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City of Omaha

Omaha Mask Mandate Expires

May 25, 2021
Omaha World Herald

The city of Omaha's mask ordinance is no longer in effect.  City officials say as of today, residents will not be required to wear face coverings inside buildings or businesses.  Private businesses still have the right to determine if people will be required to wear masks.  A TSA mask requirement for buses, trains and airplanes remains in effect until September 13th.

NPR

Mask mandates are expiring in several of the state’s largest cities as more people continue to get vaccinated for the coronavirus. Lincoln’s mask mandate will expire at the end of Thursday, Omaha’s will disappear at the end of next Tuesday and in the Omaha suburbs, Ralston ended its mandate earlier this week. The state has seen infection rates come down as vaccinations have become more widely available. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska decreased over the past two weeks, going from 198.71 new cases per day on May 3 to 100.14 new cases per day on Monday.

Stothert Proposes Three Areas For Annexation

May 5, 2021
WOWT

Omaha could soon expand in size.  Mayor Jean Stothert has submitted a proposal to annex three sites that would add 248 people to the city's population.  The sites include Whispering Ridge West near 180th and Maple, Northridge near 180th and Pacific as well as an area near 156th and Fort.  The city planning board will consider the proposal on June 2nd, and the annexation would take effect on July 27th if approved.

Memorial Park Celebration Returns For 2021

Apr 15, 2021
KMTV

  After a year off, the popular summer concert at Memorial Park is scheduled to take place this year on Saturday, August 28. The later date for the City of Omaha Celebrates America event will help to ensure that the outdoor event can be held as safely as possible. The switch to a Saturday is also considered a one year change. Talent is not being announced at this time but will be released as soon as possible and will feature a national headliner. The fireworks show, expanded in 2019, will be enhanced even further in 2021, becoming one of the largest shows in the region.

WOWT

The Omaha economy will get a significant boost from hosting the entire NCAA volleyball championship tournament over the next two weeks. When the NCAA decided to move the entire tournament to the city instead of just holding the Final Four in Omaha, the demand for hotel rooms for the teams and officials jumped from 900 nights to 9,400 nights. The city's convention and visitors bureau estimates that those added hotel rooms alone are expected to generate an $18 million economic impact for the city.

Omaha World Herald

Multiple explosions and a fire in an underground concrete electrical vault rocked downtown Omaha and forced the evacuation of a nearby hotel, but no injuries were reported. Authorities say the incident happened Monday night when a power transformer that sits under the sidewalk next to the Doubletree Hotel caught fire. Acting Omaha Fire Battalion Chief Mickey McLaughlin says explosions from the transformer continued after firefighters arrived, producing a large amount of smoke and flames coming from the sidewalk grates over the vault. The hotel was not damaged by the nearby fire.

KOLN

The economic development arm of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska has created a new gaming division to manage the three casinos it hopes to open starting next year. Ho-Chunk, Inc., says it has launched WarHorse Gaming, LLC, to develop the casinos at three state-licensed horse-racing tracks in Omaha, Lincoln and South Sioux City. The corporation has partnered with the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, a horse racing industry group.

GoFundMe

Police say a third person has died from injuries received in an explosion that leveled a house in Omaha, Nebraska. Police said Thursday in a news release that 28-year-old Alexander Toledo died Wednesday at a burn unit in Kansas City, Missouri. Toledo had been found by neighbors sitting outside the destroyed home with severe burns following the Tuesday morning blast. Toledo's grandmother, 73-year-old Theresa Toledo, and another woman, 45-year-old Angela Miller, were killed in the explosion. Seventy-two-year-old Larry Rodriguez was critically injured.

US News and World Report

Fire officials say an explosion that leveled a home in Omaha, Nebraska, has left two people dead and two others critically injured. Omaha Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick says firefighters responded to the explosion shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday. Fitzpatrick says the house was leveled and completely destroyed. The explosion also caused significant damage to homes on either side of the house. The blast in south-central Omaha rained splintered lumber and other debris throughout the neighborhood, and witnesses say it was felt and heard miles away.

What if you could find a parking space in downtown Omaha with your cell phone?  Forgot change? Touchless pay for parking meters is here!

Ken Smith, Director of Omaha's Parking & Mobility Division spends some time with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to chat about the latest developments in stowing your vehicle while downtown.  Things like Smart Zones, and a meterless way to park are just a few of the new innovations in parking.

For more information or to pay your parking ticket (all funds go to Omaha Public Schools), go to https://www.parkomaha.com/

Eighth St. Construction Ends Today

Oct 23, 2020
Riverfront Revitalisation

After being closed for more than a year and a half, Eighth Street between Douglas and Farnam in Omaha will reopen to southbound traffic tomorrow (Fri). Eighth Street closed in March of 2019 as the RiverFront project construction began. Since then, land in the area has been brought up to grade and the street repaved.

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.   

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