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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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SCOTTSBLUFF – The City of Scottsbluff Sanitation Department would like to advise the public that we will be closed on Christmas Day Tuesday December 25, 2018 and New Year’s Day on Tuesday January 1, 2019.  Monday trash route will remain the same. Tuesday trash route will be picked up on Wednesday. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday routes will remain the same. West side recycling will pick up on Monday. East side recycling will pick up on Wednesday.   


Please call our office at 308-630-0985 if you have any questions regarding your trash, yard waste, or recycling pickups.



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DECEMBER 18, 2018 (SCOTTSBLUFF, NEB.)  — Investigators with the WING (Western Nebraska Intelligence and Narcotics Group) Task Force have arrested two men and broken up a marijuana growing operation in Scotts Bluff County.

In the morning hours of Tuesday, December 18, the WING Task Force, with assistance from the Nebraska State Patrol, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office, and the 1057 Military Police Unit, served a search warrant on a residence at 160283 CR 20, outside of Gering.

During the search, investigators found approximately 75 marijuana plants hidden behind a false wall in a potato cellar. Investigators also discovered a butane hash oil extraction lab, nine firearms, and a small amount of methamphetamine.

Robert Newton, 46, and William Burkhardt, 50, both of Gering, were arrested for cultivating marijuana, manufacturing hash, and possession of a controlled substance. Both men were lodged in Scotts Bluff County Jail. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be added.

The WING Task Force is made up of investigators from the sheriff’s offices and police departments that cover the eleven counties of the Nebraska panhandle and the Nebraska State Patrol.


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The Scottsbluff Police Department is continuing the investigation into the fire that took place at 810 Ferdinand Place in the early morning hours December 16, 2018. At this particular time it is believed that the fire was intentional.  

The Scottsbluff Police Department is continuing to conduct interviews of persons that were near the scene at the time of the incident.   



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DECEMBER 12, 2018 (SCOTTSBLUFF, NEB.)  — Two troopers were uninjured late Tuesday evening after the marked Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) cruiser they were driving was struck by another vehicle at an intersection in Scottsbluff.

The crash occurred at approximately 10:15 p.m. MT Tuesday, when the troopers were traveling westbound on Highway 26, proceeding through a flashing yellow traffic light. At that moment, a 2003 Dodge Stratus was traveling southbound on 5thavenue, ran the flashing red traffic light, and struck the passenger side of the patrol unit.

Both troopers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash and suffered no significant injuries. The three occupants of the Stratus also suffered no significant injuries. Both vehicles were totaled.

NSP asked the Scottsbluff Police Department to investigate the crash. Scottsbluff Police issued a citation for violation of a traffic signal to the driver of the Stratus.


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Omaha Conservatory of Music is excited to announce thatit has received a grant from the Oregon Trail Community Foundation in support of its String Sprouts program for the 2018/19 academic year. The String Sprouts program provides 5 years of free string classes, with instruments provided, to 3 and 4-year-olds in the Scottsbluff/Gering area who otherwise wouldn’t have access to such opportunities. Children in the String Sprouts program have demonstrated increased achievement both academically and socially. There are currently 69 students enrolled in String Sprouts in western Nebraska.

The Oregon Trail Community Foundation has been a supporter of String Sprouts since its in



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Wendy Wells has dedicated her life to health care workforce development through early education. The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing West Nebraska Division instructor and Chadron native, is considered a trusted resource and is a respected community partner and advocate.

 

For her efforts, Wells, recently received a Community Star award from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH). NOSORH assists State Offices of Rural Health in their efforts to improve access to, and the quality of, health care for more than 60 million rural Americans.

 

The award recognizes those who dedicate their life’s work to rural health and make a positive impact on rural lives.

 

“I am passionate about recruiting and retaining health care providers to rural areas, especially western Nebraska,” said Wells, who teaches population health and coordinates service learning for students. “To be recognized for my efforts by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health is a great honor.”

 

“Recipients are extraordinary people whose contributions are deserving of recognition,” said Teryl Eisinger, executive director of NOSORH. “Each is a shining example of their generosity, service, and dedication to the people who call rural America home.”

 

Wells, a graduate of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, returned to Scottsbluff after graduation where she pursued nursing degrees, including a master’s in community health nursing. She also is an education coordinator for the Nebraska Panhandle Area Health Education Center.

