Nebraska News

Man escapes from Kearney canal, authorities say
KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a man has escaped from a canal in Kearney. The Kearney Volunteer Fire Department said in a news release Monday that firefighters and two vehicles were sent around 1:45 p.m. Sunday to the scene west of the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus. Someone had reported that an elderly man was in the water and could be drowning. The department says the man had gotten out of the water by the time firefighters arrived. They helped him up a steep canal bank, and he was taken to a hospital. His name hasn't been released.

Agency looks to fill mental health needs in rural Nebraska
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska health officials are exploring how to use technology to provide mental health and substance abuse treatment for rural patients who must otherwise travel for hours to access behavioral health care. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services released a report last week assessing the state's behavioral health needs. The department's deputy director, Linda Wittmuss, says data pulled from census statistics, studies, focus groups and surveys will inform the department's strategy from 2017 to 2020. She says the plan will include innovative ways to use technology. For example, through telehealth, a patient could talk to a doctor on a screen for medication management consultations or follow-up therapy sessions through a webcam. Dr. Joseph Evans, assistant clinical director of the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, says telehealth has become a national movement.

Duck hunter rescued from marshy muck in northeast Nebraska
STANTON, Neb. (AP) — Authorities have rescued a rural Madison man who got stuck in mud and water while duck hunting in northeast Nebraska. The Stanton County Sheriff's Office says 56-year-old John Johnson was hunting alone Saturday morning southeast of Stanton when he moved into a marshy area and his hip waders began filling with water. He soon was mired up to his neck. Johnson and his predicament were discovered by a game warden who was in the area to check hunting permits. Rescuers called to the scene in Wood Duck Wildlife Management Area used ropes and a boat to get Johnson back on solid ground. He was taken to a hospital.

Uncertainty on Cabela's jobs hurts hometown housing market
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Uncertainty about Cabela's future has already slowed the housing market in the outdoor retailer's hometown of Sidney, and that is likely to intensify now that the company agreed to be bought by rival Bass Pro. The sharp drop in housing demand in the western Nebraska town of about 7,000 is a sharp contrast to what residents were used to before Cabela's started reviewing its strategic options last year. Last week's $4.5 billion deal to sell Cabela's raises questions about the roughly 2,000 people the company employs in Sidney even though Springfield, Missouri-based Bass Pro pledged to maintain significant operations there. Kevin Ross with Asmus Brothers Realty in Scottsbluff tells the Omaha World-Herald the departure of a large number of people will depress Sidney's real estate prices.

Nebraska campaigns turn to early voting to lock in support
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska political campaigns are trying to lock in as many early votes as possible in the weeks before next month's election as county officials prepare to launch early in-person voting on Monday. Voters have started returning absentee ballots in the mail, and leaders of some of the state's major campaigns are intensifying their push with a flurry of phone calls and mailings. Lancaster County Elections Commission Dave Shively said his office has already received requests from campaigns and political parties for lists of voters who have requested but not yet returned an absentee ballot. His office started mailing ballots on Oct. 3 and is started to see some returned. Nearly 208,000 Nebraska voters cast an early ballot in 2012. That accounted for more than one-quarter of the roughly 804,000 votes.

UNO gets $1.5 million grant to research hormones
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Researchers at the University of Nebraska at Omaha are getting a $1.5 million grant to study a hormone's role in social behaviors. The research into the hormone oxytocin may help improve medications for social disorders. Researchers plan to conduct a series of experiments over the next five years to better understand oxytocin's role in signaling new behavior. The UNO researchers will work with colleagues at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Creighton University.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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