RAILROAD WORKER REINSTATED
Union Pacific ordered to reinstate injured worker
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Federal regulators have ordered Union Pacific to reinstate an injured Nebraska worker and pay $85,000 in damages.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday the railroad improperly terminated the North Platte employee after he reported an injury.
A Union Pacific spokesman didn't immediately respond to a message Thursday morning, so it wasn't clear whether the railroad plans to appeal.
OSHA says the worker hurt his back in Oct. 2012 after a chair he was sitting on collapsed.
After the injury, regulators say the worker was removed from duty and accused of violating several railroad policies, including workplace violence rules.
Regulators say the firing was done in retaliation for reporting the injury.
Few details were released about the employee because regulators consider him a whistleblower.
CHILD SEX ASSAULT-SENTENCE
Omaha man gets prison for teen sex assaults
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A 41-year-old Omaha man who sexually assaulted a teenager has been given 30 to 35 years in prison.
Omaha television station WOWT says Ross Ohrt was sentenced on Wednesday. He'd pleaded no contest and was convicted of sexually assaulting a child and visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct.
Authorities say Ohrt had known the girl for several years and had worked out a barter system with her. He awarded her points toward gifts in exchange for her performing sexual acts or sending him explicit photos.
Iowan who made bomb threats in Nebraska sentenced
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - An Iowa man who mailed bomb threats to the FBI office in Omaha has been sentenced to time served.
Thirty-year-old Matthew Fell, of Waterloo, Iowa, was sentenced on Wednesday in Lincoln by Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf (kuhpf). Fell had pleaded guilty to making a false threat. Fell has been behind bars for 15 months while awaiting final disposition of his case.
Court documents say postal workers at a Lincoln post office found an envelope in June 2012 that had "This is a Bomb!" written on it. There was no bomb in the envelope, but it did contain another envelope that was addressed to the FBI in Omaha. That envelope contained a piece of paper and a thumb drive. Omaha postal workers found a similar envelope a week later.
Ridesharing companies get Nebraska warning
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Public Service Commission has sent warnings to two ridesharing companies that they need the commission's permission to offer services in Nebraska.
On Monday the commission issued letters to Lyft and Uber, two San Francisco companies that use smartphone applications to link motorists and people who would pay for rides. Passengers pay through the app and can even tip electronically.
Uber operates in more than 70 cities around the world. Lyft, which is known for pink mustaches on front bumpers, does business in more than 20 U.S. cities.
Commission director Mark Breiner said during a hearing Tuesday that the companies have advertised on Facebook and Craigslist for drivers in Omaha, Lincoln and Columbus. The commission didn't take any action at the hearing, and company representatives didn't appear.
Tea party big wigs in Nebraska for Sasse
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) - A slew of tea party favorites are heading to central Nebraska this week to support Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ben Sasse, less than three weeks before the May 13 primary election.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Utah Sen. Mike Lee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be at the Buffalo Bill State Historical Park in North Platte on Friday for a rally to support Sasse, president of Midland University in Fremont. Former Republican Gov. Kay Orr will also attend.
Sasse and former Nebraska State Treasurer Shane Osborn are considered the front-runners in the race. Also running for the GOP nomination are Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale, Omaha attorney Bart McLeay and hotel owner Clifton Johnson of Fort Calhoun.
HOME RUN DERBY
Tickets on sale Monday for July's College HR Derby
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Tickets will go on sale Monday for the fifth annual College Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade Park on July 3.
Prices are $8 for children ages 3 to 12, $12 for fans 13 and older or $35 for a family of four. Tickets can be purchased at the CenturyLink Center box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, or online at www.Ticketmaster.com.
Participants will be drawn from a pool of players who are among the nation's home run leaders this season.
The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a fireworks show.
Rice's Michael Aquino won last year's derby.
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