Sept. 14, 2017



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Melton honored as 'Trauma Champion' in Lincoln

Scholarship honors former Superior resident, Paul Leslie

Superior BOE approves new budget

Pre-trial hearing held in Tristan Sholty case


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The Superior Express & Jewell County News 14 September 2017


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Melton honored as 'Tramau Champion' in Lincoln

Brock Melton was honored as Bryan Health's Trauma Champion for 2017 at an event in Lincoln last Wednesday evening.
In November, Melton was hunting with friends and family near Courtland, when he was accidentally shot in the head by a shotgun and transported to Republic County Hospital in Belleville. Initial tests showed severe bleeding and bone fragments stuck in his brain. A pellet also remained lodged in his skull.
He was airlifted to the Bryan Trauma Center for life-saving treatment. Brock arrived at the trauma center as a category one patient, the most severe. His condition deteriorated. Surgeons removed the bullet and bone fragments from his brain to relieve pressure. He remained unconscious. Several days later, he opened his eyes. Doctors and members of the care team called it a miracle. His odds of survival were only about 20 percent.
After nearly a month at the Bryan Trauma Center, Brock took the next step in his recovery, time at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital and Bryan Inpatient Rehabilitation. Complications during this period required more time in the hospital. Finally, in late January, Brock completed rehab and returned home to his family farm. He continues to progress and is getting close to walking without assistance. This spring, Brock achieved a major milestone by climbing into his tractor and planting.
Last Wednesday, Brock and those involved in his life-saving care were honored at Bryan Health's sixth annual Tribute to Trauma Champions at the Lincoln Cornhusker Marriott. The program included remarks from invited guests and an in-depth video on Brock's story. The event concluded by bringing on-stage all first responders, emergency medical personnel, nurses, doctors, surgeons and rehab specialists to reunite with the Melton family.
Interviews were conducted with Brock and members of the Melton family, as well as Stanley Okosun, M.D., medical director of the trauma center.

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Scholarship honors former Superior resident, Paul Leslie

The life of Superior native, Paul L. Leslie, has been commemorated with a student scholarship in his name to forever support engineering students at his University of Nebraska-Lincoln alma mater.
The Leslie Family Engineering Scholarship Fund was established by the Leslie family as a permanent endowment at the University of Nebraska Foundation with gifts from his widow, Lois Leslie, and his son, David Leslie.
The scholarship is designated for students enrolled in the UNL College of Engineering who demonstrate an interest in modern technologies and innovative business opportunities and who also show the potential to return the benefits of their education to greater Nebraska.
The scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year has been awarded by the College of Engineering to Jacob Hawley, a native of Superior. Jacob is currently a senior at the University of Nebraska and majoring in chemical engineering.
Paul Leslie graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1949 with a major in electrical engineering after serving in the military during WWII. He owned businesses in Superior that included radio and television sales and service, electrical contracting and a local hotel. He was an active participant in the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) in the 1950s and was involved in local and civic organizations until his retirement. He died in 2010 at the age of 85.

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Superior BOE approves new budget
The Superior Board of Education achieved their goal of keeping the tax request portion of their new budget relatively unchanged. In order to do that, it was necessary to increase the levy by roughly four cents, to about $1.08. The board approved the new budget at a meeting Monday evening at the high school.
Superintendent Charles Isom told board members this is the first time in his career he has seen property valuations decrease, which is what made the small bump in the levy necessary. Isom also said there is concern these valuation decreases may be a trend. Valuations dropped in each of the three counties in which the district has taxing authority, but the decline in Nuckolls County was the most severe. The decline in both Webster and Thayer counties was between one and two percent, compared to nearly five percent in Nuckolls County. Particularly bad news since that's where most of their taxing authority is located.
The total tax request in the new budget is approximately $6 million, and within a few thousand dollars of the previous year, compared to increases of nearly $1 million four years ago and about half that much three years ago. It is arguable challenging to manage finances for an entity that experiences such wild fluctuations in available resources. For example, Superior received more than a million dollars in state aid to schools for each the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, compared to $2,489 last year and $43,490 this year.
In other business, board member Peggy Meyer said she has been approached by patrons who would like to see more transparency regarding funds raised by sports teams or other organizations, specifically, what the money is spent on. Isom injected that he believed Meyer to be talking about student fundraisers, and not school district funds collected through taxes. Meyer agreed that was the case. Nonetheless, President Matt Sullivan said more transparency is a probably good thing and that the board would look into it.
"The patrons own the district and if they want to see it, they should see it," Sullivan said. "Maybe some sort of annual report would work."
Sullivan also said there are patrons who would like to see the district reinstate the policy of naming a valedictorian and salutatorian for each graduating class. Currently, the district identifies and honors the "top 15 percent" of each graduating class, without assigning labels. After a short discussion, it was agreed to explore the move. Bob Cook, secondary principal, said he would poll the other districts in Superior's conference.
The board unanimously approved beginning to invest some of the district's funds in the Nebraska Liquid Asset Fund, a professionally managed investment fund sponsored in part by the Nebraska Association of School Boards and currently being utilized by several other districts and most of the ESUs in the area.
During his superintendent's report, Isom said the next step in the Career Academy program is to meet with teachers and those from Brodstone Memorial Hospital who will be involved to set up the courses.
During his report, Doug Hoins, elementary principal, said K-6 enrollment is down 23 students from last year, from 213 to 190. Hoins also reported on activities with the students during the solar eclipse, the elementary open house and the recent bus evacuation drill. The Nebraska Department of Education requires the drills to be conducted at least once each semester.
In his secondary principal's report, Bob Cook said actual junior-senior high enrollment this year is 205, up two students from projected enrollment. Cook also reported on the John Baylor Prep program, which has been renamed "On To College."
Board members present were Matt Sullivan, Peggy Meyer, Jamy Sullivan, Brad Biltoft and Jason Jensen. Matt Bargen was absent.

