USDA Offers Funding for Farmers Markets, Local Food Programs

USDADES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s focus has traditionally been on food production, agriculture and natural resources but under the administration of President Barack Obama the USDA also has taken on a broader rural economic development role.

The agency has funded energy projects, small business loans, upgrades to power lines and high speed internet.

Some don’t consider financial support for such rural development projects to be among the agency’s fundamental roles but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack disagrees.

Vilsack is now promoting newly available funding of up to $800,000 to support farmers markets and other local food initiatives.

The USDA since 2009 has invested $800 million in more than 29,000 local and regional food projects including investments in 1,000 local food projects in Iowa and 617 in Nebraska.

Same-Sex Marriage Could Provide Business Boost in Nebraska

gaymarriageLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow same-sex marriage could be good news for businesses that serve couples, from wedding planners to divorce attorneys.

Businesses that help plan and stage weddings say they expect a boost from gay and lesbian couples who can now marry legally in Nebraska, instead of traveling elsewhere.

Susan Madsen, general manager of the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, says she has fielded a handful of calls from couples interested in using the venue for wedding receptions. Madsen says the hotel is marketing itself in hopes of attracting more soon-to-wed couples.

A 2014 study by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute found that extending marriage rights to Nebraska same-sex couples could generate $8 million in economic activity over three years.

Hot Sheets (7/5): You Might Want to Wake Up for This


Tyler Wayne Bornsen: Driving Under the Influence of Liquor, Minor in Possession

Tyler Wayne Bornsen: Driving Under the Influence of Liquor, Minor in Possession

Joshua Dean Devitt: Carrying a Prohibited Weapon

Joshua Dean Devitt: Carrying a Prohibited Weapon

Shane Adam Fisher: Conditional Release Violation

Shane Adam Fisher: Conditional Release Violation

Jeffery Micheal Florom: Driving Under the Influence of Liquor (2nd), Carrying a Concealed Weapon

Jeffery Micheal Florom: Driving Under the Influence of Liquor (2nd), Carrying a Concealed Weapon

Bailey L. McMillin: Failure to Appear

Bailey L. McMillin: Failure to Appear

Terry Dean Yonker: Driving Under Suspension

Terry Dean Yonker: Driving Under Suspension

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This information is not a criminal history. Criminal charges are often dropped or reduced. All individuals included in this post are presumed innocent of crimes until proven guilty in a court of law. The North Platte Post assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, or completeness, of this information. Any person who believes information provided is not accurate may submit a complaint to admin@northplattepost.com.

Scottsbluff Woman Faces Motor Vehicle Homicide Charge

fatal-accidentSCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — A 29-year-old Scottsbluff woman has been charged with misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide in the death of a 68-year-old German man.

Scotts Bluff County Attorney Dave Eubanks said he’s citing Magdeline Pourier in the case. Eubanks says careless driving led to the death of Michael Schmidt, of Leipzig, Germany. Schmidt died June 28 after Pourier struck the man, who was walking in the street.

Schmidt, who suffered head trauma in the accident, died at Regional West Medical Center.

Hot Sheet (7/4): What a Blast!


Ashley Nicole Burow: Failure to Appear

Ashley Nicole Burow: Failure to Appear

Terrell Thomas Cardenas: Criminal Mischief

Terrell Thomas Cardenas: Criminal Mischief

Darla Dee Gray: Felony Burglary, Criminal Mischief ($500 to $1,500)

Darla Dee Gray: Felony Burglary, Criminal Mischief ($500 to $1,500)

Jeffery Wayne Resh: Attempted Possession of Methamphetamine

Jeffery Wayne Resh: Attempted Possession of Methamphetamine

Jesus Ramos Rodriquez: Felony Terroristic Threats, Disturbing the Peace

Jesus Ramos Rodriquez: Felony Terroristic Threats, Disturbing the Peace

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This information is not a criminal history. Criminal charges are often dropped or reduced. All individuals included in this post are presumed innocent of crimes until proven guilty in a court of law. The North Platte Post assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, or completeness, of this information. Any person who believes information provided is not accurate may submit a complaint to admin@northplattepost.com.

Nebraska AG Says University Violated Open Meetings Act

university-of-nebraskaLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s attorney general says the University of Nebraska violated the state’s open meetings law when it held private meetings as part of its search for a new president.

Attorney General Doug Peterson concluded the University of Nebraska violated the open meetings act when it held a series of private committee sessions leading to the disclosure of four finalists.

However, Peterson also said in a letter dated Wednesday that the university’s selection of Hank Bounds as president was settled and a criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit wasn’t warranted.

Peterson’s letter was in response to a complaint filed by journalist Deena Winter of Nebraska Watchdog.

University spokeswoman Melissa Lee says officials didn’t intend to violate the law and were pleased the president’s selection was valid.

Olivia Rae Swedberg


olivia-swedbergOlivia Rae Swedberg, age 3 of North Platte, passed away Tuesday June 30, 2015 in North Platte.

Olivia was born on October 3, 2011 in North Platte to Brock and Lauressa (Whitney) Swedberg.  She was a do-it-myself kind of girl; independent and strong willed, but a lover to the core.  She loved to be given a job like unloading the dishwasher or helping her Dad in the garage.  She touched more lives in her short time here than most people ever do.  Through the gift of donation, she was the miracle that other families had been praying for.

