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MAY 26, 2020 (GRAND ISLAND, NEB.)  — Nebraska State Troopers have arrested four people following a pursuit and search of the Gibbon area that ended Monday evening.

The Sunday evening pursuit, in which the driver of a Chevrolet Camaro reached a speed of 174 miles per hour while attempting to flee a traffic stop, had ended in Gibbon. A trooper had been able to deploy spike strips during the pursuit, which led to the Camaro becoming disabled near Gibbon High School. All three occupants of the vehicle fled the scene on foot.

At approximately 7:30 p.m. Monday, Troopers received information that a suspect being sought in relation to the pursuit was attempting to leave the area in a Jeep Patriot. Troopers performed a traffic stop on the vehicle as it was leaving Gibbon on Highway 30.

Inside the vehicle, troopers located the suspect, Tyler Liles, 22, of Creve Coeur, Illinois. The driver of the Jeep Patriot, Kyle Buss, 26, of Pekin, Illinois, had traveled to Gibbon in an attempt to transport Liles and the two others out of the area. Liles and Buss were both arrested.

Troopers then developed information that led to the location of the two other people who had been in the Camaro during the pursuit, Alexis Schurter, 19, of Hartsburg, Illinois, and Bradley Fulton, 20, of Pekin, Illinois. Troopers arrested Schurter and Fulton without further incident in Gibbon.

Liles was arrested for willful reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, felony flight to avoid arrest, obstructing a peace officer, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of money during a drug violation, accessory to a felony, and possession of multiple licenses.

Fulton and Schurter were both arrested for obstructing a peace officer, possession of money during a drug violation, and accessory to a felony. Buss was arrested for aiding consummation of a felony, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and possession of money during a drug violation. All four were lodged in Buffalo County Jail.

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MAY 25, 2020 (LINCOLN, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) arrested a motorcycle rider Sunday evening following an aerial pursuit in Lincoln.

At approximately 8:45 p.m. Sunday, the NSP Aviation Support Division was providing aerial support to Troopers and Lincoln Police Officers as they monitored traffic on O Street in Lincoln. The Trooper Pilot observed a motorcycle driving erratically and splitting vehicles near 33rd and O. The pilot notified troopers on the ground and initiated an aerial pursuit of the motorcycle as it reached speeds of nearly 100 miles per hour.

The NSP helicopter continued to follow the motorcycle, while directing troopers to the area. The motorcycle nearly hit a pedestrian as it passed through downtown Lincoln. It then traveled to the area of West A and South Coddington Streets where a trooper attempted a traffic stop. The rider refused to stop and attempted to turn around and pass the trooper at a slow speed. The rider then lost control at a slow speed and laid the motorcycle down. He was then immediately taken into custody. The rider was not injured.

The rider, Farean Iron Shell, 40, of Lincoln, was arrested for felony flight to avoid arrest, willful reckless driving, traffic violations and expired registration. He was lodged in Lancaster County Jail.

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska will let bars, zoos, movie theaters and swimming pools reopen and allow small concerts and auctions to resume on June 1 in all but four hard-hit counties, Gov. Pete Ricketts said Thursday as the number of coronavirus deaths continued to rise.

Ricketts announced plans to further loosen social-distancing restrictions, saying he's trying to strike a balance between public health and the need to move back toward normal life as people grow restless.

"We're taking this a step at a time," he said at a news conference.

He made the announcement as state officials reported six more coronavirus deaths and 276 new cases in Nebraska as of Wednesday night, bringing the statewide totals to 138 deaths and 11,122 confirmed cases. Nearly 75,900 people have been tested.

The number of new cases has trended downward, however, since the one-day peak of 677 on May 7. Ricketts has said he's using Nebraska's hospital capacity to judge when to ease restrictions, and those numbers have remained fairly stable. Even so, public health officials say people still need to practice social-distancing measures to keep the virus from spreading.

Businesses that do reopen will still face mandatory social distancing restrictions. For instance, the number of patrons allowed in bars will be limited to half of the venue's rated capacity, and groups of customers will have to remain at least six people apart. Patrons won't be allowed to play pool, darts or arcade games or eat at the bar.

Nebraska will also allow gatherings of up to 25 people or 25% of a venue's rated occupancy, whichever is greater, as long as the total crowd doesn't exceed 3,000 people.

The new requirement will replace the state's current 10-person limit and will apply to both indoor and outdoor venues, including stadiums, fairgrounds, meeting halls, zoos, libraries and swimming pools. Individual groups will still be capped at six people and required to stay away from other groups.

Additionally, any event expected to draw more than 500 people will need prior approval from the county's public health director. In Omaha's Douglas County, the threshold is 1,000 people.

Ricketts will also ease rules for sports, allowing baseball, softball and volleyball teams to resume practices on June 1 and play games on June 18. Rodeos can begin on June 1, but contact sports such as football, basketball and wrestling will remain prohibited.

The changes won't apply to Hall, Hamilton, Merrick or Dakota counties, some of the hardest-hit regions in Nebraska. Hall and Dakota counties have seen particularly large spikes driven by local meatpacking plants.

