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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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Johanns touts judge’s decision on health care

Sen. Mike Johanns took to email to laud the decision of a federal judge in Virginia who ruled that a key piece of the Obama health care package is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson ruled on Dec. 13 that there is no provision in the Constitution for the new mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance. "I've said all along that Congress overstepped its constitutional...

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OPS teacher posts bail

An Omaha Public Schools teacher was released from jail after posting $4,000 — 10 percent of the $40,000 bail set at his Dec. 14 hearing. Nicholas McKeone, 26, turned himself in to policeDec. 10 after allegations emerged that he inappropriately touched an 11-year-old student on numerous occasions since May 1. The Ashland Park-Robbins Elementary teacher has been on paid leave since Nov. 19. The...

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Bellevue explores sex offender limits

The Bellevue City Council will hold a first reading on an ordinance restricting where registered sex offenders can live at its weekly meeting Dec. 13. The ordinance, proposed by Council president Carol Blood, would prohibit sex offenders from living within 500 feet of schools or child care facilities. State law limits the restriction to 500 feet and contains a grandfather clause for people...

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Two members left off foster care review board for 2011

Gov. Dave Heineman told two members of the state's Foster Care Review Board that they will not be reappointed next year. Alfredo Ramirez, current chairman of the board, and Ron Albin will see their terms expire on Jan. 1. Heineman's spokesperson said the governor routinely makes changes to board appointments to involve more people. Last year Nebraska began to privatize its child welfare system,...

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Teacher arrested for sexual assault

An Omaha Public Schools teacher was arrested on sexual assault charges after turning himself in on Dec. 10. Nicholas McKeone, 26, a teacher at Ashland Park-Robbins Elementary, has been on paid leave since Nov. 19 when allegations emerged that he inappropriately touched an 11-year-old student on numerous occasions since May 1. The investigation is ongoing.

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Two killed, one arrested in South Omaha crash

Victor Rodriguez, 27, was apprehended after fleeing the scene of a two-car accident that killed two passengers and wounded five others near 42nd and H St. on Dec. 12. Rodriguez lost control of his Nissan Pathfinder Sunday night and collided head-on with a GMC Yukon carrying five people. Manuel Santos-Gomez, 24, a passenger in Rodriguez' vehicle, and Danny Alcantara, 22, a passenger in the Yukon,...

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Omaha officer reinstated in planted evidence case

Omaha police officer Steve Kult is back on the job nearly seven months after reporting two fellow officers for a suspected plan to plant evidence. In May, Kult alleged he overheard a telephone conversation between his partner, Frank Platt, and Kara Hindman — fellow gang unit officer and Platt's girlfriend — describing a plan to plant marijuana in the trash of a suspect. Platt has since...

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