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Representatives of the State of Nebraska, the City of Grand Island and White Lotus Group of Omaha, Nebraska met at the Grand Island Veterans’ Home to close the transfer of the property.  The closing was done as a three way transaction with the State deeding their interest in the property to the Grand Island Community Redevelopment Authority (CRA) and the CRA immediately deeding their interest to the H.E.L.P. Foundation of Omaha, Nebraska, a charitable foundation arm of the White Lotus Group that will hold the property while it is being renovated and repurposed.

The White Lotus Group and the local partners Chief Industries and O’Connor Enterprises were selected by a group of Grand Island leaders along with representative of the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services as the most responsive and best option of the proposals submitted for redevelopment of the property.  The State, CRA and White Lotus Group have been working on the details of the transfer since September of 2019.  

Mayor Roger Steele was in attendance at the closing and had this to say about the project and process, “It has been a pleasure to work the State of Nebraska toward this goal.  There were times when we were unsure how to move forward but the teams from the State, the City and White Lotus Group were always able to regroup and find a path forward. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and cooperation of all parties in getting this project to this new starting point.  I look forward to seeing the redevelopment proposed by White Lotus Group and their partners.  Our goal is to keep the Veterans’ Home Campus a vibrant part of our community”.

Tom Gdowski, Chair of the Grand Island CRA, was also in attendance to finalize paperwork on the transfer and said “The Grand Island CRA is very happy to have been able to help facilitate the transfer of this historic property between the State of Nebraska and White Lotus Group and their partners.  The mission of the CRA is to take actions to remove, prevent or inhibit physical deterioration of those areas of the City identified as blighted and substandard by the Grand Island City Council. The loss of the Veterans’ Home as an active part of the community could certainly have exacerbated those conditions. This is an opportunity to continue in the tradition of honoring our veterans and the history of this facility as White Lotus Group and their partners step forward to renovate and repurpose the property.”

“Our goal in Administrative Services has been to work with the Grand Island community and city administration to transfer this property in a way befitting its noble historical mission while meeting the aspirations of the community,” said DAS Director Jason Jackson.  “The State appreciates the partnership of Mayor Steele and the city administration throughout this process.”

Delaney Nelson, Vice President of Development for White Lotus Group speaking on behalf of the group and their partners expressed their excitement to begin the next phase of this project.

Now that White Lotus Group has secured the property they will begin planning the redevelopment in earnest.  Over the next year they plan to secure permanent financing for the project and fully develop the project plans.  The first phase will likely involve the redevelopment of the buildings on the west side of the property for senior independent living.  It is expected that these renovated units will be offered to the general public with a preference for veterans to honor the history of this site.

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Free tuition is available for qualifying individuals whose employment has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. 


Mid-Plains Community College is partnering with the Department of Economic Development and Nebraska Department of Labor to provide the Nebraska Workforce Retraining Initiative.


As part of the initiative, individuals who have lost their jobs or are underemployed as a result of COVID-19 can apply for scholarships to help them receive training for high-wage, high-demand careers and industries. 


Both short-term for-credit and non-credit course offerings are available through MPCC. The programs include:


  • Administrative Assistant

  • Area Networking-Plus

  • Automotive Basic Engine/Electrical

  • Automotive Suspension/Alignment Repair

  • Diesel Basic Engine/Electrical

  • Diesel Power Train

  • Forklift/Scissor Lift/Telehandler/Skidsteer

  • HVAC/Furnace

  • Medication Aide

  • Nurse Aide

  • Bundle: Medication Aide/Nurse Aide

  • Microsoft Office 2019/Office 365 Suite

  • Microsoft Office 2019/Office 365 Value Suite

  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2019/Office 365 Suite

  • Microsoft Word 2019/Office 365 Suite

  • Microsoft Excel 2019/Office 365 Suite

  • Bundle: Microsoft Office 2019/Office 365 Value Suite, Quick Books Pro, Administrative Assistant

  • Plumbing Basics

  • QuickBooks Pro

  • Tile installation


Applications and program details are available atmpcc.edu/RetrainNE. Amy Sabatka, area career placement coordinator, can also provide more information at (308) 535-3619 orsabatkaa@mpcc.edu



Amy Sabatka Talks About Tuition Program

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JULY 14, 2020 (GRAND ISLAND, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) arrested a Utah man following a pursuit on Interstate 80 Monday evening. The pursuit began in York County and ended in Grand Island.

At approximately 8:00 p.m. Monday, troopers were notified that Seward County Sheriff’s Deputies had attempted to stop a westbound Chevrolet Camaro for speeding near mile marker 377 on I-80. The vehicle fled at a high rate of speed. A trooper observed the same vehicle traveling at 150 miles per hour at mile marker 361, near Waco. It then drove through a lane closed for construction, striking traffic cones, as it continued westbound. Seward County Deputies then lost visual and discontinued the pursuit.

