The stakes in Royal continue to escalate in the aftermath of last week's city council meeting, where the discussion over a petition requesting the discontinuation of bells and music played from an electronic digital carillon transpired.
A handful of reports regarding several alleged illegal activities have occurred following the Wednesday evening meeting.
The three council members present at the July 14 meeting unanimously agreed the carillon's chimes should only ring at noon and 6 p.m. for the next month, with the matter being revisited by the full council in August.
Lee Youde, the proprietor of the proposed Royal Wedding Chapel, which is located in the former Trinity Lutheran Church building he owns at 504 Church Street, has complied.
He even turned the system's bells and chimes off Thursday morning due to "retaliatory" measures allegedly taken against him following the meeting.
"The speaker is still running, but the outside speakers are shut down," Youde said Tuesday afternoon from Des Moines.
"It was going to take me several hours to reprogram it. I chose, with the fact that the people vandalized my truck Wednesday night, I thought, 'You know, why am I putting up with this? I'll just shut it down.'"
Duane Bates, chief deputy with the Clay County Sheriff's Department, said his office responded to a call from Youde following last Wednesday's meeting regarding a few youth throwing "fireworks" into the back of his pickup and a goose lawn ornament being taken from his yard.
Youde also visited with Bates over the weekend regarding a "death threat" left at around 9 a.m. Friday on his answering machine at the Royal Wedding Chapel. According to Youde, a male's voice, unintelligible at times, said something to the effect of, "If you do not give into our demands, we are going to infect ... you with ... (some kind of) virus."
"I would expect this kind of mentality and mob behavior here in a larger city," Youde said. "I never dreamt that I would have this kind of problems in a small rural community."
"And I wonder what my grandfather, who had one of the first Royal taverns, and my great-great-grandparents would think if they were around today - because they grew up in that community. ...I tried to do a good thing for the community. And yet, a few are trying to ruin it for all."
Deputy Bates indicated that once Youde returns to town and they have an opportunity to listen to the answering machine tape they will be able to move forward in their investigation.