Nebraska News

App offers information for Nebraska voters
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska voters can check their registration, request an early ballot and find polling place locations with a mobile website made available by the state. The Nebraska Secretary of State's office says the "Voter View" website is available to voters during the buildup to the November 4th election. It's located at WWW DOT VoterCheck DOT NE CVR DOT NE DOT gov. Users who access the website using a mobile device should be automatically redirected to the mobile-friendly page. If it doesn't redirect due to phone settings, users can still access the mobile site through the Voter View Mobile link at the bottom of the webpage. Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale says the page was created so voters can access information when a computer isn't immediately available.

Pilot program offers alternative in neglect cases
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska officials have launched a pilot program to keep more neglected children with their families, as long as steps can be taken to keep them safe. The program gives parents a chance to avoid law enforcement and the courts if they are deemed a low risk to hurt their children. Many cases are rooted in poverty, so the alternative response program seeks to connect families with services that provide food, transportation, shelter and other needs. The pilot program was launched Oct. 1 in Lancaster, Dodge, Sarpy, Hall and Scotts Bluff counties, and it could eventually spread statewide. Thomas Pristow, director of Nebraska's children and family services division, says keeping the children at home is often less traumatic than removing them from their families.

Health insurance cost dispute sends patients away
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The ongoing dispute between a major Nebraska health insurer and one of the state's biggest medical networks is driving patients to other doctors. Hospitals and clinics that aren't affiliated with the Catholic Health Initiatives network have seen an influx of patients since CHI Health's contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska expired September 1st. The expired contract covered hospitals across Nebraska and doctors' offices in Omaha. The Omaha World-Herald reports surgeries at Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women's Hospital are up 18 percent to 20 percent since September 1st. Discharges from the Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine — Bellevue were up 8 percent in the quarter that ended September 30th. Both the Methodist Physicians and Nebraska Medicine networks of doctors' offices reported a surge in new patients.

Utility offers Pilger free trees after tornado
PILGER, Neb. (AP) — A utility is offering free trees to Pilger residents to help the northeast Nebraska town recover from a devastating June tornado. Black Hills Energy set up a website where Pilger residents can apply for the trees that volunteers will plant in early November. Roughly three-quarters of Pilger, which had about 350 residents, was heavily damaged or destroyed by the June 16 storm. The trees from an Arbor Day Foundation program will be 5-feet to 6-feet-tall when planted. An online tool can help people decide the best place to plant the trees. The trees offered include Bur Oak, Swamp White Oak, Northern Catalpa, Water Birch and Serviceberry. Each resident can receive one free tree by applying online at WWW DOT ArborDay DOT org SLASH BlackHillsEnergyPilger.

Nebraska man killed after breaking into apartment
BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man was fatally shot after breaking into an apartment in the Omaha suburb of Bellevue Saturday night. Bellevue Police say 21-year-old Tyrell Dalia of Omaha was killed in the incident that happened after 9 p.m. Saturday. Witnesses told police that Dalia had a gun when he broke into the apartment near 19th Avenue and Main Street in Bellevue. One of the people inside the apartment confronted Dalia and shot him. Dalia died at the apartment. Court records show that Dalia was out on bail while awaiting trial for a January incident. Dalia faced two felony charges for trying to escape from police after officers broke up a dispute between him and his ex-girlfriend.

Bank offers $100 bonus to 200 new college accounts
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Two hundred Nebraska families that start college savings accounts this fall will receive a $100 boost. First National Bank of Omaha says it hopes the payments will encourage people to start saving for college while their kids are young. New accounts for children ages 8 or younger will qualify for the bonuses. First National is the program manager for Nebraska's NEST 529 college savings accounts that offer tax breaks to people saving for college. More details are available online at .

Nebraska man collects scrap metal to help church
RAYMOND, Neb. (AP) — Collecting piles of scrap metal, including some tornadoes left behind earlier this year, is helping a 72-year-old Nebraska man lead his small congregation's effort to raise money for a new building. Since 2010, Lyle McKlem has raised about $40,000 for Raymond United Methodist Church by selling the scrap metal he collects. McKlem tells the Lincoln Journal-Star he got the idea of collecting large pieces of metal after the church held an aluminum can drive. Through word of mouth the campaign has grown, and McKlem says he gets calls regularly now from farmers or landowners with scrap metal to donate.

UNL seeks applicants for Young Artist awards
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is seeking applicants for its annual Nebraska Young Artist awards. The awards recognize Nebraska 11th-graders who show talent in the visual arts, dance, music, theater, film and new media. Applications must include a work sample and a recommendation letter from a teacher. They must be submitted online by December 12th at H T T P COLON SLASH SLASH Go DOT unl DOT edu SLASH nyaa. The applications are judged by faculty from the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. Winners will receive invitations to a recognition day on April 8th. Organizers say anyone with questions may contact Kathe Andersen at 402-472-9355 or kandersen1 AT unl DOT edu.

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