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This Hour: Latest Nebraska news, sports, business and entertainment

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ROBBERY CONVICTION

Man convicted by jury in Scottsbluff store robbery

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) - A jury has returned a guilty verdict in the case of a man charged with armed robbery of a Scottsbluff convenience store in January.

KNEB radio reports (http://bit.ly/1txesNo ) the Scotts Bluff County District Court took just under three hours Tuesday to convict 29-year-old Michael Galindo of the Jan. 15 armed robbery of a Git 'N Split store.

Prosecutors showed jurors video surveillance tapes from the store and a bank taken on the same day of the robbery. They show clothing worn by the robber is similar to that worn by Galindo in the bank video.

Defense attorney Bill Madelung argued to the jury that "similar" or "kinda like" are not grounds for a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.

Galindo will be sentenced on Aug. 29.

CHADRON CHICKENS

Chadron allows backyard chickens

CHADRON, Neb. (AP) - Backyard chicken enthusiasts can now own their own birds in the city limits of Chadron.

KQSK radio reports (http://bit.ly/1kb09hD ) the Chadron City Council has given final approval to an ordinance allowing backyard or hobby chickens.

The council has passed an amendment to an existing ordinance regulating animals in the city. It allows residents to keep up to six chickens in an enclosed area that's at least 20-feet from the sides of the lot. Roosters are prohibited.

A $25 annual fee is required. Renters must have signed landlord approval.

Councilman and veterinarian Dr. John Gamby voted against the change saying it wasn't needed. He says the ordinance is discriminatory against ducks and other bird species since it addressed only chickens.

MOUNTAIN LION-CHADRON

Mountain lion near children in Chadron shot

CHADRON, Neb. (AP) - A mountain lion has been shot south of Chadron after a man observed it crouching in the grass about 20 yards from his home where two young children were on a patio.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says in a statement the 5-month-old female mountain lion was shot Saturday.

The man retrieved a rifle from the house and approached the animal, then shot it when it stood but did not flee. The mountain lion weighed about 30 pounds.

As required by law, the man immediately notified authorities after shooting the animal.

The Dawes County Sheriff's Department investigated the incident and took possession of the animal. It was transferred to Nebraska Game and Parks officials Sunday.

Authorities determined the man acted within the law.

VETERANS HOME-SURVEY

Veterans home in Scottsbluff gets clean survey

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) - The Western Nebraska Veterans' Home in Scottsbluff recently received its fifth deficiency-free survey from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says in a statement an eight-member survey team from around the country noted no deficiencies during a June survey. The team evaluates life safety, resident care, environment, staff training and development, dietary-food service, banking and billing services for veterans, recreation/activities, medical staff credentialing, social work, and all areas related to quality assurance and care.

John Hilgert, director of the Division of Veterans' Homes in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says it's unusual to have five no-deficiency surveys.

The state's Division of Veterans' Homes includes facilities in Bellevue, Norfolk, Grand Island, and Scottsbluff.

GRAIN ELEVATOR ART

Banners on Omaha grain elevator silos now gone

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Gone is the familiar sight of banners plastered on the side of towering grain elevator silos along eastbound Interstate 80 in Omaha.

The art ranged from geometric shapes to graphic designs of bacon and corn. In all, 26 banners covered the upper portions of the silos.

The Omaha World-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1wWZFvM ) that workers from Davis Erection removed the banners this week.

The "Stored Potential" banners were a project of Emerging Terrain, a community development nonprofit that no longer operates in Omaha.

Emerging Terrain founder Ann Trumble, of Los Angeles, says the "Stored Potential" project, begun in 2010, was always meant to be temporary. She says the artists who designed the banners have already spoken for them, and some of the artists have other plans for their use.

FIREFIGHTING PLANE-NEBRASKA

Firefighting air stations, planes now operational

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - New airport stations designed to serve a firefighting plane in rural Nebraska are now up and running.

The Nebraska Forest Service said Tuesday that the state-contracted plane and crew arrived last week for a two-month stint during the summer wildfire season.

The state forest service recently hired a manager for the single-engine air tanker base in Chadron. Bases are also located in Valentine and Alliance, in addition to a mobile unit. The bases serve as storage facilities for water and flame retardant, allowing the plane to reload and circle back to a fire quickly.

The planes and bases were approved after massive wildfires in 2006 and 2012 that threatened lives and property. Nebraska has not seen any major fires so far this year.

DEALERSHIP BLAZE

Several fire crews battle southern Nebraska blaze

FAIRFIELD, Neb. (AP) - Firefighters from several departments have been called in to battle a blaze at a farm implement dealership in the south-central Nebraska town of Fairfield.

Authorities say the fire broke out early Tuesday morning at Oregon Trail Equipment. No injuries have been reported.

The blaze damaged the dealership's main building, which contains an office and maintenance shop. The Nebraska State Patrol blocked off parts of Nebraska Highway 74 so emergency vehicles could reach the scene.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Office are trying to find out what caused the fire.

PLOW DAY

Old tractors help Nebraska farmer's hail recovery

HEARTWELL, Neb. (AP) - Some old tractors have been deployed to help a south-central Nebraska farmer turn a hail-torn cornfield into a future field of winter wheat.

The Hastings Tribune says (http://bit.ly/11KCE3E ) the tractors were among those registered for the 17th annual Heartwell Plow Day on Saturday. The Plow Day event is for tractors made in the 1960s and earlier.

Organizers had been planning to turn over a field of wheat stubble belonging to Glen Haselbarth. But the event location was moved to a field about four miles away, southwest of Heartwell. About 80 acres of corn there and 10 acres of alfalfa nearby were damaged during a hailstorm on July 9.

The old tractors pulled plows through the 90 acres on Saturday, preparing them for a fall planting of wheat.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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