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Adams Central Board to Make Key Decision on Bond Issue

The Adams Central Board of Education will meet tonight and consider moving forward on a potential new bond election for 2016.

District officials are hoping to pass a school bond that would allow them to build a new elementary school in western Adams County. The proposal is for either an $18.2 million site near Juniata or a $19.7 million site near Adams Central High School.

Phone surveys were sent out to patrons in late December and early January and have since been reviewed by district officials. The board will also review and accept the traffic studies for the elementary sites.

Tonight's meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at Adams Central East Elementary.

Feed Yard Operator Facing Animal Cruelty Charges

A Beaver City man faces several charges after 93 cow and calf carcasses were found at his feed yard in Furnas County.

Online court records say 59-year-old Steve Clason is charged with six counts of abandoning or cruelly neglecting livestock and six counts of improper disposal of a carcass. Clason reportedly owed an Omaha-based livestock company more than $2 million. The company attempted to repossess the cattle on Jan. 19. That's when authorities discovered the dead cattle which were left to rot. The dead animals and hundreds of others were collateral for a loan.

Court documents say that the other cattle found alive were said to be in poor condition. An arraignment is scheduled for March 18.

Nelson Residents to Decide Fate of City Councilwoman

Residents in Nelson will head to the polls tomorrow to decide if a city councilwoman should keep her seat.

The Hastings Tribune reports that Vicky Garner's status came under fire in October after a petition was circulated accusing Garner of obtaining information "without board approval for her own personal gain." The petition was started by resident Emily Sole who accuses Garner of not having the best interest for the community when it comes to her position unless it benefits her wants and needs.

The petition came about after Garner applied for a liquor license and contacted the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission directly seeking information.

The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Nelson City Auditorium.

CNHS Caring For More than 30 Breeder Puppies

More than 30 puppies are being nursed back to health after being rescued from a breeder in central Nebraska last month.

A $10,000 grant will pay for the care of those puppies at the Central Nebraska Humane Society. Since taking the 31 dogs on January 11, one of the dogs had a litter of puppies and another litter is expected soon. Executive Director Laurie Dethloff estimates it will cost $12,000 to $14,000 to rehabilitate the dogs. She says many of them will lose all of their teeth because they are in bad condition.

Four of the dogs have been adopted and two are in foster care.

Experts to Field Questions About Affordability of the Affordable Care Act

Six years in, the Affordable Care Act still presents a lot of questions and challenges both for individuals and for healthcare providers.

On Friday, Kylie Nichols, an Affordable Care Act Certified Navigator from North Platte will attempt to answer questions about how those insured on the exchange have been impacted. Judy Reimer, with the League of Women Voters in Hastings is helping sponsor the event through the YWCA of Adams County.

"We really want the questions to be answered about how beneficial to the insured is the Affordable Care Act at this point? We should have some numbers on how many Nebraskans are enrolled, how many have enrolled this year and what the quality of their insurance policies is," Reimer said.

In addition a Mary Lanning Healthcare representative will also look at the perspective of how the law has affected how care is provided to patients. According to data from the hospital, emergency room visits have gone up from nearly 12,000 patients in 2013 to 14,000 in 2015.

"We really were after an update. Then we decided we want more than figures. We want to know the impact it has on our fellow citizens and the impact it has on our providers," Reimer said.

Friday's event starts at noon at the YWCA of Adams County and is free and open to the public.

Kearney Police Investigating Assault and Attempted Armed Robbery

Kearney Police are investigating an assault and attempted robbery that occurred after midnight last night at Casey's General Store south.

A 56 year old female received minor injuries and was treated at CHI Good Samaritan Hospital. The male suspect fled the scene on foot heading north and has yet to be located.

A picture of the suspect can be seen to the right. It is also on the Kearney Police Department Facebook page. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (308) 237-3424 or the Kearney Police Department at (308) 237-2104.

Hastings Woman Takes Plea Deal in Toddler's Death

A plea deal was reached Thursday in the case of a 34-year-old Hastings woman accused in the March 2015 death of a toddler who choked on a baby wipe.

Azudany Serrano-Contreras pleaded no contest to negligent child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. The punishment carries up to a five year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. Prosecutors reduced the charge from intentional child abuse causing death, which is punishable by 20 years to life in prison. Sentencing will take place April 11.

Nineteen-month old Aliyana Peterson's death was ruled a homicide by a Colorado pathologist who conducted her autopsy. He said the only way the toddler could have choked was by force.

CNRA Back to Normal After Blizzard

Things are starting to get back to normal at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport. Executive Director Mike Olson said it was one of the worst snow storms he's ever seen.

"We had just short of 19 inches of snow out here. We got the runway open at 11:30 a.m. yesterday and weren't able to do snow removal until about 3 or 4 a.m. because it was too windy and too dangerous. Visibility was pretty much zero," he said.

The airport closed Monday at 10:30 p.m. and all flights had to be cancelled due to white out conditions. He says the runway is cleared and in good shape.

