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By Luke Nichols/Daily Sun sports editor 

Beatrice's Mik Bletscher throws the ball during a B-3 District game against Crete Saturday in Hastings.

Law enforcement warns of scams

A Beatrice resident called the Gage County Sheriff’s Office and spoke with an investigator to report that he was contacted by a person from a “payday” loan company wanting to collect on a loan from 2012.

The resident stated he had never taken out that type of loan, but was concerned because the caller had extensive information on his background, personal information, and referred to people he knew, including a fellow employee from 1991 who he had incidental contact with back then, but has not spoken with in 26 years.

According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, the investigator confirmed the resident had not taken out a loan and had not provided any additional personal, confidential, or financial information to the suspect. The caller was advised to check his bank and credit accounts and to monitor his mail for any fraudulent accounts that may have been opened in his name.

It is unknown how this suspect obtained extensive information on the resident, but it is suspected that it is related to data breaches from a national company and is not related to any actual loan or loan application, the press release stated. The Beatrice Police Department was notified of the report to the sheriff’s office.

Anyone who receives a suspicious call, or any attempt to fraudulently obtain money or other items of value, should contact their local police department or the Gage County Sheriff’s Office and request to speak with an investigator. If the situation is urgent, request to speak with any on-duty deputy.

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Paddock Lane celebrates Columbus Day

As the poem goes, in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Now, 525 years later, students are still learning the story of Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the Americas.

On Monday, second graders at Paddock Lane Elementary in Beatrice spent part of the morning reading books, watching videos and coloring ships in honor of the man who discovered a path to the “New World.”

Of course, Columbus was looking for a route from Europe to Asia, wound up in the Bahamas and declared it to be Indonesia. But still, he came across what would appear to Europeans to be a brand new world, filled with unique spices, plants, animals and people—who Columbus declared “Indians”—in the western hemisphere.

Students in Connie Leech’s second grade class at Paddock Lane sat on the floor as Leech read them a storybook about Columbus’ voyage. The son of a wool merchant, Columbus developed a love of the sea when he was a teenager and developed a theory that traveling west to Asia would be faster than traveling down the length of Africa and around the treacherous Cape of Good Hope.

Columbus, and most Europeans at the time, knew that the earth was round, and were looking for easier ways to reach Asia.

Leech explained that Columbus went to the queen and king of Spain and was able to convince them that his theory was sound. He set sale on the vessels the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria and arrived in the Bahamas on Oct. 12, 1492.

In Kristin Hoffman’s class, second graders answered questions on papers shaped like Columbus’ three ships. It was a lot of work, according to second grader Tayvin Shumate.

“’Who was Christopher Columbus’,” Tayvin read off the paper, sighing at the work that lay ahead of him. “And then we've got a whole other book to do.”

Kadence Clark worked on her boat papers at the same table as Tayvin and they tried to work out exactly what Columbus would need on his journey.

“They started with three ships," Kadence said.

One table over, McKinley Cooper, Maya Mierau and Ryan Moppin excitedly recounted what they had learned on Monday.

“He sailed in a boat,” McKinley said.

“To America,” Mya added.

“And they met Americans,” Ryan said.

Local students named National Merit semifinalists

Local students from Beatrice, Fairbury and Firth were named among the 16,000 semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Tessa Hoffman of Beatrice High School, Ashley Griffee of Fairbury High School and Calla Sullivan of Norris High School will have the opportunity to continue in the competition for scholarships that will be offered next spring.

A total of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $32 million, will be awarded to winners next year.

Usually, around 90 percent of semifinalists go on to become finalists. Then, about half of the finalists are chosen to win a National Merit Scholarship and the Merit Scholar title.

More than one million juniors entered in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the qualifying test. Semifinalists are chosen nation-wide and represent less than 1 percent of high school seniors—the highest-scoring entrants in each state.



Beatrice 35, Waverly 12.

Fairbury 65, Southern 6.

Freeman 40, Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer 0.

Friend 20, Diller-Odell 8.

Johnson-Brock 34, Tri County 10.

Norris 35, Crete 19.

Palmyra 32, Johnson County Central 12.

Pawnee City 50, Sterling 18.

Yutan 28, Wilber-Clatonia 7.

Hanover, Kan. 62, Blue Valley, Kan. 0.

Marysvill, Kan. 38, Chapman, Kan. 20.


Diller-Odell def. Fairbury, 25-19, 25-23 (2-0).

Diller-Odell def. Sterling, 25-19, 25-21 (2-0).

Fairbury def. Heartland Christian, IA, 25-14, 25-21 (2-0).

Norris def. Bennington, 19-25, 25-19, 25-14 (2-1).

Norris def. Elkhorn, 25-12, 25-20 (2-0).

Norris def. Gretna, 25-22, 25-23 (2-0).

Palmyra def. Pawnee City, 25-15, 25-19 (2-0).

Pawnee City def. Tri County, 25-23, 25-20 (2-0).

Tri County def. Fairbury, 19-25, 25-16, 25-14 (2-1).

Tri County def. Falls City, 25-20, 25-23 (2-0).


Crete 8, Beatrice 0.

Seward 12, Norris 5.

Man accused of violating registration requirement

A man accused of failing to properly register as a sex offender turned himself in on a Gage County warrant.

Jeremy L. Vater, 35, surrendered to deputies at the Gage County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday on an arrest warrant for violating the Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act.

An investigator with the Gage County Sheriff’s Office had been notified by the Nebraska State Patrol that Vater had failed to update his sex offender registration information as required in August.

According to a press release, after reviewing the case the investigator completed an affidavit for arrest and forwarded it to the Gage County Attorney’s Office. A judge then issued a felony arrest warrant for Vater.

The sheriff’s office investigator had been in telephone contact with Vater and members of his family and convinced him to surrender himself on the warrant.