Another motorist reported the speeding vehicle a short time later and additional troopers responded. A trooper located the vehicle near mile marker 342 and attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle again fled. Troopers initiated a pursuit.

The vehicle then exited at mile marker 324, near Giltner, and began traveling westbound on Highway 34 at 155 miles per hour. As the vehicle entered Grand Island, troopers discontinued the pursuit out of concern for the public, but additional troopers searched the area for the vehicle.

The vehicle was found abandoned a short time later. Troopers searched the area and were able to locate the suspect, Dustin La Rosa, 23, of Utah, at a hotel on South Locust Street. La Rosa was arrested for operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, willful reckless driving, no operator’s license, fail to report an accident, numerous traffic violations, and possession of drug money. He was lodged in Hall County Jail.

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Covid-19 has altered, but not defeated plans to get back to school.

Grand Island Public Schools announced their plans for reopening in August last night. 
Superintendent Dr. Tawana Grover said social distancing may not be achievable at all times, so face coverings will be required for students on-site.
Grover says input from the community, staff and health department officials have, and will continue to play a vital role in the success of the reimagined plan 


In a letter to parents, Northwest Superintendent Dr. Jeff Edwards said they plan to open on August 13th but added that they will continue to monitor and analyze details of COVID-19 and any potential restrictions, guidelines or recommendations that will be in place to start school. Additional information in regard to the opening of the 2020-2021 school year on Thursday, August 13th will be provided on Thursday, July 30th which is 2-weeks prior to the start of school. 



KRGI morning newscast for July 9th 2020

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Nebraska voters will likely get the chance to vote on a measure intended to "Keep The Money In Nebraska."

The issue, a series of three ballot measures to expand, tax and regulate casino gaming in Nebraska. 

70% of the money kept in the state, would be kept in the form of property tax relief, and would be a shift in the bunts and singles passed over the last decade at the state capital to potentially, a grand slam. 

The pro expanded gaming group submitted over 475,000 signatures for its three petitions to allow casino gambling at horse-racing tracks, only if the community feels it will be beneficial.

All of the petitions will go to the Nebraska secretary of state's office, for validation. That announcement is expected sometime next month 

KRGI News Special Report: Keep The Money In Nebraska

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JUNE 30, 2020 (GRAND ISLAND, NEB.)  — Two troopers were assaulted during a situation which began with a report of a man walking into traffic on Interstate 80 near Grand Island.

Troopers responded to the scene at approximately 9:30 p.m. Monday after receiving the report that a man appeared to be attempting to step in front of traffic. Vehicles were swerving to avoid the man.

When a trooper arrived on scene, the man was laying in the westbound passing lane of I-80 near mile marker 318. The trooper was able to remove the man from I-80. The subject spit on the trooper while being placed in the patrol vehicle.

Because of the mental state of the subject, the trooper made arrangements to place the man in emergency protective custody. He was then transported to St. Francis Hospital in Grand Island for a medical check. During the medical check, the man punched another trooper in the face. The man was restrained for the remainder of the medical check.

Upon receiving medical clearance, the man was transported to Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings where he was placed in Emergency Protective Custody. Charges are pending following release from protective custody.

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JUNE 30, 2020 (LINCOLN, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have arrested two people following pursuits near Lincoln and Scottsbluff.

At approximately 6:00 p.m. MT Monday, troopers observed a GMC Suburban, which had previously been reported stolen, traveling westbound on Highland Road, several miles east of Scottsbluff. The troopers attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle refused to stop.

Troopers initiated a pursuit, which following the suspect vehicle north on County Road 27, then west on Lake Minatare Road. The Suburban then drove into a field where it became stuck. The driver, Zachary Hirsch, 36, of Scottsbluff, was arrested without further incident. Hirsch complained of breathing issues and was transported to Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, where it was determined that Hirsch had eaten multiple grams of methamphetamine.

Hirsch remained in the hospital for treatment overnight and will be lodged in Scotts Bluff County Jail for possession of a stolen vehicle, flight to avoid arrest, willful reckless driving, possession of methamphetamine, and driving under suspension.

At approximately 1:45 a.m. CT Tuesday, a trooper observed an eastbound Acura TLX sedan speeding on Interstate 80 near Milford at mile marker 382. The trooper clocked the Acura at 123 miles per hour. The trooper attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle refused to stop and continued at a high rate of speed. The trooper initiated a pursuit.

The vehicle exited I-80 on West O Street in Lincoln at mile marker 395 and began traveling westbound on O Street. As the vehicle continued at a high rate of speed, the trooper discontinued the pursuit out of caution for public safety. A short time later, another trooper located the vehicle traveling southbound at 98 miles per hour on NW 48th Street. The trooper was able to perform a traffic stop on the vehicle and take the driver into custody.

