The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Good Old Days



'COMING! Opera House Ole Theobaldi and Company'

November 15, 1913

Ole Theobaldi is conceded to be the greatest violinist living today. Madame Steitzel, the famous soprano, is one of the world's finest vocalists. M'lle Helena Kellere is also very well and favorably known as one of the best pianists before the public.

Seats for this entertainment may be purchased at the Sidney Drug Store any time after Monday noon, Nov. 17. about 150 of the 212 reserved seats in the opera house have been sold, the remaining 62 will, no doubt, be purchased very quickly. The doors will open at 7:45 p.m. The concert will begin promptly at 8:30. It would be a rare treat to hear any one of the musicians who make up this company. To hear all three is surely an exceptional opportunity and should not be missed by anyone who loves music.


'Omaha Lady Hurt In Crash Saturday'

November 15, 1938

Mrs. Anita Fricke of Omaha was badly injured Saturday evening in a car-truck crash on a highway corner six miles east of Gurley. Mrs Fricke was brought to the Roche hospital for treatment for a compound pelvis fracture and other injuries.

Driver of the car in which Mrs. Fricke was riding was William Krueger. The truck driver was Martin Flessner, who was hauling 150 bushels of corn in his truck.

According to authorities, Flessner's truck struck Krueger's car broadside, pushing it from the road into the ditch. The car remained upright but Flessner's truck was turned over.

The crash occurred at a corner where vision is partially obstructed by trees, it was reported. Krueger was driving north, Flessner was driving west, and a small grove of trees interferes with clear vision until the driver approaches the corner.

Both Krueger and Flessner said they did not see each other until it was too late to avoid the crash. Krueger's car was badly wrecked, the impact crushing one side. Flessner told Sheriff Schulz he did not believe his truck would travel over 20 miles per hour but it was carrying a heavy load, which probably accounted for the heavy damage.

Mrs. Fricke is a sister of Al Sutter of Sidney.


'Trophy Won Fifth Time'

November 15, 1963

For the fifth time in six years, the City of Sidney has received an award for the efficient operation of its sewage disposal plant.

The Scott-Wilber award was presented last night at Omaha at the annual meeting of the Water Pollution Central Assn.

Floyd Sanks, superintendent of the Sidney water department, and Ben Spady, operator of the sewage disposal plant, were on hand to accept the award.

Sidney has won it in 1958-59 -61-62-63. It is a traveling trophy, but Sidney has now won it for three straight years and will get to keep it.

The city's operation of the plant has been studied by many communities faced with sewage disposal problems. It also has been the subject of repeated commendation from Nebraska Department of Health and other public agencies which are conscious of the vital importance of successful sewage disposal facilities.

Sidney was one of the first communities in this part of the state to install such a plant in order to end the pollution of Lodgepole Creek below the disposal area.

In addition to efficiency of operation, the city has maintained landscaping and care taking policies which have made an attractive facility of and operation which might easily be unsightly.


'Brick Paroled: Skiba Children In Shock'

November 16, 1988

Jacqueline Simpson Brick was paroled Tuesday morning. Brick, sentenced to 40 years in the Women's Reformatory in York in September of 197 by Cheyenne County District Court Judge John D. Knapp, had served 11 years. She had entered a plea of guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of Fred Skiba in November, 1976.

"We're still in shock," Karen Skiba-Estrada reported Tuesday morning by telephone from Lincoln. She and her brother, Eric Skiba, had flown to the hearing by the Nebraska Board of Paroles in Lincoln from their home in California.

Under special terms of her parole, Brick, who will be living with friends in Idaho Springs, CO, is forbidden to consume alcohol and not allowed to enter bars or taverns and has to attend mental health counseling. Brick must also "abide by all the rules and regulations of the Colorado Parole Administration authorities.

The family has also asked that Brick be forbidden from ever contacting any member of the Skiba family. There was no mention of the request by the parole administration.

