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Dreamweaver Foundation, an Omaha-based nonprofit, has been providing Facebook Portals® to seniors isolated during the pandemic to help them regain connection with loved ones.  Reactions to calling family on the Portal video device for the first time have ranged from tears of joy to an overwhelming sense of relief and independence.  With the overwhelming response (they have given out 300 Portals so far), Dreamweaver Foundation is hoping to share the news of this program to help keep it going.

Cheri Mastny, Dreamweaver Foundation Executive Director, joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss how easy it is to give the gift of hope to seniors.  The Portal devices are free to the seniors, use the resident wi-fi in the facility, and allow them to connect to their families.

For information on how to give a Portal to a senior or to nominate a senior in need of some joy and family connection, one can go to the website  https://dreamweaver.org/about/join-us-to-bring-joy-during-covid-19/.

Omaha Public Library (OPL) closed on March 16, 2020, in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and remained closed due to City of Omaha budget concerns.  Following the approval of CARES Act funding by the state and county, Mayor Jean Stothert announced on August 25 that libraries may reopen.

Emily Getzschman, Marketing and Media Relations Manager for OPL, discusses the phased reopening which begins Monday, Sept. 21st with Mike Hogan.  Library branches that have been providing curbside service will suspend curbside operations between Sept. 13 and Sept. 20 to prepare for reopening.  Curbside services will resume at all branches during normal operating hours.

Following reopening, OPL branches will be open Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  Three branch locations (Millard Branch, Milton R. Abrahams Branch and W. Dale Clark Main Library) will offer Sunday hours, 1-5 p.m., upon reopening.  Masks will be required for all OPL visitors until further notice.

  • Monday, Sept. 21: Five branches will open.
    • Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch, 2100 Reading Plaza, 402-289-4367
    • Charles B. Washington Branch, 2868 Ames Ave., 402-444-4849
    • Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Ln., 402-444-4848
    • Milton R. Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St., 402-444-6284
    • Willa Cather Branch, 1905 S. 44th St., 402-444-4851
  • Monday, Sept. 28: Three additional branches will open.
  • The opening dates for the remaining four branches will be announced at a later time.

Book drops will open as branches reopen beginning Sept. 21, and items checked out will resume normal due dates.  Items checked out during OPL’s closure will be due for return on Oct. 19.  Items placed on hold shelves in the branches prior to Oct. 1 that are waiting to be picked up will expire and be made available to other patrons on Oct. 15. 

Meeting and study rooms will not be available for reservation for the foreseeable future.  Computers will be available for public use, however, due to physical distancing, there will be fewer computers available.

As more information becomes available, OPL will provide updates on its website, omahalibrary.org, as well as through its social media channels and email. Library staff will also be available to answer questions at 402-444-4800 or through ask.omahalibrary.org.

Visit omahalibrary.org for information about additional programs and resources offered at Omaha Public Library.

Bid farewell to summer with one final outdoor extravaganza at OCP! Don’t Stop Me Now: A Celebration of Rock Musicals is a drive-in style concert featuring songs from acclaimed rock ‘n’ roll musicals, including Jersey Boys, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rock of Ages, Beautiful, Hair, Dreamgirls and more!  Sing and dance along with your favorite musical hits from the your private socially-distanced parking area, or tune in to hear the show from OCP’s radio station inside your car!  Featuring Billy McGuigan’s Rave On Productions band and six powerhouse vocalists, Don’t Stop Me Now is the end-of-summer spectacular you won’t want to miss.

Musical Director Jim Boggess joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" and discusses the fun and hard work that came together to bring this production to life.  Tickets and more information are available at https://www.omahaplayhouse.com/

The Douglas County Board has allocated $20 million to OCF.  $10 million of that is allocated for Arts, Culture, and Entertainment organizations, and $10 million will support Community Services.  Applications are due to the Foundation by 11:59pm on Wednesday, September 23 and technical assistance is available through the Foundation for any nonprofits applying for funding.

Vice President of Community Investment, Kali Baker, joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the program and the webinars which explain the intricate process of applying for this grant money.  Since the money has federal origins, this grant process is very different from the usual Omaha Community Foundation grant process.

In addition, Mike and Kali discuss the COVID-19 Response Fund Impact as well as the release of the Landscape 2020 report.

For more information on the grants and the process for applying, one can go to https://omahafoundation.org/news/ocf-and-douglas-county-announce-launch-of-cares-act-funding-application-for-local-nonprofits/

Additional eligibility and application details for nonprofits can be found at the following web pages: https://omahafoundation.org/CARESACE and https://omahafoundation.org/CARESNP.  OCF will also be hosting two webinars for eligible nonprofits to provide an overview of the process, and answer questions. Webinar details can be found via the links above.  https://omahafoundation.org/community/douglas-county-cares-arts-culture-and-entertainment-program/

The 2020 U.S. Census is entering the home stretch and the Bellevue University Library is hosting an event and offering free assistance to those who need help completing the 2020 U.S. Census.  

