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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.


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/


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/

Omaha Children's Museum will be able to make several updates to air quality, disinfecting process of high-touch science center balls, and additional social distancing measures thanks to more than $3.6 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, funding. The planned updates are all anticipated to be completed by Dec. 31, 2020.

Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Kim Reiner, chatted with Mike Hogan about the massive changes which will protect the health and fun of the families that visit.  There are even safety measures in place so kids can chat with the big fella himself, Santa Claus!

Changes include more than 30 units of dual method air filters throughout the museum in areas used by the public as well as administrative offices. These filters will eliminate 99.9% of pathogens in the air with continuous use using HEPA filters and UVC light to kill, viruses, bacteria, and molds. 

The museum will install UVC lights in the tubes of the Super Gravitron. This lights are capable of killing viruses, bacteria, and molds. The museum was using this technology before in a stand-alone machine multiple times a day. The new installation will mean as children put balls into the inputs, they will be disinfected before they come out of the hopper and are used by another child. 

Additional updates to the bathrooms, including touchless doorhandles and faucets, as well as a touchless exit will help reduce potential contact with viruses on surfaces and much more!
More information can be found at https://www.ocm.org/

All previous safety measures, including required masks for ages 5 and older, still apply. See  for complete details.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) mission is to fight hate and bigotry and to secure justice and fair treatment for all.  The ADL wanted to find away to bring our community together, to reflect on the struggles and triumphs that led us to this unique moment in history and to dream of what the future can hold.

That is where the idea of the Walk Against Hate started.  Associate Director Murphy Scott Wulfgar and Education Director Halley Taylor chat with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” about the “civil rights scavenger hunt” of sorts.

Walk Against Hate is an interactive, guided tour of multiple locations (accessible online or on the ground—socially distanced of course) across the Omaha Metropolitan Area that hold significance to the evolution or future of civil rights and civil liberties in our community.

More information can be found at http://www.adlplains.com/.


The way we think about the role transportation has in our lives has changed this year.  This has led to significant behavior changes, and it’s opened new avenues for us to explore.  What different transportation solutions will make our city a more vibrant, equitable and accessible for everyone?  We’re here to maximize this opportunity.

Stephen Osberg is the Director of Transportation Development for the Omaha Chamber of Commerce.  He took some time to explain to Mike Hogan what the ConnectGo initiative is, how it will change the face of transportation in the greater Omaha metro, and how your voice needs to be heard.

More information can be found at https://www.omahachamber.org/connectgo/.


Giving Tuesday on December 1st is a time to give, do, and share together. All acts of generosity move our metro toward a better future.  Share Omaha provides a one-stop resource center to give or find volunteer opportunities. 


Executive Director of Share Omaha, Marjorie Maas, joins Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to discuss all the different facets provided by the Share Omaha website.  For example, one can give early to a cause you care about at SHAREomaha.org – Use donation code GIVING TUESDAY or even volunteer to serve virtually and share your professional skills.  The ShareOmaha.com website also collects items through shopping wish lists and then sending items directly to local causes.


You can join the fun, early or on December 1st, by going to https://shareomaha.org/givingtuesday.

Metro launched Omaha Rapid Bus Transit (ORBT) service on Nov. 18, 2020 — the most significant mass transit investment this region has seen in decades. 

Metro CEO Lauren Cencic joined Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to discuss how ORBT unites smart technology and streamlined travel for faster, more frequent public transportation, serving an eight-mile route along Dodge and Douglas streets from downtown Omaha to Westroads Mall.  ORBT’s enhanced stations, spacious vehicles, and travel upgrades connect more people, more frequently.  And best of all, ORBT is fare free for the first four months so you can  get on board and enjoy your ride!

For more information, go to https://www.ometro.com/

The Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, which represents nonprofits across Nebraska and Southwest Iowa will host its annual Nonprofit Summit of the Midlands virtually this week on Nov.12-13, allowing more participants from across Nebraska and Iowa to attend.

Public Policy and Strategic Partnership Manager at The Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, Hannah Young, took time out of her busy schedule to chat with Mike Hogan at KIOS-FM about the summit and the program. 

Details about the summit can be found at https://www.nonprofitam.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1334162

Gloria Steinem, writer, political activist, and feminist organizer, will be the featured speaker at Girls Inc.’s 20th annual Lunch for the Girls.  The luncheon will be held in an all-virtual format on Monday, November 16 from Noon - 1:00pm.

