Omaha, NE – The Rural Mainstreet Index improved in March to its highest level in nearly two years.
The RMI measures the overall health of the rural economy in nine states, including Nebraska and Iowa. In March, the index rose to 47.4, an 11 point jump from February. Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss says while that's an improvement, the economy is still struggling.
Omaha, NE – The University of Nebraska-Omaha's Center for Public Affairs Research is out with a new report that characterizes Nebraskans without health insurance.
Research Coordinator David Drozd says he was surprised to learn that uninsured rates are highest among college age individuals and those in their early working years. The report, released last week, provides new information that may aid the current public debate regarding health insurance coverage.
Omaha, NE – Local and state leaders are optimistic that Nebraska's economy is rebounding.
Nebraska's unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's the second lowest unemployment rate in the nation. Governor Dave Heineman says fiscal responsibility is key to a strong economy. He says Nebraskans follow a simple principle: if you don't have the money, don't spend it.
Omaha, NE – The Salvation Army of Omaha says 400 more families signed up for Christmas assistance this year than last.
The Tree of Lights Campaign, with its familiar bell ringers and red kettles, began Friday. The goal of this year's campaign is to raise $2.8 million. Salvation Army of Omaha spokeswoman Susan Eustice says funds raised during the Tree of Lights Campaign benefit 23 programs.
Omaha, NE – Significant changes are coming in October to the Women, Infants and Children program.
WIC was created in 1974 as a supplemental nutrition program for pregnant women and those with young children. Through WIC, participants receive vouchers to buy essentials such as milk, bread, eggs and cereal. Starting in October, WIC participants can also receive vouchers for fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain bread and cereal, canned beans and canned salmon.