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The city clerk is Elizabeth Butler. The City of Omaha administers twelve departments, including finance, police , human rights, libraries and planning. The council enacts local ordinances and approves the city budget. Government priorities and activities are established in a budget ordinance approved annually. The council takes official action through the passage of ordinances and resolutions.

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Nebraska's constitution grants the option of home rule to cities with more than 5, residents, meaning they may operate under their own charters. Omaha is one of only three cities in Nebraska to use this option, out of 17 eligible. Although registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats in the 2nd congressional district , which includes Omaha, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama opened three campaign offices in the city with 15 staff members to cover the state in fall This was an exceptional win, because with Nebraska's split electoral vote system Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win an electoral vote in Nebraska since In , Nebraska lawmakers moved Offutt Air Force Base and the town of Bellevue — an area with a large minority population — out of the Omaha-based 2nd District and shifted in the Republican-heavy Omaha suburbs in Sarpy County.

The move is expected to dilute the city's urban Democratic vote.

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Omaha's rate of violent crimes per , residents has been lower than the average rates of three dozen United States cities of similar size. Unlike Omaha, those cities have experienced an increase in violent crime overall since Rates for property crime have decreased for both Omaha and its peer cities during the same time period.

As a major industrial city into the midth century, Omaha shared in social tensions that came with rapid growth and the arrival of large numbers of immigrants and migrants. Persistent poverty resulting from racial discrimination and job losses generated different crimes in the late 20th century, with drug trade and drug abuse becoming associated with violent crime rates, which climbed after as Los Angeles gangs made affiliates in the city.

Gambling in Omaha has been an important part of the city's history. From its founding in the s through the s, the city was known as a "wide-open" town where gambling of all sorts was openly accepted. By the s, at the same time large-scale restructuring of the railroads, the meatpacking industry and other sectors caused widespread job losses and unemployment, Omaha reportedly had more illicit gambling than any other city in the nation. Today, gambling in Omaha is limited to keno , lotteries , and parimutuel betting. This leaves Omahans to drive across the Missouri River to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where casinos are legal and many businesses operate.

Recently, the National Indian Gaming Commission approved a controversial proposal made by the Ponca tribe of Nebraska. It will allow the tribe to build a casino in Carter Lake, Iowa , which sits on the west side of the Missouri River, adjacent to Omaha, where casinos are illegal. Omaha has many public and private educational institutions, including Omaha Public Schools , the largest public school district in Nebraska, that serves more than 47, students in more than 75 schools.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha operates numerous private Catholic schools with 21, students in 32 elementary schools and nine high schools. Cecilia Grade School at Webster St. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School award. The Westside Community Schools, also known as District 66, is an award-winning district in the heart of Omaha. It serves students in pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade and recorded a district enrollment of 6, students K for the school year. Omaha is also home to Brownell-Talbot School , Nebraska's only preschool through grade 12, independent college preparatory school.

There are eleven colleges and universities among Omaha's higher education institutions, including the University of Nebraska Omaha. News and World Report. There are more than 10 other colleges and universities in the Omaha metro area. The city is the focus of the Omaha designated market area , and is the 76th largest in the United States. Omaha Magazine []. The major daily newspaper in Nebraska is the Omaha World-Herald , which is the largest employee-owned newspaper in the United States. Cox Communications provides cable television services throughout the metropolitan area. Satellite providers such as DirecTV and Dish Network and the local programming they offer are also available throughout the metropolitan area.

Retail natural gas and water public utilities in Omaha are provided by the Metropolitan Utilities District. All electric utilities are non-profit and customer-owned. Electricity in the city is provided by the Omaha Public Power District. CenturyLink and Cox provide local telephone and internet services.

The City of Omaha maintains two modern sewage treatment plants. Northern provides three natural gas lines to Omaha. Enron formerly owned UtiliCorp United, Inc. Peoples Natural Gas, a division of Aquila, Inc.

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There are several hospitals in Omaha. The Boys Town facility is well known for hearing-related research and treatment. Omaha's central role in the history of transportation across America earned it the nickname "Gate City of the West. First housed in the former Herndon House , the Union Pacific Railroad's corporate headquarters have been in Omaha since the company began. Amtrak , the national passenger rail system, provides service through Omaha.

The Greyhound Lines terminal is at Jackson St. Megabus has a stop at Crossroads Mall — N 72nd St. Metro Transit , previously known as Metro Area Transit, is the local bus system.

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Omaha's position as a transportation center was finalized with the opening of the Union Pacific Missouri River Bridge that linked the transcontinental railroad to the railroads terminating in Council Bluffs. In the s, the Illinois Central drawbridge opened as the largest bridge of its type in the world. Route 6 and Nebraska Link 28B and U. Route has been upgraded to freeway standards from I to Fremont.

A study by Walk Score ranked Omaha 26th most walkable of fifty largest U.

Omaha is laid out on a grid plan , with 12 blocks to the mile with a north-to-south house numbering system. Cleveland who sought to combine the beauty of parks with the pleasure of driving cars. Eppley Airfield , Omaha's airport, serves the region with over 5 million passengers in As of , the airport has non-stop service to 34 destinations.

Offutt Air Force Base continues to serve as a military airbase; it is at the southern edge of Bellevue, which in turn lies immediately south of Omaha. Omaha has six sister cities : []. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Omaha disambiguation.

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City in Nebraska, United States. Gateway to the West, [1] The Big O. Members list. Main article: History of Omaha, Nebraska. See also: History of North Omaha, Nebraska. Main article: Neighborhoods of Omaha, Nebraska. Main article: Ethnic groups in Omaha, Nebraska. Main article: Economy of Omaha, Nebraska. Main article: Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Main article: Old Market Omaha, Nebraska. Main article: Music of Omaha. Main article: Sports in Omaha, Nebraska. Main articles: Parks in Omaha and Trails in Omaha. Main article: Government of Omaha.

Main article: Crime in Omaha, Nebraska. Further information: Gambling in Omaha, Nebraska. Main article: Education in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Main article: Media in Omaha, Nebraska. Further information: List of tallest buildings in Omaha, Nebraska. Main article: Transportation in Omaha. Further information: Railroads in Omaha and Trails in Omaha. Main article: List of people from Omaha, Nebraska.