Nebraska News

Board votes to beef up Colfax County Courthouse security
SCHUYLER, Neb. (AP) — County commissioners have decided to beef up security at the Colfax County Courthouse in Schuyler. The board voted 3-0 Tuesday to accept a nearly $8,700 bid for a security system that will let judges and other courtroom personnel remotely lock the building exits if a prisoner tries to escape. The Columbus Telegram reports that Sheriff Paul Kruse said the board's action was prompted by an incident last summer. Kruse says a defendant stepped outside a courtroom to chat with his attorney but instead bolted from a deputy and fled through an unlocked door. The man was soon captured, and no one was hurt.

Nebraska officer pleads not guilty in traffic stop shooting
KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — A Kearney police officer has pleaded not guilty in the shooting of a man after a traffic stop. Online court records say 35-year-old Derek Payton entered the written plea to a felony assault charge last week in Buffalo County District Court in Kearney. The records don't show a trial has been scheduled. Payton remains on administrative leave. A phone listed for the prosecutor rang unanswered Thursday morning. Payton is accused of shooting three times at Jose Klich, striking him once in the abdomen. An affidavit in support of Payton's arrest warrant says Payton was not in the path of Klich's car when he fired as Klich began to drive away from the scene.

No criminal charges to be filed in Grand Island shooting
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Authorities won't file criminal charges in the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man in Grand Island. Marvin Rafael was pronounced dead at a hospital after the shooting in his home around 2:30 a.m. Aug. 7. The Grand Island Independent reports that the autopsy shows he died of a gunshot wound to his head. Deputy Hall County Attorney Nancy Berger-Schneider says the shooting "appears to have been accidental." The weapon was a handgun.

Prosecutors meet in Hawaii on international sex trafficking
HONOLULU (AP) — Prosecutors from a dozen states and eight countries are meeting in Waikiki to talk about the global problem of sex trafficking. They're planning to share strategies for bringing traffickers to justice. The conference beginning Wednesday is being held in Hawaii which was the last state in the nation to formally ban sex trafficking. Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro says they intend to send a clear message that sex trafficking will not be tolerated. Most of the law enforcement conference is closed to the media. Organizers say that's because they may talk about sensitive cases or law enforcement strategies. International prosecutors are attending from Canada, China, Japan, Palau, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. American prosecutors are attending from states spanning the coasts and the Midwest.

Nebraska village known for alcohol problems gets broadband
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska village known for selling beer on the border of an alcoholism-plagued American Indian reservation is getting a new broadband tower that officials say could eventually help connect residents to health care and distance learning services. State officials announced Wednesday that Whiteclay now has a cell tower to provide broadband service in the village and parts of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where alcohol is banned. Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln says the tower lays the groundwork for services in the remote area. Whiteclay's beer stores sold the equivalent of 3.5 million cans last year despite having a dozen full-time residents. Public drunkenness and violence have plagued the town for years, but recently the town got a nursing home and a local faith ministry is helping Native American artisans sell their work.

Nebraska anthem protesters draw ire of 2 regents, governor
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Two university regents and the governor are voicing their opposition to three Nebraska football players protesting racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. Michael Rose-Ivey, Mohamed Barry and DaiShon (DAY-shawn) Neal each took a knee as the anthem played before Saturday's game at Northwestern. Regents Hal Daub of Omaha and Jim Pillen of Columbus said Tuesday the three used poor judgment. Daub said it wasn't the place for a "Colin Kaepernick cloning situation." Rose-Ivey said Monday that he, Barry and Neal joined San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Kaepernick and other athletes who have protested unfair treatment of blacks in the United States. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts called the protest "disgraceful" and "disrespectful."

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