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JANUARY 23, 2019 (NORTH PLATTE, NEB.)  — During the evening hours of Friday, January 18, Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) conducted alcohol inspections in Keith County.

This project was supported in whole or part by grant #93.959 under the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Region II Human Services, and DHHS Division of Behavioral Health.

In total, 15 businesses were checked. One of the businesses sold alcohol to a minor for a non-compliance rate of 7 percent. All of the businesses checked the minor’s ID.

The business which failed the inspection was:

Fat Dogs – Ogallala (checked ID, sold to minor)

The businesses include liquor stores, convenience stores, restaurants, and bars. Businesses that fail the inspections are referred to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission. Clerks who sell alcohol to a minor are cited for procuring alcohol for a minor.

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COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) — A 19-year-old driver is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 26 for the Platte County crash death of a motorcyclist.

Court records say Daisy Gonzalez, of Madison, pleaded no contest Tuesday to misdemeanor vehicular homicide. Prosecutors dropped a related charge in return for her plea.

The records say the collision occurred Aug. 2 at the intersection of Nebraska Highway 91 and 490th Street. The records say her minivan collided with the motorcycle driven by 22-year-old Joshua Gasper, of Columbus. He died days later of his injuries.

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CAMBRIDGE, Neb. (AP) — A March 4 sentencing hearing is scheduled for two 18-year-olds accused of planning to attack a high school in south-central Nebraska.

Furnas County Court records say Joseph Williams, of Oxford, and Aron McMains, of North Platte, pleaded no contest Monday to misdemeanor attempted terroristic threats. Prosecutors had lowered the charges from felony counts.

Court records say Williams, McMains and two 17-year-old boys had been discussing an attack on Cambridge High School for months. When one student transferred to a different school, they tried to recruit another student.

One of the students told police he thought the plan was a joke but wasn't sure whether the others felt that way.

Both 17-year-olds are seeking to be prosecuted as juveniles.

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A personal loan company in Nebraska is once again asking lawmakers to raise the maximum interest rate it can charge customers.

A representative for OneMain Financial spoke in favor of a bill Tuesday that would allow lenders to charge interest of up to 29 percent per annum. Current law lets lenders charge up to 24 percent per annum on principal amounts up to $1,000, and 21 percent per annum on any remaining unpaid balance.

The bill drew sharp criticism last year from some lawmakers. Sen. Ernie Chambers, of Omaha, said the measure would benefit "cutthroat gougers."

Company officials say they face intense competitive pressure from online, out-of-state lenders that can charge higher rates on so-called installment loans. They say they've closed 11 branches in the last decade.

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TALMAGE, Neb. (AP) — Law enforcement officials in southeastern Nebraska have safely destroyed a live grenade found in a trash bin.

The Nebraska State Patrol says the grenade was found Monday in a dumpster in Talmage as the home of person who had died was being cleaned out. The Otoe County Sheriff's Office, which was initially contacted about the grenade, called the patrol's bomb squad for help.

The patrol squad used a counter charge Monday night to destroy the grenade. No one was injured.

The patrol used the incident to remind people who find an explosive device not to touch it and immediately call emergency responders.

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LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced the agenda for the 31st Governor’s Ag Conference, which brings together ag producers, industry leaders and agri-business managers in Nebraska on an annual basis to talk about the future of agriculture.  The conference is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, March 4-5, 2019, at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney.

“For 31 years, the Governor’s Ag Conference has been a premiere forum for Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and industry leaders to come together to discuss agriculture and how to keep growing our state’s number one industry,” said Governor Ricketts.  “We hope you can join us to talk about the future of agriculture in Nebraska.  It’s an opportunity you won’t want to miss.”

“We’ve asked industry experts at the local, state and federal level to lead discussions at this year’s Governor’s Ag Conference and share their knowledge and experience with producers and agribusiness leaders from around the state,” said Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Steve Wellman.  “Conference speakers and attendees can use this opportunity to connect with colleagues and prepare for the future.”

