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'He’s been my best friend for 8 years': Omahan who went blind fights to keep guide dog from suffering same fate

'He’s been my best friend for 8 years': Omahan who went blind fights to keep guide dog from suffering same fate

Ron Henry’s golden retriever, Kehotay, visits an animal hospital in La Vista at least once a week for treatment of a glaucoma-like illness. There is an ulcer on the cornea of the dog’s right eye that first appeared to be a readily curable condition common to the breed. “But the pressure began soaring to three times what it should be,” the veterinarian said. 

Gov. Ricketts signs bill allowing smoking in Nebraska's cigar bars

Gov. Pete Ricketts signed a bill Thursday that allows cigar bars to continue to operate as an exception to the statewide indoor smoking ban. Because the bill carried an emergency clause, the new law takes effect immediately.

Sen. Ernie Chambers shows his claws in effort to foil cougar hunt

Chambers told members of the Natural Resources Committee that they can kill his bill to outlaw cougar hunting but that if they do, he'll bring it back to life on the floor of the Legislature, possibly by amending it to bills they would like to get passed.

Forecast: Snow likely Saturday into Sunday

The chances for precipitation stick around through Tuesday in the Omaha area, forecasters said.

State Patrol: 3 family members dead, 5 people injured in crash near Cozad

A two-vehicle crash on Interstate 80 Wednesday night killed members of three generations of a Cozad family and sent five others to the hospital.

Sen. Ben Sasse offers plan if Obamacare subsidies are eliminated

The Nebraska senator would use the COBRA system as a template as Republicans brainstorm ways to step in if the Affordable Care Act is hobbled.

3 seriously injured in 61st and Ames crash

The injured people were taken to Creighton University Medical Center.

Nebraska firms argue pros, cons of FCC's net neutrality decision

Telecommunication and cable companies that serve Nebraska expressed disappointment at the Federal Communication Commission’s vote Thursday to regulate the Internet as a public utility. An Omaha startup, however, applauded the vote, saying it will make sure small players can’t have their Internet access restricted by bigger players.

Omaha's Race for the Cure will leave downtown, take runners to Aksarben Village, UNO arena

The breast cancer awareness event, long held downtown, has a new backdrop this year. The Oct. 4 race expo will mark the first public event at the UNO facility, under construction near 67th and Center Streets. 

Nebraska City mayor resigns

Jack Hobbie quit Thursday morning after 6 1/2 years in the post.

Neligh shows off new $5.1 million jail

The 30-bed site replaces Antelope County’s former inmate facility, which did not meet state standards. 

18-year-old charged in wreck near Palmer that left 1 dead

Christian McMaster of St. Libory, Nebraska, has been charged with motor vehicle homicide in the death of another driver after he allegedly ran a stop sign and collided with his pickup truck.

A TROUBLED LIFE

Run-ins with the law, suicidal episodes filled slain robbery suspect's final months

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer on Thursday laid out a timeline of events that began to unfold about 6:30 p.m. Monday. The chief said it did not appear that his officers did anything criminal but stopped short of calling the shooting justified. The shooting will be considered by a grand jury.

Backer touts Medicaid expansion bill as way to help Nebraska's prison reform efforts

Having health care would help freed inmates avoid reoffending, supporters say, and save the state millions of dollars.

Forecast: More of the same – cold, windy, chance of snow

The weather in the Omaha area doesn’t get any better tonight, when a low of 4-below zero is expected. 

TransCanada again blocked from using eminent domain along Keystone XL route

This new ruling affects property along the southern portion of the 275-mile pipeline route through Nebraska. Combined with a similar ruling from two weeks ago, the company can’t proceed with eminent domain cases until lawsuits filed by pipeline opponents are decided by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Teen whose 7-year-old sister died after crash is headed to juvenile court

The Sarpy County Attorney's Office has filed a juvenile petition against the sister of 7-year-old Maddie Hughes, who died in January from injuries she sustained in a car accident.

Teen taken into custody at Lewis Central

Bluffs police said the boy was taken into custody on suspicion of disorderly conduct and he was removed from the school after the disturbance.

Blue Cross says new contract offer to CHI Health hasn't led to negotiations

The recent offer comes almost six months since a contract dispute left CHI Health out of the Blue Cross network, meaning Blue Cross members had the choice of paying higher charges to see CHI providers or switching to non-CHI providers.

