GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Authorities have rescued goats, rabbits, a tortoise, a dog and more than 200 chickens found on a Grand Island property.
The animals were seized Thursday and Friday. An animal control officer said some of the animals were dying as they were being moved. Several carcasses also were found, as well as chicken bones.
Officials say the property owner is being cited for the excessive number of animals on the property, their condition and the lack of shelter, food and water.
McCook, Nebraska—Administrators from Hillcrest Nursing Home, McCook Clinic and Community Hospital are finding quarterly collaboration meetings improve processes of care for area patients who use services between their organizations. Their goal is to provide better care for some in perhaps the most vulnerable stage of life. Brad Cheek, Hillcrest Administrator, Brian Rokusek, McCook Clinic Practice Administrator and Troy Bruntz, Community Hospital President & CEO say they are developing new ideas to improve efficiencies and communication as Hillcrest patients access their services. For instance, one goal they have established is for residents from Hillcrest to have a follow up visit with a McCook Clinic provider within three to five days of discharge from Community Hospital. This will continue the continuity of care for a better transition, and add to the commitment and dedication of quality care, they said. “With timelier follow ups, we hope to reduce the chance of readmission to the hospital,” Bruntz added. They also want to offer joint education for nurses from all the facilities. Some of the education involves bringing training to McCook to assist with nursing requirements for ongoing licensure. But the administrators are also looking at community disaster drills and educational opportunities involving non-licensed staff. Finally, they want to improve communication between the organizations. “Improved or enhanced communication between our medical staff, physicians and caregivers, helps to avoid potentially preventable events, such as unnecessary ER visits, unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary clinic visits,” said Rokusek. He added that extra visits and transfers are hard on elderly patients; some have at least eight transfers from bed to wheelchair to van, etc., just for one doctor’s visit at the clinic. Embedded care coordinators at McCook Clinic are working with their patients who reside at Hillcrest to reduce unnecessary readmissions, visits and transfers to the clinic and hospital. This limits the patient’s distress and exhaustion. To also reduce trips outside the facility, physicians and therapists come to the residents. Dr. John West, Hillcrest’s new medical director, as well as all the family medicine physicians from McCook Clinic see patients at Hillcrest at least one half day per month. Also providing services at Hillcrest are Community Hospital physical, speech and occupational therapists. Other ways to improve communication and education are less conventional, such as McCook Clinic nurses shadowing Hillcrest nurses. “That would help them to recognize work flow and processes that happen at each facility,” Rokusek said. “Not only providing information and knowledge, but getting to know each other better; all leading to a more interactive team.” Besides the administrators, which have met at least twice, other teams have been created. The Transition of Care team is made up of nurses and social workers working in partnership between the facilities. Also, Whitney Kuhlen, Director of Nursing for Hillcrest has been meeting with Jane Backer, McCook Clinic Director of Nursing for the same purpose. “All of this to enhance overall health of our long-term care population,” Rokusek said. They are also encouraging the use of the electronic patient portal, Follow My Health,—the same portal is used at McCook Clinic and Community Hospital—to enhance communication between hospital, clinic and Hillcrest “A Caring Center.” The portal allows caregivers to view tests and lab results from both the clinic and the hospital to aid in the residents’ care.
“Our meeting together has strengthened our bond,” said Cheek. “We are committed to the health and the well-being of our community. Through our continued collaboration meetings we are developing new ideas,” he added. “It’s about playing a leading role,” said Bruntz. “It’s about the patient; they get better care because of our ability to collaborate.”
Administrators from Hillcrest Nursing Home, Brad Cheek (second from left); Community Hospital, Troy Bruntz and McCook Clinic, Brian Rokusek, welcome John West, M.D. (far left) as Hillcrest’s new medical director. Dr. West, a family medicine physician at McCook Clinic, also sees patients at Community Hospital and Hillcrest. The three administrators have been meeting quarterly to work on ideas “to enhance overall health of our long-term care population.”
GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado Department of Transportation is working to make a stretch of interstate from Denver to Nebraska friendlier for bees and butterflies.
