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(CDHD Release) - Central District Health Department (CDHD) reports 105 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 2 p.m. today. This includes 2 in Merrick County, 9 in Hamilton County, and 94 in Hall County. The increasing number is concerning but not unexpected given the trend we have seen in these past two weeks. If the trend continues, we will continue to see notably larger numbers each day.

Stay home: We each can do our best to slow that growth. Stay home where you are away from the exposure to the virus. Order your groceries on-line and pick up at the outside pickup stations. Designate one person to go to the store if needed once weekly. Wear a mask in public. Keep your hand sanitizer handy and apply frequently. Wash your hands with soap and warm water when available. 

Stay healthy: Lead a healthy lifestyle. Get adequate sleep and think health foods when choosing what to eat and serve for meals. Make time for physical activity either in your home or on a hike and bike trail. Practice meditation or other stress management techniques. Talk to your children about what is going on. Remain calm and reassuring, and help them practice healthy habits.

Stay connected: COVID-19 news is everywhere and can be overwhelming. Choose an accurate source of information like our website: www.cdhd.ne.gov or the CDC website: www.cdc.gov.  Check in each day but not all day. Stay connected electronically with family and friends and to share holiday greetings.

We have several rough weeks ahead of us, but together, we are stronger.

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Grand Island Public Schools has announced the hiring of Dr. Allison Bailey as the GEAR UP Director.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Bailey to the GIPS team,” Superintendent Dr. Tawana Grover said. “Dr. Bailey brings a wealth of knowledge from her experience in higher education, grant work and communication. She will continue to grow the Grand Island GEAR UP PROMISE program for our students and families.”

In 2018, Grand Island Public Schools became the first Nebraska district to be awarded a federal GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant. The Grand Island GEAR UP PROMISE (Partners, Resources & Opportunities Matching Individualized Supports & Education) started for all Walnut and Barr Middle School 6th and 7th grade students in the 2018-2019 school year, their parents and their teachers.

The support followed the students into 7th and 8th grade in 2019-2020. The program continues in the 2020-2021 school year for Barr and Walnut 8th graders and will be at Grand Island Senior High for students in the Academy of Freshman Exploration - regardless of which middle school they attended.

Dr. Bailey is currently an associate professor at the Institute for Environmental & Spatial Analysis within the University of North Georgia. She is also a University System of Georgia eCore faculty member.

“I have been an educator for many years; throughout that time, I have always secured additional funding to bring more opportunities to students,” Dr. Bailey said.

“Most recently I have been leading a multi-year community-based environmental education project funded by the EPA where I have been leading a grant team, collaborating with community partners and directing programs in four school systems, at local colleges and in the community to educate all about the importance of healthy forest ecosystems and clean water,” Dr. Bailey said. “Honestly, I just love putting my talents and energy into serving students and teachers to create rewarding experiential learning opportunities.”

Dr. Bailey said she was looking for an opportunity to work on a larger grant project regarding community-based education and student success initiatives. She learned about what GIPS has accomplished so far with GEAR UP and was intrigued with the district and community.

“I am originally from Louisiana, but as a daughter of an Army officer, I have had the privilege of living in many places in the United States and in Germany. Because of that experience, I have developed an appreciation for people, other cultures and languages and for myriad landscapes,” Dr. Bailey said. “I am excited about joining the GIPS family and embracing all that makes Nebraska the great state that it is.”

GEAR UP provides many supports for students, parents and GIPS staff, all with the aim of encouraging more families to understand students’ post-high school options.

“Dr. Bailey’s role with GIPS is very important to help provide a variety of unique opportunities so students can be college, career, community and world ready,” Dr. Grover said.

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North Platte, Ne - Mayor Dwight Livingston announced today that he had selected an applicant to recommend to

the City Council to fill the City Administrator’s position created by the retirement of longtime

City Administrator, Jim Hawks.


