News

Johanns Sponsors Resolution against Administration's Proposal to Increase Electr


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R- Neb.) today cosponsored a resolution expressing disapproval for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation that would increase electricity prices.

 “We all understand and appreciate the need for a clean environment, but this rule fails to address emissions by other countries that pollute more and regulate less,” Johanns

Crews Battle Fire At Fairfield Dealership


Fairfield,NE~~Firefighters from several departments have been called in to battle a blaze at a farm implement dealership in Fairfield.
 
Authorities say the fire broke out early Tuesday morning at Oregon Trail Equipment. No injuries have been reported.
 
The blaze damaged the dealership's main building, which contains an office and maintenance shop. The Nebraska State Patrol

Lincoln Men Accused Of Beating Two Men To Death Make Plea Deals


Lincoln, NE (AP)~~Two suspected gang members have pleaded no contest to manslaughter charges for the beating deaths of two Lincoln men last year.  
 
20-old Ricky McLaughlin III and 23-year-old Tyler Thornburg took plea deals Monday to reduce their second-degree murder charges. The men admitted to the use of a deadly weapon in the assaults of 20-year-old Nathan "Shane"

Man Dies In Howard County Crash


St. Paul, NE~~The Howard County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate a wreck that killed a 21-year-old man.  
 
The Howard County Sheriff's Office says Derek Holt of St. Paul died Sunday night after his vehicle was hit by another automobile traveling in the opposite direction.   The crash happened about two miles west of St. Paul on Highway 92. Holt was

USDA Awards Grant To Nebraska Native American Community


Washington, D.C.~~The USDA is providing support to a Nebraska Native American community to help strengthen tribal business and create jobs.  The funding is from USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant program, which promotes the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas.
 
The Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons will receive a $99,000 grant.  The

Fullerton Teen Dies In Weekend Accident


Fullerton, NE~~A 16-year-old Nance County boy was killed in a Saturday night roll over accident. 
 
Authorities say Jayden Friend of Fullerton died during a one-vehicle roll over accident just after 10p.m. Saturday night.  The Nance County Attorney says Friend was a passenger in a pick-up and was ejected when the vehicle left the roadway as it was headed north on North 250th

OSHA Cites International Nutrition


Omaha, NE~~OSHA says the overloading of nine storage bins caused the January 20th structural collapse at International Nutrition in Omaha which killed two workers and injured nine others. 
 
OSHA has cited the company with one willful, one repeat and 11 additional safety violations for failing to protect workers from hazards associated with structural collapse. 
 
The

Health Alert Issued For Willow Creek


Pierce, NE~~A health alert for toxic blue-green algae has been issued for Willow Creek Reservoir in Pierce County.  An alert also continues for Rockford Lake in Gage County.
 
Samples taken earlier this week indicated Willow Creek Reservoir was above the state’s health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion of total microcystin, a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green

Pilger Days Kicks Off Tonight


Pilger, NE~~After over a month of cleanup from a devastating tornado, Pilger will stop for some fun during its annual summer festivities. 

Pilger Days starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight with a horseshoe tournament, a high school alumni banquet and a chance to visit the Stanton County Historical Society Museum.  Festivities will continue Saturday starting at 9 a.m., with a children's

One Person Killed In Seward County Accident


Seward, NE~~A crash involving three semis on Interstate 80 in Seward County on Thursday night killed one person and seriously injured another. 

The Nebraska State Patrol says the crash happened just before 5:00 p.m on eastbound I-80 just west of the Seward exit, when two semis stopped in a work zone were rear-ended by a third semi which failed to stop.

The driver of the third semi,

Police Investigate Deadly Crash In Columbus


Columbus, NE~~The Columbus Police Department continues to investigate a crash that killed an 83-year-old woman.   
 
Investigators say Donna Wyman of Silver Creek died after her SUV accelerated out of the carwash at Sapp Bros. truck stop, crashed through a vinyl fence, and ran into a ditch.  The accident happened around 8:40 Tuesday morning. 
 
Authorities are

Man Convicted Of Killing Father In Gretna


Papillion, NE (AP)~~A 41-year-old man has been convicted of shooting to death his father at the family home in Gretna, on the southwest side of Omaha.
 
Steven Braesch was found guilty Thursday in Sarpy County District Court of first-degree murder, a weapons charge and three counts of negligent child abuse. Investigators say Braesch shot his dad, 69-year-old William Braesch, five times

Couple Wanted For Stealing Cattle Arrested In Platte County


Columbus, NE~~Two people wanted on warrants for stealing cattle in Antelope County are in custody.  The Platte County Sheriff’s Office took 27-year-old Ben Johnson of St. Edward and 22-year-old Rebecca Robbins of Lyons into custody around 3:30pm Tuesday afternoon. 

