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Omaha's had a nuclear reactor since 1959 — but not for much longer

Omaha's had a nuclear reactor since 1959 — but not for much longer

A nuclear reactor operated by the VA Medical Center in Omaha from 1959 to 2001 is believed to be the only one of its kind in the country inside a hospital. Either this year or next, all its pieces will be gone for good.

With room to grow in new digs, Omaha pantry aims to add life-skills training

Remodeling work is accelerating on Heartland Hope Mission's new building, at 21st and U Streets. The move, which the agency hopes will come in April, will expand the pantry's space from its current 10,000 square feet to some 30,000.

Kelly: New honor for Omaha attorney who once met President Truman — St. Cecilia alumnus award

At Friday’s conclusion of Catholic Schools Week, St. Cecilia Elementary named Frank Matthews, class of 1935, its first recipient of the Bernadette “Bonnie” Pryor Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Plan for hotel on UNMC campus paves the way for a simpler Farnam Street design

A developer and the City of Omaha would demolish a former bank and remove the S-curve at 42nd Street. 

Stretch of highway in Florida honors Nebraska-born Marine who died in Afghanistan

During his eight-year Marine Corps career, Staff Sgt. Michael Bock earned multiple Combat Action Ribbons, the Humanitarian Service Medal for aiding victims of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Purple Heart.

Omaha murder suspect captured in Texas, awaiting extradition

Ary Soto, who was sought on a warrant for first-degree murder in relation to the Jan. 22 slaying of Roberto Gonzalez, was captured Saturday by the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force in San Antonio, Texas.

Updated forecast: Slick streets make travel hazardous

The worst of the storm is headed to our east, however, where areas along the I-80 corridor toward Des Moines could see 6-8 inches of snow, the National Weather Service said.


Kelly: With symphony tribute, Omaha repays love for famed composer Marvin Hamlisch

Marvin Hamlisch once quipped at the end of an Omaha concert that he and his wife loved the city so much, “We’re looking for a condo tomorrow.”

New Nebraska corrections director Frakes getting big salary bump over past chief

Scott Frakes, a former deputy prison director in Washington state, will be paid $180,000 a year, a 51 percent increase over the salary of departing Nebraska prison chief Mike Kenney.

17-year-old Millard West student dead after car crash

Tyler Hanson was killed Friday just after 9 p.m. when he lost control of his car near 180th and Cornhusker Road. 

Photos: Omahans debut largest war memorial yet in California

Omahans Bill and Evonne Williams unveiled their "Remembering Our Fallen" memorial wall during a ceremony Saturday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library in Simi Valley, California.

‘She snapped, and we don’t really know why, ’ family says of woman shot by police

Stress from multiple illnesses, pain and alcohol may have caused an Omaha woman to reach her “breaking point” before she was shot by police on Tuesday, her aunt said Saturday.

Iowa official details why CoOportunity Health unraveled

CoOportunity Health, a nonprofit health insurance cooperative formed in 2013, was counting on $156 million in federal funds to pay the ever-growing claims from its customers, but that money didn’t make it to Des Moines in time. As a result, CoOportunity is insolvent.

Woman, 20, arrested in slaying of man in Omaha park

Janessa M. Arias was booked early Saturday on suspicion of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Ray Patterson, 46.

Man suspected of printing fake money eludes authorities but eventually is found in shed, arrested

A 30-year-old man who law enforcement authorities believe had been printing counterfeit money twice bolted Friday from the Millard-area house he shares with his mother.

44-year-old turns himself in hours after fatal hit-and-run accident

Mark Fleming turned himself in at Central Police Headquarters about 6 p.m. Friday, Omaha Police Sgt. Douglas Klein said. He was arrested on suspicion of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident causing injury or death.

For Creighton student investors, 'using real dollars makes a huge difference'

For the past four years, students in Creighton’s master’s of security analysis and portfolio management program have each year invested $50,000 of real money donated by investment firm D.A. Davidson & Co.

Man shot while seated in car outside home near 24th, Pierce Streets

Officer Kevin Wiese, an Omaha Police spokesman, said Calvin Clayton was shot about 7:30 p.m. near 24th and Pierce Streets. He is expected to survive.

Fired-up crowd of about 250 questions possible closing of Clarinda Mental Health Institute

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed ending funding for both the Clarinda institute and a similar facility in Mount Pleasant, in eastern Iowa, effectively shutting them down on July 1.

