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Special Prosecutor Frederick Franklin announced Tuesday the results of the grand jury investigation into the death of James Scurlock.  Jake Gardner has been indicted on the following counts: Manslaughter, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, attempted first-degree assault and terroristic threats.

Franklin said that much evidence came from Gardner himself and said that jurors learned information that "undermined" the narrative that the shooting was self-defense.

Omaha Public Library (OPL) closed on March 16, 2020, in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and remained closed due to City of Omaha budget concerns.  Following the approval of CARES Act funding by the state and county, Mayor Jean Stothert announced on August 25 that libraries may reopen.

Emily Getzschman, Marketing and Media Relations Manager for OPL, discusses the phased reopening which begins Monday, Sept. 21st with Mike Hogan.  Library branches that have been providing curbside service will suspend curbside operations between Sept. 13 and Sept. 20 to prepare for reopening.  Curbside services will resume at all branches during normal operating hours.

Following reopening, OPL branches will be open Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  Three branch locations (Millard Branch, Milton R. Abrahams Branch and W. Dale Clark Main Library) will offer Sunday hours, 1-5 p.m., upon reopening.  Masks will be required for all OPL visitors until further notice.

  • Monday, Sept. 21: Five branches will open.
    • Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch, 2100 Reading Plaza, 402-289-4367
    • Charles B. Washington Branch, 2868 Ames Ave., 402-444-4849
    • Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Ln., 402-444-4848
    • Milton R. Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St., 402-444-6284
    • Willa Cather Branch, 1905 S. 44th St., 402-444-4851
  • Monday, Sept. 28: Three additional branches will open.
  • The opening dates for the remaining four branches will be announced at a later time.

Book drops will open as branches reopen beginning Sept. 21, and items checked out will resume normal due dates.  Items checked out during OPL’s closure will be due for return on Oct. 19.  Items placed on hold shelves in the branches prior to Oct. 1 that are waiting to be picked up will expire and be made available to other patrons on Oct. 15. 

Meeting and study rooms will not be available for reservation for the foreseeable future.  Computers will be available for public use, however, due to physical distancing, there will be fewer computers available.

As more information becomes available, OPL will provide updates on its website, omahalibrary.org, as well as through its social media channels and email. Library staff will also be available to answer questions at 402-444-4800 or through ask.omahalibrary.org.

Visit omahalibrary.org for information about additional programs and resources offered at Omaha Public Library.

Bid farewell to summer with one final outdoor extravaganza at OCP! Don’t Stop Me Now: A Celebration of Rock Musicals is a drive-in style concert featuring songs from acclaimed rock ‘n’ roll musicals, including Jersey Boys, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rock of Ages, Beautiful, Hair, Dreamgirls and more!  Sing and dance along with your favorite musical hits from the your private socially-distanced parking area, or tune in to hear the show from OCP’s radio station inside your car!  Featuring Billy McGuigan’s Rave On Productions band and six powerhouse vocalists, Don’t Stop Me Now is the end-of-summer spectacular you won’t want to miss.

Musical Director Jim Boggess joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" and discusses the fun and hard work that came together to bring this production to life.  Tickets and more information are available at https://www.omahaplayhouse.com/

The Douglas County Board has allocated $20 million to OCF.  $10 million of that is allocated for Arts, Culture, and Entertainment organizations, and $10 million will support Community Services.  Applications are due to the Foundation by 11:59pm on Wednesday, September 23 and technical assistance is available through the Foundation for any nonprofits applying for funding.

Vice President of Community Investment, Kali Baker, joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the program and the webinars which explain the intricate process of applying for this grant money.  Since the money has federal origins, this grant process is very different from the usual Omaha Community Foundation grant process.

In addition, Mike and Kali discuss the COVID-19 Response Fund Impact as well as the release of the Landscape 2020 report.