Brick's brother, Jerry Simpson, was convicted of first-degree murder, after a trial during which his sister reportedly testified for the state. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by Judge Knapp, who added an additional 16and two-thirds to 50 year sentence for robbery.

The pair, accompanied by Brick's daughter, Tina Marie, four years old, were apparently hitchhiking west on I-80 near Omaha when they were picked up by Skiba, enroute back to California on a break from construction work.

According to Karen Skiba, she received late word last week that Brick was going to have another parole hearing on Nov. 15, just nine months after being denied a parole last February.

Skiba immediately telephoned The Telegraph and Cheyenne County Attorney Robert Goodwin and reported the impending hearing. Goodwin responded with a letter to the parole board protesting both the short notice and the possibility of parole. Called Tuesday, he said he was surprised by the decision. After both telephone calls, Karen Skiba-Estrada and her brother each followed up with letters to The Telegraph (which reached the newspaper too late to be included in Friday's paper), imploring help from Sidney and Cheyenne residents.

"I need your support, my family needs your support," Skiba-Estrada pleaded in her letter "Help us! Please send or call in your support before November 15, 1988, to the State of Nebraska Board of Parole!"

Eric Skiba's letter, more detailed, recalled, "Five days after my thirteenth birthday, my father was murdered on a remote section of I-880 near Sidney. He was returning to California from work in Nebraska on a cold, snowy, wintry day. He made the mistake of offering a ride to a young couple with a small child, hitchhiking in the freezing cold.

My father bought them lunch and, in return for his generosity, was shot several times in a robbery attempt and left to slowly die in the same freezing cold.

Unless we can stop it the woman who shot my father three times is going to be released by the Nebraska Board of Parole in Lincoln on Tuesday. The five children of Fred J. Skiba are asking for your help."

Their plea, and their long journey to Nebraska, failed.


'MHC Brings Medical Advances to Sidney'

November 13, 2003

Memorial Health Center continues to strive to bring advances in medical technology home. Area patients now have Positron Emission Tomography (PET) at their disposal, a mobile imaging machine designed to detect cancer.

"It's a sensitive test that can detect progression of a cancer or response to therapy that other tests can't." said Dr. Michael Matthews of Sidney Medical Associates. The unit is the only one accessible to patients in the panhandle.

Technological advances are providing physicians with a better understanding of cell metabolism, and at the forefront is the PET scan. Unlike Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT), which primarily provide anatomical images, PET measures chemical changes in the tissue that occur before abnormalities are visible on an MRI or CT scan.

The PET is able to reveal whether tissue is normal or abnormal based on cellular metabolism. PET images can therefore demonstrate pathological changes long before they would be revealed in a CT or MRI.

PET can also help physicians with early diagnosis of cancer and provide supplemental information that can help predict a patient's prognosis for surgery. Types of cancer the scan may help diagnose sooner include: breast, colon, lung, head and neck and thyroid tumors. In addition, PET can also assist physicians to monitor a patient's response to treatment as well as identify distant metases that can affect treatment, helping curtail ineffective treatments and reduce unnecessary invasive procedures.

PET procedures may vary, but in general a PET technologist administers a radio-pharmaceutical injection. For most studies, a patient will have to wait for the radio-pharmaceutical to distribute itself (approximately 30 minutes to one hour.)

Following the injection distribution period, the patient lies on a table that moves slowly through a ring-like PET scanner as it acquires information it needs to generate diagnostic images. Overall, the PET is painless and takes a mere 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

The final stage is to prepare the results of a patient's exam for review by radiologists, and then by the appropriate physician who in turn tells the patient the results of the examination.

The mobile PET unit visits Sidney every other Wednesday, and is provided by Front Range Imaging, Inc. of Cheyenne, Wyoming. "It's just another service provided to the medical community, said Lyle Johnson, RTR (N) President of Front Range Imaging. "The survival of all community hospitals really depends on making more services available, keeping patients at home."


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