With wind gusts of 65 mph, a storm cell ripped through Northeast Nebraska early Sunday morning and hit Stanton County particularly hard.
Tree branches were down on the east part of town, along with extensive damage at Elkhorn Acres Golf Course. Dozens of community members spent the late morning and early afternoon at the course hauling branches. Multiple trees were also uprooted that will take longer to remove.
For more on the storm, including interviews with several people who had damage, pick up next week's Stanton Register.
Updated numbers from the health department show Stanton County now has 16 cases of COVID-19.
Elkhorn Logan Valley Health Department released new figures on Friday evening. There have been 16 positive cases of the 97 tested. Eight have recovered. There have been no deaths.
As a health district, there have been 359 positive cases in Stanton, Madison, Burt and Cuming counties. Burt has eight, Cuming has 26 and Madison has 309.
Woodland Park residents are asked to pay attention to severe weather, especially since only one emergency siren is in operation.
According to the Stanton County Emergency Management, the siren on Trailridge and Linwood lane is not functioning. Repair work is planned with the issues with the controller and dialer.
The siren by the East park is still functioning normally. Until this other siren is fixed, please be advised only one siren will be utilized. Residents are encouraged to be aware of the weather at all times and to utilize a weather radio during severe weather.
A Norfolk man was arrested Friday morning after about 5 ounces of suspected cocaine was found in his possession.
According to the Stanton County Sheriff's Department, Ryan Rardon, 28, of Norfolk was pulled over around 1 a.m. for speeding. He was contacted and subsequent to the contact, burnt marijuana was detected coming from inside the vehicle. A subsequent search of the car, revealed marijuana and drug paraphernalia and also located was approximately 5 ounces of suspected Cocaine.
Rardon was arrested and jailed on charges of Speeding 68/55, Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Deliver, and No Nebraska Drug Tax Stamp.
One person was transported to a local hospital following an accident in Stanton County this evening.
At about 5:20 p.m. on Thursday, the Stanton County Sheriff’s office responded to and investigated a three vehicle traffic accident that sent one driver to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, according to the sheriff's department.
Brian Suehl, 52, of rural Pilger was stopped at the intersection of 571st Avenue and U.S. Hwy 275, waiting to make a northbound turn off the highway, when his vehicle was struck from behind by an eastbound pickup pulling a camper driven by Heath Harrison, 36, of Beemer. That impact pushed the car driven by Suehl into a westbound car driven by Tanner Lancaster, 28, of Tilden, according to a press release. Suehl was taken to FRHS by ambulance and both other drivers declined medical treatment at the scene.
The Lancaster car came to rest more than a 100 yards from the intersection in the north ditch and the Suehl car came to rest in the northeast corner of the intersection. The Suehl vehicle was a total loss and traffic was directed around the scene for about 45 minutes as it was cleared. Pilger Fire and Stanton County Emergency Management assisted at the scene.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will open first-come, first-served camping on May 22 at Smith Falls State Park, 35 state recreation areas and wildlife management areas for all camping units, including tents.
This decision is prompted by overwhelming demand for camping opportunities, challenges in bringing additional park locations and campsites into the reservation system as planned, and public comments regarding the desire to camp even without normal facilities, which will remain closed. Those include shower houses, designated swimming beaches, playgrounds, and park activities. A limited number of primitive restrooms will be available.
Park regulations allow for up to eight people per campsite. The 35 state recreation areas that will be open include Alexandria, Bluestem, Box Butte, Bridgeport, Buffalo Bill, Cheyenne, Conestoga, Cottonwood Lake, Dead Timber, Enders, Gallagher Canyon, Keller Park, Lake Maloney, Long Pine, Memphis, North Loup, Olive Creek, Pelican Point, Red Willow, Riverview Marina, Rock Creek Lake, Rockford, Sandy Channel, Sherman, Stagecoach, Summit, Sutherland, Swanson, Union Pacific, Verdon, Wagon Train, Walgren Lake, War Axe, and Wildcat Hills.
Mormon Island State Recreation Area near Grand Island and Danish Alps SRA near Hubbard will not offer camping, as they are near communities with high COVID-19 incidence.
Game and Parks will open camping on wildlife management areas where it was allowed previous to the COVID-19 health emergency to help distribute camping activity.
