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BC-NE--Nebraska News Digest 5 pm, NE

May 12, 2019

Hello! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Nebraska. Questions about coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to the Omaha Bureau at 402-391-0031 or omahane@ap.org. Nebraska News Editor Scott McFetridge can also be reached at 515-243-3281 or smcfetridge@ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

AROUND THE STATE:

NEBRASKA CAPITOL FOCUS

LINCOLN, Neb. _ Traffickers who sell women and children for sex in Nebraska could have their phones tapped by law enforcement and face prosecution years or even decades after their crimes under a sweeping new bill set for legislative debate. Lawmakers are expected to vote on a package this week that would make it easier to prosecute human traffickers and provide state services to children who fall victim. By Grant Schulte.

MENTAL HEALTH THERAPISTS-POLICE

(Information in the following story is from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com)

OMAHA, Neb. _ A pilot program that stationed a mental health therapist in an Omaha police precinct will be expanded to every precinct, officials said. The primary goal: Decrease the instances of officers taking into custody people struggling with mental health issues. Officials also hope to connect people to the services they require and reduce the number of times officers must respond to people and their mental health crises.

EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-SIBLINGS CONNECT

HASTINGS, Neb. _ A Hastings woman placed for adoption by her mother in war-torn Germany after World War II has overcame astronomical odds to connect with siblings she never knew existed after 66 years. It was the end of a very long search for her late mother, Hildegard (Schoene) Bishop, when Mary Ruge of Hastings first spoke to her sister, Judy Bishop, in Elliot-Lake, Ontario, Canada, by telephone on Aug. 13, 2018. That the conversation was very nearly disconnected before it happened is but one example of how many different puzzle pieces had to come together to make this implausible unification possible. By John Huthmacher, Hastings Tribune. SENT IN ADVANCE: 863 words.

EXCHANGE-ROOFTOP CAMPING

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. _ Westmoor Elementary students arrived to school recently to see principal Bert Wright and assistant principal Lukas Benzel camping in tents on the roof. Ahead of the Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) test, Wright came up with the idea that he and Benzel would camp overnight if 90% of the students in third, fourth and fifth grades took 40 minutes on each test. The teachers reported their students met their end of the deal, so the two principals recently climbed a ladder and hoisted up two tents, air mattresses, pillows, chairs and food. They set up their sleeping quarters on the southwest corner of the school’s roof, overlooking the playground. By Lauren Brant, Star-Herald. SENT IN ADVANCE: 677 words.

IN BRIEF:

RACETRACK INJURIES

LINCOLN, Neb. _ When a race car’s throttle became stuck, at least two people were hurt, including one with critical injuries, when the car crashed in the pit area at a Nebraska track over the weekend.

SPORTS:

TRIPLE-A POWER SURGE

Balls are flying out of Triple-A ballparks like never before, coinciding with a switch in baseballs to the major league model. The El Paso Chihuahuas have hit 89 home runs in their first 37 games — the most in professional baseball and more than half the 142 they slugged in 139 games last season. The Rochester Red Wings and Lehigh Valley IronPigs combined for 15 homers in a game last month. Overall, 26 of the 30 teams in the Pacific Coast League and International League are on pace to exceed their 2018 totals, most by a wide margin. By Eric Olson.

AP Photos NENH102-0507190938, NENH101-0507191238.

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