Category Archives: Regional News

Yankton Police Search for Armed Robbery Suspect

YANKTON —  Police in Yankton, South Dakota, need your help finding the suspect in an armed robbery.

Investigators say, at about 7:30 Wednesday night, the suspect entered the Casey’s convenience store in Yankton, and demanded money. The suspect was armed, and fled the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspect is described as a white man, weighing between 180 and 200 pounds, measuring between 5-feet 9-inches and 6-feet tall. At the time of the robbery, the suspect was wearing a dark colored coat, with a red hooded sweatshirt, dark colored jeans, red tennis shoes and wearing a black mask and sunglasses.

If you have any information on this crime, contact the Yankton Police Department at (605) 668-5210, or Crime Stoppers (605) 665-4440.

Norfolk, Carson Theatre Ready for Another State One-Act Championship

NORFOLK, NE — Hundreds of young Nebraskans are about to have their time on the big stage.

Norfolk and the Johnny Carson Theatre are home to the State Play Production, or One-Act, Championships beginning Wednesday and lasting through Friday. Sports Development Manager of the Norfolk Area Sports Council Mike Fuehrer says there’s quite a number of new qualifiers this year.

“And when those folks walk in the theatre for the first time, they will be awestruck,” Fuehrer said.

This is the fourth consecutive year Norfolk has hosted the championships, with it growing a little each year. Fuehrer expects over 1600 participants and directors and over 3200 paid spectators over the three-day event, which has local businesses grinning.

“The economic impact of literally 5,000 visitors in your community means a lot of dollars to your community,” Fuehrer said.

Fuehrer says the event is only possible because of the volunteers and the blessing from Norfolk Public Schools to use the Carson Theatre.

“Without question, it’s kind of like the Taj Mahal of high school theater throughout the state of Nebraska,” Fuehrer said. “So we’re blessed that Norfolk Public Schools has literally handed us the key so we can host these championships.”

The bar is raised in this year’s championships, though. We are broadcasting ten of the performances live on News Channel Nebraska, a first for a high school play production competition in Nebraska.

Live Broadcasts:
Wednesday, December 7
Class D2 -10:00 a.m. – Hyannis, “Appleseed”
Class D1 – 3:45 p.m. – Osceola, “Two-Faced: A Tragedy…Sort of”
Class D1 – 6:00 p.m. – Brady, “Unsound effects”
Thursday, December 8
Class C1 – 3:00 p.m. Valentine, “No Show”
Class C1 – 3:45 p.m. Cross County, “A Pirate’s Life for Me”
Friday, December 9
Class B – 8:30 a.m. – Ord, “The Very UnMerry Adventures of Robin Hood”
Class B – 10:00 a.m. – Ogallala, “”To See the Stars”
Class B – 11:30 a.m. – Omaha Concordia, “Lettres de Café”
Class A – 2:00 p.m. – Lincoln North Star, “The Wizard of Oz”
Class A – 4:15 p.m. – Gretna, “An Amazing Grace”

Osmond Man Killed in Crash North of Lincoln

LINCOLN – A crash involving two trucks north of Lincoln early Tuesday morning has claimed the life of an Osmond man.

Lancaster County authorities confirm that the two semi-trailers collided at the intersection of Highway 77 and Waverly Road just north of Interstate 80 at approximately 6 a.m. Tuesday. According to witnesses, a truck hauling rock was heading westbound on Waverly Road and crossing the highway when it was struck by the driver’s side of a grain truck heading southbound on the highway.

The grain truck burst into flames after rolling onto its side, killing the driver identified by authorities as 21-year old Brandon W. Gerdes of Osmond. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the rock truck was identified as 67-year old Gary L. Jacobsen of Garland. Jacobsen was transported from the scene to a local hospital and is in critical but stable condition.

10/11 News reports that Gerdes was enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln pursuing an agronomy degree. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash and investigation continues.

Forecast for later this week calls for plunging temperatures, 1 to 3 inches of snow

A storm front moving out of the northern Rocky Mountains is expected to spread cold air and chances for snow across southern Nebraska this week, according to an AccuWeather meteorologist.

“On Wednesday we’ll be watching a system come out of the Rockies and spreading into the northern Plains,” said Brian Edwards of AccuWeather. “It will be bringing a blast of arctic air, taking temperatures well down below normal.”

The high temperature on Tuesday will be close to the freezing mark of 32 degrees. That should produce “just a taste” of what to expect from Wednesday through Friday, Edwards said.

He doesn’t expect the area to get a lot of snow accumulation. His prediction is 1 to 3 inches.

