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North Platte Authorities say human remains found in a stock trailer could be those of at least one of two Wisconsin brothers who prosecutors say were fatally shot by a Missouri farmer.


Lincoln County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Roland Kramer said Monday that a rancher near Hershey, found the remains mixed with dirt in a plastic tub inside the trailer he recently purchased in Missouri.


Garland Nelson, a 25-year-old Missouri farmer, is accused of fatally shooting 35-year-old Nick Diemel and 24-year-old Justin Diemel, of Wisconsin, then burning their bodies and dumping them in a manure pile. He faces two counts of first-degree murder.


Kramer says Missouri authorities confirmed the remains could belong to one of the brothers.



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Monday morning the Lincoln County Sheriff's 911 Center advised of a two vehicle, injury accident near mile marker 63 on U.S. Highway 83.


It was reported a truck and a car had struck head on and one of the drivers was injured.

Deputies and rescue workers arrived to find a female driver with non-life threatening injuries being assisted by other citizens.


She was later taken to Great Plains Health for treatment.


The investigation into the accident revealed a northbound Isuzu Sweeper Truck crossed the centerline of the roadway and collided with the females vehicle.


It appears the driver of the Isuzu fell asleep, causing him to strike the woman’s car he was not injured. Drugs or Alcohol were not a cause of the accident.



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Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Board members surprised teachers and students in the Grand Island Public Schools when they arrived at schools Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to award 17 classroom mini-grants. 

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation awards mini-grants in two rounds on an annual basis. Mini-grants are designed to fund educational opportunities for students that are not available through the school district's general budget.  

This is the sixteenth annual mini-grant cycle for the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation.  Since the program’s inception, the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation has funded 282 mini-grants totaling $248,464. Grants have been awarded to every school in the district, benefiting approximately 52,755 students.  

The 2019-2020 mini-grant fund was established via the "Add it Up to Opportunity!" staff and board fund drive and the "Tradition of Excellence" community campaign held during the past 12 months.

For the 2019-2020 school year, 17 grants totaling $19,322 were awarded through the mini-grant process. Grants ranged from $250 to $2,000.  3,222 students will benefit from a classroom mini-grant this school year.  

Day One grant winners, grant amounts, and project titles were:

*Kim McCain, Jodi Fegley, Engleman Elementary, $1,830, “Wildcats Wild about Maker Space!” With the Makerspace movement in full swing across our district, Engleman Elementary wants to expand their learning opportunities for their students. With only four large robots, adding the ability to code more often is one goal for a student body of 530. We also would like to continue developing creativity and problem solving using recyclables with Makedo: Cardboard Construction. With Makerspace hands-on learning activities, students gain problem solving skills and collaboration skills in the curriculum areas of math, science, art, language/literature, and technology. This grant will benefit 530 students in grades K-5.

*Kenneth DeFrank, Success Academy, $1,970, “Flexible Seating.” Success Academy is an alternative program that focuses on students with mental and behavior challenges. We would like to offer more flexible seating to our students, including wiggly chairs, rocking chairs, and any other non-traditional seating to help kids stay focused on their academics. This grant will benefit 91 students in grades 9-12.

*Danielle Dudo, Stephanie Finnegan, Andrew Poltack, and Katie Slattery, Newell Elementary, $850, “Traveling Along the Oregon Trail.” Students will experience the Oregon Trail in a first-hand expedition across school district property.  Students will face many of the same challenges that pioneers faced from traveling hardships, illness, trading and pioneer meals.  Their mission is to successfully transport their family along the trail to their final destination.  (Starting at Newell Elementary, stopping at Walnut Middle School and ending at Grand Island Senior High). This grant will benefit 80 students in grades 4-5.

*Sara Robinson, Gates Elementary, $1,000, “Every Student, Every Day, A Reader!” The purpose of this grant is to provide teachers with the materials they need to design meaningful phonics lessons. The materials will guide instruction that directly aligns to the LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional development. This grant will benefit 215 students in grades K-5.

