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Crime-and-courts
breaking
Beatrice bank robbed Monday

A Beatrice man who robbed Great Western Bank Monday afternoon was quickly arrested by police.

Employees called 911 at around 2:20 p.m. to report the robbery at the bank, located at 10th and Court streets.

Beatrice Police Capt. Gerald Lamkin said a man entered the bank and demanded money from a teller.

“He had left with a small amount of money,” Lamkin said. “A description was provided and officers located a couple individuals who matched the description at different locations matching the general description. Officers had gone to bank, observed the video and confirmed the individual stopped at Ninth and Ella streets was the male that had committed the crime.”

The suspect was identified as 54-year-old Terry Lee Bailes of Beatrice.

Lamkin said Bailes left the bank with less than $100, and was quickly apprehended by police in less than five minutes following the call.

“When the call came to the police department, all officers responded, and I mean all officers responded,” he said. “We were able to flood the area with a great number of officers to apprehend him as soon as we did.”

Lamkin said witnesses described the suspect as a white male wearing dark clothes.

Bank workers said Bailes had his hand in a pocket, but never displayed a weapon. Police do not believe he had a weapon at the time of the robbery.

Lamkin commended the bank workers, and said they handles the situation exactly as they should.

“The way this was handled by employees was phenomenal,” he said. “They did a phenomenal job. They did what they’re trained to do and should do when faced in a terrifying situation such as this. They complied with his demands, secured the facility and notified us right away.”

On the recommendation of Beatrice Police Department school resource officer Tim Price, Beatrice Middle School went into a lockdown for about 10 minutes at 2:25 p.m.

Teachers and staff swept the hallways for students, gathering them into their rooms for a shelter in place lockdown, said BMS Principal John Jarosh.

“We always err on the side of safety,” Jarosh said. “Even not knowing what the total story was, we went ahead and went into a lockdown/lockout.”

Jarosh was in a meeting when the front desk staff came to tell him the situation, he said. He pulled out what he calls “the big red book” full of procedures for various events like tornado drills, bomb threats and active shooter situations.

This isn’t the first time the middle school has gone on lockdown, Jarosh said. A few years ago, during another bank robbery, the school had to do the same, which is why they drill for these sorts of things a couple times each year, he said.

Beatrice Public Schools Superintendent Pat Nauroth praised the school’s response to the situation.

"I think it was precautionary more than anything else," Nauroth said. "They did a great job, and I thought it turned out well."

The lockdown was over within a matter of minutes, according to Jarosh, but he said the school’s staff did an excellent job of keeping everyone safe.

“The teachers were great,” he said. “As I was making the announcement, I could hear doors slamming. Slam, slam, slam. They do a great job here at the middle school.”


Local
breaking top story
Six sent to hospitals after Highway 77 crash

One person was airlifted to a Lincoln hospital on Monday morning and another five were taken to area hospitals by ambulance after what was reported to be a head-on collision on Highway 77 just north of Cortland.

A southbound portion of Highway 77 was closed at the Firth Road intersection as Fire and Rescue crews from Cortland, Clatonia and Hallam, as well as the Lancaster County Sheriff's Department and Nebraska State Patrol, responded to what appeared to be a three-vehicle crash.

Traffic headed south was rerouted down Firth Road into Cortland and northbound traffic was cut to one lane.

The extent of injuries were unknown as of Monday morning.


Local
hot top story
Sally Diekmann named Volunteer of the Year at Homestead

She might not work there full time, she doesn’t get paid and she doesn’t get to wear a ranger hat, but if it weren’t for Sally Diekman, the Homestead National Monument of America wouldn’t be nearly as organized as it is.

Although she’s only been volunteering there for about three years now, Diekman was named Volunteer of the Year by the Homestead National Monument of America on Oct. 22. Playing a vital role in the monument’s archival work and events were what put Diekman over the top.

More than 800 volunteers worked at the Homestead National Monument of America last year and donated more than 24,000 hours of their time, which comes out to the equivalent of having 11 full-time employees, said park Superintendent Mark Engler.

What sets Diekman apart is that sometimes she’s asked for by name, said Susan Cook, a park ranger and the volunteer coordinator at Homestead.

Upon the request of organizers, she served as registrar for the Labor Day Weekend Homesteading Era Car Show, getting cars registered and sorting them into their respective categories.

She’s also played a pivotal role in organizing two big archival projects for the monument, Cook said.

A large donation of ephemera from the early days of Dempster’s were given to the Homestead Monument, and Diekmann got to work processing the small pieces of paper, the photos and documents. She gently brushed each of them clean before putting them in non-acidic folders, Cook said.

In the past year, the monument received a large collection of letters from a homesteading family. The Reynolds family donated more than 3,000 letters documenting what day-to-day life was like on their land near Seward.

The letters go into great detail about the things that were happening in that era, Cook said, like when the Spanish flu hit the area and the family tried to avoid going into town because every street was lined with hearses.

Diekmann worked on the team in charge of processing, cleaning, indexing and filing the letters and photographs the monument received. She worked to build a Reynolds family tree and helped create what Cook called a finding aid to help them search for particular subjects.

“If we want to go back and find a letter that talks about the Spanish flu, it tells us where to find it,” Cook said. “Or if we wanted to see the topics of those letters, we can look through the finding aid and find it.”

Diekmann, Cook said, can often be found working in and around the monument, occasionally going around Beatrice to hang flyers for upcoming events.

“She has worked on most every event we've had,” Cook said. “Whether she's a guide for school groups, doing storytelling or Howling Homestead where she served refreshments, she's done a lot of behind-the-scenes things.”


Local
Man arrested in connection with burglary

A second man has been arrested in connection with a burglary earlier this month.

Logan A. Retherford, 18, was arrested on a warrant and is charged with aiding and abetting a class 2 felony.

His next hearing is set for Nov. 6.

The burglary occurred Friday, Oct. 13 at a residence on Mary Street.

Early that morning, a victim said he was in the bathroom when he heard a noise and saw two subjects in his garage, police said. He ran to the front door and saw that his AR15 was missing from the couch in his living room and a CO2 gun missing from his garage.

Police said the victim chased the subjects and caught up with them while they were getting into a dark colored Mercury or Ford SUV and was able to get a partial plate number.

One of the responding police officers remembered a car that matched the description at a Paddock Street home in Beatrice.

Police went to the address and saw the vehicle, a green Mercury Mountaineer, parked behind the residence and saw a male subject run from the backyard.

The owner of the vehicle was contacted and said that she had loaned the vehicle to three men she knew, police said. Police spoke with the homeowner and said that Chance A. Thigpen, 19, was in the basement of the home.

He allegedly told police that he went with three men to break into a house. Thigpen then told police that he had a CO2 pistol from the garage of the house.


High-school
Scoreboard

Football

Elkhorn 35, Beatrice 7.

BDS 60, Pawnee City 16.

Plainview 46, Diller-Odell 30.

Randolph 20, Meridian 16.

Pierce 36, Fairbury 32.

Battle Creek 20, Wilber-Clatonia 0.

Hanover, Kan. 54, Axtell, Kan. 8.

Marysville, Kan. 26, Riley County, Kan. 21.

Volleyball

Beatrice def. South Sioux City, 21-25, 25-12, 26-24 (2-1).

Omaha Gross Catholic def. Beatrice, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21 (2-1).

Omaha Roncalli Catholic def. Beatrice, 25-20, 25-21 (2-0).