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How the debt ceiling deal could impact food stamp recipients in Nebraska

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How the debt ceiling deal could impact food stamp recipients in Nebraska


LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling included some changes for food stamp recipients.

Before, anyone under 50 who did not have children needed to work at least 80 hours a month to qualify for food stamps.

But now, that applies to childless recipients under 54.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., estimates that almost 750,000 adults ages 50 to 54 will be at risk of losing food assistance under the new requirements. 

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A Nebraska nonprofit said this is going to put a lot of people in the state at risk.

“Work requirements should’ve never been on the table in these debt ceiling negotiations because the purpose of SNAP is to provide meals, to provide supplemental nutrition and assistance to families and individuals who need it” said Eric Savaiano, who manages programs for food and nutrition access at Nebraska Appleseed. 

Officials said the changes will cut spending on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, partly by reducing how many people qualify for assistance. 

The policy will be implemented in phases. By 2025, it will apply to those 54 and under.

The change will expire in 2030.

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The expanded requirement also has plenty of supporters.

“It will help get Americans off the sidelines of our economy and back into the workforce while preserving these programs for those who truly need them,” said Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska.

Those exempt from the work requirements include the homeless, veterans or those who were in the foster care system. 





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Nebraska State Patrol finds 17 firearms, plethora of drugs in narcotics investigation

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Nebraska State Patrol finds 17 firearms, plethora of drugs in narcotics investigation


Courtesy Phelps and Buffalo County Jails

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Nebraska State Patrol arrested two people Thursday after finding numerous guns and controlled substances.

The State Patrol SWAT team and a drug task force executed a search warrant in the morning on Eighth Avenue in Kearney.

During the search, investigators said they found 12 firearms, about 11 pounds of marijuana, 1 gram of cocaine, 4 pounds of THC wax and four dozen mushroom candy bars.

Authorities found the resident of the home, 36-year-old Shane Martin, at his work and arrested him.

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Martin was arrested on suspicion of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute within a school zone and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

He was lodged in the Buffalo County Jail.

Officials said a related search warrant was executed 25 miles south of Kearney in Funk, Nebraska.

Law enforcement said they found an additional five firearms, a small amount of marijuana products and mushrooms.

Dakota Hancock, 29, was arrested on suspicion of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

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He was taken to the Phelps County Jail.

Categories: Nebraska News, News





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Casper man dead after semi vs train collision in Nebraska

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Casper man dead after semi vs train collision in Nebraska


CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) – Nebraska officials are investigating a collision between a train and a semi truck which resulted in the death of a Casper resident.

The collision was reported around 2:45 pm on Tuesday, July 16 afternoon on US Highway 34 in Dundy County, located in the Southwest corner of Nebraska, bordering Colorado and Kansas.

The semi was attempting to cross the tracks when it collided with a BNSF locomotive, ejecting the two occupants of the semi. The men were transported to Wray Colorado Hospital for treatment

The passenger, identified as 61-year-old Steven Drinkwalter of Casper, was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

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The driver,  46-year-old Matthew Drinkwalter of Midwest, Wyoming was flown to another hospital for further care.

There were no injuries or fatalities reported from those on the train.

The Dundy County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the incident.



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Developer: $90M Omaha airport area business park project won't use eminent domain • Nebraska Examiner

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Developer: $90M Omaha airport area business park project won't use eminent domain • Nebraska Examiner


OMAHA — A development group that was awarded $90 million in public funds to prepare a business park near Omaha’s airport faced a crowd Wednesday night with a common concern: Will they be forced from their homes?

“We’re not strong-arming anybody,” Michael Maroney of the Omaha Economic Development Corp. told the roughly 150 people, most of whom live on the land eyed for the project. “Eminent domain is not on the table.”

George Achola of Burlington Capital addresses the Wednesday night group gathered to hear about the proposed Omaha airport area business park. (Cindy Gonzalez/Nebraska Examiner)

Maroney said his team, which also includes Burlington Capital and the Greater Omaha Chamber, is not interested in pursuing the business park north of Carter Lake and west of the airport unless it is able to assemble enough property voluntarily.

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Skeptics

Under the plan, the developers would clear about 160 acres currently occupied by households, small urban farms and other properties and turn the site into shovel-ready land where manufacturers, distributors and other industries could build plants and create jobs.

Some in the crowd remained skeptical of eminent domain.

“Somebody is making money. It’s not going to be me,” said Dave Gillespie.

Dave Gillespie is among property owners who would be relocated if the business park were to be developed as planned. (Cindy Gonzalez/Nebraska Examiner)

Many left wanting more details.

“They’re beating around the bush,” said Jason Johnson.

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Others were thankful that the development group finally reached out.

Although Maroney and his partners fielded questions at an earlier forum, Wednesday’s gathering was the first community outreach meeting organized and led by the group since Gov. Jim Pillen in January announced the award. 

State lawmakers representing North Omaha and others have criticized the developers for not including enough community input in developing the plan for the business park that would dislocate scores of residents.

During the packed meeting at Sherman Elementary School’s gym, Maroney and George Achola of Burlington Capital spent time explaining the history of the business park vision and the group’s previous guardedness. They said the team received a final contract agreement with the state just about two weeks ago.

“Now we have some level of authority that we’d like to move this thing forward,” said Maroney.

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Digging deep

Still needed is a letter of support from the newly formed Omaha Inland Port Authority, which is charged with overseeing economic development in a roughly 300-acre zone of northeast Omaha that includes the proposed business park.

Homes, urban farm stand at site of proposed Omaha business park buoyed by $90M in state funds

Achola said he anticipates that the team will start to “dig deep” around October and discuss relocation/compensation plans with area residents. Early next year, he said, the developers should have a good idea of whether it will have enough property to carry out the plan.

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When asked about the threshold for viability, the developers said much depends on how much of a concentrated area they could assemble. If enough of a mass is not achieved, Achola said, “We probably have to move on.”

An audience member asked if the developers had a backup plan. To that, they said another tract in the general area might be a fallback.

A deadline looms. The state grant funds are to be allocated by the close of 2027, the developers said.

The meeting, attended also by Omaha City Councilwoman Juanita Johnson, included information presented by Midwest Right of Way Services, which is to work with the developer and neighborhood in acquisition and relocation.

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‘If the price is right…’

Jason Johnson said he was doubtful that his family members, who have lived near each other for generations on spacious acreages, would be able to be compensated fairly enough. He said they live near downtown Omaha, the airport, Carter Lake and each other.

Toni Kuhn, a resident in the area of the proposed airport area business park. (Cindy Gonzalez/Nebraska Examiner)

“If I wanted to move for market value, I’d have moved already,” he said.

Hank Schlotfeld and Gillespie questioned whether eminent domain still would be “off the table” if they were among a small percentage of “holdouts.”

Robin Lincoln questioned whether the project could even fulfill its goal of job creation.

“We got jobs, with nobody wanting to work them,” she said. “Look around. ‘Help wanted’ signs everywhere.”

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Toni Kuhn said she was worried that her house, handed down by a family member, was in disrepair and wouldn’t yield enough compensation from the development team for her to find another house.

She said many people are afraid to move from an area where they’ve been rooted for a lifetime.

“We’re happy,” she said. “But if the price is right, I will sell.”

Shown here is a potential development site of a business and industrial park envisioned west of Eppley Airfield in northeast Omaha. This tract is included within the larger boundaries of a proposed North Omaha inland port authority district that is driving Legislative Bill 164. (Courtesy of Lamp Rynearson)

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