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City of Omaha

ACLU of Nebraska

A lawsuit accuses Omaha police of using excessive force when they responded to protests against police brutality and racial injustice in Nebraska's largest city earlier this year with pepper balls and mass arrests. The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska filed a federal lawsuit Monday challenging police tactics. City officials said they believe police acted properly, and previously, they have defended the arrests made during protests because police believed the gatherings had the potential to become violent and in some cases violence had already broken out.

KPTM

New details are being revealed in the case of a man who is accused of planting a fake bomb in downtown Omaha.  Prosecutors say 25-year-old Thomas Trouba had 863 pounds of marijuana, more than 400-thousand-dollars in cash and other drugs when he was arrested.  Surveillance footage shows Trouba allegedly placing two suspicious packages outside the courthouse last Friday.  Bond in the case has been set at two-million-dollars.  

The Downtown Improvement District Association in Omaha says it's hearing false reports of businesses being told to close ahead of possible demonstrations linked to the James Scurlock grand jury hearing. The association says the false reports are being spread by agitators, not the association, city, protest organizers or Omaha Police. Scurlock was allegedly shot to death by bar owner Jake Gardner during a fight outside his downtown bar.

Petting Zoo Prepares For Legal Fight With Humane Society

Sep 9, 2020

An Omaha petting zoo wants its animals back. Nine animals deemed wild by the Nebraska Humane Society were removed from Scatter Joy Acres through a city ordinance. The petting zoo says it has the proper permits and documentation for the animals. Scatter Joy Acres has filed a formal complaint with the City of Omaha and sent a letter to the Humane Society threatening legal action.

August 2020 Driest Omaha Has Seen In A Century

Sep 3, 2020

Last month was the driest August that Omaha's seen in more than 100 years. The National Weather Service says Eppley Airfield saw less than a half inch of rain last month. The Weather Service says Omaha usually averages nearly four inches of rain in August.

Omaha World Herald

A new science center will be going up along Omaha's riverfront. Developers say it will be a learning and entertainment attraction with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math-inspired activities. The 101-million dollar project will be privately funded.

 

Omaha Sweats Through Hottest Weather Since 2018

Aug 25, 2020

The Omaha metro area is the midst of its hottest weather in two years. The National Weather Service says Sunday's 99 degrees was just shy of the most recent 100 degree day in 2018.  Temps are forecast to be in the upper 90's through mid-week.

Omaha Reaches Settlement In Bearheels Case

Aug 14, 2020

The City of Omaha recently reached a settlement with the family of a man who died in police custody in 2017. Officials say the city agreed to pay 550-thousand dollars to the mother and estate of Zachary Bear Heels. Bear Heels was a mentally ill man who died in 2017 after he was tased by officers a dozen times during a struggle. One of the officers involved in the incident was fired, while three others were disciplined.

Consumer Reports

There are now more than 29-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there had been 29-thousand-30 cases and 351 coronavirus-related deaths reported statewide since the pandemic began.  More than 11-thousand-500 of those COVID-19 cases have been reported in Douglas County. A public facemask ordinance is now in effect in Omaha to combat the pandemic.  City Council members approved the measure during yesterday's meeting. The measure passed 7-0 after four hours of testimony from a divided public.

Rare Derecho Storm Wreaks Havok In Midlands

Aug 11, 2020

A rare wind storm with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across the Midwest, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, and causing widespread property damage. The storm known as a derecho lasted several hours as it tore across eastern Nebraska, Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois. A scientist at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center says the storm had the wind speed of a major hurricane, and likely caused more widespread damage than a normal tornado. Officials in the Iowa cities of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown say the damage is extensive.

Grand Redevelopment Plan Unveiled For Crossroads Property

Aug 6, 2020
WOWT

A 500-million-dollar development project is coming to the Crossroads Mall property.   Lockwood Development, Century Development, and the city of Omaha have signed a memo of understanding for the project.  The plan calls for mixed-use retail, restaurants, a hotel, apartments, and office space on 40 acres at 72nd and Dodge.  Completion on the project is scheduled for 2024.

Weekend brings variety of protests in Omaha

Jul 13, 2020

A Back the Blue rally took place at Memorial Park on Saturday. The event featured songs and speeches by law enforcement supporters.  Meanwhile, dozens of people also showed up at the rally to support the Black Lives Matter movement and to call for defunding or abolishing the police.

Durham Museum Prepares To Gradually Reopen

Jul 8, 2020
Visit Omaha

The Durham Museum is welcoming back guests after nearly four-months. The museum tweeted to announce they will reopen next weekend for museum members only. They'll open to the general public August 1st. More information and hours can be found at durhammuseum.org.

State Covid Total Exceeds 20,000; Testing Centers In Flux

Jul 7, 2020

There are now more than 20-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there had been 20-thousand-46 cases and 283 deaths reported statewide during the pandemic.  Douglas County leads the state with 75-hundred coronavirus cases. The Douglas County Health Department and the University of Nebraska Medical Center closed the COVID-19 testing site at 50th and G streets on July 4th due to a shortage of lab supplies.   Officials say the manufacturer is sending supplies to states where COVID-19 cases are surging. A new Test Iowa site is opening in Council Bluffs this week.

Weekend Obscured By Saharan Dust Cloud

Jun 30, 2020

A dust cloud from the Saharan Desert is leaving the Omaha area today.  The Environmental Protection Agency ranked dust in Nebraska and western Iowa high enough to advise those sensitive to air pollution to stay indoors Sunday.  The Air Quality Index shows the cloud particle matter reached 140, just ten points under what's considered unhealthy for people with lung and heart conditions.

