February 11, 2016

Monday meeting in Wayne focuses on disaster preparedness

The remains of Pilger's middle school following the tornado in June of 2014

The remains of Pilger’s middle school following the tornado in June of 2014

An emergency response and recovery group that formed after severe storms hit northeast Nebraska in June of 2014 is broadening its scope.

The Northeast Nebraska Long Term Recovery Team is becoming the Northeast Nebraska COAD, or Community Organizations Active in Disaster.

Kim Schultz, emergency response coordinator at the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department in Wayne, explains the goal.

Schultz says, “We’re trying to bring together different response and recovery agencies, all in one spot, so we can plan and share resources for the next upcoming disasters in the northeast Nebraska region.”

The group will meet next week in Wayne and Schultz hopes for a packed house.

“A successful COAD needs input and participation from voluntary agencies, non-profit agencies, government agencies, local churches, businesses and community leaders,” she says. “Anyone that has a role in community prepareness, education, response or recovery, we would value your participation at our next meeting.”

The Northeast Nebraska COAD meeting is scheduled for Monday and will be held at the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department in Wayne.

By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton


Pedestrian struck and killed by train

A 51-year-old man has been struck and killed by a train, which authorities say he might not have noticed.

Police say Johnny Frees of Cozad was walking alongside the train tracks, talking on his cell phone when he was hit by the train shortly before noon Wednesday. Investigators suspect he might not have heard the train approaching.

Man collapses and dies after shoveling snow in Omaha

A man has been pronounced dead at an Omaha hospital after collapsing while shoveling snow.

Randall Miller of Omaha was 36.

A friend, 36-year-old Andrew Liekhus, said he and Miller had been doing odd jobs now and then after getting done with their snow-removal service.

Miller and Liekhus had been clearing snow near 160th and Ruggles Streets when Miller suddenly collapsed.

It is not clear whether Miller suffered from any medical condition that would have led to his death.

Man dies in northeast Nebraska wreck

A young man from Macy died in a rollover crash in northeast Nebraska Tuesday morning.

The Nebraska State Patrol says 21-year-old Noah Parker was thrown from his SUV when it rolled over on U.S. Highway 75, about four miles south of Macy. Parker was alone in the vehicle.

An investigation into the wreck continues. NSP has not said if winter weather played a role in the accident.

Snowstorms take toll on blood supplies, donors needed

Red Cross logoSevere winter weather has left blood supplies for many hospitals across the region at critically low levels.

Katie Marshall, spokeswoman for the Midwest region of the American Red Cross, says there’s an “emergency need” for blood donors.

“What we’re seeing at this point is that the blood that’s coming in is going out to hospitals just as quickly as donors can come in and give it,” Marshall says.

Blood supplies were already low at the start of the year because of the usual slowdown in donations around the holidays, but supplies have been further depleted by winter storms.

Several blood drives in Nebraska were among the more than 300 blood drives that were cancelled across 20 states since January 1st.

“Many blood drives have been cancelled for days on end and that really takes a toll on the whole blood supply nationwide,” Marshall says.

Blood supplies have been hit especially hard by the blizzard that struck the East Coast a weekend ago. But, wintery weather in Nebraska has also resulted in delayed donation drives.

“We can’t get to certain rural communities if ice hits on a certain day or there’s just a little bit too much snow,” Marshall says.

Blood donation appointments can be scheduled by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.