"We had our first flight come in last night and we had two flights leave this morning," he said.

Downtown Kearney In Bad Shape After Blizzard

Kearney has announced a snow emergency for the downtown area prohibiting parking between the hours of 1 and 6 a.m. Friday.

Street Superintendent Roger Petersen says crews have been working hard and will continue to do so when they work downtown

"We've just got to get that moved as much as we can but the bad thing is that a lot of it's packed already so we won't be able to peel it up. It's going to be rough downtown," he said.

Crews won't be widening roads or clearing around people's mailboxes, and Petersen adds that cul-de-sacs have been especially difficult.

"It's taking a lot of time because I had to pull two of my loaders off that I normally use and put snow blowers on so we could snow blow," he said.

Another reason for an extended time clearing areas has been number or workers and durability of the equipment

"We only have so many people and so much equipment. A lot of our equipment has been breaking down because the snow has been so rough," he said.

Petersen adds that they are doing all they can to make sure students can safely return to school tomorrow.

Hastings Streets Now Driveable

The city of Hastings is functioning now with roads in decent shape throughout most of the city.

There are still some slick spots and officials still urge people to use caution when driving. Adams County Emergency Manager Chip Volcek says Hwy 6 west was cleared to the county line and Hwy 281 south was also clear but still a bit snow packed. Volcek says the roads to Roseland, Holstein and Smith Road are all cleared too, with snow packed in some areas.

The northeastern part of the city was a little slower to get cleared because one of the trucks got a flat tire, according to Adams County Roads Superintendent Dawn Miller.

Fairbury Man Arrested After Domestic Dispute

Authorities in Fairbury have arrested a 20-year-old man on a felony weapons charge and for making terroristic threats.

James McClain of Fairbury is accused of domestic assault after a conversation escalated between he and another woman. According to a police investigation, McClain blocked the woman from escaping the residence and threatened her with a kitchen knife. After police were called, McClain fled the scene and was arrested in the city park.

McClain was booked in to the Jefferson County Jail.

Adams County, Hastings Roads Improving

Adams County Emergency Manager Chip Volcek released the following statement this morning about the conditions of all Adams County roads.

State Highway 6:
Passable East of Hastings but snow packed and icy-drive with caution.

West of Hastings from Marian Rd to Juniata Road-CLOSED-do not attempt-vehicles are stuck (this is from the State Patrol)

State Highway 281:
Hastings to Doniphan-Icy and snow packed-Unknown North of Doniphan
Hastings South-no report from the Department of Roads.

County Roads:

All of the asphalt roads are cleared with two lanes and shoulders pushed back. Slippery in some places but melting (Thank you sun!). Drive with care.

Emergency snow gravel routes are being cleaned as I am writing this-the County is opening up 2 lanes on them.
Other gravel roads will be opened with at least one lane. Starting Thursday AM-the roads will be back to widening the secondary gravel routes.

City Streets:

The city is doing an outstanding job of opening most if not all the streets. They will be working harder on down town and snow emergency routes so the snow emergency can be lifted by noon tomorrow.

ALWAYS drive with care and don't risk roads that are not open

I-80 and Several Nebraska Highways Remain Closed

Interstate 80 remains closed from Lincoln to North Platte and the Nebraska State Patrol officials say there is no timetable for its reopening.

The interstate's closure will again affect mail delivery. The Hastings Post Office is open for business for retail purposes. However because all the mail comes from Omaha, you may not get that important package again today. Street delivery, if any, will be minimal today because the Hastings office has had no deliveries in or out in the last 24 hours.

Highway 281 remains completely snow covered from Hastings to Doniphan. Crews. Highway 6 also is impassable from just east of Heartwell to just east of Exeter. Snow covered highways are also making travel difficult in Buffalo and Hall Counties.

Snow covered roads have divided the state like a bandage from southwest Nebraska to northeast Nebraska

There are some additional road closures throughout Central Nebraska. According to the roads department, US 136 between Republican City and Bloomington is closed, Hwy 23 between Smithfield and Bertrand is closed Hwy 92 between Arnold and Merna is closed because the road is blocked.

Blizzard Shuts Down the Mail in Hastings

The blizzard is crippling many businesses throughout the Tri-Cities and South Central Nebraska.

Even the US Postal Service, which rarely closes, is not operational today.

Mike Jones, postmaster at the Hastings post office says there will be no mail delivery today. There also will be no retail postal service as none of the employees were able to make it into work today.

The Hastings facility was unable to get its delivery from the Omaha distribution center.

Hastings Police Trying to Identify Possible Car Thief

Hastings Police are seeking the public's help identifying a man believed to have been involved in a vehicle theft last week.

The stolen vehicle has since been found in Doniphan was stolen from a Hastings business. A surveillance photo of the man (at right) is posted to the Hastings Police Department Facebook page.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Paul Weber at 402-461-2380.

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