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Wednesday News Gram

Partly cloudy and breezy today with a high of 58 and northwest winds 25 to 40 mph by this afternoon. Mostly cloudy tonight with a low of 28 with north winds 15 to 30 mph. Partly cloudy tomorrow with a high of 52 with northeast winds around 10 mph. Partly cloudy tomorrow night with a slight chance of flurries and a low of 35 with south winds 10 to 20 mph. Partly cloudy Friday with a high of 68 and a low of 48 with south winds 10 to 20 mph. Partly cloudy Saturday and Saturday night with a chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high of 70 and a low of 48. Clearing Easter Sunday with a high of 65 and a low of 45. Clear Monday and Tuesday with highs of 70-75 and lows of 45. Yesterday's high was 63 and the 24-hour low was unavailable at the Kearney Airport.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney has completed the planning stage for development of the 104-acre site now known as University Village, a new campus that will combine public and private resources in a mix of business, retail, office, services, housing, parks and recreation. The development is planned for an area south of The Buckle headquarters and southwest of UNK's campus on the south side of Highway 30. A series of public and informational meetings will be planned to obtain input on the proposed plans, culminating with a formal information session for developers in June. Site construction could begin as soon as 2015, with the first university building planned for 2017. The first university project will be the completion of a new residence hall to replace University Heights. The second university building planned at University Village is a new early childhood education center. The current childcare facility on campus is in the Otto Olsen building. A new, larger, modern child-development facility will help better serve the needs of UNK faculty, staff and students. Kearney's Miller & Associates have been engaged as consulting engineers for infrastructure.

A former Hall County prosecutor has been named to fill an open district court judgeship in eastern Nebraska's 5th Judicial District. The office of Gov. Dave Heineman says he's selected 43-year-old Rachel Daugherty, of Grand Island. She's been in private practice in Grand Island since 2000. She holds a law degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln law school. The opening was created by the retirement of Judge Michael Owens, who was appointed to the post in 1996. The 5th Judicial District covers Boone, Butler, Colfax, Hamilton, Merrick, Nance, Platte, Polk, Saunders, Seward and York counties.

A 31-year-old Nebraska man has been convicted of murder in the knifing death of a Columbus man. The office of Attorney General Jon Bruning said in a news release that 31-year-old Eric Henry was found guilty Tuesday by a Platte County District Court jury in Columbus. Henry was one of three people prosecuted for the May 2013 slaying of 51-year-old Steven Jorgensen during a botched robbery. Last month 32-year-old Kimberly Henderson, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Twenty-seven-year-old Quentin Critser, of Lincoln, pleaded guilty in December to second-degree murder and agreed to testify against his co-defendants. Henderson and Critser are awaiting sentencing.

A Nebraska civil liberties group is now representing a Lincoln man arrested by police last month for handing out religious pamphlets outside Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena. The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska says Larry Ball was exercising his First Amendment rights. The ACLU filed a motion Monday in Ball's casing requesting that the charges against him be dismissed. The 76-year-old Ball was arrested March 15 after refusing police orders to stop handing out the fliers as the Nebraska Boys State Basketball Tournament was being played inside the arena. Ball and the ACLU say Ball was on a public sidewalk and was therefore free to hand out fliers. Police and city prosecutors dispute that Ball was on public property.

Eight-year-old Max Vertin has a disease that is weakening his muscles, but not his imagination. Make-A-Wish Colorado says Max, who loves to pretend to fly like a superhero, soared Tuesday at an indoor skydiving facility near Denver called SkyVenture Colorado. The Hastings, Neb., boy wore a red Iron Man-style costume, a red helmet and a broad smile for his wind tunnel adventure. Max and his two brothers have Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that primarily affects boys. It often manifests itself when patients are young and causes their muscles to slowly deteriorate. According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, until recently, patients did not survive much beyond their teens, when the disease begins to affect the heart and respiratory muscles. Life expectancy has been increasing because of advances in cardiac and respiratory care.

In the first five days of early voting for the 2014 primary, 23,447 requests have been made for early voting ballots, says Secretary of State John Gale. That's the highest number of early voting ballots requested during a five day period in the last four Nebraska primaries. Of the requests made, 2,525 ballots have been returned to county election offices so far. In the first five days of early voting in the 2012 primary, 23,182 requests for ballots were submitted. In the 2010 primary, 18,548 requests were made and in 2008, there were 480 requests during that same time frame. Through the Voter Information Center on the Secretary of State's website, registered voters can see when their ballot request was received, when it was mailed out and the date the ballot was returned to the county election office. The Voter Information Center is found under the "Elections" tab at www.sos.ne.gov. Registered voters in Nebraska can request an early voting ballot 120 days prior to the election. The first wave of ballots went out April 7. They are due back into the county election offices by the time polls close on Election Day. Gale said it's important that people take their early voting ballots to the election office. They will not be accepted at polling sites on Election Day. Now through May 12, Nebraska voters can also vote in person at their county election office.

 

 

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