Executive Director of Girls Inc. Omaha, Roberta Wilhelm, joined Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to talk about the event and the food partners, Big Mama’s Kitchen and Best Burger, who are working with Girls Inc. to provide lunches on November 16 as part of the Girls Inc.’s annual Lunch for the Girls event.

Girls Inc. will receive $5 of each lunch sold through this special promotion and both restaurants are locally owned by Black and brown women (one of whom is a Girls Inc. Omaha alumna!): 

  • Big Mama's Kitchen - 2112 North 30th Street, Accelerator Suite 201, Omaha, NE 68111. Pick-up only or delivery available for 10+ orders to same destination. 
  • Best Burger - 8319 N 30th St, Omaha, NE 68112. Pick-up only or delivery available for 10+ orders to same destination.

More information can be found at https://www.eventcombo.com/e/lunch-for-the-girls-2020-with-gloria-steinem-40775

Populus Fund is a new regranting initiative organized by The Union for Contemporary Art, through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in order to support innovative artist projects throughout Omaha–Lincoln metros.  Populus Fund was founded to provide essential support for projects that expand our understanding of how art exists in the world, address community needs, and exemplify new ways of working in, for, and with the public.

Communications Director for The Union for Contemporary Art, Patrick Mainelli, joined Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to discuss the program, how to apply, and when the lottery drawings happen.

You can find more information at https://www.u-ca.org/populusfund

A pilot study that Nebraska Children’s Home Society (NCHS) is testing in collaboration with Frontiers of Innovation (FOI), the R&D platform of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University is currently underway at the Nebraska Children's Home Society.

CEO of NCHS, Lana Temple-Plotz, spent some time explaining the program to Mike Hogan "Live & Local" on KIOS-FM.  In the two-part interview below, Lana explains that the goal of FOI is to accelerate the development and adoption of science-based innovations that achieve breakthrough impact at scale for young children and families facing adversity.  Ultimately, the goal is to boost children’s and their caregivers’ executive functioning and self-regulation skills for greater success in school and life.

The TFP curriculum focuses on language to build executive functioning in both parents/caregivers and children.  The curriculum first establishes “Internal State Words” for thoughts, feelings, sensory perceptions, physical sensations and moral concepts.  As children learn, they can use these words to identify and express themselves and develop personal narratives about their experiences.  As parents’ skills related to executive function and self-regulation increase, they are able to model use of these language skills with their children. The parents also increase their ability to recognize and respond to their children and provide supportive relationships.

More information about Nebraska Children's Home Society can be found at https://nchs.org/

Through Thursday, Nov. 5, the public can donate much-needed items to fill backpacks for homeless military veterans who are staying temporarily at the Siena Francis House.  Items can be dropped off at Bellevue University’s Military Veteran Services Center at 2108 Harvell Drive, Bellevue, Nebraska. Donations can also be dropped off outside the building for those wishing to avoid contact due to the pandemic.

Heather Carroll, Manager of the Military Veteran Services Center, chatted with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about the program and the needs yet to be filled.  Those needs include hand sanitizer (8 ounce or less bottles), masks, blankets, baby wipes, hand and body lotion, hand and feet warmers, individually packaged snacks such as cheese and cracker packs, candy, small bags of chips, men and women’s deodorant, lip balm, winter hats and gloves and women’s bars of soap.  Monetary and gift card donations are also being accepted. 

More infomration can be found at https://news.bellevue.edu/donations-needed-to-fill-96-backpacks-for-homeless-military-veterans/

Financial Beginnings is the pathway to a financially literate nation.  In a financially literate nation, individuals cease to see finances as a barrier and instead view them as a tool to realize their dreams.  In a financially literate nation, individuals are vested in and contribute to a healthy economic system nationally, regionally, and in their own neighborhoods.

Founder and CEO Melody Bell, Chief Advancement Officer James Chen, and Nebraska Program Manager Karrissa Jyles joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local to discuss who they are, what they do, and how you can get involved!  They also chat about how they empower individuals to take control of their financial futures!

More information can be found at https://www.finbegne.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/FinancialBeginningsNE

What if you could find a parking space in downtown Omaha with your cell phone?  Forgot change? Touchless pay for parking meters is here!

Ken Smith, Director of Omaha's Parking & Mobility Division spends some time with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to chat about the latest developments in stowing your vehicle while downtown.  Things like Smart Zones, and a meterless way to park are just a few of the new innovations in parking.

For more information or to pay your parking ticket (all funds go to Omaha Public Schools), go to https://www.parkomaha.com/

It may not seem like it, but our community does have an air quality problem.  The good news is that we can turn our situation around.  Taking steps — even little ones — can add up to cleaner air in the metro area.

