The following questions were asked recently on the Wonderline:

Q: Is there a law of not smoking in a commercial building in the city of York?

A: The Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act is a state law.

The law required indoor workplaces in Nebraska to be smoke-free as of June 1, 2009.

“The purpose of the Act is to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment.

“The Act eliminates smoking in enclosed indoor workspaces including restaurants, bars, keno establishments, other workplaces (retail/office space, manufacturing, etc.), and indoor public places.”

Q: First, thanks for the year-end recap of stories last week. It was interesting to look back at what all went on in 2018.

My question has to do with the wastewater treatment plant. There was mention about the use of special reeds in the process. How does that work? What do the reeds do?

A: To best explain it, we are going to refer to an earlier report from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding the reeds.

The DEQ Report said, “bio-solids from the treatment plant will be first directed to an aerobic solids holding tank where the waste solids will undergo partial aerobic digestion. A reed bed system will be used for final bio-solids treatment. This system consists of beds upon which liquid bio-solids are applied and native phragmites reed plants are grown. The reeds take up nutrients and moisture from the liquid solids for sustenance and thus reduce the bulk of the material. The bio-solids from the aerobic holding tank will be pumped to a multi-cell reed bed system, which will store, dewater and stabilize the solids with a resultant storage volume of approximately 10 years.”

In other words, the solids (left over after the process is completed inside the facility itself) will be placed in the reed field, where the plants will biologically take over the process.

All in all, that’s the most polite and non-gross way to explain the process. For a more graphic and down-to-earth explanation, contact Mitch Doht, the public works director for the city, or Aaron Dressel, head of the wastewater treatment department.

Q: Because Nancy Waldron could not take the oath of office, as the public defender for York County, last Thursday, who is the public defender right now? I’m assuming someone has to be in that position because it is a law that the county has to provide indigent defense.

A: Yes, there is someone performing the duties of the public defender’s office for the county. Patrick Tarr is currently acting as the temporary public defender and will do so through the end of March. This will allow a period of time for the county commissioners to take applications for the position and appoint a replacement. They have 45 days to permanent fill the vacancy, as set forth by law.

Q: How much land does the city own for the new wastewater treatment facility and its surrounding area?

A: There are approximately 34 acres for the site of the new wastewater treatment facility.

Q: For what types of construction or changes to a house (inside or outside) are building permits required in the city of York?

A: The city guidelines say that “all construction to further enhance your property is covered by the City of York Zoning Ordinances. So a fence, storage building, garage, deck, etc., will need an approved building permit before the project begins. Applications can be made at the city offices. Zoning ordinances provide standards for health, safety and land use which protect all property owners. Any changes to the plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems, as well as construction, are covered by adopted codes. If any changes or additions are contemplated, it is always best to check with the zoning administrator before proceedings.”

Q: Over Christmas, we had our family to our house and in the afternoon the kids went out to run around at Mincks Park. Anyway, the adults had a conversation about who Mincks Park is named after. I don’t think anyone was correct. So they asked me to call the Wonderline and find out. So . . . who is Mincks Park named after?

A: The park was named in honor of the late Lucile Mincks, who bequeathed $750,000 toward the construction of the family aquatic center there.

Mincks was born Oct. 7, 1914, on her family’s farm between York and Benedict. She attended school at District 85 (a rural classroom) and graduated from Benedict High School. She worked as a bookkeeper for Levitt Lumber Company in York for a period of time, and then upon the declining health of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Mincks, she stayed home to care for them and help out on the farm, along with her brother, Ralph. Mincks died Nov. 12, 1999, at the Hearthstone in York.

In her will, Ms. Mincks bequeathed millions of dollars to the York Community Foundation – to be used toward projects that would benefit the children of York County.

Besides the allocation for the aquatic center, there were also allocations made to the new swimming pool in Henderson, a new floor in the York City Auditorium, extensive work in the York Community Center for both the pool and museum areas, playground equipment at Miller and Harris Parks in York, the construction of the Holthus Field House at York College, work on the Benedict Community Center and playground area, improvements for the Benedict ball field, improvements in Gresham at the ball field and park, play equipment and ball park improvements in McCool Junction, more playground equipment in Thayer, funding for the York County Sports Authority and more.

Q: Who owns the York County Fairgrounds? The city or the county? If the city owns it, maybe they could sell it to the county so the city could make some money off it.

A: The York County Fairgrounds are the property of the York County Ag Society. So it’s not owned by either the city or the county.

Q: Why is it, in Nebraska, that during divorce proceedings, people are asked if they are members of the armed forces? I was in court a few weeks ago and heard the judge asking everyone that, when they were having a court hearing for dissolution of marriage, and I was curious as to what that would have to do with anything.

A: The Nebraska laws are set up to protect active duty military members against being held in default from failing to respond to a divorce action. These laws were enacted to protect active military from being divorced without knowing it.

Under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, an in the discretion of the local Nebraska courts, the divorce proceeding may be postponed for the entire time the active service member is on duty and for up to 60 days thereafter.

This is typically the case when the active member is serving in a war. Also, this right to have the divorce proceedings postponed can be waived by any active duty member should he or she wish to get the divorce.

The active duty spouse must be personally served with a summons and a copy of the divorce action in order for a Nebraska court to have jurisdiction over the active military member. In an uncontested case, the active duty spouse may not have to be served as long as he or she signs and files a waiver affidavit acknowledging the divorce action.

Q: I see where readers have asked for Amish Cook recipes from the past, in the Wonderline, because they used them and liked them and then lost them or can’t find them online. So I’m going to be one of those readers. Can you find an old recipe that ran in the Amish Cook column in the York News-Times which was for strawberry pretzel salad? I’d really appreciate it.

A: We found it. It ran about a year and a half ago. Here are the ingredients:

2 cups pretzels crushed

3 /4 cup butter melted

4 tablespoons sugar

8 ounces of cream


1 /4 cup sugar

8 ounces of whipped


1 large package of

strawberry gelatin

(6 ounces)

2 1 /2 cups

strawberries crushed

or sliced, fresh or


Combine pretzels, butter and sugar and press onto the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for eight minutes. Cool. Combine cream cheese, remaining sugar and whipped cream and pour over cooled crust.

In a separate bowl, dissolve gelatin with 1 1/4 cup of boiling water and then add strawberries. Cool mixture until slightly thickened. Pour over cream mixture and then chill before serving.

Q: Where is Bo Pelini now?

A: Bo Pelini is the head coach for the Youngstown State University football team in Ohio.

Q: What day will the people at the Veterans Home in Grand Island be moved to Kearney where the new home will be located now?

A: Plans are for the 95 or so residents to eat breakfast at their old home on Jan. 16 and lunch at their new home 34 miles (55 kilometers) away in Kearney, according to information published by the Grand Island Independent.

Q: What is the difference between flatbread and pizza crust?

A: The difference is that flatbread is typically made of unleavened dough whereas pizza crust is typically made of leavened dough.

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