The two were wanted for allegedly selling 35 cows and 40 calves that they did not own from Antelope County to a

Construction Work Set To Resume In Columbus


Columbus, NE~~Weather permitting, construction work is scheduled to resume on 33rd Avenue and 23rd Street in Columbus on Wednesday.

 

The 33rd Avenue segment between the Platte River bridge to near 5th Street will be daytime hours with milling operations to end July 18th. Milled roadways will be rough through the weekend and asphalt overlay construction is scheduled to begin Monday,

Grain Bin Rescue Tubes Donated To Nebraska Communities


Lexington & Ceresco, NE~~Emergency responders in four Nebraska communities will now be better equipped to help someone engulfed in grain, thanks to significant contributions from local corn grower associations. 

Grain bin rescue clinics sponsored in part by the Nebraska Corn Growers Association were held earlier this week in Lexington and Ceresco.  Around 100 farmers and emergency

Central Community College Athlete Killed In Weekend Accident


Stromsburg, NE~~The Polk County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate an accident that killed 20-year-old Lindsay Larson of Stromsburg.  The Sheriff office says the accident happened around 4:30p.m. Saturday when a 17-year-old male was driving a self propelled corn tassel chopper north on I Road, and struck Larson’s car at the intersection of at 125th road.

Large Fire Destroys Grand Island Business


Grand Island, NE~~Fire crews in Grand Island battled a devastating blaze in downtown Grand Island for nearly four hours Sunday night. Crews were called to Ron’s Transmission near West 3rd and North Elm Streets just before 8pm Sunday evening.   

The fire caused extensive damage to Ron’s including the collapse of a portion of the building.  A thrift store next to the

Supervisors Set To Discuss Lodging Tax Tuesday


Columbus, NE~~A lodging tax to create a fund to improve local attractions may be on the way for Platte County.  
 
Platte County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Tuesday morning to discuss creating a 2 percent tax to be collected at hotels, motels and campgrounds in the county.  If approved, the lodging taxes collected would be used to make improvements at

"Raising Nebraska" Announced as Official Name for New Learning Experience at Sta


GRAND ISLAND, NE—Raising Nebraska has been announced as the official name for the new 25,000 square foot interactive display about Nebraska agriculture that debuts at the 2014 Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island.

The learning experience will include a wide range of interactive displays including a full-sized pivot irrigation system, a video theatre enclosed in a grain bin, a 50-foot-long

NFB Foundation for Agriculture Creates Tornado Disaster Relief Fund to Help Farm


LINCOLN, NEB. – Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has launched, a Tornado Disaster Relief Fund to provide emergency and residual help to farmers and ranchers in Northeast Nebraska and other areas across the state affected by recent tornadoes.
 
“When a tornado hits a farmstead or a livestock operation, the needs of farmers and ranchers are a bit different. They

Soybean Farmers Honor Sen. Mike Johanns with Soy Champion Award


WASHINGTON (July 9, 2014)—The farmers of the American Soybean Association (ASA) honored Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska with the association’s Soy Champion Award this morning in Washington. In a ceremony held during this week’s meeting of the ASA Board of Directors, former ASA President Steve Wellman presented Sen. Johanns with the award, which is given twice yearly to recognize

Fischer Introduces Legislation to Increase Education Opportunities, Help Working


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) announced today she has offered legislation to help middle class families afford rising education costs. The Allocating for Children’s Education (ACE) Act, would increase the annual contribution limit for Coverdell education savings accounts from $2,000 to $5,000 per beneficiary, enabling parents to earn more money for their

NEBRASKA CROP PROGRESS AND CONDITION


For the week ending July 6, 2014, clear skies during the week allowed wheat harvest to get underway in southern districts, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

After a cool beginning, temperatures gave way to hot, humid conditions with irrigation starting in a number of counties.
 
Corn was entering the pollination stage with the first tassels beginning

Nebraska animal storms deaths estimated at 1,000


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Authorities estimate that about 1,000 large animals were killed by the June 16 storms that roared through northeast Nebraska, destroying more than half of Pilger.

Marty Marks of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Wayne County says the toll could be 1,000 in a six-county region, plus hundreds of chickens and

Johanns, Fischer Organize Effort to Preserve Nebraska Veterans' Acts of Valor


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer today announced an effort to honor Nebraska’s veterans by recording and preserving their stories for future generations. Johanns’ and Fischer’s staff will conduct interviews for the Veterans History Project (VHP) and technicians with StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative will also be on hand to conduct audio

Quarantine Lifted At Columbus Nursing Home


Columbus, NE~~The East Central Health District says a quarantine has been lifted at a Columbus nursing home after a respiratory illness sickened 59 people and contributed to 5 deaths. 

