LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – The new-in-2011 Nebraska policy allowing alcohol in most state parks apparently passed its first holiday weekend test. Nebraska Game and Parks administrator Roger Kuhn says his agency’s officers and other law enforcement agencies didn’t report anything out of the ordinary over the Memorial Day weekend. The policy approved last year ended a 15-year ban on drinking alcohol in state parks. It went into effect Jan. 1, allowing alcohol consumption in all state parks, state historical parks andstate recreation areas, except at Lake McConaughy in western Nebraska and state wildlife management areas. Alcohol consumption is barred in designated swimming areas, on roads, in parking lots and in certain other marked areas. Containers of alcohol larger than a gallon are not allowed.
The Lincoln County Department of Roads closed North Airport Road from Highway 30, North to Hall School Road. Also, Long School Road, from North Airport Road going East is closed. The closures remain in effect until further notice. This news drops as a stretch of U.S. Highway 30 between North Platte is still not open, after being closed last week. The video below shows the water on Highway 30 from Thursday May 26, 2011.
Kevin Vicker reports on the city of North Platte’s, in conjunction with the Corps of Engineers, planning efforts to contain flooding after the latest releases from Lake McConaughy in Ogallalla project the North Platte river in North Platte to rise to 8.1 feet by Saturday June 4. Hear quotes from Mayor Marc Kaschke, City Administrator Jim Hawks and Lincoln County Emergency Manager Jim Nitz.
The map below shows areas of the dike that will be worked on. Areas in green require relatively minor work, like adding sand bags and slightly raising the level. The areas in red require more extensive work, which may utilize bulldozers. Hawks said some trees may need to be removed and the city is aggressively working to get permission from property owners who own property that contains an area of the dike in the need of repair.
NORTH PLATTE – The Army Corps of Engineers will meet with North Platte city officials this morning to lay out a plan to protect the city from flooding. This planning meeting takes place as flood levels are expected to reach a record 8.1 feet by Saturday June 4. The National Weather Service says that when the North Platte River reaches 7.8 feet, major and widespread flooding will occur at Cody Park as flood waters from the boat ramp cross the paved access road along the northwest edge of the park and floods portions of the park.
Photograph taken by Gary Shorman as he flew over North Platte yesterday showing the severity of the North Platte River Flooding. Flows could continue to increase to as high as 7,800 cfs over the next several days, which would be a flood stage of approximately 8.5 feet.
Nine men were arrested in a major drug bust Thursday, following an investigation by several law enforcement agencies including the North Platte Police Deptartment, Nebraska State Patrol,FBI,various Sheriff’s Departments and The Department of Homeland Security
Authorities said they seized Cocaine and Meth along with other drugs. More local arrests are anticipated
Jared J. Rosencrants – 21- North Platte
Anthony J. Leverington – 25 – North Platte
Aaron L. Vieyra, 31, of North Platte
Andrew C. Lujan – 30 – North Platte
Peter T. Bailey – 24 – North Platte
Scott R. Sundstrom – 38 – North Platte
Bradley L. Peterson – 21 – Ogalalla
Billy A. Morrison – 19 – Lincoln
Ricky L. Garcia -40 – Lincoln
Disaster and devastation have dominated this week’s headlines after the killer storms. Here’s a story with a happy ending.
The Wood family of Piedmont, Oklahoma took shelter in a “safe room” on Tuesday afternoon as a tornado ripped apart their three-story home, but they weren’t able to round up their family pet, a boxer named Roxie.
After the storm passed, the Woods found their home in shambles and Roxie missing.
But a day later, they got some good news — and oil rig worker nearly two miles away had found Roxie in a field. The dog somehow managed to survive the storm with just a scratch on her front leg, much to the delight of eight-year-old Paisley Wood.
JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — As emergency workers in Joplin searched Thursday for more than 230 people listed as missing after a tornado tore through the city, one was sitting on a wooden chair outside the wreckage of her home, cuddling her cat.
