Monday, April 21, 2014
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SAF Banquet a Success Despite Cold Snap


Despite bitter cold temperatures and 4 inches of new snow on the ground, about 260 people attended the annual Sandhills Area Foundation dinner and auction this past Saturday evening at the 4-H building in Valentine. According to preliminary numbers the auction raised about $28,000 dollars and the Kubota tractor raffle brought in around $12,000. All 550 tickets for the tractor were sold and Sharon Brown of Valentine won the tractor. The meal was catered by the Peppermill Restaurant in Valentine


Family Fun Day on Niobrara River


The Niobrara National Scenic River will host their 5th Annual Outdoor Family Fun Day on April 26th, 2014 from 11A.M. – 3P.M. Join them at Smith Falls State Park and learn about the Niobrara River.

You can take a short, canoe ride down the river, try your hand at archery, learn all about birds and how to "fool the fish", and much more. When you get hungry you can cook hot dogs and s’mores over a campfire. 

Those who participate in the Take a Hike program will receive a special patch. The event is free and lunch will be provided. An NGPC Park Permit is required. Smith Falls State Park is located 19 miles east of Valentine, Nebraska via Hwy 12. For more information contact
Adrianne Johnson at the Niobrara National Scenic River office in Valentine at 402 376 1901


St. Francis Man Charged with Murder


United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a St. Francis, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for First Degree Murder, Kidnapping, Interstate Transportation of a Stolen Motor Vehicle and Larceny.

Riley McCloskey, age 20, was indicted on February 12TH. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on February 21, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The charges relate to incidents that occurred between December 23, 2013, and December 24, 2013. McCloskey and others were charged with unlawfully killing two victims during the perpetration of kidnappings, and aiding and abetting each other in the commission of the offenses. One of the victims was strangled until he was unconscious and then stabbed in the chest with a screwdriver. The second victim was assaulted and also stabbed in the chest with a screwdriver. McCloskey is also alleged to have stolen a motor vehicle and driven it from Nebraska across the state line into South Dakota.

McCloskey was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has not been set.


Homebuyer Education Workshop Scheduled For Bassett in March

For families dreaming of owning their own home, but uncertain about how to make that dream a reality, the Central Nebraska Housing Developers (CNHD) will conduct a REACH-Approved Homebuyer Educational Workshop in Bassett in March.  This workshop will be held at the North Central Nebraska RC&D, E. Hwy 20, on March 13 & 20, from 6-10 p.m. both evenings.  Participants are required to attend both evenings to receive a certificate of completion.

CNHD has a down payment assistance program, and participation in a REACH-certified workshop is a requirement for applying for these funds or other down payment assistance, as well as to qualify for low-interest mortgage loans.  To participate in these special programs, all persons to be listed on the property deed must complete Homebuyer Education.

The cost of the workshop is $25 per person, which covers books and materials.  Pre-registration is required.

To sign up for this workshop, or to inquire about future workshops, please contact Melissa Krysl, Marketing Specialist, at 402-340-6464 or via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit the CNHD website for housing information at


$74,000 Nebraska Pick 5 Prize for Alliance Man

Alvie Howell of Alliance recently won $74,000 playing Nebraska Pick 5 from the Nebraska Lottery.

Howell purchased his winning Nebraska Pick 5 ticket at Fresh Start Convenience, 610 East 3rd Street in Alliance. The five-play quick pick ticket contained one play with all five of the winning numbers (4, 13, 16, 18, 35) from the February 13 drawing for the $74,000 jackpot.

Two hundred and ninety-nine Nebraska Lottery players have won the Nebraska Pick 5 jackpot to date.

While claiming his prize on February 18, Howell told Nebraska Lottery officials that he purchased the winning ticket after cashing in a $9 Nebraska Pick 5 ticket the day before. He learned he had won after returning to Fresh Start Convenience to check his tickets. “I walked in, and the clerk said, ‘Are you the big winner?’” said Howell. “I didn’t know anything about it, and I couldn’t believe when they checked the ticket and said I’d won.” He plans to pay bills and buy a new truck using his winnings.

Nebraska Pick 5 is Nebraska's unique Lottery game: all the proceeds from Nebraska Pick 5 stay in Nebraska, and all the winning tickets are sold in Nebraska at Nebraska Lottery Lotto game retailers. The odds of winning the Nebraska Pick 5 jackpot, which starts at $50,000 and grows by $4,000 each drawing that it is not won, are 1 in 501,942. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game, which has drawings six nights a week, are 1 in 8.


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