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Dispatcher helps couple deliver a baby

When dispatchers answer a 911 call from someone in labor, they usually have plenty of time to get an ambulance to the residence and get the woman to the hospital by the time of delivery.

That wasn’t the case when dispatcher Russ Jobman took a call shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday from a man saying his wife was in labor.

“Typically, if they’re in labor like that, we’ve got some time and can find out how far along is she and how far apart contractions are,” Jobman said. “My partner picked up that the way she was screaming, there weren’t any breaks in the contractions… I asked ‘can you see the head?’ and he said 'yes,' and it was crowning.”

The caller said the mother woke up screaming and realized she was in labor.

Jobman had to think quickly and forego the usual steps that dispatchers would usually walk expectant parents through. Instead, he talked the father through the delivery over the phone.

“There was no time to get towels or in the proper position or anything like that,” Jobman said. “Basically, less than four minutes from time they called, they were holding a bouncing baby boy.

“It wasn’t, 'find a towel or blanket.' It was, 'wrap it in whatever you’ve got there.' There was no time whatsoever to prepare.”

Coaching someone through labor is hard enough in person, but Jobman was forced to do it over the phone while rescue crews raced to the west Beatrice residence.

Jobman told the man to stay on the phone with him until the ambulance arrived.

He warned the man the baby would be slick, so he had to take extra care not to drop it. Jobman also had the man check if the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby.

It’s going to be messy, Jobman told the man, just stay with me on the phone.

“He was rather excited and you just try to keep on top of it, making him pay attention to the job he had ahead of him,” Jobman said. “Is he breathing? Is he crying? And don’t mess with the umbilical cord. The ambulance was less than a minute away, so we’re going to wait for medical professionals to get there.”

One of the last questions Jobman asked was if it was a boy or a girl.

A boy, the man said.

Jobman offered his congratulations to the parents and hung up the phone. He said that, from what he’d heard, the newborn was doing well at the Beatrice Community Hospital and that the original due date wasn’t for nearly three weeks.

Jobman has been a dispatcher for 14 years. In that time, he’s never had a call like the one he took Thursday morning, a call he’s not soon going to forget.

“You see a lot and handle a lot over the years," he said, "but to feel like you had a small part in bringing life into this world is kind of special."


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Third graders knit hats to help homeless infants

The third grade students in Jeanette Faulder’s class have spent the last week learning to knit, and now they’re using their new skills to help keep babies warm this holiday season.

The Paddock Lane Elementary students have been using looms to create tiny hats that Faulder will donate to shelters in Lincoln that will go to homeless infants.

The third graders started out with a goal of making 10 hats, but Faulder has a feeling that target won’t be hard to reach.

“I think we'll probably exceed our goal because of their interest,” she said. “They just really took off on this and made them a lot easier than I thought they might.”

Students brought in soft yarn to donate to the cause and, in between classwork, they wrap yarn around a circular plastic loom with a hook, crafting each of the tiny hats by hand.

Third grader Colton Reeves said that making the hats has proven the old adage that it’s better to give than to receive.

“It makes you feel better,” Colton said. “And it gives you a feeling in your heart that warms it.”

So far, the students have knitted about five hats to donate, but they’re expecting that number to be higher by the end of the week. Faulder said she had taught another class to knit hats about three years ago, but for some reason, this class has become really dedicated.

It teaches the kids a skill, Faulder said, but more importantly, it teaches them to have empathy for others. At Paddock Lane, the December character quality of the month is caring, she said, and this is the perfect project for that.

“It's just really wonderful for me to see them thinking of others and excited about giving to other people,” she said. “I was very pleased when they took off and wanted to donate yarn and take them home.”

Start to finish, knitting a hat usually takes about an hour or two, but since the class only works on them in-between classroom activities, it takes a couple of days for the kids to finish one of the hats, Faulder said.

Third grader Kaylynn Harder finished up her first hat and said she’s looking forward to making more.

“After we get past our goal, I'm going to make one for my sister and probably my cousin,” she said.

Once the hats are completed, Faulder will be dropping them off at homeless shelters in Lincoln before the holidays.

The students will be leaving for Christmas break with a new skill under their belts, and could start selling the hats that they make, but rather than opening up an Etsy shop, Colton had a different business model in mind.

“I'd probably sell them for free,” he said.


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Lighted Christmas Parade draws an estimated 5,000 people

Landing on what may have been the last evening of pleasant weather for the year, Saturday’s Lighted Christmas Parade in downtown Beatrice couldn’t have asked for much better conditions.

On Monday night, members of the Beatrice City Council thanked the Beatrice Chamber of Commerce, who organized the parade, for a job well done.

Chamber Executive Director Lora Young estimated that there were about 5,000 people in attendance for the third annual parade.

Participants included local businesses, churches and schools and several city of Beatrice vehicles were all lit up for the event. City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer even came dressed as a reindeer.

Council member Rick Clabaugh told Young that the parade was a success and that it was great to see so many people out on Fifth Street for the event. Young thanked the city and Beatrice Police Chief Bruce Lang for their assistance.

“I just really want to thank so much the city and all the departments for all their help,” Young said. “It was wonderful seeing Tobias in the parade. Chief, thank you, we really couldn't do it without the city. So, we are really appreciative and I wanted to say a public thank you very much. It was an awesome night.”

The horse-drawn trolley rides with Santa Claus, organized by Main Street Beatrice, drew so many people that they had to extend the hours of operation by another hour to accommodate the 500 or so people in line, Main Street Beatrice Executive Director Michael Sothan said.

Stretching from Brown’s Shoe Fit on Court Street all the way past Clabaugh Pharmacy and around the corner, people stood in line, waiting to take a ride around town with Santa.

"People were just so excited and almost all of them were planning on coming to the parade later on," Sothan said. "You couldn’t have asked for anything better."

Council member Rich Kerr said having so many people in town was great because many went out to eat after the parade. He also encouraged residents to continue shopping in Beatrice throughout the holiday season.

When people do their shopping in Lincoln or on the internet, that money doesn’t come back to Beatrice, Kerr said, to either store owners or in taxes. He asked residents to check local shops for items they’d like and said that if they don’t have them, to ask and maybe they can get it.

“I hope the media will say some things in the radio and the paper to urge our citizens to buy here in Beatrice,” Kerr said. “Our shop owners spend money here, they pay taxes here, we should be buying here.”


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Multiple arrests made after drug investigation

Authorities have arrested multiple people after an investigation into drugs being sold in southern Gage County.

Following the investigation, 48-year-old Roger L. Cline Sr. and 37-year-old Amanda D. Cline of Wymore were arrested on warrants. Blue Springs resident Dennis C. Burr, 29, was also arrested.

All three are charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, a class 2 felony.

In May, a confidential informant made a controlled buy of methamphetamine from Roger Cline and Oxycodone from Amanda Cline.

Roger Cline left his residence in Wymore to purchase methamphetamine, which he then allegedly sold to the informant.

Amanda Cline was later arrested and interviewed, according to a warrant. She detailed sales history for a variety of drugs, including methamphetamine, Oxycodone and marijuana.

Several cooperating witnesses were also involved in the investigation.

Earlier this year, Wymore police were tipped off that Roger Cline was selling methamphetamine.

Burr allegedly sold distributed methamphetamine to multiple cooperating witnesses during the investigation.

Authorities conducted several controlled buys from May 2017 through the summer.