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Ankush Kumar Bahl is the 13th Music Director in the Omaha Symphony's 100-year history, succeeding Maestro Thomas Wilkins.  He takes the podium for the first time as Music Director of the Omaha Symphony tonight (September 24th) in the “Bahl Conducts Beethoven 7,” which runs through September 26th.

Bahl also made his second appearance on “Live & Local” when he chatted with Mike Hogan in this two-part interview about becoming the music director, his love of all types of music, and the future of the symphony under his watch.

More information about “Bahl Conducts Beethoven 7” and other concerts can be found at https://www.omahasymphony.org/

Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express opened September 17th at the Omaha Community Playhouse and runs through October 10.  This thrilling whodunit is set aboard the world’s most famous luxury locomotive.  Murder on the Orient Express will keep you guessing until the very end.  

Seth Maisel plays the brilliant detective Hercule Poirot who, with the murderer still on board, must solve the crime before the train reaches its destination. 

On a recent installment of KIOS-FM's “Live & Local” you can hear the actor himself discuss the approach to making “Seth’s sleuth” unique, his arrival in Omaha, and the joy of returning to audiences after a pandemic forced break.

More information on the show can be found at https://www.omahaplayhouse.com/tickets/view/murderorient/

The Bellevue Little Theatre has opened their 53rd Season with BIG! The Musical!  It runs through October 3rd. 

Laureen Pickle chatted with “Live & Local” about the opening and the joy of working in the theatre again. 

More information can be found at http://bellevuelittletheatre.weebly.com.

Ridership on the new Midtown to Market Bikeway in Omaha is higher than expected.  Officials say the bikeway sees about 140 riders on weekdays and 200 riders on weekends.  The Midtown to Market Bikeway is the first protected lane in the city of Omaha.

Julie Harris, Executive Director of Bike Walk Nebraska joined Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss the policies and hard work that went into creating this bikeway.  That full interview is below.

More information can be found at https://www.bikewalknebraska.org/

On September 23rd, a 6-week series of conversations designed to educate participants about racism in Nebraska begins, and the goal is to inspire people to take actions to build a more equitable society.  These Zoom sessions will start at 7:00 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. on 6 Thursdays.

Elaine Wells, founder of DIALOGUES on RACISM, and Deb Shaw, Diversity, Community and Recruitment Leader at Partnership4Kids, joined Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss this opportunity to make a difference by being a part of the solution.

More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Dialogues-on-Racism-101080652217179

Dr. Siobhan Wescott had been named the inaugural holder of the Dr. Susan and Susette LaFlesche Professorship in Public Health.  An Alaskan Athabascan, Dr. Wescott grew up just outside Fairbanks in a tiny 400 square foot cabin with an outhouse.  She has always been a staunch advocate for Alaskan Natives and American Indians, especially when it comes to issues of health equity and educating the next generation.  She has cultivated a nationally recognized voice, especially through her work with the American Medical Association. 

In this two-part interview with Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM, Dr. Wescott discusses the childhood that shaped her, the importance of education in her family, and what she hopes to accomplish for the Native American communities.

More information on the good doctor can be found at https://www.unmc.edu/news.cfm?match=27565

Team America is a group of citizen liaison volunteers (CLVs) who, through their collective knowledge, open-source information, and hard work, supported evacuation efforts in Afghanistan.  And with added caution and urgency, they continue to support those who were not evacuated.  They do not represent or work for the U. S. Government, they are just filling the vacuum created by the chaotic events leading up to the U. S. imposed evacuation deadline.  

James Beins is a member of Team America and he spoke with Mike Hogan on "Live & Local" about the efforts, the danger, and the continued work being done to help people escape terrifying circumstances in Afghanistan.

If you wish to help or need some assistance, resources and information are available at www.TeamAmericaRelief.org.  

