THE SUPERIOR EXPRESS

Oct. 23, 2014

 

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NEWS!

2-vehicle crash sends 7 to hospital

Kiewit Foundation awards grant to auditorium renovation

City council approves hiring fourth lineman

Miller sworn in as county clerk

The Cyber Express-Record

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The Superior Express 16 October 2014

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2-vehicle crash sends 7 to hospital

Seven Superior area residents were injured when two vehicles collided nearly head-on about 12:30 Sunday afternoon. The accident happened on Road 3600, which is commonly called the Webber road, a few yards south of Mill Race Road. 
A mechanical failure on a 2007 Dodge Ram pickup is thought to have caused the driver to lose steering control and the vehicle swerved into the northbound lane. The pickup was pulling a gooseneck style livestock trailer loaded with 15 head of calves weighing about 400 pounds each.
The pickup and a northbound 2015 Ford Expedition collided. The violent impact sent both vehicles into the east ditch with the SUV rolling onto its passenger side. The trailer came lose from it coupling and slammed into the double seat pickup cab.
Several motorists stopped and lent assistance. The calves faired better than the people and eagerly left the damaged trailer and were loaded into another livestock trailer to continue their trip into Kansas.
The motorists were able to remove four girls ranging in age from 8 to 14 from the overturned SUV through the sunroof. The pickup driver was able to free himself from the wreckage but his passenger and the driver of the SUV were trapped and had to be extricated by members of the Superior Volunteer Fire Department.
Dr. Jerry McMeen, owner of Superior Vision Clinic, and his four daughters, of rural Webber, were traveling northbound in the 2015 Ford Expedition, all were taken to the Brodstone Memorial Hospital in Superior. Dr, McMeen later Sunday was transferred to Lincoln by helicopter for treatment of head injuries. His 14-year old daughter was transferred by helicopter to a Lincoln Hospital on Monday.
Mrs. McMeen, a nurse, was in another vehicle and arrived shortly after the accident to find her daughters outside the vehicle and her husband still trapped inside. She accompanied her family to the hospital.
The driver of the 2007 Dodge Ram pickup, Dr. Darrell Kile, owner of Kile Veterinary Clinic of Superior, and his passenger, Short Shambaugh, also of Superior, were taken to Brodstone Hospital. Shambaugh had to be extricated from the wreckage as the point of impact was on his side of the truck.
Multiple ambulances were used in the response, and one of the McMeen family members was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle.
The crash was investigated by officers from the Superior Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol reconstruction team and Nuckolls County Sheriff's Office. They were on the scene until about 6:30 p.m. 
Traffic  from Superior to just south of the Kansas border, was restricted for more than five hours to allow for the investigation and clean-up.
When this call came in, a Nelson ambulance was at Brodstone, having transported a four-wheeler accident victim there from the Oak area when it was sent to assist the Superior Rescue Squad. A volunteer Nelson ambulance driver was in the area, heard the call and also lent his assistance.  Ambulances from Mankato, Superior and Nelson transported the victims to Brodstone Hospital.
It was a traumatic experience for all involved. All the victims attend the same church and are well known through out the Superior community.
Passengers in the McMeen vehicle included Natalie, Noelle, Nadia and Neah.

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Kiewit Foundation awards grant to auditorium renovation

Superior Historic Re-Development, Inc. has been awarded a $100,000 challenge grant from the Peter Kiewit Foundation, Omaha, which will help with the restoration of the now closed Superior City Auditorium.
The Kiewit Foundation is known for providing grants for the purpose of supporting charitable and public purpose projects across the State of Nebraska, and western Iowa. The grants are highly sought after and extremely competitive. In the fiscal year ending June 30, the foundation awarded 134 grants totaling more than $21 million dollars. Local members have been told by Kiewit staffers that the trustees of the foundation felt strongly enough about the auditorium project that they were willing to extend this fundraising challenge. They also said they were impressed with how much work had been completed thus far (including asbestos removal, demolition of an adjacent building and installation of a new roof) and wanted to assist the committee in raising the additional funds needed to complete the project.
The grant funds awarded to the Superior group will be used to restore the historic Superior Auditorium for public use and will be awarded upon completion of the first phase and when public usage begins. Work that will be completed in the first phase includes the installation of fire suppression and alarm systems, installation of heating and air conditioning systems, and remodeling of kitchen and bathroom spaces. A meeting room and storage space will complete the planned work.
The group is currently refining construction plans and reviewing bids in anticipation of work beginning.
Donations by the area residents as well as Superior High School alumni are critical to helping Superior Historic Re-Development, Inc. meet the challenge extended by the Kiewit Foundation. Committee members have raised more than $530,000 for the project including cash, in-kind donations and pledges. Expenses previously paid have reduced that total but the group has more than $300,000 in two bank accounts and has no outstanding bills.
Donations or pledges of any amount are encouraged by the group which received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation from the IRS earlier this year. Donations should be payable to "Superior Historic Re-Development, Inc." and mailed to 213 East 3rd Street, Superior, Neb. 68978. Donors will be recognized in the lobby of the building in categories from $250 to $50,000. Naming opportunities are also available to major donors.
The community's next opportunity to come out and support the auditorium renovation effort is next week when the committee is hosting its second annual Try New Things Soup Supper. Ten different varieties of soup will be offered on from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Superior United Methodist Church. Architectural plans will be on display and committee members will be available to answer questions about the project.

