Minatare Signs Preliminary Agreement for Beef Plant

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MINATARE, Neb. (AP) — The city of Minatare has taken a big step toward construction of a beef processing plant that could bring an estimated 600 jobs to the Nebraska Panhandle community.

The City Council on Wednesday voted to sign a preliminary agreement with F2E Global LLC. Still to be worked out are annexation of the proposed site and approval of tax increment financing for the processing, storage and shipping facility. F2E hopes to break ground in late 2016.

Early projections say the facility ultimately could process 1,500 cattle a day.

Nebraska Man Convicted of Killing Friend Granted Motion Hearing

Dallas Huston

Dallas Huston

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has ordered an evidentiary hearing held for a man serving 50 years to life in prison for killing his friend in 2009 and who argues that he should be released from prison because his trial lawyer was ineffective.

Dallas Huston was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of 22-year-old Ryan Johnson. An autopsy showed Johnson died of asphyxiation.

Huston was initially charged with assisting a suicide, but police later determined Johnson had tried to free himself from plastic wrapped around his head, and that Huston then suffocated Johnson with a pillow.

On Friday, the state’s high court ruled the trial judge should not have dismissed Huston’s request for post-conviction relief — typically sought after all appeals have been exhausted — without holding a hearing.

Lincoln Man Accused of Kidnapping, Raping 8-Year-Old Girl

Cody Riddle

Cody Riddle

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Lincoln man described by his father as troubled is accused of kidnapping a sleeping 8-year-old girl from her home and raping her.

Police arrested 20-year-old Cody Riddle early Friday. Police spokeswoman Katie Flood says investigators suspect Riddle went into an open garage late Wednesday to steal something and then went into the house and saw the girl. She told officers she woke up inside another garage with her hands bound and her mouth taped over. She says the man raped her and then freed her after telling her he’d kill her and her family if she talked.

She got home around 4 a.m. Thursday and told her parents.

Riddle’s father, Andy Riddle, told reporters that his son has mental health issues and was a state ward for much of his life.

It’s unclear whether Cody Riddle has a lawyer who could be contacted to comment on his behalf. Online court records don’t yet list the case.

Nebraska Woman Gets Probation for Keeping Endangered Apes

wikipedia.org (File Image)

wikipedia.org (File Image)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska woman who reported her gibbons as stolen has been sentenced to two years of probation for having the apes as pets.

Nancy Stephens of Doniphan was sentenced and fined $4,000 Thursday. Stephens had pleaded guilty in June to violating the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits the transportation, shipment or receipt of endangered species.

Stephens said she bought her two apes, Caylee and Cody, in 2011 and 2012 for $22,000 each in Florida and brought them to Nebraska.

She reported they were stolen from her home by two men in September 2013. The primates were found in Florida during a traffic stop and placed in a sanctuary.

Ralston Man Killed in Omaha Motorcycle Crash

fatal-motorcycle-crashOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a 29-year-old Ralston man has died after the motorcycle he was driving collided with a car in southwestern Omaha.

The accident occurred around 3:20 p.m. Thursday. Omaha police say the speeding motorcycle was headed west when it ran into the right rear corner of a car that was turning north.

Police say the motorcyclist was taken to Nebraska Medical Center, where he died. He was identified as Sean Miner.

The three people in the car weren’t injured.

Kansas, Nebraska Reach 1-Year Agreement on River Water Use

Republican-RiverTOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas and Nebraska will extend for one year an agreement that allows Nebraska to pump more of its share of the Republican River while ensuring Kansas eventually gets all the water it is due.

The Republican River Compact Administration, which includes Colorado, announced the agreement Thursday. It extends similar agreements reached for the past two growing seasons.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1VhaQgM ) Nebraska expects to pump about 35,000 acre-feet more than its share would allow in 2016. In return, Nebraska will pump enough groundwater to Harlan County reservoir this winter and spring to help Kansas through the 2016 growing season. .

Officials say the agreement allows both states to use the water when it’s needed, and lets Nebraska replace the extra water when it’s not being used for agriculture.

Heavy Rain Fills Streams, Streets in Eastern Nebraska

rain-heavyNORFOLK, Neb. (AP) — The National Weather Services has issued flood advisories for several eastern Nebraska counties after thunderstorms dumped heavy rain.

A stream flood advisory was to expire later Friday morning in portions of Antelope, Boone and Madison counties. Up to 6 inches of rain was reported in southern Antelope County.

Law enforcement officials say water has covered the roadway on U.S. Highway 275 east of Oakdale and on Nebraska Highway 70 west of Elgin. Storm runoff also covered some streets in northwest and midtown Omaha.

Nebraska Senators Begin Review of School Aid, Property Taxes

school-fundingLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have kicked off a review of school funding and its impact on local property taxes, an issue that has divided the Legislature in years past.

The Revenue and Education committees convened Thursday along with mediators who will try to help senators reach an agreement.

Nebraska’s public schools rely heavily on property taxes, and rural senators have argued that farmers and ranchers are paying more than their share because of high property values. Some urban senators say the state needs to focus on diversifying the economy beyond agriculture to grow the cities while encouraging people to live in rural areas.

Sen. Kate Sullivan, chairwoman of the Education Committee, says the meetings are intended to generate ideas for a Nov. 12 public hearing. Lawmakers are set to reconvene in January.

Lawyer: Former Franchisee Alerted Subway About Fogle

subwayNEW YORK (AP) — A former franchisee alerted a Subway advertising executive in 2008 about her concerns about pitchman Jared Fogle, according to her lawyer.

Cindy Mills exchanged phone numbers with Fogle after they met at an event, said Robert Beasley, a lawyer who represents Mills.

After Fogle began talking about paying for sex with minors, Beasley said Mills alerted a regional Subway contact in Florida where she is based. Later, she alerted Jeff Moody, who was in charge of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, he said.

Subway did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The company has previously said it does not have a record of Mills’ complaints, which were previously reported by Business Insider. The publication initially kept Mills’ identity anonymous at her request, but identified her Thursday.

Nebraska Officials Seize Marijuana in Traffic Stop

douglas-county-sheriffOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a canine has helped find 70 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 in Nebraska.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says 50-year-old Raymond Ojeda, of California, was arrested following a traffic stop Wednesday night. He faces charges including possession with intent to deliver.

Authorities say a deputy became suspicious of three large duffel bags in Ojeda’s car during the traffic stop. A canine later indicated the odor of illegal drugs in the car. The drugs were discovered inside the bags.

Court records do not list an attorney for Ojeda.