Nebraska News

'Shared parenting' bills to come up in session
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A coalition of fathers and family-law attorneys will again ask lawmakers to change Nebraska's parental custody laws, which they argue are unfair to men. Lawmakers have introduced bills several times in recent years, but none have made it out of committee. With 18 new senators taking office in January, supporters are hopeful they can win enough support to change the law. A December study by the Nebraska State Court Administrator's office found that noncustodial parents — usually fathers — are given an average of five days a month with their children. The state reviewed divorce and child custody cases between 2002 and 2012. Opponents have said they are willing to work toward a compromise but that past measures didn't adequately protect women in cases that involved domestic violence.

Meetings scheduled on Niobrara River studies
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has scheduled meetings to share information about studies on the Niobrara (ny-oh-BRAYR'-uh) River. Six studies have been completed about the function and values of the river. Those studies include the science behind the water levels; the economic and social values of recreation on the river; the economic and social values of the river for agricultural, industrial and municipal uses; and the impact river flows have on fish and wildlife. Meetings are set for December 8th in Chadron, December 9th in Valentine, December 10th in Butte and December 16th in Lincoln. Contact Gene Zuerlein at 402-471-1542 or gene DOT zuerlein AT Nebraska DOT gov for more information.

Research says regulations helping small hog farms
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Researchers say environmental regulations have slowed the growth of large hog farms and helped some smaller ones survive. Two agricultural economists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln looked at how environmental regulations have shaped the industry in the top ten hog producing states. A number of federal and state laws allow small hog farms with fewer than 2,500 animals to be except from rules that require manure storage plans and permits. Also, zoning restrictions won't allow large hog farms in many locations where small hog farms can operate. The researchers say the number of small hog farms has declined 61 percent between 1976 and 2005, but without those kind of rules the decline would have been greater. The number of large hog farms jumped 95 percent over the same period.

Pheasants being released in 9 Nebraska areas
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is releasing rooster pheasants in nine wildlife management areas in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The nine areas include: Oak Valley (Madison County), Wilkinson (Platte County), Sherman Reservoir (Sherman County), Pressey (Custer County), Branched Oak (Lancaster County), Yankee Hill (Lancaster County), Twin Oaks (Johnson County), Hickory Ridge (Johnson County) and Peru Bottoms (Nemaha County). The pheasants will be released to increase hunter opportunities to encourage families to go hunting together. The pheasant season runs through January 31st. Contact Game and Parks at 402-471-0641 for more information.

Young zebra dies at western Nebraska zoo
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — A young zebra has died at a western Nebraska zoo because of an accident during castration. The Lincoln Journal Star reports the Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff says a catastrophic accident happened. The zebra, named Olaf, was born earlier this year. He was getting ready to undergo the routine procedure of castration when the accident happened. Zoo officials didn't provide details of the accident. Zoo Executive Director Anne James says the staff is overwhelmed with grief because of the animal's death. The zebra's parents still live at the zoo.

Winner of grocery shopping spree shares the prize
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — When the CEO of Scottsbluff's hospital won a grocery store shopping spree in a raffle, he decided to pass along the prize to a local charity. The Scottsbluff Star-Herald reports John Mentgen never expected to win when he bought the United Way raffle tickets, and he and his wife agreed that someone else could benefit more from the four-minute grocery grab. So the Mentgens donated their prize to the Pup and Cat Backpack program that provides food to low-income families in Gering and Scottsbluff. One of the program's co-directors, Missi Iasillo, says she was thrilled to learn about the prize. After plotting out her shopping spree, Iasillo grabbed over $716 worth of groceries Saturday.

Cornhuskers looking to enhance their bowl position
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — For the second straight year, Nebraska will go into its last regular-season game playing for nothing more than a best possible bowl bid. The Cornhuskers (8-3, 4-3) were eliminated from the Big Ten West race with Saturday's 28-24 loss to Minnesota. They'll enter Friday's game in Iowa City trying to avoid losing a third straight game for the first time since 2008. Nebraska squandered a 14-point halftime lead at home against Minnesota a week after it was blown out 59-24 at Wisconsin. The manner in which the Huskers have lost their last two games has a segment of the fan base grousing about the direction of the program under coach Bo Pelini. The Huskers are 9-6 in Big Ten games the last two years, with none of those wins against teams that finished the season above .500 in conference play. Iowa (7-4, 4-3), which beat the Huskers in Lincoln last year, played Wisconsin tough in a 26-24 loss Saturday.

Cady, Theriot lead No. 16 Nebraska past Utah 66-43
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Emily Cady had 25 points with nine rebounds, Rachel Theriot added 20 points with six assists, and Number 16 Nebraska rolled past Utah 66-43 on Sunday. The Cornhuskers (4-0) shot 42.2 percent from the field, committed just seven turnovers and had a 28-14 advantage in the paint. Theriot also had six rebounds and four of Nebraska's 11 steals. Utah (1-2) was limited to 27.5-percent shooting and gave up 24 points off turnovers. Malia Nawahine led the Utes with 14 points while Tanaeya Boclair and Paige Crozon each had nine. The Cornhuskers pulled away early, opening the game on a 17-3 run sparked by two jumpers and a three-point play from Cady. A seven-point burst from Cady along with Natalie Romeo's 3-pointer made it 31-8 at the 5:03 mark in the first half. Nebraska led 38-17 at half and coasted through the final 20 minutes.

UConn rebounds from loss with 96-60 over Creighton
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Breanna Stewart scored 25 points and added 10 rebounds on Sunday, as top-ranked UConn bounced back from its first loss in 48 games with a 96-60 rout of Creighton. Stewart hit all 10 of shots for the Huskies (2-1), who haven't lost consecutive games since 1993. Freshman Kia Nurse made her first start and added 22 points for UConn. Morgan Tuck, who played just eight games last season before having major reconstructive surgery on her right knee, finished with 15 points. Marissa Janning, last season's Big East Player of the Year, scored 15 points to pace Creighton (2-2). Alexis Akin-Otiko added 12 points. UConn scored the first nine points and never trailed, leading by 21 points at halftime. A 3-pointer for Nurse in the second half capped an 11-0 run to make it 64-34, and the Huskies cruised from there.

Creighton rolls over NC Central 65-45
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Isaiah Zierden scored 20 points, including 8 of 9 from the line, to lead Creighton over North Carolina Central 65-45 on Sunday. Zierden was 4 of 7 from the floor — all 3-point attempts — to go along with terrific foul shooting. Devin Brooks added 12 points and the Bluejays were 22 of 25 (88 percent) from the line as a team, which made up for shooting just 35 percent from the floor. Anthony McDonald led NC Central (1-2) with 17 points, going 5 of 11 from beyond the arc, and Karamo Jawara had 11 points and seven boards. Creighton (4-0) led by just five at the half, 27-22, after both teams struggled offensively. But Toby Hegner's jumper and 3-point play by Artino Will pushed the lead to double digits 5 minutes into the second half. An 11-3 run, including Zierden's trey, stretched Creighton's advantage to 16 with 4:26 left.

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