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South 156th Street Will Close Due to Construction

omaha road closureOMAHA, Nebraska — South 156th Street will close Monday between Harrison Street and Gertrude Street as part of a major upgrade of Harrison, Sarpy County officials said.

 

Officials say the work will consist of removal of the old pavement, grading, storm-sewer work, and paving.

 

The detour route for eastbound Harrison Street is 156th Street north to Q Street and then east on Q Street to 144th Street, or 168th Street south to Giles Road, then east on Giles Road to 144th Street, officials said.

 

The detour route for westbound Harrison Street is 144th Street north to Q Street then west on Q Street to 168th Street, or 144th Street to Giles Road then west on Giles Road to 168th Street, officials said.

 

The 156th and Harrison intersection will remain open, allowing motorists to head north to Q Street. Southbound traffic on 156th Street will travel to 168th Street, then south to Giles Road, then east on Giles Road to 144th Street.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer’s Brother Seriously Injured During Intrusion Alert

omaha police chiefOMAHA, Nebraska — Police Chief Todd Schmaderer’s brother was seriously injured late Wednesday while police were checking the South Omaha post office for a possible intruder.

Police said officers reported to the post office at 4730 S. 24th St. around 11:55 p.m. after an intrusion alarm sounded.

Police said officers found evidence of a burglary and began clearing the facility.

Later, Officer Brian Schmaderer fell 10 feet while he was clearing a catwalk, police said. he was unconscious when officers found him, police said.

He was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center in serious condition, according to rescue squad personnel at the scene.

Brian Schmaderer was alert while he was taken to the hospital, police said.

There were no arrests.

Road Widening Project Closes the Street on Thursday for Several Months

Omaha roadsOMAHA, Nebraska — A heavily used north-south travel corridor in northwest Omaha is scheduled to close for several months beginning Thursday for a major roadway upgrade project.

At 9 a.m., 168th Street, roughly between West Maple Road and West Dodge Road, will be closed for the street-widening project that will impact on motorists for nine months.

On Thursday, Blondo Street between North 171st Street and Dora Hamann Parkway, which is about three blocks east of North 168th Street, will also be closed for about six months as part of the improvement project.

The overall improvement work will widen 168th from two lanes to four lanes and add a median and left-turn lane. This project also will include improvements to the 168th and Blondo Streets intersection.

An estimated 17,700 vehicles use 168th Street daily. Officials expect the number to grow to 30,500 daily by 2040.

The project, estimated to cost more than $21 million, initially was set to be completed in two phases — West Maple to Blondo Street in 2018, then Blondo to West Dodge, with the second phase probably set for 2019. But they are both combined into one project by the city.

Standoff Situation in the Omaha Neighborhood

Omaha newsOMAHA, Nebraska — Thursday evening Omaha Police attempted to serve warrants to a suspect who locked himself in his home near 45th and Grand Ave.

The man refused to open the door for police and a standoff ensued.

The residence was surrounded quickly after heavily armed police units were called.

The situation remained tense for several hours.

After speaking with the man, the suspect came out of the home and was taken into custody.

 

Early Christmas Morning Fire Destroys People’s Homes

Omaha FireOMAHA, Nebraska — Omaha firefighters were called to two early Christmas Day house fires.

The first fire started around 12:30 a.m. in Ralston.

Four people were forced to leave their home after a fire started in an upstairs bedroom of a home near 80th and Lakeview streets.

“It was seconds, in one second my house was in flames, everything happened in a minute,” homeowner Jessica Rivera said in Spanish.

Rivera says she was celebrating Christmas Eve with her husband, Enoc, their two sons, ages 7 and 12, and a friend when smoke started filling the home. She said the haze seemed to be coming from her bedroom.

“When we opened the door, I saw the flames rising to the ceiling,” Rivera said.

Rivera said she and her husband rushed to get their children out the door. Enoc told that he punched through a glass window sheet to help dissipate the smoke. His hand was wrapped up in gauze Christmas morning.

