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Traffic stop nets $500K worth of meth

A Douglas County Sheriff's Department deputy uncovered 19 pounds of crystal methamphetamine after stopping a pickup truck with Colorado plates for speeding on Dec. 24. Mario Gutierrez-Sigala, 29, was arrested on a felony charge of possession with intent to deliver after the $500,000 worth of drugs were discovered inside a hidden compartment in the drive train of his vehicle. He could face up to...

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Two deaths in South Omaha believed to be accidental

The Omaha Police Department announced Dec. 28 that initial autopsy reports reveal that two people found dead inside an SUV on Dec. 24 likely died accidentally. Sergio Rodriguez Jr., 20, and Dominique Reyes, 18, were found dead in the parked car inside a garage at 4420 S. 33rd St by Rodriguez' father, Sergio Rodriguez Sr., Christmas Eve morning. An official cause of death has yet to be determined.

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39 House reps write in support of Keystone XL

Nearly three weeks after 28 congressmen wrote to urge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to carefully consider the environmental impact of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, 39 members of the House have signed a letter touting the economic benefits of the project. The U.S. State Department is currently debating approval of a building permit for the TransCanda-owned pipeline with a decision...

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Nebraska healthier in 2010

Nebraska is the 11th healthiest state in the country, according to the United Health Foundation's 2010 America's Health Rankings released Dec. 22. The overall ranking is based on 40 different economic, health, population and economic measures. The ranking was Nebraska's highest since 2008. The state ranked 16th in 2009. Vermont ranks as the healthiest state in 2010, with Mississippi ranked as...

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Republican poll shows Nelson trailing in 2012 race

A new poll by a right-leaning consulting group released Dec. 22 shows Sen. Ben Nelson trailing a pair of potential challengers for the Senate seat in 2012. Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies — a firm that claims to offer data solutions for the GOP — commissioned the poll of 1,789 "likely 2012 voters" and found Nelson's overall approval rating at 43 percent. The poll also showed that 52...

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Fortenberry named chair of ag committee

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry was named chair of a House Agriculture Committee subcommittee on Dec. 22. The 1st Congressional District representative — covering most of eastern Nebraska minus the Omaha metro area — will head the Department of Agriculture's subcommittee on operations, oversight and credit. Fortenberry, who has been a member of the Ag Committee since 2005, will take over the new role...

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Firefighters sue to protect pay raises

The local union representing Omaha firefighters filed suit on Dec. 22 with the state labor court to protect its right to pay raises in 2010. The court is also considering a similar suit regarding pay raises for 2009. Last fall, Mayor Jim Suttle and the Omaha Firefighters Local 385 agreed in principal to pay freezes in 2009 and 2010. But a final contract has not been drafted as both sides...

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Recall ruling set for Thursday

Douglas County District Court Judge Peter Bataillon is expected to rule whether or not Mayor Jim Suttle will face a recall election at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 23. Bataillon spent the past three days hearing arguments from attorneys for anti-recall group Forward Omaha and the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee over whether the recall group violated state laws while collecting signatures to force the special...

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