NU, StratCom celebrate 1 year of shaping leaders

The University of Nebraska and the U.S. Strategic Command will kick off their second year of partnership in training StratCom’s civilian leaders with a ceremony today at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Mammel Hall.

Polk County, Iowa, jury finds Nebraska film producer guilty in fraud case

Dennis Brouse, 64, of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, made and starred in the television series “Saddle Up with Dennis Brouse.” He was accused of fraudulently claiming tax credits through Iowa’s film tax-credit program. 

Snow closings, Feb. 1

> No Sunday school at Beth El Synagogue.

OSHA investigates tower collapse that injured 2

Initial reports indicate that the Viaero Wireless employees were struck by part of an antenna under construction during high winds, according to OSHA. Both employees, who were not identified, suffered broken bones and were hospitalized.

Dubuque man gets 50 years in Wisconsin cabdriver’s slaying

Tommy L. Johnson Jr., 26, was sentenced Thursday in Lancaster, Wisconsin, on charges of kidnapping, armed robbery and first-degree reckless homicide.

Iowa man, 31, dies after snowmobile crash in Michigan

Police say Brandon Laubenthal, 31, of Bancroft went off the trail and struck a tree. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Holocaust survivor, an Omahan, recalls terrors of Nazi Germany

"That is what freedom means to me: not to have to be afraid," Bea Karp told a group of Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates students from Wilson Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High School during an assembly Thursday.

This Nebraska man has restored 27 John Deere antique tractors

Sometimes Duaine Filsinger lucks into antique John Deere tractors to restore through a friend. That has been the case several times.

Bluffs math teacher accused of inappropriate relationship with student resigns

In addition to Jeffrey Daugherty, 29, a second Thomas Jefferson High School teacher who allegedly knew of the relationship will also resign.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance to move 175 jobs from Des Moines to Ohio

Company spokesman Eric Hardgrove said the company’s home mortgage operations will be relocated to headquarters in Columbus by mid-2016.

Trial date set for Bluffs softball coach accused of inappropriate relationship with 14-year-old

John Osborn of Council Bluffs has been charged with four counts of third-degree sex abuse upon a minor relating to an incident in July 2014. He has pleaded not guilty; his bench trial is set to begin on Feb. 5.

Chadron State softball player found dead in campus dorm

The Chadron Police Department was called to High Rise, a residence hall on the campus of CSC, at 2:30 a.m. Fatima Larios, 19, was pronounced dead.

Man hit, killed in Lincoln while crossing street

Lincoln police have not released any other information on the accident and have not yet revealed the name of the man killed.

Southeast Nebraska pond to have fish eliminated, restocked

Nebraska Game and Parks officials will elimination the fish population in Independence Landing pond in Seward next week as part of a renovation project.

Ex-Sioux City, Iowa, coach pleads not guilty to sex with student

Erick Deleon, of Sioux City, entered the plea Friday in Woodbury County District Court. He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation by a school employee. His trial has been set for May 12.

Iowa school bullying bill could use improvements, groups say

The changes are a good first step, but more resources should be allocated to training, said Nate Monson, executive director of Iowa Safe Schools.

Driver is killed when vehicle rolls in Sarpy County

The wreck occurred about 9:30 p.m. Friday on 180th Street, between Cornhusker and Giles Roads, the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office said. 

After-school program at Holy Name lets kids fiddle, tinker, create ‘whatever they want’

The workshop echoes the “maker movement” and the corresponding spaces — places outfitted with communal equipment and supplies for creating — that have adults across the country tinkering, building and making. 

Andrea Kruger's mom wakes up 4 hours before family planned to take her off life support

After 12 days in a coma, Teri Roberts awoke to face a devastating question: Did she want to live without her hands and feet?

Woman who was shot by Omaha police officers dies

As a result of Tiffany D. Terry’s death after the Tuesday afternoon shooting, a grand jury will evaluate the officer’s actions, a step required by state law. 

Grace: Creighton pays tribute to patron saint of outcasts who cared for lepers — and celebrates ties to Hawaii

When asked to care for people no one would touch in Hawaii, a 19th-century nun from upstate New York had no reservations about caring for lepers. “It would be my greatest delight,” said Marianne Cope. And when she was asked to move from the hospital to a remote leper colony — which would likely mean never going home — the nun answered: “Cheerfully.” Over a century later, Cope was canonized a saint. And recently, people gathered at Creighton University to remember her.

