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An English honor society is now available to students at North Platte Community College.

 

NPCC received national approval for a Sigma Kappa Delta chapter on Tuesday. SKD is the English honor society for two-year colleges, and NPCC is currently the only college in Nebraska to offer it.

 

An inaugural induction ceremony is planned for this weekend.

 

I am thrilled that after a lot of hard work and perseverance on the part of some students who are very dedicated to English and the world of academia, Sigma Kappa Delta is finally coming to fruition,” said Kristi Leibhart, English instructor at NPCC. “Sigma Kappa Delta will open up so many new opportunities for our students and provide another means to reward them for their academic accomplishments.”

 

It’s a goal Leibhart has been working toward for the past two years.

 

“When I was in school, a Sigma Tau Delta chapter was available, which is an English honor society for students at four-year colleges and universities,” said Leibhart. “It was a very visible sign on campus that people were interested in English, and it was a true honor for students to be part of. I wanted to start something similar at NPCC that would reward academics and provide something to aspire to in the classroom.”

 

Leibhart said six members are required to form a SKD chapter. She knows of about 100 individuals at the college who are eligible.

 

“It’s not limited to English majors,” said Leibhart. “Anyone who has completed at least 12 credit hours, who has a minimum GPA of 3.0, who has completed at least one English class and who has received an A or B in every English class can join. Participation doesn’t automatically guarantee induction into Sigma Tau Delta if students transfer on to a four-year institution, but it can make the process easier.”

 

In addition to providing an honor to list on résumés, SKD offers numerous scholarships to its members. There are opportunities to enter writing and photography competitions, present at national conferences and be published in the “Hedera Helix Literary Journal,” the SKD’s official publication.

 

“We plan to do a variety of activities at the local level as well,” Leibhart said. “We would like to conduct community service projects, such as reading to nursing home residents, or collecting books to send to prisoners. Film nights and poetry slams have also been discussed.”

 

The chapter’s induction ceremony is open to the public. It’s scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in the McDonald-Belton Theater on NPCC’s South Campus.

 

Members will receive green and gold honor cords to wear at commencement as well as a commemorative SKD pin. Refreshments will be provided. 

 

Anyone interested in joining the new honor society can contactLeibhart at leibhartk@mpcc.edu.


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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — The Nebraska State Patrol says troopers have seized nearly 80 pounds of marijuana in two recent traffic stops on Interstate 80 near North Platte.

The patrol says the first stop occurred Nov. 18, when a trooper stopped a car on suspicion of speeding and veering out of its lane. The patrol says a search of the car turned up 48 pounds of marijuana in luggage. The 27-year-old driver from Jacksonville, North Carolina, was arrested.

The second stop occurred Monday, when a trooper stopped another car on suspicion of failing to signal. A search of that car turned up 30 pounds of marijuana, and a 17-year-old passenger in the car, from California, was arrested and jailed.


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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.


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NOVEMBER 1, 2018 (SCOTTSBLUFF, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol arrested an Oregon man and seized more than 300 pounds of marijuana and 60 pounds of other THC products during a traffic stop near Lodgepole on Interstate 80.

At approximately 12:10 p.m. MDT, a trooper observed an eastbound Dodge Caravan driving with expired registration near mile marker 79 on I-80. During the traffic stop, the trooper detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.

A search of the vehicle revealed 309 pounds of marijuana, 46 pounds of THC edible products, 14 pounds of THC shatter, 80 grams of THC syrup, and 2,000 THC vape cartridges. The street value of the illegal products is estimated at more than $1,000,000.

The driver, Ryan Kirk, 33, of Medford, Oregon, was arrested for possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession of controlled substances, possession with intent to deliver, and no drug tax stamp. Kirk was lodged in Cheyenne County Jail.


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In the spirit of Christmas, all Menards home improvement stores are proudly serving as a toy drive drop site. We’re excited to participate in this wonderful opportunity to put smiles on the faces of less fortunate children in the community! We’ll have a drop box near the exit door to collect new and unwrapped presents from now through mid-December.



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HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) —HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a 78-year-old Hastings man died in a collision west of Hastings.

John "Jack" Osborne (OZ'-burn) was the younger brother of former Nebraska congressman and football coach Tom Osborne.

The Adams County Sheriff's Office says Jack Osborne was headed south on a county road Sunday around 7:50 p.m. when he didn't halt at a stop sign and collided with a westbound vehicle on U.S. Highway 6.

Authorities say the other driver, 19-year-old Dariana Burr, of Juniata, wasn't seriously injured.

John "Jack" Osborne (OZ'-burn) was the younger brother of former Nebraska congressman and football coach Tom Osborne.

The Adams County Sheriff's Office says Jack Osborne was headed south on a county road Sunday around 7:50 p.m. when he didn't halt at a stop sign and collided with a westbound vehicle on U.S. Highway 6.

Authorities say the other driver, 19-year-old Dariana Burr, of Juniata, wasn't seriously injured.


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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.

The search warrant was granted by Furnas County Court and signed. Entry was made into the residence where three females from South Prairie, Washington where staying, Sonnie Cook, 36, Traci Donnelly, 59 and Veronica Donnelly, 24. Discovered during the search were multiple items of drug paraphernalia, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, prescription pills, a scale and a stamp to mark bags for distribution.
Sonnie Cook, Traci Donnelly and Veronica Donnelly were all placed under arrest for the charges of Possession of Marijuana under 1 oz, Possession of drug paraphernalia, Possession of a controlled substance (heroin, codeine, pills), and Possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute (Methamphetamine, Cocaine).
At the time of this press release no bond has been set.


