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Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lincoln police say the death of a 22-year-old University of Nebraska-Lincoln student appears to be accidental. The Lincoln Journal Star reports that police found the body of Dane LeClair in downtown Lincoln around 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Officer Angela Sands says LeClair, of Pittsford, New York, died after falling from the fourth floor of a parking garage. She says that based on video surveillance footage, LeClair fell at around 3:40 a.m. and his death appeared to be accidental.

Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Flooding along the Missouri River has stretched on for seven months in places and could endure through the winter, leaving some Upper Midwest farmland and possibly some homes encased in ice. There are several reasons for the flooding, including high levels along the river, saturated ground and broken levees. And with forecasters predicting a wetter-than-normal winter, it’s possible flooding could continue in some places all the way until spring, when the normal flood season begins. “There’s no end in sight.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Authorities are making an aggressive new push to remove contraband from Nebraska's largest prisons, but the task is more difficult than it seems.

Nebraska's crackdown is the latest example of states trying to clamp down on drugs, weapons and cellphones that have become prevalent in prisons.

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Public Power District says two new vehicle charging stations are fully operational and another is expected to be running by early next month.

The district says its operations centers in Norfolk and Ogallala now have charging stations. A third is being installed at the district's Kearney Operations Center.

The district installed a charging station at its Columbus office last year.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Lincoln Children's Zoo is holding its annual trick-or-treat event, Boo at the Zoo, and the city's bus system is offering free shuttles to get there.

StarTran will provide the free shuttle bus service to Boo at the Zoo starting this Saturday through Wednesday.

Shuttle service will begin at 4:15 p.m. and run about every 20 minutes until 9:15 p.m. from several Lincoln High School and Antelope Park parking lots.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A career military man and former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy has been chosen as the top candidate to become the next president of the University of Nebraska.

The university Board of Regents voted unanimously Friday to nominate Walter "Ted" Carter Jr. as their priority candidate.

Carter is a retired vice admiral in the U.S. Navy and the immediate past superintendent of his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy. He's also a former president of the U.S. Naval War College.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska will get an extra $266 million in tax revenue for the state budget between now and June 2021, based on new estimates that could give lawmakers more wiggle room to pay for state government services and cut property taxes.

Members of the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board approved the new projections Thursday, citing a strong state economy.

Under state law, about $161 million of that total will flow automatically into the state's cash reserve fund, which is designed for emergencies and one-time expenses.

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — A growing trend has emerged in the states that matter most in the Democratic Party's high-stakes presidential nomination fight: Primary voters appear to be getting less certain of their choice as Election Day approaches.

The growing uncertainty is in part a reflection of the historically large number of candidates still in the race. But it also reflects a deepening sense of unease about the party's top-tier candidates whose political liabilities are becoming more visible as the first voting contests approach.

TRUMP-ETHANOL-IOWA

Oct 24, 2019
Emily Chen-Newton

 Gov. Kim Reynolds says she is taking President Donald Trump at his word that he will uphold an agreement made with farm state lawmakers and agriculture groups to maintain the ethanol requirements in current law.

Since Trump became president, the Environmental Protection Agency has given 85 oil refineries exemptions from blending ethanol into the gasoline they sell. That has removed 4 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol from the market, leading to ethanol plant closures and angering farmers.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers who pledged to lower property taxes are getting ready to try again with a proposal that would boost state aid for K-12 public schools while restricting the districts' taxing power.

The tentative proposal, which is largely opposed by educators, closely resembles one lawmakers considered earlier this year. Its sponsors said they're working to address school officials' biggest concerns.

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska State Fair officials are blaming heavy rains for a drop in attendance and revenue at this summer's fair.

The Grand Island Independent reports that fair executive director Lori Cox delivered the news Friday at a meeting of the State Fair Board.

Attendance for the Aug. 23-Sept. 2 event was 283,468, down 10% from the 314,805 who attended last year. Officials say that led to a 12% decline in gate revenue from the previous year.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha-based Scooter's Coffee is buying a local competitor, Crane Coffee.

Crane has eight locations in Omaha, and officials say the shops will be rebranded to Scooter's over the next three months.

Scooter's has more than 230 locations in 15 states.

The purchase price and other details of the sale have not been disclosed.

CLIVE, Iowa (AP) — A Mason City man has won the first $100,000 top prize in a new Iowa Lottery game.

The Iowa Lottery says Wayne Oswood won the big prize in the Iowa Lottery's "Holiday Dazzle" scratch game. He claimed his prize Friday at the lottery's regional office in Mason City.

Holiday Dazzle is a $10 scratch game featuring seven top prizes of $100,000 and overall odds of 1 in 2.80.

STERLING, Neb. (AP) — A 15-year-old southeastern Nebraska boy has been arrested after being accused of making a school threat last month that school officials didn't initially report to authorities.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The lower Missouri River will remain high into December because of the large amount of water being released from dams into the river.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the amount of water being released from the Gavins Point dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border will remain at a level more than twice what is typical for this time of year — 80,000 cubic feet per second — into mid-December.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has issued orders changing how the state court system conducts security assessments after two cybersecurity workers hired by state court administrators were arrested for breaking into the Dallas County Courthouse last month.

