The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that Invest Nebraska has been awarded a $300,000 grant to focus on AgTech in Nebraska through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. Invest Nebraska, a public-private partnership with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, is a major player in the advancement of high-growth businesses across the state
“The Trump Administration is committed to strengthening U.S. production and exports, which are essential to our nation’s economic growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These projects will enable entrepreneurs in communities across the United States to start new businesses, manufacture innovative products, and export them throughout the world – increasing America’s global competitiveness.”
Under the award Invest Nebraska, in coordination with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the University of Nebraska, and the private sector, will lead the efforts to develop an AgTech Cluster Development Plan, conduct statewide education and outreach efforts with potential AgTech investors, and increase deal flow activity by providing operational assistance to Nebraska’s AgTech entrepreneurs and innovators.
The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), leads the i6 Regional Innovation Strategies Program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. The program is authorized through the America COMPETES reauthorization Act of 2010, and has received dedicated appropriations since FY2014.
Forty-two organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations from 28 states received over $17 million to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through the i6 program.
“We are extremely honored to be the first organization in Nebraska to receive an award under the EDA’s i6 Program,” said Dan Hoffman, CEO of Invest Nebraska.” “Nebraska ranks 4th in the nation for total agricultural cash receipts and ranked 3rd in the nation for growth in technology jobs in 2015. Integrating more technology into agriculture can lead to significant AgTech startups in the state.”
This fourth cohort of Regional Innovation Strategies awardees expands the RIS portfolio to eight new states and continues to build vibrant regional entrepreneurial economies. The awardees were selected from a pool of more than 217 applicants.
To learn more about the Regional Innovation Strategies program and the awardee projects, visit eda.gov and the FAQs.
About Invest Nebraska
Invest Nebraska is a statewide public-private partnership funded by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development to grow the state’s economy by supporting high-growth, early-stage companies in Nebraska. Invest Nebraska works directly with entrepreneurs, researchers and businesses to help commercialize their technologies, launch and grow new businesses, and access needed capital.
About the Nebraska Department of Economic Development
Since 2011, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development has provided grants and seed capital to the state’s entrepreneurs and innovators through the Business Innovation Act program. This program has resulted in over $90 million of private capital invested in participating companies, over 218 direct jobs with an average wage of almost $60,000 and a total annual economic impact of $188.4 million.
An Amber Alert has been issued for four children abducted from Omaha.
The Omaha Police Department is looking for the children who were last seen at 4115 S. 37th Street and are believed to be in danger. The children's names are Michayla, Michael, Kaleb and Miley Brummett.
Michayla is a 13 old female, with Black hair that was last seen wearing Black Leggings. Michael is a 13 old male, with Black hair that was last seen wearing White Shorts. Kaleb is a 12 old, with Black hair that was last seen wearing Jeans. Miley is a 7 year old, with Black hair that was last seen wearing Purple pants, White short-sleeve shirt.
The child may be in the company of #1. Michael Brummett, W/M, DOB 02/03/1970, 5 ft 5 in, 200 lbs. #2. Brenda Brummett - W/F, DOB 07/19/1983, 5 ft 9 in, 150 lbs.. They may be traveling in a Unknown year, White Chevy Cavalier (style) 4dr, Nebraska plates, unknown balance - Rust spot on drivers side wheel well, and a dent on the drivers side trunk area. That was last seen heading from 4115 S. 37th Street Omaha at high rate of speed, direction of travel unknown.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of these children, please call 911 or contact Omaha Police Department at 402-444-5636 immediately.
An Amber Alert has been issued following a child abduction in eastern Nebraska.
The Omaha Police is looking for a child who was last seen at and is believed to be in danger. The child's name is Driver Smith.He is a 8 old male.
The child may be in the company of Michael Westerholm, 9-13-1983. They may be traveling in a Grey 2008 Chevy Malibu NE UZZ 793 that was last seen heading Possibly WB.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Driver Smith, please call 911 or contact Omaha Police at 402-444-5636 immediately.
The head of the Nebraska State Patrol was fired today by Gov. Pete Rickets, and several others were removed from duty, at least temporarily.
At a news conference this morning, Ricketts announced he had relieved the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) Colonel Brad Rice of his duties following a review into how use of force investigations are conducted by NSP.
