Hannibal Park in northeast Beatrice will receive new playground equipment later this year thanks in part to a grant approved by the Gage County Board of Supervisors.
On Wednesday, the board approved a Visitor’s Improvement Grant to Youth Recreation Inc. (YRI) for $25,000 for the equipment.
The total project is estimated to cost $85,000 and is being done in conjunction with the Beatrice Girls Softball Association.
That group is contributing $20,000. The city of Beatrice is contributing $25,000 as well.
Gage County Tourism Director Nolan Fast said the equipment will be built east of the ball fields at Hannibal Park, which were constructed in 2016.
The project consists of ADA accessible playground equipment and a shelter at the park to better accommodate the increasing number of visitors to the park.
County Board member Gary Lytle said the new equipment is one of many recent and upcoming additions aiming to enhance the park.
“The city has got $500,000 that they’re spending out at Hannibal Park related to other upgrades and things going on at the same time,” he said. “This is an added piece that gives families a little bit of an upgrade as to what’s going on out there.”
Fast said another addition for the northeast area of Beatrice is a walking trail that will connect with existing trail systems.
“They want to have a walking trail that basically crosses Beatrice,” he explained. “The idea is that they want to make it so it’s connected. Until that happens, it will be probably gravel or rock to represent that space."
According to the grant application, YRI has hosted 10 tournaments with 200 teams and more than 2,000 players and 3,500 parents coming to Beatrice in the last two years.
Previous grants allowed Beatrice to add two baseball diamonds that have allowed for two additional tournaments.
Softball teams and YRI members will provide help where they can, and construction of the new equipment and shelter is expected to begin next month.
A crash in downtown Beatrice left traffic snarled at a major intersection just before 1 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.
The Beatrice Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol and Beatrice Fire and Rescue responded to the scene where a Chrysler minivan and a Chevrolet pickup collided in the middle of the Sixth and Court street intersection.
The truck's rear driver's side tire was blown out and debris from the bed of the truck was strewn around the intersection and the minivan's airbags inflated, but no injuries were reported.
Police directed traffic around the two disabled vehicles until they could be cleared about 15 minutes later.
Three people were arrested by Beatrice police after anonymous reports of a party where minors were consuming alcohol.
Just after midnight Thursday morning Beatrice police were dispatched to the 600 block of North Ninth Street for a report that minors were drinking at the residence.
Upon arrival, police contacted two people on the back side of the house. When the officer attempted to contact the people, one of them, 19 year old Mariah M. Waters, started running west toward the front of the house.
Court documents state the officer was able to grab her arm, and she allegedly turned and hit the officer on the right side of his face. She continued to pull away as another officer assisted and placed her under arrest for third-degree assault on an officer, obstructing police, resisting arrest and minor in possession.
Court records state Waters had slurred speech and smelled of alcohol. A breath test revealed an alcohol level of .115.
While officers were collecting breath samples from others involved, a man identified as Jack Dinneen, 19, of Exeter allegedly started running south. Police apprehended him in a back yard and was placed in handcuffs. He was arrested for minor in possession and obstructing a peace officer.
The last person of the 28 contacted was 19-year-old Samuel J. Zeleny. After telling police his first name, he allegedly ran south on Ninth Street. He was apprehended after a half-block pursuit and arrested for obstructing an officer and minor in possession.
If spring is a time for new beginnings and growth A Taste of Spring fits right in.
On Friday, the 17th annual Taste of Spring event kicks off at the brand new Vintage Venue at 620 Court St. in Beatrice. Tickets for the event that features art, live music and craft beer and wine tastings are $30 at the door.
The event—sponsored by Pinnacle Bank—serves as a fundraiser for Main Street Beatrice and something of a cotillion for Vintage Venue.
Vintage Venue has been a work in progress for the past nine months by John and Colleen Schoneweis. Located in what was previously the RadioShack storefront, Vintage Venue has been gutted, reworked, rewired and reimagined.
The wood floors are original to the building, dating back to when it was an automobile dealership in the 1920s and the plaster has been removed from the walls, revealing the brickwork and exposed beam ceiling and the big picture windows let in enormous amounts of daylight.
It’s a far cry from its retail past, but walking through the big, cedar carriage doors and into the 5,000 square foot main room, the space’s history can be seen and smelled. The second floor isn’t open to the public, but there’s an almost nostalgic smell of 80-some-year-old motor oil haunting the upper floor that was at one point home to an auto mechanic.
Main Street Beatrice executive director Michael Sothan said that the Taste of Spring event typically brings in about 150 people, but they’ve already sold close to 200 tickets to Friday’s event. He said a lot of that has to do with people’s curiosity and excitement about the new space.
Taste of Spring will feature live acoustic music from Tecumseh-native Daniel Christian, photography by Shelli Hubke and samples of seven wines, seven local craft beers and one local hard cider. There’s no silent auction or anything else to buy, it’s just a chance to visit with neighbors, Sothan said.
“It's one of our more care-free, more laid-back fundraising events that we put on,” he said. “There's really no strings attached.”
There will also be food provided by Colleen’s Catering—also run by the Schoneweis’—and, for the first time, they’ll be offering the available beers and wines for off-sale, so if you find something you like, you can buy some to take home.
“People can come and go,” Sothan said. “We have people that come for just 15 minutes, 30 minutes. People that stay here the entire evening or they get here for the last hour.”