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Former Husker Coach to Speak in Hastings

Former Husker coach Dr. Tom Osborne will speak in Hastings next week.

Osborne will be on hand at Mary Lanning Healthcare Monday in support of the Teammates mentoring program, an organization he co-founded with his wife Nancy in 1991. Osborne will speak about the importance mentoring can play on middle and high school students.

The event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Monday at Mary Lanning Healthcare's conference room on the lower level. RSVP's can be made by contacting Hastings chapter coordinator Valerie Bren at 402-984-9016.

State Rejects Hall County's Request to Raise Fees for Prisoners

State officials have rejected Hall County's effort to raise its daily fee for housing state prisoners.

County corrections director Fred Ruiz told the county Board of Supervisors this week that he'd sought $93 a day, an increase of $5 from the current $88 a day. And he sought a guarantee of 90 state inmates a day.

The state rejected his bid and countered with an offer of $88 a day for 82 state inmates.

The county board voted Tuesday to offer the state a rate of $88 per day for 82 beds and offer to provide space for 14 more inmates for $75 a day each.

Shelton Marine Receives Purple Heart

A Buffalo County soldier has received a prestigious honor for his service in the war in Afghanistan.

U.S. Marine Corporal Colin Colindres of Shelton was recently awarded a Purple Heart for wounds suffered while serving in Afghanistan in January 2011, when his company came under sniper fire while helping local residents build a road.

Colindres was hospitalized for nearly a month after he was hit in the head with a metal door during an explosion.

The Purple Heart is awarded to people who are wounded or killed while serving in the armed forces.

Colindres is a 2009 graduate of Sumner-Eddyville-Miller High School and joined the Marine Corps soon after graduation.

Hastings Couple to Chair United Way Campaign

A Hastings couple has been selected to chair the United Way of South Central Nebraska's 2015-16 fundraising campaign.

Jeff and Abby Schneider will chair the campaign this year. Jeff is Director of Finance at Hastings Public Schools and Abby is a Paraeducator at Alcott Elementary. Jeff is also past president of Hastings Sunrise Rotary and the President Elect of the Nebraska Association of School Business Officials.

Joining the campaign cabinet also are Tim and Hilarie Redline, owners of Redline Pharmacy.

The United Way's fundraising goal will be announced when it officially kicks off in September.

Hall County to Investigate Jail

The Hall County Board of Supervisors has voted to hire a Lincoln law firm to lead an investigation into the Hall County Jail.

The board voted Tuesday after a short meeting with the county's attorney, Jack Zitterkopf. He declined to specify what led to the investigation of the jail.

Corrections Director Fred Ruiz said that there had been complaints recently filed by jail staff and that one employee who made allegations quit her job last week. He declined to give further information about the complaints.

Hastings Church Seeks Public's Help After Vandalism

A Hastings church was recently vandalized and now they are seeking the public's help to assist with cleanup efforts.

Hastings Police were called to the First Baptist Church on June 21, after someone reported graffiti spray painted on several walls inside the church. The suspects spray painted many of the rooms in the basement of the church and also broke a window and put a few holes in the wall.

The small church has no paid staff and is asking the public to join them on Saturday, July 11 to help them clean up and paint over the graffiti.

Officials say they have a few leads but anyone with information is asked to contact Hastings Police.

Aurora Stabbing Suspect Arraigned

A preliminary hearing has been set for a Grand Island man accused of stabbing a teenager in an Aurora park.

18-year-old Brayden Milhon was arraigned yesterday. He faces charges of second-degree assault, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony and terroristic threats. Court documents state that the alleged incident occurred on June 15.

Milhon admitted to police of the stabbing and said that he and the victim had exchanged Facebook messages the night before and agreed to meet to fight. The victim is not being identified because of his age.

Milhon is currently free after paying 10 percent of a $50,000 bond and has been ordered to not have contact with the victim. Milhon's preliminary hearing was set for July 21 in Hamilton County.

Hastings Prepares for 4th of July

The Hastings Parks and Recreation Department says the Hastings AquaCourt will be open limited hours this Saturday for the 4th of July. It will be open from Noon until 4 p.m. so that employees can enjoy the festivities at Brickyard Park which begin at 5:30 p.m. The parks department says admission to the AquaCourt will be half off on Saturday due to the limited hours.

The Brickyard Park festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with concessions being offered. Then ahead of Saturday's fireworks show, the parks department will host a free outdoor concert, as Recreation Superintendent Ryan Martin explains.

"We're having the Rumbles band back again this year. The concert will start up at 7 p.m. We will be asking for free-will donations. The funds donated are used for each year's fireworks," Martin said.

If it rains on Saturday, Martin says the concert and fireworks show would be pushed back to Sunday at the same time.

West Nile Confirmed in Webster County

The South Heartland District Health Department is reporting that mosquitoes recently trapped in Webster County have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

It's the first positive pool to be collected in Nebraska this year. Mosquitoes were collected on June 16 and tested positive on June 25. Symptoms of the disease can vary but can include fever, headaches, body aches, joint pain, nausea, vomiting and/or a rash. Approximately 1 in 150 people will develop more severe illness.

The health department says the best way to prevent the spread of West Nile is to avoid being out between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are more prevalent, using insect repellent containing DEET, dressing in long pants, socks and long sleeves when outdoors and frequently draining containers of standing water where mosquitoes tend to breed.

