Denver Campaign Would Allow Marijuana Use in Bars

marijuana-jointDENVER (AP) — Beer? Wine? Or weed?

A campaign is underway to ask Denver voters about allowing marijuana consumption in bars and other places that only allow people over 21.

Activists who campaigned for recreational pot legalization in Colorado have launched a petition drive to allow what they call “limited social marijuana consumption” at bars.

The activists need about 5,000 signatures to get the question on November ballots.

It would allow bars or clubs to allow marijuana use as long as patrons bring their own weed and comply with clean-air laws. That means the pot they consume would have to be edible, or if smoked, consumed on an outside patio the way cigarette smoking is regulated now.

Sponsors say the measure is needed because tourists have no legal place to consume pot.

Nebraska Man Gets Probation for Crash Death of Off-Duty Firefighter

gavel-moreOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A 31-year-old Fremont man has been given two years of probation for the traffic death of an off-duty Omaha firefighter.

Jonathan Mumm had pleaded no contest and was convicted of misdemeanor vehicular homicide. He was sentenced Thursday in a Douglas County courtroom in Omaha.

Investigators say Mumm’s pickup struck a motorcycle driven by 37-year-old Scott Petersen around 12:20 a.m. on May 30, 2014, in western Douglas County.

Mumm must serve one day in jail in 2016 and 2017, on the anniversary of the accident, perform 120 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine.

Repeat Nebraska Sex Offender Gets 5 Years for Child Sex Assault

Duane Sanders

Duane Sanders

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) — A 66-year-old Beatrice man who served prison time for sexually assaulting a child more than 10 years ago has been given five years in a new case.

Duane Sanders was sentenced Thursday in Gage County District Court in Beatrice. He’d been convicted of two counts of sexual assault of a child. A 9-year-old girl had reported that Sanders had touched her inappropriately on three occasions last year.

Prosecutors initially charged Sanders with three counts but dropped one in exchange for his guilty pleas.

Sanders was convicted in Gage County in 1993 of three felony counts of sexual assault of a child.

Students on Omaha Zoo Duty Learn What It’s Like to Work

Henry Doorly ZooOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Eight special education students have learned something about the workday world, thanks to their month on duty at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.

The students were part of an Omaha Public Schools program aimed at exposing students to job expectations and preparing them for future jobs.

Among the lessons: customer service, how to accept compliments from co-workers and what positive body language looks like.

The students weren’t paid, but they earned school credit while acquiring employment skills.

Lawsuits Challenge Railroad’s Authority to OK Oil Pipeline

Union-PacificOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. government began handing out land to railroads to encourage development more than 150 years ago, but questions remain about how much control those companies have over the land.

Union Pacific faces several lawsuits related to whether it had the authority to allow an oil pipeline to be built along its tracks in six states and who is entitled to the royalties that are worth more than $14 million a year.

University of Florida law professor Danaya Wright says sorting out whether Union Pacific controls the land might require a detailed review to determine whether the railroad bought the land or received it as part of a federal grant.

Union Pacific plans to defend itself against the lawsuits.

The states are Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Texas.

Yellowstone Bison Gore Woman, Injure Teen in Latest Run-Ins



YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Bison gored a woman and tossed a teenager into the air in Yellowstone National Park, the latest run-ins with the massive animals during tourist season in the popular landmark.

The National Park Service says a bison gored a 68-year-old woman Wednesday on a trail near Yellowstone Lake. She was taken to a hospital, but her condition wasn’t immediately known.

On June 23, a bison tossed a 19-year-old off-duty park concession employee who was off trail. She was treated and released from a hospital for minor injuries.

In other encounters, the animals have gored a 16-year-old girl and tossed an Australian tourist in the air. Both suffered serious injuries.

Yellowstone prohibits people from getting within 25 yards of bison or other large animals and within 100 yards of bears and wolves.

Federal Officials Open Investigation into Nebraska Explosion

OSHAWEST POINT, Neb. (AP) — Federal officials are opening an investigation into an explosion and fire at a northeast Nebraska petroleum distribution center that left seven people injured.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration says officials at its Omaha office will look into the Wednesday afternoon explosion at Sapp Bros. Petroleum in West Point. The agency says it will investigate whether there were safety violations at the facility and if it contributed to the incident.

OSHA says it hasn’t inspected the Sapp Bros. facility in West Point in the past five years, though it has issued citations for other company locations.

Two of the injured people were taken to the burn unit at an Omaha hospital.

2 Charged in Death of Baby Who Ingested Heroin, Cocaine

Jail-Bars-and-Cuffs_mediumKINGSBURY, N.Y. (AP) — Two people have been charged in the overdose death of a 13-month-old New York girl who ingested heroin and cocaine.

The baby’s mother, 27-year-old Rachel Ball, and 34-year-old Joshua Bennett were charged Thursday with second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault.

Authorities say Kayleigh Cassell died Feb. 22 in a home in the Warren County town of Kingsbury where Bennett was staying.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Sikirica says Kayleigh died of pneumonia and respiratory failure stemming from acute heroin and cocaine intoxication. He says the pneumonia is believed to have resulted from months of drug exposure.

Bennett pleaded not guilty at his morning arraignment. Ball is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Omaha Fines Company $100,000 for Improper Waste Disposal

CASH_MONEYOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The city of Omaha has fined a Kansas-based company $100,000 after complaints about delayed yard waste pickup.

City officials met with representatives from Deffenbaugh Industries Wednesday to address the complaints filed in May and June. The company and the city say the pickup problems stem from a shortage of workers with commercial driver’s licenses.

The waste and recycling firm has brought in 10 drivers from other cities, and plans to hire an additional 23 drivers.

Mayor Jean Stothert’s office says Deffenbaugh also has agreed to work with schools and job training programs to recruit new workers.

Deffenbaugh began picking up yard waste along with trash this week. It plans to keep taking yard waste to the county landfill through October.

Court Gives Nebraska Woman Another Shot at Discrimination Lawsuit

lawsuit-settlementOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has given a former eye clinic worker a new shot at convincing a jury that she was discriminated against based on a perceived disability.

Cindy Marshall’s lawsuit says EyeCare Specialties of Lincoln fired her in 2012 because it perceived her as disabled after learning she once completed substance abuse treatment and because of medical conditions that make her hands tremble and causes red marks on her skin.

A Lancaster County judge entered a judgment for the clinic, saying that Marshall failed to prove the clinic discriminated against her.

But the high court Thursday said Marshall presented evidence that the clinic reprimanded her for failing to bandage the marks on her arms and that a jury should be allowed to decide whether the clinic discriminated against her.