Saturday, January 31, 2015
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South Dakota has first measles case since 1997

South Dakota has its first case of measles since 1997.

The state Health Department says the case is in an unvaccinated Davison County child who is younger than 5 years old. The department is working to identify people who might have been exposed to the case.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause permanent brain damage or even death. It's spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people or, less frequently, by airborne transmission.

State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says measles is on the rise nationally, and he encourages South Dakota residents to make sure immunizations are up to date.


Minimum wage increase, vets' bills among new Nebraska laws

Minimum wage earners will get a raise and spouses of severely disabled veterans could receive additional perks under new Nebraska laws.

The new year on Thursday will usher in 10 new state laws that were passed in the 2014 legislative session, plus the Initiative 425 minimum wage ballot measure that won approval from voters in November.
Nebraska's minimum wage will increase to $8 an hour. The 75-cent increase is the first incremental step toward a $9-an-hour minimum wage, which takes effect in January 2016.
Other new laws will grant homestead exemptions to veterans who are considered 100 percent disabled, and a hiring preference to their spouses if they apply for jobs in state government.
Most laws passed this year have already gone into effect.

Officials: Arizona man drove 127 mph in Nebraska

Authorities say an Arizona man was caught driving 127 mph on Interstate 80 in Nebraska.

The Nebraska State Patrol says 43-year-old Brandon P. Vasquez, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was stopped Wednesday afternoon while he traveled by car on Interstate 80 in Keith County. A trooper clocked the vehicle traveling 127 mph in a 75-mph zone.

The trooper reported the smell of alcohol in the car. Vasquez was arrested and taken to the Keith County Jail in Ogallala. He faces charges of driving while intoxicated and speeding. Court records do not list an attorney.


Notes from the Niobrara Council


  • Executive Director Kallie Kieborz stated the Niobrara Council received notice that Lee Simmons had been appointed to the Timber Industry position on the Council. Simmons will fill the vacancy by Micky Hunt and servthe remainder of the term until July 2015.It was reported that Tom Welstead will be the NGPC representative on the council, as Clayton Stalling is preparing to retire.
  • Steve Thede was available to give the NPS report. He introduced Jim Dahlstrom, new Chief Ranger / Law Enforcement Officer for the NPS.
  • Steve Hicks was available to give the USFWS report. He stated their visitor counts were small this time of year and mentioned the hunting that was currently going on at Ft. Niobrara NWR. The complex will also be getting a new law enforcement officer.




Steve Dredge winner of Badger Bike

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes raffled off a custom-built Badger bicycle created by Mike Stoeger earlier this month and Steve Dredge was named the lucky winner. Raffle tickets raised $160 to benefit the Valentine Chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  FCA would like to thank everyone who purchased tickets to support this worthwhile program.


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