*Jason Zelasney, Shane Campbell, and John Faxon, Jefferson Elementary, $1,000, “Jefferson Gentleman.” The Jefferson Gentlemen will be a program focused on teaching our young boys how to be our next generation gentlemen. This program will teach our boys skills to help them feel good about themselves in every setting and have the confidence to lead by example. Our goal is to lift students up and help prepare them for the road ahead.  During our group time, we plan to focus on learning proper etiquette in different settings, how to dress to impress and tie a tie, how to give a proper handshake and demonstrate respect to others, and learn other characteristics of being a gentleman. This grant will benefit 50 students in grades K-5.

*Chandra Kosmicki, Jefferson Elementary, $1,870, “Stop-Motion Claymation Movie Makin’.” Remember the Gumby or the California Raisins? In this project, students will grow their skills as a 21st century learner and become engaged in stop-motion animation by creating, editing, and sharing their very own Claymation movie. This grant will benefit 400 students in grades K-5.

*Trevor Cornelius and Nancy Sutherland, Knickrehm Elementary, $900, “It Only Takes a Spark.” It can be difficult for students to transition from reading picture books to chapter books; for some students, due to fear and lack of confidence, it seems almost impossible. These obstacles can be overcome by creating an afterschool program using literacy circles, where like-ability students can gather to explore and discuss the hidden treasures found within the written word.  This grant will be used to purchase sets of books from seven different genres, in four different reading levels, in order to meet our students where they are at and encourage them to grow. This grant will benefit 40 students in grades K-5.

*Janet Dobbins and Rebecca Waind, Stolley Park Elementary, $1,300, “Purposeful Play in a Kindergarten Classroom.” We are creating an environment in the kindergarten classroom whereas 'play' becomes purposeful in providing extensive opportunities for children to represent and extend their thinking through multiple modalities including, but not limited to drawing, writing, painting, movement, drama, construction, dance, technology, and discovery.  Purposeful play centers will integrate standards, targets, and success criteria to naturally support learning. 'Play' will provide areas in the classroom that are ever-changing. This grant will benefit 46 students in Kindergarten.

*Lauren Peitzmeier and Sandy Meyer, Stolley Park Elementary, $1,947, “Make Space for Robotics!” We would like to provide opportunities for Stolley Park students to experience robotics and coding using Ozobots and Spheros in our dedicated makerspace where they will be available for all K-5 teachers to use with their entire class, in addition to before and after school STEAM programs and clubs. The Ozobot is a small but powerful robot that is programmable using simple markers (for beginners) or block based computer programming (for intermediate users).  Like the Ozobot, the Sphero SPRK+ utilizes drawing and block based programming, but adds a third level for advanced learners to use JavaScript to actually write text programs.
This grant will benefit 225 students in grades K-5.

*Melissa McDonald, Shoemaker Elementary, $1,000, “Every Student, Every day, A Reader!” The purpose of this grant is to provide teachers the materials they need to design meaningful phonics lessons. The materials will support instruction that directly aligns with the LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional development. This grant will benefit 280 students in grades K-5.

*Kevin Butters, Vicki Weseman, and Brenda Carlson, Lincoln Elementary, $1,000, “Patterns of Earth and Sky.” As fifth grade students begin the school year, they investigate what causes the daily and yearly pattern of what objects we see in the night sky. Throughout the investigations they discover how the orbits of Earth around the sun and of the moon around Earth, together with the rotation of Earth about an axis between its North and South poles, causes observable patterns. These students would greatly benefit from an end-of-unit, culminating activity that includes a trip to the University of Nebraska at Kearney Planetarium and an art activity incorporating what they have learned. Students could make connections with what they have learned, recognize many of the stars they have read about, and share in an experience which will stay with them for years to come. This grant will benefit 65 students in grade 5.

*Bianca Ayala, Howard Elementary, $250, “Books & Braids.” Books & Braids is a morning weekly club where the students are able to read books of their choice and have their hair styled. All students (boys & girls) are welcomed and after having their hair styled leave with a big smile on their face! Having special books and hair materials for the club would engage more students to join while building their confidence at the same time! This grant will benefit 50 students in grades K-5.

