Government & Politics

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts

Ricketts says no to second round of rental assistance for Nebraska

BY: - January 28, 2022

Nebraskans behind on their rent might miss out on a $120 million pot of money Congress set aside to help them. Gov. Pete Ricketts said Thursday that Nebraska will not apply for a second round of federal emergency rental aid.  “The federal government has said that you no longer need any impact of COVID to […]

Utilities decry proposal to appoint, rather than elect, board members

BY: - January 27, 2022

LINCOLN — A proposal to have the governor appoint the majority of board members for the state’s two largest public utilities — instead of having them elected by voters — would “take the ‘public’ out of public power,” a legislative committee was told Thursday. “One of the founding principles of public power is that citizens […]

Lawmakers object to TIF use for Omaha streetcar

BY: - January 27, 2022

OMAHA — A Nebraska senator who championed the law that gave “extremely blighted” neighborhoods a better shot at economic development says it is being “abused” for the proposed Omaha streetcar project. Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha said he intended the 2020 change to tax-increment financing legislation to benefit the poorest areas of the state. The […]

Iowa lottery scam’s alleged mastermind is paroled after 4 1/2 years in prison

BY: - January 27, 2022

An Iowa man convicted of rigging the lottery to fraudulently claim millions in jackpots has been paroled after 4 1/2 years behind bars. The Iowa Board of Parole has approved the release of Eddie Tipton, th,e former information security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, based in Urbandale. Tipton was arrested in 2015 and accused […]

Biden vows to nominate first Black woman to Supreme Court by end of February

BY: - January 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer formally announced his retirement Thursday, giving President Joe Biden his first, and possibly only, opportunity to make a nomination for the lifetime appointment.  At the White House, Biden said he will make his decision by the end of February and recommitted to nominating the court’s first Black female […]

Nebraska State Penitentiary

Deja vu: Prosecutors and law enforcement again oppose some sentencing reforms

BY: - January 27, 2022

LINCOLN — Just as they did in 2015, prosecutors and law enforcement officials are criticizing criminal sentencing reforms recommended to reduce Nebraska’s nation-leading prison overcrowding as going too far. While opponents said they support some steps, such as expansion of drug courts and increasing prison rehabilitation programs, they attacked suggestions to reduce  minimum sentences and […]

Fauci declines to predict COVID vaccine timetable for kids under 5

BY: - January 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — Parents hoping to vaccinate their young children against COVID-19 will need to be patient, Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned Wednesday. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said while he expects that the vaccine regimen for children under 5 will be three doses, he couldn’t provide a timeline on when […]

Meth is now Nebraska’s No. 1 drug threat, new enforcement coalition says

BY: - January 26, 2022

Citing a surge in methamphetamine seizures, a coalition of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies announced Wednesday that they are joining together to fight what the called the state’s No. 1 drug threat. Seizures of meth grew by 293% in the last five years, according to the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office. Seizures by law […]

Omaha aims for revamped urban core with streetcar, new downtown Mutual HQ

BY: and - January 26, 2022

Editor’s note: This story has been updated. OMAHA — A long-discussed streetcar, free to ride and running three miles from 10th Street to midtown, was the key to Mutual of Omaha’s decision to build a skyscraper on the property that houses the city’s main library.  The Nebraska Examiner broke the news of both new projects […]

Don Arp, Jr., head of Nebraska Crime Commission

A half-dozen training officers still waiting for their July 2021 raises

BY: - January 26, 2022

LINCOLN – Six instructors at the state’s Law Enforcement Training Center in Grand Island will soon get 13% raises — seven months after they were approved by state lawmakers. The case of the delayed salary increases came up Tuesday during a hearing before the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee.  The committee’s chairman, State Sen. John Stinner of […]

Tom Riley, director of NE Natural Resources Dept.

Some question $500 million plan to resurrect irrigation canal on South Platte

BY: - January 26, 2022

LINCOLN – People lined up at the State Capitol Tuesday to support proposals by Gov. Pete Ricketts to spend the state’s allocation of $1.04 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Mental health providers praised his idea of setting aside $40 million for new treatment facilities. Sports and arts groups supported the $100 million […]

Mutual of Omaha HQ headed for downtown Omaha library site

BY: , and - January 25, 2022

Mutual of Omaha — a corporate icon that’s been planted in midtown Omaha for decades — is poised to build a new headquarters where the city’s downtown public library stands, according to sources familiar with the project. The relocation of the Fortune 500 company, now based at 33rd and Dodge Streets, answers part of the […]