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Hastings couple killed in vehicle accident on Hwy 6

Authorities say a Hastings couple was killed and two of their children injured in a collision in Clay County. Clay County Sheriff Jeff Franklin says the accident occurred around 5:15 a.m. Thursday. The family was headed east on U.S. Highway 6 when their sport utility vehicle was struck by semitrailer that had been going south on Nebraska Highway 14. Franklin says the truck driver didn't halt at a stop sign. The 53-year-old man and his 52-year-old wife died in the collision. Their teenage son and daughter in her 20s were flown to a Lincoln hospital. Their names aren't being released until relatives are notified about the accident. The truck driver was arrested.

BCBS contract set to end with CHI

It appears Blue Cross Blue Shield's contract with 12 CHI Nebraska hospitals and about 1,400 health care providers will expire September 1st. The two have been in negotiations for months after Blue Cross sent notice to end their contract because CHI Nebraska charged 20 to 30 percent more compared to other facilities for the same service. CHI Nebraska Executive Cliff Robertson says there are gray areas. Robertson says they are preparing to be out of Blue Cross / Blue Shield's network. He says they have worked with Blue Cross and asked for an extension to work things through but was denied. 

UNL to host forums about rural Nebraska

The University of Nebraska's Rural Futures Institute will host a series of forums beginning in September. The forums will showcase success stories in Nebraska communities and share outcomes of projects funded by the Rural Futures Institute that are serving Nebraskans. The daylong forums will be held on Sept. 30 in Nebraska City, Oct. 9 in Broken Bow and Oct. 14 in Scottsbluff. The forums are open to the public, but require $25 and pre-registration to attend. The forums will focus on growing economies, energized leadership and vibrant communities. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from local leaders about efforts to enhance business growth and downtown redevelopment, expand educational opportunities and increase the quality of life for rural residents.

Nebraska State Patrol encourages seatbelt use in new campaign

With the kickoff of high school football across the state tonight, the Nebraska State Patrol is encouraging young people to wear their seatbelts. The "Friday Night Lights" initiative is designed to help reduce serious injury and fatality crashes involving teen drivers by providing them with firsthand knowledge of what can happen when you don't buckle up. Fans at select high school football games will have the opportunity to experience a ride in the Nebraska State Patrol Seat Belt Convincer and the opportunity to view a presentation of the Rollover Simulator prior to kick-off. During breaks in the football action, troopers will use a T-shirt shooter to catapult shirts with a seat belt safety message to football fans. The shirts were purchased through a $10,000 grant to the Nebraska State Patrol Foundation from the AAA Nebraska/Cornhusker Motor Club Foundation.

Hastings man dies in ATV accident

A Hastings man has died in an all-terrain vehicle crash at the St. Anthony Sand Dunes in eastern Idaho. The Fremont County Sheriff's Office says Phillip J. McDonald died Wednesday at the area popular with ATV and motorcycle riders. Authorities received a report of a crash at about 1:30 p.m. local time. Emergency responders pronounced McDonald dead at the scene. Authorities have not said how the crash happened or if McDonald was wearing a helmet.

Hastings Police warn of counterfeit money

The Hastings Police Department is asking Adams County Merchants to be on the look out for counterfeit money. Hastings Police have had several reports of counterfeit bills being passed to local businesses in the last month. The bills include three counterfeit $50.00 bills with all three having the same serial number. There has also been $20.00 bills passed around the area. Businesses are encouraged to use counterfeit detecting marking pens and also be aware of the various security features in the bills. Businesses should contact their local police department and report any suspicious activity or questionable currency immediately.

New sporting goods store in Grand Island

A new sporting goods store is coming to the Tri-Cities. The Grand Island Independent is reporting that Dick's Sporting Goods will open a fourth Nebraska location at the soon-to-be renovated pedestrian mall where the Grand Island Mall is currently located. The Grand Island City Council authorized up to $6.4 million of tax increment financing for the redevelopment at Tuesday's city council meeting. A potential one-half to one percent sales tax would likely help fund the project. Dick's Sporting Goods currently has two stores in Omaha and one in Papillion. The company reportedly has been looking at locations in Grand Island since last year.

"Cops" crew member shot in Omaha during shoot-out

Omaha's police chief says officers are taking the death of a "Cops" TV show crew member very hard. Police officers who opened fire while disrupting a robbery at a fast-food restaurant Tuesday night killed sound man Bryce Dion as well as the robbery suspect, parolee Cortez Washington. Washington was carrying what officers thought was a real handgun. It turned out that the gun fires only plastic pellets. Dion was wearing a bullet-proof vest but Police Chief Todd Schmaderer says a single bullet "slipped into a gap in the vest" and struck him in the chest. A full video of what happened isn't being released but will be part of a grand jury investigation. The crew for the reality show has been filming all summer in Omaha and had only one week left in the city. The incident has also halted filming in Springfield, Missouri.

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