JULY 11, 2018 (SCOTTSBLUFF, NEB.) — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) Troop E have completed a three-month special enforcement operation focused on alcohol-related crashes.
The enforcement, which ran from April 1 through June 30, included sobriety checkpoints throughout Scotts Bluff County. Scotts Bluff County has been identified as a priority county by the Nebraska Department of Transportation – Highway Safety Office (NDOT-HSO) for the high rate of alcohol involvement in crashes.
During the effort, NSP worked with the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office to target drunk driving. The operation resulted in four arrests by NSP for driving under the influence, four arrests for driving under the influence of drugs, as well as two arrests by the Sheriff’s Office for driving under the influence of drugs and one arrest for driving under the influence.
The combined effort also resulted in 17 arrests for drug possession and citations issued for: driving under suspension (7), no proof of insurance (2), minor in possession (6), open container (10), improper child restraint (6). The team also performed three motorist assists.
“Our goal is to keep Nebraska roads safe and free from drunk driving,” said Captain Kurt Von Minden, Commander of Troop E. “This operation was successful thanks to the teamwork of our troopers and the deputies of the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office.”
The special enforcement was made possible thanks in part to the grant for $12,000 from NDOT-HSO.
We are seeking public assistance in locating Joseph “Joe” Anaya, age 34. He is wanted on multiple felony warrants, including sexual assault of a child and possession of a controlled substance.
Joseph Michael “Joe” Anaya is 5’7, 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information may contact any law enforcement agency. Persons wishing to remain anonymous can contact the Sheriff’s Office text-a-tip program at email@example.com, or Scotts Bluff County Crime Stoppers at 308-632-STOP (7867).
State Senator Dan Hughes of District 44, recently sat down with Barbie Long, Director of Community HealthCare and Hospice at her invitation to discuss home health issues. During the interview, Long not only represented the Nebraska Home Care Association, but Community Hospital as well.
Long had hoped to take Senator Hughes on a home health visit with a Medicaid patient, but arrangements didn’t work out. She explained to Hughes that the Medicaid patients she sees “really are vulnerable adults or kids” as she discussed the new managed care Nebraska Medicaid program.
In responding to the purpose of caring for vulnerable people, Hughes said, “that’s what Medicaid was designed for. No question about that. That’s what government should do; that’s part of what government should be.
Long mentioned the hand the Nebraska Healthcare Association has played in working through issues the new Medicaid program has brought by arranging Town Hall meetings. She fears the program may change providers in the future, “and we have to start all over,” giving the example that Well Care just got their patient portal up after a year and half wait.
Hughes’ answer to why he was running for re-election was “to finish the job. I’ve learned a lot these past years and I’m still learning things to be a more effective legislator. I’ve invested four years in it already. I don’t like not finishing a job once I start,” he said.
The two discussed the broad areas they cover in southwest Nebraska. Senator Hughes, who is form Venango, explained District 44 is “a very big district” covering ten counties: Perkins, Chase, Dundy, Hayes, Hitchcock, Frontier, Red Willow, Gosper Furnas and Harlan. “When I get to Alma, I’m closer to Lincoln than I am to my house,” he said. Long understood the challenges of covering a large area as Community HealthCare and Hospice covers seven of the same counties including Chase, Dundy, Hayes, Hitchcock, Frontier, Red Willow and Furnas.
Troy Bruntz, Community Hospital President & CEO, who was also at the table, commented about the hospital’s home health business model, saying other hospitals in southwest Nebraska used to provide home health services. They no longer provide those services because they were losing money. He explained the long drives and time on the road, up to three-hour round trips to see one patient, which don’t make the service profitable. “We lose hundreds of thousands of dollars on home health services each year,” he said.
“So why do we do it? Our mission is Regional Healthcare Excellence. If we don’t provide home health services, it isn’t going to be offered in southwest Nebraska, other than maybe our county. But we can’t just focus on Red Willow County if we are going to be a cornerstone for health in the entire region,” he added.
