KIOS-FM

coronavirus

Times Of India

Nebraska health officials said an extremely contagious variant of the coronavirus that was first identified in India has been confirmed in the state. The first case of the virus variant, officially known as the B.1.617 variant, was found in a Lancaster County resident who has ties to international travelers. The discovery of the new variant comes as the state was reporting a relatively small number of new cases of the virus. Nebraska health officials said Wednesday that 1,368 new virus cases had been reported over the past week, down slightly from 1,397 cases the week before.

Just over one year ago, UNO was named the home of a new Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence now known as NCITE – the National Counterterrorism, Innovation, Technology, and Education Center.  The National Counterterrorism, Innovation, Technology, and Education Center strives to understand, prevent, and counteract terrorist violence.  The NCITE Center will do this by heading a consortium of academics who study terrorist behavior and the best ways to stop it.  The goal is to translate research into tools for frontline Homeland Security professionals.

Dr. Gina Ligon, is the Director of the Counterterrorism Unit at UNO.  She joined Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” for a two-part interview about the mission of NCITE, the difference they can and have made, as well as how the Oklahoma City bombing impacted her life.

More information about this center and the work it does can be found at https://www.unomaha.edu/ncite/

Since 1985, the Omaha Public Library Foundation (OPLF) has raised more than $10 million in private support for the Omaha Public Library programs and services.

In this two-part  interview, Wendy Townley, Executive Director of the Omaha Public Library Foundation, chatted with Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM about how the mission of the foundation has succeeded in keeping the Omaha Public Libraries not only afloat, but growing during this pandemic and what the future holds.  She also talks about the fundraiser in which Author Yaa Gyasi headlines the evening.

For more information try the website https://www.omahalibraryfoundation.org/

A sweeping bill that would shield Nebraska businesses and local governments from coronavirus-related lawsuits has won initial approval from state lawmakers, despite some complaints that senators haven’t done enough for workers who were at risk. Lawmakers advanced the proposal, 39-3, through the first of three required votes. The measure would bar pandemic-related lawsuits against businesses or governments as long as they were following federal public health guidelines. At least 29 other states have enacted laws addressing the issue, including 12 that are similar to the Nebraska proposal.

Nearly half of Nebraska’s adult population has now been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The state said Monday that 49.6% of the population aged 16 and up has now been fully vaccinated and more than 1.5 million doses of the shots have been administered across Nebraska. The campaign to distribute the shots continues to make progress across the state although the pace of vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks as demand has weakened.

Nebraska will get roughly $1 billion in aid under the federal government’s plan to help states hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Treasury Department announced a state-by-state funding breakdown for President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, an effort to restore jobs lost during the pandemic and replenish the coffers of governments that saw huge declines in tax revenue. The plan will distribute $350 billion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments.

Ned Newley doesn't even want to be governor.  He's terrified of public speaking; his poll numbers are impressively bad. To his ever-supportive Chief of Staff, Ned seems destined to fail. But political consultant Arthur Vance sees things differently: Ned might be the worst candidate to ever run for office. Unless the public is looking for... the worst candidate to ever run for office.  "The Outsider" is a timely and hilarious comedy that skewers politics and celebrates democracy.

“The Outsider” show director Marya Lucca-Thyberg joins Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss this latest comedy offering from The Bellevue Little Theater.  More information on tickets and streaming is available at http://bellevuelittletheatre.weebly.com/.

Vesper Concerts is back to welcoming audiences for live performances.  They are proud to offer the best that chamber music has to offer–exceptional talent and variety presented in an intimate setting, all free of charge as a service to the community.

Kristi Treu, Executive Director of Vesper Concerts, joins Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to discuss the final two shows of this season and what the future looks like for this treasured organization. 

More information on shows can be found at https://vesperconcerts.org/.

The Florentine Players have been presenting theatrical performances and melodramas for many years.  The latest offering, “Making God Laugh” by Sean Grennan., opens on Thursday, May 6th at the Florence City Hall.  The show follows one typical American family over the course of thirty years' worth of holidays. 

Director and long-time Florentine Player, Molly Anderson, joins Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to talk about the show, the history of the theatre company, and how great it is to be with an audience again.

For tickets or more information, one can go to https://www.facebook.com/FlorentinePlayers/ or  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/making-god-laugh-by-sean-grennan-tickets-152040468133

KLKN

State health officials say a south-central Nebraska woman who had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has died of the disease. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday in a news release that the woman was in her 80s and had underlying health conditions. Officials with Two Rivers Health District, based in Kearney, said the woman lived in the district and was recently hospitalized for more than two weeks well after receiving two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The Omaha Community Foundation announced that they have launched the Community Resilience Fund, a new community fund that will help support local nonprofits as they work to recover from COVID-19.  The Fund is designed to complement local and federal support and prioritize an equitable, long-term community recovery focused on the following five areas: Learning Recovery, Arts & Culture, Housing, Mental Health, and Workforce & Economic Opportunity.  It follows the closure of the COVID-19 Response Fund, launched one year ago to respond to the immediate impacts of the pandemic.