“Today, I have relieved State Patrol Colonel Brad Rice of his duties,” said Governor Ricketts. “My decision was based on the initial findings of the review being conducted by my Chief Human Resources Officer. My team will commence a search immediately for the next Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol to lead this agency which is vital to protecting Nebraska’s public safety.”
“Over the past week, my review has focused on how recent use of force investigations have been conducted,” said the Governor’s Chief Human Resources Officer Jason Jackson. “This review found interference into the internal investigation process of the State Patrol and violations of internal policies among other concerning issues at the highest levels of the agency’s leadership.”
The Governor has named Administrative Services Major Russ Stanczyk, the senior member of the command staff, as Interim Superintendent of the State Patrol effective immediately.
At the news conference, Jackson said that in addition to the Governor’s dismissal of the Colonel that two other command staff had been placed on paid administrative leave. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Schwarten is among those being placed on leave.
A total of six personnel are being placed on paid administrative leave, including the command staff named above.
Jackson has turned over initial findings from his review to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for further investigation. Jackson’s review continues into other matters.
Local veterans will be able to receive free dental care thanks to a program put on by Aspen Dental.
On Saturday, June 24, Aspen Dental practices across Nebraska and the United States will open their doors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to provide free dental care to veterans. Local veterans can call 1-844-AspenHMM to schedule their appointment. Appoints are on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The June 24 Day of Service will be Aspen Dental's fourth annual. It is part of Aspen Dental's "Healthy Mouth Movement," a community-giving initiative to deliver free dental care to veterans
By Dr. Jim Tenopir
NSAA Executive Director
Parents of home-school students continue to express the desire for their children to be able to participate in school sports and performing arts. These requests regularly come to the NSAA, but the response we provide is seldom acceptable.
We have had many discussions with the NSAA Board of Directors about possible changes in eligibility standards for home-schooled students, including extended discussion at the NSAA Board Retreat last summer and in several monthly Board meetings. I believe that most of the NSAA Board has come to the realization that compromises can be made to the process for home-school students without compromising NSAA eligibility guidelines. the more we have looked at the issue, many of us have come to realize that there are valid reasons to explore opportunities for such students to access NSAA activities.
“I have come a long way in seeing the benefits of an open-minded approach to permitting home-school students to participate in high school sports and activities.” That was the paraphrased comments I received from a school administrator during the recent Girls State Basketball Tournament. It is my hope that more and more school administrators can understand the value of possible bylaw changes that might avail participation opportunities to this grouping of students.
As most school administrators are aware, this year’s NSAA legislative process has included a fresh look at how home-school students might be able to participate in NSAA sports and performing arts.
During my tenure at NSAA, there have been several initiatives proposed to permit home-school students to be able to play basketball, or sing in the school’s choir, or compete in soccer. As one who served 18 years as a school superintendent, I often embraced the NSAA requirement that a student had to be at least a half-time student to be able to participate.
Yet, I’ve come to realize that the vast majority of parents of home-school students choose to home school their children got good and reasoned and closely held beliefs. I have come to realize that the home-school option often cannot be interpreted as an anti-public (or private) school initiative. It has been pointed out that it is not easy to try to teach your own children day in and day out. But many parents take this approach of home schooling for many reason — personal reasons they feel very strongly about.
The legislation that has successfully navigated the NSAA District Meeting process requires the home-school student to be enrolled in an exempt school that is approved as a Rule 13 NDE school, and it requires the student to be currently enrolled in twenty credit hours of schoolwork or four classes during the current semester; albeit under the proposed legislation only ten credit hours of that schoolwork would be required in the member school — rather than all four classes.
Further, in subsequent semesters, when looking back to make sure such students have successfully completed twenty credit hours of schoolwork the immediate preceding semester, at least ten of those twenty credit hours would need to have been earned at the member high school.
LB 58 was introduced this year in the Nebraska Legislature. The original language would have been much less restrictive than the NSAA proposal; however, in working with state senators and legislative aides, the language in the NSAA proposal was permitted to be amended into the version of LB 58 that was heard by the Education Committee. LB 58 still sits in committee, awaiting the results of the NSAA legislation at the April 7 Representative Assembly.
For the NSAA home-school proposal to pass at Representative Assembly, it will require a 3/5 favorable vote, and since it is an eligibility matter, if it passes Representative Assembly, it would require a favorable referendum vote of our member schools. If the legislative proposal is forwarded to the membership for a referendum vote, I would encourage school administrators to seriously consider the proposed changes.
