Family of Missing Nebraska Man Tries to Remain Optimistic

badlands-national-parkNORFOLK, Neb. (AP) — The family and friends of a Nebraska man who has been missing since July in Badlands National Park in southwestern South Dakota hope he will be found.

39-year-old Joshua Jacobsen’s loved ones are trying to remain optimistic, but it is unlikely he will be found alive.

Jacobsen is believed to have entered the park on July 12, and his vehicle was found in campground, on July 17. Authorities called off the search for him in early August.

Christine Jacobsen-Bucy says it’s hard to remain positive about her son’s disappearance.

Jacobsen had moved to Laurel, Nebraska, about a month before his disappearance to take a chef’s job at a new restaurant there.

Owner of Omaha Customer That Sold Bad Travel Vouchers Sues Ex-Employees

lawsuit-settlementOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The owner of an Omaha event-planning company accused of selling thousands of worthless airline vouchers has filed a civil lawsuit against former employees, including those that prosecutors say she bilked.

Patricia Urbanovsky’s lawsuit alleges that four employees either embezzled company funds, misled clients or reported higher sales in order to earn larger commissions. The lawsuit was filed Friday afternoon in Douglas County District Court.

Urbanovsky is charged with three felony counts of theft, accused of bilking three former employees out of more than $141,000.

Urbanovsky’s attorney, Steve Lefler, says the lawsuit will allow him to question the former employees and get to the bottom of what he believes was a conspiracy by them to dupe Urbanovsky.

Grand Island Officials Mull More Room for Adult Ventures

adults-onlyGRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Hall County officials are mulling a proposal that would dramatically increase the amount of land zoned for adult entertainment businesses.

The plan would open zoning for strip clubs, cabarets, pornographic book and video stores and other X-rated ventures from the current 300 acres to 8,650 acres.

The proposed change comes amid a pending federal lawsuit against the county by Lincoln businessman Shane Harrington. Harrington, who wants to open a strip club in Hall County, says in the lawsuit that Hall County zoning is too restrictive in the amount of space set aside for adult entertainment.

The proposal will be heard Oct. 7 at a Hall County Regional Planning Commission public hearing.

Omaha Attorney’s License Suspended for 60 Days

gavel-moreOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has suspended an Omaha attorney’s law license for 60 days after finding that he failed to communicate with a client and failed to perform legal work for which he had been paid.

The Nebraska Counsel for Discipline says a man paid Bradley Boyum $1,700 in 2013 for estate planning, but never received the plan and did not receive any response to repeated messages left for Boyum. Boyum later refunded the man his $1,700.

On Friday, the state’s high court said Boyum can apply for reinstatement to the bar after 60 days, but must first complete six hours of legal education in the area of professional responsibility.

The high court said Boyum’s reinstatement also would be conditioned upon his being on probation for two years.

 

Man Gets Probation So He Can Pay Restitution to Nebraskan

judgeshipYORK, Neb. (AP) — A 47-year-old man has been given probation so he’ll have a chance to pay back a Nebraska farmer he was accused of defrauding.

George Nelson had pleaded no contest and was convicted of attempted theft in a building scheme. Nelson was sentenced Monday by Judge James Stecker, who ordered Nelson to pay $17,000. County attorney Candace Dick told Stecker that she recommended probation “because the victim wants to be paid back.” She noted that Nelson owes $60,000 restitution in another state.

Nelson’s attorney told the judge that Nelson had a job waiting for him in Tennessee.

Dick has dropped a theft charge filed against Nelson’s wife, Karla. Dick told The Associated Press Friday that she wasn’t sure she had enough evidence for a conviction.

Omaha Man Convicted of Murder in 2014 Death of Ex-Girlfriend

Anthony Burries

Anthony Burries

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the beating death of his ex-girlfriend.

A Douglas County jury on Friday found 43-year-old Anthony Burries guilty in the May 2014 death of 38-year-old Tina Hoult. Her body was found in her apartment.

Burries is expected to be sentenced later this year to life in prison.

Prosecutors say Burries beat Hoult then threw a murder weapon off of a bridge. He is accused of trying to destroy other evidence and fleeing to Missouri. He was later arrested.

2 Killed in Head-On Crash in Northeast Nebraska

fatal-crashWYNOT, Neb. (AP) — Officials in northeast Nebraska say two people have been killed in a head-on crash on state Highway 12 near Wynot.

The Cedar County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that deputies were called just after 3 p.m. Friday to the crash site three miles west of the intersection of Highway 12 and Highway 57.

Investigators say a car driven by 22-year-old Mollie Schieffer, of Fordyce, was eastbound when it crossed the center line and collided head-on with a pickup driven by 63-year-old Bradley Schumacher, of Crofton.

Bother Schieffer and Schumacher were pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

Omaha Man Pleads No Contest in January Shooting Death

Ary Soto

Ary Soto

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha man has pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and a weapons count in the Jan. 22 shooting death of a man in a south Omaha parking lot.

20-year-old Ary Soto entered the pleas Friday in Douglas County District Court in a deal with prosecutors, who reduced his charge from first-degree murder. Soto faces 25 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced in October for the death of Roberto Gonzalez.

Police say Soto lured Gonzalez to the parking lot by claiming in a Facebook posting to be a woman who wanted to sell $30 worth of marijuana.

Prosecutors say Soto believed Gonzalez had shot at Soto’s mother’s house the night before.

Three other co-defendants are awaiting trial in the case.

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Nebraska Man Convicted of Killing Friend Granted Motion Hearing

Dallas Huston

Dallas Huston

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has ordered an evidentiary hearing held for a man serving 50 years to life in prison for killing his friend in 2009 and who argues that he should be released from prison because his trial lawyer was ineffective.

Dallas Huston was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of 22-year-old Ryan Johnson. An autopsy showed Johnson died of asphyxiation.

Huston was initially charged with assisting a suicide, but police later determined Johnson had tried to free himself from plastic wrapped around his head, and that Huston then suffocated Johnson with a pillow.

On Friday, the state’s high court ruled the trial judge should not have dismissed Huston’s request for post-conviction relief — typically sought after all appeals have been exhausted — without holding a hearing.

Lincoln Man Accused of Kidnapping, Raping 8-Year-Old Girl

Cody Riddle

Cody Riddle

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Lincoln man described by his father as troubled is accused of kidnapping a sleeping 8-year-old girl from her home and raping her.

Police arrested 20-year-old Cody Riddle early Friday. Police spokeswoman Katie Flood says investigators suspect Riddle went into an open garage late Wednesday to steal something and then went into the house and saw the girl. She told officers she woke up inside another garage with her hands bound and her mouth taped over. She says the man raped her and then freed her after telling her he’d kill her and her family if she talked.

She got home around 4 a.m. Thursday and told her parents.

Riddle’s father, Andy Riddle, told reporters that his son has mental health issues and was a state ward for much of his life.

It’s unclear whether Cody Riddle has a lawyer who could be contacted to comment on his behalf. Online court records don’t yet list the case.