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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new report says there are more doctors in Nebraska than there were 10 years ago, but 13 counties still don't have a primary care physician.

The Status of the Healthcare Workforce report issued Wednesday says data from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the state show the number of doctors has risen 11 percent.

The report says nearly a fifth of physicians in Nebraska are more than 60 years old and likely to retire in the near future. It also says 18 of 93 Nebraska counties have no pharmacist.

The report recommended more state support for programs and educational initiatives that provide incentives for health care professionals to practice in rural communities.


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(GRAND ISLAND, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested two men and seized 149 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 80.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, a trooper stopped an eastbound 2017 Dodge Caravan for failing to signal near York, at mile marker 353. During the stop, the trooper observed a vacuum-sealed bag of marijuana plainly visible inside the vehicle.

Troopers and deputies from the York County Sheriff’s Office searched the vehicle and discovered 149 pounds of marijuana. The estimated street value of the marijuana is $447,000.

The driver, Robert Rosenwasser, 56, of Florida, and Milton Coore, 53, of Jamaica, were arrested for possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession with intent to deliver, and no Drug Tax stamp. Both men were lodged in York County Jail.


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#1. 2018 Toyota C-HR donated by TEAM Auto Center - Garrett Dudden

#2. 2018 Honda Pioneer 500 donated by Sandberg Honda - Brock Schank

#3 .$2,000 Cash donated by McDonalds of W.Neb & Torr. WY - Jennifer Schwab

#4. 2 Rndtrip tickets donated by Skywest Airlines - Teresa Swank

#5. La-Z-Boy Recliner donated by Webber’s Furniture - Troy Ouderkirk

#6. Fire Pit Table & Chairs donated by Carr-Trumbull Lumber - Evelyn Bjordahl

#7. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Diane Vandenberg

#8. $250 in Gift Cards donated by Runza - Karol Nyquist

#9. 2 - 2019 Western Nebraska Pioneers Season tickets - Judy Howell

#10. $250 Gift Card donated by The Steel Grill - John Maser

#11. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Maria Lara-Montelango

#12. WNCC Family Athletic Pass - Juan Gonzales

#13. $250 in Gift Cards donated by Runza - Mike Rotness

#14. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Gina Cannon

#15. $200 Cash donated by KNEB - Stacy Keller

#16. WNCC Family Athletic Pass - Steve Cervantes

#17. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Debbie Edmuds

#18. One year of Car Washes donated by Paradise - Angela Miller

#19. 12 Haircuts in a year donated by Attitudez Salon - Nickole DeWitt

#20. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Jayme Hallman

#21. Birthday Party donated by Carpenter Center - mindy Reed

#22. 3 month Family Membership donated by YMCA - Zita Bolinger

#23. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Michael Miller

#24. $100 in Gift Cards dontated Runza - Ruth Kozal

#25. King Kong Pizza Dinner donated by Sam & Louie’s Pizzeria - Andrew Weber

#26. $500 gift Certificated donated by Gering Valley One Hour - Craig Rubottom

#27. $75 in Gift Cards donated by Runza - Trisha Luckinbill

#28. $100 Gas Card donated by WTT - John Farrington

#29. $25 Gift Card donated by Runza - Danielle Lenebeck

#30. 60 minute facial donated by Rachel Ann Esthetics - Kristen Mitzel


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Officers from the Chardon Police Department (CPD) and the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have arrested a man who was wanted on multiple felony warrants after escaping from the Nebraska Department of Corrections Work Ethic Camp (WEC) in McCook, NE on December 21, 2016.

CPD’s investigation into the whereabouts of Charles Canaday, 37, determined that he was hiding at a residence in Chadron. On Wednesday evening, CPD requested NSP SWAT team assistance in serving a search warrant on the home at 502 West Niobrara Ave. While serving the warrant, NSP SWAT found Canaday hiding in the home and observed several items related to drug activity.

