Omaha, NE – The 2007 Tree of Lights campaign goal was $2.6 million. On December 26, the Salvation Army reported it was still $300,000 short of that goal, and appealed for donations. A last-minute fund-raising surge pushed the donation amount to just over $2.7 million. Public Relations and Communications Director Susan Eustice says the Salvation Army is very pleased to have reached the goal, which they weren't anticipating. The funds go toward administering 20 social service programs that benefits thousands of Omaha metro area residents.
Omaha, NE – The awards program will recognize businesses who have successful wellness programs, and those who significantly improve the health of their employees. Wellness Council of the Midlands Executive Director Howie Halperin says wellness programs can take several years to implement but provide a wealth of benefits, including reduced health care costs and increased productivity. The Wellness Council of the Midlands has worked with 130 companies who have programs in place.
Omaha, NE – Caucus goers in Pottawattamie and Harrison Counties voted for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, according to county-by-county numbers from the Associated Press. Republican caucus winner Mike Huckabee was second in both counties, and won Mills County.
On the Democrats' side, caucus goers in all three counties chose Senator Hillary Clinton. North Carolina Senator John Edwards finished second and Senator Barack Obama third. Obama received 27-percent of the vote in Pottawattamie, Harrison and Mills Counties.
Omaha, NE – There are 12,315 students taking classes this winter quarter at Metropolitan Community College's campuses. That's a new record for the winter quarter, and Vice President for External Relations Jim Grotrian says enrollment has increased steadily over the past three years. Grotrian says enrollment is up across the board, primarily due to the addition of the Applied Technology Center and more online class offerings.
Omaha, NE – Six Von Maur employees and two customers were killed when a teenage gunman went on a shooting rampage. Thursday, 15 days after the shootings, Von Maur officially resumed business at Westroads Mall. But city officials, Von Maur employees and about 200 anxious shoppers paused to remember the victims during a ceremony Thursday morning outside the store's first floor main entrance. Omaha Public Radio's Katie Knapp was at Westroads for Von Maur's reopening.
Omaha, NE – The Von Maur Victims Fund was set up by the United Way after the December fifth shootings. The fund is dedicated to the victims and was set up to help their families. United Way of the Midlands announced today in a news release that Von Maur has donated $500,000 to the fund, bringing the balance to $843,000. An initial payment of $5,000 has been sent to the victims and their families, with a victims fund advisory committee providing oversight. Von Maur is scheduled to reopen Thursday morning.