October 10, 2015

Nebraska Department of Aeronautics annual Aviation Art Contest

“Air, Sports and Nature in Harmony” is this year’s theme for the Aviation Art Contest sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Aeronautics. Division Manager of Flight Operations David Morris encourages young people from across the state to participate.

Morris says, “From above, the fullness of nature is seen in ways unknowable from the ground. From the air, one is able to take pictures and film that otherwise would never be seen and aircraft can do this without the need of roads. While air sports participants enjoy this freedom they must also be good neighbors to people, animals and the environment.”

Nebraska youth are invited to grab their favorite artist’s tool and create a poster celebrating their own thoughts.   There are three age categories of contestants; 6-9, 10-13 and 14-17.

Morris says students will be judged at the state level. Entries must be submitted by January 22, 2016. The winners will be announced in April and the winners will be forwarded to Washington DC to be judged at the national level. Those winners will go on to compete in the international competition in Switzerland.

For an entry brochure contact Morris at 402-471-2371 or email David.Morris@nebraska.gov.

Ticket fraud alert for Taylor Swift Omaha concert

The biggest show in the country is at Omaha’s CenturyLink Center Friday and Saturday but some may be left in the lobby without a seat. Kristi Andersen is the director of communications for the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority and says Taylor Swift tickets are in high demand and unfortunately there are a lot of ticket scams out there right now.

Andersen says there have been a number of Taylor Swift ticket scams across the country. She says, “A situation has come to our attention that there may be some fraudulently printed tickets on our ticket stock. We are having local police investigate.” Those tickets include the CenturyLink Center Omaha logo.

Anderson says they encourage people to buy tickets from an authorized source only. In Omaha, that would be at the CenturyLink Center box office, Ticketmaster and Ticketmaster retail outlets. She says those are the only outlet sources they can verify as legitimate.

Those who purchased tickets from a third party source should check their tickets. If you have lower bowl tickets, 100 level seats, to one of this weekend’s shows you are advised to contact the CenturyLink Center to have them verified.

Andersen says if tickets do not scan the night of the show, concert-goers will be escorted to the box office. She says they will try to explain the situation and help you the best way they can. Andersen says, “If we have other tickets we can sell you to get you into the show we will do that. The hard part with this show is it is sold out for both Friday and Saturday night so we not may have a lot that we can do.”

Please contact info@omahameca.com or come to the box office located inside the venue at 455 N. 10th Street in Omaha. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and later on event days.

Baxter Arena highlights changes to UNO Mavs athletics

Concept of UNO Mavs hockey at Baxter Arena/UNO Photo

Concept of UNO Mavs hockey at Baxter Arena/UNO Photo

The University of Nebraska – Omaha is officially dedicating their new athletic facility, the Baxter Arena this afternoon. The arena will be used for Maverick hockey, basketball and volleyball games as well as for community and campus events. While most in the community is celebrating the new facility, others are upset that UNO cut their football and wrestling programs back in 2011.

UNO Athletic Director Trev Alberts says officials had to look at the larger picture of athletics. Alberts says, “We were just doing everything we could. First, to save the athletic department and then create a department that was really valuable to UNO. UNO is an institution of higher education and the athletic department has to be helping to advance that objective and we weren’t doing that. We set out to create a department that had value to our campus and our students.”

Alberts says it was painful to cut wrestling and football and he still feels for those players and coaches.  While he is disappointed UNO no longer has those programs the cuts were necessary to help the athletic program move forward.

Alberts says that is now happening at UNO. He says they had to export athletics across Omaha and events were held at different locations. He says that was not student centered. They now want to create a home for softball and baseball players and Alberts says, “If we are going to do that we are going to do that right.” He is very pleased with how the community has supported and continues to support UNO athletics.

A price jump at the gas pump

If you need to fill your gas tank it is going to cost more in Nebraska. Triple-A Nebraska spokesperson Rose White says the price hike is due to problems at refineries.

White says, “AAA received warning a few days ago that we could see some price spikes in the Midwest region and unfortunately that held true. Almost overnight at many stations prices at the retail level increased ten to fifteen cents a gallon at many outlets. The reasons behind it were both planned and unplanned maintenance issues at some refineries that service the Midwest region.”

White says typically it is regional refinery issues that cause these problems and sometimes that means we either pay higher or lower prices than the national average. White says the good news is that prices won’t go much higher unless there are major issues that cause longer shutdowns but at this time that is not expected.

AAA reports the average price in Nebraska is $2.36 a gallon. That is seven cents higher than the national average of $2.29. Nebraska gas prices are 88-cents lower than they were one year ago. Iowa prices are 77-cents lower.

Food fight in the Old Market area of Omaha

There is a bit of a food fight going on in the Old Market area of Omaha. Brendon Henery is the co-owner of Michael’s at The Market, a long time Mexican restaurant and says this isn’t about competition. He says he is more concerned about where they are allowed to park.

Henery says, “As far as the law is concerned, most of the food trucks can park at any metered space they want to. Our main concern is most of these trucks are over 20 feet long and most of these spaces are only geared to vehicles that aren’t 20 feet long. Where this truck was parked the front, right tire was on the sidewalk and the back of truck stood out two to three feet into the line of traffic. That is a safety issue.”

Henery is also concerned that food trucks do not have to charge what is known as the restaurant tax to customers. He says the tax was explained to him the extra fee is an occupation tax and since food trucks are on wheels they are exempt.

Henery says a good solution would be for the city to come up with a plan as to where the trucks can park. He says his family owns a parking lot in the Old Market area and discussions are in the works with at least one food truck vendor to utilize that space.