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**UPDATE: The entire interview has been posted below.  It has been broken into three segments for ease of listening during your schedule.

A candid Mayor Stothert discusses the pandemic, the protests, the riots, and what she and her office are doing to drive change in Omaha.

Thursday, July 2nd at noon, from the studios at 33rd and Burt, a special, extended installment of “Live & Local.” 

Host Mike Hogan gets to sit down for an hour with the current and first woman mayor of the city of Omaha, Jean Stothert.   That will be broadcast live at noon and posted online after the broadcast.  You can listen at 91.5 FM or just click the “Play” button above.

Storm Chasers Cancel 2020 Season

Jul 1, 2020

The Omaha Storm Chasers will not be taking the field this year.  Minor League Baseball announced yesterday that it is canceling the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, Major League Baseball also announced that it would not provide its minor league affiliates with any players this year.  The Storm Chasers are still planning to stage its fireworks show at Werner Park on Friday.

There are now more than 19-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there were 19-thousand-42 COVID-19 cases and 269 deaths reported across the state since the pandemic started.  Douglas County has seen seven-thousand-19 cases.  There have been 741 coronavirus cases in Pottawattamie County during the pandemic, and 17-hundred in Lancaster County.

Lincoln Journal Star

The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska is approaching 19-thousand.  As of yesterday, there were 18-thousand-899 cases and 267 deaths reported statewide.   Douglas County has seen the most coronavirus cases in the state with nearly seven-thousand. State health figures show the number of hospital beds available in Nebraska has dropped below 40% as the state continues to see more COVID-19 cases confirmed. The state's online coronavirus tracker shows that as of Thursday, 2,330 of the state's total 3,834 hospital beds were occupied. That left 1,504, or 39%, of hospital beds available.

The following is a letter from Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan to the OPS staff.  Near the bottom of the letter is a link to live stream a presentation to the Board of Education tonight at 6:30 p.m.

To Our Omaha Public Schools Staff:

When early August arrives, more than five months will have passed since we last learned with students in-person. We have actively planned for a responsible reopening of our schools throughout the spring and summer. Your safety and care will continue to be at the forefront. You bring education to life for our young people.

Pandemic Leads To Record-Setting Fuel Tax

Jun 24, 2020

Nebraska's state motor fuels tax is expected to reach a new record high.  The "Omaha World Herald" reports that starting July 1st, the motor fuels tax will reach 33-point-two-cents per gallon, which marks an increase of nearly four cents.  State officials say the higher tax is needed to offset a loss of revenues to the state road-building fund due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nebraska Covid Total Surpasses 18,000

Jun 24, 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska is now more than 18-thousand.  Officials confirmed 135 new cases yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 18-thousand-92.  Douglas County has seen the most COVID-19 cases in Nebraska with more than 64-hundred.

Nebraska will extend its unemployment benefits for the first time in nearly 40 years in response to the mass layoffs triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The Nebraska Department of Labor says it will provide up to an additional 13 weeks for eligible recipients who have exhausted their regular or pandemic unemployment benefits. The extended benefits were triggered when the state unemployment rate hit 5.2% during the week of June 14. Other states are offering similar extended benefits based on their unemployment rate.

State health officials announced 189 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 17,415 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 240 deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services says 42 percent of hospital beds and 80 percent of ventilators are available. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says counties that require masks in government offices will not be eligible for coronavirus relief funds.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis schools have closed early, families have lost loved ones and over 38 million people have filed for unemployment. To answer the challenges here at home, Omaha Public Schools is participating in the UDSA Emergency Food Distribution program. KIOS’s Joshua LaBure talked with some of the staff at OPS.

