Category Archives: Regional News

Undercover Investigation, Search Warrants Result in Beatrice Drug Arrests

BEATRICE –  Two undercover purchases of THC extract through confidential informants, helped lead to the arrests Thursday, of four people in Beatrice.

Beatrice Police, the Gage County Sheriff’s Office and Nebraska State Patrol served three search warrants, at 1222 Ella Street, 1420 Scott Street and 954 West Mary.

Authorities have arrested 21-year-old Justin Kipf, 18-year-old Sydney Bent, 26-year-old Alicia Chapman and 23-year-old Glen Walk.

Bent had her appearance bond set Thursday, at $7,500, facing a charge of distribution of marijuana.  Bond for Alicia Chapman was set Thursday, at $10,000.  She is formally charged with distribution of marijuana, conspiracy to distribute drugs and negligent child abuse.   Both face August 4th Gage County Court hearings.

1420 Scott Street
1420 Scott Street

Walk appeared in Gage County Court Friday morning, where his bond was set at $75,000.   He is accused of possession with intent to deliver, a controlled substance.  Walk had been released from a probation sentence for distribution of drugs, about six months ago.  Kipf also appeared in court Friday morning, where his bond was set at $10,000.   He faces two counts of distributing marijuana and a charge of negligent child abuse.  Walk’s next hearing is August 23rd, while Kipf will appear in court, August 5th.

1222 Ella Street
1222 Ella Street

According to court documents, the search of Walk’s residence at 954 West Mary, turned up 72 grams of marijuana, three digital scales, 15 empty plastic baggies, glass pipes testing positive for methamphetamine, several marijuana pipes and grinders and plastic containers with hash oil residue.  Authorities also recovered a ledger, allegedly showing profits and debts from drug sales. Authorities also seized 13.6 grams of suspected meth, and some pills.

Undercover officers made use of a confidential informant to make drug purchases at 1420 Scott Street, while Kipf, Chapman and Bent were present…along with two children ages four to six.  Undercover drug buys of THC extract were made at the residence, on July 23rd and July 25th.   A total of $105 exchanged hands.  According to officers, Chapman allegedly told an informant working with officers that there were more drugs for purchase.

EXCLUSIVE: Affiliated Foods Announcement Means More Jobs for Norfolk

NORFOLK — One-hundred more jobs are likely in Norfolk following this morning’s announcement that Norfolk-based, Affiliated Foods Midwest and Associated Wholesale Grocers of Kansas City, Kansas are on a positive path to combine the two member-owned cooperative distribution company efforts, according to Affiliated Foods Midwest President and CEO, Martin After. “Our plant in Norfolk has been a model operation in the country for decades. Following formal approval of today’s announcement, we are preparing to increase the number of people that make us successful in Norfolk by twenty-five percent. That translates into 100-plus new jobs in warehouse and transportation,” said Arter.

News of the two longtime companies joining forces came as a surprise to many in the Norfolk Area Thursday morning. “Quite frankly, the decision to join forces means that we must work hand-in-hand with Norfolk area leaders to meet our workforce demand in the future. We remain committed to Norfolk and appreciate the solid support of the community and the entire northeast Nebraska area,” Arter said.

Plane Crashes Northeast of David City

DAVID CITY –  A plane crash in rural Butler County has resulted in the death of a Dorchester man.

The Nebraska Radio Network says the Butler County Attorney’s office reported 37-year-old Ragnar Emrich of Dorchester died at the scene of the crash. The crash was reported to dispatchers just after 3 p.m. Thursday.

The crop duster Emrich was flying crashed near the intersection of Road 38 and County Road O, and the entrance to site was blocked for several hours for safety reasons, due to chemicals that were inside the plane.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Department, Butler County Attorney’s Office, David City Fire and Rescue, and other Federal agencies were on scene to investigate the crash.

European Style Church In Southeast Nebraska

STEINAUER – When you walk in the doors of the beautiful St. Anthony’s Church in Steinauer, your jaw will drop. Fran Herrick, lifetime member of St. Anthony’s Parrish, who has been an organist at the church for almost 50 years,  gave me a tour of St. Anthony’s and also told me a little bit about the history and renovation of the church.

The church building is Romanesque style architecture, evidence of that is all the arches that you see in the church. The stain glass windows are the church’s proud and joy. They are German styled and they were designed in the 1920s by a German artist in Illinois. A lot of the windows are very symbolic. A couple examples of that are the 12 windows up above, toward the ceiling of the church, and they are the windows of the 12 apostles. The seven windows at the front part of the church represent the seven sacraments in the Catholic faith.

