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Investor Warren Buffett said the economic impact of the pandemic remains hard to predict but most big companies have fared OK throughout it as long as they weren't tied to travel. Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger said in an interview that U.S. regulators should do more to restrict the amount of gambling in financial markets by limiting how much investors and banks can borrow on margin. Munger praised the financial regulations that Chinese regulators have put in place to limit speculation.

UNO Gateway

Nebraska plans to stop reporting coronavirus numbers online after this week. The state Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that it planned to retire the online dashboard that it has used to report statistics on the coronavirus pandemic for more than a year. The current state virus emergency also was set to expire on Wednesday, and along with that Nebraska would eliminate the last few social distancing guidelines that remain in place. As of its final update Wednesday, the state had reported 224,488 virus cases and 2,261 deaths linked to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

WhyArts (whyartsinc.org) and Arts in Motion (artsinmotionomaha.org) are merging on July 1, creating an arts nonprofit in Omaha that will serve thousands of Nebraskans annually, with a particular focus on serving people with disabilities.

WhyArts Executive Director, Kim Jubenville, chatted with Mike Hogan about the reasons behind the merger and the benefits of the new, combined organization.

More information can be found at whyartsinc.org or artsinmotionomaha.org.
 

Melissa Wurth, Executive Director of Omaha Girls Rock chatted with Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” about all the activities the organization is now having, since the pandemic has come to an end.

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

From their website, some of the activities include:

Songwriter Series  Mon, July 12th, to  Fri, July 16th,

Youth ages 8-12 / Teens ages 13-18: Spend a couple hours with our amazing instructors in a Songwriter Track or Spoken Word Track!

Youth artists will workshop a piece with our amazing Teaching Artists to share at our Open Mic Night to end the series on July 16 (youth) and July 24 (teens). We will get our creative juices flowing and use our voices to express ourselves!

OGR JAMboree!: Youth Open Mic!  Friday, July 16, 2021  5:00 PM  8:00 PM 

Our last JAMboree will celebrate our Youth Artists and give them a chance to share what they worked on all week. DJ Crabrangucci will also be there for a Dance Party!

WHERE: The Venue at Highlander

OGR JAMboree!: Gear Swap and Teen Open Mic Night!  Saturday, July 24, 2021 3:00 PM  8:00 PM  Benson Neighborhood (map)

At our third JAMboree, in partnership with BFF, we will be selling some gear and offering a space for our community to sell their gear. Proceeds from each sale will go back to OGR in support of our programming!

  • JAMboree will also include TEEN OPEN MIC NIGHT!
  • Music and dance with DJ Chevy!

UNO partners with community organizations and public schools to both provide UNO students with valuable learning experiences while also benefitting the community.  Sara Woods, Director of UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, joined Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss the opportunities for these students and the benefits the community experiences from this partnership.

More information can be found at https://www.unomaha.edu/community-engagement-center/index.php.

KETV

Employees at two Nebraska prisons will have to work longer shifts and may be asked to clock in at a facility where they don’t normally work to compensate for staffing shortages. Director Scott Frakes says he has declared a “staffing emergency” at the Lincoln Correctional Center and the Diagnostic Evaluation Center, located next to each other in Lincoln. Prison officials will implement 12-hour shifts for some employees, up from the usual 8.

KTVU

A high-ranking California police official has been nominated to serve as the next police chief in Lincoln, Nebraska, making her the city’s first female chief and the first who is openly gay. Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird says she has selected Teresa Ewins, a 55-year-old commander with the San Francisco Police Department. Ewins was one of four finalists who was chosen from a field of 31 applicants. If she's approved as expected by the Lincoln City Council, Ewins would assume her new job on Aug. 31.

Rural Health Information Hub

Nebraska health officials are continuing to work to persuade residents of rural parts of the state, where coronavirus vaccination rates remain low, to get their shots. The Omaha World-Herald reports that vaccination rates in the state’s rural counties tend to lag far behind the rates in the state’s urban counties. Only about 40% of the adults in rural parts of Nebraska are fully vaccinated compared with more than 60% of those living in the state’s metropolitan areas. As part of the effort to reach rural areas.

Lincoln Journal Star

Federal regulators have ordered a Nebraska rancher and county officials to clean up a remote stream after it was deluged with enough sand and sediment to change the shape of the waterway. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Environmental Protection Agency said the Snake River had been a deep and narrow creek until an estimated 1.6 million tons of sand washed into it, turning a 3-mile stretch into a wide, shallow and sandy waterway. That’s enough sand to fill an area the size of a football field about 540 feet deep.

KHGI

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is offering incentives to faculty, staff and students who voluntarily sign up for a registry showing they are vaccinated against COVID-19. The incentives include five prizes worth a total of $9,872 — equal to one year of in-state tuition and fees — or a trip to Ireland to watch the Huskers play football in August 2022. The university announced the initiative in a letter to students and staff on Wednesday. Anyone who registers by Aug. 15 will be eligible for the incentives.