*Gina Conyers and Clint Felber, Barr Middle School, $450, “Outdoor Leisure Activities.” We would love to offer a unit at the beginning and end of every school year that features yard games that our students will most likely play in their neighborhoods, tailgating, or while camping with family and friends in the summer like:  Ladder golf, Polish Horseshoes, Corn Hole, Yard Darts and Kan Jam.  This is a great unit to add to our curriculum as it is able to help us hit several standards.  They will also be developing skills and knowledge of games that they will be able to participate in for a lifetime of fun. This grant will benefit 750 students in grades 6-8.

*Nicole LeClaire, Wyandotte Learning Center, $2,000, “Building a 21st Century Crime Lab – Law and Public Safety Academy at the Academies of Grand Island Senior High.”  This grant will design and build a crime lab where Law and Public Safety
 students would be able to role-play future careers in the fields of Law and Public Safety through crime scene simulations. The crime lab would be dynamic-scenes, simulations, and events would change and build upon unit concepts. This grant would offset the cost of supplies to build set scenes and supplemental lesson materials. This grant will benefit 125 students in grades 9-12.

*Jerome Dubas, Grand Island Senior High, $1,146, “UNDRground Contemporary Arts Marketing.” The Senior High Art Department collaborates with the Azteca Market to operate a professional art gallery- UNDRground Contemporary Arts.  The operating expenses include postcard mailings, postage, and vinyl, insurance, transportation expenses, food for receptions, website hosting fees, pedestals, and other miscellaneous expenses (light bulbs, paint, cleaning supplies, hardware, etc.).  Every two months we have a new show and we use the postcards to market each of the art shows, and we apply vinyl to the entry foyer wall with the artist's name and the name of the show. This grant will benefit 45 students in grades 9-12.

*Corey Farlee, Shaun Willey and Maggie Mintken, Grand Island Senior High, $250, “Journals & Paper Planners for Freshman Academy.” Working as a counselor in the Freshman Academy at Grand Island Senior High we have learned that our freshmen need help with organization and dealing with emotions. We have found success using journaling strategies to manage feelings and maintain mental health with many students. We have also observed student's organization skills and grades improve by using paper planners to help them gain control of their workload, which can be overwhelming for freshman. The transition from middle school to high school can be troubling, so having these materials to assist our students with this transition would be helpful. This grant will benefit 100 students in grade 9.

*Nancy Jones, Grand Island Senior High, $559, “TeamMates Lego Project.” As a school-based mentoring program, TeamMates of Grand Island's main goal is to build positive, trusting relationships between students and mentors through weekly conversations and activities.  These conversations are the basis for constructive, critical life decisions that students choose to discuss with their mentor, but can often be difficult when new relationships are developing.  Having a physical focus in their hands, helps students to openly talk about themselves and their lives without feeling interviewed or interrogated. TeamMates would like to purchase Legos sets for the four TeamMates schools in the district; Barr, Walnut, Westridge and Senior High. This grant will benefit 130 students in grades 6-12.

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Sutherland Longhorn Bar owner Tim Aden and Sutherland Rodeo Committee spokesperson Janet Mueller announced they are coming together to offer this incredible all-ages show at the outdoor event area north of the Sutherland Legion Hall adjacent to the rodeo grounds.

 

A native of Tulsa, OK, Diffie is a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years. A star athlete in high school, he originally set his sights on a medical career, but his love for music won out and he began performing in a gospel group. He paid the bills by working in a foundry and later joined a bluegrass band before deciding to give Nashville a try. He got a job working in the warehouse at Gibson Guitars, but felt like he wasn’t any closer to making his dreams come true.

 

He was on the verge of moving home when a conversation with his dad changed his destiny. “The best advice I ever got was from my dad,” Diffie recalls with a smile. “He said, ‘If you don’t have a goal, you don’t have anything to shoot at. Do something every day towards your music. Write a song or play your guitar.’ I took that to heart and made sure I did something every day whether it was big or little. I remember getting out of bed one time because I had forgotten to do something towards my music. I actually got up, got my guitar and played for a few minutes and then went back to bed. I feel like that had something to do with the success that I’ve managed to achieve. I think it would apply in anything. I lived, breathed, ate and slept music all the time. I was so obsessed with it.”

