What happened in the Midlands on this day? Here’s a sampling from the World-Herald archives.
‘Compromise’ averts Courthouse heat threat
February 3, 1943: A threatened strike, which would have left the Douglas County Courthouse without heat, was settled when County Commissioner Edward Jelen reached a “compromise” with Tom Short, business agent for the AFL Operating Engineers’ union, Local 38. Jelen said it was verbally agreed that the three engineers who had demanded a $30 per month pay increase would be given a $21 hike. His action, Jelen added, would have to be formally approved at a board meeting.
1975: The mayor of Columbus, Neb., voiced disagreement with a bill before the Legislature that would strip mayors of first class cities of the power to grant pardons for traffic violations. “There are times when extenuating circumstances warrant a pardon or a warning, rather than merely slapping the violator with a ticket,” said Mayor Frederick W. Gerber Jr.
1984: The Legislature sent to Gov. Bob Kerrey a bill that would establish a felony penalty for persons convicted of certain types of sexual assault of anyone 14 years or younger. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Carol Pirsch of Omaha, defined the offense as the intentional touching of a youngster’s “sexual or intimate parts” or the clothing covering the “immediate area of the sexual or intimate parts.” The measure, Legislative Bill 79, which was passed 38-2, also outlined instances when evidence of an alleged victim’s past sexual behavior can be admitted as evidence during a trial.
1999: Douglas County Commissioner Mike Boyle was critical of the amount of money spent on a study to resolve space problems in the Douglas County Courthouse and the adjacent City-County Building. Boyle said he was uncomfortable with a consultant’s recommendation to build a new District Court facility and remodel the courthouse complex for $40.5 million to $63.3 million. Any decision to build a new District Court facility should remain with the county, Boyle said in comments during the weekly Douglas County Board meeting.