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Rare Derecho Storm Wreaks Havok In Midlands

9 hours ago

A rare wind storm with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across the Midwest, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, and causing widespread property damage. The storm known as a derecho lasted several hours as it tore across eastern Nebraska, Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois. A scientist at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center says the storm had the wind speed of a major hurricane, and likely caused more widespread damage than a normal tornado. Officials in the Iowa cities of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown say the damage is extensive.

Omaha World Herald

Nebraska is continuing to see an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.  Officials confirmed 264 new cases yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 28-thousand-696.  There have been 348 coronavirus-related deaths in Nebraska during the pandemic.  Douglas County has seen 11-thousand-354 COVID-19 cases, the most in the state.

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/

KLKN

Lincoln Police closed down a bowling alley this weekend for violating the city’s coronavirus restrictions after the owner vowed to fight the rules requiring people to wear masks in public places. On Saturday, Lincoln Police enforced the local health department’s order to close Madsen’s Bowling & Billiards for violating restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak. Officials have said that employees at Madsen’s Bowling & Billiards weren’t wearing face coverings, patrons were told that masks were optional and people weren’t far enough apart.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for Lincoln yesterday in response to high temperatures. The advisory goes into effect when the heat index is from 100 to 104 degrees and there is a possibility of heat-related illnesses. To combat the hot weather, the CDC says to stay hydrated and wear light-colored clothing.

Hear and watch NPR's live coverage of the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, WI Monday, August 17th through Thursday, August 20th from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Omaha Public Schools superintendent, Dr. Cheryl Logan, announced this afternoon that the start of school has been pushed back to August 18th and there will be no in-person classes.  For the first quarter of the 2020-2021 school year the 100% Remote Learning Instructional Model will be used.  

The text of the full notice sent to staff and families is below, as well as a link to the OPS website with more information.

A bomb squad and military experts had to be called to a northeastern Nebraska museum after live ordnance — including a World War II grenade and two artillery shells — were found in a museum storeroom. The Norfolk Daily News reports that staff at the Elkhorn Valley Museum in Norfolk discovered the grenade, ammunition and ordnance on Wednesday, shut down the museum and called Norfolk police. Officers were unable to determine if the vintage ordnance was live and called the Nebraska State Patrol bomb squad.

State health officials announced 332 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 27,821 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 340 deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services reports 40 percent of hospital beds and 79 percent of ventilators are available. The Omaha City Council is expected to vote on a mask mandate on Tuesday. The council plans to propose an emergency ordinance to put the requirement in place, and needs six of the seven members to vote yes to immediately go into effect.

Philanthropist Doris Buffett has died.  The "Omaha World-Herald" reports that the sister of Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett passed away on Tuesday at her home in Rockport, Maine, at the age of 92.  Doris Buffett established the Sunshine Lady Foundation and the Letters Foundation, supported a college program for prison inmates and gave money to struggling single mothers.

Grand Redevelopment Plan Unveiled For Crossroads Property

Aug 6, 2020
WOWT

A 500-million-dollar development project is coming to the Crossroads Mall property.   Lockwood Development, Century Development, and the city of Omaha have signed a memo of understanding for the project.  The plan calls for mixed-use retail, restaurants, a hotel, apartments, and office space on 40 acres at 72nd and Dodge.  Completion on the project is scheduled for 2024.

Omaha Catholic Schools is delaying the new school year for students on six of its campuses.  Holy Cross, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Bernadette, Saints Peter and Paul, St. Thomas More and the Dual Language Academy will now start classes on August 31st.  The schools were originally set to welcome students back on August 20th, but officials delayed the starting date due to COVID-19 concerns. Omaha Public Schools want to purchase more than 20-thousand digital thermometers for student use. WOWT-TV6 reports the school wants to spend 95-thousand dollars of philanthropic money.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska is surging past 27-thousand.  Officials confirmed 222 new cases yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 27-thousand-178.  Four more coronavirus deaths were reported yesterday, and the state has seen 332 deaths during the pandemic.

Omaha World Herald

Omaha school teachers are continuing their call for a city mask mandate.  More than 200 educators gathered yesterday at Memorial Park to demand that city and state leaders pass a public facemask order.  Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says he is opposed to mask mandates, and he added that policymakers should decide if schools should reopen to students.

Eastman Receives Influential Endorsement

Aug 4, 2020

Nebraska congressional candidate Kara Eastman is getting a key endorsement.  Former President Barack Obama has endorsed Eastman for the November general election.  The Democrat Eastman takes on Republican Incumbent Second District Congressman Don Bacon in a rematch from two years ago.

 

Iowa Gov's Pandemic Response Sinks Her Approval Rating

Aug 3, 2020

Doctors across Iowa are urging Governor Kim Reynolds to enact a statewide face mask mandate.  WHO-TV reports dozens of medical professionals gathered on the steps of the State Capitol Saturday and presented data they say proves masks can slow the spread of coronavirus.  Iowa is one of only three states in the country that don't have some sort of mask mandate.