Olivia is survived by her parents Brock and Lauressa, and sister Sophia of North Platte; grandparents Ben and Rae Jeanne Swedberg of North Platte, Jeff Whitney of Kimball and Jeri Rae (Paul) Kniep of Hershey; great grandparents Charles Putman of North Platte, Eva Swedberg of North Platte, Irene and Rex Hayes of Henderson, NE, Marcella Kniep of Byron, NE and Marilyn & Pat Sandberg of Hershey; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; as well as other extended family members and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her great grandparents Reuben Swedberg, Janice Putman and LaVerne Kniep.

Memorials are suggested to The Olivia Swedberg Fund at the UP Credit Union and Hershey State Bank.  Online condolences may be shared at www.adamsswanson.com.  Olivia’s family will receive friends at a reception from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday July 7, 2015 at Adams and Swanson Funeral Home.  Private family services will be held at a later date.

NP Man Accused of Stealing Cash, Credit Card Numbers from Motel Where He Worked

Conner Pitre

Conner Pitre

A 22-year-old North Platte man is facing a felony theft charge after he allegedly ran a theft scheme at a local motel where he worked.

On June 24, an officer with the North Platte Police Department responded to the Oak Tree Inn, 451 Halligan Drive, in regards to a suspected employee theft.

The officer met with management, who alleged that over the past month, they had received several calls from prior guests indicating that their credit cards had been charged for an extra night at the Oak Tree.

According to police, management began looking into the claims and discovered that Conner Pitre, an employee, was responsible for all the transactions.

Through their investigation, police learned that, when a customer would pay cash for a room, Pitre would pocket the money.  He would then allegedly use a credit card number from a different guest to pay for the room.

On July 3, officers made contact with Pitre in a parking lot in the 1100 block of South Jeffers Street and took him into custody.

It’s estimated that Pitre took between $500 and $1,000, making the crime a felony.

Pitre was jailed at the Lincoln County Detention Center.

Hot Sheets (7/3): Hat-Head and Facial Tats


Alex Russell Bowman: Safekeeper-Keith County

Alex Russell Bowman: Safekeeper-Keith County

Bryan Michael Brawley: Safekeeper-Keith County

Bryan Michael Brawley: Safekeeper-Keith County

Jeffrey David Cochran: Fraud (Bad Checks)-Less Than $200

Jeffrey David Cochran: Fraud (Bad Checks)-Less Than $200

Matthew Powell Edrich: Felony Possession of Hashish, Possession of Marijuana (More than 1oz, Less than 1 Lb.)

Matthew Powell Edrich: Felony Possession of Hashish, Possession of Marijuana (More than 1oz, Less than 1 Lb.)

Joshua William Gayle: Safekeeper-Keith County

Joshua William Gayle: Safekeeper-Keith County

Drew A. Hallett: Felony Possession of Hashish, Possession of Marijuana (More than 1 Oz., Less tha 1 Lb.)

Drew A. Hallett: Felony Possession of Hashish, Possession of Marijuana (More than 1 Oz., Less tha 1 Lb.)

Brian Michael Hansen: Safekeeper-Keith County

Brian Michael Hansen: Safekeeper-Keith County

Charles Duane Huebner: Driving Under the Influence of Liquor (1st)-Under .15

Charles Duane Huebner: Driving Under the Influence of Liquor (1st)-Under .15

Vecenzio Vinny Luciano: Fugitive from Justice-Lancaster County

Vecenzio Vinny Luciano: Fugitive from Justice-Lancaster County

Brady P. Micek: Felony Possession of Hashish, Possession of Marijuna (More than 1 Oz., Less than 1 Lb.)

Brady P. Micek: Felony Possession of Hashish, Possession of Marijuna (More than 1 Oz., Less than 1 Lb.)

Colter Hayden Parks: Felony Visually Depict Sexually Explicit Conduct (19+)

Colter Hayden Parks: Felony Visually Depict Sexually Explicit Conduct (19+)

Conner William-Levi Pitre: Felony Theft by Deception

Conner William-Levi Pitre: Felony Theft by Deception

Jeremy Pounds: Felony Possession of Hashish, Possession of Marijuana (More than 1 Oz., Less than 1 Lb.)

Jeremy Pounds: Felony Possession of Hashish, Possession of Marijuana (More than 1 Oz., Less than 1 Lb.)

Click Here To See Past Hot Sheets

This information is not a criminal history. Criminal charges are often dropped or reduced. All individuals included in this post are presumed innocent of crimes until proven guilty in a court of law. The North Platte Post assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, or completeness, of this information. Any person who believes information provided is not accurate may submit a complaint to admin@northplattepost.com.

Health Alert Issued for Blue-Green Algae at Sutherland Reservoir

health-alertThe state has issued a health alert for toxic blue-green algae at Sutherland Reservoir in Lincoln County.

This is the first health alert issued in the 2015 recreational season. Weekly sampling has been conducted at 50 public lakes in Nebraska since the beginning of May.

Samples taken earlier this week at Sutherland Reservoir were above the state’s health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin (a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.) The alert will continue at the lake for at least two more weeks, because lakes that are on health alert must have two consecutive weeks of readings below the threshold before the alert is discontinued.

When a health alert is issued, signs are posted to advise the public to use caution, and designated swimming beaches are closed during the alert. Recreational boating and fishing are permitted, but the public is advised to avoid activities that could involve accidental ingestion of water and to avoid full immersion in water. People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.

The lakes will continue to be monitored weekly throughout the 2015 recreational season. Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEQ’s web site, http://deq.ne.gov.