Nov. 16, 2017



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Superior wins first state volleyball title

Superintendent Isom not renewing contract

Superior contracts for eight percent solar power

County board discusses dust problem on Highway 8 east of Superior


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The Superior Express & Jewell County News 16 November 2017


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Superior wins first state volleyball title

Only moments after the final buzzer and it was certain the Superior High School girls volleyball team had won their division's state championship, local residents began planning to welcome the team home to Superior in a royal fashion.
Shanel Rempe, manager of the Superior Chamber of Commerce, placed a few calls and received even more while plans were formalized to welcome the team. She used social medial to report the team was to arrive in Superior on Highway 8 around 8 p.m. and then proceed up Central Street to the high school located on West Eighth Street.
Working from the Chamber of Commerce office which is located in downtown Superior in the first building south of Superior Pharmacy, Rempe was soon joined by others awaiting the team's arrival.
Team supporters began parking their vehicles along both sides of Central Avenue and on west toward the school on Eighth Street.
Vehicles associated with the fire department, ambulance squad and police department went to the eastern edge of Superior to await the arrival of the vans carrying the team and support personnel.
With emergency lights flashing and sirens blaring the team was escorted into town. Participants said the parade was an awesome sight to behold. What energy! What excitement! It was a far from normal night in downtown Superior.
When the team members entered Superior, they were met with a flurry of well-wishers. The parade stopped in front of the Chamber of Commerce office, and the team got out to greet their well wishers. It had been a cold an dreary day and the lights were reflecting off the wet street but it was not too cold or too wet for proud Superior sponsors. Their team which got a wildcard invitation to the state tournament and entered in last place had fought to the top, defeating two undefeated teams and teams with pre-tournament rankings as the three best in the state.
After dropping the first two sets in the final match of the tournament Hartington Cedar Catholic, the previously first place ranked team in the state, the team from Superior refused to give up and won the next three sets.
It was the first time this previously unbeaten team from Hartington had had to play five sets.
The state title win is probably the first for a Superior girls team in more than 100 years. In 1912 a Superior team hosted and beat the Lincoln High School Girls team to win a state title. That win was also an upset. After the game a disappointed Lincoln girl took her shoe off, pitched it through the dressing room wall and complained about being beat in a town without paved streets.
Some fans thought a Superior team may have won a state title in 1929 but The Express has been unable to locate proof.
The Superior boys golf team won back-to-back state championships in 1982 and 1983 and the track team won the state title in 1973.
This issue of The Express contains a story reporting on the three games the Wildcats played in Lincoln plus and armful of pictures and congratulatory pages paid for by team supporters.
In addition the newspaper has slide shows filled with pictures taken at the state tournament playing on its internet page. In the first 19 hours after the slide shows were posted they were watched more than 600 times. The shows are available at http://www.superiorne. com.


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Superintendent Isom not renewing contract

