July 20, 2017



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Million dollar rain soaks county, but causes flood concerns in the west

40-year-old photo sparks memories of downtown Superior

Kayakers paddle John's Creek in search of mysterious bubbles

Sholty makes first appearance in court


The Cyber Express-Record

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The Superior Express & Jewell County News 20 July 2017


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Million dollar rain soaks county, but causes flood concerns in the west

The former publisher of this newspaper often published stories under headlines which told of million dollar rains. We don't know the value of the rain which fell Monday night on Nuckolls County but it could well have been worth a million or more dollars to area farmers.
After a wet spring, the weather had turned to the dry side and some residents were beginning to wonder if drought conditions would return before the fall crop was made. The National Weather Service placed Monday rain chances at 40 percent and radar watchers went to bed thinking the rain that was developing to the west of Nuckolls County would head north east and miss this area.
They were wrong.
Rain set in about 11 p.m. and continued through much of the night. People who were awake at the time report it rained particularly hard about 3:30. The rain was accompanied by considerable lightning.
By the time the rain was over, flood warnings were posted for northeastern Franklin County and along the Republican River valley to the Nuckolls-Webster county line.
Along with the rain has come high humidity and high temperatures resulting in heat advisories and excessive heat watches. The heat index for Wednesday through Friday was expected to reach 105 to 107 degrees in the Superior area.
The CoCoRhs observer at Superior reported 3.35 inches of rain received late Monday and early Tuesday and the weather service indicated rain was possible again Tuesday night. The high temperature Wednesday was expected to top 100 degrees. The weather service called for 102 on Thursday and 101 on Friday. Saturday is to be cooler with a high of 94 degrees.
Observers in Nuckolls County reported 2.25 inches at Lawrence, 1.5 north of Nora, 4.3 inches, 6.5 miles east of Superior 3.34 inches, 1.9 miles southeast of Edgar, 0.81 inches, 6.7 miles south southeast of Lawrence 3.17 inches, 7.7 miles east southeast of Guide Rock, 3.17 inches, 8.4 miles northwest of Superior, 2.90 inches, 4.3 miles east of Hardy 1.97 inches, Nelson 3.83 inches, 4.8 south, southeast of Deweese, 3.41 inches, Ruskin, 4 inches, 3.1 miles northwest of Oak, 1.72 inches, and 2.3 south miles southeast of Ruskin, 2.70 inches.
Near Hildreth in Franklin County, an observer reported. 4.94 inches. An observer near Wilcox reported 4.9 inches.
Rainfall was generally less in Thayer County, ranging from 0.58 at Carlton to 2.8 northeast of Chester.
An observer northeast of Webber reported 1.55 inches but at Formoso only 0.51 inches was received. Burr Oak received 1.62 inches, Jewell 0.13 and Mankato 1.04 this week.
At 7 a.m. Tuesday the National Weather Service reported the Republican River at Guide Rock was 7.4 deep. It was expected to crest in the early morning hours of Wednesday at 12.7 which is classified as being in flood stage. However, it takes a depth of 14 feet to cause widespread cropland flooding at Guide Rock.

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40-year-old photo sparks memories of downtown Superior

