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Lawmakes list options for state cuts

How will Nebraska close its projected $986 million budget gap over the next two years? Nebraska's state senators submitted their ideas for prospective budget cuts on Dec. 16. The 69-page document lists a wide range of potential money-saving measures, including delaying equipment purchases to staff and funding cuts to various state programs. Some of the recommendations made by the committee...

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Council approves new green plan for Omaha

The Omaha City Council voted 7-0 on Dec. 14 to approve a comprehensive new environmental plan that proposes changes to everything from how and where new buildings are constructed to luring developers to older areas of the city with new tax perks . Environment Omaha, a collaboration between the city and Omaha by Design, spent two years working on the plan that includes such goals as: reducing...

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$2M bond set in fatal car crash

A Douglas County judge set bond at $2 million for an Omaha man charged with killing two people in a car accident on Dec. 12. Victor Rodriguez, 27, lost control of his Nissan Pathfinder and slammed head-on into an oncoming SUV late on Dec. 12. Manuel Santos-Gomez, 24, and Danny Alcantara, 22, both died from injuries sustained in the accident. Rodriguez fled the scene before being apprehended...

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Protesters ask for abortion regulation in Council Bluffs

Approximately 150 protesters showed up at the Council Bluffs City Council meeting on Dec. 13 to express opposition to a Nebraska doctor's planned abortion clinic and to ask the Council to "define and renounce" late-term abortions within city limits. Leroy Carhart, a late-term abortion provider in Bellevue, had to look elsewhere for clinic locations after Nebraska passed a landmark law banning...

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Nebraska senators speak out on behalf of tax cuts

Democrats didn't want to extend tax breaks for the rich. Republicans didn't want to extend unemployment benefits. In the Senate, they were compromised, passing a bipartisan tax deal by an 81-19 vote on Dec. 15. Sen. Ben Nelson and Sen. Mike Johanns both voted for the deal. Nelson called the vote "a win" for Nebraska families. "Keeping taxes low is critical right now so that families and...

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New recall group emerges

As Mayor Jim Suttle awaits his day in court to fight the recall effort, a new organization emerged on Dec. 15 to help support the effort to remove him from office. Three local businessmen are listed on the Citizens for Omaha's Future initial filing. Dave Nabity — a businessman who has been critical of Suttle's police and fire contracts through his group Omaha Alliance for the Private Sector...

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Omaha man found dead in Alabama

Roger Bailey, 57, of Omaha was found dead in his vehicle from a gunshot wound outside of Roanoke, Ala. on Dec. 13. Police booked another Omaha man, Alan Higgins, 49, on unrelated DUI charges, and was questioning him in the shooting. Police are still searching for Herman Green Jr., 38, of Woodland, Ala. for questioning.

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German giant signs wheat breeding deal with UNL

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and German pharmaceutical company Bayer announced a partnership on Dec. 15 that will bring the company's first wheat breeding research facility to Lincoln. The deal grants Bayer access to UNL's germplasm — the genetic material used in wheat breeding. The company will support wheat research and educational programs at its new Lincoln facility and establish a...

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