HERSHEY, Neb. — Authorities have arrested a man suspected of driving drunk when his passenger jumped out of the vehicle in western Nebraska and died.
The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says a deputy sent Monday evening to the scene on Link 56C on the south side of Hershey found the woman unresponsive, lying on the roadway with a vehicle parked nearby. The sheriff's office says the deputy was unable to revive her and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
She's been identified as 45-year-old Brandy Lewis, who lived in Ogallala. An autopsy has been ordered.
The 59-year-old man who'd been driving the vehicle was interviewed and then arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. He told deputies that Lewis decided to jump while the vehicle was moving and that he couldn't stop her.
Court records don't show that he's been formally charged.
Sheriff Kapperman advises that on October 29 th , 2018 at approximately 9:30 p.m. The Furnas County Sheriff’s Office received a report of drug activity at the Arapahoe Motel in Arapahoe, Furnas County, Nebraska. The Sheriff’s Office responded and had contact with the renters, while talking with them the odor of marijuana was discovered emitting from the apartment. The Sheriff’s Office then applied for a search warrant for the residence for any and all drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Description: An Endangered Missing Advisory has been activated to determine the whereabouts of Harold Benton.
The Harlan County Sheriffs office is asking for assistance locating Harold "Gene" Benton, a 79 year old, 5'10" 225lb white male with brown hair and brown eyes missing from the Alma, NE area. Mr. Benton reportedly suffers from dementia and has medical conditions for which he does not have his medication. He was last seen Monday 9-24 at 0900. He may be driving a red 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, NE BE 4 Conservation plates. If you see Gene Benton please call 911 or the Harlan County Sheriff's office at 308-928-2147.
BROKEN BOW, Neb. (AP) — A woman who worked 33 years for Custer County has pleaded guilty to stealing from the Sheriff's Office.
Court records say 59-year-old Kelli Estergard, of Callaway, pleaded guilty to theft after prosecutors lowered the charge and dropped a related charge. Her sentencing is set for Aug. 23.
Authorities say the theft occurred between July 23, 2015, and Jan. 30 this year.
GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Frank Rzucek Sr. leaned forward in a Colorado courtroom, weeping with his face in his hands as his son-in-law, just feet away, was told Tuesday he could face the death penalty if convicted of killing Rzucek's daughter and two granddaughters.
Collecting himself, Rzucek glared as Christopher Watts was escorted back to jail.
The brief hearing came a day after court documents revealed that Watts told police that it was Rzucek's daughter, Shanann Watts, who strangled the kids after he told her he wanted to separate.
Watts told police that he flew into a rage and strangled his wife, took the three bodies to a remote oil site north of Denver, buried Shanann in a shallow grave and dumped the girls' bodies inside oil tanks.
Rzucek's silent angst dominated a routine court hearing in which Watts, wearing an orange jail suit and cuffed at the wrists and ankle, stoically answered, "Yes sir," as District Judge Marcelo Kopcow told him of the possible punishments if he's found guilty of killing Shanann, 34, Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4.
Shanann's brother, Frank Rzucek Jr., rubbed his father's shoulders and glared unflinchingly at Watts. A deputy stood between the men and the defendant.
Watts didn't enter pleas to three first-degree murder charges, two counts of killing a child under 12, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
GPS coordinates provided by police suggest the bodies were found at an oil worksite on or near a sprawling ranch close to Roggen, a high plains town about 40 miles (65 kilometers) east of the family's home in Frederick.
The oil site was not clearly visible Tuesday from the borders of the ranch, set in grazing land with sagebrush, yellow wildflowers and the occasional cottonwood tree. Gates to the property were closed, and the ranch owner did not immediately respond to a telephone message.
Watts worked as an operator for Anadarko Petroleum, a major Colorado oil and gas producer. He was fired Aug. 15, the day of his arrest.
Police first visited the Watts home on Aug. 13, after a friend asked officers to check on Shanann. Police searched the house and found the woman's cellphone stuffed inside a couch. Her purse was in the kitchen, and a suitcase was at the bottom of the stairs.
A detective spoke to Watts and learned about his plan to leave his wife. He told officers the conversation with Shanann was civil at first but that later "they were both upset and crying" and she planned to go to a friend's house, court papers said.
When she and the girls did not return home Aug. 14, investigators ramped up their efforts, with help from the FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Christopher Watts was interviewed by several local television stations, saying he missed his family.
