Jury Won’t Consider Deaths in Ga. Salmonella Trial
By Russ Bynum
Albany, Ga. (AP) – A jury weighing criminal charges against the owner of a Georgia peanut plant blamed for a nationwide salmonella outbreak five years ago will decide the case without hearing one fact – that nine people died after eating the company’s tainted peanut butter.
Former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell and two co-defendants have been on trial since Aug. 1 and the jury started deliberations last Friday. Parnell and his brother, food broker Michael Parnell, are charged with knowingly shipping contaminated peanut butter to customers and faking lab tests intended to screen for salmonella.
Tainted peanut butter from the company’s plant in rural Blakely, Georgia, ended up in jars, packaged crackers and other snacks. In 2009, hundreds of people were sickened and the outbreak led to one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history.
The peanut plant’s quality control manager, Mary Wilkerson, is charged along with Stewart Parnell with obstructing justice. Jury deliberations were resumed in U.S. District Court after a three-day recess. Experts say it is the first time food processors have been tried in a federal food-poisoning case.

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Nicole “Nickie” Hanson has logged more miles than most young attorneys during her time at Fraser Stryker, and she’s not complaining!

Young Attorney Embraces Challenges

By Elizabeth Elliott
The Daily Record

Nicole Hanson’s law experience took her from Omaha to South Africa and back again. She is an associate attorney with Fraser Stryker.
“While I’ve been involved in a lot of interesting transactions, the most notable one required me to uproot my life. I was originally asked to go to South Africa for a quick trip to assist a client in selling off a subsidiary,” she said. “I ended up travelling to South Africa throughout 2013 over the course of four extended trips. As a young associate, getting the chance to be deeply ingrained in an onsite project halfway around the world was extremely rewarding and eye opening.”

Hanson’s interest in the legal field is multifaceted.
“I was drawn to the legal field because it allows practitioners to help people and entities achieve their goals, while it is also intellectually challenging and creatively stimulating,” she said.
Hanson practices in business and corporate law.

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CASA to Host Open House Celebration
CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, for Douglas County recently completed renovations to their building at 2412 St. Mary’s Avenue. CASA will be hosting an open house on Friday, September 26, from 4 to 8 p.m.
CASA for Douglas County advocates for the best interest of abused and neglected children in Douglas County Juvenile Court and in foster care proceedings through the use of trained, court appointed, citizen volunteers. These volunteers provide a “voice” for the children while ensuring that they are safe, their needs are being met, and that efforts are made to expedite permanent homes for these children.
CASA purchased the building in 2008 to support their mission to serve more children in Douglas County. From 2008 to 2013, CASA has increased the number of children served annually from 151 to 230, an increase of 52%, and increased the number of active volunteers annually from 82 to 112, an increase of 37%.
Kim Thomas, Executive Director, states, “The renovations this year will support the continued growth of our volunteer base to assist us in realizing our vision of serving every child in foster care in Douglas County by the year 2020. We’ve added a volunteer support room, a family visitation room, a board room, and we’ve revitalized our training room into a state of the art conference center that will accommodate up to 150 participants.”
“Our renovations also included beautification of the outdoors. The north side of our building now boasts a magnificent mural, and we now have green space around our parking lot” adds Thomas.
About CASA
CASA for Douglas County is a member of both the National and Nebraska CASA Associations. The National CASA Association is a network of 951 programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to represent the best interest of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings. To learn more, visit the National website or visit the CASA for Douglas County website

Memorial Park at 60th and Underwood was the site of Thursday's commemoration of the tragic events of 9/11. The lawn is decorated with 2,977 American flags in honor of all who lost their lives.
First Responders Foundation Provides
For Our Protectors in Many Ways

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

A couple of years ago, insurance man Bob Nelson approached attorney Chuck Sederstrom of Erickson l Sederstrom Law Office, and asked him to help the First Responders Foundation. He wanted more than just a donation. He wanted his time.

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After almost five decades, Donna Hubbard can still “turn on the jets” to get the job done.

