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 Law enforcement agencies across Nebraska are warning residents of an increased risk following a spate of drug overdose deaths in the state. The Omaha and Lincoln police departments, along with the Nebraska State Patrol and federal Drug Enforcement Administration have issued a joint news release saying there have been 21 overdoses — eight resulting in death — in Lincoln and Omaha over a six-day span starting Aug. 10. Officials say the majority of the overdoes involved the use of cocaine that has been laced with the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.

The FBI has established a keen focus on fighting hate crimes.  In fact, they are asking the public to be diligent in reporting not only hate crimes, but also civil rights violations and color of law crimes.

Omaha based Special Agent in Charge (SAC), Eugene Kowel, joined Mike Hogan for a two-part discussion on the action the FBI is taking, the differences between hate crimes, color of law crimes, and civil rights violations, as well as the current and future training of agents.

News Channel Nebraska

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents has rejected an anti-critical race theory resolution. The 5-3 vote on Friday followed about three hours of public comment from students, faculty and others. The Lincoln Journal-Star reports that Regent Jim Pillen, a Republican candidate for governor, introduced the resolution objecting to “any imposition of critical race theory” in academic curriculum in July. Critical race theory, a framework for examining the effects race and racism have on institutions, both historically and today, has become a flashpoint in the culture wars.

Bellevue University opened a brand new center dedicated to supporting the Latino students' academic journey, both personally and professionally.  It’s called El Camino Latino Center.

Gina Ponce, Director, Latino Community Outreach/El Camino Latino Center joined Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” program to talk about the center, which will be home to seven businesses and organizations.  University partners and employers will have their offices inside the center, with hopes that their presence and easy accessibility will provide internships, resources, and eventually jobs for students.

The Center will have an open house on August 19 from 4 to 6:30 p.m.  More information can be found at https://news.bellevue.edu/bellevue-universitys-el-camino-latino-center-to-hold-open-house-august-19/

KETV

The city of Omaha is expected to apply for federal disaster aid following intense flash flooding over the weekend that collapsed some sewers and sent floodwaters into businesses and homes. The Omaha World-Herald reports that city officials have been tracking growing expenses from the storm damage and expect to meet the threshold to apply for federal aid. Officials have not yet released other details about the expected disaster declaration.

fortine.com

The number of virus cases and hospitalizations across Nebraska has steadily increased in recent weeks as the highly contagious delta variant spreads, following the pattern of other states with relatively low vaccination rates. Nebraska said Wednesday that 2,575 new virus cases were reported in the past week, which is up from 1,976 the week before and more than 10 times higher than the 253 cases a week the state was reporting in late June when officials lifted the last of Nebraska’s remaining virus-related restrictions.

Nebraska Legislature

A Nebraska state senator and former city council member from Bellevue is weighing a bid for governor. Sen. Carol Blood unveiled a new campaign website Monday where she’s taking donations and describing herself as a level-headed public servant with a record of governing. If she commits to running, Blood would be the first Democratic candidate to declare a bid for governor. She’s seeking to replace Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who is term-limited, in a state dominated by the GOP.

Omaha World Herald

Governor Pete Ricketts is asking the public to vote against Critical Race Theory classes at the University of Nebraska. In a post on his website last night, the governor compared Critical Race Theory to a reinvented version of Communism.  Advocates of CRT say the idea is based on a history of white supremacy and how it is still impacting today's society and institutions. The vote will take place Friday at the university. Meanwhile, Former Gov.

Billy McGuigan's Pop Rock Orchestra has opened at the SumTur Amphitheater and runs through August 15th.  

Think of Frank Sinatra at the Sands with the power of the Count Basie Orchestra behind him, the Moody Blues who put symphonic interludes in the middle of a rock song, ELO with an electric horn and string section - rock & roll was transformed! There is truly a song for everybody as Billy navigates the audience through decades of classic gems, backed by a rock orchestra that can match his energy in force.

Billy took a moment to chat with Mike Hogan about this latest endeavor on the "Live & Local" program. 

More information can be found at www.TheOmahaSeries.com.

The first female to lead one of the PGA Tour’s global tours is Alex Baldwin.  She is the president of the Korn Ferry Tour which is holding its finale this week as The Pinnacle Bank Championship.  This Omaha event, hosted at Indian Creek golf course, is site to the season championship of the Korn Ferry Tour.  PGA cards will be handed out fulfilling dreams, while others will have to continue the hard work of making their golf dreams come true.

