Kearney man arrested after dropping infant from car seat
(NRG)-A 19-year old Kearney man was cited and jailed for child abuse and neglect Saturday night after a 4-month old boy he was carrying above his head and unsecured in a car seat fell about six feet onto the pavement. The incident occurred just before 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot east of Herberger's in the Hilltop Mall. The infant was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital with preliminary reports indicating the possibility of a skull fracture. Officers from the Kearney Police Department and the Buffalo County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene. KPD continues to investigate the incident.
Volunteers needed for Lincoln Highway Celebration
(NRG)- Kearney has been chosen to host the historic National Lincoln Highway Centennial celebration later this summer. The two day event, set for June 30th and July 1st, will celebrate America's Main Street, the first coast to coast highway. Around 250 volunteer spots need to be filled for the event. The next Lincoln Highway Centennial volunteer meeting will be Tuesday evening at 6:30 at the Museum of Nebraska Art. More information on the Lincoln Highway Centennial Celebration is available online at lincolnhighwayassoc.org or at visitkearney.org. Potential volunteers can also get more information by calling the Kearney Visitors Bureau at 237-3178.
UNK names Buckle scholarship winner
(UNK and NRG)- Sean Stahly of Milford has been named the first recipient of the Buckle Excellence Scholarship at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The Buckle Excellence Scholarship is a two-year scholarship in the department of Computer Science and Information Systems of $3,000 per year, for a total of $6,000. As the recipient, Stahly will also tour Buckle's facilities and become acquainted with the company's IT leadership through job shadowing opportunities. He will attend a spring luncheon during his freshman year, hosted by Buckle, and will deliver a presentation. A highly involved student, Stahly is graduating from Milford High School this spring, where he was captain of the quiz bowl team and member of the speech team. He is also a member of Future Business Leaders of America, including a term as treasurer, and was involved in One Act and Key Club. Stahly said he began programming on his own during his sophomore year after attending a workshop on building computers.
The scholarship was announced in 2012 when a $150,000 permanent endowment was established in the name of The Buckle Inc. at the University of Nebraska Foundation to provide annual scholarship awards for students interested in careers related to computer science or information technology. The Buckle Excellence Scholarship is a result of an on-going partnership between the Buckle and the UNK Department of Computer Science and Information Systems.
Contracts renewed for Lincoln area schools' officers
(AP) - Sheriff's deputies will continue to roam the hallways of four rural school district buildings near Lincoln with a Lancaster County Board decision that extends a contract between the sheriff's office and the school districts.
The Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/12ovgYM ) reports two deputies will split time between the Waverly, Norris, Malcolm and Raymond Central schools. It's a similar arrangement that has been in place for seven years.
In Lincoln, one officer is assigned to each of the public high schools, but four officers assigned to middle schools were pulled in 2010 and elementary schools lost their officers in 2004 to put more officers on the streets.
Norris High Principal Ryan Ruhl says having a deputy in the rural school adds a sense of security and provides good role models for students.
Pheasants Forever offering habitat tours
(AP) - Nebraska landowners who want to create or protect habitat for wildlife are invited to tour well-managed lands in the state.
The Nebraska chapters of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are hosting tours of 17 different locations in the state this spring and summer.
The tours began Thursday with a cedar tree removal project near Linwood. The final event is a rangeland management workship on Aug. 16 in Holt County.
The tours are meant to show habitat management practices in action and provide information on how landowners can take part in conservation programs.
More details about the free tours are available online at www.nebraskapf.com . Anyone interested in attending can register by calling Pam Grossart at 308-850-8395.
Woman admits to helping hide body in Panhandle slaying
(AP) - A 20-year-old Hemingford woman has admitted helping hide the body of a Denver man in northwest Nebraska months before her boyfriend died in an armed standoff.
Rose Siefke pleaded guilty Friday to being an accessory to a felony in the death of 38-year-old Josh Bullock.
Siefke's trial was scheduled to begin Monday, but she agreed to plead to the reduced charge after a judge ruled that some of what she told investigators couldn't be used.
