General News

General Nebraska and Iowa stories

Courtesy of Cheril Lee

There are approximately 1500 homeless veterans in Nebraska and around 200,000 nationwide.

A new partnership announced this morning would work to make Nebraska the first state to end veterans’ homelessness.  Mayor Jim Suttle and Mike Fornear of the Homeless Veterans Project, were joined by civic and business leaders to discuss the new project called “Vets Town.” 

 

The Iowa DOT wants to hear from metro area residents about the Chicago-to-Omaha rail study.

A public meeting is scheduled Thursday in Council Bluffs about the passenger rail study. The combination state-federal project seeks to identify a “reasonable and feasible” high-speed passenger rail route between Chicago and Omaha. The preferred alternative route travels through the Quad Cities, Iowa City, and Des Moines, following I-80.

 

VA of Nebraska-Western Iowa officials estimate several thousand veterans in their service territory are homeless or living below the poverty line.

The VA of Nebraska-Western Iowa is partnering with Omaha’s Together Inc. to offer a food pantry for homeless and low-income veterans. The pantry opened April 18th and will operate on the first and third Wednesdays of each month.

VA of Nebraska-Western Iowa spokesman Will Ackerman says they hope to provide another resource to veterans struggling to get by.

photo by Katie Schubert/KIOS-FM

 

Expanding Omaha’s bicycle and pedestrian transit system is a key component of the city’s new transportation master plan.

The plan, unveiled Monday, looks at Omaha’s transportation needs over the next 25 years. City officials say there are four goals for the plan, including sustainability, connecting neighborhoods, and providing more options.

Courtesy of Cheril Lee

First Lady Michelle Obama gave the keynote address at the Lunch for the Girls this afternoon, telling young women to work hard and surround themselves with positive people.

Mrs. Obama thanked the parents, Girls, Inc. staff, volunteers and community for their support of the girls. The First Lady says girls being strong, smart and bold isn’t just about getting good grades, but also about being a good friend, taking care of your body by getting active and eating right, and giving back to the community.

A half-cent increase in Omaha’s sales tax could generate $45 million for the city.

Nebraska lawmakers last week overrode Governor Dave Heineman’s veto of legislation allowing cities to raise their sales tax rate. Doing so would require supermajority approval from both the city council and voters.

Omaha’s current sales tax rate is 7 percent, with 1.5 percent of it local. Mayor Jim Suttle says there are no plans to put the sales tax initiative on the November general election ballot.

photo by Katie Schubert/KIOS-FM

A foundation seeking to expand the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail will have its headquarters in Omaha.

National Park Service officials on Thursday announced the formation of the Lewis and Clark Trust. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s two-year expedition from Illinois to Washington is documented along what is now the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Herbert Karliner, Philip Freud, Hans Fisher and Sol Messinger will present a special lecture at the Durham Museum on Friday morning at 10:30.

The four men are survivors of the tragic 1939 voyage of the SS St. Louis.  After trying to dock in several countries, including the U.S., the ship was forced to return to Europe.  

Many passengers subsequently found themselves under Nazi rule, and many died as a result. The majority of the passengers that were granted refuge in Great Britain survived the ordeal.  Shawna Forsberg is Director of Marketing for the Durham.

Courtesy of Creighton University

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day Thursday, Creighton University in collaboration with the Omaha Jewish Community, will present the original docudrama, “The Trial of Franklin D. Roosevelt.” The docudrama is about the 1939 voyage of the SS St. Louis. 900 Jewish men, women and children were adrift at sea for 30 days and were denied entrance into the U.S.  

The passengers were told the United States had reached its immigrant quota, so they were sent back to Germany and other European countries, many of them occupied by Germany.  

Cleanup is underway in southwest Iowa after a tornado left a half-mile-wide damage path in Thurman.

The National Weather Service in Omaha says the tornado touched down two miles north of Percival, Iowa, and continued in to Thurman just after 5:30 PM Saturday.  The tornado left a ten-mile long path of damage before lifting just south of Tabor. 

Pages