The successful applicant selected by Mayor Livingston is Matthew F. Kibbon of Cheyenne,

Wyoming. Matt Kibbon is a native of Nebraska, having been raised in Hampton, Nebraska,

where his parents still live. After graduating from Hampton High School, Matt graduated from

Wayne State College. He was then employed as a Project Engineer/Superintendent by the Kiewit

Building Group headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, for 12 years. Since that time, Mr. Kibbon

has acquired 7 years of Governmental experience and 5 years experience as a Senior

Administrator with the University of Wyoming. Mr. Kibbon currently serves as the Deputy

Director for Planning and Construction for the University of Wyoming where he has been

responsible for managing projects ranging from $1 million to $150 million, with an additional

$450 million worth of work under construction or design. Mr. Kibbon and his wife (a Physical

Therapist), together with their 2 young daughters, are looking forward to coming back to

Nebraska and the challenges of trying to fill in for the retiring City Administrator, Jim Hawks.

Mayor Livingston also took the opportunity to again publicly thank Jim Hawks for his years of

dedicated public service to the citizens of North Platte and Lincoln County.



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March 26, 2020 – North Platte, NE-Great Plains Health is pleased to announce two new members to its executive team. Tina Pate, MSN, RN, CEN, was promoted to chief nursing officer and Danelle Franzen, MBA, MLS (ASCP), was promoted to chief provider network officer.

Tina holds a Master of Science in Nursing and has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She has served in various capacities and leadership roles, most recently serving as the senior director of nursing, a role she has held since 2017. 

“Tina has demonstrated her leadership skills and her abilities to open the lines of communication among staff and foster strong teams during a time of uncertainty,” said Mel McNea, Great Plains Health CEO. “I am excited to see her succeed in this new role and am extremely confident that she will continue to raising the bar in a way that will drive the highest quality of care for our patients.”

Tina earned her BSN from the University of Phoenix and her master’s degree in nursing from Grand Canyon University.

“I have been fortunate to be a part of the extraordinary improvements that we have made in the quality of care for our patients,” said Tina Pate. “I look forward to building on those accomplishments and creating a more collaborative relationship with our patients, families, physicians and teams to continually advance our care and services.”

Danelle Franzen has accepted the role of the chief provider network officer overseeing the physician group.

“Danni is known for driving improvements while cultivating an environment of engagement and teamwork,” said McNea. “She has an unwavering dedication to our vision of being the region’s most trusted healthcare community and is the right person to step into this important role.”

Danni has been in the healthcare industry since 1994 beginning as a lab technician and most recently serving as the senior director of the provider network. She earned an MBA from Bellevue University, her bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science from Weber State University and an associate's degree from Mid-Plains Community College.

“I’m excited to serve Great Plains Health in this capacity,” said Danni Franzen. “I feel privileged to work with a great team and I look forward to meeting the challenges of this current healthcare environment together with our board, leadership team and physicians.” 



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North Platte, Ne - Mid-Plains Community College has postponed its commencement ceremonies originally scheduled for May 8 until July 31, 2020. This is due to the Directed Health Measure issued by the governor regarding coronavirus. The health measure is currently in effect until May 11. 

 

“It is our desire to celebrate our students’ educational accomplishments, and we are hopeful that this late summer date will enable us to do just that,” said MPCC President Ryan Purdy. “These plans may change if the Directed Health Measure currently in effect is extended beyond our rescheduled date.”

 

MPCC typically hosts commencement in May of each year, however, several instructional programs continue into late summer. Purdy said moving commencement to July will allow students in those programs to finish their summer schedules while also allowing students planning to transfer to other institutions an opportunity to attend the celebration.

 

“We know that not all students will be able to return, and we hope to provide them with an opportunity to send a picture or video to us to include in a pre-ceremony presentation,” Purdy said.

 

The commencement ceremony at McCook Community College will begin at 10 a.m. followed by commencement at North Platte Community College at 3 p.m. 

 

More information about the college’s response to the pandemic can be found online at mpcc.edu.


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The McCook Community College softball team has signed its first recruit for the 2021 season.

Taylor Thein of West Branch, Iowa has signed her letter of intent to continue her softball in McCook next season.