The driver, Jeffrey Hackett, 21, of Glastonbury, Connecticut, was arrested for flight to avoid arrest, reckless driving, and traffic violations. He was lodged in Lancaster County Jail.

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (June 30, 2020) — The Nebraska State Fair Board voted to hold a 2020 State Fair showcasing 4-H and FFA competitions and exhibitions. While the Fair will look different than it has in the past, providing an opportunity for young people to showcase the work they have been doing throughout the year as it is important to the State Fair and to the future of our state. The 2020 State Fair will include 4-H and FFA livestock competitions, contests, presentations, and static exhibits. 

“All events and activities will follow the most up-to-date directive health measures,” said Beth Smith, board chair for Nebraska State Fair. “We hold the youth and families involved in 4-H and FFA near and dear to us. 4-H and FFA youth have been hard at work for months preparing their exhibits and livestock, and this gives them the opportunity to showcase those efforts.”

“Nebraskans have always been supportive of the education of our young people,” said the Nebraska 4-H and the FFA Board of Directors. “The focus of the 2020 Nebraska State Fair on 4-H and FFA is another example of our state looking toward the future by celebrating the success of our youth. We are thrilled to have the to opportunity showcase the work of Nebraska’s next generation of leaders.”

In addition to the youth events, visitors can partake in Raising Nebraska, an interactive space dedicated to the food and the families that grow it as well as a variety of Nebraska Game and Parks activities. Depending on Grand Island’s phase progress, there is the potential to include more concessions, amusement rides, motor sport activities, and taverns. Stay tuned to statefair.org for additional announcements.

“We are excited to announce that gate admission will be free,” said Smith. “This year has been difficult, so we see this as an opportunity for our community to come together and enjoy a part of Nebraska history and culture.”

The health and safety of the community is and always will be the highest priority in producing the annual Fair. In the interest of public health, the State Fair will provide additional $30,000 to manage cleaning and sanitizing throughout the event. At the present moment, restrooms will be cleaned at minimum once every two hours with full-time restroom attendants present. The frequency and number of attendants will adjust to the crowd size.

Nebraska State Fair continues to work closely on public health issues with a variety of local and national public health agencies, including the Nebraska Governor, Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Central District Health Department and City of Grand Island. Fair organizers will continue to collaborate with these expert partners, watching for any new developments around COVID-19 that would impact the Fair operation, and make modifications accordingly.

Concerts

Nebraska State Fair has canceled large concerts including, Jon Pardi on Sept. 3, Dustin Lynch on Sept. 4, the dual show of Clay Walker and Clint Black on Sept. 6. In addition, the tour canceled the Big Rock Summer Tour featuring Ratt, Skid Row and Quiet Riot. Many performers and musicians share the safety concerns of Nebraskans’. While they want to be with their fans, they know it isn’t an option at this time. We look forward to welcoming talented musicians to the 2021 Nebraska State Fair. Advanced sales of concert and/or gate admission tickets will be refunded through Etix. Questions regarding refunds should be directed to Etix at www.etix.com. 

Nebraska State Fair will be releasing additional information as it becomes available ahead of the event. Dates will be available as well as answers to questions at statefair.org. For more information on the Aksarben Stock Show, visit aksarbenstockshow.com.

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 Building on its ongoing sustainability and social responsibility efforts, JBS USA, an American-based food company, announced plans today to invest $4 million in Nebraska to help local communities respond to coronavirus and invest in the future.
 
The investment is part of a new, national $50 million initiative called Hometown Strong that adds to commitments JBS USA has made this year to protect employees and ensure their job security amid the global pandemic.
 
“The rural towns and communities where we live and work are the key to our success and Grand Island, Nebraska, is home to one of the centerpieces of American agriculture,” said Tim Schellpeper, President of JBS USA Fed Beef, which includes the Grand Island fresh beef facility. “We are proud to work with local producers, local businesses and our community to deliver the highest quality beef to Nebraskans and the world.”
 
“The coronavirus pandemic has created challenges for society that no one could have predicted,” said Shannon Grassl, President of JBS USA Regional Beef, which includes the Omaha fresh beef facility. “The Hometown Strong initiative is one of the ways we are helping our communities respond to those challenges and build for the future.”
 
JBS USA will partner with local officials and community leaders in Grand Island and Omaha to identify investment projects that strengthen these hometowns where the company’s team members live and work.
 
“Nebraska’s farmers, ranchers and food processors have helped keep grocery shelves stocked across America during the pandemic,” said Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. “Thank you to JBS USA for the generous investment in Grand Island and Omaha and ongoing commitment to partner with the Cornhusker State to grow our future together.”
 
