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Nebraska officials are reacting to the election victory by President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.  Senator Ben Sasse released a statement offering his congratulations to Biden and Harris and urging them to be wise in the execution of their respective duties.  Congressman Don Bacon told the "Omaha World-Herald" that he urged President Donald Trump to take the high road.  Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts stressed that the election isn't over until it's scrutinized by the courts. 

Iowa casino officials worry they will lose business when several Nebraska casinos open now that voters in that state have approved gambling. Iowa officials said they worry that when casinos are built in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, they could hurt Iowa gaming revenues, especially in Council Bluffs, where four casinos currently operate. Other Iowa border towns with casinos include Sioux City, Onawa and Sloan.

Sarpy County

Gov. Pete Ricketts is imploring residents to follow Nebraska’s voluntary coronavirus safety guidelines as the number of new cases and hospitalizations surge to record levels. He also suggests that the state could reimpose social distancing mandates that were lifted in September. His comments Thursday came as the state’s top public health official warned that Nebraska needs to reduce the number of cases to avoid overwhelming hospitals. Nebraska reported a record 1,828 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday.

A pilot study that Nebraska Children’s Home Society (NCHS) is testing in collaboration with Frontiers of Innovation (FOI), the R&D platform of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University is currently underway at the Nebraska Children's Home Society.

CEO of NCHS, Lana Temple-Plotz, spent some time explaining the program to Mike Hogan "Live & Local" on KIOS-FM.  In the two-part interview below, Lana explains that the goal of FOI is to accelerate the development and adoption of science-based innovations that achieve breakthrough impact at scale for young children and families facing adversity.  Ultimately, the goal is to boost children’s and their caregivers’ executive functioning and self-regulation skills for greater success in school and life.

The TFP curriculum focuses on language to build executive functioning in both parents/caregivers and children.  The curriculum first establishes “Internal State Words” for thoughts, feelings, sensory perceptions, physical sensations and moral concepts.  As children learn, they can use these words to identify and express themselves and develop personal narratives about their experiences.  As parents’ skills related to executive function and self-regulation increase, they are able to model use of these language skills with their children. The parents also increase their ability to recognize and respond to their children and provide supportive relationships.

More information about Nebraska Children's Home Society can be found at https://nchs.org/

New York Times

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to set records in Nebraska, and the state reported 1,440 new cases of the virus on Tuesday. State health officials said there were 673 people hospitalized with the virus on Tuesday, up from the previous day’s record of 642.  The state has reported 74,060 virus cases and 660 deaths since the pandemic began. The rate of new cases in Nebraska ranked seventh-highest among the states. Nebraska's largest hospitals have all begun limiting elective surgeries to help ensure they have enough beds free to treat critically ill patients. 

NET

Nebraska voters set a turnout record in the 2020 general election, with nearly 74% of eligible voters casting a ballot. Secretary of State Bob Evnen said Wednesday that voters beat the previous record from the 2016 general election by about 68,000 votes. Election officials statewide counted 936,106 votes cast. Evnen says 34 counties had a turnout of more than 80%, and four counties had a turnout of 88%. He says the record will likely increase once counties process an additional 20,000 to 25,000 ballots and provisional ballots that were submitted on Tuesday. 

Ho-Chunk Inc.

Gamblers could see new casinos in Omaha and Lincoln by this time next year now that voters have ended Nebraska’s longtime ban on the industry. Lance Morgan, the president and CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc., says the corporation plans to spend $300 million to add casinos at existing horse-racing tracks in both cities and South Sioux City. The South Sioux City project could take longer. Ho-Chunk is the economic development arm of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

Through Thursday, Nov. 5, the public can donate much-needed items to fill backpacks for homeless military veterans who are staying temporarily at the Siena Francis House.  Items can be dropped off at Bellevue University’s Military Veteran Services Center at 2108 Harvell Drive, Bellevue, Nebraska. Donations can also be dropped off outside the building for those wishing to avoid contact due to the pandemic.

Heather Carroll, Manager of the Military Veteran Services Center, chatted with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about the program and the needs yet to be filled.  Those needs include hand sanitizer (8 ounce or less bottles), masks, blankets, baby wipes, hand and body lotion, hand and feet warmers, individually packaged snacks such as cheese and cracker packs, candy, small bags of chips, men and women’s deodorant, lip balm, winter hats and gloves and women’s bars of soap.  Monetary and gift card donations are also being accepted. 

More infomration can be found at https://news.bellevue.edu/donations-needed-to-fill-96-backpacks-for-homeless-military-veterans/

A sign that reads "COMING SOON" with a graphic of a playground stands on a patch of grass
Courtney Bierman

 When Lauren Citro tries to go to a playground with her family, she can run into a problem.

 “When I see all that sand, I'm like, ‘I'm going to have to carry him across,’” she says. “It's not going to go well.”

 Citro is referring to her son Brody. Brody has spina bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal cord doesn’t form properly. He uses mobility aids like sticks and a walker to get around.