Taylor’s strengths are her athleticism and speed. She brings versatility as she can play outfield or infield,” said MCC Softball Coach Kevin Kaalberg.

Thein grew up in West Branch, Iowa with her mom, dad, and older brother while attending West Branch High School.

Within her school, she has been involved in many different activities and clubs including softball, basketball, soccer, track, student government, National Honor Society, co-editor in chief of her school newspaper, and was elected president of the student leadership activity team.

“I love being challenged to prove to myself that I can overcome obstacles,” she said.

She added that if she’s not playing a sport, you can find her fishing, hanging out with friends, or eating pizza.

Thein is not sure what she will study at MCC but, said “I am excited to start my journey as an Indian! Go Tribe!”



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As we continue to navigate closure guidelines, questions regarding graduation are frequently discussed.  McCook Public Schools understand the importance of graduation in the lives of our seniors and want to ensure that district conversations we are having about our ability to continue them as planned are not being taken lightly.

Per the current Directive Health Measure from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited until at least April 30th and school closures have been announced through the end of the school year. 

At this time, plans for the McCook High School Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremonies for Sunday, May 17, 2020 have been rescheduled. As we have seen in recent weeks, circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are rapidly changing, and we need to remain flexible. We are working on plans to best fit the responses: needs of the community as a whole. Knowing that, we are committing to the following  

  • McCook High School Graduation - Friday, July 31, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. held at The Graff Event Center on the Campus of McCook Community College.

 

  • McCook High School Post Graduation/Prom - Saturday, August 1st (Time = TBD) McCook Senior High/Jr High Campus

If the July plans can not be implemented, additional plans will be developed as appropriate.  

Additionally, we understand that several of our graduates have commitments to leave for military service training and we are working on plans to do a graduation recognition for these students prior to their leave.

Please know, we understand and value the importance of this milestone for students and their families, and we will continue to do all that we can to make it a reality while prioritizing the health and safety of all involved.


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Officers responded to an injury accident at 18th St and Broadwell Ave yesterday evening. After a vehicle struck a juvenile riding a bike across Broadwell Ave. The juvenile was injured and treated by GIFD and transported to CHI Health St. Francis Hospital.

During the investigation it was revealed the driver, Jonathan Rodriguez, smoked marijuana earlier in the day. Rodriguez also had a suspended driver’s license, a Hall County Warrant and he was also found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia. Rodriguez was arrested for DUI-Great Bodily Injury, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Driving During Suspension & Hall County Warrant.

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(CDHD Release) - Central District Health Department (CDHD) reports 86 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 2 p.m. today. This includes 2 in Merrick County, 8 in Hamilton County, and 76 in Hall County.

The National Guard tested approximately 150 healthcare workers and symptomatic persons between yesterday and today. CDHD has been informed this afternoon that the National Guard will be able to perform approximately 300 more tests. CDHD is currently working with the National Guard to develop a plan for the additional testing now available.

Guidelines for discontinuing home isolation for people who have symptoms of COVID-19 are:

You have had NO fever for at least 72 hours (3 days) without the use of medicine
AND

Other symptoms have improved (ex: cough, shortness of breath)
AND

At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
The decision to stop home isolation should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and state and local health departments. Local decisions depend on local circumstances. (Guidance from the CDC)

 

Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected.

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady says he’s leaving the New England Patriots after 20 seasons, six Super Bowls and three MVPs. Brady becomes a free agent this afternoon, when he already could have an agreement in place with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His representatives were in serious negotiations with the Bucs yesterday. Patriots owner Robert Kraft told ESPN, “It's not the way I want it to end, but I want him to do what is in his best personal interest.”