'I'm sorry,' Omaha man says after pleading no contest to second-degree murder in 5-year-old girl's slaying

Vincent Hicks had originally been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Payton Benson, 5, who was hit by a stray bullet while eating breakfast at home.

OPPD board puts off naming new leader after threat of OWH lawsuit

The OPPD board had planned to promote Tim Burke, currently OPPD's executive vice president of customer service and public affairs, to CEO.

Longtime educator Les Sladek, 'a treasure to Westside,' dies at 81

Les Sladek never lost his love of educating even though he retired from Westside Community Schools in 1996.


Learning Community unveils ‘a game-changer’ for early childhood education

Six Omaha-area school districts will serve as test beds next year for a new concept in early childhood education that school superintendents hail as rare, innovative and the best hope for lifting kids out of poverty. Details of the plan were released today. 

UCLA professor in town for health conference urges more proactive global efforts

Dr. Tim Brewer, a professor of medicine and administrator at UCLA, is speaking Saturday at Global Health Conference Midwest at Creighton University’s Harper Center. The conference, which is free and open to the public, provides a chance for professionals, faculty and students to learn about topics in global health.

Coming Sunday: There was a secret nuclear reactor in the middle of Omaha?

Staff writer Steve Liewer previews a Sunday World-Herald story about a nuclear reactor in Omaha.

Second case of measles confirmed in Blair

The source of the exposure remains under investigation.

10 Minutes With Mayor

Stothert warns shooters, 'We will put you in jail'

Police officers are working overtime to patrol in north Omaha in light of an active month of shootings, Mayor Jean Stothert said on The World-Herald’s 10 Minutes With the Mayor.

Omahan found guilty of 1st-degree murder in man's slaying at party

LaRon M. Jones, 24, also was convicted of weapon use in the March 7, 2014, slaying of Brandon Samuels, 21, at an early-morning party at 24th and Ida Streets.

Deputies make drug stops; seize pot, arrest 7

The seven people were arrested and booked on suspicion of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and failure to affix a tax stamp.

'Beatrice Six' defendant testifies in favor of bill broadening Nebraska's DNA-testing law

The bill introduced by Lincoln Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks would allow convicted people to seek testing on evidence not previously tested for DNA, regardless of when the conviction occurred. It also would allow them to ask for retesting if they could show that the DNA technology had significantly improved.

At Nebraska Capitol, dozens call on state lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana

About 60 people at the State Capitol on Friday urged state lawmakers to legalize an alternative they believe will help people with chronic medical issues — marijuana.

Bellevue school district proposes cuts to deal with projected $4.5M shortfall

Several items on the proposed list already have drawn opposition. The district superintendent will present the full package at a school board work session Monday at 6 p.m. at Bellevue East High School.

UNMC's allied health professions to become its own college

Pending approval from the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, the school will leave the umbrella of the College of Medicine and become independent.

Cancel the dynamite: Platte River ice jam has broken up, NRD says

An official with the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District said the NRD believes the danger has passed. Barring something unforeseen, it’s unlikely that significant ice jam flooding will occur along the lower Platte again this season.

Rally urges Offutt personnel to remember Olde Towne Bellevue when hungry

It’s been a month since budget cuts closed the Bellevue Gate south of Olde Towne, near 24th and Lincoln Road. The gate needed $4.5 million in security upgrades. About a dozen restaurants are in the area, and some owners say they’ve seen a dip in traffic.

High court rules pension board can hire actuary, but not outside attorney, at city expense

The board, which oversees pension funds for Omaha police and firefighters, was engaged in an internal dispute in 2012 over whether to hire outside consultants to help review the level of disability payments made from the pension funds.

Some doubt bill’s ability to ‘shift back’ rural tax load

Nebraska’s main property tax problem seems pretty clear: Farmers and ranchers are paying a much higher portion of the local property tax bill than they did a few years ago. But, after an afternoon-long hearing, it’s also pretty clear there is a lot of disagreement on how to solve the problem.

Omahan arrested in Fremont teen's death

Dakota McDonald, 21, has been charged with procuring alcohol for a minor that resulted in a death.

