July 29, 2014

100 year old UP depot scheduled to be demolished

The 100 year old Union Pacific Railroad depot in Columbus will be torn down next year. U-P spokesman Mark Davis says a few years ago the railroad offered to donate the old depot to the city of Columbus. However, the building sits about 15 feet from active railroad tracks. For safety reasons U-P required the city to move the building to another location.

Davis says, “I think the city at the time felt this was a little bit cost prohibitive to do that so they let us know they had no interest in getting the building itself.”

A new $1.5-million building is currently under construction for train crews that will replace the old depot. Davis says the old depot will be torn down sometime in 2015.

Omaha police investigate shooting death of teen

Omaha police are investigating the shooting death of a 19 year old man inside a unit at the Pacific Winds apartment complex in the west part of the city.   Joseph Morolla of Omaha was shot around 9 p.m. Sunday night. He was rushed to a hospital where he later died.

Omaha police have not released further details.

Omaha youth golf program attempts to address decline in interest

It seems that golf is no longer one of the great American past times.

The National Golf Foundation reports the number of players has been dropping since 2010 and most of them putting away the clubs are people in their 30′s and younger.

City of Omaha Golf Manager Bob Baber says business has been very good this season and they started a new program to spark the interest of younger players. The city started a new youth program this year where those 14 and under can golf for free during the week and on weekends with a paid adult.  All youths taking part must first complete a program where they learn the rules of the course and golfing manners.

Baber expected a couple hundred kids but as of now more than 1,000 have gone through the program.

Baber says the PGA does a great job in retaining current golfers but not so well at recruiting new ones. He hopes programs like this draws kids to the course and sparks an interest in the sport that continues well into adulthood.

Reminder to boaters – life jackets are a must

A hot July weekend means a lot of people will be heading to lakes and rivers to keep cool.  Nebraska Game and Parks Commission spokesman Greg Wagner says officials were not happy with what the saw – or rather didn’t see- last weekend on the Elkhorn River. He says Game and Parks officials checking canoes and kayaks report many did not have wearable life jackets on board.

Wagner says the law requires a Coast Guard approved life jacket must be supplied for every passenger on board. Children under the age of 12 are required to wear a life jacket at all times while on board a watercraft.

Nordquist works on illegal immigrant driver’s license issue

State Senator Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha is working on legislation that would allow certain illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses in the state of Nebraska.

Nordquist says the issue falls directly under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Those under 16 years of age in the U.S. by June 15, 2012 could remain in the country if they had no criminal record.

Nordquist says the majority of Democrats and Republicans in Congress support doing something for these individuals that were brought into the country as children. He says these children already have documentation as in social security numbers or a work permit. He says the rest of the undocumented population does not have that paperwork and would not qualify. Nordquist says, that is a line, at least at this point, I’m not convinced we should cross and I think that would be a much tougher policy sell.”

Nebraska is the only state that does not allow driver’s licenses issued to those in the country illegally.