While looking through the negative files maintained by this newspaper, we came across a packet of negatives described only as "business pamphlet." A description typical of the 1970s when staff members processing film taken by Express photographers apparently thought they would always remember the who, what, when and where of each negative. Many of the packets are identified only by the week taken.
Among the negatives in that envelope, we found three views of two buildings that at first we thought were in Nelson. It wasn't until the negatives were scanned and the images converted to positives that we had the ah-ha moment. They were taken of buildings razed in the 1970s to make way for the current Superior Ace Hardware Store.
On a whim, the decision was made to post the pictures on this newspaper's Facebook page. We ask the readers of our page to identify the buildings. The responses were quick in coming and interesting. The popular post, sparked many memories and was shared with other Facebook subscribers.
With the exception of the Union Hotel property, a portion of which is the first brick building constructed in Superior, the buildings on the east side of the 200 block of Central were razed in the 1970s and replaced with new buildings.
In his history of Superior, Stan Sheets identifies the buildings which formerly stood on the three lots now occupied by the Ace store constructed in 1978.
Starting at the south and moving up the street, the building at 246 Central was built by John Templeton in 1889. Next was a single story brick building also built in 1889 by Andrew McConoughy. On the corner was a single-story wooden business building constructed by Elnora and Ira Knapp in 1880.
The Knapp building was the first to be torn down. After Lee Wall moved his auto parts business to the Commercial Street location which is now home to the Superior Motor Parts store in 1952, the old frame structure was removed, the basement filled and the lot used by Alexander Motors to display new pickup trucks. A neon sign placed on the corner advertised the Hotel Leslie which was two blocks north in what is now the Vestey Center.
Elnora and Ira Knapp built the one story wood store building which was 24 feet wide by 50 feet deep in 1880. They sold it the next year to A. A. Avery. In 1887 it was sold to Julie Padden who operated the Padden, Ebert & Padden hardware business there until 1890 when William Dean became the owner. He added to the rear of the building and installed a boardwalk along the Third Street side. In 1891, William Allen moved his hardware stock into the building. Over the years additions were made until the wood structure extended to the alley.
In 1906 Samuel Long and his father leased the building for their hardware, plumbing and furnace business. The building was sold to Samuel Long in 1922.
In the late 1930s a potato chip maker rented part of the building. A fire ended that business but the building survived. In 1939 Lee Wall located his auto parts business there. After Wall moved out, the building was razed, the basement filled and Alexander Motors used the lot to display new pickup trucks.
Next door to the south a single story brick building measuring 25x70 feet was constructed in 1889 by Andrew McConaughy. In subsequent years the building was to have a number of owners including William Dean, Fred Pfleiderer, Amariah Worden, Mrs. I. S. Heinley, Francis Sweet, Grace Samuels, Leland and George Fisher, Glenn and Leah Williams and Alexander Motors.
For many years this building housed a meat market, the first of which was Wheelock's Butcher Shop. Fred Pfleiderer ran a meat market there from 1907 to 1909. In the late 1920s, the Central Cafe was located in the building. In 1932 it was the home of Consumer's Market which was primarily a meat market operated by Newell and Bill Park. Later groceries were added and the business was operated by Howard Nicholson and Hollis Weier. In the 1950s, the business was taken over by Frank Brown and Son and moved to West First Street.
The Williams Brothers used the building to house their coin-operated machine business. It also housed a second-hand furniture store shortly before being torn down.
The most colorful history is probably that of the lot occupied by the two story building which became the southern most part of the Ace store.
In 1877 John and Ellen Cuff purchased two Central Avenue lots from William Louden, put up a frame livery stable and went into the feed business in partnership with George Fogel. The stable had several owners until John Templeton purchased the property and erected a two-story brick building, 25 x 65 feet, on the north lot. The building had several owners and occupants, one of which was the popular Crosby Restaurant. Harry and Mary Ann Robinson purchased the building in 1969 from George and Leland Fisher.
The apartments were occupied until shortly before the building was razed. Among the last residents were Olga Wier and the Vince O'Brien family. Mr. O'Brien was a barber with a shop in the building to the south which was razed for construction of the Elks Lodge ballroom. In later years the business part of the building was occupied by Al Shorey's trenching business, a sign painter and the Bureau of Reclamation.
The building got its distinctive pink front while occupied by the Bureau. Bureau employees applied surplus pink paint obtained from a government agency. It may not have been an appropriate color but the price was right. Ron Thompson correctly identified the buildings and noted his dad's cabinet shop, Mrs. Hansen' little cafe, George Harpham's barber shop, BonTon hotel and cafe, a grocery store, Union Cafe, and Union Hotel were all located in that block.
When he was about 10, Thompson recalled he shined shoes at Harpham's shop. Even had a shine stand on the sidewalk. This caused Nate Stineman to ask if Ron still shined shoes because he had a pair of flip flops to shine. Ron didn't answer the question directly but asked what color the flip flops were.
John Huskinson also recognized the buildings of one being home to a cabinet shop when he wrote, "I believe this block included a cabinet shop operated by my brother-in-law Clark Willcox and Ward Thompson, Leon Mariska's photography studio and the BonTon Cafe. The BonTon was very popular.
Susan (O'Brien) Scarborough wrote, "My last childhood home in Superior was the front apartment on the second floor apartment. I looked out the window at Pat and Vern's tavern. Probably about 1966 into 1972.
Dixie Whitney said "I lived in the apartments there too. That would have been in '52 or '53.
When asked the identity of the buildings, by far the most wrong answers thought they were part of the Union Hotel although other answers included Dave's Place and even the Smoke House which was in another block.
This week's From the Files column makes reference to two events which happened 80 years ago this week which are connected to the three lots on which the Coast to Coast store is built.
This week in 1937, Sam Long, the 71 year old owner of the corner hardware store died. Also this week in 1937 two Superior businessmen, Ben Hill and R. J. Stephenson purchased the Superior Auto Parts Company from Louis Schwartz, a Ukranian immigrant who with a partner had leased a gasoline station station built by George Fisher at 300 Commercial Avenue, the current location of Big's Diner. They named the business Superior Auto Supply. After the property passed through several owners it was purchased by the Alexander Buick Company.
In 1939 Lee Wall purchased Superior Auto Supply, renamed it Wall Auto Supply and located that business in Sam Long's former hardware store. When it came time to build what is today the Ace Hardware Store two of the three lots were owned by the Alexander automobile dealership.
In the meantime the Superior Motor Parts Store had been located next door to where Schwarz had operated his Superior Auto Supply Company. In more recent years the Superior Motor Parts store has moved across the street and into the building where Wall Auto Supply was last located.
This all shows history can be a bit confusing.