ECHD Executive Director Rebecca Rayman says the situation involving mycoplasma pneumonia is now under control.  The district was first notified of a high number of respiratory illness on June

Lyons Woman Accused Of Selling Stolen Cattle To Columbus Couple


Neligh, NE~~An arrest warrant has been issued for a woman accused of stealing cattle.  The Antelope County Sheriff issued the warrant for 22-year-old Rebecca Robbins of Lyons.  The Sheriff’s Office says Robbins allegedly stole 35 head of cows and 40 calves from Wilbur Rakow. 

Investigators say Robbins then sold the cattle to a Columbus couple.  When a semi loaded the

Trade Benefits Nebraska


By Rep. Adrian Smith
Increasing international trade to boost our economy and benefit consumers is a rare bipartisan goal in Washington.  However, there is a misconception trade primarily benefits agriculture producers, and large companies.  While these groups certainly benefit from open markets, there are many examples in the Third District of small businesses, individuals, and

Celebrating Beef -- and Independence!


Beef producers and importers who invest in the Beef Checkoff Program have a lot to be thankful for as we approach the Fourth of July holiday – one of the strongest beef-buying weekends of the year – with a thriving market and robust prices that reflect strong consumer preference for beef!

Producer support for the beef checkoff is 78 percent – its highest in 21 years,

September Trial Set For Columbus Couple


Columbus, NE~~A September trial has been scheduled for a Columbus man and his girlfriend accused of abusing his 10-month-old son.  22-year-old Juan Trejo and his fiancee, 22-year-old Julie Staroscik pleaded not guilty to child abuse charges. 

Authorities say Trejo is accused of fracturing the boy's skull by throwing him to a floor when the baby wouldn't stop crying.

Trejo

Johanns, Fischer: Proposed EPA Rule Threatens American Tradition


WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today expressed concern to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy that a proposed EPA Clean Water Act rule could jeopardize traditional Independence Day fireworks displays across the country.

“Fireworks shows are a

Ethanol for Energy Independence


By Martin Barbre

President, NCGA

As our nation looks forward to another Independence Day celebration, for some it may be marred by rising gas prices that make that family drive to see fireworks a little more costly. In today's economy, it's terrible that we have to worry about things like this, but we do, thanks to the fact the upheaval across the world still hits

'Common Sense Nebraska' Challenges EPA Water Rule


LINCOLN, NEB. – Nebraska agriculture organizations have joined forces under the umbrella of ‘Common Sense Nebraska’, a new coalition formed to push back on EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” Rule. The EPA proposal would vastly expand the federal agency’s authorities over farms and ranches. The coalition is working to bring attention and awareness about the

Pilger Middle School To Be Torn Down


Wisner, NE~~The Wisner-Pilger School board has decided to tear down the middle school in Pilger that was heavily damaged by a tornado that tore through the town on June 16th.

The board voted Monday night to buy three portable classrooms for the students and staff. The portables will be erected near the elementary school in Wisner, which is 12 miles east of Pilger. Classes are scheduled to

Madison Man Sentenced To Over 7 Years In Prison


Omaha, NE~~A Madison man has been sentenced to over 7 years in prison for his role in conspiracy to distribute drugs. 

Heriberto Avila-Mercado was sentenced to 87 months in prison by United State District Judge John Gerrard.  Avila-Mercado had previously pled guilty for his involvement in a conspiracy involving the distribution of multiple pounds of “ice” methamphetamine,

Troopers Increase Patrols over July 4th Holiday


(Lincoln, Neb.)- The Nebraska State Patrol continues its efforts to “Drive to Save Lives” with an increased presence over the July 4 Holiday.

Beginning Thursday, July 3 and continuing through Saturday, July 5, troopers and communications specialists will put in overtime hours thanks in part to an $18,960 grant from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety (NOHS).

Special

Damage Reported After Morning Storms


Hadar, NE (AP) ~~A severe thunderstorm caused some damage in rural northeast Nebraska Monday morning.

The National Weather Service says the storm destroyed some outbuildings and damaged at least one home in Pierce County just northwest of the town of Hadar.
 
Emergency management officials reported a tornado as the storm moved across Pierce County.
 
The storm also generated hail

Body Found in Seward County Identified


(Lincoln, Neb.)- The body of a male found along the bank of the Big Blue River in Seward County has been identified.