CPD obtained a second search warrant to investigate the suspected drug activity. Officers from both CPD and NSP seized several grams of suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and multiple firearms and arrested two other men.

Charles Canaday was arrested and lodged in Dawes County Jail for outstanding warrants from Dawes County and Red Willow County related to his escape from the WEC, including Escape When Under Arrest on a Felony Charge, Attempt of a Class II Felony, Operating a Motor Vehicle to Avoid Arrest, Use of a Deadly Weapon to Commit a Felony, Theft by Unlawful Taking ($500-$1,500) and a charge of Unauthorized Ingestion of a Controlled Substance from Fall River County, South Dakota.

At the time of his escape, Canaday was serving a sentence of six to 24 years for multiple Burglary, Theft, and Criminal Mischief convictions from four Nebraska counties. His escape prompted an alert from the Nebraska State Crime Stoppers network. The Nebraska Crime Stoppers tip-line is always active at 1-800-422-1494 and can also be reached online at www.nebraskacrimestoppers.com.

During the service of the search warrant, Del Canaday, 31, and Gage Canaday, 27, were arrested for Possession of Methamphetamine and being an Accessory to a Felony. Both men were lodged in Dawes County Jail.


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The crash occurred at just before 11am on Thursday near mile marker 100 on Highway 385 in Morrill County. A southbound Jeep had crossed the center line and struck a northbound semi head on. The driver of the Jeep, Chester Shuster, 71, of Alliance was killed in the collision. It is believed that Shuster was suffering a medical episode at the time of the crash. A trooper and three civilians on scene performed CPR on Shuster paramedics arrived, but he was pronounced deceased on scene.

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GRAND ISLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT HELD TWO JOIN OPERATIONS OVER THE 4/20 WEEKEND AND ENDED UP  WITH 59 ARRESTS. CAPT JIM DUERING SAYS A LOT OF DRUG VIOLATION BUT THEY ALSO UNCOVERED SOME OTHER ITEMS.  INCLUDING HANDGUNS.THE FIRST OPERATION WAS DONE IN CONJUNCTION WITH DISTRICT 9 STATE PROBATION OFFICE AND THE OTHER WITH DRIVE HIGH- KISS YOUR LICENSE GOODBYE WITH 5 OTHER STATES PARTICIPATING IN THE CAMPAIGN.  

Construction on 42nd Street - Phase 4 between Avenue B and Rugger Drive is scheduled to begin on August 8, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

42nd Street will be closed to all traffic from the intersection of Avenue B to Rugger Drive. The Detour route around the construction area will be Avenue B to Hwy 26 to 5th Avenue.

Construction of this phase is estimated to be complete by September 23, 2018. Additional information will be sent prior to the start of Phase 5.

Access will be as follows:

Elite Health Center/ESU #13/Owen Oral Survery/Sandstone Estates – Access will be provided from 42nd Street from the west via Highway 71 or from the east via Avenue B

Regional West Medical Center – Access to RWMC will be from the west via 42nd and Avenue B or from the east via 42nd and Rugger Drive

Residences on North side of 42nd Street between Avenue B and Rugger Dr – Access provided from a temporary road on the north side of 42nd Street. Contractor will notify residents.

Thank you for your cooperation during this project.



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67 people were removed from Nebraska roadways during the "You Drink, You Drive, You Lose" campaign by the Nebraska State Patrol.  It ran from December 15th to January 1st.  63 drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated and 4 for driving under the influence of drugs.  


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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.

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AUGUST 1, 2018 (NORTH PLATTE, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have arrested two men and seized 94 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Cozad.

At approximately 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, a trooper stopped a westbound 2018 Ford F150 for failing to signal near mile marker 227. During the traffic stop, a Dawson County  K9 detected the odor of a controlled substance coming from inside the vehicle.

A search of the pickup revealed 94 pounds of marijuana. The estimated street value of the marijuana is $282,000.

