November 26, 2015

Former state senator dies in central Nebraska wreck

A former state senator has died in a car wreck in central Nebraska.

The Custer County Sheriff’s Office reports 91-year-old Howard Lamb died from injuries sustained when his pick-up collided with a semi tractor-trailer south of Broken Bow.

Lamb, who lived in Anselmo, was traveling on Nebraska 21 early Monday afternoon when he turned into a private driveway and collided with the oncoming truck.

First taken to Broken Bow for treatment, Lamb was flown of CHI Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney. He died the next day.

The truck driver was not injured.

Lamb served in the Unicameral from 1977 to 1993.

Husker Coach Riley has little to say in wake of dismissal of rape allegation (AUDIO)

Mike Riley

Mike Riley

Head Husker Football Coach Mike Riley had little to say in wake of an announcement by authorities that no criminal charges will be filed in connection with the allegation that a woman was raped at a home shared by three of his players.

The University of Nebraska Athletic Department issued a short statement, saying there is no change in the status of any student-athlete.

“We are aware of this morning’s (Wed) announcement by the Lincoln Police Department and the Lancaster County Attorney. There is no change in the status of any student-athletes. We will continue to follow University policies.”

“You guys read the statement as I did,” Riley told reporters during the after-practice media availability on Wednesday. “From there, all we’re doing is taking this team and the guys who have been getting ready to play the game.”

Nebraska is preparing for the Friday contest against undefeated Iowa. The Hawkeyes come to Memorial Stadium ranked third in the nation.

Lincoln police and the Lancaster County prosecutor’s office held a news conference Wednesday to announce no criminal charges will be filed in connection with the allegation that a woman was raped at the home shared by Husker quarterback Tommy Armstrong, received Jordan Westerkamp, and tight-end Trey Foster. Authorities acknowledged they believe something happened at the home, but stated they lack the evidence needed to file criminal charges.

Riley said the incident has had an impact on the players.

“I think they went through a gamut (of emotions) of how they felt,” Riley said. “I haven’t really noticed anything more than that, except that it was noticeable.”

AUDIO: University of Nebraska Head Football Coach Mike Riley reacts to decision not to file charges. [:42]

Unwelcomed: winter weather coming to Nebraska this Thanksgiving

State Climatologist Ken Dewey of UNL

State Climatologist Ken Dewey of UNL

Wicker winter weather will be an uninvited guest this Thanksgiving.

State Climatologist Ken Dewey with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says Nebraska will soon get a real taste of winter.

“Cold air has been held up in Canada all fall so there’s a lot of supply of cold air up there. And, when it plunges south there’s nothing to stop it,” Dewey tells Jack and Dave in the Morning on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “If you go north, the weather will deteriorate quicker.”

Precipitation will fall throughout the state, what type of precipitation depends on the temperature.

Travel on the highways shouldn’t be bad, at first.

Dewey says the roads remain warm due to the warmer temperatures of late, but that won’t last.

“Sidewalks will start icing over, driveways, steps going up and down into buildings, decks, and things like that,” Dewey says of the Thanksgiving Day forecast. “So, just because it goes below freezing, it doesn’t instantly turn to ice on the roads. The roads have to cool down.”

Precipitation should end by the end of the day, with the second round of moisture coming in a couple of days.

“The second wave of moisture unfortunately is coming up the next worst time-period and that is when everybody is trying to return Sunday evening to be back at work Monday morning. So, that may have an impact on travel,” according to Dewey.

Dewey says this cold spell won’t last. It will give way next week to a warming trend.

“This is going to be a winter of annoying you, because it’s going to go between really nice and pleasant and then all of the sudden, a blast of cold air, some freezing rain, some snow, and then it will get warm again.”

For information on road conditions, click here.

NPPD customers will see stable power bills in 2016

NPPD's Cooper Nuclear Station

NPPD’s Cooper Nuclear Station

Retail electric customers of Nebraska Public Power District have reason to be thankful. There will be no overall retail rate increase for residential or business customers for at least another year, according to NPPD spokesman Clint Przymus.

“It’s the third year in a row that we’ve been able to hold our costs down and offer a zero rate increase for our retail customers,” Przymus says. “That’s accomplished through a number of different ways, a lot effective cost control by our employees, we put in some great cost-cutting measures, and also a great use of technology to create some efficiencies.”

Przymus says it’s not just coal power that keeps prices low, but that’s part of it.

“We’re very fortunate at NPPD to have a very diverse generation mix of coal and natural gas and wind and hydro and nuclear,” Przymus says. “One of the benefits of that is that we’re prepared to deal with the different market fluctuations as they come. That’s certainly something that is a benefit to us.”

Pryzymus says the combination of multiple types of power generating plants helps to keep rates stable.

“We certainly don’t put all of our eggs in one basket,” he says. “Living where we do, coal is very low cost and we have our share of that. Nuclear is a carbon-free source of energy and we have a good supply of that as well. Also, we’re continuing to expand our renewable generation with wind and we have a significant amount of hydro facilities as well.”

Przymus says Nebraska is also blessed with a variety of great natural resources. NPPD serves about 600,000 customers statewide in 87 of Nebraska’s 93 counties.

By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton


Holiday Lights Festival scheduled for tonight has been postponed until Saturday

A Thanksgiving tradition continues in Omaha, only it will be delayed.

Holiday Lights Festival, originally scheduled for this evening, has been postponed until Saturday evening. Thousands are expected to gather at the Gene Leahy Mall at 14th and Farnam Streets downtown for the official lighting ceremony.

Mayor Jean Stothert will throw the switch on hundreds of thousands of white lights at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Marc Nichols, Foundation Executive Director for Downtown Omaha Inc., says, “The first year of Holiday Lights was in 2000. For me, the payoff is to look out and see thousands and thousands of people, but more importantly you see multiple generations, parents, grandparents, kids, grandkids, everybody has a smile on their face. We have created an opportunity for people in the entire region to enjoy the holiday season.”

The Holiday Lights Festival also includes several concerts, a family fun festival, an ice skating rink and a big fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.

Nichols says the theme once again will be a campaign to “Shine the Light on Hunger”. The community is encouraged to drop off non-perishable foods and household items at in collection barrels throughout the community.   Last year more than 64,000 pounds of food was collected and over $515,000 was raised for the Food Bank for the Heartland.   They help stock the shelves of food pantries throughout Nebraska and western Iowa.