The structure and the windows of the church are exactly the same as they were in 1926, but the church was having a lot of leaking and plaster problems about three years ago, and so they decided to do a total restoration!  The pews were removed and sent to the prison in Tecumseh, where the inmates worked on them. Eileen Ratigan, an artist in Nebraska, re-painted all of the statues and all of the stations of the cross. Jean Criz, was the carpenter who restored a lot of the wood work.

The total cost of the restoration was $610,000. By the time the restoration was over, it was completely paid for!

The sanctuary of the church is the most beautiful part. The Last Supper on the main altar, was originally in the old high altar, which had been taken out in the 1960s and stored in the Catholic Church Museum in Table Rock. Up above the sanctuary is a very important Latin saying, “This is the house of God, and the gate to Heaven”.

St. Anthony’s Church wanted to restore some of the beauty that had been lost over the years. They did a wonderful job and definitely accomplished that. There are tours of the church available and you can call 402-869-2256 to schedule one.

Granger Smith Opens 2016 Gage County Fair Entertainment

BEATRICE – Country singer Granger Smith and alter ego Earl Dibbles Jr. kicked off entertainment for the 2016 Gage County Fair Wednesday night. Before he took the stage, News Channel Nebraska’s Dave Neifeildt had the opportunity to introduce him to an eager crowd.

“We reported this morning about 1,500 people for the show last night. The fair board members were very happy with the attendance last night. Good crowd, they were ready for Granger. There’s no doubt about it. They were ready for him.”

Neifeildt has been introducing an entertainer at the fair every year since the beginning.

“I got to do one of the very first ones, Sawyer Brown. I got to introduce them. The first year they brought in Charlie Pride and Sawyer Brown and I got to introduce Sawyer Brown and since then. So yea it’s been about over 25, 27 years now.”

Even though Neifeildt has met a lot of really interesting people, he says they aren’t always willing to talk.

“As far as what it’s like, there’s been a few of the artists I’ve never even got to meet. They kind of hang out in their bus. The manager says go up there do your thing then leave and then the artist comes out. There’s other artists that have invited me on their bus [I’ve] got to sit down and visit with them and those are always neat.”

Granger Smith entertained a crowd of 1,500 people Wednesday night and Aaron Watson is the scheduled performer for Thursday night.

Platte Institute: Nebraska Tax Rates Higher Than Rivals

OMAHA  – U.S. Census Bureau data show that taxpayers in Nebraska face significantly higher tax rates and tax burdens on income and property per person than in states to which Nebraska is losing income and population: Texas, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, and Iowa.

In 2013, over 18,000 Nebraskans moved to these states, or 50 people every day of the year.

“Nebraska taxpayers who get tired of being ignored in the Legislature are voting with their feet and their pocketbooks instead,” said Adam Weinberg, Communications and Outreach Director at the Platte Institute for Economic Research.

While there are many reasons people move, trends nationally and in Nebraska show more people are choosing to live and work in lower-tax states that allow workers and businesses to keep more of what they earn. $3 billion of annual adjusted gross income has left Nebraska since 1992, mostly to the aforementioned states.Figure 3 Government Spending

On average, taxes and spending in Nebraska are around 20 percent higher than in our competitor states. On the Tax Foundation’s 2016 Business Tax Climate Index, which evaluates both the cost and structure of the state tax systems Nebraska ranks 27, while Florida ranks 4, Texas, 10, Colorado 18, Arizona, 24, and Iowa 40 (1 being best, 50 being worst).

On average, taxpayers in Nebraska pay 52 percent more personal income tax per person, and 36 percent more corporate income tax. That’s $1,125 per person per year in Nebraska versus $541 in the five rival states for personal income taxes.

Residents in the comparison states pay more sales tax, but not by much. The difference is 8 percent per person, or $1,075 in Nebraska versus $1,164 in the other states. The main reason for this difference is that Texas, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, and Iowa rely more heavily on local option sales tax for local funding in lieu of property tax, on average, than Nebraska.

Nebraska collected $1,649 per capita in property taxes in 2016, while the five states averaged $1,303, a difference of 24 percent per person.

Yankton Police Release Photo of Wanted Bank Robber

YANKTON, SD (KTIV) – Yankton Police say a suspicious package found at a bank robbery was not dangerous.