The driver, Michael Hedges, 26, and passenger, Brandon Cannon, 25, both of Oregon, were arrested for possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession with intent to deliver, and no Drug Tax stamp. Both men were lodged in Dawson County Jail


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LAMAR, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College softball team went 1-1 on the first day of the Region IX softball tournament Friday at Lamar, Colorado.

                WNCC scored two 8th-inning runs against top-seeded Lamar Community College in registering the 6-4 win in the first round. The Cougars then fell 8-6 in the winner’s bracket final to Otero Junior College.

                Other action in the tournament saw Otero defeated Trinidad 2-1. Trinidad State then eliminated the top-seed Lamar Friday night with a 4-2 win.

                WNCC will face Trinidad State in an elimination game on Saturday at noon. The winner will have a date with Otero at 3 p.m. in the championship. WNCC will need to win three straight, including an if-necessary game on Sunday to win the championship.

                The WNCC and Lamar contest was a championship-type of contest. Lamar, who defeated WNCC six times during the regular season jumped to a 2-0 lead after one inning. The Cougars sliced the lead in half with a single run in the third as Madi Jackson rips a 2-out triple to score Alyssa Guymon.

                Lamar responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning for a 4-1 lead. After that, the Cougar defense stepped up to hold Lamar scoreless in the next five innings, including stopping the Lopes from scoring with the bases loaded in the fourth inning.

                In the meantime, WNCC started its comeback with a single run in the fifth on a Gabby Loya single that scored Guymon.

                WNCC tied the game in the sixth. Lamar walked the bases loaded. With two outs, Doumer reaches on an error that scores one run. Jackson then walked to bring in the tying run.

                Neither team scored in the seventh. The eighth inning saw Marlee Grant and Guymon each single. Doumer then rips a double to plate Grant with the go-ahead run. Jackson hits a sacrifice fly to plate an insurance run.

                WNCC finished the game with nine hits. Jackson led the way with a 3-for-4 game with a triple and three RBIs. Alyssa Guymon finished with two hits with three runs scored. Guymon had two walks. Doumer had the only other extra base hit with a double.

                McMillan picked up the win, going eight innings in allowing 10 hits and four early runs. McMillan struck out four and walked four while tossing 162 pitches.

                The game with Otero proved to be an offensive game as the two teams combined for 23 hits and 14 runs. WNCC struck first with Doumer ripping a solo home run.

                Otero responded with three in the second for a 3-1 lead. WNCC came back to plate a single run in the third as Michaela Kelly ripped a 2-out double to score Doumer and cut the lead to 3-2.

                Otero went up 4-2 with a run in the fifth. That was when WNCC started the comeback, scoring two in the sixth to knot the game at four. McMillan doubles to score Kelly for one run and then Grant got a 2-out double to score McMillan to tie the contest.

                WNCC couldn’t hold Otero down in the sixth as the Rattlers scored four times on four hits. All four runs came with two outs.

                The Cougars did get a comeback in the seventh, scoring twice. The first run came as Kelly doubled home Jackson and the second run came on a Reagan Solomon sacrifice fly.

                WNCC finished with 11 hits with six of them going for extra bases. Kelly led the way with three hits, including two doubles, two RBIs, and two runs scored. Doumer and Jackson each had two hits. Doumer had a home run with two RBIs and a run scored, while Jackson had a double with a run scored.

                Grant finished with a double and a run scored, while McMillan had a double with a RBI and run scored.

 

Game 1

WNCC                   001 012 02 – 6 9 1

Lamar                    202 000 00 – 4 10 1

WP – Emma McMillan

2B – Brooke Doumer

3B – Madi Jackson

 

Game 2

WNCC                   101 002 2 – 6 11 1

Otero                    030 014 x – 8 12 2

LP – Reagan Solomon

2B – Marlee Grant, Madi Jackson, Michaela Kelly 2, Emma McMillan

HR – Brooke Doumer





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                Christina Nelson and Chelsea Gorman spent two years with the Western Nebraska Community College softball team and never played an inning during the spring because of injuries.

