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Watch Out for Semi-Trucks on Winter Roads

It’s that time of year again! Winter. Which brings all of its glory… snowy, icy, and slushy roads for drivers in Nebraska and the surrounding area. And, as a result? More accidents can occur.

In fact, a lot of drivers are unaware of how to properly drive in the rough conditions, especially around semi-trucks. The drivers of these semi-trucks usually face a wide range of weather conditions. And the most experienced drivers have seen it all when it comes to weather, and other drivers on the roads… especially winter roads.

But, auto drivers should be aware of semi-trucks on the road in the winter – and try to accommodate accordingly. While it can be more nerve-wracking to drive alongside semi-trucks in winter conditions, it is important to remember some helpful tips.

Safety Tips

For example, increasing your following distance, so you have time to stop if necessary. It is also important to be careful when passing. As one truck driver from Utah, Sabrina Bradley, recently commented, courtesy is the most important thing, especially on highways. Many drivers get anxious and eager to pass semi-trucks. She discussed a situation that occurred when several drivers were trying to pass by her, but they were passing on the unplowed shoulder.

She also pointed out how, if someone is pulled over on the shoulder, it is hard for other drivers to know, especially when it is still snowing. As Bradley stated: “If snow’s falling and you’re pulled over like that, we can’t see you. We don’t know to move over and get out of your way.”

Essentially, she feels that truckers have a high responsibility on snowy roads. She also said: “We’re responsible for driving for everyone out here. We have to drive for everyone else on the road because they don’t know how to react to us.”

So, watch out for the semi-trucks out there for the remainder of the winter… and stay safe!

A New Friend on the Road!

A New Friend on the Road

A lonely trucker, who loves his job, has recently invited a furry friend to join his lifestyle. A stray cat has joined Paul Robertson on his trucking adventures, and pair could not be happier! Percy and Paul are inseparable.

Paul is a truck driver, as well as an animal lover. Although he loves what he does, the job can sometimes get rather lonely. More often than not, truckers can have trouble maintaining mental health. It’s these furry driving companions that keep truckers, like Paul, happy. Unfortunately, earlier in his career, Paul had a cat named Howie but he passed away at the beginning of 2017. This man was heartbroken.

But recently, Paul has decided to give love another chance. Paul picked Percy up at a nearby animal shelter. Sadly, the ginger cat was once a stray on the streets, so he has a few injuries and scars. Also, he’s missing one of his canine teeth! But this doesn’t stop Percy from being a sweet companion for Robertson.

Luckily for both Paul and Percy, the cat adapted to the trucking lifestyle very quickly and he’s perfectly okay with long trips! They’re trucking companions, as well as a family.

Paul and Percy’s dynamic duo is inspirational for those looking for companionship in their life! This heart-warming story is a good reminder for those looking for companions to not rule out shelter pets! If you want to see a video of one of Percy and Paul’s uplifting adventures, you can check out his Facebook!

Project Santa Needs Christmas Donations

Omaha Project SantaLooking for a way to help make the season brighter for kids living in poverty? The Open Door Mission in Omaha desperately needs donations for their Project Santa holiday program. The program helps over 6,000 children.

This year, CEO Candace Gregory tells News Radio 1110 KFAB, Project Santa has expanded. The organization has enhanced its gift giving process for the first time. Parents can now choose the gifts for their kids. Gregory says seeing families so grateful for the opportunity to choose a gift has been an “amazing experience.” Being able to choose gifts empowers parents with “respect and dignity.”

Gregory is still looking for between 600-900 items to fill the need for gifts this year. Project Santa participation is larger, making the toy shortfall bigger than last year. Gregory says children living in poverty often “take on adult responsibility at a young age.” Open Door Mission’s goal is to “bring joy to the poor while empowering families to remain in their own homes and prevent homelessness.”

The mission has an immediate need. Just one week remains before final gift distribution. And without the mission’s gifts, many of the children will have nothing to open on Christmas Day. There is especially a shortfall of appropriate gifts for young and teenage boys. For them, the mission is looking for watches, wallets, and ear pods.