JBS USA has a significant presence in the state of Nebraska, employing 4,300 people and paying local producers nearly $2.5 billion each year to support two Nebraska facilities, including fresh beef production facilities in Grand Island and Omaha. An important contributor to the Nebraska economy, JBS USA has an annual payroll in Nebraska of more than $191 million, and contributed nearly $34 million in taxes and more than $84 million in capital investments over the last five years.
 
Nationally, the $50 million investment – one of the largest of its kind being made – will include donations to alleviate food insecurity, strengthen long-term community infrastructure and well-being, and support COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts. All funds will be committed by the end of the year.
 
JBS USA anchors dozens of rural communities – operating more than 60 meat, poultry and prepared foods plants and employing 62,000-plus people. JBS USA has invested more than $100 million to enhance safeguards for team members and nearly $100 million to reward them with thank-you bonuses and increased wages. This includes hiring more than 1,000 new team members to conduct additional, around-the-clock sanitation and cleaning services, and to provide education, training and enforcement of COVID-19 preventive measures.

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Grand Island, Neb.— The following is an update on Parks and Recreation Department Facilities.

The following facilities will open Tuesday, June 23:
Park Playgrounds
Park Restrooms
Splash Pad in Veterans Athletic Park

The following facilities will be open Wednesday, July 1:
Outdoor park basketball courts
Skate Park in Pier Park
Futsal Court in Lions Club Park
Gaga Ball Court in George Park
The playgrounds, splash pad, courts, and skate park will not be regularly disinfected. Visitors are reminded use park facilities at their own risks. The park restrooms will be cleaned one time each day.

Lincoln Park Swimming Pool opens Wednesday, July 1:
The public may register to swim for two hour swimming sessions each day: 9:00 am – 11:00 am, 11:20 am – 1:20 pm, 1:40 pm – 3:40 pm, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, and 6:20 pm – 8:20 pm. Cost for each session is: $3.00 youth ages 5-15, $4.00 for ages 16 – 54, $3:00 seniors 55 and over. Children age 4 and under free with a paying adult. Two hour pool party: $300
Visit www.giparks.com for Lincoln Pool swimming session registration and instructions.
 
Park Facilities and Programs Closed or Cancelled for the Summer:
Island Oasis Water Park
Stolley Train
Summer Concert Series
Wading Pools – Pier, Lincoln, Stolley, and Grace Abbott Parks
Swimming Lessons, Children’s Park Camps, and Children’s Theater – Refunds will be issued.
 
Please contact the Parks and Recreation Office at 308-389-0290 or website www.giparks.com for questions.


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Beginning June 18th NSAA member schools are permitted to participate in camps, clinics, and summer leagues in all NSAA sanctioned activities except basketball, football, soccer, and wrestling.

Effective immediately NSAA member schools may hold open gyms for basketball, football, soccer, and wrestling with the following restrictions:

Individual skills and workouts only
No physical contact with others
No sharing of equipment
No grouping of students
Open gym supervisors are required to enforce the above restrictions.

For more information and a full statement on this issue visit the NSAA websitehere




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The North Platte Community College athletic department has made the decision to call off most of its youth and team camps amid current COVID-19 restrictions.

All volleyball and women’s basketball camps have been cancelled, including the joint camps scheduled for July 8-10 and July 13-15. The volleyball and women’s basketball team camps planned for July 6-7 and July 25 are also off.

Additionally, the men’s basketball team has cancelled all of its individual camps. A team camp is still being considered for men’s basketball, pending state health measures.

Refunds can be received by contacting head volleyball coach Alexa McCall at mccalla@mpcc.edu or head women’s basketball coach Jeff Thurman at thurmanj@mpcc.edu.

 




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NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball’s amateur draft began with the first of a pandemic-shortened five rounds. Arizona State slugger Spencer Torkelson was taken with the No. 1 overall pick by the Detroit Tigers. The Baltimore Orioles selected Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad at No. 2. Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer was third and went to Miami. Texas A&M lefty Asa Lacy was No. 4 to Kansas City. Vanderbilt shortstop Austin Martin went to Toronto to round out the first five picks.  

CHICGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs selected hometown shortstop Ed Howard in the first round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft. The 18-year-old Howard was a prep star at Mount Carmel High School on Chicago’s South Side. He also started for the 2014 Jackie Robinson West Little League team that advanced to the finals of the Little League World Series. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Howard went No. 16 overall, becoming the first Illinois high school position player to go in the first round since Jayson Werth in 1997.

