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When a pickup went missing, four clues were left behind.
But one was all Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore needed.
The sheriff’s department received a report of a stolen vehicle on June 4 at 6:04 a.m. Dennis Bridge of Royal reported that his pickup was missing from the driveway in front of his home, located at 101 3rd St. The keys had been left inside.
When he responded to the call that morning, Sheriff Moore found a set of car keys, a cell phone, a hat and a pair of shoes at the scene.
“I took the set of car keys and drove around Royal hitting the panic button,” he said. “I heard honking off in the distance.”
The sheriff followed the sound to a red Jeep, parked at 2nd and Ponca streets. When he knocked, there was no answer at the door. After responding to another call, Sheriff Moore returned around noon.
He saw a man trying to use a door hanger to unlock the Jeep and approached him.
“When I showed him the keys and unlocked the vehicle, he admitted to taking the pickup the night before,” the sheriff said.
Abisael Santiago Rodriguez, 25, was arrested on the charges of theft by unlawful taking, a class 4 felony, and criminal mischief, a class I misdemeanor.
Sheriff Moore said the stolen pickup was found about a block away from Bridge’s home after a local resident contacted the owner. It appeared to be leaking oil after the theft, which the sheriff said is the reason for the criminal mischief charge.
“The pickup didn’t show any outward signs of damage, except that it looked like it was leaking oil,” he said. “It wasn’t leaking oil in the driveway before, so it was probably caused by some engine damage or something.”
Rodriguez posted bond two days later. He is set to appear in Antelope County Court on July 18.
The Royal Alumni banquet was held Saturday, June 2. In attendance from the class of 1958 were Jan Curtis and Forrest Francis.
The Class of 1943 attendees were Elaine Bartsch Meyer and Myrtle Zeigenbein Blair, pictured with Eloise Bartsch Johnson of the class of 1944.
The Class of 1962, which had the most attendees, included Max Hieter, Janice Charf Furstenau and Marlene Rader Newmann.
Our fallen heroes were honored Monday during Memorial Day services.
The Orchard American Legion Post provided the color and honor guard were on hand for the ceremony. Pastor Troy Watson addressed the audience, talking about sacrifice. The Orchard High School band was on hand providing music, including the national anthem.
A number of students at Southeast Community College received Student-of-the-Quarter honors at the Milford Campus during the 2017 Fall Quarter.
To be chosen as Student of the Quarter, instructors look at a number of qualifications, including grades, attitude and participation.
Riley Blomenkamp of Royal was chosen as Student of the Quarter in Nondestructive Testing Technology.
People of all ages across Nebraska gathered at Grove Lake for another year of the Royal Ice Fishing Tournament.
An impressive 65 teams showed up to compete, topping last year's number of 59 teams. The event is held each year as a fundraiser for the fire department.
Royal Fire Chief Gary Ober said its nice to see the amount of teams increasing and the support from local businesses and the many competitors is very appreciated.
The event started out as a family event 35 years ago as a fun event for the department. Over the years, the event has grown into a popular one for the town of Royal. The first year of the tournament saw a turnout of just 17 teams, with a gradual increase throughout the years. This year's registration of 65 teams sat just under their record of 75 teams entered.
After holding a calcutta to kick off the event on Saturday evening, the fishermen hit the lake at 9 a.m. Sunday morning and caught as many fish as they could until 2 p.m. Cash awards and trophies were given to winning teams, and trophies were also awarded to the oldest fisherman, youngest male fisherman and the youngest female fisherman.
Wade Frederick of Yankton and Mark Rettig of Niobrara took home first place with a total weight of 10.36 pounds. Brylie Billings of Orchard was given the award for the youngest female fisherman at eights years old. Dakota Velleck of Verdigre took the award for youngest male fisherman at age four. Max Hieter of Royal led the way as the oldest fisherman in the tournament.
