State and Local News

A man is dead after a crash yesterday in Saunders County. Officials said the 69-year-old victim was driving a pickup truck that crossed the median and hit a road grader. He was pronounced dead at the scene, while a passenger in the truck was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The victim’s identity is not known at this time.

The Southwest Power Pool is back to normal operations after last week’s winter storms. SPP officials announced late Saturday that the grid is generating enough power to meet demand again, and thanked residents for doing their part to conserve energy during the frigid weather. The Nebraska Public Power District said no other outages or threats to electrical supplies are anticipated at this time.

Freshman students in Lincoln Public Schools can return to class full-time today. The district said the decision was made to bring the students back following consultation with the Lincoln-Lancaster Health Department. In addition, any tenth or eleventh grade LPS student who has tested positive for COVID-19 since January First and recovered can return to school as well. Students allowed to come back can also stay in a hybrid schedule or remote classes at this time.

The Nebraska men’s basketball team fell to Purdue on Saturday 75-to-58. The Huskers battled back from a first-half deficit and took the lead in the second half, but the Boilermakers finished the game on a 29-to-nine run to seal the win. Up next for the Huskers is a home matchup tomorrow against Penn State. Tip-off is set for seven p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

National News

 The House gets to work this week on passing a new coronavirus relief package.  The House Budget Committee will take up the nearly two-trillion-dollar package today and a vote in the full House could happen later in the week.  Democrats have the votes to pass it, though it’s likely to face stiff opposition from Republicans.  The bill includes 14-hundred-dollar direct payments to many Americans, along with extensions of unemployment benefits, and help for small businesses.

United Airlines is pulling two-dozen Boeing 777 planes from service after one of the jetliners had an engine failure over the weekend.  The planes that won’t be flying are powered by the same engines as the one involved in the incident Saturday in the skies over Colorado.  The engine failed Saturday happened shortly after takeoff from Denver and, while the plane land safely, pieces of the engine fell in a residential neighborhood.  No one was hurt.

The mayor of Houston says the state of Texas should foot the bill for sky-rocketing power bills.  Mayor Sylvester Turner said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation the state, not families on unregulated variable-rate plans should cover bills that shot up when power was restored.  Some Texans are seeing bills higher than 16-thousand dollars for just a few days’ power usage.  The coldest temperatures in 30 years have frozen Texas over the past few weeks and millions of families had no heat or electricity for days as the state’s power grid nearly collapsed.

The first case of the South African variant of the coronavirus has been identified in New York State.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday morning the person who is infected lives in Nassau County on Long Island.  Last week, someone in Connecticut who had been hospitalized in New York City also was found to have the variant.  Scientists have expressed concern that the mutations of this particular COVID-19 variant might make antibodies produced by the vaccines less effective.

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