UNDATED(AP) — Six women have filed civil lawsuits against USA Swimming, its local associations in California and three now-banned coaches claiming the national governing body failed to protect them from abuse by those coaches. Debra Grodensky, Suzette Moran and Tracy Palmero, along with three other women who remain anonymous, filed three lawsuits this month. Among individuals named in the suits are former U.S. Olympic and national team coach Mitch Ivey, former U.S. national team director Everett Uchiyama and former coach Andrew King.

UNDATED (AP) — NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag from all events and properties. NASCAR says the Confederate flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.” Former chairman Brian France in 2015 tried to ban the flying of Confederate flags at racetracks, a proposal too broad to enforce and one that angered NASCAR’s core Southern-based fan base. Bubba Wallace, the lone black driver in the series, had called for the ban. He says it has been a stressful couple of weeks. 

UNDATED (AP) — Two-time All-Star outfielder Claudell Washington has died at age 65. Washington had been battling prostate cancer. He played with seven teams in a major league career that started as a 19-year-old in Oakland with the Athletics. He finished with 1,884 hits, 164 home runs and 312 stolen bases. Washington made the All-Star Game in 1975 with the A’s and in 1984 with the Atlanta Braves during his 17-year career.




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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR is set to allow fans back at the track for races this month at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR will allow up to 1,000 Florida service members, representing the Homestead Air Reserve Base and U.S. Southern Command in Doral, to attend the Cup Series race Sunday as honorary guests and view the race from the grandstands. Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama will allow up to 5,000 guests in the frontstretch grandstands/towers for the June 21 Cup race. There will be limited motorhome/camping spots available outside the track.

NEW YORK (AP) — The players are moving toward Major League Baseball with their latest proposal for starting the pandemic-delayed season. They are offering to cut the regular season to 89 games, a day after MLB cut its proposed schedule to 76 games. However, the two sides remain far apart economically. The players remain adamant they receive full prorated salaries.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State University says multiple student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 after some teams started returning to the Idaho campus for workouts. The Idaho Statesman reported that the university declined to say how many or what sport those athletes played, citing federal privacy laws. The Statesman previously reported that the football and women’s soccer teams started to return to campus last week for volunteer workouts. University spokesperson Joe Nickell says about 40 student-athletes underwent COVID-19 testing before workouts could begin Monday. Those who tested positive are expected to follow guidance from health care providers before returning to campus.

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have welcomed six young coaches, including two women and former NFL player Leonard Hankerson, to take part in the final three weeks of their offseason program. The coaches are part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, which provides experience to young coaches working with NFL teams to potentially land full-time jobs. Hankerson played four seasons with Washington. He's in his second season coaching wide receivers at Stephen F. Austin. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said diversity will always be an important component for Cleveland's organization.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter has undergone surgery to repair a core muscle injury. The Kings say Carter had surgery last week. The veteran Stanley Cup winner is expected to be fully healthy for next season. Carter was injured in a game at Winnipeg on Feb. 18, and he missed the final 10 games of the Kings’ season. Los Angeles is among the seven teams that won’t be returning to action when the NHL resumes competition this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.

UNDATED (AP) — Seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson will make his penultimate visit to Martsinville Speedway tomorrow. Johnson leads all drivers with nine victories on the paper-clip shaped oval in Virginia. He hasn't won there since the fall of 2016. Johnson's overall winless streak climbed to 105 with his seventh-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was his second straight race finishing in the top seven.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Paul “Rocky” Rochester, a defensive lineman on the New York Jets’ Super Bowl-winning team in 1969, has died. He was 81. Rochester began his pro football career with the Dallas Texans in 1960 and played three-plus seasons with the AFL team that would become the Kansas City Chiefs. He signed with the Jets shortly after being released by the Chiefs and became their starting left defensive tackle. He capped his playing career by helping Joe Namath and the Jets win the franchise’s first and still only Super Bowl title. 





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Hastings, Neb. - Wisbech, England-native Jade Ovendale will be joining Hastings College as the new Head Women’s Soccer Coach Athletic Director BJ Pumroy announced on Tuesday. Ovendale comes to Bronco Nation after spending the past two seasons as the head women’s coach at Northern Oklahoma College following three seasons as assistant men’s coach.

"I am honored and excited for the opportunity to lead the women's soccer program at Hastings College,” Ovendale continued. “I'm overjoyed and thankful for BJ Pumroy and the rest of the search committee in providing this fantastic opportunity. It was clear throughout the process that those at Hastings are passionate and dedicated to the success of their student-athletes both academically and athletically."

With NOC being a junior college institution, Ovendale saw 33 of her former players receive athletic scholarships to finish out their careers at four year institutions. Two of them went on to play NCAA DI, 12 went NCAA DII and 19 went on to play in the NAIA.