The only things the family was able to save were themselves, and their car.

“We lost the two kids’ bedrooms, my room, the living room, we lost everything,” Rivera said.

Newly-opened gifts were sitting in the hallway and living room Christmas morning. The table was still set with half-eaten plates of food. The only difference is that everything was covered in a layer of dirt.

Ralston firefighters knocked down the fire with assistance from the Omaha Fire Department. No injuries were reported.

The Red Cross was called in to help the family find a place to stay for the night. Rivera said it was the last place she imagined herself to be on Christmas.

“You’re with your family, you see your kids happy, and suddenly you feel as if you’ve lost it all in a second,” she said, “and it’s very sad.”

Rivera said she’s grateful that she and her family members were not hurt or killed.

The family believes the blaze started somewhere along the chimney of their wood burning stove.

The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the case.

Omaha firefighters were called to a second house fire, which started around 1:30 a.m. in the basement of a home near 14th and Browne streets. The flames caused extensive damage before crews could put them out.

Firefighters said no one was home when the fire started.

The causes of both fires are under investigation.

 

Crash on I-55 Killed 4 People in Hamel, People Identified

HAMEL, Ill. – There is new information about the crash that killed four people on Interstate 55 near Hamel, Ill.

 

Illinois CrashIllinois State Police said Mohamed Yussuf Jama, 53, of Colorado was the driver of a truck that crashed into several vehicles.

 

The driver of the truck that crashed into several vehicles on Interstate 55 in southwestern Illinois, killed four people. Four young women died from their injuries in the crash: Hailey Bertels, 20, and Madisen Bertels,17, of Staunton and Tori Carroll, 20, of Alhambra and Vivian Vu, 19, of Joplin, Missouri.

 

The investigation is ongoing.

Self-driving Bus Crashed in its First Trial Hour

Las Vegas CrashLAS VEGAS, Nevada — Las Vegas’ self-driving shuttle service marked its return by getting into a minor collision, according to local NBC station.

French startup Navya’s autonomous electric vehicle shuffles at around 15 MPH on a 0.6-mile circuit in the downtown Fremont East district. But, just an hour into its year-long trial (which follows a successful stint in January) the shuttle was hit by a delivery truck that was backing up.

None of the 8 passengers aboard the driverless vehicle suffered injuries and neither did the truck driver. Instead, the front bumper of the shuttle took the pressure of the damage.

A representative of the Las Vegas City government also posted a note on its official Tumblr page detailing the accident. “The autonomous shuttle was testing today when it was grazed by a delivery truck downtown,” reads the post. It continued: “The shuttle did what it was supposed to do, in that its sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid the accident. Unfortunately, the delivery truck did not stop and grazed the front fender of the shuttle.”

The trial is set to continue, but the incident will do little to ease the concerns of those skeptical about self-driving cars. The free autonomous shuttle service was the first of its kind in the US.

White SUV Inside of the Crane Coffee in Omaha: 5 Injured

Omaha NewsOMAHA – White SUV Crashes into Crane Coffee near 132nd and West Maple. Two young women lying in the parking lot; one unconscious and bleeding from her head, the other a few feet away, screaming “it hurts.” In the wreckage of the building, bystanders pulling bricks off another woman. She appeared unconscious.

 

This was Tuesday morning in a west Omaha parking lot. A sports utility vehicle crashed into the small but popular Crane Coffee shop, injuring five, witnesses said.

 

“I was just in shock because I had never seen something like this,” said Olivia Smith, 19, who arrived in the immediate aftermath of the crash. “It did not feel real.”

 

The crash took place before 9:45 a.m. just east of 132nd Street and West Maple Road when a Jeep Grand Cherokee plowed into the coffee shop at Eagle Run Square shopping center.

 

Omaha Police Sgt. Doug Klein said, four of the five injured are Crane Coffee employees. The 5th is the driver of the Jeep.

