Mad cow case drives the market crazy

How many mad cows does it take to move markets?

In one day, April 24, an announcement about one confirmed case of mad cow disease in California had various markets soaring and falling in unison. The disease in the dairy cow was the first new case since 2006 and only the fourth reported case in the United States.

Pilgrim’s Pride shares shot up 50 cents to $7.15, a 7.5 percent spike that ranked it among the day’s 10 biggest percentage gainers on the New York Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, live cattle futures posted their largest decline in several months, though they rebounded the next day.

Brazilian meat packer JBS, the majority shareholder of Greeley-based Pilgrim’s, scrambled to assure investors that there was no need to panic. The company reiterated claims from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that one mad cow would not spoil the herd.

And if the market reacted more than expected, JBS pointed out that it still has a great hand.

“JBS is the second largest chicken producer globally and has relevant pork production in the U.S., businesses which would benefit from any spillover,” the company said in a statement.

Will Timnath grow enough for a new town hall, police station?

TIMNATH — As you might have heard, the tiny town of Timnath is eyeing a new town hall and police station as part of the prospective $100 million Riverbend Urban Village. Well, let’s just say they’re on the wish list at this point.

The town, with a population of less than 1,000, hasn’t drawn up plans, nor has it estimated the cost of the facilities, Timnath Mayor Jill Grossman-Belisle said. The size of each facility will depend on how much the town grows in the coming years.

Revenue that the town receives as it grows will fund the facilities, she said. But the town isn’t planning on hiring any new police officers or city staffers just yet.

“If that growth doesn’t occur, we obviously would not build,” she said. “We’re not going to build it before we need it.”

Still, Grossman-Belisle said the town has acquired land for the municipal campus, which will include a new fire station whose construction will begin in January. The land is part of a 70-acre site slated for Riverbend, a large commercial development with restaurants, a corporate park, bank, performing arts center and maybe a gourmet grocery store.

The $4 million fire station will serve the surrounding region, not just Timnath, with improved response times during emergencies, Grossman-Belisle said. Taxes on property in the Poudre Fire District will fund that project.

Fort Collins’ Harlem Ambassadors sue over lost player

FORT COLLINS — Things are getting serious for a Fort Collins comedy basketball team.

The Harlem Ambassadors, based in Fort Collins, is suing the Harlem Wizards, alleging that the New Jersey team stole one of its players.

It’s no laughing matter for the Ambassadors, a team known for its ball-handling tricks, high-flying dunks and comedy routines.

The Harlem Wizards “took” former Harlem Ambassadors player LaMarvon Jackson, Harlem Ambassadors President Dale Moss said. The team contends that the 6-foot-6 Jackson, a former University of Arkansas Little Rock forward, was under contract during the 2011-2012 season when the Wizards signed him.

“Just like a referee decides who’s playing fair and who’s breaking the rules on the basketball court, we need the court to make a similar determination,” Moss said.

The Ambassadors, which filed the lawsuit in Illinois, is seeking more than $70,000 in general contract and punitive damages.

Todd Davis, president of the Wizards, believes the lawsuit has no merit. Wizards’ attorneys who reviewed Jackson’s contract deemed it “not enforceable.”

Jackson’s superior dunking skills make him a sought-after player, according to Davis.

“You want to have guys who excite the crowd with their dunks,” Davis said.

The Ambassadors and Wizards are independent basketball teams and neither is affiliated with a league.

Comedy basketball fans won’t see any animosity spill over during a game: The teams do not play one another.

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