"My philosophy is built around an offensive style of soccer which I believe matches well with Hastings' history of being a dominant presence in the GPAC,” Ovendale said. “The program has a strong tradition of excellence and I want to continue building on that. I am ready to meet the team and get the season started."

Ovendale provides a wealth of experience having professional certificates like the USSF E License, FA Level 1 Talent Identification, and USC Goalkeeper Level 1 Diploma. 

“We had a deep pool of candidates for the position and Jade rose to the top,” said Pumroy. “Coach Ovendale’s commitment to success on the field and in the classroom brought her forth as the right fit to lead our storied women’s soccer program.  With her honors as NAIA player and scholar and transition to coaching I foresee Coach Ovendale maintaining the accolades of our program and keeping us in the hunt for GPAC and National Titles and academic awards.”

Ovendale graduated from University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma receiving her Bachelors of Science in Physical Education and Recreation in 2015 with cum laude honors. She later received her Masters of Education in Sports Administration from East Central University in 2018. She played her final two years of soccer for USAO where she scored 50 goals, dished out 17 assists for 143 points in her Drover career. She was named to the NAIA Honorable Mention All-American team in 2014 following her 32 goal season. She was also named Sooner Athletic Conference Player and Offensive Player of the Year and Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete. Following her senior year she was awarded The Bill and Pat Smith Scholar-Athlete Award.  The award, which is given to up to two USAO senior athletes — one male and one female — each year, is presented to those students who best embody the concept of a student-athlete and uphold high ideals in scholarship, citizenship and athletic competition.




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The North Platte Community College men’s basketball team has announced four new recruits to their 2020-21 recruiting class.

“We are very excited to welcome these young men into our program,” said NPCC assistant men’s basketball coach Kade Erickson. “Each of these student athletes is highly motivated with great character. We believe they will thrive in our community here in North Platte.”

Steven Garcia comes to the Knights from North Platte High School, in North Platte. A 5’9” point guard, Garcia averaged 13.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game his senior season while shooting 40 percent from three the last two seasons.

He also broke the North Platte High School record for three pointers in a season with 59. Garcia was named to the Nebraska All-State team the last two seasons, 2020 GNAC All-Conference, All-Conference academic team and 2020 NCPA All-State.

“Steven is a very high character student athlete who was born to wear North Platte on his chest and will give 100 percent to this program and community,” said Erickson.

Torey Buie joins NPCC as a 6’2” point guard out of Hawthorne High School, in Hawthorne, Fla. Buie averaged 19.1 points, 4.6 assists and four rebounds per game as a senior. He helped lead the Hornets to a state championship while averaging 26 points per game in the tournament and being named the state tournament most valuable player.

Buie was named to the 1A All-State first team along with being named Orange Park Christmas Tournament MVP and Gainesville All-Area player of the year while finishing third in voting for 1A player of the year in Florida.

“Torey is a leader,” said Erickson. “He is a player that we believe can run this team and most of all he is a winner.”

Ethan Damerum travels across the Atlantic to join the Knights out of Loughborough College, in England. Damerum helped lead Loughborough College to an undefeated season in 2018-19 and was named a 2020 Deng Camp All-Star while being ranked #15 at the camp.

Damerum, a 6’10” forward/center, was also named a 2019 Hoopfix All-Star, a 2019 GB pathway player and a 2018 West Midlands All-Star.

“Ethan is a versatile big man who can stretch the floor and give defenses fits,” said Erickson. “He gives us an opportunity to be a top team in the region.”

Tyler Danburg, a 6’4” wing, comes to NPCC out of Axtell High School, in Axtell. Danburg averaged 15.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.5 steals and 1.7 assists per game as he helped lead the Wildcats to a 18-7 record during the 2019-20 season.

Danburg was named Fort Kearny Conference First Team, Kearney Hub All Area end team, Omaha World Herald and Lincoln Journal Star honorable mention, a member of the Fort Kearny Conference All-Star game and Heartland Hoops All-Star Game. He also excelled in football and track earning numerous honors in each.

“Tyler is a highly intelligent basketball player who knows where to be and when to be there,” said Erickson. “He will give us depth at the wing position.”

More information about NPCC athletics can be found online at npccknights.com




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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska says receiver JD Spielman has put his name into the transfer portal. Spielman is the first player to put together three straight 800-yard receiving seasons for the Cornhuskers and leaves No. 3 in career receptions and yards. Nebraska coach Scott Frost announced in March that Spielman had left the team to deal with an unspecified health matter and probably would miss all of spring practice. Spielman would have been a senior in eligibility this fall. It was unclear if he’s on track to graduate this summer, which would make him immediately eligible at his next school. He is the son of Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.



