April 17, 2014

Nebraska runners remember Boston Marathon tragedy

Today is the one year anniversary of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. About fifteen members of the Omaha Ndorfinz Racing Team took part in the race and all returned home unharmed. Derek Sey is a member of the team and competed in the marathon back in 2009. He has talked with a number of runners taking part this year.  The bombing did not impact their decision to run but they will be remembering the three killed and more than 260 injured. He says the Boston Marathon is the World Series of running and those who qualify are anxious to take part. 

Ashley Wiles is from Omaha and will run in the Boston Marathon on Monday. She had several friends that ran last year and one crossed the finish line about the time of the explosion. Both escaped injury. One was a physician and both turned their attention to the victims. Wiles says last year’s bombing didn’t impact her decision to run this year but will remember the victims with every step she takes.

More than 100 runners from Nebraska have signed up for the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Four die in weather-related traffic crashes

Four Nebraskans have died in weather-related accidents over the past 24 hours.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office reports an elderly couple died in a crash in northeastern Nebraska Sunday afternoon. The office says 85-year-old Virlyn Lukens of Emerson and his 77-year-old wife, Marvel Lukens, were killed when Virlyn lost control of their pick-up near Hoskins on icy Highway 35 and a SUV trailing them ran into the pick-up.

The driver of the SUV, 45-year-old Robbi Johnson of Norfolk, was taken to a Norfolk hospital.

Omaha police report a 58-year-old Omaha man died from injuries suffered in the wreck of his van last night.

Police report Roy Tiller was driving too fast on snow-covered streests around 10 o’clock Sunday evening. He was driving south off westbound Storz Expressway onto Highway 75. Tiller lost control of the van. It hit a guardrail twice, ejecting him.

Officials report rain turned to heavy, wet snow in Omaha last night worsening driving conditions throughout the evening.

A young Lincoln woman was killed in a weather-related traffic accident early this morning just outside the city limits of Lincoln.

Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner says 27-year-old Jessica Lyons was a passenger in the backset of the SUV when the driver lost control of the vehicle on a patch of ice. It spun into the ditch.

Wagner says Lyons was thrown from the SUV. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The driver, 45-year-old John Norbert, was a Lincoln Journal Star carrier who was training Jessica and her husband John on the paper route. Norbert suffered serious injuries. John Lyons was treated and released.

Jane Monnich, KLIN, and Karla James contributed to this story.

A single organ donor can help to save eight other lives

Nebraskans are being encouraged to sign up to be organ donors and to let their loved ones know they’ve done so and why.

Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health at the U-S Department of Health and Human Services, says it’s easy — and important — to register to become an organ, eye and tissue donor.

“Over 120,000 people are on waiting lists hoping for a chance at life-saving organ donation,” Dr. Koh says. “Nearly 2,000 of them are kids and tragically, every day in our country, some 18 people die on those waiting lists hoping for organ donation.”

This week, 445 Nebraskans are on waiting lists for transplants. Last year, 107 Nebraskans received transplants.

While you may have checked the box to become an organ donor the last time you renewed your driver’s license, Koh says that’s not enough.

“The actual decision to donate is often made by a family member at the bedside about to lose a loved one,” Koh says. “That’s why it’s critically important for that family member to know what your intentions are. That’s why these discussions can be very sensitive when these decisions are not known ahead of time.”

Of the 445 Nebraskans on the transplant waiting list, more than 200 need a new kidney and another 169 need a new liver.

“These are issues that are effecting every state, every community and the numbers of people on waiting lists are only going up over time, not down, which is very, very troubling,” Koh says. “That’s why everybody needs to be informed and be told that they can make a difference.”

One donor, Koh says, can save as many as eight lives and help as many as 50 more people through corneal and tissue donations.

Learn more about the Nebraska Organ Recovery System at http://www.nedonation.org



Omaha girl suffers dog bite, safety prevention tips

A 9 year old Omaha girl is now recovering at home after being released from a hospital Monday. On Saturday a family friend brought over a one-year-old Old English Bulldog and was bit in the face. The girl will need reconstructive surgery. The owner was cited and the dog is quarantined at the Nebraska Humane Society.

N-H-S spokesperson Pam Wiese says this is a reminder that every dog has the potential to bite and parents should remind their children dog safety. Wiese says if a person is approached by a snarling dog, don’t run. She says the best thing one can do is “be a tree”. That means stop, place arms straight down to the side and don’t make eye contact with the dog. Chances are the dog will bark, sniff and then move on.

She says many dogs bite when they are sleeping and then startled. She says others are protective of their food or chew toy and could bite to protect what is theirs. Dogs are also protective of their environment so never approach a dog behind a fence or if they are in a car.

Wiese says there is always an increase in the number of dog bites reported in the spring and summer months. More people are spending time outside and there is a bigger chance that gates are left open and dogs escape their yards.

3-Alarm fire destroys Omaha bookstore and thrift shop

Omaha firefighters battled a three-alarm blaze Sunday night that destroyed a book store and thrift shop. Investigators say the fire at 73rd and Maple Streets caused nearly $1-million in damage. A nearby apartment building was evacuated as a safety precaution but no one was injured.

Omaha Fire Chief Bernie Kanger says due to the extensive damage it may take quite some time to determine the cause.