The Greeley Tribune reports the state Legislature in May designated the stretch of Interstate 76 as the Colorado Pollinator Highway.
According to the department, this section was chosen because it runs through environmentally sensitive areas and is a key path for migratory butterflies.
Under the designation, a roadside manager will promote genetically appropriate plants for the area that are resistant to invasive species, and crews will not mow past 15 feet (4.5 meters) from the highway from April to September.
The department will also partner with groups to map roadside habitat and restore or improve those areas.
FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say a Colorado man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of his pregnant wife and their two young children.
Police in the town of Frederick said Chris Watts was taken into custody Wednesday. His 34-year-old wife, Shanann Watts, and their two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, were reported missing Monday.
The police said on Twitter early Thursday that Chris Watts will be held at the Weld County Jail. He has not yet been charged. It wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer.
Chris Watts spoke previously with The Denver Channel and pleaded for his family's safe return.
Authorities did not release any information on the whereabouts or conditions of Shanann or her daughters.
Police say they plan to release more information at a morning news conference.
On June 7th at about 7:30 PM Sergeant Wangler and another Officer responded to the residence located at 3410 16th Street in Columbus regarding an anonymous report that a wanted individual was at that location. In the course of the contact with the Suspect; 24 year old Jorje Robledo, a gunfight ensued. Initially, during the conflict, Robledo was armed with a handgun. As the situation developed, Robledo transitioned to a rifle. Both Wangler and Robledo were shot during the exchange and received multiple gunshot wounds.
Both Wangler and Robledo were initially taken to the Columbus Community Hospital and later to the University of Nebraska Medical Center by medical helicopter. Wangler is currently in stable condition, however he will require additional surgery relating to a wound in his neck. Robledo remains in critical condition.
Sergeant Wangler is a 19 year veteran of the Columbus Police. He is married and has two children.
We would like to extend our thanks to the Nebraska State Patrol, Platte County Sheriff's Department and the Omaha Police Department for the support they have offered in this matter.
The incident is being jointly investigated by the Columbus Police Department and Nebraska State Patrol.
McCook Community Hospital board of directors approved a Facility Master Plan resolution at the regular board meeting on November 15 authorizing Community Hospital to acquire an architect and apply for USDA funding for a new building project.
The project, simply called Project #1, will address these needs:
Medical Specialists Center. Some of the current visiting specialists clinic will be converted to McCook Clinic space for additional exam rooms. Additional square footage will be added for visiting specialists. The remodel will improve efficiency and allow for better patient/staff flow.
Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation. New square footage will be added to create a larger gym and department. The expansion will allow for additional equipment and put more space between equipment to address safety issues. A walking track around the gym is also being considered. The cardiopulmonary program includes Phase 2 and now offers Phase 3 in the department, causing the service to grow significantly since the gym was built in 2006.
Kitchen. The project includes a reconfigured workspace in the hospital kitchen for more efficient operation. Staff currently using the same space and layout from the original 1974 building. Since the ceiling, walls and flooring need to be replaced, the room layout will also be reconfigured for better work flow.
Laboratory. Work space will be reconfigured for more efficient operation.
Mobile Testing Trucks. The cardiac testing trucks and PET CT truck will be moved to a better, dedicated location.
Patient Entrances and parking. The rehabilitation entrance will be moved to the front (south side) of the hospital making it easier to find. The Medical Specialists Center entrance will be moved to the back of the hospital close to the current rehab entrance.
The project could start as early as this summer. A second project, Project #2 (ER and Injection Infusion expansions), will follow upon the completion of
Troy Bruntz, Community Hospital President & CEO explained the importance of dividing the building expansion and remodeling into two projects instead
of one. “Financially, it works out better for us. Two projects allow us shorter term borrowing with lower interest rates.” He added that much of the
project is needed due to changing government regulations.
Following the approved resolution, hospital staff will work with the architect to develop detailed designs of each of the spaces, solicit and select a
construction management firm and secure financing.
