Omaha police officer Kerrie Orozco was shot and killed Wednesday while helping serve a felony arrest warrant. Investigators says the 29 year old Orozco and other officers were conducting surveillance on a shooting suspect, identified as 26-year-old Marcus D. Wheeler just before 1 P-M Wednesday. Police say Wheeler fired several shots at officers and then fled toward a nearby house. When officers confronted Wheeler, gunfire was exchanged between officers and the suspect, leading to Orozco’s fatal injuries. After a brief foot pursuit, officers found that Wheeler was also suffering from gunshot wounds and had a semi-automatic handgun with a high-capacity drum-type magazine lying next to him. Orozco and Wheeler were rushed to the hospital, where they later died. Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert has ordered flags in city to be lowered to half-staff in honor of Officer Orozco.
Farmers and ranchers who open their property to tourists could be shielded from certain lawsuits under a bill passed by state lawmakers. The legislature gave the measure final approval on today (Thursday) with a 46-0 vote. Senator Ken Schilz of Ogallala said he introduced the measure to promote rural tourism and give farmers and ranchers another potential revenue source without the fear of lawsuits. The bill is aimed at sites such as working farms and ranches, hiking trails, lakes and hunting and bird-watching areas. It also could apply to hayrack or boat rides, vineyard tours and haunted houses. A 2012 Nebraska Tourism Commission report found that liability and insurance concerns were a major roadblock to the tourism industry’s growth in the state.
A Lincoln resident has reached a personal milestone. This week Mark Behrends turned 110, qualifying him for supercentenarian status. The majority of people who reach that mark are women, notes Omaha dot-com. As for that inevitable question about the secret to his longevity, Behrends has a pretty good answer: beer. “He always told everybody the reason he has lived so long is drinking one can of beer, every day at 3 P-M,” says daughter Lois. He favors Miller but would be happy with “whatever kind was around.” Behrends lived his first 60 years on a farm, raising seven kids with wife Irene, before moving to the city,