Sue Cutsforth, Information Officer at the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, explains to Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM how every single citizen of Omaha can take little steps to help us all breathe easier. 

More information and your opportunity to take the Clean Air Pledge can be found at: https://littlestepscleanerair.com/

The Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning true story about Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an East Berlin transgender woman who survived two of the most repressive totalitarian regimes in history—the Nazis and the Soviets—while openly flouting gender norms. Born to a brutal Nazi father, Charlotte went on to become a highly celebrated antiques collector and curator of her own museum. An incredible tale—with one actor playing 35 different roles—filled with intrigue, danger and conspiracy that examines the balance between morality and survival.

The role has almost always been played by cisgender men.  Omaha Community Playhouse felt that it was absolutely essential to cast a transgender woman in this role for the sake of trans visibility and allowing trans folks to tell their own stories.  They found Lincoln, Nebraska actress Natalie Weiss. 

Natalie took time out of her busy rehearsal schedule to chat with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” about the show and the impact spending time inside the character of Charlotte has had on her.

More information about tickets and showtimes can be found at https://www.omahaplayhouse.com/tickets/view/wife/

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is currently holding their virtual auction.  The event ends Friday night at 10:00 p.m. with a free webcast concert starting at 8:00 p.m.

Chris Cook, Executive Director, tells Mike Hogan “Live & Local” how the center is adapting to the COVID challenges, how they continue to help and support artists across the nation, and how you can participate in this event while safely distanced.

More information can be found at https://www.bemiscenter.org/ and at https://e.givesmart.com/events/hEo/

With the ubiquitous presence of COVID-19, how important is it to get a flu shot this year?  According to Cindy Ruma, Immunization Nurse Coordinator for the Visiting Nurse Association, it is VERY important!

Cindy spent some time with Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM's "Live & Local" to discuss staying healthy and making smart choices. 

If you would like information on flu shots or the VNA, you can go to https://www.vnatoday.org/

Joslyn Castle partnered with Metropolitan Community College and The Union of Contemporary Art in presenting the 2020 Joslyn Castle Art & Literary Festival. The Festival was titled Close to Home and featured online readings and performances by Omaha area writers and interviews and artwork by Omaha area artists.

Scott Working, Theatre Program Coordinator at Metro Community College, and Sidney Gnann, Joslyn Castle's Executive Director joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss holding the festival with the necessary pandemic protocols.  

For more information https://joslyncastle.com/events/special-events/artlit2020.html

The food industry has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many restaurants have been forced to close and thousands of workers have lost their jobs. Yet, through all the ups and downs of this unprecedented year, the food industry has somehow weathered the storm and heroically met the needs of our community.

Susan Whitfield, Facility Manager of No More Empty Pots, chats talks to Mike Hogan about the mission of No More Empty Pots and how the Food Day Omaha drive helped them to achieve their goals.

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

No More Empty Pots (NMEP) is a grassroots non-profit organization connecting individuals and groups to improve self-sufficiency, regional food security, and economic resilience of urban and rural communities through advocacy and action. NMEP strives to support communities in becoming self-sufficient and food secure through collaboration and adherence to our core values of education, stewardship, and sustainability.

Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. This year’s event won’t be a large in-person gathering, but we are still walking — and calling on participants of all ages and abilities to join the fight against the disease.

This year, Walk to End Alzheimer’s is everywhere — on every sidewalk, track and trail. On event day, we invite you to participate in small, safe teams while others in your community do the same.

Beau Rusk is the Chairman of the Nebraska Walk to End Alzheimer’s and he joined Mike Hogan on KIOS to discuss this pandemic induced method of continuing to raise money for treatment and ultimately a cure.

While there is no fee to register for Walk, all participants are encouraged to raise funds that will advance the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association by enabling critical care and support services and advancing research toward methods of prevention, treatment and, ultimately, a cure.

https://www.alz.org/nebraska

Omaha Public Schools brought students back to in-person classes with Phase 1 of a several phased approach.  Superintendent of OPS, Dr. Cheryl Logan took the time to sit down with Mike Hogan, “Live & Local” to answer questions.

In this four part interview, Dr. Logan talks about how the first week has gone, what they expect for the next phase, and how OPS can help parents and how important parents are to the success of the students.

