April 10: Wildfire, Josh Fight and pet adoption
Southwestern Nebraska wildfire causes town to evacuate
A large fire that began in Gosper County sparked an evacuation order for Edison, a town of about 120 people in Furnas County, and the rural areas south of Edison and the Stamford areas as it spread April 7. Troopers, deputies, emergency management officials and others assisted with the evacuation, the Nebraska State Patrol said in a tweet. The order was lifted the afternoon of April 8. To make state resources available to help battle the blaze, Gov. Pete Ricketts activated the Nebraska National Guard and issued a declaration of emergency. According to the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, the fire burned about 30,000 acres of land. As of April 10, it is displaying minimal activity and is at 50% containment, NEMA said on Facebook.
Fire chief killed while responding to southwestern Nebraska fire
Darren Krull, the chief of the Elmwood Volunteer Fire Department, was killed while responding to a large fire that began in Gosper County April 7. The SUV Krull was riding in and a water truck crashed during zero-visibility conditions created by the smoke and fire in the area, the Nebraska State Patrol said in a statement. The driver of the SUV, Phelps County Emergency Manager Justin Norris, was taken to the hospital in Cambridge with life-threatening injuries April 7. As of April 8, Norris was in stable condition at an Omaha hospital. Andries Van Aswegan, who was driving the water truck and also responding to the fire, was not injured.
Josh fight set to return to Lincoln in 2022
Josh Swain, who organized last year’s viral Josh Fight, announced on Twitter that the event will return to Lincoln at Bowling Park Lake May 21 at 11 a.m. All proceeds of the event, in which people with the name “Josh” fight with pool noodles to battle for their name, go to Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha. Tickets are available at thejoshfight.com. Merchandise is available and sales will help support Partners in Health Sierra Leone, according to @TheJoshFight on Twitter.
Democratic party selects Patty Pansing Brooks as candidate for special election
The Nebraska Democratic Party announced State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln as its candidate in the upcoming special election for Nebraska’s First Congressional District. The special election, which comes after Former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry was convicted of lying to the FBI and resigned, will be held June 28. Marthaellen Florence, the caucus chair for Congressional District 1, said Pansing Brooks will ensure that all Nebraskans have a voice. “Senator Pansing Brooks is a proven and dependable leader who always fights for Nebraska’s working families. She has shown that in the Legislature and will do the same in Congress,” Florence said in a press release. Pansing Brooks said she is honored to receive the nomination and is ready to get to work in Washington D.C.
Republican party selects Mike Flood as candidate for special election
The Nebraska Republican Party announced Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk as its nominee in the special election for Nebraska’s First Congressional District. The special election, which comes after Former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry was convicted of lying to the FBI and resigned, will be held June 28. Flood founded Flood Communications and News Channel Nebraska. “He is pro-life, a strong fiscal conservative, an advocate for rural Nebraska and he will help build a better life for the next generation of Nebraskans,” said Dan Welch, the chairman for the Nebraska Republican Party. Flood said he is honored to be his party’s nominee and wants to advance conservative values in Congress.
World’s largest mobile pet adoption event comes to Nebraska
Tour for Life 2022, the world’s largest national cooperative pet adoption event, highlights local shelter partners and rescue groups in 53 cities and 37 states across the United States. The tour visited Nebraska from April 4 -10 and pets were sold at a discounted price. The Central Nebraska Humane Society in Grand Island teamed up with North Shore Animal League America to make the celebration happen.
Jim Pillen selects running mate for 2022 election
Gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen announced Joe Kelly as his running mate April 5. Kelly serves as the chief of Criminal Bureau in the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office. He was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Nebraska until February 2021, after being appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2017. “Joe Kelly has put all of us in awe of his service to the state of Nebraska,” Pillen said. “His service as a prosecutor, his conservative leadership and his service of putting bad people behind bars.” Three other gubernatorial candidates have previously declared their running mates: Theresa Thibodeau’s running mate is Trent Loos, Brett Lindstrom’s running mate is Dave Rippe and Carol Blood’s running mate is Al Davis.
Omaha Mayor endorses Brett Lindstrom for governor
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert endorsed State Sen. Brett Lindstrom of Omaha for governor in the 2022 gubernatorial race April 4. “Brett Lindstrom has the experience, vision and proven record of cutting taxes to ensure our state is competitive and a place where families and communities thrive,” she said. “When I think of who should be Nebraska’s next governor, economic development is at the top of my mind. Unlike his opponents, Brett is a proven tax cutter who knows how to work alongside business to get results for Nebraskans.”
State celebrates National Nebraska Day
April 5 was National Nebraska Day. In 2017, National Day Calendar started recognizing each state in the order in which they entered the Union, beginning the week of Independence Day. “The Corn Husker State gains recognition for its wide open spaces and scenic byways,” according to nationaldaycalendar.com. National Day Calendar encourages people to share their experiences in Nebraska and explore the state’s history, people, trails and cities.