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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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Suttle recall a go pending court battle

Unless a district judge finds instances of fraud, Mayor Jim Suttle will face a recall election early next year. The Douglas County Election Commission announced Dec. 4 that the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee collected 28,720 verified signatures, 2,077 more than the group needed to force a special election. The recall election is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 25, pending a Dec. 20 court ruling....

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Terry unhappy with healthy foods act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act of 2010 on Dec. 2, a new law jettisoning junk food in schools and requiring them to offer healthier lunch options as a way to fight childhood obesity. Congressman Lee Terry, who voted against the measure, came away concerned about the cost of the bill which will see $4.5 billion in new spending. “I absolutely support...

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Murder suspect caught in Arizona

An Omaha man wanted for the Nov. 10 murder of Adrian Lessley was arrested Dec. 2 in Glendale, Ariz. Kevin Watt, 24, is believed to be the shooter in an altercation near 31st and Seward that left Lessley dead and wounded Jason Marion. Jeromie Wade, 28, was arrested on Nov. 11 and booked as an accessory to a felony in the incident. Watt awaits extradition to Omaha.

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Nelson asks for honesty in support of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal

After defending the policy in the past, Sen. Ben Nelson told Defense Department officials at a Dec. 2 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that it's time to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy barring openly gay people from serving. "To me, the issue seems to be not whether to allow gays to serve in the military but whether to allow them to serve openly," Nelson said. "But...

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State senators meet with pipeline officials

Nebraska state senators sat down with officials from TransCanada in Lincoln on Dec. 1 for a question-and-answer session centered on the Keystone XL pipeline that could lead to legislative changes next year. State officials came away from the meeting contemplating changes to eminent domain, landowner liability and environmental laws in the 2011 legislative session but State Sen. Annette Dubas of...

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