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Nebraska reports 198 new COVID-19 cases, making total 19,660

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska has reported another 198 novel coronavirus cases, increasing the total for the pandemic to 19,660. The state Department of Health and Human Services dashboard showed Saturday that the number of cases had increased 1% in the previous day. The state reported 284 COVID-19-related deaths. That was an increase of two. The health department said 14,200 people, or about 72% of those infected, have recovered. It said 1,365 people have been hospitalized, but only 111 of those hospitalizations still are active. Nearly 63% of the people who’ve been hospitalized were 55 or older, and the same group accounts for 90% of the state’s reported deaths.


Family members help crash victims on way to Nebraska wedding

HOLDREGE, Neb. (AP) — Two family members on their way to a recent wedding in central Nebraska stopped at a two-vehicle accident to help the victims before making it to the nuptials with minutes to spare. Mother of the bride Jodi Damrow said rendering aid in a long gown wasn’t anything special. The Omaha World-Herald reported that she’s a veteran emergency room nurse in Holdrege, about 190 miles (306 kilometers) southwest of Omaha. Another daughter, Sadie Johnson, is a physician’s assistant, and she also stopped to help. She then rushed home to get three young children ready and served as matron of honor at the wedding.


Lincoln man charged in fatal beating pleads not guilty

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Lincoln man charged with manslaughter and assault in the beating to death of another man has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Lincoln Journal Star reports that 49-year-old Mark Hietbrink was arraigned Wednesday via video from the county jail. His trial date has not yet been set. Police say Heitbrink and 44-year-old Jonathan Olson, of LIncoln, had been dating the same woman last year. Police say that on Oct. 11, Olson went to Heitbrink’s house to retrieve some of the woman’s property, and that’s when Heitbrink attacked Olson. Olson died at a Lincoln hospital six days later.


FBI, Omaha police investigating racist graffiti at park

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha police and the FBI are investigating after someone spray-painted racist graffiti on a grassy area at a western Omaha park. Police say the graffiti covered a large area at Lake Zorinsky Park and included a racial slur, a swastika and a stick-figure hanging from a noose. Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert says maintenance crews removed the graffiti Tuesday as soon as officials learned of it. Stothert says authorities are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime. Omaha police and the FBI are asking anyone who has information, video or pictures regarding the vandalism to contact Crime Stoppers.


Man accused of kicking in Lincoln woman’s door, beating her

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Police in Lincoln have arrested a man accused of kicking in a woman’s door and beating her so severely that it left her with multiple broken bones. The Lincoln Journal Star says police called to the home around 6:20 a.m. Thursday found the 49-year-old woman in her driveway covered in blood and screaming in pain. She told police that 31-year-old Austin Lightfeather had kicked in the door to her home and punched and kicked her until she lost consciousness. Officer Erin Spilker says police soon found Lightfeather and arrested him on suspicion of burglary and first-degree assault. The victim was taken to hospital for treatment of broken bones and numerous cuts to her face.


Nebraska officials watching virus cases as 6 more die

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts says Nebraska officials are watching for new outbreaks of the coronavirus that have been seen in other states and will keep all options open to try to protect public health. Ricketts made the comments as the state continued to see new, confirmed cases and deaths. Nebraska reported 142 new cases of the virus and six new deaths. That brings the total number of known Nebraska cases to 19,452 since the pandemic began, according to the tracker. Of that number, 282 people have died and 14,022 have recovered. Public and private health officials have tested 184,354 residents in Nebraska so far.

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