                On Sunday, during WNCC’s final regular season home game and sophomore recognition, Nelson and Gorman were given an opportunity to be on the field with their teammates, serving as honorary base coaches for the first inning of game one with their game with Otero Junior College.

                The two, who hope to be coaches in the future, were shocked when their names were called over the PA system.

                “I had no idea we were going to coach the inning,” Nelson said. “It truly meant a lot to us that coach [Katelyn Groves] allowed us to do that. It was our way of being on the field for sophomore day and it was fun.”

                Gorman, too, was shocked but appreciated Coach Groves for doing something for them.

                “I was totally shocked when coach let Christina and I coach the team for an inning and be out on the field,” she said. “I thought it was really cool of her to let us have that moment with the team on sophomore day.”

                WNCC split the Region IX conference doubleheader on Sunday, falling 11-2 in game one before coming back to earn an emotional 10-9 win in game two in the sophomores last home game. Besides Nelson and Gorman, the other five sophomores recognized were Brooke Doumer, Alyssa Guymon, Madi Jackson, Allison Parker, and Beanie Luttig.

                Nelson said the second game was the way the team needs to play, minus the sixth inning when Otero scored nine runs. Nelson said it felt good to finish off the home campaign with a win.

                “Overall we did well. We played together as a team and did our jobs the second game and played hard the entire game,” Nelson said. “It’s definitely nice to go out on a win. I’m super proud of my teammates and the hard work they’ve put in all season long. They didn’t give up and they showed a lot of fight and for that I am proud of them.”

                Gorman said this team always has fight in them, even when the times get tough. That is what they showed in game two, plenty of fight.

                “The second game we got timely hits and worked as a team early in the game,” she said. “We were ready to go at the beginning and I think that is an important thing for this team. Overall, I think we are working in the right direction. I just love our team and I love the way we are able to fight and play for each other. Playing at home is always a great feeling and ending with a win makes it even better.”

                WNCC did show plenty of fight in the second game. The Cougars plated three in the first inning. Emma McMillan started things with a double and then loaded the bases. Gabby Loya was walked to force in the first run followed by Reagan Solomon scoring two runs with a single.

                WNCC added a single run in the second as Michaela Kelly singled home McMillan.

                WNCC went up 6-0 after four innings as McMillan and Doumer had back-to-back home runs.

                Otero responded with a thunder in the sixth, scoring nine times on nine hits. Eight of the runs game with two outs to grab a 9-6 lead.

                The Cougars responded right back in the bottom of the sixth with four runs. WNCC loaded the bases to start the inning as McMillan and Alyssa Guymon earned walks and Marlee Grant singled. After Guymon scored on an error, Madi Jackson singled to bring the Cougars to within 9-8.

                Kelly followed with a single to score McMillan and Doumer with the tying and go-ahead runs.

                The Cougars finished the game with nine hits. Michaela Kelly led the team with three singles with three RBIs and a run scored. McMillan finished with two hits, a double and home run with three runs scored. Doumer had a home run in the contest while finishing with two RBIs and th




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Western Nebraska Community College men’s and women’s basketball coaches Cory Fehringer and Chad Gibney will conduct basketball camps for girls and boys from grades Kindergarten through eighth grade June 25-27 at Cougar Palace.

Boys and girls grades kindergarten through fourth grade will go from 9 – 11:30 a.m.; girls in grades 5-8 will go from 1-3:30 p.m., and boys in grades 5-8 will from 4-6:30 p.m.

The cost for early registration is $75 while registration after June 11 is $85.

Both WNCC basketball teams went to the NJCAA national tournament last year. The men captured their first Region IX title since 2001 while the women earned an at-large berth to the national tournament.

For a camp brochure, click the camp tab or the camp banner on the WNCC athletic website at www.wncccougars.com. Contact Fehringer or Gibney, or assistant coaches Billy Engel and Roybell Baez for further details on the camp.




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WNCC Summer Camps are in full swing as yesterday the team camps were won at the Varsity level by Gering over Garden County and Scottsbluff Red won at the JV level. 