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City council approves hiring fourth lineman

The Superior City Council at their regular meeting last Tuesday approved pay increases for three utility workers and approved hiring a fourth lineman for the electric department.
The three utility employees who received $1.25 per hour pay increases, retroactive to the beginning of the pay period concurrent with the meeting date, are Jarred Ehlers, gas department; Doug Rogers, gas department; and Larry Wilhelms, water department.
Larry Brittenham, utilities manager, addressed the question posed by the council regarding the need to continue with four linemen in the electric department. The city recently lost a lineman to another power company, a persistent problem Brittenham said he hopes can be stemmed by paying the city employees better.
"It depends on what kind of flexibility you want to have as we go forward," Brittenham said. "We can do maintenance work with three linemen, but we need four to do any type of construction."
He said they are attempting to "clean up" and streamline portions of the city's electrical system, and are able to save money by doing the construction projects themselves, rather than using a contractor. He said having a fourth lineman allowed the department to build the new power line to the Superior East elevator, which would have cost around $800,000 through a contractor.
Another issue is with CDL drivers; all city linemen have CDL licenses which allows them to help other departments. Brittenham said snow removal could previously be called an emergency, which allowed most city employees to do it. Now the state requires CDL licenses for plowing snow, hauling dirt and gravel and driving dump trucks for tree removal.
"There are probably places we can decrease our work force," said councilman Bob Tipton. "I don't think this is one of them." The council unanimously approved hiring a fourth lineman.
After the third reading of Ordinance No. 1175, the council voted to vacate a 150 foot portion of Louden Street, between Second Street and the north boundary of the previously closed portion of Louden Street. There was no public input or discussion after the final reading and all adjoining landowners reportedly approved. The city will retain a 30 foot easement on the east side of the vacated street to allow for utility maintenance.
Council members voiced approval for Larry Brittenham to proceed with a plan to close a number of unused water wells in the city limits and in the wellhead protection area. Brittenham said there is a cost share program available with the Lower Republican NRD and he also checked with a private contractor. He will work with the city's water protection committee on the project.
In a related matter, the council approved the first reading of an ordinance to establish a new wellhead protection area; the map of the new area has been completed by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ). Brittenham said the last wellhead protection area map had been completed in 2004. Steve Fox is the council's delegate to the city's water protection committee.
Brittenham reported the upgrade to the city's natural gas system to service the Superior East elevator is complete. Total cost of the project is $825,023.07, which is about $10,000 less than originally projected. The council approved closing out the project and making the final payment.
A public hearing was held on the application for a $30,000 community development block grant to fund development of a comprehensive solid waste management plan. Total cost of the plan is $39,600, so the cost to Superior would be $9,600. There was no public comment. The council approved the grant application.
The council approved a permit for a sign for Black and Burlap, a new business located on Commercial Ave. between Third and Fourth streets. Because the sign is slightly larger than those allowed by city code, a variance will be needed from the planning board.
The council approved splitting the cost of a railroad crossing on Road 3750 with the Aurora Co-op. The city's share will be approximately $23,000.
Larry Brittenham and Perry Freeman, Superior police chief, expressed concerns about student safety during drop-off and pick-up times at the elementary school. Brittenham said with some students being dropped off on the north side of Eighth Street and having to cross, the situation is "an accident waiting to happen." The council approved installing "no stopping or standing" signs on the north side of Eighth Street between Park Street and the high school exit.
The council approved $1,500 for the installation of a sprinkler system for the vacant lot west of the city office. A contractor will install the sprinklers and the city crew will run the electrical line.
Bobbi Pettit from South Central Economic Development District met with the council about the city's ongoing nuisance abatement project. Ron Frasier was present to discuss the council's concerns about his property. Pettit said the building is not the only nuisance on the property, but it is the most significant nuisance.
Last Tuesday was a follow-up to a show cause hearing held in August about Frasier's property. Pettit said some progress has been made but there are still nuisance issues to be addressed. The council took no action, but would like to have several members meet with Frasier to outline specific action he needs to take to avoid abatement measures by the city.

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Miller sworn in as county clerk
Carrie Miller was sworn in as Nuckolls County clerk at Monday's regular meeting of the county commissioners. Miller defeated the incumbent county clerk, Jackie Kassebaum, in the primary election on the Republican ticket.
Because hers is the only name to appear on the general election ballot for the county clerk position, Miller expected to be sworn into office along with other newly- elected county officials ­­ two commissioners and the sheriff ­­ in January, however Kassebaum resigned earlier this month, leaving the commissioners to appoint someone in the interim.
Gary Warren, county highway superintendent, reported he has a crew working on signs in an attempt to stay out of the way of harvest work. He said they have also been working on the new county shop in Ruskin, pouring sidewalks and approaches and installing the propane heating system.
Bid-letting was held for renovation of the courthouse rain gutter system. One bid was received ­­ $59,738 from Weathercraft in Lincoln, Neb. The board approved the bid, but asked the architect to specify postponement of the project until spring.
Royce Gonzales, clerk of the district court and member of the county safety committee, reported to the board about the most recent meeting of the committee. There is a need for designated county employees to renew their certification for CPR and defibrillator training. Gonzales recommended the board appoint Jean Stichka to the safety committee. The appointment was approved.
In other business:
· The commissioners approved of Nuckolls County joining a 14-county emergency management area being established. It is hoped a consortium of counties can band together and get better deals on necessary emergency management equipment. Sheriff's Deputy Brad Baker has been appointed county emergency manager and is monitoring the progress on the 14-county region.
· Amy Mazour, deputy county clerk, reported on the process of altering the payroll cycle for county employees. The change is necessary for the county to comply with a new state statute. Currently, the pay period is from the first day of the month to the last. The new cycle will be from the 15th day of the month to the 14th day of the next month. Mazour said the change will be implemented gradually, during January and February, and will be fully implemented by March.
· Dan Schwartzkopf, the insurance broker who administers the county's self-funding group health insurance plan, presented a quarterly update on the plan.
· Carrie Miller, county clerk, was appointed by the commissioners as county school superintendent, NIRMA contact person, human resource manager and Title VI contact person.

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