NU to Offer 150 Scholarships for Virtual Scholars Program

university-of-nebraskaLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The University of Nebraska is offering 150 scholarships to high schools for students who want to enroll in the Nebraska Virtual Scholars program.

University President Hank Bounds announced Monday that schools can apply for scholarships on behalf of their students for the 2015-16 school year. The scholarships will allow students to take courses from the University of Nebraska High School for free.

All Nebraska high schools are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 2, and recipients will be announced by Oct. 9.

The university launched the Nebraska Virtual Scholars program in 2011 to expand access to online courses for Nebraska high school students.

Lincoln Man Sentenced for Child Pornography

dept.-of-justiceUnited States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson announced that Scott N. O’Leary, 20, of Lincoln, Nebraska, was sentenced on July 17, 2015 in Lincoln, Nebraska, to 144 months in prison by Senior United States District Judge Richard G. Kopf, for receipt of child pornography.  Additionally, once released from federal prison, O’Leary will be on supervised release for 15 years and will be required to register as a sex offender.

In August of 2010, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported a CyberTip to the Nebraska State Patrol regarding child pornography that had been uploaded to a social media account on the internet.  In June of 2012, another CyberTip was reported to the Nebraska State Patrol regarding child pornography that had been uploaded to another social media account.  Both of those CyberTips were associated with accounts listed under a female’s name.

Nebraska State Patrol investigators were able to trace the IP address of the computer associated with those accounts, and through further investigation, determined that Scott N. O’Leary was the suspected offender.

State Patrol investigators determined that O’Leary had created the fictional accounts in question.  O’Leary created several accounts on various websites and social networks under the female pseudonym.  He had used the fictional persona to communicate with young boys ranging in age from 12 to 17.  O’Leary solicited and received naked images from approximately half the boys he had been in contact with.  He also used bribes and threats to obtain images.

In addition to soliciting naked images from young boys, O’Leary uploaded images of at least one victim to a website known for the exchange of child pornography.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This case was investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol with assistance from the Department of Homeland Security.  The case was jointly prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.

Nebraska State Senator Says He Won’t Seek Congressional Seat

Sen. John Murante

Sen. John Murante

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska state lawmaker who was considering a run for Congress says he plans to seek re-election instead.

Sen. John Murante of Gretna announced Monday that he won’t seek the seat held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Ashford of Omaha.

Ashford defeated Republican Lee Terry last year in the race to represent the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Omaha’s Douglas County and parts of Sarpy County.

Murante says he and his wife received an outpouring of support, but now is not the time for him to run.

Murante, a Republican, was elected to his first term in the Legislature in 2012, and is up for re-election next year. He serves as chairman of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

2 More Men Sentenced in Plot to Defraud Omaha-Based ConAgra

conagra_foodsOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Two Washington men who helped another man defraud Omaha-based ConAgra have been sentenced for wire fraud conspiracy.

Federal prosecutors say 43-year-old Charles Garcia, of Othello, Washington, was sentenced on Monday in U.S. District Court in Omaha to 12 months and a day in prison and told to make restitution of nearly $606,000. Prosecutors also say 48-year-old Jose Sanchez Jr., of Marysville, Washington, was given five months behind bars and told to make restitution of more than $53,000.

Prosecutors say Garcia and Sanchez, through their companies, helped Donald Wilson, of Bothell, Washington, in his fraudulent scheme. Wilson submitted to ConAgra at least 29 fake vendor invoices from the companies.

Prosecutors say Wilson wasn’t authorized to use ConAgra’s money for his expenses and expenses for a professional softball team he helped sponsor.

New Research Can Resume at Nebraska Livestock Facility

USDACLAY CENTER, Neb. (AP) — A federal livestock facility in Nebraska says it can resume new research after addressing all recommendations of an independent review of its animal care practices.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack halted research in March at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center near Clay Center until better animal welfare oversight procedures were put in place.

The center’s director says it has addressed the recommendations in a report by a U.S. Department of Agriculture panel.

The five-member panel toured the center in March and found no evidence of animal mistreatment. But it said the center’s animal welfare committee wasn’t fulfilling its responsibilities to review and oversee research.

The center conducts scientific studies to help the livestock industry increase the quantity and quality of meat production.

Lincoln Police: Man Stole TV, Bacon from Home, Passed Out on Lawn

lincoln-policeLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A man has been arrested on suspicion of burglary after police say he left a friend’s home after drinking and passed out on a stranger’s lawn in Lincoln.

