Nebraska News

Light snow expected in Nebraska Wednesday, Thursday
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska is gearing up for reports of light snow in the forecast. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for areas south of Nebraska for Wednesday night through Thursday morning. The weather agency says accumulations across Nebraska are expected to be light, but snow and freezing drizzle could still make driving treacherous. Heavier snow of up to 3 inches could be seen Wednesday afternoon in parts of southern Nebraska around the Kansas border. Some municipal crews were preparing for the snow. In Lincoln, city crews planned to apply anti-ice brine to all main streets starting at midnight.

Pelini ripped Neb's AD in last talk with players
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — On the day he was introduced as Youngstown State's new head coach, the ugly nature of Bo Pelini's departure from Nebraska was revealed. Pelini, who was fired on November 30th, lambasted Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst in a profanity-filled talk during his final meeting with his players. The Omaha World-Herald on Wednesday reported that it obtained an audiotape of Pelini's address to the players on December 2nd at a Lincoln high school. The university said in a statement that if the audiotape is authentic, "it only reaffirms the decision that he should no longer be a leader of young men at Nebraska." The World-Herald reported that Pelini used two vulgarities for female genitalia in reference to Eichorst. There were other instances of profanity on the audio. The Associated Press left messages for Pelini and Youngstown athletic director Ron Strollo.

Legislative report bashes Nebraska help hotline
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A new legislative report says Nebraska's public benefits hotline intended to help with benefits like food stamps and Medicaid needs to be overhauled. The Lincoln Journal Star says the special committee charged with looking into to working of the ACCESSNebraska system found it to be lacking. The system, implemented in 2008, has drawn complaints about long waits to talk to caseworkers and a high rate of busy signals. The special investigative committee created this year confirmed what audits in recent years have found: That the system consistently fails to reach its service goals. Jill Schreck, the Nebraska Health and Human Services deputy director for economic support, says the hotline is not a failure and that the report discounts "the really hard work" done to improve it.

Nebraska power plant taken temporarily offline
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Fort Calhoun nuclear plant in Nebraska has been taken temporarily offline due to a lockout of its main generator. Omaha Public Power District says the plant automatically took its reactor and turbine offline Wednesday morning. Officials say the plant responded as designed. Staffers are reviewing the cause of the generator lockout, but additional information has not been released. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been notified. While the plant is offline, it remains at normal operating pressure and temperature. Fort Calhoun, which sits about 20 miles north of Omaha, was shut down from April 2011 until December 2013.

Southwest Airlines adding several Omaha flights
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Southwest Airlines says it plans to add several new seasonal flights from Omaha's Eppley Airfield starting next year. Omaha television station KETV reports that Southwest's daily nonstop seasonal service from Omaha to Los Angeles will resume on June 7th, with flights operating through at least August 7th. To meet increased demand during the spring break travel period, Southwest says it will operate daily nonstop service from Omaha to Orlando from March 7th through April 7th. The airline says it will also add a third flight out of Omaha to Phoenix from March 7th through April 7th. Fares and schedules for the new flights can be found on Southwest's website.

Omaha officer falls, injures head during stop
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha police officer is in serious condition after falling and hitting his head on the pavement during a traffic stop on Interstate 80. Omaha television station KETV reports that the stop was conducted Wednesday morning in southeast Omaha during a joint investigation involving Omaha police and the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force. Police say the officer fell and hit his head at some point during the traffic stop. Two people in the vehicle stopped are being questioned. Police say the injured officer is responding to some prompts, but hasn't been able to provide enough information to determine what led to his fall..

Bond set for man accused in packing plant shooting
GIBBON, Neb. (AP) — A judge has set a $3 million bond for a Grand Island man accused of fatally shooting a 34-year-old outside a meat-packing plant in south-central Nebraska. Bond was set Tuesday afternoon for Angelo Bol, who is charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm. Law enforcement officials believe he targeted Karel Perez-Almaguer on Monday evening in the parking lot of Gibbon Packing. The Kearney Hub reports Bol previously worked at the plant, though it's unknown how long he was employed there or what his duties were. Judge Gerry Jorgensen appointed the Buffalo County Public Defender's Office to represent Bol. A message seeking comment was left with the office Wednesday. Bol's next court appearance is scheduled in January.

State of Nebraska settles lawsuit with 1 of 'Beatrice 6'
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The state of Nebraska has settled a lawsuit with one of six people wrongly convicted in a 1985 murder. The Lincoln Journal Star reports Lancaster County District Judge Robert Otte agreed Tuesday to a stipulated settlement that will pay $300,000 to Debra Shelden. Shelden and five others — known as the Beatrice Six — were sent to prison in connection to the death of Helen Wilson. Shelden and two others spent five to six years in prison, while three others spent nearly 20 years locked up. DNA testing exonerated the six, and a drifter who died in prison was linked to the death. The Beatrix Six sued for wrongful conviction, and several have been awarded money. Shelden's case was on hold pending a ruling from the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Pilger park now decorated with holiday lights
PILGER, Neb. (AP) — Pilger residents have donated outdoor Christmas decorations after much of the town's holiday lights were destroyed in a tornado earlier this year. The Norfolk Daily News reports Pilger's decorations were stored at a resident's home, which was leveled by a June 16th tornado. New holiday ornaments and lights were purchased, and three trees at Pilger Park were decorated with them by Thanksgiving. Soon, other residents added to the lighting in the northeastern Nebraska community's park. They contributed outdoor nativity sets and small lighted trees. A collaborative effort between Brite Ideas of Omaha and the Salvation Army also provided more holiday lighting.

Nebraska game officials seek info on slain cougar
CHADRON, Neb. (AP) — Officials with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission say they're looking for the person who shot and killed a female mountain lion south of Chadron in western Nebraska. The agency says the wild cat was shot illegally and its carcass left in the Pine Ridge Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest. The agency says someone hunting in the area last week reported finding the mountain lion, which was estimated to be between a year and 2 years old. Officials immediately opened an investigation and have collected evidence at the scene. Investigators believe the animal was shot in either late November or early December. Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to call Game and Parks or the Nebraska Wildlife Crime Stoppers at 1-800-742-7627.

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