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Community Hospital Board of Directors Move Forward with Building Project Plans

McCook Community Hospital board of directors approved a Facility Master Plan resolution at the regular board meeting on November 15 authorizing Community Hospital to acquire an architect and apply for USDA funding for a new building project.

The project, simply called Project #1, will address these needs:

Medical Specialists Center. Some of the current visiting specialists clinic will be converted to McCook Clinic space for additional exam rooms. Additional square footage will be added for visiting specialists. The remodel will improve efficiency and allow for better patient/staff flow.

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation. New square footage will be added to create a larger gym and department. The expansion will allow for additional equipment and put more space between equipment to address safety issues. A walking track around the gym is also being considered. The cardiopulmonary program includes Phase 2 and now offers Phase 3 in the department, causing the service to grow significantly since the gym was built in 2006.

Kitchen. The project includes a reconfigured workspace in the hospital kitchen for more efficient operation. Staff currently using the same space and layout from the original 1974 building. Since the ceiling, walls and flooring need to be replaced, the room layout will also be reconfigured for better work flow.

Laboratory. Work space will be reconfigured for more efficient operation.

Mobile Testing Trucks. The cardiac testing trucks and PET CT truck will be moved to a better, dedicated location.

Patient Entrances and parking. The rehabilitation entrance will be moved to the front (south side) of the hospital making it easier to find. The Medical Specialists Center entrance will be moved to the back of the hospital close to the current rehab entrance.

The project could start as early as this summer. A second project, Project #2 (ER and Injection Infusion expansions), will follow upon the completion of Project #1.

Troy Bruntz, Community Hospital President & CEO explained the importance of dividing the building expansion and remodeling into two projects instead of one. “Financially, it works out better for us. Two projects allow us shorter term borrowing with lower interest rates.” He added that much of the project is needed due to changing government regulations.

Following the approved resolution, hospital staff will work with the architect to develop detailed designs of each of the spaces, solicit and select a construction management firm and secure financing.


Nebraska Troopers Seize 47lbs of Marijuana Products

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. The Nebraska State Patrol says troopers have seized 47 pounds of marijuana products including 38 pounds of edible marijuana products in a traffic stop near North Platte.

The patrol says troopers stopped an eastbound car Monday afternoon on Interstate 80.

After speaking with occupants, troopers reported a strong smell of marijuana coming from the car. Troopers say a search of the car turned up the edibles, three pounds of hash oil butter and 31 grams of marijuana.

The car's three occupants, all from Connecticut, were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to distribute. The three, ranging in age from 21 to 24, were booked into the Lincoln County Jail.


Heck named MPCC Alumni of the Year

Andy Heck is Mid-Plains Community College’s 2017 Alumni of the Year.


Heck, now retired and living in South Carolina, is a former junior college All-American running back, professional football player and president of a major lighting manufacturer who also earned two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam.


“Andy is a fine example of the quality of students that attend community colleges,” said MPCC President Ryan Purdy. “He took a chance coming to McCook, Nebraska from halfway across the U.S. to run track and ultimately play football. Andy credits his time at McCook as the catalyst to his successes in his life.”


Originally from Bergen, N.J., Heck was recruited in the early ’60s to run track at what was then known as McCook Junior College. However, he soon found himself on the football team after the school’s football coach noticed his speed and agility.


Heck was named a junior college All-American running back during his time in McCook - recognition that caught the attention of major universities, including Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.


According to a September 2014 Wake Forest Magazine article entitled, “The Thing He Carried,” written by Kerry M. King, Heck was equally attracted to Wake Forest because of its small size and strong academics.


It wasn’t long before Coach Bill Tate signed him to the university’s football team as a replacement for Brian Piccolo. Piccolo went on to serve as a running back for the Chicago Bears.


Heck ended up leading the Wake Forest team in rushing in 1965 and 1966 – also the year he won the team’s Most Valuable Player award.


After two years at Wake, Heck headed north of the border to play professional football with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League. He rejected an offer from the San Diego Chargers in the process.


A year later, Heck was drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps. He landed in South Vietnam in January 1968 – one week before the Tet Offensive, a series of surprise attacks against military and civilian command and control centers throughout the country.


Heck was severely injured during a night patrol in Quảng Nam Province when a Marine walking in front of him stepped on a booby trap.


Heck caught shrapnel in his back, arms and legs and was medevacked to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam. He didn’t know it at the time, but back on campus classmates were writing him get-well wishes.


“Take a minute to send a Get Well message to WFU’s Andy Heck who was grievously wounded in Vietnam,” read a sign beside a scroll stretched out on the old information desk in Reynolds Hall. Upon completion and unfurled on a football field, the paper stretched from the end zone to the 35-yard line.


Heck almost didn’t live long enough to see it. He was sent back to Vietnam a few months later, and the scroll made its way from Wake Forest to Heck’s mother.


Heck was back in Vietnam for only a month when he was wounded again, shot in the chest during a firefight near Hué. He earned two Purple Hearts as a result and still bears scars from the shrapnel.


After he recovered, Heck was discharged from the Marines and returned home to New Jersey. He found a package from Wake Forest waiting for him. He’s never counted the number of names on the scroll, but guesses there must be close to 3,000, which would be almost everyone at Wake Forest in the spring of ’68.


Andy eventually married, and he and his wife Marnie raised three sons. He went on to have a successful career with the International Paper Co. and became president of Sylvania Lighting US. Today, he and Marnie are retired and living on Pawleys Island, S.C.

