Ashfall Fossil Beds near Royal is among the stops on the 2017 Nebraska Passport program that begins today.
“We’re excited to continue this program for an eighth year. The Passport inspires Nebraskans and tourists to travel the state collecting stamps to earn prizes, while also supporting small businesses, attractions and hidden gems,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director. “Every year since its inception the program has gained popularity. In 2016, more than 87,000 total stamps were collected and we expect 2017’s participation to be even better.”
The 2017 Passport again features 80 attractions on 10 themed tours with one tour honoring the state’s sesquicentennial. Travelers will have from May 1 through September 30 to visit the attractions and get their stamps.
“The 2017 Passport program is focused on giving travelers truly memorable experiences,” said Passport program coordinator Erin Wirth. “The 80 Passport stops offer a mix of thrilling, relaxing and unique adventures. Passport travelers will create lifelong memories while they have fun exploring Nebraska. From discovering Nebraska’s hidden gems to celebrating Nebraska’s 150th birthday, the 2017 Passport showcases what makes Nebraska special.”
Passports are now available at participating stops or can be pre-ordered at http://nebraskapassport.com/requestyourpassport/. Participants are also encouraged to download the Nebraska Passport App for their smartphone and get stamped digitally, supplementing the physical Passport booklet for convenience.
THRILLS & CHILLS
Arrow Hotel (Broken Bow)
Fort Cody Trading Post (North Platte)
Fort Sidney Museum and Post Commander's Home (Sidney)
Historic Argo Hotel (Crofton)
Klown Doll Museum (Plainview)
Museum of Shadows (Elmwood)
The Speakeasy (Holdrege)
Trails and Rails Museum/BCHS (Kearney)
Brownville Historic District (Brownville, Stamps at Flatwater Folk Art Museum & Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery)
Chez Bubba Café (Goehner)
Chili Dawg's Foods of Fire (Blair)
Clayton Museum of Ancient History at York College (York)
Gibbons Honey Farms (Crawford)
G.W. Frank Museum of History and Culture (Kearney)
Pawnee City Historical Society & Museum (Pawnee City)
Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed (Lincoln)
ART FOR THE HEART
Artists’ Cooperative Gallery (Omaha)
Cedar Creek Pottery (Beatrice)
Main Street Studios & Gallery (Elkhorn)
Pender Quilt Tour (Pender, Stamp at Main Street Thriftique)
Prairie Arts Center (North Platte)
Robin's Nest (Springfield)
Studio K Art Gallery (Grand Island)
Ash Hollow State Historical Park (Lewellen)
Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center (Wood River)
Fort Robinson State Park & History Center (Crawford)
Niobrara State Park (Niobrara)
North Fork Outfitting LLC (Norfolk)
Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour (Omaha)
Red Willow State Recreation Area (McCook)
Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area (Gering)
A WARM WELCOME
Aurora Downtown Square (Aurora, Stamps at The Renaissance Fine Art and Photography Studio & Aurora Floral)
Fairbury Downtown Square (Fairbury, Stamp at Stagecoach Mall Antiques/Main Street Coffee House)
Ord Downtown Square (Ord, Stamp at The Golden Husk Theater)
Our Corner Cottage Gifts (Wahoo)
Polish Heritage Center (Ashton)
Rustic & Red (Cozad)
Seward Downtown Square (Seward, Stamps at Red Path Gallery & Tasting Room & Chapters Books & Gifts)
Tecumseh Downtown Square (Tecumseh, Stamp at Johnson Country Museum)
CELEBRATE NEBRASKA 150
Legacy of the Plains Museum (Gering)
Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center (Chadron)
National Willa Cather Center (Red Cloud)
NE 150 Mobile Museum (Various Locations)
Nebraska History Museum (Lincoln)
Nebraska National Forest, Bessey Ranger District (Halsey)
Nebraska State Capital (Lincoln)
Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer (Grand Island)
A LITTLE ME TIME
A Little Inspiration (Geneva)
Chapman Swifts Coffee House (Kearney)
Citta’ Deli (McCook)
Double L Country Store and Café (Harrisburg)
Lauritzen Gardens (Omaha)
Positively You Boutique (Central City)
Smith Falls State Park (Valentine)
Something Special by Marilyn (Atkinson)
GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD TIMES
17 Ranch Winery (Lewellen)
The Chocolate Bar (Grand Island)
Glacial Till Tasting Room (Ashland)
Infusion Brewing Company (Omaha)
Junto Wine (Seward)
Legends of Clatonia (Clatonia)
The Tangled Tumbleweed (Scottsbluff)
Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park (Royal)
Bakers Candies Inc (Greenwood)
Father Flanagan’s Historic Home (Boys Town)
Happy Jack Chalk Mine (Scotia)
University of Nebraska State Museum - Morrill Hall (Lincoln)
Ole's Big Game Steakhouse (Paxton)
Runza Restaurant (Lincoln)
BE A KID AGAIN
Dusty Trails LLC (North Platte)
eCreamery Ice Cream & Gelato (Omaha)
Edgerton Explorit Center (Aurora)
Front Street Steakhouse and Crystal Palace Saloon (Ogallala)
Horn T Zoo (Monroe)
Kimmel Orchard & Vineyard (Nebraska City)
TTM Toys (Nebraska City)
UNL Dairy Store (Lincoln)
A pancake benefit will take place on May 21 to help a local resident battling cancer.
