The politics of oil and ecology have put President Obama between a rock and hard place, as he faces a decision on whether or not to permit construction of a new pipeline. The squeeze just got tighter with a new, negative environmental assessment.
The Keystone XL pipeline will give America energy independence, thousands of jobs, important industrial infrastructure and won't cost taxpayers a dime, say proponents. Many of them are Republican lawmakers.
It is dangerous, inherently filthy and must be stopped, say opponents, some of whom are Democrats who helped get the president elected.FULL STORY
Six inches of snow in Chicago. A foot or so plastering the Upper Midwest. And up 20 inches expected just west of Washington D.C.
Surely, there's a silver lining to these snow clouds though, right? Don't they bring much-neeed moisture to parched states?
Snow is very fluffy, and it takes up to a foot of it to squeeze out an inch of rain, meteorologists say.FULL STORY
Thirty-three people were injured - two critically - in a bus accident Thursday morning near Gibbon, Nebraska, the American Bus Association reported.
The driver of the bus was among those critically injured.
Details of the accident were unclear, but it appeared that the bus either struck or was struck by an 18-wheeler, association spokesman Dan Ronan told CNN.
The incident happened on Interstate 80.
The Burlington Trailways bus was heading from Omaha, Nebraska, to Denver, Colorado.FULL STORY
A Nebraska girl born with incomplete arms and no legs has finally achieved her dream of being a cheerleader – thanks to a high school coach about 800 miles away.
Julia Sullivan, 16, of Aurora, and her family traveled last week to Portland (Michigan) High School at the invitation of Portland cheerleading coach Linda Fox, who had Sullivan join her varsity squad for Friday’s homecoming football game.
It was the first time that Julia, who tried out for her high school’s squad in Nebraska three times without success, had cheered on a team in public, CNN affiliate WILX reported.
“I love to get the crowd going, and (I’m) just … excited (to) show the world what I can do,” she told WILX.
Fox said she’d read about Julia’s efforts to join her squad in Aurora.
“I was surfing the Internet and came on Julia’s story, and I was very inspired,” Fox told WILX. “I brought it to the team, and they challenged me to do something.”
An Amtrak train with 178 people on board derailed Friday in southwestern Nebraska, the rail service said.
A few passengers were hospitalized, but there were no reports of life-threatening injuries, Amtrak said in a statement.
An agricultural vehicle on the tracks caused the derailment just before 9 a.m. near the town of Benkelman, in the southwestern part of Nebraska, near the Kansas and Colorado state lines.FULL STORY
Think you have a bad commute? It's nothing compared with the one that several hundred employees have at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station near Omaha, Nebraska.
The toughest part of their trip to work begins immediately when they arrive. First there's the employee parking lot. Like much of the facility, it's flooded.
Fort Calhoun is one of two Nebraska nuclear power plants under threat from severe flooding. The plant has been kept offline since April and will likely remain inactive until floodwaters subside. But workers must show up to help cool spent-radioactive fuel at the facility.
Their work conditions are tough. Floodwaters are 2 feet higher than the ground floor of the plant. It's only through a system of berms, flood gates and towering sandbag walls that workers at Fort Calhoun have avoided being swamped. Read the latest news about flooding in Nebraska.
But the same barriers that keep the water out also keep everything else out, too. So how are the hundreds of employees getting to work every day? A long catwalk carries workers over the berms and floodwaters to the plant, according to Jeffrey Hanson, a spokesman for the Omaha Public Power District, which operates the plant.
Using the catwalk, workers leave dry land and walk over flooded outer buildings not deemed important enough to save from the rising water. The system of bridges is the only way to get out to the main plant. The plant's reactor and volatile spent-fuel will be kept away from the water, plant operators said, no matter how many sandbags have to be stacked.
See how some are comparing Nebraska's nuclear plant situation to that of the recent troubles at a Japanese power plant.
A Nebraska high school senior had been called out of class to speak with an assistant principal just hours before he returned to school and fatally shot her, Omaha police said Thursday.
Robert Butler Jr., 17, also wounded the school principal and was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Millard South High School Assistant Principal Vicki Kaspar, 58, died at Creighton University Medical Center several hours after she was life-flighted away from the school with critical wounds. Principal Curtis Case, 43, remains hospitalized at the same facility in serious but stable condition.FULL STORY
[Updated at 10:18 p.m. ET] Millard South High School Assistant Principal Vicki Kaspar was pronounced dead at Creighton University hospital Wednesday night, Omaha Police Department Officer Michael Pecha said.
[Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET] An Omaha, Nebraska, high school senior shot his principal and an assistant principal Wednesday before police found him dead in his car, Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes said.
Principal Curtis Case and Assistant Principal Vicki Kaspar were wounded in the shooting at Millard South High School, Hayes said.
Case is in serious but stable condition, and Kaspar is in critical condition, he said. Both are being treated at Creighton University Medical Center.
Hayes identified the suspect as Robert Butler Jr., the son of an Omaha Police Department detective.
CNN affiliate KETV reported that Butler posted the following statement on his Facebook page on Wednesday:
"Everybody that used to know me, I'm sorry, but Omaha changed me and (expletive) me up and the school I now attend is even worse. You are going to hear about the evil (expletive) I did, but that (expletive) school drove me to this. I want you guys to remember me for who I was before this. I know I greatly affected the lives of the families I ruined, but I'm sorry. Goodbye."
Lincoln Public Schools officials said Butler was enrolled at Lincoln Southwest High School last fall, but transferred to Millard South recently, KETV reported.
All the schools in the Millard School District were placed on lockdown after the shootings, but the lockdown has been ended, Omaha police spokesman Jacob Bettin said.FULL STORY