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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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Kearney, Neb. – Senior forwards AJ Jackson and Morgan Soucie had big efforts and Nebraska-Kearney was sharp at the line in the second half to beat Central Oklahoma, 66-49, Thursday night at the Health & Sports Center.

The Lopers (13-8, 7-5) stop a three-game losing streak and beat the Bronchos (7-16, 4-10) for just the fifth time in 18 all-time meetings. This was UCO's seventh straight loss with the rematch set for later this month in Edmond.

Against a deep, athletic and long UCO squad, UNK fell behind 24-15 by the seven minute mark of the first half. The 'Chos made 13 of 27 shots (48.9%) over the first 20 minutes but also went 3 of 7 at the line and committed six turnovers.

Down just 31-26 at the break the Lopers owned the second half to the tune of 40-18. UCO was only 5 of 26 from the field (19.2%) including a 1 of 10 effort from behind the arc. UNK didn't make a basket for a seven minute stretch but went 15 of 16 at the line to keep the lead in double figures. A couple of late dunks by Jackson (Bellevue West), after UNK had broken a full-court press, sealed the win.

"We saw some good things from the usual suspects in AJ and Morgan. You can't take those guys for granted," said Loper head coach Kevin Lofton. "It was nice to see Kyle (Juhl) knock a couple in and to see Jake (Walker) have a couple go there after battling the flu last week."

Plus four on the glass, making 21 of 28 free throws and connecting on 44% (20 of 45) of its field goals, UNK saw Soucie (Osawatomie , Kan.) record his third double double of the year with 18 points and 13 rebounds (10 defensive). He was 6 of 11 from the field and added four assists and two blocks. Next Jackson went for a game-high 21 points thanks to 7 of 10 shooting; he came into the week leading the MIAA in field goal percentage (61.9).

"With a losing streak confidence was a little shaky at the start but as the game wore on we stepped up and that was good to see," Lofton said. "They are as long and as athletic as any team we're going to face. We did a better job in the second half of dealing with the pick-and-roll … we did a better job of containing the dribble and also rotating once we did get beat. We had some key blocks around the basket."

Also for UNK Iowa senior forward Kyle Juhl had eight points, eight rebounds and five assists with Alliance junior forward Austin Luger recording eight points in 17 minutes off the bench. Finally Utah junior guard Jake Walker tallied seven points, five caroms and four assists.

"In the first half our free throw shooting was nonexistent (6 of 12). But in the second half we made a lot of key free throws down the stretch which we always preach is a big key to winning close games," Lofton said. "To be down five at halftime and come out the way we did, on both ends of the floor, it was definitely encouraging."

Twelve different 'Chos played with 6-6 reserve wing Justin Nimmer (16 points, five rebounds, two steals) the most effective. Seven others got into the scoring column as UCO finished 18 of 53 (34%) from the field.

UNK hosts league newcomer Newman (8-15, 2-12) on Saturday afternoon. The Jets lost tonight at Fort Hays State, 79-72.




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Iowa City, Iowa - Nebraska hit less than 33 percent of its shots from the field, as No. 20 Iowa pulled away in a 76-60 women's basketball win over the Huskers on Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

While Nebraska struggled to make open shots, Iowa hit 45.2 percent of its attempts from the floor, including 47.4 percent (9-19) from three-point range. The Huskers hit just 8-of-30 threes on the day, and just 22-of-67 field goals. 

Nebraska slipped to 15-8 overall and 5-7 in the Big Ten, while the Hawkeyes improved to 19-4 and 10-2 in the conference.

Husker sophomore Leigha Brown led the Big Red with 20 points off the bench, including 14 in the first half. Senior Hannah Whitish added 14 points and five assists. Kate Cain finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and two steals.

Monika Czinano led Iowa with 23 points and eight boards, while senior point guard Kathleen Doyle added 15 points and 15 assists. Fellow senior Amanda Ollinger contributed a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawkeyes. Alexis Sevillian added 11 points, including a trio of threes.

In a possession game throughout the first half, Iowa took a 35-32 lead to halftime on a three-pointer by Doyle with 49 seconds left to close the scoring. Both teams struggled to score early before Iowa scored five straight points, but Nebraska answered with back-to-back three-pointers from Brown and Isabelle Bourne to give the Huskers a 6-5 lead. Iowa regained a 13-9 lead, but Brown scored four points in the final 1:06 of the first quarter to send the teams to the second period tied at 13.

Makenzie Meyer opened the second quarter with a three for Iowa, before the Huskers put together an 8-0 run capped by a Cain layup to give the Huskers a 21-16 lead with 7:02 left in the half. Cain and Brown combined to scored Nebraska's final 13 points of the half, but the Hawkeyes still went to the half with the lead. Brown led Nebraska with 14 points off the bench in the first half, while Cain added eight points and four rebounds.

In the half, Nebraska hit just 34.3 percent (12-35) of its shots from the field, including 4-of-13 threes (.308), while going 4-of-7 (.571) at the line. The Huskers won the first-half turnover battle 9-3, while Iowa out-rebounded NU, 22-20. The Hawkeyes shot a solid 48.4 percent (15-31), including 41.7 percent (5-12) from three-point range, but went 0-for-2 at the line. Czinano led Iowa with 14 points, while Alexis Sevillian contributed eight points, and Doyle pitched in five points and eight assists.

Iowa gained control in the third quarter, going 8-for-16 from the field and 2-for-4 from three-point range while hitting all four of its free throws. Doyle led Iowa in the quarter with seven points, while Czinano added six and McKenna Warnock contributed five points. The Hawkeyes outscored the Huskers 22-13 in the period, as the Big Red went just 5-for-15 from the floor, including 2-for-10 from long range.

Nebraska went to the fourth quarter trailing 57-45 and could not get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

The Huskers return to Big Ten home action this Sunday when they take on No. 18 Indiana. Tip-off between Nebraska and the Hoosiers is set for 2 p.m on Play4Kay day at Pinnacle Bank Arena.




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