There will be a pancake benefit and silent auction on Sunday, May 21 at the Royal Auditorium to support Mary Williby. The meal will be served from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
In February 2017, Mary Williby was diagnosed with Stage 1 Invasive Squamos Cell Carcinoma. Although it is Stage 1, the cancer is considered extremely aggressive. She began treatment on March 16 with chemotherapy and radiation. Mary has been making daily trips to Norfolk to receive treatments.
If anyone is unable to attend but still would like to make a donation, a bank account has been set up at the Bank of Orchard under the name of Mary Williby Benefit.
It’s usually seldom that ownership changes for businesses in small-town Nebraska, but when it does it often makes a big impact on the community.
Taylor Schwager, the new owner of The Royal Bar located in Royal, Nebraska has several aspirations for the future of the business. Schwager has already made quick strides in his short time of ownership with improvements ranging from the installation of a new sign on the front side of the exterior of the building to clearing out trees around the vicinity of the building.
Schwager’s upcoming plans for The Royal Bar include remodeling the interior, installing a new bar, featuring live bands at least once a month, implementing Keno as an activity, and increasing the size of the beer garden as well as installing televisions and providing heat within it. Schwager also excitedly talked about progress of the bar and how business has been going.
“We’ve been doing really well so far. We’ve had a lot of support and help from friends and the community,” Schwager said.
The Royal Bar is managed by Kendra Jeffords, who also serves as the cook.
“We serve lunch every day. We’ve also been doing a lot of drink specials and drawings for different prizes.” Schwager said.
Schwager, 30 years old, is a longtime resident of Orchard, Nebraska. He farms for a living, while additionally owning his own trucking business. Schwager also has one three year old daughter.
The schedule for The Royal Bar is as follows:
Tuesday: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.; 5 p.m. - CLOSE
Wednesday: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.; 5 p.m. - CLOSE
Thursday: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.; 5 p.m. - CLOSE
Friday: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.; 5 p.m. - CLOSE
Saturday: 11 a.m. - CLOSE
Sunday: 2 p.m. - 10 p.m.
The Antelope County News has learned of a Facebook page and website that is not authentic and creating confusion as to the authenticity of the real Antelope County News.
The Antelope County News is a registered trade name with the State of Nebraska and owned by Pitzer Digital LLC. Any other organization and/or person claiming to be the Antelope County News, in person or online, is not the authentic Antelope County News (ACN).
The ACN is asking all of its readers to be aware of this attempt to direct users to both a Facebook page and website that is not the authentic Antelope County News. Please note the authentic ACN Facebook page is www.Facebook/AntelopeCountyNews (beside the name is an official Facebook verified checkmark). If you are on a Facebook page with dashes in the name or one with the phone number that is NOT 402-887-4000, you are NOT on the authentic Antelope County News Facebook page.
The authentic ACN website is www.MyAntelopeCountyNews.com. Please note the use of "my" in the name, along with news content on the website from the ACN. If you are on a website that appears blank or lists another name on the tab near the domain, then you are not on the authentic Antelope County News website.
If you are unsure whether you are on the correct Facebook page, simply look for news from Antelope County. Please note the authentic page has more than 6,700 fans and is full of Antelope County stories, photos and videos.
Please take a moment to check the pages you like or follow on Facebook to make sure it is www.Facebook/AntelopeCountyNews and not a page simply calling itself the Antelope County News with a different phone number.
The Antelope County News does not take responsibility for these other pages or websites; however, Pitzer Digital LLC is exploring remedies to this issue.
Again, the Antelope County News is a registered trade name owned by Pitzer Digital, LLC.
For the first time in what seemed like far too long for avid ice fishers, the Royal Fire Department was able to host their next ice fishing tournament at Grove Lake. After a year off from the tournament, people came from all across Nebraska to enjoy the day.
An impressive 59 teams showed up for a beautiful day on the lake Sunday to support the fire department. The event is held each year as a fund raiser for the fire department. Currently, the department is saving for a new pumper to replace their 1976 Ford Pumper which, while still adequate, is getting a bit outdated according to Royal Fire Chief Gary Ober.
The event started out as a family event 34 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.
"Our first tournament, if I recall, we had 17 teams," Ober said. "It grew to 27 and then from then on it has just gradually went up. We've had up to 72 teams."
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 Williby of Grand Island and Dave Hansen of Bradshaw took home first place with a total weight of 12.8 pounds. Cambrie Drees of Norfolk was given the award for the youngest female fisherman at seven years old. Carson Sayers of Orchard took the award for youngest male fisherman at age five. Max Hieter of Royal led the way as the oldest fisherman in the tournament.
