March 4, 2015

Easing of mortgage requirements

Many Nebraskans were impacted when the housing bubble burst around 2007 and residents and banks foreclosed on many homes. After that mortgage companies and banks put in place strict rules on mortgage eligibility for consumers and home sales plummeted. Frank Packard-Reed is a real estate expert and says they are starting to ease lending requirements.

Packard-Reed says, “Fannie and Freddie have come up with a 3% down program so you can finance up to 97% of the property. It has gotten a little easier because you can borrow more but there are still a number of underwriting standards in place.” 

Packard-Reed says buyers still have to show proof of a job and income can make the down payment and monthly payments on the home.

UNL professor says Obama not ready to embrace Netanyahu Iran strategy

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor says the Obama Administration isn’t ready to play hardball against Iran as advocated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu addressed Congress Tuesday about the danger Iran poses to Israel, the United States, and the entire world as it continues to develop a nuclear program. Netanyahu stated that everyone should walk away from the table with Iran, arguing Iran needs a deal more than anyone else and will return to the bargaining table.

UNL Political Science professor Ari Kohen says the United States isn’t ready to call that bluff.

“The administration obviously wants to negotiate and believe that diplomatic solution is the best or maybe the only option that is on the table. Netanyahu is convinced there is a better deal out there, especially if the administration is ready to play hard ball,” Kohen says.

About 60 Congressional Democrats did not attend the prime minister’s speech.

Icy conditions likely cause of deadly crash in Omaha

Authorities released the name of the man killed this morning in a one vehicle accident near 186th and State Street near Bennington in Omaha.

Investigators with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department say 44-year-old Patrick Dubas was behind the wheel of a Chevy Trailblazer and heading westbound when he slid off the road and struck a tree.  Dubas was pronounced dead at the scene.

Overnight freezing rain coated streets and roads in parts of eastern Nebraska Tuesday morning.  Investigators say that likely caused or contributed to the crash.

Hospitals and emergency rooms in Omaha have been busy treating fall victims today.  One health care system reported treating 59 patients by 11:00 am.   The injuries ranged from broken wrists, sprains and head injuries.

104,795 Nebraskans may be impacted by Anthem security breach

More than 100-thousand Nebraskans could be impacted by the security breach at health insurer Anthem. Anthem does not sell policies or process claims here but Nebraska Assistant Attorney General Tyler Moore says there are two different avenues through which could impact Nebraskans.

Moore says Nebraskans could be impacted if their employer is located in one of the 14 states where Anthem operates and uses their brand of insurance. Those states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Moore says Nebraskans could be impacted if they have coverage through a Nebraska based Blue Cross Blue Shield plan and received care in the past in a state where Anthem processes health claims.

Moore says, “The exposure could amount to things like social security numbers, names, addresses and other information. Our understanding is some people’s social security numbers were affected but not all.”

Anthem is sending notices in the mail to all Nebraskans affected by the breach. Anthem is also offering to pay for two years of free credit monitoring for those individuals.

Strategic Air & Space Museum’s largest restoration project to date

The Strategic Air & Space Museum in Ashland is anxious to start their largest restoration project to date and kick off their first permanent indoor walk-through exhibit. Marketing and PR Director Deb Hermann says they will restore an EC-135C “Looking Glass” aircraft.

This aircraft served as the Airborne Command Post and was a Strategic Air Command icon. The aircraft started flying in the early 1960’s during the Cold War and flew 24/7 until 1990 when it landed at Offutt Air Force base in 1990. Crew members included a U-S Air Force general officer, a full battle staff and aircraft mission specialists from flight crew to surgeon. Their job was one of peace but they trained for the event of a threat on national security.

There were twelve “Looking Glass” aircrafts built but this will be the only one on display in the world. The museum intends to restore the aircraft to its 1990 retirement condition and it will become their first permanent indoor walk-through exhibit. It will include other artifacts of the Cold War and the Airborne Command Posts in U-S history and oral histories of pilots and crew members that flew on missions. This is the museum’s largest restoration project to date with an estimated cost of $200,000.

A kick-off event will be held Thursday, March 13th from 4 – 6 pm at the Strategic Air & Space Museum. They will showcase restoration and exhibit plans that include volunteer and fundraising needs and a timeline of activities.