McCook- Jessica Bortner, RN, BSN, MBA, was hired as the Community Hospital Health Foundation Executive Director, according to Troy Bruntz, Community Hospital President and CEO. Her duties begin May 29. Bortner is replacing Terri Shipshock, who retires in June.
“Jessica brings an enthusiasm with her that is very exciting for us at Community Hospital and Community Hospital Health Foundation,” Bruntz said. “We look forward to her rejoining our staff. Her healthcare background and strong leadership, business and communication skills will help to continue the mission of the health foundation.”
A native of Oklahoma, McCook has been home to Bortner since 1997, where she and her husband, Heath own and operate a farm/ranch north of town. They have a son, Charlie, 13.
She worked at Community Hospital beginning in 2000, providing patient care as a registered nurse. From 2001-2010, she oversaw the performance improvement program at the hospital, beginning as a coordinator and working up to performance improvement director. She also served as the corporate compliance officer.
During her time at Community Hospital, she revised the performance improvement program to include a process based management system linked to the hospital’s balanced score card. She also had oversight of patient safety, patient satisfaction and the performance improvement specialist. Bortner coordinated medical staff peer review and led The Joint Commission audits and improvements.
“I am honored and excited to be rejoining this excellent organization. I am looking forward to working with the health foundation board members, volunteers, hospital employees, and community to further secure the future of Community Hospital by raising funds and promoting public awareness and support,” Bortner said.
Last year, she was elected to a three-year term on the Community Hospital Board of Directors. She resigned that position as part of the agreement upon acceptance of the foundation director job. Bruntz said they hope to fill the empty board position very soon.
She graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Kearney in 2000 with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. In 2004, Bortner completed her Masters in Business Administration from Bellevue University. She also received Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training from the GE Healthcare Institute in 2009.
Bortner is a member of the McCook Rotary. She is alumni of the 2011/2012 Southwest Nebraska Leadership Institute.
HERSHEY, Neb. — Authorities have arrested a man suspected of driving drunk when his passenger jumped out of the vehicle in western Nebraska and died.
The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says a deputy sent Monday evening to the scene on Link 56C on the south side of Hershey found the woman unresponsive, lying on the roadway with a vehicle parked nearby. The sheriff's office says the deputy was unable to revive her and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
She's been identified as 45-year-old Brandy Lewis, who lived in Ogallala. An autopsy has been ordered.
The 59-year-old man who'd been driving the vehicle was interviewed and then arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. He told deputies that Lewis decided to jump while the vehicle was moving and that he couldn't stop her.
Court records don't show that he's been formally charged.
Sheriff Kapperman advises that on October 29 th , 2018 at approximately 9:30 p.m. The Furnas County Sheriff’s Office received a report of drug activity at the Arapahoe Motel in Arapahoe, Furnas County, Nebraska. The Sheriff’s Office responded and had contact with the renters, while talking with them the odor of marijuana was discovered emitting from the apartment. The Sheriff’s Office then applied for a search warrant for the residence for any and all drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Description: An Endangered Missing Advisory has been activated to determine the whereabouts of Harold Benton.
The Harlan County Sheriffs office is asking for assistance locating Harold "Gene" Benton, a 79 year old, 5'10" 225lb white male with brown hair and brown eyes missing from the Alma, NE area. Mr. Benton reportedly suffers from dementia and has medical conditions for which he does not have his medication. He was last seen Monday 9-24 at 0900. He may be driving a red 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, NE BE 4 Conservation plates. If you see Gene Benton please call 911 or the Harlan County Sheriff's office at 308-928-2147.
GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Frank Rzucek Sr. leaned forward in a Colorado courtroom, weeping with his face in his hands as his son-in-law, just feet away, was told Tuesday he could face the death penalty if convicted of killing Rzucek's daughter and two granddaughters.
Collecting himself, Rzucek glared as Christopher Watts was escorted back to jail.
The brief hearing came a day after court documents revealed that Watts told police that it was Rzucek's daughter, Shanann Watts, who strangled the kids after he told her he wanted to separate.
Watts told police that he flew into a rage and strangled his wife, took the three bodies to a remote oil site north of Denver, buried Shanann in a shallow grave and dumped the girls' bodies inside oil tanks.
Rzucek's silent angst dominated a routine court hearing in which Watts, wearing an orange jail suit and cuffed at the wrists and ankle, stoically answered, "Yes sir," as District Judge Marcelo Kopcow told him of the possible punishments if he's found guilty of killing Shanann, 34, Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4.
Shanann's brother, Frank Rzucek Jr., rubbed his father's shoulders and glared unflinchingly at Watts. A deputy stood between the men and the defendant.
Watts didn't enter pleas to three first-degree murder charges, two counts of killing a child under 12, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
GPS coordinates provided by police suggest the bodies were found at an oil worksite on or near a sprawling ranch close to Roggen, a high plains town about 40 miles (65 kilometers) east of the family's home in Frederick.
The oil site was not clearly visible Tuesday from the borders of the ranch, set in grazing land with sagebrush, yellow wildflowers and the occasional cottonwood tree. Gates to the property were closed, and the ranch owner did not immediately respond to a telephone message.
Watts worked as an operator for Anadarko Petroleum, a major Colorado oil and gas producer. He was fired Aug. 15, the day of his arrest.
Police first visited the Watts home on Aug. 13, after a friend asked officers to check on Shanann. Police searched the house and found the woman's cellphone stuffed inside a couch. Her purse was in the kitchen, and a suitcase was at the bottom of the stairs.
A detective spoke to Watts and learned about his plan to leave his wife. He told officers the conversation with Shanann was civil at first but that later "they were both upset and crying" and she planned to go to a friend's house, court papers said.
When she and the girls did not return home Aug. 14, investigators ramped up their efforts, with help from the FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Christopher Watts was interviewed by several local television stations, saying he missed his family.
In court papers, investigators said they learned that Watts was "actively involved in an affair with a co-worker," something he denied at first.
Separate documents filed by Watts' defense attorney last week said the girls' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before police found them late Thursday.
Prosecutors in Colorado have 60 days after someone is arraigned to say if they will seek the death penalty. No date has been set for Watts' arraignment. District Attorney Michael Rourke said Monday that it was too early to discuss if he will pursue capital punishment.
Shanann Watts, who's originally from North Carolina, had told family and friends she was expecting a boy. The judge said the charge of unlawful termination of pregnancy carries a prison term between 16 and 48 years.
Colorado is one of 12 states without a law broadly allowing for homicide charges in the violent death of fetuses. But state lawmakers in 2013 made the unlawful termination of pregnancy a felony.
Several efforts to change state law to allow murder charges in the death of a fetus have stalled amid disagreement about how to pass such a law without infringing on abortion rights.
As Boulder County district attorney, Stan Garnett remembers receiving dozens of calls and letters as his office prosecuted a woman accused of cutting open a pregnant woman's belly and removing her unborn child in 2015.
Garnett said a murder charge is impossible in Colorado unless prosecutors can show a fetus lived outside the mother before death.
A case involving the death of a fetus is inevitably controversial, but for prosecutors, "all that matters is what the law is and what the evidence is," Garnett said.
The Scottsbluff Police Department is continuing the investigation into the fire that took place at 810 Ferdinand Place in the early morning hours December 16, 2018. At this particular time it is believed that the fire was intentional.
The Scottsbluff Police Department is continuing to conduct interviews of persons that were near the scene at the time of the incident.