Highway 15 construction complete

The Nebraska Department of Transportation announced construction and repair work on Nebraska 15 and a Platte River overflow bridge south of Schuyler was to fully reopen to traffic earlier this week. The roadway and bridge had been opened to one-lane traffic controlled by temporary traffic signals since June 1, as previously reported by the Sun.

Newly merged Nebraska state agency will get a brand-new home

The state agency with a new name also will have a new home.

Gov. Pete Ricketts on Monday announced the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the Nebraska Energy Office will merge into one agency, the Department of Environment and Energy, as of July 1.

The Legislature had approved the merger in March.

Walz seeks second legislative term

Sen. Lynne Walz of Fremont announced Monday that she will seek re-election to a second term in the Legislature.

Walz, a real estate agent and former school teacher, was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2018.

In 2016, she defeated Sen. David Schnoor of Scribner, who had been appointed to the Legislature by Gov. Pete Ricketts to succeed Charlie Janssen, who resigned as a state senator after winning election as state auditor.

Nebraska archaeologists hope to find nothing in flooded farms

OMAHA — Archaeologists are hoping to not find any significant historical remains on recently flooded Nebraska farms.

The discovery of anything historically significant could delay federal aid for farmers who need to rebuild or restore their flood-damaged farms.

State agency History Nebraska sent a team to survey sites likely to have been a Native American hunting ground or an early Nebraska farmstead.

They are looking for Native American pottery or remnants of pioneer settlements. Jill Dolberg, the deputy state historic preservation officer, says her agency set aside $180,000 to fund the surveys.

Officials: Rain, high reservoir releases to mean wet summer

OMAHA — The continued threat of rain and higher-than-normal reservoir releases into the Missouri River will hamper the draining of floodwaters in fields and plans to repair more than 100 levee breaks after devastating spring floods.

Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service said during a recent news conference that while water levels on the river have dropped below flood stage in most places, rain over the next week could lead to some parts of the river rising as much as 2 feet from Rulo to where it meets the Mississippi River in St. Louis.

Increased reservoir releases are also keeping swamped land from drying out. The Corps reiterated that releases from Gavins Point Dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border were expected to remain at 75,000 cubic feet per second until today, when officials plan to drop that amount to 70,000 cubic feet per second. That's still about twice the normal amount for this time of year.

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