Controversial pipeline gets a tip line Six Nebraska groups opposed to the Keystone XL Pipeline launched a toll-free tip line Wednesday for landowners to confidentially report instances of TransCanada abuse. The Canadian oil company has threatened to gain easements for land along the proposed Sandhills route through eminent domain if landowners don’t negotiate a settlement. The tip line, 866.363.4648, is sponsored by the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Bold Nebraska, Nebraska Sierra Club, Guardians of the Good Life, Nebraskans for Peace and the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters. The groups also launched a blog at to track public tips. School ignores ACLU warning The Lyons-Decatur school district will host religious speaker Keith Becker this week, despite threats of a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska who says Becker’s presentation violates the First Amendment. Lyons-Decatur made the presentation optional. But even that is a violation of First Amendment rights says the ACLU. The group toughened its stance in a second letter to the school district, threatening individual and civil lawsuits if Becker was allowed to speak. Suttle recall efforts move forward Two recall groups with different goals are each one step closer to forcing a recall of Mayor Jim Suttle. The Mayor Suttle Recall Committee filed a recall affidavit with the Douglas County Election Commission after raising $35,000 and signing up 150 volunteers in September. Suttle has 20 days to craft a statement that will appear on the recall petitions. The recall group then has 30 days to collect 26,643 signatures to force a revote. A second recall group, led by former state senator Lowen Kruse, just received their petitions but said they don’t actually want to recall Suttle, rather just foster a public discussion about the city’s problems. On Friday Kruse announced the first of four public forums to discuss the city budget. The forum is Thursday at 7 p.m. at Florence City Hall, 2864 State St. Suttle said a recall election could cost taxpayers up to $900,000, forcing cuts to city services. Mexican-American artifacts have a new home Jose Garcia wanted a place for his collection of photos, press clippings and paintings detailing 50 years of Mexican-American history in Omaha. So he and his wife Linda created their own. The new nonprofit, Mexican-American Historical Society of the Midlands, will unveil the Garcia’s personal collection of historical artifacts at an open house and reception Friday at 4:30 p.m. at 4913 S. 24th St. Garcia is the organization’s executive director. He previously operated Las Artes Cultural Center at 3702 s. 16th St. For more information call 884.1910 or visit Lincoln hit attempt foiled Lincoln police arrested Andrew Yager, 22, on Sept 23 for allegedly hiring an undercover officer to kill or maim his former roommate. Police asked the ex-roommate to pose dead for photos. The officer apprehended Yager on suspicion of conspiracy to commit first degree murder after showing him the pictures. Cocaine Bust on I-80 The Douglas County Sherriff’s Office found 30 kilograms of cocaine, worth $750,000, following a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Phuc Nguyen, 47, and Doan Au, 24 last week on I-80. This was the second-largest cocaine seizure in the city this year. In May the Omaha Police Department confiscated $2 million worth of cocaine from a semi-truck on I-80 Bellevue man charged in roommate’s murder Darrell White, 44, faces life in prison for allegedly stabbing to death his roommate, 44-year-old Todd Berg, at 12753 S. 29th St. on Sept. 21. The pair had been living together for nine months, but had known each other for more than 20 years. State parks become booze friendly Gov. Dave Heineman lifted a 15-year-old alcohol ban in Nebraska state parks, following the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s May vote to allow alcohol back in the parks. The new rules prohibit alcohol in state wildlife reserves and at Lake McConaughy. A string of alcohol-related incidents at the western Nebraska lake led to the initial ban in 1995, and Heineman said it was the one location facing strong opposition to the repeal. The new rules take effect Jan. 1. Early voting underway Nebraskans can now vote in the Nov. 2 election by mail or in person at their county election office. Early vote ballots became available on Sept. 27. Registered voters have until Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. to vote in person. Mail-in ballots must be received by poll closing on Election Day. Omaha teachers get free tuition Sixty Omaha Public Schools teachers can get a free master’s degree thanks to a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant covers tuition at Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Omaha campus for teachers pursuing a degree in historical arts. More than 20 teachers took advantage of similar programs in 2002 and 2005. Shooting Rounds Adrin Hayes, 22, survived after being shot near 3121 Franklin St. Sunday night. Police received no call for shots fired and were unable to locate a crime scene. Hayes was treated and released. Kortney Cunegin, 24, was shot Monday afternoon while driving near 96th and Maple. He drove himself to Immanuel Medical Center and was expected to survive. Police have made no arrests.

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