“There should be snow across southern Nebraska from west to east,” he said. “The heaviest snow is likely to fall south of Omaha, though, down along the Kansas border. The bigger story is the arctic air coming in behind that system.”

Temperatures are predicted to plunge to 5 degrees above zero Wednesday night, with gusty winds. Edwards said the high temperature Thursday will be about 19 degrees, with wind chills below zero at night and near zero during the day.

“There should be less wind on Friday — not nearly as much as the previous days,” Edwards said. “The (high) temperature will be around 20 or 21, but without the wind it should feel a little better than those previous days.”

Pursuit in Yankton Ends with Officer Shooting and Injuring a Man

YANKTON, SD. — South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms the Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating an officer-involved shooting.

In a news release, Jackley said a South Dakota Highway Patrol attempted to make a vehicle stop that resulted in a pursuit near Yankton around 10:21 p.m.  Saturday night.

Jackley said it that ended near 615 Green Street in Yankton. According to Jackley, The incident escalated and resulted in a Trooper firing his duty weapon and shooting 58-year-old Curtis Wayne Adams of Yankton.

Wayne was transported to a hospital where he was being treated for his injuries.

At the completion of the investigation, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation will issue a case report and shooting summation to be reviewed by the Attorney General and State’s Attorney for a final determination on the officer’s action.

Jackley said the release of the summary is anticipated within 30 days.

Nebraska’s Pearl Harbor survivors recount their memories of Dec. 7, 1941

Ed Guthrie, 98, Omaha

In the war: Was a 23-year-old Navy electrician’s mate 2nd class on the USS Whitney, a destroyer tender. He enlisted in 1940 and had been in Hawaii about a year. After Pearl Harbor he was assigned to the USS Banner, an attack transport. After his discharge in 1946 he returned to Omaha and eventually worked for the Omaha Public Power District until retiring.

In his words: “We were anchored in the harbor and had destroyers on both sides of us. We had three or four on one side and about eight more on the other side, all tied up in little nests.

“I had free time and was getting ready for church. I was up on deck and saw the whole show. They were flying so low you could see the smiles on their faces and their white scarves.

“You could feel the explosion from the Arizona all over the harbor. It was a very lucky hit for a bomb to go down the stack and into the explosives section. It was something you couldn’t believe. The water was black with diesel fuel. People in the water came out like they were coated in tar.

“It was chaos. Nobody knew what to do. Afterward I was assigned to a boat, and we spent four days picking wounded, dead and whatever out of the water. It was a mess, but we came out of it.”

Howard Linn, 95, Omaha

In the war: Was a petty officer first class on the battleship Nevada when Pearl Harbor was bombed. The Arizona was 200 or 300 feet away at the time, and pieces of it came through the portholes of the Nevada. No one around Linn on the lower decks was hit, but every man topside was killed. After the attack, his commanding officer asked how everyone was doing.

In his words: “I said I was doing fine but was concerned about my dad, as he was working in the fire room on a carrier. He had enlisted in the Navy after serving in World War I in the Army. In the meantime, the officer made arrangements for my dad to come back to my ship and bunk with me until five or six weeks later. He then got him a job driving a car for an admiral. For the rest of the war, he said, at 42 he should never have been able to enlist again.”

Melvin Kennedy, 93, Grand Island

In the war: Native of Cedar Rapids, Nebraska, joined the Navy in April 1940. Part of a small-boat crew that worked to rescue survivors in the water after the Pearl Harbor attack. A few weeks later assigned to the USS Clark, a destroyer on escort duty in the Pacific for much of 1942. Left Navy in 1946, worked as farmer and mechanic. Raised 10 children with his wife, Bernita.

In his words: (As told to NBC Nebraska — Hastings/Kearney/Grand Island) “I was in the Liberty boat, taking kids to shore. All of a sudden, here come the Japanese. I was scared to death. … I’m in a 40-foot motor launch. There’s hundreds of guys in that (oil-covered water), and most of them is going to die. Some you could get out, and some you couldn’t.”

Bob Winslow, 95, Beatrice

In the war: Had played high school football in his native Wymore; left in 1939 after his junior year to join the Navy. Was assigned to the destroyer USS Helm, the only ship at Pearl Harbor that was underway in the harbor when the attack commenced. It managed to shoot down one Japanese aircraft. Earned Asiatic Pacific Service Medal with four battle stars. In about 1944, Winslow transferred to the USS Orvetta, a barracks ship, as a master-at-arms. He left the Navy in 1946 and worked at container cargo ports in the San Francisco Bay Area until retiring in 1981. He moved to Beatrice in 2001 to be near family after the death of his wife, Angelina.

