Briefs

Bird flu detected in flock of 918,000 Southwest Iowa hens

BY: - March 14, 2022

A large commercial flock of egg-laying chickens in southwest Iowa is the third to be infected by highly pathogenic avian influenza, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The Taylor County flock has 918,873 birds, said Chloe Carson, a spokesperson for the department. Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation Friday for […]

Memory expert blocked from testifying at Fortenberry trial, which will begin Wednesday

BY: - March 11, 2022

LINCOLN — A federal judge has barred the testimony of a memory expert at the upcoming federal trial of U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and blocked defense lawyers from arguing that the lead prosecutor in the case is biased. U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Blumenfeld, in pretrial rulings, granted a request from prosecutors to bar the […]

Floor of the Nebraska Legislature

Bill to require video archive of legislative hearings and floor debate advances

BY: - March 10, 2022

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Legislature would maintain a video archive of legislative debate and hearings under a bill advanced Thursday to debate. Legislative Bill 777 is portrayed as increasing transparency and keeping up with at least 46 other states that already keep a library of legislative proceedings. Supporters, including State Sens. Julie Slama of Sterling […]

Perkins County Canal

Perkins County Canal project moves forward amid questions about final cost

BY: - March 9, 2022

LINCOLN — After an afternoon-long debate, state lawmakers advanced a controversial proposal to begin designing a $500-million canal to divert water from the South Platte River. Legislative Bill 1015, introduced on behalf of Gov. Pete Ricketts, advanced from first-round debate on a 36-3 vote. But there were questions about why the long-forgotten Perkins County Canal, […]

Housing group stands up for Lincoln City Council’s ‘fairness ordinance’

BY: - March 8, 2022

NeighborWorks Lincoln is speaking up about the city’s fairness ordinance, which became the target of a successful petition campaign after it was adopted by the Lincoln City Council. In a news release this week, NeighborWorks, a community housing development organization, announced that its governing board unanimously endorsed a resolution applauding Lincoln’s municipal leadership for adopting […]

Casino bill advances with ‘de facto’ moratorium on new ‘racinos’

BY: - March 8, 2022

LINCOLN — Nebraska gambling enthusiasts would have to make do with only six casinos at existing horse racing tracks, at least initially, under a bill advanced Tuesday to debate by the full Legislature. Legislative Bill 876 was advanced by the Legislature’s General Affairs Committee on a 7-0 vote, with one member not voting, after weeks […]

Wild goose found near Holmes Lake in Lincoln with infectious avian influenza

BY: - March 7, 2022

A highly infectious bird flu now has been confirmed in a wild goose in Lincoln, near Holmes Lake. It is Nebraska’s first confirmed case of the avian influenza since 2015, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture reported Monday.  While Nebraska has not seen HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) in a backyard or commercial poultry flock within […]

Eviction notice and mask

Governor continues to see no justification to apply for rental assistance money

BY: - March 7, 2022

LINCOLN — Despite a recent plea from key state senators, Gov. Pete Ricketts continued to say “no” Monday to applying for an additional $120 million in federal funds for utility and rent assistance. During a press conference, the conservative Republican was asked to respond to a letter sent last week by the members of the […]

Thibodeau: Keep Nebraska Board of Education elected, accountable

BY: - March 7, 2022

OMAHA — Former State Sen. Theresa Thibodeau of Omaha, a Republican running for governor, said last week that she wants Nebraska to keep its elected state Board of Education. Thibodeau criticized a proposed state constitutional amendment that would eliminate the state Board of Education and move the state Department of Education under the governor’s control.  […]

Survey: Business confidence in Nebraska and region tumbles to record low with Russian invasion into Ukraine

BY: - March 4, 2022

A monthly economic report covering Nebraska and surrounding states says the Russian invasion into Ukraine pushed regional business confidence to the lowest level it’s been since the survey began in 1994. “Concerns about the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war, higher interest rates, soaring inflation and supply chain disruptions combined to hammer business confidence,” said Ernie […]

Whiteclay advocates

John Maisch, who fought to close notorious Whiteclay beer stores, has died

BY: - March 4, 2022

LINCOLN — John Maisch, an Oklahoma attorney who became a key figure in the closing of the notorious beer stores in the Nebraska border village of Whiteclay, died unexpectedly Thursday. He was 51. Funeral services were pending Friday in Edmond, Oklahoma. Maisch, a former state liquor law prosecutor and a native of the Hastings area, […]

Sen. Steve Lathrop

Bill advances that seeks to ensure prison rehabilitation programs work and are available

BY: - March 3, 2022

LINCOLN — The Nebraska prison system would get funding to test and verify the effectiveness of its rehabilitation programs under a bill given first-round approval Thursday by state lawmakers. Legislative Bill 896 would also help determine whether the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services is offering enough programs to turn inmate lives around. The advancement of […]