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This Hour: Latest Nebraska news, sports, business and entertainment

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PUBLIC TRANSIT-CAMPUS SERVICE

Columbus college could get local transit service

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) - The city of Columbus and the local community college will discuss extending public transit service to the campus.

The City Council this week decided to let staffers talk to Central Community College-Columbus about offering service at the campus just north of the eastern Nebraska city.

The Columbus Telegram says college President Matt Gotschall requested the discussions as part of a college sustainability plan that includes reducing carbon emissions by promoting carpooling and public transportation.

Columbus Area Transit service passengers pay $2 per one-way trip through a call-based system. The service hasn't been operating outside city limits.

BOMB SCARE-ABANDONED CAR

Plea deal made in Nebraska Panhandle bomb scare

GERING, Neb. (AP) - A 39-year-old Mitchell man has made a plea deal in a case stemming from a bomb scare in the Nebraska Panhandle town.

Christopher Lopez pleaded no contest on Wednesday in Scotts Bluff County District Court to an attempted threat to use or place a bomb. Prosecutors had lowered the charge and dropped two others in exchange for Lopez's plea. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 30.

Mitchell Police Chief Mike Cotant says an officer recognized Lopez as he fled a vehicle that had been parked behind the police station on Dec. 31. The officer raised an alarm when he smelled fuel coming from the vehicle and saw four fuel cans lashed together, sitting on the car's dashboard.

3-STATE CHASE

Nebraska man charged in chase through 3 states

MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A Nebraska man is charged in Missouri after a police chase that wound through parts of three states before ending in northwest Missouri.

Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rice on Tuesday charged 37-year-old Neal Alan Ulfers, of Lincoln, Nebraska, with tampering and resisting arrest, both felonies.

Ulfers was arrested Monday after the chase ended in Maryville. He is accused of stealing a pickup truck from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and eluding officers in southwest Iowa before entering northwest Missouri. Investigators say the chase reached speeds up to 80 mph, and Ulfers sometimes drove the wrong direction on highways, two-lane blacktops and gravel roads.

The Maryville Daily Forum reports Ulfers was finally forced off the road by a state trooper.

Online court records do not list an attorney for Ulfers.

RAPE CASE-GERING

Gering man accused of raping 15-year-old girl

GERING, Neb. (AP) - A 23-year-old Gering man is accused of drugging and raping a 15-year-old girl.

Online court records say John Marsh is charged with sexual assault of a minor. Scotts Bluff County Jail records say Marsh remained in custody on Thursday. His attorney didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

An arrest affidavit says the girl reported that she'd gone to visit a 17-year-old girl at Marsh's home, but she found her friend was sleeping in another room there. The girl says she began to feel disoriented after she drank a blue-colored liquid Marsh offered her.

The affidavit says the girl reported that she tried to push Marsh away and told him no as he sexually assaulted her. She says he also threatened her if she reported what happened.

NEBRASKA STATE FAIR

Nebraska State Fair opens Friday with new exhibits

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska State Fair organizers say they'll be ready for the crowd Friday with a variety of entertainment options, plenty of food on a stick and hundreds of volunteers when the event opens.

The fair is celebrating its fifth year in Grand Island with a brand new exhibit hall featuring displays from the state Game and Parks Commission and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Extension program.

Inside the new Nebraska Building, fairgoers will be able to check out a 6,500-gallon aquarium, a shooting gallery and a hands-on exhibit about farming.

State Fair Executive Director Joseph McDermott jokes that those exhibits are so impressive he may have trouble getting visitors to check out the rest of the fair.

But McDermott says there will be plenty to do.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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