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Marjorie Maas, Executive Director of SHARE Omaha, chats with Mike Hogan about the brand new charity event, Do Good Week.

Do Good Week will launch for the first time April 19 - April 24.  It is five themed days developed to connect the metro community to over 300 participating local nonprofits on Mission Monday, encourage donors to give to a new organization on New Donor Tuesday, fulfill Wish List Wednesday, find a volunteer need either virtually or in person on Volun-Thursday, and give financially on Fund It Friday to bolster the work of nonprofits who have supported so many this past year. 

More information and ways to participate can be found on the website https://shareomaha.org/dogoodweek

Ricketts Calls Nebraska "2nd Amendment Sanctuary State"

Apr 15, 2021

(Lincoln, NE)  --  Governor Pete Ricketts is designating Nebraska as a "Second Amendment Sanctuary State."  He says the symbolic proclamation reaffirms Nebraska's support for the right to bear arms.  Ricketts' proclamation comes as more than 50 counties across the state passed resolutions supporting the Second Amendment.  

Memorial Park Celebration Returns For 2021

Apr 15, 2021
KMTV

  After a year off, the popular summer concert at Memorial Park is scheduled to take place this year on Saturday, August 28. The later date for the City of Omaha Celebrates America event will help to ensure that the outdoor event can be held as safely as possible. The switch to a Saturday is also considered a one year change. Talent is not being announced at this time but will be released as soon as possible and will feature a national headliner. The fireworks show, expanded in 2019, will be enhanced even further in 2021, becoming one of the largest shows in the region.

Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) offers a wide range of in-home and community-based services to individuals of all ages and stages of life.  Vice President of Development and Communications, Carole Patrick, joined Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to talk about their major fundraising effort of the year, Art & Soup.

Your participation in Art & Soup impacts the lives of men, women and children in homeless and domestic violence shelters in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area.  All proceeds ensure that VNA nurses will continue to serve individuals and families in every local shelter.

Your ticket purchase changes lives and is considered a direct donation to VNA’s shelter nursing program.  Enjoy Art & Soup’s virtual fundraising content, online art sales and silent auction, a soup sampler pack, and a Soup Passport redeemable at participating restaurants.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts says he has rejected a federal request to help house unaccompanied migrant children.  He says he wants the state's resources used for children already in Nebraska.  Ricketts says federal officials should instead work with Central American governments to reunite the children with their families in their home countries.  His statement came days after Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds made a similar announcement.

Trail Improvements Continue

Apr 14, 2021

(Omaha, NE)  --  An Omaha area trail will get upgraded.  The Papio Missouri River Natural Resources District is expected to contribute 200-thousand-dollars toward improvements of the trail system around Lake Cunningham.  Officials hope to have the park open around July 4th.  

New COVID-19 Cases Reported

Apr 14, 2021

(Lincoln, NE)  -- The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska is on the rise.   More than 300 new cases were reported yesterday bringing the statewide total to 214-thousand-682.  Five additional deaths were reported, and the coronavirus has claimed 22-hundred-26 lives in the state since the pandemic started last year.

Sarpy County Board Votes To Remove Treasurer From Office

Apr 14, 2021

(Sarpy County, NE)  --  The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners is voting to remove the county treasurer from office.  Tuesday afternoon, the board voted 5-to-zero to remove Brian Zuger from office after they say he misappropriated funds for county school districts.  His removal is effective immediately. The Board has appointed an Interim Treasurer to serve until they find a replacement.

Pexels

WOWT

The Omaha economy will get a significant boost from hosting the entire NCAA volleyball championship tournament over the next two weeks. When the NCAA decided to move the entire tournament to the city instead of just holding the Final Four in Omaha, the demand for hotel rooms for the teams and officials jumped from 900 nights to 9,400 nights. The city's convention and visitors bureau estimates that those added hotel rooms alone are expected to generate an $18 million economic impact for the city.

