FEMA supplying permanent homes to Pine Ridge Reservation

By MIKE ANDERSON

Rapid City Journal

PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) - Gazing out his living room window at the rolling, wind-swept hills of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Marvin Goings gestured to his dining room table in his front yard.

A few minutes earlier, Goings had sat at that table and accepted the keys to his new home, a permanent manufactured housing unit installed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It is the first of more than 200 to be erected on the reservation between now and

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Nebraska death penalty foes focusing on practical problems

By GRANT SCHULTE

Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A coalition that wants to keep Nebraska’s ban on the death penalty says it will focus on the practical problems of carrying out executions in the buildup to next year’s statewide vote on capital punishment.

A state senator and law professor speaking on behalf of Nebraskans for Public Safety argued Wednesday that the state will face major challenges if voters decide to reinstate the death penalty in the November general election.

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Ricketts appoints new Nebraska economic development director

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Gov. Pete Ricketts has appointed a Norfolk woman to serve as the state’s new economic development director.

Courtney Dentlinger will start in her new position on Jan. 11. Ricketts announced Tuesday that she will fill the opening left by Brenda Hicks-Sorensen.

Dentlinger works as the executive director of the Norfolk Area Economic Development Council. She previously served as executive director for Northeast Community College, where she managed capital campaigns including

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Data show Iowa and Nebraska have top graduation rates

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa and Nebraska have the top high school graduation rates in the country and surpass the national level, according to data released Tuesday by federal education officials.

The figures by the Education Department show Iowa ranked first among all states with a graduation rate of 90.5 percent for the 2013-2014 school year. Nebraska came in second with a graduation rate of 89.7 percent for the same period.

New Jersey and Wisconsin rounded out the third place slot with a

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Nebraska offering text, email alerts for vehicle renewals

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles is now offering text and email notifications to let drivers know when it’s time for them to renew their vehicle registrations.

The department says it has added the new eNotice application to online renewal services that were already in place.

Nebraska DMV Director Rhonda Lahm says the service is designed to be faster and more convenient for drivers.

Participants in the eNotice system can change or delete their email or phone

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Task force outlines steps to prepare for aging population

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska state task force is recommending several steps the state should take to prepare for its growing population of senior citizens.

The Aging Nebraskans Task Force report released Tuesday says the state should work to improve the availability of transportation for seniors, create incentives for long-term care insurance and protect the rights of people who are receiving home- and community-based services.

The report calls for an expansion of memory care services to

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Nebraska property owners to get tax credit notification

By GRANT SCHULTE

Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska property owners will soon get a statement in the mail telling them how much money the state has spent to reduce their property tax burden.

Gov. Pete Ricketts and Speaker of the Legislature Galen Hadley announced Tuesday that the state will send about 700,000 tax relief notices this week to property owners.

The postcards will highlight the property tax measures approved by Ricketts and the Legislature earlier this year. The

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Bill would put more agencies on Nebraska transparency site

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers will consider a proposal next year that would place more agencies on the state’s spending transparency website.

State Treasurer Don Stenberg and state Sen. John McCollister announced Tuesday that they will propose legislation that would require quasi-public agencies to submit their financial records for publication. Financial information would appear on the website, www.statespending.nebraska.gov/ .

“Government transparency fosters accountability

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Nebraska State Patrol, Omaha police faced spending freeze

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska State Patrol and the Omaha Police Department earlier this year had been ordered to halt their spending of funds seized during drug busts and traffic stops because of irregularities found by a federal compliance check.

The Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/1TLlriq ) reports that the agencies received the order from the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this year. The state patrol’s freeze lasted six months, and the Omaha police spending freeze lasted nine

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