City Council eyes property tax hike
(Local News ~ 08/15/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — The McCook City Council hadn’t approved an increase to the city’s property tax levy in more than a decade prior to last year’s bump and could be asked to approve another increase this year, depending on what happens with assessments. Monday’s budget hearing provided City Council members with a first look at the proposed 2017-18 city budget and capital expenditure requests. ...
Tuesday coffee topics range from traffic to drug abuse
(Local News ~ 08/09/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — Mid-block U-turns are legal in Nebraska. Marijuana is legal in Colorado, but not in Nebraska. Those were some of the snatches of discussion during the “Coffee with a Cop” session at Sehnert’s Bakery in downtown McCook Tuesday morning...
Council grants new hotel use of city property for parking
(Local News ~ 08/08/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — Two other business owners objected to the new Holiday Inn being allowed to use three or four feet of city-owned West H Street right of way for parking, but the City Council apparently agreed with City Manager Nate Schneider’s argument that it’s important to encourage investment that will pay off in property tax income in the long run...
Hotel seeks city space for parking
(Local News ~ 08/04/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — Developers in charge of a 4-story Holiday Inn Express under construction in McCook are asking to use more than 900 square feet of city right-of-way for parking. The McCook City Council will consider the request Monday evening during a regularly scheduled meeting, 6:30 p.m. at the Municipal Center...
Council to vote on last call
(Local News ~ 08/04/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — McCook taverns may have the option to stay open until 2 a.m., should a measure up for consideration advance next week. The McCook City Council will consider granting first reading approval to an ordinance extending sale hours for local drinking establishments from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. during Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting, 6:30 p.m. at the Municipal Center...
Booming beer sales away from Whiteclay no surprise
(Editorial ~ 07/28/17)
Congress “kicked the can down the road” with the overnight failure to repeal or replace Obamacare, but Nebraska officials are in no position to point fingers at Washington. To no one’s surprise, the closing of four beer stores in Whiteclay has been a boon to the beer business in adjoining cities as Pine Ridge Reservation residents drive to places like Gordon, Hay Springs, Chadron and mainly to Rushville...
City considering later 'last call'
(Local News ~ 07/25/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — McCook taverns may have the option to stay open until 2 a.m. in the near future if a request from the owners of Club Paradise is approved. Luke and Shar Laverack asked to extend liquor sale hours on-premises at their club from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m., prompting a discussion item during last week’s meeting of the McCook City Council...
Childhood didn’t last long in early America
(Column ~ 07/21/17)
A little story first about one of my children’s great grandfathers, Adam Baker, as told to me by his daughter, Dorothy (Baker) Roth: Adam immigrated over to the United States with his father and step-mother. Apparently the relationship between Adam and his father’s second wife was strained and as soon as they disembarked from the ship and passed through customs, Adam approached a police officer on the street and inquired as to whether he had to go with his father to Michigan or if he could refuse. ...
Law enforcement agencies win grants for in-car cameras
(Local News ~ 07/19/17)
LINCOLN, Neb. — The McCook Police Department and Red Willow County Sheriff’s Office are receiving grant funding assistance for in-car camera systems, according to Fred Zwonechek, administrator for the Nebraska Department of Transportation Department...
Colorado man pulled over for speeding, fined for marijuana-infused peach rings
(Local News ~ 07/19/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — A Colorado man pulled over for traffic violations last fall and subsequently arrested on a felony drug charge and other violations was ordered to pay more than $1300 in fines during a sentencing hearing in Red Willow County District Court earlier this month...
Defying the odds
(Column ~ 07/17/17)
Most of us live relatively calm lives, even drab. We do not knowingly risk our lives in everyday pursuits. (We drive the interstate, eat too much, and smoke, all risky endeavors, but that doesn’t count). Policemen, firemen, and military personnel regularly risk their lives in doing their jobs, but they do this in the line of duty. ...
Plea reached with attacker of knife victim found in hospital parking lot
(Local News ~ 07/11/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — A plea agreement was reached recently in Red Willow County District Court with a McCook man arrested in connection with a stabbing victim found by security personnel lying on the concrete in the Community Hospital parking lot. The attacker, 25-year-old Jacob Cash of 1604 West 4th Street and 804 East 6th Street, was subsequently scheduled for sentencing on four felony offenses stemming from the crime at 9:45 a.m. on July 31, 2017...