Sally Adams, 75, said neighbors rescued her Sunday after the storm destroyed her house and took her to a friend’s home. When The Associated Press told her she was on the missing list, Adams laughed and said “Get me off of there!”
Missouri officials had said they believed many of the missing were alive and safe but simply hadn’t been in touch with friends and family, in part because cell phone service has been spotty. The AP found that was the case with at least a dozen of the 232 still unaccounted for Thursday. They included two survivors staying at a hotel, six that a relative said were staying with friends and one that a former employee said had been moved from his nursing home.
Stephen Whitehead, of the Red Cross’ Safe and Well registry, which keeps track of the accounted-for, said that since the missing list came out earlier Thursday, he has learned that at least nine are people who are dead. Whitehead said he did not know whether those nine were among the known fatalities.
Adams said she lost her cell phone in the storm and had no way of contacting her family to let them know she was OK. She was placed on the missing list after relatives called a hot line and posted Facebook messages saying she was missing.
Her son, Bill Adams, said he told authorities his mother was alive after he learned she was safe, yet she remained on their unaccounted-for list Thursday afternoon.
Mike O’Connell, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Public Safety, said he wouldn’t call Adams’ listing a mistake and finding her is “a good thing.” He urged other survivors to check the list and call if they see their names.
The AP found Mike and Betty Salzer at a hotel being used by visiting journalists.
“Well, for Heaven’s sakes,” Betty Salzer, 74, said when the AP showed her the list.
The couple have been staying at the hotel since their home was destroyed Sunday. Betty Salzer said their names might have come from a Facebook message her daughter posted before they reached her Monday morning.
Not all of the stories of the missing will end so well.
Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr announced Thursday that the death toll had risen to 126.
Some of their families waited Thursday for their remains to be released. One victim’s funeral was scheduled for Friday morning in Galena, Kan., and other services were scheduled for the weekend.
But some of the bodies have yet to be identified. Andrea Spillars, deputy director and general counsel of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, said officials know some of the people unaccounted for are dead, but she wouldn’t say how many or when the names of the deceased would be released.
Chris Haddock, 23, said his father was one of the deceased on the missing list. A commercial truck driver found 62-year-old Paul Haddock’s body in his pickup truck behind a flattened Walmart.
“They found his wallet and his cell phone in his pocket,” Chris Haddock said. “That’s how they know it’s him.”
In another example of potential overlap, 12 residents of the Greenbriar nursing home are on the missing list. But nursing home administrators reported earlier that 11 people died in the tornado; only one was known missing.
One of the 12 is Dorothy Hartman, an Alzheimer’s patient. Pamela McBroom, 49, who lives near the nursing home, said one of her daughters used to work there, developed a soft spot for Hartman and introduced them. Hartman was frail “but very positive and full of life,” she said.
McBroom said she and her 16-year-old daughter were hiding in a closet when the tornado tore their walls and roof away. Her walls gone, McBroom could see the mayhem at Greenbriar.
“I could see people flying out of the nursing home by my house,” McBroom said. “I could hear them screaming. Just screaming. It was horrible.”
Nursing home officials haven’t said whether Hartman was one of the 11 killed.
Identification of the deceased has been slow because officials have taken extra precautions since a woman misidentified one victim as her son in the chaotic hours after the tornado hit, Newton County coroner Mark Bridges said.
“That’s the reason why we didn’t release anybody else until we at least had dental records,” Bridges said.
A federal forensics team of 50 to 75 disaster mortuary specialists has been at work in six refrigerated trucks, collecting DNA samples for testing, taking fingerprints and looking for tattoos, body piercings, moles and other distinctive marks. Bridges expected as many as 19 bodies would be released Thursday.
He said he’s been explaining the reason for the delays to grieving families “all day long.”
“It breaks my heart,” he said.
By NOMAAN MERCHANT and JIM SALTER
Photo Credit Charlie Riedel