Alex took some time to chat with Mike Hogan from KIOS-FM about being the president of this exciting tour, the ever growing role of women in golf, and she even gave some advice for those wishing to pursue a career in sports.

More information about The Korn Ferry Tour and The Pinnacle Bank Championship (August 12-15) can be found at https://thepinnaclebankchampionship.com/

The New American Arts Festival co-presented by Lutheran Family Services and Benson First Friday (BFF Omaha) is tonight! 

Caitlin Little, Development Director of BFF Omaha joined Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss tonight’s arts festival and the year round activities that BFF Omaha hosts

More information can be found at https://www.bffomaha.org/naaf.html

NE Colleges/Tyson Foods All Insist On Full Vaccination

Aug 4, 2021
The Wall Street Journal

Three colleges in Nebraska are requiring students to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  Doane University is asking students to have their second dose of the vaccine by September 9th.  Nebraska Wesleyan University is requiring students to be fully vaccinated by August 15th, and Creighton University is requiring all students to be fully vaccinated in order to return to campus.  The vaccination requirements come as the number of new delta variant cases increases. Meanwhile, Tyson Foods will require all U.S.

The Hillcrest Foundation for Enhancing Lives is a 501c3 not-for-profit focused on improving the lives of older adults by empowering caregivers with education about the care of older adults as well as providing meaningful gifts, travel opportunities and life experiences to support older adults. 

Jim Janicki is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Hillcrest Health Services and he joined Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” program to discuss the genesis of this charitable organization, the good work it has already done, and to talk about the upcoming fundraiser, a golf tournament, on Thursday, Aug 19. 

More information can be found at http://hillcrestfoundation.org/

The KIOS Transmitter is presently running at a lower power.  This may affect some listeners in outlying areas so some listeners near the edges of our broadcast signal may experience difficulty picking up the station, or hear some static interference indicative of low transmission power.  If that is the case, we encourage you to use your computer or mobile device to listen to the streaming signal from the station, which is has not been impacted by the storms.

As always, thank you so much for your continued patience and your support.  We truly appreciate you!

KFOR

An unusual influx of cash will allow Lancaster County lower its property tax levy, officials said. The county has more more money than usual thanks to federal pandemic aid, a large carry-over of money from this year’s budget and a total revaluation of property in the county. The Lincoln Journal Star reports that most of that money won’t be used in the county’s $128.5 million general fund budget, which is supported by property taxes, but officials still plan to lower the tax levy by 1 cent per $100 of valuation. The general fund budget will increase by about $5.1 million.

The Reader

Thousands of Nebraskans who are behind on their rent could face eviction now that the federal ban on evictions expired as of Saturday. Nebraska has dedicated $200 million from the coronavirus aid package Congress passed in December to helping people pay outstanding rent and utility bills, but so far only about $24.6 million has been distributed. Scott Mertz, an attorney with Legal Aid of Nebraska, says the number of evictions is expected to surge following the end of the moratorium, but it’s not clear by how much.

Nebraska Dept. of Education

An attempt to include gender identity lessons in Nebraska’s public school curriculum was largely scrapped after an uproar from conservatives, including top state officials, who argued that the topics weren’t appropriate for children. The Nebraska Department of Education announced that it had stricken most of the proposed standards in a new draft released Thursday. The move came after state education officials faced intense criticism from many parents, school boards, state lawmakers and Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who held town hall events to blast the proposal.

KPTM

Wildfires in Canada and the western United States may affect the air quality in Nebraska over the next couple of days.  The Department of Environment and Energy monitors the smoke levels and says there are advisories possible for moderate to unhealthy categories today through August 1st.  There are also times when the unhealthy or red category will apply.  People with breathing difficulties or heart issues may want to limit their time outdoors.

For two decades RESPECT has helped give children, teens, college students and adults throughout Nebraska and Iowa the skills they need to prevent and stop bullying, abuse, and dating violence as well as other forms of abuse in relationships through live theatre presentations and youth participation productions.  Because of COVID, they transitioned the live theatre organization into a virtual one. 

They have a fundraiser to continue the important work they do with youth.  The “Stand Up Against Bullying” fundraiser includes virtual presentations, take home dinners, and a silent auction.  There is also a “double your donation” program.  The fundraiser is taking place now through August 5th and details can be found at www.respect2all.org.

Dr. Patricia Newman is the founder and Executive Director of RESPECT and she spent time on “Live & Local” talking about the organizations beginnings, the difference the program has made,  and the reach of the work today. 

Tri-Faith Initiative started with a simple idea: A picnic table to gather around is all people really need for interfaith relationships to flourish.  So break bread together, give thanks for each other, and celebrate!