“We made the earlier decision to allow limited RV camping, by reservation only, consistent with health directives that encourage limitations on crowd size and our current capacity to protect and serve the public,” Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas said. “We are pleased to be able to offer more opportunities on smaller park areas that typically attract less people. Busier areas such as Branched Oak Lake, Medicine Creek Reservoir and Lake McConaughy, which attract larger crowds, will retain RV camping by reservation only for the time being. As we continue to be able to add needed seasonal personnel and provide for facility maintenance, we will expand further opportunities while managing within the constraints of the ongoing health emergency.”
The prevailing health recommendations for social distancing and group sizes less than 10 to meet the state Directed Health Measures still apply, and it’s incumbent upon park visitors to be responsible for their own actions to protect their health, the health of their community and that of other park users.
For the park locations in the online reservation system, camping will continue to be limited to advanced reservation at OutdoorNebraska.gov/reservations, and only for self-contained recreational vehicles. No first-come, first-served camping is allowed at these locations, and no tents will be allowed at this time, but expanded camping may be allowed in the near future. These areas are: Branched Oak, Calamus, Chadron, Eugene T. Mahoney, Fort Kearney, Fort Robinson, Fremont, Indian Cave, Johnson Lake, Lake McConaughy, Lake Minatare, Lake Ogallala, Lewis and Clark, Louisville, Medicine Creek Reservoir, Merritt Reservoir, Niobrara, Pawnee, Platte River, Ponca, Rock Creek Station, Two Rivers, Victoria Springs, Willow Creek, and Windmill state recreation areas, state parks and state historical parks.
Game and Parks cautiously will phase in additional park services and amenities in consort with health directives and advice from health departments.
The Tri County Cruisers meet twice a month from spring to fall, and on Monday night the classic car club met in Randolph before traveling to Stanton.
Wolf’s Den brought food to them at the Stanton County Courthouse parking lot, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Look for more information on the cruise night in this week's Stanton Register.
Stanton is now included as the Nebraska Air National Guard plans a flyover salute to healthcare professionals and all Nebraskans responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. After weather caused the cancellation of the salute originally planned earlier this week, it has been rescheduled for Monday, May 18.
The revised flight plan includes more than 30 Nebraska hospitals in communities spanning nearly the entire state. The flyover will be over Stanton at about 10:53 a.m.
The KC-135 will fly above these locations at an altitude between 1,000 and 1,500 feet and speed of more than 200 miles per hour.
Nebraskans are encouraged to view the flyovers from the safety of their homes or work while practicing physical distancing. Anyone working in and living around these facilities should have no problem seeing or hearing the aircraft.
The tribute, scheduled and flown as part of an already planned training flight, is a time-honored aviation tradition of rendering honors and recognition to outstanding individuals and groups.
The Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and enhances our Nation's ability to project airpower globally. Its pilots must perform a minimum number of flight hours annually to maintain proficiency. Leveraging an already-planned training flight means the flyovers will not incur additional costs to taxpayers.
A 155th Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker, based out of the Lincoln Air National Guard base, will fly above the following healthcare facilities at the following times (exact times may vary by up to 10 minutes):
* CHI Health St. Mary's, Nebraska City: 10:10 a.m. CDT
* Bellevue Medical Center, Bellevue: 10:19 a.m. CDT
* CHI Health Midlands, Papillion: 10:21 a.m. CDT
* CHI Health Lakeside, Omaha: 10:24 a.m. CDT
* Methodist Hospital and Children's Hospital, Omaha: 10:26 a.m. CDT
* University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha: 10:27 a.m. CDT
* VA Medical Center, Omaha: 10:29 a.m. CDT
* Bergan Mercy Medical Center, Omaha: 10:30 a.m. CDT
* Methodist Fremont Health, Fremont: 10:37 a.m. CDT
* St. Francis Memorial, West Point: 10:45 a.m. CDT
* Faith Regional, Stanton: 10:53 a.m. CDT
* Faith Regional, Norfolk: 10:57 a.m. CDT
* CHI Health, Schuyler: 11:09 a.m. CDT
* Columbus Community Hospital, Columbus: 11:14 a.m. CDT
* Stromsburg Medical Clinic, Stromsburg: 11:21 a.m. CDT
* Grand Island Medical Center: 11:32 a.m. CDT
* CHI Health St Francis, Grand Island: 11:32 a.m. CDT
* Mary Lanning Healthcare, Hastings: 11:39 a.m. CDT
* CHI Health Good Samaritan, Kearney: 11:49 a.m. CDT
* Kearney Regional Medical Center, Kearney: 11:50 a.m. CDT