KPTM

Democrat RJ Neary will face incumbent Republican Mayor Jean Stothert in the May 11 election. The Douglas County Election Commission on Friday announced the results after counting 12,000 absentee ballots. The top two vote getters in Omaha’s city primary elections move on the general election. A total of 85,096 people voted in the primary on Tuesday. Unofficial results showed Stothert, who is seeking a third term, received 47,966 votes. Neary, a commercial real estate broker, received 13,162 votes. Three other Democrats ran in the primary election. 

Omaha World Herald

Omaha Public Power District has signed a contract to build the state's first solar power plant in eastern Nebraska south of Yutan. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the utility signed the contract last week to build an 81-megawatt solar farm on 500 acres in Saunders County, with construction to begin next year. The contract was signed despite some opposition from some residents in the area, who fear it will become an eyesore and lower property values. The project would be the largest solar farm in Nebraska and is the first step toward OPPD’s plan to provide 600 megawatts of solar power.

Nebraska residents who have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in the last three months are no longer required to quarantine if they get exposed to the virus again, but they’ll still have to wear a mask in public. A Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services administrator said Monday that the agency plans to update its public health requirements this week to match new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, people who were exposed to the virus were required by the state’s health directives to self-isolate at least 14 days. 

billymcguiganTOGETHER is Billy McGuigan’s 16 track original album, written, recorded and played by Billy during lockdown, 2020. The live performance features Billy with a band of brothers and friends.

Billy spent some time with Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” feature to discuss how the album came to be, what he looks forward to while performing it live for the first time (April 10th), and how we all can heal after the lockdown.

More information can be found at https://www.billymcguigan.com/schedule.

A growing number of younger people are being hospitalized with the coronavirus in Nebraska as more contagious variants of the virus spread in the state. Nebraska health officials said the average age of hospital patients declined to 51 in March from 61 in January. Officials said the age is also shifting lower because a significant number of older people have been vaccinated. The number of people hospitalized is also growing and it hit 161 Wednesday as the state reported more cases of the virus.

Amazon

Nebraska colleges and universities are encouraging students to get vaccinated for the coronavirus, but they won’t require the shots before students return to campus in the fall. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Nebraska State College System and the state’s largest private colleges all said this week that they have no plans to require students or staff to get vaccinated. UNL spokeswoman Leslie Reed said the university believes the shots are a good idea but it won't mandate them.

Due to maintenance on the KIOS-FM transmission tower today, broadcasting at a lower power may be necessary for safety reasons and could affect reception for some.  Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Julie Kalkowski, Executive Director of Creighton’s Financial Hope Collaborative, received a phishing scam email claiming her “stimulus cancellation request was approved” and she had just hours to reverse that process. 

Julie reported the email to the Better Business Bureau and contacted Mike Hogan to chat on “Live & Local” about scams like this one, how to keep from being a victim, and “the Dos and Don’ts” one should take when confronted with this type of situation.

More information about the Financial Hope Collaborative can be found at https://business.creighton.edu/community-connection/financial-hope-collaborative

Omaha FBI Office Warns Public About COVID Vaccine Scams

Apr 9, 2021

(Omaha, NE)  --  The FBI Omaha Office is warning people who have gotten COVID vaccines about a new scam. 

Agent Bryan VanDeun says the scammers are looking to get personal information by promising respondents a prize or money in return for doing a survey.  He says none of the COVID vaccine manufacturers are conducting surveys and that emails and texts with surveys are scams.

VanDeun explains how scammers trick people into giving their banking info: 

He says scammers are culling money in multiple ways: 


Bellevue, NE has been recently been designated as an official “Bee City USA,” which means it has a plan and is committed to creating and enhancing pollinator habitats on public and private land.  Bees are a big deal in terms of the overall ecosystem and they’ve been threatened lately.  Notably, with this designation Bellevue becomes the first city in Nebraska to achieve the Bee City USA designation for its work.  To give some context, there are about 133 Bee City USAs across the country.

