Nebraska News

I-80 reopened in Neb. after heavy snowfall
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Roads Department says Interstate 80 reopened in both directions Wednesday afternoon. The agency said in news release that I-80 reopened first at Kimball and Ogallala (oh-guh-LAH'-lah), and then at all other locations at 2 p.m. Several Nebraska schools and businesses were closed a second day as workers try to clear snow-covered roads. The National Weather Service reports more than 18 inches of snow piled up in Grand Island and nearly 16 inches in Hastings. The northeast Nebraska communities of Verdigre and Wayne had 16 inches of snow, with 14 inches reported in Norfolk. Utilities report that electricity has been restored to almost all of the more than 20,000 customers who had lost power.

Nebraska could ease rules for front-end license plates
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Passenger cars without front-end license plate brackets could drive legally with only a rear plate under a bill advanced by Nebraska lawmakers. Senators gave first-round approval to the measure on Wednesday with a 25-3 vote. The bill by Senator Jim Scheer of Norfolk would allow motorists to request a decal instead that would have to be placed on the driver's side front windshield. The Department of Motor Vehicles would charge a $100 fee when the vehicle is registered. Nebraska requires vehicles to display front and rear license plates but has carved out numerous exemptions over the years. Vehicles that are allowed to show only one plate include motorcycles, truck-tractors, buses, dealer vehicles and registered "special interest" vehicles. The bill is LB53.

Police to answer questions about new gun range in Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Police officers will hold an informational meeting for neighbors of an outdoor shooting range to be built at a Public Safety Training Center in Omaha. The Omaha World-Herald reports that starting Wednesday and continuing through February 13th, the meetings will allow neighbors to ask the Omaha Police Department about any concerns. The training center's addition will cost $2.47 million. The city will pay $1.27 million and the FBI will pay $1.2 million. Construction of the 20-lane gun range is slated to begin this fall. The range is expected to open for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in late 2017. It isn't thought that gunshot noise will be a problem because the area is zoned for industrial and rural use.

Ricketts appoints eastern Nebraska judge to Supreme Court
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Governor Pete Ricketts has appointed an eastern Nebraska judge to serve on the state Supreme Court. Judge Max J. Kelch was named Wednesday to represent the Fourth Judicial District, which includes portions of Douglas and Sarpy counties. He currently serves as a district court judge. Kelch has worked as a county judge, a county and deputy city attorney, and a special prosecutor. He also was a private practice attorney in two law firms. Kelch earned an accounting degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his law degree from the university's College of Law. He will replace Supreme Court Judge Michael McCormack, who is retiring. Ricketts says Kelch brings a blend of real world experience from his private practice and public service. This is the governor's second appointment to the court.

19-year-old Omaha man facing motor vehicle homicide charge
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A 19-year-old has been charged with motor vehicle homicide in connection with an Omaha crash that killed a Council Bluffs woman. Prosecutors say Eswin Mejia of Omaha was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving early Sunday. Police say his pickup truck slammed into the back of 21-year-old Sarah Root's car. Root was taken to a hospital with critical injuries and died Wednesday. After her death, prosecutors upgraded the charge against Mejia to motor vehicle homicide. Mejia was treated at the Nebraska Medical Center for a leg injury and then booked into the Douglas County Jail. Court records do not reflect whether Mejia has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Huskers' Hovey wants more playing time, transfers to Montana
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska wide receiver Lane Hovey is transferring to Montana for his final season, and reserve defensive lineman Joe Keels is transferring to Eastern Michigan. Coach Mike Riley announced the departures on Wednesday. Hovey started five of the Cornhuskers' 13 games last season, catching 12 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown. Riley said Hovey left to pursue more playing time. He's eligible immediately at the Football Championship Subdivision school. Keels played sparingly and will play at Eastern Michigan as a graduate transfer this fall.

Hot-shooting No. 3 Villanova takes down Creighton 83-58
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Kris Jenkins scored 22 points, Jalen Brunson had 16 and Number 3 Villanova rolled past Creighton 83-58 Wednesday night. Josh Hart added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats (19-3, 9-1 Big East), who have won 11 of 12. With senior center Daniel Ochefu missing his second straight game with a concussion, Villanova relied on its pinpoint outside shooting. The Wildcats shot 16 for 29 (55 percent) from 3-point range with Brunson and Jenkins each shooting 4 for 6. On the hunt for their third straight Big East title, Villanova remained a game up on Xavier for first place. Playing just outside his native Philadelphia, Maurice Watson Jr. led Creighton (14-9, 5-5) with 16 points and five assists. The Bluejays have lost three straight for the first time this season.

W. Illinois snaps 11-game skid, beats Nebraska-Omaha 83-76
MACOMB, Ill. (AP) — Garret Covington scored 23 points, and Jabari Sandifer added 17 points and six assists to lead Western Illinois to an 83-76 victory over Nebraska-Omaha Wednesday night to snap an 11-game skid. The Mavericks had their last lead, 53-52 with 11 minutes remaining. Mike Miklusak made a 3-pointer, and then forced a turnover and scored a layup to spark an 18-10 spurt, and the Leathernecks led 70-63 with four minutes left. Covington had five points and Tate Stensgaard added four, including a dunk to cap the stretch. Jake White added a dunk to pull the Mavericks to 75-69 with 1:14 to play. The Leathernecks made 8 of 10 free throws, and Nebraska-Omaha missed 5 of 7 field goals to end it. Miklusak had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Western Illinois (8-13, 1-9 Summit League), which shot 50 percent from the floor. White scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead Nebraska-Omaha (15-9, 7-3) in Macomb, Illinois.

Stone, Trimble lift No. 4 Maryland to 70-65 win over Huskers
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Freshman Diamond Stone had 16 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high eight blocks, and Number 4 Maryland held off Nebraska 70-65 Wednesday night. Melo Trimble had 14 of his 20 points in the second half as the Terrapins overcame a slew of turnovers to remain a half-game behind conference co-leaders Indiana and Iowa. Stone dunked off an assist from Trimble to give the Terps (20-3, 9-2 Big Ten) the lead for good, 60-58, and he dunked again after rebounding Jake Layman's missed free throw to make it 66-61 with 2 minutes to play. The Huskers were within three points when Trimble put the game away with two free throws with 8.2 seconds left. Andrew White the Third had 19 points and nine rebounds to lead Nebraska (12-11, 4-6). Shavon Shields was just 4 of 17 from the field and finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

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