To explain the fund and the work to be done, Anne Meysenburg, Director of Community Investment, and Ally Freeman, Director of Communications, spent a little time chatting with Mike Hogan of KIOS-FM.  More information is available on the web at https://omahafoundation.org/community/community-resilience-fund/ .

Omaha World Herald

A U-N-M-C pilot project that tests O-P-S students and faculty showed higher COVID-19 positive rates than what have been previously reported. Researchers say infection rates detected by the program were two-and-a-half times higher for staff and nearly six times higher for students than what was routinely observed. Six O-P-S schools participated in the pilot program in late 2020 and early 2021. 

UNL COVID Vaccine Clinic Next Week

Apr 16, 2021

(Lincoln, NE)  --  The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is holding a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for students, faculty and staff who still need the shot next Tuesday.  Appointments can be made by visiting UNL.edu, but walk-ins will also be accepted.  The clinic will be utilizing the Pfizer vaccine, which requires a second dose about three weeks after the first.

Over 30 Percent Of Douglas Co. Residents Fully Vaccinated

Apr 16, 2021

(Douglas County, NE)  --  The COVID-19 vaccine is starting to reach an increasingly large part of the Douglas County Community.  As of this morning, over 31-percent of county residents are fully vaccinated.  That's nearly ten percent more than the national average of 22-percent.  And 81-percent of residents age 65 years older have been fully vaccinated.

Marjorie Maas, Executive Director of SHARE Omaha, chats with Mike Hogan about the brand new charity event, Do Good Week.

Do Good Week will launch for the first time April 19 - April 24.  It is five themed days developed to connect the metro community to over 300 participating local nonprofits on Mission Monday, encourage donors to give to a new organization on New Donor Tuesday, fulfill Wish List Wednesday, find a volunteer need either virtually or in person on Volun-Thursday, and give financially on Fund It Friday to bolster the work of nonprofits who have supported so many this past year. 

More information and ways to participate can be found on the website https://shareomaha.org/dogoodweek

Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) offers a wide range of in-home and community-based services to individuals of all ages and stages of life.  Vice President of Development and Communications, Carole Patrick, joined Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to talk about their major fundraising effort of the year, Art & Soup.

Your participation in Art & Soup impacts the lives of men, women and children in homeless and domestic violence shelters in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area.  All proceeds ensure that VNA nurses will continue to serve individuals and families in every local shelter.

Your ticket purchase changes lives and is considered a direct donation to VNA’s shelter nursing program.  Enjoy Art & Soup’s virtual fundraising content, online art sales and silent auction, a soup sampler pack, and a Soup Passport redeemable at participating restaurants.

New COVID-19 Cases Reported

Apr 14, 2021

(Lincoln, NE)  -- The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska is on the rise.   More than 300 new cases were reported yesterday bringing the statewide total to 214-thousand-682.  Five additional deaths were reported, and the coronavirus has claimed 22-hundred-26 lives in the state since the pandemic started last year.

Nebraska residents who have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in the last three months are no longer required to quarantine if they get exposed to the virus again, but they’ll still have to wear a mask in public. A Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services administrator said Monday that the agency plans to update its public health requirements this week to match new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, people who were exposed to the virus were required by the state’s health directives to self-isolate at least 14 days. 

billymcguiganTOGETHER is Billy McGuigan’s 16 track original album, written, recorded and played by Billy during lockdown, 2020. The live performance features Billy with a band of brothers and friends.

Billy spent some time with Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” feature to discuss how the album came to be, what he looks forward to while performing it live for the first time (April 10th), and how we all can heal after the lockdown.

More information can be found at https://www.billymcguigan.com/schedule.

A growing number of younger people are being hospitalized with the coronavirus in Nebraska as more contagious variants of the virus spread in the state. Nebraska health officials said the average age of hospital patients declined to 51 in March from 61 in January. Officials said the age is also shifting lower because a significant number of older people have been vaccinated. The number of people hospitalized is also growing and it hit 161 Wednesday as the state reported more cases of the virus.

Julie Kalkowski, Executive Director of Creighton’s Financial Hope Collaborative, received a phishing scam email claiming her “stimulus cancellation request was approved” and she had just hours to reverse that process. 

Julie reported the email to the Better Business Bureau and contacted Mike Hogan to chat on “Live & Local” about scams like this one, how to keep from being a victim, and “the Dos and Don’ts” one should take when confronted with this type of situation.

More information about the Financial Hope Collaborative can be found at https://business.creighton.edu/community-connection/financial-hope-collaborative

Bellevue, NE has been recently been designated as an official “Bee City USA,” which means it has a plan and is committed to creating and enhancing pollinator habitats on public and private land.  Bees are a big deal in terms of the overall ecosystem and they’ve been threatened lately.  Notably, with this designation Bellevue becomes the first city in Nebraska to achieve the Bee City USA designation for its work.  To give some context, there are about 133 Bee City USAs across the country.