In his words: “We were up at 6 or 7 in the morning. We shoved off, we were going to dry dock. They sounded general quarters. My general quarters (position) was a machine gun on the second deck. They were all full of grease. I took it down off the peg, opened it up and started getting the grease off. We looked out. Ford Island was all blown to hell. The (Japanese) plane came after us. He made a run for us to drop a bomb. The skipper just turned the ship and went another way. The Lord was with us, that’s all.”

Walter Barsell, 96, Wahoo

In the war: Joined the Navy in 1939 after graduating from Omaha Benson High School. First assigned to cruiser USS Astoria but left crew for shore duty a few days before the Pearl Harbor attack. (Astoria was sunk in August 1942 in battle of Savo Island, with loss of 219 sailors.) Remained assigned to Pearl Harbor for two years as electrician’s mate 1st class, installing sonobuoys and magnetic cable. Later participated in battle for Okinawa, 1945. Returned to Nebraska after the war and spent career as store manager with Hinky Dinky grocery chain in Omaha, David City, Wahoo. Called up as reservist to serve in Korean War. Longtime member of Pearl Harbor survivors group.

In his words: “I was in the barracks writing a letter home. I heard all the commotion outside. There were airplanes going over. I could see Ford Island and Battleship Row. There was a natural channel, and the Japanese could drop torpedoes in there. We could look out our window at Hickam Field. All the planes were lined up.

“There was all kinds of noise and confusion. We just couldn’t imagine what was going on. We were told to leave the barracks, because we didn’t have any weapons. We ran across the street to a pineapple field. We were on a hill; you could look down on the harbor and see all the action. It was unbelievable.

“There’s the sight and sound of the event, but there’s also the aroma. An hour before the attack, you could smell the gardenias in the air. After the attack, the aroma changed to burning oil and gasoline.”

Lawrence Osterbuhr, 96, Hildreth

In the war: After growing up on a farm near Hildreth, Osterbuhr joined the Coast Guard. He was serving aboard the CGC Kukui, a 190-foot buoy tender anchored in Honolulu Harbor, at the time of the attack, then was transferred to St. Louis for duty on the Mississippi River. There he met his wife, Connie. They married in April 1945 and later returned to his home in Hildreth to farm after he finished his Coast Guard service in the Philippines. They were married for more than 70 years.

In his words: “I was on deck, enjoying the sun. We saw the smoke from Pearl Harbor and heard the sirens from the city of Honolulu. We started loading ammo and .30-caliber machine guns. While we prepared the ship, high-level Japanese planes flew over, and the nearest bomb fell across the street from us. We could hear the whistling sound of the bomb dropping before it hit.

“Later another group of Japanese planes flew over, but because of the heavy gunfire, they flew out to sea. Shortly before noon, we went out to sea. We worked all night putting out buoy lights on Molokai and Maui because of the blackout. All through the day and into the night, thousands of American gunners waited tensely for any sign of another attack.”

Supreme Court Orders More Severe Penalty for Man Convicted in Madison County Kidnapping

LINCOLN – A man’s attempt to have his Madison County kidnapping conviction overturned has backfired.

Instead of getting out early, he’s getting a harsher sentence.

The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday upheld the kidnapping, conspiracy and felony weapon convictions against Rosario Betancourt-Garcia. Betancourt-Garcia was convicted in 2015 by a Madison County jury in the 2003 kidnapping of a Madison man. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for the kidnapping, 10-30 years for the weapons charge and 30-50 years for the conspiracy charge.

Betancourt-Garcia appealed, arguing that he had ineffective counsel and that the county erred in his sentencing. The Supreme Court did agree with him on one front…they agreed that the county’s sentence was incorrect…it was too lenient.

The court reaffirmed Betancourt-Garcia’s convictions, and ordered him to be re-sentenced to a second life term for the conspiracy charge, as opposed to the 30-50 years he received.

Weekend warmth will soon give way to snow, single digit temperatures

COLUMBUS – The Platte Valley will see some warmer temperatures going into this weekend, but lower temps and snow are expected to hit the area next week.

The National Weather Service says Friday is forecast for a high of 39 degrees, which will warm up to 41 on Saturday and then to 47 degrees on Sunday before a slight drop back down to 45 degrees on Monday. Temperatures will take a bigger drop moving into Tuesday with a high of 29 and low of 16 degrees, before continuing to drop to a high of 19 and a low of 9 degrees on Wednesday. Thursday’s high is currently forecast at a high of 18 degrees.

