Nebraska News

Higher marriage fees, prison reforms among new Nebraska laws
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A host of new laws are taking effect in Nebraska, leading to changes ranging from costlier marriage licenses to expanded opportunities for nonviolent prisoners to be released for parole and probation. A total of 181 laws took effect Sunday, three months after the Legislature adjourned. The marriage license change means fees will increase from $15 to $25. Another new law will increase the use of probation for nonviolent offenders and require supervised release for some felony offenders in an effort to reduce prison overcrowding. Other laws give nurse practitioners more independence and offer new protections to Native American children at risk of being removed from their homes. Sunday would have marked the end of Nebraska's death penalty, but a repeal effort is likely on hold until November 2016.

Investor Warren Buffett is turning 85 but isn't slowing down
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett turned 85 on Sunday, but he's shown no signs of slowing down or retiring from the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate he built over five decades. Buffett has long said he enjoys running Berkshire far too much to consider retiring. This year, Buffett's friends and family may have an especially hard time shopping for the billionaire because earlier this month he just announced the biggest deal of his career. Berkshire agreed to buy Precision Castparts for $32 billion, so if regulators and shareholders approve, the aerospace and industrial company will soon join Buffett's firm. Of course, Buffett is known for his relatively simple tastes for cheeseburgers, steaks and Cherry Coke. And he continues living in the Omaha home he bought in 1958.

Nebraska patrol still developing community outreach policy
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The new head of the Nebraska State Patrol is defending his proposed outreach program that would encourage on-duty troopers to attend county fairs, public celebrations, sporting events and church services. Colonel Brad Rice, who has been leading the agency since March, remains committed to the idea of the program even though internal emails obtained by the Omaha World-Herald show that it has been criticized by some. Capt. Lance Rogers told Rice in an email that the public might not support uniformed troopers attending church while on duty. Rice says he wants troopers to build relationships with the community. Rice says the program isn't intended to let troopers attend their weekly church service with their families while on duty. And church attendance is just one part of the program.

Family of missing Nebraska man tries to remain optimistic
NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) — The family and friends of a Nebraska man who has been missing since July in Badlands National Park in southwestern South Dakota hope he will be found. The Norfolk Daily News reports 39-year-old Joshua Jacobsen's loved ones are trying to remain optimistic, but it is unlikely he will be found alive. Jacobsen is believed to have entered the park on July 12th, and his vehicle was found in campground on July 17. Authorities called off the search for him in early August. Christine Jacobsen-Bucy says it's hard to remain positive about her son's disappearance. Jacobsen had moved to Laurel, Nebraska, about a month before his disappearance to take a chef's job at a new restaurant there.

Man arrested in attempted kidnapping of girl, 3, in Lincoln
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A 33-year-old man has been arrested in the attempted kidnapping of a 3-year-old girl in Lincoln. The Journal Star reports the incident happened around 9:15 p.m. Saturday. According to Lincoln police, a woman and her 3-year-old daughter were shopping at a grocery store when a man suddenly grabbed the child and ran toward the exit. Police say the mother hit the man, who dropped the child and left the store before being apprehended outside by officers. The man faces attempted kidnapping charges.

Nebraska man pleads not guilty to assaulting child
KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a child and possessing explicit pictures of another child. The Kearney Hub reports 26-year-old Orlando Lopez entered his pleas Friday. Prosecutors have charged Lopez with having sex with a child between the ages of 12 and 16 sometime between last August and May 28. He is also charged with nine counts of possessing child pornography depicting a second child. The Kearney man is being held in the Buffalo County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond while his case progresses.

Endangered pallid sturgeon stocked in Missouri River
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Wildlife officials are continuing their efforts to restore the endangered pallid sturgeon to the Missouri River. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says more than 2,000 pallid sturgeon were recently stocked in the Missouri River near Nebraska's eastern border. Those 5- to 6-inch-long fish were stocked in two locations along the river where habitat has been built for the sturgeon. Some of the fish were placed near Tekamah in Burt County and the rest were placed near Rulo in Richardson County. The fish is considered to be critically endangered because of its small remaining wild population. Efforts to rebuild the population include stocking rivers with pallid sturgeon from government hatcheries and improving spawning habitat.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press