KMEG

The number of new coronavirus cases in Iowa in the past seven days surged 51% compared to the previous week, and new COVID-19 hospital admissions also increased along with the number of patients requiring intensive care. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported Wednesday there were 11,588 new positive cases in the past seven days. Another 64 deaths raised the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Iowa to 6,401. Iowa’s seven-day moving average of cases is at 1,487 new cases per day, a level not seen since the middle of last January.

Can the U.S. Constitution withstand the rancor and division of the contemporary American political landscape?  This question will be the focus of a public Constitution Day event at Bellevue University on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  The event will be held in the Margre H. Durham Student Center, 1008 Bruin Blvd., in the Quiet Lounge.  The event is free and open to the public.  Attendees will be able to share their views and hear from a group of panelists with firsthand perspective, including Rep. Don Bacon; former Rep. Brad Ashford; and former Rep. Lee Terry.

Rick Galusha, event coordinator and Program Director of the University’s Kirkpatrick Signature Series, was a guest on KIOS' "Live & Local."  He chatted about the necessity of civility to maintain a democratic society, as well as discussing the program and the Constitution itself.

More information about this event can be found at https://news.bellevue.edu/bellevue-university-to-host-constitution-day-panel-discussion-on-september-15/

Take the world class Omaha Symphony, mix in “Bruce In The USA,” billed as the world’s greatest tribute to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and add Ernest Richardson, Resident Conductor & Principal Pops Conductor and you are in for an evening of spectacular music and fun.  September 17th is the night these stars align.

Ernest took some time to talk to Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” segment to discuss not only this project, but some of the other upcoming performances on the docket.  More information about the Omaha Symphony can be found at http://www.omahasymphony.org/.

Brigit Saint Brigit welcomes audiences back with its 29th season opener, Ronald Harwood's "The Dresser."  This is an acclaimed and much-loved tale of a Shakespeare theatre troupe--traveling the outskirts of England trying to keep the Bard’s work and their craft alive, all while air raid sirens sound and German bombs fall.   A heartbreaking, moving, and humorous look "behind the curtain" exploring the lives of actors, backstage players, and the theatre. 

Cathy Kurz, Artistic Director and Founder of the Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre Company, joine Mike Hogan on "Live & Local" to discuss the play, the genesis of the theatre, and the changes made to accomodate this COVID time in which we live.

The play runs through September 26th.  More information can be found at https://www.bsbtheatre.com/

KHGI

Governor Ricketts is voicing his opposition to President Biden's new vaccine mandates. In a statement, Ricketts called the mandates a "stunning violation of personal freedom," and said individuals are responsible for taking charge of their personal health. The president announced an executive order yesterday requiring vaccinations for federal workers and businesses with more than 100 employees. Those who do not get vaccinated will be subject to weekly testing. The governor said he is working with the Attorney General to explore legal options to fight the mandate.

Reuters

The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska has increased in each of the past ten weeks, and the total nearly doubled over the past two weeks as the highly contagious delta variant of the virus continues to spread. Nebraska reported 5,006 new cases for the week ending Friday, according to an Omaha World-Herald analysis of data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 3,755 the previous week and nearly double the 2,668 cases recorded the week before.

KLKN-TV

Renters across the Omaha metro are no longer protected by the CDC eviction moratorium. The Supreme Court ruled that the CDC does not have the authority to issue an eviction moratorium without congressional approval. There are still millions of dollars in federal rental assistance available through the City of Omaha. Executive Director of  the Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless [MACCH] Randy McCoy says the funds will help landlords offer alternatives to eviction.

The mission of the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands (NAM) is Strengthening the collective voice, leadership, and capacity of nonprofit organizations enriching the quality of community life throughout Nebraska and Western Iowa. 

The pandemic has been hard on everyone, especially the nonprofits who continue to provide goods and services to those in need while their financial resources have suffered.  Anne Hindery, CEO of NAM, spoke with Mike Hogan in a two-part interview about the state of nonprofits, how they have survived, and how they move forward from this very unusual time in history.

