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Nebraska Prenatal Plus program bill to be heard on legislative floor

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Nebraska Prenatal Plus program bill to be heard on legislative floor


OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – In 2022 in Nebraska, March of Dimes reports that 11.3% of babies were born preterm.

That number is higher than the 10.4 national average, and the highest rate Nebraska has seen in recent memory.

When it comes to mothers of color, the preterm birth rate is even higher.

State Senator George Dungan of Lincoln wants to address and prevent those numbers from growing.

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“No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, one of the things that everyone seemed to agree on is healthy moms and healthy babies,” Dungan tells 6 News when asked about LB857, his priority bill this legislative session. “What we’re seeking to do is increase the access to and the availability of prenatal services for at-risk mothers who are low income.”

While Dungan says Nebraska’s current program is robust, he adds that it’s time to do more when it comes to tackling adverse birth outcomes, namely low birth weights and preterm births.

“There are certain things we know are integral in helping those moms and raising birth weights that are not currently able to be built on.”

If passed, Nebraska would adopt the ‘Prenatal Plus Program,’ which Dungan says states like Colorado have seen great success with.

While Nebraska would adopt the program, Dungan says it wouldn’t be a direct copy but would have the same idea: not just focusing on the medical side of pregnancy, but the socio-economic side, too.

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“It’s also about making sure you have access to mental health care, it’s about making sure you have access to substance use disorder treatment, smoking cessation, a big one is dietitian and nutrition counseling, and that you have somebody that can do case management for you that sees you throughout the entire pendency of your pregnancy to make sure you have consistent services and that you have access to additional service down the road,” he adds.

The main aspects the Prenatal Plus program would add are targeted case management, nutrition counseling, and making services available to moms who have been identified by their doctors or practitioners as having potential birth outcomes.

Dungan says in Colorado, the program not only saw healthier moms and babies, but it also demonstrated Medicaid cost savings.

“For every dollar, for example, that was paid into for this Prenatal Plus program, they actually saved $2.48,” he says. “So you’re seeing massive net savings on Medicaid which I think is what we should frankly be investing in overall, is upstream investments so that way we’re saving ourselves money down the road while also ensuring we have healthy moms and healthy babies.”

Dungan adds that services like these are also necessary, especially in a state where abortion care is limited.

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“In a world where we have now limited our abortion to 10 weeks in Nebraska,  think it’s imperative that we offer as many additional services as possible, and something I’ve been really encouraged by is conversations I’ve had with a number of colleagues, people that a prop choice, people that are pro-life, people that are somewhere in between, this is an issue they all agree on.”

Dungan’s bill originally sought to offer services to those on Medicaid and to those in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as offer post-partum services for mothers.

An amendment to the bill in the Health and Human Services Committee limited the program to Medicaid users and prenatal care.

The bill was heard and supported by several healthcare professionals while in the HHS committee last Wednesday.

It passed the committee and will be heard on the legislative floor.

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Nebraska Crushes Minnesota on Senior Day

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Nebraska Crushes Minnesota on Senior Day


A Senior Day win for Nebraska women’s basketball.

Nebraska (19-9, 11-6 Big Ten) defeated Minnesota (15-12, 5-11 Big Ten) 70-51 Saturday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena. This was the final home game for four seniors and graduates: Jaz Shelley, Darian White, Anni Stewart, and Maddie Krull.

NU began the game with a 7-2 run and was never challenged from there. The Huskers lead by as much as 29 points during the victory.

Big Red shot 43.1% for the game, including 11-of-27 from 3. Minnesota shot 40.4%, making just 3-of-17 3s.

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Jaz Shelley led the Huskers with 16 points. Shelley added seven assists moving her beyond 600 in her career. Only three other Huskers in history have dished out at least 600 assists in their collegiate careers: Lindsey Moore (699), Meggan Yedsena (696), and Rachel Theriot (626).

Alexis Markowski notched her 17th double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. She is now in sole possession of second place in program history for a single season. Markowski has 38 double-doubles in her career, trailing only the 40 by both Kelsey Griffin and Jordan Hooper.

Nebraska closes out the regular-season Sunday, March 3, at Illinois.