For more information on the grants and the process for applying, one can go to https://omahafoundation.org/news/ocf-and-douglas-county-announce-launch-of-cares-act-funding-application-for-local-nonprofits/

Additional eligibility and application details for nonprofits can be found at the following web pages: https://omahafoundation.org/CARESACE and https://omahafoundation.org/CARESNP.  OCF will also be hosting two webinars for eligible nonprofits to provide an overview of the process, and answer questions. Webinar details can be found via the links above.  https://omahafoundation.org/community/douglas-county-cares-arts-culture-and-entertainment-program/

UNMC

Nebraska is set to loosen COVID-19 health measures in most counties.  Starting this week, all counties in the state except for Lancaster County will move into phase four.  During phase four, outdoor venues can operate at 100-percent capacity, indoor venues can open at 75-percent capacity, but large-scale events will still need approval from their local health department director.

KDVR

State health officials reported 456 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 37-thousand-373 confirmed cases of the virus in the state and 430 deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services says 35-percent of hospital beds and 82-percent of ventilators are available. Twenty staff members and 30 students in Douglas County schools have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks. The Public Health Department also says 26 staff members and 372 students from county schools are currently in quarantine.

The 2020 U.S. Census is entering the home stretch and the Bellevue University Library is hosting an event and offering free assistance to those who need help completing the 2020 U.S. Census.  

The community event will be held Thursday, September 10, 3:30-5:30 p.m., outside the front entrance of the Freeman Lozier Library located at 1028 Bruin Boulevard, Bellevue, Nebraska, 68005.  Staff from the U.S. Census and Bellevue University will be on hand to answer questions or assist individuals.  Accessible parking is available and a ramp is available for those who need it.  Additional parking is available south of the Bellevue University Durham Administration Building.  Face masks must be worn (and will be available, if necessary) and physical distancing will be observed.

Allie O’Connor, Document Delivery Specialist at BU, is heading up the census event that’s happening on campus.  She takes a moment out of her busy day to chat with Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM.

More information can be found at https://blogs.bellevue.edu/library/index.php/2020/09/cooperative-event-between-2020-census-and-bellevue-university-library/

USA Today

Nebraska will apply for federal assistance to help workers who were laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic, allowing those who qualify to collect an extra $300 per week. Nebraska is the last state to confirm that it will seek the extra federal aid. Every other state has said it will apply, except for South Dakota, which refused the money. The payments are a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s lost wages supplemental payment program. People who qualify will receive $300 per week, along with their unemployment benefit, for a limited number of weeks. 

KHGI

There are now nearly 36-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  Officials reported 89 new cases yesterday bringing the total in the state to 35-thousand-975.  COVID-19 has claimed 404 lives in Nebraska during the pandemic. Nebraska hospitals are asking for more federal aid to help recover financially from the coronavirus. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Nebraska Hospital Association officials say the pandemic has meant increased costs and a decline in revenue for hospitals.

Norfolk Daily News

State health officials reported 474 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 35-thousand-469 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 404 deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services says 34 percent of hospital beds and 82 percent of ventilators are available. Three new COVID-19 clusters were announced at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Officials say five cases were reported at the Chi Omega sorority house, and eight were found in FarmHouse fraternity.

The Omaha Public Library has suffered through the pandemic, like everyone else.  And while closed to internal visitors, the library has been lending books by providing some limited curbside service.  Before the CARES Act money to the library was announced, Emily Getzschman joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to talk about the procedures and to give her recommendations for some very interesting books!

More information, including which branches will be reopening and when, is available at omahalibrary.org.

Nebraska is approaching 400 COVID-19 deaths.  As of yesterday, 399 people statewide had died from the coronavirus during the pandemic.  The state has seen 34-thousand-547 COVID-19 cases. Omaha residents will have to wear face coverings in public for a few more weeks.  In response to the pandemic, the Omaha City Council voted yesterday to extend the public face mask ordinance to October 20th.  The ordinance went into effect on August 11th and was scheduled to expire on September 15th.

Most school districts in Nebraska have some percentage of their learning happening remotely.  This requires parents to help their children with the school work.  So what happens if a parent (or child) is visually impaired?

This happened to Paulette Monthei, who has low vision.  She discovered she could not use some applications to complete remote learning assignments for her 10-year-old son, who just started fourth grade.

