The Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association will not have a pageant this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was not made lightly – it came after months of consideration and monitoring of safety recommendations by state and local health officials.
The MRNA tried to come up with alternatives, even pushing the pageant back from June to August, while still keeping the welfare of contestants and attendees as its top priority. Ultimately, it was determined that cancelling the pageant was in the best interest of everyone.
The reigns of Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2020 Joeli Walrath and Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska 2019 Brylee Thompson will be extended into next year.
“The safety of those involved with the pageant and the public was the committee’s foremost concern, thus making the decision for us to cancel the pageant,” said Cindy Petersen, chair of the pageant committee. “We are grateful to our current titleholders who are willing to carry their titles into the next year and are looking forward to a successful pageant in 2021.”
Miss Rodeo America, Inc. made the same announcement last week – putting off its pageant until December of 2021. Current MRA, Jordan Tierney, will continue her reign until that time.
More information about the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association, its titleholders and history can be found online at missrodeonebraska.org.
North Platte, Ne - The following students qualified for the President’s List at Mid-Plains Community College during the 2020 spring term. To make the list, each student had to complete 12 or more applicable credit hours in college-level courses and maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.9 or greater on a 4.0 scale.
Anselmo - Luke Christen
Big Springs - Logan Osmera
Brady - Colton Lovitt, Emery Swan
Broken Bow - Mahala Sanchez
Brule - Justin Candy
Cambridge - Eddie Jaeger, Audrey Paisley
Cozad - Kaitlyn Kleinknecht, Tatiana Orozco
Culbertson - Kiera Barr, Suzette Dutcher, Adelina Wilcox
Elwood - Jaycee Wooters
Gothenburg - Mark Boson
Grant - Christopher Terry
Hershey - Caje Naranjo
Imperial - Kent Silvester
Indianola - Terasa Emmons, Dylan Hofman
Kearney - Makenzie Kollars
Lewellen - Shaun Swoboda
Lexington - Hana Brock, Weston Kunkee
McCook - Wade Burkert, Madison Cooper, Deanne Crocker, Stephen Guthrie, Kyle Kinne, Adrienne LaBay, Tyler Lytle, Nicholas Macfee, Brittanie Nolan, Rebecca O’Connor, Mary Osborne, Bria Simmonds, Ethan Wilcox, Alexander Wolvin
Merna - Cynthia Huhman
Mullen - Alysen Daniels
North Platte - Blake Barner, Alyssa Bergeron, Ty Brouillette, Noel Burrell, Tanner Collins, Blayden Gilbert, Elizabeth Goentzel, Kali Griesfeller, Regan Gutschenritter, Matthew Haynes, Shayla Hecht, Caleb Horne, Stephanie Johnson, Adam Kelsey, McKynzie Kelsey, Sungmoon Kim, Nicholas Lemke, Jenny Lim, Jade Lovitt, Sophia Maizo, Gabrielle Menghini, Duane Miller, Megan Morash, Angel Murphy, Jade Osborn, Shane Roebuck, Megan Shannon, Jaylee Sheets, Sylvan Singh, Amanda Smith, Carlye Stoppkotte, Bryson Walker, Daniel Wardyn, David Wellnitz, Ashtyn Winder, Lucas Zimbelman
Ogallala - McKenna Headley, Madison Mendoza, Conner Stevens
Ord - Chance Williams, Wyatt Williams
Paxton - Dalton Perlinger
Sutherland - Dewey Davis, Erica Hopping, Bonita Naughtin
Trenton - Jayda Dwyer, Kyleigh Scott
Valentine - Sheyenne Hammond
Venango - Valerie Perez
Wauneta - Alejandra Almanza
North Platte, Ne - A North Platte man will face first-degree murder charges stemming from Friday’s fatal shooting in North Platte.
43 year old Keith Allen made his preliminary court appearance Tuesday where he was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of 25 year old Brett Torres.
Allen called 911 Friday afternoon and reported that he had shot Torres in self-defense.
Police arrived on scene and found Torres in a vehicle unresponsive and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Police did not report finding any weapons in Torres' possession or inside the vehicle.
Allen will remain in the custody of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office with no bond, and is due back in court on June 4th.
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.
Whats Next For Hall County
(Listen to this feature in it's entirty below)
(Grand Island, NE) - Monday morning a flyover..over CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island to salute those on the front lines in our healthcare system, a healthcare system that with collaboration with other hospitals and an extremely dedicated staff of heroes were not overwhelmed by the coronavirus.
The data coming back from the Central District Health Department in GI is also showing positive signs, signs all pointing to one thing.
We are past the peak of this virus.
But instead of a sigh of relief, it’s more concern, and more questions for local businesses in Grand Island who watch other parts of the state slowly open, while our community sits on the sidelines.
Local business owner Casey Williams is in the tourism industry, a hotel owner with the Travel Lodge here in GI, who has seen bookings and stays simply come to a halt as more and more events preemptively call things off.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has said consistently, that the original goal of the DHM's and social distancing practices were to not overwhelm the healthcare system.
“That’s what we’ve done very successfully, at no point was our health care system in danger of being overwhelmed.”
So mission accomplished? Will we see a relaxation on the directed health mandates and social distancing restrictions?
The Governor has taken a more cautious approach.
The frustration that many Nebraskan’s are feeling isn’t due to the boredom of social distancing, it’s the uncertainty and the lack of a gameplan for the business community to move forward.
A popular hashtag on social media is “win back GI”, it could be argued we never lost it, but while we wait, the question remains...what will we come back to?