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts and longtime Los Angeles Chargers star quarterback Philip Rivers have worked out a one-year contract. That’s according to a person who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be officially announced until Wednesday. General manager Chris Ballard adds an eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback to the roster less than 24 hours after acquiring Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner in a trade with San Francisco.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints and quarterback Drew Brees (breez) have agreed to a two-year, $50 million contract. A person familiar with the situation spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on yesterday because the deal has not been announced. His new contract gives the 41-year-old, 19-year veteran the leverage to decide after this season whether he wants to continue playing. Brees is the NFL's all-time leader in completions with 6,867, yards passing with 77,416, and touchdowns with 547.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have worked out a deal with Teddy Bridgewater to replace quarterback Cam Newton. A person familiar with the deal says Bridgewater is taking a three-year, $63 million contract after winning all five of his starts for New Orleans last season. Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said Tuesday on Twitter the team is working with Newton and his agent to find a trade partner, although the 2015 says he never asked to be dealt.

NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant and three other members of the Brooklyn Nets have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total to seven known players in the NBA. The team announced Tuesday that one player is exhibiting symptoms, while the other three are asymptomatic. All four players have been isolated and are under the care of team physicians. The Nets added that all players and members of their travel party are being asked to remain isolated and closely monitor their health.




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The University of Nebraska has canceled the Red-White Spring Game on April 18 out of concern for public health and safety of fans, student-athletes and staff.  
 
Refunds
All ticket holders for the Spring Game will receive a full refund for their order. Tickets will be automatically refunded onto the credit card used for the original purchase or by check (cash/check transactions).

Ticket Office Closure
Beginning Tuesday, March 17 the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office will be closed to the public for in-person assistance until further notice. You may still reach the Ticket Office by phone during regular business hours (M - F, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) at 800-8-BIGRED.



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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has accepted a two-year, $66 million contract extension. Cousins was entering the final season of the fully guaranteed, three-year, $84 million contract he signed as a free agent in 2018. He was scheduled to count $31 million against the salary cap, but a personal familiar with the trade tells The Associated Press the new pact will reduce by $10 million the team's charge for 2020.

UNDATED (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys have placed their exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott, securing his rights for an estimated $31.5 million while the sides continue working on a long-term deal. Prescott has played his entire four-year NFL career with the Cowboys and threw for over 4,900 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season.

UNDATED (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals have picked up three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans for running back David Johnson and draft picks. That’s according to a person familiar with the trade. Hopkins has three years remaining on a five-year, $81 million deal he signed in 2017. He caught 104 passes for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns last year.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have tagged Derrick Henry as their franchise player, making sure they keep the NFL rushing leader around for at least this season. Henry had 1,540 yards rushing during the 2019 regular season before gaining another 377 yards in Tennessee’s first two playoff games, leading the Titans to the AFC title game.

UNDATED (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have shipped defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for the No. 13 pick in this year's draft. A person familiar with the deal said Buckner will receive a new contract worth $21 million a year from the Colts. The fourth-year pro had 7 ½ sacks and 34 solo tackles last year. The trade was completed immediately after the 49ers announced a deal to keep defensive lineman Arik Armstead with a five-year contract worth up to $85 million.




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The Nebraska volleyball spring match, scheduled for Saturday, April 25 against Northern Colorado in Grand Island, has been canceled due to the COVID-19 public health threat.

The NCAA and Big Ten Conference previously announced that all spring NCAA Championships have been canceled, and the Big Ten has canceled all conference and non-conference competitions through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year, and participation in all NCAA tournaments and competitions. 

Tickets purchased online on Ticketmaster.com or via phone will be automatically refunded. Tickets purchased in person can be returned to the Heartland Events Center box office for a refund. 



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The National Junior College Athletic Association cancels spring sports for 2020, ending the season for McCook Community College baseball, golf and softball.

"In light of the progressive evolvement of the COVID-19 situation, the NJCAA has decided to end all competition for the remainder of the academic year," stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO.

"As an association, the NJCAA exhausted all possible avenues to potentially postpone competition for both upcoming basketball championships and spring sport competition. We believe following the recommendations of the CDC is in the best interest of our member colleges and our student-athletes."

Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, post-season, and national championship play.

Regarding eligibility for spring sports, no spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled at a member college in 2020 will be charged a year of participation.

Along with the cancellation of competition, all on and off-campus recruiting for all sports will be halted until April 15 with further evaluation to be assessed at that point in time.