 

The employees of Crane and their reported injuries: Rachel Ayala, 36, a possible injury to her esophagus; Danae Humbert, 25, a lacerated liver and a fractured pelvis; Chrisanna McClure, 22, cuts and scrapes; and Jesse Moore, 29, a broken left hand, cuts and scrapes.

 

One of the workers had been ejected from the building into the parking lot, police said. They did not specify which one.

 

Ayala was listed in critical condition Tuesday evening at Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy, Humbert was listed in serious condition, and McClure had been treated and released.

 

The driver of the SUV was identified as Jake Yestingsmeier, 33, of Omaha. He suffered minor injuries from the deployment of the airbag, police said.

 

Yestingsmeier, who was treated and released, told police that he blacked out and did not recall what happened.

 

Neither speed nor alcohol appears to have been a factor in the crash, police said. An officer conducted a drug-recognition evaluation on Yestingsmeier, but it came back negative.

 

Truong said he asked the driver what had happened.

 

“He said he did not remember anything,” Truong said.

 

“I just hope the families are doing OK, the victims are doing OK,” she said. “I hope everything gets figured out with the driver.”

 

Klein said the SUV was eastbound on West Maple when it veered to the right, went off the road, crossed a grassy area and another road before entering the parking lot where it smashed into the Crane Coffee shop.

 

The 312-square-foot building is a total loss, police said.

 

No tire marks indicating braking were evident outside the building.

 

Gas Prices Fall Again in Omaha?

OMAHA – The price at the pump for a gallon of gas fell another 8 cents in the last week, averaging $2.32 on Monday.

 

The average per – gallon price in Omaha for regular unleaded was $2.40 on October 9, according to gasprices.aaa.com.

 

At some places around Omaha could be found lower prices of $2.12, $2.14 and $2.19 a gallon, on Monday, GasBuddy.com said.

 

Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy.com said the downward price trend should continue for another week thanks to supplies outpacing demand and gas inventories continuing a slow recovery.

 

“While prices nationally remain higher than a year ago, we will likely continue to see improvement at the pump,” he said.

 

The national average was down 2 cents to $2.47 per gallon on Monday. Nebraska’s average slipped 5 cents in the past week to $2.37, and Iowa was down 2 cents to $2.40, AAA reported.

 

Prices for a gallon of regular unleaded a month ago and a year ago, according to gasprices.aaa.com:

 

A Month ago A Year ago
Omaha $2.54 $2.20
Nebraska $2.53 $2.25
Iowa $2.51 $2.20
Nationally $2.63 $2.24

Not safe in Omaha Anymore? 9 Shootings in Just 48 Hours

Omaha NewsOMAHA, NEBRASKA — Nine shootings in 48 hours across north and south Omaha leave residents shaken.

 

“Almost like 14 shots, outside. It sounded so close to us. Almost sounded like it was inside my house,” one concerned neighbor said.

 

 

“We have got to clean up these streets, it is not safe anymore,” another neighbor said.

 

A woman heard gunshots Saturday outside her home near 38th and Ames streets. A block away, near 37th and Ames streets, another shooting just two hours before that sent a 20 – year – old to the hospital with gunshot wounds to her leg.

 

Omaha police said neighbors should not be worried.

 

“We have had examples in the past where there has maybe been a surge in violent crime, so we are ready to handle situations like this,” Officer Michael Pecha said.

 

OPD said while this rash of violence catches your attention, they said that it is not random and is irregular.

 

“We just want to reassure people that when you look at the bigger picture and you look long term, one weekend may not represent the totality of the crime in the city, and that the city is not safe,” Pecha said.

 

Regardless, those touched by this weekend’s violence are worried.

 

Howard McDavid said he had just stopped at a gas station near 30th Street and Martin Avenue to fill up when someone drove by and shot up his car Saturday night.

 

He was not hurt, but another man walking across the street was. He got caught in the crossfire, police said.

 

“Be safe because these bullets [are] flying and they do not have anybody’s name on them,” a neighbor said.

 

If you have any extra information on any of these shootings, call Crimestoppers at 402 – 444 – STOP.