Feb 11, 2020 2:34 AM

State again forced to close highway in eastern Nebraska

Posted Feb 11, 2020 2:34 AM

State officials were forced to again close a flooded stretch of rural highway in eastern Nebraska.

A 9-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 275 between Scribner and West Point had been closed Friday because ice jams had backed up the nearby Elkhorn River, causing the flooding.

The Nebraska Transportation Department reopened the highway on Saturday. But more flooding caused it to be closed again Sunday afternoon to through traffic in both directions.

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Feb 11, 2020 2:34 AM
Novelist Willa Cather statue to replace Morton statue at US Capitol
Photo courtesy: Caleb Perez

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A statue of renowned Nebraska novelist Willa Cather is slated to replace a statue of the politician and Arbor Day founder J. Sterling Morton at the U.S. Capitol.

The 9-foot, 5,500-pound Morton statue will get a new home in Nebraska City as early as this fall after sitting on display in the nation’s capital for more than 80 years, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.

Two years ago, state senators voted to replace Morton and William Jennings Bryan as Nebraska’s longtime representatives at the Capitol’s National Statutory Hall. Cather and Ponca Indian Chief Standing Bear were selected to fill those spots.

Morton, an Illinois native, moved to Nebraska City in 1854 and became a farmer, editor and member of the territorial legislature. He served as territorial secretary and, later, secretary of agriculture for President Grover Cleveland.

He became a household name in Nebraska for launching Arbor Day in 1872. Nebraskans planted an estimated 1 million trees that first year.

The Cather statue should be done this summer. It could be next year before her statue replaces Morton’s.