November 29, 2014

Nebraska Regional Poison Center offers turkey cooking safety tips

Medical LogoThanksgiving Day is a busy time for those answering the phone at the Nebraska Regional Poison Center. Spokesperson Joan McVoy says do not hesitate if you have a question about food handling and safety. They have likely answered them all.

McVoy says they have received calls from people who cooked their turkey but left the plastic frame inside. Other calls include leaving the turkey out all day and then questioning whether it was safe to eat to cooking the bird with the meat thermometer inserted the whole time. In that case the thermometer exploded in the oven.

The Nebraska Regional Poison Center reminds cooks wash hands using warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Use a meat thermometer to check if the turkey is done. A turkey is properly cooked when it has an internal temperature of 165-degrees. Remove the stuffing immediately.

After the meal don’t leave leftovers on the counter longer than two hours. Don’t store leftover stuffing in the turkey. Store the turkey and stuffing separately. Leftover turkey will keep in a refrigerator 3 or 4 days. Leftover stuffing and gravy refrigerated needs to be used in 1 to 2 days.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to call the Nebraska Regional Poison Center hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

Rare white lion cub born at Henry Doorly Zoo

A first for the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. Director Dennis Pate says excitement is building with the birth of a rare white lion cub. The cub is one of three born last week – two males and one female.

Pate says, “We have never had one before. Most zoos have never had one and never will. Some people will see this as a must see because they are so rare.”

Pate says each cub weighed more than four pounds when they were born, about a pound more than average. Their eyes just opened. All three are on display with their mother.

The Henry Doorly Zoo plans to hold a contest to name their three new additions.

Omaha firefighter goes above and beyond the call of duty

An Omaha firefighter is on a mission to help those impacted by fire. Drew Gerkin responded to a call about four years ago and noticed there was no furniture in the family’s home. He asked a little boy where the family slept and night and the boy said they take clothes out of suitcases and use that as a bed.

Gerkin and other firefighters decided to do something about that and put out a request for donated items on Facebook. He says within a few days people had donated beds, dressers, couches, kitchen tables and other items to help this family in need.

Gerkin and his colleagues recently helped another family by providing much needed furniture. His next request is someone donates a storage space to keep the donated items until they are needed.

Nebraska man to be honored during Friday’s Husker game

Gene Willers

Gene Willers

A tradition will continue at Friday’s University of Nebraska – University of Iowa football game.

Athletic directors from both teams will make a special presentation during half time honoring one resident from each state for remarkable acts of courage.

Nebraska’s hero is Gene Willers. He is the president of Midwest Bank of Pilger and is credited with saving 8 lives during the June 16th tornado. The safest place in the century old building was the vault but it only locked from the outside.

Willers locked the others inside the vault and took shelter in a crawl space down below. He says, “The door to the cellar was ripped off and the floor was hopping above me.   Once the storm passed I had clear access to get out. There wasn’t anything blocking me. There was debris in front of the vault door I had to clear away but we were pretty happy to see each other.”

Willers ushered the same people back into the vault when they were informed the tornado was making a turn and could target the community a second time.

Iowa’s hero is 18-year-old Austin Benson of Winterset who provided lifesaving first aid to an injured friend. Both of their names will be inscribed on the Heroes Game trophy.

Creighton University president stepping down

about_home_fw[1]Creighton University President Timothy Lannon informed the Board of Trustees he will be leaving the position earlier than anticipated. Lannon had planned on retiring June of 2015 but due to health concerns he moved that date up to January 20th.

The board intends to appoint J. Christopher Bradberry, dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, as interim president beginning December 21st due to Lannon’s travel schedule.

Lannon stated, “This has been a very difficult decision to reach because of the caliber of wonderful, committed people with whom I have had the honor of working, the quality of students and alumni I have met over the years and because of the distinct honor it was for me to ‘come home’ to my alma mater as president. The achievements of Creighton during the past few years have been significant, due in large measure to the incredible dedication of our visionary trustees, faculty, staff, administration, students and alumni. I am confident that the next person stepping forward as president will continue to live out our University’s faith-filled mission,” concluded Lannon.

Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns issued this statement: “I thank Father Lannon for his lifetime of service to the Catholic community. His service as the President of Creighton University displayed his passion for educating the next generation of Catholic Leaders. As an alumnus myself, I know the profound impact Creighton has on the lives of its students. I will keep him in my prayers and wish him all the best in future endeavors.”