He added that since Barbie has become director of the home health department, the amount of patients in home health have doubled and nearly tripled.
Community Healthcare and Hospice staffs seven field registered nurses who are also case managers. Long said the field nurses have 17-20 patients each. In addition to Long, department director, Kami Foster, is clinical coordinator. Nursing aides on staff also provide services. “We really are the eyes and the ears of the physician,” she said, “as well as advocates for the patient.”
Long added two important reasons for offering home health: The service can help to keep patients from re-admitting into the hospital, and home care is about one tenth the cost of caring for a patient in a facility, such as a hospital. “And we all want to stay home if we can,” she said.
Senator Hughes said if elected to a second term, his number one public policy priority will be property taxes, “because that’s what I’m hearing most about. If you look at the demographics of the 44th district, it’s predominantly agriculture. It’s hurting right now because of low commodity prices. The way we fund schools in this state heavily relies on property tax. This has created an intense burden on the ag community.”
Bruntz and Long said the ag economy has also affected the hospital financially more than it ever has before. Barbie mentioned knowing some farmers and ranchers with injuries who could not afford seeking medical care due to the extremely high deductibles and co-pays on their medical insurance.
They mentioned the hospital offers financial counseling service and social workers to assist people in those situations. Bruntz said the hospital gives away a million and half dollars every year in free and reduced services and is willing to work with patients with medical needs.
Hughes said he would consider who steps up to serve on legislative committees before he would consider whether he would change the committees he serves. “There are leadership positions that are vacant that I want to make sure we have the right people in place. If the right people step up, I’m happy to stay where I’m at as chairman of Natural Resources, and Transportation and Telecommunications. I hope to stay on the Exec Board as well,” he said. “I will go where I am needed. I’m a team player and I look at the bigger picture.”
Long asked if Senator Hugh’s understanding of the impact of home care services on his constituents has changed since he became a state senator. “I’ve had a little bit of exposure to the doctor side of the issue,” he said. “One of the things I enjoy about being a state senator is I do get to learn about so many things. I have learned a lot and have come to appreciate a lot more of what it takes to make southwest Nebraska work and the state of Nebraska. There are so many things that go on, that unless you are directly involved, you don’t think about.” He added that the more relationships he has, in areas of healthcare for example, if he doesn’t know the answer, he has someone he can call.
Bruntz added that “We are always here to help” and that he believes term limits have hurt.
Hughes agreed that senators need at least three, four-year terms. “I’ve never liked term limits and now that I’m on the inside, they are even worse than I thought of the devastation it’s done to Nebraska.”
Hughes said he is sympathetic to many state issues, but “we just don’t have enough money to go around. “Several areas have taken cuts and they want them back, and I certainly understand that, but the possibility of increased revenue is pretty slim outside of Internet sales tax revenue coming in January.”
On a different note, Hughes said he is not in favor of legalizing medicinal marijuana. “I’m in favor of whatever will alleviate suffering, but until the Federal government is willing to do testing to see what works, I can’t in good conscience allow anyone to (use it),” he said. “It’s coming back to the legislature. Every state which has started with medicinal has moved to recreation, but it’s not a path I feel morally we should go down.”
Senator Hughes closed the interview by applauding healthcare workers for their dedication to their profession. “Thank you for what you do. It is a critical part of what our society and our corner of Paradise needs so we can all stay here and enjoy life.”
ALLIANCE, Neb. (AP) — An August sentencing hearing has been scheduled for a 29-year-old man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend's dog in northwest Nebraska.
Box Butte County District Court records say Adam Swanson pleaded no contest to animal neglect that resulted in death. Prosecutors dropped a weapons charge in return for Swanson's plea. His sentencing is set for Aug. 27.
Sheriff's deputies say Swanson was intoxicated on Jan. 20 when he intentionally shot and killed the dog in its kennel. Swanson and his girlfriend had been arguing at their home about 5 miles (8 kilometers) northeast of Hemingford.
On Friday, June 8, Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol Troop C and officers from the Grand Island Police Department conducted an undercover operation to target and identify individuals soliciting prostitution in the Grand Island area.
