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OCP legend Camille Metoyer Moten makes her highly-anticipated return to the stage for an intimate holiday affair.  Christmas In My Heart is all the wonder and magic of the season in concert.  You can light your holiday candles, cozy up on the couch and let Camille’s soaring voice warm your heart with beloved holiday classics, contemporary Christmas melodies and everything in between.

Camille joined Mike Hogan for a "Live & Local" interview about the show, the changes that were made to keep it a safe and healthy experience for all, and to discuss her hall of fame career.

More information about how to stream the show is available at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/43129

The Omaha Public Library has been able to open all 12 of its branches, curbside pickup service is still available, as are many other services offered by the library. 

Marketing Manager of the Omaha Public Library, Emily Getzschman, joined Mike Hogan in a two-part "Live & Local" chat to catch us up on all the latest news from our largest repository of knowledge and entertainment.  She also gives her personal book recommendations!

For more information or to join the library, https://omahalibrary.org/

The Big Garden is working harder than ever to meet the increasing need for fresh, healthy produce in local pantries and food distribution programs in our community.  This year, the pandemic has caused a dramatic increase in food insecurity.  Families and individuals are struggling to make ends meet because of illness or job reduction.  According to Food Bank for the Heartland, 1 in 4 children in our area are food insecure.  The demand at local pantries has increased more than 50%.

As Development Director Cami Cavanaugh Rawlings explains to Mike Hogan on "Live & Local," The Big Garden has responded to the need this year by investing more heavily in food production than ever before.  As of this week, they’ve grown 15,000 pounds of fresh produce in 2020, all of which has been donated to people in need.  And they’re not done yet.  For the first time ever, they are firing up two 24x80 foot greenhouses to grow as much emergency food as possible throughout the winter months.

And there's more.  To find more information or discover how you can help feed our neighbors in need, you can go to www.BigGarden.org.

Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NEHII), a Health Information Exchange (HIE) joins forces with Unite Us, the technology company that connects health and social care providers, in a unique and innovative partnership that will transform service delivery and care coordination throughout Nebraska.

This partnership will break down existing barriers between clinical and social care providers, enabling them to work together to provide comprehensive, whole-person care with trackable outcomes data.

In the sound clips below, 'NEHII' CEO, Jaime Bland, and 'Unite Us' Founder and President, Taylor Justice, joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" in a two-part interview to talk about the joint effort to improve the lives of Nebraskans.  

More information for getting help or volunteering can be found at https://nebraska.uniteus.com/ and https://nehii.org/

Investor Warren Buffett says he would gladly trade places with any of today’s college graduates even with the uncertain times because of the opportunity they have ahead of them. Buffett recently recorded a graduation speech that will be aired this weekend at his alma mater, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In the talk, Buffett said graduates should feel lucky to get the education they did and to have the chance to start their careers in the United States today.

Nebraska state revenue collected more revenue than expected in November and is also above projections for the current fiscal year. The state Department of Revenue says Nebraska received $482 million last month. That’s 21.6% higher than the certified forecast. The original forecast was set in August. The increase was driven largely by higher-than-expected net sale-and-use tax revenue and net individual income tax revenue. Net miscellaneous revenue came in higher than projected for the month as well, while net corporate income tax collections fell below estimates.

ACLU of Nebraska

Even as a vaccine began trickling out to states this week, Nebraska's prisons continue to struggle with the spread of the coronavirus. The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services says 18 staff members across the state's prison system have tested positive for the virus since the end of last week. On Saturday, the department said 11 staffers had tested positive. Another three infected staffers were announced Sunday, and late Monday, the department said four more staffers had tested positive.

Financial Times

Nebraska has received its first shipments of the new coronavirus vaccine and expects to get more than 100,000 doses this month to treat front-line health care workers. Dr. Gary Anthone, Nebraska’s chief medical officer, says the initial shipments had arrived at two hospitals as of mid-morning Monday. State officials expected to get all 15,600 of the first week's doses in the coming 48 hours. Nebraska’s distribution plan calls for the first vaccine doses to go to front-line health workers and other key professions, including meatpacking workers and teachers. Gov.

NET

Nebraska officially split its Electoral College votes for the 2nd time in history on Monday, awarding one of its five votes to President-elect Joe Biden and the remaining four to President Donald Trump. Biden won the popular vote in the Omaha area’s 2nd Congressional District, a feat last achieved by Barack Obama during his first presidential run in 2008. The vote in a half-full state Capitol hearing room drew cheers from audience members when elector Precious McKesson, a Democratic Party activist, cast her votes for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Black and Pink logo
Black and Pink

Black and Pink is an Omaha nonprofit supporting incarcerated members of the LBGTQ community and those living with HIV/AIDS, groups that can be especially vulnerable behind bars. With its yearly holiday cards campaign, the organization encourages those on the outside to remind folks in prison that they are not alone. Courtney Bierman spoke to Black and Pink members support coordinator Andrea Kszystyniak for more.