The 'Epitome of a Legal Assistant'
Hubbard Sets Lifetime Standard of Excellence

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

Legal Assistant Donna Hubbard has been planning to retire for more than a decade.
The trouble is, people really want her to keep working and she really loves what she does, so …
Here she is today, September 19th, celebrating her 77th birthday at a surprise party at the Law Offices of Jeffrey L Stoehr, where she still puts in 20 hours or more a week.
“Every time I mention retiring and perhaps moving to Texas where my daughter and her family are, Jeff tells me how much I would hate Texas!” she laughed. “Well, it is hot there.”

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– Photo by Lorraine Boyd
Ben Gray Offers Words of Encouragement
One of the lesser known of the special courts of Douglas County is one that provides a sentencing alternative for youthful offenders who are charged with a felony: Young Adult Court. The Hon. W. Mark Ashford presides over the program staffed by Nebraska State Probation Officer/Young Adult Court Coordinator Bob Blanchard, Probation Officer Nick Lurz, Douglas County Attorney Katie Benson and the Douglas County Corrections Re-entry Assistance Program staff.
On Monday, Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray addressed the packed courtroom of Judge Ashford as two participants “graduated” and many others had their felonies reduced to misdemeanors and were placed on probation, the final step in the program. He emphasized the importance of taking control of their own lives, the one thing they could change, especially with the help this program offers.
Two young men, Anthony and John, had successfully completed all three phases of the rigorous program and were released from probation. From felony drug possession to assault charges, they turned their lives around and are well on their way to being contributing members of society.

– Photos by Lorraine Boyd
A Minute of Silence
Several hundred people observed a minute of silence at 9:11 a.m. at Memorial Park in honor of the 2,977 people, including more than 400 first responder and emergency personnel, who lost their lives to terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The ceremony, organized by the First Responders Foundation, was declared an annual event by Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert (above), as dignitaries from the city, county, FBI, police and fire departments looked on. The observance included a celebration of Americans’ resilience  at 9:12, with the OPD Bagpipes and Drums playing, a police helicopter fly-over, and the poignant flying of the huge American flag between two Fire Department ladder trucks. For more photo coverage, click here.


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Senior Vice President and Partner Penny Hatchell and President and Partner Chris Doyle are but two of the talented cast of marketers at Envoy, Inc.

25 Years in Business, Chamber Honor
Make 2014 a Good Year for Envoy, Inc.

By Dan McCann
The Daily Record

A milestone year just became even more memorable for Omaha advertising agency Envoy, Inc. Not only is the firm celebrating 25 years in operation, it is being honored as the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for September.
“We see this designation as an honor not just for Envoy but for our clients as well. It’s their trust and input that has allowed us to create great work over the years. As an agency, we are literally nothing without them,” said Envoy President Chris Doyle.

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Attorney Mary Vandenack is a force of nature, easily juggling her law firm, volunteer activities, writing assignments, teaching duties and motherhood.

How About Mary Vandenack?
You Know What They Say: If You Want
Something Done, Ask a Busy Person

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

Is that my tax attorney over there, teaching yoga?
If your attorney is Mary E. Vandenack, then yes, it is.

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The firm of Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC has been located since September 2013 at 17007 Marcy Street, Suite 3, Omaha, NE 68118-3121 or online at
McGrath North Expands
Employee Benefits Team

McGrath North recently announced that the firm has significantly expanded its employee benefits & executive compensation practice with the addition of attorneys Joan Cannon and Peter Langdon.
Cannon has specialized in employee benefits law for over fourteen years, and Langdon has spent the last twenty-nine years of his practice focusing on all aspects of ERISA/employee benefits and executive compensation. Click here for full story
For more information regarding McGrath North, please visit the firm’s website at

Sodoro, Daly, Shomaker & Selde
Welcomes New Attorney

Sodoro, Daly, Shomaker & Selde, PC, LLO  recently announced the addition of Raymond K. Wilson Jr. to the firm.  He has spent the past two years practicing exclusively in California defending malpractice claims. Previously a law clerk at Sodoro, Daly, Shomaker & Selde, Wilson returns to the firm as an associate attorney with malpractice law and general litigation. 
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For more information regarding Sodoro, Daly, Shomaker & Selde, please go to the firm’s website at



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This Day In History
September 22, 1987
Dow-Jones index rises record 75.23 points

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