Gov. Pete Ricketts

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts has acknowledged that state officials planned to sue if Douglas County's health director had issued an Omaha-area mask mandate last week to try to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Ricketts acknowledged Monday that officials from his office and the Attorney General’s Office told Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour in a phone call last week that she didn't have the legal authority to mandate masks and that "if she moved forward, we would challenge that in court.”

The governor's account helps explain Pour's unexpected decision on Thursday to buck the unanimous approval of the county's health board for a mask mandate.

In other news

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska is sending notices to thousands of felons informing them of their voting rights after learning that the state incorrectly notified an Omaha man that he wasn’t eligible to cast a ballot.