NE Strong Update

NE Strong Update

UPDATE: The NCAA Board of Governors announced Wednesday that each division of the NCAA must determine by Aug. 21 whether their respective fall sports seasons and NCAA championships should occur as scheduled this year. A few hours later, the Division I Board passed the decision on to the Division I Council, which is reportedly meeting next week. NCAA Division II and Division III quickly made the decision to cancel their fall championships. Nebraska is watching this very closely as Omaha is scheduled to host the NCAA Final Four in December. 

UPDATE: Now that Nebraska Football knows it’s home opener will be on September 12th against Illinois Athletic Director Bill Moos says his staff is preparing for every possible fan scenario at Memorial Stadium. As of now Gov. Pete Ricketts’ directed health measure allows a maximum of 10,000 spectators at an outdoor event such as Nebraska football. That’s roughly 11 % of capacity. But Ricketts said in his Wednesday press conference he’s working with the university and the Lancaster County Health Department to be able to craft a plan.

UPDATE: The City of Kearney announces that multiple street lanes will be closed on Aug 8 and 9 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. due to the Nebraska Senior Games. The following streets will be closed:

  • north lane of East 1st St.
  • Ave. M from East 1st St. to East 11th St.
  • south lane of East 11th St.
  • west southbound lane of Kearney East

UPDATE: University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL), has a different move in process this fall that includes a whole new move in plan and the help of professionals to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This year faculty had to re-think the entire process for moving students in. This meant a new method for scheduling move ins and a new location to start your move. This year the move in process won’t just be different, it will hopefully be easier than ever for students with the addition of moving professionals to help students get settled. If you are a new or returning student at UNL you should be familiarizing yourself with the new process and when you return to campus be sure to wear your mask and socially distance.

The Big Ten Conference announced their ten game conference schedule this morning. Nebraska will open up on September 5th at Rutgers. The Huskers first home game will be on September 12th against Illinois. In addition to playing six West division opponents the Huskers will also play Rutgers, Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State from the East.  Nebraska will wrap up the season at home on November 21st against Michigan State.

Former Husker and Hastings native Kevin Lightner is battling COVID-19 and his family is in need of help. They have set up a GoFundMe page because insurance is not covering the extended stay at a Lincoln hospital. Link up at Lightner was an all Conference offensive linemen for Nebraska in 1987. 

Mary Lanning Healthcare and the state of Nebraska have partnered to provide free COVID-19 testing to eligible residents beginning August 17 at MLH. Residents will need to take an online assessment through the TestNebraska portal to see if they are eligible for the free testing, the healthcare department said.

University of Nebraska at Kearney is accepting registrations from businesses, organizations and other exhibitors interested in booth space at the upcoming UNK Blue and Gold Showcase on August 21st from 5 to 8 pm. Blue and Gold Showcase is open to new freshmen, returning students, faculty and staff. This year’s event is not open to community members, and the chancellor’s picnic will not be hosted. Online registration is available at

This year’s NEBRASKAland DAYS will have a pair of reduced capacity concerts. Legendary band .38 Special will perform on Friday, August 14. Country Star Granger Smith takes the stage on Saturday, August 15th. For tickets visit


UPDATE: Dobytown Kiwanis Club of Kearney held its annual Back 2 School Link Backpack project over a five-day period at Horizon Middle School with 1,300 school backpacks packed with school supplies for grades pre-K to 12 to begin the school year off right. With support from the United Way of the Kearney Area, Wal-Mart, Good Fellows, CHI Good Sam, First National Bank, Kearney Regional Medical Center, Platte Valley Medical Group, Dollar Tree, Noon and Golden K Kiwanis Club the project saw an increased demand for backpacks and supplies for this year. The project also received funding from the Kearney Area Community Foundation Sideways Grant of $1,000.

UPDATE: The Ivy League was the first to cancel spring sports in March and were the first to cancel its fall season in July. For Kearney High graduates, Miko Maessner (Princeton football) and Phillip Moomey (Cornell wrestling) it means no competitions or practices until at least January 1. The Ivy League is waiting before deciding what will happen in the winter and spring.

UPDATE: The National Retail Federation believes consumers may be spending record amounts for back to school. They see more parents purchasing laptops and computer accessories as remote learning will become the norm for many students. They also believe most shopping will take place online due to COVID-19 concerns.

