HistoryOffutt’s heritage began with the construction of Fort Crook, an Army outpost, which was completed in 1896, and named for Major General George Crook, a renowned Indian fighter and Civil War hero. In the spring of 1921, a flying field was created and designated as Offutt Field in May 1924 in honor of 1st Lt Jarvis J. Offutt, Omaha’s first World War I air casualty. In late 1940, Fort Crook was chosen as the site for a bomber construction plant which produced a total of 531 B-29 Superfortresses and 1,585 B-26 Marauders before the end of World War II. These included the Enola Gay and Bock’s Car, the two B-29s that dropped atomic bombs in Japan. Production ended in September 1945. In June 1946, Fort Crook and the bomber plant facilities were redesignated as Offutt Field and transferred to the Department of the Air Force on January 13, 1948, to become Offutt Air Force Base. Offutt became the host base for Headquarters Strategic Air Command on November 9, 1948. The Strategic Air Command was disestablished June 1, 1992 and the new, unified command, US Strategic Command was activated. The command of this joint headquarters is rotated between Air Force and Navy. At the time Strategic Air Command was disestablished, Offutt AFB became part of the Air Combat Command. For more history visit Offutt’s homepage.
There’s relief for South Florida residents with criminal history searching for public jobs in Miami-Dade. On Tuesday, the county commission voted 8-4 to remove the question that asks for previous criminal convictions from county government application forms. The question, however, will remain for those applying in law enforcement, fire-rescue, and corrections.Miami employee consultant Christie Billings, an ardent advocate on this issue, hailed the decision.“Hundreds, if not thousands, of otherwise qualified individuals have been denied jobs because of answering yes to having prior convictions. No matter if this conviction was for a petty crime like shop-lifting, or possession of small quantities of weed, this is usually a job application killer,” Billings said. “It’s only fair every applicant has the same chance to at least advance to the job interview. There, the applicant can be assessed on his or her experience and qualification, and adequately explain any criminal history, rather than being purged from the hiring process from the outset.”The removal, however, doesn’t mean county job applicants no longer have to undergo criminal background checks. But such checks, like drug tests, will only be conducted when the applicant becomes a finalist.County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime, a prime initiator for the change, said the decision “give people a chance to make an honest living instead of perpetuating the inequalities in the justice system. If someone has proven their ability to benefit their community, we owe it to them to give them…a second chance, and not unfairly exclude them before we find out about their qualifications.”Billings said she has no problem with criminal background checks as the “last hurdle,” but believe applicants should be made aware of this when they apply.Billings is part of a national movement called “Ban the Box,” which seeks to remove arrest check boxes on job applications. So far, Florida has not “banned the box,” although the cities of Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville have.“Plans are being pursued to take this issue to the state Legislature,” Billings said. “We have to give people a fair chance.”
The Aggies have yet to leave their home state for a game this season. And though the stock from their Arizona State win appears to be on the rise, their résumé as a whole remains thin. That all changes if they can take down the Crimson Tide. Alabama seems to thrive in hostile environs, but it should also be noted that Georgia’s power-based offense played into the Crimson Tide’s defensive strength up front.A&M’s spread attack has more in common with the Mississippi offense that caused Alabama trouble. Aggies QB Kyle Allen will look to take advantage of speedy targets like Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds, but Alabama LB Reggie Ragland always seems to be in the right spot to stop big gainers. Tide QB Jake Coker might have found his deep threat in freshman WR Calvin Ridley, though he’ll continue to utilize TBs Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake to do the heavy lifting. No matter what play Alabama calls, Aggies DE Myles Garrett must be kept out of the backfield.No. 11 Florida at No. 5 LSU7 p.m. ET, ESPN | 5dimes line: LSU by 6Truth be told, this is not a must-win game for either team, because the loser will still control its own destiny in its division of the SEC. One might argue that LSU needs it more because those teams left on the Tigers’ slate pose a more formidable