Nebraska News

Officials return full power to Fort Calhoun nuclear plant
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Officials say the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant has returned to full power following a shutdown for repairs for a water leak. The Omaha Public Power District says the plant returned to full power Thursday afternoon. It first came back onto the grid Wednesday afternoon and the power output was slowly increased. The plant was taken offline on July 20th to repair a water leak in a reactor coolant pump after a seal failed. The utility says the coolant water that leaked was contained inside the plant and treated. Workers used the shutdown to perform other maintenance repairs as needed. Officials say the outage did not affect electrical service to homes and businesses in the region. Fort Calhoun sits along the Missouri River about 20 miles north of Omaha.

Ricketts, Foley to lead Nebraska trade missions to Japan
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley are traveling to Japan in September for back-to-back foreign trade missions. The governor's office announced Thursday that Foley will lead a delegation September 9th through 11th to promote Nebraska's beef and pork products in the country. Ricketts will lead a separate delegation of state business leaders to the annual Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference in Tokyo, from September 12th through 16th. Ricketts will address the conference on September 14th. Ricketts says the Japan continues to be one of Nebraska's top export customers and business investors. Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, will join the governor's trade mission to meet with companies. The trade mission is the second of the governor's administration. Ricketts traveled to Europe in June.

85-year-old man involved in Nebraska car crash dies
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An 85-year-old man involved in a two-vehicle crash in eastern Nebraska in July has died from his injuries. Otoe County Chief Deputy Mike Holland says John Stevenson, of Holdrege, died Monday at a Lincoln hospital. The Lincoln Journal Star reports Stevenson was driving a car on July 10 near Syracuse when his vehicle collided with another car. Authorities say Stevenson failed to yield to the other car. Stevenson had been hospitalized since the crash. His wife, who was a passenger in the car, remains hospitalized in fair condition. The driver of the other vehicle was also hospitalized but has since been released.

Iowa police ID Nebraskan whose body was pulled from river
COUNCIL BLUFF, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man whose body was recovered from the Missouri River at Council Bluffs. Council Bluffs police identified the man as 37-year-old Jeffrey Kahler of Omaha. Police say there's no evidence that a crime was involved in Kahler's death. His body was spotted a little before 5:30 p.m. Sunday just south of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, which connects Council Bluffs with south Omaha. Council Bluffs firefighters recovered the body less than 30 minutes later.

Police ID motorcyclist fatally injured in Lincoln collision
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a 19-year-old man who was fatally injured when his motorcycle ran into the back of a car near a Lincoln intersection. Police identified him Thursday as 19-year-old David Romero, of Lincoln. The accident occurred around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday. Police say the southbound car turned west onto O Street at 56th Street and soon was hit from behind by the westbound motorcycle. Police say Romero died later at a hospital and that the car driver, Lori Morin, of Lincoln, wasn't injured.

Group works to plant native prairie grass on Nebraska land
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) — Thanks to a $700,000 grant and an organization's efforts, around 15,500 acres of land south of North Platte is looking greener. Four of Nebraska's Natural Resource Districts bought the land and formed the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project. A group official says it's in the process of converting it back to native prairie grass. The group worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop a seed mix that would grow well on the property. The North Platte Telegraph reports that the goal of the project is to help reduce the amount of water used on the land. The acres used to be a part of Lincoln Farms, which was the largest continuous farm in the state at the time it was sold.

Endangered pallid sturgeon larvae found in Missouri River
BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP) — Scientists say that three fish larvae captured from the Missouri River last year have been confirmed as those of the endangered pallid sturgeon. A U.S. Geological Survey news release issued Thursday says the 1- to 3-day-old larvae were among hundreds of larval shovelnose sturgeon and paddlefish collected near Bellevue on May 30, 2014. Survey scientists say the discovery indicates that pallid sturgeon successfully spawned in the lower Missouri River downstream of Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota. But the scientists warned that the successful spawning does not necessarily indicate that the species is on its way to recovery. Scientist Aaron DeLonay says the pallid sturgeon population is still small and that reproduction sufficient to increase the population has not been documented.

Appeals court tosses man's sentence over shooting eagle
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A federal appeals court has tossed a Nebraska man's sentence for shooting a pair of protected birds last year near Macy. The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Lamar Bertucci has spent the past five months in prison for shooting an eagle and a rough-legged hawk. A federal judge has set Bertucci's resentencing for August 12th. Bertucci pleaded guilty in killing the birds, but had disputed the $10,000 value that a federal probation officer put on the eagle. The officer, who prepared Bertucci's presentence report, relied on testimony from a Virginia-based wildlife expert, who estimated the replacement cost of the eagle. The bird's worth mattered to Bertucci because the amount of the loss can dictate the length of a sentence. He was sentenced last year to eight months in prison.

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