Dec. 1, 2016



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Late-season tornadoes form Sunday afternoon

Candy Cane Lane possible because of volunteers

County board may change to semimonthly meetings

Giving Tree project underway again this year


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The Superior Express & Jewell County News 1 December 2016


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Late-season tornadoes form Sunday afternoon

It isn't unusual for The Express to publish a weather story in the first issue following Thanksgiving.
Some years we report on a snow storm that snarled holiday travel plans. Last year it was ice and fog. This year we have a tornado to report on.
This year the weather was good for Thanksgiving Day and the days immediately following but for a brief time Sunday afternoon a portion of South Central Nebraska was rocking and rolling.
Social media sites have been filled with pictures of unusual clouds including some with tornado funnels attached.
At least three tornadoes were observed after 4:30 Sunday afternoon including one in Nuckolls County. While there was damage associated with the storms, apparently no one was injured, no homes were struck and the damage was minimal. Most of the storms tracked across open farm land and since it was November the damage to growing crops was minimal.
While Nebraska tornadoes are unusual in November, they are not unheard of. On Nov. 5, 2000, there was tornado southwest of Ayr. On Dec. 13, 1975 a tornado was on the ground and travelled eight miles between Chester and Gilead.
The National Weather Service ranking of all the states, puts Nebraska in fifth place for tornado frequency. Since the weather service began keeping records, Nebraska averages 54.6 tornados a year but only 0.1 in November.
Weather service forecasters said a large upper level storm system developed over the Dakotas on Sunday. Abnormally warm and moist air (by November standards) stream-ed north through Kansas and Nebraska out ahead of the storm system. As the overall upper level system strengthened, there was a broad area of favorable lift within the moist warm sector across central Nebraska, which supported thunderstorm development as clouds cleared and the atmosphere became unstable. 
Low level wind shear values were high and there was just enough instability by afternoon to allow the thunderstorms to develop, strengthen and even spin up tornadoes in the 4 to 5 p.m. time frame. With the shorter days of later fall, there was a limited window for these severe thunderstorms, and they quickly began to die off with the early onset of evening. Severe weather had largely ended by 5:30 p.m.
This event on Nov. 27 marked the second-latest day of the calendar year that tornadoes occurred in the state of Nebraska, with the latest occurring on Dec. 13, 1975, when tornadoes touched down in Thayer and Pawnee counties. This was the fourth time since 2000 that a tornado occurred in the month of November in Nebraska. 
Tornadoes were confirmed in Franklin County near Upland, Webster County near Red Cloud, and Nuckolls County near Lawrence. There were also a few nickel-quarter size hail reports in St. Paul, Red Cloud and near Lexington.
This was the 4th time since 2000 that a tornado occurred in the month of November in Nebraska. 
The tornado east of Red Cloud and north Amboy formed at 4:34 and had dissipated by 4:39. It was rated as an EF-1 with maximum wind speeds of 95 miles per hour. It traveled on the ground for 2.4 miles and at the maximum was 60 yards wide as it uprooted trees, upset two center pivot irrigation systems and destroyed outbuildings near a farm home and downed power lines.
The tornado touched down north of Highway 136 near Road H and west of Road 1600. It continued to the northeast crossings Road J and stopped near Road 1800.
The tornado near Lawrence formed at 5 p.m. north of Road U and west of Road 2200 and moved to the northeast crossing Road U and dissipating near Road 2300 about 3 minutes later.
The tornado which traveled in open country reached a maximum width of 50 yards and was rated as an EF-0. Maximum wind speeds were 75 miles per hour.
Next week some forecast models are predicting a snow storm may bring this area perhaps as much as 5 inches of the white stuff. Temperatures are forecast to be near the freezing mark.

