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Tampa Bay Times

Police in Omaha have issued a public warning about counterfeit painkillers circulating in the area that investigators say have led to several overdose deaths. Police say the counterfeit Oxycodone pills actually contain the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Police say the illegally pressed pills range in color from blue to green and have an “M” imprinted on one side and “30” imprinted on the other side. The pills are intended to mimic a 30 mg dose of Oxycodone.

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

North Platte Telegraph

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is ramping up his crusade for the meat industry by endorsing a new “beef passport” program to promote meat eating, a few weeks after he blasted Colorado’s governor for a resolution encouraging its residents to eat less. Ricketts, a Republican, cast meat as essential to his state’s economy and the nation’s food security. He criticized “radical environmentalists” and Bill Gates for promoting alternatives, such as synthetic, lab-grown meat, and for arguing that the global meat production system isn’t sustainable.

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

 

Stothert Proposes Three Areas For Annexation

May 5, 2021
WOWT

Omaha could soon expand in size.  Mayor Jean Stothert has submitted a proposal to annex three sites that would add 248 people to the city's population.  The sites include Whispering Ridge West near 180th and Maple, Northridge near 180th and Pacific as well as an area near 156th and Fort.  The city planning board will consider the proposal on June 2nd, and the annexation would take effect on July 27th if approved.

Center For American Progress

State lawmakers have rejected an attempt to steer more money into Nebraska’s small, rural K-12 schools, many of which receive little aid from the state because they have few students and are surrounded by valuable farmland. Supporters of the bill argued, however, that it isn’t fair for farmers to shoulder most of the cost of their local schools while districts in Omaha, Lincoln and other cities get hundreds of millions of dollars in state assistance. Larger schools say they have more students and greater needs.

KPTM

A redevelopment plan is in the works for the former Civic Auditorium site in Omaha.  The first phase of the proposal calls for building 388 apartments on the site.  City officials plan to sell the site to developers for nearly one-point-five-million-dollars, and construction could start in 2023.  The Civic Auditorium closed in 2014.

Metropolitan Community College

 A Nebraska community college is using federal COVID-19 relief funds to pay for tuition and books for high schoolers from the state to take courses this summer. The Omaha World-Herald reports that officials at the Metropolitan Community College hope their newly approved offer will pull in thousands of students. The college saw about a 15% drop in summer enrollment from 2019 to 2020, said Bill Owen, the college’s vice president for strategic initiatives.

Reddit

Federal officials are giving Nebraska more than $50 million to work on a Niobrara River dam that collapsed during the disastrous March 2019 flooding, killing a man who lived just below it. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced the award Friday. The money is intended to cover 75% of the cost of the project, with the rest to come from state and local sources. The 93-year-old Spencer Dam was overwhelmed in a surge of ice boulders, with some chunks measured up to 2 feet thick and 20 feet long.

News Channel Nebraska

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s next chancellor will be the first Asian American to hold an executive leadership position in the state’s university system. The University of Nebraska’s Board of Regents unanimously endorsed Joanne Li as UNO’s new chancellor on Saturday. University of Nebraska President Ted Carter said the 56-year-old Li is a proven leader with a record of significant accomplishments. For instance, the graduation rate at Florida International’s College of Business, where Li was dean, improved from 29% in 2017 to what is expected to be a 70% rate this year.

Allstate

Domestic violence victims who are living with their abuser in a rental property could break their lease and leave without penalties under a bill that won final approval from Nebraska lawmakers. Senators passed the measure through the last of three required votes, 43-3. The bill by Sen. John Cavanaugh, of Omaha, includes other tenant protections, such as requiring landlords to give at least 24 hours of notice before entering a tenant’s apartment.

Omaha World Herald

A 114-year-old Nebraska woman who has taken the title of America’s oldest living person says what she wants most is to eat with her friend after a year of pandemic restrictions. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Thelma Sutcliffe, of Omaha, was born on Oct. 1, 1906. The Gerontology Research Group said she became the nation’s oldest living person and seventh-oldest in the world on April 17 when Hester Ford, a 115-year-old woman, died in North Carolina.

