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Joni Albrecht

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17

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Weekly News–December 1, 2023
December 1st, 2023

Winter made its presence known the weekend after Thanksgiving. There were many accidents along with fatalities that happened over that weekend throughout Nebraska. On November 22nd, Governor Pillen and Agency Leaders put a focus on holiday and winter travel resources. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of their thoughts with you as we prepare to go into the holiday and winter seasons of the year. Governor Pillen, representatives from the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT). Nebraska State Patrol (NSP), and Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) are offering reminders to drivers and encouraging precautions. “This is when many people hit the road to visit relatives and friends, both in and outside of the state,” said Governor Pillen. “What we want is for everyone to arrive at their destination safely, no matter what driving conditions they encounter.” Here are a few of the resources mentioned in the press release:

  • NDOT recommends checking 511, the state’s travel information system. Details include road conditions and traffic cameras, in addition to weather radar and more. It is accessible on the website (, through Nebraska’s 511 smartphone app and by dialing 511 directly. Travelers can also track the progress of state plows from, which is handy when snowy conditions move in.
  • Emergency preparedness kit for each vehicle. NEMA recommends the following items be included: first aid kit, jumper cables, tire chains or snow tires, flares, flashlight with extra batteries, phone charger, tow rope, shovel, ice scraper, snow brush, sand or cat litter, water, snacks and food, blankets, and warm clothing. Drivers should ensure they have a full tank of gas before leaving town. All these things, plus keeping an eye on changing weather conditions, can make the difference between getting to the destination and becoming stranded on the side of the road.
  • Brent Curtis, NEMA’s manager for preparedness, said it’s also important to “know how to receive emergency alerts, develop a communications plan in case family members are not together when winter weather strikes and know what to do before, during, and after a winter storm.”
  • NSP has additional reminders that motorists should keep in mind this time of year. That includes maintaining speed in accordance with road conditions, allowing for extra stopping distance between vehicles and adding extra driving time. Snowplows should be given plenty of room, especially when actively clearing snow or spreading salt and sand. Motorists in need of assistance can call the NSP Highway Helpline at *55 or 800-525-5555. That number is answered 24 hours a day.

NDOT joins NSP and NEMA in encouraging drivers to make a travel plan that accounts for weather, traffic congestion, and personal safety. If motorists do become stranded, the best advice is to remain inside the vehicle until help arrives. “Before hitting the road, the most relevant question drivers should be asking is whether the trip is worth the risk,” said NSP Colonel Bolduc. “That’s a good gut check, before you find yourself in a situation you can’t control.” (Strimple, Laura. “Gov. Pillen & Agency Leaders Focus on Holiday and Winter Travel Resources”. Governor Pillen Press Release. 22 November, 2023.

During the month of October, 37 of my colleagues and I signed a resolution to affirm support for Israel and to condemn Hamas. On November 22nd, Govern Pillen issued a proclamation announcing actions to fight antisemitism and support Nebraska’s Jewish communities. “From the day Hamas started this war, Nebraskans have stood in strong support of Israel,” Governor Pillen said. “Now more than ever, we must recommit our support for America’s greatest ally. Tragically, despite the clear justifications for Israel’s defensive action in Gaza, activists and politicians have used propaganda and misinformation to try to deceive people into believing a false equivalence between Israeli military efforts and Hamas terror. This has fueled antisemitism across the country and must be stopped immediately.” This proclamation specifically condemns public statements and demonstrations that seek to normalize or justify terrorist violence and support for Hamas, and it denounces statements by any politician or activist which seek to draw a false equivalence between Hamas’ barbaric terror attacks and Israel’s legitimate defensive actions to protect its people. It also reaffirms the State of Nebraska’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. Governor Pillen has designated Lieutenant Governor Joe Kelly to serve as liaison between Nebraska’s Jewish and other faith communities and state law enforcement authorities to ensure that as security threats against those communities emerge, they are channeled to and addressed promptly by the appropriate officials. (Strimple, Laura. “Gov. Pillen Issues Proclamation, Announces Actions to Fight Antisemitism and Support Nebraska’s Jewish Communities”. Governor Pillen Press Release. 22 November, 2023.

Congratulations go out to Jacob Gill, South Sioux City, for achieving his Eagle Scout rank! He earned this rank on August 30, 2023 with the help of Boy Scout Troop 149 from South Sioux City. His Eagle Scout Project was to build NEW Flag Retirement Boxes for four local organizations of South Sioux City: First Lutheran Church of South Sioux City, American Legion Post 307, Omadi Masonic Lodge, and the recently opened Siouxland Freedom Park Interpretive Center. To close out his project, he held a Flag Retirement Ceremony at Siouxland Freedom Park on July 15, 2023. From all the collection boxes that were placed around, he collected and retired nearly 400 American flags with the help of Boy Scout Troop 149 and American Legion Post 307. He will be awarded his Eagle Scout on Sunday, December 3, 2023. What an amazing accomplishment! (Gill, Jacob. “Eagle Scout”. Received by Glenda Ward, 15 November, 2023)

Governor Jim Pillen and First Lady Suzanne Pillen invite ALL Nebraskans to the Governor’s Residence for the first annual HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS on Sunday, December 10, 2023 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. This is a FREE event for the entire family. Events include Santa Claus & Mrs. Claus, horse drawn carriage rides, hayrack rides, live nativity scene, face painting, balloon artist, hot cocoa and cookies, and more. I hope you are able to make the trip to Lincoln and attend this event at the Governor’s residence backyard at 1425 H Street, Lincoln, NE 68508.

As always, I invite you to let me know your thoughts, ideas, concerns, or suggestions by calling my office at (402) 471-2716 or emailing me at

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17
Room 1404
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2716
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