This was an operation of the Central Region of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force. The effort resulted in the arrest of seven individuals for soliciting prostitution.
In addition to attempting to rescue those being trafficking against their will for commercial sexual activity, other key tenets to the Human Trafficking Task Force are to attempt to reduce the demand for commercial sexual activity by conducting undercover investigations targeting and identifying sex buyers.
The following individuals were arrested and lodged in Hall County Corrections for Solicitation of Prostitution: Brandon Stickley, of Cairo, Craig Jones, of Kearney, Jesus Oliveros, of Grand Island, Buckley Haag, of Bartley, Michael Smidt, of Glenvil, Steve Cole, of St. Paul, and Mike Aipperspach, of Hastings.
AURORA, Neb. (AP) — The son of actors Sean Penn and Robin Wright has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor in his Nebraska drug case.
Twenty-four-year-old Hopper Penn and his girlfriend, 26-year-old Uma Von Wittkamp, were arrested during a traffic stop on April 4 on Interstate 80 in southeastern Nebraska.
The Nebraska State Patrol says a search of their vehicle turned up 14 grams of marijuana, four amphetamine pills and 3 grams of psychedelic mushrooms.
Both were initially charged with felony drug possession. Court records show they later pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge of attempt of a felony. Each was ordered to pay $1,000.
A no-contest plea allows a defendant to not admit guilt but acknowledge that there's enough evidence for a conviction.
State Fire Marshal investigators have determined the cause of the December 28, 2017, house fire, which claimed the lives of an Indianola couple, was accidental in nature, believed to have originated by an unattended candle.
The remains of Douglas Swanson and Debra Swanson, husband and wife, both 61 years of age, where identified during an autopsy. Preliminary results indicate the cause of death was related to the fire.
Five McCook Community College softball players have been named to the Omaha World-Herald’s all Nebraska junior college team including sophomore Alexis Moeaki, who was named the team’s honorary captain. Also named to the team were sophomore Taya Thorpe and freshmen Emily Charchuk, Jerusha Miner and Chanel Siebenthal. McCook had a strong offense this spring as it hit .366 as a team and averaged 7.9 runs per game and dominated the all World-Herald team with five of the 14 players. Western Nebraska and Central Community College each had three players, Northeast Junior College had two and Southeast Community College had one. Moeaki, a sophomore from Las Vegas, set a school record with 76 RBIs this spring and hit.468, scored 61 runs, hit 22 doubles and 11 home runs. She finished as McCook’s career leader in batting average (.464), hits (176) and RBIs (142). Joining her in the infield was freshman Emily Charchuk, second base, from Victoria, British Columbia, who hit .439, scored 66 runs and drove in 34 RBIs. Two MCC freshman were named as out-fielders on the World-Herald team. Jerusha Miner, Gunnison Valley, Utah, batted .373 for the Lady Indians, scored 53 runs and led Region IX with 39 stolen bases. Chanel Siebenthal, outfielder from Lakewook, Colo., hit.406, scored 57 runs and stole 17 bases. Sophomore pitcher Taya Thorpe, Malad, Idaho, was one of three pitchers named to the team. She led MCC with a 21-20 record this past season, struck out 200 hitters and had a 5.43 earned-run average.
