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An arctic cold front that descended upon eastern Nebraska and most of Iowa may have claimed an elderly victim. Omaha police say officers found the body of an 80-year-old man a little before 5:40 a.m. Thursday in a street not far from an assisted living center where he lived. Police say he was not dressed appropriately for the cold. The National Weather Service says the wind chill had dropped to minus 26 degrees (minus 32 Celsius) at that time. He's been identified as Robert Freymuller.

Coronavirus victim makes stop at Eppley

Feb 14, 2020

Health officials say the latest patient to test positive for the coronavirus was flown from China to Eppley Airfield. The CDC says the patient was transferred from the airfield to a military base in San Antonio, Texas. Officials with Nebraska Medicine tell WOWT the Americans being quarantined at Camp Ashland have shown no sign of infection. Their isolation is scheduled to end next Thursday.

There were several requests to post online the edited version of Dr. Cheryl Logan's chat with Mike Hogan about the Strategic Plan of Action.  That interview, which aired on "Live & Local" on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, is below.

If you would like to hear the full half hour interview, that can be found here:

https://www.kios.org/post/ops-releases-strategic-plan-action-dr-cheryl-logans-full-interview-live-local

The Strategic Plan of Action can be found here: 

https://district.ops.org/Portals/0/PUBLIC_INFORMATION/DC2020/Omaha%20Public%20Schools%202020-2025%20Strategic%20Plan%20of%20Action.pdf?ver=2020-02-06-100605-113

And the website dedicated to the Strategic Plan of Action can be found here:

https://district.ops.org/BOARDOFEDUCATION/OPSStrategicPlanofAction.aspx

**UPDATE:   There were several requests to post the edited version of Dr. Cheryl Logan's chat with Mike Hogan.  That interview is here: https://www.kios.org/post/dr-cheryl-logans-short-interview-ops-strategic-plan-action-aired-kios-fm

The Omaha Public Schools Strategic Plan of Action deliberately and creatively addresses the trends Omaha Public Schools faces and reimagines a 21st century education ecosystem that prepares all students for a successful life after high school.

A broad spectrum of data were used in the development of the Strategic Plan of Action that reflects consensus among stakeholders. The strategic planning process included extensive outreach with stakeholders invited to participate in both focus groups and surveys. Community member, family, staff member and student input provided the basis for the development of the plan.

The Strategic Plan of Action is the result of research and represents the shared values and priorities of the Omaha Public Schools.

Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools, Dr. Cheryl Logan, sat down with Mike Hogan at the KIOS-FM studios for a “Live & Local” discussion about the Strategic Plan of Action.  While a version of that discussion (edited for time) was aired on 91.5 FM, this is the full, thirty minute question and answer chat between the two of them

More information and a copy of the Strategic Plan of Actioncan be found at stratplanofaction.ops.org

The Strategic Plan of Action can be found here: 

https://district.ops.org/Portals/0/PUBLIC_INFORMATION/DC2020/Omaha%20Public%20Schools%202020-2025%20Strategic%20Plan%20of%20Action.pdf?ver=2020-02-06-100605-113

Omaha Performing Arts’ Jazz Academy fosters quality jazz education in Omaha area middle schools.  This free program connects students and teachers with a professional teaching artist to explore jazz on a deeper level.

Participating schools receive free in school clinics tailored to the needs of individual jazz bands throughout the school year, free jazz education workshops for middle and high school teachers, and performance opportunities for students.

Jazz Academy teaching artist, Shawn Bell, and Associate Director of Education for Omaha Performing Arts’ Jazz Academy, Kathleen Lawler–Hustead, join Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the program and the difference it makes in the lives of the students and the faculty.

More information can be found at https://o-pa.org/learn-and-engage/student-programs/jazz-academy

Nebraska legislators have given initial approval to a measure that would require law enforcement officers to undergo anti-bias training. The bill that received first-round approval Wednesday in a 43-0 vote could be the last major piece of legislation proposed by the state's longest-serving and best-known state senator, Ernie Chambers. The Omaha lawmaker designated it as his last official legislative priority in what could be his final year in office.

A bill designed to lower property taxes by boosting state aid for Nebraska's K-12 public schools has advanced out of a legislative committee but will still face opposition when lawmakers debate it. Members of the Revenue Committee voted 6-2 Wednesday to send the proposal to the full Legislature. The bill has won  support from farm and business groups, but some school districts have objected because they would lose some taxing authority and the bill would tighten state-imposed spending restrictions. Gov.

