Area News Digest
Taken from the news columns of area newspapers.
Halsey Forest seeks public input on projects
BROKEN BOW—The Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest is asking for comments from the public on a number of project proposals. The district plans to decommission six buildings at the Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest Administrative Site due to insufficient funding to bring them up to a safe working environment and to provide public safety. Project plans include rehabilitating some of the buildings on the property to provide housing for an increased presence at the site and increased pubic service.—reported in the Custer County Chief.
Leak is fixed; indoor pool to open
OGALLALA—There is a light at the end of the tunnel and City of Ogallala recreation manager Monte Docekal can now see that glow as the Goodall Recreation Center’s indoor swimming pool is slated to open on Jan. 18. The indoor pool was closed prior to Memorial Day in 2011 when a severe leak was found while constructing a new addition to the rec center. Water was leaking from the pool through the second surge wall under the pool deck.—reported in the Keith County News.
Three rare Snowy Owl sightings in Nebraska
COZAD—Early information indicates that the winter we are easing into may be an “invasion” year for Snowy Owls. Every few winters or so, one, maybe two, show up in Nebraska, but they are a rare bird in these parts. Already this year three have been reported from Nebraska. One such owl was spotted northeast of Eustis on the Frontier/Gosper County line, another near Overton, and three have been found in Kansas with January just beginning. Note, invasions sometime fizzle as Snowy Owls move south in search of food and coincide with lemming population crashes, which are the owls primary food source.—reported in the Tri-City Trib.
Inmate escapes from Frontier County Jail
CURTIS—On Wednesday, Dec. 28, an inmate at the Frontier County Jail in Curtis scaled a wall, went over razor wire and escaped. The prisoner, Hap E. Wells, 36, jumped off the roof of the post office and was headed southbound when he was spotted by a local citizen, and was later found walking in a culvert under Highway 23, where he was taken into custody with no resistance. The prisoner is now being held at the jail in Holdrege. Wells was bound over on charges of theft in connection to burglaries in McCook and is also implicated in burglaries in other southern Nebraska counties as well as Kansas and Colorado. It was found that no staff was watching the monitors at the time of the escape, and as a result, changes in policy were implemented.—reported in the Frontier County Enterprise.
Logan County Coop merges with CPI
ARNOLD—Stockholders of the Logan County Cooperative Oil Association of Stapleton voted at a special meeting held Dec. 21 to approve the asset-purchase agreement (merger) with Cooperative Producers, Inc. (CPI) of Hastings. The vote was 82 percent in favor of the merger and 18 percent against the merger. As of Feb. 1, 2012, the Logan County Cooperative Oil Association will become part of Cooperative Producers, Inc. as Stapleton and Arnold will be combined with Anselmo/Merna and be known as the CPI Northwest Division.—reported in the Arnold Sentinel.
Young fossil hunters find mammoth tooth
CALLAWAY—Finding fossils in Central Nebraska would seem to be unlikely given the lack of rock formations yet there are rich beds in which ancient remains are found. Garrett Hrupek, 10, and younger brother Grant, 6, were riding in a pickup with their dad, Jeff, out scouting for deer in a pasture southeast of Callaway when they saw something white in the bank of the road. The find turned out to be a baseball-sized molar tooth of a mammoth. Three species of mammoth existed in the area and one such tooth found in Lincoln County in 1922 is on display at the state museum as the largest ever found at 14 feet tall and weighing 10 tons. The two budding fossil hunters continue to explore the area where they found the tooth in search for more pieces of the mammoth.—reported in the Callaway Courier.