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Grand Island, NE - On Thursday morning in the bi weekly Covid-19 update from Grand Island's City Hall Mayor Roger Steele cited that he would be sending a letter reaching out to the United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. The agenda of the letter is looking at the Covid-19 situation at the Grand Island JBS meat processing plant. Mayor Steele asked to provide the government's plan to test the employees at JBS along with an invitation to Sonny Perdue to visit Grand Island to discuss the efforts to protect meat processing employees and citizens of Grand Island. 

Read a copy of the letter from Mayor Steele to Sonny Perdue below.  

APRIL 30, 2020 (NORTH PLATTE, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested a Michigan man following a crash on Interstate 80 that injured a Keith County Sheriff’s Deputy.

At approximately 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, a trooper was providing traffic control for a semi-truck that was broken down on the inside shoulder of I-80 at mile marker 142 near Sutherland. A deputy from the Keith County Sheriff’s Department was positioned, with emergency lights activated, approximately ¼ mile east of the scene to alert drivers of the motorist assist taking place ahead.

The deputy’s vehicle was then struck from behind by a 2019 Nissan Sentra, occupied by three people. The deputy was inside the vehicle at the time of the collision and was injured in the crash. A person who claimed to be a passenger of the Nissan was also injured. Both were transported to the hospital in Ogallala with non-life-threatening injuries. The deputy was treated and released late Wednesday evening.

After investigation, troopers determined that the injured person from the Nissan had actually been the driver, and not a passenger in the vehicle. After being treated for minor injuries, the driver, Emmanuel Phifer, 24, of Mount Morris, Michigan, was arrested for false reporting, violation of the move over law, no operator’s license, and reckless driving. Phifer was lodged in Keith County Jail.

Westbound I-80 was closed for approximately 2.5 hours due to the crash.


Coved-19 Update from Grand Island’s City Hall

Posted by KRGI News on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Grand Island Senior High in partnership with the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation and Home Federal Bank will honor the top-ranked graduating seniors from Grand Island Senior High during an academic recognition reception on Thursday, April 30, in a Facebook Live presentation from the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Facebook Account. The presentation starts at 7 p.m.  

All students at Grand Island Senior High who graduate Summa Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude, and have submitted a GIPS Foundation scholarship application, will be awarded at least one scholarship through the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation’s Academic Aristocrat Scholarship Program. Honor students will receive a total of $45,150 at this presentation.

The Academic Aristocrat Scholarship program was initiated by former Superintendent Marv Maurer in memory of his wife Dorothy. The program offers scholarships for Grand Island Senior High’s Honors Students.  Sixty-one (61) scholarships will be awarded in 2020 as part of this program. The scholarships range from $500-$1,600.

Over the years, many individuals have donated to the Academic Aristocrat fund to grant students their dreams of a higher education. Some have donated annually or through payroll deductions, while others have established endowed scholarships in their family's names or in honor or memory of someone special.

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation has served as a tax-exempt vehicle for various individuals and businesses to award scholarships on an annual basis.
The GISH seniors to be honored on Thursday:
Samuel Aguilera Robledo
Diana Alvarado
Jenna Banzhaf
Justyce Bonczynski
Margaret Bourland
Erin Brockmeier
Ashtyn Cheetsos
Georgia Clerc
Kelly Contreras
Maria Cotom Pacheco
Genevieve Czaplewski
Ana De Orta
Rodrigo Fajardo
Kevin Fierro-Chavez
Alexander Francisco Gonzalez
Caleb Francl
Danielle Goscha
Joshua Grosvenor
Brandy Guerrero
Tori Hale
Samantha Hansen
Shelby Hees
Jenny Hernandez
Ronal Hernandez
Emma Hilderbrand
Mackenzie Hill
Luke Hoos
Jake Inthavongsa
Grace Johnson
Wyatt Kohles
Jacob Kosmicki
Madison Lane
Blake Leiting
Uri Lopez
Rachel Mankin
McKenna Marsh
Annaline McCoy
Ace McKinnis
Alyssa Meyer
Alexander Miller
Elizabeth Miller
Vanessa Mosqueda Ramirez
Karleigh Mulinix
Eric Nguyen
Natalia Ortega
Jacqueline Osborne
Alec Paul
Karina Pedroza Sotelo
Katlyn Pool
Anna Pracheil
Raul Ramirez-Galindo
Anna Rose
Byron Rustrian Rivas
Edwin Salas
Hady Santos Cotom
Kyle Sextro
Jehron Soto
Keagan Sutton
Elise Vahle
Alex VanNatta
Candelaria Vargas Paiz
Sierra Voglewede
Stacy Wells
Cassandra Wing
Jaime Zamarripa
Hannah Zaugg