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Candy Cane Lane possible because of volunteers

By Sandra Foote
Drive through Candy Cane Lane on a Saturday morning and you will likely notice workers quietly checking and repairing the displays, volunteers with a fondness for the great outdoors as well as plenty of Christmas spirit.
Phil Peters works on the "business cards," making sure they are up to date. If a business is new, he wants to be sure it is represented and available for everyone to see. He also checks to see that out of date cards or cards that represent a business that is no longer here are taken down. If the business's addresses changes, the card must be changed as well. He also checks on the lights.
Peters recently set up the sleigh with Snoopy and other "Peanuts" characters. Peters also updated the gingerbread house by finishing and painting the walls on the inside. Whenever he sees something out of place, he fixes it. Volunteers put shelving in the new storage building for some of the displays and business cards. Blaine Blair, another volunteer, also checks frequently to see if anything needs to be fixed or updated. Like the others, Blair is a quiet, behind the scenes volunteer. He comes in like the breeze and leaves just as quietly. You never know when he is going to show up to work but he's available whenever something needs to be done. Buck Bostelman, a volunteer who often works with Blair, has been part of Candy Cane Lane since the very beginning.
When asked what got him started with Candy Cane Lane, Peters said he helped put together the display for the hospital for two years, then decided to volunteer for the past five years. A coworker, Janice Hatzenbuehler, encouraged him while they worked together on the hospital display.
Another quiet worker is Andrew Bargen, who works on the music and the light show as well as other displays. He and his son, Bryson, enjoy being outdoors while Andrew makes sure all the connections are in place. Andrew came on board ­­ just to help out ­­ within the last couple of years and has been helpful making all the right connections for the music and lights at the shelter.
He also has a personal display at his home on Central Street which he began about six years ago. He considered discontinuing his personal display until one evening when he was handing out candy canes and a young child was so full of joy, jabbering to her parents and pointing at the lights in his yard and making musical gestures showing her appreciation. He will never forget the little girl's joy! Many people stop and thank him for his yearly display, and so it will continue. Between Candy Cane Lane and his own lighted music show, Bargen works on the sequencing for months before they are assembled for the public.
Many volunteers help throughout the year with this labor of love. Each volunteer will tell you why the other volunteers are so important to the group. No single volunteer will take the credit they deserve. Candy Cane Lane began with an idea by Karen Christiancy, who owns Walt's Furniture along with her husband, Dave. From this idea, volunteers asked for donations so the city could install electrical service to handle the displays. The actual beginning was 2003. In 2007, Pam Frank became a board member and she enjoys creating the tunnels and stringing the road lights. She and Andrew also work together on the light show at the shelter.
Bev Czirr also joined the board in 2007. Bev likes to see the college students come back to Superior with new friends and family members to see "the lane." She enjoys watching them take special pride, coming back home and sharing their memories of how they contributed to Candy Cane Lane. Some have painted characters and Victorian scenes. The young people like to have their pictures taken with their contributions of years gone by while they were in high school. As Czirr relays stories of some of these young people, her eyes sparkle and her face fills with pride. These memories keep college students and young adults coming home for a feeling of belonging, especially during the Christmas season.
Bob Sloane is another important volunteer; he usually goes to the lane to work an hour or so every evening and on weekends. He likes to make sure all of the displays are lit like they are supposed to be before the gingerbread volunteers show up to man the greeting booth.
In 2010, Candy Cane Lane became its own non-profit entity. It expanded in many ways. The displays and the participation in the lane grew. In 2004 764 cars containing 2,677 people visited. In 2014, there were 1,201 cars with 4,523 people. They come from all over the country to see the lane while visiting their families. The visitors came from the states of New York, California, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida, to name just a few.
There have been cash donations as well as in-kind donations. Any donations Candy Cane Lane receives is used directly for repairs and added displays. Some donated money was used to purchase the new storage building in the Lincoln Park maintenance shop area. The building has been a great asset because it is much easier to get the ornaments, lights and displays out and set up. It will also be easier to put them back into storage for the next year.
No one gets paid for labor because the lane is operated by volunteers only. The above mentioned volunteers are not the only ones who work on Candy Cane Lane projects. There are also spouses and other family members who contribute their time and effort. Quality Redi Mix Concrete employees helped this year. They were just a phone call away. Girl Scouts and FBLA groups also contribute their time and energy. They especially like handing out candy canes to the visitors.
More volunteers are welcome. Anyone interested may contact any of the above mentioned volunteers or board members.

