Tips to Avoid the Flu at Work

Flu-Free-ZoneWith one of the worst flu seasons in history under way, it is important that people take the necessary steps at work to avoid getting themselves – or others – sick.

  • Beware of common items – Studies have shown that worst areas in offices are sink faucet handles, microwave door handles and keyboards.
  • Wash hands – Wash your hands before eating, after reading magazines in the break room and after meetings where you’re shaking hands with people. Hands should be washed with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay hydrated – Dehydration leads to a weaker immune system, so keep a jug of water at your desk.
  • No touching – Make a conscious effort to not touch your face during the workday. Touching your eyes, nose and mouth gives germs direct access to the body and sets you up for disaster.

NE to Discuss Mountain Lion Hunting Season

mountain-liionNebraska officials plan to discuss a possible mountain lion hunting season after a growth in the animal’s population.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission heard from staff Friday about the state’s resident mountain lion population.

The population in the Pine Ridge of northwest Nebraska has grown slightly, from 19 in 2010 to 22 in 2012. An official says that’s large enough for a limited harvest.

The newspaper reports the commission will meet in May to consider regulations governing a cougar season.

Officials identified a female mountain lion in the Niobrara River Valley in north-central Nebraska during its population study. But it’s unclear if the lion is a resident or was passing through the area.

Officials Say High Radon Levels Common in NE Homes

DHHSOfficials say high radon gas levels in homes across Nebraska continue to be common.

The state Department of Health and Human Services says 59 percent of the 48,000 homes tested for radon since 1990 have been above the acceptable health level set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Radon is a colorless, odorless and naturally occurring gas that originates in the soil. It can build to dangerous levels in homes. The EPA says radon exposure causes approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year.

Officials say people can reduce their exposure to the gas by sealing obvious cracks and openings in the foundation of their home. Owners of homes with high radon levels should have a licensed contractor install a permanent mitigation system.

DHHS’s  Nebraska Radon Program recommends all homes be tested for radon, as testing is the only way to know the radon level in your home. Radon testing is easy and inexpensive, and do-it-yourself kits can be purchased through the Program. There are effective ways to reduce radon levels in your home if they are elevated. New homes can also be built with radon resistant features during construction, called radon resistant new construction (RRNC).  Information for obtaining a kit is available on the DHHS website,

Remembrances Scheduled For Victims Of Maxwell Plane Crash

(St Joseph Post – John P Tretbar)
Funeral services are scheduled starting Thursday for four men killed in an airplane crash in western Nebraska last week. The crash claimed the lives of all four men on board, including three with ties to Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri.
The twin-engine plane was reported missing shortly after taking off from the North Platte, Nebraska airport around 3:46 p.m. on Friday, January, 11. The plane was located in a field approximately 13 miles Northeast of Maxwell.
The investigation into what caused the crash could take months to complete. FAA Spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory says the National Transportation Safety Board is the lead investigator. When conclusions are reached, the NTSB is expected to post them on its Web site. Cory says they can take anywhere from a month to a year to reach a formal conclusion. In the meantime, neither agency will comment on the investigation.
According to an obituary posted on the Web site of the Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Hiawatha, Kansas, a memorial service for Ken Babcock will be held Saturday, January 19 at 1 p.m. at the NorthRidge Church in Sabetha, Kansas. The service will be followed by a celebratory dinner, and internment will commence at a later date. Babcock was the owner of Babcock Sales in Hiawatha.
According to this post at the Edwards Funeral Home in Doniphan, Missouri, a Celebration of Life for Jason Drane will be held Thursday, January 17, at 6 p.m. at the Moila Country Club in St Joseph. Drane was the operations manager for Babcock Sales.
Becker Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home in Atchison offered information regarding services for Mark Bottorff, the owner of Bottorff Construction in Atchison. Visitation is scheduled Thursday, January 17 at 11am at the Heritage Conference Center in Atchison.
Metz Mortuary of York, Nebraska offered this obituary for Chris Nelson of York. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, January 17, at the First United Methodist Church in York. Nelson was a longtime sales Manager at Scott-Hourigan in York.
These photographs of the crash site come courtesy of the National Transportation Safety Board.

High Speed Pursuit Leads to Multiple Charges for North Platte Man

RyanDonGabel: Unauthorized Use Of Vehicle (Includes Joy Riding), DUI (2nd), Refusal To Submit Chem/Breath Test, DUS, Resisting Officer

Ryan Don Gabel

According to a North Platte Police Department (NPPD) Media Release from Public Information Officer Rodney Brown, at around 9:50 PM on January 13th, Officers from the NPPD became involved in a vehicular pursuit with a 1996 Honda Accord northbound on Ash Street after the vehicle refused to stop.

The fleeing vehicle’s speeds soon reached approximately 60 mph, at which time the Officer terminated the pursuit due to unsafe driving conditions in a residential area.  Minutes later the fleeing Honda was witnessed losing control and colliding with at least one other vehicle near W. A Street and Ash.  The identified driver fled the scene west between W. 1st and 2nd Streets.  A non-compliant, uninjured passenger was temporarily detained and later released.

