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Immigrant rights group receives state’s Trail Blazer award

The Fremont group that spent much of 2010 opposing the city's immigration ordinance was rewarded for its efforts at Nebraska's Martin Luther King Celebration at Lincoln's capitol building on Jan. 14. One Fremont One Future was awarded the Dr. Mathew O. Ricketts Trail Blazer award. Named after Nebraska's first black state senator, the award recognizes "those who have made a difference in...

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Millard South principal released from hospital

Principal Curtis Case was released from the hospital Jan. 12, one week after he was shot by a student at Millard South High School. There is no timetable for Case to return to school. He released a statement on Jan. 13 saying "I still need time to heal."

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Voter busing prompts investigation

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine asked the Nebraska State Patrol on Jan. 13 to investigate the actions of anti-recall group Forward Omaha after the mayor's supporters bused homeless people to the Douglas County Election Commission to vote on the recall and offered them employment on election day. On Jan. 12, Forward Omaha provided transportation for voters — many of them homeless and living...

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New budget leaves out tax increases

Gov. Dave Heineman outlined a two-year state budget on Jan. 13 that would close Nebraska's projected $986 million revenue shortfall without raising taxes. The governor's budget proposes cutting up to 500 state jobs, nearly 400 of which have been unfilled for more than a year, for a savings of $672 million and maintaining current levels of state aid for schools and cities. The state would...

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Anti-recall group buses homeless to polling place

Anti-recall group Forward Omaha transported three busloads of people Jan. 12 — many of them homeless — from the Siena Francis House to the Douglas County Election Commission to vote in the recall election of Mayor Jim Suttle. Voters on the bus were also offered the chance to work for $10 per hour, going door to door to encourage people to vote on election day Jan. 25. Forward Omaha officials...

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No hens in Bellevue

A proposal to allow hens within Bellevue city limits was defeated by a 4-0 vote, with two councilmembers absent, at the City Council meeting on Jan. 13. The Council could reconsider the motion at its Jan. 24 meeting.

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New bill offers more control over pipelines

For Nebraskans who felt powerless to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, a few state lawmakers have proposed an answer. State Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton introduced the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Notification Act, LB 340, Jan. 12 that would require pipeline operators to undergo an extensive application process and seek final approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission before pumping oil...

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City owes firefighters $2.2 million

City officials say Omaha firefighters are owed $2.2 million in raises for 2009 and 2010, after the state labor court ruled in their favor on Jan. 4. Previous estimates ranged as high as $5 million. Last fall, Mayor Jim Suttle and the Omaha Firefighters Local 385 agreed in principal to pay freezes in 2009 and 2010 at an estimated savings of $4.5 million. But a final contract has still not been...

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