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Troopers and dispatchers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have successfully resolved an incident on Interstate 80 near Wood River.

The incident began when a trooper was notified of a vehicle that had been swerving while traveling eastbound on I-80 near Kearney. After locating the vehicle, the trooper attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle continued driving eastbound. At that time that trooper observed a firearm inside the vehicle.

As the Ford F-150 pickup continued eastbound the driver called 911 and reached the Buffalo County 911 Center. He was transferred to NSP dispatchers who spoke with him for several minutes and were able to connect him with an NSP crisis negotiator.

Troopers conducted a controlled pursuit and were able to successfully use spike strips to deflate at least one of the pickup’s tires near the Wood River exit. The vehicle exited I-80 at mile marker 300, where NSP negotiators remained in contact.

After conversations for more than an hour, the subject voluntarily left the vehicle and was taken into custody at approximately 11:25 a.m. The subject has been taken into Emergency Protective Custody.

There were no injuries to anyone involved in this incident. The NSP Aviation Support Division, Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office, and Wood River Fire and Rescue assisted in this event.

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Grand Island, NE - Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol arrested two people following two pursuits in the early morning hours Sunday on Highway 11 in central Nebraska.

The first pursuit occurred at approximately 1:00 a.m. in Hall County when a trooper stopped to check on a Chevrolet Impala that was parked on the shoulder of Highway 11. As the trooper approached, the vehicle fled the scene and the trooper initiated a pursuit. After a few minutes of driving at around 40 miles per hour, the vehicle stopped.

The driver, Hendrik Torres Rodriguez, 35, of Grand Island, was arrested for felony flight to avoid arrest, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence. He was lodged in Hall County Jail.

The second pursuit occurred at approximately 5:00 a.m. when a trooper observed a Chevrolet Silverado traveling at 95 miles per hour on Highway 11 in Howard County. When the trooper attempted a traffic stop, the vehicle increased its speed and traveled through Cairo at more than 110 miles per hour. At one point during the pursuit, the vehicle was traveling at more than 130 miles per hour.

A short time later, the vehicle came to a stop after its engine caught fire. The driver, Jacob Sautter, 22, of Ord, was arrested for willful reckless driving, felony flight to avoid arrest, speeding greater than 36 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, and numerous traffic violations. He was lodged in Hall County Jail. 

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Nebraska State Patrol Release 
The suspect of an officer-involved shooting incident is in custody following a multi-agency search in rural Howard County in the overnight hours of December 31 into January 1.

The incident began in the evening hours of December 31 when the Howard County Sheriff’s Office attempted a traffic stop near the intersection of Dannevirke Road and Page Road north of Elba. The suspect, identified as Luke Lefever, 30, of Broken Bow, then engaged the deputies with a handgun. During the exchange, Lefever was able to gain access to a Sheriff’s Office vehicle and fled south on Page Road. The suspect also gained access to a shotgun stored in the cruiser. The cruiser spun out and a second exchange of gunfire took place. The suspect then fled on foot. Officers from the St. Paul Police Department were also involved, but did not discharge their weapons.

At that point, troopers from the Nebraska State Patrol, deputies from the Howard County, Merrick County, Valley County, and Sherman County Sheriff’s Offices, St. Paul and Scotia police officers, and others arrived on scene and set up a perimeter. NSP SWAT was called in and the NSP helicopter was deployed to assist in the search. Using an NSP light armored vehicle (LAV), SWAT began searching the area.

With information gained by the NSP helicopter, SWAT was able to track the suspect into a creek bed east of Page Road. Upon locating the suspect, an NSP K9 was deployed to help take him into custody. The shotgun was found at the scene. Lefever was found with a gunshot wound to his left forearm and was showing signs of hypothermia. He was transported out of the area using the LAV and then transported to the St. Paul hospital for treatment. He was then transported by medical helicopter to St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln.

No officers were injured at any point throughout the incident. At the request of the Howard County Sheriff’s Office, NSP is leading the investigation. A determination of charges is pending and the suspect will be in custody while at the hospital.

Elba Fire and Rescue and St. Paul Rescue also assisted in the incident.

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's corrections director says the execution of convicted double-murderer Carey Dean Moore was similar to other executions he has witnessed, and Moore never appeared to be in pain.
Director Scott Frakes made the comments to a grand jury in sworn testimony released Thursday, nearly three weeks after the death investigation ended.
Frakes says Moore breathed heavily in August as the first of four lethal injection drugs was administered. He says Moore began to snore, but made no other sounds. He says everything he saw was consistent with his past experiences.
The Lancaster County grand jury concluded that Moore died of respiratory failure due to toxicity from multiple drugs.
The 60-year-old Moore was put to death for the 1979 murders of Omaha cab drivers Maynard Helgeland and Reuel Van Ness Jr.

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Heavy snowfall and blizzard like conditions are being reported as a powerful winter storm moves through the middle of Nebraska.
The Nebraska Transportation Department closed Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 30 in both directions Thursday, from Grand Island to North Platte. It cited whiteout and other weather factors.
The National Weather Service has posted blizzard or winter storm warnings for several counties. Most of the warnings are scheduled to expire by Friday morning.
Six inches (15 centimeters) of snow was reported in Cozad and Elwood.