 

By 1990, Diffie had signed with Epic Records and released his debut album A Thousand Winding Roads. His very first single, “Home,” hit No. 1. He continued to dominate the charts throughout the 90s with such hits as “New Way (To Light Up an Old Flame),” “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” “Is It Cold in Here,” “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die),” “So Help Me Girl,” “Bigger than the Beatles” and “Third Rock from the Sun.” Jason Aldean paid tribute to Diffie and namechecked many of the veteran entertainer’s classics in his hit “1994.” The video featured Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town, Jake Owen and others paying homage to the man who influenced them.

 

Diffie’s accolades include 5 number one hits, 35 songs on the Billboard Top 10 charts, two Platinum records and two Gold albums.

 

The historic Sutherland Rodeo will celebrate its 83rd year in 2020, with a slack performance on July 2, then nightly performances on the 3rd and 4th. In 2019 the Sutherland Rodeo was named ‘Large Purse Rodeo of the Year” by the Nebraska State Rodeo Association, an accolade that it has won numerous times in the past. The concert is scheduled to start following the rodeo on July 3.

 

The rodeo and concert will highlight a full weekend of Independence Day celebrations in the community of Sutherland that includes a Junior Rodeo Queen competition, Firecracker 5K run, Pancake Breakfast, Kids Games and Frog Races, Community BBQ, Parade, Pie and Ice Cream Social.

 

Concert tickets will go on sale March first and will be priced at $20 in advance and $30 at the gate.


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Heartland United Way

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Central Community College

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 Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested a California man and seized cocaine and marijuana found during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Brady.

At approximately 7:00 a.m., Sunday, November 10, a trooper observed an eastbound Nissan Rogue speeding near mile marker 200. During the traffic stop, the trooper detected indicators of criminal activity.

A search of the vehicle revealed 2.2 pounds of cocaine hidden under the spare tire and 1.5 pounds of marijuana concealed in a box filled with spray foam.

The driver, Arnold Rodriguez, 44, of Modesto, California, was arrested for possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and no drug tax stamp. Rodriguez was lodged in Lincoln County Jail.


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Back on September 9th police responded to 3021 S. Locust Street in reference to the discovery two deceased persons in a room. That investigation has concluded that the cause of death of both persons was accidental overdose of methamphetamine.


Autopsies were performed on deceased 38 year old Joshua Perkins and 37 year old Shannon

Sybert. Both results concluded that ‘Acute Methamphetamine Toxicity’ to be the cause of death.


Combined with the physical evidence and a thorough investigation, the Grand Island Police

Department is closing this case having found that accidental overdose was the cause of death

for both parties.


The police stressed in the release that if someone you care about is suffering from addiction, please seek help from community resources such as the Central Nebraska Council on Alcoholism and Addiction (CNCAA) at 308-385-5520



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Dr. Jay Stewart

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Authorities say a South Dakota man died after collision on Interstate 80 in south-central Nebraska.

The crash occurred around 4 p.m. Sunday near the U.S. Highway 281 junction at Grand Island. The Hall County Sheriff's Department says a semitrailer and two passenger vehicles were involved.

The name of the victim and other details about the collision have not been released.


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According to the Grand Island City Council Agenda Mayor Roger G. Steele has submitted the name of Justin Scott for appointment as Councilmember to represent Ward 5.


This vacancy was created when Councilmember Michelle Fitzke moved from the district.


Scott's appointment is pending council approval Tuesday night.



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Nebraska officials say the body of a duck hunter who was thrown into a lake when his boat capsized has been recovered.


The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says conservation officers and rescue divers found the body of 21-year-old Anthony Dush, of Saint Paul, in Sherman County Reservoir around 9 p.m. Friday.


Dush and another hunter were on a duck hunt traveling across the lake in a boat Friday when it capsized, throwing both into the water. The other hunter swam to a nearby cabin and called for help.


Dush was a member of the St. Paul volunteer fire department, an investigation of the incident is ongoing.