Chief Justice Mark Cady signed an order Thursday that prohibits physical break-ins of courthouses and entry outside of regular business hours as part of cybersecurity testing. Court administrators also must confer with local officials on systems testing.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A man who spent more than 25 years in prison for an Iowa murder that he didn't commit is urging college students to help inmates who may be innocent.

Terry Harrington spoke to Coe College students Tuesday, recounting how he was wrongly convicted in the 1977 shooting death of a Council Bluffs security guard when he was a teenager.

Harrington had exhausted his appeals and was serving a life sentence at the Iowa State Penitentiary when he met a prison barber who believed in his innocence.

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — Forecasters say a wintry storm system could drop up to 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) of snow on northwest Nebraska later this week.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the northern half of the Panhandle. The service says ice could form on wet pavement late Wednesday night or early Thursday as the system arrives, followed by snow and winds gusting to 35 mph (56.3 kph). Travel could be extremely hazardous.

Overnight low temperatures could dip below 20 degrees (minus 6.7 Celsius).

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraskans will need to spend nearly $1 billion over the next few decades to remove ash trees killed by an invasive pest, but local governments probably won't be able to afford the cost and it's not clear how much help they'll get from the state.

Lawmakers renewed their search last week for ways to fix the damage caused by the emerald ash borer, a major threat to the state's ash trees. State officials have already confirmed the insect's presence in Nebraska and acknowledged they have no way to stop it.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A public hearing has been scheduled Monday on a Lincoln proposal that would offer legal protection to people who break vehicle windows to save children or animals from dangerous heat.

Councilman James Michael Bowers told the Lincoln Journal Star his proposal would remove a legal gray area and would let people act with confidence if they were to follow specific steps.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraskans will need to spend nearly $1 billion over the next few decades to remove ash trees killed by an invasive pest, but local governments probably won't be able to afford the cost and it's not clear how much help they'll get from the state.

Lawmakers renewed their search last week for ways to fix the damage caused by the emerald ash borer, a major threat to the state's ash trees. State officials have already confirmed the insect's presence in Nebraska and acknowledged they have no way to stop it.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Proposed social studies standards for Nebraska schoolchildren would encourage them to look at history from multiple perspectives.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that the draft proposal was written by a group of Nebraska educators and suggests what students should know about, and be able to do, in history, government, civics, geography and economics.

If the standards are approved by the Nebraska State Board of Education next month, school districts then must adopt the standards or their own of equal or greater rigor.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A lawyer says Nebraska has agreed to pay $385,000 to a woman whose lawsuit said the state psychiatric hospital delayed her doctor-ordered mammogram for more than a year and then denied some radiation treatments for her breast cancer.

The settlement follows a federal judge’s decision that Ruth Cecetka's lawsuit could go forward against the Lincoln Regional Center and staff members. She says they failed to properly care for her health after she was committed there Jan. 31, 2013.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — Last month's closing of Unity Point Hospital's obstetrics unit in 

Marshalltown was only the most recent in Iowa.

The Iowa Public Health Department says nearly three dozen community hospitals have stopped delivering babies in the past two decades, and eight stopped last year — the most yet in one year.

Stephen Hunter is vice chairman of obstetrics at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. He says Iowa's aging population and shrinking rural numbers are among key reasons for the closures.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Motorists driving on a stretch of Interstate 80 north of Lincoln will be able to go a little faster starting today.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation announced Thursday that the interstate speed limit will increase from 65 mph to 75 mph between the 27th Street exit and the 56th Street exit.

The current 65 mph speed limit will remain in place between the 27th Street exit and Lincoln’s western edge.

The 65 mph speed limit forced interstate drivers to slow down as they neared Lincoln, then speed back up to 75 mph after they passed the city.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — After an unusually rainy September in the region, the amount of water flowing down the lower Missouri River this year is likely to match the 2011 record.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it now expects 61 million acre feet of water to flow down the Missouri River this year. That would equal the record set during the prolonged 2011 flooding.

So the Corps will continue releasing massive amounts of water from the dams along the river.

BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP) — An Air Force colonel says he and other officials are paying close attention to resident complaints about living conditions and repairs at off-base, privatized housing for personnel at Offutt Air Force Base just south of Omaha.

Col. Gavin Marks is commander of the 55th Wing at Offutt, and Tuesday he told residents at a town hall meeting at a Bellevue school that he's set up a new hotline to handle complaints.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska officials say they're received the state's first report of a death associated with vaping.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said Monday that the unidentified person died in May, was older than 65 years old and lived in the Omaha area. No other details were given.

Nebraska officials say there have been 12 deaths reported in 10 other states.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state panel has approved the latest bill for former Gov. Terry Branstad's continued fight against a jury verdict that found he discriminated against a former state executive.

The Iowa Executive Council approved payment Monday of a bill for over $488,000 to a Des Moines law firm. That raises the taxpayer costs of defending Branstad to $2.4 million.

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