The NJCAA will explore the opportunity to expand allowable Letters of Intent for spring sports for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years under the recommendation of the NJCAA Eligibility Committee.

The NJCAA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information becomes available.




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The National Junior College Athletic Association has cancelled all spring competition. The announcement ends the 2020 season for the North Platte Community College softball team.

 

“In light of the progressive evolvement of the COVID-19 situation, the NJCAA has decided to end all competition for the remainder of the academic year,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. “As an association, the NJCAA exhausted all possible avenues to potentially postpone competition for both upcoming basketball championships and spring sport competition. We believe following the recommendations of the CDC is in the best interest of our member colleges and our student-athletes.”

Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, postseason, and national championship play. Regarding eligibility for spring sports, no spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled at a member college in 2020 will be charged a year of participation.





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Effective Monday, March 16th all NSAA activity practices are suspended until Monday, March 30 and all NSAA activity competitions are suspended until Thursday, April 2.  These suspensions may be extended should the conditions warrant.

Member schools and student-participants are expected to adhere to the NSAA Constitution & Bylaws and activity manuals during this time.

As more information becomes available, official updates will be posted on the NSAA website and NSAA social media platforms. 




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BOYS PREP BASKETBALL=

NSAA State Championship=

Class A=

Championship=

Bellevue West 64, Millard North 62

Class B=

Championship=

Omaha Skutt Catholic 59, Omaha Roncalli 31

Class C1=

Championship=

Auburn 58, Ogallala 34

Third Place=

Adams Central 59, Lincoln Christian 47

Class C2=

Championship=

Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur 61, Grand Island Central Catholic 47

Third Place=

Yutan 39, Sutton 30

Class D1=

Championship=

Laurel-Concord/Coleridge 76, Southern Valley 31

Third Place=

Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 50, North Platte St. Patrick's 36

Class D2=

Championship=

Falls City Sacred Heart 45, Humphrey St. Francis 33

Third Place=

Parkview Christian 62, Mullen 43

NSAA Championship Bracket 





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In consideration of the COVID-19 situation the National Junior College Athletic Association has suspend all spring athletic competition beginning Saturday, March 14 through Friday, April 3.

For McCook Community College, that affects 32 games/tournaments that were scheduled through April 3 including 16 softball games, 13 baseball games and three men’s golf tournaments.

To stay up-to-date with all MCC Indian Athletics including up-to-date information regarding the resumption of the spring schedule and other news, please visit the MCC Indians Athletics web page at: https://mccindians.com/index.aspx?tab=softball&path=softball





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BOYS PREP BASKETBALL=

NSAA State Championship=

Class A=

Quarterfinal=

Bellevue West 56, Elkhorn 34

Millard North 62, Papillion-LaVista South 60

Omaha South 48, Omaha Central 47

Omaha Westside 74, Omaha Creighton Prep 70

Class B=

Quarterfinal=

Elkhorn Mount Michael 76, Wahoo 50

Omaha Roncalli 60, Hastings 58

Omaha Skutt Catholic 45, Norris 33

Scottsbluff 53, Alliance 38

Class C1=

Quarterfinal=

Adams Central 63, St. Paul 42

Auburn 54, Ashland-Greenwood 48

Lincoln Christian 44, Wayne 38

Ogallala 65, Kearney Catholic 62

Class C2=

Quarterfinal=

Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur 71, Doniphan-Trumbull 46

Grand Island Central Catholic 41, Palmyra 38

Sutton 55, Centennial 48, OT

Yutan 63, Ponca 56, 2OT

Class D1=

Quarterfinal=

Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 71, Fullerton 53

Laurel-Concord/Coleridge 75, Paxton 47

North Platte St. Patrick's 57, Pleasanton 48, OT

Southern Valley 50, Osmond 49

Class D2=

Quarterfinal=

Falls City Sacred Heart 45, Johnson-Brock 40

Humphrey St. Francis 57, Randolph 46

Mullen 51, St. Mary's 49

Parkview Christian 65, Loomis 49





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