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Flint Hills Resources buys Neb. biodiesel plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 30th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – A Kansas-based company has bought the Beatrice, NE., Biodiesel plant in southeast Nebraska for $5 million. Flint Hills Resources LLC submitted the only bid at the bankruptcy auction Tuesday in Lincoln. Flint Hills is a subsidiary of Koch (cohk) Industries Inc. Construction of the $52.5 million plant began in August 2007, but it never started operations. Bankruptcy was declared in 2008. Among Flint Hills’ other operations, it has ethanol plants in four Iowa communities: Fairbank, Iowa Falls, Menlo and Shell Rock. A Flint Hills spokesman declined to release other details of the acquisition or Flint Hills’ plans for the plant.Flint Hills is based in Wichita, Kan.

American Cancer Society Honors Shelby County Volunteers

News

November 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the American Cancer Society said Tuesday, in honor of its outstanding contributions in the fight against cancer, the organization presented the American Cancer Society volunteers of Shelby County with the “Community of Hope” Award at the 2011 Midwest Division Leadership Summit Awards and Recognition Program.  The awards ceremony, held in Bloomington, MN, recognizes a community in the American Cancer Society’s Midwest Division (Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) that successfully implements activities that positively impact the cancer fight and increase awareness of the American Cancer Society in their communities.

C.J. Niles, American Cancer Society Community Relations staff person, said “Volunteers for the Relay For Life of Shelby County attribute their success to their team of volunteers—a powerful combination of seasoned and new—who bring experience and enthusiasm to their cancer fighting efforts.” Niles said the “Team has extended their work beyond the track to include innovative year-round efforts to share our mission with Shelby County residents.  They collaborate with the local medical center to educate local cancer survivors about Society programs and services.  In addition, they partner with local media to highlight Shelby County cancer survivors, and generate awareness and excitement for Relay For Life.” She added that “Their efforts to involve youth have yielded great success, including working with Harlan Community High School to raise $21,200 through Coaches vs. Cancer events.”

To learn more about the organization, or to get help, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

NE man sentenced to 108-months in jail for conspiracy to distribute meth in the region

News

November 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

U-S District Court Judge John Jarvey Tuesday sentenced a Mexican citizen to nine-years in prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine distribute methamphetamine throughout South Omaha, Nebraska, and Western Iowa. Jorge Zamora-Lopez was also ordered to serve a five year term of supervised release following incarceration.

On August 8th, Zamora-Lopez entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from January, 2010, through February 25th, 2011. During that time period, Zamora-Lopez, along with a co-defendant distributed meth throughout the region.
Law enforcement identified Zamora-Lopez’s co-defendant as a potential source of methamphetamine when a controlled purchase was made in Shelby County, Iowa, using a confidential informant, in January of 2010. The investigation continued and ultimately resulted Zamora-Lopez’ arrest on February 25, 2011, when he drove his co-defendant to a location in South Omaha to deliver methamphetamine. At the time of their arrest, Zamora-Lopez and his co-defendant had over a pound of pure methamphetamine, cocaine and over ten thousand dollars in currency in their possession.

The investigation was conducted by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Shelby County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office, the Douglas County, Nebraska, Sheriff’s Office, the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force, the Department of Homeland Security Enforcement and Removal Operation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Honduran man sentenced on illegal re-entry charge

News

November 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the southern district of Iowa reports a Honduran man, 39-year old Carlos Alberto Ramirez Melgar, was sentenced to a little under four and one-half years in prison for his illegal reentry into the U-S. In addition to the 57 month sentence, District Court Judge John A. Jarvey also sentenced Melgar to three years of supervised release following his imprisonment, and imposed a $100.00 special assessment for the Crime Victim Fund. Melgar remains detained in the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation of the Bureau of Prisons facility at which he will serve his term of imprisonment. Melgar is subject to deportation following completion of his federal prison sentence.