Other needed items include:

  • LEGO (small sets)
  • Action Figures
  • Play Doh
  • Balls
  • Hot Wheels
  • Bookbags
  • Alarm clocks

The mission also needs over 100 volunteers on site daily to sort, stock, and be personal shoppers for gifts.

If you would like to donate, you can find more information here at Open Door Mission’s website.

 

Best Wine Suggestions for Thanksgiving

Omaha WineThanksgiving revolves around giving thanks among family and friends, eating pumpkin pie, and drinking delicious wines. Almost forgot about Turkey! However, Thanksgiving dinner isn’t just about Turkey.

Well, if you are making the shopping list for your Thanksgiving dinner, no doubt it includes the wine.  You will probably need some recommendations on which one to choose. We are here to help you to make good wine choices.

Wine experts take wine pairing with food options very seriously. Perfect wine will evoke familial, celebratory feeling of togetherness.  Thanksgiving is about family warmth and unitedness.

Devon Broglie, Whole Foods Market Sommelier believes there are tons of pairing options since Thanksgiving table is full of many flavors.

An ever-popular guest at Thanksgiving gatherings is the first harvest wine from France’s Beaujolais region. This is a relatively young wine that’s on shelves six-to-eight weeks after harvest.

The specific thing about this wine is that it is allowed to be sold the same year it was harvested, upon AOC regulations.

This light-bodied, juicy wine is so synonymous with the holiday. Even the release date is the same as holidays’ (the third Thursday of November).

This perfect wine is just one option for your Thanksgiving dinner. But there are more people around your table. When you are hosting people at your place, you want to make sure everybody gets enough attention.

To keep your guests entertained, you make efforts to feed them well and offer a wide range of good wines.

There is so much joy and fun in serving your guests with the wine they like or, the one they have never tried. This does not mean skipping so well-liked, delicious wines, but being open to starting a new tradition amongst traditions.

As a great alternative, serve your guests with Pinot Noir.  This wine is an ideal companion for your Thanksgiving dinner, for only $18.99. For another wine option offered by Pinot Noir Meiomi you will pay little for, up to $ 22.99.

The choice is yours.

Get your perfect wine selection for Thanksgiving, but don’t get overboard with drinking.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

How To Have Fun in Omaha, Nebraska

The city of Omaha has always been underrated. Nevertheless, it has recently become an affordable and quite adventurous option for tourists.

Now it is one of the top ten cities in America with the most billionaires per capita. The city offers a blend of history, art and culture, and innovative attractions.

Hence, if you are fond of diversity, grab your racks and come to explore Omaha!

If you are fond of nature, you should visit the worlds largest indoor desert. North America’s largest indoor rainforest is home to thousands of animals and underground caves.

The botanical beauty in Lauritzen Garden and extraordinary works of art at the Joslyn Art Museum will make your experience unforgettable. You will enjoy the world’s rarest coin and document collections at the Durham Museum.

Are you an amateur of beers? Omaha locals have produced probably the tastiest beers in the world. Taking Omaha craft brewery tour, you will see that these craftsmen made beer their entire life.

Omaha offers culinary adventures to any person who appreciates top-notch flavors. Locally produced ingredients, as well as the creativity of chef cooks, will leave you astounded and force you to remember Omaha for long.

Omaha recently has become home for many international concerts and sports events. The Centurylink Center hosts a variety of performance, including award ceremonies, work events and motivation speakers inviting celebrities to the city.

The city of Omaha is the birthplace of President Gerald R Ford, the 38th President of the United States. memorial on Woolworth Avenue features a rose garden that resembles the White House.

To experience the real Nebraskan countryside, you should visit The Bellevue Berry and Pumpkin Ranch. There you can pick pumpkin and berries, enjoy hayrides through the woods and tree houses.

 

 

 

Omaha Area Hotel Industry Growing Faster than in Any Other State

Omaha hotels are being built tall, small, in an office high-rise, by a mall. They target all types including urban, historical, suburban. And here is the story of Omaha-area hotels. It is a market where construction and conversion of lodging rooms have become widespread than any other building.