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County board may change to semimonthly meetings
Reducing the number of meetings each year by roughly half was once again the topic of discussion Monday at the regular meeting of the county board at the courthouse in Nelson.
Commissioner Doyle Christensen again raised the issue of whether or not there was enough county business to justify weekly meetings. The board typically meets every Monday, except holidays and in months that contain five Mondays, averaging between 40 and 45 meetings per year. Meetings are usually scheduled for mornings only and rarely extend beyond the lunch hour.
Proposed by Christensen is switching to two full days per month rather than four half-days. Also discussed was starting the meetings at 8:30 a.m. rather than 9 a.m. The other two commissioners, Tim Zikmund and Danny Corman, were not opposed to the idea. Daren Blackstone, who will replace Corman on the board in January, was also present for the discussion and said he agreed with Christensen. Carrie Miller, county clerk, reminded the commissioners there will still be times of the year more frequent meetings are necessary, for example, budget preparation and valuation protest hearings. No action was taken.
The board met in executive session to discuss a matter of potential litigation. Included in the closed session were the three commissioners, county clerk, Sarah Bockstadter, county attorney, and commissioner-elect Daren Blackstone. No action was taken after the executive session.
The board met in executive session again to discuss matters affecting an employee. Included were the three commissioners, county attorney, county clerk, Daren Blackstone and courthouse custodian Debbie Klein. No action was taken when the regular session resumed.
In other business:
· The commissioners directed the county clerk to notify nontaxable entities in the county that the board will only renew tax exemption applications for motor vehicles twice a year effective next year.
· It was the consensus of the board to schedule a meeting with Nick Elledge, the county's appointed noxious weed superintendent.

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Giving Tree project underway again this year
The Nuckolls County Human Interagency Services (HIS) team is again sponsoring a Giving Tree for residents of Nuckolls County this holiday season. Agency members of the HIS team include Hope Pregnancy Center, Head Start, Early Head Start, Good Beginnings, Brodstone Memorial Hospital, Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska and Positive Solutions.
The Giving Tree project is a coordinated effort by many area businesses, organizations, groups and individuals. Giving Tree forms are distributed by HIS members to the preschools and elementary schools in the county. The "needs" listed on those forms are also used to distribute Toys for Tots, Coats for Kids, shoe vouchers for children and holiday food boxes.
Each participating household receives a food box that contains all the ingredients a family needs for a great Christmas dinner.
Once the forms are returned, gift tags are made and are available for the public to fill and return to local businesses, including Superior Pharmacy and Dollar General in Superior, the Nelson Post Office and Farmers and Merchants Bank in Lawrence. Giving Tree gifts need to be returned to those locations by Dec. 10.
This year, the Giving Tree expects to provide 100 families with gifts and food. This would not be possible without the great support of all the generous people in Nuckolls County. An individual from the community applied for and received a $250 grant from Thrivent for the Giving Tree. That money was used to purchase the necessary supplies to make the program possible.
Those feeling blessed this year and looking for a way to give back to the community should consider making a donation or filling a tag from the Giving Tree. Monetary donations can be mailed to: Giving Tree, P.O. Box 271, Superior, Neb., or given to any HIS member. All money collected will be used to fill remaining tags and family needs. Contact Peggy Meyer for more information.
The HIS team is appreciative of all the support received from county residents, businesses and supporting agencies. Giving Tree recipients of past years have expressed much gratitude and appreciation for helping to make their Christmas season a joyous time with gifts and food they would not have been able to provide for their families. The gift to give is the greatest gift of all.

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