False fiscal prudence
(Column ~ 07/11/17)
When this old gent drives north on Highway 83 in McCook a glance at the new construction activity on the east side of the road gives me a tinge of frustration. At present the action is dirt moving to prepare the foundation of a new Holiday Inn Express motel. ...
Cops don't get a fair shake
(Column ~ 06/30/17)
I watch a lot of police movies and television shows and read a lot of books about police work and it seems evident to me that screenwriters and authors are describing them from only one perspective and any one perspective boxes a person or a group in. ...
Rail passenger carrying pot gets probation
(Local News ~ 06/28/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — A Kentucky man traveling via Amtrak and arrested shortly after arriving in McCook on narcotic transportation charges was sentenced to probation earlier this month in Red Willow County District Court. The man, 58-year-old David L. McCord of Flemingsburg, accepted a plea agreement in April admitting guilt to a pair of Class IV felony offenses for possession of more than one pound of marijuana and possession of tetrahydrocannibinols...
FBI says it has proof shooter is AK-47 Bandit
(State News ~ 06/28/17)
INVESTIGATORS ESTABLISH LINK BETWEEN AK-47 BANDIT ROBBERY SERIES AND MAN WHO ALLEGEDLY SHOT AT A KANSAS STATE TROOPER Investigators with a variety of law enforcement agencies in multiple states believe they have identified a suspect known as the “AK-47 Bandit,” who was linked to armed bank...
Over 100 participants embrace first annual Michelle's Tri
(Community Sports ~ 06/26/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The feelings during a triathlon can run the full spectrum, especially the first Michelle Walter’s Memorial Triathlon in McCook on Saturday...
McCook Civil Service Commission meets Saturday
(Local News ~ 06/23/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — The McCook Civil Service Commission will meet Saturday to conduct written examinations for a city police officer position in the morning and interview candidates in the afternoon. The meetings are open to the public and begin at 8:30 a.m. in the McCook Police Department Conference Room, with interviews for applicants that pass the written examination scheduled for 1 p.m...
Michelle's Tri honors triathlete's life, promotes personal enrichment
(Community Sports ~ 06/22/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Saturday morning in McCook will have the feel of something special...
Hughes vows to push for tax balance
(Local News ~ 06/22/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Taxing farmers on a per acres basis without regard to profitability is no different than taxing a downtown business based on the number of customers that walk through their door, while disregarding whether or not a purchase is made, at least according to one state official...
Time to tighten belts, reduce budgets
(Column ~ 06/20/17)
It is that time of year when the county and city sit down to put together a budget for the coming year. That means that we the people who pay taxes to support those entities need to pay attention. There is no doubt in my mind that the commissioners and council members are good citizens and want to do what is right for the continuing good of the county and city...
McCook police warn; paving and asphalt repair scam season is here
(Local News ~ 06/19/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — The McCook Police Department is advising area residents to be mindful of paving and asphalt repair scams popular this time of year. Scam artists targeting senior citizens and unsuspecting homeowners and business representatives have posed as paving contractors in recent years. ...
McCook police raid meth lab, five arrested
(Local News ~ 06/15/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — The McCook Police Department executed a “no knock” search warrant on a West 15th Street trailer house last week and successfully shut down what they believe was an active methamphetamine manufacturing operation. Five suspects were arrested following the early morning raid of 1401 West 15th Street on June 4, with four of them now facing felony controlled substance manufacturing charges. ...
McCook man injured in single-vehicle rollover accident
(Local News ~ 06/12/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — A McCook man was injured in a one-vehicle roll-over accident east of McCook early Saturday morning. Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Bryan Walter reports that Joseph M. Troutman, 27, of McCook, was westbound on Highway 6&34 at 2:26 a.m., Saturday, in a construction zone east of McCook when he drove onto the shoulder of the highway. ...
Council considers extending bar hours
(Local News ~ 06/08/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — City leaders plan to research the effects of allowing bars to stay open an hour later. The owners of McCook’s Club Paradise, Luke and Shar Laverack, requested the city ordinance change which prompted a scheduled discussion item during Monday’s meeting of the McCook City Council. The request asks to extend permitted liquor sale hours from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m...
Five properties identified for nuisance status
(Local News ~ 06/07/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — The McCook City Council approved a request Monday evening to deem five residential properties as nuisance properties and authorize city staff to take abatement steps as necessary at each location. The properties are 107 East 5th Street, 1518 West 10th Street, 511 East 2nd Street, 412 East 3rd Street, and 309 East 1st Street...
