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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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After one season as McCook Community College men’s basketball coach, Kyle Drennan is leaving to take over as Director of Basketball Operations at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

 

“This wasn’t my plan and it was a very difficult decision,” Drennan said. “My plan was to coach here for three or four years, establish myself and prove that I could coach at a high level.”

 

The UIC Flames compete in the Horizon League. Luke Yaklich was named coach on March 26. The Flames went 18-17 in the 2019-20 season, tied for fourth place in the Horizon League under former coach Steve McClain. As an assistant coach, Yaklich helped lead three collegiate programs – Texas, Michigan and Illinois State – to national postseason success.

 

“I’ve always wanted to live in Chicago and Coach Yaklich is someone I have a lot of respect for. He always told me if he ever got a D1 job, he wanted me to be part of his staff and the opportunity was just too good,”

 

"Kyle has worked incredibly hard throughout his journey into college basketball and has a wide variety of experiences with professional sports organizations and Division I athletics, as well as being a junior college head coach," said Yaklich, in a press release on the team’s web site.

 

“It is hard to see Coach Drennan go, but we understand it is hard to pass up on opportunity to be involved in a Division 1 program,” said Kelly Rippen, Area Vice President of Student Affairs and McCook Community College. “Coach Drennan loves the game of basketball and we knew his long-term goal was to work in a program full-time, and these opportunities don’t come about that often.”

 

“This was still a very difficult decision. I think with the players I’ve recruited plus the ones coming back that we would be even better next season with the goal of a Region IX championship,” Drennan said. “To give that up wasn’t easy, I had to sit down and talk to people about the direction I wanted to go, but at the end of the day my goal is to be a Division I coach, and this opportunity is the best one for that.”

 

“I’d like to thank Kyle for his work here and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said MCC Athletic Director Jon Olsen. “I was impressed with Kyle’s work on the basketball court, he kept coaching up his guys the entire year and it showed with how well they played down the stretch.”

 

Drennan, who was hired in June of 2019, took over a program with no returning players on the active roster. He brought nine freshmen and three sophomore transfers to MCC as the team picked up momentum near the end of the season. The Indians went 15-16 and won five straight games to finish the regular season before hosting a first-round home game in the Region IX tournament (the first in 13 years), where the Indians beat Lamar Community College 89-64 – the first Region IX tournament win in 20 years. The Indians fell in the second round to No. 15 Western Wyoming

 

Prior to his time in McCook, Drennan served as the director of operations at McNeese State for a year. Before than he served as the director of scouting and operations with JUCO Advocate out of Austin, Texas, where he guided players to the junior college ranks assisting them to obtain scholarships from four-year programs. Drennan began coaching in 2015 as an assistant coach at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kan. He started his career in marketing with the Fenway Sports Group and the Salem Red Sox, a minor league baseball affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

 

“Coach Drennan has an incredible knack for recruiting and an ability to bring in talented players from all over the world,” Rippen said. “Although his time at MCC was short, I know he learned what being part of a college family was all about and I hope he will carry with him some great memories of MCC and the community. He will be a strong addition to the University of Illinois in Chicago and we wish him all the best.”  

 

According to Olsen, once the position is approved and advertised, a search committee will begin work on filling the position.

 

“I am excited for the process, it will be a highly sought after job again just as it was last time, the opportunity to be a head coach at this level is pretty special,” Olsen said. “McCook is a great place to work so we will have our work cut out for us but I’m sure it will be a great search.”

Drennan said his 10 months at McCook had a profound impact on him and while he said he had a great deal of fun coaching in McCook, it is the wide-spread kindness he experienced that will leave a lasting impression and a trait he hopes to carry with him.


“McCook itself is a special place. As someone who came from the outside I’m telling you McCook has the nicest people in the world and I experienced that throughout my 10 months 

here,” he said.

 

“I think sometimes you guys don’t know how special you are, and I told Kelly and Jon the same thing with regard to the college. I hope I can take that positive impact the people of McCook have had on me and take it with me and pass it on.”






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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.


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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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs are bringing back cornerback Bashaud Breeland on a one-year deal that could be worth up to $4.5 million, according to a person familiar with the contract. The agreement helps alleviate one of the Super Bowl champions’ biggest concerns ahead of the NFL draft. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the deal had not been announced. Breeland helped the Chiefs win their first championship in five decades last season before joining cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Morris Claiborne in free agency. Fuller has since signed with Washington.