Monday evening, in regular session, members of the Superior Board of Education accepted the resignation of Supt. Charles Isom effective June 30, 2018. This is at the end of his contract. All members of the board of education were present except Brad Biltoft. Nearly all the certified teaching staff , a few of their spouses, and the schools paraprofessionals were present for the meeting.
The only person to speak during the public participation was Seth Going. Going reviewed the schools national FFA awards and updated the school on the wrestling program. Superior students received one national first place award and three national awards at the national FFA conference. Going anticipates the wrestling team to bring home honors as 13 participating wrestlers represent several weight divisions.
The only other business actions included approving expenditures from the general fund of $490,951.08 and recognizing the Superior Education Association as the sole negotiating entity for certified staff contracts.
Discussion items focused primarily on searching for a new superintendent of schools and the policy manual. Matt Sullivan reported legal counsel had said the board of education was not required to complete the annual superintendent evaluation since Supt. Isom had resigned. He asked the board if it would be ok for the executive committee composed of Peggy Meyer, Jamy Sullivan and himself to select a superintendent search firm.
Last month board members were assigned portions of the current policy manual to review and compare to a policy manual from legal counsel. One has six sections, the other has nine sections. When the task is complete, Supt. Isom expects it to save the district money, as the policy manual would be from the legal counsel currently used by the school. Thus the district will not be sending policies for legal counsel to review and fees will only be for new policies based on changes passed down from the legislature.
Board members reported on their review of the first two sections of the new policy manual. The 1000 series addresses policy in general and the mission statement of the school. Jamy Sullivan suggested the mission statement be considered as board members evaluated the rest of the policy manual. Written policies serve to articulate the board's goals and long term objectives; provide administrators and staff direction in decision making which affect students, employees and patrons; and inform the public of the way the district will conduct its business and its relationship with staff, pupils, parents and patrons. The policy manual is available on the school's website. The board is to review all policies at least once every three years.
The 2000 series of policies addresses the board: member role, organization, development and education, oath of office, conflict of interests, complaint procedure, reimbursement and miscellaneous expenditures, meetings, public participation in meetings, preparation for board meetings, code of ethics and the violations and relationship with school attorney and participation in insurance.
The new manual provides for a student member of the board. Members of the Superior board of education seemed agreeable to keeping the policy and making it known to student leaders. A student school board member would be an upper class student who has been select as student council president, or a senior class representative or a representative elected by the entire student body. The term of office would be one year. They would not participate in executive or closed sessions. The could not introduce motions. They would be expected to attend all public meetings of the board. The president of the board, in consultation with the Superintendent has the right to bar the participation of a student member at the board's discretion.
Doug Hoins, elementary principal, thanked the Superior Volunteer Fire Department for the tours and training provided to elementary students during national fire prevention week.
He reported that Lynette McCutcheon, Courtney Montgomery, and Syndee Wulf had attended a para-educators workshop in Kearney.
He thanked the Good Samaritan Society, Superior, for providing free flu vaccinations to students and staff who chose to participate. More than 200 students and staff members received flu vaccinations on Oct. 11.
On Oct. 25, the fifth and sixth grade students conducted the schools annual Unity Day. "Make it orange, make it end" posters had an bully free pledge and students were encouraged to wear orange.
Bob Cook, junior-senior high principal, reported that Aaron Davis, spoke to elementary students, high school students and athletes in separate sessions on Nov. 6. Davis spoke about respect, anti-bully and the power of choice in and out of school. Cook reported, Davis was a high energy speaker and the students were highly focused as he spoke.
As the winter sports season opens, there are 14 students participating in boys basketball, 13 in girls basketball, 13 in wrestling, 12 in junior high girls basketball and 11 in junior high wrestling.
Several staff members attended conferences. Melissa Schuster attended Teaching American Conflicts: WWII and Korean War. Lisa Jameson attended a teaching and learning conference at which the keynote speaker was Dave Burgess, the author of "Teach Like a Pirate."
Sara Fuller, Jacki Porter and Bob Cook attended the Entrepreneurship Best Practices Summit in Kearney.
Cook expects a few upper class students will be placed in the community the second semester as part of the school career academy.
Since the last meeting, the negotiations committee had met three times and the building and grounds committee had met twice. An architect is to submit plans for a new weight room and then it can be put out for bids.
Jamy Sullivan asked if a discussion about digital citizenship could be placed on the December agenda. Sullivan said, "I think there are practical things we can do as a school. It is a topic I have studied the past two years and have ideas I would like to share." She will visit with Supt. Isom and materials will be distributed to board members for review.
The meeting lasted approximately one hour.

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Superior contracts for eight percent solar power
By some standards, Superior will be a bit greener come the summer of 2018. Members of the Superior City Council voted 5-0 to sign a contract authorizing the construction of a solar array on the former landfill site east of the current wastewater treatment plant.
While regulators will not allow the construction of the solar array on land that was actually used for waste disposal, it can be built on land that was purchased for the landfill but not used before the regulators closed the facility.
The company known as AEP Onsite Partners is expected to begin construtoion of a one megawatt solar array in February. The timetable calls for having the new facilty operational by May 1. It is expected to produce about 2 million kilowatts of electrical engergy each year. This is about 8 percent of the city utility's annual power purchase. Superior has agreed to purchase all of the power produced by the array.
It will be a one direction array that will tilt to follow the daily movement of the sun from east to west. It will not tilt to follow the sun's north south movement.
The cost of power is expected to be less than what the city is currently paying the Nebraska Public Power District but slightly more than the current price for power available through the Southwest Power Pool.
In addition to saving on the cost of power, since the power will be generated here, there will be transportation costs savings among other savings. Much of the savings will be realized by reducing the need to purchase additional power during times of peak usage.
The array will be built on land south of the sewer plant access road and east of the actual sewer plant.
Since AEP is a private company, unlike the publicly owned Superior Utilities, it may qualify for a 35 percent tax credit payable over 7 years. The 25-year contract stipulates the city utility may buy the facility when it no longer qualifies for the tax credits. When the facility is permanently shut down, the owner will be responsible for removing the installed equipment. There are provisions for renewing the contract beyond the original 25 life.
In other action Monday night the council listened as six Colorado street residents complained about the goings on in their neighborhood. They said the residents were fighting, allow unrestrained dogs to run free, allowing trash and clothing to blow about the neighborhood and had at least one unlicensed vehicle parked on the property.
Officer Jill Allgood with the Superior Police Department, said the department was monitoring the situation and had issued a ticket earlier Monday concerning a violation.
Mayor Sonia Schmidt, said there was little the council could do at once. She agreed to review the complaints with the Superior Police Department and asked the residents to keep and eye on the situation and immediately report strange behavior or illegal activities to the police department.
In other action, the resignation of Matt Mertink from the Superior Fire Departent was approved.
The council voted 4-1 to recognize Police Officer Jill Allgood for the work she had done on behalf of the residents of Superior and promoted her to sergeant. With the new title, she will be allowed to participate in additional training programs that were not available at her previous rank.
Planning continues on the downtown revitalization grant and a public meeting to show the proposals to affected property owners is planned for early December.

