First of 5 Neb. facilities federally certified

Gov. Dave Heineman has announced that the first of five facilities within the Beatrice State Developmental Center is now certified to receive federal funding. Heineman made the announcement Monday with Jodi Fenner, who oversees developmental disability programs within the state's Department of Health and Human Services.

The center is being divided into five smaller, independently licensed care facilities on the campus. Fenner says the goal is to have all five certified by July.

In January, a federal judge dismissed several lawsuits against state officials over resident safety at the center, following the death of one resident and the removal of 47 others considered medically fragile.

The center that is certified houses 24 people. Fenner says the facility will receive and $4.9 million annually after this fiscal year.