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Bloody Barbies

Three women visited state senators' offices on Thursday, handing out bloody Barbie dolls to represent the Parkland, Florida, school shooting victims and urge senators to consider gun legislation.

Three Lincoln women — Deb, Anne and Patricia — were frustrated and wanted to send a message to state senators. So they rigged up 21 Barbie dolls (or Barbie-type dolls) they bought at thrift stores, with blood (really a red, plastic substance) and marched down to the Capitol. 

They attached notes to remind senators what happens to kids, like those killed and injured Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida, when the senators support the National Rifle Association, or pass bills the NRA backs. 

Two were moms, one of those also a grandma, and one a former teacher, all three just sick of seeing students killed, they said. They didn't provide their last names; they said they didn't want to be harassed.

Someone reported them to Capitol security, and a state trooper tracked them down and reminded them they couldn't just drop off bloody Barbies. They needed to ask permission. The way the dolls look, the trooper told them, they could be offensive to some people. 

The women said they wanted to send the senators a message, and thought senators didn't seem to be responding to emails, texts, calls. They thought the dead Barbies might get senators' attention. 

"It is kind of scary to do this," Anne said, "but we feel it's necessary." 

They want common-sense gun laws, they said, because doing nothing is not an option anymore. 

Compromise reached on utility information

A compromise between the state's public power providers and Media of Nebraska allowing the utilities to protect proprietary information from being subject of public-records searches will get a floor hearing.

The Natural Resources Committee said they were happy at the deal struck between the two organizations — even as a handwritten addition was included to the amendment at the last moment —  during an executive session Thursday morning.

Sen. Dan Hughes of Venango said it's likely the bill could be debated soon in order to clarify the public-records exemptions after the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Nebraska Public Power District should turn over power-generation documents, rate outlooks and other records.



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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