On February 8, 2019, Eric Nelson, the principal of an Omaha Public School (OPS) elementary school, Fontenelle Elementary, was arrested after being accused of failing to report a teacher’s suspicious behavior.
In December 2018, Gregory Sedlacek, a first-grade teacher, was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child, a seven-year-old first-grader. The arrest took place after teachers contacted the Nebraska child abuse hotline and reported inappropriate contact between Sedlacek and the student on the school’s playground. Since then, Sedlacek has been charged with six counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of third-degree sexual assault of a child.
The winter season often brings many driving concerns that anyone who uses a vehicle should know about. One of the biggest dangers is black ice. It’s incredibly difficult to spot because it’s clear ice that forms on the road. When vehicles hit black ice, the driver can lose control of the vehicle. If they’re traveling at high speeds or don’t know how to handle black ice, there’s a good chance their vehicle could spin out or swerve out of their lane and collide with another vehicle or fixed object.
With every new year comes new laws. If you reside in Nebraska, these changes may impact your life in some way. It’s important to remain aware of changes and how they affect you, so you can not only make sure you are abiding by the law, but also make sure you are receiving any benefits or services you are entitled to.
Worker’s compensation benefits will increase.
Annual benefits are set to rise in Nebraska. The maximum rate for disability benefits will increase from $831 to $855. Mileage reimbursements for medical visits and vocational rehabilitation are also set to increase from $0.545 per mile to $0.58. These annual increases ensure that compensation to those eligible remains adequate from practical and constitutional perspectives.
There are a number of other changes happening regarding workers’ compensation. Those changes include the following:
- Individuals can formally file pleadings by 11:59:59 pm, instead of waiting for formal business hours to get a document stamped. Appeals can also be filed electronically now.
- More detailed information about third-party cases must be provided to the court in settlements that require court approval.
- Doctors are now allowed to refer patients to physician-owned specialty hospitals. These hospitals are often able to perform procedures at a lower cost; however, the law prohibits these facilities from taking Medicare and Medicaid.
If your loved one is in a nursing home or long-term care facility, you may be concerned that they’re not getting the care they deserve. When your loved one is being wrongfully abused or neglected, their health can severely decline and their quality of life is not what it should be. If you fear for your family member’s safety, you should be aware that there are certain signs of elder abuse that you can look for. You should also know that neglect– in all forms– is a type of abuse and is legally considered abuse.
When the weather is bad, it’s usually more likely that the roads will be dangerous and accidents have a higher chance of happening. It’s important to take stock of the weather and make sure you’re driving safely. But while you may do everything you can to avoid an accident, a another negligent driver may not do this and cause a collision.
To make sure you’re ready for poor driving conditions, let’s take a look at what the weather does to the road and what will probably happen as a result.
Nebraska sees thousands of car accidents every year and many of those accidents have serious consequences. Just in 2017, the Nebraska Department of Transportation reported there were 22,511 crashes that resulted in property damage, 12,278 that resulted in injury, 1,228 where victims were seriously injured, and 210 where fatalities occurred.
While being in a car crash is often a traumatic experience that happens in seconds, it can feel like it’s happening in slow motion. Knowing what to do for yourself and your passengers in a life-threatening situation can be crucial to everyone’s physical wellbeing after the event is over. Let’s take a look at the best ways to prevent injury during a crash.
Nebraska has new child safety restraint laws that were implemented as of January 1st, 2019. As a parent, it’s important to understand these new laws and be familiar with when your child requires a car seat or safety restraint when in a motorized vehicle.
The new laws are in place to help parents protect their children as much as possible in the case of an unfortunate accident. You’ll also want to keep in mind that the new laws come with court fines when the laws aren’t followed.
Previously, these were the laws governing child restraints:
- Children age six and below must be secured in a safety seat that’s federally approved.
- Children ages six to eighteen must be properly restrained when in a car. Depending on age, the child needs to be in a safety seat or wearing a seatbelt.
- Children aren’t allowed to ride in cargo areas.
- Those providing childcare must transport children in a safety seat or must be wearing a safety belt.
- Drivers and front seat passengers must wear a safety belt or in a child safety seat.
- If the driver has a provisional operators permit (POP) or a school permit, then everyone in the vehicle needs to wear a seatbelt.
As the calendar creeps forward, it’s time to expect cold temperatures and winter storms. When it snows or sleets, the result often leaves the roads in poor conditions, and drivers are at risk of sliding or losing control of the vehicle. While poor weather may be enough to make you stay in on the weekend, many of us need to brave the roads to get to work during the week. During these early hours, it may be common for you to see snow plows getting rid of the snow and covering the roads in salt.
It’s important for drivers to know how to navigate the roads while being attentive to the weather and larger vehicles like snow plows. With the correct knowledge, people can drive confidently when the road conditions are perfect.
Drive Safely Near Snow Plows
The Nebraska Department of Transportation has a safety guide for how you should drive when you encounter a snow plow. When you’re driving near a snow plow, exercise caution with the following steps:
- Slow Down. Snow plows typically drive 25-30 miles per hour less than the given speed limit. They need to move carefully so they can do their job and not cause a major accident. When you’re behind a snow plow, it may be tempting to pass them. However, it’s important to remember that the road ahead is likely not cleared yet, and the drivers have more blind spots. Snow plows can also get pushed to the side from snow drifts and may cause a collision.
- Don’t Pass in Snow Clouds. The plow may create snow clouds from pushing the snow to the side, which can decrease your visibility. Don’t pass in these situations because you may not see other vehicles or snow drifts. The clouds can also obscure someone’s vision of you.
- Never Pass a Plow on the Right. If you’re going to pass a plow, never do so from the right lane. Some plows are equipped with an extension that goes on the side of the truck. You may not be able to see it because of the snow.
- Deicing Material. Plows are often doing more than clearing snow. They usually also leave salt, sand, or another chemical agent on the road to clear away snow and ice. Give the snow plow plenty of room so you’re not sprayed with deicing material.
- Be Aware. If there’s a plow on the road with you, awareness is key. You need to see where it is, get an idea of its speed, and make sure you’re not doing anything that could potentially cause an accident.
With these points in mind, you’ll be more comfortable driving around snow plows and will know how to keep yourself safe in their presence.
Rural driving is completely different than driving in an urban area. Traffic is significantly quieter, there are fewer traffic lights and signs to stop at, and traveling can be considerably less stressful. Even with those benefits, there are dangers associated with driving on rural roads.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, the majority of highway fatalities take place on rural roads. While only 19 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, nearly 54 percent of crash fatalities occur on these roads. It’s important to understand how to avoid accidents in these areas by recognizing why the numbers are so high. Let’s take a look at the rural accident information for Nebraska.
We all know that talking or texting on a hand-held device while behind the wheel is dangerous. Just in Nebraska, there are thousands of distracted driving-related car accident every year. Many of these are a result of using a cell phone. But what about hands-free devices? Are they able to prevent distracted accidents by putting drivers’ hands back on the wheel?
A hands-free device could be the speakerphone feature on your device, a Bluetooth earpiece, or the dashboard system installed in your vehicle. Although hands-free devices are generally safer than those that are handheld, they are not risk-free. There are still a number of dangers involved when a driver does not fully concentrate on the road.