The community event will be held Thursday, September 10, 3:30-5:30 p.m., outside the front entrance of the Freeman Lozier Library located at 1028 Bruin Boulevard, Bellevue, Nebraska, 68005.  Staff from the U.S. Census and Bellevue University will be on hand to answer questions or assist individuals.  Accessible parking is available and a ramp is available for those who need it.  Additional parking is available south of the Bellevue University Durham Administration Building.  Face masks must be worn (and will be available, if necessary) and physical distancing will be observed.

Allie O’Connor, Document Delivery Specialist at BU, is heading up the census event that’s happening on campus.  She takes a moment out of her busy day to chat with Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM.

More information can be found at https://blogs.bellevue.edu/library/index.php/2020/09/cooperative-event-between-2020-census-and-bellevue-university-library/

The Omaha Public Library has suffered through the pandemic, like everyone else.  And while closed to internal visitors, the library has been lending books by providing some limited curbside service.  Before the CARES Act money to the library was announced, Emily Getzschman joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to talk about the procedures and to give her recommendations for some very interesting books!

More information, including which branches will be reopening and when, is available at omahalibrary.org.

Most school districts in Nebraska have some percentage of their learning happening remotely.  This requires parents to help their children with the school work.  So what happens if a parent (or child) is visually impaired?

This happened to Paulette Monthei, who has low vision.  She discovered she could not use some applications to complete remote learning assignments for her 10-year-old son, who just started fourth grade.

Fortunately, Monthei is program manager for Outlook Enrichment, which provides a range of programs and services that create greater accessibility and inclusivity for the visually impaired.  The nonprofit has created a virtual support group on Zoom that will be held on six consecutive Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.   The group started on August 27th.  The group gives blind and visually impaired parents the chance to talk with peers and the nonprofit’s adaptive technology training staff about distance learning issues they come across this school year.  They will work together to provide creative solutions that accommodate for vision loss in a remote learning environment.

Paulette joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the program and the obstacles to be overcome.  This two part interview is below, as it was aired.  More information can be found at https://www.outlookne.org/programs/enrichment  and https://shareomaha.org/nonprofit/outlook-enrichment.

Empowerment Network transforms the economic condition and quality of life of African-Americans, North Omaha residents, and citizens of greater Omaha by building wealth, creating strong families, preparing successful children, and rebuilding thriving neighborhoods. 

Willie Barney is the Executive Director and Founder of Empowerment Network.  He joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the genesis of the organization, the Seven Step Empowerment Plan, and how they achieve the lofty goals set in the mission.

Since the topic was rich with content, the original conversation went longer than the "Live & Local" time slot allows.  This web-exclusive audio below includes the full 10-minute discussion between Willie and Mike.

More information can be found at https://empoweromaha.com/

Great Plains Black History Museum is the only museum in Nebraska whose sole focus is on the rich history of African Americans.  Eric Ewing is the Executive Director of the Great Plains Black History Museum and he spent some "Live & Local" time with Mike Hogan to discuss the origins and mission of this organization.

Due to COVID, they are requesting all guests to book an appointment prior to visiting the museum. They’re open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 1 pm to 5 pm.  To ensure that they are following social distancing they are limiting visitor’s sizes to no more than 8 visitors at a time.  To ensure the safety and health of all visitors to the Museum face mask will be required for entry. 

For more information or a virtual tour, go to https://gpblackhistorymuseum.org/

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts presents LOW END on the Bricks, a free outdoor concert featuring Omaha-based experimental musicians Dereck HigginsMesonjixx, and Teetah!  The socially-distanced block party experience includes event procedures and a visitor code of conduct that will ensure the safety of guests, artists, and staff.   

And while admission is free, LOW END on the Bricks is currently sold out.  To be placed on a waiting list contact Andy Garlock, Sound Art + Experimental Music Program Technician at andy@bemiscenter.org or 402.341.7130 x 23. 

Rachel Adams, Bemis Chief Curator and Director of Programs, joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss how you can also stream the concert from the comfort of your home for free!  Watch live at twitch.tv/bemiscenter.

More information can be found at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/low-end-on-the-bricks-tickets-116898942885

Pascale Sablan, Executive Director of Beyond the Built Environment (BBE) is virtually bringing the SAY IT LOUD exhibition to Nebraska.  SAY IT LOUD showcases the design contributions of women and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) designers from around the world to inspire the next generation of diverse designers. 

Pascale spent some time with Mike Hogan to discuss this year's exhibition and the opportunity for local Nebraska designers of color to display their work.  More information on the organization and how to submit can be found at https://www.beyondthebuilt.com/

They are accepting submissions now through the end of August.

