Governor Pete Ricketts has signed a new Executive Order which is now in effect. The new order specifically states, “All driver licenses, identification cards, commercial driver licenses, other conditional or provisional permits, handicap parking permits, vehicle titles, vehicles sales tax, in-transits, and vehicle registrations that were temporarily extended under Executive Order 20-05 will be required to be obtained and paid by August 31, 2020.” What this means for us is that on and after September 1, 2020, all transactions for vehicles purchased more than 30 days prior to the date of application will incur penalties and interest back to the date of purchase. Those individuals who have not renewed expired registrations or are operating vehicles with expired “IN-TRANSITS” tags may be cited by law enforcement. In essence, the grace period initially given to us by Governor Ricketts is set to expire in 60 days.
Adam E. Frerichs, Sheriff
A huge shout out to my Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Weyerts Family and the Gurley Lions Club for the donations and the kind words of support and encouragement for those of us in Law Enforcement. We are very fortunate to serve where we do because we have great community backing and support for what we do. That being said, it is still nice and always reassuring to hear those words from the folks whom we serve. Thank you all so very much!
Adam E. Frerichs, Sheriff
At today’s Commissioners meeting, the Cheyenne County Commissioners voted unanimously to reopen the Cheyenne County Courthouse on May 5, 2020 at 8:00 am. I am so glad that our commissioners held this meeting and are willing to follow in Governor Ricketts footsteps to begin reopening Nebraska. Our number one goal is to do what is best for our community while also ensuring everyone’s safety.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about reopening businesses and what is considered moving too fast and what is moving too slow. I think that the answer is found somewhere in the middle. That being said, the courthouse will continue to follow the recommended guidelines from Panhandle Public Health and NACO. Some things to keep in mind are that we will be trying to keep gatherings in the hallways to under 10 persons and will ask that everyone please adhere to social distancing. Please be mindful that not everyone is on the same page regarding the COVID-19 virus. Some people are celebrating getting things opened up and getting on with our lives, others want to move slower and will still be very mindful of keeping their social distance. I believe that we can accommodate both groups when we reopen.
So, let’s take a minute to address this reopening. Specifically, the most affected office, the Treasurer’s Office. I know that there have been a lot of folks concerned about getting their motor vehicle inspections done because their In-Transit grace period has expired. Please be advised that in March Governor Ricketts issued an extension to the 30 day grace period and extended it to 30 days after he lifts the State of Emergency. That hasn’t been lifted yet, so your grace period as of today is still indefinite. Bear in mind that we typically conduct 10-15 MVI’s per day and we have not done any for the last 30 days or so. The reason that I bring this up is that Cheyenne County Treasurer Shelley Bowlin and myself have been discussing the possible rush of persons that reopening the courthouse can potentially bring. We both believe that the best result for everyone involved is for you to call the Treasurer’s Office and schedule an appointment to conduct MVI’s and title business. This will help us to control the flow of people into and out of the courthouse and will help aid us with the 10 persons rule and social distancing guidelines.
Please bear with us and have patience with us as we begin this transitional process and deal with the backlog of work stemming from this closure.
Adam E. Frerichs, Sheriff
To the Cheyenne County Concerned Citizen,
I would like to thank you for reaching out to our office with your concern that a wanted person may be residing in Cheyenne County. I always say, and will stand behind my claim, that the residents of our county are our eyes and our ears. You will see things and hear things that will never reach law enforcement. I also understand your desire to remain anonymous so as not to bring retribution upon yourself or your family. This does however make it difficult for me to communicate our findings to you, hence this letter.
So far, I have received three envelopes from you stating that a person with the initials (JLH) has a State of Nebraska Immigration warrant for their arrest and that this person is residing in Cheyenne County. Please know that we have taken your information seriously and have investigated the matter using the information that you submitted. We have many tools at hand and have coordinated with the Nebraska Immigration Service, and together we have determined that (JLH) is not the same JLH whom they have an arrest warrant for. You noted in your third letter that we only made one visit to (JLH)’s residence. The reason is one visit was all that was needed to confirm that (JLH) is not the person who is wanted by Immigration.