Prosecutors say Siefke helped her boyfriend, Andres Gonzalez, hide the body of Joshua Bullock in December 2011.
Gonzalez was killed last June after a daylong standoff with police in Alliance where he wounded three officers. Before his death, Gonzalez told police he had killed Bullock and buried the body in Dawes County.
Nebraska lawmakers push to session's end
(AP) - Nebraska lawmakers are forging ahead slowly this year with the state budget, a new school funding formula, and an overhaul of juvenile services, but some of the most contentious priorities will likely have to wait.
With three weeks left in the session, supporters of a Medicaid expansion bill are still short of the votes they need to return it to the floor for debate. The measure was halted by a filibuster, as was a proposal to repeal the death penalty.
Many supporters say they're now looking to next year on both bills. Speaker of the Legislature Greg Adams says he won't allow the Medicaid bill back onto the agenda unless supporters can garner at least a two-thirds majority needed to overcome a filibuster.
Hastings ethanol plant closing permanently
(AP) - A Hastings ethanol plant that announced in February that it would temporarily shut down will not reopen.
The Ag Processing Inc. cooperative said Friday that it is permanently shutting down the 55-million-gallon-a-year plant, citing the plant's age and high utility costs associated with running it.
Officials had cited a slowdown in the economy, high corn prices and low oil prices for the temporary shutdown.
Matt Caswell, vice president of corporate relations with AGP in Omaha, said the company didn't see "any turn-around in the industry anytime soon."
Most of the plant's 43 employees found jobs within AGP's other operations in Hastings. AGP also operates a soybean processing plant, vegetable oil refinery and an AminoPlus production facility in the city.
AGP says none of those facilities have been impacted by the ethanol plant's closure.
A man and woman hospitalized in Grand Island stabbing
(AP) - Police say a man stabbed his estranged girlfriend at least 20 times in a Grand Island church parking lot before cutting his own throat and fleeing.
Police say the man, identified as 41-year-old Aslin Nabarro, and 33-year-old Mirna Medina-Colocho argued in the parking lot Friday morning before Nabarro pulled out a knife and began stabbing the woman in the torso and head.
Police say he then inflicted a deep cut to his own throat, fled and collapsed in an alley less than a block away.
Both Medina-Colocho and Nabarro were taken to a local hospital, where each underwent surgery. A nursing supervisor at St. Francis Medical Center said both in stable condition Friday evening. Their conditions were not available Saturday.
North Platte veterans group asks for return of memorial bricks
(AP) - Officials are hoping for the return of some 40 personalized bricks destined for a North Platte veterans' memorial that someone intercepted at the memorial group's office, then hauled off.
The North Platte Telegraph reports (http://bit.ly/12k5VPz) that someone signed for the package of memorial bricks delivered by UPS on April 25, using the name "Saelers."
The office manager says she doesn't know who that is. Now, she's pleading for the return of the bricks, which each bear the name of a veteran. Families of those veterans paid to have the bricks inscribed and installed at the memorial. The bricks were to be unveiled at a Memorial Day ceremony.
UNL offering Water Resources Tour in June
(AP) - The University of Nebraska is offering a two-day tour that will focus on the state's water resources.
The tour is slated for June 25-26. It will start on the university's east campus in Lincoln, but will be based primarily around York and Clay Center.
Tour organizer Mike Jess says the tour will focus on water demands in both rural and urban areas, both now and in the future.
The tour is expected to include stops near Denton, Genoa, Waco, Deshler, York and Clay Center. It will include an overnight stay in York.
State senator wants to review school breakfast program
(AP) - Lawmakers are planning to review why few Nebraska students who receive free and reduced-price lunches also participate in the federal funded breakfast program.
Of students who take part in the lunch program, the Food Research and Action Center finds only two states have fewer students who also eat free or reduced-price breakfasts. The group finds that four out of 10 students who participate in the lunch program aren't part of the breakfast program, even though the income requirements are the same.
Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln has asked legislative staff to study the matter to see whether there are barriers to participation.
The Legislature's Education Committee will hear public testimony on the issue later this year. Depending on what's found, Avery said he may introduce legislation next year.
MADD honors Kearney police officer
(NRG)- Mothers Against Drunk Drivers has recognized Officer Nedko Oreshkov of the Kearney Police Department for his efforts in DUI enforcement for 2012-2013. Oreshkov is being recognized for his efforts as an individual officer and will receive an award from the MADD group on May 21. Oreshkov had 27 arrests for the offense of Driving While Intoxicated in the requisite period. There were several other officers in the Kearney Police Department who were also very active in this area. Officer Ryan Ohri won this same award last year.
Kearney New Life pastor assuming new position
(NRG)- Pastor Bob Wine, Senior Pastor of New Life Assembly in Kearney for 33 years, is transitioning to the role of District Superintendent of the Nebraska District Council of the Assemblies of God. In his new position he will provide oversight to the district's 93 churches and 292 credentialed ministers, supervise the credentialing of new ministers and guide the establishment of new churches. His state-wide duties begin on Monday, June 17th. Wine's final service as New Life's Senior Pastor will be June 2nd at 10:00 am. This special Honor Service will be followed by a business meeting to elect the next Senior Pastor. Following the business meeting, a banquet at the Younes Conference Center will honor Pastor Wine and his wife Connie. Reservations for the banquet may be made at the church.
Kearney teacher a finalist for national honor
(NRG)- The Nebraska Department of Education announced that Kim Humphrey, kindergarten teacher at Meadowlark Elementary School in Kearney , is one of three finalists for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science teaching. The Awards recognize highly qualified teachers for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. The National Science Foundation administers the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Novartis begins Lincoln layoffs
(AP) - Drug company Novartis has begun laying off workers at its plant east of Lincoln.
The Lincoln Journal Star reported Thursday that the Swiss drugmaker says it had notified 72 people that their positions have been eliminated. The company also won't fill 41 positions that had been open.
The positions are in technical operations, engineering and quality.
The job cuts are part of a plan Novartis announced last month to cut 300 jobs from its workforce of 750 in Lincoln. More layoffs are planned in early 2014 and a final round will occur in 2015.
The layoffs follow inspections by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that found problems with quality control and complaint resolution at the plant.
Former AG office worker arrested in Lincoln
(AP) - Investigators say more than 130 marijuana plants have been found at the home of a woman who worked as a litigation assistant in the Nebraska Attorney General's Office.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports (http://bit.ly/WO275R) that 38-year-old Kimberly Meidell was arrested Wednesday at the home she shares with 38-year-old Eric Trost, who also was arrested.
An arrest warrant affidavit says that in addition to the marijuana plants, more than a pound of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia were found in the home.
Meidell had worked in the Attorney General's Office for more than nine years. Deputy Attorney General David Cookson said Thursday that Meidell's "employment has been terminated."
A Lancaster County jailer said Meidell and Trost remained in custody on Friday. Online court records don't list the names of their attorneys.
Application deadline set for Nebraska judgeship
(AP) - June 19 is the deadline to apply for an open county court judgeship in eastern Nebraska.
The Judicial Nominating Commission for county judge in the 5th Judicial District will hold a public hearing on July 10 to consider the qualifications of those who apply.
The judgeship will be based either in Merrick County's Central City or York in York County. The opening was created by the retirement of Judge Curtis Evans.
The 5th Judicial District is composed of Boone, Butler, Colfax, Hamilton, Merrick, Nance, Platte, Polk, Saunders, Seward and York counties.
Bill boosts Nebraska children's mental health services
(AP) - A proposal to increase mental health services for children throughout Nebraska has won first-round approval from lawmakers.
Lawmakers advanced a bill Thursday that would create a pilot program to offer behavioral health services to children, using computer technology to connect them remotely with professionals.
The measure would establish three pilot clinics, with at least one in an urban area and one in a rural setting.
