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Storm Chasers Cancel 2020 Season

16 hours ago

The Omaha Storm Chasers will not be taking the field this year.  Minor League Baseball announced yesterday that it is canceling the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, Major League Baseball also announced that it would not provide its minor league affiliates with any players this year.  The Storm Chasers are still planning to stage its fireworks show at Werner Park on Friday.

Lincoln Journal Star

The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska is approaching 19-thousand.  As of yesterday, there were 18-thousand-899 cases and 267 deaths reported statewide.   Douglas County has seen the most coronavirus cases in the state with nearly seven-thousand. State health figures show the number of hospital beds available in Nebraska has dropped below 40% as the state continues to see more COVID-19 cases confirmed. The state's online coronavirus tracker shows that as of Thursday, 2,330 of the state's total 3,834 hospital beds were occupied. That left 1,504, or 39%, of hospital beds available.

Gov. Pete Ricketts says Nebraska could see another flare-up of coronavirus cases because of the demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, but he concluded that allowing protesters to peacefully vent was more important than concerns about the pandemic. His comments came as new, lighter virus restrictions went into effect throughout most of the state. The restrictions approved by Ricketts allow bars, zoos, swimming pools and other public venues to reopen, with crowd limits based on a venue’s occupancy.

State health officials reported one additional death from COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 164 deaths from the virus in the state, and 13-thousand-261 confirmed cases. The Department of Health and Human Services says 41-percent of hospital beds and 79-percent of ventilators are available. Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced yesterday that she will allow some local restaurants to expand their outdoor dining areas. Baird said she will take emergency action to give the restaurants the opportunity to increase their capacity while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha is set to reopen to the public.  The zoo will open as a one-way walking safari on June 1st with social distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols in place.  Visitors will be asked to wear facemasks, and guests will be required to make reservations on the zoo website ahead of time. The Lincoln Children's Zoo is also reopening June 1st. The Zoo is kicking off its reopening with a Wildlife Walk paving a one-way path through the zoo with visits at many of its outdoor exhibits. Zoo officials said the indoor buildings will remain closed to visitors.

Nebraska will let bars, zoos, movie theaters and swimming pools reopen and allow small concerts and auctions to resume on June 1 in all but four hard-hit counties. Gov. Pete Ricketts says he plans to further loosen social-distancing restrictions to strike a balance between public health and the need to move back toward normal life as people grow restless. His announcement came as the number of coronavirus deaths continues to rise. Businesses that do reopen will still face mandatory social distancing restrictions.

U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse’s attempt at humor during a speech at a Nebraska high school's online commencement, which included jokes about students’ fitness and psychologists and also blamed China for the coronavirus outbreak, has drawn strong criticism.

Fox 42 News

The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise in Nebraska.  Officials reported 10-thousand-348 cases and 123 deaths statewide as of last night.  Douglas County has seen the most cases in the state with more than 23-hundred.  Hall and Dakota counties have each reported more than 14-hundred coronavirus cases.

Nebraska may not make its goal of conducting 3,000 coronavirus tests per day by the end of May through the state’s TestNebraska program, but Gov. Pete Ricketts says he's confident testers will reach that pace “at some point” if residents continue to sign up. His comments came after state officials reported that the program produced 2,358 results last week _ well short of the 3,000 per day that was expected by the end of the month, when the ramp-up period is supposed to end.

State health officials reported six additional deaths from COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 113 total deaths from the virus in the state, and nine-thousand-416 confirmed cases. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says 47-percent of hospital beds and 75-percent of ventilators are available. A nursing home in Elkhorn says two-thirds of its residents are COVID-19 positive. Officials with the Life Care Center of Elkhorn say 51 of 77 residents have tested positive for the virus, along with 17 staff members.

There are now more than nine-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there were nine-thousand-75 cases and 107 deaths reported across the state during the pandemic.  Douglas County has seen 17-hundred-79 cases, while Hall and Dakota counties have each reported nearly 14-hundred coronavirus cases. Nebraska is working to distribute a drug approved to treat the coronavirus.  Governor Pete Ricketts says the state has been provided with 400 vials of Remdesivir.  The state's chief medical officer will determine how the drug will be distributed.

The number of coronavirus cases in Nebraska is continuing to increase. Through yesterday, there had been 86-hundred-92 cases and 103 deaths reported in Nebraska during the pandemic. Douglas County leads the state with 16-hundred-68 cases while Hall and Dakota counties have each reported more than 13-hundred cases.

The YMCA of Greater Omaha is reopening some facilities soon, starting with those in Iowa. Metro YMCA  said both the Charles E. Lakin YMCA in Council Bluffs, and the Mills County YMCA in Glenwood will open next Monday, and all Nebraska YMCA facilities including Armbrust, Southwest, Butler-Gast, Maple Street, Downtown, Sarpy, and Twin Rivers are tentatively scheduled to open June 1st. The Y said like most businesses, reopening will look differently than pre-coronavirus operations and members should expect to follow safety guidelines when they return.

Nebraska is continuing to see an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. The total number of cases in Nebraska was 83-hundred-15 as of last night.  Ninety-eight COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in Nebraska during the pandemic. Two more deaths have been confirmed in Douglas County. The Douglas County Health Department announced yesterday that a woman in her 50s and a man in his 80s died from the virus.  Twenty coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Douglas County, which also leads the state with more than 15-hundred cases.