Officers soon located suspect, Ryan Gabel, 24, near Washington Elementary, at which time he was detained and questioned regarding the pursuit and accident.  Following the investigation Officers determined there was probable cause to arrest Gabel for multiple charges to include Violating a Traffic Control Signal, Stop Sign Violation, Driving Under Suspension, Careless Driving, DUI, Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Misdemeanor Operating a Motor Vehicle to Avoid Arrest.  Gabel was jailed at the Lincoln County Detention Center.

A drug investigation continues due to contraband seized from the Honda Accord.

Victims in Lincoln Co. Plane Crash Identified by NSP

The Nebraska State Patrol has released the names of four men killed in the crash of a twin-engine plane Friday afternoon, January 11, near Maxwell in Lincoln County, Neb.

The fatalities have been identified as the Mark Bottorff, 54, Lancaster, Kan., Ken Babcock, 71, Hiawatha, Kan., Jason Drane, 39, St. Joseph, Mo., and Chris Nelsen, 53, York, Neb.

The twin-engine plane piloted by Bottorff, was reported missing shortly after taking off from the North Platte airport around 3:46 p.m., (CST) on Friday, January, 11.  The plane was located in a field approximately 13 miles Northeast of Maxwell.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the crash.

Lincoln Co. Deputies Arrest Felon for Possessing Firearms

According to a Media Release from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), on the afternoon of January 11, Deputies from the LCSO, with assistance from the North Platte Police Department, executed a search warrant at 604 E. 2nd Street in Hershey.  The home’s resident was Chad E. Hall.  LCSO Investigators had developed information that Hall, a convicted felon, was in possession of at least one firearm and other stolen items.

Upon executing the warrant, Deputies and Officers located firearms both in the garage  and in the residence.  A large gun safe was found and eventually open with the assistance of a lock smith.  After opening the safe, a large stash of firearms were found, including twenty one long guns (several of which were assault weapons), seven pistols and a large flare gun.  At least one on the assault rifles is believed to be fully automatic.

Hall was located in North Platte and arrested for being a felon in possession of firearms.  The investigation continues, and authorities expect additional charges to be filed.  He was booked into the Lincoln County Detention Center and remains in custody.  Hall is also a suspect in numerous theft cases in North Platte and Lincoln County, according to LCSO officials.

NE Game and Parks Now Offering Multi-Year Hunting & Fishing Permits

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is now offering three- and five-year hunting, fishing and combination permits.

The multiyear permits provide a 10 percent to 20 percent discount over permits bought each year.

The permits include all necessary state stamps as part of the price.

Multiyear permits do not include big game and turkey permits.

The multiyear permits were developed in response to a survey of hunters and anglers. More than 50 percent indicated an interest in buying multiyear permits.

The new permits may be purchased at and at Game and Parks permitting offices.

Tragic Plane Crash Near Maxwell Claims Four Lives (UPDATED)

UPDATE:  The Associated Press Reports:

An official with a Kansas concrete contractor has confirmed that the pilot killed in a central Nebraska plane crash was the owner of the company.

Jerry Ernzen, vice president of operations at Bottorff Construction of Atchison, Kan., says 54-year-old Mark Bottorff, of Lancaster, Kan., died in the Friday crash that also killed three others.

Ernzen, speaking Saturday for Bottorff’s family, said the three others on board were with agriculture equipment companies in Kansas and Nebraska who were doing business with Bottorff, which owned the plane.

Authorities lost contact with the plane about 10 minutes after it took off from North Platte on Friday afternoon.

Federal aviation investigators are heading to the crash site. Neither they nor local officials would confirm Bottorff’s identity. Officials also are not yet releasing the names of the others killed.


A tragic plane crash near Maxwell has claimed the lives of four people Friday afternoon.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s office, the plane wreckage was located approximately 11 miles northeast of the Regional Airport at North Platte.

Federal Aviation Spokesman Elizabeth Isham-Cory reported to the Associated Press that the victim’s names are not being released until family members could be notified, and reported that the plane was a small multi-engine aircraft.

The plane reportedly took off from North Platte at 3:46pm en route to York, which is located about 170 miles east of North Platte.  Contact was lost with the plane shortly after takeoff, and a search was initiated when the it did not make it to its destination.

The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, with assistance from Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

The North Platte Post is currently gathering more details and will bring them to you as soon as they are available.


Hacker Alert: US Dept. of Homeland Security is Advising People to Disable Java Software

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is advising people to temporarily disable the Java software on their computers to avoid potential hacking attacks.

The recommendation came in an advisory issued late Thursday, following up on concerns raised by computer security experts.

Experts believe hackers have found a flaw in Java’s coding that creates an opening for criminal activity and other high-tech mischief.

Java is a widely used technical language that allows computer programmers to write a wide variety of Internet applications and other software programs that can run on just about any computer’s operating system.

Oracle Corp. bought Java as part of a $7.3 billion acquisition of the software’s creator, Sun Microsystems, in 2010.

Oracle, which is based in Redwood Shores, Calif., had no immediate comment late Friday.