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North Platte Man wins Nebraska Lottery’s Truck$ and Buck$

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North Platte Man wins Nebraska Lottery’s Truck$ and Buck$


NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) – A North Platte man is the seventh winner of a 2023 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew Flex Fuel truck in the Nebraska Lottery’s 28th Truck$ and Buck$ Scratch game.

According to a press release from the Nebraska Lottery, Lucas Swarthout of North Platte purchased his winning ticket at Kwik Stop on South Jeffers Street in North Platte. Swarthout was presented with his new truck at Kwik Stop on Monday by lottery officials.

Back in the early fall of 2023, Swarthout bought himself a Truck$ & Buck$ ticket, put it in his glove box, and then promptly forgot about it. That’s where it stayed until February when he found it by coincidence. “I was cleaning out my glove box,” Swarthout said. “I was looking for a VIN number on my other vehicle and found the ticket in there unscratched,” said Swarthout.

The ticket had been in there for months, he said, and Truck$ & Buck$ isn’t a game he plays very often. He just had an inkling and went for it. Swarthout said he originally wasn’t too sure if he’d be keeping the new truck until he found out that the taxes and registration are taken care of by the Nebraska Lottery. “That just makes it better,” he said. “When you find out there’s no financial strings attached to it,” said Swarthout.

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The 28th edition of the Nebraska Lottery’s popular $2 Truck$ & Buck$ Scratch game features the 2023 Ford F-150 XLT 4×4 SuperCrew Flex Fuel truck as its top prize. Players have the opportunity to win one of eight Ford F-150 trucks as well as cash and Ethanol-enriched fuel prizes. The truck prize is valued at $81,000, which includes $1,160 for costs associated with ownership and state and federal withholding paid by the Nebraska Lottery of $4,050 and $19,400, respectively. The odds of winning the top prize in Truck$ & Buck$ are 1 in 336,000, while the overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 3.69, according to a press release from the Nebraska Lottery.

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Nebraska

Nebraska's Secretary of State reminds voters to get new ID before primary

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Nebraska's Secretary of State reminds voters to get new ID before primary


LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska’s Secretary of State is sending out letters to Nebraskans who need to get a new, state-issued ID before the upcoming primary election.

Bob Evnen said about 35,000 Nebraskans will receive the letter. He said that’s about 3% of all registered voters in the state.

Evnen said the his office wants to make sure everyone is ready for upcoming elections.

“We’re trying to reach voters who may not be aware of the new voter ID law and may not be prepared,” he said.

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Nebraska’s new law states that voters must present photo ID before voting.

This law will first be implemented during the statewide primary on May 14.

You can get a state-issued ID at any Nebraska DMV location.

Voters should also ensure their early voting applications are up to date.

For early voting application information, click here.

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Husker students collaborate to create businesses at 48-Hour Challenge

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Husker students collaborate to create businesses at 48-Hour Challenge


Twenty-three University of Nebraska–Lincoln students participated in the Center for Entrepreneurship’s 48-Hour Challenge Feb. 15-17. The event allows student teams of three to six to develop and pitch business ideas for the chance to win cash prizes.

“The 48-Hour Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to stretch themselves and find out how far they can go with a business idea in just a few days,” said Samantha Fairclough, associate director of the center and associate professor of practice in management. “Teams naturally form around compelling concepts, and students are pushed beyond their comfort zones to find data and potential customers to validate their product idea. Feedback from community mentors is a key part of the process, helping them refine their business models and fostering connections that extend beyond the event.”

The competition is open to students of any major at the university. Students represented the College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Journalism and Mass Communications and Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts.

The challenge winners, listed alphabetically by place with their year in school/graduation year, major(s) and hometown, are:

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First place

Street Eats, a designated food truck park in Lincoln

  • Jonathan Gerdes, senior, civil engineering, Lincoln
  • Brennon Overbeek, senior, computer science, Lincoln
  • Paige Perrone, May 2023 graduate, advertising and public relations, Papillion
  • Mohanendra Siddha, graduate student, computer science, Visakhapatnam, India
  • Kyran Thomas, senior, accounting, Lincoln
  • Andrew Wellman, senior, accounting, Waco, Nebraska