This Sunday, August 1st from 4-8 p.m. everyone is invited to gather for the “Picnic on the Commons” at 13136 Faith Plaza in Omaha. 

Wendy Goldberg, Executive Director at Tri-Faith Initiative, spoke with Mike Hogan at KIOS-FM about the genesis of the organization, the upcoming event, and how nice it is to be gathering together again!

More information can be found at https://www.trifaith.org/events/picnic-on-the-commons-2021/

Omaha World Herald

The family of a white Nebraska bar owner who killed himself after being charged in the fatal shooting of a Black man during 2020 protests over racial injustice is suing local prosecutors, saying their comments led to his suicide. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the parents of Jake Gardner sued the Douglas County Attorney's Office, its top prosecutor and a special prosecutor in federal court on Monday.

Omaha World Herald

The family of a white Nebraska bar owner who killed himself after being charged in the fatal shooting of a Black man during 2020 protests over racial injustice is suing local prosecutors, saying their comments led to his suicide. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the parents of Jake Gardner sued the Douglas County Attorney's Office, its top prosecutor and a special prosecutor in federal court on Monday.

Jesse White plays Buddy Holly in the  upcoming amphitheater tour of Buddy - The Buddy Holly StoryBuddy is the second show in The Omaha Series, produced by Rave On Productions which debuted earlier this year with the production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and also starred Jesse in the title role.

Jesse joined Mike Hogan for a “Live & Local” chat about being in a show about an iconic figure, learning to play the guitar, and having the show directed by someone who spent 18 years playing the same title character.  The show opens July 30th and runs through August 1st.

More information about the show can be found at www.TheOmahaSeries.com

In May of 2022, at UNO’s Dodge Campus, the former College of Education building, Kayser Hall, will be renovated and turned into a museum that features art from Holocaust survivor, Samuel Bak.  Over his 88 years of life, Bak has created over 8,000 pieces of art and after Kayser Hall’s renovations are complete, UNO will be home to 512 of those works.

Omaha World Herald

The running mate for Nebraska governor hopeful Charles Herbster has announced that she's bowing out of the race, citing the time commitment required to campaign. Theresa Thibodeau, a former state lawmaker and Douglas County Republican Party leader, says she would withdraw from the ticket. Thibodeau says she didn't think she'd be able to devote the time necessary to continue with the campaign. Herbster had selected Thibodeau even though the state Republican Party hasn’t yet held its primary election to name its gubernatorial nominee.

Lincoln Journal Star

Public health officials have expressed growing concern about an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Nebraska, primarily among residents who haven’t been vaccinated. Officials say they were worried about the slow-but-steady increase in infected people who end up hospitalized, putting pressure on COVID-19 treatment units. Nebraska reported 978 new cases in the week ending Thursday. That's a 42% increase over the previous week and exactly double the 489 new cases logged two weeks earlier.

The 28th Annual ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference will adopt a hybrid format, with the option to attend either in person or virtually.  The conference will allow an unlimited number of virtual participants.  The August 11th conference is open to leaders of all career levels, industries, company types and geographic locations.

Allison Zach, Director of Marketing, Communications and Events at ICAN, spent time with Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” giving a preview of the conference and the benefits of attending.  More information can be found at ICAN 2021 Women's Leadership Conference - Home (icanconference.com)

Newsbreak

Four people were injured when a second-floor outdoor deck collapsed during a barbecue in suburban Omaha, trapping the people and leaving serious burns on one woman when a hot charcoal grill fell on her. First responders said the incident happened around 9 p.m. Sunday at a home in Bellevue. Officials say several people were on the deck when it collapsed, causing them to fall 10- to 12-feet to the ground. Four people, including the woman with first- and second-degree burns, were taken to local hospitals. Officials say some people at the scene declined treatment.

Covid Patients Filling ICU Beds Once More

Jul 27, 2021
EU

The Douglas County Health Department reports 137 new confirmed COVID-19 infections over the weekend.  The total number of cases now tops 73-thousand.  There were no new deaths reported, so that toll remains at 737.  Officials say just under 53-percent of all Douglas County residents have received one dose of the vaccine.

KOLN

State health officials have reported Nebraska's first human case this year of West Nile virus. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported Friday that a county health department officials in northeastern Nebraska reported a person there had tested positive for the mosquito-borne illness. The Elkhorn-Logan Valley Health Department, which covers Burt, Cuming, Madison and Stanton counties, says the infected person was not hospitalized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most people with West Nile virus don’t have symptoms.

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