Omaha, NE – A new report shows the fetal and infant mortality rate in Douglas County is on the decline. But it's still well above the national average.
The Douglas County Health Department released the report Wednesday. It shows the fetal and infant mortality rate was 8.2 between 2005 and 2008. The rate is calculated based on number of deaths per 1,000 births plus fetal deaths. While the Douglas County rate is an improvement, it's well above the national rate of 5.7.
Omaha, NE – Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson says the results of a special election in Massachusetts show people are fed up with partisanship in Washington.
Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election to fill the seat vacated when Senator Edward Kennedy died. Brown's election means Democrats no longer hold a 60 vote majority in the Senate.
Omaha, NE – A third team of medical personnel could be sent to Haiti later this week to provide medical care to injured earthquake victims.
A nine-member medical team left Omaha Saturday afternoon for the Dominican Republic. They're performing about 50 surgeries a day at two hospitals in Jamani, a town on the Haiti-Dominican Republic border. Almost all of those surgeries are amputations. The medical team has requested x-ray machines, more supplies and eight additional nurses.
Omaha, NE – Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman plans to seek a second term.
Heineman filed Tuesday morning for re-election. He was appointed Governor in 2005 and elected in 2006. The Governor says he wants another term because he believes there's still work left to do. Heineman identified his priorities as job creation, improving education and making government more efficient.
Omaha, NE – An official with the American Red Cross Heartland Chapter says interest in volunteering is up following the earthquake in Haiti.
At least 50,000 people are believed dead and most of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is destroyed. An American Red Cross campaign allowing people to donate to Haiti relief via text message has raised more than $8 million so far.
Omaha, NE – Governor Dave Heineman says strengthening education, growing the economy and making state government more efficient are his priorities this legislative session.
Heineman gave his State of the State address Thursday in Lincoln. He acknowledged lawmakers' work last November during a special session to close a $335 million budget shortfall. But the Governor says Nebraska is still in a difficult financial situation, and he doesn't want to raise taxes.
Omaha, NE – A state lawmaker wants the Legislative Planning Committee to study whether Nebraska should consolidate its counties from 93 to about 30.
Senator Rich Pahls of Omaha introduced the legislation. Under the bill, services and functions of county governments would be consolidated. It sets a deadline of 2018 for the Legislative Planning Committee to create a proposal for county consolidation.
Omaha, NE – Nearly 30 percent of teens in Omaha were overweight last year. Now, a group of organizations are working to combat childhood obesity.
Live Well Omaha received a $360,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to work toward lowering childhood obesity rates. The organization plans to focus on both diet and exercise as components of a healthy lifestyle. Executive Director Kerri Peterson says the goal is to keep kids active and practicing a healthy lifestyle.
Omaha, NE – Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle has added two new members to his Cabinet.
Suttle announced Tuesday that Richard O'Gara is Omaha's new Director of Human Resources. O'Gara comes to Omaha from a consulting job with an engineering firm in Colorado. Suttle says O'Gara will help the city create a responsive and responsible HR department.