November 23, 2014

Gov. Heineman guest speaker at Omaha Veterans Day program

Omaha’s annual Veterans Day program is Tuesday, 11 am, at  Memorial Park near 60th and Dodge Street.

American Legion Post 1 in Omaha is organizing the event and spokesman Fred Tisdale says guests include Governor Dave Heineman and Nebraska 2nd District Congressman Lee Terry. Representatives from U-S Senators Mike Johanns’ and Deb Fischer’s office will also attend.   USSTRATCOM Commander, Admiral Cecil Haney is one of several guest speakers.

Tisdale says another guest speaker is a representative with Benson High Magnet Schools JROTC. Last June the group went to Normandy, France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The JROTC will make a presentation to American Legion Post 1 and to a WWII veteran who landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.

Tisdale says it is important that everyone remembers and celebrates Veterans Day.  The program and ceremony is open to the public.

Nebr. Dept of Labor / Offutt Career Fair Thursday

Those in eastern Nebraska looking for work need to mark Thursday, October 30th on their calendar.

Deb Christensen with the Nebraska Department of Labor says they are teaming with the Family & Readiness Center at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue for a career fair with 140 employers taking part.

Christensen says every business has to have at least one opening to participate. She says there are dozens of fields ranging from IT, health care, insurance and finance to manufacturing and production.

Christensen says that while this job fair is geared toward current and former military members, it is open to civilians as well.

The career fair is at the Lied Activities Center at 2700 Arboretum Drive in Bellevue from 10 am until 2 pm.

Sen. Fischer says country must upgrade nuclear weapons

Sen. Deb Fischer

Sen. Deb Fischer

Sen. Deb Fischer has returned to Washington after touring the three nuclear weapon facilities in the United States.

Fischer, a member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, visited the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Fischer says those sites are a key to maintaining what she calls the backbone of our nuclear deterrent.

“You know, we have aging nuclear weapons and they take them apart, they inspect them to make sure that if they need to be used those weapons are going to perform the way they’re intended to perform,” Fischer tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.

Fischer says the president and Congress have made a commitment to upgrade its nuclear weapons.

“But we have fallen short on it. So, I have some concerns on that and to make sure that our country is modernizing the weapons we have,” Fischer says. “Other countries are doing that. They’ve made the financial commitment and they are doing that. And we need to make sure our arsenal, our nuclear deterrent, is well maintained and is always at the ready.”

The United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is located in Nebraska, based in Bellevue.

Congressman says Congress should return, debate ISIL threat

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry

A Nebraska Congressman suggests Congress should return to Washington and debate the threat the Islamic State poses.

Islamic State, ISIL, ISIS; whatever you call it Congressman Jeff Fortenberry sees a grave threat to civilization itself.

Fortenberry supports President Barack Obama’s action to launch air strikes against ISIL.

“With certain conditions. That this continue to be an international effort,” Fortenberry tells Nebraska Radio Network. “America cannot fight this alone nor can we stop it alone, nor should we. Sunni Muslim countries have to fight. Iraqis have to regenerate their central government in Baghdad and their army has to fight for itself.”

The difficulty lies in identifying who to support.

“This is complex and multi-layered,” according to Fortenberry. “People blend in the population very easily. There are shifting loyalties. It’s not one side versus the other all the time. Sides can shift.”

Fortenberry says the legal authority the president is relying on to attack ISIL is old, perhaps outdated. Fortenberry suggests that not only does the president need Congressional authority for further action, Congress needs to debate the threat itself.

But, would a session of Congress devolve into petty politics?

“Well, that’s probably part of the underlying resistance to doing this in the short term,” according to Fortenberry. “I just think the question is so serious that it ought to transcend politics and we ought to address it immediately.”

AUDIO:  Brent Martin reports [1 min.]

American group providing aid to thousands after ISIS attacks

A humanitarian aid group that started in Kansas City is on the ground in Iraq helping thousands of people as they flee the terror group ISIS.  Sean Malone with Crisis Response International just returned from Iraq.  Malone says up to 200,000 Christians and others have fled from Mosul, which is under ISIS control to the town of Irbil, where his group is set up.

“These people are being traumatized day in and day out, living for fear of their lives that they would be beheaded or crucified,” Malone says. “They’re also afraid they’ll be apart of some mass killing from ISIS.”

According to Malone, the Kurdish soldiers are fighting ISIS bravely, but ISIS has stolen valuable equipment that was provided to Iraqi forces by the United States. Malone notes that Kurdish fighters are asking his group for assistance and better equipment.

“We don’t have night vision. They took your equipment that you supplied Iraq with,” Malone notes, from conversations he had with Kurdish fighters. “ISIS now has night vision and now at night time, they can attack us and we can’t hold these lines without better equipment”

“That just broke my heart.”

Malone says hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes because ISIS has threatened them with death if they don’t covert to Islam or pay a $10,000 dollar fine for being Christian.  Malone returned from Iraq five days ago, but several other teams from his group are still working in Iraq.

KLIN’s Kevin Thomas contributed to this report. Malone appeared on Thomas’ afternoon program “Drive Time Lincoln with Kevin Thomas” on KLIN Radio in Lincoln.