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Nebraska softball team shuts out No. 23 Oregon

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Nebraska softball team shuts out No. 23 Oregon


LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska Athletics) – The Nebraska softball team put together its most complete game of the season Saturday in a 6-0 shutout of No. 23 Oregon in Cathedral City, Calif.

The Huskers posted their first shutout of the season and first shutout of a ranked team since 2018. Offensively, Nebraska scored off all three Oregon pitchers, and the Huskers had nine hits in the game, including a pair of home runs.

Sarah Harness and Kaylin Kinney combined on the shutout for Nebraska (7-5). Harness started and tossed 3.2 shutout innings, allowing three hits. Kinney (4-4) earned the win in relief with 3.1 shutout innings, surrendering two hits.

Offensively, Billie Andrews went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. She hit her third home run in two games. Samantha Bland also homered – the first of her career – while Ava Bredwell was 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.

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Morgan Scott (4-3) took the loss for the Ducks (9-7). Scott allowed four runs (three earned) in 2.0 innings.

Nebraska jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Billie Andrews led off with a single and Peyton Cody followed with another single and an error in the outfield allowed Andrews to advance to third and Cody to second. Bredwell then brought in the game’s first one with a sacrifice bunt that scored Andrews. Bella Bacon made it 2-0 when she scored Cody with a sacrifice fly to center.

Oregon loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first on a hit batter and back-to-back walks. But Harness got out of the jam without any damage with a force out at home plate and a strikeout.

The Huskers doubled their lead in the top of the third. Alina Felix led off with a single before Billie Andrews homered to center field to make it 4-0.

Nebraska stretched its lead to 5-0 in the top of the fifth. Billie Andrews led off with a single, stole second and scored on an RBI double from Bredwell.

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Bland made it 6-0 with a leadoff home run in the top of the sixth.

Oregon had one base runner in both the sixth and seventh innings before Kinney closed out the shutout.

Nebraska wraps up its weekend with a pair of games on Sunday. The Huskers take on No. 20 Utah at 11 a.m. (Central) followed by a contest with Cal State Fullerton.

Post-Game Notes

  • Nebraska posted its first victory over a ranked team in four tries this season.
  • The Huskers shut out a top-25 opponent for the first time since Feb. 10, 2018 (5-0 over No. 15 Utah).
  • Nebraska homered twice in the game marking the first time this season the Huskers have hit multiple homers in back-to-back games.
  • Billie Andrews went 3-for-4 to extend her hitting streak to seven games. Today marked the 13th time in her career that Andrews has had three or more hits in a game.
  • Andrews hit her third home run in the past two games. The home run against Oregon was the 48th of her career, moving her into sole possession of fourth place on Nebraska’s career home run list.
  • Andrews also moved into a tie for seventh place in Husker history with 78 career extra-base hits.
  • Andrews is 7-for-13 this weekend with three home runs.
  • Ava Bredwell went 2-for-2 and tied her career high with two doubles. She extended her hitting streak to six games.
  • Bredwell is 9-for-19 during her hitting streak with four doubles and six RBIs.
  • Peyton Cody had one hit to extend her hitting streak to six games.
  • Cody is 10-for-17 during her hitting streak with two homers, two doubles and five RBIs.

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Nebraska Women’s Basketball Preview: Minnesota: The Sequel

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Nebraska Women’s Basketball Preview: Minnesota: The Sequel


The Nebraska women’s basketball team closes regular-season home action when the Huskers play host to Minnesota Saturday afternoon in Lincoln. The Huskers will celebrate Senior Day for Jaz Shelley, Maddie Krull, Annika Stewart, Darian White and managers Emily Aden, Cameron Eisenhauer and Emme Pruit in postgame ceremonies. (I promise you I will be shedding tears)

Nebraska, which has won four of its last five games including a 75-50 win over Northwestern on Tuesday, will be looking to avenge a 62-58 loss at Minnesota (Jan. 14).