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UNDATED (AP) — Quarterback Tom Brady yesterday explained his decision to leave the New England Patriots for free agency, saying on SiriusXM’s “The Howard Stern Show” it was “just time” for a change. Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month after winning six Super Bowls with the Patriots. He reiterated he has no hard feelings about coach Bill Belichick (BEHL'-ih-chik) not making him a Patriot for life. Brady added that so many wrong assumptions were made about his relationship with Belichick, or about how Belichick felt about him.

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are moving to black pants with black jerseys for their home uniforms in 2020. Those changes are part of a redesign the team says respects past fashion choices with updates “to match the modern progression of Atlanta.” The team's first redesign in 17 years also includes white jerseys and white pants for road uniforms. The Falcons will continue to use black helmets.

UNDATED (AP) — Real (ray-AL’) Madrid’s players and coaches have agreed to voluntarily reduce their salaries by at least 10% to help offset lost revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The club says the decision applies to its soccer and basketball teams. Some top club executives have agreed to take pay cuts that could reach 20% “depending on the circumstances that may affect” the rest of the season. Fellow Spanish league club Sevilla (say-VEE’-uh) also said Wednesday it would put its players and other employees on government furloughs to reduce labor costs during the pandemic.

UNDATED (AP) — Former Swiss women’s goalie Florence Schelling was named general manager of one of the nation’s top men’s professional teams, SC Bern. The 31-year-old Schelling becomes the first woman elevated to such a high-profile front-office personnel position of a men’s pro hockey team in Switzerland. Schelling’s hiring comes after spending the past year serving as coach of the Switzerland’s Under-18 women’s team. She takes over a franchise that missed the playoffs after winning the championship last season.

ELMONT, N.Y. (AP) — A groom who worked at Belmont Park has died from complications of coronavirus. The New York Racing Association says Martin Zapata died Tuesday, two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19 and 12 days after being hospitalized. The 63-year-old native of Panama had spent the past two years working for trainer Tom Morley in New York, which has been hard-hit by the pandemic.




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UNDATED (AP) — An eighth NHL player has tested positive for COVID-19. The league announced Tuesday that a third player from the Colorado Avalanche is in self-isolation and has not had close contact with teammates or Colorado staff members. The five other NHL players who tested positive all play for the Ottawa Senators. Meanwhile, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has raised the possibility of not being able to complete the regular season.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s success in battling the coronavirus means a green light for the country’s baseball league. It is targeting an early May restart with teams ready to play preseason exhibition games as early as April 21. The country recorded 53 new infections, the third consecutive day that has seen new cases around the 50-mark. The league was scheduled to start play on March 28. 

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A productive member of Duke basketball squad is heading to the NBA. Freshman Cassius Stanley is entering the draft. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 12.6 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Blue Devils. In a statement, Stanley says he believed the Blue Devils could have attained his goal of reaching the Final Four and contending for a national championship. But he noted that “the NBA values youth” in his decision to enter the draft.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards are among the new nominees for NASCAR’s next Hall of Fame class. Janet Guthrie returns as a nominee in the Landmark category after a one-year absence. There are three ballots: one for Modern candidates, one for Pioneer candidates and one for Landmark candidates. Two entries from the 10 Modern candidates will be elected, along with one entry apiece from the five-candidate Pioneer and Landmark categories.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all in for a new look in 2020. Building on momentum created by the signing of six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady in free agency, the Bucs have unveiled new uniforms for next season. The new garb will be more traditional red, white and pewter - similar to the uniforms the team wore from 1997-2013, it’s most successful stretch.




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DETROIT (AP) — One of baseball’s best outfielders ever has died. A friend says Hall of Famer Al Kaline died Monday. Kaline, who was 86, spent his entire 22-season with the Detroit Tigers. The right fielder was a 15-time All-Star, won 10 Gold Gloves and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL draft won’t be the usual flashy spectacle. It was to have been held in Las Vegas, but the league now says it will be conducted in a virtual format, with team personnel working from their homes. The NFL canceled all public events last month as a safeguard against the coronavirus. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s procedures for the April 23-25 draft include no group gatherings.