New robocall attack makes it clear: Ashford's support for Keystone XL pipeline not zealous enough for GOP

The new robocall from the National Republican Congressional Committee gets straight to the point: “I’m calling from the NRCC with an urgent message about Congressman Brad Ashford’s failure to stand up to President Obama on the Keystone pipeline.” It’s a message that might surprise Nebraskans who know of Ashford’s long-standing support for the Keystone XL project.

Even more photos (and a video) of the Omaha zoo's baby penguins

Three baby penguins are now on display at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. 

Big changes in Omaha bus routes rev up: Later hours, expanded weekend service

Metro says the "much easier to use" new routes, two years in the making, should boost ridership by 10 percent.

Family sues OPS after daughter allegedly assaulted by 3 boys on school playground in 2013

The lawsuit, filed in Douglas County District Court earlier this month, claims OPS and Belvedere Elementary staff failed to protect the girl from harm or properly supervise recess at the school. And the suit alleges that staff badly botched their response to the incident, waiting several hours to inform the girl’s parents and two days to report the alleged attack to the police.

Slain robbery suspect reportedly was shot in the back after telling police he had a gun

A person familiar with the probe of the incident says the suspect in a Family Dollar store robbery, Danny Elrod, 39, also refused to show his hands, despite police orders that he do so.

A year after dorm fire, UNO to ban smoking on campus

A year after a dorm fire, the University of Nebraska at Omaha has decided to ban smoking on campus.

Firefighters douse blaze at SW Omaha apartment complex

The blaze at the Grand Legacy Apartments southeast of 180th Street and West Center Road was called in about 9:45 a.m. Thursday.

Woman who died and came back to life last month gives birth to healthy baby girl in Omaha

Seven weeks before her due date, the young woman felt chest pain, dizziness and a rapid heart rate — and then collapsed on the bathroom floor.

Crash on I-480 leaves woman critically injured

The accident occurred about 1:15 p.m. on southbound I-480 between Martha and Leavenworth Streets; traffic was snarled for nearly two hours.

Senators reject bill to offer Medicaid-funded contraceptives

The bill, introduced by State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha, would have allowed Medicaid-funded contraceptives for women making up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

2 men hold up Bluffs coffee shop

They got away with a Scooter's cash drawer and its contents, police said.

Man likely to survive after being stabbed in chest

Police arrested a suspect Wednesday night after a man was stabbed in the chest in northeast Omaha.

Roncalli High School begins search for next president

Roncalli High School has launched a search for a new president to begin July 1.

Bellevue police say man stopped on kid's bike with stolen goods struck officer

Bellevue police arrested a man carrying a tote of allegedly stolen goods while peddling a child’s bike on a Bellevue street.

Police catch man testing out his new ax on power pole

Omaha police called to a homeless shelter Wednesday night encountered a man attempting to cut down a wooden utility pole with an ax.

The Omaha zoo's new baby penguins are so cute you're going to lose your mind

If you missed the cute little penguin chicks last year, here's another chance.

Youths not all ready for workforce, panel at United Way forum says

The panel agreed that many Nebraska high school students are not adequately prepared for the workforce — and, in some cases, they’re not ready for postsecondary education.

Private donations sought to help Omaha summer jobs program reach 500

The City of Omaha awarded $500,000 to the Step-Up Omaha program, which is run through the Empowerment Network. The group is seeking that much in private donations so it can reach 500 jobs.

Jury finds man accused in 2-year-old Nebraskan's death guilty

The jury deliberated about an hour and 15 minutes in the case against Dustin Chauncey. Chauncey had been charged with intentional child abuse resulting in death in the July 11, 2008, death of Juliette Geurts.

About 50 clergy in Nebraska pledge to perform same-sex marriages if ban overturned

The effort to organize clergy is led by Heartland Clergy for Inclusion, an interfaith group working for acceptance of the LGBT community.

Sioux City man, 29, pleads not guilty in shooting death

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City man has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge in a Sloan man’s shooting death.

Nebraska couple involved in gay marriage suit 'hoping for the best, preparing for the worst'

Susan and Sally Waters are one of seven couples who are plaintiffs in Waters v. Heineman, a legal challenge to Nebraska’s same-sex marriage ban.