Investigators’ say the body is that of Hai Sinh Nguyen, 34, of Lincoln.  Nguyen was initially identified through fingerprints. A photo of a tattoo and a description of the body shared with the public on Friday, also resulted in information that helped lead to his

Help Sought in Identifying Body Found in Seward County


(Beaver Crossing, Neb.)- The Nebraska State Patrol is asking for the public’s help in identifying the body of an Asian male, discovered Wednesday, June 25, on the bank of the Big Blue River, just south of Beaver Crossing in Seward County.
Investigators say around 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, a passerby called 911 after spotting what appeared to be a body, south of the bridge off of 406

Johanns Calls on President to Enforce Immigration Laws, Stop Illegal Smuggling o


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R- Neb.) and a bipartisan group of Senators sent a letter to President Obama urging him to enforce our nation’s immigration laws. The letter specifically urges him to send a clear message that anyone entering the country illegally will not be given special treatment or deferred action. The letter comes as the United States is experiencing an

Nebraska Farm Bureau Backs Sasse in General Election


LINCOLN, NEB. – Ben Sasse has again received the “Friend of Agriculture” endorsement of NFBF-PAC, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s political action committee. NFBF-PAC previously endorsed Sasse in the U.S. Senate Republican primary. He will continue to be a “Friend of Agriculture” candidate as he seeks election to the U.S. Senate in the Nov. general

University of Nebraska To Assist Students Affected By Severe Weather


Lincoln, NE~~The University of Nebraska announced today that it will take steps to assist Nebraska students and families who are from areas of the state that have been declared federal disaster areas as a result of recent severe weather.
 
The financial aid offices of all four campuses have committed to the following:
 
 

Waiving some required documentation that supplements

Body Found in Seward County


(Beaver Crossing, Neb.)- The Nebraska State Patrol is investigating the discovery of a body just south of the town of Beaver Crossing in Seward County.

Just before 1:00 p.m., the Nebraska State Patrol responded to reports from the Seward County Sheriff’s Office of a male body lying along the bank of the Big Blue River, south of the bridge, off of 406th Road in Seward County.

A cause

More Road Construction In Columbus


Columbus, NE~~Concrete pavement replacement is underway on 18th Avenue between 16th and 21st Streets in Columbus.   The construction is expected to continue for the next two to three weeks. The contractor will maintain traffic on one side of the street.  Drivers are encouraged to use extreme caution in and around the construction areas and consider alternate routes to their

Fireworks Sales Underway In Nebraska


Lincoln, NE~~Firework stands across the state are opening their doors today.  State officials say their 703 licensed fireworks stands this year in Nebraska. The state allows stands to sell fireworks until midnight on July 4th, but some cities may shorten the selling period. 

The State Fire Marshall's office reminds Nebraskans that some fireworks are still prohibited in the state,

PUBLIC HEARING Scheduled Regarding Temporary Stay on Well-Drilling in Upper Big


YORK, NE--The Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District will hold a public hearing to receive public testimony concerning changes to the District’s Groundwater Management Area Rules and Regulations.  The hearing will be held on July 30, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., at the District office located at 105 N. Lincoln Avenue, York, Nebraska.
 
On April 17, 2014, the District’s Board of

Fireworks Tips to Remember


In accordance with State Law the selling period for consumer fireworks begins on June 25th 12:01 a.m. and ends at midnight on July 4th.  This selling timeframe can be shortened by city ordinances so citizens need to familiarize themselves with their local requirements.
 
This year there are 703 retail stands licensed to sale fireworks in Nebraska.  In order for fireworks to be

Help Available For Producers Hit By Tornadoes


Lincoln, NE (AP)~~ Federal assistance is available to northeast Nebraska producers who lost livestock in the June tornadoes.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering $100,000 to producers to help them properly dispose of animal carcasses. Producers have until July 18 to apply.
 
The USDA can also provide technical assistance in safely disposing the

Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation - PAC Endorses Pete Ricketts for Governor


 LINCOLN, NEB. – Pete Ricketts has received the official “Friend of Agriculture” endorsement by NFBF-PAC, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s political action committee. Ricketts is the Republican Party candidate seeking to win the Nov. 4 General election for Governor.  
 
“Nebraska needs leaders who understand the importance of agriculture to our

Forest Service Warns: Keep Fireworks from Starting Wildfires


            LINCOLN, Neb. — The nation's birthday is a time of celebration – picnics, ball games and fireworks. As fireworks sales begin across the state, fire-safety officials say it's a good time to review wildland fire safety measures.
 
