The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Good Old Days 10-02-15

 

Compiled By Delaney Uhrig

These stories from the past first appeared in The Sidney Telegraph. Original writing is preserved, though some stories were shortened for space reasons.

50 Years Ago

'Family Income Picture In This Area Shows Above Average Wealth'

Oct. 1, 1965

How well are Cheyenne County residents making out financially, compared with people in other areas?

What proportions of the local population are in the middle and upper income brackets?

Most local families are doing better than they did a year ago and much better than five years ago. As a result, more of them are now in the "over $4,000" income brackets and fewer in the lower brackets than is the case in most sections of the United States.

The findings are contained in a copyrighted study released by Sales Management. It details, for every area of the country, how its income is distributed and what share of it goes to each segment of the population.

The purpose is to give a better picture of the financial makeup of a community than is afforded by "average income" figures alone.

The breakdown reveals whether high average income in a particular locality results from a concentration of wealth at the extreme end of the income scale or whether it represents a more uniform distribution among the population as a whole.

The report shows, for Cheyenne County, a high level of income and a better-than-average distribution.

On the basis of figures for last year, 68 percent of local households have $4,000 or more in cash available to them out of their income after payment of their taxes.

It is a higher proportion than elsewhere throughout the United States, where only 63 percent of the households are in the plus $4,000 brackets. The ratio in the West North Central States is 59.7 percent.

As to other groupings in the report, 13 percent of the local families are listed as having $7,000 to $10,000 after taxes, 37.1 percent in the $4,000 to $7,000 category and 16.2 percent in the $2,500 to $4,000 class.

Nationally, the figures portray a population that is growing more affluent year by year. Despite the good times, however, the Social Security Administration reports that only minor gains have been made in improving the lot of people in poverty circumstances. it finds that there are still 34.1 million persons in that group, only 1.2 million fewer than a year ago.

40 Years Ago

'Oil Rights Leasing Plagued By Delays'

Oct. 3, 1975

In December 1972, the U.S. government announced plans to open about 18,000 acres of the former Sioux Army Depot Reservation to oil and gas exploration. Now, almost three years later, those plans seem as far from realization as ever.

For one thing, the former depot mineral rights are becoming steadily less attractive to oilmen because wells around the perimeter of the property are busily pumping oil, potentially draining the government reserves.

For another, there is a dispute within the government about how the disposal of those mineral rights should be accomplished.

The upshot, according to Jack Fish of the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, is that mid-1976 is the earliest possible date the rights could be transferred to private hands, thus opening the way for drilling to begun.

The three nearest fields to the property are the West Engelland and the Sioux on the east and the Pecos on the south. To date the West Engelland has produced more than 487,000 barrels of oil and 5.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas, the Sioux has produced almost 92,000 barrels of oil and 1.4 billion cubic feet of gas, and the Pecos has produced 472,000 barrels of oil and 184 million cubic feet of gas.

"Because the government has messed around for so long, some of those operators who were interested are not so interested any more with this kind of production from adjacent fields," Fish said.

The disposal of the mineral rights originally was scheduled for May 25, 1973, however, the GSA announced that the sale was called off because of objections from Department of the Interior to selling – instead of leasing – the rights.

The land in question is privately owned, having been sold by the GSA when the Army Depot was phased out in the 1960s. The government, as is common practice, retained the mineral rights, however.

25 Years Ago

'September Was Not Such a Hot Month After All'

Oct. 3, 1990

September sure was a hot month, wasn't it? After all, we had all those readings in the 90s. It seems more like the middle of summer, rather than the last month of summer and the first days of fall. Isn't that right?

It just had to be a record breaker, right?

Wrong!

It wasn't even close, actually.

The September weather report from the High Plains Ag Lab lists the median high for September at 78.1 degrees. While that is the highest since 1983, it is only the ninth high in Ag Lab records that date back to 1968.

The warmest September listed in Ag Lab files in 1978, with a median of 82.2 degrees. The median in 1979 was 82.0 degrees. Last year, September was one of the cooler on record, with a median high of 73.6 degrees.

The month's median low, 48.8 degrees does rank as the third warmest. You have to go back to 1973, when the median low was 51.4 degrees, to find a warmer string of overnight lows and the median low in 1969 was 49.6 degrees.

Ironically, the median high in 1973 was only 70.3 degrees, the coolest September on Ag Lab record. In 1968, median high was 80.8 degrees.

High reading last month came Sept. 9, with 92 degrees mark, and all but on of those came in the first week.

The month started hot, with a high of 89, and ended on a cool note, a high of 52, the coolest maximum temperature that month.

Coolest overnight reading was Sept. 23, when the temperature dropped to 35 degrees.

The Ag Lab recorded 2.74 inches of precipitation last month, but 2.61 of that came in two rains of 1.05 and 1.56 inches on Sept. 18 and Sept. 20.

That brings the Ag Lab a total fro the first nine months of the year to 15.15 inches, which means this year will be wetter than average. Since the Ag Lab began keeping records, their average yearly precipitation is 14.98 inches.

10 Years Ago

'New Board Will Oversee HIstorical Renovations'

Oct. 6, 2005

The members are in place and the money available, now all the Sidney Historical Preservation Board has to do is set its rules and wait for applications to come in.

It has taken a while for the board to become official, the city ordinance that announced its creation was passed on July 27, 2004. The board member selection was finalized in August this year. Sidney City Manager Gary Person, appointed, and the city council approved, Gary Nichols, Joel Birner, Patty Guy, John Phillips, Doug Meier, Jeff Bush and Megan McGowan to the seven-person volunteer board.

"Our hope is that these programs will not only improve the look of historical downtown businesses but also increase traffic inside businesses," said McGowan, director of the Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce. "We hope the improvements can eventually make the historic downtown area a tourism draw."

The board was hosted by the Historic Downtown Sidney Design Committee on Sept. 28 at the Chamber of Commerce building. The two groups met to introduce themselves since they will be working together on the improvement of downtown Sidney. The design committee was reviewing plans for the new Viaero Wireless building on Illinois Street.

The Sidney City Council has charged the board with duties of "designating, preserving, protecting, enhancing, and perpetuating those structures and districts which reflect significant elements of the city heritage."

 

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