OMAHA WORLD-HERALD TWO-YEAR COLLEGE TEAM
C: Danica Schaefer, so., Central CC, .488, 39 R, 33 RBIs
1B: Savannah Robertson, so., Northeast CC, .471, 40 RBI, 50 R
2B: Emily Charchuk, fr., McCook CC, .439, 66 R, 34 RBIs
*SS: Alexis Moeaki, so., McCook CC, .468, 11 HRs, 76 RBIs
3B: Michaela Kelly, fr., Western Nebraska, .383, 14 HRs, 53 RBIs
OF: Madi Jackson, so., Western Nebraska, .421, 58 R, 39 RBIs
OF: Jerusha Miner, fr., McCook CC, .373, 53 R, 39 SBs
OF: Chanel Siebenthal, fr., McCook CC, .406, 57 R, 17 SBs
EP: Jessica Lusk, so., Southeast CC, .429, 16 HRs, 56 RBIs
U: Jenna Robinson, so., Central CC, .381, 13 HRs, 55 RBIs
P: Alayna Allen, fr., Northeast CC, 3.64 ERA, .404, 59 RBIs
P: Katelyn Keene, so., Central CC, 12-6, 3.21 ERA
P: Emma McMillan, fr., Western Nebraska, 14-19, 6.10 ERA
P: Taya Thorpe, so., McCook CC, 21-20, 200 Ks, 5.43 ERA
*— denotes honorary captain
Central CC - Shelby Behnk, Mackenzie Eller, Ashten Gibson.
North Platte CC - Emily Marsden, Hallei Morales, Erin Renwick, Ana Talaroc-Kaniho, Kenlee Wanlass.
Northeast - Jade Long, Emily Sherstone.
Southeast - Brooke Brestel, Cassidy Burkhardt, Jasmine Davis, Jenny Eacker, Kelsey Markey.
Western Nebraska - Brooke Doumer, Alyssa Guymon, Gabby Loya, Reagan Solomon.
Republican Plains Activity Conference All-Conference Volleyball 2017-2018
The 2017-18 RPAC All-Conference Boys and Girls Basketball Teams have been announced for the East and West divisions.
Padyn Borders Sr Broken Bow
Hunter Pothoff Sr McCook
Tristian Siemering Sr Cozad
Dillon Geiser Jr Cozad
Elijah Lovin Jr Minden
Kevin Linn Sr Broken Bow
Gage Delimont Jr Ainsworth
Cameron Raffaeli Jr Ogallala
Bennett Folkers Sr Gothenburg
Nate Neil Jr Cozad
Josh Harvey Jr Broken Bow
Clayton Stevens Sr McCook
Kooper Reece Sr Valentine
Josh Denney Jr Minden
AJ Whiting Sr Gothenburg
Adam Kroeger So Ogallala
Gracie Stienike Sr Gothenburg
Janessa Madsen Sr Minden
Sadie Rush Sr Cozad
Kali Staples Fr Broken Bow
Diana Reed Sr Ogallala
Bailey Honn Sr McCook
Jory Lowe Sr Broken Bow
Rylee Rice So Ainsworth
Alex Bauer Jr Minden
MacKenzie Smith Jr McCook
Jaden Bryant Sr McCook
Kennedy Berreckman Sr Cozad
Taylor Williams Jr Ogallala
Chiara Richeson Fr Gothenburg
Liviya Wier Fr McCook
Sheridan Bancroft- Valentine, Claire Steinhauser- Ainsworth, Tory Dehning Ogallala, Emily Arp-McCook, Arleigh Costello-Gothenburg, Hanna Wright-Cozad, Trinity Olson- Minden, Jaden Bryant-McCook, Kennedy Berreckman-Cozad, Bailey Honn-McCook, Jory Lowe Broken Bow, Kate Fox Broken Bow, Sadie Rush-Cozad, Janessa Madsen-Minden, Gracie Stienike-Gothenburg
Franklin wins the Alma Golf Invitational with a team score 366, Southern Valley comes in second with a 368, Loomis third with a 400, Cambridge in fourth place with a 428, Alma finishes fifth with a 432, finishing in sixth place was Bertrand 447, in seventh place was Elm Creek 458, and finishing eighth place was Arapahoe 512. View all the individual scores below.
The McCook Community College baseball team opens the 2018 season Saturday with a roster full of returning position players but a very young pitching staff.
MCC opens play Saturday in Liberal, Kan. against Seward County and Coach Jon Olsen will rely on his team’s experience and solid batting order to lead the team while the pitching staff develops.
The Indians return 10 guys who started games last year. “Technically we can start a player at every position who started at some point last year,” Olsen said.
