Judge Finds Nebraska Man Guilty of Trespassing for Handing Out Fliers

pinnacle-bank-arenaLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A judge has found a Lincoln man was guilty of trespassing when he handed out religious leaflets too close to the front of Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Judge James Foster found Larry Ball guilty of two misdemeanor charges and fined him $50 for each offense. He also ordered Bell to pay court costs.

The 78-year-old man was cited after incident in March when he handed out religious pamphlets on a plaza about 30 feet from the Lincoln arena’s doors.

The matter went to trial in June, and the judge had taken his decision under advisement.

Ball has filed a civil lawsuit, alleging his free speech rights under the First Amendment have been violated.

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Storm Leaves Behind Damaged Buildings in Southeast Nebraska

severe-weatherWYMORE, Neb. (AP) — An early morning thunderstorm packing strong winds damaged some buildings in southeast Nebraska’s Gage County.

The storm struck Wymore early Friday morning. Assistant Wymore Fire Chief Mark Meints told the station that the straight-line winds toppled trees and knocked branches onto buildings and vehicles.

No injuries have been reported.

 

Woman Accused in Norfolk Fire Convicted of Making Threats

judgeshipNORFOLK, Neb. (AP) — A 24-year-old Norfolk woman accused of starting a small fire in an apartment complex hallway has been convicted of making terroristic threats.

Johna Richards pleaded guilty on Thursday after Madison County prosecutors amended the charge from felony arson. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 18.

Police say the charge stemmed from a Dec. 29 fire. A resident of the complex used a rug to put out the flames, and another resident told officers about threatening messages he’d been getting on Facebook. Investigators eventually were able to obtain information from Facebook about the person who posted the messages, and Richards was arrested.

Family of Missing UNL Student Hold Out Hope That She’s Alive

Anwesha Dey

Anwesha Dey

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The family of a University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate student who was swept away by floodwaters in May say they know she probably isn’t alive but that they’re holding out hope.

Anwesha Dey went missing May 3 while on her way to campus from a friend’s house nearby. She was reported missing May 6.

Police say surveillance video shows Dey falling into a fast-moving creek and her struggling as the water swept her away.

Dey’s cousin told the newspaper in a telephone interview that Dey’s parents, who live in India, don’t want to believe that she drowned. The cousin said the only thing that will bring the family closure is finding Dey’s body.

Man Loses Fingers in Omaha Industrial Accident

ambulance-lightsOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Rescue crews have responded to an industrial accident in Omaha that saw part of a man’s hand severed.

Omaha police said in a news release Thursday that the 59-year-old man got his hand caught in machinery at a Tyson Foods plant on Thursday morning. Police say the accident partially severed several of his fingers.

The man was taken to an Omaha hospital in critical condition, but was conscious.

Police say the accident is under investigation.

The Omaha office of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it, too, has opened an investigation into the workplace accident.

Patient’s Death Blamed on Nebraska Hospital’s Treatment

Medical-ChartWINNEBAGO, Neb. (AP) — A federal report says inadequate treatment at a hospital in northeast Nebraska resulted in one death earlier this year and harm to at least nine other patients.

The Winnebago Indian Health Service Hospital in Winnebago is scheduled to lose its Medicare and Medicaid funding Thursday as a result of what the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says are treatment deficiencies.

The report issued after a survey team’s visit in May cited the case of a patient who reported extreme back pain on Dec. 30, 2014. He was sent home. A hospital staff member then left him a voicemail telling him his kidneys were failing and did not attempt to make additional contact. The patient died Jan. 1 at his sister’s house.

 

Former Douglas County Deputy Acquitted in Medication Case

douglas-county-sheriffOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A former Douglas County sheriff’s deputy has been found not guilty of violating narcotics laws in acquiring medication.

Thirty-eight-year-old Kristin Jones was acquitted after a bench trial that began Monday. Jones was accused of failing to tell a doctor about a prescription she already had in an attempt to acquire more pain pills.

Jones’ attorney, Desirae Solomon, said Thursday that there were several pieces of evidence that showed Jones “had no intent to acquire subscriptions by fraud,” and the judge agreed.

Solomon says Jones was fired by the sheriff’s office as a result of the allegations but is seeking reinstatement.

 

Nebraska Man Accused of Shackling Teen to Keep Him at Home

child-abusePLATTSMOUTH, Neb. (AP) — A 35-year-old eastern Nebraska man has been accused of shackling his teenage nephew to a bed to keep the boy from going out and misbehaving.

Court records say Wade Merry, of Plattsmouth, is charged with child abuse. His attorney didn’t immediately return a call Thursday from The Associated Press, seeking comment about the allegations against his client.

Police say the 14-year-old was shackled to the bed at least a dozen times. A court document says Merry told police he restrained the boy while Merry worked overnight shifts at a bakery. Merry says he was frustrated by the boy’s behavior problems.

Police say Merry gave the boy a cup in case he needed to use a bathroom while shackled.

Nebraska Man Gets 9 Months in Jail for Best Friend’s Shooting Death

gavel-and-scaleFREMONT, Neb. (AP) — A 19-year-old has been sentenced to around nine months in jail in the January shooting death of his best friend in Fremont.

Andrew R. Marty also was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months of probation for each count of manslaughter and third-degree assault. All sentences will be served concurrently.

Authorities say Marty and 19-year-old Kevin Michael Kennebeck were hanging out with two other friends on Jan. 25. They say that Marty pulled out a gun, eventually pointing it in the direction of Kennebeck when the weapon discharged.

Dodge County Attorney Oliver Glass said before the sentence hearing that the fatal shooting of Kennebeck wasn’t intentional.

Marty’s attorney, Leo Eskey, says the shooting is a tragedy Marty will carry for the rest of his life.

Tanning Salon Owners Sue Nebraska Cancer Coalition

tanning-bedOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A group of tanning salon owners is suing the Nebraska Cancer Coalition, accusing it of making false, defamatory statements about tanning that have hurt the businesses.

The business owners operate 30 tanning salons in Omaha and Lincoln and said Wednesday they will file the lawsuit in Douglas County District Court.

The lawsuit says the coalition’s anti-tanning campaign called “The Bed is Dead” included inaccuracies and misleading elements, violating the Nebraska Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The Nebraska Cancer Coalition, according to its website, is a statewide partnership of 350 people representing 200 public and private organizations working to prevent and control cancer.

Coalition President Alan Thorson, a colon and rectal surgeon in Omaha who is also named in the lawsuit, did not immediately return a message Wednesday seeking comment.