in surface water management with a prior appropriation system that grants a "first in time, first in right" basis for surface water rights. Those who obtained their rights earlier have priority for their water rights.
Despite some similarities, specifics of the prior appropriation system and developing water management plans continue to vary from state to state, making the issue of how to address water management a difficult one for lawmakers across the country.

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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.