Regulators Say Nebraska Mine Company Failed to Correct Safety Problems

mine-safety-and-health-admiORD, Neb. (AP) — Federal regulators say a Nebraska gravel mine failed to correct the safety problems that contributed to a worker’s death, but the company plans to appeal.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday investigators found issues at Ulrich Gravel’s mine in July that hadn’t been corrected since a March death.

Regulators say a 44-year-old worker died after the truck he was driving fell into a pond at the mine in Valley County.

Ulrich’s attorney Josh Schultz says the company believes the citations are inaccurate. He says Ulrich Gravel has a strong safety record after more than 35 years in business.

Inspectors say the mine failed to erect berms or guardrails on roads next to water and failed to repair a cracked windshield on a front-end loader that could impair visibility.

3 Nebraskans Accused of Selling Mislabeled Synthetic Marijuana

k2LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The owners of two Lincoln businesses face federal charges that they conspired to acquire and sell synthetic marijuana and commit other crimes.

Court documents unsealed Tuesday say that between October 2013 and April this year, Allen Peithman Jr., Sharon Elder and Jacie Sanne bought and sold synthetic cannabinoids that were mislabeled to avoid drug regulations. The stores are Dirt Cheap and Island Smokes.

Prosecutors say drug labels didn’t suggest the drugs were not intended for human consumption, and the labels didn’t include federally required warnings of possible side effects.

Elder’s lawyer, Bob Creager (KREE’-gur), declined to comment Wednesday. Online court records don’t list the names of attorneys who could be contacted to comment on behalf of Peithman and Sanne.

Nebraska Man Loses Custody Battle for Kids Living with Sex Offender

ne-court-of-appealsOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Court of Appeals has rejected a father’s request for custody of his daughters to get them out of the home of a registered sex offender.

The Central City man argued that a Phelps County District judge was wrong to find there was no significant risk to his 16- and 14-year-old daughters if they remain in the house with their stepfather. Court documents say the stepfather testified that he served four years in prison for sexually assaulting his 15-year-old stepdaughter from a previous marriage.

A three-judge panel of the state appeals court said Tuesday that the lower court relied on a therapist’s testimony that the stepfather wasn’t likely to reoffend. The appeals panel also said the lower court properly considered what was in the best interests of the children.

Appeals Court Says Tyson Foods Doesn’t Underpay Workers

TysonOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A federal appeals court has decided that Tyson Foods doesn’t have to pay workers at two of its Nebraska plants for the time they spend putting on and taking off safety gear and preparing for work.

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Wednesday that Tyson doesn’t owe workers at its plants in Dakota City and Madison for that time.

The appellate rulings will eliminate two lower court decisions ordering Tyson to pay more than $20 million.

The workers who sued argued that Tyson should pay them for the roughly 30 minutes they spend putting on uniforms and safety gear, sanitizing equipment, sharpening knives and other duties. They said they’re only paid for their time on the assembly line plus four minutes for all the pre- and post-production chores.

2 Virginia TV Station Workers Fatally Shot During Live Shot (VIDEO)

MONETA, Va. (AP) — The general manager of a TV station in Virginia says two crew members were fatally shot on air in central Virginia.

Jeffrey A. Marks, general manager of WDBJ-TV, identified the two killed as Alison Parker and Adam Ward.

The station says in tweets and in a story on its website that the incident happened at a shopping center. The station says law enforcement officials are on the scene.

The station is based in Roanoke, Virginia, and serves the southwest and central part of the state. The shopping mall is just off Smith Mountain Lake.

Moneta is about 25 miles southeast of Roanoke.


Nebraska Man Gets 2 Years for Assault at National Park

dept.-of-justiceDENVER (AP) — Rocky Mountain National Park officials say a 36-year-old Nebraska man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for assaulting a man who was by himself in the park.

Park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said Tuesday that the 64-year-old victim, who is not being identified, was assaulted last year in June at the Upper Beaver Meadows area of the park. Park officials say the attack was random.

After the assault, rangers and an Estes Park police officer arrested Adam Harvey of Bancroft, Nebraska. He was sentenced Aug. 6 for a charge of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

In addition to his two-year prison sentence, Harvey will also be supervised for three years after his release.

Driver Beaten After Striking Child in Minnesota

police-lights-redWINONA, Minn. (AP) — Police say a pickup truck driver who accidentally struck a 4-year-old boy who had dashed into the street was beaten by bystanders in southeast Minnesota.

The child and the driver were taken to a hospital in Winona to be treated for their injuries Monday.

Deputy Police Chief Tom Williams told KAGE that when the man got out of his vehicle to check on the child, bystanders started kicking and punching him. Winona Police Chief Paul Bostrack told The Associated Press that two or three people attacked the man.

Police say the 18-year-old driver sustained scrapes and a chipped tooth and was released from the hospital. Authorities don’t know if the boy also has been released but said his injuries don’t appear life-threatening.

Winona is about 110 miles southeast of Minneapolis.

Judge Delays Trial of Man Accused of Killing 4 in Omaha

Anthony Garcia

Anthony Garcia

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The September murder trial of a man accused of killing four people with ties to an Omaha medical school has been put on hold.

A judge on Tuesday ordered that the suspect, Anthony Garcia, undergo a mental-health evaluation following his allegations of being sexually abused by jail guards.

In documents obtained by The Omaha World-Herald, officials say jailhouse videos don’t support Garcia’s allegations.

Garcia is charged with first-degree murder in the 2008 deaths of the 11-year-old son of Creighton University pathologist William Hunter and the family’s housekeeper, and the May 2013 deaths of Creighton pathologist Roger Brumback and his wife.

Authorities say Garcia was motivated by revenge for being fired from Creighton’s pathology department in 2001.

His trial was scheduled to start Sept. 14. A new date hasn’t been set.

Omaha Bank Heist Suspect Caught While Shopping Across the Street

Jail-Bars-and-Cuffs_mediumOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Police have arrested a robbery suspect while she was shopping at a drugstore across an Omaha street from a bank branch that had just been robbed.

Police say a woman went into the U.S. Bank branch a little before 10 a.m. Tuesday and gave a teller a note. The teller gave the robber an undisclosed amount of cash, and the robber left.

Police say the robber then went across a street to the drugstore to shop and was arrested there. She was taken back to the bank branch, where witnesses confirmed to police that she was the robber.

The woman’s name hasn’t been released.

Lincoln Attorney Hilgers to Run for Open Legislative Seat

ne-legislature-13LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Lincoln attorney who ran for the Nebraska Legislature in 2012 and the attorney general’s office in 2014 is trying again.

Mike Hilgers announced Tuesday that he will seek an open seat in the Legislature in 2016. Hilgers is looking to replace state Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm, who narrowly defeated him in 2012 but is not eligible to run again because of term limits.

Hilgers, who sought the Republican nomination for attorney general last year, says he would focus on lower spending, cutting taxes and improving education if elected.

Hilgers is a founding partner of Gober Hilgers, a law firm with offices in Texas, Nebraska and Washington. He specializes in intellectual property rights.