(Local News ~ 06/02/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — McCook police officers euthanized an ill coyote Monday near the city walking trail. "The police department received several calls regarding a coyote acting ill and odd along the walking trail near East H Street at 11 a.m. on May 29. It is not known if the animal was rabid, but it did appear to have severe mange and other health issues," said Chief of Police Isaac Brown in response to questions pertaining to the incident...
Free speech and the First Amendment
(Column ~ 06/02/17)
The first amendment to the Constitution, one of ten original amendments called The Bill Of Rights, was passed by Congress in 1791 and says the following: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances...
(Column ~ 05/18/17)
As I was watching my 10-year-old bounce around the house the other day, I stopped and watched for a minute, envious of her lack of inhibitions and happy go lucky spirit. I giggled as I imagined the world where adults could act that same way. I mean, wouldn’t it be awesome if we’d just be standing there at work talking to a coworker and break out a random cartwheel?...
(Birthdays ~ 05/17/17)
93rd birthday The family of Eddie J. Watt of Park Hill, Okla., is requesting a card shower in honor of his 93rd birthday on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. He was Chief of Police for 33 years in Benkelman, Neb., and owed and operated Daylight Donut in Benkelman. ...
City Health Board to visit 6 properties
(Local News ~ 05/15/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — The McCook Health Board is scheduled to conduct a half-dozen inspections on potential nuisance properties within city limits next week. The inspections will begin at 9 a.m. at 107 East 5th Street, followed by 1518 West 10th Street, 511 East 2nd Street, 412 East 3rd Street, 309 East 1st Street and concluding with 707 East C Street at approximately 11:30 a.m., according to the meeting agenda...
(Local News ~ 05/15/17)
DANBURY, Neb. — A Danbury man is hospitalized in Lincoln following a four-wheeler accident on a county road northwest of Danbury Saturday evening. The first call for medical help came to the City of McCook police dispatch center at 6:33 p.m. William “Billie” Haag, 56 years old, was injured when the four-wheeler he was riding to spray weeds backed over a cliff and fell into the county road ditch below, near the intersection of county roads 708 and 395...
Prejudice or behavior
(Column ~ 05/12/17)
I listened to a report last night that said that of all the school suspensions in Texas last year, 47% of the children who were suspended were black, even though they make up only 13% of the population. Police statistics reveal similar numbers and this begs the question that has been asked by many since the ‘60s. ...
Highway oil spill could have been worse
(Local News ~ 05/12/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — Lucky stars were shining on McCook Thursday afternoon. It wasn’t 100 degrees in the shade. What spilled was used, not new, motor oil. And emergency responders work well together. McCook police and firefighters, Red Willow Western firefighters and hazmat specialists and Nebraska Department of Roads personnel responded to the west junction of Highways 6&34 and 83 about 4 p.m., Thursday, to find about a block of the east-west highway coated with thick, gooey black oil...
Texas mom doesn't mince words with man who broke in
(Editorial ~ 05/11/17)
A McKinney, Texas, woman is being blasted on social media for her post, warning a young burglar that he risked being shot should he break into her family’s home again. After she encountered a young masked man in her home, and he ran off, Maria Luce posted a photo of herself and a shotgun on Facebook...
(Column ~ 05/09/17)
Ah, life in the fast lane. This past week your OLD correspondent celebrated 80 years alive on this green earth. Time to reflect a bit. The first 20 years a time of very rural childhood, school including four tough years at the then new Air Force Academy not fun but worth the effort. ...
Tourism bright spot in economy
(Editorial ~ 05/08/17)
Community leaders have been justifiably concerned about the loss of a couple of major retailers in McCook, but this week draws attention to one of the sectors of the economy where Southwest Nebraska has a real advantage. Gov. Pete Ricketts has proclaimed May 7-13 Nebraska Travel and Tourism Week, and the celebration will include a visit to McCook by John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director...
Helmets key part of bicycle safety
(Local News ~ 05/04/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — Elementary schools in McCook and Linda Maiden’s State Farm Insurance Office cooperated this spring for the 28th year to teach first and third graders about bicycle safety and the importance of wearing helmets. Maiden agrees with the National Safe Kids Campaign that a single rule — wear a helmet — can reduce the risk of head injury in a bicycle accident by as much as 85 percent...