Nebraska Cornhuskers (18-9, 10-6 Big Ten) vs Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-11, 5-10 Big Ten)

Saturday, February 24, 2024, 4 pm (CT) Pinnacle Bank Arena – Lincoln,

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NebraskaTickets: Huskers.com / 1-800-8-BIG-RED

Television: B1G+

Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (3:30 p.m.)Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)B107.3 FM (Lincoln), 590 AM (Omaha), Huskers.com, Huskers App

Events: Senior Day / Retro Day

Live Stats: Huskers.com

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Nebraska Cornhuskers (18-9, 10-6 Big Ten – NCAA NET 30)

22 – Natalie Potts – 6’2 – Fr. – F/G – 10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg

40 – Alexis Markowski – 6’3 – Jr. – C/F – 16.1 ppg, 10.7 rpg

1 – Jaz Shelley – 5’9 – Gr. – G – 12.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg

2 – Logan Nissley – 6’0 – Fr. – G – 6.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg

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15 – Kendall Moriarty – 6’1 – Jr. – G – 3.4 ppg, 1.3 rpg

Off the Bench

0 – Darian White – 5’6 – Gr. – G – 7.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg

14 – Callin Hake – 5’9 – So. – G – 6.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg

12 – Jessica Petrie – 6’2 – Fr. – F – 4.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg

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21 – Annika Stewart – 6’3 – Sr. – F – 3.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg

42 – Maddie Krull – 5’9 – Gr. – G – 2.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg

32 – Kendall Coley – 6’2 – Jr. – F – 2.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)

Eighth Season at Nebraska (132-108); 17th Season Overall (325-217)

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Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-11, 5-10 Big Ten – NCAA NET 51)

24 – Mallory Heyer – 6’1 – So. – F – 10.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg

1 – Ayianna Johnson – 6’3 – Fr. – F – 3.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg

3 – Amaya Battle – 5’11 – So. – G – 10.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg

25 – Grace Grocholski – 5’10 – Fr. – G/F – 11.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg

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30 – Janay Sanders – 5’11 – Gr. – G – 7.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg

Off the Bench

52 – Sophie Hart – 6’5 – Jr. – C – 10.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg

41 – Niamya Holloway – 6’0 – RFr. – F – 3.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg

5 – Maggie Czinano – 6’0 – Jr. – G – 2.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg

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10 – Mara Braun (OUT) – 6’0 – So. – G – 17.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Head Coach: Dawn Plitzuweit (Michigan Tech, 1995)First Season at Minnesota (15-11); 17th Season Overall (380-152)

Scouting the Gophers

The Gophers were 14-4 and 4-3 in the Big Ten after a 69-50 win over Michigan State (Jan. 20), but after a disappointing loss at Wisconsin (Jan. 23), Minnesota lost sophomore star Mara Braun to a foot injury in a 73-68 loss at Illinois (Jan. 28). The Gophers are 1-5 without her with the only win coming against Northwestern (88-63, Feb. 17).

Without Braun, freshman Grace Grocholski has taken over as a primary scorer for the Gophers. Grocholski, who went scoreless in the first meeting with Nebraska, is averaging 14.0 points the last six games, including a career-high 27 in the win over Northwestern (Feb. 17) and 23 in a loss at Rutgers (Feb. 13). She has hit 19-of-33 threes (.576) over the past five games.

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Amaya Battle is averaging 10.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and a team-best 5.7 assists. She also leads the Gophers with 41 steals. She had 11 points, four rebounds and five assists in the first meeting this season against Nebraska.

Mallory Heyer, is averaging 10.0 points and a team-best 8.2 rebounds as Minnesota’s most consistent player. She led the Gophers with 16 points and seven rebounds in the first meeting with the Huskers.

Husker Report

Jaz Shelley needs five assists to reach 600 in her college career. Only three other player have reached 600 assists in their career; Lindsey Moore (699, 2010-13); Meggan Yedsena (696, 1991-94); Rachel Theriot (626, 2013-16).

Markowski is 10 rebounds shy of her second straight 300 rebound season, it would be just the 13th in school history. Markowski would become just the fifth Husker to record two 300 rebound seasons.

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Markowski’s next double double will be her 17th of the season, moving her ahead of Nafeesah Brown (1993-94) for the second-highest season total in school history. It will also be Markowski’s 38th career double double, trailing only first-team All-Americans Kelsey Griffin (2006-10) and Jordan Hooper (2011-14) at 40.



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