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Bill to allow higher Nebraska brand-inspection fees advances

April 21, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The cost of brand inspections for cattle could rise to $1.10 per head under a bill advanced Monday by Nebraska lawmakers.

Senators gave first-round approval to an increase in the maximum fee charged by the Nebraska Brand Committee, which inspects cattle and investigates missing and stolen cattle. Inspections are mandatory in the western two-thirds of Nebraska anytime a bovine animal changes ownership. The region includes more than 7,000 brand owners.

Program finds students with rural ties for medical school

April 21, 2015

PONCA, Neb. (AP) — A special Nebraska program continues to give high school students from rural areas a shot at medical school in the hope they will return to a similar area to work.

The Rural Health Opportunities Program is designed to help address the shortage of doctors, nurses and other medical workers in rural areas.

The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1bcDkWW ) the program offers a full undergraduate scholarship and early admission to the University of Nebraska Medical School.

Compliance Checks Held in Buffalo-Sherman Counties

April 20, 2015

(Kearney, Neb.)- On Friday, April 17, the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) conducted compliance checks at 97 businesses in Buffalo and Sherman Counties.

During the effort, compliance checks were conducted at 92 businesses in Buffalo County and five businesses in Sherman County. Five businesses in Buffalo County and one business in Sherman County were found to be non-compliant after selling alcohol to a minor. The retail outlets checked included convenience, liquor and grocery stores as well as restaurants and bars.

Governor Ricketts tours Judicial Center

April 17, 2015

Governor Ricketts visited Broken Bow Friday afternoon to tour the new Judicial Center scheduled to be completed June 2015. The Governor praised the progress and concept of the regional judicial center.
See the April 23 issue of the Custer County Chief for the full details of the Governor's important tour.

Nebraska junior Terran Petteway entering NBA draft

April 16, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Terran Petteway, one of the top scorers in the Big Ten the past two seasons, said Thursday he will skip his senior season at Nebraska and declare for the NBA draft.

Petteway was the leading scorer in the Big Ten as a sophomore and ranked fourth this past season. The guard's career average of 18.1 points per game ranks second in program history.

Petteway, who began his college career at Texas Tech, made his announcement from Galveston, Texas, where he was with his family following the death of his mother last week.

Nebraska may repeal death penalty amid drug shortage

April 16, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska is considering repealing the death penalty amid a shortage of lethal injection drugs.

A bill to repeal the death penalty won first-round approval from lawmakers Thursday.

Lawmakers advanced the bill 30-13. If that support holds, death penalty opponents would have enough votes to override Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts' promised veto.

Nebraska senators advance bill reforming mandatory minimums

April 15, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An effort to scale back the use of mandatory minimum prison sentences in Nebraska as a way to reduce prison crowding won first-round approval Wednesday despite opposition from prosecutors and some conservative lawmakers.

Senators voted 28-9 on legislation to abolish mandatory minimums for Class 1C and 1D felonies, including robbery, assault on a police officer and certain drug crimes. The bill would also limit "habitual criminal" sentence enhancements to violent crimes.

Nebraska senators reject increase in tipped minimum wage

April 15, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers on Tuesday rejected an effort to increase the hourly wage for tipped workers, a move that means waiters and waitresses will continue to be paid the same per hour as they have since 1991.

By a 27 to 18 vote, legislators dismissed a measure by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist that would have gradually increased the hourly wage for tipped workers until it reached 50 percent of the standard minimum wage, or about $4.50 in 2017.

Former Husker accused of murder

April 14, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips is suspected of killing his cellmate in a Central California prison, officials said Monday.

Phillips' cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison was found lifeless early Saturday and later pronounced dead, prison spokesman Lt. Marshall Denning said in a statement.

Phillips, 39, was once one of the nation's top college football players at Nebraska. He played for the St. Louis Rams, until being released in 1997 for insubordination. He also played for the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.

Judicial Center Sneak Preview

April 14, 2015

The Custer County Board of Supervisors take a sneak preview of the new Judicial Center as part of their Tuesday board meeting. See the April 16 issue of The Custer County Chief for the story.

Nebraska gas tax increase bill headed to final vote

April 14, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A proposed gas tax increase advanced to a final vote in the Nebraska Legislature on Monday despite opponents who said the state should find another way to repair roads and bridges.

Lawmakers gave the bill second-round approval Monday with a 27-14 vote after nearly four hours of debate.

One more vote is required before the legislation moves to Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican who strongly opposes the measure. In a statement Monday evening, Ricketts criticized the bill as a "big government solution" and said he intends to veto it if it arrives at his desk.

Medical marijuana bills expected to hit floor

April 12, 2015

LINCOLN--Two bills relating to medical marijuana are expected to hit the legislative floor for debate this legislative session.

Legislative Bill 643, introduced by Sen. Tommy Garrett of Bellevue, would allow and regulate marijuana for medical treatment in Nebraska for those with qualifying medical conditions.

"I never thought I would bring this bill," Garrett said. "But I'm convinced that in five years, we'll be calling it the miracle drug."

Riley amazed as 76,000-plus show up for Huskers' spring game

April 12, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — According to the school fight song, there is no place like Nebraska.

Mike Riley had to agree Saturday when he came out of the tunnel and saw 76,881 fans waiting to watch his first Red-White game as the Cornhuskers' coach.

Tx break dispute raises old question for Nebraska lawmakers

April 12, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A dispute over taxes is drawing new attention to an old question that Nebraska lawmakers have to answer every year: Who gets a break, and who has to pay?

The issue surfaced last week as lawmakers debated sales tax exemptions for zoos and an $800,000 property tax break for the Woodmen of the World Insurance Society, a prominent insurance firm in downtown Omaha.

Custer County 4-H Public Speaking Contest winners announced

April 10, 2015

The Custer County 4-H Public Speaking Contest was held on Monday, April 6 at the 4-H Building. Nineteen Custer County 4-H youth ranging in age from 8 to 18 gave speeches in six divisions. Award donors for the contest included Tom & Mary Langrud, Farm Credit Services of America, and the Nebraska Rural Radio Network.

The top three individuals in the Junior Speech, Intermediate Speech, Senior Speech, Junior PSA, Intermediate PSA, and Senior PSA divisions will represent Custer County at a Regional 4-H Public Speaking Contest to be held on Saturday, April 25 in North Platte.

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