Grand Island Independent

Nebraska voters are again being asked to decide whether to allow casino gambling in the state. Nebraska has a long history of outlawing slot machines and table-gambling, even as casinos have popped up in every state that borders it. A similar petition effort to get the question on the ballot in 2016 failed, and voters rejected casino ballot proposals in 2004. Opponents argue that casinos will lead to social ills such as crime and bankruptcy fueled by gambling addiction.

Stay with NPR and KIOS for the latest election news and results from Nebraska, Iowa, and around the nation.  You can find complete Nebraska results here, and Iowa results here.

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As if things aren’t chaotic enough in lead-up to the election, now this: A squirrel caused a power outage at the Douglas County Election Commission as people were waiting for hours in line to cast their ballots. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the lights began to flicker shortly after 3 p.m. Friday as people were in line for three hours, then the power was lost. A squirrel somehow was messing with the electrical equipment. The Omaha Public Power District was able to get the power restored by 4:30 p.m., and the office’s computers were back online by 5 p.m.

Kearny Hub

Hundreds of new COVID-19 cases are reported in Nebraska. Officials confirmed 934 new cases yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 71-thousand-666. The recent surge in coronavirus cases in Nebraska prompted one expert to predict that the number of deaths linked to the virus could nearly quadruple by the start of 2021. Dr.

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in Nebraska jumped to nearly 500 and set another new record as cases of the virus continued to surge in the state. State health officials said 483 people were hospitalized with the virus Wednesday, up from the previous day’s record-tying 436, as 1,169 new cases of the virus were reported. The state’s rate of new cases remained eighth-highest in the nation as the number of cases in Nebraska grew to 66,545 and 628 deaths were linked to the virus.

Financial Beginnings is the pathway to a financially literate nation.  In a financially literate nation, individuals cease to see finances as a barrier and instead view them as a tool to realize their dreams.  In a financially literate nation, individuals are vested in and contribute to a healthy economic system nationally, regionally, and in their own neighborhoods.

Founder and CEO Melody Bell, Chief Advancement Officer James Chen, and Nebraska Program Manager Karrissa Jyles joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local to discuss who they are, what they do, and how you can get involved!  They also chat about how they empower individuals to take control of their financial futures!

More information can be found at https://www.finbegne.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/FinancialBeginningsNE

What if you could find a parking space in downtown Omaha with your cell phone?  Forgot change? Touchless pay for parking meters is here!

Ken Smith, Director of Omaha's Parking & Mobility Division spends some time with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to chat about the latest developments in stowing your vehicle while downtown.  Things like Smart Zones, and a meterless way to park are just a few of the new innovations in parking.

For more information or to pay your parking ticket (all funds go to Omaha Public Schools), go to https://www.parkomaha.com/

OPD Releases Results Of Civil Unrest Report

Oct 29, 2020

The Omaha Police Department is revealing the findings of its civil unrest report.  Police Chief Todd Schmaderer outlined the report yesterday and noted that the department needs to do better in responding to protests and civil unrest.  Schmaderer says the police department carried itself in a professional manner during 60 different events in the city this past summer.  The police chief says better communication is needed between officers and with crowds.

Yahoo

Police in Omaha, Nebraska, say at least seven people who attended an airport rally for President Donald Trump were taken to hospitals. Many of the estimated 25,000 at Tuesday night's event at Eppley Airfield were left stranded miles from their parked cars in freezing weather. Omaha police said in a written statement that first responders dealt with 30 people for medical reasons and seven were taken to hospitals. Most of the attendees parked in remote lots and were shuttled to the event in buses.

It may not seem like it, but our community does have an air quality problem.  The good news is that we can turn our situation around.  Taking steps — even little ones — can add up to cleaner air in the metro area.

Sue Cutsforth, Information Officer at the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, explains to Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM how every single citizen of Omaha can take little steps to help us all breathe easier. 

More information and your opportunity to take the Clean Air Pledge can be found at: https://littlestepscleanerair.com/

The Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning true story about Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an East Berlin transgender woman who survived two of the most repressive totalitarian regimes in history—the Nazis and the Soviets—while openly flouting gender norms. Born to a brutal Nazi father, Charlotte went on to become a highly celebrated antiques collector and curator of her own museum. An incredible tale—with one actor playing 35 different roles—filled with intrigue, danger and conspiracy that examines the balance between morality and survival.

The role has almost always been played by cisgender men.  Omaha Community Playhouse felt that it was absolutely essential to cast a transgender woman in this role for the sake of trans visibility and allowing trans folks to tell their own stories.  They found Lincoln, Nebraska actress Natalie Weiss. 

Natalie took time out of her busy rehearsal schedule to chat with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” about the show and the impact spending time inside the character of Charlotte has had on her.

More information about tickets and showtimes can be found at https://www.omahaplayhouse.com/tickets/view/wife/

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is currently holding their virtual auction.  The event ends Friday night at 10:00 p.m. with a free webcast concert starting at 8:00 p.m.

