Local News


Investigator Says An Inmate Helped Two Others Escape in Laundry Truck

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - An investigator says an inmate helped two others escape a Lincoln prison in a laundry truck.

Nebraska State Patrol investigator Cory Townsend testified at a hearing Tuesday that the inmate piled clothes atop Timothy Clausen and Armon Dixon, who'd climbed into a laundry cart on June 10. The cart was then loaded into a truck used to haul laundry from the Lincoln Correctional Center to another state prison.

Authorities have said the two ripped a hole in the truck's roof, climbed out and jumped off for a brief span of freedom. Clausen and Dixon were recaptured within a week.

The third inmate hasn't been charged. A judge decided Tuesday that Clausen and Dixon will be tried on escape charges. Read more...

Hastings Man Accused of Breaking Baby's Leg Pleads Not Guilty

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) - A January trial has been scheduled for a Hastings man accused of burning a 9-week-old and breaking one of the baby's legs.

Online court records say 23-year-old Braxton Blackburn pleaded not guilty Friday in Adams County District Court in Hastings to a charge of intentional child abuse resulting in serious injury. His trial is set to begin Jan. 9.

An arrest affidavit says the injuries occurred in March, while Blackburn was watching the baby and an older sibling for his fiancee's sister. The children's mother took the baby to an emergency room after she noticed several injuries. Doctors found burns, bruises, a bite mark and the broken leg. Read more...

Large Community Attendance at Funeral for Family of Six Killed in Nebraska Fire

BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP) - Roughly 1,400 people filled a suburban Omaha church to remember the six members of a family who died last week in a house fire in rural southeast Nebraska.

The Speer family Thursday morning when fire consumed their home near the village of Nehawka. Michael and Michelle Speer, who were both 36, died along with their four daughters.

Ann Gentle, who worked with both parents at Union Pacific, says the Speer home was full of love, laughter and music, and the family was always welcoming.

The funeral was held Tuesday at Calvary Christian Church in Bellevue.

The four girls who died were 11-year-old Elli Perez, 7-year-old Adilynn Speer, 5-year-old Emma Speer and 2-year-old Anniston Speer.

Investigators said embers or hot ashes from a fireplace likely started the fatal fire. Read more...

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Projects Received Nearly $1 Million in Grants

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska residents and small businesses have received nearly $1 million in federal grants to pay for new energy projects throughout the state.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that 40 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects have received grants totaling roughly $962,000. The grants were provided through the Rural Energy for America Program.

The department says the projected energy savings from the announced project is equivalent to the amount required to power 345 homes. The projects are located in 22 Nebraska counties, and include upgrades such as new windows, solar panels and converting irrigation motors from diesel to electric.

Congress created the program in the 2002 Farm Bill and reauthorized it in 2014 with guaranteed funding of at least $50 million annually. Read more...

Road Rage In A Pharmacy Parking Lot