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Four people were injured when a second-floor outdoor deck collapsed during a barbecue in suburban Omaha, trapping the people and leaving serious burns on one woman when a hot charcoal grill fell on her. First responders said the incident happened around 9 p.m. Sunday at a home in Bellevue. Officials say several people were on the deck when it collapsed, causing them to fall 10- to 12-feet to the ground. Four people, including the woman with first- and second-degree burns, were taken to local hospitals. Officials say some people at the scene declined treatment.

Covid Patients Filling ICU Beds Once More

7 hours ago
EU

The Douglas County Health Department reports 137 new confirmed COVID-19 infections over the weekend.  The total number of cases now tops 73-thousand.  There were no new deaths reported, so that toll remains at 737.  Officials say just under 53-percent of all Douglas County residents have received one dose of the vaccine.

KOLN

State health officials have reported Nebraska's first human case this year of West Nile virus. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported Friday that a county health department officials in northeastern Nebraska reported a person there had tested positive for the mosquito-borne illness. The Elkhorn-Logan Valley Health Department, which covers Burt, Cuming, Madison and Stanton counties, says the infected person was not hospitalized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most people with West Nile virus don’t have symptoms.

Omaha World Herald

Nearly 50 Nebraska school boards have objected to proposed state health education standards that include lessons for young children on gender identity and gender expression. State Sen. Joni Albrecht said 47 school boards across the state have either adopted resolutions or sent letters opposing the first draft of the standards that the Nebraska Department of Education is considering. Under the proposed standards, elementary students would learn about different kinds of family structures, including same-gender families, and gender identity.

Omaha Children's Museum has been a special place where children can challenge themselves, discover how the world works, and learn through play.  The mission of Omaha Children's Museum is to engage the imagination and create excitement about learning.  And they’ve been doing that for 45 years!

Lindy Hoyer, Executive Director Omaha Children’s Museum, spent some time with Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to recall the humble beginnings, the finding of a permanent home, and the full circle return to outreach caused by the pandemic.

Information about the Omaha Children’s Museum can be found at www.ocm.org.

City Council Allocates Tax Incentives For Casino

Jul 21, 2021
KETV

The Omaha City Council is moving forward with plans for a new casino in the city.  On Tuesday, Council members agreed to provide nearly 18-million-dollars in tax incentives for the casino at the intersection of 62nd and Q Streets.  According to reports, the new complex will feature live and simulcast horse racing, along with 12-hundred gaming machines, live entertainment and a sports bar. The casino, which will be among the first in the state, is expected to be completed by the fall of 2022.

Nebraska athletes who are part of a newly formed nonprofit are among those who signed a petition Monday opposing a proposed University of Nebraska Board of Regents resolution objecting to “any imposition of critical race theory” in academic curriculum. The Omaha World-Herald reports that nonprofit United College Athlete Advocates' petition had gathered more than 1,300 signatures by Monday morning.

You may know that The Pinnacle Bank Championship is happening right here in Omaha August 9th through the 15th and you may also know that it is the regular season finale of the Korn Ferry Tour.  Since all of these golfers are basically the Triple-A talent of the PGA tour, at the end of this tournament many will receive their PGA tour cards here in Omaha.

While that is very exciting, did you know that the Pinnacle Bank Championship is also a charity, raising tens of thousands of dollars for worthy causes?  Or that they need volunteers?

Jessica Brabec, Tournament Director of the Pinnacle Bank Championship, joined Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM to discuss the philanthropy, the competition, and the need for volunteers on both the golf side and the charitable activities side.

More information about the tournament and how you can be involved can be found at https://thepinnaclebankchampionship.com/volunteer/registration-and-overview/

John DiGirolamo has written a book called “It’s Not About the Badge” which focuses on the human side of policing.  The book gives everyday police officers a voice and features stories showing insight about how the job can impact family, mental well-being, and marriage.  It also gives insight into the lives of some of those in trouble, how they got there, and what happens when these people on two different sides of the law interact.

John joined Mike Hogan for a “Live & Local” chat to discuss the book, the pressures of police work, his family’s personal involvement in some of the stories, and the Omaha connection in the book.

