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Funeral for fallen Omaha police officer draws thousands of mourners

News

May 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Hundreds of mourners gathered in an Omaha church — with several thousand more and at an arena nearby — to pay their respects this morning (Tuesday) for Iowa native and Omaha Police Officer Karrie Orozco.SaluteThe 29-year-old new mother was fatally shot in the line of duty last week in a shootout with a wanted man, who was also killed. Dozens of law officers were called to attention as Officer Orozco’s flag-draped casket was brought to St. John’s Catholic Church in the midst of a steady rain.

In a tradition that dates back centuries for a fallen comrade, a riderless horse was escorted to the steps of the church, as the rows of uniformed officers saluted.Coffin The church on the Creighton University campus holds about 700 people and it was packed for the service. Hundreds of law officers from Nebraska, Iowa and elsewhere were part of the overflow crowd that watched the funeral on the jumbotron T-Vs at the CenturyLink Center in downtown Omaha. The Reverend William Bond, of St. Joseph’s Parish, was among the speakers. Reverend Bond said the very large crowd was assembled for a series of reasons.

“Perhaps the reason so many people are here is respect,” Bond said. “All of you who are here to show your respect for Kerrie and for all of our law enforcement officials and other first responders who place their lives in danger every day to protect and promote the common good.” He called Orozco a servant of God who made prayer a part of her daily routines, including in her squad car.

“Oh, God, hear our prayers on behalf of your servant, Kerrie, whom you have called out of this world,” Bond said, “and because she put her hope and trust in you, command that she be carried safely home to heaven and come to enjoy your eternal reward.” Reverend Bond had performed the wedding service for Officer Orozco and her husband, Hector. Bond thanked the hundreds of law officers in attendance for their service.

“I do want all of our police and law enforcement officers and first responders to know, we respect each one of you,” Bond said. “We know that all of you, every day you go to work, show yourselves willing to make that ultimate sacrifice for us.” Orozco was laid to rest in a dark blue coffin, with burial at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Council Bluffs.

Orozco is the first female police officer to die in the line of duty in Omaha history. She was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon while serving an arrest warrant. Orozco was a Walnut, Iowa, native and a resident of Council Bluffs. She was married and had three children. Her daughter, Olivia, was born premature on February 17th and had been hospitalized since birth. The infant was due to be released from the hospital the day after the shooting, the same day Orozco was to begin her maternity leave.

Orozco was on the police force more than seven years. She coached baseball since 2009 in the North Omaha Boys and Girls Club, she volunteered with the Special Olympics, she was president of the Police Officers’ Ball to benefit the Special Olympics, she took in rescue dogs and she was a Girl Scout mentor. Omaha’s police chief called Orozco a treasured member of the department and her death is tragedy.

(Radio Iowa)

2 probable cases of avian influenza in Adair and Webster Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said Tuesday it was responding to two probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Adair and Webster counties. With the new announcements, Iowa now has 66 cases of the disease in the state. The Department has quarantined the premises and once the presence of the disease is confirmed, all birds on the property will be humanely euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.

Adair 1 – Is a Commercial laying operation with an estimated 975,000 birds that has experienced increased mortality. Initial testing showed it positive for H5 avian influenza. Additional confirmatory testing is pending from the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames.

Webster 1 – Is a Commercial laying operation with an estimated 160,000 birds that has experienced increased mortality. Initial testing showed it positive for H5 avian influenza. Additional confirmatory testing is pending from the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames.

As the Department receives final confirmations of the disease updated information will be posted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/avianinfluenza.asp. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low. No human infections with the virus have ever been detected and there is no food safety risk for consumers.

Atlantic residents arrested on drug & burglary charges

News

May 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

One Atlantic resident was arrested on drug charges, Monday, while another was arrested for burglary and theft. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says 21-year old Leslie Kay Paulsen, of Atlantic, was arrested on a charge of Possession of Marijuana (Serious). Paulsen was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released the following day on her own recognizance. And 20-year old Nicholas Wayne Renner, of Atlantic, was arrested on an Atlantic Police Department warrant for Burglary 3rd Degree and Theft 3rd Degree. Renner was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $7,000 bond.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office said two people were arrested Saturday. 21-year old Rachael Victoria Christman, of Des Moines, was taken into custody on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Christman was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released later that day on her own recognizance. And, 58-year old Bruce Emanuel Petterson,  of Atlantic, was arrested on a charge of Interference with Official Acts (Simple). Petterson was taken to the Cass County Jail where he pled not guilty and was released the following day.
Last Friday, Cass County Deputies arrested 19-year old Emily Shelby Green, of Council Bluffs, on two District Court warrants for Failure to Appear. Green was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released the following day on $1,500 bond. And, on May 21st, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested 54-year old Stefan Michael Greelis, of Omaha, NE, on a Cass County Sheriff’s Office warrant for Theft 2nd Degree (D Felony), Eluding (D Felony), and Driving While Revoked (Serious); and a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear. Greelis was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $17,000 bond.

Public hearing in Atlantic Wed. evening, re: School District Budget Amendment

News

May 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A public hearing will be held at the Atlantic High School Wednesday evening, with regard to an amendment to the 2014-15 Atlantic School District Budget. During the hearing, which will take place in the High School Media Center at 7:30-p.m., the Board of Education will hear from district patrons who may speak for or against the amendment.

