Omaha, NE – Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson says any bailout given to the Big 3 auto makers needs to come with conditions.
Senator Nelson was the keynote speaker Thursday at the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce Membership Luncheon. Nelson says if the auto makers want a government loan, they must change the way they do business. He says they need a new business plan that makes them competitive with foreign auto makers. Nelson says Congress could return to session next week to consider an auto bailout plan.
Omaha, NE – Iowa's fourth quarter Business Conditions report shows a downturn in that state's economy.
The Iowa Business Council report was released earlier this week. It uses sales, capital spending and employment indicators to determine the overall health of Iowa's economy. For the fourth quarter, the state's overall economic indicator dropped below 50, which means businesses aren't as confident about the state of the economy.
Omaha, NE – Another Omaha City Councilman is running for Mayor.
District Three Councilman Jim Vokal announced Monday night he's a candidate for Mayor. Vokal was elected to the City Council in 2001. He says that experience, along with a background in finance and business, give him the experience to lead.
Vokal says his priorities are lowering the crime rate, economic development and financial responsibility within the city.
Omaha, NE – Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey is asking all city departments to cut their budgets.
Fahey says the city's $280 million general fund budget needs to be cut by two percent. That amounts to four to six million dollars in cuts. He says all options are on the table and all departments, including the Police and Fire Departments, are being asked to make cuts.
Omaha, NE – The economic downturn is putting a strain on the Omaha Food Bank's resources.
Food Bank Spokeswoman Jewel Knapp says the need for assistance began to spike eight months ago. She says pantries who receive food from the food bank have noted a 13 to 59 percent increase in requests for assistance. Knapp says some of those requests are from people with full-time jobs, who aren't familiar with the process.
Omaha, NE – Omaha City Councilman Jim Vokal plans to run for Mayor.
Vokal, who represents District Three, is scheduled to make the announcement at 5:30 PM at his campaign headquarters, located at 8815 F Street. Vokal is the second City Councilman to enter the race. Last week, City Councilman Jim Suttle announced he's running for Mayor.
We'll have more on Vokal's announcement Tuesday morning on Omaha Public Radio news.
Omaha, NE – More than one thousand Omaha area residents will receive Thanksgiving dinner this year from the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army of Omaha's Turkey Fest delivers meals to low-income and elderly families. This year, 1,220 meals will be distributed by volunteers.
Salvation Army of Omaha spokeswoman Susan Eustice says the organization has seen a request this year for holiday meals and assistance. The Chapter's Christmas Assistance program signed up 800 more families this year than in 2007.
Omaha, NE – Omaha's Open Door Mission expects to serve thousands of Thanksgiving meals this Thursday.
Open Door Mission Director Candace Gregory says 1,500 meals are served there every day. The Mission has seen a 46 percent increase in services over the past year. Because of that, Gregory says donations of items such as canned meat and canned soup are needed.