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Sheriff Kapperman advises that on October 28 th , 2018 at approximately 1:30 p.m theFurnas County Sheriff’s Office received a report of terroristic threats at 720 7 th Street,Beaver City, Nebraska. The reporting party stated that Mark Hutchens, 56, of BeaverCity, Nebraska had fired a b.b gun at her and threatened to burn her house down. Anarrest warrant was filed for Mr. Hutchens for Third degree assault in a menacing manner

and terroristic threats, along with a search warrant for the b.b gun.The arrest warrant and search warrant were granted by Furnas County Court and signed. Entry was made into the residence of Mark and Jennifer Hutchens, 38, of Beaver City,Nebraska. During the execution of the search warrant for the b.b gun, methamphetamineand drug paraphernalia was located along with a shotgun. A second search warrant was obtained to search the residence for drugs, drug paraphernalia and other weapons. Mr. Hutchens is a felon and is prohibited from owning firearms. Additional items of drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine, marijuana and multiple firearms and knives were located in the residence. Jennifer Hutchens was arrested for one count of possession of a control substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Mark Hutchens was arrested for the
arrest warrant and the additional charges of possession of a control substance (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.Both Mr. and Mrs. Hutchens appeared in the Furnas County Court and were arraigned on all charges on Monday, October 29 th , 2018, they are due back for preliminary hearing on Monday, November 05 th , 2018. Mr. Hutchens bond was set at $30,000 subject to 10% and Mrs. Hutchens bond was set at $5,000 subject to 10%. At the time of this press release Mrs. Hutchens has bonded out of jail and Mr. Hutchens remains in custody.


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McCook, Nebraska—Congratulations to Ashley Vontz, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, former Community Hospital nurse and new McCook Clinic nurse practitioner, who recently was chosen as one of the Nebraska Action Coalition’s 40 Under 40 honorees.

 

The Nebraska Action Coalition (NAC)-Future of Nursing’s 4th biennial award for emerging nurse leaders provides needed recognition of young nurses across the state. These nurse leaders, all under the age of forty, are the future of nursing, health, and healthcare in Nebraska.

 

Vontz was recognized for her unique contributions to leadership within the nursing profession through: clinical practice, education and teaching, administrative leadership, research, writing/publishing, policy involvement/self-governance, mentoring, and/or healthcare innovation.

 

She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing through Nebraska Methodist College’s accelerated nursing program in 14 months. She worked as a nurse for the past seven years throughout Nebraska including the Nebraska Heart Institute, Crete Area Medical Center, and most recently, Community Hospital. Vontz recently graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center with a Master of Science in Nursing degree. She is Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

 

In describing her new role as a nurse practitioner, she said, “I completed the majority of my clinical hours within McCook Clinic. I feel like I have a wonderful relationship with the current providers and staff. I look forward to continue serving McCook and the surrounding communities in a different role. Being born, raised, and still living in rural Nebraska, I have always had a passion caring for the rural population. It is my roots, and I want to continue to ensure those just like my loved ones have access to the best health care possible. I look forward to caring for my patients across the lifespan in the clinic,” she added. She and her husband, Chris, who is the co-superintendent at Heritage Hills Golf Course, have two young sons.

 

She will be honored at an awards celebration during the NAC sponsored Leadership Conference in Lincoln in early November.


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OCTOBER 24, 2018 (WASHINGTON D.C.)  — Nebraska State Trooper Sam Mortensen was honored today by President Donald Trump as part of an event to highlight the many efforts made around the nation to combat opioid abuse. The event, titled “A Year of Historic Action to Combat the Opioid Crisis,” was held this afternoon in the East Room of the White House in Washington D.C.

During the event, President Donald Trump singled out Trooper Mortensen for his role in making one of the largest fentanyl seizures in United States history earlier this year.

“In April, Trooper Mortensen seized 118 pounds of fentanyl, enough lethal doses to kill 26 million people,” said President Trump. “Is that even believable? Can you even imagine? Trooper Mortensen, that was a job well done.”

The President then invited Trooper Mortensen to the podium to speak, an honor Mortensen was not expecting. Mortensen took the opportunity to express his gratitude for the honor, and also to praise the efforts of law enforcement officers across the nation working tirelessly to keep their communities safe.

“Every day, there is a lot of people out there that are doing what I did. They’re doing it day in and day out,” said Trooper Mortensen. “And there’s a lot of people that came before me that taught me how to do this job. On behalf of them, on behalf of myself, and on behalf of my family, thank you for having me here.”

The President also used the event as a venue to sign legislation recently passed by Congress. The bi-partisan bill addresses multiple facets of the opioid crisis and received support from all five members of Nebraska’s congressional delegation.

Since September of 2017, NSP has seized more than 176 pounds of fentanyl during traffic stops or investigative operations. According to DEA figures, that amount could kill nearly 39 million people. Troopers have also seized more than 40 pounds of heroin in 2018, the highest yearly figure in at least a decade, and more than 2,000 dosage units of illegally possessed prescription drugs.


President Trump

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McCook Humane Society