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By Marcus Scheer/Daily Sun contributor 

Tri County's Evan Larson (23) drives past a Griffin defender as the Tri County Trojans defeat the Diller-Odell Griffins, 69-47, in the Boys Basketball D1-1 Subdistrict Tournament on February 20, 2018, in Wymore, Neb.

The crumbling Carnegie

The Beatrice Carnegie Building, a shining example of neo-classical architecture situated right in the middle of town is starting to show its age--again.

Built in 1903 and opened as a library in 1904, the Carnegie Building was funded in part by a $20,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish industrialist and philanthropist. Its intricate terra-cotta decoration was created by a Chicago firm that boasted the building’s beauty in its advertisements.

In 2012, an extensive renovation, costing nearly $1 million was completed, allowing for the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce and NGage to take up residency.

But recently, the plaster walls have started puckering, and a plaster ring around the ceiling of the conference room has started cracking and leaning precariously downward.

Directly above the bronze wall plaque featuring Andrew Carnegie, some cracking has pushed out the plaster wall several inches. And, on the ceiling above it, the plaster is starting to crack near the heat vent.

Though no one is exactly sure what is causing the damage, it’s probably not going to be a simple fix, City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer told the Beatrice City Council on Monday.

The council will be having a company come in to take a look at the damage in coming days, he said, in order to determine whether it’s a problem with the building settling, water from the roof or even old and new rafters.

Another obstacle is that the Carnegie Building is on the National Register of Historic Places, meaning any repairs would have to be approved by the state.

“We have to do all of this through the State Historical Preservation Office,” Tempelmeyer said. “So, we have to get their approval before we remove the plaster. We have to know how to make the changes and corrections that need to be made.”

There will also be a company coming in to look at the roof, Tempelmeyer said, and Michael Fakler of Fakler Architects in Beatrice will be lending a hand as well.

There are some grant opportunities that might be available, Tempelmeyer said, but they’ll have wait until after the city finds out what the issue is and determines how to fix it.

“Everybody's taking some time out to help us try to figure out what's going on with the building,” he said. “But we will probably need to make some significant repairs to that building here, probably sooner rather than later.”

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Blue Springs man receives prison sentence

A Blue Springs man who sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant, whom he later threatened, was sentenced to prison on Wednesday.

Lynn J. Replogle, 42, was sentenced to 36 to 60 months in prison for two charges of attempted distribution of a controlled substance and 12 months for attempted tampering with a witness. All charges stem from 2016 incidences.

Gage County Court documents state that in December of 2016, Replogle was arrested on multiple charges for delivering a controlled substance after a confidential informant made controlled buys of methamphetamine and marijuana from him.

On Dec. 11, Replogle sent the confidential informant a Facebook message indicating he knew the informant was the one who made the controlled buys under the guidance of the Sheriff’s Office.

Gage County Court documents state the informant reported that in late December, a window of his residence was damaged, and appeared to have been shot with a shotgun.

It was also reported that the informant had a near-altercation with Replogle at a Wymore residence. The two got into an argument and Replogle allegedly made threats toward the informant.

Replogle was contacted by deputies about the altercation, and said that a conversation had occurred at the residence. He told deputies that he questioned the informant about the controlled buys, but dropped the subject after the man said he wasn’t the informant. Replogle was arrested after the interview.

Replogle had asked for probation, and though the Gage County Attorney’s Office said they weren’t opposed to probation, Gage County District Court District Court Judge Rick Schreiner said that at Replogle’s age and with his past criminal history, he should have known better.

“I want to save everybody and help everybody that we can,” Schreiner said. “I want to save and help you if we can. But, I think in this circumstance, especially given the fact that you have been once convicted of an offense similar to this, I just can't put you on probation.”

Schreiner sentenced Replogle to 36 to 60 months for each of his two attempted distribution charges and 12 months for attempted tampering, all to run concurrently.

Replogle should be eligible for parole on all charges in 18 months, Schreiner said, if he served his time wisely. Schreiner also recommended Replogle seek help for addiction in prison.

“Everybody that uses that substance and continues to use will die from that disease,” Schreiner said. “Your dealing with that substance helps in that process. Your dealing is for purely selfish reasons.”

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Beatrice man given 36 months probation

A Beatrice man was sentenced to 36 months probation on Wednesday after being charged for making terroristic threats and for attempted domestic violence.

Alan F. Volner Jr., 30, was arrested in March of 2017 and spent 328 days in the Gage County Detention Center. Volner arrived in court on Wednesday wearing an orange jumpsuit and he was shackled in handcuffs and leg irons.

His arrest followed an altercation with his girlfriend last year during which police were called on a report of a man running around naked and swearing.

During the incident, the caller said Volner had allegedly cut his girlfriend, and that she was at a neighbor's residence nearby.

Officers went to the address and found Volner in his residence, naked, holding a board that was nearly two feet long.

Volner eventually agreed to put on clothes and speak with officers.

Court documents state he said there was an argument with the victim and he broke a bottle, but denied cutting her.

Gage County Court documents state broken glass was found in the room.

Volner allegedly struck the victim with a board, causing a bruise on her right arm, and a five-inch bruise was observed on the victim.

He then allegedly broke the glass bottle and attempted to stab the victim in the chest and stomach.

Volner allegedly said he was going to kill the victim and then himself.

He didn’t deny that he broke the bottle, but said that while he was angry and upset, he did not attack the victim physically.

“I'd like to say for the record that I'm sorry for how I allowed myself, in that situation, that to happen,” Volner told Gage County District Court Judge Rick Schreiner.

Schreiner, who said he’d seen Volner in front of him several times before, said that prison wouldn’t help to solve Volner’s mental illness problems. Those, he said, could only be worked on by Volner.

“I think it's a result of you not taking responsibility for your mental illness,” Schreiner said. “You don't take it seriously and you just want to get paid and party and that's got to stop. Because, if it doesn't, I will send you to prison.”

Volner said he had been researching jobs from prison and also that the judge would not be disappointed in him.

The judge sentenced Volner to 36 months of probation and instructed him to keep a copy of the conditions of his probation on his person as a reminder.

“I understand you have mental illness,” Schreiner said. “That does not make you incapable of being a contributing member of society. You just have to decide whether you want to be that or you just want to spend your life high, drunk and stupid. Because that's what you do.”