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Former Governor and U.S. Senator representing the people of the great state of Nebraska, Bob Kerrey, took some time to chat with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about several topics.  An edited version of the interview, (cut due to time constraints), aired on 91.5 KIOS.  Below is the full interview.

A key state lawmaker says Nebraska’s severe prison overcrowding is only going to get worse over the next few years if state officials don’t take more aggressive steps to address the problem. Sen. Steve Lathrop, of Omaha, told a legislative committee Wednesday that the state’s prison population is projected to grow so fast that it will outpace the new beds that corrections officials are adding to try to ease pressure on their facilities. Lathrop made the remarks as he proposed a new, $52 million Omaha community corrections facility to members of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee.

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President Trump makes his first address following his acquittal by the U.S. Senate on two charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress today from the White House East Room at 11 a.m. Central Time.

KIOS will carry NPR live coverage on-air, and you can find live streams of the President's statement below.

Dozens To Be Quarantined For Coronavirus in Nebraska

Feb 5, 2020

(Ashland, NE)  --  Dozens of people will be quarantined at a Nebraska National Guard site for possible coronavirus.  Officials say that 70 people who recently returned from China will stay at Camp Ashland in Ashland, Nebraska, where they will be tested for possible exposure to the virus.  The federal government is requiring anyone who returns to the U.S. from China's Wuhan province to be quarantined for 14 days. 

A proposal that could allow Nebraska's Legislature to expand from 49 to 55 senators has hit a wave of opposition. The proposal by Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer would give voters the chance to increase the maximum number of state lawmakers in Nebraska. If voters approved the ballot measure in the November election, lawmakers would then need to pass a bill to increase their ranks. Scheer says he introduced the measure to ensure that rural constituents have easier access to their elected representatives. Some lawmakers raised concerns about the cost of adding more senators.

Democratic congressional hopeful Kate Bolz has officially entered the race Tuesday for Nebraska's 1st Congressional District. Bolz, a state senator from Lincoln, filed papers to seek the seat held by eight-term U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican. Bolz said she would work to ensure that people in the eastern Nebraska district have access to affordable health care. She says she would support legislation to lower prescription drug costs and promised never to take away insurance coverage from people with preexisting conditions.

Nebraska Considered For Coronavirus Quarantine Site

Feb 4, 2020

A Nebraska National Guard camp could be used as a temporary quarantine site for patients under observation for signs of coronavirus.  The Omaha World Herald reports that a team from the University of Nebraska Medical Center toured Camp Ashland near Ashland, Nebraska, on Sunday.  Officials confirmed yesterday that Camp Ashland is the proposed site for Americans returning from China to be housed if they are brought to Nebraska for observation and treatment.  American citizens who have visited China's Wuhan province within the past two weeks are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine once t

The Omaha area's public power utility says it was the work of a busy beaver that caused a Monday morning power outage to some 900 customers west of the city. The Omaha Public Power District says the outage affected residents and businesses from the Elkhorn community to Waterloo. OPPD spokesman Chris Averett told the Omaha World-Herald that workers determined a beaver had weakened a tree, which then blew over into a power line, causing the outage. Averett says the power went out before 7 a.m. and was restored around 11:30 a.m.

President Trump is delivering the 2020 State of the Union address right on the heels of the Iowa Caucus. Watch his remarks live starting at 8:00 p.m. CST.  You can listen on the radio at 91.5 FM live.

You can watch live here:

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Listen to live streaming coverage of the 2020 Iowa Caucus from NPR News here, beginning tonight at 7 p.m.:

You can also find out more about the Democratic candidates vying for the nomination and the issues in this election here and here.

Nebraska officials say the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated nearly $109 million in federal funds in the aftermath of last year's devastating historic floods. The Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds will help support Nebraska's disaster relief, long-term recovery and restoration efforts following the floods. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development has begun an approximate six-month process to determine distribution of the disaster funds to areas affected by flooding. Local governments are eligible recipients under the program.

A neuropsychologist will discuss at the Feb. 11 Omaha Science Cafe the mental processes of former football players. Lindy Field is an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Fields was involved for several years in clinical research at the Center for Brain Health – Institute for Athletes, affiliated with University of Texas at Dallas. Much of her research has focused on neuropsychological functioning in former National Football League players, as well as cognitive functioning in current athletes. The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Slowdown, 729 N.

