Judge Denies Bail Request in Fatal Omaha Shooting

gavel-and-scaleOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A judge says a man claiming self-defense in a fatal Omaha shooting must remain in jail until his case goes to trial.

Douglas County Judge Thomas Harmon on Wednesday denied a request by Carl Heng’s attorney to set a bail amount.

The 25-year-old Heng is charged with second-degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony in the Aug. 24 shooting of 25-year-old Robert Lane. Lane later died.

Heng’s attorney says his client was trying to help his co-worker, who was Lane’s girlfriend, at the time of the shooting. The attorney says the woman feared for her safety and Heng perceived Lane as a threat.

Prosecutors say evidence at the scene disputes the self-defense claim.

Omaha Vocational Center Settles Nursing Program Flap

Medical-ChartOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson has announced a settlement with a nonprofit vocational training center in Omaha.

The state Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday in a written statement that an investigation showed Opportunities Industrialization Center was offering nursing classes without having obtained accreditation for its certified nursing assistant program.

The settlement requires the nonprofit to maintain accreditation for applicable classes as long as the classes are being offered, grant five full scholarships for the certified nursing assistance program and provide periodic reports to the Attorney General’s Office. The settlement also requires the center’s board members to attend nonprofit training sessions.

Peterson said that before the settlement was reached, the center reimbursed those students who took certified nursing classes while it was not accredited.

Omaha Man Sentenced to Prison for Robbing 2 Banks

dept.-of-justiceOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha man has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for robbing two banks.

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Joseph F. Bataillon sentenced 39-year-old Phillip M. Weber to 138 months in federal prison on Wednesday.

Weber was accused of taking $4,500 from a Security National Bank branch in Omaha in May 2014. He was accused of taking more than $1,800 from a Iberia Bank in Little Rock, Arkansas, in June 2014.

Prosecutors say Weber carjacked a vehicle that was later used in the Arkansas bank robbery.

National Parks Seeing Huge Spike in Visitations This Year

national-park-serviceGRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) — Visitors headed to the Grand Canyon lately know to expect two things: breathtaking views and long waits.

Tourists are showing up in big numbers at Grand Canyon and other national parks like Zion, Yellowstone and Yosemite. The crowds are driven by good weather, cheap gas and marketing campaigns ahead of next year’s National Park Service centennial.

With the busy Labor Day weekend still ahead, the Park Service already has recorded 5 million more visitors from this time last year.

Park officials are making due with the resources they have and paying overtime to keep as many entrance gates open as possible. Visitors are encouraged to use shuttles.

The Park Service launched a campaign this year to reintroduce the parks and is giving free passes to fourth graders and their families.

Dodge County Assessor Arrested Shortly After Resigning

handcuffsFREMONT, Neb. (AP) — A Dodge County official who resigned Wednesday has been accused of using an official credit card to fill her own gas tank.

Dodge County’s Assessor Brittny King resigned Wednesday morning during a contentious meeting where county board members accused her of mismanaging the office she has led since 2012.

Board members say King’s office had missed several filing deadlines and she was often out of the office.

Then King was arrested on suspicion of theft charges. She was released on $800 bond and ordered not to have contact with anyone who works in the Assessor’s office.

King does not have a listed phone number, and it wasn’t immediately clear if she has hired an attorney to represent her.

Massachusetts Dealership Turns to Nebraska for Car Titles

dmvLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A low car titling fee in Nebraska likely prompted an out-of-state dealership to turn to the Lancaster County Department of Motor Vehicles for such certificates.

A Lancaster County Treasurer’s Office employee says LaBelle Chevrolet of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, has requested and received nearly 3,000 car titles from the Lancaster County DMV since February. The Nebraska DMV charges just $10 per title, while Massachusetts charges $75.

Nebraska allows out-of-state companies to get newly purchased vehicles inspected outside of Nebraska and then have those inspection documents sent to DMV offices in Nebraska for titling.

The Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/1JvvOkF ) reports that the county doesn’t get to collect sales tax on the LaBelle vehicles it titles since they aren’t purchased or sold in Nebraska.

Omaha Officials Propose Change to Anti-Hunting Ordinance

deerOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Officials are working to close a loophole after learning that an ordinance barring hunting in city parks largely didn’t apply to a man who used his bow to kill three deer on land near Lake Zorinsky in western Omaha.

Steven Greise of Plattsmouth faced seven charges, which were dropped as part of a plea deal, for hunting in the park last October. Interim city prosecutor Tom Mumgaard says the incident showed the ordinance wasn’t as clear as it should be.

Now the Omaha City Council is considering an ordinance that would explicitly state that hunting is illegal in the city’s parks. The Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/1hUrq7X ) reports that the city also plans to install “no hunting” signs in the parks.

City Council members are expected to vote on the proposal Tuesday.

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.

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.