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Nebraska receives disaster declaration for storm damage

LINCOLN — President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a disaster declaration for Nebraska, freeing up federal aid for damage caused by flooding and storms from May 6 to June 17.

The declaration makes federal funds available on a cost-share basis to repair damage to public structures, such as bridges and roads. It also frees up funds for hazard mitigation work statewide.

The declaration covers 12 counties: Cass, Dundy, Gage, Jefferson, Lancaster, Lincoln, Morrill, Nuckolls, Otoe, Saline, Saunders and Thayer.

Four people died in the flooding, and officials have said damage to bridges and roads has reached tens of millions of dollars.

— Paul Hammel

Men arrested; gunshots fired outside Fort Calhoun school

Two Omaha men were arrested Wednesday in connection with a case in which shots were fired in the parking lot of Fort Calhoun Elementary School.

Curtis R. Frost, 35, was arrested on suspicion of four counts of attempted murder, unlawful discharge of a firearm, use of a weapon to commit a felony and unlawful possession of a firearm at a school. A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory to a felony, making a false report and obstruction of a police officer.

Frost is accused of firing several shots at a gray Lincoln Continental about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, hitting the car four times, before leaving in a Chevrolet Tahoe.

— Kevin Cole

Former village clerk sent to prison for theft

OAKDALE — A former village clerk convicted of stealing from her village in northeast Nebraska has been given two to four years in prison.

Online court records say Megan Brandt, 31, had pleaded no contest and was convicted of theft. Prosecutors dropped a second charge in exchange for Brandt's plea. Brandt also was ordered to make restitution of more than $25,000.— AP


Cyclist killed on Highway 71 was Arnolds Park woman

A cyclist killed late Tuesday when a car struck her bicycle on U.S. Highway 71 in Spirit Lake, Iowa, has been identified by the Iowa State Patrol.

Investigators said Iryna Shevchuk, 20, of Arnolds Park, Iowa, was traveling south in the outside lane of Highway 71 near 34th Street when her bike was struck from behind by a 2000 Buick Park Avenue. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the car has been identified by the patrol as Dustin Abbas, 23, of Milford. Another bicyclist riding on the shoulder of the road was not injured. The investigation is ongoing.

— Kevin Cole

Pilot of ultralight aircraft injured in western Iowa crash

UTE — Authorities say the pilot of an ultralight aircraft was hospitalized after crashing into a cornfield Wednesday evening about 5 miles northeast of Ute. Authorities say it appears the aircraft was caught in a downdraft. Crawford County sheriff's investigators said the pilot, Brian Borkowski, 27, of Irwin, plummeted 50 to 60 feet.

Borkowski was taken to a Denison hospital and then flown to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.— AP

Iowa State Fair announces new food choices

DES MOINES — The Iowa State Fair has announced new food items for this summer's contest.

Fairgoers can vote on three finalists in the New Food Contest:

• Corn in a Cup: sweet corn cut off the cob and then mixed with pork chorizo, butter, chayote cheese, lime juice, sour cream, mayonnaise and "Magic Dust."

• Toasted Coconut Caramel Cluster: a combination of toasted coconut, caramel fudge and pretzel bits that's frozen on a stick and dipped in chocolate.

• Ultimate Bacon Explosion: brisket infused with a light jalapeno cheese, blended with seasonings and then wrapped in bacon. It is smoked and then sauced in a sweet chili barbecue sauce.— AP

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