More information about the book can be found at  “It’s Not About the Badge”

NBC

Nebraska agreed not to seek reimbursement from Texas for the state patrol troopers that it sent down to the U.S.-Mexican border at the request of Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Nebraska State Patrol documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the state committed, at least initially, not to seek reimbursement for the mission, which is estimated to cost more than $334,000. A spokesman for the patrol and Nebraska Gov.

Lincoln Journal Star

Officials in Lincoln are defending their actions to remove a homeless encampment that had been set up in a wooded area. City officials say concerns from residents nearby prompted an investigation by Lincoln Fire and Rescue and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. Jon Carlson, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff, told the Lincoln Journal Star that conditions were found to be dangerous for those who were living there. But some homeless advocates say it was unjust to demolish a community people made for themselves.

KHGI

Nebraska schools are getting conflicting advice from state and federal health officials over whether students should quarantine after contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. The state Department of Health and Human Services is telling schools that students who had contact with an infected person would not have to quarantine as long as they don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19. But the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that students who aren’t vaccinated and have close contact with an infected person should still quarantine.

Norfolk Daily News

The company that’s building casinos in Nebraska after voters legalized them has announced plans for another facility in Norfolk. WarHorse Gaming, LLC says it will pitch a horse-racing track and eventual casino at the DeVent Center. The company, a subsidiary of Ho-Chunk, Inc., which financed the casino legalization campaign, will present its plans Friday to the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission. WarHorse Gaming is seeking a racing license before the company breaks ground for construction of the new track and an overhaul of existing buildings.

Nebraska ended its fiscal year in much better financial shape than expected despite the coronavirus pandemic. The Nebraska Department of Revenue reports net general fund tax collections of $5.959 billion during the fiscal year that began in June 2020 and ended last month. That’s 19.2% higher than the certified state forecast of $5.001 billion. State officials report higher-than-expected collections of sales-and-use taxes, individual and corporate income taxes, and miscellaneous taxes.

Lincoln Journal Star

A state lawmaker from Omaha has announced he will run in the Democratic primary for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Sen. Tony Vargas said in an announcement Tuesday that he will seek the party’s nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, a three-term Republican in the district that includes Omaha and parts of its suburbs. Vargas said Tuesday his focus will be on meeting the needs of working families, including access to affordable, quality health care, living wages and better education.

Omaha Company Heads Plead Guilty In 2015 Explosion Case

Jul 14, 2021
Workers Compensation Watch

An Omaha company and its owners are pleading guilty in connection to a 2015 railcar explosion that killed two workers.  Nebraska Railcar Cleaning Services, Steven Michael Braithwaite, president and owner of the business, and Adam Thomas Braithwaite, vice-president and co-owner, pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy, violating worker safety standards resulting in death, and submitting false information to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  Workers Adrian LaPour and Dallas Foulk were killed in the explosion and a third worker was injured.  The Braithwaites will be sentenced

The severe storms on Saturday, with the power fluctuations and eventual outages, have damaged some of the KIOS equipment.  The engineering department spent the weekend working hard to bring the transmitter back to life.  While successful in that endeavor, portions of the transmitter have been damaged and replacement parts are on the way.

Wastewater Spill Contaminates Cole Creek

Jul 13, 2021
Omaha-By-Design

Hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated sewage is discovered in an Omaha creek.  City inspectors discovered the overflow yesterday morning in Cole Creek near Ames Avenue and Benson Park Drive.  Officials say due to power-feed damage caused by Saturday's thunderstorm, nearly 214-thousand gallons of untreated wastewater spilled into the creek.  Residents are being warned not to wade, swim or have any contact with Cole Creek to the confluence at Little Papio Creek.

NBC

An Omaha, Nebraska, zoo says roughly 200 people were possibly exposed to a rabid bat. Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Friday said it's paying for rabies shots for 186 campers who stayed overnight at the aquarium in recent weeks. A camper woke up to a wild bat flying around her head July 4. No scratches or bites were found on her. The zoo euthanized seven wild bats found in the aquarium. One tested positive for rabies. The zoo's animal health director says people who visited the aquarium during the day shouldn't be worried because bats are nocturnal.

Eminetra

The storms that knocked down trees and power lines across eastern Nebraska this weekend left more people without electricity that any area storm in years. The Omaha Public Power District says the 188,000 customers that lost power after the storms Friday night and early Saturday is a larger outage than any storm since June 2008 when 156,000 customers lost electricity. By midday Sunday, less than 60,000 OPPD customers remained without power but utility officials said it could take several days to restore electricity to everyone.

