METRO AREA

Busts at VA Medical Center represent 5 military branches

A set of bronze busts honoring U.S. military veterans will be dedicated Wednesday in the lobby of the Omaha VA Medical Center, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs press release.

The five busts — one each representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard — are being unveiled as part of the VA's annual Salute to Veteran Patients Week, held Feb. 14 through this Saturday. The week has been observed at VA medical facilities each year around Valentine's Day since 1978.

Donors of the busts are New Century Art Guild of Kimballton, Iowa, and Muller Design and Eurowood Cabinets Inc., both of Omaha, the press release said. The event will begin at 1 p.m. Members of the public are invited to attend.— Steve Liewe r

Northeast Omaha Coffee With a Cop will be Wednesday

Omaha police say the northeast precinct has scheduled a Coffee With a Cop discussion session for Wednesday morning.

The get-together with residents in northeast Omaha is set for 8:30 a.m. at McDonald's, 4404 N. 30th St.

Residents are urged to stop by for a cup of coffee and meet the officers who work in the area.

Coffee With a Cop provides community members and police with an informal setting to discuss community issues and build realtionship, police said.

— Jay Withrow

Lollipops with meth inside were headed for Omaha

MEXICO CITY — Police at Mexico City International Airport have found a shipment of lollipops with a capsule of methamphetamine inside each piece of candy.

The federal police say the freight shipment originated in the drug plagued state of Sinaloa and was headed to Omaha.

Police X-rayed a 9-pound box of candy labeled "Handicrafts and Candy." Inside, they saw the circular shadows of capsules inside the lollipops.

Police said Monday that experts are still testing the capsules to determine their exact composition and weight.— AP

NEBRASKA

Flags will be flown at half-staff until Justice Scalia is buried

All U.S. and Nebraska flags are to be flown at half-staff in honor of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died over the weekend.

The announcement was made Monday by the office of Gov. Pete Ricketts, in accordance with a proclamation from President Barack Obama.

Flags are to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day Scalia is buried.

Nebraska and Northern Ponca Housing Authority get grants

The State of Nebraska and the Northern Ponca Housing Authority each received grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to tackle public housing problems.

The state received an $8.2 million grant through HUD's Capital Fund Program, an annual program that allows housing authorities to build and renovate public housing. It will be divided among housing authorities across the state, with Omaha taking the biggest share of more than $3.2 million.

HUD gave a $1.1 million grant to the Northern Ponca Housing Authority. The goal is to rehabilitate 93 rental housing units in its service area.

The grant came from HUD's Indian Community Block Grant Program, which has supported development and affordable housing in Native American communities since 1977.— Chris Bowling

IOWA

Business court will continue as part of state court system

DES MOINES — The Iowa Supreme Court has decided to continue a business specialty court that began hearing cases in 2013 as a pilot project.

The business court accepts a broad range of complex commercial cases with $200,000 or more in dispute and is staffed by three judges with experience in handling business issues.

An order signed Monday by Chief Justice Mark Cady says the business court pilot project, scheduled to end in May, will continue after receiving very positive reviews from attorneys involved in cases who wanted it to become a permanent part of the Iowa civil litigation system.

The court will conduct its third annual review of the business court this summer to determine if any changes are recommended.— AP

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