"What's the best thing to come out of Nebraska?"
It's an old joke we, who were happily nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, used to tell when football season rolled around. While that particular version of antipathy burns a little less bright while the universities continue to sort out their athletic programs, another odd thing about Nebraska has recently made the news. The safe-haven law recently passed by the Nebraska legislature was intended to save "Dumpster babies" by allowing desperate young mothers to abandon their newborns at a hospital without fear of prosecution. But lawmakers could not agree on an age limit, and the law as passed uses only the word "child." Oops.
Since mid-July, twenty teenagers have been abandoned, along with eight children who were eleven or twelve. Five of the children dropped off have been from out of state. Yes, you read that right, people are taking their children to Nebraska as a form of punishment. Because of the recent flurry of campaigning and the election season, lawmakers haven't been able to reconvene to close this unfortunate loophole. A new session is set to begin on Friday, and parents across the Great Plains are racing to drop off their sullen and disrespectful progeny before the law gets changed. It's a sad story, but it has a certain "Nebraska Air" to it - or is that just the wind coming off the feed lots?