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Legislature proposes numerous property tax bills

January 26, 2015

LINCOLN--Gov. Pete Ricketts and state lawmakers seem to agree that addressing property tax issues are priority, and they'll have plenty of options to choose from based on the legislative bills introduced.

The state does not levy property taxes, which primarily support public schools and local government. But as farmland values have increased, rural taxpayers in particular have expressed widespread concern about the impact of those taxes.

Here is a compilation of notable property tax-related bills that have been introduced in the 104th Legislature.

Nebraska businesses reminded due reports by April 1

January 26, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska officials are reminding various businesses about a spring deadline to file required annual and biennial reports.

Limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships and nonprofit corporations have until April 1 to file the paperwork. The businesses could be administratively dissolved if the deadline isn't made, which affects liability protection and credit worthiness.

By law, those that do not meet the deadline and pay the appropriate fee will be administratively dissolved.

Tour de Nebraska to visit Broken Bow

January 26, 2015

28th annual Tour de Nebraska Bicycle Tour is June 17-21, 2015; Will Visit Ravenna, St. Paul, Ord, Burwell and Broken Bow!

LINCOLN – The 28th annual 5-day Tour de Nebraska bicycle adventure will head to beautiful north central Nebraska on its 293-mile round trip journey, June 17-21, 2015. Approximately 250 cyclists will leave Ravenna on Wednesday, June 17 and camp overnight in St. Paul, Ord, Burwell and Broken Bow.

5 ways unmanned drones could affect the American food supply

January 25, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Herding cattle. Counting fish. Taking an animal's temperature. Applying pesticides.

When it comes to drones, "your imagination can go pretty wild in terms of what would be possible," says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union.

This month, the Federal Aviation Administration issued the first permit for agricultural use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Steven Edgar, president and CEO of ADAVSO, says his Idaho-based business will use a lightweight, fixed-wing drone to survey fields of crops.

Omaha police continue investigating shooting that killed 3

January 25, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha police are continuing to investigate this weekend's shooting that left three dead and five wounded.

Officer James Shade said Sunday he couldn't release any additional information about Saturday's shooting. No arrests have been reported.

The shooting happened at a small northeast Omaha home where as many as 50 people were gathered for a party. Police say multiple shooters fired at the home around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Nebraska could require carbon monoxide detectors in homes

January 25, 2015

An increase in carbon monoxide poisoning calls last year could prompt Nebraska lawmakers to require alarms in houses and apartments.

A bill set for a legislative hearing this week would add Nebraska to a growing list of states that require the devices in addition to smoke alarms.

The hearing comes after a year that saw the number of carbon monoxide calls to the Nebraska Regional Poison Center climb from 107 in 2013 to 167 last year, said Kathy Jacobitz, the group's managing director. No deaths were recorded.

Pelini hires longtime Huskers assistant Ron Brown at Youngstown State

January 24, 2015

Given their different personalities, Ron Brown's choice to continue working for Bo Pelini might seem improbable.

Brown said Thursday the decision was easy and based on the support Pelini gave him at Nebraska when he mingled his Christian faith with football. The 58-year-old Brown this week began his new job as Pelini's associate head coach and running backs coach at Youngstown State, ending a decades-long association with the Cornhuskers.

"I just felt like God has given me a passion and a desire to continue to coach," Brown said. "I feel God's pleasure when I coach."

Nebraskans pack public hearing to argue voter ID bill

January 24, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Supporters and opponents of a Nebraska voter identification bill packed a public hearing Friday for a fierce debate over the measure.

The Legislature's Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee heard heated arguments on a bill by Sen. Tyson Larson of O'Neill. The legislation would require voters to show a driver's license or state identification card at a polling place. Fifteen other states have such a law.

A similar bill in 2013 did not advance to full Legislature. The committee's leadership has since changed.

Nebraska to get $1.2 million in federal conservation grants

January 24, 2015

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says it will receive $1.2 million in federal grants over the next five years to help private landowners improve grasslands and croplands for wildlife habitat and agriculture production.

Did you know? Nearly $190 million ivested in rural Nebraska in 2014

January 20, 2015

Nearly $190 Million Invested in Rural Nebraska in 2014
Five Year Total is $1.5 Billion

Nebraska’s rural communities received nearly $190 million in USDA Rural Development funding in federal fiscal year 2014, completed on September 30. In five years, USDA has invested nearly $1.5 billion in Nebraska, according to Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul. In the 19 year history of the agency, the funding total is nearly $2.7 billion in Nebraska. The total portfolio of current loans, loans and loan guarantees under management by the Nebraska Rural Development staff is $1.3 billion.

Senior Bowl Week in college football

January 20, 2015

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The 100-plus NFL prospects stripped down to their underwear and paraded across a stage to be measured and weighed before an auditorium packed with onlookers from the NFL.

Yes, it's Senior Bowl week. The annual showcase game for top senior NFL prospects — and a few juniors with degrees —officially started with pro football's version of the meat market, the weigh-in, on Tuesday morning.

Medicinal marijuana research, agritourism and beer manufacturer tax incentive among introduced bills

January 20, 2015

Medicinal marijuana research, agritourism and beer manufacturer tax incentive among introduced bills

By Sophie Tatum, Nebraska News Service

LINCOLN - Here is a summary of notable bills introduced during the second week of the 2015 legislative session:

LB 190, introduced by Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins, would allow spouses of United States Armed Forces service members to be considered a resident of the state where he or she has been stationed to apply for a concealed handgun permit.

Bison returned to central Nebraska tallgrass prairie

January 19, 2015

WOOD RIVER, Neb. (AP) — A small herd of purebred bison has been relocated to a few square miles in central Nebraska, where vast herds once roamed over the tallgrass prairie.

The 39 cows and calves arrived Saturday at their new homes on Crane Trust land southwest of Grand Island. They were trucked in from Rimrock Ranch near Crawford in the Nebraska Panhandle. Two bulls are expected to join them this week.

"When you're a bull, you travel on your own schedule. All a human can offer is encouragement," said Chuck Cooper, president and chief executive officer of the Crane Trust.

From car lots to school budgets, cheap oil means change

January 19, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheap oil doesn't only mean cheaper gas in the tank. It means that a car dealer in Illinois is shuffling the inventory of models he'll be selling, that more students in Wisconsin may get school-provided iPads, that some planned projects in a Southern California city will get delayed, and that some expected oilfield hiring in North Dakota and Texas may not happen.

Wild ride leads to driver’s arrest

January 19, 2015

(Lincoln, Neb.)- One person is in custody following a wild ride across the city of Lincoln.

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