UPDATE: The Buffalo County Community Response Team was created back in March to fill housing, food, transportation, internet and overall health needs in the area. Each week, about 1,500 Buffalo County residents are served food boxes through 35 local food pantries. The rest of the money went toward housing and mental health needs like teletherapy for those that are uninsured or underinsured. Funds also provided laptops for Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska, which are being used for their developmental disabilities services. They work with about 15 local agencies to figure out areas of need, some of which are even more prevalent during the pandemic. The Community Response Team was recently awarded a little more than $400,000 through the Cares Act.

UPDATE: Grand Island Public Schools announced Whitney Flower is now the elementary principal of the GIPS Virtual School. There are currently about 670 students signed up for Virtual School in grades K-5.  With the number of students from all over the district, the position will come with challenges for parents and staff alike.

UPDATE: Starting this month, Walmart begins transforming its parking lots into drive-in cinemas. From Aug. 14 through Oct. 21, there will be 320 showings of popular movies at 160 stores across the country.  Bellevue is the only location in Nebraska.  Find out more at

 UPDATE: The Kensington in Hastings has been receiving gifts from the students in the area through this pandemic and wanted to find a way to say thank you.  They are doing that by holding a school supply drive for area students who will be returning to school later this month.The drive is looking to bring in items such as folders, pencils, and notebooks. Anyone who would like to donate can visit The Kensington in person and enter through the East entrance where there is a donation bin.

 Kearney will have been around for 150 years in 2023, and the Buffalo County Historical Society needs your help. The BCHS is in the beginning phases of assembling The Buffalo County Sesquicentennia book that will feature family histories. They are in need of your submissions, descriptions short or long are welcome, along with up to two photos.  You can find more information on the Sesquicentennial and guidelines on how to write your family history here.

As we approach flu season this fall, Hy-Vee officials announced that the flu vaccine will be available inside its Hy-Vee pharmacy locations without an appointment or prescription, and will also be offered via a drive-up option at Hy-Vee pharmacy locations between Aug. 17 and Oct. 31.

The Alzheimer’s Association , “Walk to end Alzheimer’s” will look different than in years past but will remain scheduled in the Fall on their specific dates and consist of three aspects which people can choose to participate in or opt out of.. A “Walk to end Alzheimer’s” app will feature information, services and a platform with videos to engage participants and people interested in the events. Hastings’ Walk is scheduled for Oct. 4, Grand Island’s for Sept. 13 and Kearney’s for Sept. 20. More information can be found on

 The Safety Center in Kearney has now resumed in-person driving and classes. Since May, they had been using online platforms for their driver education program to teach the traditional curriculum developed by The American Automobile Association.  Students must have a school learner’s permit or learner’s permit before they can begin the in-person driving. To find out where your child can take behind-the-wheel driving instruction click here.

A Veteran’s Memorial 5K will be held in Holdrege at the YMCA on Sept. 19th in conjunction with the first annual Veteran’s Memorial Fundraiser in Holdrege’s South Park. The registration deadline is September 9th. Register here. Contact the Holdrege YMCA for more.

Drive-in movies in Kearney will continue at sundown when The World Theatre will team up with the Buffalo County Fairgrounds. The World will sell advance tickets.  Gates will open at 8 p.m. and the movie will begin at sundown. Films will be shown Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights through the summer.

Enjoy an outdoor adventure with family or friends. and engage in healthy recreation — and possibly win prizes. The Great Park Pursuit is a free program encouraging participants to visit up to 20 official sites across the state, consisting of community, regional, state and federal parks. Participants register a team of up to 10 people online and then follow clues from the website or Great Park Pursuit mobile app to find a program post located somewhere within a park area. Once they find the post, the team can use the mobile app to mark their visit, or make a pencil impression of the post to prove they were there. A number of prizes are up for grabs, including Nebraska state park entry permits for 2021, an iPad and the grand prize, an outdoor recreation package valued at $1,500. Prizes and entry into drawings are based on the number of post impressions that teams collect, or the number of park visits they mark on the mobile app. For more information and to register, visit The Great Park Pursuit app is available at the Apple iStore and on Google Play for Android.

 The Nebraska Passport for 2020 program is underway. Travelers will have through October 31 to visit attractions and receive stamps, according to Nebraska Tourism. Due to COVID-19 some stops have had to adjust their business hours so check for updates before beginning your travels. Passports are available at participating stops or can be ordered at

The Archway in Kearney has reopened to visitors. The hours will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of The Archway.

Keep yourself safe in these times, show your Husker spirit, AND help Nebraska Food Banks. Husker Face Masks are on sale right now at the shop at NRG sister property The masks are handmade, available in four styles!  GO HERE:

Kearney Cinema 8 has reopened! For movie listings go to