McCook, Neb.—Terri Shipshock, Executive Director of Community Hospital Health Foundation announced her retirement at the foundation board meeting on Tuesday. She plans to end her 13-year career at the foundation’s helm in early June following the 30th John Mullen Pro-Am golf tournament.
Both Bill Burton, Foundation Chair and Troy Bruntz, Community Hospital President & CEO as well as a foundation board member, said they will be working with Terri in the next five months to smooth the transition to the next executive director. Following Terri’s announcement at the meeting, the board set up a search committee to begin the process for her replacement.
They expressed their gratefulness for Terri’s years of service and all she has accomplished as director. “In the time Terri has been here, Community Hospital Health Foundation has raised more than $6 million,” Burton said. This includes raising $1.8 million for the Rehabilitation Center, a half million for the Healing Garden and nearly $4 million for the Anderson Center for Radiation Oncology; as well as multiple gifts that provided grants over the years to Community Hospital for medical equipment and services.
“In addition, the foundation has funded and awarded thousands of dollars for healthcare scholarships” he said.
“Terri’s fundraising events have been of the highest caliber and excellence. We are fortunate to have responsible, hard-working individuals like Terri associated with the Community Hospital Health Foundation and Community Hospital,” he added.
“We are happy for Terri and her family, and that she has the opportunity to move into this phase of her life,” Bruntz said. “We wish her only the best.”
Terri says she has very mixed feelings about retiring. “I have enjoyed my years in McCook and am grateful to Community Hospital and the community for the professional and personal fulfillment I have enjoyed in my role as executive director.”
Five McCook Community College softball players have been named to the Omaha World-Herald’s all Nebraska junior college team including sophomore Alexis Moeaki, who was named the team’s honorary captain. Also named to the team were sophomore Taya Thorpe and freshmen Emily Charchuk, Jerusha Miner and Chanel Siebenthal. McCook had a strong offense this spring as it hit .366 as a team and averaged 7.9 runs per game and dominated the all World-Herald team with five of the 14 players. Western Nebraska and Central Community College each had three players, Northeast Junior College had two and Southeast Community College had one. Moeaki, a sophomore from Las Vegas, set a school record with 76 RBIs this spring and hit.468, scored 61 runs, hit 22 doubles and 11 home runs. She finished as McCook’s career leader in batting average (.464), hits (176) and RBIs (142). Joining her in the infield was freshman Emily Charchuk, second base, from Victoria, British Columbia, who hit .439, scored 66 runs and drove in 34 RBIs. Two MCC freshman were named as out-fielders on the World-Herald team. Jerusha Miner, Gunnison Valley, Utah, batted .373 for the Lady Indians, scored 53 runs and led Region IX with 39 stolen bases. Chanel Siebenthal, outfielder from Lakewook, Colo., hit.406, scored 57 runs and stole 17 bases. Sophomore pitcher Taya Thorpe, Malad, Idaho, was one of three pitchers named to the team. She led MCC with a 21-20 record this past season, struck out 200 hitters and had a 5.43 earned-run average.
OMAHA WORLD-HERALD TWO-YEAR COLLEGE TEAM
C: Danica Schaefer, so., Central CC, .488, 39 R, 33 RBIs
1B: Savannah Robertson, so., Northeast CC, .471, 40 RBI, 50 R
2B: Emily Charchuk, fr., McCook CC, .439, 66 R, 34 RBIs
*SS: Alexis Moeaki, so., McCook CC, .468, 11 HRs, 76 RBIs
3B: Michaela Kelly, fr., Western Nebraska, .383, 14 HRs, 53 RBIs
OF: Madi Jackson, so., Western Nebraska, .421, 58 R, 39 RBIs
OF: Jerusha Miner, fr., McCook CC, .373, 53 R, 39 SBs
OF: Chanel Siebenthal, fr., McCook CC, .406, 57 R, 17 SBs
EP: Jessica Lusk, so., Southeast CC, .429, 16 HRs, 56 RBIs
U: Jenna Robinson, so., Central CC, .381, 13 HRs, 55 RBIs
P: Alayna Allen, fr., Northeast CC, 3.64 ERA, .404, 59 RBIs
P: Katelyn Keene, so., Central CC, 12-6, 3.21 ERA
P: Emma McMillan, fr., Western Nebraska, 14-19, 6.10 ERA
P: Taya Thorpe, so., McCook CC, 21-20, 200 Ks, 5.43 ERA
*— denotes honorary captain
Central CC - Shelby Behnk, Mackenzie Eller, Ashten Gibson.