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Bass Pro Shops says nearly 120 jobs at its Cabela's operation in Sidney will be relocated to Bass Pro Shops' headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.


The company announced Wednesday that employees who choose not to move to Springfield will be offered severance and outplacement aid.


Company spokesman Jack Wlezien says the relocation is "consistent with the company's long-term commitment to efficiently provide the highest level of service."


It's not clear how many jobs will remain in Sidney. Wlezien didn't immediately return a message Thursday from The Associated Press.


Cabela's once employed around 2,000 people in Sidney before it was bought by Bass Pro Shops. The deal was completed in September 2017.


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 The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) announces the promotion of Trooper Tyler Schmidt to the position of Troop D Captain. Schmidt will be commander for NSP operations for the 27 counties of Troop D, based in North Platte.

“Tyler Schmidt brings a broad leadership background in both the private and public sectors to this important position,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “His systems thinking and people-centered approach will be invaluable to the men and women of Troop D.”

Schmidt, 43, is in his 21st year of law enforcement service, the last nine of which have been with NSP. Prior to joining the Nebraska State Patrol, Schmidt served in the Nebraska Air National Guard 155th Security Police Squadron, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Police Department, and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. He has also worked as the Quality Director for Phelps Memorial Health Center in Holdrege.

“The men and women of Troop D are phenomenal public servants,” said Captain Schmidt. “I’m proud to have spent my entire NSP career in Troop D and look forward to continuing to serve in this new role alongside our dedicated troopers and civilians.”

In his career with NSP, Captain Schmidt has served in the Patrol Division, Carrier Enforcement, and Investigative Services. He has served as a Drug Recognition Expert and instructor for defensive tactics and firearms. Schmidt holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Bellevue and is a graduate of the 220th Session of the FBI National Academy.

Troop D is comprised of 27 counties in North Central through Southwest Nebraska and is headquartered in North Platte.


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Coming up at next Tuesday’s Grand Island City Council meeting Mayor Roger Steele is expected to name a replacement for the vacant Ward 5 seat.


Councilwoman Michelle Fitzke announced her resignation in August after her and her husband purchased a home outside Ward 5.


Four candidates have applied for the position and have been interviewed by Mayor Steele and council members



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The Merrick County Sheriff's Office received a report of a possible police impersonation.


According to the Merrick County Sheriff's office facebook page The reporting party advised that while traveling North on Archer Road near I Road when they observed a vehicle approach his vehicle very quickly.


The individual operating this vehicle activated a red and blue flashing lights in the grill of the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle then started to honk his horn at the reporting party.


The reporting party was worried about the legitimacy of the attempted traffic stop so they just slowed down but did not stop. The suspect vehicle then came beside the reporting party vehicle for a very short time before turning on a gravel road and proceeded westbound.


The vehicle was described as a Chevy Camaro gray in color, with no license plates.

The driver of the vehicle was described as a white male, late 20s to early 30s, a well groomed beard, wearing a dark colored shirt.


An active investigation is being conducted in an attempt to identify the vehicle and subject operating the vehicle.



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CDHD

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Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) were able to bring a low-speed pursuit to a safe conclusion this afternoon near Gothenburg on Interstate 80.

At approximately 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, a trooper observed a Chevrolet Suburban traveling eastbound at about 30 miles per hour near mile marker 190 on I-80. The trooper attempted a traffic stop. The vehicle stopped momentarily, but then continued driving at around 30 to 35 miles per hour.

Troopers pursued the vehicle, attempting to get the driver to stop or exit I-80. As the vehicle continued eastbound, troopers successfully deployed spike strips near mile marker 207. A trooper was then able to perform a tactical vehicle intervention to bring the Suburban to a stop in the median.

Troopers were then able to take the driver into custody and discovered that the driver was possibly experiencing a mental episode. The driver was placed in emergency protective custody.

Interstate 80 was closed for both eastbound and westbound traffic for approximately 45 minutes while troopers responded to the scene. The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and Nebraska Department of Transportation assisted with traffic control during this incident.


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Congressman talks protections, ports of entry, and construction about our border on Texas and Mexico.

Adrian Smith

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