The following questions were asked recently on the Wonderline:

Q: I have seen articles about a lot of cemeteries and veterans’ memorials in the York News-Times. I think you have missed the best veterans’ (war) memorial in York County and the surrounding area, which is located at the Lushton Cemetery ¼ mile west and one mile south of Lushton. If you don’t believe me, check it out.

A: Actually, the York News-Times has done quite a few stories over the years about the Lushton Cemetery – as this reader is correct, it is a beautiful and important cemetery.

The history of the cemetery is that Jacob Pursel, a native of Hunterdon County, New York, came to York County from Marshall County, Illinois, in 1872. Pursel donated the corner acre of his land in the northeast quarter of Section 36, Township 9, Range 4 West, as a community burial ground. The first burial took place in 1872 and the cemetery was incorporated in 1926 and given the name Lushton Cemetery Association.

The first burial there was in 1872 – that of a Mr. Clark (grandfather of Myrtle Babcock, Mable Thomas and May Sloniger, according to history accounts).

A story written a few years ago by then-reporter Marcia Schlegelmilch, it was told how a man at the time named Wayne McGregor (a World War II veteran) took special care of the cemetery until his death. He put a bench near the Civil War soldier located at the center of the cemetery (which is called the Veterans Square there). And he added a monument remembering World War II veterans. He also placed memorials for all veterans of all conflicts.

The “Old Soldier’s Monument” is a large, prominent and very old fixture in the cemetery, as there are many Civil War veterans buried in that rural cemetery. The monument was erected in honor of C. W. Hayes and a memorial of all veterans.

In 1952, Lot 15 was given as a burial plot for any members of the armed forces needing a burial space, regarding of nationality, color or religious belief, according to University of Nebraska-Lincoln Virtual History. “According to an article published in a magazine in 1960, it was thought that the Lushton Cemetery was the smallest National Cemetery in the United States.”

Q: Is it true that egg shells are good in the garden?

A: All sources we found say this is the case.

They also suggest microwaving the shells to kill bacteria and then crumble up the shells into a powder. Sprinkle this around the base of plants, such as tomatoes, as they will appreciate the calcium.

Q: If there are problems with noxious weeds on a neighboring property and they aren’t being properly dealt with, who could I contact to talk to about that issue? And if someone fails to deal with noxious weeds on their land, what are the repercussions?

A: The Nebraska Noxious Weed Control Act states that it is the duty of each person who owns or controls land to effectively control noxious weeds on such land. So, yes, it is the duty of that neighboring landowner to deal with noxious weeds.

Calls about noxious weeds can be made to the office of the York County Weed Superintendent at 402-362-0506, or you can stop by the office and fill out a complaint form.

Failure to comply with the Nebraska Weed Control Act can result in up to a $1,500 fine plus the cost of the control.

Q: Are there city regulations about garbage in yards? There is a property where the garbage is piling up and I wanted to know if there is a local rule about that. It looks like they just keep bagging it up but don’t pay for it to be taken away or make any effort to take it away themselves. It is getting to be beyond a health hazard – not to mention it looks terrible and it’s going to smell terrible too.

A: Section 17-49 of the city’s municipal code addresses this type of issue. It is illegal to have “filthy, littered or trash-covered” yards, lots, houses and buildings.

The York Police Department routinely makes report of such properties and the owners/occupants are contacted about remediation.

If there is a problem property, contact the police department and/or the city offices.

Q: The city of York was founded by the South Platte Company in 1869. Is there any celebration planned for the 150th anniversary?

A: We have not been informed about any such celebration by anyone as of yet.

Q: Is there a way to submit ideas for the community to do? I had an idea for a community project that would benefit to city and people could volunteer to help. I’d like for the community to come together and clean Beaver Creek or help plant flowers beds or trees.

A: This could be a really cool project! Probably the best way to get started is contact Cheree Folts, parks and rec director for the City of York, and tell her what you have in mind. She will have ideas about how to proceed after that. Her office is at the York Community Center.

Q: Could you tell me if France’s president’s wife is supposed to stand away from the president at public appearances? I noticed on the morning news today (Thursday) that the U.S. president and his wife were next to each other however the First Lady of France was way off to the left. Even when they were looking out over the ocean, she never got close to him. Just curious.

A: The role of First Lady in France is not as official as it is in the United States and the role is much more understated, as part of the country’s political and historical culture.

“Beyond the stated arguments are both history and a French culture that even as it embraces a monarch-like president, remains leery of going too far down that road,” according to stories written in the New York Times and other publications. “It reminds people of some of the most violent and bloody periods in French history, including that of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who were beheaded during the French Revolution.

“There’s a complicated rapport between this country and the monarchy,” the story read. “For the French, to give power to a spouse goes back to monarchal power: The French elect a man, not a family. The notion of a couple reminds them too much of the monarchy and the royal couple.

“Adding to the complexity is an ambivalence over how much the French want to see or know about the first lady.”

The French culture “respects that it was the husband who was elected by the people.”

“From an American perspective, the French furor over defining an official position and responsibilities for the first lady looks like a tempest in a teapot: First ladies, whether Republican or Democrat, at least since the presidency of Herbert Hoover, have pushed boundaries — some more than others. And while controversy dogged some of them, they have gradually become more and more accepted as public figures.”

We were not able to find any written protocol, however, regarding a certain distance that French First Ladies must stand from their husbands during official events.

However, we did find a publication which explained that the French population, in general, prefers it if the president’s companion keeps a low profile and they dislike any overt display of a politician’s private life in public.

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