11/5: Millard school closed, Fortenberry update and Nebraska Lottery
Lincoln restaurant permanently closes its doors
Lincoln–Dino’s, an American restaurant in southeast Lincoln, closed its doors permanently on Oct. 31. The restaurant, established in 2007, posted an announcement on Facebook that said the shutdown is the result of market conditions over the past two years. “We are humbled by the support you have shown us all these years,” the post said.
Hundreds of sexual abuse victims identified in Catholic church
Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson identified 258 sexual abuse or misconduct cases by the Catholic church on Nov. 4. The victims are mostly male between 11 and 15 years old. The press release stated that the Lincoln Diocese had 97 victims, the Omaha Diocese had 158 victims and the Grand Island Diocese had three victims. Peterson said he would not be able to prosecute any of the perpetrators because of the statute of limitations. According to the report, church authorities prioritized the church’s reputation over bringing justice to victims on multiple occasions. The information was released in a final report from an investigation that began in August of 2018.
Nebraska Pick 5 lottery tickets worth thousands sold
Nebraska Lottery officials announced Nov. 1 that a Pick 5 ticket sold at the U-Stop located on 6801 Wildcat Drive, Lincoln, matched all five numbers to earn a $182,000 jackpot. The winning numbers were 14, 16, 18, 33 and 37. On Nov. 3, lottery officials announced that a Nebraska Pick 5 lottery ticket worth $78,000 was sold at Greenwood Cubby’s as well. The winning numbers were 05, 08, 09, 20 and 35. All tickets will expire after 180 days, and prizes for more than $20,000 must be claimed in-person at the Nebraska Lottery headquarters.
Lincoln teen wins national songwriting competition
Zeph Siebler, a senior at Lincoln High School, is one of the winners of the National 2021 Musical Theatre Songwriting Challenge. Siebler told Nebraska Public Media he drew inspiration for the song from a book, “The Portable Nietzsche,” featuring a collection of stories written by the 19th-century philosopher, including “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” which is the title of Siebler’s winning track. The teen said his song talks about Nietzsche meditating on overman, a concept about becoming a superior human being, and the “dark and pivotal moment” when the concept impacts his state of mind.
Celebrate Veterans’ Day at Nebraska State Capitol
The Lincoln Veterans Parade Group will host a parade at the Nebraska State Capitol from 2 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 7 to honor Nebraska’s veterans. The parade will begin at 21st & K Street and move westward to the Nebraska Capitol. Click here to see the parade route.
More than $1.2 million of drugs stolen from a Nebraska State Patrol evidence room, dozens of cases dismissed
Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Bruce Prenda said 66 cases have been dismissed and 43 more are under review after $1.2 million worth of drugs were stolen from a Nebraska State Patrol evidence room over the summer. The drugs include more than 150 pounds of marijuana, 10 pounds of fentanyl and 3 pounds of meth. Anna Idigima, a former State Patrol evidence technician, and her boyfriend, George Weaver Jr., have been indicted for conspiracy to distribute the drugs. Both of them have pleaded not guilty. Authorities are investigating whether the stolen drugs are connected to the 10 overdose deaths last summer.
Fortenberry seeks to dismiss indictment
Attorneys for Rep. Jeff Fortenberry filed for a motion to dismiss the federal indictment against the congressman on Nov. 2. Attorney John Littrell argued that the charges against Fortenberry should be dismissed because they were not supposed to be filed in California. Fortenberry had spoken with federal agents twice, once in Nebraska and once in Washington, D.C. The Department of Justice had indicted Fortenberry on Oct. 19 for three federal charges for lying to the FBI.
Elementary school in Millard to be closed until Nov. 15
Millard–Black Elk Elementary in Millard closed Nov. 1 due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the school. A lack of substitute teachers was also a factor in the decision to close the school. On Nov. 2, a parent of a Black Elk Elementary student confirmed that their child is hospitalized with COVID-19. According to an announcement from Superintendent Jim Sutfin, the school will undergo a deep-cleaning during the closed period. The school is scheduled to reopen on Nov. 15. Upon students’ return, masks will not be required. As of Nov. 2, Black Elk had 38 active cases.
Snowfall in much of Nebraska
Residents in the western part of the state woke up to a blanket of snow Nov. 1. Although southeastern Nebraska, including Lincoln, did not experience the snow, a strip of counties in central and western Nebraska were in a winter weather advisory until Monday afternoon. According to the National Weather Service, the heaviest snow fell in southwest Nebraska and the Panhandle. The National Weather Service reported up to 7 inches of snow in Lemoyne and near North Platte and 7.5 inches in Grant. This drop in temperature came after the state experienced a warmer-than-usual October.
Museum and Street in Omaha named after Ernie Chambers
Omaha– An arts, humanities and history museum and a section of Florence Boulevard in Omaha were named after longtime Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers, who fought for the North Omaha community in the Nebraska Legislature for 44 years. The dedication ceremony took place on Oct. 29, where community members celebrated Chambers’ legacy.
New Delta variant seen in 8 states
The “sub-lineage” of the Delta variant is named AY.4.2 and is potentially faster-spreading than the original variant. AY.4.2 has been spotted in California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Washington state and the District of Columbia. No evidence has been found suggesting that the variant causes more severe illness.
Omaha’s Munroe-Meyer Institute and Union Pacific workers give out accessible cars for children with disabilities.
As part of the national program GoBabyGo, a cerebral palsy foundation that helps children with disabilities move independently, Munroe-Meyer and Union Pacific worked together over Halloween weekend to give out free battery-powered cars to children with developmental and physical disabilities. The team of physical therapists and engineers were able to modify the cars to fit the needs of each child and aid their mobility and independence.
Contributors: Ramey Vachal, Hanna Christensen, Chin Tung Tan and Jasmine Hermosillo-Padilla