Obama power plant cuts draw praise, criticism in Nebraska

platte institute for economic researchLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — President Barack Obama’s effort to cut greenhouse gases from U.S. power plants is drawing praise from a leading Nebraska environmental group, but an Omaha-based think tank is urging state officials to fight the plan.

The group Bold Nebraska on Monday hailed the federal Clean Power Plan as a “flexible, common-sense rule” that will reduce carbon pollution. The group says it’s working to mobilize the public for hearings on Nebraska’s state plan to comply with the rule.

The Platte Institute for Economic Research argued in a report Monday that the plan would hurt the state economy without having much direct impact on global climate emissions. The group argues that Nebraska relies heavily on coal, and the state’s electric utilities have a legal mandate to provide low-cost and reliable public power.

Nebraska parents helping daughter live in time she has left

Facebook Photo for Team Alexus

Facebook Photo for Team Alexus

MONROE, Neb. (AP) — Two Platte County parents are determined to help their daughter really live in what little time she may have left.

Twenty-five-year-old Paige Wiese and her husband, 28-year-old Shawn Wiese, says the bucket list they’ve created for their 15-month-old daughter, Alexus, is all about being together as a family. The Monroe couple also have a son, Weston, who was born four years ago.

Alexus was diagnosed with a rare disease called cystic encephalomalacia shortly after her birth in April 2014. It’s caused by pockets of fluid and cysts that grow throughout the brain, causing the brain to stop growing. The earlier it can be diagnosed usually means the shorter the life span.

The Wieses lost a 14-month-old girl, Joselyn, to the disease in 2001.

Bat boy, 9, dies after hit in head by swing at baseball game

baseballWICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 9-year-old bat boy has died after he was accidentally hit in the head during a National Baseball Congress World Series game in Kansas.

The general manager of the Liberal Bee Jays team, Mike Carlile, confirmed late on Sunday the death of Kaiser Carlile.

The boy was struck by a follow-through swing near the on-deck circle on Saturday afternoon. A spokesman for the National Baseball Congress says the child was wearing a helmet, which is mandatory.

Home-plate umpire Mark Goldfeder, who is a longtime paramedic, treated the boy until an ambulance arrived. The team played a game on Sunday, winning 8-0.

Blaze at Lincoln home was arson, fire investigators say

arsonLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Investigators say an early morning fire at a home in central Lincoln was arson.

No one was in the home when firetrucks arrived around 1:40 a.m. Monday. No injuries have been reported in the blaze.

Lincoln fire investigator Don Gross says the most recent tenants of the home are people of interest in the case. They’d been evicted and were seen moving items out of the house on Sunday.

Fire damage was estimated at $20,000.

Feds file $218,000 in tax liens against Norfolk councilman

irsNORFOLK, Neb. (AP) — Federal authorities have filed $218,000 in liens against a Norfolk city councilman over unpaid taxes.

The liens filed by the Internal Revenue Service were related to David Fauss’ personal and business obligations. He co-owns a restaurant at the Norfolk Regional Airport, Barnstormers.

Fauss says he’s been negotiating with the IRS and soon may reach a settlement. He says the trouble began when the restaurant opened in 2011 and he was not personally in charge.

Norfolk Mayor Sue Fuchtman says she’s spoken to Fauss about the liens and plans to address the issue with the City Council in a subcommittee meeting on Monday.

Nebraska paper carrier helps woman trapped in pickup

good-deedsKEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — A 9-year-old newspaper carrier is being hailed as a hero for rescuing a Nebraska woman who was trapped in her pickup for more than an hour.

Skyler Wilson was on his route delivering the Kearney Hub newspaper on July 20 when he heard 69-year-old Rosy Drake crying for help from inside her garage.

Drake, who lives north of Kearney, became trapped because her truck’s door is broken and only opens from the outside.

Drake says when she tried to start the ruck, the battery was dead, which prevented her from opening the window, and the passenger-side door was wedged shut by a picnic table in the garage.

After hearing Drake’s cries, Skyler ran to the driver’s-side door and freed Drake.

Omaha couple hospitalized after dog attack in Martell

lancaster-county-sheriffMARTELL, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha couple is recovering after being attacked by a dog in eastern Nebraska.

Stephanie Lawyer and Andrew Powell went to the home of Mary Kumpost in Martell on Saturday morning to buy a puppy.

The Lancaster County sheriff’s office says Kumpost’s 5-year-old Dutch shepherd, Glock, somehow escaped its 6-foot-tall kennel and bit both Lawyer and Powell.

The report says the attack was unprovoked. Lawyer and Powell were hospitalized with multiple cuts and bite wounds to their left elbows, back and thighs.

The report says Lawyer and Powell’s injuries were not life-threatening, and the dog’s rabies vaccination was valid through May 2016.

The dog will be confined for 10 days prior to a veterinary exam.

Police: Boy had gun in shooting, but no bullet casings found

omaha-policeOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha police say a 12-year-old boy was carrying a handgun when he and two teenagers allegedly ambushed two men, but investigators did not recover any bullet casings from his weapon after the fatal shooting.

The boy had a .40-caliber handgun with an extended magazine during the attack. But homicide investigator Sherry King testified in court Friday that two other teens, ages 15 and 17, opened fire on June 29 and were responsible for the death of 31-year-old Jamymell Ray.

Ray was struck in the head and neck by bullets from 9-millimeter and .22-caliber handguns. The second victim, 30-year-old Charles Fisher, was struck in the shoulder by a 9-millimeter bullet and survived.

The Associated Press generally doesn’t name juveniles accused of crimes.

Annual SORC Race Brings $1 Million to Local Area



ARNOLD, Neb. (AP) — Organizers of a popular annual road race in central Nebraska say the event has brought in nearly $1 million to the area since getting its start in 2001.

The Sandhills Open Road Challenge has become so popular, participation maxes out every year at 140 entries. The first race in 2001 on a winding road from Arnold to Highway 2 brought in just 34 entries.

This year’s Sandhills Open Road Challenge race takes place on Aug. 8.

More than $900,000 in proceeds has been donated to community organizations and civic projects such as the Arnold Theater, Arnold Community Center and local fire department.

If everything goes as planned this year, organizer Joe Shown says the race will break the $1 million mark.