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Associated Press

Omaha World Herald

The running mate for Nebraska governor hopeful Charles Herbster has announced that she's bowing out of the race, citing the time commitment required to campaign. Theresa Thibodeau, a former state lawmaker and Douglas County Republican Party leader, says she would withdraw from the ticket. Thibodeau says she didn't think she'd be able to devote the time necessary to continue with the campaign. Herbster had selected Thibodeau even though the state Republican Party hasn’t yet held its primary election to name its gubernatorial nominee.

Lincoln Journal Star

Public health officials have expressed growing concern about an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Nebraska, primarily among residents who haven’t been vaccinated. Officials say they were worried about the slow-but-steady increase in infected people who end up hospitalized, putting pressure on COVID-19 treatment units. Nebraska reported 978 new cases in the week ending Thursday. That's a 42% increase over the previous week and exactly double the 489 new cases logged two weeks earlier.

Newsbreak

Four people were injured when a second-floor outdoor deck collapsed during a barbecue in suburban Omaha, trapping the people and leaving serious burns on one woman when a hot charcoal grill fell on her. First responders said the incident happened around 9 p.m. Sunday at a home in Bellevue. Officials say several people were on the deck when it collapsed, causing them to fall 10- to 12-feet to the ground. Four people, including the woman with first- and second-degree burns, were taken to local hospitals. Officials say some people at the scene declined treatment.

KOLN

State health officials have reported Nebraska's first human case this year of West Nile virus. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported Friday that a county health department officials in northeastern Nebraska reported a person there had tested positive for the mosquito-borne illness. The Elkhorn-Logan Valley Health Department, which covers Burt, Cuming, Madison and Stanton counties, says the infected person was not hospitalized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most people with West Nile virus don’t have symptoms.

Omaha World Herald

Nearly 50 Nebraska school boards have objected to proposed state health education standards that include lessons for young children on gender identity and gender expression. State Sen. Joni Albrecht said 47 school boards across the state have either adopted resolutions or sent letters opposing the first draft of the standards that the Nebraska Department of Education is considering. Under the proposed standards, elementary students would learn about different kinds of family structures, including same-gender families, and gender identity.

Nebraska athletes who are part of a newly formed nonprofit are among those who signed a petition Monday opposing a proposed University of Nebraska Board of Regents resolution objecting to “any imposition of critical race theory” in academic curriculum. The Omaha World-Herald reports that nonprofit United College Athlete Advocates' petition had gathered more than 1,300 signatures by Monday morning.

NBC

Nebraska agreed not to seek reimbursement from Texas for the state patrol troopers that it sent down to the U.S.-Mexican border at the request of Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Nebraska State Patrol documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the state committed, at least initially, not to seek reimbursement for the mission, which is estimated to cost more than $334,000. A spokesman for the patrol and Nebraska Gov.

Lincoln Journal Star

Officials in Lincoln are defending their actions to remove a homeless encampment that had been set up in a wooded area. City officials say concerns from residents nearby prompted an investigation by Lincoln Fire and Rescue and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. Jon Carlson, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff, told the Lincoln Journal Star that conditions were found to be dangerous for those who were living there. But some homeless advocates say it was unjust to demolish a community people made for themselves.

KHGI

Nebraska schools are getting conflicting advice from state and federal health officials over whether students should quarantine after contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. The state Department of Health and Human Services is telling schools that students who had contact with an infected person would not have to quarantine as long as they don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19. But the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that students who aren’t vaccinated and have close contact with an infected person should still quarantine.

Norfolk Daily News

The company that’s building casinos in Nebraska after voters legalized them has announced plans for another facility in Norfolk. WarHorse Gaming, LLC says it will pitch a horse-racing track and eventual casino at the DeVent Center. The company, a subsidiary of Ho-Chunk, Inc., which financed the casino legalization campaign, will present its plans Friday to the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission. WarHorse Gaming is seeking a racing license before the company breaks ground for construction of the new track and an overhaul of existing buildings.