On June 30th, Melgar appeared before the Federal Court in Council Bluffs and entered a guilty plea to the charge of illegal reentry into the United States of America following deportation or removal. The illegal reentry charge arises from a March 6th arrest of Melgar
in Council Bluffs, on a State of Iowa charge of forgery. He was subsequently found to be illegally in the United States of America, having been previously removed from this country in December of 2006. Melgar was removed from this country following his conviction and
imprisonment on a charge of retaliation against a Texas law enforcement officer in a jail in which Melgar was serving a sentence for aggravated assault.

The case was investigated by the Council Bluffs, Iowa, Police Department and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States Department of Homeland Security, and was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Bluffs man sentenced to 170 months in prison on drug trafficking charge

News

November 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man was sentenced Tuesday to just over 14-years in prison for his participation in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. U-S District Court Judge John A. Jarvey also sentenced 30-year old Shannon Wayne Hardisty to ten years of supervised release following his imprisonment, and imposed a $100.00 special assessment for the Crime Victim Fund. Hardisty remains detained in the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation of the Bureau of Prisons facility at which he will serve his term of imprisonment.

On August 4th, Hardisty appeared before the Federal Court in Council Bluffs and entered a guilty plea to the charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The charge resulted from a January 18th, 2011, search of the Council Bluffs residence of co-defendant Gary Eldred Kremer, where Hardisty was also residing.

During the search, officers found indications of drug trafficking and a loaded sawed-off shotgun in an area in which drug trafficking was occurring. Further investigation determined that the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine was carried out in Council Bluffs from approximately the summer of 2010, to January 18th, 2011, and involved an estimated 1.4 kilogram of mixture or substance containing methamphetamine. Gary Eldred Kremer is awaiting sentencing.

The case was investigated by the SouthWest Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

NE man sentenced to 84 mos. in prison for conspiracy to distribute Meth in western IA

News

November 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa says a Mexican citizen residence in Douglas County, Nebraska, was sentenced Tuesday to seven-years in prison for for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and for being an illegal alien found in the United States after deportation. Judge John Jarvey also ordered Guillermo Hernandez-Sandoval to serve a five year term of supervised release following incarceration.

On August 4th, Hernandez-Sandoval entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from January, 2010, through February 25th, 2011, and to being illegally in the United States after deportation. Between January, 2010, and February 25, 2011, Hernandez-Sandoval, along with his co-defendant, Jorge Zamora-Lopez, distributed methamphetamine throughout South Omaha, Nebraska, and Western Iowa.

Law enforcement identified Hernandez-Sandoval as a potential source of methamphetamine when a controlled purchase was made in Shelby County, Iowa, using a confidential informant, in January of 2010. The investigation continued, and culminated in the arrest of Hernandez-Sandoval and Zamora-Lopez on February 25, 2011, when they drove to a location in South Omaha to deliver methamphetamine.

At the time of their arrest, Hernandez-Sandoval and Zamora-Lopez had over a pound of pure methamphetamine, cocaine, and over ten thousand dollars in currency in their possession. Prior to his arrest on February 25, 2011, Hernandez-Sandoval had been deported on four separate occasions.

The investigation was conducted by the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Shelby County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office, the Douglas County, Nebraska, Sheriff’s Office, the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force, the Department of Homeland Security Enforcement and Removal Operation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

4 injured during weekend crash in Counci Bluffs

News

November 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Council Bluffs say they are trying to determine whether alcohol played a role in a crash that sent four people to the hospital early Saturday morning.  According to Bluffs Police, a car driven by 23-year old Michael Johannes, of Council Bluffs, was northbound on Harrison Street at around 2:30-a.m., when Johannes lost control of the vehicle, which struck a parked vehicle before hitting into a utility pole.

Johannes and a front-seat passenger in the car, 22-year old Gerardo Lopez, of Omaha, were trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated by Council Bluffs firefighters. Both men were transported to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Two backseat passengers, 19-year old Alexis Baker, of Council Bluffs, and 23-year old Vincent Ortiz, of Omaha , were transported to Alegent Health Mercy Hospital for treatment of possible injuries. Sgt. Jason Bailey said none of the injuries were believed to have been life threatening.