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County board discusses dust problem on Highway 8 east of Superior
Amid reports of unsafe visibility east of Superior on Highway 8, caused by dust blowing off the gravel road that leads to the new Aurora Co-op elevator, a group met with the Nuckolls County Board Monday to address the problem.
Darrell and Diane Kile, whose home and veterinary practice are located near the problem area, were among those at the meeting. In addition to the safety issue on the highway during peak harvest seasons, the Kiles said the constant battle with dust in their home, garage and vehicles is not what they moved to the country for.
"The dust gets so thick on the road signs out there, you can't even read them until the next rain," Diane Kile said.
Apparently, dust from the stream of semis unloading at the elevator causes dangerously poor visibility at three county roads where they intersect with Highway 8 ­­ roads 3750, 3800 and 3900.
Commissioner Doyle Christensen, who represents that area of the county, said he contacted someone at the CPI elevator in Hildreth, where they address the problem by spraying the road at night with a mixture of tree sap and water. Christensen said there is also a soybean by-product made specifically for this purpose, but it is believed to attract deer and other animals onto the roadways. Both the soybean product and the tree sap will spray onto and cling to passing vehicles.
Gary Warren, Nuckolls County highway superintendent, said he talked to someone in Iowa who uses a combination of both products for dust reduction. Apparently, the soybean product works best on rock roads, while tree sap is best for gravel. Warren said he would need to use signage to alert motorists that the road is treated, if they were to try either product.
Rob Thompson from Aurora Co-op was in attendance and said they also fight the dust issue on the grounds of their facilities, both at Superior and Sedan, and were considering using millings for dust reduction. Warren said the use of millings works in certain applications, but would not be good for the road being discussed.
Warren said the use of either of the spray products is not a long-term solution. Applications apparently need to be repeated every two or three days to be effective. There's also the up-front cost to get started. Christensen said the Hildreth CPI buys it by the semi-load. If there was any good news, it was that the county has all the necessary equipment to spray the road.
The board asked Warren if he thought the use of either yield signs or stop signs would help the situation. He said it was certainly worth looking at, and he would be required to conduct a traffic study before installing any stop signs.
"There's no easy solution," said Commissioner Daren Blackstone.
"We know what the solution is," Warren responded. "We just can't afford it."
He was referring to paving that road, as well as the one causing problems at Sedan, with new concrete. Warren said current estimates place the cost of new concrete at about $1 million per mile, and guessed it would cost between $4 and $5 million to pave both stretches of county-owned road with concrete. Of the road causing the hazardous conditions along Highway 8, the county owns one mile and the City of Superior owns about 3/8 of a mile. (It should here be noted the City of Superior street department owns concrete street paving equipment, should there be talk of a cooperative venture.)
Being the preliminary stages of discussion, there were no one-time per-mile estimates available for the use of soybean by-product or tree sap, but Warren said he would provide that next week. Christensen said he would like to see the road causing problems for the Kiles and others in the area to be treated as soon as possible. Commissioner Tim Zikmund said he would like to see the co-op help with the cost of the product, whatever they end up using.
Darrell Kile thanked the board, Warren and Thompson for getting together to work on the problem

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