Tyler Moore is a biology professor at Bellevue University and he joined Mike Hogan for a two-part “Live & Local” chat about bees, their short and long term impacts on the environment, and how small steps made by each of us can help these important pollinators thrive in our communities.

For more information, go to the website https://beecityusa.org/.

Black Hills Energy

Customers of Black Hills Energy are about to see a rate increase.  Company officials say the increase is due to higher demand on electricity and natural gas during the extreme cold weather in February.  Black Hills Energy lost about 80-million-dollars during the cold weather, and residential customers could pay 322-dollars in extra fees, and commercial customers could pay 12-hundred-77-dollars over a three year period. 

Omaha World Herald

Multiple explosions and a fire in an underground concrete electrical vault rocked downtown Omaha and forced the evacuation of a nearby hotel, but no injuries were reported. Authorities say the incident happened Monday night when a power transformer that sits under the sidewalk next to the Doubletree Hotel caught fire. Acting Omaha Fire Battalion Chief Mickey McLaughlin says explosions from the transformer continued after firefighters arrived, producing a large amount of smoke and flames coming from the sidewalk grates over the vault. The hotel was not damaged by the nearby fire.

Nebraska's COVID-19 vaccination eligibility opened to everyone in the state over the age of 16 yesterday, as positivity rates and hospitalizations are going up.  Governor Pete Ricketts says the number of people hospitalized with the virus rose last week after 18 weeks of decline.  He also says the state's positivity rate is above five percent for the first time in eight weeks. Last week, there was a 64 percent increase in cases in Douglas County compared to the previous week among people between the ages of 40 and 59. There was also a 58 percent jump in cases among people ages 20 and 39.

Omaha World Herald

Voters in Omaha will head to the polls Today for city primary elections that will whittle down the field of those in the mayoral race. Five candidates are vying for the post of mayor, while 29 candidates are seeking City Council seats. The top two candidates in each primary race advance to the May 11 general election. Among those seeking the top spot of mayor is incumbent Jean Stothert, a Republican seeking her third term in office who leads the field in fundraising, with more than $380,000 cash on hand.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us just how fragile our local food systems are:
food supply chains were interrupted, jobs were lost, and families lined up for blocks around local pantries to receive food.  The Big Garden was able to help by growing roughly 15,000 pounds of nutrient-dense garden-fresh produce to distribute through local food pantries & food distribution programs.

This year, they are doubling the internship program so that they can grow even more food.
Donations will help them to strengthen local food systems by building more gardens,
teaching more school garden classes, planting more orchards, and growing more food for and with neighbors in need.

Cami Cavanaugh Rawlings is the Development Manager for The Big Garden.  In this two-part “Live & Local” interview with Mike Hogan, Cami details how the organization grows food and distributes this food the hungry families. 

For more information or to help them grow more food for the community, one can go to https://biggarden.org/

Lincoln Journal Star

A Lincoln business lobbyist and Republican operative has won confirmation to Nebraska’s state health board on despite criticism from a handful of Democratic lawmakers. Senators voted 37-7 to confirm Bud Synhorst to the state Board of Health. The board sets rules for a variety of health care professions, including doctors and nurses, and regulates the people who work in those fields.

Supermarket News

Nebraska will not participate in a vaccine passport program.  That's according to Governor Pete Ricketts, who made the announcement yesterday afternoon.  Ricketts says a vaccine passport program would go against the "freedom of movement and healthcare privacy." 


Blue Barn Theatre

 


KANEKO is hosting the 2021 Creative Camps this summer and they have expanded the age range of welcome campers!  They have also announced that the camp has moved to a 100% donation-based model to make Creative camps available to all learners in the community regardless of their financial ability.

Katherine Scarpello, Education Manager at KANEKO, chatted with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to discuss the new financial terms, the additional grade levels that are welcome, and how one can get their children in this safe and socially distanced, creative summer camp.

Camps are held Monday - Friday 9 AM-4 PM, lunch and snacks are provided and camp t-shirts will also be provided for each camper.  More information is available at https://thekaneko.org/creative-camps/

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