Arapahoe man jailed on alleged abduction scheme
(Local News ~ 05/02/17)
LINCOLN, Neb. — An Arapahoe man appeared in federal court in Lincoln today, charged with knowing of a scheme to kidnap Furnas County Sheriff Kurt Kapperman and a Tennessee judge, not alerting law enforcement officials and providing assistance to those planning the abduction...
Stories blur lines between 'local,' world news
(Editorial ~ 05/02/17)
Local media like the Gazette put a premium on local news because let’s face it, nobody is more interested in nearby events than our readers. There are times, however, that the lines are blurred, and “local” news is just as interesting to people thousands of miles away as to people within a few miles of the event...
Lineworkers brave danger to keep the lights on
(Editorial ~ 05/01/17)
If your radio alarm clock woke you up on time for work this morning, you can probably thank a line worker. If you’re still shivering in the chill, you can be thankful it’s May 1, your power will soon be restored and the snow that caused all the problems will soon be converted to runoff headed toward the nearest river...
City eyes road improvements, rail spur for industrial park
(Local News ~ 04/28/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — The McCook City Council will coordinate a public discussion Monday evening on whether to use sales tax revenue to help make roadway improvements and create a rail spur for the city’s industrial park behind Valmont. City staff is working on an application for an Economic Opportunity Program grant to help with “transportation improvement costs” associated with the agricultural chemical handling facility slated for construction in the industrial park. ...
(Local News ~ 04/27/17)
McCook Police Sgt. Kevin Darling and bike safety classes coordinator Brittany Klotz of Linda Maiden State Farm teach proper left turns on bicycles to third graders at McCook Elementary School Wednesday afternoon. First grader Cale Graham giggled over Brittany’s drawing of him on a cantaloup in her demonstration of the importance of wearing a safety helmet. ...
Man arrested in connection with stabbing
(Local News ~ 04/24/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — A McCook man was arrested Friday afternoon in connection with a reported stabbing the day prior. Area law enforcement officers arrested Jacob Cash at the McCook Walmart Friday at approximately 4:30 p.m. following an unrelated traffic stop involving an unidentified female driver, according to Chief of Police Isaac Brown...
Police track three-wheeled pickup, find stolen equipment, make meth arrest
(Local News ~ 04/24/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — A plea agreement was reached with a McCook man earlier this month arrested on felony burglary, theft and drug charges following reports of a three-wheeled pickup truck traveling on Missouri Avenue. The man, 31-year-old Kacey L. Maret of 1009 West J Street, accepted plea agreements in two separate criminal cases stemming from the incident and was subsequently scheduled for sentencing at 9:30 a.m. on June 12, 2017, in Red Willow County District Court...
Probation sentence for sex offender on attempted violation
(Local News ~ 04/21/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — A McCook woman was sentenced to probation earlier this month in Red Willow County District Court for attempting to violate the sex offender registration act. The sex offender, 25-year-old Tai-Lynn Weaver of 409 East 3rd Street, was ordered to serve 12 months probation and two days in county jail, with credit given for two days already served...
Five Hughes bills to final reading
(Local News ~ 04/20/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — Five of the bills introduced by District 44 State Sen. Dan Hughes this session have advanced to final reading, with hope remaining for a couple of others and several slated for a renewed effort next year. The third-year senator introduced a total of 11 bills this session, touching on a broad spectrum of topics and nearly doubling the six bills he introduced during last year’s short session...
No shortage of new ways to do one another harm
(Editorial ~ 04/19/17)
After reading his premature obituary, Alfred Nobel felt so guilty about being remembered only for inventing dynamite that he gave his fortune to found the Nobel Prize. He might have consoled himself with the knowledge that explosives have done much for mankind, in mining, construction and building demolition, but like most technologies, man immediately found ways to use the invention to kill fellow human beings...
Donations sought for K9 officer
(Local News ~ 04/18/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — The Red Willow County Sheriff’s Department is seeking local donations to help fund the daily services of beloved K-9 Officer Luna, as well as to offset upcoming expenses associated with a new kennel purchase. Several local businesses have been particularly generous supporters of the county’s K-9 unit and Chief Deputy Joe Koetter hopes to take some of the pressure off by way of local fundraising efforts. He is in the early stages of seeking partners, as well as donors...
Offer of free body cams raises stakes for transparency
(Editorial ~ 04/06/17)
Smile, you’re on camera! We won’t say “Candid” Camera like the old television, because there’s nothing unusual about being photographed at any time or any place, from walking along the street, to shopping to our own homes. And these days, that image is just as likely to be broadcast over the Internet as stored away for later viewing by a few people...
