The 1879 trial of Omaha Chief Standing Bear was the subject of last month’s press club.
Award winning author, college professor, and former newsman Joe Starita was the guest speaker. Starita wrote I AM A MAN, which detailed the landmark case of Chief Standing Bear. He said the case stemmed from the U.S. government forcing the Ponca Indians from their ancestral land, and Chief Standing Bear’s efforts to lead some of them back.
150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act, establishing the Union Pacific Railway. In honor of Union Pacific’s sesquicentennial, six local organizations are collaborating to offer Railroad Days. The two-day celebration takes place July 14th and 15th.
Each venue will offer special activities to explore the region’s railroad heritage. The Durham Museum is one of the participating venues. Shawna Forsberg is Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Durham.
This morning is the public’s final opportunity to weigh in on the draft of MAPA’s 2013-18 Transportation Improvement Program.
Greg Youell, Transportation and Data Manager for the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, says the TIP represents all federally funded transportation projects in the metro area. He says transportation projects slated for Douglas and Sarpy Counties in Nebraska, and the Council Bluffs area in Iowa, are included in the TIP.
Youell says it’s important for citizens to understand they do have an opportunity to give input on the selected projects.
Throughout the month of June, 28 young women have been participating in an educational experience called the Eureka Program.
Angie Hodge directs the program. She says this is the first year the nationwide program has been offered in Nebraska. Eureka offers 8th grade girls the opportunity to explore science, technology, engineering and math.
In addition to focusing on the STEM fields, Hodge says the program also helps build character, and encourage physical wellness.
2.7 million children are in kinship care on any given day in the United States.
Kinship caregivers are either extended family members or close family friends who take care of kids in their parents’ absence.
Rob Geen, Director of Family Services and Systems Policy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, says often these caregivers are taking care of children without much advance notice. He says making their lives ready to be able to care for the kids is a challenge.
Pride Month celebrates the LGBT community and the progress the community has made towards full equality. Omaha is the site of the Heartland Pride event on June 30th.
Staff and volunteers from One Iowa will have a booth at the event. Communications Director Molly Tafoya says the group will share information and talk with attendees about the impact the organization has had on equality issues. She says one of the things that makes Iowa so unique is their leadership in the movement for LGBT equality in the Midwest.
The VA Nebraska-Western Iowa is combining its annual Veteran’s Welcome Home Event with its Veterans Freedom Music Festival on June 23rd. Public Affairs Officer Will Ackerman says the VA united the two events for two reasons.
He says the celebration offers the community a day to come out and honor the state’s veterans who have served and sacrificed for their freedoms. Additionally, Ackerman says the event gives the state’s veterans a chance to learn about their benefits.
The City of Omaha recently honored the Empowerment Network, the Deer Park Neighborhood Association and neighborhood advocate Jeannie Dickes with Community Excellence Awards.
Mayor Suttle says the awards recognize the hard work these recipients have done in helping to improve the quality of life in Omaha’s older neighborhoods. He says over the past several years, the number of neighborhood associations and the projects they are taking on has grown substantially.