On the mound, MCC’s 2018 roster has three pitchers with 40 innings of experience between them. The Indians must reload a pitching staff that set a school record for strikeouts in a season, 410. The trio of returners had 32.
“On the mound, we are going to be counting on guys to step up and do well for us as freshmen,” Olsen said. “We have 14 arms, only one who pitched more than 10 innings last year.” The Indians will have six true freshman among the pitchers and with five transfers.
“We have some talented arms in this program but some of them don’t have a ton of experience,” Olsen said.
MCC is coming off a 29-27 season and a 20-16 conference mark, which was fourth best in what has become a highly-competitive Empire Conference that includes Western Nebraska, Northeastern JC, Trinidad State, Lamar, Otero, and Miles. 2017 marked MCC’s first back-to-back playoff appearances since the post-season format changed in 2008. The top four teams in the standings advance to the post-season playoffs.
The coach doesn’t look for falloff from any conference foes.
“I have a ton of respect for the coaches in this conference, they all get things done in different ways but if you don’t show up ready to play in any conference game, you’re going to get beat,” Olsen said.
He pointed out the top five teams in the conference were separated by three games in the standings.
Olsen said in looking at all the teams it’s difficult to say that one team is a clear-cut favorite.
“Every team is a little like us, really strong in one area and some questions in other areas. There isn’t one team with a ton of experience in both pitching and offense. This conference is going to be a wide-open dogfight,” Olsen said.
Sophomore bats will be the key for the Indians to make it a third straight playoff appearance. Last year MCC dropped its first six conference games before the playoff run.
First baseman/outfield Jacob Sanford, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, earned first team Region IX honors last year and catcher Dylan White, Las Vegas, was a second-team all-region selection as a freshman.
The Indian offense has players who produced well as freshmen. Of the eight position players with at least 18 games played, they collectively had 1,030 plate appearances while hitting .297 with 31 homeruns, 150 RBIs, a .386 on-base average and a .469 slugging percentage.
Olsen is expecting even better production from this core-group of sophomores and key offensive contributions from his newcomers but he said with inexperienced pitchers, it will be imperative MCC step up its defense.
“Last year we were bad defensively, but we had high strikeout guys on the mound that shielded our defense.”
The first of 25 scheduled home games is set for Feb. 21 when the Indians take on Colby in a nine-inning 3 p.m. Game. MCC has home doubleheaders scheduled with Hastings JV Feb. 22 and against Northeast CC Feb. 28.
Here is a look at the 2018 Indians by position:
CATCHER: Sophomore Dylan White and freshman Beau Hawley, Greeley, Colo., are expected to see the majority of the action. White hit .348 last season with five homers and 19 RBI. When he was injured during the fall, Hawley was able to step in and get a lot of experience. “Dylan had a good year for us and is a good defender as well, and with the experience Beau got in the fall I’m pretty happy with where we are there,” Olsen said.
FIRST BASE: Jay Sanford will anchor the MCC lineup as the Indians’ top returning hitter batting .345 with 11 homeruns and 39 RBI. The sophomore will play first base and also leftfield, which will allow Jonny Giunta, Milton, Ontario, (who started 14 games last year) time in the lineup.
MIDDLE INFIELD: Four sophomores are expected to fill the lineup this year at second base, shortstop, and third base. Jason Hill, Surrey, B.C., started 44 games last year and batted .313 with a .435 on-base percentage. Mike Sookdeo, Bramton, Ontario, played mostly at DH last year where he hit .237 with seven homeruns and 32 RBI and will likely see time at third base this year. Angel Mojica, Denver, is one of MCC’s most improved players according to Olsen having played 16 games last year with a .194 batting average. Hunter Rynders, Centennial, Colo., can play all infield spots and saw action in 18 games last year batting .300. Of his incoming freshman the coach has tabbed Julio Seperich, Las Vegas, as his best overall defender on the team both in the infield and the outfield. Olsen expects him to see starts at second base, third, shortstop and centerfield. Freshman Jacob Reid, Mississauga, Ontario, is a player who can provide very good offense and Mark Starks, Blair gives the Indians depth and offensive pop off the bench.