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Kayakers paddle John's Creek in search of mysterious bubbles
By Marty Pohlman
The Superior Publishing Company's Corps of Discovery launched a three-kayak flotilla from the shores of Lovewell Lake, Saturday. Putting in at the White Rock Creek Wildlife Area, near the Highway 14 bridge, the intrepid crew was off on a grand adventure, well maybe not so grand, but it was an adventure none the less, in search of bubbles. yes, bubbles. But not your ordinary, everyday garden variety bubbles. No, these bubble were special.
Acting on a tip received from a Jewell County subscriber, Bill Blauvelt, publisher and editor of The Superior Express, assigned his crack, or maybe it's cracked ace investigative reporter, to organize an expedition in search of mysterious bubbles roiling the surface of John's Creek, a stream which flows into Lovewell Lake at the western end. According to the report, the reader was fishing in John's Creek when she noticed large bubbles on the water surface. These were not small bubbles caused by insects but rather large bubbles ascending to the surface and appearing as if they were boiling water in a pot. Not having encountered this phenomenon, she was curious as to their origin. Never one to pass up a reason to head to the lake and skim across its surface, this reporter assembled a crack team to accompany him on his quest. Actually, the only requirement was who was crazy enough to want to be on the water when the temperature topped 95 degrees, there were no clouds and the possibility of aerial assault by hungry mosquitoes.
I persuaded my wife, Tonya, and The Superior Express photo editor and general factotum Clinton Christian to round out the ranks of the mighty armada.
After loading the kayaks, the well-prepared crew discovered one member had neglected to bring a personal flotation device so we had to backtrack to pick up said item. Whatever happened to the term life jacket?
After a stop to purchase liquid beverages vital for hydration (water and Mountain Dew) we headed for our jumping off point.
Two orange and one yellow kayak were removed from the mini-van. Yes, you can carry three kayaks along with their crew and ancillary equipment in a minivan. So much for the soccer mom label.
We placed the kayaks in the water and shoved off without incident. As Clinton, or as I referred to him on this voyage, Fletcher, after Captain Bligh's first mate, took the lead, we headed for John's Creek. Clinfletch languishes at the lake often as he and his sister utilize a cabin they own there. He was our expert navigator and as we paddled into the deepest darkest heart of Lovewell Lake, we looked to him to be our pathfinder.
We dutifully followed him up a creek, with paddles, only to discover that we were following wrong way Clinfletch.
After a brief consultation, it was decided our destination was actually to the east of our current position. I should point out that my arm and shoulder muscles were screaming with agony as this was much more strenous exercise than manipulating a game controller, the television remote or flipping pages in a book while reading. Being a manly man, I complained loudly but even the water borne insects didn't listen.
Off we went and discovered the opening to John's Creek. Senses on high alert as we knew not what manner of bubbles we might encounter, we slowly made our way up the wide mouth of the creek. The hairs, very few by the way, on the back of my neck bristled with tension as an unfamiliar sound wafted my way. Was it the sirens of the lake luring us to doom? No, it was one of those obnoxious creations referred to as a personal watercraft or jet ski. My idea of a personal water craft was the one I was piloting. A non-engine or wind powered craft which relied on personal input from a paddle to be propelled, all the while allowing the pilot to savor the sounds of nature and realize how close he was to drowning.
Said obnoxious watercraft headed up our stream at high speed, its wake turning the calm water into choppy. seas which were now running at one to two inches. For a brief period, our watercraft bed violently up and down. So they rocked a little. We weathered this storm with no ill-effects such as motion sickeness and pressed on . I believe I heard a giggle or two from Tonya as I commented on the rough sea conditions we had just encountered and survived. I also warned her that rogue waves could come out of nowhere at any time so she and Clinfletch must keep an extra vigilant watch. I am attributing the gales of dervisive laughter sounds to an unidentified species of bird which inhabits the John's Creek area. A screech owl perhaps.
The fleet paddled their way up the creek and began a close inspection of the waters from the shoreline out. Being a true gentleman, I espied what appeared to be a snake in the water but kept that observation to my self so as not to alarm the expedition members. It also could have been a gar or a stick. My sunglasses were in need of a thorough cleaning by this point in the trip.
We arrived at a juncture in the creek. One branch was to the east and another beckoned to the west. The east branch was decided upon so we paddled along the shoreline, two of us on the east side, on one on the west holding onto a slim chance we would discover the magical bubble stream. On we went, the creek narrowing to the point where the blades from our kayak paddles touched the bottom of the creek in three inches of water. Realizing we were far beyond the point of where the bubbles were reported, we reversed our path and headed back down stream.
