Local News

Here's the latest local news from our sister station KFOR 1240am

LES: No Rate Increase for 2015

No rate increase for power customers for next year. The Lincoln Electric System Administrative Board approved the 2015 budget on Friday. The $346 million dollar budget is actually about seven percent higher than this year's, but offsetting increases in wholesale power sales in the Southwest Power Pool market evened it out. The public will have a chance to speak about the budget at a City Council hearing on November 3rd, and the Council is scheduled to vote on the 2015 LES budget November 17th.

Program to Keep Families Together Launches

Nebraska officials have launched a pilot program to keep more neglected children with their families, as long as steps can be taken to keep them safe. The program gives parents a chance to avoid law enforcement and the courts if they are deemed a low risk to hurt their children. Many cases are rooted in poverty, so the alternative response program seeks to connect families with services that provide food, transportation, shelter and other needs.

Disaster Office Closes

The field office for disaster recovery set up following tornadoes and severe weather that ripped through northeast Nebraska in the spring has closed. The Sioux City Journal reports that the office closed Saturday. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency staff will continue working on the disaster recovery process from offices in Lincoln.

Gov. Urges Nebraskans to Buy E85 Fuel

Gov. Dave Heineman and state agricultural leaders are urging Nebraskans to buy E85 fuel the next time they pull up to a gas pump in a flex fuel vehicle. Heineman touted the blended fuel on Friday during a conference call. E85 is a fuel mix that is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline. The governor's office says there are about 180,000 flex fuel vehicles registered in Nebraska.

National Award for Lincoln's Trails

Lincoln's trail system received a prestigious national award Friday. The American Planning Association named it one of the 10 great public spaces for 2014. The Association said Lincoln's 131 miles of trails are valuable for linking parks, schools, commercials areas, and colleges and universities together. The association presents the award to 10 public places each year. In addition to Lincoln, this year's awards went to a park in Council Bluffs Iowa, as well as 8 other cities from coast to coast.

Nebraska GOP Accused of Race-Baiting

Republicans are airing an ad trying to link a Nebraska Democrat to a convicted murderer. The ad criticizes congressional candidate Brad Ashford for supporting a law that cuts prison sentences for time served. The ad focuses on Nikko Jenkins, who committed four murders in 11 days. The commercial says Ashford's support for the good time law allows criminals like Jenkins to be released early.

Nebraska's Unemployment Rate Still Lower than Average

Nebraska's unemployment rate for September was 3.6 percent, matching August and July. The Labor Department said in the report released Friday that the rate was three-tenths of a point under the September 2013 rate of 3.9 percent. The new Nebraska figure remains well below the national unemployment rate of 5.9 percent in September. In Lincoln, the jobless rate dropped from 3 to 2.8% in September.

Man Hurt in I-80 Accident North of Lincoln

A crash along Interstate 80 along the north edge of Lincoln earlier today is still under investigation. State Patrol spokesperson Deb Collins says 58-year-old David Hiser of Loup City was seriously hurt, when he lost control of his minivan and into the median near the 56th Street exit around 8:30 Friday morning. Hiser's van came back onto the Interstate and clipped the back of an eastbound pickup.

Wind Farm Halted by Concerns

Volkswind USA has halted its efforts to gain permission to build a wind farm near Hallam and Cortland in southeast Nebraska. The company asked the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department to put its permit applications on hold. Sara Hartzell of the department says the Oregan-based company wants to do more noise studies and reach out to residents who are concerned about the project.

Surprise Grad Ceremony for 88-Year-Old Woman

An 88-year-old woman has been awarded her 1945 high school diploma during a surprise graduation ceremony. Gladys Laune donned her North Platte High School blue cap and gown nearly 70 years after her father made her drop out of school. Laune thought she was going to a birthday party for a friend but the celebration was actually in her honor. Laune says she earned her diploma after dropping out of school but it was never rewarded.