Tyler Moore is a biology professor at Bellevue University and he joined Mike Hogan for a two-part “Live & Local” chat about bees, their short and long term impacts on the environment, and how small steps made by each of us can help these important pollinators thrive in our communities.

For more information, go to the website https://beecityusa.org/.

Nebraska's COVID-19 vaccination eligibility opened to everyone in the state over the age of 16 yesterday, as positivity rates and hospitalizations are going up.  Governor Pete Ricketts says the number of people hospitalized with the virus rose last week after 18 weeks of decline.  He also says the state's positivity rate is above five percent for the first time in eight weeks. Last week, there was a 64 percent increase in cases in Douglas County compared to the previous week among people between the ages of 40 and 59. There was also a 58 percent jump in cases among people ages 20 and 39.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us just how fragile our local food systems are:
food supply chains were interrupted, jobs were lost, and families lined up for blocks around local pantries to receive food.  The Big Garden was able to help by growing roughly 15,000 pounds of nutrient-dense garden-fresh produce to distribute through local food pantries & food distribution programs.

This year, they are doubling the internship program so that they can grow even more food.
Donations will help them to strengthen local food systems by building more gardens,
teaching more school garden classes, planting more orchards, and growing more food for and with neighbors in need.

Cami Cavanaugh Rawlings is the Development Manager for The Big Garden.  In this two-part “Live & Local” interview with Mike Hogan, Cami details how the organization grows food and distributes this food the hungry families. 

For more information or to help them grow more food for the community, one can go to https://biggarden.org/

Supermarket News

Nebraska will not participate in a vaccine passport program.  That's according to Governor Pete Ricketts, who made the announcement yesterday afternoon.  Ricketts says a vaccine passport program would go against the "freedom of movement and healthcare privacy." 

KANEKO is hosting the 2021 Creative Camps this summer and they have expanded the age range of welcome campers!  They have also announced that the camp has moved to a 100% donation-based model to make Creative camps available to all learners in the community regardless of their financial ability.

Katherine Scarpello, Education Manager at KANEKO, chatted with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to discuss the new financial terms, the additional grade levels that are welcome, and how one can get their children in this safe and socially distanced, creative summer camp.

Camps are held Monday - Friday 9 AM-4 PM, lunch and snacks are provided and camp t-shirts will also be provided for each camper.  More information is available at https://thekaneko.org/creative-camps/

After his 2017 performance to a sold-out Omaha audience, nationally renowned cellist Joshua Roman returns to the Holland Performing Arts Center stage – once again under the baton of Maestro Thomas Wilkins, the two join the Omaha Symphony to perform Saint-Saëns’ groundbreaking Concerto No. 1 in A minor for Cello and Orchestra.  The performances March 26 and 27 are Omaha’s chance not only to see one of the beloved Maestro’s final performances as Music Director of the Omaha Symphony, but also to see one of the United States’ greatest soloists in action.

In this two-part interview, Joshua shares some insights into his approach to music, fond memories of Maestro Wilkins, and much more with Mike Hogan on “Live & Local.”

For information or tickets to this socially distanced Holland Center performance, go to https://www.omahasymphony.org/concerts/wilkins-roman

Urban League Nebraska is building a resilient North Omaha through strategic partnerships, generous giving, and community engagement that helps clients navigate their challenges and negotiate solutions.

Their vision is to lead Nebraska in helping people achieve social equality, economic independence and personal growth. 

President and CEO, Thomas Warren, spent some time chatting with Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” about the Tech Boot Camp, an accelerated program that provides AIM Code School’s accredited Foundations of Web Development curriculum paired with the Urban League’s professional bootcamp and career-readiness skills training. 

For more information, or to sign up for an opportunity to become “career ready” go to https://urbanleagueneb.org/jobs/career-boot-camps/

The Omaha Community Playhouse has opened a new production called Fully Committed. The show, held in the Howard Drew Theatre at OCP, stars Josh Peyton.  This comedic tour de force has Josh portraying 40 larger-than-life characters!

Josh took a little time out of “talking to himself” to chat with Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss how he keeps all the voices in his head straight, how to approach the mechanics of the show and how excited he is to be in front of a live, socially distanced audience!

More information can be found at www.OmahaPlayhouse.com

Fremont Tribune

Nebraska will move to its next coronavirus vaccination phase today with a focus on residents who are 50 to 64 years old and those with certain health conditions. Gov. Pete Ricketts says the change will apply to the entire state, unlike previous phases where the transition has taken place by public health district. Under the new phase, 90% of doses are required to go to residents in the 50-to-64 age group or people who qualified under previous phases. The remaining 10% will go to people with health conditions that are chosen by local doctors and public health officials in each region.

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