Category Archives: Regional News

Beatrice Electric Department Budget Adjusted Due To Outages, New Lines

BEATRICE – Electrical outages in a neighborhood on the southeast side of Beatrice have forced the electrical department to go over budget on one of their budget line items.

The electrical system that was installed in the neighborhood surrounding the Beatrice Country Club was buried underground, and the standard at the time was to bury the lines with insulation but not conduit. Now, nearly 30 years later the insulation on those lines has eroded which has caused electrical outages within the neighborhood.

The Beatrice Electric Department has been replacing those lines, but in doing so have surpassed their budget for these repairs by $132,000. The lines are being replaced by lines that are in conduit, and should last longer than the previous lines installed in the 80’s.

To balance the budget the electric department has postponed work on converting the electrical grid in Beatrice from 4.16 Kv to 12.5 Kv. That upgrade is not essential, and postponing it keeps that line item $226,000 under budget.

The work to replace the underground electrical lines continued on in one section Thursday, and City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says there is one more section of line that needs to be replaced. Neither the line being worked on Thursday, nor the line to be done have been factored into the $132,000 the electric department finds them self over for this line item in their budget.

UPDATE: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Release New Details Regarding Semi Accident That Occurred Wednesday Morning

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JEFFERSON COUNTY – Jefferson County authorities received a call just after 10 a.m. Wednesday after a tractor trailer rolled into the ditch on Highway 15 just south of the Jefferson-Saline County line.

The driver was ejected from the vehicle and was attended to by EMS personnel. The trailer was loaded with liquid fertilizer and was on its side when emergency services arrived.  The trailer was intact and was not leaking any of its contents.

The driver, identified as 37-year-old Dean Peterson, of Glencoe, Minn. was transported to Jefferson Community Health Center then taken by helicopter to a Lincoln hospital with serious injuries. The driver had a dog with him that was not injured and was taken to a Fairbury vet clinic for kenneling until the driver can pick him up.

Peterson said he was northbound on Highway 15, swerved to miss a deer and went onto the east shoulder. As the vehicle was coming back on to the road the trailer tipped over and rolled. The vehicle ended up in the bottom of the ditch and is a total loss.

Traffic in the area was interrupted for some time with the road being closed for recovery of the vehicles from about 2 to 4 p.m. when the road was opened back up to one lane traffic.

By 4:30 p.m. the scene was completely cleared and traffic resumed normal flow.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says neither drugs nor alcohol factored into the crash and the driver was not wearing his seat belt.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Daykin Fire and Rescue, Jefferson County Ambulance District 33, the Saline County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Rescue, and the Nebraska Department of Roads.

 

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Norfolk Man Accused of Assaulting 14-year Old

NORFOLK – A Norfolk man is facing a felony charge after authorities accused him of sexually assaulting a 14-year old girl.

Norfolk Police Capt. Michael Bauer says 39-year old Stephen Munderloh was arrested on Thursday. Bauer says Munderloh was arrested after an investigation that began on April 21st. On that day, the Department of Health and Human Services received a report that a 14-year old girl was sexually assaulted by an adult man.

The girl was interviewed by the Northeast Nebraska Child Advocacy Center the next day, where she told investigators that Munderloh had victimized her for many years.

Munderloh does have a history of child sexual assault. In 1997, he pleaded guilty to a count of sexual assault of a child and spent five months in prison.

Munderloh faces charges of first degree sexual assault of a child, which carries a sentence of one to 50 years in prison with a conviction.

Renovations Largely Completed At Beatrice Public Library

BEATRICE – Nearly two years of construction and renovation have come to an end at the Beatrice Public Library.

Library Director Laureen Riedesel says the project has been in the works since 1999, and now that it is done she is happy with how it all looks.

“In fact it has been a pleasant surprise. Items we weren’t sure how they would look, or how they would fit in, or if this particular object we already owned how it would go with that new one that we just purchased. Yes, all of that has been fitting together really well.”

The renovation portion of the project is complete to the satisfaction of the city, however the library still has a handful of things they want to get done.

“The big one is that we still don’t have a circulation desk, or front desk. The place that you are used to going to check out your books or ask your questions, all of that. That’s because it is really special.”

One third of the circulation desk was bought from the Store Kraft auction, and the other two thirds are being handmade by Ratigan-Shotller Manufacturing.

Riedesel says the renovations have given the library new features she thinks the public will enjoy.

“We will have additional restrooms, we will actually have a family restroom opening on that floor. We have a new makerspace area that will have a 3D printer, so we are pretty excited about having that area available. We’ve also done with [the lower level], we have the exhibit area that people have been able to experience now with our first exhibit that we did with National Library Week/Library Month.”

Expect art exhibits to be planned soon, and on display in the near future.

The Beatrice Public Library is open from 10-7 Monday to Thursday, 10-5:30 on Friday and Saturday and 2pm-5 on Sundays.

Sen. Deb Fischer Hosts ‘Community Coffee’ Forums Across Nebraska

GENEVA – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer hosted a public forum Wednesday in Geneva at the local VFW.

Beginning on Tuesday, Sen. Fischer held a series of “community coffee” forums in North Platte, Kearney, Hastings and Crete.