APRIL 29, 2020 (LINCOLN, NEB.)  — A Nebraska State Trooper has been treated and released from the hospital after his cruiser was involved in a two-vehicle crash in Lincoln.

The crash occurred at approximately 11:30 A.M. on O Street in Lincoln. The trooper was traveling westbound on O Street. A Honda Fit was traveling eastbound. The Honda attempted to turn northbound onto 46th street and collided with the NSP cruiser.

Two medical professionals were nearby when the crash occurred and were able to quickly provide aid to the Honda driver. The trooper was able to get out of his cruiser and assist as those bystanders attended to the other driver.

The trooper was then transported by another trooper to Bryan Medical Center West Campus with injuries to his hand. He was treated for multiple broken bones in his hand and has been released from the hospital.

The driver of the Honda was transported by ambulance to Bryan Medical Center West Campus with serious injuries. Those injuries are expected to be non-life-threatening.

NSP has requested that the Lincoln Police Department investigate the crash. That investigation is ongoing. The trooper’s cruiser was totaled in the crash.


Central District Health Department (CDHD) sadly reports a total of 10 new Covid-19 related deaths in the district, bringing the total number of deaths to 35, with a total of 28 in Hall County, 7 in Hamilton and none in Merrick County.  CDHD additionally reports a total of 1,035 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 2:00 p.m. today. The total breakdown by county is Hall: 972, Hamilton: 49, and Merrick: 9. We have continued wide-spread COVID-19 in our district.

The availability of testing is now increasing. The Nebraska National Guard will again be testing for COVID-19 Thursday and Saturday this week 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We anticipate the roll out of TestNebraska in Grand Island early next week. This will greatly increase the number of COVID-19 tests. More testing means more positives, but more importantly it means that we will identify more persons who are contagious and advise them to quarantine.


CDHD has access to a team of local, state and national public health experts to provide input on efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. We are evaluating what has worked and what can be improved. Key additions include providing case management and community health worker support for persons being tested and especially for persons and their families testing positive. 

We ask that all members of our community make the continued commitment to social distance, to self-isolate when sick, and to stay home when sick. Keep your family safe by reducing their exposure to others. Take every precaution to avoid getting sick.  Register at TestNebraska now at:


LINCOLN –  Tuesday afternoon at his daily press briefing, Governor Pete Ricketts talked about best practices to resume elective surgeries at dental offices and dining in restaurants.  Dental facilities with sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) can resume operations in Nebraska as of Monday, May 4th.  In some regions of Nebraska, restaurants will be able to reopen their dining areas on May 4th as well.


Zoe Olson, Executive Director of the Nebraska Restaurant Association, overviewed the safety precautions restaurants are taking as they prepare to serve guests.  Dr. Charles “Fritz” Craft, Director of Dental Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and Dr. Ken Tusha, past president of the Nebraska Dental Association (NDA), also joined the Governor today.  They talked about their industry’s efforts to ensure that the reopening of dental clinics takes place safely and smoothly.


Gov. Ricketts: Test Nebraska Reminder

·      Nebraskans have completed about 100,000 health assessments as of this morning.

·      We need every Nebraskan to go to right now and to fill out this quick assessment.

·      We expect scheduling for the first two Test Nebraska testing sites in Grand Island and Omaha to begin soon.

o   We need people not just in these cities, but in the surrounding areas, to take the assessment now.

o   We will begin contacting folks to schedule testing in the near future.


Gov. Ricketts: New Guidelines for Restaurants

·      Last Friday, I announced that we would reopen some of the businesses that temporarily closed on a regional basis.

