Category Archives: Regional News

Two Life-Flighted From ATV Accident in Madison County

LINDSAY – Two people are seriously injured following an accident in southwestern Madison County.

Madison County Sheriff Vern Hjorth says it happened at 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, about six miles north of Lindsay on a minimum maintenance road.

Hjorth says a four-wheeler and pickup were westbound on the road with the four wheeler in front. Sheriff Hjorth says the four wheeler topped the hill and turned around crashing head on into the pickup, driven by Preston Bussey of Battle Creek.

Twenty-year old Trevor Herchenbach of Lindsay was driving the ATV. He was airlifted from the scene to an Omaha hospital. His 16-year passenger was airlifted from the scene to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.

The extent of their injuries is unknown.

Early Registration Deadline Approaching for Cornhusker State Games

The June 1 deadline for an early registration discount for the Cornhusker State Games is fast approaching.

The 2016 games run from July 15 to 24. The annual torch run starts June 6 in Omaha.

Individuals will save $3 to $5 per event by registering before June 1.

Go to cornhuskerstategames.com to register.

Homestead National Monument Provides Artist In Residence Program

BEATRICE – For years the National Park Service has invited artists to spend time at their parks, and gather inspiration from the land.

“For artists to come and stay, for however long, usually it’s about two weeks. To immerse themselves in a place.”

Chief Ranger at the Homestead National Monument of America Andrea Bornemeier says parks across the country, as well as other federal or state land management agencies, invite artists to spend time.

“Whether that’s on top of a mountain, or in the bottom of a canyon or out in the middle of a prairie like here at Homestead. Just immerse them self in a place. Use the features of that place.”

Casey Whittier is a teacher at the Kansas City Art Institute and a ceramic artist, and is currently working in-residence at the Homestead.

“Doing something like artist in residence, it really takes you out of what your norm is. It makes you think a little bit differently. I feel like, as an artist, that’s so important to have the opportunity to try something new. To interact with new people, and kind of spice up your artistic practice, if you will.”

Whittier is working on projects the represent the nature aspect of the Homestead, as well as working on projects that incorporate the experience of homesteaders.”

“But the historical aspect of Homestead National Monument, and the homesteading history is something that’s interesting how it draws people here.”

Whittier finds an interesting contrast in how items were more practical, functional and long lasting during the days of homesteading.

“Nowadays our lives are so much filled with these really disposable items, so I made molds of a lot of those and then cast them in sugar and I am placing them around the grounds and watching them deteriorate, and it happens pretty rapidly.”

Whittier is only in her second day in-residence, and will continue working on multiple projects during her time at the Homestead.

The artist in residence program will continue through the spring and summer and into the fall at the Homestead National Monument.

Beatrice Summer School Curriculum Provides Problem Solving Opportunity For Students

BEATRICE – Beatrice Public Schools is in their second year of a revamped summer school program called Best Possible Summer.

Director of Curriculum for Beatrice Public Schools Jackie Nielsen says the summer courses are for students in Kindergarten through fifth grade and provide more opportunity for learning.

“Our focus is on re-engaging the kids back into the learning experience. We know that during the year we tend to focus heavily on the state standards, which we focus on during the summer time as well. We focus more on the hands on learning, those key pieces where they really engage with the curriculum and the concepts rather then, it’s paper pencil.”

The slight deviation in curriculum allows educators to work on other aspects of education.

“This is a great way to add the problem solving piece to it. Where kids are now having to do it on their own, kids are now having to think on their own having to solve on their own. We know that is a life long skill, that it doesn’t matter whether you can compute faster than I can. It matters whether you can stick with a problem, persevere through it and move forward.”

Enrollment is up from last summer, and classes fill up in a matter of hours when they first become available.

“When we received feedback from the parents last year a lot of them said, ‘I didn’t have to pry to try to get my child to talk about what they had learned, they would just go off and tell me exactly what they learned and what they were going to learn’. I think there are many benefits that we have reaped because of this program.”

To enroll your child or just learn more, Nielsen says it just takes a trip to the school districts website.

“Go to the BPS website beatricepublicschools.org and there is a link under the quick links to the Best Possible Summer. There are a few sessions still open, so parents can still register their children. There are some places where we have waiting lists, but we are working on getting those slowly removed so students will be in courses.”

Madison Mayor to Face Recall

MADISON – Madison County officials say a recall effort against the mayor of Madison has enough signatures to proceed.

Madison County Clerk Nancy Scheer says the petition to recall Mayor Al Brandl received 229 valid signatures. Organizers needed just 170 to put the recall on the ballot.

The petition began circulating in in March. The affidavit filed said Brandl has caused “needless conflict and confrontation” and appointed officials in his own personal interest.

The Madison City Council will now set the date of the special recall election, which according to statute will be between 30 and 75 days from Monday.

Hy-Vee recalls six trail mix products due to possible health risk

DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee is voluntarily recalling six trail mix products across its eight-state region due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

The products include Hy-Vee Caramel Cashew Honey Crunch Trail Mix, Hy-Vee Dark Chocolate Cranberry Trail Mix, Hy-Vee Mountain Trail Mix, Hy-Vee Mountain Trail Mix To Go, Hy-Vee Berry Trail Mix and Hy-Vee Santa Fe Trail Mix.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

To date, no illnesses have been reported in connection with these products.

