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Rare triplet calves born on SW IA farm

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 30th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A cow owned by a southwest Iowa farmer has given birth to a trio of calves. The rare event occurred on a farm owned by Max and Harriet Griffey, of rural Farragut. According to experts, the odds of a beef cow giving birth to triplets is 1-in 100,00. Another rarity: the cow on the Griffey farm is nursing the calves by herself.

The two male and female calves are doing well, according to Griffey, and at three-weeks of age, are beginning to eat some grain and hay. Griffey told the Omaha World-Herald he’s been raising livestock for over 45-years, and it’s the first set of triplets he’s had delivered by a cow. The same cow, has previously given birth of twins, on more than one occasion.

Expert says flooding could be repeated in Western Iowa

News, Weather

November 30th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

One expert says record snowpack, followed by record rainfall and record flooding may become a repeating pattern for western Iowa in the future. Steven Hamburg, chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, says as the climate changes, we can expect more extremes and more disasters like this summer’s flooding of the Missouri River basin. Hamburg says, “The key things are going to be changes in temperature and the fact that we’re going to see unpredictable patterns and extremes, heat waves at levels we haven’t historically seen, heavy rainfall that’s going to lead to more flooding and potentially heavier erosion.” Hamburg says climate changes are becoming more apparent in the environment in the Midwest and all across the country.

“That’s already occurring in most places,” Hamburg says. “The work that I do in the forests of New Hampshire, we’re seeing it very clearly and we’re seeing impacts on plants. Crops are going to need to change. We’ll need to plant different varieties. Some of the natural systems will be challenged by those extremes because they’re just physiologically not adapted, nor are we particularly well-adapted to lots of 100-degree days.” Hamburg says the biggest changes could come in the lack of predictability.

“The problem is the variablity is increasing and the predictability,” he says. “We can’t use the past to predict the future which makes it much harder to plan. How do you develop the infrastructure to protect yourselves? It’s going to get harder and harder and what you’re going to have is more disasters. That’s going to have an enormous impact on us economically and socially. Nobody wants to see their house and their life washed away in a flood.” The summer-long flooding of the Missouri River wiped out dozens of homes and businesses and caused some 50-millon dollars damage just to Iowa’s roads and bridges.

(Radio Iowa)

Another Eagle of Honor Sculpture planned for Pottawattamie County

News

November 30th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication for one of two final monuments planned to honor veterans in Pottawattamie County will be held next year, on Memorial Day. Eagle of Honor Veteran Memorial Project organizers recently broke ground on the site for the statue in Macedonia. In addition to paying tribute to veterans, organizers says the Macedonia monument pay homage to the town’s spot on the Mormon Trail. The memorial will include information about Mormon settlers who passed through the town in the 1840s.

James Braden, a volunteer on the project said one of the phrases planned for the monument is “following the footsteps to freedom.” The memorial will feature an eagle sculpture by Neola resident Russell Christensen, who has now completed bronze eagle sculptures for every city in Pottawattamie County. The monument site in Macedonia, is near the old school building, which is being torn down. Braden said the estimated cost of the Macedonia monument is $60,000, with fundraising supplementing the $25,000 from the County Board.

The Eagles of Honor project started in 2007, when organizers unveiled the “Colors of Honor” monument in Neola. From there, Christensen and his wife, Penny, an artist herself and collaborator on the project, solicited each town about a monument. Once the received the “go-ahead” from each community, the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors agreed to grant $25,000 for each memorial for the five-year project.

Monuments are currently available for viewing in Minden, Underwood, McClelland, Carson, Treynor, Oakland, Hancock, Crescent, Carter Lake, Walnut and Avoca. Groundbreaking for Council Bluffs’ eagle monument was held November 5th.

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.