Questions of the Week – Readers ask about dust suppression, commissioner position, inmate transfers and closing the interstate

The following questions were asked recently by inquiring readers:


Q: I really appreciate the commissioners talking about white rock dust suppression, for paying attention to the concerns a number of residents have had about the dust. My question is what is used to suppress white rock dust?

A: As discussed during the county commissioners’ meeting this week, there are several different types which are applied over the white rock surface which makes a coating of sorts which keeps the dust down. There are chemical forms and even organic forms some of which use soybean product, as was talked about during this week’s meeting. Of course, moisture will help keep the dust down, but that is all up to Mother Nature.


Q: Can anyone in District 2 apply as a candidate for county commissioner?

A: The person must reside in that district and be a registered voter with no felony convictions. They must be a citizen of the United States, be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.

Cover letters and resumes should be sent to the clerk’s office at 510 North Lincoln Avenue, York, NE 68467 or they can be emailed to


Q: At what point of capacity does the York County Sheriff’s Department have to transfer county jail inmates to another location?

A: Typically, when the county jail inmate population reaches 30, they conduct transfers.


Q: Who makes the decision to close the interstate?

A: That decision is made by the state – the state patrol and the state department of transportation.


Q: With the city doing all the street work this past year, I was curious if they can salt those areas because the surfaces are still new.

A: There are certain stretches of streets in the city this winter which cannot be salted because they have brand new surfaces.

These are: Elm Street from Lincoln Avenue to South Platte Avenue; South Platte Avenue from Elm Street to Fourth Street; North Nebraska Avenue from 19th Street to A Street; 14th Street from Nebraska Avenue to Blackburn Avenue; Blackburn Avenue from 14th Street to Duke Drive; and Sixth Street.


Q: Has a date been set for the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet in York?

A: Yes. It will be held January 16 with social hour at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m., with the awards to follow.


Q: I wanted to say thank you to the county roads department for their great work moving snow after our recent storm. It’s a lot of work and I know they have a lot of surface to clear. Can you remind everyone just how many miles the county road department is tasked with maintaining?

A: There are 1,100 miles of rural road in York County.


Q: The Upper Big Blue Natural Resource District covers a lot of area in Nebraska. I was just curious how many irrigated acres are in the Upper Big Blue NRD footprint.

A: There are 1.2 million irrigated acres within the Upper Big Blue District, according to the NRD.


Q: When can interested people start filing their candidacies for local positions to be considered in the primary election in 2024?

A: Filings will start on Jan. 5, according to the York County Clerk’s office. Incumbents have until Feb. 15 to file their intentions and non-incumbents must file by March 1.

The following races are up for consideration in the 2024 election cycle and filings need to take place within the Primary Election period:

  • District 2 York County Commissioner (representing Stewart, Thayer, New York, Waco, Beaver, West Blue and Ward 1). It should be noted someone will be appointed (this month) to fulfill this position due to the current vacancy, to serve through the remainder of 2024. But this position will also be up for election to serve the next four years after that.
  • District 5 York County Commissioner (representing Wards 4A and 4B). This is currently filled by Jack Sikes.
  • Henderson Mayor. This is currently filled by Corbin Tessman.
  • Henderson City Council seat. One seat will be up for election. That seat is currently filled by Kevin Friesen.
  • York Mayor. This is currently filled by Barry Redfern.
  • York City Council seats. Four seats will be up for election. These seats are currently filled by Tony North, Jennifer Sheppard, Jerry Wilkinson and Mathew Wagner.
  • McCool School Board seats. Three seats will be up for election. These seats are currently filled by Steve Gerken, Michele Schwartz and Doug Smith.
  • York School Board seats. Three seats will be up for election. These seats are currently filled by Brien Alley, Matt Holthe and Amie Kopcho.

Candidate filing can be achieved at the election/clerk offices which are located on the main floor of the courthouse.


Q: I think the most fun part of New Year’s is the tradition that goes with it. What are the main traditions observed around the world for New Year’s Eve?

A: According to Glamour Magazine, they are: watching the ball drop in the United States; going to the beach at midnight in Brazil; eating 12 grapes in Spain; building a sculpture of an old man (with wood) and then burning it in India; eating soba noodles in Japan; drinking champagne in France; eating pumpkin soup in Haiti; throwing old plates in Denmark; going ice fishing in Canada; eating 12 round fruits in the Philippines; giving the gift of homemade tamales in Mexico; hanging an onion on the outside of the front door in Greece; placing three potatoes under the bed in Colombia; banging bread against the walls in Ireland; making a towering cake in Norway; wearing red underwear in Italy; doing deep house cleaning in Puerto Rico; and listening to the bells of Big Ben in England.


Q: How many people go to Times Square in New York City to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve?

A: The estimated number is one million, according to

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