Following the hearing, the Board will enter into a work session, during which they will act on approving the 2014-15 Budget Amendment, along with: a reduction in the Force List for Non-Certified Staff, and the employment of a High School English teacher.

The Board will also discuss the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) vote for the Sept., 2015 ballot, and they’ll receive presentations with regard to the Iowa Assessments and Lindamood Bell learning processes program.

Omaha Police Chief says slain officer set excellent example

News

May 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer says he’s glad people got to know slain Officer Kerrie Orozco in the past week after her death. Schmaderer spoke at the 29-year old Orozco’s funeral today (Tuesday), less than a week after she was killed while trying to arrest a suspect on a warrant.

Officer Kerrie Orozco (Omaha P-D Facebook page image)

Officer Kerrie Orozco (Omaha P-D Facebook page image)

Schmaderer says that Orozco was an excellent example of his profession who had a talent for connecting with people as a human being, not just as an officer. Orozco was active in the community, and volunteered to coach a youth baseball team at the Boys & Girls Club. The players on that team attended the funeral.

Schmaderer says he believes Orozco’s legacy will be breaking down barriers.

Farmers Market Vouchers for Seniors 2015

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Connections Area Agency has announced that the state is continuing the Farmers Market voucher program for older Iowans. With this program, seniors meeting income requirements can obtain vouchers that they can use at participating area Farmers Markets to buy $30.00 worth of fresh, locally grown produce. If you have questions about eligibility, please check with your local senior center. Applications for the vouchers will be available at your local senior center the week of June 1st.

Your completed application guarantees you a booklet, but there is a limited number, so contact your local senior center if you are interested in this program. Once you have a completed application, you can return to your local Senior Center to pick up your vouchers. Applications for Council Bluffs residents are now available at The Center, located at 714 S. Main Street.

The distribution date for Council Bluffs vouchers will be once again held at The Center on Monday, June 8th from 9am – noon. Again, your completed application guarantees you a booklet, so you may come at any time on June 8th to the Center to present your completed application and obtain your vouchers. Seniors (age 60 and older) in all other communities in Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie and Shelby counties will receive their vouchers through their local senior center.

Program Criteria:
• Must be at least 60 years of age or older
• Annual income must be less than
$21,775 Single
$29,471 Married
• Only one original application allowed per individual. No photocopies or duplicate applications allowed

Dates to Remember:
• Immediately: Applications will be available in Council Bluffs at The Center, 714 S. Main
• June 1, 2015: Applications and vouchers are available at all local Senior Centers outside of Council Bluffs.
• June 8, 2015: Council Bluffs Farmers’ Market voucher distribution at The Center, 714 S. Main from 9am – Noon for seniors with a completed application.

Labor day Weekend Campsite Reservations open Soon

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Just as one holiday ends, it is time to think about another. Campers hoping to reserve spots for the 2015 Labor Day weekend need to mark June 4 on their calendars, when reservations for a Friday arrival open. Sherry Arntzen with the DNR Parks Bureau, says “Even by June 4 some sites will already be reserved by campers arriving prior to the holiday weekend. “And electric sites always go quickly.”

For more information on Iowa’s state parks and to make a reservation, visit www.iowadnr.gov/parks

Iowa Residents Enjoy Free Fishing Days June 5-7

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa residents may fish without a license on June 5th, 6th and 7th, as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ free fishing weekend. Free fishing weekend is the first weekend in June each year. It allows Iowans an opportunity to try fishing without purchasing a license. All other regulations remain in place.

DNR staff will be at popular fishing spots across the state to help beginner anglers get started. They will assist with setting up fishing poles and distribute small kits with basic terminal tackle for panfishing along with tips and a few fun items. Hands-on fishing clinics are available to teach parents or kids the basics of fishing.

A list of fishing clinics, derbies, and other fun events co-sponsored by the DNR are available on the special events page. Log on to www.iowadnr.gov then click on Special Events Application System under the Event Calendar and Search for Events.

Anyone catching their first fish is encouraged to take a photo of it and send it in to receive the DNR’s first fish award. The DNR will commemorate the event with a certificate suitable for framing and the submitted photo. Information on the first fish program is available in the Iowa Fishing Regulations and online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/MasterAnglerFirstFish.aspx.

Lawmakers back at Capitol seeking compromise budget plan

News

May 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Legislative leaders are back in the Iowa Capitol trying to resolve their budget differences so they can adjourn for the year. After the holiday weekend, a handful of lawmakers reported for duty Tuesday. Leaders and some committee chairs were set to continue budget negotiations.

The Republican-led House and Democratic-majority Senate must determine an overall spending level and how much new money to provide to K-12 education. Democrats are seeking to spend more than Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, says the two sides moved closer last week.

Rep. Chuck Soderberg, a Le Mars Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, says they were making progress and that it was a good sign that “all parties were at the table.”

Omaha officer killed in line of duty honored at her funeral

News

May 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco’s family had been planning last week to celebrate her daughter leaving the hospital three months after being born prematurely. Instead, Orozco’s family and thousands of other mourners attended her funeral Tuesday. Orozco was shot to death last Wednesday by a fugitive who was fatally wounded by another officer. Orozco was 29. She lived in Council Bluffs and was a native of nearby Walnut, Iowa.

The funeral began at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church at Creighton University with traditional hymns and a remembrance of Orozco’s baptism. Several thousand others – many of whom were officers – sat in Omaha’s downtown arena watching a video feed of the funeral. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in Council Bluffs after an 8.5-mile-long procession.