Chris Cook, Executive Director, tells Mike Hogan “Live & Local” how the center is adapting to the COVID challenges, how they continue to help and support artists across the nation, and how you can participate in this event while safely distanced.

More information can be found at https://www.bemiscenter.org/ and at https://e.givesmart.com/events/hEo/

With the ubiquitous presence of COVID-19, how important is it to get a flu shot this year?  According to Cindy Ruma, Immunization Nurse Coordinator for the Visiting Nurse Association, it is VERY important!

Cindy spent some time with Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM's "Live & Local" to discuss staying healthy and making smart choices. 

If you would like information on flu shots or the VNA, you can go to https://www.vnatoday.org/

ENDANGERED MISSING ADVISORY: Chad Townsend

Oct 28, 2020

UPDATE: The Endangered Missing Advisory has been cancelled due to Safe!

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Description:An Endangered Missing Advisory has been activated to determine the whereabouts of Chad TOWNSEND.

Joslyn Castle partnered with Metropolitan Community College and The Union of Contemporary Art in presenting the 2020 Joslyn Castle Art & Literary Festival. The Festival was titled Close to Home and featured online readings and performances by Omaha area writers and interviews and artwork by Omaha area artists.

Scott Working, Theatre Program Coordinator at Metro Community College, and Sidney Gnann, Joslyn Castle's Executive Director joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss holding the festival with the necessary pandemic protocols.  

For more information https://joslyncastle.com/events/special-events/artlit2020.html

The food industry has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many restaurants have been forced to close and thousands of workers have lost their jobs. Yet, through all the ups and downs of this unprecedented year, the food industry has somehow weathered the storm and heroically met the needs of our community.

Susan Whitfield, Facility Manager of No More Empty Pots, chats talks to Mike Hogan about the mission of No More Empty Pots and how the Food Day Omaha drive helped them to achieve their goals.

More information can be found at https://nmepomaha.org/

No More Empty Pots (NMEP) is a grassroots non-profit organization connecting individuals and groups to improve self-sufficiency, regional food security, and economic resilience of urban and rural communities through advocacy and action. NMEP strives to support communities in becoming self-sufficient and food secure through collaboration and adherence to our core values of education, stewardship, and sustainability.

Omaha World Herald

Amazon says it plans to build a facility in Papillion that will eventually employ about 1,000 full-time workers. The company said the center is scheduled to open sometime next year. The 700,000-square-foot center will use workers and robot assistants to fulfill orders. David Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, said an economic impact study estimated the center could have a more than $200 million annual economic impact on the region. Several other large companies, including Facebook, Google and Travelers Insurance, have built facilities in Sarpy County.

Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. This year’s event won’t be a large in-person gathering, but we are still walking — and calling on participants of all ages and abilities to join the fight against the disease.

This year, Walk to End Alzheimer’s is everywhere — on every sidewalk, track and trail. On event day, we invite you to participate in small, safe teams while others in your community do the same.

Beau Rusk is the Chairman of the Nebraska Walk to End Alzheimer’s and he joined Mike Hogan on KIOS to discuss this pandemic induced method of continuing to raise money for treatment and ultimately a cure.

While there is no fee to register for Walk, all participants are encouraged to raise funds that will advance the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association by enabling critical care and support services and advancing research toward methods of prevention, treatment and, ultimately, a cure.

https://www.alz.org/nebraska

Protest Group Seeks To Oust Lincoln Mayor/Council Members

Oct 27, 2020

A group is seeking to recall Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and four city council members.  The group LNK Recall is accusing Baird of using authoritarian control to misuse police, destroy small businesses, allow vandalism and usurp legislative authority.  The petition also cites concerns over the appointment of Pat Lopez as health director.   Group members also want to recall council members James Michael Bowers, Richard Meginnis, Jane Raybould and Tammy Ward.

 

Nebraska is continuing to see hundreds of new COVID-19 cases each day.  Officials confirmed 702 new cases yesterday, bringing the total in the state to 64-thousand-499.  There have been 603 COVID-19 related deaths in Nebraska during the pandemic. Nebraska officials say health care providers and elderly and vulnerable residents will be first in line to get a coronavirus vaccination when it becomes available as early as this year. Gov.

Lincoln Journal Star

David Karnes, an Omaha civic leader who was briefly a U.S. senator from Nebraska, has died. Karnes died Sunday from cancer. He was 71. Then-Gov. Kay Orr shocked state Republicans when she appointed Karnes in 1987 to fill the unexpired term of Democrat U.S. Sen. Ed Zorinsky, who had died of a heart attack. Karnes ran unsuccessfully for a full term in 1988, losing to Bob Kerrey. The Omaha World-Herald reports Karnes was an attorney in Omaha and Washington D.C., and was involved in numerous civic organizations and lobbying work for Nebraska in Washington.

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