In court papers, investigators said they learned that Watts was "actively involved in an affair with a co-worker," something he denied at first.
Separate documents filed by Watts' defense attorney last week said the girls' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before police found them late Thursday.
Prosecutors in Colorado have 60 days after someone is arraigned to say if they will seek the death penalty. No date has been set for Watts' arraignment. District Attorney Michael Rourke said Monday that it was too early to discuss if he will pursue capital punishment.
Shanann Watts, who's originally from North Carolina, had told family and friends she was expecting a boy. The judge said the charge of unlawful termination of pregnancy carries a prison term between 16 and 48 years.
Colorado is one of 12 states without a law broadly allowing for homicide charges in the violent death of fetuses. But state lawmakers in 2013 made the unlawful termination of pregnancy a felony.
Several efforts to change state law to allow murder charges in the death of a fetus have stalled amid disagreement about how to pass such a law without infringing on abortion rights.
As Boulder County district attorney, Stan Garnett remembers receiving dozens of calls and letters as his office prosecuted a woman accused of cutting open a pregnant woman's belly and removing her unborn child in 2015.
Garnett said a murder charge is impossible in Colorado unless prosecutors can show a fetus lived outside the mother before death.
A case involving the death of a fetus is inevitably controversial, but for prosecutors, "all that matters is what the law is and what the evidence is," Garnett said.
On Monday March 3rd 2018 at approximately 2:45 p.m. a call came in for a reported grass fire east of the Ag Valley elevators in Wilsonville Nebraska. No structures were involved. Approximately 320 acres of farm ground burned. No injuries have been reported. Multiple departments responded including Cambridge, Beaver City, Bartley, Beaver Valley, HEA, Norton and Almena also Extreme Ag, Kasson farms and Bill Moore brought down water for the tanks. Some area farmers brought tractors and disc to help control the fire . The cause of the fire is suspected to be the rekindle of an old burn permit pile.
The Business and Community Education department at Mid-Plains Community College will take its Free Youth ATV Training to the Dundy County Fairgrounds in Benkelman on June 14.
There will be additional trainings in McCook and Imperial.
“The need for quality rider safety training is becoming more of a necessity every year as we continue to see serious injuries attributed to ATVs,” said Crystal Welch, Business and Community Education coordinator. “We are happy to offer this very important training to our area youth.”
There will be two sessions to choose from at each training: 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Classes will be divided by age group, 6-9 and 10-16. Six students from each age group will be allowed in each session.
The curriculum, developed by Central States Safety Driver Training, will consist of a combination of safety instruction and guided, hands-on ATV operation. Participants will practice turns, stops and terrain navigation.
Instruction topics will include ATV injury and fatality statistics, how ATV size can contribute to rollover injuries and fatalities, the dangers of carrying passengers and material on ATVs, risks of traveling on public roads and safety procedures and practices.
Those who complete the program successfully will receive a certificate that aligns with insurance company requirements.
ATVs in different sizes will be used during the trainings. Parents of children younger than 10 must stay for their child’s class.
Other requirements include:
§Closed-toe footwear (preferably over the ankle)
§Long, non-flare pants
§A long-sleeved shirt or jacket
§Approved eye protection (will be provided if a participant does not have any)
§A helmet (will be provided if a participant doesn’t have one)
Those unable to attend the training in Benkelman will have the option of taking it at the following times and locations:
§June 15 - Red Willow County Fairgrounds, McCook
§June 21 - Chase County Fairgrounds, Imperial
Space is limited in all classes. Pre-registration is required by calling (308) 535-3678.
The trainings are possible thanks to a grant from the CHS Foundation, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. The money is administered through the North Platte Community College Foundation.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska has hired former assistant coach Ron Brown to help players off the field.
Coach Scott Frost announced Brown's hiring Wednesday in a non-coaching role as director of player development. Brown will mentor football players, work with the athletic department's university's Life Skills program and aid community outreach. Brown served as an assistant from 1987 through 2003 and again from 2008 to through 2014. Frost quarterbacked the team in the 1996 and 1997 seasons.
Brown was associate head coach at Liberty University for the past three seasons, working for another former Nebraska quarterback, head coach Turner Gill.
Brown spent 2004 through 2007 as Nebraska state director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Brown has a bachelor's from Brown University and a master's from Columbia University.
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.
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
Two McCook Volleyball players made Southwest Conference Volleyball team. Jayceea Hanson makes first team, and Robin Grigg makes Honorable Mention. You can view complete list here.