OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Billionaire Warren Buffett is celebrating his 81st birthday and fifth wedding anniversary. The two occasions both fall on Tuesday because Buffett married his longtime companion, Astrid Menks, on his 76th birthday. Buffett will likely spend the day at Berkshire Hathaway’s offices because the chairman and CEO rarely changes his routine. Buffett’s age makes Berkshire shareholders worry about who will lead the company when he’s gone, but Buffett says the company has a detailed succession plan in place. Buffett says he feels great and has no plans to retire, and he continues making deals. Just last week, Buffett announced a $5 billion investment in Bank of America. Berkshire will earn 6 percent interest on that investment and receive 700 million warrants to buy stock in the bank at $7.14 per share.
SIDNEY, Neb. (AP) – Only minimal damage is reported in Sidney after a storm dumped over 2 inches of rain in less than an hour. KNEB radio in Scottsbluff says Monday
afternoon’s downpour overwhelmed the storm water drainage system for a bit and some roads had to be barricaded, but no one was hurt. City Manager Gary Person says the east side of town received the most rain, but unlike earlier storms this summer, there was no hail. There were also reports of heavy rain on Monday in the Lodgepole area and north of Bayard.
CHADRON, Neb. (AP) – Authorities are investigating the death of a 4-month-old baby at a Chadron home. Police say the boy was found not breathing about 4 a.m. Saturday. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The child’s name has not been released. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday morning.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The State Department says a Canadian company’s plan to pipe oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast wouldn’t cause significant environmental problems during construction or operation. A new environmental study of the proposed $7 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline shows no new issues since a similar report was issued last year. The report issued Friday is the third on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry crude oil extracted from tar sands in western Canada to refineries in Texas. The pipeline would travel through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. The State Department report removes a major roadblock to construction of the pipeline, but does not grant final approval. The department has authority over the project because it crosses an international boundary.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Federal authorities say Union Pacific should pay $612,215 for retaliating against three employees who raised safety concerns, but the railroad disagrees with the finding. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday it determined the Omaha-based railroad violated the rights of two conductors based in Kansas City, Mo., and an engineer based in Tucson, Ariz. Two of the employees were fired and one was suspended five days. UP will appeal because spokesman Mark Davis says OSHA ignored some facts and details of the railroad’s employment contracts. OSHA says these latest violations seem to be part of a pattern at Union Pacific because two other instances of retaliation were found in 2010 and 2011. So the railroad has been ordered to train its managers and employees on the rights of whistleblowers.
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) – Fire officials say a grass fire that got out-of-control destroyed a barn and another building near Scottsbluff. The fire broke out Wednesday night on a farm. Firefighters from six departments were on the scene for over three hours and battled flames that were nearly 30 feet high. The fire burned about 75 acres of grass. Assistant Scottsbluff Rural Fire Chief Paul Reisig says the renter had done some burning earlier in the day and thought the fire was out, but the embers were fanned and caught the grass on fire.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska State Fair is returning to its rural roots as organizers prepare for a second year in Grand Island. Organizers say they are placing more emphasis now on farm animals, equipment and the rural lifestyle featured in traditional Midwestern state fairs. The fair will still feature concerts and rides when the gates open Friday in Grand Island. Vendors will sell corn dogs, funnel cakes and chocolate-covered bacon. But organizers say they want to attract more farm families from rural central and western Nebraska. The fair was staged at State Fair Park in Lincoln for more than a century, but was moved last year to make way for a University of Nebraska high-tech research park at the old fairgrounds. The fair runs through Labor Day.
YORK, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services says a women’s prison employee has been arrested on suspicion of having sex with a parolee. The agency says Michael Huston, a corrections corporal at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women, was arrested Thursday morning by the Nebraska State Patrol. A correctional services department news release says Huston has been suspended without pay. He was being held Thursday in the York County Jail. Huston’s case was not listed on the state’s online court system, and it was not known if he has an attorney. Huston, who has worked for the department since 2006, faces charges of sexual assault and sexual abuse of an inmate. The arrest follows an investigation into his relationship with a former inmate who was paroled in March.
FREMONT, Neb. (AP) – Fremont police have cited a 9-year-old boy, accusing him of breaking into a vehicle and stealing a video game. The Fremont Tribune reports that the crimes occurred Tuesday. Deputy Police Chief Jeff Elliott says the boy used a fence post to break a window on a vehicle in the parking lot at Big Red Keno. Elliott says the boy stole a video game inside the vehicle and damaged a door. The damage total was estimated at a little more than $1,000. The boy was cited for criminal mischief and theft. He was released to his parents.
KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) – Another cougar sighting has been reported in Kearney. According to the Kearney Hub, the Police Department says a woman reported that a cougar ran across her driveway as she was backing out of her garage in southeast Kearney on Wednesday. No confirmation has been reported. Another cougar sighting was reported Saturday by a man who said he saw a cougar near the clubhouse at Meadowlark Golf Course. The report also hasn’t been confirmed. There have been several reports in recent weeks of cougar sightings in nearby York and Hall counties. Cougars, which also are called mountain lions or pumas, have turned up as far east in Nebraska as Omaha.