Some snow is expected to hit the area on Tuesday and Wednesday as well, but forecasters are unsure at this time of any possible amounts that areas might get.

Marysville Rolls Over Axtell in Season Opener

MARYSVILLE – Marysville got to open their girls and boys basketball seasons at home, and Bulldog fans were certainly happy on Thursday night.

The two Bulldog squads combined to defeat Axtell, 133-65.

In the boys matchup, Marysville got out to a huge lead, forcing 19 turnovers in the contest, including 12 in the first quarter. They led 48-13 at the half. Gabe Pieschl led the way with 22 points and Bryson Meinhardt had 12, as the Bulldogs won, 66-23.

It was more of the same in the girls game. The Lady Bulldogs got great performances out of Sydney Pacha (20 points), Kali Crome (14 points) and Nichole Franco (11 points). They controlled the game throughout and came out on top, 67-42. Axtell is the state runner-up from last season in 1A-II.

Boone County Big Give Hopes To Give Back Big

The Boone County Big Give is in full force this Holiday Season and hopes are high with more business partnering with the organization.

The Boone County Big Give is a concentrated awareness campaign to showcase area charitable organizations and their current needs. The event is designed to help put the spotlight on our local charitable organizations, making it easier for them to educate the general public about their services and benefits to the community and visitors. By working together, we can boost the awareness and support of the charitable organizations and intiatives that help make Boone County a great place to live and visit. The Big Give is underwritten by the Boone County Foundation Fund, which is an affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation.

During the Boone County Big Give, the public is invited to attend and participate in events hosted by participating organizations to learn more about what each one does and the people it serves. This includes a specific need that has become a priority for each organization. For some, this is funding for programming and for others, gifts are needed to help repair or replace equipment.

Although the Boone County Big Give’s purpose is awareness, the event does create an opportunity for giving. Donations can be made in person at any designated Giving Station (bank locations across Boone County, Rae Valley Market in Petersburg, Scot Daniels State Farm Insurance in Albion and Country Partners Co-op in Primrose) or at any organization event. Gifts can also be made online or by mail. However, to be included in the matching funds opportunity, gifts must be received by the end of day Saturday, December 3rd.

Those who are unfamiliar with the work area charitable organizations are doing, or who have never considered making a gift to support Boone County are encouraged to take a minute to learn about all of the good that’s taking place right here at home. Together we can make Boone County an even better place to live, work and play.

Friday, Dec. 2
Petersburg Community Club Open House
All Day
Location: Rae Valley Market, 104 West County Road, Petersburg, NE
Stop by for food/refreshments & to see examples of Outdoor Fitness Circuit Equipment!
*Hosted by the Petersburg Community Club
Coffee & Rolls
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 am
Location: Albion Senior Center, Albion, NE
*Hosted by Albion Senior Center
Waffle Breakfast
Time: 8:00 – 11 am
Location: Samaritan Estates, 1225 S. 6th Street, Albion, NE
*Hosted by Good Samaritan Society-Albion + Boone County Food Pantry
Open House with Refreshments
Time: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Location: St. Edward Fire and Rescue Department, St. Edward, NE
*Hosted by St. Edward Fire and Rescue Department
Soup & Sandwich Luncheon with Demo
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm (demo begins at 12:15 pm)
Location: Kvam Community Room at the Boone County Health Center (North Entrance), Albion, NE
Come have lunch at the Kvam room and see a brief demo of the Small Footprint Probe – the 2016 Big Give project for the BC Health Center Foundation!
*Hosted by the Boone County Health Center Foundation
Open House at the Museum!
Time: 1:00-5:00 pm
Location: Boone County Historical Museum, Albion, NE
Come by for coffee and hot cider and see our special holiday collection!
*Hosted by the Boone County Historical Society
Boone County Big Give “Social”
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Albion Country Club, 2491 NE Hwy 91, Albion, NE
Come by and watch as gifts are tallied in real time! Food, refreshments and great conversation provided.
*Hosted by the Boone County Foundation Fund

Saturday, Dec. 3
Popular Children’s Group: The String Beans
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Boone County Fitness Center, 527 S. 5th Street, Albion, NE
FREE Admission made possible by funds raised at the 2015 Big Give by the Albion Area Arts Council!
*Hosted by Albion Area Arts Council + Boone County Fitness Center

Sunday, Dec. 4
Singer/Songwriter Daniel Christian
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Boone Central High School Gym, 605 S. 6th St., Albion, NE
*Hosted by the Albion Area Arts Council + Boone Central Schools (Performing Arts Remodel)
**Admission fee for general public; Included for season ticket holders