            Fireworks

Suspect In Colfax County Shooting Identified


Schuyler, NE.- The name of the suspect killed in an early morning incident involving law enforcement in Colfax County has been released.
The Colfax County Attorney says 32-year-old Jason T. Van Buskirk of Columbus, was killed after shooting at a Nebraska State Patrol trooper and leading authorities on a two-county pursuit, before ramming his pickup into several law enforcement

Several Road Construction Projects Continue For Columbus


Columbus, NE~~Work is underway on the Discoverer Addition Infrastructure and Street Improvement project in Columbus. City of Columbus officials say the entire project will run through Spring 2015.  The first segment of work is along Lost Creek Parkway which includes turn lane and intersection construction at 41st Avenue. The work in Lost Creek Parkway will be phased over the next couple of

Update On Columbus Officer Involved Shooting


Columbus, NE~~A suspect involved in a domestic disturbance is dead after shooting at a Nebraska State Patrol Trooper.

Just before 1:30 a.m., Friday, June 20, a trooper with the Nebraska State Patrol responded to assist with reports of a domestic disturbance involving a man with a gun in the 4200 block of East 3rd Street in Columbus. While responding to the scene, the trooper encountered a

Johanns: Storm Damage Unbelievably Heartbreaking


COLERIDGE, Neb. – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R- Neb.)  made the following statement after spending the afternoon visiting with victims of this week’s tornadoes in northeast Nebraska:   
 
“Nothing could have prepared me for the devastation I saw in Pilger and Coleridge today,” Johanns said. “The scene was truly unbelievable. My heart goes out

Suspect Killed in Columbus


A suspect was shot and killed by law enforcement in Columbus, NE this morning. Police say two officers were assisting Platte County Sheriff's Department deputies and Nebraska State Patrol troopers in an attempt to capture the man.

Details of what led up to the gunfire and the man's name have not been released.

CCC Hires New Men's Basketball Coach


Columbus, NE~~Central Community College-Columbus has announced that Jerry Drymon has been hired as head coach for the Raiders men’s basketball team.

           

In addition to his coaching duties, he will teach personal health and direct the on-campus intramural

Kraft Foods recalls 260 cases of Velveeta


NEW YORK —Kraft is recalling Velveeta cheese from Walmart stores in as many as 12 states, mostly in the Midwest, because the cheese lacks the proper amount of preservatives.

Insufficient levels of sorbic acid has led to the recall of 260 cases of Velveeta original pasteurized recipe cheese product because it could cause the cheese to spoil prematurely or cause food-borne

Safe Drinking Water Supply Key Following Storms


LINCOLN, Neb. — Recent tornadoes left some residents without a potable drinking water supply. As cleanup begins, many will rely on commercially bottled water. In some cases, bottling and hauling water as needed might be an option, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension water quality educator says.
 
"You might draw water from a nearby public water system tap or from a water

Recount Changes Result In NRD Race


Lincoln, NE~~Results have changed in the race for the Upper Big Blue NRD, Subdistrict 4, based on a recount ordered last week by the Nebraska State Board of Canvassers.

 

“There were two separate issues that altered the outcome of that race,” explained Secretary of State John Gale. “The first situation involved more than 1,000 voters not having the opportunity to vote

NECC Opens Residence Halls To Tornado Victims


Norfolk, NE~~Northeast Community College is opening a portion of its residence halls and student apartments on its Norfolk campus to residents of Stanton County, who were displaced by tornadoes that ravaged the area Monday.

Northeast President Dr. Michael Chipps said the College wants to do what it can to assist the victims who either lost their homes or suffered extensive damage.

Residents

Columbus Donates Bottled Water To Pilger


Columbus, NE~~Communities and volunteers from across the state are coming together in support of the town of Pilger that was devastated by an EF4 tornado Monday.  The Columbus Police Department collected cases of bottle water on Tuesday and Wednesday morning to help in the relief effort. 

Columbus Police Investigator Jaymee Levander says the amount of support was amazing as over 1500

EF4 Tornado Confirmed in Pilger


Having declared a state of emergency, Governor Dave Heineman toured the areas hardest hit today, along with Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, Deputy Adjutant General Rick Dahlman and NEMA preparedness section manager Nikki Weber.
 
“When you walk through the town, there is shock and disbelief among the citizens of Pilger.  They are resilient, but they are in shock,” Gov.

Harrisvaccines Becomes first in the Nation to Receive USDA Conditional License f


Ames, Iowa-based vaccine producer, Harrisvaccines, today announced it has been granted United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) conditional licensure of the company’s Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) Vaccine, RNA utilizing its SirraVaxSM RNA Particle Technology. This is the first USDA conditional license granted for a PEDv vaccine since the initial outbreak, and

Tornado In Pilger Rated As EF4


Pilger, NE (AP)~~The National Weather Service in Valley says the Pilger tornado appears to be an EF4, with estimated wind speeds of 166 to 200 mph.
 