Freightwaves

Nebraska reported its smallest number of new virus cases since early November on Saturday as the state prepares for the first doses of a coronavirus vaccine to arrive. The state said 811 new virus cases were reported Saturday to give the state a total of 147,688 cases since the pandemic began. That marked the first time since Nov. 2 that the daily tally of new cases was below 1,000. Nebraska said 711 people were hospitalized with the virus on Saturday, which was down from 759 the day before.

White text reading "Strongly Worded Letters" against a pink background
Johnny Redd, Strongly Worded Letters

Strongly Worded Letters is a digital civic engagement toolkit for Omaha residents. Founders and Omaha natives Gab Rima and Johnny Redd use Instagram and other social media platforms to explain local politics and post scripts when getting in touch with representatives. Though Strongly Worded Letters encourages activism of all kinds, Rima says nothing quite captures passion like pen and paper.

GoFundMe

Police say a third person has died from injuries received in an explosion that leveled a house in Omaha, Nebraska. Police said Thursday in a news release that 28-year-old Alexander Toledo died Wednesday at a burn unit in Kansas City, Missouri. Toledo had been found by neighbors sitting outside the destroyed home with severe burns following the Tuesday morning blast. Toledo's grandmother, 73-year-old Theresa Toledo, and another woman, 45-year-old Angela Miller, were killed in the explosion. Seventy-two-year-old Larry Rodriguez was critically injured.

NBC News

Two Nebraska Congressmen are among the 106 Republican lawmakers supporting a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the presidential election. Representatives Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith joined a friend of the court brief backing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's lawsuit against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin. Paxton claims the states made unconstitutional changes to voting laws that impacted the election results. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse blasted the lawsuit, calling it an attempt by Paxton to get a pardon from President Trump.

The Douglas County Health Department and Omaha Community Foundation have partnered to launch a county-wide awareness campaign to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the Omaha community.  Do Right, Right Now is a practical call for a unified response to COVID-19.

As Nebraskans, we pride ourselves on doing the right thing, caring for one another, and working together to address problems and affect change.  We can get the good life back when we Do Right, Right Now.


The messages focus around the 3 W’s (Wear a mask, Wash your hands, Watch your distance) as well as the importance of getting flu shots.  The goal is for the message to be one of hope, positivity, and encouragement that will resonate with people who may be dealing with pandemic-fatigue.

Douglas County Health Director, Dr. Adi Pour joined Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to discuss the campaign and give some candid answers on the current state of the pandemic, politicians, and human nature in this time of crisis.


Both episodes of this two-part interview are below.  More information on how to stay healthy can be found at https://dorightrightnow.org/

Omaha World Herald

The remains of Nebraska and Iowa sailors who were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor 79 years ago will get to return home soon thanks to the work of experts at Offutt Air Force Base. It’s part of a five-year effort to identify Navy sailors and Marines who went missing while serving on the USS Oklahoma, a battleship that capsized during the attacks. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is working to identify remains with DNA technology and other modern methods.

US News and World Report

Fire officials say an explosion that leveled a home in Omaha, Nebraska, has left two people dead and two others critically injured. Omaha Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick says firefighters responded to the explosion shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday. Fitzpatrick says the house was leveled and completely destroyed. The explosion also caused significant damage to homes on either side of the house. The blast in south-central Omaha rained splintered lumber and other debris throughout the neighborhood, and witnesses say it was felt and heard miles away.

Hunger exists in every county in Nebraska and Iowa, and one in four Heartland children is food insecure. You can make this year a little brighter for those in need this holiday season!

Now in its 14th year, the campaign is a rallying call to support essential hunger relief efforts and provide meals for those in need – and this year, the need is even greater.  More families than ever are experiencing financial hardship and food insecurity due to the impact of the Pandemic.

Sandra Hulm, Vice President of Procurement at ConAgra Brands took the time to chat with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” about the severity of the food insecurity problem right here in Nebraska and Western Iowa. 

KLKN

A township board member in Dodge County has agreed to repay $22,000 to his township plus a $2,000 fine to the state for violations of Nebraska accountability laws during the 2019 floods. The Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission released the settlement agreement with Jeremy Moss, a member of the Elkhorn Township Board. The commission alleged that Moss’ company billed the township for nearly $139,000 in repairs to flood-damaged roads.

While the pandemic has impacted all of our lives, we do our best to continue the holiday traditions that make this season memorable.

And it just isn’t Christmas without “A Christmas Carol!”  Director Kimberly Faith Hickman joined Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to discuss how changes were made so everyone can safely experience Omaha’s favorite holiday tradition in a re-imagined small cast version with eight cast members, filmed, and ready for streaming directly into everyone’s home!  