Iowa Senate panel approves different broadband bill

A Senate panel has abandoned Gov. Terry Branstad's broadband bill and instead approved different legislation aimed at expanding high-speed Internet in Iowa.

State of the City: Mayor Jean Stothert keeps her focus on fighting crime

In her annual speech, Stothert highlighted such successes as neighborhood redevelopment projects, jobs programs and a reduction in homicides in 2014. But her focus was on her top priority: crime.

Iowa Senate panel OKs bill on hunting apprenticeship

A Senate panel has approved a bill that would make it easier for adults in Iowa to try out hunting before getting a hunting license.

Driver hurt after pickup veers off road near Underwood

Driver hurt when pickup veers off the road near Underwood, Iowa.

Finance chief to step in after Nebraska City mayor resigns

Nebraska City Mayor Jack Hobbie cited dysfunction in the city government as a factor when he announced his resignation Thursday morning, effective immediately.

Insurance data breach might have affected 173,000

The state's insurance commissioner says nearly 173,000 Iowans may have been affected by a data breach at health insurer Anthem Inc.

Crafting a better math lesson for students: OPS coaches, teachers learn from one another

OPS is using Math Studio, a model classroom of sorts that provides professional development for teachers, coaches and administrators. It’s a small piece of a $5.5 million grant to bolster math instruction in the Omaha Public Schools from the Sherwood and Lozier Foundations. 

Iowa mom to pay restitution after faking 5-year-old daughter's cancer diagnosis

Leatha Slauson, 30, who was sentenced to probation in the case, gave her 5-year-old daughter, Riley, cannabis oil and cancer treatment medication, but the girl did not have cancer.

Cortland woman accused of stealing $45,000

A 56-year-old southeast Nebraska woman has been accused of stealing nearly $45,000 from her boyfriend’s mother.

3 injured in Fort Dodge house fire remain at hospital

Three people remained in the hospital after a house fire Sunday that killed a woman and two children in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Michigan man dies after truck runs off road in Alda

ALDA, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a Michigan man died after the big rig he was driving ran across a county road and struck several objects as it left Interstate 80 in south-central Nebraska. The truck then caught fire.

Iowa House panel OKs bill that would legalize more fireworks

A House panel has approved a bill that would legalize the sale of more fireworks in Iowa, a move that echoes action in the Senate.

2 confirmed for new terms on Nebraska college system board

The board chairwoman, Michelle Suarez of Lincoln, and Jess Zeiss of Omaha have been given new six-year terms. Suarez and Zeiss were confirmed Thursday.

USDA grants nearly $1.5 million to Iowa for flood recovery

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to grant nearly $1.5 million in disaster funding to Iowa to aid with flood recovery projects.

Sioux City mother who left infant alone in tub gets 3 years of probation

Maricela Vasquez, 21, pleaded guilty earlier this month in Woodbury County District Court to child endangerment resulting in bodily injury and possession of a controlled substance.

New dorm to be University of Iowa campus’s largest

The university plans to open the 303,000-square-foot dorm — that will house more than 1,000 students and be 12 stories tall — in two years at the site of the old Iowa City water plant, overlooking the Iowa River.

University of Iowa names 21 to presidential search panel

The regents on Wednesday said those selected for the University of Iowa Presidential Search and Screen Committee have been charged with seeking out candidates to serve as U of I’s next president. Current President Sally Mason in January announced her plans to retire July 31.

Prosecutors dismiss case against Sioux City stabbing suspect

The case against a Sioux City man charged in a stabbing earlier this month has been dismissed.

Week in pictures: State wrestling, bald eagle rebound, 80 years of marriage

Lincoln, Lyons organizations awarded $381,726 in federal grants for farming

Community Crops of Lincoln and the Lyons-based Center for Rural Affairs were awarded the money to combine their farmer training programs.

Iowa lawmakers try to find compromise on education funding

At odds over education funding, Iowa lawmakers have established a negotiating committee to attempt to reach compromise.

Council Bluffs man out $2,000 after Craigslist car-buying scam

A man negotiated the purchase of a 2007 Honda Accord off a Craigslist ad, agreeing to pay $2,000, according to the Council Bluffs Police Department. The seller told the man he was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base.

