Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.

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A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Nebraska Fire Risk Remains High

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022   

Nebraska has had a number of deadly and destructive fires this year, and nearly half the state remains in extreme or exceptional drought. If it is as windy this year as it was last year at this time, fire risk to life and property will continue to be high.

Tedd Teahon, district fire management officer for the Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest, said there is no longer a fire season; it's a year-round phenomenon.

One firefighter died fighting the national forest fire in Halsey, which burned nearly one-fourth of the largest hand-planted forest in North America. It is believed to have been human-caused, but remains under investigation.

Teahon emphasized a spark is all it takes in these dry conditions.

"That will start fires right now, if you throw your cigarette butt out," Teahon stressed. "Check underneath your vehicles, make sure you haven't caught something, something is dragging and so on. Anything that could start a spark."

Fires took the lives of three Nebraska firefighters this year, more than a dozen were injured, and one has been recovering in a Lincoln rehab center for over a month. Although people cause nearly 85% of all wildland fires, Teahon noted most fires in the Nebraska National Forest are caused by lightning strikes.

Teahon urged people to observe posted restrictions as well as the weather.

"You know, if you're coming out to the forest, a big deal is parking, so make sure you read your fire restrictions very well," Teahon advised. "Weather is a huge one, you know, if it's going to be super windy, maybe it's not a good day to go driving around at all."

With the ongoing La Niña effect, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts continued drought in the Midwest through at least January.

Teahon added winter brings increased challenges for firefighters.

"And the problem now is that it's getting below freezing, and fire trucks will start freezing up, you know, once the sun goes down," Teahon explained.

In addition to equipment failure, winter risks for firefighters include falls, hypothermia and frostbite.


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