Bob Phares to succeed Howard Hawks as Board of Regents chairman

Phares, of North Platte, represents District 7 and was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2006 and elected in 2010. He served as vice chairman in 2014.

Nebraska doctor accused of having sex with patient agrees to settlement

Nebraska Health and Human Services says in documents filed last month that Dr. Rodrigo Gomez-Cordero agreed to a settlement that included a $5,000 fine and six months of license probation.

Thanks to $175K donation, Benson streetscape project to extend 1 more block

The donation will allow the city to install new, wider sidewalks, replace curbs and add street lights along Military Avenue from Binney Street to Northwest Radial Highway.

Forecast: Cold, precipitation likely by Saturday

For the Omaha area today, look for sunny skies with a high in the lower 40s, forecasters said, and a low tonight in the lower 30s.

Woman accused in Nebraska puppy drowning arrested on Florida warrant

Cynthia Anderson, 56, was rearrested Thursday after she’d posted bond to leave the Hall County Jail.

Father whose daughter died from carbon monoxide poisoning lends voice to proposal on detectors

He cites his daughter’s death as a state senator seeks new standards for installing  carbon monoxide detectors. 

Nebraska Supreme Court upholds ex-prison guard's conviction

A former Nebraska prison guard's conviction for having a sexual relationship with a woman on parole will stand, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Lincoln man, 43, convicted in child sexual assault case

Joseph Contreras, 43, was found guilty Wednesday of first- and third-degree sexual assault of a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was arrested in Linn County, Iowa, last year.

Springfield names first city administrator in almost a decade

Last week, the Springfield City Council appointed Kathleen Gottsch as city administrator. She is currently the city’s clerk and treasurer, positions she will maintain with her new job.

Man dies after heart attack at Google construction site

A 55-year-old man died shortly after 3 p.m. at an area hospital, according to the Council Bluffs Police Department.

Iowa dad pleads guilty in persuading daughter to rob bank

Albert Griebe pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit bank robbery and aiding and abetting an attempted bank robbery, the Quad-City Times reported. He will be sentenced in late April.

Judge won't intervene in transfer of University of Iowa law employee

A judge says he won't second-guess the University of Iowa's decision to reassign an employee who is suing for political discrimination.

2 arrested in Panhandle counterfeiting probe

A 22-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were taken into custody Thursday in Dalton as officers searched a home there.

Shelby looks to build volunteer fire department after 12 firings, chief's resignation

About 15 potential candidates attended an informational meeting for those interested in serving on the Shelby Volunteer Fire Department Thursday at Shelby City Hall.

Partnership of Bluffs schools, IWCC, Ak-Sar-Ben could yield 'college promise' for 40 high-schoolers

The pilot project would help 20 students each from Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln high schools go to college by providing tuition, transition programming and hands-on support at Iowa Western.

Obama salutes Chuck Hagel’s 'love of our troops,' ability to connect with men, women in uniform

It was an event draped in dress-uniform, flag-waving military pageantry. The U.S. Marine Band played, and cannon booms could be heard from the 21-gun salute outside the building.

Judge declines request to delay challenge of Nebraska's gay marriage ban

U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon has declined the state's request to delay a court challenge on the state's gay marriage ban, pending a decision expected from the U.S. Supreme Court later this year.

Omaha police: Woman shot after she threw knife at officer

The encounter Tuesday between police and Tiffany D. Terry, 39, came after she assaulted two of her children and a man outside her home, police said.

Omaha man pleads no contest to second-degree murder in girlfriend's death

Mikael Loyd faces 20 years to life in prison for choking Melissa Rodriguez, 19, to death and dumping her body in an empty grave at Graceland Park Cemetery. 

'I’m heartbroken': Mother says shooting victim, 19, was ‘a wonderful daughter’

Gunfire erupted at a party early Saturday, striking 19-year-old JaKela Foster and seven others at a house at 3402 Parker St. Foster died at the scene.

Student brings BB gun to OPS's Norris Middle School, risks expulsion

Under OPS’s code of conduct, students found to be in possession of a BB gun, pellet gun, paint ball gun or other imitation guns will be expelled for the remainder of the semester and police will be contacted.

Man shot in Omaha park dies; 9th homicide of 2015

Ray Patterson, 46, was shot about 5:30 p.m. in Norwick Park near 50th and Fort Streets, police said. He died Wednesday at the Nebraska Medical Center.