 

hotels in omaha

The number of hotel rooms has jumped over 16% in the Omaha area. And it took place in the last 5 years only. It is higher than the 7% increase for the U.S. in the same period itself. This information is from STR which is a firm tracking trend in the industry of hospitality.

 

 

This year has the highest number of booked hotel rooms so far. It is higher than any of the first six months of the year since at least 2008.

STR firm keeps track of how often hotels are booking by occupancy rate or how they are making full a hotel on an average night. Generally, the area’s occupancy rate is around 62% so far this year. And it is also higher compared with the last few years. However, certain pockets did much better and those occupancy rates at time surpass even 80%.

Challenges intensify for some, anyway.

With a local unemployment rate, which is around 3%, mostly hotel managers will scramble even more for good employees, Tim Darby of Downtown’s upscale Magnolia Hotel said. He is doing right by worrying about keeping a strong workforce even more than occupancy rates these days.

 

Here are some of the statistics from STR data tracker:

  • The Omaha area hotel rooms’ number has increased from 13,018 n 122 properties years ago to 15,091 in 141 properties today, a nearly 16% increase.
  • Hotel room revenue has increased annually since at least 2012. This year is on pace to surpass 2017. If looking at the downtown area revenue only, it is up about 27% if compare the first 6 months of 2018 with the same time frame in 2013.
  • This year, Omaha area hotel occupancy rate is about 62%, less than the national 66% rate.

 

Omaha Drivers Ranked the Worst Ones in the U.S.

omaha worst driversOmaha driver’s shortcoming include tailgating, failure to signal on time, hogging the lane last-minute braking and skipping lights.

 

How does the identification work to find bad drivers? 2017 incident stats are used with more than one million data points from QuoteWizard.com users across the country. To quantify overall driver quality for comparison, we weighted incident counts for each city with its frequency.

 

The final rankings are a sum of weighted means calculated from these driving incidents:

  • Accidents;
  • Speeding tickets;
  • DUIs;
  • Citations like running a red light or using a cellphone while driving.

Omaha is the winner of this year’s dubious honor of being America’s worst driving city. Nebraska’s largest city jumped from 8th-worst in 2017 to 1st-worst. How did they do it? The answer is easy: propelling their rise to the top are sizeable increases in accidents, speeding, and driving violations. Omaha drivers managed to decrease their DUI rate, but it wasn’t enough to keep them out of the top spot.

 

Last summer, Nebraska State Patrol clocked an Omaha motorcyclist going 146 mph (in a 55, no less) on the West Dodge Expressway. According to the study, this driver was not the only driver pushing past the speed limit. What’s got Omaha drivers putting the pedal to the metal and crashing into stuff? Are they trying to get to Runza before it closes? Whatever the reason, the stats are clear: This year, Omaha has the worst drivers in America.

 

Here is the list of 10 worst driving cities for 2018, according to the QuoteWizard.com:

  • Omaha, NE
  • Riverside, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Columbus, OH
  • San Francisco Bay Area, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Portland, OR
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Salt Lake City, UT

 

 

Nebraska Department of Education is Offering a Grant for Norfolk Schools

nebraskaThe Nebraska Department of Economic Development and the Nebraska Department of Education are offering a grant to some beneficiary schools in Nebraska.

The grant is called the Developing Youth Talent Initiative Grant.

Nucor Detailing Center happens to be one of the schools that will receive the $125,000 grant.

Through the grant, the school will have “maker spaces” for all of the students to use.

 

This grant will give 7th and 8th graders access to new 3D technological hardware and software to use during school hours.

Students will be working with 3D printers, as well as embroidery machines, and laser cutters too! The new technology will start teaching many students new information that most elementary schools in America do not learn.

 

Students will be able to choose a path for themselves more easily depending on these new tools.

 

David Decarolis, a teacher at Nucor, thinks this equipment will be great for the students.

