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JUNE 20, 2019 (SCOTTSBLUFF, NEB.) — The Nebraska State Patrol is heartbroken to announce the death of Trooper Jerry L. Smith, badge #373. “This is a tragic day for the Nebraska State Patrol”, said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “A family has lost a husband and a father. Our troopers have lost a colleague and a friend. Our state has lost a true public servant.” At approximately 7:45 a.m. MDT on Thursday, June 20, Trooper Smith was on duty and traveling on Highway 26, in Morrill County, when another vehicle crossed the center line and struck his patrol unit head-on. Trooper Smith was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle was ejected and was also pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of a third vehicle that was involved in the crash was not seriously injured. The crash remains under investigation by the Morrill County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office. Trooper Smith, 51, of Scottsbluff, joined the Nebraska State Patrol in 2014, graduating with the 56th Basic Recruit Class on May 1, 2015. Graduating at the age of 47, he is believed to be the oldest recruit to ever complete NSP’s Basic Recruit Camp. He was stationed in Scottsbluff as part of Troop E for his entire NSP career. Prior to joining NSP, Trooper Smith led a decorated career in the United States Army, serving our country from 1986 to 2011. Trooper Smith earned numerous honors during his military career, including a bronze star for his service in two tours of combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom. “Trooper Smith was doing what he did every day, diligently patrolling Nebraska’s roadways,” said Colonel Bolduc. “This is a sad reminder of the dangers our law enforcement professionals face daily. Our prayers are with Trooper Smith’s family.” Trooper Smith is survived by his wife and two adult children. All of NSP mourns the loss of Trooper Smith and asks that the public respect the privacy of his family during this difficult time.


North Platte, Ne - Joeli Walrath of Ashton, Nebraska is your new Miss Rodeo Nebraska. She was crowned last night at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte. Joeli is 21 and studying equine science at UNL. She'll officially take over the rein of Miss Rodeo Nebraska in January from Eva Oliver is the current Miss Rodeo Nebraska and will represent the state at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant this November in Las Vegas.

 Brylee Thompson, of Hershey, was named Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska 2019 yesterday.

Thompson was crowned Wednesday afternoon at the North Platte Community Playhouse inNorth Platte. Thompson, 15, won the horsemanship, appearance, personality, congeniality and photogenic categories of the pageant.


Sierra Cain, 14, of North Platte, was named first-runner up

JUNE 5, 2019 (GRAND ISLAND, NEB.) — At approximately 12:10 a.m. Wednesday, June 5,
troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) observed a southbound, orange Kawasaki
motorcycle traveling at 80 miles per hour on South Locust Street in Grand Island. That area is a
50 miles per hour zone. Troopers attempted a traffic stop, but the motorcycle fled.
A pursuit was initiated as the motorcycle fled at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, making
multiple turns and eventually traveling northbound on Highway 281. Moments later, the
motorcycle was involved in a crash with another vehicle at the intersection of Highway 281 and
West Old Potash Highway. The entire pursuit lasted approximately five minutes.
The motorcycle rider, a 27 year-old male, was transported to St. Francis Hospital in Grand Island
where he was pronounced deceased. The driver of the other vehicle, a Volkswagen Passat, was
not injured.
NSP has requested that the Grand Island Police Department conduct an investigation.

On May 22 2019, the FBI along with the Hall County Sheriff's Office, Grand Island Police Department, Hastings Police Department, and Nebraska State Patrol, responded to a rural area near Interstate 80 and Nebraska Highway 281 regarding the sighting of two wanted fugitives from the state of Kansas.

Dustin Eugene Bilbrey, age 36, and Rebecca Sue Humphrey, age 33, are wanted on state arrest warrants for aggravated robbery, vehicle burglary, arson, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, criminal damage to property, and theft charges out of Saline County, Kansas. They were last seen during the early morning hours of May 23, 2019 travelling in a silver Ford explorer.

Bilbrey is described as a white male, approximately 6'3" tall, and 199 pounds. Humphrey is described as a white female, approximately 5'5" tall, and 150 pounds.  

These individuals are considered armed and dangerous. If you have information on the whereabouts of these individuals or see these individuals, do not approach and call 911, local law enforcement, or your local FBI office immediately.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A last-minute push to pass a property tax package has stalled in the Nebraska Legislature, dimming the prospects of any major changes this year.

Supporters fell 10 votes short Wednesday of the support necessary to overcome a filibuster. The vote was 23-7 to force an end to legislative debate. Sixteen senators abstained from voting.

The vote could threaten the prospects of another measure to create new tax incentives for businesses, a major priority for Nebraska business leaders. Several rural lawmakers reluctantly supported that bill on a first-round vote, with the understanding that senators would pass a property tax package.

The new package would have eliminated sales tax exemptions for haircuts, pop, candy, car repairs and other goods and services and used the revenue to reduce property taxes.

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) — A former Hastings teacher accused of having sex with a teenage student and providing her alcohol has pleaded not guilty.

Adams County Court records say 23-year-old Tyler Hedlund filed the plea Wednesday to a charge of intentional child abuse. A trial date has not been set.

The records say Hedlund had sex with the 16-year-old girl several times at his Hastings home and that he gave her alcohol there and bought alcoholic beverages for her and three of her friends.

