Hey, aren't you Ron Howard's brother?

Introduced as a guest of Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion on Tuesday was actor Clint Howard, younger brother of actor and director Ron, who began his own Hollywood career appearing in a handful episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show,” and “Star Trek” in the 1960s before starring as Mark Wedloe in 56 episodes of "Gentle Ben." Howard has appeared in more than 240 television shows and movies, including "Austin Powers" and "Apollo 13."

A Republican who endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential campaign, Howard met Smith at an American Legislative Exchange Council event, the actor said. Smith has also invited Howard to be his guest at the College World Series -- a “bucket list item” for the actor set to appear in the upcoming “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

A peek at Ricketts' priorities

Gov. Pete Ricketts previewed the budget plans he'll unveil during his State of the State address set for 10 a.m. Wednesday. Now in his fourth year, Ricketts said his budget will prioritize K-12 education and maintain the state's investment in the Department of Corrections.

His recommendations include preserving the current state funding formula for public schools for the next two years and expanding the number of authorized corrections officers. Ricketts said he also plans to reinvest $5.8 million in unspent funds to create 100 new prison beds.

The budget proposal exempts aid for the developmentally disabled from any cuts, Ricketts said.

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State government reporter

JoAnne Young covers state government, including the Legislature and state agencies, and the people they serve.

Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

Higher education reporter

Chris Dunker covers higher education, state government and the intersection of both.

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