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The finance director of the Nebraska State Fair has resigned, saying the state fair may be on the verge of bankruptcy.


Patrick Kopke resigned Friday at a meeting of the fair board, telling members that his concerns about excessive spending had not been addressed.

Kopke told the board the State Fair, which has been held in Grand Island since 2010, has lost money the last two years. He projected the fair to be nearly $1.7 million in the red for 2019 and could be forced to file for bankruptcy next year.

Former Grand Island mayor Jeremy Jensen, who is chairman of the fair board’s finance committee,says that Kopke's projection was premature.




Following Kopke’s resignation, the board approved a new budget that could require cutting as much as half of the fair's staff and is dramatically different from the 2019 budget in a number of ways. 



Jensen estimated the savings from the new budget will be about $600,000.



Jensen on resignation

jensen on 2020 budget

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi has cast doubt on the possibility of passing an updated North American trade deal by the end of 2019 as impeachment-related delays could throw updated U.S. trade policy into the heat of the presidential primary campaign.


U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, an outspoken advocate for trade and agriculture, called Pelosi’s claim nonsense.


"Nancy Pelosi is holding Nebraska farmers and ranchers hostage and House Democrats are wasting time on circuses instead of doing real work for the American people. Last week Speaker Pelosi said a vote on the USMCA trade deal was 'imminent,' but today she's saying that there's not enough time to do it this year. That's some pure, grade-a bunk. The USMCA will pass tomorrow if Speaker Pelosi calls the vote and she knows it. Let's get this done."


The selling points for the new pact known as USMCA are that it updates NAFTA for the 21st century with hard-won provisions on digital trade, intellectual property, financial services and agriculture trade.



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Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested a Phelps County sheriff’s deputy on suspicion of third-degree assault and child abuse for an altercation that left a 15-year-old girl with a black eye.


The patrol announced in a news release that 37-year-old Deputy Jamie Tilson was arrested Friday and booked into the Phelps County Jail.


The patrol says the arrest came after it was asked by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office to investigate a report of a Sept. 3 assault in Holdrege. An arrest affidavit says Tilson attempted to slap the teen in the mouth during an argument, and instead hit her in the eye when she flinched.



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On November 21st at approximately 1:30 pm the Chase County Sheriff’s Office received a report from an Imperial Resident that he hadn’t seen or heard from his 22 year old daughter for approximately a week and was concerned for her safety. At that time, the Sheriff’s Office began a Missing Person’s Investigation; multiple people were contacted and interviewed. These were individuals who the Sheriff’s Office believed might have information regarding her whereabouts.

On the evening of November 21st, 2019, several individuals were brought into the Sheriff’s Office for additional questioning. After interviewing these persons, it was determined that one person, a 20 year old female, was the alleged victim of an assault and kidnapping, this expanded Sheriff’s Office Investigation in to the missing person. Another subject (Russell Mann) age 43 of rural Enders was arrested as a result of this investigation for allegedly committing two Counts of Accessory to Kidnapping, both Class IIA Felonies. Mr. Mann is currently incarcerated with a $250,000 10% bond.

As the investigation continued into the disappearance of the 22 year old Chase County resident, information was obtained which led the Sheriff’s Office to believe the missing female may have met with foul play. As soon as this information became available an organized search began in a rural area south of Imperial. This search began on the evening of November 21st.

On November 22nd, around 9:00 AM and after obtaining and executing several search warrants, a more organized search commenced in the rural area of Imperial. The Chase County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Chase County Emergency Management, Nebraska Game and Parks Game Wardens, and a Search and Rescue Team from Torrington Wyoming. This team was able to provide a Cadaver Dog along with a Tracking Dog. The search continued throughout the day but was unsuccessful in locating the missing female.