Second place

FOODI, a platform that connects foodies to local restaurants

  • Micah Fullinfaw, junior, emerging media arts, Omaha
  • Shahd Khourshed, freshman, computer science, Lincoln
  • Eddie Sicilia, senior, Clifton Builders management and marketing, Cancún, Mexico
  • Braden Starck, junior, Clifton Builders management and finance, Edwardsville, Illinois
  • Divyn Williams, senior, business administration, Omaha
  • Maci Wilson, senior, computer science, Omaha

Third place

BitVoyage, an interest-based travel booking website equipped with artificial intelligence

  • Alexah Fort, junior, emerging media arts, Sidney, Nebraska
  • Benjamin Frasier, sophomore, computer science, Omaha
  • Hannah Gish, sophomore, emerging media arts, Lincoln

“Participating in the 48-Hour Challenge showed me how my skills are compatible with those of other students,” said Micah Fullinfaw, a senior emerging media arts major from Omaha. “I learned how important it is to work with people of different backgrounds and skill sets.”

Fullinfaw pitched an idea for a smart pantry on the competition’s first day, then found five students to join his team.

“Over the two days, we constantly pivoted our idea until we landed on a new, solid business plan,” he said. “Restaurants would pay to be featured on an app called FOODI, and users would connect with each other over their pursuit of finding new restaurants.”

Competitors could leverage the expertise of entrepreneurs in person or via Zoom. Among the mentors was Emily Kist, a 2022 Husker alumna who works for Nelnet in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“Participating in new business startup competitions is so important for students because it teaches them how to navigate the framework of starting a new venture,” she said. “They get to practice things like customer discovery, market research, storytelling, building a pitch deck and more, which are the most essential steps to starting a company.”

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Jonathan Gerdes, a senior civil engineering major from Lincoln, participated in the challenge to push his skills and create a viable business within a limited timeframe. He worked with Street Eats, an event production company that strategically gathers food trucks in a centralized location to offer amenities from entertainment to food and beverages.

“A significant amount of time was dedicated to understanding our customers and their problems,” Gerdes said. “This provided a greater likelihood of devising a viable and effective solution. Our cohesive strength was rooted in respect for individual competencies, facilitating a collaborative evaluation of all aspects of our business. This approach enabled us to reach a consensus, effectively addressing challenges and contributing to our success.”

The 48-Hour Challenge helps students prepare for the next competition in the Center for Entrepreneurship’s signature series: the 37th Annual New Venture Competition, April 16 and 18. Open to all undergraduate and graduate students at the university, the contest allows students to pitch their business ideas for the chance to win a share of $47,500 and an additional $25,000 from the Husker Venture Fund, which provides early-stage capital to Nebraskan startups.

The Center for Entrepreneurship is a hub for students of all majors who want to pursue their ideas for a business; own a franchise or take over their family business; or explore career options. Learn more.

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Cyberattack on healthcare network impacts Nebraska hospitals

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Cyberattack on healthcare network impacts Nebraska hospitals


OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A recent cyberattack on a national healthcare network is still impacting many Nebraska hospitals, officials say.

UnitedHealth Group reported the attack on its Change Healthcare IT systems to the SEC last week. The company had detected the attack on Wednesday, Feb. 21, and said in its filing that it expected the attack to continue through the next day.

Gray News reported on Friday that pharmacies across the country — including CVS, Walgreens, and GoodRx — were having trouble processing some prescriptions because of that attack.

Noting an increase in frequency and sophistication of ransomware attacks on hospitals and other healthcare systems — over the last two years in particular — the American Hospital Association and Nebraska Hospital Association have called on the U.S. health department to provide “immedate regulatory flexibility” as well as financial support as they navigate the disruption.

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Wednesday, the NHA said in a news release that the attack had disrupted “a number of its systems and services,” including authorizations for prescriptions, procedures, and surgeries; inpatient insurance verification; as well as cost estimates and patient billing.

“Due to this incident, Nebraskans may experience longer wait times regarding authorizations for procedures, as well as delays in resolution of claims,” NHA President Jeremy Nordquist said in the release. “Our hospitals ask Nebraskans to be understanding as we work through these challenges.”

He said that hospitals were working to manage the challenges “as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

According to the NHA release, the AHA had been in contact with the FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency about the attack.

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