Again, I want to thank you for the information that you provided to us and I hope that this letter finds you and helps to put your mind at ease.
Assuring you or our cooperation in this and all matters,
Adam E. Frerichs, Sheriff
Good morning everyone. Due to two confirmed cases now in the panhandle, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued Directed Health Measures (DHM’s) that apply to all counties in the Nebraska Panhandle. As you know from my earlier posts about this, once DHHS issues DHM’s, DHM’s are laws that become the responsibility of local law enforcement to enforce. So, what does this mean in a nutshell? The sheriff’s office will make every effort to enforce the DHM’s by taking the least restrictive action in every case. But, please be advised that violation of DHM’s are a Class V Misdemeanor. In addition to this, Panhandle Public Health District at any time could enact rules and regulations that if violated would be a Class III Misdemeanor. As of right now, everything that Panhandle Public Health has issued are “strong recommendations”, but that could change at any time. I will try to stay on top of this and keep everyone up to date and connected with the latest developments. Please see the DHM’s for Cheyenne County below. Thank you.
Adam E. Frerichs, Sheriff
As Cheyenne County Sheriff, I wanted to take a few minutes to address the COVID-19 issue in Cheyenne County, NE. I know that everyone, myself included, is probably sick to death of all the talk of Corona virus and the seeming panic when it comes to groceries and paper products. I know that many of you, as was I, are questioning the drastic measures that are being taken by our local schools, businesses and government entities when the actual virus really hasn’t struck our neck of the woods (yet). In my many years of law enforcement and specifically my time on our SWAT team, I learned a valuable lesson that I think applies to what we are seeing happening today. That lesson was that if you wait for the ‘perfect’ plan or ‘perfect’ timing, your window of opportunity will have passed. Our goal was to have a ‘good’ plan that could be executed swiftly and easily to bring a quick resolution to whatever conflict we were up against.
This is what I see happening with COVID-19 right now. The CDC is executing a ‘good’ plan to help alleviate the spread of the virus as quickly as they can and the steps that everyone is being asked to follow are easy. Sure, a ‘perfect’ plan or ‘perfect’ timing would tell you exactly when the virus was going to strike each city, each county, and when to implement these steps to stop the spread of this virus. The ‘perfect’ plan could be implemented on that perfect date, mitigating the inconvenience to everyone. But we don’t have that luxury. From what I understand of the incubation period, by the time we are aware of the arrival of the virus (1 confirmed case), 50 plus people may already be infected. The perfect date to implement these plans will have passed and it will be too late. The spread of the virus will have already occurred at an exponential rate. Look, the goal is to keep as many people healthy for as long as we can to ease the burden on our local healthcare systems and to prolong the spread of the virus for as long as we can. This will hopefully allow adequate time for a vaccine to be created to help combat this virus by the time it becomes widespread. We hope that it doesn’t occur, but must always take that into consideration when planning for situations such as these.
We will be monitoring the situation closely and will make adjustments as necessary. We just ask that folks be honest brokers of their health. If you are sick or suspect that you are getting sick, stay home and quarantine yourself to prevent any unnecessary spread of whatever illness that you may have. Also, understand that we are operating under a ‘good’ plan, not a ‘perfect’ plan, to try to reduce exposure to and spread of this virus. Try not to panic, try not to buy anymore from the store than what you normally do (when you buy the last 6 packs of whatever on the shelf, that means that someone else has to go without), be considerate of others, and let’s do what we do best, and that is to hunker down together and help each other get through this bug in one piece. Ultimately the health, safety and welfare of the citizens in our communities is our number one priority. May God bless and keep each and every one of you safe during this trial.
Adam E. Frerichs
Cheyenne County Sheriff
• Practice good hygiene – wash your hands with SOAP and WATER! If hand washing is unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your face. Yes, it’s super hard not to (and once you realize you shouldn’t do it, you become aware of just how many times you do touch your face!)
• Stop handshaking – use other noncontact methods of greeting or a simple friendly ‘hi!”