North Platte CC - Emily Marsden, Hallei Morales, Erin Renwick, Ana Talaroc-Kaniho, Kenlee Wanlass.
Northeast - Jade Long, Emily Sherstone.
Southeast - Brooke Brestel, Cassidy Burkhardt, Jasmine Davis, Jenny Eacker, Kelsey Markey.
Western Nebraska - Brooke Doumer, Alyssa Guymon, Gabby Loya, Reagan Solomon.
The 2017 Southwest Conference Volleyball Tournament begins on Saturday, October 21st for the McCook Bison as they travel to Valentine. McCook is seeded 3rd and will take on 6th seed Broken Bow. View the link to see the full bracket.
Republican Plains Activity Conference All-Conference Volleyball 2017-2018
The 2017-18 RPAC All-Conference Boys and Girls Basketball Teams have been announced for the East and West divisions.
Padyn Borders Sr Broken Bow
Hunter Pothoff Sr McCook
Tristian Siemering Sr Cozad
Dillon Geiser Jr Cozad
Elijah Lovin Jr Minden
Kevin Linn Sr Broken Bow
Gage Delimont Jr Ainsworth
Cameron Raffaeli Jr Ogallala
Bennett Folkers Sr Gothenburg
Nate Neil Jr Cozad
Josh Harvey Jr Broken Bow
Clayton Stevens Sr McCook
Kooper Reece Sr Valentine
Josh Denney Jr Minden
AJ Whiting Sr Gothenburg
Adam Kroeger So Ogallala
Gracie Stienike Sr Gothenburg
Janessa Madsen Sr Minden
Sadie Rush Sr Cozad
Kali Staples Fr Broken Bow
Diana Reed Sr Ogallala
Bailey Honn Sr McCook
Jory Lowe Sr Broken Bow
Rylee Rice So Ainsworth
Alex Bauer Jr Minden
MacKenzie Smith Jr McCook
Jaden Bryant Sr McCook
Kennedy Berreckman Sr Cozad
Taylor Williams Jr Ogallala
Chiara Richeson Fr Gothenburg
Liviya Wier Fr McCook
Sheridan Bancroft- Valentine, Claire Steinhauser- Ainsworth, Tory Dehning Ogallala, Emily Arp-McCook, Arleigh Costello-Gothenburg, Hanna Wright-Cozad, Trinity Olson- Minden, Jaden Bryant-McCook, Kennedy Berreckman-Cozad, Bailey Honn-McCook, Jory Lowe Broken Bow, Kate Fox Broken Bow, Sadie Rush-Cozad, Janessa Madsen-Minden, Gracie Stienike-Gothenburg
Franklin wins the Alma Golf Invitational with a team score 366, Southern Valley comes in second with a 368, Loomis third with a 400, Cambridge in fourth place with a 428, Alma finishes fifth with a 432, finishing in sixth place was Bertrand 447, in seventh place was Elm Creek 458, and finishing eighth place was Arapahoe 512. View all the individual scores below.
The McCook Community College baseball team opens the 2018 season Saturday with a roster full of returning position players but a very young pitching staff.
MCC opens play Saturday in Liberal, Kan. against Seward County and Coach Jon Olsen will rely on his team’s experience and solid batting order to lead the team while the pitching staff develops.
The Indians return 10 guys who started games last year. “Technically we can start a player at every position who started at some point last year,” Olsen said.