Trial reveals tall task for police in 2014 party slaying

Prosecutors and defense attorneys gave closing arguments Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of LaRon Jones in the March 7 shooting death of Brandon Samuels, 21.

State ed board chief launches policy review after vote calling for McPherson to step down

In light of the blog post controversy, Nebraska State Board of Education President Rachel Wise launched a state policy review that will include a look at whether board members should be held to the same ethical standards as teachers.

Council Bluffs man drove more than 3 miles on shredded tire before crashing; woman hurt

Deputies responded to a crash about 7 a.m. Thursday near the rural intersection of 190th Street and E Avenue in Page County. They found an overturned 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse. The occupants of the vehicle, Thomas Christopher Lee Blank, 36, of Council Bluffs and Lacey Nichole Remmen, 33, of Carter Lake were under the rear area of the vehicle.

Ricketts says state will make improvements on puppy mill enforcement

Gov. Pete Ricketts, in a conference call with reporters, said the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and its director, Greg Ibach, are taking steps to improve its inspection and enforcement programs to address the concerns raised by Hearts United for Animals.

State of the Judiciary address

Chief justice: Funds for prison alternatives are helping criminals stay clean and saving taxpayers millions

Money approved last year to expand Nebraska’s alternatives to prison already is showing results, Chief Justice Michael Heavican told lawmakers Thursday.

Grace: Teen killed in car accident drew people together, in life and death

When a Christian pastor heard about a young Muslim man who had died last weekend, he threw open the doors of his north Omaha church. And the people came. They came to remember Zaiid Liwaru and honor his life.

168th Street ramp to Hwy. 6 to close temporarily

The Nebraska Department of Roads said the ramp will be closed from 11 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday, weather permitting.

Forecast: Forget Wednesday's 59; winds and cold are here

A flood warning remained in effect until 5:45 p.m. today due to an ice jam and overflowing waters on the Platte River.

Senator withdraws bill that unintentionally repeals citizens' public records rights

LINCOLN — A bill that would have limited access to public records in Nebraska has been withdrawn.

Questions arise after Gov. Ricketts uses his own money to add adviser to his office

 Some worry about the ethics of mixing private funds and public policy.

No injuries in 2 fires at Lincoln High School

Concerns over heavy smoke in the building led to the cancellation about 11:30 a.m.

State of Iowa asks court for permission to liquidate CoOportunity Health

The State of Iowa asked the Polk County District Court on Thursday for permission to liquidate CoOportunity Health, the financially troubled health insurance cooperative created in 2013 by the Affordable Care Act.

Number of low-income kids in Nebraska rose from 2005-2013, report says

Last year, nearly 41 percent of the state’s youths came from low-income households, compared with 36.5 percent eight years earlier, according to statistics compiled by Voices for Children in Nebraska, the advocacy group for young people that produces the report.

Ernie Chambers rips proposed $35 fee increase for marriage license

A proposal to raise the fee from $15 to $50 ran into a firestorm of opposition Wednesday from State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, who promised to prolong debate on the idea until it is withdrawn.

Ben Sasse will lead Senate subcommittee on livestock, ag security

Nebraska meat producers hailed news Wednesday that Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., will be in charge of the subcommittee that oversees their part of the agricultural landscape.

Nebraska authorities find 29,400 pot pills in trailer, arrest Minnesota man

Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner said police noticed that Ryan Scott Cooper didn’t have a license plate on the front of his car when he was getting gas Tuesday in Lincoln. A police dog then signaled the smell of drugs coming from the attached trailer.

Jury finds Iowa man guilty of two murders, arson

Michael David Schenk, 26, of Denison, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one-count of first-degree arson in the deaths of Marvin Huelsing, 80, of Maple River, and Alice Huisenga, 81, of Arcadia, on March 10, 2014.

WB Dodge Street curb lane closed

Also, an eastbound lane is closed at 57th and Leavenworth Streets.

Sioux City man in prison for child’s death is granted appeal

The Iowa Court of Appeals says a Sioux City man serving a 50-year prison sentence on a child endangerment conviction may pursue an appeal based on his claim that police violated his right to remain silent.

Nebraska village clerk accused of altering, cashing checks

The Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office arrested 49-year-old Wendy Stephens on Tuesday. Stephens is the village clerk in Elm Creek.


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