August 30, 2015

DC West Community Schools struggle with bond issue

Vandalism and accusations are running wild at DC West Community School District. After voters in November failed to pass a $45.8-million bond issue signs within the district have been vandalized and there are accusations the district purposely planted mold in the buildings so the next bond issue would pass.

Superintendent Melissa Poloncic says she too heard those accusations which are false. “She says this has been a very heated issue and many people are concerned about the affordability of the bond issue. She says there are some facts that can’t be ignored. She says there are fire safety violations and electrical and plumbing problems needed to be brought up to code.

Poloncic says, “We have some code violations that are looking me in the face on September 16th. The results on the 15th depends on how we attack those. I have to meet with the fire marshal in September and I have to have a plan of action. We have millions of dollars we have to find somehow.”

Poloncic says unfortunately if the bond doesn’t pass they will have to dip into general funds to make the repairs and possibly cut programs.

Voters within the district will decide a new bond issue on September 15th. Part one, or Plan A totals $38.85-million that is slated for building renovations and campus realignment. Plan B totals $7.1-million and would be used for a new gym, locker room and educational upgrades.

29-year-old dies in deadly motorcycle accident in Omaha

A 29 year old Ralston man is dead after a motorcycle accident Thursday afternoon in southwest Omaha. Police Sergeant Chuck Casey says just before 3:30 a Suzuki XR1 motorcycle hit the rear end of a turning car near 98th and Q Street.

Sergeant Casey says witness’ says the motorcycle stopped at a red light at 96th Street. When the light turned green it took off at a high rate of speed. A vehicle headed in the opposite direction was making a left turn into an apartment building parking lot when the motorcycle struck it. The motorcyclist, identified as 29 year old Sean Miner of Ralston was thrown from the motorcycle. Officers arriving at the scene started CPR and that continued on the way to a hospital where Miner was pronounced dead.

Sergeant Casey says the motorcycle had been reported stolen in Omaha on Tuesday and it had been hot-wired. Records show Miner did have a current driver’s license but was not certified for a motorcycle. He also had been cited four times since last November for driving on a suspended license.

The 17 year old driver and two 17 year old passengers were not hurt.

Employers taking steps to protect others

Nebraska employers are taking notice of Wednesday’s tragedy in Roanoke, Virginia after an apparent disgruntled former employee took his frustration out on two former co-workers. Many businesses are in a similar situation where they question whether a current employee has the potential of violent behavior. David Owens is a former district attorney and says there are steps companies can take to protect others.

Owens says, “The person should first be sent to anger management counseling and evaluated by a licensed professional to see what issues may be simmering below the surface. If that does reveal there are potential harmful or violent tendencies then terminating the employee may be a course of action.”

Owens says some states do allow counseling as a provision in an employee contract and if they don’t comply they also face termination. Owen says if you are terminating believed to be potentially violent law enforcement or building security should be notified.

Workplace violence is nothing an employer can afford to ignore.   Statistics show there were nearly 400 workplace murders in 2013 alone.

Nebraska State Patrol keeping fairgoers safe

It will be a busy two weeks for the Nebraska State Patrol. They will once again provide security at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island. They will be providing security 24-hours a day, seven days a week by patrolling the fairgrounds on bicycle and all-terrain vehicles. Visitors can also expect to see troopers walking through the midway and other fairground areas.

State Patrol spokesperson Deb Collins says visitors are also invited to stop by their booth inside the Exhibition Building. The exhibit includes information on career opportunities, roadway safety and safe driving practices to reduce serious injury and fatality crashes. The booth will be staffed by both sworn and civilian members of the agency.

The State Patrol Security Office will be located inside the Fonner Park Racing Office for fairgoers in need of law enforcement assistance.

Lightning sparks Omaha house fire

Two elderly women in Omaha are ok after a house fire Thursday morning. Omaha Fire Battalion Chief Frank Kleffner says they were called to home in the west-central part of the city around 8 am after lightning struck the roof.

Chief Kleffner says most of the fire was on the roof area. The home had wood shingles that caught fire and there is little damage to the home.

Neighbors spotted the fire and helped the two elderly residents safely from the home. There were no injuries.