Kyle Coover of Norfolk came away with the biggest individual catch of the day, pulling in a 3.4 pound bass. Terry Ronk caught the largest crappie of the day at .69 pounds. Fishermen catching the largest blue gill was tied at .58 pounds between Wade Frederick of Yankton and Austin Hilker of O'Neill. The largest perch belonged to Max Hieter of Royal, weighing .58 pounds.
RESULTS FROM THE 2018 ROYAL ICE FISHING TOURNAMENT
1st Place: Team #13 - 10.36 pounds
Wade Frederick, Yankton
Mark Rettig, Niobrara
2nd Place: Team #6 - 7.4 pounds
Brock Belik, Orchard
Justin Brandt, O'Neill
3rd Place: Team #10 - 6.14 pounds
Derek Thiele, Clearwater
Eric Allemang, Clearwater
4th Place: Team #51 - 5.73 pounds
Pat Gallagher, Inman
Tyson Cole, Page
5th Place: Team #45 - 5.19 pounds
Kyle Coover, Norfolk
Terry Ronk Jr., Norfolk
6th Place: Team #30 - 4.86 pounds
Dave Hansen, Grand Island
Wade Williby, Grand Island
7th Place: Team #15 - 4.86 pounds
Derek Price, Pierce
Rod Johnson, Pierce
***Tie for 6th & 7th settled by coin flip***
8th Place: Team #26 - 4.55 pounds
Doug Krueger, Stanton
Nate Krueger, Hadar
Blue Gill: Wade Frederick, Yankton .58 pounds
Austin Hilker, O’Neill .58 pounds
Perch: Max Hieter, Royal .58 pounds
Bass: Kyle Coover, Norfolk 3.4 pounds
Crappie: Terry Ronk, Jr .69 pounds
Oldest Fisherman: Max Hieter, Royal
Youngest Male Fisherman: Dakota Vellek, Verdigre, Age 4
Missy Hieter Eckmann Trophy for the Youngest Female: Brylie Billings, Orchard, Age 8
John Nelson, of Orchard, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma in November. While going through recovery following surgery to remove the mass, he was then diagnosed with chronic Leukemia.
As he deals with his conditions, he is unable to work. Therefore, a pancake feed and bake sale will be held at the Royal Auditorium on February 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Along with the pancake feed, a gun raffle will be held after 2 guns were graciously donated. If you are interested in purchasing a ticket, contact any member of the Nelson/Williby family or Royal One Stop. Tickets are $5.00 each.
An account has also been set up at the Bank of Orchard to help with funds during this difficult time.
It’s time for Royal’s annual Ice Fishing Competition!
Royal Fire Department will host the 35th annual competition on Sunday, January 14 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Grove Lake.
BBQ and refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 13, and the calcutta will start at 7:30.
Sign up fees are $30 for every two-man team, and teams can also arrive at Grove Lake early on Sunday morning to sign up.
All teams will meet at the north end of the lake on Sunday morning before going out to fish at 9 a.m.
Cash awards and trophies will be given to winning teams, and trophies will also be awarded to the oldest fisherman, youngest male fisherman and the youngest female fisherman.
All proceeds from the event will go towards a new pumper for the Royal Fire Department.
For more information, contact Gary Ober 402-893-2880, Max Hieter 402-893-4531, Butch's Body Shop 402-893-5115, or Royal One Stop 402-893-3861.
A Royal man who has been accused of terroristic threats will wait just a little while longer before his preliminary hearing.
Justin Jensen, who was arrested Monday, November 13, after making threatening statements toward Holt County Judge Mark Kozisek, had his bond continued in court on Wednesday. A preliminary hearing was set for January 3 at 2:30 p.m.
Jensen was arraigned in Antelope County court on November 15 on terroristic threats, a Class IIIA Felony.
A Royal man was arrested for terroristic threats after making threatening statements toward a local judge.
According to Antelope County Attorney Joe Abler, Justin Jensen was arrested Monday, Nov. 13, after making threatening statements toward Holt County Judge Mark Kozisek.
Jensen was arraigned in Antelope County court Wednesday on terroristic threats, a Class IIIA Felony.