Rep. Brad Ashford introduces bill to withhold lawmakers' pay if Homeland Security funding lapses

Funding for the Homeland Security Department expires Friday at midnight. The department will go into shutdown mode if Congress fails to act by then. Thousands of nonessential workers will be furloughed, and essential employees will be expected to stay on the job without pay.

Plans in place to rebuild bank damaged in tornadoes

Midwest Bank CEO Doug Johnson announced ground will soon be broken to rebuild the bank damaged by tornadoes that devastated the town of Pilger, Nebraska, in June. 

Lucky 7s: Nebraskan wins $7,777 playing Spectacular 7

When Bryan Kilthau came running out of Little Red Liquor in Gering, his wife thought the place had been robbed. "He came out screaming and jumped in the truck," Pam Kilthau said.

From the Archives: Brandeis parking garage construction in 1961

Northbound traffic on 17th Street between Farnam and Douglas Streets flowed freely under the construction of the new Brandeis parking garage on Jan. 4, 1961. 

Timeline of events in fatal officer-involved shooting

A timeline of events provided by the Omaha Police Department in the fatal shooting of Danny Elrod on Feb. 23, 2015. 

Nebraska cities, school boards fight bills requiring disclosure of votes on leadership jobs

State senators sharply questioned both groups Wednesday as the lobbyists argued against making public the votes for school board president, committee chairmen and other internal leadership roles.

Blight fix or redevelopment tool that's ‘run amok’? TIF has strayed from its intent, legislators say

Two state senators say Nebraskans would be paying millions less in local property taxes if the state tightened up the use of tax-increment financing, or TIF, by cities. But proposals by the two prompted opposition from developers and city officials, who said changes in TIF might halt its use, stopping dozens of worthy projects.

Nebraska considered big winner in river dispute with Kansas — despite Supreme Court's backing of $5.5M penalty

Nebraska water authorities — while acknowledging that the state will still write a hefty check to Kansas — said Nebraska was the victor because Kansas will receive only a fraction of the $80 million it had originally sought. “Today is a good day for Nebraska,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said.

Man arrested after high-speed pursuit through oncoming traffic

The chase involved a 42-year-old Council Bluffs man — who is accused of driving a stolen delivery truck. Authorities said the incident began about 8:45 a.m.

Omaha driver cited with motor vehicle homicide in death of woman whose legs were severed in crash

Lawanda Cook faces up to a year in prison if convicted, the Douglas County Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Executive director named for digital library coming on old Borders bookstore site at 72nd, Dodge

Heritage Services has chosen Rebecca Stavick, a local leader in digital technology access, to lead the digital library that the nonprofit is creating in Omaha.

1st place is sweet reward for woman eyeing retirement after 30 years of cake decorating

Sharon Sykes, who works as a cake decorator at the Lincoln Hy-Vee store at 27th and Superior Streets, took home the first-place and decorators’ choice awards Tuesday at the regional Hy-Vee cake decorating contest.

Police officer reports mountain lion near Horsemen's Park

The big cat was spotted Tuesday around 6 p.m. near the 63rd and Q Streets area.

'I don’t care, go ahead and shoot me': Police say slain robbery suspect was unarmed, uncooperative

Danny Elrod, 39, was shot by one police officer Monday night and later died at the Nebraska Medical Center. His wife, Amanda, says that her husband was "a good daddy" to their son and that she’s contacted a lawyer.

Rain-snow mix hits Midlands; little accumulation recorded

A clipper system, a small low-pressure area out of Canada, will sweep into the Omaha metro area today, bringing a rain-snow mix.

Obama's veto isn’t the only hurdle for Keystone XL pipeline backers

Court challenges are part of the mix as Republican lawmakers vow to keep pressuring the president to approve the pipeline.

Electoral vote resolution creates odd duo: Sen. Chambers teams up with freshman GOP lawmaker Ebke

A freshman state senator and the state’s longest-serving lawmaker Tuesday co-sponsor a resolution that calls on all states to adopt Nebraska’s system of splitting electoral votes in presidential elections.

