Paul Hammel

Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and was named editor of the Papillion Times in 1982. He later worked as a sports enterprise reporter at the Lincoln Journal-Star. He joined the Omaha World-Herald in 1990, working as a legislative reporter, then roving state reporter and finally Lincoln bureau chief. Paul has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation and secretary of the Nebraska Hop Growers.

Gary Salsman, vice president of field operations for TC Energy, testifies to a joint meeting of two Kansas House committees on March 14, 2023, about a rupture on the Keystone pipeline that spilled almost 13,000 barrels of oil in northern Kansas

Keystone pipeline owner says recovery of spilled oil into Kansas creek is complete

By: - May 15, 2023

LINCOLN, Neb. — A Canadian pipeline company says it has completed the recovery of oil spilled into a Kansas creek following a record leak on the Keystone Pipeline. TC Energy, in a news release Thursday, said it continues to restore the shoreline of Mill Creek as well as adjacent areas affected when the high-pressure, 36-inch […]

Workers at the site of the oil spill from the Keystone pipeline near Washington, Kansas, in December 2022

Massive pipeline spill caused by crack created during installation, third-party review concludes

By: - April 21, 2023

LINCOLN — A third-party review of a pipeline spill that released 500,000 gallons of crude oil onto Kansas farmland and a nearby stream was caused by a crack in the metal pipe that eventually ruptured under pressure. That was the conclusion of a third-party review that was ordered by a federal pipeline safety agency to […]

Keystone Pipeline shut down after oil leak into rural Kansas stream

By: - December 8, 2022

LINCOLN — Canadian pipeline company TC Energy shut down its Keystone Pipeline on Wednesday after an oil leak was detected about 8 p.m. The leak released oil into a creek in Washington County, Kansas, about 20 miles south of a pipeline terminal at Steele City, Nebraska. The company, in a statement, said an emergency shutdown […]

The Salina-based Saint Francis Ministries, which provides foster care services, sued its former leadership in January for alleged legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duties. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Nebraska attorney general to explore whether state was a victim of fraud in Saint Francis contract

By: - September 2, 2022

LINCOLN — Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson indicated Friday he will evaluate the state’s legal options in pursuing funds that may have been fraudulently spent via the state’s contract with a Kansas foster care provider. Peterson responded to a request by state Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh to explore whether Saint Francis Ministries defrauded the State of […]

A Kirkland Signature premium brand roasted rotisserie chicken sits at a Costco store on June 16, 2005, in Niles, Illinois. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Stockholders sue Costco officials over alleged mistreatment of chickens grown too big

By: - June 15, 2022

LINCOLN — A lawsuit claims that Costco is in violation of Nebraska and Iowa livestock welfare laws by breeding chickens that “unnaturally” grow too fast, become so fat they can’t stand up to reach food or water and end up dying. Two Costco shareholders filed the lawsuit Monday in Washington State, where Costco is based, […]

Seed corn companies sue troubled AltEn ethanol plant for damages

By: - February 24, 2022

LINCOLN — AltEn, which has operated a troubled Nebraska ethanol plant that used pesticide-coated seed corn to produce biofuel, is facing more legal trouble. On Tuesday, six seed corn companies that have been cleaning up the AtlEn ethanol plant site near Mead, Nebraska, filed two separate federal lawsuits seeking repayment for their work. One lawsuit […]