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MARCH 17, 2020 (LINCOLN, NEB.)  — A large and growing number of restaurants and bars have announced modified operations or closures to comply with public health guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19. As those efforts continue, the Nebraska State Patrol urges those who are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to do so responsibly.

“We’ve already seen how well our communities throughout our state are responding to this unprecedented situation,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “Our hope is always that people celebrate responsibly, but that message has a different meaning today. If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, please do so responsibly by adhering to CDC recommendations for gatherings and by designating a sober driver.”

Troopers are constantly patrolling for impaired drivers throughout Nebraska. Those efforts will continue tonight as St. Patrick’s Day traditionally has among the highest incidence of drunk driving nationwide.

NSP’s St. Patrick’s Day impaired driving enforcement is made possible thanks in part to a grant for $7,552 from the Nebraska Department of Transportation – Highway Safety Office.

The Nebraska State Patrol urges all Nebraskans to comply with guidance from Governor Ricketts, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to limit gatherings to ten people or fewer.

Grand Island, NE - A robbery was reported to Grand Island Police Department on Monday night at 7:50 pm to Pumpers gas station at 1904 N Diers avenue. A Hispanic male was waving a firearm and demanding money. The male took money and was observed getting into a dark colored SUV and then fled the scene. The suspect, Alexis Moreno-Sanchez, vehicle was later located at Casey's General store on West Hwy 30. Assistance was then provided by the Nebraska State Patrol. During the investigation the whereabouts of Moreno-Sanchez led police to the community of Alda. Hall County Sheriff's Office, Nebraska State Patrol, and Grand Island Police all relocated, were Joseph Hart was contacted and identified as the driver of the suspect’s vehicle. Several attempts were made to get Alexis Moreno-Sanchez to exit the residence, where he was then removed from the residence by the GIPD Tactical Response Team and K9 Unit. When Moreno-Sanchez was then placed in the back seat of the patrol vehicle, he was instructed to lean forward and he then spit saliva on the officer’s face. Alexis Moreno-Sanchez was charged with robbery, use of a weapon to commit a felony, obstruction and assault on an office with bodily fluid. Joseph Hart was arrested for accessory to felony. 

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts has limited public gatherings to 10 people in an effort to keep the coronavirus from spreading, even though it's likely to mean painful economic times and major disruption to people's lives. Ricketts' announcement will force the cancellation of events statewide and many businesses will shut their doors as people hunker down to try to avoid catching COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. He says he was aligning the state with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Legislature has suspended its session to try to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Lawmakers were off on Monday but had been set to reconvene Tuesday. The session has now been postponed and it's not clear when lawmakers will return to the Capitol. Sen. Adam Morfeld, of Lincoln, says roughly two-thirds of the Legislature's 49 senators are in the high-risk category if they were to catch the virus. The Legislature's decision came as the number of coronavirus cases in Nebraska had climbed to 20.

COVID-19 Update: In from the office of Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele

1. The City Fieldhouse and City Library are closed to the public until further notice.

2. All public meetings and or public programming at the City Hall Community Room, the Community Room at the Law Enforcement Center, or public meetings at Fire Station no. 1 are cancelled until further notice.  

3. Mass gatherings of the public at City buildings will not be permitted except as reasonably necessary to conduct essential City business.



In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the communities within our service area, Mid-Plains Community College is taking the following precautions to protect our students, staff, and the communities we serve.  MPCC will hold classes as scheduled next week, March 16-20.  At the close of next week, MPCC will be on an extended spring break for the two weeks beginning Sunday March 22 – Saturday April 4.  Online classes will continue as scheduled.  Faculty will return to campus on March 30 to prepare to adjust their courses to a remote education delivery format where possible.  When classes resume on Sunday, April 5, most courses will have been moved to a remote education delivery format.  Applied tech courses and other courses with required labs will resume on campus. There will be some exceptions based on certain programs so students are encouraged to communicate with their instructors about the adjusted expectations and format of their courses moving forward. 

Dual credit and early entry students taking courses at one of MPCC’s campuses should check with their college instructors on upcoming changes.  Students taking courses at high school locations should continue to follow their high school schedules. 

Scheduled on-campus events are on an event-by-event basis dependent on the size of the anticipated audience for each event and the final decision to proceed, postpone, or cancel will be made by the appropriate Vice President in conjunction with the President.  North Platte PTK Induction, scheduled for Sunday, and North Platte Inter-High Day, scheduled for next Wednesday, March 18, have been cancelled.   

Residence halls, food service, student services and all other college functions will continue to operate and serve those students remaining on campus.  MPCC will provide student services to students in a virtual environment for advising, registration, etc. 

Intercollegiate athletes will continue to participate in competitions as long as the NJCAA and Region IX continue to hold competitions.  All athletic facilities will be accessible by college for-credit students only and will be closed to the general public effective immediately.   

Out-of-state travel for college-related business will be suspended until further notice.

