August 31, 2015

Guards injured in separate fights at separate prisons

Nebraska_State_PrisonA guard at the Nebraska State Penitentiary had to have surgery after being attacked by an inmate, according to the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.

The officer is not being named by the department at the staff member’s request.

According to Corrections, last Monday an inmate assaulted the guard on the prison yard after the inmate refused a request to be searched. The inmate hit the officer, knocking him to the ground, then hitting him several more times.

Other staff responded, restrained the inmate, and took the guard to the emergency room.

The incident remains under investigation. The results will be forwarded to the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office.

In another incident, a staff member suffered injury trying to break up a fight between two inmates at the Lincoln Correctional Center Thursday. Corrections reports staff tried to gain control of the incident and one of the inmates hit a staff members several times in the midsection. The guard was treated and released at a local hospital.

Congressman Smith makes opposition to Iran deal unanimous (AUDIO)

Congressman Adrian Smith

Congressman Adrian Smith

Congressman Adrian Smith has come out against the Iran nuclear deal.

Smith took time before making public his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal brokered by the United States along with Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China.

“My conclusion after studying the issue, after going to many meetings, and just interacting on the issue itself, I’ve concluded that I think it’s a bad deal,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network. “I think that no deal is better than a bad deal.”

President Barack Obama has been campaigning tirelessly for the deal, making calls to Democrats in Congress to support it. The president is working a two-front strategy. Obama wants to block a bill in Congress opposing the deal, but if he proves unsuccessful in that effort, the president wants to at least retain enough support to uphold a veto.

As part of his pitch, the president has claimed that the choice is between this deal or war.

“I think the president saying it’s either his deal or war is a very irresponsible statement,” Smith says. “I think it’s simplistic. I think it’s inaccurate”

Smith, a Republican, is the last of the Nebraska Congressional delegation to announce his decision on the nuclear deal with Iran, making the delegation’s opposition unanimous.

Earlier, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican, and Brad Ashford, a Democrat, came out against the deal. Both of Nebraska’s United States Senators, Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, oppose the deal. Both Fischer and Sasse are Republicans.

Congress is on its August recess. When members return to Washington, the Iran nuclear deal will be the top issue they face. Congress has until September 17th to vote on the measure.

AUDIO:  Brent Martin reports [:45]

Two die in northeast Nebraska wreck

Police car lightsTwo people died in a head-on collision in northeast Nebraska over the weekend.

The Cedar County Sheriff’s Office reports 22-year-old Mollie Schieffer of Fordyce and 63-year-old Bradley Schumacher of Crofton died in the accident near Hartington.

According to the sheriff’s office, Schieffer was driving east on Highway 12 near its intersection with Highway 57 when she crossed the center line and collided with Schumacher, who was driving west in a pick-up.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

AG Peterson encourage N. Dakota judge has blocked WOTUS

Attorney General Doug Peterson

Attorney General Doug Peterson

Attorney General Doug Peterson says he is encouraged by a federal judge’s action against the Waters of the United States rule.

United States District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota has issued a temporary injunction against the WOTUS rule drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Peterson says it’s a big victory for Nebraska and the 12 other states which filed the lawsuit contending the EPA exceeded its Congressional authority in drafting WOTUS.

“One of the two most important things that the judge has to decide is whether or not we as the moving party have a substantial likelihood of success on our legal theory and he found, having evaluated the case and the arguments that we made, he said that he believed that we did have a substantial likelihood of success in showing legally that the EPA was going too far in how it was defining Waters of the U.S.,” Peterson tells Nebraska Radio Network.

The Waters of the United States rule was to go into effect today. It has gone into effect elsewhere in the country, though lawsuits have been filed by a number of states, businesses, even environmental groups throughout the country.

Peterson expects all those lawsuits to be combined into one.

“Now that’s not for sure. We suggest that they stay with the district courts, but the court may consolidate all of this into one district court for the whole country,” Peterson says.

Peterson says the decision by the North Dakota judge suspends the rule from going into effect in the 13 states while those states try to make their case in court.

“What we’ve basically been able to do for Nebraska and the 12 other states that joined that action in North Dakota is to put a hold on the EPA enforcing it in our 13 states.”

Gov. Ricketts not worried that GOP presidential field is crowded

Gov. Pete Ricketts shares a laugh with reporters while answering questions

Gov. Pete Ricketts shares a laugh with reporters while answering questions

Gov. Pete Ricketts says he’s pleased with the field of Republican candidates for president, crowded though it may be.

Ricketts, a Republican, says there are a number of good candidates in the Republican field.

“Obviously, I’m biased toward governors just in general, being a governor myself. I think it does give you a perspective about how you run organizations. That’s important,” Ricketts tells reporters. “Not that the private sector experience that some of our candidates have is unimportant. Certainly, I’m bringing my private sector experience to help us do a better job of running government here in Nebraska. It’s really I think why the people of Nebraska hired me. But, I will tell you, I think we have great candidates, they bring different perspectives.”

The number of candidates has caused problems of its own.

Fox News and CNN have been criticized for the methods the cable news channels have used to decide the make-up of their Republican debates.

At present, there are 17 announced Republican candidates for president.

Businessman Donald Trump leads the GOP field according to public opinion polls as the presidential candidates visit Iowa, the site of the first true presidential test, the Iowa caucus early next year.

Ricketts says he has never met Trump.

Ricketts says a crowded field has some benefits.

“Well, you may recall that I had a crowded primary,” Ricketts says, laughing. “And, in the Senate race, I had a contested primary as well. And, I have to tell you, I think primaries make you a better candidate. So, I certainly do not think that there’s a disadvantage to having so many great candidates in the field. Will it make a tough choice for voters? Yeah. That’s not a bad thing that the voters have a lot of great candidates to be able to choose from.”