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Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new report says an August survey of business supply managers suggests slow or no economic growth over the next several months in nine Midwest and Plains states.

The report issued Tuesday says the Mid-America Business Conditions index dropped below growth neutral in August, hitting 49.3 compared with 52.0 in July. The index had remained above growth neutral for 32 straight months.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska will clamp down on so-called revenge porn, take aim at scam phone calls from fake numbers and impose new requirements on abortion providers under new state laws.

The 170 new laws officially went on the books Sunday, three months after this year's legislative session ended.

Other new laws will impose new standards for civics lessons in schools, crack down on human traffickers and make it illegal to tattoo the whites of a person's eyes except when it's medically necessary.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa agency is keeping secret a list of about two dozen former criminal offenders who were improperly granted credentials to work for private security firms.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety denied an open records request Friday that sought the identities of those individuals whose security cards were recently revoked.

https://buckrail.com/feds-aid-wyoming-farmers-after-irrigation-ditch-collapse/

Water has been restored to Wyoming and Nebraska farmers after an irrigation tunnel collapse cut off water flow last month.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the Goshen Irrigation District turned water on Wednesday after new repairs to the southeast Wyoming tunnel were completed Monday.

Officials say water is expected to take four days to get to the system's end in Gering, Nebraska. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week that federal crop insurance will cover some of the losses. The collapse cost the two states about $89 million.

https://www.safewater.org/fact-sheets-1/2017/1/23/water-fluoridation-in-canada

Drinking water is being restored in Boyd County after a disastrous flood washed out a water main in March.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that workers began installing a new pipe beneath the Niobrara River on Tuesday.

Boyd County Rural Water District officials say water could be provided to Spencer, Lynch, Anoka and nearby farms in about two weeks. Potable water will not be available until testing and sanitation work is complete. The district has provided no timeline.

ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's casino gambling oversight commission has fined an Altoona casino for allowing a 19-year-old man to gamble and drink alcohol there earlier this year.

Ames station WOI reports that documents from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission show the casino was fined $20,000 earlier this month after the teen was allowed onto the gambling floor of Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in April without being asked for identification. Officials say he was in the casino for more than an hour, gambling and drinking.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says she is pushing the Trump administration to restore billions of gallons of ethanol demand lost when the Environmental Protection Agency exempted 31 oil refineries from blending ethanol with gasoline to meet the requirements of federal law.

Reynolds on Tuesday speculated that President Donald Trump may not have fully understood the impact of granting the waivers on the ethanol industry. Now, she says at least one ethanol plant in Iowa has shut down production.

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska State Fair says the parking isn't available Monday at the rain-soaked Fonner Park fairgrounds.

Fair officials urged people to park at offsite locations and take free shuttle rides to the fairgrounds, where some standing water remained in spots.

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — A new Costco poultry processing complex on the south side of Fremont will open after Labor Day.

Jessica Kolterman is spokeswoman for Lincoln Premium Poultry, which runs the plant, and she told the Fremont Tribune that operations will begin Sept. 3.

Lincoln Premium Poultry intends to provide Costco with 2 million chickens each week by the time all three shifts are operating. The multimillion-dollar project has been under construction since 2017.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Al Haynes, a pilot credited for saving the lives of nearly 200 people by guiding a damaged passenger jet into a crash landing at an Iowa airport in 1989, has died.

Haynes died Sunday at age 87 in a Seattle-area hospital, said Gary Brown, an emergency services director for Woodbury County, Iowa. Brown confirmed the death with Haynes' daughter. 

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — State officials say some Nebraska wildlife management areas are still closed because of flooding and high water.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says hunters could encounter access problems because some county roads to the areas are closed or difficult to drive.

The commission says the following areas are closed or partially closed:

GERING, Neb. (AP) — Farmers in western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming left without a way to water crops following the collapse of a massive irrigation tunnel in July will be covered by federal crop insurance.

That word came Friday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which determined that the cause of the collapse was weather-related and caused by heavy precipitation. Farmers affected by the collapse should contact their insurance agents to file a claim.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's highest court has rejected another attempt to derail the Keystone XL pipeline that could have forced the developer to reapply for state approval and delayed the $8 billion project yet again.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An audit has found that the Iowa Department of Public Safety issued more than 5,800 licenses to private security workers over a two-year period without conducting required background checks.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Members of the Waterloo City Council are again taking up the question of whether their meetings should be opened with a prayer.

The Courier reports that that issue was raised Monday during work session. While agendas list "prayer or moment of silence" to open meetings, most start with a moment of silence.

Council members Pat Morrissey, Sharon Juon, Jerome Amos Jr. and Ray Feuss support a charge to call for "invocation or moment of silence" at the start of each meeting. Councilwoman Margaret Klein advocated for simply a moment of silence.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska prisons watchdog has issued a warning about "alarming" conditions driven by staffing shortages and record overtime at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln.

Doug Koebernick, the inspector general for corrections, issued the report to lawmakers this week. Koebernick also identified contraband cellphones and the use of synthetic drugs as major security concerns.

