Nebraska News

Thousands attend anti-pipeline concert in Nebraska
NELIGH, Neb. (AP) — Roughly 8,000 people filled a northeast Nebraska farm Saturday to hear Willie Nelson and Neil Young perform at a concert organized by opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The Lincoln Journal Star reports politicians and activists spoke to the crowd on Art and Helen Tanderup's farm about the pipeline project between performances. Young said before the concert that he thinks it's important for America to use more renewable energy, and he supports people who are trying to offer solutions. The proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil from Canada south to the Texas Gulf Coast. Pipeline critics worry it could contribute to pollution and contaminate groundwater. TransCanada says the pipeline would have advanced safety features. The southern leg of the pipeline between Cushing, Oklahoma and Texas is already operational.

Governor hopefuls promise action on property taxes
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's candidates for governor are both promising to lower property taxes if elected, but they are offering different approaches. Republican Pete Ricketts and Democrat Chuck Hassebrook are trying to persuade voters that their approach would help reduce the tax, which has soared in rural counties even as commodity prices have fallen. Ricketts unveiled a property tax plan earlier this month, and Hassebrook says his renewable energy platform would generate local tax revenue to offset what property owners have to pay. Ricketts says reducing property taxes would be his top priority if elected. Hassebrook says property taxes are his top focus when it comes to taxes, but he'd like to see if most of the relief goes to owner-occupied farms and landowners who actually live in the state.

Members sought for Nebraska health care boards
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's Board of Health is seeking professional members for several health care boards. The boards are responsible for licensing health care providers. Terms run for five years. There are vacancies on boards for alcohol and drug counseling; audiology and speech language pathology; chiropractic; cosmetology; dentistry; mental health practice; nursing; psychologists; podiatry; registered environmental health specialists; and veterinary medicine and surgery. Applications and documents related to the appointment process are available online at H T T P COLON SLASH SLASH 1 DOT usa DOT gov SLASH 1 U X Q W 2 . Completed applications must be received by October 13th. Members would be appointed on November 17th. There also are vacancies on the Board of Emergency Medical Services, the Nebraska Center for Nursing Board, and the State Board of Health. Members of the three boards are appointed by the governor.

Iowa teen dies 2 days after fight at school
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Prosecutors may file additional charges because a western Iowa teen died two days after suffering a head injury during a fight at school. The Daily Nonpareil reports the Pottawattamie County Attorney will review the circumstances of 17-year-old Dakota Escritt's death on Monday. Authorities said Escritt was knocked unconscious during the fight when his head hit the tile floor. Escritt died Saturday evening at Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha. Authorities charged a 16-year-old with assault after the fight Thursday morning at Abraham Lincoln High School. More charges could be added. Escritt's friends say he enjoyed hanging out and looking at Japanese animation and comics, but some students teased him because of his hobbies. Authorities have not said what led to Thursday's fight.

Memorial held for Iowa teen who died after fight
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — The Council Bluffs community has come together to remember a western Iowa 17-year-old who died from a head injury suffered during a fight at school. Friends of Dakota Escritt released balloons at a memorial Sunday night. He died Saturday at Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, two days after he hit his head on the tile floor at Abraham Lincoln High School. Authorities have filed an assault charge against a 16-year-old boy, who was suspended from school. The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes. Superintendent Martha Bruckner tells KETV-TV the fight appeared to be a random, isolated incident that no policy could have prevented.

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