Any hopes of finding bubbles vanished with the sweep through the area of the jet ski and its bubble destroying wake. We were resigned to the fact that whatever bubble stream which existed in the area was now lost for the time being. Still, we paddled on, pushing our minds and bodies to the limit of human endurance. Okay, maybe its a bit of overstatement but it was hot.
One drawback to our kayaks is the water bottle holding net on the top. This handy area holds your water bottle within easy reach so you are able to rehydrate without upsetting the kayak. The drawback is after a few hours the water is warm enough for proper English tea.
We dutifully explored the western branch of John's Creek but, alas, no bubbles. We reluctantly came to the conclusion that our bubbles had vanished. The flotilla commander executed a command decision. The fleet would return to port. The underlying reasons were exhaustion, heat and hot water. A slight mutiny had to be quelled when one member wanted to go swimming. A graphic description of the water quality, the phrase surface scum was bandied about, and undersea monsters, plus the offer of trip to the swimming beach, brought the matter to a peaceful conclusion. It's difficult to hang the mutineer from the yard arm when you have no yard arm. The downside of commanding a one-person kayak.
Upon return to port, Clinfletch suggested we utilize the boat ramp rather than risk the perilous shoreline from which we had launched. All concurred and the leader of the flotilla paddled up to the ramp and attempted to make fats. He was unsuccessful and as his vessel floated free, he readjusted himself in the kayak to better paddle up on the boat ramp. Unfortunately, his weight and balance ratio was disturbed and he found himself tossed overboard in six inches of very warm water. Fighting mightily on the surface, he righted his capsized craft and resigned himself to the humiliation which was soon to follow from his cruise mates. And it did.
Undaunted, the expedition members loaded the minivana. The corps then set out for the Lovewell Lake Marina to rehydrate with actual cold beverages. The group returned to Superior, battered (well at least one member) but unbowed with our backs to the sun. or was it a full moon?. And did I mention sunburned. The expedition leader was quoted as saying "real men don't use sunscreen."
Though the quest to find the bubbles and investigate their source was unsuccessful, the Corps of Discovery functioned like a non-oiled machine. The widlife was spectacular. The sight of a Great Blue Heron flying 10 feet above your head is an inspiring vision. The fish were jumping. What appeared to be a branch protruding from the water was , in fact, a very large turtle. Mosquitoes were a non factor. Small darning needles lighted on the kayaks and provided company through the curves of ther creek.
Our publisher has noted that there have been periodic reports of naturally occuring oil sheens and slicks on the surface of water bodies in the vicinity of John's Creek over the years. Attempts to discover oil by drilling in the area have been futile. One possible explanation is swamp gas or methane deposits on the bottom created by decaying vegetation. Another possibility is a natural gas pocket releasing gas. This could be caused by recent seismic activity in the form of small earthquakes from deep within the earth.
This reporter offered an alternate theory: that it could be the spirit of Hugh Carp, plotting his return from the spectral world.
The corps remains optimistic. Another expedition will be launched in due course. The lessons learned from this expedition will be closely analyized and new solutuions applied. Small ice chests will be standard quipment. Closer attention will be paid to climatological conditions. A maximum temperature of 75 degrees and a cloudy day with no wind would be ideal. As to the bubbles, when the grandson visits, there are always bubbles. Maybe not the up the creek with a paddle type bubbles, but they are bubbles. And his laughter is not of a sarcatsic nature.

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Sholty makes first appearance in court
Tristan Sholty appeared Monday in Nuckolls County Court for a preliminary hearing related to a felony drug possession from an arrest made by the Nuckolls County Sheriff's Department on June 28. The offense occurred in Nelson. Sholty, through his attorney, Ben Murray, waived the preliminary hearing. The case will move to District Court, where felony cases are heard.
Sholty's attorney requested a reduction in bond, which currently stands at $50,000, arguing that Sholty is a local resident and not likely to flee, and saying he could live with his mother or grandmother in Superior. Murray also suggested Sholty could be released to some sort of rehabilitation facility, if the judge thought it was appropriate.
Sara Bockstadter, Nuckolls County prosecutor, opposed the bond reduction, advising that Sholty was awaiting sentencing on another case in which he was arrested by the Superior Police Department for the crime he is currently incarcerated for. She also called to attention a file she received from the Superior Police Department that contained several cases related to Sholty and said she planned to file an additional charge of possession of a stolen weapon against Sholty. She also said she had information the Hall County Sheriff's Department and Grand Island Police Department are pursuing charges against Sholty.
Judge Burns denied the bond reduction request. Sholty's next court appearance will be in District Court on Aug. 1.

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