FORMER SENATOR-WIRE FRAUD
UPDATE: Former Omaha senator gets probation
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Former state Sen. Brenda Council has been given three years of probation on one federal count of wire fraud.
A federal judge in Omaha also fined Council $500 on Thursday.
She'd pleaded guilty in September to spending money from campaign donations to gamble at casinos. Council agreed to plead guilty after prosecutors said they'd ask the judge to give her probation.
Council pleaded guilty last year to two state misdemeanor counts of filing false campaign finance reports. State prosecutors say the reports concealed her misuse of more than $63,000 in campaign donations at casinos. She was fined $500.
State Sen. Ernie Chambers, who beat Council to regain the legislative seat he held for 38 years, filed a complaint in 2012 that prompted the U.S. attorney's investigation.
UNSOLVED OMAHA KILLINGS
Hearing pushed back for Garcia in Omaha killings
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A preliminary hearing for attempted burglary has been pushed back for a former doctor accused of killing four people with ties to an Omaha medical school that fired him in 2001.
Anthony Garcia appeared in Douglas County District Court on Thursday, looking noticeably thinner when he was arrested this summer in Illinois. A judge said he will likely set the preliminary hearing for January.
Prosecutors say forensic evidence links Garcia to an attempted break-in in May at the home of another Creighton University Medical School professor.
The Terre Haute, Ind., man is charged with first-degree murder for the 2008 deaths of the 11-year-old son of Creighton University pathologist William Hunter and the family's housekeeper, as well as the May deaths of Creighton pathologist Roger Brumback and his wife.
Scottsbluff man accused of trying to bribe juror
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) - A Scottsbluff man who was being tried on drug and related charges has been accused of trying to bribe a juror.
The Scottsbluff Star-Herald says 33-year-old Brian Ross was charged Wednesday with soliciting a juror, a felony.
Scotts Bluff County Attorney Doug Warner says Ross had spoken to the juror as he arrived at the courthouse Wednesday morning. The juror reported the conversation during the lunch break and was replaced by an alternate.
The jury convicted Ross later in the day of felony possession of methamphetamine and two other crimes. He was acquitted of another charge.
TD AMERITRADE OWNERSHIP
Canadian bank extends limit on TD Ameritrade stake
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Toronto Dominion Bank has agreed to extend a pact limiting its stake in TD Ameritrade to 45 percent for five more years.
The agreement announced Thursday extends to January 2021, but after 2016 the family of company founder Joe Ricketts will no longer be part of the agreement.
The Ricketts family owns about 67 million shares of the online brokerage's stock and two of Joe's sons serve on the board. Starting in 2016, the family will no longer have the right to name two board members.
Toronto Dominion says it will sell 5.5 million of its 232 million TD Ameritrade shares to give the Omaha, Neb.-based company some flexibility to consider repurchasing stock.
The ownership limit was part of Ameritrade's 2006 acquisition of TD Waterhouse Group's U.S. retail securities business.
Black ice causes I-80 pileup in western Nebraska
MAXWELL, Neb. (AP) - At least four people have been treated at a hospital after a pileup on ice-slickened Interstate 80 in western Nebraska.
The Nebraska State Patrol says the accidents were reported about 2:25 a.m. Wednesday near Maxwell. The patrol says a westbound semitrailer jackknifed on a patch of black ice, blocking traffic. Another semitrailer, a car and a pickup towing a trailer soon piled into the jackknifed truck.
The patrol says four people were taken to Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte for injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
The interstate was closed for about 2½ hours as wreckers cleared the roadway. Traffic was diverted to U.S. Highway 30.
FATAL HOME ACCIDENT
Platte County officials ID accident victim
DUNCAN, Neb. (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a 55-year-old man who died while working on his truck at his home in eastern Nebraska.
Platte County Attorney Carl Hart identified the man as William Dolge.
The Platte County Sheriff's Office says deputies were sent to the home in Duncan around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday. They found Dolge pinned under a pickup. He'd been working on the truck when it shifted out of gear and rolled, trapping him under the vehicle frame.
Dolge was pronounced dead at the scene.
CHILD PORN-MAN FLEES
Columbus man makes plea deal in child porn case
COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) - A Columbus man has pleaded guilty to six counts of possessing child pornography.
The Columbus Telegram says sentencing has been set Jan. 31 for 35-year-old Christopher Fleming. Prosecutors dropped six counts of porn distribution and two more counts of child porn possession in exchange for Fleming's pleas.
Fleming fled the Columbus area in mid-April after an arrest warrant was issued. He surrendered in May. At an earlier court hearing, Fleming told a judge he ignored the warrant so he could spend time with his dying father in Texas.
Event offers Neb. farmers advice on challenges
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Farmers Union plans to mark its centennial at its annual conference that will feature presentations on several issues farmers are concerned about.
The conference will be held at the midtown Holiday Inn in Grand Island on Friday and Saturday.
At one of the presentations, a panel of experts will offer farmers advice about how to buy health insurance under the reforms that are taking effect.
Democratic candidate for governor Chuck Hassebrook will also speak at the conference and take questions from farmers on Saturday morning.
And ethanol industry executives will give an update on the industry. The EPA has proposed reducing the amount of ethanol required in the nation's fuel supply for the first time since 2007, and critics are again questioning ethanol's value.
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