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Troopers and dispatchers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have successfully resolved an incident on Interstate 80 near Wood River.

The incident began when a trooper was notified of a vehicle that had been swerving while traveling eastbound on I-80 near Kearney. After locating the vehicle, the trooper attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle continued driving eastbound. At that time that trooper observed a firearm inside the vehicle.

As the Ford F-150 pickup continued eastbound the driver called 911 and reached the Buffalo County 911 Center. He was transferred to NSP dispatchers who spoke with him for several minutes and were able to connect him with an NSP crisis negotiator.

Troopers conducted a controlled pursuit and were able to successfully use spike strips to deflate at least one of the pickup’s tires near the Wood River exit. The vehicle exited I-80 at mile marker 300, where NSP negotiators remained in contact.

After conversations for more than an hour, the subject voluntarily left the vehicle and was taken into custody at approximately 11:25 a.m. The subject has been taken into Emergency Protective Custody.

There were no injuries to anyone involved in this incident. The NSP Aviation Support Division, Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office, and Wood River Fire and Rescue assisted in this event.

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GIPS - Traci Skalberg -010319

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Grand Island, NE - Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol arrested two people following two pursuits in the early morning hours Sunday on Highway 11 in central Nebraska.

The first pursuit occurred at approximately 1:00 a.m. in Hall County when a trooper stopped to check on a Chevrolet Impala that was parked on the shoulder of Highway 11. As the trooper approached, the vehicle fled the scene and the trooper initiated a pursuit. After a few minutes of driving at around 40 miles per hour, the vehicle stopped.

The driver, Hendrik Torres Rodriguez, 35, of Grand Island, was arrested for felony flight to avoid arrest, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence. He was lodged in Hall County Jail.

The second pursuit occurred at approximately 5:00 a.m. when a trooper observed a Chevrolet Silverado traveling at 95 miles per hour on Highway 11 in Howard County. When the trooper attempted a traffic stop, the vehicle increased its speed and traveled through Cairo at more than 110 miles per hour. At one point during the pursuit, the vehicle was traveling at more than 130 miles per hour.

A short time later, the vehicle came to a stop after its engine caught fire. The driver, Jacob Sautter, 22, of Ord, was arrested for willful reckless driving, felony flight to avoid arrest, speeding greater than 36 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, and numerous traffic violations. He was lodged in Hall County Jail. 

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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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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska state lawmaker slated to leave office next month because of term limits has stepped down early.
Former Sen. Tyson Larson, of O'Neill, announced his resignation in a letter Wednesday to Gov. Pete Ricketts.
Larson has represented the mostly rural 40th legislative district in northeastern Nebraska since 2011. He will be replaced by Tim Gragert, of Creighton, who is set to take office when a new legislative session begins next month.
Larson doesn't say why he's stepping down early. He describes his experience in the Legislature as a humbling, valuable experience.
Larson served as chairman of the General Affairs Committee. He faced criticism for spending a lot time in Omaha instead of his district, which he says was necessary to care for his son during a custody battle.

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City Of Grand Island - Based on the official forecast of a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service, The City of Grand Island has declared that a Snow Alert/Emergency will take effect at 2:00 pm today, 12-27-2018 and will remain in effect until 6:00 pm, Friday, 12-28-2018. 
This means no vehicles may be parked on the City's snow emergency routes. Please pay attention to the signs as the police will be checking routes and vehicles are subject. Also, a list of snow emergency routes is available on the City website.

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To view the latest election numbers in Hall County view them below. 

Hall County RESULTS 

Grand Island half cent city sales tax - Approved 

Grand Island Northwest middle school bond - Denied 



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NOVEMBER 1, 2018 (SCOTTSBLUFF, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol arrested an Oregon man and seized more than 300 pounds of marijuana and 60 pounds of other THC products during a traffic stop near Lodgepole on Interstate 80.

At approximately 12:10 p.m. MDT, a trooper observed an eastbound Dodge Caravan driving with expired registration near mile marker 79 on I-80. During the traffic stop, the trooper detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.

A search of the vehicle revealed 309 pounds of marijuana, 46 pounds of THC edible products, 14 pounds of THC shatter, 80 grams of THC syrup, and 2,000 THC vape cartridges. The street value of the illegal products is estimated at more than $1,000,000.

The driver, Ryan Kirk, 33, of Medford, Oregon, was arrested for possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession of controlled substances, possession with intent to deliver, and no drug tax stamp. Kirk was lodged in Cheyenne County Jail.


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