During the course of the investigation congruent with the search efforts, the Sheriff’s Office developed two suspects. Arrest warrants were obtained for those individuals in relation to several kidnappings and the disappearance of the missing female. It was determined that the suspects could most likely be located in the Fort Collins Colorado area. The Sheriff’s Office requested and was given the expert assistance of the Fort Collins Police Department and their Crimes Against Persons Team and Criminal Impact Team. Both individuals were apprehended in Fort Collins on the afternoon of Saturday November 23rd. A Chase County Deputy was immediately dispatched to Fort Collins to work with detectives in order to interview suspects and develop additional leads.

The individuals arrested in Fort Collins were (Kevin Scot German) age 24 and (Keonna Nilsa Carter) age 22. Each are charged with 2 counts of; Use of a Firearm to Commit a Felony, Kidnapping, False Imprisonment-1st degree, Terroristic Threats , and Assault-3rd degree. Each are currently being held in Fort Collins on $1,000,000 10% bonds pending extradition to Chase County Nebraska. Additional charges may be forthcoming.

On the afternoon of Sunday November 24th, the remains of the missing Chase County woman were located by the Chase County Sheriff’s Deputies, Nebraska Game and Parks Officers, and Chase County Emergency Management. The Woman’s remains are currently being recovered with the help and expert assistance of the Nebraska State Patrol and the evidence will be processed by their forensic technicians and investigators. Fort Collins Police Officers also continue to offer their assistance. The family of the deceased woman has been notified and the victim will not be named. The investigation is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time.

Sheriff Kevin E Mueller


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North Platte Authorities say human remains found in a stock trailer could be those of at least one of two Wisconsin brothers who prosecutors say were fatally shot by a Missouri farmer.


Lincoln County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Roland Kramer said Monday that a rancher near Hershey, found the remains mixed with dirt in a plastic tub inside the trailer he recently purchased in Missouri.


Garland Nelson, a 25-year-old Missouri farmer, is accused of fatally shooting 35-year-old Nick Diemel and 24-year-old Justin Diemel, of Wisconsin, then burning their bodies and dumping them in a manure pile. He faces two counts of first-degree murder.


Kramer says Missouri authorities confirmed the remains could belong to one of the brothers.



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Monday morning the Lincoln County Sheriff's 911 Center advised of a two vehicle, injury accident near mile marker 63 on U.S. Highway 83.


It was reported a truck and a car had struck head on and one of the drivers was injured.

Deputies and rescue workers arrived to find a female driver with non-life threatening injuries being assisted by other citizens.


She was later taken to Great Plains Health for treatment.


The investigation into the accident revealed a northbound Isuzu Sweeper Truck crossed the centerline of the roadway and collided with the females vehicle.


It appears the driver of the Isuzu fell asleep, causing him to strike the woman’s car he was not injured. Drugs or Alcohol were not a cause of the accident.



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Sutherland Longhorn Bar owner Tim Aden and Sutherland Rodeo Committee spokesperson Janet Mueller announced they are coming together to offer this incredible all-ages show at the outdoor event area north of the Sutherland Legion Hall adjacent to the rodeo grounds.

 

A native of Tulsa, OK, Diffie is a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years. A star athlete in high school, he originally set his sights on a medical career, but his love for music won out and he began performing in a gospel group. He paid the bills by working in a foundry and later joined a bluegrass band before deciding to give Nashville a try. He got a job working in the warehouse at Gibson Guitars, but felt like he wasn’t any closer to making his dreams come true.

 

He was on the verge of moving home when a conversation with his dad changed his destiny. “The best advice I ever got was from my dad,” Diffie recalls with a smile. “He said, ‘If you don’t have a goal, you don’t have anything to shoot at. Do something every day towards your music. Write a song or play your guitar.’ I took that to heart and made sure I did something every day whether it was big or little. I remember getting out of bed one time because I had forgotten to do something towards my music. I actually got up, got my guitar and played for a few minutes and then went back to bed. I feel like that had something to do with the success that I’ve managed to achieve. I think it would apply in anything. I lived, breathed, ate and slept music all the time. I was so obsessed with it.”

