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lnichols / The Associated Press 

In this July 1, 2017, file photo, Chicago Cubs' Jon Jay smiles as he runs toward the dugout after hitting a solo home run off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Jackson Stephens in the third inning of a baseball game in Cincinnati.

Rachel Hobbs / Rachel Hobbs Daily Sun staff 

Members of the Beatrice Middle School band perform on Tuesday, March 6 at the Hevelone Center. Seventh and Eighth grade students took the stage before the Beatrice High School band presented its spring concert.

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Icy road blamed for rollover

Despite not wearing a seatbelt and flipping onto the roof, an 18-year-old Clatonia man escaped without injuries when his truck rolled off the road and into a field Tuesday.

On March 6 at 7:20 a.m., Clatonia Rescue and deputies from the Gage County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the scene of a single vehicle rollover crash on Highway 41, about a quarter mile east of SW 72nd Road near Clatonia.

The sheriff’s office reported that 18-year-old Eastin Henkel of rural Clatonia was driving his 2007 Chevy Silverado to high school when the vehicle hit a patch of ice on Highway 41, causing him to lose control of the vehicle.

The vehicle crossed the center line, the report said, then entered a ditch to the south and struck a culvert, sending the vehicle airborne.

When the vehicle landed, it rolled at least one time before stopping on its roof.

No injuries were reported at the scene, the report said, and the driver told deputies that he was not wearing a seatbelt.

Judge asks bank robber seeking prison to consider probation

A District Court judge declined to sentence a bank robber on Wednesday, instead asking him to consider how he could succeed on probation.

Terry L. Bailes, 54, appeared in Gage County District Court to be sentenced for attempted robbery, which was reduced from a previous charge of robbery.

At the time of the robbery, Bailes indicated he was looking for a way to get sent to prison, which Judge Rick Schreiner is hoping to avoid.

“There may be some people who disagree with me,” Schreiner said. “You committed a bank robbery. I know that and people may say ‘That judge is soft, all bank robbers should go to prison.’ Those people haven’t read your presentence investigation and those people aren’t the ones tasked with this obligation.”

Schreiner said Bailes’ criminal history consists of a few theft convictions, the most recent of which was in 2005.

It was stated in Court that Bailes worked at Landoll Corporation for six years before developing a condition in his hand that Bailes said prevented him from doing simple tasks like putting on his shoes.

The condition led to Bailes losing his job and residence. With no family to turn to, he said being sent to prison might be the only way to get the care he needs.

“I felt as though my back was against the wall,” Bailes said. “I know it was a poor judgment. This way, I think I can get medical care.”

Bailes was quickly apprehended last October after robbing Great Western Bank at 10th and Court streets.

Without a weapon, Bailes entered the bank and demanded money before asking the teller to call police and saying that he wanted to go to prison.

He left the bank with $10, purchased cigarettes and waited for police around a block from the scene of the robbery, telling officers immediately that he was the suspect they were looking for.

He pleaded no contest in the case, and was to be sentenced Wednesday. Schreiner instead continued the case to April 4 and asked Bailes to reach out to a friend who may be able to provide support and consider how he could turn his life around on probation.

“You went out and committed a nonviolent offense with the intent of being put in prison because you are poor and homeless. You can’t support yourself,” Schreiner said. “I have a problem with that. I don’t believe prison is for the poor and homeless.”

Schreiner indicated that probation or prison are both possible sentences next month.

Pleas entered in child abuse case

A Beatrice man accused of providing alcohol to a minor who became dangerously intoxicated pleaded not guilty to a felony charge in Gage County District Court.

Michael A. Brooks, 25, pleaded not guilty to a felony child abuse charge, as well as two misdemeanor charges of procuring alcohol to a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a child.

Brooks was arrested in January after a juvenile had to be transported to the hospital with a high blood-alcohol level.

Police responded to the report of a 14-year-old juvenile who was under the influence of alcohol and unresponsive. Four witnesses told police the minor had talked about consuming alcohol with Brooks before passing out.

Gage County Court documents state that witnesses said Brooks was seen with the juvenile and a large bottle of alcohol. When they confronted him, Brooks allegedly became angry and was asked to leave.

The juvenile was transported to Beatrice Community Hospital and remained unconscious for around seven hours and had a blood-alcohol level of .275.

When interviewed, Brooks appeared intoxicated and said he did not give alcohol to a minor and that he had not been drinking, himself. Documents state Brooks said that he had been at the residence all evening.

Scott Koperski /   

Michael Brooks