Like many Champion residents over the weekend, County Commissioner Don Weiss Jr., was puzzled about the missing historical sign at the southeast edge of Champion Lake, which some believed may have been stolen. (Johnson Publications photo)

The sign is awaiting pickup at the district transportation department office in Imperial for refurbishing. (Johnson Publications photo)

Champion Lake sign not stolen after all

There were some worried county and historical society officials Sunday, but it was all for naught as the information sign at the southeast edge of Champion Lake wasn’t stolen after all.
    When the lake’s maintenance supervisor Bill Eskew was watering flowers Sunday morning, he noticed it was gone, with just two sawed off posts remaining near a pair of flower pots and a bench. County Commissioner Don Weiss Jr., was at the lake and mill in the afternoon and hadn’t received any information beforehand that it was going to be removed, so he, along with some county historical society officers, initially believed it may have been stolen.
    After some further investigating, however, it was discovered the Nebraska State Historical Society had requested state transportation employees here to take it down for some refurbishing.
    Ray Walrod, who is headquartered at the Area Department of Transportation office in Imperial, said he received a call to remove it by the State Historical Society and was told their personnel would pick it up at their shop in Imperial.
    It’s being stored in the yard at the south end of Broadway in Imperial until they arrive, Walrod said. It was still awaiting pickup on Wednesday.
    Walrod’s crews also took down another historical marker sign in Hayes County, he said, which will also be refurbished.
    After his crews removed the Champion sign last Wednesday, which includes historical information on the mill and Chase County, Walrod said he called the Chase County Sheriff’s Office to let them know if someone should call in about the sign.
    He said he was told by the dispatcher that the information would be posted there in the office so other dispatchers would also know.
    The posts holding the sign were sawed off with a foot or two left protruding from the ground, Walrod said. Plans are to replace them with two new metal posts, which will go back into the same holes.
    Walrod wasn’t told how long it might be before the sign is refurbished and returned, but he guessed it would be two to three months.

The Imperial Republican

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Imperial, NE 69033