Nebraska News

Nebraska officials report year's 1st West Nile virus case
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska health authorities have reported the state's first human case of West Nile virus for 2015. The Nebraska Health and Human Services Department said in a news release Thursday that someone who lives in the Central District Health Department area tested positive for West Nile virus but was not hospitalized. The district covers Hall, Hamilton and Merrick counties. Doctor Tom Safranek is the state epidemiologist, and he says West Nile virus "can be a mild illness for some and serious for others." The state reported 142 confirmed human cases last year and eight deaths. Experts say most people who are infected have no symptoms or experience only mild flu-like symptoms. The most vulnerable people are those who are at least 50 or have weakened immune systems.

Federal officials open investigation into Nebraska explosion
WEST POINT, Neb. (AP) — Federal officials are opening an investigation into an explosion and fire at a northeast Nebraska petroleum distribution center that left seven people injured. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says officials at its Omaha office will look into the Wednesday afternoon explosion at Sapp Bros. Petroleum in West Point. The agency says it will investigate whether there were safety violations at the facility and if it contributed to the incident. OSHA says it hasn't inspected the Sapp Bros. facility in West Point in the past five years, though it has issued citations for other company locations. Two of the injured people were taken to the burn unit at an Omaha hospital.

Court gives woman new shot at discrimination lawsuit
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has given a former eye clinic worker a new shot at convincing a jury that she was discriminated against based on a perceived disability. Cindy Marshall's lawsuit says EyeCare Specialties of Lincoln fired her in 2012 because it perceived her as disabled after learning she once completed substance abuse treatment and because of medical conditions that make her hands tremble and causes red marks on her skin. A Lancaster County judge entered a judgment for the clinic, saying that Marshall failed to prove the clinic discriminated against her. But the high court Thursday said Marshall presented evidence that the clinic reprimanded her for failing to bandage the marks on her arms and that a jury should be allowed to decide whether the clinic discriminated against her.

Omaha fines company $100,000 for delayed waste pickup
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The city of Omaha has fined a Kansas-based company $100,000 after complaints about delayed yard waste pickup. City officials met with representatives from Deffenbaugh Industries Wednesday to address the complaints filed in May and June. The company and the city say the pickup problems stem from a shortage of workers with commercial driver's licenses. The waste and recycling firm has brought in 10 drivers from other cities, and plans to hire an additional 23 drivers. Mayor Jean Stothert's office says Deffenbaugh also has agreed to work with schools and job training programs to recruit new workers. The World-Herald reports Deffenbaugh began picking up yard waste along with trash this week. It plans to keep taking yard waste to the county landfill through October.

North Dakota's Jeff Campbell champ in College Home Run Derby
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Jeff Campbell of North Dakota won the College Home Run Derby, hitting 10 homers in the finals to easily defeat Wake Forest's Will Craig on Thursday night. Campbell set a derby record with 20 first-round homers, the longest traveling 479 feet. The senior first baseman-pitcher followed with four more in the second round to secure a spot in the two-man finals. Craig went deep nine times in the first round and waited two hours until his next turn. He hit 16 in the second round for a total of 25, quitting with two outs left after he took the overall lead and knocked out Georgia Tech's Kel Johnson. Craig had only 18 minutes between his turn in the second round and the finals, and he could only get five more balls over the fence. There were no bat restrictions for the eight contestants, and major-league baseballs were used.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press