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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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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Health officials have reported more deaths related to the coronavirus in Nebraska in the last 24 hours, bringing the state's death toll to at least 13. Lincoln on Wednesday reported that city's first death from the virus. Hours earlier, officials in Douglas County reported two deaths in the Omaha area, including a woman in her 70s and another woman in her 90s who was a long-term care resident at the Douglas County Health Center. The long-term care center has seen 15 residents and 10 employees test positive for the disease. Two residents have died. The number of cases statewide had risen to 519 as of midday Wednesday. 

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The University of Nebraska closed all of its campuses Wednesday as the coronavirus outbreak worsens. NET reports that NU President Ted Carter announced the closures in an email Tuesday, citing public health models predicting a peak of COVID-19 cases sometime in late April. The closure applies to most employees, including all student workers, for at least two weeks. Carter says discussions are being held to determine which employees are necessary to remain campus, including health care workers, public safety officers, and housing and dining employees. Employees are eligible to take up to 160 hours of emergency paid administrative leave. The email says employees should plan to work remotely “until further notice.” 

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Grand Island, NE - It all started out eight days ago. Eric Sell, engineering teacher with Grand Island Public Schools, was contacted to potentially help on a project that could help supply face shields locally in Grand Island but also to healthcare workers in the the state of Nebraska. With the use of three 3D printers from Grand Island public schools, Sell is able to produce around 80 to 85 face shields a day and has plans in the works to soon add a fourth printer to help with the production. Some of the face shields that have been made in the last few days will be given to the Central District Health Department and food service workers with Grand Island Public Schools. 

To make an order for face shields visit: https://covid.w0wwv.org/Requests/Create

Listen to a full interview with Mr. Stell below. 


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LINCOLN – Four deaths related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reported to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) bringing the state total to 12.

Two were Douglas County residents. One woman in her 70s and another woman in her 90s. Both with underlying health conditions - https://www.douglascountyhealth.com/latest-news.

The third was a woman in her 60s from Hall County - https://cdhd.ne.gov/.

The fourth was a man in his 80s from Custer County - https://www.facebook.com/lbphd.org/.

All 93 Nebraska counties are now covered by state Directed Health Measures (DHMs) until May 11 – http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus. It’s critical that Nebraskans follow these enforceable state Directed Health Measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state. These measures help protect each other and those who are more vulnerable to severe illness and death, and help hospitals and clinics from being overwhelmed so they can continue to provide care to families, friends and neighbors who need it.

In addition to the state-issued DHM, some Local Health Departments have issued additional restrictions - http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx#SectionLink1.

Tonight’s state case total is 478. DHHS launched a new data dashboard that provides daily updates to the state’s COVID-19 case totals. You can find it at http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus.

Here’s where to find tools and resources for individuals and families, schools, communities, businesses, healthcare facilities, and first responders on the DHHS website - http://dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus and CDC’s website – https://www.cdc.gov/covid19.

DHHS opened a statewide COVID-19 information line to help answer general questions and share the latest information and resources with Nebraskans to help keep them informed. The number is (402) 552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CST, 7 days a week.

DHHS will continue to update Nebraskans through the DHHS website and on Facebook and Twitter as we have new information. The CDC’s website is also a good resource for COVID-19 information - https://www.cdc.gov/covid19.

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(CDHD Release) - Central District Health Department (CDHD) reports 78 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 4.30 p.m. today. This includes 2 in Merrick County, 7 in Hamilton County, and 69 in Hall County. Approximately 75 healthcare workers were tested today by the National Guard at Fonner Park, with plans for an additional 75 to be tested tomorrow.

Central District Health Department reminds everyone to clean your hands often, avoid close contact-maintain 6 foot social-distance, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when in public, for example grocery stores; cover coughs and sneezes, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily

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As promised, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has sent the National Guard to Grand Island to perform additional Covid 19 testing. Teresa Anderson, director of the Central District Health Department, said today at City Hall that the testing is being limited to health care workers and emergency personnel.

The Health Department was also notified that the limited testing from the National Guard for health care workers is being further limited due to issues of testing supplies. Adjustments are being made accordingly in order to facilitate testing 150 health care workers today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday).


Teresa Anderson, director of the Central District Health Department

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(CDHD Release) - Central District Health Department (CDHD) is saddened to report the second COVID-19 related death in Hall County. The death was a woman in her 60’s who was hospitalized.

We were also notified that the limited testing from the National Guard for health care workers is being further limited due to issues of testing supplies. We are making adjustments accordingly in order to facilitate testing 150 health care workers today and tomorrow.

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In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 cases in
Grand Island, the Grand Island Police Department will continue to enforce the city park and
GIPS school playgrounds closures with citations. The closure of city parks does not include city
sidewalks and the hike and bike trail system and lake walkways (Pier Park Lake, Suck’s Lake,
and Eagle Scout Lake walkways), however users of those walkways must be using them for
their intended purpose and are encouraged to maintain social distancing.
Additionally, the Grand Island Police Department will proactively patrol and respond to
complaints of gatherings of more than 10 persons or smaller gatherings with invitees where
social distancing isn’t taking place, particularly during the upcoming holiday weekend. If these
gatherings include persons who are not permanent residents of that address, we will enforce the
Directed Health Measures with discretion accordingly.
This will be done in accordance with the Directed Health Measure, which reads as follows:
1) Gatherings and services as described are prohibited:
a. Any event or convening that brings together more than ten (10) persons, excluding staff, in a
single room or single space at the same time, including but not limited to, a school, daycare
facility (including in home facilities), gymnasiums, fitness center, auditorium, stadium,
arena, large event conference room, meeting hall, theater, library, or any other confined
indoor or confined outdoor space, and weddings, funerals, parades, fairs, festivals, and
concerts.
b. Any indoor or outdoor event or convening having ten (10) or fewer persons where a
minimum distance of six (6) feet between all individuals cannot be maintained.
c. Customer services at tattoo parlors, massage parlors, barbershops, beauty/nail salons, and
similar personal services businesses.