 

By 1990, Diffie had signed with Epic Records and released his debut album A Thousand Winding Roads. His very first single, “Home,” hit No. 1. He continued to dominate the charts throughout the 90s with such hits as “New Way (To Light Up an Old Flame),” “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” “Is It Cold in Here,” “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die),” “So Help Me Girl,” “Bigger than the Beatles” and “Third Rock from the Sun.” Jason Aldean paid tribute to Diffie and namechecked many of the veteran entertainer’s classics in his hit “1994.” The video featured Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town, Jake Owen and others paying homage to the man who influenced them.

 

Diffie’s accolades include 5 number one hits, 35 songs on the Billboard Top 10 charts, two Platinum records and two Gold albums.

 

The historic Sutherland Rodeo will celebrate its 83rd year in 2020, with a slack performance on July 2, then nightly performances on the 3rd and 4th. In 2019 the Sutherland Rodeo was named ‘Large Purse Rodeo of the Year” by the Nebraska State Rodeo Association, an accolade that it has won numerous times in the past. The concert is scheduled to start following the rodeo on July 3.

 

The rodeo and concert will highlight a full weekend of Independence Day celebrations in the community of Sutherland that includes a Junior Rodeo Queen competition, Firecracker 5K run, Pancake Breakfast, Kids Games and Frog Races, Community BBQ, Parade, Pie and Ice Cream Social.

 

Concert tickets will go on sale March first and will be priced at $20 in advance and $30 at the gate.


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 Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested a California man and seized cocaine and marijuana found during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Brady.

At approximately 7:00 a.m., Sunday, November 10, a trooper observed an eastbound Nissan Rogue speeding near mile marker 200. During the traffic stop, the trooper detected indicators of criminal activity.

A search of the vehicle revealed 2.2 pounds of cocaine hidden under the spare tire and 1.5 pounds of marijuana concealed in a box filled with spray foam.

The driver, Arnold Rodriguez, 44, of Modesto, California, was arrested for possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and no drug tax stamp. Rodriguez was lodged in Lincoln County Jail.


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Bass Pro Shops says nearly 120 jobs at its Cabela's operation in Sidney will be relocated to Bass Pro Shops' headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.


The company announced Wednesday that employees who choose not to move to Springfield will be offered severance and outplacement aid.


Company spokesman Jack Wlezien says the relocation is "consistent with the company's long-term commitment to efficiently provide the highest level of service."


It's not clear how many jobs will remain in Sidney. Wlezien didn't immediately return a message Thursday from The Associated Press.


Cabela's once employed around 2,000 people in Sidney before it was bought by Bass Pro Shops. The deal was completed in September 2017.


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 The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) announces the promotion of Trooper Tyler Schmidt to the position of Troop D Captain. Schmidt will be commander for NSP operations for the 27 counties of Troop D, based in North Platte.

“Tyler Schmidt brings a broad leadership background in both the private and public sectors to this important position,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “His systems thinking and people-centered approach will be invaluable to the men and women of Troop D.”

Schmidt, 43, is in his 21st year of law enforcement service, the last nine of which have been with NSP. Prior to joining the Nebraska State Patrol, Schmidt served in the Nebraska Air National Guard 155th Security Police Squadron, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Police Department, and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. He has also worked as the Quality Director for Phelps Memorial Health Center in Holdrege.

“The men and women of Troop D are phenomenal public servants,” said Captain Schmidt. “I’m proud to have spent my entire NSP career in Troop D and look forward to continuing to serve in this new role alongside our dedicated troopers and civilians.”

In his career with NSP, Captain Schmidt has served in the Patrol Division, Carrier Enforcement, and Investigative Services. He has served as a Drug Recognition Expert and instructor for defensive tactics and firearms. Schmidt holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Bellevue and is a graduate of the 220th Session of the FBI National Academy.

Troop D is comprised of 27 counties in North Central through Southwest Nebraska and is headquartered in North Platte.


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Klein Ranch
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