12-Jun-2020 / Nebraska State Patrol
JUNE 12, 2020 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — Nebraska State Troopers saved an 18-year-old from being hit by a train late Thursday evening following a pursuit earlier in the evening.
At approximately 8:00 p.m. Thursday, a trooper observed a Kia Forte traveling at 113 miles per hour on Interstate 80 in Lincoln, near mile marker 408. The trooper attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle fled. The trooper initiated a pursuit, but discontinued the pursuit out of caution for the public as the vehicle entered local roads in Lincoln at a high rate of speed. During the pursuit, NSP was able to identify the driver of the vehicle.
Later in the evening, another trooper located the same vehicle in Omaha, near 53rd and Pratt Street. As the trooper attempted to contact the driver, the vehicle drove off, running over the trooper’s foot. Troopers were able to track the vehicle with assistance from the Omaha Police Department helicopter as it drove west out of Omaha on I-80.
The Kia then left I-80 at exit 432 and began traveling west on Highway 6. Near the intersection of Highway 6 and Highway 63, west of Ashland, troopers were able to successfully deploy stop sticks to bring the vehicle to a stop. When the vehicle came to a stop, the driver fled on foot.
The driver ran to nearby railroad tracks and laid down as a train was approaching. Troopers then ran onto the tracks and pulled the subject away as the train was trying to stop. Neither the juvenile nor any troopers were injured in the incident.
The driver, an 18-year-old male from Omaha, was arrested for operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, willful reckless driving, no operator’s license, and traffic violations. He was lodged in Lancaster County Jail.
12-Jun-2020 / Ap
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska saw another decrease in new unemployment claims last week as the coronavirus but the number is still well above pre-pandemic levels. The U.S. Department of Labor reported 4,697 new claims in Nebraska during the week that ended June 6. It’s down from the 5,082 that were received the previous week. The highest number of weekly claims filed during coronavirus pandemic was 26,539 during during the week that ended April 4. Nebraska’s unemployment soared during the pandemic along with the rest of the country due to government-mandated social distancing restrictions that forced the closure of many businesses.
12-Jun-2020 / Ap
GRETNA, Neb. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies and rescue crews are resuming their search Friday for an 8-year-old Omaha girl who disappeared while playing in the Platte River at Schramm State Park just southwest of Omaha. Calls to 911 on Thursday afternoon said several children in the water needed to be rescued. The Sarpy County Sheriff's Office says bystanders pulled several children to safety. When deputies and Gretna rescue crews arrived at the scene, they determined one child — 8-year-old Tarie Price — was missing and launched a search and rescue effort along the river. The search was called off Friday night and was to resume Friday morning.
12-Jun-2020 / Nebraska State Patrol
Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have arrested a man on numerous charges following a situation on Interstate 80 Thursday evening.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., NSP received a report from a motorist that an eastbound Dodge Charger was driving erratically near mile marker 153, between Paxton and Sutherland. The motorist also reported that the driver of the Charger had pointed a handgun in his direction as the Charger passed.
Troopers were able to locate the suspect vehicle near mile marker 170, west of North Platte. A trooper performed a traffic stop, but the driver refused to comply with commands given by the trooper. Additional troopers arrived on scene to assist and Interstate 80 was closed for eastbound traffic, out of caution for the public.
After more than two hours of speaking with the driver of the vehicle, NSP negotiators were able to get the driver to exit his vehicle voluntarily. He was then taken into custody without further incident. Troopers then searched the vehicle and located a handgun, a rifle, and approximately two pounds of marijuana.
The driver, Mario Brown, 49, of Grants, New Mexico, was arrested for making terroristic threats, use of a firearm to commit a felony, possession of a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana – more than one pound, obstructing a peace officer, and disobeying a lawful order. Additional charges are possible as the investigation continues. Brown was lodged in Lincoln County Jail.
11-Jun-2020 / Ap
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Meat production has rebounded from its low point during the coronavirus pandemic when dozens of plants were closed, but experts say consumer prices are likely to remain high. They also say it will take months to work through the backlog of millions of pigs and cattle that was created this spring, creating headaches for producers. The U.S. Agriculture Department says beef, pork and poultry plants were operating at more than 95% of last year's levels earlier this week. That was up from about 60% in April at the height of plant closures and slowdowns at the height of the plant closures and slowdowns.
06-Jun-2020 / Grand Island Public Schools
Grand Island Public Schools will add two full-day preschool classrooms at Howard Elementary this fall after being awarded a $241,672 grant through the Early Childhood Education Grant Program.
The grant was approved at the Nebraska Department of Education’s board meeting on Friday and will allow a total capacity of 36 preschool students.
“Early childhood education is extremely important to us at GIPS. It is the first item listed in our strategic plan,” Superintendent Dr. Tawana Grover said. “We know we have a great need for early childhood education not just in our district, but in the whole Grand Island area. This expansion grant is an important step in making early childhood education available for more children in our community."
Bonnie Hinkle, president of the GIPS Board of Education, said the board has made early childhood education a top priority for many years.