I believe we have been given an opportunity to solve our own issues without interference from the Legislature. I have always held that it is preferable for NSAA issues to remain outside the Capitol walls. I believe this compromise NSAA legislation is an opportunity to provide participation opportunities for more home-school students without unduly compromising NSAA eligibility guidelines.
The NSAA proposal represents a change over what has been required in the past, but I believe it is a good consideration going forward.
I know that there are administrators in our local schools who would prefer that home-school student should have to attend the member school more than the current four classes. I understand. It would be my hope that all school administrators take an extra look at the NSAA legislative proposal to determine whether a change from the current norm might be effective for home-school students while still maintaining the integrity of our activities programs.
President Donald Trump made his first official speech as the leader of the United States on Friday at his inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C.
He started his speech by thanking now-former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for their help in the transition and their service to the country.
He then quickly turned his attention to the core of his speech, the American people. He talked often about wanting to put the citizens in control of more decisions and giving back to the country.
"What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people," he said.
He made allusions to the various issues plaguing the United States currently, including poverty, empty factories from companies taking their businesses to other nations and crime in various cities.
President Trump vowed to bring back jobs from other countries for Americans and to make American industry a focus of his presidency.
"From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first," he said. "Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs."
He then turned his attention to rebuilding patriotism across the United States. He stated that, in order to "unlock the mysteries of space, to free the earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow."
To do that, he noted that all citizens must regain their American pride and remember that all Americans are together, no matter whether they are born in Detroit of in small-town Nebraska.
"And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator."
He made one final declaration, one that he undoubtedly hopes will give Americans hope for the future.
"You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way," he said.
Considering sending a loved one a card by mail?
Be aware, postage prices are going up on January 22.
According to a press release published by the US Postal Service, in October of last year the United States Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of price changes for Mailing Services products to take effect on January 22, 2017, following the end of the holiday mailing season.
The new prices include a two cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, returning the price to 49 cents, the price of a Forever stamp before the Postal Service was forced to reduce prices by the PRC as part of the exigent surcharge removal.
The last time stamp prices increased was in January 2014. The incoming price increase does not include any price change for Postcards, for letters being mailed to international destinations or for additional ounces for letters. Below is a full list of price changes, as listed by the Pitney Bowes Inc.:
Stamp prices have stayed consistent with the average annual rate of inflation since the Postal Service was formed in 1971.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
From news partner News Channel Nebraska.
A potential NSAA rule change could force some of the state’s most successful high school sports programs to jump up a class.
Schools will soon be voting on whether or not to pass a success factor in the state of Nebraska. If passed, highly successful programs such as: Sacred Heart football and girls basketball, David City Aquinas football, Crofton girls basketball and BDS football, among other programs, could be forced move up a level of NSAA classification.
Executive Director of the NSAA Dr. Jim Tenopir, who has been in that spot for 11 out of the last 16 years, has heard grumblings about this issue for some time.
“This is a situation that is certainly not new, in fact it goes back a long way,” says Tenopir.
If passed, individual sports programs would need to accumulate 10 success points over a four-year period to jump a class. In order to receive a point, a program would need to get into the top eight in their class. A semi-final berth, or a 3rd-4th place finish, would give a school another point, advancing to the championship game or placing 2nd would give a school three points in total, and if you win a state title, four points would be given to the program for that season.
But that’s just the first phase of the success factor legislation.
Once a school reaches ten points, they can lose, or be given additional points, on a few other factors: percentage of students on free or reduced lunch, percentage of students in special education and a school’s proximity to a Class A school.
This portion of the legislation has particularly gotten pushback from non-public schools.
Superintendent of the Diocese of Lincoln, Msgr. John Perkinton, who oversees six Catholic high schools in the state, stands firmly against the legislation.
“I’m opposed to anything that would alter the level playing field,” says Perkinton.
Doug Goltz, who led Falls City Sacred Heart to sixteen combined state football and basketball titles, says while this is better than a previously talked about private school enrollment multiplier, it’s still not a good idea.
“These geographic and demographic proposals, more than anything, are an attempt to target the non-public schools,” says Goltz.
Both Goltz and Perkinton say they’d take on more special education kids if given state funding for the expensive special-ed programs.
