Aubrey Trail

Aubrey Trail (left) listens to the prosecution early on in the court case.

GUILTY: verdict delivered in Trail murder case

Aubrey Trail has been found guilty of first degree murder in the death of Sydney Loofe. He has also been found guilty on a count of conspiracy to kill. 

The verdict was reached a little less than three hours after the jury went into deliberation on July 10 in Saline County District Court. Family members of Loofe cried in court when the verdict was read while Trail showed no emotion.

Jurors heard closing statements shortly before they were sent to deliberate from both the prosecution and Trail's defense attorneys, Joe and Ben Murray. 

The second part of the trial will take place July 11 to see if the accused crimes are justifiable for the death penalty.


The Seward County Board of Commissioners meets every Tuesday morning on the third floor of the Seward County Courthouse. Meetings begin at 9 a.m., except the first Tuesday of the month, which begins at 8:30 a.m. The meetings are open to the public.

Fingers pointed over Open Meetings Act violation

Board throws out salary study

Fireworks came early to Seward County this year.

The Seward County Commissioners’ July 2 meeting featured a clash between the board and the county attorney. The meeting reached its peak on the last item on the agenda: the discussion of a recommendation from the salary study committee that was facing numerous obstacles.

The commissioners formed a salary study committee in February and meetings were held through June. The committee was appointed by Chairman John Culver and consisted of Commissioners Mike Mundhenke and Becky Paulsen, County Clerk Sherry Schweitzer, Human Resources Director Brea Ehmen and Detention Center Director Maria Hatfield. 

The committee was to do a comparative study with other counties in order to guide the discussion and action over potential salary increases for county employees. Salary studies are done often, but the Seward County committee was an attempt to do a study for no cost to taxpayers after a previous study failed to be finished in time to be relevant and cost the county over $22,000. 

Isolated thunderstorms. Lows overnight in the mid 70s.


98° 74°

Isolated thunderstorms. Lows overnight in the mid 70s.

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Schweitzer said she and the rest of the committee had good intentions. 

“We really just wanted to do good for our employees. We wanted to be able to give good wages but keep the taxpayer in mind so we wouldn’t have to pay for another salary study,” Schweitzer said.

This committee faced a complaint brought forth by the county attorney’s office that the meetings violated the Open Meetings Act.

Read more HERE.

Improvements planned for East Seward Street

The City of Seward will host an open house July 16 regarding a planned East Seward Street Improvements project.

The project will begin at the dog park entrance and continue to the east city limits on East Seward Street. It will include a roundabout being installed.

The open house will give the public the chance to receive information and give input from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16, in the main level conference room at Seward Memorial Library.

City Engineer Jake Vasa said the project is planned to begin in 2020 but is still in the preliminary planning stages.

This week:

Brunch, bingo in Milford: The Milford Senior Center will host brunch and bingo at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 11.

Speaker talks life on Alcatraz: Prue Coccodrilli will talk about growing up on Alcatraz Island Thursday, July 11, at 12:30 p.m. at the Seward Senior Center. Coccodrilli and her family lived on the island in the 1950s when her father was an employee of the prison.

League meets: The Seward County League of Women Voters meets the first Thursday of each month at 6:15 p.m. at the Seward Civic Center. The next meeting will be July 11 instead of July 4. The public is invited to attend.

Learn ways to quit tobacco: Four Corners Health Department will offer a free session on ways to quit tobacco Friday, July 12, at 12:30 p.m. at the Seward Senior Center.

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