Naming process starts for new VA cemetery
Omaha National Cemetery might be called something entirely different when it opens for internments in 2016.
A recent meeting gathered veterans organization leaders from the area to discuss naming suggestions for the national veterans cemetery that will be built at Schram Road and Highway 50 in Sarpy County. Construction should begin in September 2015.
Glenn Madderom, the National Cemetery Administration's chief of cemetery development, offered some examples to help guide the brainstorming session. “We have a cemetery in Sturgis (S.D.) that is named Black Hills National Cemetery,” he said. “It's more identifiable with the region than just calling it Sturgis National Cemetery.”
He noted the new Nebraska cemetery will serve the veteran population in Lincoln and eastern Iowa as well as the Omaha metropolitan area. “The name should be inclusive,” Madderom said.
Suggestions at the meeting included Heartland National Cemetery, Heroes of the Heartland National Cemetery, Eastern Nebraska Western Iowa National Cemetery, Fort Crook National Cemetery, Strategic Air Command National Cemetery, Fort Omaha National Cemetery and Eastern Nebraska Great Plains National Cemetery.
The veterans groups have 60 days to submit their final suggestions to the VA, which will select the name.
Ralston changes rules on dogs and cats
Ralston has amended a decades-old ordinance governing pet ownership, now allowing residents to keep up to three cats or dogs in any combination. The City Council voted 5-1 to adopt the measure, which takes effect Thursday.
Kristyna Brozova, who moved to Ralston in June with boyfriend Chris Rush and two beagles, was intent on fostering a third canine until she learned the city's ordinance permitted up to two dogs and a cat or two cats and a dog, but not three of either species together. She appeared at council meetings over the summer and began crusading to change the law, tapping fellow residents and other dog advocates to make a case to the city.
After the final vote last week, Brozova said she was gratified by the number of people who stepped up to help and for the council's decision.
New police hire in Ralston to be an investigator
The Ralston Police Department is adding a 14th officer.
Police Chief Ron Murtaugh said the hire will allow the department to create a full-time investigator position, something he said has become a necessity.
“It's not that there's more crime, it's that the crimes we're investigating are requiring significantly more manpower: identity theft, credit card theft, fraud,” Murtaugh said. “There are crimes where we're having to drive clear across metro Omaha to get video and conduct interviews.”
Presently, investigative duties are split between two officers, a situation Murtaugh said is not easy, as the officers are on different shifts.
The addition of a 14th officer also reflects Ralston's growth, now with an estimated population of 7,300. Historically, Murtaugh said, Ralston has maintained a ratio of two officers to every 1,000 residents and the 14th officer will bring the department to that level.
Motorcycle safety focus of seminar series
The new year marks the start of a new motorcycle seminar series hosted by the Sarpy County Safety Program.
The “Motorcycling Is Fun” series, which will run throughout the year, is free and open to the public.
While intended for those who have done some motorcycle riding, the classes are open to those who are considering riding, too.
Seminars will be held monthly at the Sarpy County Law Enforcement Facility, 1208 Golden Gate Drive, from 7 to 9 p.m. More information can be found at http://sarpy.com/sheriff/safetyprogram/.