For more information on NAM or how to help, one can go to https://www.nonprofitam.org/.

STAT News

Nebraska’s hospitals are even more crowded now than they were at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in November. That prompted Gov. Pete Ricketts to announce a “staffing emergency” Thursday to try to address a severe shortage of health care workers. The state’s hospitals were treating a 3,162 patients as of Wednesday, up from 3,074 on Nov. 20, when the number of known cases was at its all-time high. Most of the recent hospitalizations aren’t virus-related, however. Ricketts says the increase was driven by patients seeking treatment for other medical problems.

The Today Show

Students and staff at Ralston’s middle school and high schools in suburban Omaha are now required to wear masks following new cases of COVID-19 in the district. Ralston Public Schools announced the change Sunday, saying the policy applies to staff members and students from seventh- through 12th grades. Masking will be required through Sept. 16, when district officials will review the policy. Masks will be available at the schools for students who do not have one. Superintendent Mark Adler says the decision was made after three cases were identified in one classroom at the secondary level.

Amy Haddad is a poet, nurse, and educator at Creighton University where she now holds the rank of Professor Emerita.  She has a new chapbook of poetry out called “The Geography of Kitchens.”  She spoke with Mike Hogan on KIOS’ “Live & Local” about writing, teaching, and why a kitchen is the capitol of a home.

Amy is doing a reading from her chapbook on Saturday, August 2 at The Bookworm (90th and Center) at 1:00 p.m.

The FBI has established a keen focus on fighting hate crimes.  In fact, they are asking the public to be diligent in reporting not only hate crimes, but also civil rights violations and color of law crimes.

Omaha based Special Agent in Charge (SAC), Eugene Kowel, joined Mike Hogan for a two-part discussion on the action the FBI is taking, the differences between hate crimes, color of law crimes, and civil rights violations, as well as the current and future training of agents.

Bellevue University opened a brand new center dedicated to supporting the Latino students' academic journey, both personally and professionally.  It’s called El Camino Latino Center.

Gina Ponce, Director, Latino Community Outreach/El Camino Latino Center joined Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” program to talk about the center, which will be home to seven businesses and organizations.  University partners and employers will have their offices inside the center, with hopes that their presence and easy accessibility will provide internships, resources, and eventually jobs for students.

The Center will have an open house on August 19 from 4 to 6:30 p.m.  More information can be found at https://news.bellevue.edu/bellevue-universitys-el-camino-latino-center-to-hold-open-house-august-19/

fortine.com

The number of virus cases and hospitalizations across Nebraska has steadily increased in recent weeks as the highly contagious delta variant spreads, following the pattern of other states with relatively low vaccination rates. Nebraska said Wednesday that 2,575 new virus cases were reported in the past week, which is up from 1,976 the week before and more than 10 times higher than the 253 cases a week the state was reporting in late June when officials lifted the last of Nebraska’s remaining virus-related restrictions.

Billy McGuigan's Pop Rock Orchestra has opened at the SumTur Amphitheater and runs through August 15th.  

Think of Frank Sinatra at the Sands with the power of the Count Basie Orchestra behind him, the Moody Blues who put symphonic interludes in the middle of a rock song, ELO with an electric horn and string section - rock & roll was transformed! There is truly a song for everybody as Billy navigates the audience through decades of classic gems, backed by a rock orchestra that can match his energy in force.

Billy took a moment to chat with Mike Hogan about this latest endeavor on the "Live & Local" program. 

More information can be found at www.TheOmahaSeries.com.

The first female to lead one of the PGA Tour’s global tours is Alex Baldwin.  She is the president of the Korn Ferry Tour which is holding its finale this week as The Pinnacle Bank Championship.  This Omaha event, hosted at Indian Creek golf course, is site to the season championship of the Korn Ferry Tour.  PGA cards will be handed out fulfilling dreams, while others will have to continue the hard work of making their golf dreams come true.

