All NET News Stories

Keno update/Speedup killed; "Choose Life" plates debated A proposal to modernize and speed up keno games was killed, and senators began debating whether “Choose Life” license plates should be offered, in the Nebraska Legislature Friday.Last fiscal year, people wagered nearly $250 million dollars on keno games in bars, restaurants and keno parlors across Nebraska. But they had to use paper tickets, pay cash, and could only play every five minutes. Sen... more››
In This Small Midwest Town, A Complicated History Is The Key To A Healthy Future When your town is built in a place that was sacred to Native Americans and includes a history of slavery, it takes some courage to face the past.On a bitterly cold afternoon early this winter, Patrick Overton was standing outside the historic Federated Church of Arrow Rock, Missouri, greeting people for the town’s annual folk sing-along. As visitors made their way through the afternoon cold to... more››
Legislature moves to add juvenile court judges; sex trafficking penalties get hearing Efforts to improve the juvenile justice system moved ahead, and tougher penalties for sex traffickers were advocated in the Nebraska Legislature Thursday.In 2015, juvenile court judges in Omaha handled an average of 253 cases per judge. That’s twice the number handled by juvenile court judges in Lincoln, and leads to long waits for kids to have their cases handled, says Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha.... more››
Historians reflect on defining moments in Nebraska history Nebraska celebrates its 150th birthday on March 1. NET News talked with historians about the defining events from our state’s history and what we can learn from the past.On a Peru State College campus that’s as old as Nebraska, Sara Crook peppered students in her History of Nebraska class about the state’s past. On this day the topic is post-Civil War immigrant settlement. She asked one student... more››
Raising sales tax to cut property taxes heard; religious garments in public schools advances Senators heard arguments Wednesday for and against increasing sales taxes to reduce property taxes. And they gave first-round approval to repealing a ban on teachers wearing religious garments in public schools. The state sales tax rate would rise from 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent, and the money would be used to reduce property taxes by about seven percent, under LB313, a bill introduced by Sen.... more››
Making Your Burgers Safer? UNL E. coli Research Extended When the dangerous organism known as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli gets into the food system, it can be deadly. That's why more than 50 researchers at 18 different institutions are hoping to find ways identify and wipe-out the strain in beef, as part of a major USDA-sponsored study. The $25 million project began in 2012 and was recently extended for at least another year. So far, researchers... more››
Property taxes, LGBT rights, teachers' religious clothing discussed in Capitol Discussion of property taxes, LGBT rights, and whether or not teachers should be allowed to wear religious clothing, took center stage at the Capitol Tuesday. Property taxes have been a sore point in recent years, especially for farmers and ranchers in Nebraska. And most property taxes go for the support of schools. Tuesday, a new coalition of farm and education groups held a news conference in... more››
Farmers may consider turning to local produce in search of profit Farm income has declined behind lower commodity prices. One option for farmers looking for another way to make money could be to grow something different. Some could even raise produce for local farmers markets, but it’s not a simple switch.Low crop prices have many Midwest wheat and corn farmers looking for ways to supplement their incomes. One possibility for conventional farmers: producing... more››
Immigrant communities diversify the face of a rural Colorado city Rural voters voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in the presidential election. For the reporting project ‘United and Divided,’ Harvest Public Media is taking a closer look at the people living in rural areas and the issues that matter to them.The bell signals the start of second period. A trio of young women take seats in English class, their attention quickly drifting outside the walls of the... more››
A Kansas Town Makes Sure We Don't Forget How Orphan Train Riders Helped Settle America They were unlikely settlers of America’s heartland: children, shipped from New York City orphanages to small towns in the Midwest at the turn of the 20th Century. The small town of Concordia, Kansas is making sure they’re not forgotten. There’s only one train line left in Concordia, Kansas (population just over 5,000), and it hauls grain. But more than a hundred years ago there were four train... more››
Keystone XL fight begins again; electrical competition debated Pipeline company TransCanada reapplied Thursday for permission to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline across Nebraska. And advocates of electrical deregulation pushed for a bill to allow competition with public power in the state.The battle over the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline route in Nebraska began again Thursday. Concerns over the pipeline’s effect on Nebraska’s land and water have... more››
Nebraska flu season "pretty bad;" may be peaking After two years of mild flu seasons, public health officials say hundreds of Nebraskans have fallen ill from the virus this season. Since the beginning of the year flu has been officially recognized as “widespread” across the state.In the last week of January more than 1,000 confirmed cases of Influenza A were recorded by doctors across the state in one seven-day period. That spike “indicated it... more››