 

In the role, she teaches population health and coordinates service learning projects for area schools, such as arranging for nursing students to work with local health providers and resources, including student health and diabetic screenings, area soup kitchens, Habitat for Humanity, flu/immunization clinics, and even horse therapy, an increasingly popular activity.

 

Aside from her outstanding contributions, the nominator also indicated that Wells donates much of her time to advance the organization’s core and mission.

 

“Whether she’s organizing annual camps that focus on creating interest in nursing careers for high school students or pre-health professions for new college students, or at the head of the class providing didactic and experiential training, Wendy embodies the generosity and spirit of an extraordinary rural health nurse,” according to the nominator.

 

Wells is featured in a publication released on National Rural Health Day each year, which can be found at http://www.powerofrural.org/community-stars.

 

The National Organization of State Office of Rural Health is the membership association of the nation’s 50 State Offices of Rural Health. State Offices of Rural Health are anchors of information and support for rural communities, health professionals, hospitals and clinics across the nation. They are dedicated to collaboration, education, communication and innovation to improve health in small towns around the country.


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THE OREGON TRAIL COMMUNITY FOUNDATION has awarded a grant to the Western Nebraska Bicycling Club for the installation of four

Bicycle Repair Stations in the community


Scottsbluff.Four bicycle repair stations like this one, with a work stand, bicycle repair tools, and an air pump, will be installed in Scottsbluff and Gering in spring 2019. Photo courtesy of Bike Fixation

Grant support enables purchase of public bicycle repair stations

Scottsbluff and Gering will have new bicycle repair resources available this spring, thanks to a collaborative community effort and the support of City of Gering Keno Funds and the Oregon Trail Community Foundation.


The Scottsbluff-Gering-Terrytown Active Living Advisory Committee, the Nebraska Bicycling Alliance, and the Western Nebraska Bicycling Club are working with community partners to install four bicycle repair stations in the community.


The stations will be located at Western Nebraska Community College, Sonny’s Bike Shop, and the Y in Scottsbluff, and at Summit Christian College in Gering, which are all accessible by bike path or Tri-City Roadrunner busses equipped with bicycle transport racks. Each bicycle repair station will include a work stand, a tethered set of bicycle repair tools, and an air pump.


After the stations are installed in the spring, Western Nebraska Bicycling Club members will host repair clinics to teach people how to use the stations to make basic bicycle repairs.

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ALAC member Katie Bradshaw said that the availability of bicycle repair tools and the repair clinics will help more people to get out and ride.


“There are bicycles stashed in garages that are not being ridden just because a small repair is needed,” Bradshaw said. “The bike repair stations and the repair clinics can help get those hibernating bikes rolling again, and provide people with another option for getting the physical activity they need to stay healthy.”


In addition to the grants from City of Gering Keno Funds and Oregon Trail Community Foundation, funding for the bicycle repair stations is coming from Western Nebraska Bicycling Club, Western Nebraska Community College, and Sonny’s Bike Shop. The Panhandle Public Health District and Nebraska Bicycling Alliance are providing administrative support.


-For more information about the bicycle repair stations, contact Bradshaw at 308-632-3607.


About the Oregon Trail Community Foundation


The Oregon Trail Community Foundation is dedicated to supporting projects that improve education, our schools, wildlife preservation, historical landmarks, the arts, healthcare and scientific research. The Foundation offers grants, scholarships and other services to organizations and individuals through funds provided by donations, memberships, bequests, trusts and other financial vehicles.  The Oregon Trail Community Foundation helps you contribute to the betterment of your community.


About the Tri-Cities Active Living Advisory Committee


The Tri-Cities Active Living Advisory Committee creates and improves communication links and resource sharing to support healthy and active behaviors and lifestyles. The Panhandle Public Health District facilitates this working group of committed people, including representatives from Gering, Scottsbluff, and Terrytown city governments; public health professionals; citizens; and social service agencies.


About the Nebraska Bicycling Alliance


The Nebraska Bicycling Alliance works to cultivate a safer, more bicycle friendly Nebraska through partnerships, education, and advocacy. Our vision is a Nebraska where bicycling is a safe and enjoyable part of the Good Life.



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