October 30, 2014

Man on trial for murder disrupts courtroom twice

A man on trial for murder in Omaha twice this week disrupted the courtroom twice by punching a Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy Monday and then his defense attorney Tuesday.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Captain Wayne Hudson says Robert Grant was in shackles on both occasions. On Monday Grant was told it was time to leave the courtroom and attacked the deputy when he started gathering up paperwork on a table. On Tuesday Grant became upset with something said in the courtroom and punched his defense attorne

The judge refused to grant a mistrial.

Grant is on trial for the brutal murder of Trudy McKee last year in Omaha. She was stabbed 40 times inside her apartment and was found by her daughter returning home from school. Grant was arrested while trying to board an out of town bus.

Omaha resident shoot and kills alleged intruder

An Omaha resident is being questioned by police Wednesday morning after an apparent home intrusion this morning at 31st and Newport Avenue. Omaha police say the resident heard a noise around 2:30 am and went to check. Police say the resident told them he met an intruder who had broken through the front door. The two men then struggled and the homeowner fired a gun hitting the suspect in the chest.

The suspect was found several blocks away collapsed in the middle of the street. He was rushed to a hospital where he later died. He has not been identified.

This is the sixth time since late August that homeowners have defended themselves during a home invasion in Omaha. Three of the intruders were shot and killed, one was shot and survived, one was held at gunpoint until police arrived and one got away.


Creighton University expanding benefits to same-sex couples

Creighton University President Rev. Timothy Lannon announced Monday that employee spouses of  legally married same-sex couples will be included in health benefits.

In a statement; “Creighton University will expand its health benefits for faculty and staff to include same sex spouses who have been legally wed in other states. As a Jesuit university, Creighton’s leadership views this extension of benefits as a reflection of the Jesuit core value “cura personalis” – care for the entire person. Extending benefits to same sex spouses is consistent with the university’s efforts to foster an inclusive and respectful environment and underscores Creighton’s commitment of being men and women for others.”

Former Omaha Archdiocese Vice Chancellor Father Ryan Lewis strongly opposes this decision.

Father Lewis says, “The Church needs to teach clearly on this and sadly strong winds of popular culture is blowing and Father Lannon put his finger up in the air to see which way the wind was blowing and abandoned what is divine law on marriage.” 

Creighton University states that many schools across the country currently extended healthcare coverage to same-sex spouses including other Jesuit schools. In fact, 21 of the 28 Jesuit Catholic Schools already provide the benefit.  Creighton University leadership views adding this coverage is in the university’s best interest in terms of recruiting and retaining a diverse and highly-skilled faculty and staff.

Nebraska Taxpayers For Freedom oppose OPS bond issue

Voters in the Omaha area will vote on a $421-million dollar bond issue placed on Tuesday’s ballot by the Omaha Public School District. Nebraska Taxpayers For Freedom President Doug Kagan says this is just part one. He says in a few years the district will ask for phase two and together will total $1-billion.

Kagan says, “OPS taxpayers are still facing the financial burden of paying over $200-million in previous bond issues.”

The Omaha Public School District says the money is needed for renovations and reconstruction. Kagan compares this to the Millard School District bond issue approved by voters several years ago. He says that survey was itemized with cost estimates. Kagan says the survey done for OPS was generalized and no specifics were given for individual buildings. He says that is like giving the district a taxpayer blank check.

Kagan says, “New carpeting and new paint doesn’t guarantee higher test scores. I’ve had building engineers that work for OPS and tell us one of the problems with the infrastructure in the OPS schools is they do not do sufficient preventative maintenance.  What happens when you let things go and after a while it is more expensive to repair and renovate. So, their not doing a good job, not wisely spending their money right now.”

Nebr. Dept of Labor / Offutt Career Fair Thursday

Those in eastern Nebraska looking for work need to mark Thursday, October 30th on their calendar.

Deb Christensen with the Nebraska Department of Labor says they are teaming with the Family & Readiness Center at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue for a career fair with 140 employers taking part.

Christensen says every business has to have at least one opening to participate. She says there are dozens of fields ranging from IT, health care, insurance and finance to manufacturing and production.

Christensen says that while this job fair is geared toward current and former military members, it is open to civilians as well.

The career fair is at the Lied Activities Center at 2700 Arboretum Drive in Bellevue from 10 am until 2 pm.