kios feature reporting

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

View of Wendy Red Star's installation in the Joslyn's Riley CAP Gallery. Tables with hand-cut photos are on opposite walls. American flag bunting hangs from the tables and ceiling. Another table in front of a photo of a mountain sits at the far end
Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke, born 1981), The Indian Congress, 2021, mixed media installation at Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha, NE). Photo: Colin Conces



Blue Barn Theatre


Signs reading things like "the rich got bailed out, the poor got left out" and "EVICTION = DEATH" are piled in front of a backyard shed
Omaha Tenants United



At the beginning of 2020, things were looking up for Omaha resident Jolina Manley. She had a steady job at a call center; she was living in a townhouse subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and she was taking classes in culinary arts.


“The kids were all in school," Manley says. "Everything this year started off like, 'Okay, this is going to be great. I'm going to do something and everything's going to be great.'”

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.

This installment of “Portrait of a Pandemic” is brought to us through collaboration with NOISE Omaha.  Reporter, Dawaune Lamont Hayes discusses incarceration and the pandemic with Dominique Morgan of Black and Pink, a local organization advocating for LGBTQ+ persons of color living with HIV effected by the “criminal justice” system.This installment of “Portrait of a Pandemic” is brought to us through collaboration with NOISE Omaha.

A Portiat of a Pandemic: Homeless in a Pandemic, part two

May 21, 2020
Joshua LaBure

In this installment of A Portrait of a Pandemic, we continue with our portraits of those in and surrounding the homeless community of Omaha. Last week we heard from Daryl and his experience of homelessness in a pandemic. Today, KIOS’s Emily Chen-Newton brings us Devon Lee, volunteer coordinator at the The Stephen Center, an emergency housing and addiction recovery campus in Omaha.

To contact the HERO Addiction Recovery Program: 402-715-5440


 In this edition of “a portrait of a pandemic” KIOS’s Joshua LaBure brings us a conversation with Eric Rede of United Food and Commercial Workers Union explaining what he hears from those actually working in the factories continuing to operate during the pandemic


 It’s been a while since we’ve been able to go to our local barber shop or salon to get a trim, color or just some conversation with our barber or hair dressers and it can be frustrating or disorienting. But how do the small business owners, the barbers and stylists feel about getting back to something resembling normal? Are we acting too fast? Joshua LaBure of KIOS discussed this with the owners of a local barber shop.



Special thanks to The Surly Chap Barbers.

Joshua LaBure

“Stay home” became a nationwide mantra in early 2020, but for the thousands of homeless men and women in America this is more complicated. As shelters across the country do their best to social distance within their facilities, still countless individuals sleep outside every night. The voices and stories of these individuals are not often heard as part of the pandemic landscape. So, in this edition of a portrait of a pandemic, we feature Daryl and his story of living homeless in a pandemic.

Support KIOS on #GivingTuesdayNow

May 1, 2020

#Support KIOS for #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5th, 2020! 

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

  Because of Covid-19 the movie industry is on hold. Film productions have shuttered, movie theaters are closed and that has affected artists and theaters here in Omaha.  Joshua Allen LaBure speaks with a local filmmaker and the non-profit movie theatre Film Streams about how Covid-19 is affecting the cinema landscape.

Special thanks to Film Streams & filmmaker, Nik Fackler.

 From concerts and music festivals to movie screenings and conferences, large events all over the world are being postponed, rescheduled, canceled and moved to digital platforms. This includes the Lincoln Marathon here in Nebraska. Joshua LaBure of Omaha Public Radio reached out to a runner and a race organizer on this Portrait of a Pandemic

Joshua LaBure

This installment of our series Portrait of a Pandemic features two Omaha businesses shifting their production in response to COVID-19. As the pandemic reached America's heartland , Brickway Brewery converted their distillation process from spirits to hand sanitizer and Artifact began making facial masks for the community.

Brickway Brewery   follow on instagram

In the first part of our occasional series, Portrait of a Pandemic, we heard how COVID-19 effects workers in the hospitality industry... cutting their hours or knocking them out of work altogether.  In this latest installment, Joshua LaBure brings us a look at another segment of workers uniquely impacted by coronavirus: the people who check your groceries and stock the shelves... who've suddenly found themselves on the pandemic's front lines.




Music from Kevin Conboy


All over the world restaurants and bars are closing because of the outbreak of COVID-19, leaving thousands of servers, bartenders and other staff out of work. As part one of our series on the human experience of the pandemic,  Joshua Allen LaBure of Omaha Public Radio spoke with Another Round, Another Rally and some Omaha area hospitality workers affected by the crisis. 

Studio 360 Going Off The Air

Feb 26, 2020

After a twenty-year run, Studio 360 airs for the final time this Saturday, February 29th at noon. The arts and culture program's close comes with the retirement of host, and Omaha native, Kurt Andersen. Emily Chen-Newton brings us this conversation with Andersen to find out what’s next for the award-winning author, columnist, and broadcaster.

