This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Nebraska.
Nebraska had its first confirmed February tornado this year. The February 28th tornado touched down in Logan County, near Stapleton. The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center says there have already been 312 tornadoes in the U.S. this year, with 55 deaths.
Omaha is one of eight U.S. cities to receive a Smarter Cities Challenge Grant this year from IBM.
IBM awarded Smarter Cities Challenge grants to 33 cities worldwide. The grant brings a team of IBM analysts to the city for three weeks. In Omaha, the team will study redevelopment in the city’s east and northeast neighborhoods.
Weysan Dun, Special Agent in Charge at the FBI’s Omaha office, will be the guest speaker for Creighton’s upcoming Asian World Lecture.
Maorong Jiang is the Director of the Asian World Center at Creighton. He says Dun is the longest serving special agent in the Omaha division. Dun’s assignment as a field agent includes investigating national security matters, high technology theft investigations, and criminal enterprises.
A citizens group called Omahans for Justice Alliance wants the Department of Justice to investigate how Omaha Police use force.
The group includes the ACLU of Nebraska and Nebraskans for Peace. They send a letter Tuesday to the DOJ, asking its civil rights division to investigate OPD. Sam Walker, professor emeritus of criminal justice at UNO and a part of the group requesting an investigation, says the DOJ could order reforms if they find misconduct.
Terry Kroeger, Publisher and CEO of Omaha World Herald, was the guest speaker at February’s Omaha Press Club Noon Forum.
Kroeger talked about the recent sale of the newspaper to Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway. He also discussed how the sale will affect the paper in the future as well how it came about. Kroeger says the World Herald editorial writers won’t be influenced by the paper being owned by Buffett.
The public had a chance to witness Iowa Supreme Court hearings in-person Wednesday night in Council Bluffs.
The Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments at Iowa Western Community College on two cases. One case involved the ACLU and Atlantic School District, and focused on records requests regarding disciplinary action taken against employees. The other case involved local ordinances in Hamburg, Iowa, relating to sexually-oriented businesses.
Motorists may have noticed a recent increase in gas prices in the metro area.
John Deskins, Associate Professor of Economics at Creighton University, says there’s no need to worry. Though he does anticipate gas prices will rise in April, May and June as they usually do when summer approaches, he expects the prices will also decrease by fall.
According to Deskins, it is difficult to pinpoint one specific reason for the recent run up in gas prices.
Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes is retiring from the department.
A news release from Mayor Jim Suttle’s office says Hayes will retire March 30th. He’s been with the Omaha Police Department for 25 years, the last two-and-a-half as Police Chief. Hayes took over following former Chief Eric Buske’s departure in 2009.