Sen. Amanda McGill says the bill is an extension of the promise she made to reform youth mental health services in the wake of Nebraska's safe haven law. The law prompted parents to abandon older children at hospitals and emergency rooms, so they could gain access behavioral health services.
Lawmakers voted 35-0 to advance the bill.
Nebraska family loses suit over Pledge of Allegiance
(AP) - An eastern Nebraska family has lost its court challenge to a state requirement that public schools set aside time for the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports (http://bit.ly/WO275R ) that a judge ruled earlier this week that the Stanosheck family, of Springfield, didn't sufficiently state what injury the parents and their three children suffered because of the state rule.
The rule that went into effect Sept. 15 mandates that schoolchildren in kindergarten through 12th grade recite the pledge daily in the presence of a flag. But students who don't wish to may stand or sit quietly instead.
In December attorney Kevin Stanosheck filed a petition for declaratory judgment on behalf of his wife and their children.
His petition says the Nebraska Education Department had acted beyond its authority.
Nebraska Senator pulls bill to repeal helmet law
(AP) - A proposal to repeal Nebraska's motorcycle helmet law will wait until next year.
Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins said Thursday that he has asked the speaker to keep his bill off of this year's legislative agenda.
Bloomfield had designated the measure as his priority bill, increasing the chances that it would see debate. But he says lawmakers still have a lot of heavy lifting to do this year, with only 11 working days left in the session.
Lawmakers have debated similar bills numerous times over the last two decades. Bloomfield says he will press ahead with his measure next year, and may designate it as his priority again to ensure that it's debated.
Oldson denied new trial in Ord killing
(AP) - A Missouri man convicted in February of killing a Nebraska woman more than 20 years ago has lost his bid for a new trial.
Hastings television KHAS says (http://bit.ly/106PiZX) Judge Karin Noakes ruled against the appeal filed by John Oldson. His filing said there was new evidence to consider.
A Howard County jury had found the 46-year-old Oldson, of Randolph, Mo., guilty of second-degree murder. He was charged with killing 31-year-old Catherine Beard, a waitress from Ord. She disappeared in 1989. Her remains were found outside Ord in 1992.
Oldson, who used to live in Ord, was interviewed in 1989 but not arrested. He was arrested a year ago in Missouri. Authorities say new evidence and witnesses led to his arrest.
Good Samaritan Hospital Cancer Center gets 3-year accreditation
(NRG)- The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons has granted a "Three Year Accreditation with Commendation" to the Cancer Program at Good Samaritan Hospital's Cancer Center. A facility receives a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation following the on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor during which the facility demonstrates a Commendation level of compliance with one or more standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program (cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach, and quality improvement). In addition, a facility receives a compliance rating for all other standards.
Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care. Its membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons and 49 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care.
Kearney Library offering text notices
(NRG)- The Kearney Public Library now offers text message notifications for overdue items, renewals, holds, and special Library announcements. The service makes it easier to know when items are due or available for pickup. Patrons also have the option to renew eligible items by responding to a text message. This service is free, but standard text messaging rates apply.
To sign up for text alerts, text the message SIGNUP to firstname.lastname@example.org and reply to the messages asking you to enter your library card number. You will automatically be signed up to receive texts relating to holds ready for pick up, items that are due soon, overdue items, and special Library announcements. Brochures detailing how to sign up for and use the service can be found by visiting the main circulation desk in the library.
Federal Reserve says farm income weaker in first quarter
(AP) - The Federal Reserve says farm income growth slowed across the Plains and western states in the first quarter as costs increased and the drought lingered.
The nation's central bank branch in Kansas City, Missouri, said Wednesday that the growth in farm income has slowed this year because farmers and ranchers are dealing with higher costs.
Bankers expect farm income to weaken further in the region over during the second quarter.
But land values continued to increase in the first quarter on top of several years of significant growth. Cropland values rose 20 percent over 2012, and ranchland values grew 14 percent.
The 10th Federal Reserve District covers Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.