Category Archives: Regional News

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.”



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.” 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.

Reinke Jennifer

Ashfall Park Beginning Milestone Year

ROYAL, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission officials say Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park will open Tuesday for its 25th anniversary season.

The 360-acre park in northeast Nebraska is home to the fossilized skeletons of prehistoric animals, including birds, rhinos, camels and three-toed horses, preserved by nature where volcanic ash killed them 12 million years ago.

Visitors can watch as paleontologists uncover new fossils in the 17,500-square-foot Hubbard Rhino Barn. There are museum exhibits in the visitor center.

The park sits two miles west and six miles north of Royal.

Beatrice Police Arrest Suspect After Weekend Traffic Stop

BEATRICE – Beatrice Police arrested a male, recovered suspected drugs and suspected burglar tools, as a result of a traffic stop Saturday night.

Sergeant Jay Murphy says an officer stopped a vehicle in the 100-block of North 10th, after observing the vehicle to be speeding.  The officer found that the driver had a license that had been suspended.

:17                  “inside the vehicle”

The driver was arrested for speeding, driving under suspension, possession of a controlled substance, no proof of insurance and tampering with evidence.

Murphy says police towed and impounded the vehicle and noticed several items were inside the vehicle.  Sunday night, police received consent of the owner to conduct a second search of the vehicle.

:27                  “tax stamp violation”

The driver of the vehicle who was arrested was identified as 30-year-old Ryan Bennett, of Verdon, Nebraska.   Murphy says police are investigating whether the discovery of burglar tools is related to any specific burglary in the area.

Wymore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Celebrates Milestone

(bagpipesSFX…… :21  (fades)

DSCN1035BEATRICE – A southern Gage County public safety agency celebrated an important milestone on Saturday.  The Wymore Fire and Rescue Department held a ceremony marking the 125th anniversary of the department, with the bagpipes played by Pastor Jimmy Shelbourn.  The 17-member fire and rescue service is an all-volunteer unit.

:17                  “go forward”

DSCN1022Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley was one of the guest speakers at the event held to recognize the service of current volunteers and honor those who have served in the department in the past.  Chief of the Department is Jim Decker and the Assistant Chief is Mark Meints.

:14                  “first fire chief”

Chief Decker says Wymore Fire and Rescue, which began with 50 members has been housed at three different fire stations over the years.  It provides protection in Wymore and the southern third of the county.DSCN1024

Decker recounted some of the major fires in the community’s history, including one that threatened the entire town.

:39                  “of the community”

In November of 2007, firefighter Jeremy Wach lost his life while fighting a house fire.  His wife and two children attended Saturday’s activities.  Another firefighter lost his life in an accident on the way to a February, 1939 house fire in Odell.DSCN1027

Wymore Rural Fire District President Roy Lauby said 125 years of existence for the volunteer department is a pretty amazing thing.

:24                  “firefighter, one”

Four of the department’s members have reached EMT certification.  Nebraska State Senator and former volunteer firefighter Roy Baker thanked the department’s members for their ongoing service.

:17                  “here, today”

Nebraska State Fire Marshal Jim Heine was on hand to help honor Wymore active firefighters and honorary members who have decades of service to the department.  Among the longest serving include….DSCN1026

  • Bruce Campbell, 57 years
  • Arnold Irvin, 50-plus years
  • Gordon Michaelis, 43 years
  • Dave Colgrove, nearly 29 years…….and
  • Mark Meints, Ken Reed and Carol Tebbett, all more than 25 yearsDSCN1036