02-01-11

Happy Birthday Wishes to:
 Debra Copple, Julie Essig, Melissa Fisher, Phyllis Hochstein, Emily Jensen, Rick Kropf, William Oberg, Tracy Pfeil-Thompson, Robin Pospisil, Gilbert Vogel
 
Skywatch Weather:
 Today, a 50% chance of snow, cloudy & cold, high near 0.  Tonight, areas of blowing snow, cold, low –10.  Wednesday, mostly sunny & cold, high 4.
 
Sports:
 Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu has won The Associated Press 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, edging Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews.  Polamalu received 17 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who cover the league, edging Matthews by two votes.  Despite missing two games, in which Pittsburgh went 1-1, Polamalu becomes the sixth Steeler to win the award.  He had seven interceptions this season along with 63 tackles, but made his mark with big plays.  In a late-season victory at Baltimore, his leaping tackle forced a fumble that set up the winning touchdown.
 
The Omaha World Herald & Lincoln Journal Star have updated its high school boys & girls basketball rankings for all classes.  In the Omaha World Herald, the Norfolk High boys have moved up from third to second in the “Nebraska Top 10” while remaining second in Class “A”.  They stay at number two in the Lincoln Journal Star.  The 15-2 Panthers went 2-0 last week with wins over Lincoln Southwest & Kearney.  They have now won six in a row and 12 of their last 13 games.  The 16-0 Norfolk Catholic boys remain number one in both polls in Class “C-1”.  They picked up wins over O’Neill, West Point Central Catholic, and Humphrey St. Francis last week.  The 12-6 Lutheran High Northeast boys dropped out of the Omaha World Herald Class “C-2” rankings after a loss to Pierce and a win over Humphrey St. Francis last week.  The Lutheran High Northeast girls remain second in the Lincoln Journal Star and third in the Omaha World Herald in Class “C-2”.  The 17-2 Lady Eagles earned wins last week over Pierce, Battle Creek, and Humphrey St. Francis.  They’ve now won eight games in a row and 13 of their last 14.
 
The Mid States Conference basketball tournament was postponed yesterday due to the weather.  The girls bracket will get underway today with the boys bracket pushed back to start on Wednesday.  In the girls bracket today, in games at Northeast Community College, top seed 12-2 Hartington Cedar Catholic meets eight seed 0-16 Madison at 6:15 and four seed 10-5 Norfolk Catholic faces five seed 12-7 Wayne at 7:45.  In games at Norfolk Catholic High School, two seed 14-3 West Point Central Catholic plays seven seed 4-9 Pierce at 6:15 and three seed 14-3 Boone Central meets six seed 6-10 Battle Creek at 7:45.
 
Local Schedule:  Columbus Scotus at LHNE (G&B BB-6:15); NECC at Mt. Marty JV at Yankton, S.D. (WBB-7:00); Creighton at Bradley at Peoria, IL (MBB-7:05).
 
Kwifax:
 200,000 people are hospitalized for the flu each year.
 
News Briefs:
 A winter storm warning for Norfolk and northeast Nebraska has been replaced with a winter weather advisory through 10:00 tonight. A wind chill warning will go into effect at 10:00 p.m. and run through noon Wednesday. The National Weather Service reports occasional light snow will continue today. Most of the light snow will be south of a line from Columbus to Wayne.
 
 Blowing snow is expected to continue in all locations. Additional snow accumulations up to an inch are possible. Norfolk picked just over an inch of snow on Monday. Northwest winds of 20-to-30 miles per hour with gusts to near 40 miles per hour are expected.        

The combination of gusty winds and cold temperatures will result in blowing and drifting snow as well as dangerously cold wind chills. The blowing snow may reduce visibilities at times today, especially in open areas. Wind chill readings overnight will drop to 30-to-40 below zero.
 
Several vehicles that were stranded in that snow that drifted in on a portion of Highway 35 have been dug out by Department of Roads plows. But DOR Superintendent Rodney Weber tells WJAG NEWS the situation isn't much better due to poor visibility in the Winside area. He's recommending no travel in that area. Weber says conditions are hazardous due to poor visibility. He says even snowplow operators are having a hard time maneuvering through the areas because of those conditions. And there are still many roads that are not fully open to two-lane traffic because of drifts. Other roads may be passable, but he warns motorists with reduced visibility, its difficult to see on-coming traffic -- especially in open areas.
 
A federal judge in Florida has sided with Nebraska and more than two-dozen other states suing to block the federal health care law. He's accepted the states' argument that the new law violates people's rights by forcing them to buy health insurance. The case is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
It appears that more people are paying attention to health authorities about the importance of flu vaccines. Deb Scholten, director of the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department in Wayne, says her agency is seeing only scattered cases of the flu this year, and she thinks it's because more people got flu shots in the fall.
 
Members of Nebraska's LEAD 29 group have just returned from an international study trip to Central America. LEAD Fellow Mark Stock tells WJAG NEWS the situation in Nicaragua was "eye-opening," with extreme poverty and an education system that ends at the 6th grade.
 
Today's Tickler:
 You know you’re getting older when you finally hold all the cards, but they’re get-well wishes.

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