Questions of the Week — Readers ask about emergency codes, snow removal, barns and apple slices

The following questions were submitted recently by inquiring readers: 


Q: What do the different codes mean when there are dispatches out for fire/rescue and law enforcement?

A: There are many different dispatch codes used in Nebraska.

Some of them include:

  • 10-14: Convoy or escort
  • 10-15: Have prisoner in custody
  • 10-19: Return to station
  • 10-34: Disturbance
  • 10-40: Drug violation
  • 10-44: Accident with property damage
  • 10-45: Accident with injury
  • 10-47: Driving while intoxicated
  • 10-50: Use caution
  • 10-55: Dispatch ambulance
  • 10-62: Motorist assist
  • 10-65: Probable death
  • 10-71: Burglar alarm activated
  • 10-73: Drunk pedestrian
  • 10-75: Stolen motor vehicle
  • 10-76: Ending tour of duty
  • 10-80: Bomb threat
  • 10-81: Stand-by
  • 10-97: Arrived at scene
  • 10-98: Finished with last assignment


Q: It’s hard to imagine but soon the snow will be falling. Last year, we had an issue with someone in our neighborhood never cleaning off their sidewalks and it was so irritating. So I was hoping, can you share with readers the city’s rules about removing snow and cleaning up snow? Let’s get it out there now before we have problems again.

A: Section 34-40 of the municipal code says, “Every owner or occupant of any house or other building, or the owner or proprietor, lessee, or person entitled to the possession of any vacant lot, and any person having charge of any church, jail or public hall, or public building in the city, shall, during the winter season, and during the time snow shall continue on the ground, clear the sidewalks in front of such lots, from snow and ice, and keep such sidewalks free from snow and ice during the day, or in case the snow and ice are so congealed that they cannot be removed without injury to the sidewalk, shall cause the said snow and ice to be strewn with ashes or sand, and shall also at all times, keep such sidewalks clear and free from all dirt or filth, or other obstructions or encroachments, so as to allow pedestrians to use the said sidewalks with safety. Failure on the part of any person upon whom a duty is placed by the provisions of this section to perform such duty shall be deemed a misdemeanor.”

Section 34-41 of the code says further, “It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit or pile any snow or ice removed from roofs, driveways, parking lots, service stations, streets or alleys upon any sidewalk, street or alley within the city.”

In case of noncompliance with the provisions of this division, the director of public works may have the sidewalks cleaned and report the cost thereof to the city council, says Section 34-42. If that would occur, the cost of that clean-up work would be assessed against the property owner who is in non-compliance.


Q: Not long ago, you had a question/answer about red barns and why old barns are often red. I can’t find it now and wanted to share it with my ladies’ group when they meet next. Can you answer that again?

A: According to the Farmers’ Almanac, “red was a popular color for barns, not due to its color shade but rather for its usefulness.

“Many years ago, choices for paints, sealers and other building materials did not exist. Farmers had to be resourceful in finding or making a paint that would protect and seal the wood on their barns. More than 100 years ago, many farmers would seal their barns with linseed oil, which is an orange-colored oil derived from the seeds of the flax plant.

“To this oil, they would add a variety of things, most often milk and lime, but also ferrous oxide, or rust. Rust was plentiful on farms and because it killed fungi and mosses that might grow on barns, it was very effective as a sealant. It turned the mixture red in color.

“When paint became more available, many people chose red paint for their barns in honor of the tradition.”


Q: I am interested in making a donation to Foster Park and saw the story about the revival of the brick effort after 31 years of the park’s creation. How do we go about doing that?

A: This reader — and other interested readers — should contact Cheree Folts at the city’s parks and creation department. The tree board will soon be reviewing, re-establishing and approving the donor tiers (as the cost has obviously changed over the last three-some decades, and the authority to re-establish those lies with the city tree board). That will likely take place in early October.

But meanwhile, if you have questions about how to donate, contact Cheree at 402-363-2630, and she can answer any questions anyone has.


Q: When will we know the local positions that will be up for election next year? 

A: York County Clerk Kelly Turner said that information will be made public after the races have been made official by the different local government entities who then in turn submit that information to her office, by January 1.


Q: I am looking for an old recipe for a dessert simply called “apple slices.” The church ladies always made it for funerals when I was a kid. For reference, it’s like a bar that’s like a thin pie on a baking sheet, if that helps.

A: We know exactly what recipe you are looking for. This was a favorite of the author as well, when she was growing up, as it was a go-to for the moms and grandmas for feeding guys in the field, taking to church for funerals and potlucks. This recipe was found on a very dirty page in a 1970s church cookbook, so we know for certain this is the real deal.


2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 egg yolks

½ cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup shortening

2 egg whites

9 apples, peeled, cored and sliced

¾ cup white sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

1 pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons milk


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.

Step 2

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine the egg yolks and ½ cup of milk, stir into the flour mixture.

Step 3

On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough out to the size of the prepared pan. Cover the inside of the pan with the dough. Spread dough with a light coating of egg white. Fill with sliced apples and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top. Roll out remaining dough and place on top of apples. Brush with a light coating of egg white.

Step 4

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until the crust is golden. In a small bowl, beat together the confectioner’s sugar, salt, vanilla and milk until smooth. Drizzle over cooled bars, cut into squares.

Writer’s note: OK, that’s the real recipe. But there is something more. One of the writer’s grandmas used to do something really weird with this recipe that nobody else did and hers seemed to be better than everyone else’s because her bottom crust never got soggy. She would put a small layer of Rice Krispies on the bottom crust, before the filling. You can’t tell they are there when it is all said and done, but it does something when keeping the bottom crust in perfect condition. You can try this or not.


Q: This is a really weird question. What is the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting? You see where some products say they sanitize and some say they disinfect. So they aren’t the same?

A: Sanitizing kills bacteria on surfaces using chemicals – it is not intended to kill viruses.

Disinfecting kills viruses and bacteria on surfaces using chemicals.


Q: Do more American households have cats or dogs?

A: Dogs are more popular than cats in the United States, according to Forbes. As of 2022, 44.5% of United States households own dogs and 29% of households own cats.





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