Climate study: Area precip up; temperature nominal
(Local News ~ 04/04/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — Temperatures in Southwest Nebraska haven’t changed all that much over the past 100 years, and precipitation is actually up, according to a recent study by the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. McCook City Manager Nate Schneider and Utilities Director Jesse Dutcher attended a climate study seminar coordinated by the university last week and shared their findings with the McCook City Council Monday evening. ...
(Local News ~ 03/28/17)
City of McCook fire chief Marc Harpham, police chief Ike Brown and utilities director Jesse Dutcher describe how the city prepares for and responds to a major winter storm, during a community table top training session hosted by Community Hospital of McCook Tuesday morning. ...
Local interest bills introduced to committees
(Column ~ 03/22/17)
Last week, I was grateful to have the 44th Legislative District represented by the Chaplain of the day, Preacher Wayne Vogel from McCook. I am honored to have members of the clergy be willing to make the trip all the way to Lincoln to give the opening prayer before the start of the legislative day. ...
City's street number effort heavy-handed
(Letter to the Editor ~ 03/21/17)
There are many things that our city does for us that I am grateful for and one of them is providing for first responders in case of fire or crime. It is important for them to be able to locate an address quickly when time is of the essence. In February, our city began a process to identify the many residential and commercial buildings in our city that did not have address numbers displayed or were incorrectly displayed...
All citizens should be concerned about information access
(Letter to the Editor ~ 03/15/17)
Happy Sunshine Week! (March 12 - 18) This week newspapers across the country will publish stories about the importance of public records and measure how well their local governments allow access to information. Public records are very serious business for newspapers because they form the backbone of most newspaper stories. ...
Jail handed down for arrest six years ago
(Local News ~ 03/13/17)
McCOOK, Neb. — An Oberlin woman received jail time last month in Red Willow County District Court on misdemeanor convictions for attempted possession of a controlled substance and disturbing the peace stemming from an arrest more than six years ago...
What we do with drug offenders
(Column ~ 03/10/17)
For all the crimes that could get a person sent to prison, the most controversial ones have always been the ones dealing with felony drug offenders. And the issue seems to be divided right down the middle, like almost everything else is these days. A certain group contends that sending a user to prison is the wrong solution to a problem. ...
Car stopped, two adults arrested, four children are placed with relatives
(Local News ~ 03/09/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Red Willow County sheriff's deputies stopped a car southbound into McCook Wednesday evening for erratic driving, and the stop resulted in the arrest of two adults. The adults, a man and a woman, were charged with erratic driving and suspected possession of drugs. Sheriff Alan Kotschwar said this morning that four children were placed with a relative...
Sheriff warns of credit card scam
(Local News ~ 03/07/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The Red Willow County Sheriff's Office warns business owners of a credit card scam that has emerged in McCook and the area since the middle of January. Sgt. Steve Kotschwar said this morning that the sheriff's office became aware of the situation in late February, after a couple made a large purchase at a McCook business in January and paid with a pre-paid credit card. ...
Jerry Lee Boyer
(Obituary ~ 03/06/17)
Jerry Lee Boyer KALAMAZOO, Mich -- Jerry Lee Boyer, 72, of Coldwater, Mich., died Thursday (March 2, 2017), at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. He worked as a detective with the Michigan State Police for 24 years, retiring from the Jackson Post in 1991. ...
Teen thrown from car, transferred to Lincoln
(Local News ~ 03/06/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- An 18-year-old McCook man was transferred to a Lincoln hospital after a one-vehicle rollover accident late Friday night northeast of McCook. Benjamin Bradley of McCook and Jerad Wallace, also 18 and from McCook, were injured and taken to Community Hospital of McCook. Bradley was then transferred to Bryan West Medical Center in Lincoln...
'Choose life' license plate debate continues
(Local News ~ 03/02/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- State lawmakers seemed to be making progress last Friday on the more than 600 bills introduced this session before starting a debate on "Choose Life" license plates that was still continuing as of today. District 44 State Sen. Dan Hughes said some seven bills were passed on Friday prior to the license plate debate, adding none of the bills were of big significance. ...
Auditor: Good things happening in city
(Local News ~ 02/24/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The City of McCook received high marks on its annual audit from Terry Galloway of Almquist, Maltzahn, Galloway & Luth, CPAs, earlier this week. "What you're gonna see throughout the whole financial statement is there've been some very good, positive things that are happening here in McCook. ...
