Photo by Frank Graham
Ryan Schulkey stands next to the speaker on his porch that emits Christmas carols. It is it the silver box located just to the left of Schulkey.
Ryan Schulkey’s Christmas decorations light up front porch and yard. He also has a small speaker on the porch rail that greets visitors with Christmas carols.
To Schulkey and his family, the small display reflects their love for the holiday season and the joy of sharing it with friends and family.
But nearby neighbors are not so thrilled. They don’t like the Christmas music day and night and have complained to the police.
On Thursday, Schulkey was cited for disturbing the peace, a Class-III misdemeanor. He could face up to three months in jail, a fine of $500 or both if convicted.
Schulkey lives in a trailer Key Estates. He said he and his wife and kids decorated their front porch for Christmas.
Located on the porch is a tiny, 3” speaker that emits Christmas music in the decorations.
Schulkey said he has it turned down as low as it will go.
About 35-feet away is the trailer of Danny and Sharon Bryant.
Sharon said they can hear the Christmas music coming through the walls of their trailer at night. She said it keeps her 14-year-old son awake at night.
So Sharon called the police.
The police first visited Schulkey’s Christmas display Wednesday night, Dec. 19.
“The officer said he couldn’t even hear the music from our driveway,” Schulkey said. “But he said we should probably turn it off and we complied.”
On Thursday, Schulkey turned the music back on and made sure the volume was as low as it would go.
Sharon Bryant said their family could hear it again and called the police back.
“The officer said he had to cite me but that he didn’t feel good about it,” Schulkey said. He said the officer did not have any advice for him about how to avoid bugging his neighbors. He said he guessed they would just turn it off at night around 10 p.m.
Brenda Smith, property manager for Key Estates, said she believes that the speaker is not too loud for the neighborhood and thinks it is festive.
“This may be a neighbor dispute that has little to nothing to do with Christmas music,” Smith said.
Lt. Rich Hoaglund of the North Platte police said there haven’t been too many Grinches around North Platte this Christmas.
Hoaglund said that kids and vandals usually mess with outdoor Christmas decorations every year but there haven’t been many instances this year.
“Some kids messed with some decorations a couple of weeks ago but we haven’t had any instances of vandalism since,” Hoaglund said. He said most of the Grinches his officers have had to deal with this year were those caught shoplifting in area stores.