Nebraska's prison system has faced a litany of problems in recent years, including persistent overcrowding and struggles to hire and retain employees.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Police say a 63-year-old Lincoln woman was sweet-talked out of $162,000 by someone she met on social media.

Officer Angela Sands said Wednesday the person or people who communicated with the woman said his name was Ethan and that he worked on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. He made several requests for money, including $3,000 for internet service, $30,000 for a vacation and $50,000 for a plane ticket.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An eastern Nebraska man has claimed his $1 million Powerball prize.

The Nebraska Lottery says Daniel Moore, of Bellwood, bought the ticket at the Parkview One Stop on Colfax Street in Schuyler. It matched the first five numbers drawn Saturday night: 18, 21, 24, 30 and 60. But it didn't match the Powerball number: 20.

BLAIR, Neb. (AP) — A banker who leads a nonprofit wants to transform an old college campus in eastern Nebraska into a place where former foster care youths would live and learn various trades.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Ed Shada came up with the idea while working on an annual event devoted to getting homeless people connected to the services they need. He's working with the man who owns the former Dana College campus in Blair, which would be the site for the $20 million project.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Some western Iowa fields are getting sprayed to get rid of painted lady butterflies that have proven problematic for soybean crops.

Iowa State University Extension field agronomist Joel DeJong says the agricultural community believes this year's influx of the painted lady butterfly, or thistle caterpillar, is the largest ever in Siouxland.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State Fair set a new attendance record, as pleasant weather gave a boost to the usual attractions of food, animals, carnival rides and performances.

Fair officials say Monday that an unofficial 1,170,375 people visited the fair during its 11-day run on the eastside of Des Moines. That topped the previous record, set last year, by about 40,000 people.

The busiest day was Saturday, Aug. 10, when 122,111 visited the fair.

Attendance exceeded 100,000 on nine of the fair's 11 days.

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2019/08/13/pete-buttigieg-election-2020-iowa-state-fair-political-soapbox-caucus-democratic-candidate/1881849001/

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday that anti-immigrant sentiment in rural America declines when residents know and appreciate the role of those moving into their communities.

https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/national/private-nebraska-university-to-offer-cannabis-courses

A private university in Nebraska plans to offer an online program this fall that will cover the science, cultivation, processing and regulation of marijuana and hemp.

Doane University in Crete will offer the three-course program. Chemistry professor Andrea Holmes will help teach the certificate program, and she told the Omaha World-Herald that the industry is growing rapidly. She cited jobs across the country for cultivators, technicians, scientists, geneticists, administrators, salespeople, marketers and advertisers.

FAIRBURY, Neb. (AP) — A living history event scheduled at Rock Creek Station State Historical Park will show what everyday life was like in the Nebraska Territory in 1864.

On Aug. 17 historians will inhabit the park's reconstructed road ranch, demonstrating haying, carpentry, blacksmithing and stock tending.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Sarpy County Sheriff's Office is giving people the opportunity to get rid of unwanted or unsafe guns, ammunition and leftover fireworks.

People can turn in those items from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Aug. 17 at a drop-off location at the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office south parking lot garage in Papillion.

The amnesty day event allows the items to be dropped off with no questions asked, but police will document all firearms. If a gun is linked to a crime or reported stolen, police will investigate.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a group of tanning salon owners, who had claimed the Nebraska Cancer Coalition had defamed them and hurt their businesses with an anti-indoor tanning message.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Representatives of a small aviation museum in southwestern Iowa hoped they had stumbled upon a rare postage stamp potentially worth a fortune. But experts at a national stamp convention in Omaha have delivered the sad truth: it isn't the real thing, after all.

The Iowa Aviation Museum in Greenfield, Iowa, has had what it thought was an "Inverted Jenny" stamp on display for some 20 years and brought it to the Omaha gathering.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has kicked off his re-election campaign surrounded by top Republicans who vouched for the first-term lawmaker as best candidate in the deeply conservative state.

Sasse announced his 2020 campaign bid Monday, saying he'll work to minimize the role of Washington in Nebraska residents' lives and support President Donald Trump's "really great judicial nominees."

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a pilot who was injured in the crash of an ultralight plane east of Lincoln told rescuers flying had been on his "bucket list."

The crash occurred just before 11:30 a.m. Sunday north of Pester Airport. The crumpled wreckage ended up nose-down in a mowed field within a few yards of a field of corn.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports the 65-year-old pilot, Douglas Bornemeier, told Lincoln fire department rescuers he descended too steeply when trying to land. He added that the flight was an attempt at "checking flying off his bucket list."

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is defending the Republican Party from criticism by a state senator that the GOP is "enabling white supremacy" through its support of President Donald Trump.

Ricketts, a Republican Trump supporter, called the critique by state Sen. John McCollister "baseless" in a Twitter posting Monday afternoon.

Ricketts doesn't mention McCollister by name in his posting, but says the GOP doesn't tolerate hateful views. He says white supremacy and racism have no place in the country and must be driven out.

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