All four parts of the interview are below.  If you are looking for more information or resources please check https://district.ops.org/

  

October is Blindness Awareness Month, and the nonprofit Outlook Enrichment typically has its biggest fundraising event of the year, the Vision Beyond Sight Banquet, to raise awareness during October of the capabilities of the visually impaired, as well as the needs of people affected by vision loss in our community. Since this is far from a typical year, Outlook Enrichment decided to cancel having a large group gathering and is instead going to celebrate Blindness Awareness Month in a new way.

Kaneko’s new exhibition, Community, will progressively open throughout October with three special Openings of exhibits by Watie White, Pamela Conyers-Hinson, and Therman Statom.  On October 29th their first-floor galleries will open to the public and by the end of November, the Tessellation Project installation and Juan Sanchez’s exhibit will open in our second-floor galleries.  Welcome back to KANEKO!

  

Initially started nearly thirty years ago in response to increased requests from members in the North Omaha community seeking food, clothing, shelter and financial assistance, the Heart Ministry Center has always aimed to assist people needing life’s most basic necessities.

CEO Eric Crawford joined Mike Hogan “Live and Local” to discuss how the organization has grown and uses many tools to help people get their lives in order and become self-sufficient.

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

Family, Inc. in Council Bluffs is up for a huge grant and all you have to do is vote online.  Director of Public Health Services at Family, Inc., Jenny Sharrick, joined Mike Hogan, “Live & Local” to discuss how they made it to the top 200 finalists nationwide to compete for votes online to be awarded $25,000 for their project.

Voting ends on 10/2 and the top 40 organizations all get a $25,000 grant.  If you would like to vote for Family, Inc. you can go to https://www.neighborhoodassist.com/entry/2034107

FAMILY, Inc. (www.FamilyIA.org) provides public health and family support services to women, children and families in Pottawattamie and Mills Counties. It is FAMILY’s primary goal to assist parents in becoming their child’s first and most influential teacher through education, empowerment, and wellness. With offices located in Council Bluffs and Walnut, Iowa the agency serves both urban and rural communities. These services are administered in homes, shelters, and community settings. Through its various programs, FAMILY works to ensure families have access to the services and support they need to allow their children to enter school healthy, safe and ready to learn.

The general voting website for any other Omaha/Council Bluffs organization, is www.neighborhoodassist.com.

United Way of the Midlands hosted “Unlock the Power Within You,” a free, virtual event featuring special guest Chris Gardner, on September 23rd.

Gardner, who is ranked the 5th most motivational speaker in the world, is a critically-acclaimed author, entrepreneur, single parent and philanthropist.  His autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, served as inspiration for the 2006 film starring Will Smith.

Before the virtual event, Gardner took the time to chat with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” about numerous topics.  The full, two part episode is posted below.  In this discussion, Chris discussed his experiences with poverty and homelessness and shared how his love for his son helped him overcome many of the challenges he faced.

If you missed the event, the link to it is below.  https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWayMidlands/videos/326339398690210/

More information is available at https://www.unitedwaymidlands.org/

Due to forecasted cold weather, the previously scheduled free outdoor Omaha Symphony performances at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3 and Sunday, Oct 4 will now be held indoors at the Holland Performing Arts Center Peter Kiewit Concert Hall.   

Dani Meier, Vice President of Artistic Administration and a member of the bass section, joined Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM to chat about the thrill of getting together and playing live music again.

Both performances will remain free and open to the public, but the events will now require that audiences RSVP via free ticket reservation.  It is recommended that attendees reserve their ticket ahead of time. Tickets may be reserved online at ticketomaha.com, by calling Ticket Omaha at (402) 345-0606, or through the Ticket Omaha app.  

The Christian Home Association-Children’s Square U.S.A. will host its annual Chip in for Children Event on Thursday, Oct. 1, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at TopGolf, 908 N. 102nd Street, Omaha.  This yearly event is usually held in the spring, but was postponed due to COVID restrictions.

The Children’s Square fundraiser will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will include food and beverages, a silent auction of sports-themed items and opportunities for a hole-in-one prize of $10,000. 

Cheryl Clark, Vice President for Resource Development, joined Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to discuss the fundraiser and the mission of the organization.

Proceeds from the event will directly benefit the children and families in need who are in the care of Children’s Square.  Children’s Square is a nonprofit organization that has operated for 137 years in Council Bluffs to care for children and families in need.

Over 1,000 children and families are served daily through early childhood care and education programs, counseling services, emergency services for children, residential treatment for children and adolescents and support of foster and adoptive families in both Iowa and Nebraska.

Those interested in attending are asked to make reservations by calling (712) 325-5843.

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