The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha says it will need to furlough employees and eliminate positions because of a loss in revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials say the zoo's budget needs to be cut by 36-percent due to a projected loss of more than 26-million dollars. The zoo has been closed since March 16th.

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird says Lancaster County will begin easing COVID-19 restrictions on Monday. The mayor says a new Directed Health Measure will match guidelines set by Governor Ricketts earlier this week, including allowing restaurants to reopen indoor dining rooms at 50-percent capacity. Services including beauty salons and tattoo parlors can also open as long as they follow safety restrictions put out by the state. Baird said she asked the state to extend the current order past May Eleventh, but decided to keep Lincoln in line with the governor's guidelines.

State health officials announced five additional deaths related to COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 90 total deaths from the virus in the state, and seven-thousand-190 total cases. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says 47-percent of hospital beds and 75-percent of ventilators are still available. Governor Pete Ricketts says nearly one of every six cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska are meatpacking workers. The governor says more than one-thousand coronavirus patients are employees at food processing plants, but declined to say where the cases were found.

The Omaha farmer's market is announcing new locations for the first weekend in June. On Saturday the farmer's market will be on the top level of the Old Market City Parking Garage, and Sunday it will be in the Baxter Arena Parking Lot across from the Aksarben [[ahk-sar-ben]] Village.  Organizers said the markets will follow social distancing guidelines and vendors will be spaced ten feet from one another's booths. The market is also only allowing locally grown produce and pre-packaged food to be sold.

Nebraska relaxed some of its social-distancing restrictions in the Omaha area and more than half of the state’s counties, but Gov. Pete Ricketts is imploring people who are still living in more heavily regulated areas to stay put. Ricketts is asking residents in hard-hit areas, such as Grand Island and Dakota City, not to venture out of their regions out of concern that they might spread the coronavirus. Unlike many other states, Ricketts has imposed public safety restrictions in Nebraska on a regional basis.

Investor Warren Buffett doesn’t know how the economy will recover from the coronavirus outbreak shutdown, but he remains optimistic in the long-term future of the United States. Buffett said Saturday at Berkshire Hathaway’s online annual meeting that there’s no way to predict the economic future right now because the possibilities are still too varied. Berkshire’s meeting was being held without any of the roughly 40,000 shareholders who typically attend. Instead of answering questions in a packed arena filled with shareholders, Buffett spoke in front of a camera for the online meeting.

Officials in Nebraska are forging ahead with plans for the state’s May 12 primary despite calls from Democrats to only offer voting by mail and concerns from public health officials that in-person voting will help the coronavirus spread. Top Republican officials in the GOP-dominated state have repeatedly urged voters to cast early, absentee ballots, but they argue that voters must have the option of voting in-person.

The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in Nebraska.  As of last night, there were 56-hundred-59 cases and 78 deaths reported statewide.  Hall County leads the state with 12-hundred-56 coronavirus cases, Dakota County has seen 918 cases and Douglas County has reported 878 cases.

Governor Updates Directed Health Measures

Apr 30, 2020

(Lincoln, NE)  --  Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is announcing updates to Directed Health Measures.  Douglas, Cass, Sarpy and several other counties will have relaxed Directed Health Measure guidelines for restaurants starting May 4th.  The changes call for restaurants to have 50-percent capacity, no bar seating, no buffets and no salad bars.  Customers can only consume alcohol with a meal, and no more than six people can be seated at a table.

Gov. Pete Ricketts is defended his decision to ease social-distancing restrictions in some parts of Nebraska even though the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has surged in the last few days. Ricketts announced Friday that he was relaxing rules for businesses such as restaurants, salons and tattoo parlors in certain regions of Nebraska and allowing all churches to resume in-person services as long as they follow new safety rules. During his weekday news conference on Monday, Ricketts used a highway speed-limit analogy to describe his thinking.

Business owners in Nebraska are starting to plan their comeback, now that the governor has unveiled his plan to ease coronavirus restrictions. Gov. Pete Ricketts said Friday that he will relax restrictions in 59 counties, including those in the Omaha area. The new orders, effective until May 31, allow restaurants to reopen their dining rooms but require them to keep crowds at or below half of their rated occupancy. Dining parties are limited to six people, buffets are still closed, and bars must keep their dining areas closed.

Six Feet of Science: Trailer

Apr 23, 2020
Joshua LaBure

Episodes will be released early every Saturday morning so you can make us part of your new weekend routine! 

Our newest podcast series features local muscians including Collin Smith and artists from Culxr House. We are collaborating with both Omaha Public Schools and the Omaha Children's Museum on this project. 

Gov. Pete Ricketts says he may take a regional approach to lifting social distancing restrictions in Nebraska, similar to the way he tightened the rules to fight the coronavirus. Ricketts says he’ll follow a phased-in, “one step at a time” approach to avoid another flare-up of the virus. Nebraska’s statewide social distancing mandates are in place until at least April 30. His comments came after a meeting Thursday between U.S. governors and the White House, and the Trump administration’s rollout of recommendations to reopen the country.

2020 Maha Music Festival Cancelled

Apr 8, 2020

This year's MAHA music festival is cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers today said the festival will return in 2021. It was scheduled to run August fifth-through-eighth with outdoor performances in Stinson Park.