Omaha, NE – The deadline for nominations for the 2012 Freedom Awards is January 16th.
Retired Army Major General Walt Zink Chairs the Nebraska Employer Support to Guard and Reserve Committee. He says 15 employers are recognized with Freedom Awards each year. The three award categories are large employer, small employer and governmental employer.
Zink says the Freedom Award is the highest honor an employer can receive from the Department of Defense. These employers receive award for having a culture of support that goes above and beyond what the law mandates.
Omaha, NE – The Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties was created in 2007 by the legislature.
Lorraine Chang, Vice Chair of the Learning Community Coordinating Council, says the Learning Community consists of eleven school districts. She says the Learning Community consists of students from all walks of life; all of whom are worthy of the best possible education. With that in mind, the Learning Community is offering open enrollment for the 2012-2013 school year.
Omaha, NE – The VA of Nebraska-Western Iowa opened a homeless Veterans Day services center in Omaha this past September.
Linda Twomey is the Mental Health Specialty Programs Manager for the VA of Nebraska-Western Iowa. She says the day service center is a clinic where veterans have access to social workers, who function as case mangers and vocational rehabilitation staff to provide a one-stop shop for homeless veterans.
Twomey says when veterans first come in, their needs are assessed. Staff will then assist them in accessing the appropriate VA and community resources.
Omaha, NE – Common Sense Media has been a national partner with Omaha Public Schools for the past three years.
The organization seeks to give educators the resources to instruct students, parents and families on issues such as digital citizenship, safety and security on and offline, as well as research and information literacy.
DeLayne Havlovic, Career Education Specialist with OPS says three Common Sense Media training sessions are coming up next month. He says the program is broken up into three sections.
Omaha, NE – Work continues on the Fontenelle Park Master Plan.
Melinda Pearson is the Director of Omaha's Parks and Recreation Department. A public input meeting took place on December 15th. Pearson says the city will now take all the information they've received so far and put that into a plan or a couple of plans and bring those back to a public meeting in early February. Pearson says there are two groups: one that feels the golf course should be left as is, and another that is all over the board.
Omaha, NE – With the end of the year rapidly approaching, UNO's Sustainability Force reminds people that the holidays are a good time to start creating a greener environment.
Patrick Wheeler, Senior Specialist in Environmental Health and Safety at UNO, says one thing you can do is recycle Christmas lights rather than throwing them out. He also advocates getting rid of clutter and donating items to family, friends or local needs-based charities.
Wheeler says another way to practice sustainability is to recycle that Christmas tree.
Omaha, NE – 25 agencies and projects in North and South Omaha are recipients of this year's turn-back tax grants.
Omaha City Councilman Garry Gernandt says the turn-back tax grants are generated through the sales tax that the state gets from the Hilton Hotel and Century Link Center in Omaha.
He says the city receives a percentage of that back every year and via state statute the money is put toward grants for areas with high concentrations of poverty. Gernandt says the program assists with cultural-historical projects.
Omaha, NE – The Census Bureau released its summary of state population estimates Wednesday.
David Drozd, Research Coordinator at UNO's Center for Public Affairs Research, says the data covers the state from April 2010, when the census was taken, through July 1st of this year.
He says Nebraska has had a fairly strong growth year, though not as strong as he thought it would be. Drozd says the reasons for slower growth may include the lower birthrates in the state and a slowdown in international immigration.