Authorities continue their search for an individual who robbed the Wells Fargo on 2nd and Cedar Streets around five Tuesday afternoon.

Police say the individual came into the bank, asked for money and left a suspicious package inside.

The individual left the bank in a SUV and is still on the loose. An example of what the car looked like is the photo in this story.

Authorities blocked off the area while investigating the package.

One man who lived a block away, said he had to evacuate his apartment when the incident happened.

“I was definitely nervous,” said Trevor Hickens, a Yankton, South Dakota resident who was evacuated from his apartment. “I mean that’s not something typical of Yankton, South Dakota. This is a very small, safe community. The Yankton Police Department does a wonderful job at keeping all the residents safe and this is just something completely out of the blue.”

Hickens and other residents a block away from the bank were kept out of their apartments until authorities determined the area was safe about five hours later.

Police can’t say how much money was taken from the bank at this time. Yankton Police Chief Brian Paulsen says there were about three employees working at the bank and no customers when the robbery occurred. He said everyone is safe, but they were sent home after the incident.

Authorities continue to look for the individual who robbed the bank. They can’t identify if it was a male or female, but the person was dressed as a male, with gray hair. A picture from the police department shows the individual wearing a red hat and black top during the robbery.

Anyone who has any information on the individual’s location is asked to contact police immediately.

Norfolk Man Arrested for Threatening to Rob Burger King

NORFOLK – A Norfolk man is in jail after police say he was seen on video threatening a Burger King employee with a gun.

Norfolk Police Captain Michael Bauer says 21-year old Derek McGillivray was arrested on Tuesday. Police were called to the Burger King on S. 13th Street in Norfolk just after 8 p.m. after a caller reported that McGillivray came into the restaurant with a gun and talked about robbing the restaurant.

A witness told police that after ordering food, McGillivray asked an employee to come talk to him, where he revealed a black handgun hidden in a Burger King crown. The witness said McGillivray told the employee that he was thinking of robbing the restaurant, but had changed his mind. After a brief conversation with the employee, he put the gun back in his waistband and left.

Police say surveillance confirmed the witness’ account of the events. While police were investigating, McGillivray returned to the Burger King, where he was arrested on numerous charges, including terroristic threats and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

He’s currently housed in the Madison County Jail.

City Employee To Retire After Fifteen Years In Building Inspectors Office

BEATRICE – Fifteen years ago Linda Schindler was looking for a job in the Beatrice area because her husband was set to become Superintendent of Bruning-Davenport-Shickley schools. She found an ad for a secretary job in the Beatrice Building Inspectors office, but wasn’t having any luck getting a hold of someone for an interview.

“He kept putting me off, and putting me off. Finally I said I’m coming to Beatrice, I’d like to visit with you. So he did and I got the job.”

Current Chief Building Inspector for the City of Beatrice Rob Mierau says Schindler has been a rock in an office that has seen plenty of turnover.

“Over fifteen years has had eight different building inspectors in this office and so you can imagine how many different personalities have come and gone. She has been able to keep this together the whole time, she has been the one constant thing in this office. I think that the City of Beatrice should be very grateful for her to stick around and keep this office running as good as it has.”

Schindler says the town has been changing in her fifteen years, and that it is headed in the right direction.

“I think it has really progressed, especially over the last few years there has been a lot more going on. Housing is picking up which is a good thing, commercial wise it’s really picking up.”

Her big plans for retirement include traveling with her husband, including spending some time this winter in Arizona. She even has another job lined up already.

“I am…actually the first weekend after I retire I am going to Sioux City and babysitting for grand kids. I will be doing more of that. I want to go up to Elgin where my grandsons going to be playing football, I haven’t been able to see one of his games yet, I am going to be doing that.”

Mierau says a new secretary will be hired, but it will be a long time before they even begin to fill the shoes of Linda Schindler.

Hickman City Administrator Officially Resigns As Of Tuesday Evening

HICKMAN – The City of Hickman will be looking for a new City Administrator as of Tuesday evening. The resignation of current City Administrator Michael Meyers was discussed and accepted by the City Council.

The request was submitted in early July and accepted by the council Tuesday evening.

He has been administrator for the city since June of 2015. Mayor Doug Hanson thanked Meyers for his service to the community.

The council went into closed session to discuss appointing Silas Clarke as the Interim City Administrator.

Meyer’s last day will be September 1st, 2016.