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

July 15, 2018

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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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. — Nebraska will see a flurry of new state laws take effect this week, including safeguards to fight prescription painkiller abuse, looser gun regulations and a policy that will make it easier to massage horses for money. The 117 laws will go into effect Thursday, three months after this year’s legislative session adjourned and the end of the normal grace period for new state statutes. By Grant Schulte.

CHINA TARIFFS-FARMING

DES MOINES, Iowa — Even before the specter of a trade war with China and other countries threatened to cost them billions of dollars, American farmers were feeling the squeeze from fluctuating crop prices and other factors that have halved their overall income in recent years. The threat of counter-tariffs on U.S. farm goods and the impact of President Donald Trump’s other policies on immigration and biofuels, though, have some farmers more worried than ever about their ability to continue eking out an existence in agriculture. By David Pitt.

AP Photos NENH201, NENH204, NENH202, NENH206, NENH203, NENH205.

LEAD PIPE REPLACEMENTS

LINCOLN, Neb. — Lincoln officials are proposing to replace lead water service lines that lead into residents’ homes for free to avoid any future problems with lead in the city’s drinking water. The $21 million plan is included in the mayor’s proposed budget, the Lincoln Journal Star reported . City Council will vote on the budget next month.

EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-HELP BREATHING

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — Project Care Breathe Right, a program that has been active at St. Francis for nine months. The program provides financial assistance to patients who are in need of take-home equipment for their cardio/pulmonary needs such as home oxygen machines and oxygen tank rentals. It doesn’t pay for hospital expenses. Chris Goplin of CHI Health St. Francis said the program was born out of the increasing number of people without adequate private insurance coverage who can’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. By Robert Pore, Grand Island Independent. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1154 words.

EXCHANGE-CHURCH SECURITY

KEARNEY, Neb. — Kearney churches quietly are beefing up their security in response to recent shooter incidents. The threat of active shooters in churches has been simmering since June 2015, when a gunman killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Last November, a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killed 26 people. Kearney Police Sgt. Derek Luke confirmed that churches are being proactive. By Mary Jane Skala, Kearney Hub. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1102 words.

IN BRIEF:

— WILDCAT HILLS BIOBLITZ — The public is invited to help uncover the biodiversity of the Wildcat Hills in the Nebraska Panhandle during the Wildcat Hills Bioblitz.

— JUNIOR RANGER PROGRAMS — The DeSoto Natinoal Wildlife Refuge is hosting a series of junior ranger programs geared toward children who are in second through sixth grades.

— MISSOURI RIVER RELEASES — The amount of water being released into the lower Missouri River will likely remain above normal throughout the summer and fall to reduce the amount of water held in reservoirs along the river.

SPORTS:

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