Nebraska ended its fiscal year in much better financial shape than expected despite the coronavirus pandemic. The Nebraska Department of Revenue reports net general fund tax collections of $5.959 billion during the fiscal year that began in June 2020 and ended last month. That’s 19.2% higher than the certified state forecast of $5.001 billion. State officials report higher-than-expected collections of sales-and-use taxes, individual and corporate income taxes, and miscellaneous taxes.

Lincoln Journal Star

A state lawmaker from Omaha has announced he will run in the Democratic primary for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Sen. Tony Vargas said in an announcement Tuesday that he will seek the party’s nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, a three-term Republican in the district that includes Omaha and parts of its suburbs. Vargas said Tuesday his focus will be on meeting the needs of working families, including access to affordable, quality health care, living wages and better education.

NBC

An Omaha, Nebraska, zoo says roughly 200 people were possibly exposed to a rabid bat. Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Friday said it's paying for rabies shots for 186 campers who stayed overnight at the aquarium in recent weeks. A camper woke up to a wild bat flying around her head July 4. No scratches or bites were found on her. The zoo euthanized seven wild bats found in the aquarium. One tested positive for rabies. The zoo's animal health director says people who visited the aquarium during the day shouldn't be worried because bats are nocturnal.

Eminetra

The storms that knocked down trees and power lines across eastern Nebraska this weekend left more people without electricity that any area storm in years. The Omaha Public Power District says the 188,000 customers that lost power after the storms Friday night and early Saturday is a larger outage than any storm since June 2008 when 156,000 customers lost electricity. By midday Sunday, less than 60,000 OPPD customers remained without power but utility officials said it could take several days to restore electricity to everyone.

Financial Times

Media mogul and billionaire bison rancher Ted Turner is donating an 80,000-acre ranch he owns in western Nebraska to a nonprofit agriculture ecosystem research institute and says he might do the same with four other ranches in Nebraska’s Sand Hills. But he says he'll continue to pay taxes on the land. The Omaha World-Herald reports that news comes as a relief to state and local officials who had feared Turner might donate the nearly 500,000 acres of Nebraska ranchland he owns and remove them from property tax rolls. Turner Enterprises Inc.

KMEG

The number of COVID-19 cases reported in Nebraska jumped last week, but the rate of new cases remained below the national average. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the state recorded 456 virus cases last week, which was up from 253 and 181 in the two previous weeks. Data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the state’s rate of new cases per capita ranked 23rd among the states last week. Dr.

Sandhills Express

A tomahawk once owned by Chief Standing Bear, a pioneering Native American civil rights leader, is returning to his Nebraska tribe after decades in a museum at Harvard. The university's Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology says it's been working with members of the Ponca Tribe in Nebraska and Oklahoma to repatriate the artifact. The tribe's chairman says its anticipated return is a powerful symbol of homecoming for the tribe.

Shondaland

An Omaha therapist and mental health advocate announced that she will run in the Democratic primary for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Alisha Shelton says she will seek the party’s nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, a three-term Republican in the district that includes Omaha and parts of its suburbs. In a statement announcing her run, Shelton says she plans to focus her campaign on jobs, affordable health care and higher wages. Shelton would be Nebraska’s first Black member of Congress if elected.

Investor Warren Buffett said the economic impact of the pandemic remains hard to predict but most big companies have fared OK throughout it as long as they weren't tied to travel. Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger said in an interview that U.S. regulators should do more to restrict the amount of gambling in financial markets by limiting how much investors and banks can borrow on margin. Munger praised the financial regulations that Chinese regulators have put in place to limit speculation.

UNO Gateway

Nebraska plans to stop reporting coronavirus numbers online after this week. The state Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that it planned to retire the online dashboard that it has used to report statistics on the coronavirus pandemic for more than a year. The current state virus emergency also was set to expire on Wednesday, and along with that Nebraska would eliminate the last few social distancing guidelines that remain in place. As of its final update Wednesday, the state had reported 224,488 virus cases and 2,261 deaths linked to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

KETV

Employees at two Nebraska prisons will have to work longer shifts and may be asked to clock in at a facility where they don’t normally work to compensate for staffing shortages. Director Scott Frakes says he has declared a “staffing emergency” at the Lincoln Correctional Center and the Diagnostic Evaluation Center, located next to each other in Lincoln. Prison officials will implement 12-hour shifts for some employees, up from the usual 8.