WOWT

Parts of Nebraska and Iowa are cleaning up after strong overnight storms. Storms Wednesday night and Thursday morning led to wind damage and power outages in the Omaha area and other parts of Nebraska. Wind gusts of more than 60 mph downed power lines and trees. Thousands of homes and businesses in Omaha lost power. There were no immediate reports of injuries. The Dodge County, Nebraska Sheriff’s Office reported that an electrical supply line fell across all four lanes of traffic on Highway 30.

KANEKO invites families to bring the kiddos to the KANEKO on Saturday mornings for exclusive family time to enjoy the exhibits and take part in some family activities.

KANEKO Education Manager, Katherine Scarpello explains on “Live & Local” how the times from 10:00 to 12:00 on Saturday mornings is set aside for parents and caregivers of small children (under 12) to move freely within the galleries and enjoy the current Community exhibits and the KANEKO- UNO Creative Library that has a dedicated space for kids!  KIDSpace at the K-UNO Library offers thoughtfully curated children’s books about creativity in a relaxed environment. 

More information can be found at https://thekaneko.org/family-admission/

A hundred years ago, two Omaha newspapermen – Leo Bozell and Morris Jacobs started the advertising firm Bozell & Jacobs.  A century later, three women own the legendary firm in an industry that at one time was male dominated.

Jackie Miller, one of Bozell's owners and the Chief Marketing Officer, joined Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss the rich history of Bozell which includes culturally iconic campaigns, (milk mustache campaign, “pork … the other white meat,” and Boys Town’s "He ain’t heavy, Father, he’s m’ brother” rebrand), decades of adapting to the changing culture of America, and an evolution to become a woman-owned business.

More information about the firm or the book “From Newsboy to Adman: The Story of Morris E. Jacobs, Co-founder of Bozell & Jacobs” can be found at https://bozell.com/.

During the pandemic, business faced closure while workers faced unemployment.  Two centers at UNO worked hard to provide the resources and data to help business owners stay afloat and provide civic leaders with the data necessary to make decisions that helped the citizens of Nebraska.

Cathy Lang, State Director of the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC), and Josie Schafer, Director of UNO’s Center for Public Affairs Research (CPAR), spoke with Mike Hogan during this two-part interview about how NBDC helped keep Nebraska businesses afloat in 2020 and how CPAR’s work (alongside the state of Nebraska) tracked the pandemic’s impact on Nebraska’s workforce, allowing for action to be taken to help the unemployed.

More information can be found at https://www.unomaha.edu/nebraska-business-development-center/index.php and https://www.unomaha.edu/college-of-public-affairs-and-community-service/center-for-public-affairs-research/index.php

Terry Streetman,  Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at Alzheimer's Association, Nebraska Chapter, chatted with Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” about several topics including a recap of what the Unicameral was able to accomplish to help the fight against Alzheimer’s, Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month, and the importance of brain health and early detection.

More information and caregiver assistance is available at https://www.alz.org/nebraska.

Vox

Warren Buffett resigned Wednesday as trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which says it will announce plans in July to answer questions raised about its leadership structure. The announcement from Buffett comes weeks after Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage but would continue to jointly run the foundation. It's one of the largest charitable foundations in the world. Buffett also said Wednesday that he is halfway to reaching his goal of giving away the entirety of his shares in Berkshire Hathaway, his company.

New data released Wednesday shows that Nebraska’s unemployment rate remained one of the lowest in the country as it fell even lower in May. The state’s 2.6% unemployment rate tied with Vermont for the second-lowest rate in the nation, behind only New Hampshire’s 2.5% unemployment. Nebraska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined in May to 2.6% from April’s 2.8% as the number of jobs in the state continued to grow.

The Union for Contemporary Art's current round of Populus Fund grants are open.. 

Like last year during the initial Populus Fund cycle, many artists are still in need of critical financial support due to COVID, The Union has designated the available funds as unrestricted emergency relief for local working artists.  Funds can be used to support vital needs such as medical bills, rent, debts, and food. 

Patrick Mainelli, Communications Director for The Union for Contemporary Art, explains to Mike Hogan how the Populus Fund will award seventy-five $1,000 grants using a weighted lottery system for a total of $75,000 awarded to artists by the end of the year.

Like last years' cycle they will prioritize BIPOC applicants during this round of funding.  The goal is to give at least 55% of the awards to BIPOC artists.  Artists can learn more and apply at: https://www.u-ca.org/populusfund.

Deadlines for participation are as follows:

CYCLE 2: 7/9 deadline, 11:59p deadline

CYCLE 3: 8/1 deadline, 11:59p deadline

Imagine a college scholarship program that gives so much more than just financial assistance.  It also mentors, builds a community of students who go on to become doctors, educators, engineers, artists, and elected officials and they remain a member of that community. 