Alex took some time to chat with Mike Hogan from KIOS-FM about being the president of this exciting tour, the ever growing role of women in golf, and she even gave some advice for those wishing to pursue a career in sports.

More information about The Korn Ferry Tour and The Pinnacle Bank Championship (August 12-15) can be found at https://thepinnaclebankchampionship.com/

The New American Arts Festival co-presented by Lutheran Family Services and Benson First Friday (BFF Omaha) is tonight! 

Caitlin Little, Development Director of BFF Omaha joined Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss tonight’s arts festival and the year round activities that BFF Omaha hosts

More information can be found at https://www.bffomaha.org/naaf.html

NE Colleges/Tyson Foods All Insist On Full Vaccination

Aug 4, 2021
The Wall Street Journal

Three colleges in Nebraska are requiring students to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  Doane University is asking students to have their second dose of the vaccine by September 9th.  Nebraska Wesleyan University is requiring students to be fully vaccinated by August 15th, and Creighton University is requiring all students to be fully vaccinated in order to return to campus.  The vaccination requirements come as the number of new delta variant cases increases. Meanwhile, Tyson Foods will require all U.S.

The Hillcrest Foundation for Enhancing Lives is a 501c3 not-for-profit focused on improving the lives of older adults by empowering caregivers with education about the care of older adults as well as providing meaningful gifts, travel opportunities and life experiences to support older adults. 

Jim Janicki is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Hillcrest Health Services and he joined Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” program to discuss the genesis of this charitable organization, the good work it has already done, and to talk about the upcoming fundraiser, a golf tournament, on Thursday, Aug 19. 

More information can be found at http://hillcrestfoundation.org/

For two decades RESPECT has helped give children, teens, college students and adults throughout Nebraska and Iowa the skills they need to prevent and stop bullying, abuse, and dating violence as well as other forms of abuse in relationships through live theatre presentations and youth participation productions.  Because of COVID, they transitioned the live theatre organization into a virtual one. 

They have a fundraiser to continue the important work they do with youth.  The “Stand Up Against Bullying” fundraiser includes virtual presentations, take home dinners, and a silent auction.  There is also a “double your donation” program.  The fundraiser is taking place now through August 5th and details can be found at www.respect2all.org.

Dr. Patricia Newman is the founder and Executive Director of RESPECT and she spent time on “Live & Local” talking about the organizations beginnings, the difference the program has made,  and the reach of the work today. 

Tri-Faith Initiative started with a simple idea: A picnic table to gather around is all people really need for interfaith relationships to flourish.  So break bread together, give thanks for each other, and celebrate!

This Sunday, August 1st from 4-8 p.m. everyone is invited to gather for the “Picnic on the Commons” at 13136 Faith Plaza in Omaha. 

Wendy Goldberg, Executive Director at Tri-Faith Initiative, spoke with Mike Hogan at KIOS-FM about the genesis of the organization, the upcoming event, and how nice it is to be gathering together again!

More information can be found at https://www.trifaith.org/events/picnic-on-the-commons-2021/

Jesse White plays Buddy Holly in the  upcoming amphitheater tour of Buddy - The Buddy Holly StoryBuddy is the second show in The Omaha Series, produced by Rave On Productions which debuted earlier this year with the production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and also starred Jesse in the title role.

Jesse joined Mike Hogan for a “Live & Local” chat about being in a show about an iconic figure, learning to play the guitar, and having the show directed by someone who spent 18 years playing the same title character.  The show opens July 30th and runs through August 1st.

More information about the show can be found at www.TheOmahaSeries.com

In May of 2022, at UNO’s Dodge Campus, the former College of Education building, Kayser Hall, will be renovated and turned into a museum that features art from Holocaust survivor, Samuel Bak.  Over his 88 years of life, Bak has created over 8,000 pieces of art and after Kayser Hall’s renovations are complete, UNO will be home to 512 of those works.

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