Meteorologist Van DeWald said Tuesday that survey teams found several damage points that indicate an EF4 tornado, the second-strongest rating on the scale that measures tornado strength.
 
The National Weather Service says four

Tornado Victims Identified


Pilger, NE (AP)~~Authorities have named the 5-year-old girl who was killed in the tornado that destroyed more than half the town of Pilger.
 
Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger identified her Tuesday as Calista Dixon. Officials say the girl died after suffering injuries inside of a mobile home on Main Street in Pilger. Her death was one of two confirmed in the storm.
 
The other

Clarkson Man Killed Near Pilger


Pilger, NE~~Authorities have identified the 74-year-old man killed by one of the tornadoes that devastated Pilger and portions rural of northeast Nebraska Monday. 

The Cuming County sheriff's office says David A. Herout of Clarkson, died after his vehicle left the roadway during the storm.  Officials say Herout was ejected from the vehicle around 4:50 p.m. on a county road

Storms Produce Four Tornadoes


Pilger, NE~~The National Weather Service says the storm that struck Stanton, Cuming, and Wayne Counties appears to have produced four tornadoes, one of which ravaged the town of Pilger.
 
Lead Meteorologist Van DeWald says the first tornado is believed to have touched down in rural Stanton County, southwest of the town of Stanton. 

DeWald says the second and third tornadoes landed

American Red Cross Shelter Remains Open to Provide Comfort for Tornado Victims


Wayne, NE~~ Dozens of well-trained American Red Cross workers remain on the scene in hard hit northeast Nebraska towns, like Pilger, to help those affected by Monday’s tornadoes. The emergency shelter will remain open at Wisner-Pilger High School to help residents impacted by the storm by offering a safe place to stay, a meal, minor first aid, and a shoulder to lean on.

24/7

Pilger Residents Allowed Into Town


Pilger, NE~~Residents of Pilger are assessing damage to their homes and businesses today.  73-year-old Larry Nelson has been surveying the wreckage that used to be his home on the southwest edge of Pilger.  Nelson says he's grateful to have survived Monday's storm, which spawned twin tornadoes that authorities say damaged or destroyed more than half of the town and killed two

2nd Person Confirned Dead Resulting From Monday's Tornadoes


Pilger, Neb. (AP) - The death of a second person has been blamed on tornadoes that authorities say destroyed or damaged more than half of Pilger.
 
Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger said Tuesday that a motorist died Monday after a single-vehicle accident that occurred on a county road four to five miles east of Pilger. Unger says the accident is considered storm-related because it occurred

Butler County Enforcement Stats


(David City, Neb.)- The Nebraska State Patrol reports no fatality crashes in Butler County on Saturday, June 14, as troopers held a special enforcement in an effort to keep Nebraska roadways safe and fatality free.

During the special enforcement, troopers issued citations and warnings for Speeding, No Proof of Insurance, No License Plates, Open Container and No Seat Belt.
The special

One Fatality Reported In Monday Afternoon Tornadoes


Pilger, NE~~A Faith Regional Health Services spokesperson in Norfolk says at least one person is dead and 16 others are in critical condition after two massive tornadoes swept through portions of Stanton, Cuming, and Wayne Counties.
    
Jodi Richey says the victims were brought into the hospital after at least one of the twisters devastated Pilger.   Stanton

Tornado Causes Extensive Damage In Pilger


Pilger, NE~~The town of Pilger was hit hard by a damaging tornado Monday afternoon.  Authorities in Stanton County say two tornadoes were on the ground at the same time as the twisters ripped across the county.  The National Weather Service says the first tornado touched down near Stanton shortly before 4pm.  A second tornado also formed and both moved off to the north and

Fremont Man Killed In Saunders County Crash


Cedar Bluffs, NE~~Authorities say a Fremont man died in a crash Friday night.  The Saunders County Sheriff’s Office says 45-year-old Terrance Lessig of Fremont was killed in the accident that occurred around 8 p.m. 

Investigators say the accident happened at the intersection of two county roads near Cedar Bluffs. 
Authorities say Lessig's pickup failed

Be Safe Around Power Lines!


By:  Allan Vyhnalek

When using spray rigs and other farm equipment, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, including the location of power lines. Before using equipment, plan a route that will avoid overhead power lines or adjust equipment before reaching power lines if you cannot avoid these areas.

