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COVID 19

Bellevue Little Theater is debuting a brand new play, a farce called "Temporary Insanity" by playwright Karen Schaeffer.   The show will run through June 27th.

Karen Schaeffer chatted with Mike Hogan on "Live & Local" about how the play came to be, the fun in writing a farce, and the magic that occurs when the actors bring the written words to life.

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

Kate McCauley is the CEO of Wounded Warriors Family Support.  Their mission is to provide support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations.  The families of our casualties suffer in many ways: some financially, some psychologically.

Kate joined Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to talk about the mission and the many diverse ways that WWFS helps veterans and their families. 

If you need help or would like to “help the helpers” more information can be found at https://www.wwfs.org/.

O-pa Vice President of Human Capital and Inclusion, Gennean M Scott, chats with Mike Hogan about Music at Miller Park, a free event, kicking off this weekend with Enjoli & Timeless.

More information can be found at https://o-pa.org/on-stage/music-at-miller-park.

The Olympic Swim Trials are returning to Omaha June 4-7 and 13-20 at the CHI Health Center.  The Omaha Sports Commission (OSC) fills 6,500 volunteer shifts throughout the event, mostly with local support.  They have successfully filled this number of positions three different times (2008, 2012 and 2016) and they are once again looking for help from the local community for this year!

But as OSC's Director of Events, Lindsay Toussant explains to Mike Hogan during her "Live & Local" interview, there is so much more the OSC does for sports and the economy of the great city of Omaha!

More information is available at https://omahasports.org/get-involved#volunteer

Two installations open this Saturday, June 5, from 2:00 – 5:00 PM!  You can join the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts to celebrate the opening of All Together, Amongst Many: Reflections on Empathy and Charley Friedman: Soundtracks for the Present Future!

Chief Curator and Director of Programs, Rachel Adams chatted with Mike Hogan about this free event which includes live performances, libations, and a full afternoon of culture and discussion.  More information can be found at https://www.bemiscenter.org/events/summer-2021-exhibitions-opening-reception.

Performances will take place outdoors and stream live at twitch.tv/bemiscenter.

Rocker and local favorite Billy McGuigan is back at the Holland Center with his band in tow for a collaboration with the Omaha Symphony – this time at the brand new outdoor venue for a weekend of celebratory shows that are sure to bring the party and the hits! 

McGuigan talked to Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM about bringing his lineup of heavy-hitting band members to perform symphonic arrangements of hits from The Rolling Stones, Queen, Elton John, The Beatles, and more with original tunes in the mix.  The Omaha Symphony adds dramatic color to these crowd favorites, making for an incredible weekend of safe community gathering around the music we all love conducted by Maestro Ernest Richardson.  

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 4 and Saturday, June 5 at the Holland Center Outdoors.  More information can be found at https://www.omahasymphony.org/concerts/billy-mcguigan-2021

The pandemic introduced students and parents alike to the brand new world of remote learning.  Turns out, the Omaha Virtual School (OVS) has been providing a hybrid remote/in-person learning model for the past several years.

OVS is accepting applications, and Dr. Wendy Loewenstein, the Director of OVS chatted with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” about what it takes to succeed at OVS, how to apply, and what a family’s expectations should be when embarking on such a program.

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

All ages are encouraged to participate in the free annual Summer Reading Program (SRP) at Omaha Public Library (OPL)!  This year’s theme is “Tails and Tales,” meaning there will be plenty of activities featuring fun animals and fantastic stories.

Emily Getzschman took the time to talk with Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM about the program and how to get involved. 

SRP takes place June 1-July 31.  To learn more about it and register at your local branch, go to omahalibrary.org, or by call 402-444-4800. 

Bellevue University is hosting a Young Nebraska Scientists Camp June 7-11 for 9th through 12th graders. The camp is focused on viruses and bacteria and features hands-on engaging activities.  

Dr. John Kyndt joined Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss this first of its kind camp and all the various technology the kids will get to use while attending.

Throughout the camp, participants will do things like collect soil samples for local tallgrass prairie sites; learn bioinformatics approaches to analyze microbial meta-genomics sequencing data; analyze how the immune system recognizes and responds to viruses; purify DNA from soil samples; run DNA sequencing and interpret results; set up experiments to stimulate cells with molecules that might be found in viruses; and experience field excursions involving modern laboratory techniques.

More information can be found at https://yns.nebraska.edu/camps/hs-viruses-and-bacteria.

AIM Infotec, one of the Midwest’s largest annual conferences for people working in tech careers, will be on May 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provided for free in 2021.  Mike Smith, an international-level public speaker with local ties to the nonprofit world, will be the keynote for this year’s event.

Smith is cofounder of the nonprofit, Rabble Mill, based in Lincoln and Omaha.  Rabble Mill works with Nebraska youth statewide toward their belonging , purpose and upward mobility through its subculture programming in skateboarding, music and digital art.  Both Rabble Mill and AIM work to cultivate and retain talent in parts of the region where it often goes overlooked.

Over the course of this two-part interview, Smith and Mike Hogan chat about the key to engaging and helping youth, how just a little effort by a mentor figure can reap huge rewards for the kids and society, and how the IT world is being impacted by young people today.

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

You’ve seen the action, adventure, cool gadgets, and hard detective work that goes into being an FBI agent in the movies and on television.  Have you ever wondered if you have the skills necessary to be part of a team that can stop crimes, violence, and protect your friends and neighbors?  What skills does the FBI seek?

In this two-part “Live & Local” interview, Special Agent Michele Stevenson chats with Mike Hogan about the surprisingly diverse set of skills and people that are sought by the FBI.  She also discusses the many benefits of working for the FBI, why she has enjoyed a twenty-two year and counting career at the bureau, and what steps you can take to see if the FBI is the place for you to make your mark in the world.

More information can be found at https://fbijobs.gov/ .

NPR

Mask mandates are expiring in several of the state’s largest cities as more people continue to get vaccinated for the coronavirus. Lincoln’s mask mandate will expire at the end of Thursday, Omaha’s will disappear at the end of next Tuesday and in the Omaha suburbs, Ralston ended its mandate earlier this week. The state has seen infection rates come down as vaccinations have become more widely available. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska decreased over the past two weeks, going from 198.71 new cases per day on May 3 to 100.14 new cases per day on Monday.

The Omaha Community Playhouse opens their new production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ Friday, May 21, 2021.  The show highlights the music of legendary jazz musician and entertainer Fats Waller in this wildly popular Tony Award-winning musical revue.

Tiffany White-Welchen chats with Mike Hogan of KIOS-FM about the show, the music, and the historical context of Fats Waller's legendary songs.

More information can be found at https://www.omahaplayhouse.com/tickets/view/misbehavin/

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/ .

Photo of a sign reading "apartment for rent." The sign is white with red letters. Tall grass obscure part of the sign. A row of houses is behind it, but most of their facades are obscured by the angle.
Allstate

 

UNL Will Require Spring Graduates To Be Tested For Covid

Apr 23, 2021
UNL

 The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is requiring graduates to get tested for COVID-19. Officials said each grad must test negative one-to-three days before the ceremony, even if they have already been vaccinated. Commencement will take place on May Seventh and Eighth at Memorial Stadium and Pinnacle Bank Arena. 

Close of of hands wearing purple hospital gloves holding a small box reading "Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine"
NPR


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.

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