Nebraska News

Lancaster County corrections administrator suspended
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Lancaster County corrections administrator has been suspended with pay for two weeks. The Board of Commissioners' chief administrative officer, Kerry Eagen, said the suspension of Mike Thurber was effective Tuesday but declined to comment further. County Attorney Joe Kelly also declined to say anything. Thurber's wife, Pamela Thurber, said Wednesday that she and her husband would not comment. Mike Thurber has run county corrections for more than a dozen years.

Nebraska man gets 3 years for lying on loan documents
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A 39-year-old Nebraska man has been given three years in federal prison for lying on loan documents. Federal prosecutors say Shane Wibbels, of Pleasanton, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Lincoln. He must serve two years of supervised release after leaving prison and make restitution of nearly $1.8 million. FBI agents determined that Wibbels made a false representation on an agricultural financial statement that he submitted March 22, 2010, to a federally insured financial institution. The agents say the statement didn't include Wibbels' significant financial liabilities. Prosecutors say Wibbels later defaulted on loans he received.

Douglas County inmate resentenced in murder conviction
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A 33-year-old Douglas County prison inmate will serve at least 13 and a half more years behind bars after a judge resentenced him for his murder conviction when he was 17. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Earnest Jackson was originally sentenced to life in prison in the 1999 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Larry Perry. His new sentence was prompted by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says judges must have the ability to sentence juveniles to something other than an automatic life term. Before Jackson is eligible for parole, he must serve 13 and a half more years in prison under his 60- to 80-year sentence, which is cut in half to 30 to 40 years. Without parole, he must serve 23 and a half more years.

South Nebraska flood threat forces nursing home evacuation
DESHLER, Neb. (AP) — Heavy rainfall from a night of storms has forced evacuation of a nursing home in southern Nebraska. Administrator Mary Miller of Parkview Haven Nursing Home said Wednesday morning that around 45 patients and residents from the nearby Meadowlark Heights Assisted Living remained at Deshler High School. They were evacuated as water rose in Spring Creek on the south side of the Thayer County community. Miller says floodwaters didn't reach her buildings, so she'll take another look at the situation after sunrise before deciding when to move her charges back. National Weather Service meteorologist Jerilyn Billings Wright says a radar-estimated 6 to 8 inches fell Tuesday and overnight to the west of Deshler. Flooding forced closure of U.S. Highway 136. A flood warning has been issued for Superior and Hebron (HEE'-bruhn).

The Latest: Scattered storms expected in Midwest, South
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Forecasters are predicting stormy weather in parts of the Midwest and South but strong tornadoes are looking less likely. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says an area stretching from New Orleans to central Illinois could see scattered storms with strong winds and hail on Wednesday. Severe thunderstorm watches have been issued for parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, where forecasters say wind gusts of up to 75 mph are possible. But the Storm Prediction Center says the overall storm risk is lower than on Tuesday, when forecasters warned that conditions were ripe for a severe weather outbreak. Many areas saw large hail and strong winds, but the Storm Prediction Center received just five unconfirmed reports of tornadoes — two in Texas and one each in Indiana, Kansas and Missouri.

California fire chief picked to lead Lincoln Fire and Rescue
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A California fire chief has been picked to lead Lincoln Fire and Rescue. The Lincoln Journal Star reports Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler announced Tuesday that Micheal Despain has been chosen as the city's new fire chief. Despain will begin his new role on July 18 if he is confirmed by the City Council. He will succeed Chief John Huff who retired in June. Interim Fire Chief Tim Linke did not apply for a permanent position. Despain has been the fire chief in Clovis, California for about four years and was chosen among three finalists. He has been a firefighter for 31 years and has spent much of that time working in Clovis and nearby Fresno fire departments. He will oversee a staff of about 300 firefighters in Lincoln.

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