On the mound, MCC’s 2018 roster has three pitchers with 40 innings of experience between them. The Indians must reload a pitching staff that set a school record for strikeouts in a season, 410. The trio of returners had 32.
“On the mound, we are going to be counting on guys to step up and do well for us as freshmen,” Olsen said. “We have 14 arms, only one who pitched more than 10 innings last year.” The Indians will have six true freshman among the pitchers and with five transfers.
“We have some talented arms in this program but some of them don’t have a ton of experience,” Olsen said.
MCC is coming off a 29-27 season and a 20-16 conference mark, which was fourth best in what has become a highly-competitive Empire Conference that includes Western Nebraska, Northeastern JC, Trinidad State, Lamar, Otero, and Miles. 2017 marked MCC’s first back-to-back playoff appearances since the post-season format changed in 2008. The top four teams in the standings advance to the post-season playoffs.
The coach doesn’t look for falloff from any conference foes.
“I have a ton of respect for the coaches in this conference, they all get things done in different ways but if you don’t show up ready to play in any conference game, you’re going to get beat,” Olsen said.
He pointed out the top five teams in the conference were separated by three games in the standings.
Olsen said in looking at all the teams it’s difficult to say that one team is a clear-cut favorite.
“Every team is a little like us, really strong in one area and some questions in other areas. There isn’t one team with a ton of experience in both pitching and offense. This conference is going to be a wide-open dogfight,” Olsen said.
Sophomore bats will be the key for the Indians to make it a third straight playoff appearance. Last year MCC dropped its first six conference games before the playoff run.
First baseman/outfield Jacob Sanford, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, earned first team Region IX honors last year and catcher Dylan White, Las Vegas, was a second-team all-region selection as a freshman.
The Indian offense has players who produced well as freshmen. Of the eight position players with at least 18 games played, they collectively had 1,030 plate appearances while hitting .297 with 31 homeruns, 150 RBIs, a .386 on-base average and a .469 slugging percentage.
Olsen is expecting even better production from this core-group of sophomores and key offensive contributions from his newcomers but he said with inexperienced pitchers, it will be imperative MCC step up its defense.
“Last year we were bad defensively, but we had high strikeout guys on the mound that shielded our defense.”
The first of 25 scheduled home games is set for Feb. 21 when the Indians take on Colby in a nine-inning 3 p.m. Game. MCC has home doubleheaders scheduled with Hastings JV Feb. 22 and against Northeast CC Feb. 28.
Here is a look at the 2018 Indians by position:
CATCHER: Sophomore Dylan White and freshman Beau Hawley, Greeley, Colo., are expected to see the majority of the action. White hit .348 last season with five homers and 19 RBI. When he was injured during the fall, Hawley was able to step in and get a lot of experience. “Dylan had a good year for us and is a good defender as well, and with the experience Beau got in the fall I’m pretty happy with where we are there,” Olsen said.
FIRST BASE: Jay Sanford will anchor the MCC lineup as the Indians’ top returning hitter batting .345 with 11 homeruns and 39 RBI. The sophomore will play first base and also leftfield, which will allow Jonny Giunta, Milton, Ontario, (who started 14 games last year) time in the lineup.
MIDDLE INFIELD: Four sophomores are expected to fill the lineup this year at second base, shortstop, and third base. Jason Hill, Surrey, B.C., started 44 games last year and batted .313 with a .435 on-base percentage. Mike Sookdeo, Bramton, Ontario, played mostly at DH last year where he hit .237 with seven homeruns and 32 RBI and will likely see time at third base this year. Angel Mojica, Denver, is one of MCC’s most improved players according to Olsen having played 16 games last year with a .194 batting average. Hunter Rynders, Centennial, Colo., can play all infield spots and saw action in 18 games last year batting .300. Of his incoming freshman the coach has tabbed Julio Seperich, Las Vegas, as his best overall defender on the team both in the infield and the outfield. Olsen expects him to see starts at second base, third, shortstop and centerfield. Freshman Jacob Reid, Mississauga, Ontario, is a player who can provide very good offense and Mark Starks, Blair gives the Indians depth and offensive pop off the bench.