Unfortunately, accidents occasionally do happen. If your rig should hit a

Woman Attacked By Dog In Columbus


Columbus, NE~~Columbus Animal Control and the Columbus Police Department continue to investigate an incident where an elderly woman was bitten by a dog. 

Authorities say a 74-year-old woman was attacked and bitten by an adult German Shepherd in the area of 26th Street and Pershing Road around 630 Thursday morning.  The dog was on a leash, but the leash was not attached to

Frontier Communications Cable Cut


Some customers of Frontier Communications may be experiencing Internet service issues due to a cable cut on highway 81. The cable cut occurred this morning as a result of construction.  The service interruption is affecting some, but not all, of Frontier’s Columbus, Duncan, Monroe, Platte Center, Neligh, Madison, Newman Grove, Orchard, Brunswick, Battle Creek, Albion, Lindsay, and

Butler County Special Enforcement Planned


(David City, Neb.)- In an effort to reduce the potential for serious injury and fatality crashes the Nebraska State Patrol will conduct a special enforcement effort in and around Butler County, on Saturday, June 14.

The special enforcement, which will include a DUI checkpoint and high visibility patrols, is paid for thanks in part to a $1,620 grant from the Butler Believes in Youth and

South Dakota Man Enters Not Guilty Plea In Pierce County Deaths


Pierce, NE~~A 21-year-old South Dakota man has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor vehicular homicide in the crash deaths of three other people in northeast Nebraska.  

Court records say the attorney for Carlos Sanchez Espinoza entered the pleas on Wednesday in Pierce County Court.  The April 28 crash on U.S. Highway 81 in Pierce County killed 41-year-old Pablo Chilel Escobar,

Former Employee Threatens NPPD


Beatrice, NE~~A former Sheldon Station NPPD employee was arrested Saturday by Beatrice Police.  Authorities say 58-year-old David Ahlstrand apparently filled his pickup with rifles and ammunition and threatened to shoot the NPPD headquarters in Columbus. 

Ahlstrand’s wife called police after the suspect told her of his plans.  Officers arrested Ahlstrand late Saturday

Johanns Supports Legislation to Improve VA Care


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R- Neb.), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today voted for bipartisan legislation to improve transparency and accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also authorizes a lease for a new VA community based outpatient clinic in Lincoln, Neb., and includes a Johanns-backed provision giving veterans greater

Senators Johnson and Hoeven Introduce Bill to Adopt Bison As National Mammal


Washington, DC — U.S. Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and John Hoeven (R-ND) today led a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing the National Bison Legacy Act, legislation that would officially adopt the North American bison as the national mammal of the United States.

“The bison has played an important role in our nation’s history, holds spiritual significance to Native

Two Fremont Women Accused In Embezzlement


Fremont, NE~~Two Fremont women are accused of helping a Fremont man embezzle nearly $2.5 million from Gavilon Grain over several years.
 
Fremont Police arrested 66-year-old Dennis Hesman last week and charged him with falsifying documents at the grain elevator he ran to create fake receipts for grain.  Authorities say Hesman created the false documents made out to his daughter,

FDA and EPA issue updated draft advice for fish consumption


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued updated draft advice on fish consumption. The two agencies have concluded pregnant and breastfeeding women, those who might become pregnant, and young children should eat more fish that is lower in mercury in order to gain important developmental and health benefits. The updated draft

Transfer Station Still Accepting Tree Debris


Columbus, NE~~The Columbus City Transfer Station continues to accept tree debris from last week’s storm. 

The Transfer Station will accept debris from trees by property owners at "no charge" through Saturday afternoon, June 14, until 5:00 p.m.  All persons dropping off tree debris will be required to weigh at the scale.

City officials remind you use caution and

Twenty Eight Percent Voter Turnout For Primary


Lincoln, NE~~Secretary of State John Gale says twenty-eight percent of voters cast a ballot during the May 13th primary in Nebraska. 

Of the 1,152,144 people registered to vote in Nebraska, 324,227 voted. While most people voted at the polls, 59,958 people voted early during the primary, either by mail or by going to their county election office. Nearly two thousand provisional ballots

10 reasons to use ethanol-blended fuel this summer


LINCOLN, Nebraska – The choice at the gas pump is easier for Nebraskans in their summer travel and recreational plans this year. And that choice is renewable, cost-effective and builds a strong economy. Here are ten reasons to use ethanol-blended fuel this summer.

The most affordable fuel.
The drastic rise of gas prices in the busy summer months hurts our pocketbooks. The U.S.