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NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is making another effort to start its season in early July. This time it’s proposing a 76-game regular season, that would expand the playoffs from 10 teams to as many as 16 and allow players to earn about 75% of their prorated salaries. MLB is asking the players’ union for an answer by Wednesday, saying it’s prepared to continue talking beyond that, but then it would have to be about a season with fewer games.

UNDATED (AP) — The National Football League has sent its team an outline for fully reopening their practice facilities. A memo written by Commissioner Roger Goodell and approved by the NFL Players Association describes protocols focusing on screening, testing, infection prevention and treatment for COVID-19, including response for new infections. However, there’s still no timetable. Until now, only players rehabilitating injuries have been allowed to enter the buildings.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs run of 22 consecutive playoff appearances may be in jeopardy when the season resumes. LaMarcus Aldridge has had surgery on his right shoulder and will miss the remainder of San Antonio’s season, whenever it might resume. The seven-time All-Star injured a shoulder in a February game at Utah. He did play in two games after getting hurt, including one in which he still managed to score 24 points.

UNDATED (AP) — Seven current or former black NHL players have formed a group aiming to fight racism and intolerance in hockey. The Hockey Diversity Alliance will be independent of the NHL but hopes to work with the league to promote diversity and inclusion. Akim Aliu and San Jose's Evander Kane will lead the group, which also includes Trevor Daley, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds, Chris Stewart and recently retired Joel Ward.

UNDATED (AP) — The coronavirus has been hitting Brazil hard, and that’s prompted the Brazilian Football Confederation to withdraw its bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup. It says it cannot offer FIFA the financial assurances it needs because of the impact of the pandemic. Instead, Brazil is backing Colombia’s bid against Japan and the joint candidacy of Australia and New Zealand. South America has never hosted the tournament.




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The North Platte Community College women’s basketball team has announced their 2020-21 recruiting class. Women’s basketball head coach Jeff Thurman made the announcement this week and is excited for the incoming student-athletes.

“Our 2020 recruiting class is filled with high-character student-athletes who will get it done on the basketball floor, but most importantly in the classroom,” said Thurman. “They will be highly competitive in all aspects of being a NPCC women’s basketball student-athlete.”

Kanesha Hall, of St. Petersburg, Fla., joins the Knights from Northeast High School. Kanesha, while averaging 12.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1 assist and 3.7 steals per game, also finished her high school career with several honors, including First Team All-County, First Team All-Conference, Pinellas County All-Star and Tampa Bay All-Star. Hall is also the career leader in points for Northeast High School with 1,310 career points.

“Kanesha is a special talent and an amazing addition to our program,” said Thurman. “She has been on our radar since her junior year. She is extremely competitive and has an edge about her. She brings scoring to the guard/wing position that we need. Her strength, athleticism and tenacity will assist her in contributing immediately, and we are excited to have her here at NPCC.”

Also joining the Knights from Northeast High School, in St. Petersburg, FL., is Jada Ballard. Ballard finished her senior season averaging 7.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. Ballard also finished her career at Northeast High School career with several honors, including First Team All-County, First Team All-Conference, Pinellas County All Star, Tampa Bay All Star and was a Team Co-MVP.

“Jada is a Swiss-Army knife type of player,” said Thurman. “She can do it all - defend, rebound, score, etc. Anything she is asked to do, she does. We look for Jada to play multiple positions and be an on-the-ball defender who will cause havoc each night. We are looking forward to having Jada on campus.”

Kayla Pope joins the Knights from North Mesquite High School, in Mesquite, Texas. Pope finished her senior season as a member of the Honor Roll and First Team All-District while averaging 14.6 points, 6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.

“Kayla is a hard-nosed, competitive type of student-athlete who can play both guard spots,” said Thurman. “She will bring length and athleticism to our wing/guard position and can flat out defend. We are thrilled to add Kayla to our program.”

Jocylin Sellers joins the Knights from nearby St. Pat’s High School, in North Platte. Sellers averaged 8.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game her senior season. She also finished her career with the honors of First Team All-Conference, Lincoln Journal Star Honorable Mention, Omaha World-Herald Honorable Mention and was part of an Irish team that made three state tournament appearances.

“Jocylin brings size and athleticism to the post and painted area that we definitely need,” said Thurman. “Her ability to control the painted area will benefit her at the collegiate level. An all-area performer who comes from a great high school program is something that we are thrilled about.”

Maddie Heinzen, of North Platte, joins the Knights out of Maxwell High School, in Maxwell. Heinzen was the 2020 valedictorian at Maxwell High School and was awarded several other honors, including President’s Education Achievement Award, NSAA/NCPA Academic All-State, 2020 Omaha World Herald Academic Scholar and was named an honorable mention to the RPAC All-Conference Team.

