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A cold, snowy Sunday made for a perfect day on Grove Lake with 41 teams participating in the annual Royal Fire Department Ice Fishing Tournament.
Derek Thiele and Eric Allemang took home the top prize with 16.33 pounds. Justin Brandt and Brock Belik were second with 12.82 pounds while Jeff Macke and Rick Brandt were third with 11.31.
Biggest trout went to Austin Hilker at .69. Wade Frederick caught the largest blue gill at .71. Abe Meyer had the largest perch at .52 pounds. The largest crappie went to Nate Kathol at .77 pounds. There was no largest bass.
Max Hieter of Royal, 75, was the oldest fisherman. Dakota Vellek of Verdigre was the youngest male and Jaelyn Shaver was the youngest female.
1. Derek Thiele & Eric Allemang, 16.33; 2. Justin Brandt & Brock Belik, 12.82; 3. Jeff Macke and Rick Brandt, 11.31; 4. Spencer Volden & Nate Kathol, 10.93; 5. Mark Retting & Wade Frederick, 8.61; 6. Taylor Williby & Brandon Salpas, 8.14; 7. Adam Cooper & Travis Cooper, 8.01; 8. Spencer Strope & Tanner Hart 7.82.
A fiery collision between two semis on the Royal Road early Wednesday evening led to one person being transported to a local hospital.
Officials from the Antelope County Sheriff’s Department said two tractor trailers were southbound on 519th Avenue south of Royal around 5 p.m. The first semi was attempting to pull into Morrison Farms, and the second truck was passing the first semi when the collision occurred at the intersection, according to officials.
The semi that was pulling into the entrance caught fire after impact. Royal and Orchard Fire Departments responded and extinguished the blaze.
One of the drivers was transported by Orchard Rescue to Antelope Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The incident remains under investigation. No other details are available at this time.
A benefit is planned to help an area man who was recently diagnosed with a life-threatening immunodeficiency blood disease.
Chuck Kraft spent months in the hospital and on a ventilator before finally being diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lympohistiocytosis (HLH). Kraft is currently undergoing treatment and chemotherapy. In his condition, he is very weak, unable to work, and without health insurance. The son of Vonda and the late John Kraft, Chuck is a 1980 graduate of Neligh-Oakdale High School.
To help defray medical expenses, a sloppy joe meal, live auction, bake sale and gun raffle are planned on Saturday, Aug. 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Royal Auditorium. Gun raffle tickets are $10 each for a chance to win a Remington 700 SPS Stainless (winner chooses caliber), 6.5 Creedmoor Ruger American Predator Rifle, Ruger American Farmer .22 Long Rifle or a Henry Golden Boy .22 Long Rifle. Need not be present to win.
For more information, please contact Lisa Janak 402-358-0566, Lucas Nelson 402-394-1360 or Lori Boelter at 402-842-2222.
The Department of Homeland Security was on scene of a Royal hog confinement Wednesday morning.
The Nebraska State Patrol blocked the entrance to the Long Pine Hog Confinement located one mile east and two miles south of Royal as the Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) team worked the scene inside the fenced area of the confinement.
Law enforcement on scene had no comment on the investigation.
Armed HSI officers surrounded the main building as white vans surrounded the location. HSI officers carried evidence cases into the main building as other Long Pine employees looked on from the confinement area.
It’s unknown at this time how many people are employed at Long Pine or how many individuals left with HSI officials.
This was just one of multiple raids in Northeast and North Central Nebraska on Wednesday morning. Another high-profile raid took place in O’Neill at the Ventures tomato processing plant.
Enjoy a leisurely ride through scenic northern Antelope County this weekend.
On Saturday, July 21, participants will fire up their tractors for the Royal Tractor Ride.
Sign up will begin at the Last Chance Bar & Grill in Royal starting at 10:30 a.m. and the ride will leave at noon. Lunch will be available before and after the ride.
For more information, contact Gary Ober at 402-340-0170.
After nearly one week, the water boiling notice has been lifted in Royal.
The boil notice was issued by the Village of Royal on June 27. The public was told not to drink the water without bringing it to a boil. Bottled or boiled water was to be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes and cooking until further notice.
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.