They also would like to see more data about how students on the free or reduced lunch program, perform worse in sports.
“It almost implies that rich kids are better athletes than poor kids and I’d just like to see the facts that back that up,” says Goltz.
But Tenopir, who says the NSAA does not have a stance on this issue, believes non-public schools have a few built-in advantages.
“To some extent they can control their enrollment, to some extent they have advantages that others in their same classification to not enjoy, for instance we got some schools that can draw from what’s otherwise a Class A population. Where as other schools have a very finite population in which they can draw students,” says Tenopir.
Plattsmouth athletic director Shaun Brothers says his school is hampered by a more closed population and that he doesn’t feel as if the playing field is currently level.
“Big picture, we got to do what’s best for the kids in the state. Is it best for the same schools to win all the time, no matter what? Or do you want to have a system where it’s more fair? says Brothers.
There is little argument that private schools have dominated the landscape of high school athletics for some time. Over the past 10 years, in football, volleyball and boys and girls basketball, 50% of the 1st and 2nd place medals have been given to non-public schools, but those schools make up just 13% of NSAA member schools.
“I have not a position on this but it’s pretty tough to reconcile that you have non-public schools with that level of success, you can’t tell me it’s because they’ve got good coaching staffs or tradition or whatever,” says Tenopir.
So why do private schools succeed, when public schools do not? Tenopir says there’s many factors, including money.
“A student in a non-public school, more than likely their parents are having to pay tuition, if they’ve got the wherewithal to pay tuition, they probably have the wherewithal to get their kids to camps and clinics and what not,” says Tenopir.
Goltz cites the fact that many of the state’s great program from the past and present: Crofton girls basketball, Columbus Scotus volleyball, Howells football, have all had tremendous coaching and cultures of success.
“A lot of it is the culture, the program, the coaching, it’s the community, I think you can see that up and down the line throughout sports history in Nebraska high schools,” says Goltz.
Falls City Sacred Heart lost to the Howells football team plenty in the playoffs in the 2000’s and Goltz says instead of trying to find ways to avoid Howells, he tried to make his program better.
“I didn’t try and figure out ways to eliminate them from being our competition, I tried to work harder to find ways to beat a team like that, says Goltz.
This issue has managed split many athletic directors and high school administrators in the state of Nebraska. On the first vote in November, half of the six districts in the state voted in favor, while the other three districts were against the measure.
While almost every private school in the state is against the proposal, the public schools are split.
“A school like Plattsmouth, it would be good for us, in terms of balancing the playing field a little bit,” says Brothers.
Co-head football coach at Bruning-Davenport/Schickley Mark Rotter, has led his team to a state championship in 2015, and deep into the playoffs in 2014 and 2016, he says BDS built their program through a strong lifting program, something that can be replicated at any school.
“We lift like crazy, we work all year around. So the message would be, you work real hard and are successful so we’re going to make it tougher on you by moving you up?” says Rotter.
Rotter also fears the wrong group of student-athletes would be the ones that have to play at a more difficult level.
“You’ve got a great bunch of seniors that walk out the door and it’s the next year’s bunch that would be pushed up a class, yeah I don’t understand it all,” says Rotter.
A success factor system has been implemented by several other states across the country. Tenopir worked at the National Federation of State High School Associations for five years and says other states have tried something similar.
“There are other states, Indiana, Oklahoma, Connecticut, who have gone down the road that Nebraska is looking at here with a success factor,” says Tenopir.
The next vote on the proposal will be at district meetings on Wednesday, January 11th. If the majority of the districts pass it, then it will move on the a final vote in General Assembly in March.
Tenopir believes, regardless of the vote, people will always be clamoring for change.
“If our membership does nothing, theres going to be the continuing concerns that there are those schools that are successful and they’re successful because they’ve got inherent advantages over other schools. If it does pass, we’re going to constantly hear that those schools that get bumped up were cheated because they did all the right things to be successful,” says Tenopir.
Two children who were abducted at Baker’s Supermarket in Omaha, have been found safe.
Officers responded to the Baker’s Supermarket for an abduction call at 8:02 p.m. Thursday. Upon arrival, a female victim told officers that she put her two 8 month old female twins in the back of the car and putting groceries away in the trunk. At that point someone jumped in the driver’s seat of her vehicle and drove off with the vehicle and the two children inside.