Roughly one month after the federal government announced a new crackdown to keep e-cigarettes away from children, state lawmakers in Iowa and Nebraska are forging ahead with similar proposals of their own. Both states are considering new laws to raise the minimum age for vaping to 21 years old in addition to other measures to try to restrict the product. An Iowa Senate Subcommittee advanced the measure earlier this month to raise that state’s legal age from 18 to eliminate the conflict with federal law. In Nebraska, a legislative committee will review its own bill on Tuesday.

The Omaha Community Playhouse has done it again!  Native Gardens is a hilarious turf war between neighbors, generations, and ethnicities.  When Pablo and Tania purchase a new home in a well-to-do white neighborhood, the couple next door initially offer a friendly welcome.  But when a laughable property line disagreement dissolves into an all-out turf war, the dirt begins to fly.  Packed with witty quips—and plenty of back-and-forth mudslinging—Native Gardens is a side-splitting reminder that, despite our differences, we all share a much larger common ground.

Director Ablan Roblin stops by the KIOS studios to chat with Mike Hogan about the show and how important it is to laugh at ourselves while we navigate through the important role of "neighbor."

The show opens on February 14th and runs through March 15th.

More information can be found at http://www.omahaplayhouse.com/tickets/view/nativegardens/

The TakeCare Campaign wants to inspire you to re-imagine your health through powerful story telling of inspiration and transformation.  TakeCare of your whole health – mind, body, spirit and community – so you can live life fully for whatever matters most to you.  

TakeCare Chair Spokesperson, Jessica Janssen Wolford, who is also the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Midland University, joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the campaign (only six cities were chosen nationally for the kickoff, the greater Omaha area is one of them) and the difference TakeCare has already made in her personal life.

A free launch event will be held at Midland University 900 North Clarkson in the Campus Cafeteria on February 5 from 12-1:30PM.   More information can be found at https://takecare.org/

A new report says families who want access to high-quality child care in Nebraska may be out of luck depending on where they live or how much they make. The report by the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission says access to child care varies widely, with 11 of the state's 93 counties having no licensed child care facilities. The report also finds a high turnover rate among early childhood care providers, driven in part by low pay. The report says the median wage for early childhood professionals teaching in community-based child care centers was less than $19,000 in 2016.

Nebraska farmers could get free, special permits to hunt deer on their land before the official rifle-hunting season starts under a legislative bill that won initial approval. Lawmakers advanced a measure Thursday that would allow farmers to hunt on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before the official hunting season if they get the permit. Sen. Dan Hughes, of Venango, says he introduced the legislation to reward Nebraska farmers who lose an estimated $60 million a year collectively when deer destroy their crops.

The roarin’ 20s are back and better than ever!  First Tuesdays at the Joslyn Castle with Omaha Conservatory of Music starts in February and brings the sights and sounds of the 1920s come roaring back to life!  Joslyn Castle has partnered with the Omaha Conservatory of Music to bring you '20s-inspired duets, string quartets, ragtime piano performances and more.

Each performance will be hosted in the gorgeous, and historically appropriate, Joslyn Castle Music Room every First Tuesday beginning in February.  This is the very room the Joslyns' hosted live music for the community in their day and we are thrilled to honor their passion for the arts once again.

Janice Pickering, Manager of programs and events at Joslyn Castle, and Candace Jorgensen, director of community engagement, join Mike Hogan live in the studios to discuss this program.

More information can be found at https://joslyncastle.com/events/special-events/first-tuesdays-with-omaha-conservatory-of-music.html

(Des Moines, IA)  --  A new online court system process is allowing Iowans to get a divorce without a lawyer. The Iowa Judicial Branch released part of a series of free online court forms that help Iowans without minor or dependent children access the system without an attorney. Officials say the Iowa court system saw over five-thousand divorce cases last year from couples without children.

Governor Reynolds Appoints New Iowa Supreme Court Justice

Jan 30, 2020

(Des Moines, IA)  --  Cedar Rapids attorney Dana Oxley is the new chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court. Governor Reynolds appointed Oxley yesterday to fill the position after the death of Chief Justice Mark Cady last November.  Oxley is Governor Reynolds' third Supreme Court appointment.