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Kristi Johnson is in charge of the FBI Omaha Field Office.  The Omaha field office covers Nebraska and Iowa.  SAC Johnson spent a little "Live & Local" time with Mike Hogan to discuss many topics including "Operation LeGend," the multiple task forces that the FBI is operating in Omaha and Des Moines, Civil Rights Investigations, Color of Law Investigations, as well as the best part of her job.

Dr. Derrick Fox, DMA, Director of Choral Activities at UNO, has partnered with the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation to provide an online platform where music educators nationwide can brainstorm and share ideas on how to adapt music education for all grade levels (K-12 and college) to the challenges presented by the pandemic. 

This new collaborative effort, known as Unified Voices for Music Education (UVFME), is an expansion of Fox’s Professional Choral Collective.  With the support of the CMA foundation, music educators now have an online home to share resources, lesson plans, and creative ideas to continue music education in the upcoming school year.

Dr. Fox spent a little "Live & Local" time with Mike Hogan to talk about the program and how anyone can get free resources.  If one is interested in more information, email Derrick at DaFox@UnOmaha.edu.

Omaha Children’s Museum has announced its plans to reopen to the public on Saturday, Aug. 15.  The first stage of the reopening will include timed tickets that must be reserved ahead of time, reduced hours, and masks requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Omaha Children’s Museum Executive Director Lindy Hoyer joined Mike Hogan “Live & Local" to discuss the new hours, procedures for acquiring tickets, and the extensive cleaning and safety measures to insure everyone has fun, stays healthy. and gets to enjoy the learning benefits of the museum.

For more information, one can go to the website at http://www.ocm.org.

Every autumn KANEKO celebrates a new year of exciting and inspiring exhibits and events in their space by throwing a Soirée for the Omaha Community.  This year, they have creatively redesigned this singular event into a menu of smaller offerings to invite you into their space while ensuring safety and physical distance – welcome to Soirée Season!

Executive Director of KANEKO, Stephan Grot joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss this new format, the need to change the format, and how KANEKO is adapting to the changing world situation.

KANEKO has designed experiences for sponsors and the general public that include performance, educational opportunities, music, good food, drink and more.  The Soirée Experiences will help keep KANEKO accessible to the public and able to provide free, thought-provoking exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and programs for the community.

If one is seeking more information, one can go to https://thekaneko.org/soiree-2020/

Billy McGuigan is taking the party outside! Experience Billy McGuigan’s Pop Rock Orchestra from the socially-distanced comfort of your own car. All your favorite rock ‘n’ roll mega hits from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s in a drive-in style concert—live from the OCP parking lot! Led by international touring artist Billy McGuigan and backed by the 9-piece Pop Rock Orchestra, these all-star musicians serve up fresh, original arrangements covering everything from The Beach Boys to Billy Joel.

Billy took some time out of his busy day to chat with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about the show and the thrill and reward of performing in front of a live audience. 

The show runs August 5th through the 23rd and ticket information is available at https://www.omahaplayhouse.com/tickets/view/poprock/

This school supply drive, organized by community-minded local banks, is collecting items until July 31, 2020, for a dozen Omaha metro charities!

Marjorie Maas, Executive Director of SHARE Omaha, chats with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about the drive and all the different ways everyone can participate to help students have the materials they need to start the most different school year on record on the right foot!

For information on how to be a part of this drive, one can go to www.shareomaha.org/supplies 

The full uninterrupted 30 minute interview with Dr. Cheryl Logan is now posted on the website.  You can listen to it right here: https://www.kios.org/post/5-part-interview-dr-cheryl-logan-ops-status-and-more

The final installment of the five-part interview with Dr. Cheryl Logan is now posted on the website.  You can listen to it right here: https://www.kios.org/post/5-part-interview-dr-cheryl-logan-ops-status-and-more

Part 4 of the five-part interview with Dr. Cheryl Logan is now posted on the website.  You can listen to it right here: https://www.kios.org/post/5-part-interview-dr-cheryl-logan-ops-status-and-more

Part 3 of the five-part interview with Dr. Cheryl Logan is now posted on the website.  You can listen to it right here: https://www.kios.org/post/5-part-interview-dr-cheryl-logan-ops-status-and-more

Part 2 of the five-part interview with Dr. Cheryl Logan is now posted on the website.  You can listen to it right here: https://www.kios.org/post/5-part-interview-dr-cheryl-logan-ops-status-and-more

**UPDATE:  The full 30 minute interview is posted below.

**UPDATE:  The final installment of the interview is posted below.

**UPDATE:  Part four of the interview is posted below.

**UPDATE:  Part three of the interview is posted below.

**UPDATE:  Part two of the interview is posted below.

Omaha Public Schools will resume in-person classes starting August 11th.  This school year will be like none in recent memory and there are many questions.  