Fortunately, Monthei is program manager for Outlook Enrichment, which provides a range of programs and services that create greater accessibility and inclusivity for the visually impaired.  The nonprofit has created a virtual support group on Zoom that will be held on six consecutive Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.   The group started on August 27th.  The group gives blind and visually impaired parents the chance to talk with peers and the nonprofit’s adaptive technology training staff about distance learning issues they come across this school year.  They will work together to provide creative solutions that accommodate for vision loss in a remote learning environment.

Paulette joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the program and the obstacles to be overcome.  This two part interview is below, as it was aired.  More information can be found at https://www.outlookne.org/programs/enrichment  and https://shareomaha.org/nonprofit/outlook-enrichment.

The Douglas County board has abandoned a plan to spend $1.85 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to buy a mobile command center for the county sheriff’s office. Sheriff Tim Dunning withdrew his request for the RV-like truck because he said his office couldn’t find a manufacturer who could build and deliver one in 2020, when the federal aid must be spent. Officials had argued that the command center could have helped officials respond to the coronavirus outbreak by supporting mass vaccination efforts in the area.

KSNB

There are now more than 34-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  Officials confirmed 293 new cases yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 34-thousand-46.  There have been 392 coronavirus-related deaths in Nebraska since the start of the pandemic. The Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln has been placed under quarantine after 29 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Sunday. The positive cases were identified by tests that were done Friday.

Omaha World Herald

State health officials reported 374 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 33,101 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 391 deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services says 32 percent of hospital beds and 84 percent of ventilators are available. A COVID-19 cluster was recently identified at another University of Nebraska sorority. Officials say four members of Delta Delta Delta have tested positive for the virus, along with one other self-reported case. The university says those living in the house are being isolated.

Empowerment Network transforms the economic condition and quality of life of African-Americans, North Omaha residents, and citizens of greater Omaha by building wealth, creating strong families, preparing successful children, and rebuilding thriving neighborhoods. 

Willie Barney is the Executive Director and Founder of Empowerment Network.  He joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the genesis of the organization, the Seven Step Empowerment Plan, and how they achieve the lofty goals set in the mission.

Since the topic was rich with content, the original conversation went longer than the "Live & Local" time slot allows.  This web-exclusive audio below includes the full 10-minute discussion between Willie and Mike.

More information can be found at https://empoweromaha.com/

Another $60 Million In CARES Act Money Goes To Omaha

Aug 26, 2020
KFOR

The City of Omaha is getting more CARES Act money. The Douglas County Board will give the city 30-million dollars to cover COVID-19 related losses. Last week the state also gave Omaha 30-million dollars in CARES Act funding. The city says the combined 60 million dollars will close the budget gap caused by the pandemic.

Lincoln Journal Star

A new South Omaha Test Nebraska site is up and running. It's across from OneWorld Community Health Centers. It's open from 1:00 until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The state says the site will stay at that location for the foreseeable future. Some people tested for COVID-19 under Test Nebraska will have to be re-tested. The state Department of Health and Human Services says a technical issue in a testing lab caused some results not to be reported to the person tested or put into state's system.

Great Plains Black History Museum is the only museum in Nebraska whose sole focus is on the rich history of African Americans.  Eric Ewing is the Executive Director of the Great Plains Black History Museum and he spent some "Live & Local" time with Mike Hogan to discuss the origins and mission of this organization.

Due to COVID, they are requesting all guests to book an appointment prior to visiting the museum. They’re open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 1 pm to 5 pm.  To ensure that they are following social distancing they are limiting visitor’s sizes to no more than 8 visitors at a time.  To ensure the safety and health of all visitors to the Museum face mask will be required for entry. 

For more information or a virtual tour, go to https://gpblackhistorymuseum.org/

There are now more than 32-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there had been 32-thousand-47 cases and 383 coronavirus-related deaths reported across the state since the start of the pandemic.  Douglas County has seen the most cases in the state with 12-thousand-715. Officials at Bellevue East High School announced a positive Covid case in their student body yesterday evening.  The case involves a senior student at the school, and school district officials and the Sarpy/Cass Health Department are conducting contact tracing.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts presents LOW END on the Bricks, a free outdoor concert featuring Omaha-based experimental musicians Dereck HigginsMesonjixx, and Teetah!  The socially-distanced block party experience includes event procedures and a visitor code of conduct that will ensure the safety of guests, artists, and staff.   