“Maddie is a wonderful local student-athlete whom we are excited to have join our program,” said Thurman. “Her length, athleticism and ability to play multiple positions along with defending multiple positions will benefit her at the collegiate level and is exactly what we look for in student-athletes here at NPCC.”

Azaria Lacour joins the Knights out of Sierra High School, in Colorado Springs, Colo. During her senior season, Lacour averaged 14 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 4.6 steals per game and was named to the Great 8 All-Conference Team.

“Azaria can play both guard positions for us,” said Thurman. “She can handle the ball at the point, but can score as well. She comes from a well-coached high school program, which will assist her at the college level. We are excited to have Azaria here at NPCC.”

Jordyn Moon, of Richfield, Utah., joins NPCC out of Richfield High School. Moon averaged 3.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2 steals per game while being name Academic All-Region with a 3.8 GPA. She was also named to the All-Region Team twice and was part of a high school team that qualified for the state tournament three times during her career.

“Jordyn is a flat out athlete,” said Thurman. “She is a team-first type of player who looks to get her teammates involved and will do the dirty work each night. She can play and defend multiple positions, rebounds and passes very well. We cannot wait to get Jordyn here.”

Diamond Moore joins the Knights out of Harrison High School, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Moore averaged 16.3 points and 12.7 rebounds per game while being named Team MVP. She also was named First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Metro League and was an All-State Honorable Mention.

“Diamond is a great addition to our program,” said Thurman. “She had an amazing senior season with great accomplishments. We are looking for Diamond to make an immediate impact this coming season. She can play both forward positions for us, score and rebound at a high-level. Her size, length and athleticism will make her a match-up problem for the other teams. We are excited to have Diamond here at NPCC.”

Casandra Olivas, of Thornton, Colo., joins NPCC out of Skyview High School. Olivas averaged 8.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as a team captain, while also being named to the First Team All-Colorado League and the CHSCA All-State Team.

“Casandra comes from a solid, well-coached high school program,” said Thurman. “She can play both forward positions for us and create mismatch issues at either position. Her basketball IQ is what sets her apart. She understands the game and plays it at her speed, which will translate to the collegiate game nicely. We can’t wait to have Casandra on campus.”

Kailey Brown joins the Knights as a transfer student-athlete out of Otero Junior College, in La Junta, Colo. Brown, originally from Far Northeast High School, in Denver, Colo., averaged 3.3 points and 1.5 assists per game for Otero last season. During her senior season at Far Northeast High School, Brown averaged 11 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 steals per game.

“We are excited to have Kailey join us as a transfer student-athlete,” said Thurman. “We are looking for her to come in and give us some leadership as a sophomore. Kailey knows what it takes to win at this level and how to be a college student-athlete. She is a competitor that can play both guard positions but excels at the point. She can score and set up her teammates to score.”

The 2020-21 recruiting class joins five returning Sophomores from the 2019-20 team that finished with a 10-21 record.




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HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Kevin Harvick picked up his second victory since NASCAR resumed its schedule, outpacing Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. inside Atlanta Motor Speedway. Harvick moved into sole possession of 12th place on the career victories list with 51, passing Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson. Three of those triumphs have come at Atlanta Motor Speedway, including in 2001 and 2018. Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished seventh in what was likely his final Cup race in Atlanta.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Former Cincinnati Bengals defensive back and five-time All-Pro Ken Riley has died at 72. Drafted by the Bengals in 1969, Riley had 65 career interceptions for 596 yards and five touchdowns in a 15-year career with the Bengals. He also recovered 18 fumbles, and his interception total ranks fifth in NFL history. He later became head coach and athletic director at Florida A&M.

ATLANTA (AP) — Former Atlanta Falcons and St. Louis Cardinals defensive end John Zook has died in his native Kansas after a long battle with cancer. Zook teamed with Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey to give the Falcons a dynamic combination at defensive end from 1969-75. Zook never missed a game during his tenure with the Falcons, starting 97 of 98 contests. He made his only Pro Bowl appearance in 1973, joining Humphrey in the all-star game.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Former University of Florida and NFL wide receiver Reche Caldwell was fatally shot Saturday night in his hometown. Caldwell's mother confirmed her son's death to the Tampa Bay Times, saying police told her they believe her son was ambushed outside his home in a possible robbery attempt. Caldwell was drafted by San Diego in the second round in 2002. He had 152 catches for 1,851 yards and 11 touchdowns in six NFL seasons.

GREEN BAY, Wisc. (AP) — Will Ryan is the new men’s basketball coach at Green Bay, replacing Linc Darner. The son of former Wisconsin hoops coach Bo Ryan comes to Green Bay after posting a 14-13 record in his lone season as the head coach at Division II program Wheeling in West Virginia. Darner went 92-80 and posted a winning record in all but one of his five seasons with the Phoenix.




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