Fischer Urges Nebraskans to Get Aboard Broadband-wagon

Senator Deb Fischer was in Omaha Monday along with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai discussing the need to make broadband internet policy a priority.

Fischer stressed the need to have an open internet continually available in rural parts of Nebraska.

"If we can have broadband connection all across the state, we'll see Nebraska grow. That's how we're going to be able to continue to grow the economy to help small businesses and farms and ranches. It will encourage young people to come back to rural Nebraska to establish their families and grow the economy," Fischer said.

For years small businesses have invested a lot of capital in those smaller areas. But due to new net neutrality laws that is being threatened and could lead to higher prices and companies may pull out of servicing some areas due to high costs. Fischer says the federal government needs to modernize its rules to unleash high-tech connectivity.

"It's really important that we keep our universal service fund. That helps to supplement those tremendous costs that the smaller telecommunications companies have when they're building out fiber and when they're building out broadband to rural communities. All of us pay in to that fund when we pay our phone bills," Fischer said.

Commissioner Pai and Senator Fischer held round-table discussions Monday covering broadband policy and telecommunications policies affecting broadcasters statewide. She was our guest this morning on the KHAS Close Up program.

Authorities Locate Missing Hastings Man

The Adams County Sheriff's Department says they've located a Hastings man who was reported missing from his home near Juniata Monday.

85-year old Floyd Hanson was located this morning in Ravenna. He apparently drove to Ravenna in his farm pickup. According to Deputy Byron Morrow with the Adams County Sheriff's department Hanson was doing fine but was taken to a Kearney hospital as a precaution.

The sheriff's department says Hanson suffers from occasional bouts of confusion.

Report Details What Led to Nebraska Prison Riot

A report investigating the deadly riot at a Nebraska prison last month says too many inmates were outside their cells at the time of the incident.

Multiple inmates at Tecumseh State Corrections Institution had been released simultaneously for medication distribution, which led to a large gathering in the prison courtyard. According to the report, there were 57 staff members at the facility, the minimum allowed for monitoring the 1,024 inmates.

The administrator who drafted the report recommended several procedural changes going forward, including the way medications are distributed to prisoners.

The May 10th riots led to the deaths of two inmates and the prison has been on lockdown ever since.

Four Remain Hospitalized Following Tractor Pull Accident

Three men and one woman remain hospitalized after being injured during a tractor pull Sunday in Boelus.

Mark Bradley, president of the Nebraska Truck and Tractor Pullers Association told KHAS Radio that three of those injured are still in serious condition but he expects them all to make a full recovery. One person was also treated and released on Sunday.

The accident occurred when a tractor slid off the track and went into the pit area. Bradley says it's still not known what caused the malfunction. He says they use a lot of safety equipment that it's "historically been a safe sport."

The injured woman and one of the injured men are members of the Boelus Tractor Pull committee and the other two men are Gothenburg residents who are also associated with the Nebraska Truck and Tractor Pullers Association

Rowe Sanctuary Taking Advantage of Newly Acquired Land

A key piece of riverfront property is now being integrated into the Rowe Sanctuary.

The National Audubon Society had reportedly been trying to acquire the land for roughly 40 years prior to last summer's purchase. The land filled in a gap in the riverfront land the group maintains.

Director Bill Taddicken says the newly acquired 590 acres gives the facility about 4.5 miles of contiguous riverfront and adjacent land.

The farmhouse on the property has also been expanded to provide lodging for volunteers during the sandhill crane migration.

Grand Island Schools to Consider Four Bids for Starr Elementary

Grand Island Public Schools officials say all four bids they recently received to build a new elementary school were higher than they hoped.

The bids offered last Thursday to build the new Starr Elementary ranged from a low of $17.1 million to a high of $18.8 million. Dan Petsch, director of buildings and grounds, says the results were not completely unexpected because they came during the contractors' busy season, when prices tend to be higher.

The school is scheduled to be completed in summer 2017. The school board will consider those bids next month.

Five Injured in Boelus Tractor Pull

Five people were injured Sunday during a tractor pull in Boelus. At least two of the victims were critically injured.

Howard County Sheriff Tom Busch says a tractor and sled went through the far end of the track, colliding with multiple vehicles, event staff and participants. It happened shortly before 3 p.m. No spectators were in the area.

Investigators say it's unclear what caused the tractor to malfunction. The tractor was upside down on its side according to one deputy.

All five victims were transported to St. Francis Medical Center. No names have been released.

Lawrence Infant Drowns in Family Pool

The Nuckolls County Sheriff's Office says a 2-year-old girl died Sunday morning after drowning in a family-owned swimming pool in Lawrence.

Officers were dispatched to the home at around 10:20 a.m. when the 911 call came in. The girl was transported to Mary Lanning Healthcare, but doctors were unable to save the child.

The Nuckolls County Sheriff's Office will conduct an investigation of the incident.

Ravenna Man Sentenced in Child Sex Abuse Case

A 33-year old Ravenna man who was convicted of incest and sexually assaulting a child has been given 15 to 25 years in prison. The incident happened in Kearney between Aug. 31 and Sept 2, 2013. The man's name is not being released in order to protect the identity of the young girl who was a minor under the age of 12 at the time of the incident.

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