GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) – Two men have died in a collision on an Interstate 80 interchange in Grand Island. The Hall County sheriff’s office says 19-year-olds Tailey Taryon and Fred Tardey, of Grand Island, were killed Saturday afternoon when their vehicle collided with a semi. A third person in their vehicle has been hospitalized in critical condition. The sheriff’s office says Taryon’s vehicle was exiting I-80 and failed to stop at a stop sign, driving into the path of the semi driven by 36-year-old Michael Wilson, of Hastings. Wilson was not hurt.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – A Nebraska man ordered as a teen to spend life in prison will get a new sentence. Thirty-six-year-old Jeremy Herman was convicted of kidnapping for his role in the 1992 murder of Jeremy Drake. Herman was 17 when he and another teen kidnapped Drake. Herman’s accomplice, Christopher Masters, killed Drake. Herman pleaded guilty to kidnapping on the advice of his attorney, who didn’t know that the conviction carried a life sentence. A Douglas County district judge has vacated Herman’s conviction and will re-sentence him this week on a lesser charge. Herman sought a new sentence after 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said teens sentenced to life must have a meaningful opportunity to obtain release if they haven’t killed their victims.
Dozens of people on the Denver-bound bus were hurt in the wreck, including five who were hospitalized. Passengers Jimmy Strickland and Anthony Pavarotti say the driver may have been on her cell phone. But Nebraska State Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins says the initial investigation showed the cell phone was not in use when the accident happened.
The bus company prohibits personal calls, but drivers use cell phones to communicate with dispatchers and other drivers. A spokesman for the American Bus Association said there was no indication the driver was doing anything improper.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska’s top economic development official is resigning to join the state Chamber of Commerce. Gov. Dave Heineman said Thursday that Richard Baier would leave his post after Oct. 28. Baier has led the department since he was appointed by Heineman’s predecessor in 2003. Heineman praised Baier’s efforts to promote the state and improve the climate for businesses. Baier helped redesign the incentives Nebraska uses to attract companies and led several trade missions to help boost business. Baier will lead a new Chamber program to research business trends in the state and make recommendations about what should be done to strengthen Nebraska’s economy. Chamber President Barry Kennedy says Baier’s research will help determine what Nebraska needs to do to set itself apart from other states.
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) – Scotts Bluff County has asked a court to stop a company from mining sand and gravel near the North Platte River on the west side of Scottsbluff. The complaint was filed against Western Engineering, of Scottsbluff, and seeks a court order to halt the mining. The complaint says a county road has been damage. The county says the mining is a permit violation because a conditional use permit for the mining expired in 1993. The county also says mining is not authorized on the property where it is occurring. A phone listed for Western Engineering was not in service Friday morning.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – At least five staffers hit, pushed or choked developmentally disabled residents of the troubled Beatrice State Developmental Center, according to investigative reports. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services released the center’s 78-page internal report on the alleged abuses happening earlier in the year, with the names of accused staffers and at least seven center victims redacted. The report details incidents in which center residents were routinely slapped, punched, ridiculed and choked, sometimes into unconsciousness. Jodi Fenner, the director of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities, says the suspected abuse occurred at one of five homes on the Beatrice grounds. Fenner says among the 15 staffers currently suspended are a manager and nine other staffers suspected of knowing of, but not reporting the abuse.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Authorities say no evidence was turned up in a search at the home of the parents of a man convicted of killing an Omaha college student. Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning said Thursday there had been several tips about a new patio that had been poured in the home’s backyard about the time that 19-year-old Jessica O’Grady disappeared in 2006. Her body was never found. No evidence turned up after the patio at the Omaha home of Christopher Edwards’ parents was torn up and ground beneath and around it was searched. Edwards was convicted of second-degree murder and a weapons charge in 2007. Edwards was sentenced to 100 years in prison.
BROKEN BOW, Neb. (AP) – An Ohio company is planning to build a new grain elevator in central Nebraska near Broken Bow. This new 3.8-million-bushel grain elevator will be run by The Andersons Inc. The Maumee, Ohio, company expects the elevator to be ready for the 2012 harvest. The elevator will be built along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad’s main line crossing the state. The facility will be able to load grain into either trucks or trains. Elizabeth Babcock is president of the Custer County Economic Development Corporation. She says this will help the area’s economy and give farmers another option of where to sell their grain.
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) – A moose spotted in Scotts Bluffs County this summer may be on his way home. The moose was first seen south of Gering, but over the past few weeks has wandered north of Minatare and Bayard before coming back to Scotts Bluff County. The moose was seen on Wednesday in a corn field in west Scottsbluff. Game and Parks conservation officer Scott Brandt has been monitoring the animal’s travels. He says he hopes the moose is moving into the high country and heading back to Wyoming or Colorado. Brandt says young moose have typically been kicked out of their original habitat by their mother, and are now searching for an area they can call home. Brandt says some of them go the wrong way.
GIBBON, Neb. (AP) – Five people are being treated at a hospital after a Denver-bound bus rammed into an overturned semitrailer on Interstate 80 in south Nebraska early Thursday. Most passengers suffered minor injuries. The Nebraska State Patrol says 41 people were taken to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney after the accident around 2 a.m. Hospital spokeswoman Marsha Wilkerson says 30 people have been treated and released. Some refused treatment. Of the five admitted, one was in critical condition and one was in serious condition. The condition of the three other patients wasn’t immediately available. The other passengers spent about two hours at an American Red Cross shelter until the bus operator, Burlington Trailways, could get another bus there. They continued on their trip around 8:30 a.m.