News Minute: Here is the latest Nebraska news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. CST
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A bill that would lower Nebraska’s property taxes by shifting more state aid to schools is drawing support from the state’s top agricultural and business groups but opposition from schools that don’t want restrictions on their taxing power and don’t trust the state to maintain its funding. The face-off before the Legislature’s Revenue Committee was a troubling sign for the bill’s prospects, although the committee chairwoman says the proposal was likely to change. Opposition from the state’s mid-sized and largest schools is a major hurdle that supporters would likely have to overcome in the Legislature. Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, the committee chairwoman, says it's a work in progress.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska's chief justice says the state's courts are expanding their public services to protect abused children, keep former prisoners from re-offending and help some counties save money. Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican outlined the accomplishments of the state's judicial branch in his annual State of the Judiciary address to lawmakers. Heavican says the courts are working to reunite more foster children with parents, help offenders with drug and alcohol addictions, and save money by having clerks serve both district and county courts.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A woman charged after the Omaha drowning death of her infant great-granddaughter has been sentenced to two years of probation. Court records say 63-year-old Sandra Laravie pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted negligent child abuse resulting in death. Prosecutors had reduced the charge in exchange for her plea. Laravie was accused of leaving 4-month-old Zavara Taylor unattended in a bathtub on Aug. 22, 2018. When Laravie returned to the bathroom, Zavara was unresponsive. Authorities say she'd slipped from a hammock-like bath seat, was underwater and covered with a brown mat that had slipped into the tub.
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) - The director of the airport in Scottsbluff is under investigation and has been placed on paid administrative leave. The airport board chairman, Bob Unzicker, says the investigation of Raul Aguallo has been turned over to the Nebraska State Patrol. Unzicker told the Scottsbluff Star-Herald that it's alleged Aguallo had airport employees do some work on his house on airport time. Associated Press attempts to reach Aguallo on Wednesday were unsuccessful. Aguallo has been director of Western Nebraska Regional Airport since August 2018.
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