Omaha street now bears name of football great Johnny Rodgers

johnny rodgersOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha has named a street in honor of Nebraska football legend Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers.

A stretch of Burt Street near the old site of Omaha Tech high school, where Rodgers had played, now bears the name Johnny Rodgers Street. Rodgers, a wide receiver and return specialist for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, won the 1972 Heisman Trophy.

Rodgers’ former teammate at Omaha Tech, Ernie Britt, earlier this year asked the Omaha City Council to put Rodgers’ name on the street. More than 100 people attended a naming ceremony in northeast Omaha on Thursday.

Ogallala Pilot Critically Burned in North Texas Plane Crash

plane-crashSULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — Authorities say a 46-year-old pilot from Nebraska has been critically burned in the crash of his small plane at an East Texas airport.

David German of Ogallala (oh-gah-LAH’-lah), Nebraska, was at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas on Friday.

Sulphur Springs police say the crash happened Thursday night at Sulphur Springs Municipal Airport, about 70 miles northeast of Dallas.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the single-engine O’Dell Aeromaster crashed and burned while taking off.

Police Chief Jay Sanders says authorities are trying to determine whether German’s plane had engine trouble.

German was alone on the aircraft.

A hospital spokeswoman said German was in critical condition Friday and provided no additional information on his injuries.

Jays hit 3 home runs, beat Royals 5-2

kc-royalsTORONTO (AP) — Dioner Navarro hit a two-run home run, Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson added solo shots and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on Thursday night.

The Blue Jays, who acquired star pitcher David Price from Detroit earlier in the day, have homered in 12 consecutive games since the All-Star break, their longest streak of the season.

Price was not with the Blue Jays on Thursday but is expected to join them Friday. Toronto has not said when Price will make his first start but Sunday is a possibility.

Marco Estrada (8-6) allowed two runs and three hits in 5 2-3 innings. Estrada left after Lorenzo Cain’s two-out single in the sixth ended his run of 15 straight outs. Brett Cecil came on and retired Eric Hosmer.

LaTroy Hawkins pitched the seventh, Aaron Sanchez worked the eighth and Roberto Osuna finished for his sixth save.

Carpenter homers twice, Cardinals win on Garcia’s walk

colorado-rockiesST. LOUIS (AP) — Matt Carpenter hit a pair of home runs and Greg Garcia’s bases-loaded walk capped a three-run rally in the ninth inning as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 9-8 on Thursday night.

Carpenter went 4 for 5 with four RBIs after moving back to the leadoff spot. It was his first career multihomer game and he has a career-high 12 home runs this season.

Jhonny Peralta’s two-run single off Rockies closer John Axford tied the game at 8-all and Garcia’s walk scored Kolten Wong as the Cardinals recorded their seventh walk-off win of the season.

Axford (3-5) took his third loss in his last four outings.

Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez gave up five runs on 10 hits in five innings. Carlos Villanueva (4-3) earned the win.

85-Year-Old Man Involved in Nebraska Crash Dies

otoe-county-sheriffLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An 85-year-old man involved in a two-vehicle crash in eastern Nebraska in July has died from his injuries.

Otoe County Chief Deputy Mike Holland says John Stevenson, of Holdrege, died Monday at a Lincoln hospital.

Stevenson was driving a car on July 10 near Syracuse when his vehicle collided with another car. Authorities say Stevenson failed to yield to the other car.

Stevenson had been hospitalized since the crash. His wife, who was a passenger in the car, remains hospitalized in fair condition.

The driver of the other vehicle was also hospitalized but has since been released.

Appeals Court Tosses Nebraska Man’s Sentence for Shooting Bald Eagle

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A federal appeals court has tossed a Nebraska man’s sentence for shooting a pair of protected birds last year near Macy.

Lamar Bertucci has spent the past five months in prison for shooting an eagle and a rough-legged hawk. A federal judge has set Bertucci’s resentencing for Aug. 12.

Bertucci pleaded guilty in killing the birds, but had disputed the $10,000 value that a federal probation officer put on the eagle.

The officer, who prepared Bertucci’s presentence report, relied on testimony from a Virginia-based wildlife expert, who estimated the replacement cost of the eagle.

The bird’s worth mattered to Bertucci because the amount of the loss can dictate the length of a sentence. He was sentenced last year to eight months in prison.

Group Works to Plant Native Prairie Grass on Land South of NP

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) — Thanks to a $700,000 grant and an organization’s efforts, around 15,500 acres of land south of North Platte is looking greener.

Four of Nebraska’s Natural Resource Districts bought the land and formed the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project. A group official says it’s in the process of converting it back to native prairie grass.

The group worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop a seed mix that would grow well on the property. The goal of the project is to help reduce the amount of water used on the land.

The acres used to be a part of Lincoln Farms, which was the largest continuous farm in the state at the time it was sold.

Iowa Authorities ID Nebraskan Whose Body Was Pulled from River

council-bluffs-policeCOUNCIL BLUFF, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man whose body was recovered from the Missouri River at Council Bluffs.

Council Bluffs police identified the man as 37-year-old Jeffrey Kahler, of Omaha, Nebraska. Police say there’s no evidence that a crime was involved in Kahler’s death.

His body was spotted a little before 5:30 p.m. Sunday just south of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, which connects Council Bluffs with south Omaha. Council Bluffs firefighters recovered the body less than 30 minutes later.


Only Small Increase in US Girls Getting Cervical Cancer Shot

vaccinationNEW YORK (AP) — More U.S. girls are getting a controversial vaccine, but the increase last year was only slight.

A national survey released Thursday found 60 percent of adolescent girls received at least one of three doses of the vaccine against human papillomavirus, or HPV. It was 57 percent in 2013.

For boys, the rate was 42 percent, up from 34 percent.

The vaccine has been available to girls since 2006 but has been recommended for boys since 2011. It protects against cervical cancer and genital warts. The shots are recommended at age 11 or 12, to protect youths before they start to have sex.

Health officials say not enough pediatricians are strongly recommending HPV shots. Vaccination rates against other diseases like whooping cough are much higher.

Teen Accused of Suffocating Newborn Then Going Shopping

police-lights-redNEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors say a teenager suffocated her just-born baby before taking his body with her on a trip to Victoria’s Secret in New York City.

Eighteen-year-old Tiona Rodriguez pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge stemming from the shopping trip two years ago. Prosecutors say she was arrested on a shoplifting charge at the store, and her 8-pound newborn was found dead in a bag she was carrying. The shoplifting charge was later dropped.

Prosecutors say Rodriguez intended for weeks to kill the infant and sent a text message about plans to “dig a hole” and “put it somewhere.”

Defense lawyer Earl Ward says Rodriguez’s term of pregnancy was unclear. He says Rodriguez didn’t know she was pregnant and she had a stillbirth. He says she acted out of confusion.