In this two-part interview, Kimberly chats about the difficult decision to cancel the live performances and how the team at Omaha Community Playhouse came together to film this holiday classic and have it ready for all to enjoy in a safe, healthy, and comfortable atmosphere.

For information about how you can still enjoy Ebenezer Scrooge’s life-changing journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas is filled with stunning Victorian costumes, festive music and crisp, wintry sets, one can go to the website https://www.omahaplayhouse.com/tickets/view/acc/

"A Christmas Carol" is a beautiful reminder that love and generosity are the heart of the Christmas holiday.


KSLA

Cities in Nebraska juggle the issue of whether to require masks as the state's governor continues to resist issuing a statewide mask mandate while the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on the state. Grand Island police have made clear they'll enforce that city's mandate, passed last week, by charging violators with public nuisance counts. A surge in cases in recent weeks led Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts to reissue some statewide restrictions, including requiring masks in salons and tattoo parlors. But Ricketts has refused to impose a statewide mask mandate.

KOLN

Nebraska has passed the grim milestone of 1,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus, and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 remains high in the state. Officials reported 29 new deaths Monday to give the state 1,018 total since the pandemic began. The state also reported 1,941 new cases of the virus to push the total up to 128,407. The number of people being treated for the virus in hospitals grew Monday to 907 from the previous day’s 896. That remains below the record of 987 that was set on Nov. 20, but the total is four times higher than it was two months ago. 

CNBC

Gov. Pete Ricketts is extending Nebraska’s current coronavirus restrictions through December as the number of residents hospitalized with the virus dipped below 900 for the first time in more than two weeks. The current restrictions require masks in certain businesses, such as salons and tattoo parlors, where it’s difficult to maintain 6 feet of distance between people. They had been set to expire Monday. Despite the decline in hospitalizations, hospitals remained strained across the state.

Wikipedia

The results of Nebraska’s record-setting 2020 election are official. The state canvassing board certified the results Monday with little fanfare. The all-Republican board voted 5-0 to approve the final numbers. According to the board, 966,920 voters cast ballots, amounting to roughly 3 in 4 registered voters. The all-time high for voter turnout was heavily driven by mail-in ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic. The board’s vote also confirmed that Nebraska will deliver four Electoral College votes to President Donald Trump and one to President-elect Joe Biden.

It’s “Giving Tuesday!!” 

Marjorie Maas, Executive Director of SHARE Omaha joins Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to kick off the “Giving Tuesday” area-wide fundraising event.  You can donate, volunteer, and make someone’s day by getting involved today.

You can give directly to KIOS by going through this link: https://shareomaha.org/nonprofit/friends-kios

To find all the participating charitable organizations, one can go here: https://shareomaha.org/


Omaha World Herald

A judge has dismissed cases against 25 people who were arrested and jailed for blocking traffic at a bridge during a summer racial injustice protest in Omaha. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Douglas County Judge Marcena Hendrix ruled Wednesday that Omaha’s ordinance prohibiting the obstruction of a highway or street is “overly broad” and “clearly regulates protected speech.” At issue was a demonstration on July 25 over the lack of charges against a white bar owner in the death of a 22-year-old Black man. As part of the demonstration, protesters blocked the Farnam Street bridge.

Foodbank for the Heartland has a mission: To provide emergency and supplemental food to the people in need in Nebraska and western Iowa.  In a pandemic induced climate of ever increasing food insecurity, Foodbank for the Heartland needs your help now more than ever…Through donations, volunteering your time to fill backpacks in a socially distanced environment, or to simply drive through on December 5th and drop of some non-perishable foods.

Communications Manager Angie Grote chatted with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” about the great work being done and the desperate needs still to be met.

More information can be found at https://foodbankheartland.org/

UNO

A new report from researchers at the University of Nebraska at Omaha shows that Black Nebraskans are far more likely to be arrested and placed behind bars. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Black people also are significantly underrepresented among those receiving diversion or intervention services rather than jail time. The report found that the average number of arrests of Black people in Nebraska from 2014 to 2019 amounted to 19% of all arrests, while Blacks make up 5% of the state’s population.

Omaha World Herald

Omaha’s police chief said two officers acted appropriately when a Black man was fatally shot during a Nebraska traffic stop last week because the man repeatedly didn’t comply with their commands, but video of the confrontation won’t be immediately released. Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said Monday the officers followed department policy when Kenneth Jones was shot last Thursday because he reached for a gun in his waistband and disregarded officers’ commands.

WOWT

Protesters gathered in downtown Omaha for a second night to demand the release of video of a fatal police shooting of a Black man during a Nebraska traffic stop last week. The group of demonstrators gathered outside Omaha Police headquarters again Saturday to press police to release footage of Thursday’s shooting death of Kenneth Jones. Police have said that Jones, who was 35, reached for a gun in his waistband before he was shot. Before the protest, police released the names of the two officers involved in the traffic stop who will remain on leave while the incident is investigated.

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