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Pre-trial hearing held in Tristan Sholty case
The chambers of a district court judge are sacrosanct. One enters by invitation only. Visitors are normally restricted to court personnel and attorneys. One Nuckolls County denizen defied tradition and delayed the start of proceedings in District Court judge Vicki Johnson's chambers, Thursday.
When Judge Johnson went to don her robes prior to entering the courtroom, she discovered one of the Nuckolls County courthouse resident bats nestled in her garment. Practicing self-restraint, she hastened her walking pace and sought assistance.
Prior to a pre-trial and an arraignment hearing for defendant Tristan Sholty. Public defender Ben Murray, from the law firm, Germer, Murray and Johnson, Hebron, addressed those in the courtroom, asking if anyone had bat experience. Matt Thompson, a Superior police officer, responded. Thompson soon reappeared and advised the intruder had been captured. Using sophisticated equipment and utilizing his wily hunting skills, Murray employed a paper plate to deftly sweep the unwelcome visitor into a conveniently located trash receptacle. Royce Gonzales, Nuckolls County Clerk of the District Court, accepted the trapped and furiously struggling captive from Murray. The winged creature was escorted to the courthouse grounds and released. No report was available as to the bat's current location, but a neighboring county courthouse attic would be an acceptable destination.
Sholty was present for arraignment on the following charges: possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, a Class 1D felony with a maximum 50 years or minimum three years imprisonment; theft by unlawful taking (second offense), a Class 4 felony, maximum two years imprisonment and 12 months post-released supervision or $10,000 fine; false reporting, a Class 1 misdemeanor maximum not more than one year imprisonment or $1,000 find or both; carrying a concealed weapon with a penalty of not more than one year imprisonment or $1,000 fine or both; theft by receiving stolen property, a Class 2 misdemeanor, penalty up to six month imprisonment or $1,000 fine or both; unauthorized use of propelled vehicle (second offense), a Class 1 misdemeanor; and criminal mischief, a Class 3 misdemeanor. He entered a plea of not guilty on all seven charges.
He was also scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on the following charges: Count 1, possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony, Count 2, theft by unlawful taking, a Class 2 misdemeanor; Count 3, aiding or abetting criminal mischief, a Class 3 misdemeanor; Count 4, theft by unlawful taking, a Class 2 misdeamenor; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a minor infraction. Bond for this set of charges was set at $75,000 with a 10 per cent cash option.
Murray submitted a request for additional discovery. He requested a delay in both the pretrial and arraignment. Judge Johnson granted his request and scheduled the next hearing for 9:45 a.m. on Nov. 7.
Murray also requested a reduction or elimination of the bond requirement. He cited Sholty's close ties to the community while requesting a reduction of release on a personal recognizance bond. Nuckolls County prosecutor, Sara Bockstader, argued for the state that Sholty was not a flight risk but rather a danger to the community and requested a bond increase. Judge Johnson allowed the current bond amounts to stand and Sholty was returned to jail.
As this reporter observed Murray crossing the parking lot to his vehicle, it was disappointing to note it was not the Batmobile. Perhaps next court appearance.

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