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TCU guard Kenrich Williams, front, rebounds in front of Kansas State forward Levi Stockard III (34) and TCU forward Ahmed Hamdy-Mohamed (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in quarterfinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 8, 2018.

Beatrice Regional Orchestra prepares for spring concert

For the past two months, the Beatrice Regional Orchestra has been preparing for its upcoming spring concert, “Sounds from the Concert Hall,” taking place in the Hevelone Center on March 13.

On the night of the concert, the orchestra will join the Omaha Symphony to perform Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” overture.

Beatrice Regional Orchestra’s conductor, Kevin Boesiger, said that the selection is different from the kinds of music the group usually performs.

“This is a big piece for us because we normally wouldn’t do a full symphonic work like this,” he said. “So this piece is a little more challenging for us, but since we’re doing side-by-side with Omaha Symphony, they selected the repertoire, and that’s what we’ve been working on.”

For the spring concert each year, the Beatrice Regional Orchestra usually brings in a composer or guest conductor to assist with the show. This year, however, the Omaha Symphony contacted Boesiger about working together and suggested holding a show on March 13 – the exact date the orchestra had planned to do its spring concert.

“We’ll do this one big piece with them, alongside, and then we’ll clear out from the stage,” Boesiger said. “They’ve got a couple more selections they’re going to do just by themselves.”

Despite the double show, tickets for the concert will remain at the regular rate for the orchestra, Boesiger said, and being able to see an Omaha Symphony show for that amount is a great deal.

“The concert tickets are still just the price for the normal season for the regional orchestra, so they’re just $5 and students are free. There’s no place you can go to get to hear the Omaha Symphony for $5.”

The Beatrice Regional Orchestra was established in January of 2009, and Boesiger has served as conductor for the past eight seasons. With nearly 40 musicians in the orchestra, Boesiger said that a shared love for music draws in members from all walks of life, including doctors, pastors, teachers, law enforcement officers and students.

“My favorite thing about the orchestra is that we’re so inter-generational,” he said. “So we have kids, we have a few high school players, and then we have players who are 85 or 86 years old. We span like 70 years, and it’s so cool to have these seasoned musicians sitting alongside the younger musicians. It’s just fun to have all these different people involved in the organization.”

The orchestra is hoping to draw in a diverse audience as well for its spring concert, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. on March 13 in the Hevelone Center at Beatrice High School.

“We’d love to pack the Hevelone if we could because the Omaha Symphony doesn’t come to town very often,” Boesiger said. “It’s a great opportunity to have the Omaha Symphony to come down. It’s a great organization.”

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Community Players to host Spring Cabaret on Saturday

The Beatrice Community Players' big annual fundraiser kicks off this Saturday with a whole host of entertainment aimed at showcasing Beatrice’s talent.

On March 10 at 7:30 p.m., Community Players will host their fourth annual Spring Cabaret event at the theater, located at 412 Ella St. Tickets are $15 for the fundraiser that will feature singing, dancing, desserts, silent auctions and a cash bar with beer and wine.

Proceeds from the event will go to support the theater’s main stage shows and its educational efforts, like the Stars of Summer program for children ages 8 to 15, the after school Acting Up program for students in grades five through eight and the Young Adult Theater program for actors between 16 and 25.

It also helps to fund programs like a recent talk-back with students from Tri County following a midday performance of “James and the Giant Peach,” said Community Players board president, Morgan Tunink.

“This helps with our abilities to connect with the community at large and to bring more people in,” Tunink said. “Especially at a young age.”

There are a few surprises added in throughout the night, Tunink said. There will be belly dancers coming in from Lincoln, she said, as well as a group of local talent from performers Ashiya Ali, Anna Ali, Morgan Cowell, Jennifer Dunekacke, Josh Erikson, Anna Erikson, Mason Gustafson, Noah Holcombe, Matt Osmotherly, Lizzy Pegler, Annabel Rash, Marissa Saure, Brittany Thomas and Becka Wilson, with Matt McNiff serving as the night’s emcee.

Tickets for the cabaret can be purchased at the box office on Friday afternoon or at the door, as well as online by visiting the Community Players website or by calling 402-228-1801.

“I don't think people realize what level of talent they have in this small town,” Tunink said. “They really should be aware, because it's frankly phenomenal.”

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Council approves redevelopment plan modifications

The Beatrice City Council approved three redevelopment plan modifications on Monday night that would allow for Tax Increment Financing to be used in construction and renovations on three building sites around town.

Following recommendations from the Community Redevelopment Authority and the Planning and Zoning Commission, the council gave its unanimous approval for one structure downtown and two in the Gage County Industrial Park in Beatrice to use TIF funding for three projects.

The first was for the renovation of 301 Court Street in downtown Beatrice that’s currently underway by Hydo Properties, LLC.

The base project site valuation for the building that was originally constructed in 1883 was $22,790. The completed project was assessed by the county assessor to be $219,725 and the estimated annual projected tax increment was assessed at $3,835.

Approximately $27,000 in TIF funding will be used for an elevator that is anticipated to cost the developer around $100,000, which may be a bit unusual but is still an eligible TIF expense, said Tobias Tempelmeyer, city administrator.

“The portion that's being TIF-ed is just the elevator,” Tempelmeyer said. “They're going to install a passenger elevator on the inside of the building.”

Tempelmeyer also said that the numbers were a bit conservative, as the county assessor couldn’t put a definite number for the valuation after all improvements are made.

The next approval was for a building for Exmark Manufacturing.

In February, the council approved applying for a Site and Building Development Fund grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development for $250,000 for the building, located at 415 Industrial Row in Beatrice.

Exmark, which builds lawn care products at its current location in the industrial park, has plans to turn the 84,000-square-foot building into storage and office space for the company’s divisional office.

Most of the TIF-eligible expenses in the project will be for site acquisition of the Blue Valley Automation building, which currently houses vendors for Exmark and Neapco, in addition to serving as the bus barn for Mid States School Bus Inc., which provides the bus services for Beatrice Public Schools.

The estimated base project valuation for the site is $875,000, with an estimated completed project assessed valuation of $2 million. Most of the TIF-eligible expenses for the project are for site acquisition of the new building.

The third project is a planned spec building by R.L. Tiemann Construction in the industrial park. The 38,000-square-foot building is being planned for a lot in the industrial park north of Precise Fabrication.

A cost benefit analysis of the project said that the completed project's assessed valuation would be $1.4 million, with an estimated annual projected tax increment of $27,160. The CBA goes on to say that the developer anticipates approximately $1.7 million for the acquisition and related improvements, including expenditures for eligible public improvements and that approximately $194,000 of the public expenditures will be financed with TIF funds.

With the recent construction of the Hybrid Turkeys hatchery north of the site, the infrastructure is already in place, Tempelmeyer said.

“Most of the tax financing eligible expenses will be some site aquisition, grading work, site prep and maybe some parking lots outside,” Tempelmeyer said. “Some of those types of things.”