Justin Brandt of O'Neill came away with the biggest individual catch of the day, pulling in a 3.46 pound bass. Neil Zimmerer of Verdigre caught the largest crappie of the day at .84 pounds. The largest bluegill was caught by Pat Gallagher of Inman, also at .84 pounds. The largest perch belonged to Josh Gronenthal of Humphrey, weighing .64 pounds. Between the 59 teams, 232.45 pounds of fish were caught on the day.
Ober was excited to be able to host the event this year, as it has been a couple years since the ice was deemed safe enough to run the tournament.
"Last year we didn't have it because of bad ice," he said. "We don't do the tournament unless there is a good, hard six or eight inches of ice. If its iffy, we don't do it."
The event proved to be a fun day for fisherman of all ages and many of the competitors are already looking forward to next year.
Results from the 34th Annual Royal Ice Fishing Tournament
1st place Wade Williby, Grand Island 12.80 pounds
Dave Hansen, Bradshaw
2nd place Jeff Macke, Brunswick 12.05 pounds
Rick Brandt, Norfolk
3rd place Derek Thiele, Clearwater 10.72 pounds
Eric Allemang, Clearwater
4th place Brock Belik, Orchard 10.62 pounds
Justin Brandt, O'Neill
5th place Neil Williby, Royal 9.85 pounds
Dalton Williby, Royal
6th place Tyson Cole, Page 9.70 pounds
Pat Gallagher, Inman
7th place Max Hieter, Royal 9.57 pounds
Corey Curtis, Royal
8th place Chance Eckmann, North Bend 8.86 pounds
Tyler Going, Ames
YOUNGEST FEMALE FISHERMAN: CAMBRIE DREES AGE 7, Norfolk
OLDEST FISHERMAN: MAX HIETER AGE 73, Royal
YOUNGEST MALE FISHERMAN: CARSON SAYERS AGE 5, Orchard
LARGEST BLUEGILL: PAT GALLAGHER .84, Inman
LARGEST PERCH: JOSH GRONENTHAL .64, Humphrey
LARGEST BASS: JUSTIN BRANDT 3.46, O'Neill
LARGEST CRAPPIE: NEIL ZIMMERER .84, Verdigre
TOTAL POUNDS CAUGHT: 232.45 pounds
It’s time for Royal’s annual Ice Fishing Competition!
Royal Fire Department will host the 34th annual competition on January 15 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Grove Lake.
Royal Fire Chief Gary Ober is looking forward to a good day on the lake, and encourages people to come out to the calcutta as well.
“We have the calcutta on Saturday night in (the Royal auditorium and that’s where teams can sign in and we also have a barbeque,” said Ober. “We’ll feed you and have refreshments there, and that’s where most teams sign in.”
Food will be served at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, 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.
A Vermont man was lifeflighted and two others were arrested following an accident at Grove Lake late Sunday night.
According to the Antelope County Sheriff's Department, deputies discovered a severely damaged vehicle at the north dock of Grove Lake at 11:39 p.m. Sunday.
The investigation determined that the vehicle, a white 2004 GMC Crew pickup, was traveling eastbound on 866th Rd from 519th Ave. The vehicle lost control and skidded off the roadway entering the camping area of the north dock. The vehicle struck a large tree causing significant damage to the vehicle. The vehicle came to final rest in the parking area of the north dock.
Deputies were unable to locate a driver. With the assistance of the Nebraska State Patrol, Neligh Police Department, Orchard Fire, Royal Fire and Neligh Fire, the driver, Logan J. Bartley, 26 of Newport, Vt., was located in a camper at the Grove Lake Bait Shop.
Bartley was transported to Avera St. Anthony’s in O’Neill by Orchard Rescue and later flown to Mercy Hospital in Sioux City with head injuries. Bartley was cited and released for leaving the scene of an accident. Pending an investigation, additional charges may be filed.
Two other individuals were arrested for obstructing a police officer and transported to the Antelope County Jail related to this incident. Alcohol was a factor in the accident, according to the sheriff's department.
Bartley’s vehicle was a total loss, and seatbelt use is unknown.
MTS Tree Service, based out of Royal, is expanding.
Greg Meyer, who started the business a few years ago, has recently expanded to include residential stump grinding as well.
“We started doing tree removal and pasture clearing about two years ago,” said Meyer. “I specialize in a lot of cedar tree removal, hard wood trees and pastures. I just got into the residential stump-grinding about a year ago.”
MTS Tree Service is the only stump remover in the area, so Meyer has stayed busy.
“I’ve been pretty busy so far but it’s been pretty good. Like the stump grinding and stuff, I can do pretty much anything and it doesn’t matter how big or small the tree is, I can do any size.”
On Monday, October 6, Greg Meyer brought out one of his CAT skid loaders to grind a stump in Orchard.
The stump, which measured eight and a half feet in diameter, belonged to a tree on a property owned by Tony Tabbert.
The large tree, which according to Tabbert is three trees merged into one, was cut down by Duane Risinger and before Meyer came in to grind the stump.
In addition to two CAT skid loaders, Meyer has a variety of other tools, including shredders and shears.
To learn more about the tree removal services he provides, visit his Facebook Page at MTS Tree Services.