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Crossroads Center Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner in Hastings

The Crossroads Center in Hastings is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday for anyone who would like to attend. Dinner will be served from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jerry Bumgardner, Executive Director says they'll have all the traditional Thanksgiving food options. Crossroads provides a program for the homeless to not only feed and shelter but also provide a pathway toward recovery. Crossroads served over 100,000 meals in the community in 2013.

Kearney Area Concerned Citizens to Host Thanksgiving Dinner

The Kearney Area Concerned Citizens will be hosting their 30th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner this Thursday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Kearney. Gailen Kotrous, Publicity Chairman for the event, says the meal is open to anyone who would like to attend. Special arrangements can be made for individuals who are in need of a ride to the event. The event is free, but donations are also welcomed and appreciated.

Parole Board Chairwoman Says She Was Pressured Into Paroling More Inmates

The chairwoman of Nebraska's parole board says a former prisons director pressured her into paroling more inmates in an effort to reduce crowding. Esther Casmer testified under subpoena Tuesday that some inmates were paroled even though they hadn't completed mandatory programming to treat anger management, addictions and other problems. She was appointed by Gov. Heineman in 2005. A spokesman for the governor says he will respond as soon as he can.

Hagel Will Stay On Until Successor is Confirmed

Former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel says he will stay on as defense secretary until the Senate confirms his successor. Hagel announced Monday he is stepping down. The Republican becomes the first senior Obama adviser to leave the administration following the sweeping losses for the president's party in the midterm elections.

Hastings Water Rates Going Up

Hastings residents will soon be paying more for water. The city council voted unanimously last night for a rate increase to help eliminate the city's water of dangerous nitrate levels. The proposed cost of the water treatment is $46 million. Mayor Vern Powers said that cost could end up being as high as $100 million. He says the increase has to start now so that residents aren't hit with huge increases in the future. The EPA will have final say as to when the treatment plant will be needed. Mayor Powers stressed the nitrate levels in Hastings are well below EPA standards. Most customers will pay $1.66 more per month starting Jan. 1.

Hastings Library Achieves Gold Standard

The Hastings Public Library has received the highest level of library accreditation. On Monday, the library received Gold level accreditation from the Nebraska Library Commission. The Hastings location is only one of four in Nebraska that received Gold. The raised accreditation level means an increase in the amount of state aid money they receive and an improved status when applying for federal, state of private grants to complete the library's renovation project. The library received 257 points for its 2014-17 renewal application, exceeding the 250 points necessary to achieve Gold level status.

Police Identify Kearney Shooting Victim

Authorities have released the name of the man wounded in a weekend shooting in Kearney. According to police reports, 31-year-old Gerard Vinett of Tennessee was shot twice early Saturday morning in south Kearney. Police later arrested 24-year-old Evan Swenson, along with 22-year-old Ashley Dominguez, both of Tennessee at a motel in Broken Bow. Swenson has since been charged with attempted second-degree murder and using a weapon to commit a felony while Dominguez is charged with suspicion of being an accessory to a felony. Both are currently being held in the Buffalo County Jail.

Hastings College To Build New Art Center

Hastings College has announced a press conference next week. Constructed in 1908 as the College's library, the current home to Hastings College's Art Department no longer serves the growing program's needs. President Don Jackson and other Hastings College officials are expected to announce the construction of a new art center on campus. The announcement will take place next Tuesday at 4pm at the grey center on the HC campus.

Heineman Grilled at First Testimony Hearing

The chairman of a legislative committee says 162 Nebraska inmates convicted of violent crimes were freed early under a furlough program. The program was revealed at a hearing yesterday as the chairman, Senator Steve Lathrop, questioned Governor Dave Heineman. The Republican governor was subpoenaed to testify under oath as part of an investigation into miscalculated prison sentences and other problems.

Ravenna Man Sentenced in Child Sex Abuse Case

A 33-year old Ravenna man who was convicted of incest and sexually assaulting a child has been given 15 to 25 years in prison. The incident happened in Kearney between Aug. 31 and Sept 2, 2013. The man's name is not being released in order to protect the identity of the young girl who was a minor under the age of 12 at the time of the incident.

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