Here is a list of the upcoming camps that are on the summer agenda:
  • Volleyball Middle School Skills camp, July 16-19 – WNCC will hold a middle school individual skills camp in the morning from 8 a.m. – noon for middle school grades 6th through 8th grades. The camp will run for four days and costs $75 per camper.
  • Volleyball High School Skills camp, July 16-19 – WNCC will hold a high school individual skills camp in the morning from 8 a.m. – noon for middle school grades 9th through 12th grades. The camp will run for four days and costs $75 per camper.
  • Volleyball Setter, Hitter, Libero camp, July 23-24 – WNCC will hold a 2-day, 6-hour camp for setters, hitters, and liberos July 23-24. This camp will be an intense camp with a lot of reps and one-on-one instructions. The camp is for players in 7th through 12th grades and costs $100 per camper.
  • WNCC Soccer camp, July 23-27 – WNCC will hold two soccer camps the week of July 23-27 for ages 8 and up. The morning session, from 9 a.m. – noon will be for recreational soccer players to learn the game of soccer. Also during the morning from 9-11 a.m., there will be an 8-under camp. The evening camp is for advanced/competitive players and will run from 5-8 p.m. The cost for the camp is $90 per person, while the 8-under cost is $75. If a camper goes both session, the cost is just $160.

 All the camp brochures can be downloaded from the WNCC athletic website at wnccathletics.com. The camps are under the “Camps” tab.

For more information on the camps, contact the individual coaches via email or phone, or in the mornings call the athletic office at 635-6151.




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Western Nebraska Community College’s Trent Harris spent three seasons with the Cougars improving his basketball skills and now all that hard work paid off as the Scottsbluff High product will be playing for the University of Northern Colorado for the next two seasons.

Northern Colorado, a Division I program, won 26 games a year ago and went on to win the CIT post-season tournament.

Harris said UNC has been talking to him all year and felt at home in attending the Greeley, Colorado, school.

“I have been talking to the coaches all year and they were one of the first schools to be recruiting me, so I felt I had a good relationship with the coaches,” Harris said. “After watching them throughout the season, I felt like I fit in well with the team.”

UNC head coach Jeff Linder is happy to welcome Harris to the Bear family.

“We're very excited that Trent Harris has decided to join our program and become a Bear. One of the key attributes that we look for in all of our players is the ability to shoot the ball so that we can stretch the floor and put maximal pressure on the opposing defense," Linder said in a press release. “Trent can shoot the ball from deep at a very high level, and he has proven that at one of the premier junior college programs in the country, Western Nebraska. Trent made 4 or more 3's on 11 occasions this past season, and his 3-point percentage at 48 percent was in the Top 20 in the country. More importantly, Trent is a tremendous student-athlete, and will be a perfect fit for how we're building our program here at UNC."

Harris had a couple of other schools on the list as well, including Minot State in North Dakota and Washburn University in Kansas, where his father Anthony went after he finished his playing days at WNCC. Harris said it wasn’t hard to pick Northern Colorado over his dad’s school either because his dad said it was his decision.

“I enjoyed going down there [Washburn] on a visit with my dad because he was telling me about when he was in college, and that was a good experience,” he said. “But he told me it was my decision and he didn’t want me to go there just because he went there. He really liked Northern Colorado as well. He thought I would have a good opportunity just like I thought.”

This season, Harris average 13.3 points a game and shot 48.2 percent from the 3-point arc and 82 percent from the free throw line. Harris buried 94 treys last season in leading the Cougars to the Region IX championship and finished his Cougar career burying 141 3-pointers.

Harris said he improved a lot in his three seasons at WNCC. Harris spent his first year at WNCC as a gray-shirt player under then head coach Russ Beck before playing two years under current Cougar coach Cory Fehringer.