2) Public Park access is restricted to hiking and biking trails and public sidewalks. Users of trails and
sidewalk are encouraged to maintain six (6) feet of separation between all persons. Additional
restrictions may be imposed by municipal or county authorities.

This is a time for all residents of Grand Island to work together, keep one another healthy, and
help save lives as the presence of COVID-19 in our community grows.

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North Platte, Nebraska - The West Central District Health Department (WCDHD) has now tested 163 individuals in Lincoln County for Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Of the 163 tested, 16 have been positive.  Five are travel-related, four are due to contact with a traveler, three are community spread, and the remaining four are due to contact with community spread.  All sixteen cases are within Lincoln County.  Stay informed of new cases by visiting our website athttps://wcdhd.org/(information will be updated daily at noon and 6:00 PM).

The best antidote to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 is social and physical distancing.  

This includes:

  • Stay home and practice social and physical distancing

    • Stay Home

    • Avoid gatherings of 10 or more

  • When out stay 6 foot away from others

  • Cough and/or sneeze into your elbow

  • Wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds

  • Do not touch your face

  • Wear a community mask - this will help mitigate the spread of the virus

While testing continues to improve, Governor Pete Ricketts has issued a state-wide Directed Health Measure (DHM).  To learn more about this DHM and how it may affect you, please visit the governor’s website atGovernor Pete RickettsAdditionally, the governor has launched a new campaign in honor of State Health Week, asking all Nebraskans to Stay Home, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected.

Public health officials would like to remind you that if you have a fever of over 100.4 or symptoms of respiratory illness, please self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider for additional guidance.  If you are tested, have been in direct contact of a lab-confirmed case, or traveled outside of Nebraska in the last two weeks PLEASE register with WCDHD athttps://consultinglhd.sjc1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_a67PjRi6skYXMrP



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North Platte, Ne - 69 local nonprofit causes have signed up to participate in North Platte Giving Day set for May 6. During this community giving event, donors choose which local nonprofits to support and how much to give to each. 

“North Platte Giving Day is the best time to help community causes,” said Eric Seacrest, executive director of Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation, which is hosting Giving Day for the fifth year.

“Just by donating, donors can help their favorite nonprofits earn pledged matching gifts and win cash prizes provided by sponsors,” Seacrest said. “And new for 2020 is a change in tax law, allowing virtually every donor to claim a tax deduction for a charitable gift.”

Giving Day gifts are tax deductible as charitable contributions.  As part of COVID-19 relief legislation, a new charitable tax deduction of up to $300 is available in 2020 for taxpayers who use the "standard deduction". 

100% of each Giving Day donation will go to donor-selected nonprofits. The Community Foundation along with a generous anonymous donor are covering all donation processing fees. There is no charge for nonprofits to participate in North Platte Giving Day. 

Early Giving is available beginning April 27 to Giving Day donors making gifts online and by mail. Early Giving gifts can win cash prizes for nonprofit and earn available pledged matching funds. More than 40 cash prizes will be given to nonprofits based on random selection or greatest number of unduplicated donors by check or online during various time periods. Cash prizes will range from $200 to $1,000.

Matching gifts pledged to specific nonprofits will be available to be earned when donors make gifts to those nonprofits.

Giving Day donors can give online from computers, smartphone and tablets at NorthPlatteGivingDay.org. The minimum online gift to a nonprofit is $10. Live support will be available on the website to assist donors if needed on Giving Day. 

Giving Day donation checks can be mailed to Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation, PO Box 1321, North Platte NE 69103. 

Donors can drop off checks at local Giving Sites on May 6. Local Giving Sites will accommodate social distancing. Giving Sites are expected to include: Prairie Arts Centers, Orr’s Cleaners, Bill’s U-Save Pharmacy and Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation.

“North Platte Giving Day fits the mission of the Community Foundation to serve charitable people and worthy causes in this area,” said Seacrest. “Our Board of Directors wants the community to know about the important work of local nonprofits and their need for financial support.”

Each of the 69 participating nonprofits serves people in Lincoln County and many serve an even larger area. “Nearly all the local nonprofits in Lincoln County that people depend on are participating,” Seacrest said.

Several participating nonprofits are helping people of Lincoln County cope with consequences of the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak including Connection Homeless Shelter, Grace Ministries Food Pantry, Great Plains Health Care Foundation, North Platte Catholic Community Food Pantry, North Platte Senior Center, Salvation Army and the COVID-19 Response Fund.

During last year’s Giving Day, $271,378 was raised for local nonprofits from donations, cash prizes from sponsors and earned matching gifts. 

Giving Day website technology again is provided by CiviCore, based in Denver. CiviCore provides technology for many of the largest giving days in the country as well as many other giving days in Nebraska.

Beginning at 12:01 am on May 6, the online leaderboard will display early giving donation totals.  as well as gifts received on Giving Day. During Giving Day the online leaderboard will provide updates on donation totals for nonprofits as well as prizes won by nonprofits.

Information about each of the 69 participating nonprofits including need for financial support and volunteer opportunities can be viewed at NorthPlatteGivingDay.org.

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