HIGH LEAD LEVELS-LINCOLN
Some Lincoln homeowners have questions about plant
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - People who live near a lead recycling plant site in Lincoln have questions and suspicions about a recently released contamination report.
More than four dozen people met Tuesday with officials from state and local health and environmental agencies to discuss higher-than-normal lead levels found in the yards of some homes in the North Bottoms neighborhood.
The lead is believed to have come from air emissions by the old Northwestern Metal Co. plant that once stood nearby.
Some of those who attended the meeting asked whether the contamination tests were a ploy to reduce the value of their homes so real estate developers or the university could buy their homes cheap.
Officials said the testing had nothing to do with any redevelopment.
CHICAGO CORRUPTION-NEBRASKA MAN
Neb. man convicted of bribery in Chicago
CHICAGO (AP) - A Nebraska man has been convicted of a federal bribery charge along with a former Chicago alderman and another man.
Jurors convicted 71-year-old Jim Barta, 59-year-old former alderman Ambrosio Medrano and their friend 50-year-old Gus Buenrostro on Monday.
Prosecutors say the three men agreed to bribe an undercover FBI agent posing as a purchasing agent for a California hospital to land a pharmaceutical contract.
Barta is a cattle rancher who lives in Fremont and owns the Sav-Rx prescription company.
The three men had argued they were entrapped by FBI agents who came up with the hospital contract deal, but the jury rejected that argument.
Nebraska lawmaker sentenced after DUI guilty plea
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A state senator has been sentenced after pleading guilty to drunken driving in his northwest Omaha district.
On Monday Scott Lautenbaugh was fined $500 and given two days in jail and a year of probation. He qualified for house arrest so will serve his jail time at home.
Authorities say Lautenbaugh was stopped around 2 a.m. on Feb. 27 after he was seen driving erratically. A breath test indicated his blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal driving limit.
Lautenbaugh has served in the Legislature since 2007.
SKID LOADER-ATM THEFT
Grand Island man denies thefts of skid loader, ATM
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - An October trial has been scheduled for a Grand Island man accused of stealing a skid loader to rip up and carry off an automated teller machine.
The Grand Island Independent says 41-year-old Bryce Malesker has pleaded not guilty to theft and other charges stemming from an incident on April 26.
Police say officers dispatched to the Five Points Bank building on South Locus found the skid loader and then followed it down Grand Island streets while it carried the ATM in its front bucket. The ATM soon fell onto the roadway, and the skid loader continued through yards and fences before hitting and damaging an elementary school.
Malesker was arrested after the skid loader stalled out on a curb.
Southeast Nebraska reservoir rehab work finished
BURCHARD, Neb. (AP) - Authorities say there will be limited public access beginning July 1 at Burchard Wildlife Management Area in southeast Nebraska.
An aquatic habitat rehabilitation project was completed earlier this year at the 150-acre reservoir. The work included repairs on the dam outlet structure and access improvements for boaters and anglers.
The water was drawn down 11 feet for the project and remains between 8 and 9 feet below full pool. Access to the reservoir will be allowed for bank angling, but all vehicles must remain on roads or in parking lots.
Launching of small boats, kayaks, canoes and float tubes will be allowed as long as they are carried from the road and launched from the shoreline. Electric trolling motors will be allowed, but gas engines will be barred for now.
LEXINGTON DHHS OFFICE
Neb. DHHS office in Lexington slated to move
LEXINGTON, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is moving its office in Lexington.
State officials say they don't expect any interruption in services when workers move to the new location on Tuesday. The move includes 19 child and family services workers, one child care licensure employee and others who work in developmental disabilities services.
Employees plan to staff both the current and new offices on the day of the move to respond to clients' needs.
Hagel returns to Omaha for speech at UNO
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is making his first trip back to Nebraska for a speech at his alma mater, the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Hagel, a former U.S. senator from Nebraska, will speak Wednesday afternoon on the challenges the Defense Department is facing.
On Thursday, Secretary Hagel will visit U.S. Strategic Command on Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha for a series of briefings.
Hagel will return to Washington on Thursday night.
Hagel's visit comes a day after the Pentagon announced a plan to bring women into thousands of combat jobs, including those in elite special operations forces.
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