A 29-year-old man was cited on suspicion of burglary and suspicion of possession of marijuana. Police say he was found Saturday morning passed out next to a 42-inch TV with a package of bacon hanging out of his pocket.

According to police, the suspect broke into a house and took the TV and bacon. Capt. Bob Farber said the suspect told an officer than he got the bacon from a grocery store, but wasn’t sure where the TV came from.

Farber said the suspect had been drinking at a friend’s house and was on his way home.

Helen Jean Raetz


raetz

Helen Jean Raetz, 87, of North Platte, NE, passed away Monday, June 15, 2015, at Linden Court in North Platte.

Helen was born February 9, 1928, to Nels and Stella Malvina Kummer Nelson at Columbus, NE where she grew up. Helen graduated from Columbus High School in 1945 then attended Doane College. She graduated from college in 1949 with a BA in Music and Education then taught school in McCook, NE and North Platte.

On June 3, 1951, Helen was united in marriage to Albert Henry Raetz at Columbus. They moved to California so Albert could attend optometry school in Los Angeles and Helen continued her teaching career in Santa Monica. In 1953 they settled in North Platte where Albert started his optometry practice and Helen operated the Raggedy Ann and Andy Preschool until 1987 when they retired to the country. They enjoyed 62 years of marriage before Albert passed away in 2013.

Helen was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and was active in various activities which included the Mission Sewing Group, P.E.O. Chapter AK, Monday Musical, Friday Antique Club and the Heartland Quilt Group. She also enjoyed playing bridge and was a member of the Flat Rock Duplicate Bridge Club and earned her Life Master Duplicate Bridge Certificate.

She is survived by her sons, Albert “Bradley” Raetz (life partner, Katherine Casey), of West Palm Beach, FL, and Stanley (Wendi) Raetz, of Lincoln, NE; two grandchildren, Sam and Rex Raetz, of Lincoln; sister-in-law, June Nelson, of Columbus; and other family.

Along with her husband, Albert, Helen was preceded in death by her parents, Nels and Stella Nelson; brother, Dale Nelson; and two sisters, Pamela Long and Donna Smith.

Cremation was chosen. Graveside Service will be 10 a.m. Friday, June 19, 2015, in Fort McPherson National Cemetery followed by a Memorial Service at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church with Pastor Polly Deppen-Williams officiating. The memorial book may be signed at odeanchapel.com or from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore which is in charge of arrangements. Memorials are suggested to the First Presbyterian Church.

Nebraska Football Fan Day Set for August 5th

(Photo Courtesy Nate Olsen/NU Media Relations)

(Photo Courtesy Nate Olsen/NU Media Relations)

Nebraska fans will have their first opportunity to meet Coach Mike Riley’s 2015 Husker football team at the annual Nebraska Football Fan Day presented by U.S. Cellular. This year Husker fans will have the opportunity to spend an evening at Memorial Stadium with Fan Day scheduled from 6-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Fan Day will help kick off Nebraska’s fall camp which will begin later that week. The event is the best opportunity to meet Nebraska players and coaches before the start of the 2015 season. All players that will be part of preseason camp will be in attendance and available to Husker fans.

More details on Fan Day will be available on Huskers.com as the event draws near.

Wind Energy Company: Proposed Lancaster County Noise Rules Too Restrictive

windmillLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A company says noise rules being drafted in Lancaster County are so restrictive they would discourage wind farms from being developed there.

The Oregon-based company, Volkswind, wants to develop a 50-turbine farm in Lancaster and Gage counties.

A Volkswind project engineer said Thursday the likelihood of violating those proposed rules would be so great that wind energy companies would choose to build in other counties.

A Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department official says the regulations are based on recent studies looking at the potential health impacts of the constant, percussive sound made by turbines, which can cause sleep disturbance.

 

Omaha Attorney Suspended from Practicing Law for 3 Months

gavel-and-scaleOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has suspended the law license of an Omaha attorney for three months over his mishandling of a client’s request.

The high court said Friday that David Steier’s suspension follows his work in 2012 for a client who paid him $800 to file applications for incorporation and tax-exempt status for a cheerleading studio and fitness center.

The Nebraska Counsel for Discipline says the client also gave Steier more than $800 in separate for fees to third parties that were never submitted. Officials say Steier knowingly made false and misleading statements to the client regarding the application.

The high court says Steier acknowledged violating his oath of office and attorney conduct rules.

Steier must also undergo 12 months of monitored probation following his suspension if he seeks reinstatement.