Man, 22, arrested in connection with Omaha stabbing

Omaha police said Russell Smithson was booked on suspicion of felony assault and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

‘Ultimate teacher,’ traveler Patti Glasrud kept pace even after cancer diagnosis

Glasrud loved her travel adventures so much that she persuaded doctors to give her time off from chemotherapy and radiation last December so she could snorkel in the Caribbean with her family.

Omahan who was shot by Council Bluffs police heads to trial

Jesse Wilkinson, after a court appearance Wednesday before Judge Craig McDermott, was ordered to stand trial in District Court on a charge of methamphetamine possession in Douglas County. Other charges are expected to follow.

Woman severely injured in Pilger tornadoes regains custody of daughter

Kandi Murphree's mother, Kay Labenz, was awarded temporary guardianship of Robin Dixon last June after Murphree's injuries required she be put into a short-term, medically induced coma.

Mom calls cops after learning ugly truth: Daughter stole her beauty store coupons

There comes a time when every mother has to put her foot down with a teenager, and for an Omaha mom that point came when she found her daughter pilfering her beauty products reward points.

Soon, Iowans may be headed to Omaha for cheaper gas

Iowa's approval of a 10-cent gas tax increase will in many cases push the state's prices above Nebraska's. 

MAPA wants public input on Offutt joint land use study

A second public workshop on a joint land use study around Offutt Air Force Base is set for March 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bellevue Volunteer Firefighters Hall, 2108 Franklin St.

FBI offers reward of up to $3 million for tips on cybercriminal

Evgeniy Bogachev, who is believed to be hiding out in Russia, has not been found since he was charged in Omaha and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with multiple violations for being an alleged administrator of software that infected more than 1 million computers and stole more than $100 million.

Stretch of Bedford Avenue to close for 4 weeks

The westbound curb lane is closed at Ames Avenue and Florence Boulevard.

Metro area foundations teaming up for 24 hours of fundraising during Omaha Gives

The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation and the Omaha Community Foundation are teaming up during a regional fundraiser for local charities on May 20.

Grand Island man charged with getting child to send nude photos

Kenneth P. Miller is charged with visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct and enticement by an electronic communication device.

1 killed in I-80 semi crash near Grand Island

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release that the accident occurred about 6 p.m. on Alda Road, south of I-80.

Kearney man gets jail term, is forbidden from socializing with any child

Justin L. Thompson, 21, was sentenced last week in Buffalo County District Court to four years’ probation and 90 days in jail for attempted felony first-degree sexual assault of a girl at least 12 years old but younger than 16. The prohibition on socializing alone with anyone younger than 18 includes social media.

Too revealing for school? Girls love comfy feel of leggings, but for some, they stretch good taste too far

Worn under a dress or a long sweater, school officials say leggings are fine. But when older girls start swapping leggings for pants and wearing them with regular-length shirts, that’s when it starts to get iffy, principals say. Sometimes, leggings can be tighter and more transparent than girls realize, and they need to cover their behinds.

Nancy's Almanac, Feb. 26, 2015: Good news for start of flood season

National Weather Service offices around the region say there’s a lower than normal threat for most types of flooding in the weeks ahead.

Lincoln man gets 25 to 35 years for rape at gunpoint

Emmanuel Cortez Williams, 28, of Lincoln was sentenced to 25 to 35 years in prison for raping and robbing a woman at gunpoint.

Woman’s weakness might have been hand sanitizer

Police in West Des Moines say a mother was drunk on hand sanitizer and kicked her child.

Cozad man, 38, gets 35-45 years in prison for sexually assaulting children

Lael Arpan was sentenced Monday in Dawson County District Court. He’d pleaded guilty to two counts of sexually assaulting a child. A third count was dropped in exchange for Arpan’s pleas.

Iowa Senate panel OKs bill on higher speed limit for highways

A Senate panel has approved a bill that could increase the speed limit on some Iowa highways to 75 mph.

Pilger committee offering grants of up to $10,000 to those who rebuild

The Pilger Community Development Committee — which is spearheading efforts to rebuild the community after last June’s tornado — is offering a financial incentive to those building homes in town.

Vinton police identify teen shot in head with rifle

Police say Emma Redlinger, 14, of Vinton, Iowa, was hospitalized Tuesday after being shot in the head by another teen handling a rifle.

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