Omaha Daily Record

The city of Omaha is moving forward with a public facemask mandate.  City Councilman Pete Festersen tweeted yesterday that the council will consider an ordinance similar to one adopted in Lincoln.  The move comes after the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education requested this past weekend that the city consider a mask ordinance as the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19. Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour had been widely expected to issue a mandate Friday after the Douglas County Board of Health last Monday voted unanimously to support a mask mandate.

Absentee Ballot Applications On The Way

Jul 31, 2020

Absentee ballot applications will start appearing around Omaha this week. Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse said the applications are on green, postcard size cardstock. He says voters need to fill out the application portion and return it in the official drop box, through the mail, or by email before the end of October. The only difference for Sarpy County residents is that the applications are printed on salmon-colored cardstock.

The Douglas County board has approved spending $1.85 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to buy a mobile command center for the sheriff's office. The decision came despite objections from board members who said the money should be used for rent assistance and other human needs. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the board voted 4-2 Tuesday to approve the expenditure. Sheriff Tim Dunning and supporters said the vehicle could be used for mass vaccinations in rural areas. Coronavirus numbers continue to climb in Nebraska.

State health officials announced 344 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 25,766 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 328 deaths. Thirty-seven percent of hospital beds and 80 percent of ventilators are available. New unemployment claims decreased in Nebraska last week. The Department of Labor reported 3,544 initial claims, a decline of more than ten percent from the week before. However, officials announced 1,570 new pandemic unemployment assistance claims for the past week. This is an increase of four-point-nine percent.

Better Business Bureau Warns Against Fearmongering Scams

Jul 30, 2020

The Better Business Bureau is warning against scammers preying on fear. Better Business Bureau Investigator Steve Baker said scammers will pretend to be the I-R-S and take victims' bank information to withdraw money from the accounts. The Omaha Regional President and CEO said scammers are also claiming to be the C-D-C. Those scammers tell victims they can give them access to CARES Act funding. Baker said government agencies won't call asking for your personal information.

Nebraska’s meatpacking plants won’t have to worry about any new state-mandated safety restrictions this year, despite outbreaks of the coronavirus among their workers. A Nebraska lawmaker who wanted to add more protections on Wednesday failed to secure sufficient support for the idea. Sen. Tony Vargas, of Omaha, fell two votes short of the 30 he needed to introduce a bill this session. Bills can only be introduced during the first 10 days of each session, unless a super-majority of lawmakers agrees to suspend the rule.

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/

Lincoln Journal Star

Nebraska residents are showing their support for people who work in the meatpacking industry.  Union members, community advocates and church groups were among those who rallied outside the state Capitol yesterday. Demonstrators called on state lawmakers to take steps to protect meatpacking workers from the COVID-19 pandemic by requiring companies to provide protective gear, ensure social distancing and other measures.  

There are now more than 25-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there were 25-thousand-157 cases and 321 coronavirus-related deaths in the state.  Douglas County leads Nebraska with more than 98-hundred COVID-19 cases. Officials say dozens of inmates at the Douglas County Jail have tested positive for the coronavirus. A news release from the county says 36 of 41 inmates in a single housing unit at the jail recently tested positive for the virus.

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 

Million-Dollar Lottery Ticket Purchased in Lincoln

Jul 28, 2020

One lucky Lincoln resident is the winner of a million-dollar Lottery prize. Nebraska Lottery confirmed a ticket sold during Saturday's 117-million-dollar Powerball draw matched the first five numbers of the winning ticket. Officials said it was bought at the Fast Mart on North 27th Street. Nebraska Lottery says players should check their tickets and report them to Nebraska Lottery to claim their prize.

KETV

Another Omaha area school district is revealing its reopening plans. Millard Public Schools emailed parents its back-to-school plan yesterday.  The plan calls for students with last names beginning with A through F to go to class August 10th, those with last names starting with G through L will go August 11th, M through R students will return to class August 12th, and S through Z students will attend class starting August 13th. Officials say during the first week of school, students will only attend class one day in person and masks will be required for children and staff members.

Slimmed-Down State Fair Will Proceed Without Carnival

Jul 27, 2020

The Nebraska State Fair will happen this year, but the event will take place without a carnival. Organizers say this year's fair will focus on exhibits by Four-H and the FFA, along with livestock competitions. The fair is scheduled for the weekends of August 28th through the 30th and September Fourth through Seventh in Grand Island.

70+ Protestors Arrested After Saturday Night Demonstration

Jul 27, 2020

Dozens of people are taken into custody during a protest in Omaha against racial injustice and police brutality. The protest, which was held in support of demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, started Saturday night near Turner and Farnam.  Authorities say the protesters began walking into traffic lanes on Farnam and started throwing barricades at police cruisers.  More than 75 protesters were cited on charges including failure to disperse and obstructing traffic.  

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