Due to the massive power outage in the greater Omaha metro area, the transmitter is still without power at this hour.  The streaming signal is running well and can be heard at www.KIOS.org.

We are actively working with OPPD to return power to the transmitter.  Thank you so much for your patience and support!

Financial Times

Media mogul and billionaire bison rancher Ted Turner is donating an 80,000-acre ranch he owns in western Nebraska to a nonprofit agriculture ecosystem research institute and says he might do the same with four other ranches in Nebraska’s Sand Hills. But he says he'll continue to pay taxes on the land. The Omaha World-Herald reports that news comes as a relief to state and local officials who had feared Turner might donate the nearly 500,000 acres of Nebraska ranchland he owns and remove them from property tax rolls. Turner Enterprises Inc.

Amazon

Omaha police are investigating so-called "Kool-Aid man" vandalism incidents.  Police say a group of youths have run through as many as 15 fences in west Omaha while performing the stunt.  The "Kool-Aid" man stunt has been popularized on TikTok.  Similar incidents have also been reported in Douglas and Sarpy counties.   

KMEG

The number of COVID-19 cases reported in Nebraska jumped last week, but the rate of new cases remained below the national average. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the state recorded 456 virus cases last week, which was up from 253 and 181 in the two previous weeks. Data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the state’s rate of new cases per capita ranked 23rd among the states last week. Dr.

Sandhills Express

A tomahawk once owned by Chief Standing Bear, a pioneering Native American civil rights leader, is returning to his Nebraska tribe after decades in a museum at Harvard. The university's Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology says it's been working with members of the Ponca Tribe in Nebraska and Oklahoma to repatriate the artifact. The tribe's chairman says its anticipated return is a powerful symbol of homecoming for the tribe.

Shondaland

An Omaha therapist and mental health advocate announced that she will run in the Democratic primary for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Alisha Shelton says she will seek the party’s nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, a three-term Republican in the district that includes Omaha and parts of its suburbs. In a statement announcing her run, Shelton says she plans to focus her campaign on jobs, affordable health care and higher wages. Shelton would be Nebraska’s first Black member of Congress if elected.

This week the 41st U.S. Senior Open Championship is taking place at Omaha Country Club.  “Live & Local” host Mike Hogan went to the press event there and was able to have a conversation about the importance of this event, (in quick succession with the Swim Trials and the College World Series), to the economic recovery of the greater Omaha metro area. 

Deborah Ward, Executive Director of Visit Omaha, and Mark Rath, Director of Sales for Visit Omaha, joined Mike for this chat.

More information on this week’s festivities surrounding the U.S. Senior Open Championship can be found at www.USSeniorOpen.com.

Several charitable organizations have banded together for the "Saddle Up Under the Stars FREE Drive-In Movie Night."  Julie Boilsen, CEO with the Omaha Equestrian Foundation, joined Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss the motivation behind the event. 

The event is taking place at Falconwood Drive-In Theater in Bellevue on Wednesday, July 14.  Gates open at 7:30 p.m. for fun horse activities prior to the movie, including mini ponies, educational games and more for the entire family.  Following the pre-movie activities, at 9 p.m., Warner Bros. Pictures’ Black Beauty will play.

For more information or to reserve free tickets go to OmahaEquestrian.org/movie.

The event is hosted by a combination of nonprofits: HETRA, Nebraska Humane Society, North Hills Hunt, Omaha Equestrian Foundation, Omaha Rodeo and Take Flight Farms.

Investor Warren Buffett said the economic impact of the pandemic remains hard to predict but most big companies have fared OK throughout it as long as they weren't tied to travel. Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger said in an interview that U.S. regulators should do more to restrict the amount of gambling in financial markets by limiting how much investors and banks can borrow on margin. Munger praised the financial regulations that Chinese regulators have put in place to limit speculation.

UNO Gateway

Nebraska plans to stop reporting coronavirus numbers online after this week. The state Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that it planned to retire the online dashboard that it has used to report statistics on the coronavirus pandemic for more than a year. The current state virus emergency also was set to expire on Wednesday, and along with that Nebraska would eliminate the last few social distancing guidelines that remain in place. As of its final update Wednesday, the state had reported 224,488 virus cases and 2,261 deaths linked to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

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