Body of Valentine Man Recovered from Merritt Reservoir

merritt-reservoirVALENTINE, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say the body of a missing swimmer has been recovered from a reservoir in northern Nebraska.

Cherry County Attorney Eric Scott says in a news release that 29-year-old Michael Richard, of Valentine, had been reported missing Sunday. He’d been seen swimming in the Powder Horn area of Merritt Reservoir.

Scott says a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission boat equipped with sonar helped searchers find the body later Sunday. It was found in the area where Richard had been swimming.

Lincoln Woman Named Director of Nebraska 150 Celebration

nebraska-150th-300-250LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Lincoln woman has been chosen as executive director of the Nebraska 150 Celebration that begins in 2017.

Gov. Pete Ricketts and first lady Susanne Shore announced that Regan Anson will serve in the role. She began work on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old has been director of marketing and communications for Peru State College since 2006. She previously served as communications director for former Attorney General Jon Bruning and deputy communications director for former Gov. Mike Johanns.

Anson is a native of Brunswick. She received a bachelor of science degree in journalism and public relations from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and a master of science degree in organizational management from Peru State College.

The celebration will mark Nebraska’s 150th anniversary as a state.

Trial Set for Man Accused of Killing Wife in Lincoln

Kent Burklund

Kent Burklund

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A November trial has been scheduled for a Lincoln man who intends to raise an insanity defense against a charge that he killed his wife.

Forty-two-year-old Kent Burklund is accused of killing 41-year-old Bettina Burklund at their home in April 2014. Police say Kent Burklund told investigators he was afraid of his wife and believed gang members had put date-rape drugs into his drinks and poisoned him with methamphetamine.

Burklund’s lawyer has filed notice with the court of her intent to raise the insanity defense. A judge ruled in August last year and again in February this year that Kent Burklund was incompetent for trial. In May another judge ruled that Burklund was competent for trial.

Coroner: Fall Killed Man Whose Body Was Found Under Lincoln Bridge

ambulance-lightsLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say an accidental fall while drunk killed a homeless man whose body was found under a bridge in west Lincoln.

The Lancaster County coroner says 53-year-old Robbie Young died of head injuries consistent with a fall. An autopsy toxicology report showed that Young’s blood alcohol content was more than 3½ times the legal limit for driving when he fell.

A jogger found the body on July 6. Police had been investigating the case to determine whether Young’s fall was an accident or whether he’d been killed by someone.

Officials say Young often spent nights at the nearby People’s City Mission for homeless people.

Woman sues Oregon State University over 1999 sexual assault

Mike Riley 2

Mike Riley was the offensive coordinator from 1997-1998 and head coach from 2003-2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A woman who says she was raped while attending Oregon State University seeks $7.5 million in a federal lawsuit against the school and its former football coach, Mike Riley.

The woman says the university and Riley failed to address a sexually violent culture among the football team that contributed to her being attacked by a player’s cousin.

According to the lawsuit, the rape occurred at an off-campus apartment in 1999. [Read more…]

Boone County Man Gets Jail Probation for Neglecting Horses

jailPETERSBURG, Neb. (AP) — A man has been given probation and six months in jail instead of the 60 days that prosecutors recommended as part of a plea agreement with a man convicted of neglecting horses on his Boone County property.

Judge Rachel Dougherty handed down the tougher sentence Tuesday to James Majerus. The 67-year-old originally was charged with two felony and 11 misdemeanor counts of livestock neglect after several malnourished horses were removed from the property in December. Majerus pleaded no contest and was convicted in August of one felony count after prosecutors reduced the charges.

Dougherty cited a previous neglect case involving Majerus in which a co-defendant was sentenced to six months. The judge says giving Majerus anything less than six months wouldn’t have been fair.

Police: 10 Pounds of Meth Found in Couple’s Car Near Lincoln

METHLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A California couple has been arrested after authorities found more than 10 pounds of methamphetamine in their vehicle during a traffic stop near Lincoln.

According to court records unsealed Tuesday, a 45-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman were arrested Sunday afternoon. The Lincoln Journal Star ( ) reports the two were pulled over by Nebraska State Patrol troopers for a routine traffic stop.

Christopher Apley, an investigator with the Drug Enforcement Administration, said a patrol officer grew suspicious and asked for permission to search the vehicle. Authorities found eight bundles of methamphetamine, weighing just over 10 pounds total, under the back seat.

According to Apley, authorities believe the methamphetamine was being transported from San Jose, California, to Omaha.

The two suspects face charges including passion with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Man Accused in 2007 Attacks Must Return to Nebraska Hospital

judgeshipYORK, Neb. (AP) — A 59-year-old man accused of trying to kill two relatives in McCool Junction has been returned to a psychiatric hospital.

Gilbert Hendricks was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to state care in 2008. The York News-Times reports ( ) that Judge James Stecker of York County District Court granted a request last week by County Attorney Candace Dick that Hendricks remain in state care. Dick told Stecker that, based on examinations of Hendricks by medical professionals, “evidence exists that the individual remains mentally ill and dangerous.”

Hendricks’ mother told investigators that she awoke in her bedroom on Sept. 6, 2007, to find her son standing over her, cutting her throat. She says she fought him off. Hendricks’ sister was injured when she tried to protect her mother.

Facebook post costs newly hired Neb stadium announcer job

Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations

Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The public address announcer for football games at Memorial Stadium has lost his job one day after Nebraska announced his hiring.

Former Omaha sportscaster Jon Schuetz said Tuesday that a university official told him he was being let go because of a months-old Facebook post by Schuetz commenting on the firing of football coach Bo Pelini. Schuetz said he deleted the post and declined to comment on what the post said. [Read more…]