“I knew I had to really adapt from high school to when I got here,” Harris said. “My first year I learned a lot when I sat out in getting more physical and all that stuff what Coach Beck taught me. When Coach Cory Fehringer got here he showed me the drills that I needed to do and gave me the tools to get my game to the next level. I felt like I got better since high school and my first year at WNCC.”

WNCC head coach Cory Fehringer said Harris should fit in fine with the Bears. Fehringer said Harris gave them plenty of buckets in his two years on the court and was a model student-athlete in the classroom.

“I think the coaching staff felt, night in and night out, Trent was always one of the better guards on the floor, especially as far as consistency goes to defend, rebound, and to make baskets,” Fehringer said. “In Trent’s first year as a freshman, Trent had three game-winners in a row. He was already doing important things as a freshman. The one thing I can explain about Trent as he leaves our program, and we have to explain to other players how to be successful, is the ability to be unselfish and serve your team at a maximum level. And for Trent to come off the bench for two seasons and never whine, complain, or make excuses, but continue to help us to be successful and supporting his teammates, is another staple of why Trent will be successful at the Division I level and at Northern Colorado.”

Last season Trent had a season-high 26 points, including six 3-pointers in a 106-73 win over Lamar Community College. In his two seasons at WNCC, Harris had 12 games of 20 or more points. He had three straight games of 20 points this past season and a streak of eight straight games of scoring in double figures.

Harris is the fourth WNCC men’s basketball player to sign to play at the Division I level from the Region IX champions that went 1-1 at the national tournament.

Also headed to Division I were Vinnie Shahid to North Dakota State, Marlon Sierra to Bowling Green State, and Djojde Dimitrijevic to Mercer University.




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Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball player Karli Seay had been selected of one of 40 sophomore-to-be participants to play NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association all-Star Weekend in Atlanta, Georgia this summer.

The event will take place July 26-29 at Georgia State University.

The all-star weekend will feature NJCAA student-athletes who are entering their sophomore year after competing at an NJCAA member school during the 2017-18 season. This year's event features some of the top talent from all three divisions, including NJCAA DIII Spalding® Player of the Year Kayla Wilson of Hostos (NY).

Seay helped the WNCC women’s basketball team to a 29-5 record and an at-large berth to the NJCAA national tournament last year. Seay, of Chicago, averaged 14.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 4.9 assists a game.

Seay set a new single-game scoring record when she poured in 48 points in an away game at Eastern Wyoming College. The previous single-game record of 38 points was set in 1980.

Seay is the only Region IX returner to be selected to the all-star game.

Other members of the All-Star Weekend include Yamel Abreu of Union College (NJ); Namiko Adams of Chipola; Naomie Alnatas of Iowa Western; Jayla Atmore of Daytona State; Upe Atosu of Labette College; Ataiya Bridges of Shelton State; Ardella Brown of Sullivan County; Aby Coates of Illinois Central; Darha Congleton of Wabash Valley; Talia Edwards of Joliet; Jassmyn Elston of State Fair;; Alexius Foster of Dawson; Madi Hecox of Rock Valley; Jordynn Hernandez of Collin College; Lexi Hernandez of Seward County; Marie Hunter of Wabash Valley; Destiny Hurt of Roxbury; Megan Jackson of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M; Ricka Jackson, South Georgia Tech; Tiyah Johnson, Shelton State; Maya Jones, Jones County; Kamryn Lemon, Highland (Kansas); Janna Lewis, Motlow State; Natasha Mack, Angelina; Destiny Marshall, Georgia Highlands; Audrey McElhaney, Chattahoochee Valley; Kylah Mize, Ranger; Bethy Mununga, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M; Jacqulynn Nakai, Pima; Maara Nelson, Lake Region State; Valerie Nesbitt, Chipola; Courtasia Sanders, Chipola; Bigue Sarr, South Georgia Tech; Fredricka Sheats, Central Georgia Tech; Brandi Washington, Pensacola State; Kayla Wilson, Hostos; Elaiha DeMeza, Harford; and Maggie Gilbert, Lake Region State.