Hedlund had been teaching and coaching football at Hastings St. Cecilia.

On 5-7-2019, at approximately 08:16 hours the Scottsbluff Police Department was dispatched to the intersection of West 27th Street and Avenue D in reference to an injury motor vehicle accident.  A 2010 Nissan Altima driven by sixteen year old Cedees Hernandez and a 2012 Chevrolet Impala driven by Kimberly Marquez age fifty two collided in the intersection. Both drivers are Scottsbluff residents.  Marquez was headed eastbound on 27th Street.  Hernandez was attempting to turn left onto West 27th Street to head westbound from Avenue D.  Hernandez had a stop sign at her location.  A trash truck turned southbound from West 27th Street onto Avenue D just prior to the wreck.  Hernandez reported the trash truck obstructed her vision.  The vehicles collided in the intersection.  Marquez was transported to Regional West Medical Center for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.  Both vehicles required towing from the scene. No citations were issued on scene.     

On 04/30/2019 at approximately 1310 hours, Scottsbluff Police Department responded to HWY 26 and East 27TH Street for a reported injury accident. The investigation concluded a pickup driven by Sheryl McLean, failed to yield to a pickup pulling a livestock trailer driven by Pamela Joern. McLean had been Eastbound on HWY 26 and was attempting to turn left onto East 27TH Street. Joern had been Westbound on HWY 26. Both vehicles and stock trailer sustained substantial damage and required towing from the scene. As a result of the crash, Joern collided with the power control box that operates the traffic signals, causing the signals to lose power. The intersection is considered a “4-Way Stop”, indicated by stop signs and traffic cones until the signals are back in service. The public is asked to expect delays in that area, and remain alert when traveling through the intersection.  There is no indication as to how long the traffic signals will be inoperable due to repairs.


On Monday 04/22/2019 at 9:24 am the Scottsbluff Police Dept took a missing persons report. Benjamin Carlos Barron age 34 of Scottsbluff was last seen by a local family member on Tuesday 04/16/2019. Investigation shows that a witness last saw Benjamin Carlos Barron on Saturday at an East Overland business. There is reason to believe that Benjamin Carlos Barron is in the Hay Springs area and the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office was notified.


Barron was last seen wearing a denim jacket, blue jeans, and black tennis shoes. Barron is intellectually disabled and may be in danger of abuse or exploitation.


MARCH 29, 2019 (SCOTTSBLUFF, NEB.)  — The Western Nebraska Intelligence and Narcotics Group (WING) has conducted a drug enforcement operation this week, resulting in the arrest of 32 individuals throughout the Nebraska Panhandle. Arrest warrants and search warrants were served throughout the Panhandle. Additional arrests are expected and some of the cases are on-going.

Throughout the week, WING was assisted by the sheriff’s offices of Cheyenne County, Scotts Bluff County, and Box Butte County, the police departments of Sidney, Kimball, Gering, Scottsbluff, Bayard, Alliance, Chadron, Ogallala, and the Nebraska State Patrol. The following is a list of arrests made as part of this operation.


-Bethany Wacker – Two counts of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia

-Kamron Seebomb – Three counts of distribution of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence

-Dennis Griffin – Three counts of distribution of methamphetamine

-Penny Overshiner – Three counts of distribution of a controlled substance

-Jo Len Valdez – Three counts of possession of a controlled substance

-Henrietta Dawn – Five counts of distribution of methamphetamine

-Derek Warbonnet – Three counts of distribution of marijuana

-Dalton Hunger – Three counts of distribution of methamphetamine

-Shawn Hollowhorn – Three counts of distribution of methamphetamine

-Leander Poor Bear – Three counts of distribution of a controlled substance

-Shane Lame – Four courts of distribution of methamphetamine

-Rick Haak – Possession of methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana

-Summer Haak – Possession of methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana




-Lacey Calder – Attempt of a class IV Felony and Possession of Marijuana

-David Iron Bear – Distribution of a controlled substance in a school zone

-Roxanne Trevino – Distribution of a controlled substance in a school zone

-Amber Camacho – Attempt of Class 4 Felony, Possession of Controlled Substance

-Shelley Parker – Distribution of a controlled substance in a school zone

-Cory Poor Bear – Distribution of a controlled substance

-Janae Iron Bear – Three counts forgery and failure to appear

-Cathica Vasquez – Theft by shoplifting

-Floyd Bolton – Possession of methamphetamine




-Jose Hernandez – One count of distribution of methamphetamine                  

-Mariah Medina – Possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana less than an ounce

-Myriah Tyan – Cited for possession of marijuana – less than an ounce

-Travis Graham – Two counts of distribution of marijuana

-Kandy Cook – One count of distribution of a controlled substance         

-Jerry Roa – Two counts of distribution of marijuana

-Timothy Tscharner – One count of distribution of marijuana

-Tiara Tiden-Benzel – One count of distribution of marijuana

-Tony Christensen – One count of distribution of methamphetamine   

-Clinton McCrea – Domestic assault 


Those arrested were lodged in the county jails representing the county in which the arrest was made. The WING Task Force is made of up investigators from several law enforcement agencies in the Nebraska Panhandle, including Sidney PD, Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office, Gering PD, Scottsbluff PD, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office, Alliance PD, Chadron PD, and the Nebraska State Patrol.