• Set regular hand washing reminders on your phone
• Utilize tap and pay or online payment options to limit handling of cash
• Increase ventilation by opening windows if temperatures allow, or adjusting air conditioning
• If possible, transition any non-essential businesses to work-from-home.
• If applicable, sell products online when possible or consider delivery options or an order and pick-up type of option.
• If working in contact with others is essential, try and maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times.
• Set a timer to remind you to regularly disinfect surfaces frequently touched in your home and workplace areas like doorknobs, tables, countertops, bathroom surfaces and handrails regularly
• Reduce outings and errands to essential-only (i.e. work, groceries, pharmacy) and stay home as much as possible.
If you are feeling sick, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
Prior to entry you must notify a staff member of the Sheriff's Office if any of the following apply to you:
Upon entering the Sheriff's Office please leave space between yourself and others if possible.
For immediate release
For more information, contact: Kim Engel, Director, 308-760-2415, firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID-19 Panhandle Unified Command: Anyone who travels outside the Panhandle is to self-quarantine
To limit spread in Nebraska, all travelers should self-quarantine for 14 days upon returning home and immediately report any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to their health care provider or public health.
This means that if you travel out of the Panhandle, you need to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return.
Returning travelers should assume that COVID-19 disease is present at the locations they have visited and traveled through and self-quarantine.
What does self-quarantine mean?
1. Stay home from work, school, and away from other public places.
2. Monitor your symptoms carefully and immediately report any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 disease (fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat) to their health care provider or public health. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
3. Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels, and bedding.
4. Clean all surfaces that are touched often like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.
Guidelines for what self-quarantine entails can be found at www.pphd.org.
Health care workers who return from travel should consult with a trained medical professional at their facility (infection preventionists or physician) and establish a specific infection control protocol that mitigates patient and co-worker exposures.
It is critical to remember, strict self-quarantine is necessary to flatten the curve. There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in the Panhandle.
People can help protect themselves from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by:
Panhandle Public Health District will keep you posted in this quickly changing environment. We continue to monitor the unfolding COVID-19 epidemic to anticipate its impact on the Panhandle. We are working as a unified command with Region 21, 22, and 23 Emergency Managers, and Scotts Bluff County Health Department on this evolving situation. We will continue to communicate important updates to the public and our partners. The CDC is putting out updated guidance daily; for the most up to date information visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. To learn more about COVID-19, go to https://www.cdc.gov/covid19.
Panhandle Public Health District is working together to improve the health, safety, and quality of life for all who live, learn, work, and play in the Panhandle. Our vision is that we are a healthier and safer Panhandle Community. Visit our website www.pphd.org.
Gov. Ricketts Issues Executive Order to Temporarily Ease Driver and Vehicle Requirements LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued an executive order to increase flexibility in requirements for Nebraska residents relating to driver licensing and vehicle registration requirements. Acknowledging the restrictions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Governor is extending driver licenses and vehicle registrations expiring on or after March 1st. The extension will remain in effect until 30 days after the order is lifted.
Driver Licenses or State IDs – The extension will apply to all driver licenses, state identification cards, permits, or other credential issued by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. Customers will still be able to renew credentials online; however, the aim is to reduce the number of individuals requiring in-person assistance. This step will assist with social distancing and reduce the need for people to travel to driver licensing offices.
Vehicle Titling & Registrations – Any vehicle title requirements, registrations, in-transit tags, or motor carrier temporary documents due to expire on or after March 1st will be extended until 30 days after this executive order is lifted.
IFTA requirements – Any Nebraska penalties or interest associated with late filing of quarterly returns for members of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) will be waived.
Ignition Interlock Providers – Monthly inspection and reporting requirements under the ignition interlock program will be provided a two-week extension period for all existing interlock customers. Additional extensions may be available, as determined on a case-by-case basis. The Department of Motor Vehicles will continue to look at ways to assist our customers impacted by the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. All Nebraska residents are encouraged to take advantage of the dozens of online services available at dmv.nebraska.gov.