Snow plow cleaning the road near Bridgeport

SIDNEY - A storm system that's expected to drop up to a foot of snow in western Nebraska is making travel hazardous and has forced closure of highways and county roads.

The Nebraska Transportation Department said Tuesday that travelers have been barred from a stretch of U.S. Highway 385 in the Panhandle. Also, Interstate 76 carrying traffic from Colorado has been closed south of the Nebraska merger with Interstate 80.

The department also says several highways in western and north-central Nebraska are covered with snow.

Several school districts in the system's path opted to remain closed for the day, and others have canceled classes for Wednesday as well. Many businesses also didn't open.

The National Weather Service says 8 inches of snow already has been reported at Sidney.

In other news

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Officials on Thursday confirmed a career military man and former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy as the president of the University of Nebraska system.The university Board of Regents confirmed Walter “Ted” Carter as president, succeeding interim President Susan …

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Police in Omaha say four people have been arrested in the August death of a man.The case began on Aug. 6, when officers were called to an apartment complex in the Radial Hills neighborhood north of midtown Omaha.There, officers found 55-year-old Kelly Barges dead and decla…

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A southeastern Nebraska man has been charged under a new law that makes it a crime to post pornographic images of others without their permission or to use the images for blackmail.Nineteen-year-old Hayden Butcher, of Waverly, was in Lancaster County Court on Wednesday a…

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha police say they're searching for a pair of suspects in the shooting death of a 33-year-old man in the city's Little Italy neighborhood south of downtown.Officers were called to the area around 2:40 p.m. Wednesday for reports of gunfire and found a man on the sidewalk…

NORFOLK - Last year, the local Norfolk Area U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program had 120 volunteers and provided toys to nearly 1,500 kids in six counties.