New Two Year State Budget Signed Into Law

Apr 27, 2021

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has signed a new, $9.7 billion two-year state budget into law that includes property tax credits and money to potentially build a new state prison. Ricketts praised several aspects of the budget, including $1.45 billion in state money that will be used for various property tax reduction programs. The budget will grow by 1.7% annually over the two-year period. Ricketts did not veto any portion of the budget. 

NET Nebraska

Nebraska’s population grew at the same rate as the rest of the nation for the first time in at least 120 years, breaking the cycle in which the state consistently trailed the United States average. New U.S. Census numbers show Nebraska’s population increased 7.4% between 2010 and 2020, matching the national growth rate in the same period. The state had grown at slower pace every decade since at least 1900. David Drozd of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Center for Public Affairs Research says he had expected Nebraska’s growth to slightly lag the national growth rate.

PBS

Nebraska plans to immediately resume using Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine after federal health officials decided the shot’s benefits outweigh a rare risk of developing blood clots. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced the decision on Monday. Federal health officials gave the OK to resume using the shots Friday.

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. 

NASA To Launch UNL Satellite

Apr 23, 2021

A satellite built by students at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln is set for a NASA launch this weekend. The Nebraska Big Red Satellite Team's project is among 14 research satellites being sent into space to learn more about solar power. The team is testing a new type of solar cell to see how it generates power with and without direct sunlight, as well as learn more about its lifespan in space.

Falls City Businessman Enters Gubernatorial Race

Apr 22, 2021
Falls City Journal

A businessman from Falls City is planning to run for governor of Nebraska.  Charles Herbster will kick off his campaign on Monday at the Heartland Country Barn in Fremont.  Current Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts cannot run for re-election in 2022 due to term limits.  

A conservative radio host in Omaha lost his job for a social media post criticized as racist that he sent minutes after the conviction of a white former Minneapolis police officer for the killing last year of a Black man. KFAB afternoon radio host Chris Baker posted a since-deleted tweet Tuesday evening in which he wrote “Guilty!” above an image of what appeared to be four older Black men in body paint and loincloths dancing around a pole. C. Taylor Walet III, an executive at KFAB owner iHeartRadio, said Wednesday afternoon that Baker had been fired.

Harris Bricken

A political party focused on legalizing marijuana can now run candidates and claim registered voters in Nebraska after it gained official state recognition. Secretary of State Bob Evnen says the Legal Marijuana NOW Party has met the requirements to qualify as a political party. The designation allows voters to register with the party, and party officials can nominate candidates for partisan offices. Activists Mark Elworth Jr. and Krystal Gabel, who frequently run for public office, say they collected more than 10,000 signatures over four years to gain party status.

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


Nebraska is inching closer to building a new, $230 million prison after state lawmakers approved design and planning money for the proposed facility to replace the state’s oldest prison. The measure won final approval despite objections from a few lawmakers who said the state should be spending money on housing, education, mental health services and other priorities rather than the proposed 1,512-bed prison. The funding includes $14.9 million to help state officials create plans and select a site for a prison that would house minimum, medium and maximum-security prisoners.

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. 

WOWT

Two teenagers have been charged in Saturday’s fatal shooting at a Nebraska shopping mall. One man was killed and a woman was wounded in the shooting at Westroads Mall in Omaha that prosecutors said was likely gang related. The shooting around midday Saturday sent shoppers fleeing from the mall. A judge ordered 16-year-old Makhi Woolridge-Jones to be held without bail after he was charged with first-degree murder, assault and two gun charges. His older brother, 18-year-old Brandon Woolridge-Jones, was charged as an accessory to the shooting, and his bail was set at $75,000.

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

 

(Lincoln, NE)  --  A Nebraska state lawmaker is facing criticism from some colleagues for comments he made during a legislative gathering.  Senator Mike Groene of North Platte on Wednesday referred to a fellow senator as a "media Mongol" instead of a "media mogul," apparently referring to his ownership of a broadcasting company.  Groene then defended the slip-up by saying Senator Mike Flood is someone with mixed heritage, so that qualifies him as "mongrel," and due to his aggressive nature, he is also a "Mongol."  Groene has since further gone on record to say he's not sorry for what he sai

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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