UNDATED (AP) — Like other pro sports leagues, the National Hockey League is considering various options to salvage its season. Play is on hold for now because of the coronavirus pandemic. Ideas under discussion include neutral site layoff games and awarding the Stanley Cup in September.

LONDON (AP) — Golf’s oldest tournament has joined the list of sporting events disrupted by the pandemic. For the first time since 1945, July’s British Open has been canceled. It will be held next year at Royal St. George. The 150th tournament will be held in 2022 at St. Andrews. U.S. tournaments are also being reshuffled. The Masters will be held two weeks before Thanksgiving.

NEW YORK (AP) — Another soccer scandal. A pair of former sports marketing executives have been indicted on charges they paid bribes to soccer officials to obtain confidential bidding information during FIFA’s sale of U.S. television rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Charges have been unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn against former 21st Century Fox Inc. executives Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez.




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Volleyball standout Jordan Larson was announced as the second member of the 2020 University of Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame class on Wednesday, April 1. Larson is the first of five student-athletes in the 2020 class to be recognized. Volleyball head coach Terry Pettit was announced as the first member of the 2020 Hall of Fame class on March 31.

A native of Hooper, Nebraska, Larson was a standout on some of the greatest teams in program history from 2005 to 2008. She helped Nebraska to a top-five NCAA Tournament finish in each of her four seasons. The Huskers went 127-8 during her career with four Big 12 Conference titles and three trips to the NCAA Semifinals, including the 2006 national title and a runner-up finish in 2005.

Individually, Larson was an All-American on the court and in the classroom. She was a three-time All-American and a two-time first-team All-American. At the conference level, Larson was a two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and the 2008 Big 12 Player of the Year. She was also an Academic All-American as a senior. Larson finished her Husker career with 1,600 kills, 1,410 digs and a school-record 186 aces. She is currently one of only two players in program history to rank among Nebraska’s all-time top 10 in both kills and digs.

Larson then went on to a decorated international career. She was a two-time Olympic medalist, helping Team USA to a silver medal in 2012 and a bronze medal in 2016. Larson helped Team USA win the gold medal at the 2014 world championships, the first-ever major tournament gold medal for the U.S. women’s national team. Larson was then named USA Volleyball’s Indoor Female Player of the Year in both 2015 and 2016.

The remaining four student-athletes in the 2020 Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame Class will be announced over the next few weeks on the official Nebraska Athletics Twitter account (@Huskers) and on Huskers.com.

2020 Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame Class

Terry Pettit, Volleyball Head Coach (1977-99)
Jordan Larson, Volleyball (2005-08)
Four more student-athletes to be announced
 
Jordan Larson, Volleyball (2005-08), Hooper, Nebraska

Jordan Larson led Nebraska to an outstanding four-year run on the volleyball court before continuing on to a stellar international career. The Huskers went 127-8 (.941) during Larson’s four-year career, winning the Big 12 Conference championship and posting a top-five NCAA finish in each of her four seasons. After an NCAA runner-up finish in her freshman year when she was the regional freshman of the year, Larson was a first-team All-American and the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore. That season, the Huskers won the 2006 NCAA title in Omaha in front of what was then the largest volleyball crowd in NCAA history. After earning third-team All-America honors as Nebraska made a regional final in 2007, Larson was a first-team All-American again in 2008. As a captain that season, Larson helped Nebraska advance to its third NCAA Semifinal in four years, where the Huskers lost a 3-2 thriller to Penn State, handing the Nittany Lions their only two set losses of the entire season. Larson was also the 2008 Big 12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year and a second-team Academic All-American. Larson finished her career with 1,600 kills, 1,410 digs and a school-record 186 aces. Following her time as a Husker, Larson represented the United States in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. She was a silver medalist in 2012 and bronze medalist in 2016, becoming the only Husker volleyball player to be a two-time Olympic medalist. Larson was named USA Volleyball’s Indoor Female Player of the Year in both 2015 and 2016. In 2014, she helped Team USA win the gold medal at the world championships, the first-ever major tournament gold medal for the U.S. women’s national team. Her No. 10 jersey is retired, and Larson graduated with a degree in communication studies from the University of Nebraska in 2008.