Officer's pistol discharges by accident, damaging walls, television
(Local News ~ 02/21/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- No one was injured when an off-duty Red Willow County sheriff's deputy accidentally discharged his service revolver in his McCook apartment about 4 a.m., today. Sheriff Alan Kotschwar said the deputy was cleaning his .40-caliber handgun when it discharged. The incident requires an investigation by outside law enforcement, and a McCook police officer was dispatched to the deputy's apartment...
New breath testers for MPD
(Local News ~ 02/21/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook Police Department has received six hand-held alcoholw breath testing units through a traffic safety grant award. Valued at $285 each, the units were provided by the Nebraska Department of Roads, Highway Safety Office as part of the state's ongoing effort to prevent underage drinking and alcohol-related traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities...
Despots of World War II: Joseph Stalin
(Column ~ 02/13/17)
Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili hardly had the credentials of someone who would become a world leader when he was born in Gori, Georgia ((then a part of the Russian Empire) in 1878. He was the single child of a hardworking laundress. His father was an alcoholic shoemaker, who regularly beat the boy and generally made life hard for Josef and his mother. ...
Accidents, other factors make dog park idea attractive
(Editorial ~ 02/08/17)
Lucas Kotschwar is to be commended for his effort to turn a close call for himself and the tragic loss of his dog into something positive. Kotschwar risked his own life to try to save his dog after it fell through thin ice in Barnett Park. The McCook Fire Department used a ladder truck to try to rescue the dog, but it was too late...
Out of sight, out of mind
(Column ~ 02/07/17)
Yes it was out of sight and out of my mind until ... The septic system for my hangar was working fine until the big mess backed up and over ran the stool. The septic tank with leach field was installed as there is no city sewer system connecting to our airport. My system is shared with the local air ambulance group for the crew lounge building when they, thankfully, located at our airport. It is what it is...
City street hearing Monday
(Local News ~ 02/03/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- City leaders will coordinate a public hearing Monday evening to discuss which street repair projects will be prioritized in the coming years. The hearing will take place during a regularly scheduled meeting of the McCook City Council, 6:30 p.m., at the Municipal Center...
Stereotypes of racial prejudice
(Column ~ 02/03/17)
Imagine yourself as a young black teenage boy living on the south side of Chicago. There has never been a dad in the family that you can remember. Your mom is a decent caring person but she started having babies when she herself was a child and is now working two or three low-paying jobs just to put food on the table and clothes on the backs of her three children because you have a younger sister and an older brother. ...
Sandwich run leads to meth arrest
(Local News ~ 02/02/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- A McCook woman who told a curious police officer she smelled like marijuana because she had just smoked a blunt at home, and was subsequently arrested after a search of her vehicle turned up a baggie of methamphetamine crystals, was sentenced to probation time recently in Red Willow County District Court. The woman, 32-year-old Jessica D. Cruz of 27 South Street, received an 18 month probation sentence during a Jan. 9, 2017, sentencing hearing...
Second police chase yields probation
(Local News ~ 01/31/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- A McCook man sentenced to prison time in 2014 for leading police on a high speed chase in a stolen vehicle was back in Red Willow County District Court earlier this month facing sentencing on similar charges. The man, 25-year-old Nicholas R. ...
Rough landing for Montana pilot
(Local News ~ 01/31/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- A single engine airplane had a mishap while landing at McCook Ben Nelson Regional Airport Saturday afternoon. Airport officials said the small aircraft came in with "wind issues" and pushed off to the left of the runway shortly after touching down, making contact with a taxiing sign and two runway lights. No one was injured as a result...
The nature of the beast
(Column ~ 01/27/17)
When I was a first-year Ph.D. Student in Sociology at Oklahoma State University, I was taking a criminology class and the professor asked the class why man is still so violent and reactionary after thousands of years of socialization not to be. I replied that it was the nature of the beast and a second-year student laughed at my response. ...
Scammers finding new route to theft of taxpayer identity
(Editorial ~ 01/27/17)
A "phishing" scam reportedly played a part in this year's election by exposing thousands of internal Democratic National Committee emails to public scrutiny. The actual results are debatable, but there is no question that identity theft will be devastating to individuals. Even after you find out your identity has been compromised and take the proper steps, "you have a new hobby," according to one famous financial adviser...
