Omaha, NE – With two months left in Omaha's fiscal year, city leaders are exploring options to close a $9.5 million budget gap.
The fiscal year ends December 31. Ron Gerard, spokesman for Mayor Jim Suttle's office, says Mayor Suttle and the Finance Department are meeting daily to monitor the budget. Gerard says city services can't be cut any more than they already have been. Omaha's Parks and Recreation Department, and libraries, took significant budget cuts earlier this year.
Omaha, NE – Nebraska Senators Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns are backing a measure that requires all health care reform legislation to be posted online three days before it's voted on.
The 72 hour transparency bill requires that text of legislation be posted on the Internet three days before a committee or floor vote. It's designed to give the public a chance to read the bill and learn more about what it contains.
Omaha, NE – An UNMC expert on infectious diseases says not all cases of the flu require medical treatment.
Dr. Mark Rupp says UNMC's emergency rooms are experiencing a near-record number of people seeking treatment. He says that stretches the hospital's resources thin. Rupp says many people with the flu, whether it's seasonal or swine flu, don't need medical treatment. Instead, they can treat it at home. Dr. Rupp says if you're having chest pains or trouble keeping fluids down, you should seek medical treatment.
Lincoln, NE – Declines in state revenue have prompted Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman to tell lawmakers a special session will be needed to address the state's budget woes.
The national economic downturn is causing budget headaches in Nebraska. With unemployment rising, state tax revenues are falling. Net tax revenue for September was $40 million below projects, according to the state Department of Revenue, which says revenues are down 6.5% so far this fiscal year.
Omaha, NE – UNO Chancellor John Christensen says the university must always be working at its mission to be a top metropolitan school.
Chancellor Christensen gave his State of the University address Wednesday during UNO's convocation. Enrollment this fall is over 15,000 students. Christensen credits the continued enrollment boom to new construction, renovations, and top faculty. But he says UNO must redouble its efforts in order to become a top metropolitan university.
Omaha, NE – Vaccinations against swine flu are underway in Douglas County.
Health Department officials say 2,600 doses of the nasal spray vaccine against swine flu arrived Monday. Another 1,500 doses are expected later this week. Young people ages two to 24 years old will be the first to receive the vaccinations.
Resource Specialist Phil Rooney says children under two and pregnant women cannot get the nasal spray vaccine. It's intended for healthy people ages 2 to 49.
Omaha, NE – A new report says one in seven Nebraska children are unsure of when they'll get their next meal.
The Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest published the report on childhood nutrition. It says the state ranks 43rd when it comes to the number of children served by the Summer Food Program. Nebraska is 45th when it comes to the number of children who receive breakfast through the School Breakfast Program.