challenge than the Gators’ second-half opponents. But Florida won’t want to take anything for granted, and a victory at night in Baton Rouge would elevate the Gators to league favorite status.The biggest question facing the Gators is how the team will function with Treon Harris back at QB. He has starting experience from a year ago, though most of it wasn’t positive. LB Kendell Beckwith and the LSU defense won’t make his job any easier.The game’s other major storyline is how well TB Leonard Fournette, the Tigers’ Heisman favorite, handles the best defense he’s seen to date. LSU QB Brandon Harris has maintained ball security, but he might have to take more chances to keep Gators LBs Antonio Morrison and Jarrad Davis honest.Arizona State at No. 7 Utah10 p.m. ET, ESPN | 5dimes line: Utah by 7An opening-week loss to Texas A&M and a subsequent thrashing at the hands of Southern California put the Sun Devils in an early hole. But they took down UCLA, which was ranked in the top 10 at the time, on the road. They certainly feel like they can do it again, but the Utes have protected their home turf well against solid competition already.Arizona State QB Mike Bercovici has shown pinpoint accuracy in his most recent outings, but FS Marcus Williams and the Utah secondary are proven pass thieves; Utah is tied for the NCAA lead in turnover margin is tied for fourth in interceptions. As good as Utah TB Devontae Booker has been, the Utes have still struggled to finish in the red zone on occasion. Sun Devils LB Salamo Fiso will look to keep it that way.Southern California at No. 13 Notre Dame7:30 p.m. ET, NBC | 5dimes line: Notre Dame by 4Without the benefit of a conference title for which to compete and with a “1” already in the loss column, there’s no margin for error for the Fighting Irish. The Trojans are likely in spoiler mode for the rest of the campaign, but they’d love to start that right here against one of their traditional rivals. Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of the end of Steve Sarkisian’s coaching tenure in terms of on-field performance was the Trojans’ offensive troubles. But don’t expect QB Cody Kessler to hold anything in reserve as he looks to make the second half of his senior season more memorable.Notre Dame’s defensive centerpiece, LB Jaylon Smith, will try to keep him under wraps. The primary weapons for the Irish, TB C.J. Prosise and WR Will Fuller, must steer clear of Trojans LB Su’a Cravens.Keep an eye on these matchups Saturday as well: Penn State at No. 1 Ohio State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC — The Nittany Lions fell off the radar when they lost to Temple in Week 1 and are still struggling on offense, but the Buckeyes haven’t exactly been dominant themselves. … No. 12 Mississippi at No. 22 Memphis, noon ET, ABC/ESPN2 — A win here gives Memphis a huge boost in its quest to represent the Group of Five conferences in a major bowl, so the Rebels, who still have plenty of work to do in the SEC, must come prepared. … No. 17 Iowa at No. 21 Northwestern, noon ET, ABC/ESPN2 — The winner here emerges as the Big Ten West leader and becomes a dark-horse playoff contender, particularly if the Hawkeyes, who already own a victory against Wisconsin, prevail.COLLEGE FOOTBALL VIDEO PLAYLIST Now that every FBS team is in the midst of conference competition, it can sometimes be difficult to pick the five games that have the greatest impact on the College Football Playoff race.Well OK, some are easy, and as always Saturday is likely to see results that shake up the Playoff picture like an Etch A Sketch. But here are our picks for the top five in a busy Week 7, led by three head-to-head matchups of ranked teams.No. 4 Michigan State at No. 14 Michigan3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN | 5dimes line: Michigan by 6½The Spartans still have the clean slate, but it’s hard to make the case that they’ve been playing better than the Wolverines of late. Add in the fact that the game is at the Big House, and it’s understandable why Las Vegas has Michigan favored. A fourth consecutive shutout for the Wolverines would almost certainly be too much to expect, but Michigan State has struggled to move the ball on the ground thanks to a spate of injuries on the interior line.QB Connor Cook has done enough to keep the Spartans afloat, but hard hitters like Michigan LB Joe Bolden and S Jabrill Peppers could make his day difficult. Michigan hasn’t been an offensive juggernaut, either, and QB Jake Rudock still has thrown more intereptions (six) than TD passes (five). Spartans DE Shilique Calhoun will do his best to cause more miscues.No. 9 Alabama at No. 10 Texas A&M3:30 p.m. ET, CBS | 5dimes line: Alabama by 4½Follow the road to the 2015 College Football Playoff at The Football Four, our home to rate and debate the nation’s best.