New police uniforms help prevent back injuries
(Local News ~ 01/26/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- City of McCook Police Officers are sporting a new look they hope will reduce the potential for lower back injuries, as well as help maintain a professional public image. The change primarily pertains to an external protective vest carrier, intended to get weight from carried equipment off an officer's belt and cut the risk of lower back injuries. The protective vests were previously worn under a McCook officer's uniform shirt...
Bill would deter theft from cars
(Local News ~ 01/25/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The City of McCook Police Department teamed up with District 44 State Sen. Dan Hughes to develop legislation which could provide law enforcement officers with another tool to combat theft rings targeting vehicle contents. During Tuesday's Coffee with a Cop meeting at the Bieroc Cafe, Chief of Police Isaac Brown said he was grateful for Sen. ...
Eighteen amendments, 667 bills introduced
(Column ~ 01/24/17)
Wednesday, Jan. 18 was the last day to introduce legislation. There were 667 bills and eighteen Constitutional Amendment's introduced this year. I introduced 11 bills on various topics related to District 44. The entire list of introduced bills are on the Legislature's website (www.nebraskalegislature.gov). ...
Despots of World War II -- Benito Mussolini
(Column ~ 01/23/17)
During World War II the American people received a healthy dose of propaganda, from the Axis Powers, who were our enemy. We also got a lot of propaganda from our own government, about the Axis Powers, to be sure that we were constantly apprised about our enemy and why we should be fighting against the Powers of Evil. After the war, when the War Crimes trials were held, we found out just how bad the leaders of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperialist Japan really were...
(Local News ~ 01/18/17)
Amos Moses trots across bricks that wear a cold, ghostly image of ice after freezing rain fell in McCook Sunday and Monday. The City of McCook spread salt on the downtown area's brick streets starting mid-morning Sunday, and Nebraska Department of Roads trucks sprayed deicer the state highways. ...
Better safe than sorry when it comes to storms
(Editorial ~ 01/17/17)
Winter Storm Jupiter (the Weather Channel's name) turned out to be somewhat of a bust in McCook, but there were scattered power outages in the area and a few non-injury accidents reported around McCook. The latter is probably true because many businesses, including the Gazette, chose to close their doors Monday rather than risk the safety of their employees and customers on the icy streets and highways. ...
Early starts help keep roads safe
(Local News ~ 01/17/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Streets and highways of solid ice and the very real possibility of slippin' and slidin' convinced many drivers to stay home during the worst of the ice storm that gripped Southwest Nebraska Sunday and Monday. Spokesmen for the City of McCook and the Nebraska Department of Roads echoed each other this morning, saying they appreciated drivers staying off the streets and highways when they were so slippery and unsafe...
The great McCook cat fight of 1967
(Column ~ 01/16/17)
Lately there have been reports that feral cats in the vicinity of Brookdale Retirement Community have become more and more numerous, and some of the residents have become concerned that these cats might soon pose a problem. Thus the following story of a cat problem we had here in McCook in the 1960s. From Gazette archives...
Sheriff seeks return of stolen tools scattered on road
(Local News ~ 01/11/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Red Willow County sheriff's officers are asking the public's assistance in recovering tools stolen in a burglary at Ag Valley Co-Op in Bartley Tuesday morning. Sheriff Alan Kotschwar said this morning that a suspect is in custody and the investigation continues into the incident...
The day the capital city stood still
(Column ~ 01/09/17)
(Recently there was a story on TV about a town in one of the eastern states, that was virtually shut down by a freak, drizzly rain turned ice, which turned streets and sidewalks into sheets of ice. It was like a time, just after WW II, when a similar situation occurred in Lincoln, Neb.)...
On the record
(Other Record ~ 01/09/17)
This information is gathered at the McCook Public Safety Center, the McCook office of the Nebraska State Patrol, the Red Willow County Courthouse, the Red Willow County Sheriff's Office and the McCook Humane Society. Police activity Activity log...
(Local News ~ 01/06/17)
From a ladder extended from the city's largest fire truck, McCook firefighters try to rescue a dog who fell through the ice on a pond in Barnett Park about 12:40 p.m., Thursday. The dog's owner fell through the ice as he tried to save the dog, but he was able to get himself out of the water, according to McCook Fire Department firefighter/paramedic Steve Renner. ...
Amtrak plans approved
(Local News ~ 01/04/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Amtrak received city approval last night to make a variety of improvements to the train station on East A Street in downtown McCook. The rail service plans to make ADA and parking lot upgrades, as well as storm water drainage improvements to the area which would require cutting into the pavement at the intersection of A Street and Norris Avenue. ...