The conference starts Monday, March 4, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. with a panel presentation featuring Nebraska entrepreneurs and recruiters.  The panel includes representatives from three innovative Nebraska companies and three organizations involved heavily in recruiting companies to Nebraska.

On the entrepreneur side, the panelists are Vishal Singh with Quantified Ag; Lukas Fricke with ChorChek; and Mitch Minarick with FARMAFIELD.  These speakers will discuss their companies, goals, visions and why they chose Nebraska communities to start their businesses. 

The three people representing recruitment success are: Phil Kozera with Bio Nebraska; Dan Duncan with Innovation Campus; and Bryan Slone with the Nebraska State Chamber.  They will discuss their efforts in recruiting and how to find and attract startups as well as how to connect to established industries. 

Governor Ricketts will moderate this panel presentation that will include questions and answers from the audience.

The annual “Celebrate Nebraska Agriculture” reception, at 6 p.m. on March 4th will feature an assortment of food and beverages from Nebraska.

The conference resumes on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at 9 a.m. with a presentation from Jim Smith, executive director of Blueprint Nebraska, an organization that is spearheading a statewide, citizen-led economic development initiative.

Governor Ricketts, NDA Director Wellman and Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Dave Rippe will update conference participants on legislative initiatives in agriculture and highlight the work being done between state agencies to grow Nebraska.  This panel presentation will be moderated by NDA Assistant Director Amelia Breinig.

Next on the agenda will be Jim Wiesemeyer, with Pro Farmer, giving participants an update on the national farm bill and how it will impact farmers and ranchers nationwide as well as here in Nebraska.   

The Governor's Ag Conference is coordinated by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and is co-sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America.  A $125 registration fee covers participation at activities on both Monday and Tuesday.  Registration and additional information is available online at www.nda.nebraska.gov, or by calling NDA toll-free at (800) 831-0550.

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Officials say an online site can provide winter travelers with information about Nebraska road conditions from the perspective of snowplow drivers. The Nebraska Transportation Department said in a news release Tuesday that the online Plow Tracker interactive map shows state plow trucks on highways. At the click of a mouse, site users can see what the snowplow drivers are seeing, thanks to forward-facing dashboard cameras. Plow Tracker automatically refreshes information every minute. Department operations manager Tom Sands says the weather conditions can often be worse than they appear on the dash cameras, which show only a portion of a roadway.


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CHAPPELL, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a man stabbed outside a mobile home in the Nebraska Panhandle has died.
Deuel County Attorney Joel Jay says that Robert Mick died Thursday. He'd been stabbed Jan. 13 in Chappell.
A woman accused of stabbing Mick, 49-year-old Susan Glenn, so far is charged with assault and use of a weapon. Jay says it's not yet been determined whether any changes in the charges will be made. Her attorney didn't immediately return a call Monday from The Associated Press.
Court records say a witness who'd been standing outside the home talking to Mick was on the phone with 911 dispatchers when Glenn came out of the residence, stabbed Mick and fled in her car.
She went to the county sheriff's office later, and the records say she acknowledged stabbing Mick.

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STANTON, Neb. (AP) — Authorities are searching for a man and motorcycle last seen on the ice of a lake in northeast Nebraska.
Dive teams were called in Monday to help search an area of open water spotted at Maskenthine Lake. He was last seen riding on Sunday afternoon. It wasn't clear whether the open water was a result of the motorcycle or something else breaking through the ice. The lake sits about 2 miles (3 kilometers) north of Stanton in Stanton County.
The man's name hasn't been released.

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DEWITT, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a 2-year-old Nebraska boy died after he was hit by a bus driven by his father.
The Beatrice Daily Sun reports the incident happened Saturday in the driveway of the family's rural home about 5 miles east of DeWitt in southeast Nebraska.
Just before 1 p.m. Saturday, the family called for help after the boy was run over. Two-year-old Maddox Weber died at the scene.
The Nebraska State Patrol is investigating.

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