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Silva found Peru State a perfect fight for her after visiting the college last week.

“I went on a visit and really liked the campus. It is a small town kind of like Scottsbluff and the people there were very welcoming,” Silva said. “They are good academically and they are going to have a good team next year and I am excited to go there.”

Silva’s journey to the four-year level has been one of improvement. Coming to WNCC from Brazil where she knew very little English to now is a testament of hard work. Silva will walk across the stage at the WNCC commencement ceremonies on Saturday having grown as a player and person while being a Cougar.

“Coming to Scottsbluff was the first time coming to the United States and leaving Brazil,” she said. “Coming over to the United States and playing at such a high level of going to nationals for two years in a row is so amazing.

“It was definitely hard leaving home by myself and me not knowing English. I struggled with that a lot. But it was not an opportunity that I could not take. It was amazing. My dorm family helped me a lot. My teammates helped me a lot at the beginning. I was home sick at the beginning, people from the United States get home sick being away from their family and friends.”

In Silva’s two years at WNCC, she has been a starter, averaging 6.8 points and 2.8 rebounds. It is the improvement she made between her freshman and sophomore years that shines. Silva averaged just four points and shot 42 percent from the field. Her sophomore year, Silva averaged 9.4 points and shot 51 percent from the field. Silva helped the Cougars to two straight NJCAA national tournament appearances.

Silva said she has improved a ton in those two seasons and a lot goes to head coach Chad Gibney.

“He definitely helped me a lot, especially finding me a good school to go to,” she said. “I really liked what he did for me, especially in working out and trying to make me better as a player and knowing more about the game.”

Overall, Silva can’t complain about what WNCC meant to her. It was a fantastic two years.

“It was a great two seasons here, going to nationals and winning a regional title. It is amazing and I grew up a lot as a player and a person,” she said. “ It definitely will be hard leaving here. I had great moments here at WNCC and I will miss every single one. I will miss every single person in this room and you definitely mean something to me. It will be really hard leaving.

“I just want to thank my teammates and coaching staff; you really made me grow as a player and of course as a person. Then, of course, my dorm family. They really helped me a lot when I got here. Thanks everyone.”




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 Two members from the Region IX Championship Western Nebraska Community College are headed to the Division I level after inking letters of intent recently.

                Marlon Sierra will be going to Bowling Green State University while Djordje Dimitrijevic is taking his shooting talents to Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

                “Dimitrijevic is excited to be going to Mercer because it is closer to his home country of Serbia.

                “For me it is better because it is closer to home and Atlanta is only an hour away from the university,” he said. “I think it will be a very good experience for me. It is also exciting for me [to play at the Division I level] because my future plans is to go to Europe and play professional either in my home country or other countries in Europe. So, it is good for me to go on a good DI level with a good coaching staff. I have room for improvement in my game and my academics.”

                Sierra said he is excited to be going to Bowling Green.

                “I like Bowling Green because as soon as I got there everybody was welcoming and the vibe was great,” he said. “Also everyone has the same goal of winning so it is definitely a place I want to be at.”

                Sierra is excited to be playing at the Division I level with a program that went 16-16 and lost in the first-round of the Mid-American Conference tournament to Central Michigan in overtime.

                “It [Division I] is a dream come true and that is the reason I started playing basketball in the first place,” he said. “It always has been in my mind so it was just trying to get to the next level.”

                Bowling Green coach Michael Huger is excited to get the 6-foot-6 forward in his program.

                “I'm excited to welcome Marlon Sierra to our program. Marlon will bring some toughness and grit to our power forward position," Huger said in a press release. "He has terrific situational awareness and can affect the game in multiple ways. His rebounding, physicality and ability to score will make him a valuable piece of our team the next two seasons. Adding Marlon to our roster gives us a diverse group of players who can contribute at the power forward spot. I believe Marlon will have a terrific career at Bowling Green."

