Questions of the Week — Readers ask about Crime Stoppers’ funds, spike strips, voter ID, traffic arrows, museum

The following questions were asked recently by inquiring readers:

 

Q: When I see Crime Stoppers messages about crimes that are being investigated and they offer rewards for information leading to the arrest of the person or people involved, my question is where does that reward money come from? Who pays for that?

A: The York County Crime Stoppers’ income solely comes from community donations. So the rewards are paid out from a fund that is totally reliant on donations.

Donations are always needed, in order to keep the very successful York County Crime Stoppers program running and to keep providing reward money which has proved to be an effective method of gathering information from the public.

Over the last four decades, the York County Crime Stoppers organization has, through its assistance for local law enforcement, helped recover over $113,000 in property loss and has maintained a 100% conviction rate (regarding the criminal investigations it has been involved with).

All donations are tax deductible.

If someone wants to make a donation, they can do so by mailing it York County Crime Stoppers, PO Box 184, York, NE 68467.

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Q: Sometimes, in news stories about high-speed pursuits, it says spike strips were used to stop the perpetrator.

What is a spike strip device?

A: A spike strip device is a hand-emplaced, prefabricated strip of material with embedded, hollow steel spikes used to impede vehicle progression. Spiked strips cause a rapid deflation of tires within 10 seconds, allowing for controlled deceleration at access control points and checkpoints, according to defense.gov.

 

Q: If I vote early, for the Primary, does the voter identification requirement pertain like it will at the polls?

A: Yes.

As explained by the Nebraska Secretary of State:

Photo IDs include a Nebraska driver’s license, Nebraska State ID (acquired from the DMV), Nebraska college ID, a United States passport, a military ID, a tribal ID, and hospital/assisted living facility/nursing home record.

All identification must include a photo and a name.

IDs can be expired.

How it works:

  • When voting in person at the polls, present a photo ID or vote provisionally.
  • Voting early at the election office: present a photo ID or vote provisionally.
  • Voting early by mail: Write driver’s license/state ID number on ballot application or enclose a copy of photo ID or reasonable impediment certification with your ballot application.
  • Voting in by-mail precincts or by-mail special elections: Write driver’s license/state ID number on ballot return envelope or enclose a copy of photo ID or reasonable impediment certification in your ballot return envelope.
  • Active-duty military members, active-duty military spouses and citizens overseas covered by Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act are exempt from voter ID.

If you forget your ID, you will fill out a provisional ballot. For your ballot to count, you will need to present a photo ID to your county election office on or before the Tuesday after the election.

If you don’t have an ID, you can get a state ID for free (for voting purposes) from the Nebraska DMV. You will need to bring certain documents to get a state ID, so check with the DMV website ahead of your visit.

If you need a copy of your birth certificate to get a free state ID, you can get a free certified copy of your Nebraska birth certificate from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. This is only available if you do not have an ID and need a state ID for voting purposes.

If you cannot get an ID due to disability/illness, religious objection to being photographed, or lack of documents to obtain a free state ID, you can complete a reasonable impediment certification.

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Q: In recent weeks, I have noticed quite a few semis and vehicles in the wrong lanes while exiting the interstate at the York exit. There are no signs, no painted arrows and no arrow signals on the stoplight. I nearly witnessed an accident when a semi in the left lane tried turning right at the same time that a semi in the right lane tried turning left. My question is whether there are plans to better control this intersection with traffic lights, painted lines on the roadway, or signage for lanes?

A: This area is the responsibility of the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT), so it is up to the state to make those decisions. No one with the NDOT was readily able to answer that specific question.

It is possible some of these directional signs might still be added as the reconstruction of that area recently took place.

 

Q: What are the open hours for the Anna Bemis Palmer Museum in York?

A: The museum is open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

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Q: What time will the solar eclipse start next Monday, as far as entering the United States?

A: The eclipse will enter the United States through Texas, starting its partial eclipse phase at around 12:20 p.m., in Dallas, according to information from NASA. Totality is set to begin in Dallas around 1:40 p.m., and last until 1:44 p.m., in Dallas.

The times that totality is experienced in different places throughout the country will obviously vary, as the eclipse moves through North America.

 

Q: Will we, here in eastern Nebraska, get to see any sign of the eclipse next Monday? I know it will be nothing like we saw the last time, because we aren’t in the line of totality, but I was curious as to if we will see anything.

A: News agencies say the sun will be about 80% obscured in eastern Nebraska and less so further west. If viewed with proper eye protection, it will be able to be viewed to some extent.

The partial experience in eastern Nebraska will start at 12:38 p.m., with the maximum effect being seen in at 1:53 p.m.

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