Nebraska Prepares For Third Phase Of Reopening

Jun 16, 2020

The state of Nebraska is about to enter the third phase of its reopening plan.  Starting June 22nd, fan attendance at sports events will no longer be limited to household members of participants, food may be consumed at bars, indoor gatherings may be held at 50-percent capacity and outdoor gatherings can take place at 75-percent capacity.  Salons, barbershops, massage and tattoo businesses will be able to operate at 75-percent capacity, and capacity limits will also increase at childcare facilities.  Hall, Merrick, Dakota, and Hamilton counties will move into Phase Two of reopening while t

Dozens of new COVID-19 cases are reported in Nebraska.  State officials confirmed 92 cases yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 16-thousand-725.  There have been 216 COVID-19 deaths reported in Nebraska during the pandemic.  Nearly 58-hundred cases have been reported in Douglas County. Nebraska small businesses and livestock producers that took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic will get the chance to apply for financial assistance starting today.

There are now more than 16-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  One-hundred-42 new cases were confirmed yesterday bringing the statewide total to 16-thousand-25.  There have been 195 COVID-19 deaths in Nebraska.  Douglas County has seen the most cases in the state with 52-hundred-45.

More than 130 new COVID-19 cases are confirmed in Nebraska.  The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported 131 new cases yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 15-thousand-883.  There have been 191 COVID-19 deaths statewide.  Nearly one-third of Nebraska's coronavirus cases have been reported in Douglas County.

Two children in Nebraska have been diagnosed with a rare and serious inflammatory condition that’s linked to the new coronavirus. Last week, a 9-year-old Lexington boy was diagnosed with the condition. On Monday, the Douglas County Health Department announced that a child under 12 has been hospitalized with the condition. That news comes as the one-day total of new coronavirus cases dropped to under 100 for the first time since May 10.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska is growing.  As of yesterday, there had been 15-thousand-634 cases and 188 deaths reported across the state since the start of the pandemic.  More than five-thousand coronavirus cases have been reported in Douglas County. The Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha says the priests at St.

State Covid-19 Total Approaches 15,000

Jun 5, 2020

The Covid 19 infections total for Nebraska is approaching 15,000. Health officials in Douglas County announced three additional deaths from COVID-19 yesterday. There are now 45 deaths from the virus in the county, and 186 across Nebraska. The Douglas County Health Department says there are 4,769 confirmed cases of the virus in the area, including 1,101 who have recovered. Hospital capacity is relatively stable, with 42% of hospital beds, 46% of intensive care unit beds and 75% of ventilators available for use.

Gov. Pete Ricketts says Nebraska could see another flare-up of coronavirus cases because of the demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, but he concluded that allowing protesters to peacefully vent was more important than concerns about the pandemic. His comments came as new, lighter virus restrictions went into effect throughout most of the state. The restrictions approved by Ricketts allow bars, zoos, swimming pools and other public venues to reopen, with crowd limits based on a venue’s occupancy.

A top state health administrator says the coronavirus pandemic appears to be taking a disproportionate toll on Nebraska’s Hispanic, Asian and black residents. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services CEO Dannette Smith says data compiled so far is startling and state officials need to do more to address the problem. Among the 9,630 infected people whose races are known, Smith says 2,430 were minorities. About 40% of the residents who have been hospitalized with the virus identify as Hispanic, even though that group represents just 11% of the state’s overall population.

State health officials reported one additional death from COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 164 deaths from the virus in the state, and 13-thousand-261 confirmed cases. The Department of Health and Human Services says 41-percent of hospital beds and 79-percent of ventilators are available. Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced yesterday that she will allow some local restaurants to expand their outdoor dining areas. Baird said she will take emergency action to give the restaurants the opportunity to increase their capacity while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Nebraska’s tourism industry has lost millions of dollars in revenue to the coronavirus pandemic and will face major challenges as it tries to recover. Nebraska Tourism Commission Executive Director John Ricks says visitor spending was $152.6 million lower in March than it was at the same time last year. The tourism commission’s revenue from a state lodging tax dropped nearly 60% as well, indicating that hotels and motels were severely hit. Ricks says he’s hopeful that the governor’s recent moves to ease social-distancing restrictions on Monday will help.

