Behind the scenes, $50M VA project caused clashes, concerns

By   /  April 24, 2015  /  Nebraska, News  /  No Comments

Courtesy VA

An obscure foundation to support senior citizens in Lincoln has morphed into the role of real estate developer as it seeks federal approval of a $50 million plan to redevelop the Veterans Administration campus in east Lincoln.

But some city officials have privately worried that the foundation is being used to help private interests get at the VA property without having to take on the burden of renovating and maintaining the sprawling, aging campus in east Lincoln, according to a Nebraska Watchdog investigation.

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Ashford intervenes with HUD for former employer

By   /  April 22, 2015  /  Nebraska, News  /  No Comments

Omaha Sen. Brad Ashford

Congressman Brad Ashford is lobbying HUD to give the Omaha Housing Authority more time to repay $1.1 million it misspent a few years ago, but some see a conflict of interest because he was CEO of the housing authority during part of time that an audit found problems.

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Nebraska grasps for Texas-style prison reforms as GOP leaders push back

By   /  April 17, 2015  /  Nebraska, News  /  No Comments

Shutterstock photo

Nebraska lawmakers grasped toward prison reforms that mimic the approach Texas took, but the governor, attorney general, police and prosecutors resisted, saying they don’t want to go soft on crime.

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Lawmakers snub NU’s $25 million request for Innovation Campus

By   /  April 16, 2015  /  Nebraska, News  /  No Comments

Courtesy innovate.unl.edu

Nebraska lawmakers don’t appear interested in sinking another $25 million into the University of Nebraska’s Innovation Campus, even as the research campus struggles to attract tenants.

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Legislative hiring part of Nebraska turf war

By   /  April 14, 2015  /  Nebraska  /  No Comments

Courtesy photo

Earlier this month, members of the Legislature’s Executive Board huddled under the balcony in the legislative chambers and announced plans to hire a guy — Larry Bare, former Gov. Dave Heineman’s chief of staff. The question is, why?

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Nebraska bill would end loophole giving agencies taxing power without vote of people

By   /  April 10, 2015  /  Nebraska, News  /  No Comments

Nebraska Watchdog file photo

If the board that oversees Lincoln’s new Pinnacle Bank Arena ever runs out of money and wants to tap into Lincoln’s property tax base, it would have to get Lincoln voters’ approval first under a bill that appears headed for passage in the Legislature.

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