The Goodrich Scholarship program at UNO is one such program.  Troy Romero, the Chair of the Goodrich Program, joined Mike Hogan to explain how the program changed his life.  Troy was a first generation college student who needed the help the Goodrich Program provides.  Once a “Goodricher”, always a “Goodricher.”

More information can be found at https://www.unomaha.edu/college-of-public-affairs-and-community-service/goodrich-scholarship-program/index.php

KETV

Work has begun on nearly $30 million in renovation projects that will change the entrance to Omaha's Eppley Airfield and upgrade one of the national airport's garages. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the entrance to the airport terminal will be moved about a quarter mile south, toward downtown along Abbott Drive. The change comes following several studies in recent years showing the need for a longer and wider entrance that will give drivers more time to make maneuvering decisions.

The Epoch Times

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts plans to send about two dozen state troopers to Texas later this month to help patrol the nation's border with Mexico. Ricketts has criticized President Joe Biden's approach to border security and several other policies, but he said the aid is being provided to Texas under a preexisting agreement that is normally activated in times of emergencies. Nebraska's announcement on Saturday came several days after Florida officials said they would also send law enforcement officers to Texas and Arizona.

NPPD

Nebraska will pay out public assistance beyond what it normally offers to local governments hit by the 2019 floods. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency says Gov. Pete Ricketts has approved the payments for the state’s share of disaster relief. The money will go to Nebraska’s power, irrigation and natural resources districts, which don’t usually receive that form of assistance from the state. The agency says Ricketts approved the state share because of the extent of flood, wind, and winter storm damage.

NBC

Nebraska state offices will close today in anticipation of a new federal law that will establish Juneteenth as a recognized government holiday. Gov. Pete Ricketts ordered the closure to comply with a state law that grants the same paid holiday benefits to state employees. State employees will receive a paid day of leave. Exceptions may include law enforcement, security, military and state employees engaged in other essential functions. The governor’s office said in a press release that all workers should receive official instruction from their agency director or personnel representative.

Bellevue Little Theater is debuting a brand new play, a farce called "Temporary Insanity" by playwright Karen Schaeffer.   The show will run through June 27th.

Karen Schaeffer chatted with Mike Hogan on "Live & Local" about how the play came to be, the fun in writing a farce, and the magic that occurs when the actors bring the written words to life.

More information can be found at http://bellevuelittletheatre.weebly.com/

KTLA

Nebraska is approaching having 70% of its adult population vaccinated for the coronavirus but the pace of distribution of the shots continues to slow down. The state may be close to President Joe Biden’s goal of having 70% or more of all adults with at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said about 63% of Nebraskans 18 and older had received at least one shot as of Friday, That rate ranks 24th among all the states.

Lincoln Journal Star

Nebraska government tax collections surged well above projections in May, with the state collecting $297 million more than expected. The Nebraska Department of Revenue on Tuesday reported net tax receipts $720 million, which was more than 70% higher than the official forecast of $423 million. The increase was driven by corporate income tax collections that were 375% above the certified state forecast and individual income tax collections that were 97% above the forecast. Net sales-and-use and miscellaneous tax receipts were 14.9% and 30.9% higher, respectively.

BBC

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline are asking Nebraska state regulators to revoke the land easements granted to the company across private land now that the project has officially been scrapped. Attorneys for Bold Nebraska and the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska made the request in a letter to the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which approved the pipeline’s proposed route in 2017. Attorneys Ken Winston and Brad Jolly say the commission has an obligation to protect the property rights of landowners that are threatened as long as the route approval remains in effect.

UNL

Gov. Pete Ricketts on Monday has marked the 150th anniversary of the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln. Ricketts proclaimed “State Museum Day” and the acknowledged the contribution of the museum and others throughout Nebraska. The University of Nebraska State Museum is a staple of the university’s flagship campus, with displays of history, wildlife and geology, among other features. This year also marks the 60-year anniversary of the Trailside Museum in the Panhandle and the 30-year anniversary of Ashfall Fossil Beds in northeast Nebraska. 

Lincoln Journal Star

A bison calf born last month at a safari park near Omaha is now on full display at the park, where it is roaming the grounds with its mother and the rest of the herd. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the auburn-colored calf was born May 11 at the park's Bison Plains. Bison young are lighter than adults and don't turn the characteristic dark brown of bison until they are several months old. Zookeepers have not directly interacted with the calf and do not yet know if it's male or female. The calf brings the herd's total to 32.

KOLN

A Nebraska county that was ordered to pay $28.1 million to six people wrongfully convicted of murder may be able to cover the balance of the federal judgment in the next three years, much sooner than first expected. The Beatrice Daily Sun reports that Gage County officials had initially predicted that it would take nine years to pay off the legal judgment. The change in schedule came after state lawmakers and Gov. Pete Ricketts approved $4 million in state money this year to help the county.

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