Omaha Tribe member gets prison on sexual abuse charge OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska has been sentenced to more than three years in prison on a sexual abuse charge involving a 9-year-old girl. U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg in Nebraska says 23-year-old Lawrence Merrick, Jr., of Winnebago, was sentenced Friday to 37 months in prison on a charge of abusive sexual contact with a child. He was ordered to serve five years of supervised release and to register as a sex offender. Merrick is accused of entering a residence at the Winnebago Reservation in April 2014 and rubbing the buttocks of a 9-year-old girl who was sleeping. The girl woke up and told her mother while Merrick fled the home.
Friends, family help 13-year-old pull off backyard musical LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Family, friends and other young children helped a 13-year-old Lincoln boy with a passion for musical theater pull off a production of "Shrek: The Musical" this weekend on a backyard stage. Last summer, around 70 people attended a play that Dylan Lawrence and several friends put together at his home. Friends of Dylan's parents attended the show and decided to offer up their backyard to Dylan as a place for him to direct larger productions. That space in Lincoln is now called The Backyard Theatre. Dylan says he spent around 10 months working on his latest show. Although he had help with building the sets for the musical, the creativity and all major decisions were his.
Former worker helps at Omaha museum's replica grocery store OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A 79-year-old Omaha man who used to work at Buffett & Son grocery in the 1950s is sharing tales of his high school job with visitors at the Durham Museum's replica of the old store. Hal Capps volunteers at the museum and makes appearances during special events and tours. He says he enjoys being able to once again put on his butcher's apron and step behind the counter. On a recent afternoon, Capps hosted two dozen students from Millard Children's Academy while they were on a field trip. The children gathered at the grocery counter while Capps pointed out the difference between today's supermarkets and the neighborhood grocery stores of times past. He showed off the store's equipment, including an old-fashioned cash register and a sliding ladder.
Number of groups hiring Nebraska lobbyists reaches new high LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A new report says more groups than ever are turning to lobbyists to try to exert influence in the Nebraska Legislature, but spending on specific lawmakers remains difficult to track. Common Cause Nebraska said in a report Tuesday that the number of groups hiring lobbyists rose to a record-high 527 this year, up from 506 in 2014. The report says groups spent nearly $14.1 million last year, most of which went to lobbyists. Common Cause Nebraska says tracking perks such as food, golf outings and event tickets is difficult because they're all categorized as entertainment. Jack Gould, the group's issues chairman, says money spent by the groups can't be tracked to specific events or recipients. The report was compiled from lobbyist disclosures filed with the Legislature.
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