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Omaha Police Demonstrating the New “ABLE-1” Technology on Board

Omaha Police helicopter pilots see things from the air, other officers don’t.

“We’re there to help them. The quicker we can get the information out to them on the ground, the safer they will be and will be more efficient,” Police pilot Jason Messerschmidt said.

Officer Messerschmidt and Officer Matt Stewart flew and demonstrated the new technology now on board “ABLE-1.”

Through the 2016 Douglas County bond issue and money budgeted in OPD, the helicopter unit received $1.4 million in upgrades. Two of the three helicopters are now equipped with the new FLIR and GPS system. FLIR is “forward-looking infra-red.”

omaha police“It’s all right in front of us. We don’t have to switch to different screens to switch from GPS to the mapping system to the camera and back and forth,” Officer Messerschmidt said. “It’s all there in front of us.”

There are new cameras with clearer images and sharper video. The mapping system automatically displays street names and house numbers which makes the job easier.

They can capture clear pictures during the day. Like an image from the police pursuit last Thursday on the South Kennedy Freeway. The old camera could not take pictures during the day.

With the decade-old system, they just replaced, pilots would have to count blocks and addresses.

“The address will come up imprinted right over the top of the house,” Messerschmidt said. “Everything we need is on a hand controller or within a touch on the screen.”

Also, a laser range finder is added now pilots can use that to pinpoint the exact latitude and longitude coordinates where a suspect drops a gun or drugs.

“Blue shaded areas will tell us where we already searched, and we won’t search the same area repeatedly,” Messerschmidt said.

“It’s going to help us do our job a little better and a little quicker,” Messerschmidt said.


‘I apologize to my wife and son’, State Senator Mike McDonnell Said After DUI Arrest

Nebraska State Senator Mike McDonnell did not reference his first-offense arrest on suspicion of DUI, as he apologized Thursday on the floor of the legislature to his family, constituents, and colleagues.

The Nebraska State Patrol arrested the Omaha senator early Thursday on misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and refusing to submit to a test. He was also cited for failure to stay in a lane. The DUI charge is the first offense.

McDonnell, 52, was stopped by the Nebraska State Patrol on Interstate 80 and booked through the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office at 12:52 a.m. Thursday.

As a state senator, McDonnell’s prosecution will be delayed until the session ends in mid-April. He was released shortly after 2 a.m.

“Last night, I was pulled over for not maintaining my lane on Interstate 80,” McDonnell told fellow lawmakers.

But McDonnell stopped himself as began to describe the incident.

nebraska senator

“The trooper was professional. He was polite. I refused…”.


McDonnell changed the direction of his comments to note senators are held to a higher standard and should not make decisions that affect their districts or state negatively.

“I take full responsibility for my actions and the decisions I make,” said McDonnell.

“I apologize to my wife and son, the people of my district, and the members of the legislature which I’m honored and proud to serve in,” he said.

In addition, McDonnell is a Gross High and the University of Nebraska at Omaha graduate. He has a master’s degree in public administration from Bellevue University. McDonnell served 6 years as Omaha fire chief, and a total of 24 years as an Omaha firefighter, including 10-years as union president.

He was elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 2016 representing South Omaha’s district 5.


New Corporate Headquarters of Kiewit in North Downtown Omaha


OMAHA, Nebraska — Kiewit, one of North America’s largest construction and engineering organizations, is developing plans for a new corporate headquarters in North Downtown Omaha next to Kiewit University.


The new headquarters will give Kiewit’s Omaha-based employees a location suited for greater association and interaction as they continue to support Kiewit’s nearly 20,000 other employees delivering construction and engineering programs.


There are still plenty of things Kiewit needs to evaluate before plans and specifics are finalized, but discussions with the City of Omaha and Mayor Jean Stothert have been very encouraging.


Stothert made the following statement on the announcement Thursday afternoon.


“We welcome Kiewit, a Fortune 500 company, to downtown Omaha. The pace of development throughout downtown Omaha demonstrates a new enthusiasm for our urban core as a business center, entertainment and leisure destination and residential district. The decision to build its new global headquarters in north downtown is great news for the City, the company and its employees. Kiewit will further accelerate development in this important growth area of downtown. The future for north downtown is very promising, with the opening of Kiewit University, the Capitol District, the new Creighton Dental School in 2018, The Yard, and eventually development of Lot B, west of the CenturyLink Center. The City looks forward to working with Kiewit on construction and opening of its new campus.”


On Tuesday, Kiewit and Stothert executed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the proposed project.


Kiewit has maintained The Noddle Companies as its developer and has begun working with HDR on introductory building and site designs.