The body of Sydney Loofe believed to be found in Clay County

Lincoln, NE - On Tuesday morning a joint press conference was held at the Lincoln Police Departement to give an update on the missing person's case of Sydney Loofe. FBI agent from the Omaha field office, Randy Thysse, reported that on Monday, December 4th that a body was discovered in rural Clay County. Thysse went on to say that the body is believed to be of Sydney Loofe, who has been missing for over two weeks. Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister also added that it was a collaborative effort between several law enforcement agencies with analysis and digital evidence that lead to the discovery. The Nebraska State Patrol believed there were around 40 officers involved in the search in Clay County on Monday. Chief Bliemeister also added that the initial two people of interest, Aubrey Trail, and Baily Boswell are still in custody and are currently, as of Tuesday morning are not charged with any offense directly related to the investigation. The investigation to this point also has lead to authorities believing that foul play is believed to be involved. 


Hastings inmate captured without incident

Hastings, NE - Authorities captured escaped inmate Jordan Latta on Monday afternoon. Latta had been on the loose after escaping during a transfer. 

State Department studying Nebraska decision

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. State Department is looking into whether Nebraska's approval of a modified route for the Keystone XL pipeline will affect the federal permit that pipeline developer TransCanada received in March.

A State Department spokeswoman said Monday that the agency was aware of the Nebraska Public Service Commission's decision and was trying to get more information about it.

President Donald Trump approved the presidential permit for the pipeline in March and hailed it as "incredible." Federal approval was required because the pipeline would cross the U.S. border from Canada to Phillips County, Montana.

2nd Escapee from the Work Ethic Camp Arrested

Officers from the Chardon Police Department (CPD) and the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have arrested a man who was wanted on multiple felony warrants after escaping from the Nebraska Department of Corrections Work Ethic Camp (WEC) in McCook, NE on December 21, 2016.

CPD’s investigation into the whereabouts of Charles Canaday, 37, determined that he was hiding at a residence in Chadron. On Wednesday evening, CPD requested NSP SWAT team assistance in serving a search warrant on the home at 502 West Niobrara Ave. While serving the warrant, NSP SWAT found Canaday hiding in the home and observed several items related to drug activity.

CPD obtained a second search warrant to investigate the suspected drug activity. Officers from both CPD and NSP seized several grams of suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and multiple firearms and arrested two other men.

Charles Canaday was arrested and lodged in Dawes County Jail for outstanding warrants from Dawes County and Red Willow County related to his escape from the WEC, including Escape When Under Arrest on a Felony Charge, Attempt of a Class II Felony, Operating a Motor Vehicle to Avoid Arrest, Use of a Deadly Weapon to Commit a Felony, Theft by Unlawful Taking ($500-$1,500) and a charge of Unauthorized Ingestion of a Controlled Substance from Fall River County, South Dakota.

At the time of his escape, Canaday was serving a sentence of six to 24 years for multiple Burglary, Theft, and Criminal Mischief convictions from four Nebraska counties. His escape prompted an alert from the Nebraska State Crime Stoppers network. The Nebraska Crime Stoppers tip-line is always active at 1-800-422-1494 and can also be reached online at www.nebraskacrimestoppers.com.

During the service of the search warrant, Del Canaday, 31, and Gage Canaday, 27, were arrested for Possession of Methamphetamine and being an Accessory to a Felony. Both men were lodged in Dawes County Jail.

Full Interview With Kirk Penner Running For Congress

Listen to the full interview with Kirk Penner running for Congress in the 3rd District.

Full Interview Kirk Penner Full Interview Kirk Penner (File size 11458 KB)




Furnas County Man Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography

On September 12, 2017 the Furnas County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Holdrege Police Department in regards to a subject living in Oxford who may be in possession of child pornography. The Sheriff’s Office contacted the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office for assistance with the investigation.

On October 12, 2017 the Furnas County Sheriff’s Office and Nebraska Attorney General’s Office executed a search warrant at 208 East Clarke Street, Oxford, Nebraska. The owner of the residence, Brian J. Dusatko, Sr, 59, was home at the time of the service of the search warrant. Dusatko’s cellphone was located in the residence and searched. Multiple photographs of young girls were found on Dusatko’s phone.

Dusatko was arrested and jailed on one count of Possession of Child Pornography, class IV felony. Dusatko’s bond was set at $25,000 subject to 10%. Dusatko is due to be arraigned in Furnas County Court on October 23, 2017.

Counterfeit Bills Being Passed Around

On September 16, 2017 at approximately 8:53 pm the Furnas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of possibly counterfeit bills being passed at the Anew Travel Center, Cambridge, Nebraska. A report was taken two $20 bills were seized. On September 17, 2017 at approximately 8:29 am the Sheriff’s Office responded to another report of counterfeit bills being passed, this time at Casey’s in Cambridge. A report was taken and two $20 bills were seized again. The Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation and was able to identify the person who passed all four bills as Jonathan R. Pike, 36, of Cambridge, Nebraska. At approximately 2:40 pm Pike was observed walking on the side of Highway 6 & 34 just east of Cambridge. Pike was contacted and questioned about the bills he had passed. Pike was arrested for forgery. Pike was searched after he was arrested and found to be in possession of marijuana, a marijuana pipe and suspected LSD. Pike was jailed in the Furnas County Jail on two counts of forgery, possession of marijuana less than one ounce, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance charges. Pike’s bond was set in the amount of $15,000 subject to 10%. Pike posted bond and was released from jail. Pike appeared in County Court on September 25 for arraignment and is scheduled to be back in court on October 30 at 10:00 am for a preliminary hearing. The Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with McCook Police Department and Frontier County Sheriff’s Office were there have also been counterfeit bills passed.


McCook Humane Society

Bartley Bank