Donor locked into thrift store
(Local News ~ 01/03/17)
McCOOK, Neb. -- It was a matter of a good heart and bad timing that a man got locked in at the lower-level Helping Hand thrift store in downtown McCook on Monday afternoon. McCook Police Chief Ike Brown said the gentleman dropped off his donation at a time when Helping Hand staff wasn't aware he was there, and they locked the ground-floor exterior doors on their way out...
Possible litigation, Amtrak construction on agenda for City Council on Tuesday
(Local News ~ 12/30/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- City leaders will consider entering executive session Tuesday evening to discuss a legal dispute with a former McCook police dispatcher and officer. "An executive session may be held for the protection of the public interest for a strategy session with respect to litigation with Howard W. ...
Capt. Chris Kolb retiring from NSP
(Local News ~ 12/28/16)
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Commander of the Nebraska State Patrol Troop C Headquarters - Grand Island, Captain Chris Kolb, retires on Dec. 31, 2016, after dedicating more than 33 years to serving and protecting the citizens of Nebraska as an officer and commander...
Celebrity heart news reinforces holiday stress idea
(Editorial ~ 12/27/16)
We wrote about a study linking heart attacks and the holidays in Friday's weekend edition and almost on cue, three celebrities died of heart attacks, one despite the quick actions of passengers and crew of the airliner on which she was a passenger. The first was Alan Thicke, who died from a ruptured aorta three hours after suffering a heart attack, according to his death certificate...
Escape from Eastern Europe
(Letter to the Editor ~ 12/23/16)
Sometimes Americans take their political rights and religious freedom for granted. The following is a true story: Eva Walburger of Idaho remembers stories told by her parents and maternal grandmother, who lived in Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia). Her mother was born in Propardo, Czechoslovakia. During World War II, her grandfather served in the Czech army. Czech military families fled into a wooded area to hide from Germans who had invaded their country...
Missing from scene of wreck, driver located leaving theater
(Local News ~ 12/20/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- A pickup on its side in a road ditch northeast of McCook prompted a search Monday evening for its missing driver. Red Willow County Sheriff Alan Kotschwar said this morning that his deputy, Josh Palmer, was alerted to the accident after passersby notified the McCook Police Department of the pickup at 7:41 p.m...
Toy Box distribution benefits from new changes
(Local News ~ 12/19/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The spirit of Christmas giving was much more apparent at a "new-and-improved" McCook "Christmas Toy Box" distribution at Memorial Auditorium on Sunday. Santa's elves on Sunday afternoon witnessed a much more civilized, friendly and relaxed shopping atmosphere than at past Toy Box distributions...
December Coffee with a Cop
(Local News ~ 12/13/16)
The holidays and cold, snowy weather combine to create special concerns for law enforcement officers and the public in the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, McCook Chief of Police Ike Brown said Tuesday morning in the "Coffee with a Cop" gathering at the Bieroc Cafe...
(Column ~ 12/13/16)
The process whereby a city expands its boundaries to include a specific geographic area. Just the thought of it strikes fear into the hearts of many who reside outside the city limits of McCook. Justifiably they fear the big jump in real estate taxes, the City levy, which is sure to come their way. At least that was the sentiment expressed to me during my term serving on City Council when Bingham put together a plan to annex our neighbors...
On the record
(Other Record ~ 12/13/16)
This information is gathered at the McCook Public Safety Center, the McCook office of the Nebraska State Patrol, the Red Willow County Courthouse, the Red Willow County Sheriff's Office and the McCook Humane Society. Activity log These items are taken from reports filed by the McCook Police Department. The locations refer to block numbers, not specific addresses. If you have information about any of these reports, call the police department at (308) 345-3450...
McCook police awarded grant for radar gun
(Local News ~ 12/12/16)
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The McCook Police Department will receive a highway safety grant to assist in obtaining one mobile radar unit. "The McCook Police Department has been awarded the funding to help prevent traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities at various locations throughout the area, according to Nebraska Department of Roads, Highway Safety Office administrator, Fred Zwonechek...
Plea reached 2010 disturbance, drug arrest
(Local News ~ 12/09/16)
McCOOK, Neb. -- A plea agreement was reached earlier this week in Red Willow County District Court with a McCook woman arrested on multiple charges in September of 2010, including making terroristic threats towards a police officer. The woman, 54-year-old Elizabeth Cooper formerly of 910 East E Street Apt. ...
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