·      Our Directed Health Measures will require the following for dine-in restaurants:

o   Seating will be limited to 50% of a restaurant’s maximum occupancy rating.

o   Each dining party must maintain a minimum of six feet of separation from other dining parties.

o   Each dining party will be limited to six persons (groups larger than six will need to be seated at separate tables).

o   Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited.  Restaurant staff must serve food directly to customers or implement buffet orders from the customer table. No customer self-service is permitted.

o   Each dining party must be seated at its own table.  Bar and counter seating are not permitted.

o   Patrons may only consume alcohol on the premises if also consuming a meal.

·      Today, the State of Nebraska is unveiling new guidance for restaurants.  It is available by clicking here.

o   Among other things, this guidance includes having all restaurant workers wear cloth masks, limiting the number of roles a worker plays, and pre-screening workers to ensure their health.


Zoe Olson: Resuming Dine-In Services at Restaurants

·      Dining rooms won’t reopen statewide on May 4th.  They will reopen on a regional basis.

·      Together with our members, the National Restaurant Association, and subject matter experts, we’ve developed guidance for restaurants as they reopen their seating areas.

·      It’s available at our website:

·      The Nebraska Restaurant Association will be posting the reopening guidelines in restaurants for diners to view.  The association will also post the reopening requirements issued by the State of Nebraska. 

·      Additionally, we encourage Nebraskans to avoid dining if they have any symptoms of illness.

·      We’re doing everything in our power to make restaurants the safest environments possible for customers.

·      We’ve been moving tables farther apart, doing extra sanitizing, and implementing other policies to keep everyone healthy.


Dr. Fritz Craft: Resuming Dental Services

·      As the dental profession prepares to resume elective surgeries, the DHHS Office of Oral Health, the Nebraska Board of Dentistry, and the Nebraska Dental Association (NDA) have been in constant communication.

·      We’ve pooled our resources to review the latest evidence-based information from the American Dental Association, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare.

·      We want to ensure that our message to the dental community is clear and consistent at this critical time.

·      We also want to assure the general public that dental services will proceed with safety precautions for patients, dental staff, and providers.

·      The NDA has been working hard to produce interim guidelines and recommendations for dental offices.

·      Their final report has been reviewed by DHHS and the Board of Dentistry.  It will be a living document with ongoing revisions as more becomes known about COVID-19.

·      As dental services resume, there will be enhanced patient screening, elevated PPE, higher levels of infection control, and limitations on certain procedures.

·      The decision to reopen or remain closed is up to each dental practice.

·      The new guidelines produced by the NDA will assist providers in making this decision.


Dr. Ken Tusha: Resuming Dental Services

·      The NDA’s Recommended Office Opening Protocols can be accessed by any member of the public at

·      Dentistry probably won’t come back on like a light switch.  It will be more like a dimmer switch.

·      We’re going to slowly open our offices after we’ve trained out whole team in the new protocols.

·      The new guidelines include training, health screening of teammates, and health screening of patients as they come in.

·      We’re taking steps to eliminate person-to-person interactions in waiting rooms.

·      We’re also going to have enhanced disinfection and make sure everyone has the proper PPE.

·      I’m confident we have the guidelines in place to operate safely.

Central District Health Department reports that as of today, April 28, 2020, the number of positive COVID-19 cases confirmed by laboratory is 990, and there are 25 deaths. There are 9 cases in Merrick County, 48 cases in Hamilton County and 933 in Hall County.

Monday, April 27th Update: Covid-19 update from the Central District Health Department 
Total of 954 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its area and 25 deaths as of 2:00 PM 4/27/20. 23 new cases today. No new deaths to report. 

Hall County: 899
Hamilton County: 47
Merrick County: 8

LINCOLN, Neb.  — A judge has sentenced a 26-year-old Lincoln man on Monday to more than 70 years in prison for sexual abusing two young girls. Austin Mariscal pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree sexual assault in a deal with prosecutors that spared him a possible life sentence. Lancaster County District Judge John Colborn sentenced Mariscal to 35 to 45 years in prison for each of those charges, with the sentences to be served back to back.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska is continuing to see a surge in coronavirus infections, including new confirmed cases in two counties. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reports 330 new cases, bringing the total to nearly 3,400. Additionally, Cedar and Valley counties confirmed their first cases. Nebraska has seen 55 virus-related deaths so far. State officials previously announced 56 deaths, but later in the day they said one of those deaths was an erroneous entry into the state’s database.

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