The following questions were asked recently on the Wonderline:

Q: It was my understanding that no political signs can be in the right-of-way, between the street and the sidewalk. But I see along Sixth Street that there are quite a few. Am I wrong or right about the signs not being allowed in the right-of-way?

A: It is a state law that campaign signs cannot be placed in right-of-way areas, which includes intersections, medians, shoulders, road entrances and exits, between the sidewalk and street, and in ditches. They also cannot be placed on utility poles or fences in the right-of-way.

Political signs also cannot be near polling places – which are locations where ballots will be cast. This would include places in York such as the courthouse and the auditorium.

Q: I have been waiting to see if there will be an architectural drawing in the newspaper of the new addition to the courthouse.

A: We haven’t received one as of yet and haven’t seen one as of yet.

We will ask the commissioners about getting a rendering of what it will look like and run it as soon as we receive it.

Q: I read in this publication last spring that the quiet zone would be completed by this fall. But that hasn’t happened. Just wondered what is going on.

A: Right now, the quiet zone is in the hands of the railroad as they have had the task of approving plans, etc., before the project can move forward. The railroad has been in this mode for months.

Q: For the November election, will the voting locations be the same as they were in May?

A: Yes, York County Clerk Kelly Turner says the locations will be the same as they were in May.

Q: Why is it that my wife loves cilantro and to me, it just tastes like soap?

A: According to experts with “The Spruce Eats,” most people “who dislike cilantro describe its flavor as being similar to soap or metal. Some reactions to cilantro are so strong that even just the scent can make a stomach turn.

“Cilantro contains a natural chemical compound called an aldehyde that can taste unpleasant to some people. Aldehydes are compounds that are also produced in the soap making process and by some insects. For this reason, some people describe the flavor of cilantro as soap-like. Not all people interpret the flavor of these aldehydes in this way.”

Q: How many years has Adrian Smith been in Congress?

A: Adrian Smith has been the U.S. Representative for Nebraska’s Third Congressional District since 2007.

Q: Quite a while ago, the mayor brought up getting rid of the step program for city employees, way before the city’s “financial troubles” were “discovered.” Can you tell us when that idea about the employees’ step program was first brought up by the mayor?

A: Eliminating the city employees’ step program was first brought up by Mayor Orval Stahr in July, 2017.

Q: How long was Nancy Waldron the public defender for York County?

A: Nancy Waldron was first elected in 2010 as the York County Public Defender. She was reelected in 2014.

Q: I saw in the news that three counties in Nebraska are now going to all-mail elections. Have Nebraska counties had that option for a while, to ask for permission to do all their elections by mail?

A: Nebraska counties with populations of 10,000 people or fewer have had the option since 2009 to hold all-mail elections, if given approval.

Q: I was going through some historical information about this area of the state and ran across the story of Warren Clough, who was given a pardon by the governor in 1891 – he had been convicted of killing his brother in Seward and was initially supposed to be hung. It was a fascinating story, and included mention of York County because his trial was held here. Can you find this story and share it with your readers? I think they would find it interesting as well.

A: We found this story on, which was said to have been published in the Kearney Daily Hub on Jan. 2, 1891.

The story read as follows:

New Year’s Day in 1891 was a momentous one for Warren Clough, who had spent almost fifteen years in the Nebraska State Penitentiary for the 1876 murder of his brother, Nathan, in Seward. Clough was granted a new chance for life outside prison walls by a pardon issued by Nebraska Governor John M. Thayer, which took effect on January 1.

The crime for which Clough was convicted and incarcerated was well remembered by residents of Seward and York counties. Warren Clough, who with his wife kept the Blue Valley House hotel at Seward, was accused of murdering his brother, Nathan Clough, a horse breeder, at the hotel. The motive was apparently robbery. Warren denied any involvement in the crime, but it was noted that some jealousy had existed between the two brothers and that only Warren had known that Nathan had with him a large sum of money at the time he was killed -- money that was missing after the murder was discovered.

Despite the lack of definitive evidence against Warren Clough, he was widely blamed by his neighbors for the gruesome killing (done with an ax), and he was eventually indicted and tried for murder. Feeling against him was so strong in Seward that a change of venue was granted and the trial took place in the neighboring city of York. He was convicted of murder in the first degree and was sentenced to be hung. On the evening before the execution was to take place, Governor Silas Garber commuted the sentence to life imprisonment.

As the years progressed, however, doubts grew about Clough’s guilt. The Omaha Daily Bee in its January 1, 1891, report of Thayer’s New Year’s pardon, said, “The evidence that convicted Clough was circumstantial only, but somebody had to be punished for the crime and on the brother of the murdered man the blame was laid. The old neighbors of Warren Clough in Seward have of late begun to believe that possibly an innocent man might have been punished. The testimony brought out in the trial a decade and a half ago has been reviewed and not only have his old acquaintances, but the prosecuting attorney that worked for his conviction, the judge that sentenced him, and a number of the surviving jurymen that sealed his doom, have all united in asking Governor Thayer to free the old man.”

Judge O. P. Mason, who had defended Clough at trial, “made a most eloquent plea for the imprisoned man. He declared that there had not been a scintilla of evidence presented that would convict Clough, that the conviction was on only the slightest evidence; that the testimony which sent Clough to the penitentiary was, in fact, not sufficient to bind him over to the district court.” The Bee noted on January 2, 1891, that “[w]ithin the past few weeks important testimony has been developed showing that Jacob Trent and Charles Wilcox, both in the employ of Warren Clough at the time, were the real murderers.” Trent had reportedly once told Mason “that Clough was an innocent man and if the worst came he would tell all. Before he could tell all he suddenly died with heart disease in the penitentiary.”

After his release, Clough went back to Seward, where he was given a reception and dinner, but he found it difficult to return to his former life. The hotel he once operated was now owned by others, and his wife had secured a divorce and married again, relocating with their son to Oklahoma. Warren Clough reportedly went to Oklahoma to visit them, and died there several years later.

Q: The current movie, “First Man,” is a story of Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon and how we got there. Did he have a young daughter, Karen, who passed away in her young life? In the movie, he takes a little bracelet she wore to the moon and leaves it there. Did this happen? Also, it’s an emotional drama, which shows the strain on the marriage. Did he and his wife stay together after his return?

A: The Armstrongs did lose their daughter, Karen, at a young age. At the age of two, in June, 1961, she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and she died on Jan. 28, 1962.

We looked at numerous sources regarding the bracelet and no one seems to know for sure if this is completely true. Some sources contend that he did leave Karen’s bracelet on the moon while others think it was included in the movie for dramatic effect.

As far as the Armstrong marriage, they separated in 1990 and divorced in 1994.

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