Omaha, NE – The VA of Nebraska-western Iowa provides care to 167,000 veterans, 11,000 of whom are women.
VA officials are holding a Women Veterans Focus Group March 30th at the Omaha medical center. Spokesman Will Ackerman says they want to know how to best meet the unique needs of that population. He says the VA has always been very focused on the male veteran. But now facilities are being adjusted for more privacy for women veterans.
Omaha, NE – Alaadeen's jazz career spans more than 50 years and includes four albums, the most recent titled "and the beauty of it all." Two songs on that album, "Free Man" and "When Love Has" have a personal connection for Alaadeen. Omaha Public Radio's Chris Cooke recently spoke with Alaadeen about his career, his influences, and why those two tracks have a special meaning for the artist.
Omaha, NE – Omaha Public Schools officials say state projections for aid to schools mean layoffs are possible.
Assistant Superintendent Dennis Pool updated the district's budget situation during a school board committee meeting Monday. $31 million in state aid to schools was cut last November during a special legislative session. Federal economic stimulus money was used to boost the state aid to Nebraska's schools.
Omaha, NE – Creighton University's Empty Bowls Project happens Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Empty Bowls Project benefits Omaha's Siena/Francis House. Creighton and Duchesne Academy students make the ceramic bowls, which the public can buy.
Project Coordinator Amy Nelson says each bowl costs ten dollars. The Empty Bowls Project happens Tuesday from 4:00 to 8:00 and Wednesday afternoon from 11:30 to 1:00 at the Lied Education Center for the Arts on the Creighton campus.
Omaha, NE – New state budget figures show negative revenue growth this fiscal year and next.
Lawmakers received the budget adjustments last Thursday and are set to begin debating them this week. Revenue growth this fiscal year and next is projected to be -1.7%. Revenue has grown a total of 15% over the past 28 years. Senator Lavon Heidemann, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, says the negative revenue growth shows how the recession is impacting Nebraska's budget.
Omaha, NE – Douglas County has received a $35,000 grant for a study of the youth detention center.
Commissioner Chris Rodgers says the Board plans to use that grant to fund a study by the Burns Institute. It'll be an individual assessment of disproportionate minority contact issues. The goal is to help reduce racial and ethnic disparities within the Youth Detention Center.
Rodgers says the grant is a first step toward what he feels will be a five-year endeavor to reform the juvenile justice system at the local level.
Omaha, NE – 17 people are seeking the open District 7 seat on the Omaha City Council.
Wednesday was the deadline to submit applications and petitions. Former District 7 Councilman Chuck Sigerson resigned last month, six months after suffering a stroke. Council President Garry Gernandt says he's pleased with the amount of interest in the District 7 seat.
Omaha, NE – Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson says he'll vote against a new $140 billion jobs bill.
The Senate passed the jobs bill Wednesday afternoon on a 62-36 vote. If signed in to law, it'll extend unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks in most states. But Nelson believes it'll also add $100 billion to the national debt.
Nelson introduced an amendment Tuesday that would have paid for the new jobs bill in part with unallocated stimulus money. That amendment was blocked, something Nelson says is disappointing.