“It has been a challenge to find funding needed to expand the Early Childhood Education program,” Hinkle said. “We are proud that Dr. Grover and her staff continued to explore all possible avenues to find a way to make the expansion at Howard Elementary a reality."
“Equity is also one of our top priorities, and there is no greater equalizer than education and knowledge,” Hinkle said.
Amy Richards, GIPS Early Childhood Coordinator, said the new opportunity to provide full-day preschool at Howard allows for expanded preschool opportunities for children and families in the district.
“This grant provides the resources to allow us to provide high quality early childhood education in an area with the highest need,” Richards said.
Robin Dexter, GIPS associate superintendent, said the district's Early Education task force supports the strategic plan success measure of increasing the percentage of incoming kindergartener students who have participated in a high-quality early childhood education experience. The task force includes GIPS early childhood teachers, GIPS Board of Education members and district leaders, local daycare providers and state leaders.
“The task force supports the need to expand opportunities in GIPS, and this expansion grant will help us do so by adding two more high-quality classrooms in a GIPS neighborhood school,” Dexter said.
Applications for the new classroom spots will be accepted immediately and will follow GIPS preschool application system protocols. Geographic location and proximity to the early childhood campus is also taken into consideration. Richards said she hopes to have families notified of their child’s acceptance to the added classrooms by the first part of July.
Howard Elementary Principal Julie Schnitzler said she is excited about the expansion.
“We are excited for our neighborhood families to have the opportunity to bring their children to preschool at Howard,” Schnitzler said. “Our staff is excited to welcome the preschool teachers and make them a part of our Howard family. We look forward to celebrating the arrival of our youngest learners.”
Richards said the goal of early childhood education at GIPS is to provide meaningful experiences for children so they can enter kindergarten ready for a lifetime of success, happiness and achievement. She said the district is also working on plans to staff the new classrooms and her staff is excited that the program will be able to serve more students.
“We look forward to not only serving more children and families through this opportunity, but to do so in a full-day setting that provides the opportunity to deepen our impact by planning and implementing even more learning opportunities and experiences each day,” Richards said.
The Early Childhood Education Grant Program, according to the Nebraska Department of Education, is to improve equity of access to early childhood education and prekindergarten programs. Eight other school districts across the state were awarded similar grants on Friday.
06-Jun-2020 / Nebraska State Patrol
JUNE 5, 2020 (GRAND ISLAND, NEB.) — Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) Investigators have arrested one adult and took into temporary custody two juveniles in connection with a home-invasion robbery that occurred in the late evening hours of May 5 in Bladen, Nebraska.
Today, investigators arrested Casey Cassell, 19, of Kenesaw, and took into temporary custody two juveniles, identified as the three people involved in the robbery. The investigation has revealed that the suspects knocked on the door of a residence in Bladen at approximately 11:00 p.m. on May 5, and then forced their way into the home when the victim answered the door.
Once inside the home, the suspects struck the 78-year-old resident with their fists and broke into a safe. The three suspects attempted to steal firearms, silver, and ammunition. As the three left the home, the homeowner fired multiple shots with another firearm. No persons were struck with gunfire. The suspects dropped most of what they had stolen.
Cassell was arrested in Central City, Nebraska this morning after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Cassell was lodged in Webster County Jail on charges of robbery and 3rd degree assault. The two juveniles, a 17-year-old male and a 14-year-old male, have been referred to probation.
05-Jun-2020 / Cody Thomas – Public Relations Director
Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested a Minnesota man following a pursuit in north-central Nebraska on Thursday.
At approximately 6:50 p.m., a trooper observed a westbound Chrysler Town and Country van speeding on Highway 91 near Burwell. The trooper attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle refused to stop and fled at a high rate of speed.
The trooper initiated a pursuit, which followed the vehicle on Highways 11 and 183. During the pursuit, the vehicle continued driving recklessly and reached speeds of more than 110 miles per hour.
As the vehicle approached Sargent on Highway 183, it came to a stop voluntarily. Troopers then took the driver, Terry Schmolke, 33, of Shoreview, Minnesota, into custody.
Schmolke was arrested for felony flight to avoid arrest, willful reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, and numerous traffic violations. Schmolke was lodged in Valley County Jail.
05-Jun-2020 / Tyson Havranek
J.C. Penney announced Thursday the list of the 154 stores it plans to close this summer, and one of those stores, the Grand Island location at the Conestoga Mall. The store will announce additional closures in the coming weeks. The chain was forced to temporarily close its stores due to the coronavirus pandemic and filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back on May 15th. Store closing sales will be kicking off June 12th and are expected to last anywhere from 10 to 16 weeks.
04-Jun-2020 / AP
A Hastings truck driver has been killed in a crash in north-central Kansas.
The crash happened around noon Wednesday on K-14 Highway in rural Jewell County, killing Scott Sell, 50, of Hastings, Nebraska.
The Kansas Highway Patrol said its investigation showed that the southbound semitrailer Sell was driving veered onto the highway shoulder, overcorrected and went into the opposite ditch. The truck overturned in a pasture, and Sell was pronounced dead at the scene.