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CAMBRIDGE, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say four teenagers are facing charges that they planned to attack a high school in south-central Nebraska. Local media reports the Furnas County attorney charged two 18-year-olds and two 17-year-olds with felony terroristic threats related to a plan to attack Cambridge High School on Nov. 30. Court records allege the students had been discussing an attack for months. When one student transferred to a different school, they tried to recruit another student. One student told police he thought the plan was a joke but wasn't sure if the others felt that way. Cambridge Public Schools Superintendent Greg Shepard told local media the school received a call from a parent about a potential threat, prompting it to contact the sheriff's office and state patrol.

 


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The McCook City and Volunteer Fire Department will be conducting a training burn in the 1400 block of West J Street in McCook on Saturday, December 8th. The training is scheduled to begin at 9:00 AM. A vacant residential structure located on the lot next to Master Carts LLC, the former Propes Golf Carts Sales & Service. Water will be supplied by a fire hydrant located approximately 300’ west of the site. The water supply hose will have West 14th and J Street blocked off during the training exercise.

This training provides firefighters with the opportunity to learn different tactics in fighting structural fires under a more controlled environment than the actual structure fires that firefighters respond to.
The process of gaining approval to utilize a structure for live fire training is a lengthy process that requires several permits and inspections prior to getting approval from the State Fire Marshal, State Department of Environmental Quality, Clean Air Division and the Department of Health and Human Services. The training is invaluable to the firefighters as it allows them to experience live fire conditions under a more controlled environment.
The public is welcome to watch, however, we ask that you stay a safe distance away and avoid impeding traffic in the area.
If anyone would like more information on this process, please contact the fire department at 308-345-5710 or email at firechief@cityofmccook.com.


An English honor society is now available to students at North Platte Community College.

 

NPCC received national approval for a Sigma Kappa Delta chapter on Tuesday. SKD is the English honor society for two-year colleges, and NPCC is currently the only college in Nebraska to offer it.

 

An inaugural induction ceremony is planned for this weekend.

 

I am thrilled that after a lot of hard work and perseverance on the part of some students who are very dedicated to English and the world of academia, Sigma Kappa Delta is finally coming to fruition,” said Kristi Leibhart, English instructor at NPCC. “Sigma Kappa Delta will open up so many new opportunities for our students and provide another means to reward them for their academic accomplishments.”

 

It’s a goal Leibhart has been working toward for the past two years.

 

“When I was in school, a Sigma Tau Delta chapter was available, which is an English honor society for students at four-year colleges and universities,” said Leibhart. “It was a very visible sign on campus that people were interested in English, and it was a true honor for students to be part of. I wanted to start something similar at NPCC that would reward academics and provide something to aspire to in the classroom.”

 

Leibhart said six members are required to form a SKD chapter. She knows of about 100 individuals at the college who are eligible.

 

“It’s not limited to English majors,” said Leibhart. “Anyone who has completed at least 12 credit hours, who has a minimum GPA of 3.0, who has completed at least one English class and who has received an A or B in every English class can join. Participation doesn’t automatically guarantee induction into Sigma Tau Delta if students transfer on to a four-year institution, but it can make the process easier.”

 

In addition to providing an honor to list on résumés, SKD offers numerous scholarships to its members. There are opportunities to enter writing and photography competitions, present at national conferences and be published in the “Hedera Helix Literary Journal,” the SKD’s official publication.

 

“We plan to do a variety of activities at the local level as well,” Leibhart said. “We would like to conduct community service projects, such as reading to nursing home residents, or collecting books to send to prisoners. Film nights and poetry slams have also been discussed.”

 

The chapter’s induction ceremony is open to the public. It’s scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in the McDonald-Belton Theater on NPCC’s South Campus.

 

Members will receive green and gold honor cords to wear at commencement as well as a commemorative SKD pin. Refreshments will be provided. 

 

Anyone interested in joining the new honor society can contactLeibhart at leibhartk@mpcc.edu.


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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — The Nebraska State Patrol says troopers have seized nearly 80 pounds of marijuana in two recent traffic stops on Interstate 80 near North Platte.

The patrol says the first stop occurred Nov. 18, when a trooper stopped a car on suspicion of speeding and veering out of its lane. The patrol says a search of the car turned up 48 pounds of marijuana in luggage. The 27-year-old driver from Jacksonville, North Carolina, was arrested.

The second stop occurred Monday, when a trooper stopped another car on suspicion of failing to signal. A search of that car turned up 30 pounds of marijuana, and a 17-year-old passenger in the car, from California, was arrested and jailed.


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HERSHEY, Neb. — Authorities have arrested a man suspected of driving drunk when his passenger jumped out of the vehicle in western Nebraska and died.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says a deputy sent Monday evening to the scene on Link 56C on the south side of Hershey found the woman unresponsive, lying on the roadway with a vehicle parked nearby. The sheriff's office says the deputy was unable to revive her and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

She's been identified as 45-year-old Brandy Lewis, who lived in Ogallala. An autopsy has been ordered.

The 59-year-old man who'd been driving the vehicle was interviewed and then arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. He told deputies that Lewis decided to jump while the vehicle was moving and that he couldn't stop her.

Court records don't show that he's been formally charged.


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