Hooper Man Dies In Early Morning Crash


Hooper, NE~~The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office says a Hooper man died in a two vehicle crash one-half mile south of the Hooper this morning. Authorities say the accident happened around 6:30 this morning when a car traveling southbound on County Road 20 was attempting to cross Highway 275 was struck on the driver’s side by a westbound semi driven by 49-year-old Arthur Orchard of

Nebraska ag groups say no thanks to EPA's water rule


Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corn Growers, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Pork Producers, Nebraska State Dairy Association and Nebraska Soybean Association submitted comments today calling for the immediate withdrawal of the “Waters of the U.S.” Interpretive Rule (WOTUS).  This Interpretive Rule is the first part of a “Waters of the U.S.” rulemaking proposal by U.S.

Johanns Encouraged by Bipartisan Effort to Improve Veterans' Access to Medical C


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R- Neb.), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today said he was encouraged by a bipartisan agreement between Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), to improve transparency and accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The framework being discussed includes provisions similar to legislation Johanns

Well Water Safety After Flooding


 The following information was provided by Extension Educator, Sharon Skipton:

If flood water came near your private drinking water well, your water supply may have been contaminated with pollutants carried in the flood water. In addition, wells can be contaminated by surface water runoff even if the surrounding area is not flooded. Wells at greatest risk of contamination from flood water

Two Teens Killed In Dodge County Accident


Fremont, NE (AP) - Authorities have released the names of two teenage boys who were killed in a collision between a car and semitrailer just north of Fremont.
 
     The accident occurred just after 1 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of U.S. Highway 77 and Nebraska Highway 91.
 
     The car driver was identified as 17-year-old Bryan Huff, of

Storms Cause Heavy Damage To U.S. 30 Speedway


Columbus, NE~~Racing at US 30 Speedway has been cancelled for Thursday night after the storms Tuesday night left heavy damage. One half of the concession stand roof was blown off.

The building in the infield that housed the switches for the track lights was leveled and all the power lines into the concession stand and tower were ripped off the building.  

Owners say the storms also

Transfer Station Accepting Tree Debris


Columbus, NE~~The city of Columbus Transfer Station will be accepting tree debris from Tuesday night storms that ripped through Columbus. 
 
The Transfer Station will accept tree debris taken to the "tree dump" by property owners at no charge through Saturday afternoon, June 14, until 5:00 p.m.
 
Contracted tree and yard waste services will be exempt from the 'no

Blue Cross Blue Shield Issues Notice Of Termination To Alegent Creighton/CHI


Omaha, NE~~Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska has issued a Notice of Termination to the Denver-based “Catholic Health Initiatives”, a health care provider group that includes Alegent Creighton Health facilities and physicians in the Omaha area and other hospitals across the state. 

Nebraska hospitals include Alegent Creighton Health in Omaha, Schuyler and Plainview, the Good

Red Cross Urging Residents To Prepare For Severe Weather


Omaha, NE~~The American Red Cross is urging residents in Nebraska to make sure households, schools and business are prepared for possible severe weather including rain, strong winds and possible tornados.
 
Region Disaster Officer Jill Orton says now that many schools in Nebraska on summer break, they encourage parents to take time today to review with children, babysitters and young

Over 400 Cited During "Click It Or Ticket"


Lincoln, NE~~Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol issued 462 seat belt citations and warnings for violation of Nebraska’s seat belt law during the “Click It or Ticket” mobilization. A total of 55 child restraint citations and warnings were also issued. The “Click It or Ticket” nationwide campaign, which ran May 19- June 1, encompassed the heavily traveled Memorial

RICKETTS NAMES HEIDEMANN AS RUNNING MATE


Lincoln, NE – Nebraska Republican Gubernatorial Nominee Pete Ricketts today named Lavon Heidemann, current Lieutenant Governor, farmer and livestock producer, former Regent, and former state senator, as his running mate and nominee for Lieutenant Governor.
 
“Lavon is a man of great character, broad experience, and collaborative skill,” Ricketts said.  “In the

NDA REMINDS PRODUCERS WITH LIVESTOCK ENTERING NEBRASKA FROM TEXAS TO FOLLOW HEAL


LINCOLN – Recent confirmed cases of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) on a horse farm in Texas have triggered the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s (NDA) import requirements for all livestock entering Nebraska from Texas. 
 
“Protecting the health and safety of Nebraska’s livestock herd is of utmost importance,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Dennis Hughes.

Nebraska Receives SBA Declaration for May Storms


(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman received word today from the U.S. Small Business Administration that his request for an SBA disaster declaration has been approved. Several Nebraska counties were impacted by severe storms on May 11, 2014.
 
This declaration allows those who suffered losses from the storm in Seward County and the surrounding counties of Butler, Polk, Fillmore, Lancaster,




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