Mike Hogan had the opportunity to sit down with the Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools, Dr. Cheryl Logan, to chat about why, how, and what to expect when in-person classes resume.  A segment of this five-part interview airs each day this week at 7:45 a.m. and 3:44 p.m. on 91.5 KIOS-FM, with each segment posted to this webpage daily.  On Friday, the unabridged interview will also be posted in its entirety.

Segment #1 is posted below.

**UPDATE: The entire interview has been posted below.  It has been broken into three segments for ease of listening during your schedule.

A candid Mayor Stothert discusses the pandemic, the protests, the riots, and what she and her office are doing to drive change in Omaha.

Thursday, July 2nd at noon, from the studios at 33rd and Burt, a special, extended installment of “Live & Local.” 

Host Mike Hogan gets to sit down for an hour with the current and first woman mayor of the city of Omaha, Jean Stothert.   That will be broadcast live at noon and posted online after the broadcast.  You can listen at 91.5 FM or just click the “Play” button above.

Ready for a fresh take on an audience favorite?  Billy McGuigan’s Rave On! The Music of Buddy Holly returns to the Omaha Community Playhouse as an exciting new drive-in concert experience.  Rave On! will open Thursday, June 11, in the Playhouse parking lot, which will take on the atmosphere of a ’50s rock’n’roll drive-in.  The event will be unlike anything audiences have experienced at the Playhouse before: a high-energy, nonstop outdoor concert that features McGuigan and his band performing Buddy Holly’s most popular songs.  The playlist also includes the hits of fellow rockers like Elvis, the Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis and more.  The show runs without intermission.

Billy was kind enough to take some time out of his day to chat with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about the show and how excited he and the band are to perform in front of a live audience.  More information about tickets and the show can be found at https://www.omahaplayhouse.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/951216715332760/

Omaha Virtual School (OVS) is a full-time, tuition-free, program within Omaha Public Schools. Instruction is delivered through a blended learning environment, combining the benefits of the virtual and traditional classrooms.  Blended learning enhances online learning with opportunities for labs, guest speakers, field trips, and other face-to-face cooperative learning.  

The format of our program enables parents to be actively involved and allows students to take ownership of their learning.  Students may work quickly through the areas they understand, take their time in areas that need extra attention, and put an emphasis on subjects that interest them most. 

Director of Omaha Virtual School, Wendy Loewenstein, joined Mike Hogan in a socially distanced "Live & Local" interview to discuss the school and to invite everyone to the informational virtual sessions on June 10th and July 8th.  you can join either one of those sessions using the links below.

OVS Online Information Sessions

June 10, 2020 10-11 am

Facebook Live
Follow our Facebook page facebook.com/OPSVirtualSchool/
Link to event

July 8, 2020 1-2 pm

Zoom Online Meeting
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89225101218?pwd=OVpyZzlhbGRUOE80aWc2cEc0OU9qdz09

Meeting ID: 892 2510 1218
Password: virtual

Our community will be giving midnight to midnight on May 20, 2020. How about you? Omaha Gives! has raised more than $49 million for local nonprofits since 2013 through more than 300,000 donations. Together, we care, we connect, we celebrate!

Ally Freeman, Director of Communications for the Omaha Community Foundation joins Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss the big day of giving, how you can win $1,000 for your favorite charity, and the importance of helping during a time when everyone’s contribution is so important.

You can get to the KIOS Omaha Gives! page here: https://www.omahagives.org/kios/overview

Or you can peruse the entire Omaha Gives! site at https://www.omahagives.org/index.php

Whether or not you were able to listen to the two-part interview with Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan which aired on KIOS last Thursday, below is the full interview.  If your only have time for the two part version, you can listen to that here:  https://www.kios.org/post/superintendent-dr-cheryl-logan-discusses-ops-future-plans-during-live-local-2-part-interview

One topic of note that has happened since the interview was conducted is that the head of the Omaha Public School District has turned down a pay raise.  The Omaha Public Schools Board voted on May 13 to approve a contract extension for Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan through June 2023.  Logan declined a pay raise and her salary will remain at its current level.

The "Nebraska Promise" tuition assistance program for the University of Nebraska system has been launched.  And with that, the University of Nebraska Omaha has also launched some of its own financial assistance programs to give students of many situations the opportunity to start, continue, or finish their undergraduate or graduate degrees.

Dr. Jeffrey Gold, Chancellor at UNO, took time out of his schedule to chat with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about these programs, about the current state of the pandemic, and what he believes the future holds for Omaha and the state as a whole.

In case you missed the broadcast of the two part "Live & Local" interview with Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan, both parts are available below.  During the interview, KIOS' Mike Hogan was able to chat with the OPS leader about the current status of school and what the future holds for the students and teachers.  

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