Out of an abundance of caution, Hy-Vee is recalling the following products from all of its stores:

  • Hy-Vee Caramel Cashew Honey Crunch Trail Mix — sold in 24 oz. bags with the UPC number 75450040586 and with a “best by” date of April 5, 2017
  • Hy-Vee Dark Chocolate Cranberry Trail Mix — sold in 24 oz. bags with the UPC number 75450041354 and with a “best by” date of April 14, 2017
  • Hy-Vee Mountain Trail Mix — sold in 26 oz. bags with the UPC number 75450016796 and with a “best by” date of April 5, 2017, and April 15, 2017
  • Hy-Vee Mountain Trail Mix To Go — sold in 1.75 oz. bags with the UPC number 75450040739 and with a “best by” date of March 23, 2017
  • Hy-Vee Berry Trail Mix — sold in 7 oz. bags with the UPC number 75450040593 and with a “best by” date of March 19, 2017
  • Hy-Vee Santa Fe Trail Mix — sold in 6.5 oz. bags with the UPC number 75450041101 and with a “best by” date of March 31, 2017

The potential for contamination was discovered after Hy-Vee’s supplier, SunOpta, announced they were recalling specific lots of sunflower kernels due to the potential for Listeria monocytogenes. The initial recall was limited to sunflower kernel products produced at SunOpta’s Crookston, Minnesota, facility; however, the recall was recently expanded to all products produced at the facility between Feb. 20 and April 20.

Customers who purchased this product should discard it or return it to their local Hy-Vee store for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact Hy-Vee Customer Care representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-772-4098.

OSHA Opens Investigation Following West Point Grain Bin Collapse That Left One Hospitalized

WEST POINT − Following a grain bin collapse Wednesday afternoon at Prinz Grain and Feed, Inc. in West Point, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation.

At around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, a grain bin at Prinz Grain and Feed Inc. collapsed. One individual was trapped, according to the Area Director for the Omaha area office of OSHA, Jeff Funke.

“Unfortunately, an incident occurred on 5-18 at approximately 3:45 p.m. A maintenance worker entered a bin containing a corn product, and one of the walls that had adhered to the bin collapsed and engulfed the employee. The employee suffered injuries, and at this point, has no meaningful brain activity,” Funke said.

Build-up of flowable, agricultural material can easily collapse, so grain bin incidents like this are not uncommon, but they are avoidable. OSHA has guidelines regarding grain handling and bin entry to prevent accidents. Even so, this is not the first time OSHA has been alerted to safety issues at Prinz Grain and Feed. The company was cited in September 2011.

“We issued 12 serious citations to this employer and some of those citations dealt directly with improper bin entry,” Funke said.

OSHA’s investigation is still on-going, but they hope it will bring a positive outcome.

“We are doing what’s called a comprehensive inspection, which means wall-to-wall. We’re doing interviews, we are going to request records, we are going to ensure that any known hazard that we can discover during our investigation is corrected,” Funke said.

The name of the 53-year-old male injured is still unreleased, but it has been confirmed that he was taken to St. Francis Memorial Hospital in West Point and later life-flighted to Creighton Medical Center.

UPDATE:

According to Minnick Funeral Home in West Point, 52-year-old Todd Kaup passed away in Omaha on Friday. Funeral services are pending.

City Of Beatrice Wishes Good Luck To Beatrice Special Olympics Athletes

BEATRICE – Earlier this week we brought you the story of the Special Olympics Torch Run in Beatrice. With athletes already up in Lincoln, some folks around town wanted to send them a message.

As with everyone you hear in the video, we would like to wish the best of luck to all the athletes competing this weekend from all of us at News Channel Nebraska.

Many Activities Scheduled for Duck N Run Family Fun Day

FAIRBURY – “So we’ve been asked why do we have a Duck N Run in Fairbury Nebraska. And the reason is we want to bring families and the community together because that’s what community action is all about. We know that strong families equals a strong and engaging community.”

Kim Robbins, Research and Development Officer with Blue Valley Community Action Partnership, says many activities are planned for the 4th Annual Duck N Run at Crystal Springs on Saturday, May 21.

Activities include a 10 K Run, 2 mile Run/Walk, a free bouncy house, face painting, snow cones and, of course, rubber duck races.

Registration for runs and walks begin at 9:15 am. The last opportunity to buy ducks for the races is 10:30 am.

One duck is available for $5 or you can purchase a Quack Pack, six ducks, for $20. Duck races  begin promptly at 11:15.

Cash prizes will be given away for the duck races and physical fitness races.

“The funds that we raise from this helps Blue Valley Community Action to supplement different programs in the nine counties that we serve in south east Nebraska.”

For a complete schedule and list of activities, visit Fairburychamber.org.

AAA Forecasts Near Record Travel for Memorial Day Weekend

NEBRASKA CITY – AAA Auto Club is projecting near record traffic volume for the Memorial Day weekend.

Spurred by the lowest gasoline prices in a decade, over 38 million Americans are expected to travel, the most since 2005, and the second highest ever for the holiday.

Air travel is also expected to increase 1.6 percent over last year, with 2.6 million Americans taking to the skies.

Motorists are expected to save an average of 47 cents a gallon on fuel costs compared to last year and a $1.39 per gallon compared to 2014.