Governor Pete Ricketts publicly announced the impact of the grant during the ceremony at the Nucor school in Norfolk.

During his speech, he said, “This is something that will make an impact on the community, an impact on the businesses and will be something that continues on even after the grant money runs out.”

 

Other schools will also have access to the new equipment. Norfolk Junior High, Battle Creek, Stanton, Madison, and all Pierce Public Schools will be able to use the equipment.

 

Governor Ricketts talks about how Nebraska offers a lot of career opportunities that do not require receiving a 4-year degree. The kids in 7th and 8th grade will get to see that through the new equipment and only go for a two-year program after graduating high school since they will have a lot of skill and knowledge from the “maker spaces.”

 

The grant will give the Nucor Detailing Center the opportunity to build 3 different maker spaces in different areas.

 

The first will be placed permanently at Norfolk Junior High. The second will be placed in a trailer that goes to different schools in the area. The third will be placed at Nucor Detailing Center in Norfolk.

Bullying Case Turns into a Lawsuit Against Westside District

Westside districtTwo years ago, a 9-year-old boy was involved in a horribly bullying case that ended up with a lawsuit against Westside district.

Even though the boy was taller and bigger than most of the kids his age, he was getting bullied, and not in a regular way.

 

At the time, the boy was attending Prairie Lane Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska. A fourth-grader would always bully and harass the boy until his parents, Edward Birckhead and Pei Chun Chen, went to the school and complained. They also asked the two get separated to end the bullying.

 

However, the school did not separate them and the bullying continued.

 

One day, the fourth grader took a needle of a bike pump and stuck it into the boy’s ear. He pressed it so hard that it caused damage to the boy’s ear. When the incident occurred, the boy was left with ringing in his ear.

 

This year, the boy’s parents opened a lawsuit against the Westside Public Schools. In their argument, they had tried to address the bullying issue to the school and asked for the boys to get separated but Westside administrators did not do anything.

 

The parents are asking for at least $100,000 in damages. The boy still has some ringing in his ear until today, as well as hearing loss, and a damaged eardrum.

 

A spokeswoman for Westside district, Brandi Petersen, claims that the district will battle the case against the parents’ claims in court.

 

The attorney representing the boy’s case argues that the boy has permanent damages in his ears according to his doctors. He will never gain his hearing back.

 

The demand letter that was submitted for the lawsuit by the parents states, “The then-10-year-old boy had been bullied for many months before the May 2016 incident.”

 

The parents also claim they visited the school in December of 2015 to talk to one of the counselors at the school about the bullying issue. The boy’s father also spoke to one of his classroom teachers to separate both of them from each other to stop the bullying.

 

However, “Neither Westside nor any of its employees acceded,” claims the attorney. “…Westside allowed this to happen,” he continues.

 

The lawsuit will be taken to court soon where the parents will have to fight the case against Westside district.

Parkland Shooting Survivors in Omaha Today for new Movement

parkland shootingIn February, the tragic incident had occurred in Parkland, Florida that had a lot of students afraid to go to school everywhere else. Multiple shootings have also occurred since then in different states.

 

The students who survived the Parkland shooting have hit the road trying to spread a message.

 

They have been making stops at different cities in different states all over America.

 

Today, they are visiting the city of Omaha in Nebraska. Their new movement is called “Road to Change.”

 

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have a goal to spread their message to as many young Americans as they can. They want to encourage the younger generation to be more informed and involved with the country’s politics. Especially voting.

 

Their movement comes after the “March for Our Lives” movement that came after a different shooting that happened in a Florida high school. The worst part is that it happened on Valentine’s Day.

 

The “Road to Change” movement is strictly against gun rights and plans to raise more awareness to have stricter gun laws in the U.S. They also discuss a lot of other school shootings that have occurred in America.

 

The meeting today will be held at the Hilton. Indivisible Omaha will also be hosting the event.

 

During the meeting, the survivors will talk about their experiences, share their opinions, and answer any questions anyone might have.

 

The whole team wants to inspire and encourage everyone to get registered and vote to make a change for our country.