Man found dead in barrel had been shot, official says

BAYARD, Neb. (AP) - Western Nebraska authorities say a man whose body was found sealed inside a 55-gallon barrel was shot to death.

Morrill County Attorney Travis Rodak said Tuesday that an autopsy show the man died of a gunshot wound. The man’s identity has not been confirmed.

A farmer spotted the barrel floating along Red Willow Creek about four miles east of Bayard on Friday afternoon. He called the Morrill County Sheriff’s Office after opening the barrel and seeing the body inside.



Gordon Theater gets new roof

The effort to renovate the Gordon movie theater took another step forward last week when a new rubber roof was installed on the theater building by Twin City Roofing of Scottsbluff. The old roof had developed a few leaks and, after receiving several bids and recommendations, it was decided by the theater board that a new roof would need to be installed as soon as possible to prevent damage to the inside of the building. 

“Whether or not the theater project goes through - and I fully believe it


New Nebraska roadwork rules proposed to ease standards

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska state board has proposed new road construction rule changes that would ease the standards that cities, counties and the state must follow when rehabilitating roadways.

The Lincoln Journal Star ( ) reports that the Nebraska Board of Public Roads Classifications and Standards hopes the proposed rules will allow roadwork budgets to be stretched further by eliminating right-of-way and construction costs.

“It doesn’t solve all of the financial


Former police officer awaits fate in excessive force trial

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A former Oglala Sioux Tribe police officer accused of improperly using a stun gun on an intoxicated tribal member is awaiting her fate by a federal jury.

The Rapid City Journal reports ( ) that a jury failed to reach a verdict Friday following the three-day trial of 33-year-old Rebecca Sotherland. The jury is slated to resume deliberations on Monday.

Authorities said Sotherland last year used a Taser several times on Jeffrey Eagle Bull, who was


Western Nebraska farmer finds body sealed inside barrel

BAYARD, Neb. (AP) - Authorities are investigating a man’s death after a Western Nebraska farmer found his body sealed inside a 55-gallon barrel.

The farmer spotted the barrel floating along Red Willow Creek about four miles east of Bayard on Friday afternoon. He called the Morrill County Sheriff’s office after opening the barrel and seeing the body inside.

Morrill County Attorney Travis Rodak said the farmer initially thought he could make use of the barrel.

“He saw the barrel, floating in


South Dakota agency denies bias against Native Americans


Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota’s Department of Social Services is denying claims of racial discrimination against Native Americans who applied for jobs at its office on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The state agency says in its response to a lawsuit brought by the Justice Department last month that it was unaware of the race of the applicants because it doesn’t request that information from job candidates. It also argues that those who


Republican River disputes could cost Nebraska another $1.2M


Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Disputes over the Republican River continue to cost Nebraska millions in legal expenses despite new glimmers of cooperation with fellow river states Kansas and Colorado.

The Nebraska attorney general’s office is seeking another $1.2 million to defend the state against a class-action lawsuit filed by farmers and to hire consultants for its ongoing settlement negotiations with Kansas, according to a budget request to lawmakers.



Judge throws out lawsuit challenging Nebraska pipeline law

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A judge has thrown out a lawsuit challenging a Nebraska law that allowed the Nebraska governor to approve the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline route through the state.

Holt County District Judge Mark Kozisek tossed the lawsuit on Friday, agreeing with the pipeline company’s argument that the issue was rendered moot by TransCanada’s decision to abandon plans to move forward on the project, the Omaha World-Herald reported ( ).

That means the law will


Nebraska governor suspends efforts to obtain injection drugs


Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska’s governor announced Friday that the state will stop trying to obtain lethal injection drugs until after a statewide vote on capital punishment next November.

Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts said the state will wait to carry out executions until after the November 2016 vote, but he also acknowledged that his administration is considering alternatives to the state’s current three-drug protocol. Nebraska has struggled to obtain some

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