Sierra appeared in 62 games over his two years at WNCC. Sierra averaged 12.3 points, 2.5 assists and a team-high 6.8 rebounds last season for the Region IX champion Cougars. Sierra also shot 46.5 percent from downtown on 71 attempts.

Dimitrijevic will join a Mercer program that finished 19-15 on the season and lost in the second round of the CBI (College Basketball Invitational). Mercer coach Bob Hoffman said Dimitrijevic will be a great addition to the Bear program.

“Djordje is an all-around player who contributes in every area of the game to help your team win," Coach Hoffman said in a press release.  "I believe he will be a tremendous asset to our program and we are thrilled he is joining our team."

Dimitrijevic, a 6-1, 180-pounder, came to WNCC from Grdelica, Serbia. Dimitrijevic averaged 13.6 points and 3.1 assists per game this past season. Over a two-year period, he started 60 of 63 games, was a career 89 percent free-throw shooter, shot 48.3 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from 3-point range. Dimitrijevic buried 63 3-pointers and finished his career with 110 treys. He scored 858 points in his two years at WNCC.

Dimitrijevic said it was special to be a part of this team, helping them win a Region IX championship and making it to the second-round of the national tournament.

“It [winning regionals] was a big thing for the community because they haven’t got a Region IX title in 17 years,” he said. “I think the school and the basketball program is going back on its right ways as before.”

The sharp-shooting guard said he has improved a ton under the WNCC coaching staff.

“The coaching staff was with us every day and they were willing to be in the gym 24/7 with us and work on our game,” he said. “I think that was not only helpful for me, but the whole basketball team.”

Sierra and Dimitrijevic said it is going to be hard to leave Western Nebraska after two years at this college.

“It is going to be hard to leave here,” Dimitrijevic said. “But on the other side I can’t wait to go home and see my family but I know the bonds I created here, the people I met, will always be a part of my life. Hopefully I will have a chance to visit this place someday in my life.”

                Sierra said while he is excited to get closer to home, it will be hard to leave WNCC later this month.

                “It definitely is going to be tough because I am a type of person that when I get attached to stuff, so I will miss every single person here,” he said. “I am going to miss this place and the lifestyle I had here. But I am definitely looking towards the next chapter and see my family.”

Dimitrijevic and Sierra said there are many people that made his stay in the Nebraska Panhandle a hardy one wish they want to thank.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone that came tonight to support us, especially to the coaching staff who pushed me to be a better man each and every day while I was a Cougar,” Dimitrijevic said. “I also want to say thank you to my dorm family who helped me enormously in many ways and they helped me be at where I am at right now.”

Sierra echoed the same thing.

“I just want to say thank you to Scottsbluff and all the friends I created here like my teammates dorm family,” he said. “The dorm parent program is very important because basketball is only two ours of the day, so the other times of the day you are either doing homework or you are bored so the dorm family is a way to get out and explore and create more of a bond with other people. It is definitely a place that I am going to come back as soon as possible to see the people that I care about.”

Last season, WNCC finished with a 27-8 record and culminated with the program's first trip to the NJCAA National Tournament since 2001. The Cougars defeated Holmes Community College in their first game of the NJCAA National Tournament before falling to Northwest Florida State College.





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McCook Senior Zach Schlager signed his letter of intent to continue his football career at Colorado State.  Hometown Family Radio talks with Schlager, and MHS Head Football Coach Jeff Gross about the decision on signing to Colorado State.

 

 





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Grand Island, NE - Taylor Zehendner signed her letter of intent with Concordia University on Wednesday afternoon inside the Heartland Lutheran high school gymnasium. Taylor is a four-time all-state softball player for the GICC Crusader softball team (co-op) and was recruited for softball by at least four in state schools. She carries a 3.9 GPA while also participating in basketball, track, quiz bowl, NHS, student activities council, and is the chairwoman of the HLHS Principal's Cabinet. Taylor intends to study art education at Concordia. Listen to a interview with Taylor & Matt Williams with the KRGI Sports Network. 





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Jacobi Carpet
Crae Mill