Sen. Fischer says these forums are a convenient way for her to speak with Nebraskans in an informal setting.

“It’s just so important to be out and listen to people, hear their concerns, hear their ideas and I learn so much about what’s going on in the communities so it’s always fun to be out across Nebraska and it’s also informative for me.”

Many topics were explored, including social security, the 2016 Presidential Election, the Trans Canada Pipeline and Obamacare.

“I hope that we will come back and address health care and work together and look at things like carrying your insurance across state lines. To be able to cut back on lawsuits. In Nebraska, we cap liability. We should be doing it at the federal level as well.”

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Beatrice Tourism Holds Yearly Awards Ceremony Tuesday

BEATRICE – Gage County Tourism held their yearly award ceremony Tuesday night at the Homestead National Monument of America Education Center.

Director of Gage County Tourism Abby Schademann says the event honors those in the community who work to make Gage County a tourist destination.

“We definitely wanted to recognize everybody in the county for their efforts to support tourism, so we figure a good reception is a way to do that.”

Schademann says that tourism is trending in a direction that benefits Gage County.

“The experience part of tourism is very popular. People just don’t like going to see something in museum, it’s more they get to experience something. Coming to Homestead National Monument and being able to walk the prairie, that’s an experience for people. Being able to stay in a renovated hospital, that’s a new experience for people. So what we’re finding is the experience part of people coming to visit Gage County, Nebraska, that’s a really big deal.”

www.ricelodge.odell-nebraska.us won the award for outstanding website, and Spring Nationals won the award for outstanding event. The Scott Street Ball Fields in Beatrice were honored with the award of outstanding attraction, in part for the work the city did following flooding to renovate the fields.

The Homestead National Monument of America won the award for outstanding publication for their brochure that draws tourists to the National Park, and Marilyn Lytle won the friend of tourism award to finish out the night.

The event ended with a cake celebrating the birthday of local attractions that will be hitting major milestones in 2016.

Fairbury High School Students Get Artistic With Sidewalk Chalk

FAIRBURY – Students at Fairbury High School are demonstrating their talents with a Chalk Walk in downtown Fairbury.

Art Teacher Connie Schouboe says students from Art I and Art II are reproducing works from various famous artists.

“So we have works from Vango and Warhol and Georgia O’Keeffe.”

Schouboe says students participate in the Chalk Walk once or twice a year for the monthly First Friday Art Walk, held at the Stagecoach Mall Antiques and Tasting Room.

“I’m getting the kids out in the community and having them see what it’s like to be a part of a community-wide event.”

To view these recreations, stroll by 5th and E Street in downtown Fairbury or attend the First Friday Art Walk on May 6 from 7-10 pm.

Duct Tape Art Display Up At Homestead National Monument

BEATRICE – The Homestead National Monument of America has a new art display up that is made entirely out of duct tape.

“People have this image of what duct tape is, what duct tape is supposed to look like. This art that he has created using duct tape doesn’t look anything like what you usually think of for duct tape.”

He, in this case, is artist Chad Farnes, who began using tape for art in college in Utah. While at school he was inspired by the National Parks in Utah, and began featuring them in his works.

“Nature inspires so many things, and so many different forms of art. Whether it’s making a picture, physically making a picture with duct tape or drawing, or taking a picture, or making music, or folding paper. Our origami person who made landscapes with little, tiny, pieces of paper. Nature, forever, has been an inspiration to people.”

The display will be up through May, and Farnes himself will be at the Homestead National Monument on the 29th to show how he does his work and answer questions.

The display is at the education center, which is open 8-5 Monday through Friday and 9-5 on weekends. It is open to the public for no charge.

Road Maintenance To Close Roads Temporarily Around Beatrice

BEATRICE – With winter weather firmly in the rear view mirror, Beatrice residents should expect minor street work to pop up throughout the start of the spring.

Mary Street west of Sherman Street is currently closed to through-traffic, and will be until Friday afternoon. Concrete will be poured Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. to repair routine wear and tear.

The Beatrice Street Department will be busy through the month of May with maintenance repair scheduled at a handful of locations throughout town. The start of spring is when street departments will fix wear and tear from winter weather, and snow removal.

Minor repairs and road maintenance can be expected over the next month at 5th and Washington, 20th and Hoyt, 6th Street in front of Runza, 6th Street in front of O’Reilly’s, several spots between 9th and 13th on Dorsey, as will as along Virginia Avenue and 19th Street. Repairs are also needed by Beatrice Community Hospital.

Nebraska National Spelling Champ Donates a Library

49 years ago a young Jennifer Reinke won the Nebraska Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the word “Chihuahua”  Today, Jennifer Reinke is the lead donation contributor for the brand new library in Deshler.    Generous donations from Jennifer and others helped to make the new library in Deshler happen.

Those shown in picture above are from left:  Jennifer Reinke (spelling champ and lead donation contributor), Kris Meisner (library board) Robert Reinke (brother) Pat Schardt (sister) Sharon Baden (library board) Lois Struve (donator of the property and some of the funds).

Pictured below: Jennifer’s mother, Edna Reinke, Jennifer Reinke, and Jennifers teacher Marvin Engel.

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