Male king penguins reared two chicks at the Henry Doorly Zoo.


Henry Doorly Zoo unveils two king penguin chicks

Omaha can now get a look at the king penguin chicks that were born at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in mid-March.

The chicks — whose gender is uncertain — have been placed on display in the Antarctic penguin habitat in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium.

These offspring had a decidedly male influence. Each was reared by a male penguin, according to zoo officials. Generally, female king penguins care for chicks. The zoo is keeping the chicks in a pen where they will stay until they molt their nonwaterproof down feathers and gain their juvenile plumage.

One weighs 26 pounds and the other weighs 32.

The zoo has a population of 24 king penguins: 13 males, nine females and the two chicks.

As of June 2018, the North American population of king penguins was 283 individuals in 15 institutions. — Nancy Gaarder


Lincoln cyclist taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries

A 48-year-old Lincoln man was struck by a pickup truck while cycling Thursday, putting him in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Thomas J. Hudson was cycling westbound on Pioneers Boulevard between Ninth Street and Folsom Lane on Thursday evening when a pickup, driven by Gary L. Heil of Lincoln, struck his bike from behind.

Hudson then was taken to Bryan Medical Center, West Campus, where he was in the intensive care unit Friday, said Angela Sands, a Lincoln police spokeswoman. Heil told officers he did not see a bike because the stretch of road he was on was shaded. Once sunlight hit the road, he said, the bike appeared "out of nowhere." Heil said he attempted to swerve but didn't want to hit a car in the lane next to him.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing. — Adam Cole


First human case of West Nile virus this year is confirmed

DES MOINES — Iowa officials have reported the state's first confirmed human case of West Nile virus this year.

The Iowa Public Health Department said Friday that the man lives in western Iowa's Audubon County, is 61 to 80 years old and has recovered.

Dr. Caitlin Pedati, the department's medical director, says that until the state's first hard frost, being outside means there's a risk of contracting West Nile virus from mosquitoes.

Experts say most people who are infected have no symptoms or experience only mild, flu-like symptoms. The most vulnerable people are those who are at least 50 years old or have weakened immune systems.

State records say 104 Iowans were diagnosed with West Nile virus last year, and nine died. More information about the virus is available online. — AP

Contract awarded to raise Missouri River levee

HAMBURG — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha says it has awarded a nearly $2.8 million contract to repair a Missouri River levee in southwestern Iowa.

The contract is to increase the elevation of a levee that was breached near Percival and Hamburg during the historic flooding in March. The breach near Percival was closed last month, and work to close the one at Hamburg is expected to be done within days. The contract to raise the levees from 2 to 4.5 feet is with Weston Solutions Inc. of West Chester, Pennsylvania.

The corps says more than 500 miles of levees on the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn Rivers, as well as other tributaries, have experienced significant flood damage this year. — AP

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