Four individuals were charged Thursday  connected to sex trafficking in Furnas County, 
Joseph H. Baumbach, 59, of McCook has been charged with Manufacturing Child Pornography and Evidence Tampering, both felonies. Baumbach's arraignment is scheduled for Monday at 9:30 a.m.
Jacob E. Kramer (21) of Oxford has been charged with one count of Sex Trafficking of a Minor and one count of 1st Degree Sexual Assault, both felonies.
Terry L. Smith (37) has been charged with one count of 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child and one count of Sex Trafficking, both felonies. Smith's arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Bucky J. Weaver has been charged with one count of 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child, a felony. 
We will have information as soon as its released.

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson News Release


MARCH 3, 2020 (KEARNEY, NEB.)  — Family, friends, colleagues, and fellow law enforcement officers will gather to honor the life and service of Trooper Dale Fahnholz #227 on Thursday, March 5 in Kearney.

A funeral service for Trooper Fahnholz will be held at 11:00 a.m. CST Thursday, at First Lutheran Church, 3315 G Avenue in Kearney. Members of the public are welcome to attend the service. The ceremony will include the honor guard from the Nebraska State Patrol.

For those wishing to send cards, please send them to the Nebraska State Patrol Troop C Headquarters at 3431 West Old Potash Highway, Grand Island, NE, 68803.


MARCH 3, 2020 (NORTH PLATTE, NEB.)  — During the afternoon and evening hours of Friday, February 28, Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol conducted alcohol inspections in Keith County.

This project was supported in whole or part by grant #93.959 under the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Region II Human Services, and the Nebraska DHHS Division of Behavioral Health.

In total, 14 businesses were inspected, with one selling alcohol to a minor for a non-compliance rate of 7 percent. All 14 businesses checked the minor’s ID.

The business which failed the inspections was:

Paxton Pit Stop – Paxton (Checked ID, Sold to Minor)

The businesses included liquor stores, convenience stores, restaurants, and bars. Businesses that sell alcohol to a minor are referred to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission. Clerks who sell alcohol to a minor are cited for procuring alcohol for a minor.


This past December GI Family Radio filed a lawsuit against the Nebraska State Fair for violating Nebraska's Open Meetings Act as well as public records requests. Last month the board filed a response saying that because the board is a private corporation, both the open meetings rules and public records request compliance doesn't apply.The State Fair Board meets Friday February 14th in Lincoln. GI Family Radio CEO Alan Usher joined KRGI News.

View audio interview with Alan Usher below.

State Fair Audio

A Hastings man initially charged with murder has been given 38 to 40 years in prison. Adams County District Court records say 21-year-old Deante Mullen was sentenced Tuesday. He'd pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and being an accessory to a felony after prosecutors dropped the murder charge. Prosecutors have said Mullen and another man, Daniel Harden, tried to rob Jose Hansen on Sept. 11, 2017, and Hansen was shot in the back. Harden was acquitted of murder and weapons charges but convicted of robbery conspiracy. He was sentenced in January to 40 to 44 years. 

The Northwest school board held their monthly meeting last night that drew special attention to many with the item agenda posted to close Chapman school. Last Monday the board held a special meeting hearing public comments. After public comment last night, each board member spoke  on their own behalf on how they felt about the matter if the district needed to go forward eliminating the Chapman as one of the feeder schools. 

Chapman currently has 68 total students. 42 of which are resident students, with 26 being option students. With the closure of Chapman, Northwest will now have three feeder schools including 1-R, Cedar Hollow, and St Libory.

KRGI News - Chapman School Closes Report


January 28, 2020 (McCook, Neb.) An inmate was apprehended shortly after jumping the fence at the Work Ethic Camp (WEC) in McCook this morning. The escape occurred just before 9:30 a.m. Ryan Lykens #76263 (37) was taken into custody near the facility around 45 minutes later.

Staff members noticed that razor wire along the fence line at the facility had been pushed aside and followed tracks in the snow to a nearby canyon. While Lykens moved through the canyon, staff members from WEC continued their search. When they found him, he refused multiple directives to stop and surrender. Staff members then deployed chemicals (oleoresin capsicum) to gain his compliance. Shortly thereafter, deputies arrived on the scene and took Lykens into custody.

Lykens was taken to an area urgent care facility for stitches resulting from an injury he received during the escape. Two staff members received scrapes and bruises when they accidentally ran into a snow-covered fence during the search.

Lykens is currently sentenced on charges out of Dodge County including possession of a deadly weapon, terroristic threats and domestic assault. He has a tentative release date of October 31, 2020. In April 2019, Lykens was released on parole. In December he violated his parole and was returned to the custody of NDCS.

Lykens will be moved to the Red Willow County jail. Authorities will determine if he will face additional charges resulting from the escape.

The Work Ethic Camp is a minimum security facility. Inmates are able to work in the community with intermittent supervision.

Tommy Gunz
GI Vapors