In The Wake Of Protests; Reforms Within OPD

Jun 26, 2020

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Chief of Police Todd Schmaderer are announcing changes within the city's police department.  Officers are now forbidden from using their knee to pin a person down by their neck.  They're also required to intervene and report when a fellow officer is not taking the appropriate actions.  The updated policy was announced yesterday.  Officer training will begin next month.

Omaha Parks Director Resigns To Head Nonprofit

Jun 22, 2020

The city of Omaha is looking for a new parks department director.  Omaha Parks Director Brook Bench resigned on Saturday and will lead a new philanthropic organization dedicated to park development.  Bench has led the Omaha Parks Department since being named director on an interim basis in 2011.  He plans to leave the parks department later this summer.

No Scooter Trial This Summer

Jun 17, 2020

Motorized scooters are not returning to Omaha for a second pilot program this summer.  The Omaha City Council has voted not to award contracts to scooter companies Bird and Spin.  Council members and residents expressed concerns about enforcement of scooter rules, the use of helmets and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Cited For Violating the Curfew Recently? Good News...

Jun 16, 2020

People who were cited for violating curfew during recent protests in Omaha could see their charges dropped.  Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert announced yesterday that she has asked that curfew violation charges be thrown out for people who have no serious criminal history.  If the charges are dropped, bonds will be refunded and records will be sealed.  People who have criminal histories would receive diversion and be required to complete community service before their curfew violation charges are dismissed.   

Protests are continuing in Omaha following the death of George Floyd.  Nearly 75 demonstrators gathered outside the 11-Worth Cafe at 24th and Leavenworth Streets yesterday to speak out against a Facebook post made by the son of the restaurant's owner.  Demonstrators also spoke out against a breakfast dish on the restaurant's menu named after Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee and demanded that the item be renamed.

Omaha city leaders are discussing police reform.  City Councilman Ben Gray says there should not be a cookie-cutter approach when it comes to reform, and officials must consider options that would best serve Omaha.  City Councilwoman Aimee Melton says police leadership has worked to improve the department.  Melton noted that de-funding the police department and making wholesale changes could set Omaha back in its progress.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts apologized after an Omaha pastor accused the governor of using the phrase “you people” during a meeting with local black leaders. Ricketts says he chose his words poorly and apologized when it became apparent that he had caused offense. Pastor Jarrod Parker of St. Mark’s Baptist Church criticized the governor online after he walked out of the meeting. Parker says Ricketts made the comments in a meeting with black leaders about the killing of James Scurlock, a black man who was fatally shot by a white bar owner during the George Floyd protests.

Old Market Shooter Evicted; Bars Will Not Reopen

Jun 3, 2020

The Omaha bar owner involved in a deadly shooting during protests is being evicted.  The "Omaha World Herald" reports that the property owner of The Hive and The Gatsby in the Old Market says the businesses will not be allowed to reopen and bar owner Jacob Gardner has been evicted.  Gardner shot and killed 22-year-old James Scurlock on Saturday near 12th and Harney Streets.  The Douglas County Attorney's Office announced this week that Gardner will not be charged at this time, and the shooting was ruled to be in self-defense.

 

Gov. Pete Ricketts says Nebraska could see another flare-up of coronavirus cases because of the demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, but he concluded that allowing protesters to peacefully vent was more important than concerns about the pandemic. His comments came as new, lighter virus restrictions went into effect throughout most of the state. The restrictions approved by Ricketts allow bars, zoos, swimming pools and other public venues to reopen, with crowd limits based on a venue’s occupancy.

An Omaha bar owner won’t be charged  in connection with the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man during weekend protests in downtown Omaha over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, authorities said Monday. The shooting occurred at around 11 p.m. Saturday in the city’s Old Market area and within a couple of blocks of where protesters had gathered. Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said Monday that Jake Gardner, who owns two bars near where the shooting happened, fired the fatal shot during a scuffle with protesters outside one of his bars.

Demonstrations are continuing in Omaha in response to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.  Hundreds gathered in the Old Market yesterday for a fourth day of protests, and Deputy Police Chief Ken Kanger joined demonstrators in a march.  At one point, someone threw a water bottle at officers and pepper balls were deployed.  Police say there were two gun-related arrests, and at least a dozen others were taken into custody. Omaha, Bellevue, La Vista, Springfield and Papillion all announced 8:00 p.m. curfews;  Lincoln implemented a 9:00 p.m.

A State of Emergency is issued in Omaha as protests continue in response to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.  Mayor Jean Stothert announced the State of Emergency yesterday and it will last for 72 hours.  Omaha also implemented an 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew that started last night.  Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has activated the National Guard to help maintain peace in Omaha. Demonstrations took place yesterday in North Omaha and the Old Market.  The North Omaha rally at the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation ended before the 8:00 p.m.

Omaha Clinics Now Able To Test For Coronavirus Antibodies

May 26, 2020

Omaha health clinics can now test for coronavirus antibodies. Doctors at 88-Med in West Omaha told WOWT-TV6 that testing helps health care providers identify if someone was in contact with another person who had COVID-19. Doctors said the testing process takes 15-minutes at the most and results come back within a few days. Medical Directors at 88-Med say the benefit of antibody testing allows state health departments to make more well-informed decisions for the public.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in street repairs are coming to Omaha.  Voters in Omaha approved measures during yesterday's primary election that will allow the city to issue 200-million-dollars in bonds for street repairs.  The bond issue will generate an additional 40-million-dollars-per-year for street repairs over the next five years.  The first road projects to be funded by the bonds are expected to start this summer.

Recycling Service Suspended In Omaha Due To Outbreak

May 14, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the city of Omaha's recycling operations.  Public Works officials announced yesterday that recycling collection is suspended today.  Recycling collection will resume tomorrow for residents who live in the city's Friday service area.

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