Kiewit opened Kiewit University on the corner of 14th in February and Mike Fahey streets, where it hosts more than 3,000 employees from across North America each year for training and development.


Kiewit University’s location in an emerging North Downtown neighborhood — only minutes from Eppley Airfield, TD Ameritrade Park, Creighton University, CenturyLink Center and downtown Omaha — has proved to be very popular with the company’s employees.


The new headquarters should continue to encourage development in the neighborhood and reaffirms Kiewit’s commitment to Omaha and Nebraska, the company’s home since 1884.


More details will be released about the plans for a new headquarters as they continue to take shape.


Omaha is One of the Best Cities to Launch a Business

Omaha wants to spread its status as the “Silicon Prairie.”
Start-up costs, as well as the cost of living, are lower in Omaha compared to other U.S. cities.
David Arnold managing director of Straight Shot said: “On top of that, there’s great institutional support for entrepreneurs”.
In addition, the Omaha Small Business Network assists entrepreneurs in economically poor districts that are in need of working capital.
According to Arnold the presence of Fortune 500 companies such as ConAgra, Berkshire Hathaway, and Union Pacific Railroad has also created a robust network of mentors,
“And many top talents at these companies are jumping ship and starting their own companies.”

How is Omaha different from other cities for entrepreneurs?

The work ethic in Omaha is really hard. I think you’ll find it’s something that’s baked in over the last century or so. In general, Nebraskans are very much a hard-working group. So when there is a team of people that get together with an idea, they will work hard for very little.
It’s kind of creating an entrepreneurial revival if you will. There’s access to a lot of smart people that are extremely hard working. For example, at Hay Needle, we’ve hired something like 350 people.
Both coming out of undergrad, but also coming out of experienced companies like Union Pacific, and First Data, some really talented programming. Both front end and back end. The talent, in a way, is kind of cooped up. They want to jump out and start their own thing.

What makes Omaha a great place for startups?

Mark Hasebroock: Omaha has got a really exciting young dynamic culture that’s starting to embrace starting their own businesses. It’s a laid-back way of life. It’s really easy to live in Omaha. The cost of living is very low. We don’t have great big booms. We don’t have many busts. It just kind of floats along under the radar.

Where is there more capacity, in engineering, sales, or other areas?

Omaha has been, a call center environment from the 1960s and 1970s up through the early 2000s, because of Strategic Air Command putting big pipes in the city. Call centers are almost everywhere; West Telemarketing, as well as in-bound out-bound type stuff. So you had this infrastructure for customer service. If you wanted to set up a call center environment, there were many people to choose from that were very talented.

How Is Social Media Helping The Nebraska State Police?

Social media plays a great role in our everyday lives. Its influence continues to grow daily. The Nebraska State Patrol is very pleased with social media and how it helps then keep the public updated.

Nebraska State Patrol has been active on social media for the past 6 years. They believe that any message that is sent out through social media can help drivers hold a stronger focus when driving. This is mainly because losing focus while driving is a very common occurrence in this day and time.

Giving the public updates about road conditions and community events through social media sites such as Twitter is very common. The information that is released can be useful to people because they will have a better idea of what is going on in a specific area that they may be traveling to or through. This is much better than calling 511 to get information about road conditions or using a weather app.

During the most current ice storm in Nebraska, there were no fatal accidents. The law enforcement states that the main reason is because of social media.

It is very important for people to know about the conditions they are driving in to and not just take a chance for the best and go.

Being active on social media can also be of benefit to the department and the overall community in many ways. Communication is the key, having a way to engage with a majority of the community helps build a sense of trust. Social media becomes a platform for the community to express its questions and concerns and get their answers. It allows the spread of knowledge and information with almost no effort. This is very beneficial because it can serve as a sense of protection to the community or even help find missing persons and wanted suspects.

Omaha Home for Boys Baseball Field To Be Renovated

The Omaha Home for Boys is getting their baseball field near 50th and Ames renovated. Omaha has demonstrated true commitment hosting the College World Series, and Lowe’s and the NCAA Team Works program has organized renovation as a sign of courtesy.

The goal of the project is to give the children a place to play and create memories they can carry for a lifetime.field

The project will renovate things essential to any baseball field, such as base paths and the infield, the dugout and the batting cage. There should be nothing hazardous for children and each of them should have spots where they can keep their helmets and bats. It will also create a feeling that the team has their own place. It will give the kids a sense of comfort that will help them be more confident and willing to show off their skills.

The field is also used by the Omaha Benson and Concordia Lutheran High School, so their teams will also be able to enjoy the renovation results.

The dedication ceremony is scheduled for June 16.