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UNDATED (AP) — NFL owners are continuing to plan for the 2020 season to begin on time. But they’ve adopted changes in how the season will end. They voted to modify the playoff format with two additional wild-card teams in the Super Bowl chase. The playoffs will be expanded by one team in each conference for a total of 14. The 16-game season and full playoffs would include the two stadiums still under construction in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, plus international games in England and Mexico.

LAKE FOREST, Ill (AP) — The Chicago Bears have finalized a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars for 2018 Super Bowl MVP quarterback Nick Foles. The Bears are hoping Foles will return to form following an injury-riddled season with Jacksonville. Foles would give them another option if Mitchell Trubisky struggles again or gets hurt next year. The Jaguars parted with the 31-year-old Foles just over a year after signing him to a four-year contract. Foles helped Philadelphia win a Super Bowl.

SAN JOSE, Calif (AP) —San Jose Sharks President Jonathan Becher says the team made the best decision with the information at the time when it played three home games following a recommendation by the county against large gatherings in early March. Santa Clara County issued a recommendation on March 5 that mass gatherings should be postponed or canceled to control the spread of the new coronavirus.

UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA's popular decision to extend spring sports athletes' eligibility a year because of the coronavirus pandemic is causing consternation for baseball coaches. Baseball is the only spring sport with a roster limit. Teams can have no more than 35 players, though that rule will be relaxed in 2021. The problem comes in 2022. Looming roster logjams because of the extended eligibility could force coaches to sign smaller recruiting classes and nudge underperforming players to transfer or quit.

UNDATED (AP) — They can’t face off on the hardwood right now, so Kevin Durant and Trae Young will lead a 16-player field of NBA players in an NBA 2K20 tournament airing on ESPN. The NBA, the players’ association and 2K have announced the NBA 2K Players Tournament. Play begins Friday, and the winner of the week-long competition will receive a $100,000 donation to a coronavirus-related relief effort of their choice.




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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State forward Reggie Perry has entered the NBA draft, saying it’s time to continue to the next level of basketball as a professional. The 6-foot-10 sophomore was selected as The Associated Press Co-Southeastern Conference player of the year after ranking in the top 10 of several conference categories. Perry led the SEC in rebounds last season with 10.1 per game, ranked sixth in scoring at 17.4 points and ninth in blocks with 1.2.

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona State junior point guard Remy Martin has declared for the NBA draft, saying he’s decided to take another step into making his dream a reality. Martin led the Sun Devils with 19.1 points. 4.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 2019-20, putting them on the cusp of a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance before the college basketball postseason was halted by the coronavirus. He was named first team all-Pac-12 by The Associated Press.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan forward Isaiah Livers is applying for early entry into the NBA draft, but the school said he is not hiring an agent and would work with the Wolverines coaching staff during the evaluation and pre-draft processes. Even if a player does use an agent during the evaluation process, he can return to school without losing eligibility if he ends the relationship with the agent. Livers averaged 12.9 points for the Wolverines this past season and was limited to 21 games due to injury problems.

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A woman who said she was sexually assaulted by a Michigan State basketball player is asking the Michigan attorney general's office to investigate, according to a published report. ESPN is reporting that Michigan State University police told prosecutors they had probable cause that sophomore guard Brock Washington raped the woman on Jan. 19 while she was too intoxicated to consent. Police referred the case to county prosecutors, who declined to file charges this month.

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado (AP) — Free-agent punter Sam Martin has become the third Detroit Lions player to sign with the Denver Broncos this month, accepting a three-year, $7 million contract. He joins former Detroit teammates Graham Glasgow and Jeff Driskel in Denver. Martin has averaged 46 yards per punt with a 40.9-yard net average, 38 touchbacks and 175 punts inside the 20-yard line during his seven NFL seasons.




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The GNAC conference would like to announce the following changes for the 2020/21 school year.  In October 2019, Columbus High School applied and was accepted to the Heartland Athletic Conference (HAC).  The following schools will remain in the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference for the 2020/21 school year: Hastings, McCook, North Platte, Gering and Scottsbluff.  Due to the re-alignment of the conference, the tournament schedule will be reduced to the following tournaments: Boys’ Tennis, Girls’ Tennis, Boys’ Golf, Girls’ Golf, Swimming/Diving, and Track and Field.  






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