May 29, 2015

A bad season for allergies

Those who suffer from allergies can’t get a break. University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Dr. Jill Poole   is an allergist and says those sensitive to pollen have been suffering for months.

Dr. Poole says tree pollen started in January. Grass pollen just started about a week-and-a-half ago in Nebraska and that typically sticks around until the end of June. She says there really isn’t a magic cure for allergies.

Dr. Poole says, “If you are talking about a steroid shot, I typically don’t recommend them because of the long term side effects of those types of medications. I recommend a more prescription approaches like allergy desensitization shots which are a lot of shots over a period of time.”

Another option is to visit your local drug store. Dr. Poole says there are several long lasting antihistamines available over-the-counter that do an excellent job controlling symptoms. She says there are also several good nasal steroid sprays now available without a prescription.

Top causes of boat damage

Boating season is officially underway in Nebraska and the forecast for the upcoming weekend calls for perfect weather to set sail. Ann Avery is a spokesperson for State Farm and says according to claims submitted in 2014, 31% of all damage to boats was due to striking a submerged or floating object.

Avery says wind and hail damage came in second accounting for 13% of their claims last year. Collision with a fixed object – like the dock- was third with almost 8 percent. Collisions with another watercraft represented only a small percentage of losses.

Avery says safety is always the top priority when using any watercraft and State Farm recommends researching the area so you are familiar with possible hazards. They also recommend a boat safety course and make sure to have a life jacket for everyone on board.

State Farm also recommends regular maintenance on all watercraft and to use care when launching on boat ramps.

County attorney reacts to repeal of death penalty

Nebraska is now among 19 states that do not have the death penalty. Lawmakers voted 30 to 19 to override Governor Pete Ricketts veto of the bill that repeals the death penalty. The maximum sentence now in Nebraska is life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov says don’t count on that.

Polikov says, “Anything that thinks that life without parole, which is another whole discussion because that is not only misinformation but I think that is part of the dishonesty and the selling of this legislation, there is no such thing in Nebraska as life without parole. Even with the passage of this bill there are constitutional provisions for pardon and parole. You don’t know what is going to happen 20 years from now depending on the parole board or the pardons board.”

Polikov says the next likely step for those on death row is to start the appeal process to fight the without parole portion of their sentence. He says, “Now that they are not facing the potential of execution, nobody is going to want to face the whole life in those conditions of incarceration.”

Omaha Chief Schmaderer praises “Officer Kerrie” at funeral

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer spoke at Officer Orozco’s funeral service this morning and stated we are blessed to get a glimpse of Kerrie’s life.

Schmaderer stated he is very proud the entire nation had the opportunity to meet her through the extensive media coverage given regarding her tragic death.

“The greatest aspect of knowing Kerrie is she got people to look past the fact she was a police officer,” Chief Schmaderer told mourners gathered at the funeral. “She had a way of connecting and seeing past the uniform and seeing the person.”

Chief Schmaderer asked the Boys and Girls Club baseball team that Officer Orozco coached stand during the service. He said she made a difference in their lives and broke down barriers between the police and the public. Kerrie became “Coach K” to the kids, who also happened to be a police officer.

Chief Schmaderer says for those who don’t know a police officer now know one: Officer Kerrie. He says for her legacy, the next time you see a police officer eating dinner on one behind you, look past the uniform and see Kerrie. He said there is a little bit of Kerrie in all of us and give back to the community in many ways.

Chief Schmaderer said Kerrie was a recruit in his class in the academy. He says she went from Recruit Holtz to Officer Holtz to Officer Orozco and then my friend Kerrie. He then thanked Officer Orozco for allowing the Omaha Police Department and the community to be part of her life and in turn will watch over her family, especially her newborn, Olivia Ruth.

Photo:  WOWT 6 News, Omaha.

Funeral services underway in Omaha for Officer Kerrie Orozco

Funeral services are underway for Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco at St. John’s Church on the Creighton University Campus in Omaha.

Law enforcement officers from across the country are attending this morning’s service. Thousands are also at Omaha’s CenturyLink Center where services are telecast on large screens.

The streets are currently lined with citizens holding flags and wearing blue to honor the fallen officer.

Thousands of people paid their respects to Officer Orozco Monday during visitation and a vigil at St. John’s Church.