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OPS approves metal detectors at basketball games

The Omaha Public Schools board voted unanimously to put metal detectors outside certain OPS basketball games this winter. The board approved a $60,000 contract with a private security firm to operate the machines. OPS officials say the detectors will be used for high-profile games or when police recommend their use.

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Congress members ask for a new pipeline study

Twenty-eight members of Congress signed a letter on Dec. 3 urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department to request a new Environmental Impact Study on the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Canada to Texas. The lawmakers note in the letter that the Environmental Protection Agency gave the current EIS its lowest possible rating. "Not only does tar...

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Nelson not afraid of tax cut blowback

Ben Nelson is one Democrat who is on board with the bipartisan deal Barack Obama brokered to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to all Americans, even if it flies in the face of his party's goal to eliminate the breaks for the wealthy. "I've made it clear, I didn't make any campaign promises about this, so I'm only focused on my end," Nelson says in The Hill. "I've said that I thought that the debate...

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Iowa considers toughening abortion law to keep out Nebraska doctor

Late-term abortion provider LeRoy Carhart was forced to take his practice elsewhere after a controversial Nebraska law banned abortions after 20 weeks. Now Iowa, too, is saying "not in our state." The Bellevue doctor announced in early November that he was opening new clinics in Council Bluffs and Maryland because of Nebraska's new law based on the idea that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks....

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Kansas Secretary of State-elect to continue immigration fight in Nebraska

Kris Kobach earned a new title Nov. 2 when he was elected Kansas Secretary of State, behind a campaign promise to require voters to provide proof of citizenship — despite no proof that the seven cases of voter fraud reported in the last five years involved undocumented immigrants. But titles have never really defined the University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor and former state...

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Private land, private profit

The letters started coming in July. Canadian oil company TransCanada offered Nebraska landowners along the route of its proposed 1,073 mile Keystone XL Pipeline a “premium price” for easements on their property. The alternative? They’d take the land anyway, through eminent domain. The pipeline would carry 500,000 barrels of tar sands oil each day from Alberta through six states to the...

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Medical marijuana finds its way into Western Nebraska

Western Nebraska police officers are seeing a lot of pot from Colorado lately. Lt. Lance Rogers of the Nebraska State Patrol says officers are finding legal marijuana from Colorado as often as once a week. It has been legal to possess up to 2 ounces of medical marijuana in Colorado since 2000, but that right doesn't extend across state laws. Rogers says violators of Nebraska law are cited and...

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Man shot while riding in car

Deshawn Smith, 23, survived after being shot Dec. 5 while riding in a car near 42nd and Redman Ave. Police have made no arrests.

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