Former postmaster gets probation for false expenses

OMAHA — A former eastern Nebraska postmaster has been sentenced to probation for embezzling from the Fort Calhoun Post Office.

Federal prosecutors say 54-year-old Steven Whitesel, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, was sentenced Friday in Omaha’s federal court to four years’ probation and 160 hours of community service. He also was ordered to pay nearly $70,000 in restitution and a $5,000 fine.

Whitesel was convicted of misappropriation of postal funds. Prosecutors say Whitesel submitted false mileage reimbursement requests to illegally collect nearly $70,000.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

Museum officials learn ‘Inverted Jenny’ stamp a fake

OMAHA — Representatives of a small aviation museum in southwestern Iowa hoped they had stumbled upon a rare postage stamp potentially worth a fortune. But experts at a national stamp convention in Omaha have delivered the sad truth: it isn’t the real thing, after all.

The Iowa Aviation Museum in Greenfield, Iowa, has had what it thought was an “Inverted Jenny” stamp on display for some 20 years and brought it to the Omaha gathering.

Ken Martin is with the American Philatelic Society that’s holding its national convention in Omaha. He said Friday that experts knew immediately the stamp wasn’t authentic because “it wasn’t the right size.”

Had it been real, Martin says it would be worth between $300,000 and $400,000. There were only 100 of the stamps printed in 1918, with the image of a JN-4-H “Jenny” biplane accidentally displayed upside down on a 24-cent stamp.

NTSB report relays accounts of deadly Chadron plane crashCHADRON — A preliminary report from federal aviation safety officials did not list a cause of a small plane crash in western Nebraska last week that killed three people.

The report from the National Transportation Safety Board released Wednesday did relay what two witnesses to the crash saw. One witness, located at the Chadron airport, told officials he saw the plane as it was preparing to land suddenly drop nose-down behind a tree line. Another witness just northeast of the crash, said she heard the plane sputter, as though it was losing power, before the crash.

The July 24 crash killed 25-year-old Duncan Brown, of Forestville, California, and his parents, 61-year-old Damon Brown and 68-year-old Sarah Brown, both of Sebastopol, California.

The flight originated at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and was destined for Chadron.

Maier graduates from Air Force basic training

U.S. Air Force Airman Jacob C. Maier graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.

Maier, a 2019 graduate of Lincoln East High School, is the son of Jennifer Maier and Brian Maier and stepson of Tryce Maier and Jennifer Zinnecker.

Judah & the Lion concert moved to Bourbon

The Judah & the Lion concert slated for Pinewood Bowl on Aug. 14 has been moved to the Bourbon Theater.

The new showtime for the concert is 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m.

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Tickets purchased for Pinewood Bowl will be honored at the Bourbon. Will-call tickets can be picked up at the Bourbon box office from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 13 and from 11 a.m. through the show on Aug. 14.

Tickets are now available for purchase at the Bourbon box office and at bourbontheatre.com.

Nebraska 92 east of Yutan reopens

The Nebraska Department of Transportation said Nebraska 92 is once again open west of the Elkhorn River.

Crews worked since March to complete reconstruction of bridge structures and pavement following flooding that ravaged the area between Omaha and Yutan this spring.

Bridge work to slow I-80 traffic

Beginning Monday, Interstate 80 traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction near the Milford interchange.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation said a contractor will be performing bridge deck repair. The work is anticipated to take five days.

Motorists should expect to experience delays and are reminded to drive cautiously through work zones.

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