On Thursday, a coalition of Latino Americans called on Ricketts and local meat packers to do more to protect plant workers who now account for a large share of Nebraska's coronavirus restrictions. Activists said conditions at the plants have generally improved, but they're still hearing reports about inconsistent use of protective equipment at some facilities.

"Unfortunately, these efforts may be seen as too little, too late," said Yolanda Nuncio, a former member of the Nebraska state Latino American Commission. "Some of these plants have not lowered production rates, so when workers go on standard breaks, their coworkers must maintain the same rate of production."

Asked about the criticism on Thursday, Ricketts said he has talked by phone with plant workers and union leaders to discuss their concerns. He also has said that local public health officials from the University of Nebraska Medical Center have gone out to plants to help them establish safety procedures to keep the virus from spreading.

For some infected people, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe illness or death. But for most people, it causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks.

 

 


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North Platte, Ne - The Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant will be postponed to Aug. 2-5 in observance of the social distancing practices occurring throughout the state and nation.

 

The move has prompted the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association to extend its contestant deadline as well. Queen hopefuls now have until June 15 to enter.

 

“I would like thank everyone for their patience as we proceed with the pageant,” said Cindy Petersen, chair of the pageant committee. “This pandemic has caused the committee to adapt to new safety measures, but we are looking forward to another successful year.”  

 

The pageant was originally planned for June in North Platte - in conjunction with NEBRASKAland Days and the Buffalo Bill Rodeo.

 

However, on Tuesday, NLD announced that the Buffalo Bill Rodeo would be rescheduled for Aug. 5-8. A new Miss Rodeo Nebraska is traditionally crowned during the rodeo’s first performance.

 

Those interested in entering the pageant this year, or in receiving more information, can contact Cathy Ewing at (308) 530-0590 or buckcathy06@yahoo.com.

 

Rule books and contracts can be found on the forms section of the MRN website at missrodeonebraska.org.

 


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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts is pushing back against four Nebraska lawmakers who urged him to cancel a $27 million coronavirus testing contract with a group of out-of-state startup companies, calling their criticism “ludicrous” even though the program is off to a slow start hasn’t kept up with demand. Ricketts defended the state’s agreement with Utah-based Nomi Health and its business partners but acknowledged some early problems with the TestNebraska program. The same companies have similar no-bid contracts with Iowa and Utah that have also come under scrutiny as states scramble to offer more tests.

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — State health officials have reported two new deaths from COVID-19 that occurred in the central part of the state. That came as officials in the Omaha area noted the disproportionately high number of cases among minority populations. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported the two deaths Monday _ one in Hall County and the other in neighboring Adams County. The new deaths brought the state’s total since the outbreak began to 100. Meanwhile, the Douglas County Health Department expressed alarm at the number of Latinos, Asians and black residents becoming infected with the virus. Douglas County is nearly 70% white, but health officials say 77% of known COVID-19 cases in the county have occurred among people of color.

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s primary voters mostly steered clear of polling sites Tuesday while shattering the state record for absentee voting with nearly 400,000 mail-in ballots in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Republican President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic challenger Joe Biden sailed to easy victories in the election, the first in-person primary since a heavily criticized election in Wisconsin five weeks ago in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. So did Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, who faced a GOP primary challenge because of his previous criticism of Trump. Sasse will face Democrat Chris Janicek, the winner of a nine-way primary.

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MAY 11, 2020 (NORTH PLATTE, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol arrested a South Dakota man on several charges following a pursuit in western Nebraska.

At approximately 2:15 p.m. MDT Sunday, a trooper observed a BMW speeding near mile marker 132 on Interstate 80. The trooper performed a traffic stop, but during the process of the traffic stop the driver provided a fake name. As the trooper was attempting to verify the driver’s identity, the driver accelerated and fled the traffic stop at a high rate of speed. The trooper initiated a pursuit, but lost sight of the vehicle as it fled in the area south of Ogallala.

A short time later, an officer with the Ogallala Police Department located the vehicle and initiated a pursuit, which traveled on county roads and eventually returned to I-80 traveling eastbound. As the pursuit reached I-80, NSP took over as primary in the pursuit. During the pursuit, the BMW reached speeds of up to 120 miles per hour, both on I-80 and on county roads.

At approximately 3:45 p.m. MDT, the driver voluntarily came to a stop near mile marker 131. The driver, Misiker Ashame, 20, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was quickly taken into custody without further incident. Ashame was lodged in Keith County Jail for operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, no operator’s license, willful reckless driving, criminal impersonation, and possession of marijuana – less than one ounce.

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — One person died after two vehicles collided east of Scottsbluff. The Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s office said the crash happened around 9 a.m. Saturday on Highland Road about 3.5 miles east of Scottsbluff. The sheriff’s office said an eastbound vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a westbound vehicle. One person died in the crash and another person was seriously injured and taken to the hospital in Scottsbluff. Officials didn’t immediately release the names of the drivers involved in the crash.

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska health officials have reported two more COVID-19 deaths in the state, bringing the total since the outbreak began to 98. Of the two deaths reported Sunday, one was in Douglas County. No information was immediately available on the second death. The state is also reporting more confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said the number of confirmed cases in the state increased by more than 80 on Sunday to 8,315. The actual number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

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