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Wonderline -- Readers ask how COVID death rate compares to that of the flu
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Wonderline -- Readers ask how COVID death rate compares to that of the flu

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The following questions were asked recently on the Wonderline:

Q: The paper reported that we have now had 77 COVID deaths in our health district. I wondered how that compared to an average year of deaths in the district due to the flu.

A: We asked Laura McDougall, executive director of the Four Corners Health Department. She responded: “In the 2019-2020 flu season, we were notified of one influenza-related death. I have worked at Four Corners since 2003. In looking back, I cannot remember a year when there were more than 2-3 influenza related deaths in our district, even when there were outbreaks in the long-term care facilities.”

Q: I went walking along the Beaver Creek Trail last evening and noticed that both all the lights along the trail, and the two lights under the Beaver Creek Bridge the trail crosses underneath of, were off, even though it was nearly completely dark out. It made for a rather eerie traverse. I am just wondering why the trail and under-bridge lights have been off the past few weeks, and when they are planning to turn them back on at nights again - or have them repaired, if they are not currently working?

A: Brandon Osentowski, water superintendent for the City of York who is overseeing the public works department, explained: “When situations such as this occur, we would encourage the citizens of York to reach out to the city offices at the municipal building and report the issue. We were unaware of the lighting outage on the trails until earlier this week. The issue was determined to be an electrical wiring problem that has been identified and is currently being addressed. Concerning the lighting under the Beaver Creek Bridge, due to multiple issues of vandalism to the lights and continued destruction of these lights after being repaired, the decision was made to not replace and reactivate that lighting.”

Q: Is there any information about the construction of the green bridge over the train tracks by Miller Park, as to when it was built?

A: We had another reader reach out with information – which we really appreciate.

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Kathy Moore says she remembers the day in 1974 which prompted the building of the green bridge.

She said she was working at the Sno Crème in York (which she said was located about where NAPA is now) on that day, in 1974, and while she was at work, “the ambulances went out. Soon afterward, all of Lincoln Avenue was blocked off and eventually an ambulance went through town as fast as an ambulance dare go through town in the middle of the day. Eventually, the story emerged. A young girl (Barb Ryan) who was 15 years old (Moore says she thinks that was the girl’s age) was on her way to school (probably had to be back from lunch) but a train was sitting on the track. So she crawled between the cars to get through just as the train began to move. She fell, was run over by the train and both legs were severed. I believe Mike Stuebbe was a city employee and also an EMT. He was mowing in the area, saw the accident, whipped off his belt and applied a tourniquet which undoubtedly saved her life. She was stabilized at the York hospital, roads were blocked off and she was rushed to Lincoln. The bridge was built in the aftermath of this accident so that no child ever had to risk getting across the tracks to get to school again. I'm surprised it's not called the Barb Ryan Bridge and that there isn't a marker nearby about the construction date. My memory isn't perfect, but this is what happened that day to the best of my memory.”

Q: On April 15, 2021, the York City Council adopted a resolution recognizing May 9-15, 2021, as National Economic Development Week. That same week was recognized as National Police Week, a time to remember fallen law enforcement officers. Did the York City Council adopt a resolution recognizing May 9-15, 2021, as National Police Week? If not, did anyone request a resolution honoring National Police Week be introduced and passed?

A: No one brought forward a resolution regarding National Police Week to the city council so therefore such a resolution was not passed.

Q: How are the Four Corners Health Department and other such health districts in the state funded?

A: When the Nebraska Health Care Funding Act was passed in May, 2001, 16 new multi-county health departments were created. The Act was passed by the Nebraska Legislature and it provides state funding to local public health department. The Office of Community Health provides technical assistance to all local public health departments and monitors the funds that are distributed under the Act.

Q: Where are the tornado sirens located in York?

A: The following are the locations: Near Wendy’s (at the interchange), in the Elms Trailer Park, at the York Country Club, in Miller Park, in the manufacturing area near Kroy, in the area of 12th Street and Maine Avenue, and in the area of Naber’s Truck Center.

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