News Minute: Here is the latest Nebraska news from The Associated Press at 8:40 a.m. CST
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A state lawmaker who has fought for years to restrict human trafficking in Nebraska is now trying to hit traffickers in the wallet with a proposed sales tax on dating and escort services. The bill introduced would eliminate a sales tax exemption for the services, which include legitimate dating websites as well as businesses that act as a front for prostitution and human trafficking. Money generated from the tax would go into an existing state fund to help pay for services for human trafficking survivors. Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, of Lincoln, says she was shocked that escort services receive the tax break, given the Legislature’s multi-year push to fight human trafficking.
WILBER, Neb. (AP) - A June hearing has been scheduled for a three-judge panel to consider whether a man's crime qualifies for the death penalty or whether he should be sentenced to life in a Nebraska prison. Aubrey Trail and his girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, were both charged in the 2017 slaying of Sydney Loofe. Boswell also is charged with first-degree murder and is awaiting trial in March. It's been moved to Lexington. The three judges will consider evidence to decide whether prosecutors can prove an aggravating factor necessary for capital punishment.
OGALLALA, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is delaying action on a set of restrictions that would drastically limit overnight campers and beachgoers at Nebraska's largest reservoir, Lake McConaughy in western Nebraska. Commission Director Jim Douglas said Saturday that additional time is needed to consider the suggestions offered by hundreds of people who showed up for a hearing on the proposed rules. Most people at Thursday's meeting said they wanted more law enforcement and greater attention to checkpoints, not limits on access to the lake. The proposed restrictions were developed following complaints about overcrowding and rowdy behavior last Fourth of July.
CHICAGO (AP) - A winter storm that dumped snow and sleet on the Midwest and Plains is creating travel headaches after airlines canceled flights and officials shut down major roads. The storm system began moving through the Plains and Midwest on Friday, leading to trouble at airports in Chicago and Kansas City. It's expected to spread to the Northeast through Saturday evening. Blizzard conditions with powerful winds have been reported in some areas. Officials in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa say blowing snow is making it nearly impossible to see in some areas. Stretches of highway in the Dakotas and Wyoming have been shut down.
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