September 18, 2014

Man found dead on banks of South Platte River identified

A man found dead along the banks of the South Platte River has been identified as a man from Colorado.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office identifies the murder victim as 43-year-old Lonnie Sanchez of Hoehne, CO.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the murder of Sanchez in North Platte.

Police received a report late Tuesday evening of a dead body found near the river. Sheriff’s deputies arrived and found the body of Sanchez with facial injuries, wrapped in a tarp.

After questioning witnesses, officers charged 45-year-old transient David Saxton with second degree murder and 31-year-old transient Maybelle Collins with accessory to a felony. A third man, 30-year-old transient Randy Nevsimal was also identified and arrested Wednesday and charged with second degree murder.

Andrew Lacy, KODY, contributed to this report.

Head-on crash outside Lincoln kills one, injures another

A head-on crash southwest of Lincoln killed one and injured another.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office reports the crash occurred very early Thursday morning when a sports utility vehicle, attempting to pass another car, collided with a car just outside Lincoln.

The driver of the car was taken to a Lincoln hospital by helicopter. Surgeons attempted to save him, but he died about five hours after the crash occurred.

The passenger in the car was taken to Bryan West hospital. Authorities expect the passenger to live.

Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this article.

Most Americans fail at recommended dietary guidelines

USDA’s Food Pyramid started appearing on food items back in 1992 when it was replaced by MyPlate in 2011.  Both provide information on the current nutrition guidelines regarding food categories and amounts one should eat for a healthy diet. So, how are Nebraskans and other Americans doing following those guidelines? Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee member Dr. Anna Maria Siega-Riz says most people are nowhere near their recommendations.

The committee is meeting this week and they report that dietary habits have not changed much in the last ten years. They report fruit consumption is stable but on the low side. Vegetable consumption is down, especially children and teens. There is a slight increase in whole grain consumption and dairy is steady.

The committee is looking at dozens of new studies and reports. Dr. Siega-Riz says the hope to find a way to get people to meet them at least half way in making healthy choices. Their new recommendations should be available by the end of next year.

Senate taking up amendment to combat ISIL today

Nebraska U-S Senator Mike Johanns is pleased that legislation is quickly making its way through Congress to combat the terrorist group ISIL. The U-S House passed an amendment that would provide funding to the Department of Defense and the State Department to equip and train moderate forces fighting ISIL in Syria. It also requires a number of progress reports to improve congressional oversight.

Senator Johanns says the U-S Senate is taking up that same amendment today. He says he is convinced that the U-S must do our part to end their reign of terror and prevent it from being spread around the world.

Senator Johanns the U-S will not be alone in the mission. He says several other countries have committed to the cause and hopes that others will join the effort.

Nebraska hopes conference will lead to increased trade with Japan (AUDIO)

Gov. Dave Heineman announces Nebraska will host Midwest US-Japan conference along with (L-R), State Ag Dir Greg Ibach, Melissa Ross with Oxbow Animal Health, and Acting Economic Development Dir. Dacia Kruse

Gov. Dave Heineman announces Nebraska will host Midwest US-Japan conference along with (L-R), State Ag Dir Greg Ibach, Melissa Ross with Oxbow Animal Health, and Acting Economic Development Dir. Dacia Kruse

Nebraska hosts the 50th annual Midwest US-Japan Association annual conference; in 2018.

Gov. Dave Heineman says the conference should spur Nebraska exports to Japan and Japanese investment in Nebraska.

“I’m especially gratified that we’re going to host the 50th,” Heineman tells reporters during an announcement. “Anniversaries like that tend to be a little more important. You may find more Japanese business leaders and American leaders who want to come, because it will be historic that we’ve been doing this for 50 years.”

Japan ranks as the second largest market for Nebraska agricultural products. Nebraska exported more than $454 million in farm goods to Japan last year, according to the Nebraska Department of Economic Development; $411 million in beef and pork exports.

The Nebraska Center Japan opened in Tokyo in 2006 to strengthen the economic ties between Japan and Nebraska.

Oxbow Animal Health in rural Murdock began exporting its pet food and pet care products to Japan years ago, but Marketing Director Melissa Ross says once the state center was established, it greatly increased sales to Japan.

“Make sure that we’re doing business in a culturally sensitive manner and respecting their culture and it’s just been a tremendous asset to have those resources on the ground in Japan for us,” according to Ross.

Agricultural goods aren’t the only exports to Japan. Overall, Nebraska exported $566 million in goods to Japan last year, representing nearly eight percent of the total state merchandise exports.

Acting Economic Development Director Dacia Kruse says the state helped Vahallan Papers of Lincoln establish a foothold in Japan to sell its premium wallpaper and wall coverings.

Kruse says Vahallan also participated in the STEP program and used its grant to attend two major trade shows in the United States.

AUDIO:  Brent Martin reports [1 min.]