Nebraska News

Bellevue woman accused of sexually assaulting foster son
BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP) — A Bellevue woman has been accused of sexually assaulting her teenage foster son. The Bellevue Police Department says officers found the 46-year-old woman and the 17-year-old in a parked vehicle Thursday behind a department store. Officers say they suspected inappropriate contact between the two. The woman was arrested Friday. She faces a charge of second-degree sexual assault of a protected person. The Associated Press generally doesn't identify victims of sexual crimes and is not reporting the woman's name to protect the identity of the 17-year-old. Police say the teen was placed in the woman's care through an organization that provides foster services. He has since been placed into protective custody with the state's Department of Health and Human Services.

Wrongly convicted 'Beatrice 6' will get new trial in lawsuit
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A federal appeals court says six people wrongly convicted in a 1985 slaying in southeast Nebraska should get a new trial in their lawsuit against the officials who prosecuted them. The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Monday that a jury should decide whether Gage County officials conspired to build the case against the six in the 1985 killing of Helen Wilson in Beatrice. An initial trial in the lawsuit ended in mistrial in January. The wrongly convicted individuals — known as the Beatrice Six — served a combined 77 years in prison before DNA testing cleared them in 2008. The individuals had argued that Gage County investigators recklessly strove to close the case, rather than seek justice. The six also argued Gage County failed to properly train investigators.

Art project plans unveiled for Nebraska History Museum
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Plans have been unveiled for an art project that will adorn the Nebraska History Museum, which is set to reopen in late February after $8 million in renovation work finishes. State funds are paying for the majority of the renovation project, which includes replacement of the 1960s-era building's heating, air conditioning and plumbing. Nebraska law requires that 1 percent of spending for public buildings be used for art. The $46,000 art project, titled "Inside Out," will feature 12 aluminum panels imprinted with images of artifacts within the museum. They will be installed on the building's east facade. A committee has selected Jeanine Centuori and Russell Rock of California-based UrbanRock Design to complete the art project.

Nebraskan ruled competent in slaying case, so sentencing set
SIDNEY, Neb. (AP) — A 56-year-old Sidney man has been ruled competent for his sentencing on a murder conviction. A jury found Larry Martinez guilty in May 2014 of shooting to death Mandy Kershman on July 18, 2012, in Sidney. Martinez had told officers he was angry about a text message she'd sent him. Police say he shot Kershman as he confronted her about it. After the trial, Martinez's attorney sought a ruling on Martinez's competency. He was evaluated by three psychiatric experts. Two said he was incompetent; the third said he was competent. Last week Judge Derek Weimer of Cheyenne County District Court ruled that Martinez was competent and set a sentencing date of Sept. 9. Martinez's first-degree murder conviction calls for a life sentence with possibility of parole.

Ex-Omaha sportscaster Schuetz new PA man at Memorial Stadium
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Former Omaha sportscaster Jon Schuetz is the new public address announcer for Nebraska football games at Memorial Stadium. The university athletic department announced Schuetz's hiring Monday. He replaces Patrick Combs, who had been the announcer since 2002. Nebraska cut ties with Combs this month after he was arrested on suspicion of bilking hundreds of thousands of dollars from two elderly women. Schuetz is just the third public address announcer at Memorial Stadium since 1994. He worked more than 15 years at KETV in Omaha and 24 years overall in local television. Schuetz left the television business in 2010 and works in private business in Omaha.

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