OUTFIELD: In addition to Sanford and Seperich, three returning sophomores look to frequent the lineup from the outfield. Tanner Zeggil, Stagner, Ontario, played in 46 games a year ago and batted .310 with a pair of home runs. Chris Bellemere, Grande-Carriere, Quebec, started 17 games and homered three times and drove in 10 with a .203 batting average and .390 slugging. Dalton Barling, Ashland, saw action in 16 games batting .212,
STARTING PITCHING: McCook High School’s Kaden Sitzman emerges as the staff’s most experienced pitcher appearing in 16 games, starting four, and compiling a 3-3 record in 29.1 innings with 25 strikeouts. Other candidates for the starting rotation include: Jacob Lombardelli, Windsor, Colo., Connor McGonigal, Omaha Burke, and high school teammates Jesse Bloom and Ryan Marstiller, Centennial, Colo.
BULLPEN: Sophomore Tyler Cox, Mississauga, emerged as the top relief pitcher during fall camp. He appeared in five games, threw 8.1 innings and posted a 1-0 record with a 2.16 earned run average last season. The other sophomore is David Perez, Las Vegas, who worked in three innings last year over four appearances. Freshmen pitchers with a chance to work their way into key roles include: Shaun Hickey, Summerville, N.B.; Connor Williams, Milton, Ontario; Casey Quagliano, Colby, Kan.; Keyshawn Royal, Tampa; and three Greeley, Colo., pitchers in Spencer Ray, Braydon Peif and Micah Dorsey.
KANSAS CITY, MO – The National Association of Basketball Coaches announced today the matchups for the championship round of the 2018 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker. All four games of the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO., will be aired live on ESPN networks.
On Monday, November 19, Nebraska will take on Missouri State at 6 pm CT on ESPNU, followed by USC and Texas Tech at 8:30 pm ET on ESPN2. On Tuesday, November 20, the consolation game will tip off at 6 pm CT on ESPN3, followed by the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker championship game at 8:30pm ET on ESPN2.
Tickets for the championship round games at Sprint Center will be available beginning at 10:00am CT on August 4th by visitingwww.halloffameweekend.com,www.axs.com, by phone at 888-929-7849, or in person at Sprint Center Box Office.
The Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker will be the culminating event of college basketball’s Hall of Fame Weekend, which also includes the 13th annual induction ceremony for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. That event will take place on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City.
---- CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS ----
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo.
Monday, November 19 – 6:00 PM CT
Nebraska vs. Missouri State (ESPNU)
USC vs. Texas Tech (ESPN2)
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo.
Tuesday, November 20 – 6:00 PM CT
Consolation Game (ESPN3)
Championship Game (ESPN2)
Those four schools will serve as the four host round participants for this year’s Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker, with the opening round games of the tournament beginning on November 6th. Each of those teams will play two games on campus, before advancing to the championship rounds in Kansas City. Joining the four host teams in the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker are Mississippi Valley State, Robert Morris, Southeastern Louisiana and Stetson. The complete list of games for the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by Shot Tracker are as follows:
---- HOST ROUNDS ----
Springfield Regional Rounds
JQH Arena – Springfield, MO
Friday, November 9 – Time TBD
Robert Morris at Missouri State
Sunday, November 11 – Time TBD
Stetson at Missouri State
Lubbock Regional Rounds
United Supermarkets Arena– Lubbock, TX
Friday, November 9 – Time TBD
Mississippi Valley State at Texas Tech
Tuesday, November 13 – Time TBD
Southeastern Louisiana at Texas Tech
Lincoln Regional Rounds
Pinnacle Bank Arena – Lincoln, NE
Tuesday, November 6 – Time TBD
Mississippi Valley State at Nebraska
Sunday, November 11 – Time TBD
Southeastern Louisiana at Nebraska
Los Angeles Regional Rounds
Galen Center – Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, November 6 – Time TBD
Robert Morris at USC
Wednesday, November 14 – Time TBD
Stetson at USC