  • Millions of Americans haven’t been able to pay their rent since the pandemic started spreading throughout the world and Nebraska has been no exception. As Governor Ricketts allows temporary rent protections to expire on June 1st, many fear we will see a huge influx of non-payment evictions in Omaha. Joshua LaBure of KIOS discusses this with the Omaha Legal Aid of Nebraska's managing attorny, Scott Mertz. 

Omaha-area hospitals are reporting another uptick in coronavirus patients, but local health officials are still managing the caseloads without any issues. Nebraska Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Gary Anthone, says Douglas County’s hospitals are treating 135 patients, up from 122 last week. But Anthone says the increase hasn’t had much of an impact on the available bed space or ventilators within the hospitals. Among the coronavirus patients is Nebraska state Sen. Mike Moser, of Columbus, who is receiving care at Nebraska Medical Center. Gov.

Nebraska will use its $1.1 billion share of federal coronavirus money to help small businesses, local governments, nonprofits and other groups hard-hit by the pandemic. Gov. Pete Ricketts provided a first glimpse of the state’s plan, which focuses heavily on small businesses and unemployment insurance for laid-off workers. Nebraska will receive $1.25 billion under the federal CARES Act, the emergency law passed to help Americans with the pandemic.

Governor Urges Self Quarantine For Lake Goers

May 28, 2020

(Lincoln, NE)  --  Nebraska officials are reacting to large parties that took place at a Missouri lake.  Governor Pete Ricketts is urging Nebraska residents who visited the Lake of the Ozarks during the Memorial Day weekend to stay home if they experience COVID-19 symptoms.  Officials in Missouri and Kansas have already advised people who attended the parties to self-quarantine for at least 14 days.  

The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha is set to reopen to the public.  The zoo will open as a one-way walking safari on June 1st with social distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols in place.  Visitors will be asked to wear facemasks, and guests will be required to make reservations on the zoo website ahead of time. The Lincoln Children's Zoo is also reopening June 1st. The Zoo is kicking off its reopening with a Wildlife Walk paving a one-way path through the zoo with visits at many of its outdoor exhibits. Zoo officials said the indoor buildings will remain closed to visitors.

Nebraska is continuing to see an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases.  State officials had reported 12-thousand-619 cases and 153 deaths as of yesterday.  There have been more than 33-hundred COVID-19 cases reported in Douglas County, while Dakota County has seen more than 16-hundred cases and Hall County has confirmed more than 14-hundred cases. A ninth COVID-19 related death is reported at the Life Care Center of Elkhorn.

Omaha Clinics Now Able To Test For Coronavirus Antibodies

May 26, 2020

Omaha health clinics can now test for coronavirus antibodies. Doctors at 88-Med in West Omaha told WOWT-TV6 that testing helps health care providers identify if someone was in contact with another person who had COVID-19. Doctors said the testing process takes 15-minutes at the most and results come back within a few days. Medical Directors at 88-Med say the benefit of antibody testing allows state health departments to make more well-informed decisions for the public.

The number of COVID-19 cases is continuing to increase in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there were 12-thousand-134 cases and 150 deaths reported statewide.  Douglas County has seen the most cases in the state with more than three-thousand. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the cancellation of many Memorial Day events in Nebraska.  Annual ceremonies at Memorial Park and Forest Lawn Cemetery in Omaha have been cancelled.  Services at the Omaha National Cemetery have also been called off.  Offutt Air Force Base hosted an online service at 9:00 a.m.

Protections For Renters Will Not Be Extended Past June 1st

May 22, 2020
Knowles Law Firm

A state proclamation to protect renters from eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic is ending June 1st. Governor Ricketts yesterday said he is not extending the halt on evictions past May because he feels Nebraskans have received a sufficient budget of employment assistance, an extra 600-dollars a month to help people pay their rent. Legal Aid of Nebraska told WOWT that it would have made sense to halt evictions until the end of July when the federal suspension runs out.

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