KTVU

A high-ranking California police official has been nominated to serve as the next police chief in Lincoln, Nebraska, making her the city’s first female chief and the first who is openly gay. Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird says she has selected Teresa Ewins, a 55-year-old commander with the San Francisco Police Department. Ewins was one of four finalists who was chosen from a field of 31 applicants. If she's approved as expected by the Lincoln City Council, Ewins would assume her new job on Aug. 31.

Rural Health Information Hub

Nebraska health officials are continuing to work to persuade residents of rural parts of the state, where coronavirus vaccination rates remain low, to get their shots. The Omaha World-Herald reports that vaccination rates in the state’s rural counties tend to lag far behind the rates in the state’s urban counties. Only about 40% of the adults in rural parts of Nebraska are fully vaccinated compared with more than 60% of those living in the state’s metropolitan areas. As part of the effort to reach rural areas.

Lincoln Journal Star

Federal regulators have ordered a Nebraska rancher and county officials to clean up a remote stream after it was deluged with enough sand and sediment to change the shape of the waterway. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Environmental Protection Agency said the Snake River had been a deep and narrow creek until an estimated 1.6 million tons of sand washed into it, turning a 3-mile stretch into a wide, shallow and sandy waterway. That’s enough sand to fill an area the size of a football field about 540 feet deep.

KHGI

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is offering incentives to faculty, staff and students who voluntarily sign up for a registry showing they are vaccinated against COVID-19. The incentives include five prizes worth a total of $9,872 — equal to one year of in-state tuition and fees — or a trip to Ireland to watch the Huskers play football in August 2022. The university announced the initiative in a letter to students and staff on Wednesday. Anyone who registers by Aug. 15 will be eligible for the incentives.

WOWT

Parts of Nebraska and Iowa are cleaning up after strong overnight storms. Storms Wednesday night and Thursday morning led to wind damage and power outages in the Omaha area and other parts of Nebraska. Wind gusts of more than 60 mph downed power lines and trees. Thousands of homes and businesses in Omaha lost power. There were no immediate reports of injuries. The Dodge County, Nebraska Sheriff’s Office reported that an electrical supply line fell across all four lanes of traffic on Highway 30.

Vox

Warren Buffett resigned Wednesday as trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which says it will announce plans in July to answer questions raised about its leadership structure. The announcement from Buffett comes weeks after Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage but would continue to jointly run the foundation. It's one of the largest charitable foundations in the world. Buffett also said Wednesday that he is halfway to reaching his goal of giving away the entirety of his shares in Berkshire Hathaway, his company.

New data released Wednesday shows that Nebraska’s unemployment rate remained one of the lowest in the country as it fell even lower in May. The state’s 2.6% unemployment rate tied with Vermont for the second-lowest rate in the nation, behind only New Hampshire’s 2.5% unemployment. Nebraska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined in May to 2.6% from April’s 2.8% as the number of jobs in the state continued to grow.

KETV

Work has begun on nearly $30 million in renovation projects that will change the entrance to Omaha's Eppley Airfield and upgrade one of the national airport's garages. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the entrance to the airport terminal will be moved about a quarter mile south, toward downtown along Abbott Drive. The change comes following several studies in recent years showing the need for a longer and wider entrance that will give drivers more time to make maneuvering decisions.

The Epoch Times

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts plans to send about two dozen state troopers to Texas later this month to help patrol the nation's border with Mexico. Ricketts has criticized President Joe Biden's approach to border security and several other policies, but he said the aid is being provided to Texas under a preexisting agreement that is normally activated in times of emergencies. Nebraska's announcement on Saturday came several days after Florida officials said they would also send law enforcement officers to Texas and Arizona.

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