KGFW Newsroom



(NRG)- It was another busy weekend for area firefighters. The Kearney Volunteer Fire Department battled large blazes Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. Saturday's fire was at 1705 East First Street Place and started in old shed at the location and spread to nearby trees and grassy areas at around 7:30 that night. Juveniles playing with a lighter are believed to have started that fire. Sunday's fire was to a home at 1304 East 16th Street. KVFD firefighters estimate the house was a total loss after the 1:30 p.m. fire. The Red Cross was called in to assist the family with temporary housing and food. The Nebraska State Fire Marshall's Office is investigating the cause of the fire.


(AP) - Repairs will begin soon on the hard-to-move gates at the Harlan County Dam in south-central Nebraska. The initial $12.3 million project will deal with corrosion on six of the dam's gates, and the rest of the gates will be repaired over the following two years. Ken Stark, the project manager and an engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Kansas City, told the Kearney Hub ( the whole project is expected to cost $25.7 million. The corrosion built up over more than 50 years of use. And the dam's gates are also hard to move because of friction problems with the bearings, so the repairs are a high priority. Stark says the repair crew is getting set up now and assessing the gates.


(AP) - With the session more than half finished, Nebraska lawmakers are still sorting through ways to lower property taxes while balancing the state budget. Bills slated for debate include personal property tax legislation to benefit businesses and a $45 million annual increase for the state property tax credit fund, which reduces what property owners must pay. Sen. Mike Gloor of Grand Island, chairman of the Revenue Committee, says a slowdown in state revenue will make it harder to pass "home run" tax cuts, but he says lawmakers will make progress this year. Lawmakers have about $41 million for legislative items that aren't already part of the two-year budget. Gloor says major spending cuts are unlikely because of the need to fund Medicaid programs and K-12 education.


(NRG)- The Archway welcomed Heartland Community Schools' fourth graders as the 1.5 millionth visitor to tour The Archway on Friday. "We knew we'd be hitting the 1.5 million total visitors milestone sometime during the morning on Friday. As luck would have it, we suspected it would happen when Heartland Community Schools arrived and sure enough, they pushed us past the mark," said Marketing Coordinator Jace Robinson. Heartland students were treated to a bag of Archway goodies that included an Archie stuffed animal, an Archie bookmark, an Archie refrigerator magnet, an Archie headband as well as two complementary Archway admission tickets for future use. "Heartland was actually the first school to tour The Archway in June of 2000, after we first opened to the public. Having them be the 1.5 millionth visitor meant a lot to us as they were the first school to visit and they've visited every year since," said Robinson. Heartland Community Schools is located in Henderson.


(NRG)-The 13th Annual Y102 Midway St. Jude Radio Event set a record by raising just over $247,000 for the children's hospital. St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis is known world-wide for their efforts to fight all forms of cancer in children. Y102 raised over $195,000 during last year's effort, bringing the total amount raised in the first 13 years of the event to over $1.5 million.


(AP) - A new report shows that Nebraska's preliminary unemployment rate of 2.7 percent last month was the lowest in the country. The Nebraska Labor Department said in the report released Friday that the February rate is seven-tenths of a point under the February 2014 rate of 3.4 percent. The new Nebraska figure remains well below the preliminary national unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in February. U.S. Labor Department figures say Nebraska was trailed by North Dakota at 2.9 percent and South Dakota and Utah at 3.4 percent.


(AP) - A report by a Nebraska tax-policy think tank says the state has cut taxes significantly over the last decade, reducing the revenue available for other priorities. The OpenSky Policy Institute said Monday that tax cut packages enacted since 2005 are expected to cost the state $840 million in revenue per year by 2024. Income tax cuts are expected to account for $487 million of the reductions. The group says the decreased revenue has contributed to the growing reliance on property taxes. The group, which often emphasizes the need for school funding, says the decline leaves less money available for K-12 schools and state services.


(AP) - A military couple is suing the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, accusing the agency of hiding the serious medical and mental health issues of a 6-year-old boy they adopted in 2009. The Lincoln Journal Star says ( ) the couple adopted the boy while they were stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. Their attorney, Sally Rasmussen of Lincoln, says Nebraska HHS told the couple that the boy "was a handful" and might have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But the couple's lawsuit says they later learned the department was aware, but didn't tell them, that the boy had been diagnosed with severe attachment disorder and bipolar disorder. That would violate state law requiring it to provide the medical records of children it places for adoption to adoptive parents.


(AP) - Legal weed in Colorado isn't hurting its neighboring states. That's according to a Supreme Court filing Friday that marks the first time Colorado has defended legal marijuana in writing. Colorado sent the argument to the nation's highest court as a defense against a lawsuit from Oklahoma and Nebraska, which have asked the court to stop pot regulation. Colorado says in response that their gripe is with the federal government for not enforcing the Controlled Substances Act. Colorado says that Congress banned marijuana but did not compel states to enforce the ban. Colorado's neighbors claim that the 2012 pot legalization vote has sent the drug flooding across Colorado's borders. The U.S. Supreme Court has not said whether it will hear the challenge.


(AP) - A judge has dismissed a class-action lawsuit by Nebraska farmers who say the Department of Natural Resources deprived them of irrigation water to which they were entitled. But District Court Judge James E. Doyle IV ruled this week that the farmers can amend their lawsuit with new arguments challenging the decision to divert the water to comply with the Republican River Compact. Doyle ruled that the department's duties to comply with the compact govern how water must be distributed. More than 150 irrigators who receive water through the Frenchman Cambridge Irrigation District say their crops suffered because they were denied access to water that went to Kansas under the compact. The compact allocates 49 percent of the river's water to Nebraska, 40 percent to Kansas and 11 percent to Colorado.