Affordable Housing Project Under Consideration

Jan 30, 2020

(North Platte, NE)  --  An affordable housing project is under consideration in North Platte.  Dial Property Management is planning to build a 28-million-dollar apartment and commercial project at West A Street and Lakeview Boulevard.  Developers also requested Tax Increment Financing for the proposal.  North Platte planning commissioners approved the plan yesterday, and the matter will go before the city council next month.

Billionaire Warren Buffett is giving up on the newspaper business. He's selling all of Berkshire Hathaway's publications to Lee Enterprises for $140 million. The deal announced Wednesday covers 31 daily newspapers in 10 states as well as 49 paid weekly publications with digital sites and 32 other print products. Buffett is a lifelong fan of newspapers but he has said for several years that he expects most of them to continue on their declining trajectory, save for a handful of national papers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Students and teachers from private schools have rallied at the Nebraska Capitol to recognize National School Choice Week, a campaign to promote alternatives to public schools. The gathering on Wednesday drew hundreds of students, administrators and advocacy groups who want to promote private schools, charter schools and homeschooling. Nebraska public school teachers celebrated with their own “I love Public Schools Day." Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican who supports public school alternatives, proclaimed this week as National School Choice Week as part of the event. Lt. Gov.

Performing Artists Repertory Theatre presents their next production MAMMA MIA! opening January 31 and running through February 16, 2020.  Over 60 million people worldwide have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music ​that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good show!

ABBA's hits tell the hilarious story of a young woman's search for her birth father. This sunny and funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.

Mackenzie Dehmer and Analisa Peyton stop by the KIOS-FM studios on 33rd and Burt to chat with Mike Hogan about the show and what makes the evening of laughs and entertainment so special.

More information can be found at http://www.performingartistsrepertorytheatre.org/

The driver of a snowplow plunged the vehicle into the Platte River on Tuesday as he was being followed by authorities who later arrested him. U.S. marshals and Sarpy County sheriff's deputies believed the driver of the Nebraska Department of Transportation snowplow was a wanted federal fugitive and began following the plow on a highway south of Gretna. After a few minutes, the Lincoln Journal Star reports the the plow left the road and landed in the river. The driver managed to get out of the cab and officers pulled him to safety.

Street Proposal Goes Before Council

Jan 29, 2020

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert's proposed 200-million-dollar bond is being considered by the City Council.  The bond proposal calls for 75-million-dollars per year to be spent on road repairs.  Stothert says if the bond is approved, the owner of a 100-thousand-dollar home would pay about 26-dollars in year in property taxes.  The City Council will hold a public hearing on the bond next Tuesday.

La Vista police are investigating after customers were sickened after allegedly being served cleaning solution at a movie theater.  Police tell KETV that two people who had ordered drinks at the Alamo Drafthouse theater yesterday were accidentally served cleaning solution.  Both customers and a bartender who tasted the drinks began having symptoms and were taken to a hospital for treatment. 

Grant Application Process Opens

Jan 28, 2020

The application process is open for the city of Omaha's 2020 neighborhood association grant program.  The mayor's office is offering 75-thousand-dollars in grants this year, and neighborhoods can receive up to five-thousand-dollars for an individual project such as festivals, public art or landscaping.  The application deadline is March 23rd, and grant recipients will be announced in May.

Food Bank Serves Thousands

Jan 28, 2020

The Food Bank for the Heartland is continuing to help thousands of Nebraskans.  Food bank officials say they have provided more than 612-thousand meals during the disaster recovery efforts following last year's flooding.  Mobile pantries are currently serving residents in Schuyler and Valley.  Local food banks are making preparations in the event their services are needed again this spring. 

 

Missouri River Breaches Repaired

Jan 28, 2020

Flood damage repairs are continuing along the Missouri River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported yesterday that two Missouri River outlet breaches were closed on Saturday.  They are the third and fourth breaches to be repaired on Missouri River Levee System L-594.  More than 500 miles of levees on the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn rivers and their tributaries have seen significant flooding over the last ten months.

 

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