Gathering in reconciliation for Will Brown and The Red Summer

Oct 16, 2019
Emily Chen-Newton

Last September marked 100 years since the lynching of Will Brown; Omaha’s connection to the 1919 national tragedy known as “The Red Summer”, when the US convulsed with violence boiling over from long-simmering racial tensions resulting in lynchings and riots nation wide. Last month also saw the world premiere of Red Summer at Blue Barn Theatre. Located just a few city-blocks away from the site of Will Brown’s murder, the play tells his story.

Samuel Bak is a world renowned artist and Holocaust survivor.  He has painted nearly 8,000 works of art in his lifetime.  UNO's Sam and Frances Fried Holocaust and Genocide Academy is partnering with the Pucker Gallery in Boston to bring seventy original Bak works to Omaha.  Bak's work touches on themes such as identity, justice, human rights, Jewish history and the Holocaust.

Sam was kind enough to stop by the KIOS-FM studios to chat with Mike Hogan for an extended episode of "Live & Local!"

More information can be found at

or at and finally, you can view more of Samuel's work at

Preceding the 50th birthday Open House for KIOS-FM, Todd Hatton, Ken Dudzik, and a couple of guests look over the past 50 years and KIOS's place in history. 

This program aired live at noon on Friday the 20th of September.  It is in two parts to accomdate file size uploading limitations.

As you may have heard, multi-award winning actor Paul Giamatti is coming to Omaha to celebrate Film Streams gala event “Feature VIII.”  The acclaimed actor will join Film Streams Board Member and Omaha native Alexander Payne to celebrate the 15th anniversary of “Sideways,” their Academy Award-winning collaboration. 

The centerpiece of the August 25th evening celebration will be an onstage conversation about Mr. Giamatti’s prolific career in film and television, and his perspective on the art and industry.

After airing a "sneak peak" excerpt of the long chat Mike Hogan, host on KIOS-FM, was lucky enough to have with Paul Giamatti, below is the unabridged interview.  So generous with his time and views, Mr. Giamatti shares about his career, acting, and some of his favorite moments in the industry.  

You can still hear the sneak peak version at

Mayor Jean Stothert stopped by the KIOS-FM studios and chatted candidly with Mike Hogan about issues currently facing the city of Omaha.  While you may have heard the interview excerpts on this morning's "Live & Local" segment, below is the entire unedited interview.  

In this full length discussion, Mayor Stothert reveals  details on the trash contract, budget creation and approval, the inner workings of city government, the riverfront revitalization, personal details regarding her run for and eventual winning of the office of mayor, and her television sketch comedy experience.  

This full length, uncut interview sheds some light on the process of running a municipality and the person holding the top office in the city of Omaha. 

Theatre Bringing Reconciliation in Omaha

Jul 17, 2019
photo courtesy of Emily Chen-Newton KIOS News

“Reconciliation” is now a social and political buzz word, as presidential hopefuls embrace the idea of reparations for those affected by centuries of racism and economic inequality. Religious groups worldwide have also been calling for acts of reconciliation for the LGBTQIA community in recent months.  

Midwest Pride

Jul 5, 2019
photo courtesy of Emily Chen-Newton KIOS

Last week The Evangelical Covenant Church held its’ annual meeting in Omaha, wherein a 77% majority voted to expel an entire congregation in Minnesota and defrock their pastor because of their stance on same gender marriage. The very next day, despite the roaring Nebraska heat, Omaha's downtown streets were filled with LGBTQIA allies for The Heartland Pride Parade. 

As part of Omaha Public Radio’s continued coverage on the marriage equality movement in the Midwest, KIOS's Emily Chen-Newton spoke with the Omaha church groups who showed up in droves for Heartland Pride.

Tattoo Artists vs Human Trafficking

Jun 19, 2019

  Medical professionals and firefighters are understood to be on the front-line of Human Trafficking, but a new group of professionals is stepping up: tattoo artists. The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health is teaming up with the tattoo community to create a training model for artists; how to recognize and respond to human trafficking. Reporting from one of Omaha’s popular late-night tattoo shops, Omaha Public Radio’s Emily Chen-Newton explores the industry’s relationship to human trafficking and their efforts to subvert it. 

Omaha Public Schools open innovative new facility

Mar 6, 2019
Courtesy of Kessler Photography and BCDM Architects

Last year, the 80-year-old Dr. J.P. Lord School in Omaha opened a new building tailored to the needs of students with multiple disabilities.  The facility is part of the Omaha Public School system, free to students who need it, and its innovations are drawing national attention.

Friday, August 24th, comedian Paula Poundstone performs at the Holland Performing Arts Center.  The veteran of NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" takes some time to chat with Morning Edition local host Mike Hogan.  Paula will be the first to tell you she's "quite a talker!"  The aired version of the interview had to be truncated for reasons of time constraints.  The full interview is posted below.  Enjoy getting to know Paula!

Tickets and information regarding Paula's performance can be found at