* Phelps Memorial, Holdrege: 11:56 a.m. CDT
* Tri Valley Health, Cambridge: 12:08 p.m. CDT
* McCook Community Hospital, McCook: 12:14 p.m. CDT
* Great Plains Regional Medical Center, North Platte: 12:32 p.m. CDT
* Ogallala Community Hospital, Ogallala: 11:46 a.m. MDT
* Box Butte General Hospital, Alliance: 12:10 p.m. MDT
* Chadron Community Hospital, Chadron: 12:24 p.m. MDT
* VA Medical Clinic and CHI Health St. Elizabeth, Lincoln: 2:39 p.m. CDT
* Bryan East Medical Center, Lincoln: 2:39 p.m. CDT
* Bryan West Medical Center, Lincoln: 2:40 p.m. CDT
Residents and workers in Stanton, Madison, Cuming and Burt counties may participate in a mobile COVID-29 testing on Monday-Tuesday, May 18-19.
Testing will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Cuming County Fairgrounds, Dinklage Building in West Point. The entrance is at Neligh Park near the swimming pool. To register, please visit www.testnebraska.com/en. When choosing the location, select Norfolk. You may also register by calling 402-529-2233. For questions, please email email@example.com.
In late March, Northeast Community College adopted distance learning delivery of its courses for its faculty and students and allowed many other employees the option to work remotely in anticipation of a possible stay-at-home order as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Although the order was never issued, the College has been developing a plan to operate with a limited number of employees and students through the summer and is looking at additional measures for the fall semester.
“We need to return to a more personal business approach based on a philosophy of academic excellence and the safety of our faculty, staff and students,” said Leah Barrett, president. “As the pandemic progresses, Northeast Community College is evaluating various ways to resume some of the services on our campuses to accommodate the needs of our students and constituents.”
Northeast operates its main campus in Norfolk with extended campuses in O’Neill, South Sioux City and West Point, and regional offices in Ainsworth and Hartington.
The Northeast COVID-19 Recovery Team has been working on designing a business continuity plan that includes facility adjustments and guidelines, practices and procedures to ensure that the College functions effectively and safely.
Since late March, buildings at all Northeast locations have been closed to the public. Under the new business continuity plan, there will be public access to a limited number of facilities beginning in June. Instruction over the summer will mainly occur in a remote format, with some students on campus in hands-on classes with social distancing in place. By June 1, academic departments will have finalized their course plans for the fall semester so that new students will know the instructional delivery format when they register for classes. This will include hands-on options, synchronous and online delivery formats.
Barrett said Northeast is working on plans now to operate safely in the months ahead.
“We want to take the next month to prepare our campuses to ensure everyone feels safe working in this new environment.”
This preparation includes placing partitions in frontline areas and make certain social distancing measures are in place for reception areas, service counters, and in open office areas. The College will also take additional measures to ensure classrooms and lab areas are reorganized by incorporating social distancing in the context of the learning environment.
Also, in June, Northeast Community College will bring a limited number of employees back to its campuses in a staggered or staged approach incorporating a combination of work from home and work in College offices. Barrett said this method of work will likely be in place as the threat of COVID-19 persists, which could be for several weeks, most of the summer, and even into the fall.
“We will continue to seek guidance from state and area public health agencies which may mean an increase or decrease in the number of employees on site and the number of buildings open.”
In addition, the College will provide facemasks to all staff and faculty and encourage them to wear them. A group of employees plans to set up a sewing room to make masks for all employees who have a desire to wear one - or they can wear one of your own.
Barrett said it has been a challenge to plan for the months ahead not knowing how long the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 will persist.
“What we look like on June 21 may be very different than September 1, but academic excellence and the safety and the health of our College community will be at the forefront of opening and in the management of facilities and the number of employees working on our campuses. We will need to be nimble and flexible as we progress through these uncharted times,” she said. “However, I am confident our business continuity plan approach to reopening can bring some normalcy back into our lives.”