Investigators obtained a blood sample from Johannes in an effort to determine if alcohol played a role in the crash, but no citations have been issued in connection with the incident.

Atlantic men arrested this morning

News

November 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic report two men were arrested this (Tuesday) morning, on separate charges. 31-year old Christopher Anstey, of Atlantic, was taken into custody on charges of Public Intoxication/2nd offense, and 5th Degree theft. And, 27-year old Daniel Fredericksen, of Atlantic, was arrested for Failure to Appear at a Child Support Hearing. Both men were booked into the Cass County Jail and held, pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Sidney tree farm among dozens to donate trees for troops

News

November 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association loaded up 80 trees Monday at the Iowa State Fairgrounds to be sent to U-S service members in the “Trees for Troops” program. Iowa association executive director, Jan Pacovsky, says it’s an annual tradition the growers look forward to. Pacovsky says they have been taking part in the program since 2005 as a way to say thank you to all of the military members for the things that they do. 

The growers bring in the trees and FedEx donates the shipping. She says the shipping started in October, sending trees to Europe, Iran and Afghanistan, and then they use trucks here to hall the donated trees to bases where they can be shipped out. Pocvsky says it has been a popular program. “We get a lot of good response back, and we get a lot of response even from people who have (family members) in the military, that they really feel it’s a good cause,” Pacovsky says. She says people who don’t have family members in the military like the program and will sometimes donate trees or money to help with the costs. 

Pacovsky says the growers in the U-S have a goal of reaching 100-thousand trees since the start of the program in 2005. She believes they will get close to that goal this year. There are just over 100 choose and cut Christmas Tree farms in Iowa, with close to 15-hundred acres in tree production. Approximately 39-thousand trees are harvested annually across the state.

This year trees were donated by dozens of tree farms, including the Horse Creek Farm in Sidney.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

Boswell and Kibbie attend Community College Roundtable in Atlantic

News

November 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The President of the Iowa Senate and an Iowa Congressman attended a Community College roundtable discussion held in Atlantic Monday evening. The event, at Iowa Western Community College, included Senator Jack Kibbie and Congressman Leonard Boswell, both of whom proclaim to be advocates for community colleges. The two democrats and a handful of visitors listened to a presentation by Iowa Western Design Technology Program Instructor Joseph Vanstrom, before asking some questions and making a few statements about how community colleges receive a disproportional amount of funding from the State as compared to state universities, private colleges and k-through 12 schools.

Boswell, said he would be traveling back to Washington, D.C. today (Tuesday), and hold conversations about what he’s learned during his visit to Iowa Western and other community colleges throughout the state. He said both he and Kiddie want to do what they can to help create jobs despite the budget cut axe which hangs over their heads. Vanstrom told them there can’t be jobs without an investment in education. Kibbie acknowledged community colleges are under-funded as compared to other institutions of higher learning. He says the average Iowa community college gets $1,948 in state funding per student in the current fiscal year, a figure backed-up by the non-partisan Fiscal Services Division. $267 of that state funding comes from local property taxes. By comparison, Kibbie says, private college receives $2,575 per pupil on average. He says funding for community colleges are not based on a per-pupil basis, like k-through 12 schools.

State Universities receive a total $10,233 per pupil. Neither private colleges nor state universities receive any of their funds from property taxes. K-thru 12 schools receive more than $2,580 per pupil from property taxes, for a total of $7,881. That includes State aid, and ARRA Education Stabilization funds.  Both Boswell and Kibbie said they were excited to learn about Iowa Western’s Design Technology Program, which received a $65.2-million dollar grant from Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of Siemens Industry Automotive Division, and, local investments of more than $600,000. The college held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in September to celebrate the new, two-year degree Design Technology program.