OUTFIELD: In addition to Sanford and Seperich, three returning sophomores look to frequent the lineup from the outfield. Tanner Zeggil, Stagner, Ontario, played in 46 games a year ago and batted .310 with a pair of home runs. Chris Bellemere, Grande-Carriere, Quebec, started 17 games and homered three times and drove in 10 with a .203 batting average and .390 slugging. Dalton Barling, Ashland, saw action in 16 games batting .212,
STARTING PITCHING: McCook High School’s Kaden Sitzman emerges as the staff’s most experienced pitcher appearing in 16 games, starting four, and compiling a 3-3 record in 29.1 innings with 25 strikeouts. Other candidates for the starting rotation include: Jacob Lombardelli, Windsor, Colo., Connor McGonigal, Omaha Burke, and high school teammates Jesse Bloom and Ryan Marstiller, Centennial, Colo.
BULLPEN: Sophomore Tyler Cox, Mississauga, emerged as the top relief pitcher during fall camp. He appeared in five games, threw 8.1 innings and posted a 1-0 record with a 2.16 earned run average last season. The other sophomore is David Perez, Las Vegas, who worked in three innings last year over four appearances. Freshmen pitchers with a chance to work their way into key roles include: Shaun Hickey, Summerville, N.B.; Connor Williams, Milton, Ontario; Casey Quagliano, Colby, Kan.; Keyshawn Royal, Tampa; and three Greeley, Colo., pitchers in Spencer Ray, Braydon Peif and Micah Dorsey.
KANSAS CITY, MO – The National Association of Basketball Coaches announced today the matchups for the championship round of the 2018 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker. All four games of the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO., will be aired live on ESPN networks.
On Monday, November 19, Nebraska will take on Missouri State at 6 pm CT on ESPNU, followed by USC and Texas Tech at 8:30 pm ET on ESPN2. On Tuesday, November 20, the consolation game will tip off at 6 pm CT on ESPN3, followed by the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker championship game at 8:30pm ET on ESPN2.
Tickets for the championship round games at Sprint Center will be available beginning at 10:00am CT on August 4th by visitingwww.halloffameweekend.com,www.axs.com, by phone at 888-929-7849, or in person at Sprint Center Box Office.
The Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker will be the culminating event of college basketball’s Hall of Fame Weekend, which also includes the 13th annual induction ceremony for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. That event will take place on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City.
---- CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS ----
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo.
Monday, November 19 – 6:00 PM CT
Nebraska vs. Missouri State (ESPNU)
USC vs. Texas Tech (ESPN2)
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo.
Tuesday, November 20 – 6:00 PM CT
Consolation Game (ESPN3)
Championship Game (ESPN2)
Those four schools will serve as the four host round participants for this year’s Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker, with the opening round games of the tournament beginning on November 6th. Each of those teams will play two games on campus, before advancing to the championship rounds in Kansas City. Joining the four host teams in the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker are Mississippi Valley State, Robert Morris, Southeastern Louisiana and Stetson. The complete list of games for the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by Shot Tracker are as follows:
---- HOST ROUNDS ----
Springfield Regional Rounds
JQH Arena – Springfield, MO
Friday, November 9 – Time TBD
Robert Morris at Missouri State
Sunday, November 11 – Time TBD
Stetson at Missouri State
Lubbock Regional Rounds
United Supermarkets Arena– Lubbock, TX
Friday, November 9 – Time TBD
Mississippi Valley State at Texas Tech
Tuesday, November 13 – Time TBD
Southeastern Louisiana at Texas Tech
Lincoln Regional Rounds
Pinnacle Bank Arena – Lincoln, NE
Tuesday, November 6 – Time TBD
Mississippi Valley State at Nebraska
Sunday, November 11 – Time TBD
Southeastern Louisiana at Nebraska
Los Angeles Regional Rounds
Galen Center – Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, November 6 – Time TBD
Robert Morris at USC
Wednesday, November 14 – Time TBD
Stetson at USC