And while admission is free, LOW END on the Bricks is currently sold out.  To be placed on a waiting list contact Andy Garlock, Sound Art + Experimental Music Program Technician at andy@bemiscenter.org or 402.341.7130 x 23. 

Rachel Adams, Bemis Chief Curator and Director of Programs, joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss how you can also stream the concert from the comfort of your home for free!  Watch live at twitch.tv/bemiscenter.

More information can be found at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/low-end-on-the-bricks-tickets-116898942885

Pascale Sablan, Executive Director of Beyond the Built Environment (BBE) is virtually bringing the SAY IT LOUD exhibition to Nebraska.  SAY IT LOUD showcases the design contributions of women and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) designers from around the world to inspire the next generation of diverse designers. 

Pascale spent some time with Mike Hogan to discuss this year's exhibition and the opportunity for local Nebraska designers of color to display their work.  More information on the organization and how to submit can be found at https://www.beyondthebuilt.com/

They are accepting submissions now through the end of August.

Husker Football Families Threaten Big Ten With Lawsuit

Aug 21, 2020
USA Today

The families of eleven University of Nebraska football players are requesting documents from the Big Ten related to the decision to postpone the fall football season. The Husker families, including former NFL player Ed McCaffrey, are asking for transcripts, recordings, and the results of the vote to move the season to the spring. They say they will have no choice but to file a lawsuit if the documents are not delivered.

Omaha World Herald

The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska is now more than 31-thousand.  As of yesterday, there had been 31-thousand-40 cases in the state since the start of the pandemic.  There have been 371 coronavirus-related deaths in Nebraska. Douglas County health officials say a COVID-19 testing site in South Omaha is closing because of staffing issues.  Health Director Dr.

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Kristi Johnson is in charge of the FBI Omaha Field Office.  The Omaha field office covers Nebraska and Iowa.  SAC Johnson spent a little "Live & Local" time with Mike Hogan to discuss many topics including "Operation LeGend," the multiple task forces that the FBI is operating in Omaha and Des Moines, Civil Rights Investigations, Color of Law Investigations, as well as the best part of her job.

Dr. Derrick Fox, DMA, Director of Choral Activities at UNO, has partnered with the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation to provide an online platform where music educators nationwide can brainstorm and share ideas on how to adapt music education for all grade levels (K-12 and college) to the challenges presented by the pandemic. 

This new collaborative effort, known as Unified Voices for Music Education (UVFME), is an expansion of Fox’s Professional Choral Collective.  With the support of the CMA foundation, music educators now have an online home to share resources, lesson plans, and creative ideas to continue music education in the upcoming school year.

Dr. Fox spent a little "Live & Local" time with Mike Hogan to talk about the program and how anyone can get free resources.  If one is interested in more information, email Derrick at DaFox@UnOmaha.edu.

KOLN

The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in Nebraska.  State officials confirmed 131 new cases yesterday, bringing the total in Nebraska to 30-thousand-372.  There have been 361 coronavirus-related deaths statewide since the start of the pandemic.  Douglas County has seen more than 12-thousand COVID-19 cases. Parents of 81 Nebraska football players posted a letter to the Big Ten yesterday that voices their displeasure with the postponement of the 2020 season.

Omaha Children’s Museum has announced its plans to reopen to the public on Saturday, Aug. 15.  The first stage of the reopening will include timed tickets that must be reserved ahead of time, reduced hours, and masks requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Omaha Children’s Museum Executive Director Lindy Hoyer joined Mike Hogan “Live & Local" to discuss the new hours, procedures for acquiring tickets, and the extensive cleaning and safety measures to insure everyone has fun, stays healthy. and gets to enjoy the learning benefits of the museum.

For more information, one can go to the website at http://www.ocm.org.

State health officials announced 416 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 29,660 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 360 deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services says 36 percent of hospital beds and 80 percent of ventilators are available. Officials at Lincoln Southwest High School announced a positive COVID-19 test in the community yesterday. An email sent to parents did not specify if a student or staff member tested positive, but the freshman football team was told to quarantine.

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