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lnichols / The Associated Press 

Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos speaking to the press about the firing of the head coach Mike Riley in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017.

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Students turn near-tragedy into Greek tragedy

On Tuesday night, Beatrice High School’s production of “Antigone Now” will be performed for the first time in front of a hometown audience.

After competing in Pawnee and Elkhorn, and a week before competing in Gretna, “Antigone Now” will show for one night only at 7 p.m. in the Hevelone Center at BHS. The play is a modern retelling of the ancient Greek tragedy, and features a cast and crew of Beatrice High School students.

Based on “Antigone,” written by Sophocles in the fourth century B.C., “Antigone Now” is the story of a sister who defies the rules in an attempt to bury her brother whose body remains on the battlefield where he fell.

Although the original Greek tragedy doesn’t have a happy ending, the modern, BHS version of the story does.

After spending the last school year being bounced back and forth between substitute teachers after the sudden departure of their instructor, students did their best to mount a show.

“We had a substitute for like a week at a time and then we would change to someone else for a week,” said Molly Hurley, a BHS senior who plays Antigone. “It got chaotic.”

Substitutes would come and go, leaving students in the lurch. Rehearsals were few and far between, and for some time, the play looked like it might not happen.

Retired BHS drama teacher Kathleen Hubka stepped in to help the class get their show up and running, but the drama department needed a permanent solution.

This fall, Beatrice Public Schools hired a new drama and English teacher, Emily Brumond, who is directing “Antigone Now.”

Now, things are running smoothly, said Olivia Matlock, a sophomore who plays Creon.

“She's been really dedicated to everything, too,” Matlock said of Brumond. “Always helping out and showing us how to perform our lines better.”

At the Pawnee competition, three actresses from “Antigone Now” took home outstanding actress awards, including Rachel Riesen, Matlock and Hurley.

The students are hoping to stage the show in Beatrice again after the district competition in Gretna next Saturday.

“The kids have worked so hard to put this show on,” Brumond said. “Memorizing lines, working with costumes, makeup, set, a lot of work has gone into this show and it's been a lot the kids putting it together and really stepping up and helping out.”

Tickets will cost $5 for adults or $3 for students and are available at the door on Nov. 28.

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Beatrice Burger King reopens after renovations

From Oct. 30 to Nov. 22, some regular customers of the Beatrice Burger King went to extreme lengths to try to replicate the items they were missing during the store’s closure.

One woman, who comes in each morning for breakfast, refused to eat anywhere but at home while the restaurant was closed, said General Manager Erika Davis.

“She made her own homemade egg biscuits,” Davis said. “She came back and was like, 'It was difficult to make my own breakfast, it takes 30 minutes to do that!'”

The Beatrice Burger King received some renovations earlier this month, but in order to do that, the store had to close down completely for a few weeks. The drive-thru reopened the day before Thanksgiving, but the lobby officially reopened for patrons at 1:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon.

The restaurant originally opened in July of 1986, and the décor hadn’t changed much in those 31 years. The restaurant had prototypical late-80s, early-90s, geometrical designs and a loud color scheme that had to go, employees said.

During the renovation, all of the tables were removed in order to regrout the tile and remodel the floors. Some of the walls were knocked down to change the space while other walls were added. The project also added a whole new drink bar and even modernized the restrooms.

“The interior of the restaurant lobby is all brand new,” Davis said. “The only thing other than that is our kitchen walls. We thoroughly cleaned all of our equipment, so it's almost like we're working with brand new fryers, broilers, everything.”

The restaurant now has a neutral color scheme, with browns, grays and blacks and seats that are plush and padded, which is a big change from the previous molded plastic and fiberglass benches.

“It's a new design for Burger King,” said Dennis Erickson, president and CEO of Horizon Holding, Inc., the franchisee of numerous Burger King restaurants in the area. “They've had this out for about a year and this is actually the first one that we have done. It's called ‘the garden grill.’ That's the design that they designated, so it's a new look for us, too.”

The store took out the drop ceiling that was added in 2000 and returned to the original open design, which shows off the vent system above.

The outdoor signage, awnings and lights should be installed by early next week, Erickson said, but they’re open for business now and ready to serve.

Davis, who came from a Burger King in Lincoln, said she’s very happy to be back to work in Beatrice. Everyone’s happy to be back, she said, from the employees to the customers. It’s a place that feels like a part of the community, and with the new look, they’re hoping to attract a new crowd.

“I feel like I just got a big Christmas present,” Davis said.

Man walking Highway 77 arrested for drugs

A man walking along Highway 77 early Saturday morning was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after law enforcement conducted a welfare check.

Just after 1 a.m., a Nebraska State Patrol trooper saw a man in a tan jacket and jeans walking southbound on the west shoulder of Highway 77. The man was later identified as 28-year-old Trevor M. Hurley.

The trooper, who was traveling northbound, turned around to perform a welfare check and saw Hurley drop a white, shiny object on the ground.

Gage County Court documents state Hurley told the trooper he was OK and continued southbound. The trooper pulled ahead, but could see Hurley in his mirror as Hurley turned around and began looking toward the ground.

The trooper went back and called additional law enforcement to search the area, according to court documents. During the search, a small plastic baggie with a cloudy, white substance was found.

Court documents state Hurley denied the bag was his. A field test of the substance was positive for methamphetamine.

During the arrest, court documents state Hurley attempted to harm himself and was removed from the patrol unit and taken to the ground until he calmed down.

Hurley’s bond was set at $5,000 with a 10 percent deposit. His next hearing is set for Dec. 19.

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Plea entered in drug case

A Beatrice man will be sentenced in January for drug possession after a plea agreement was reached in District Court Monday, one day before a jury trial was scheduled in the case.

Dusty G. Mayhew, 51, pleaded no contest to a charge of possession of methamphetamine, a class 4 felony. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 3.

Per the plea agreement with prosecutors, a second charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was dismissed. A habitual criminal enhancement will also not apply at the time of sentencing in the case.

A warrant was issued for Mayhew after deputies interviewed another man in a burglary case who said Mayhew typically hid stolen items and methamphetamine high in Mayhew’s residence so they wouldn’t be found.

Deputies went to his residence and were given permission by a female resident to search the home, according to the warrant.

On top of the kitchen cabinets, deputies found three silver spoons, two of which had white residue, and an empty syringe.

Elsewhere in the residence, deputies found methamphetamine in a ceramic container, three more syringes and five empty plastic baggies with a white residue. The residue field tested positive for methamphetamine.

Mayhew has a separate case in District Court scheduled for a jury trial beginning Dec. 13. He’s charged with burglary from last December in that case.

Mayhew was sentenced in September in another case to two years in prison followed by 48 months of post-release supervision for failing to properly register as a sex offender.

He was sentenced to three months in prison on a separate charge of driving under suspension in that case, with the sentences being served concurrently.

Scott Koperski /   

Dusty Mayhew