Hospitals Warn Of Wind Chill Dangers

Feb 13, 2020

Lincoln area hospitals are warning residents about the dangerous wind chills that have moved into the region.  CHI Health St. Elizabeth officials are encouraging people to dress in layers and limit their exposure to the outside temperatures. People who spend time outside in low wind chills are at risk of developing hypothermia and frostbite.  Much of the eastern part of the state is under a Wind Chill Advisory this morning. Gusty winds could push the wind chill down to 30 degrees below zero today.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society needs a new home for its 8,000-piece collection. The collection's been housed at the Union College library for the past 30 years. But the college has decided to turn the collection space into a student tutoring center. Michael George is the genealogical society president, and he told the Lincoln Journal Star the society has until mid-March to find a new place or the collection will go into storage.

Hormel Foods has confirmed that it will be opening a new manufacturing plant in the Omaha suburb of Papillion, bringing about 200 jobs to the area. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Papillion Foods LLC, an offshoot of Hormel, recently bought a former Shopko distribution center in Sarpy County that closed last year. Hormel says the center will undergo a $60 million renovation to convert it into a manufacturing plant for its food brands, which include Spam, Skippy peanut butter and Jennie-O turkeys. Hormel says it paid about $25 million for the building and the land it's on.

Douglas Co. Commissioner Kraft Retiring

Feb 12, 2020

Douglas County Commissioner Marc Kraft is retiring.  Kraft announced he won't be seeking another term in the 2020 election, saying he decided to retire after dealing with some extended health issues.  He's served three terms on the county board and two terms on the Omaha City Council.

 

The Nebraska Girl Scout Cookie Program began Feb. 7th.  This is when Girl Scouts become entrepreneurs and earn money to power leadership opportunities, adventures, and community service projects. 

The cookie program also teaches girls about entrepreneurship as they learn essential skills like money management, public speaking, and decision making, which set them up for a lifetime of success.  Nine in ten Girl Scouts say the cookie program has built their entrepreneurship skills—so every cookie purchase is an investment in the world changing business leaders of tomorrow.  What’s more, 100 percent of net revenue from cookie sales stays local for girls across Nebraska.

Shannon Peterson, Communication Specialist, stops by the KIOS-FM studios to chat with Mike Hogan about the program, the new flavors, and all the good Girl Scouts do for young ladies across the state...She also brought cookie samples!!

More information on how to get cookies or join the Girl Scouts can be found on the website: https://www.girlscoutsnebraska.org/

Live NPR Coverage of the New Hampshire Primary

Feb 11, 2020
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Follow NPR's live coverage of the 2020 New Hampshire Primary, including results and analysis.

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Omaha Public Library (OPL) has prepared a list of top circulating titles from 2019.  Additionally, OPL staff have selected over 100 favorite titles from last year, the 2019 Top Shelf, and shared brief reviews at topshelf.omahalibrary.org.  You can find these selections and more at omahalibrary.org.

And there's so much more going on at your public library, including nominations being accepted for the 'Omaha Reads' program.  Marketing & Media Relations Manager, Emily Getzschman, swings by the studios at 33rd and Burt to help Mike Hogan "check out" what's new in the library and all the different activities available.

The Nebraska Wind Symphony has a new concert on Sunday, February 16, 2020 called “In Two Places.”  The show begins at 3:00 PM at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, (7023 Cass St, Omaha, NE.)

This winter concert features NWS Middle School All-Star Saxophones, Dr. Patrick Brown, saxophone soloist, and Dr. Adam Fontana, guest conductor.  This concert explores repertoire that includes many wonderful American classics as well as contemporary works for winds that challenge the listener to think differently about many aspects of our day-to-day lives.

Dr. Joshua Kearney is the new Music Director and he joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the show and the participation of the youth in such a production.  Josh is also Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

For more information, one can go to the website https://nebraskawindsymphony.com/

The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles is warning residents of two phone scams targeting licensed Nebraska drivers. The first has callers claiming to represent Amazon or Apple warning that the targeted victim's account has been hacked. The caller then requests a photo of the front and back of the victim’s driver license to verify their identity, followed by a request for their bank information. The second phone scam is from a caller claiming to represent the FBI, who then requests a photo of the front and the back of the victim’s driver license followed by a demand for money.

All the bridges damaged during last spring's massive flooding in Nebraska have now been reopened. The Nebraska Department of Transportation said the Nebraska 13 bridge near Hadar in northeast Nebraska reopened Friday. The bridge about four miles north of Norfolk was the final one of 27 bridges damaged during last spring's flooding to reopen. The flooding last March caused the closure of 3,300 miles of highway in Nebraska. All of the highways affected by the flooding have been reopened. The Transportation Department says it spent $2.8 million to replace the Hadar bridge. 

A stretch of rural highway in eastern Nebraska that was closed by flooding has reopened.A 9-mile (14.5-kilometer) stretch of U.S. Highway 275 between Scribner and West Point had been closed Friday because ice jams had backed up the nearby Elkhorn River, causing the flooding. The Nebraska Transportation Department reopened the highway on Saturday.  

Nebraska lawmakers who want to minimize partisanship when they redraw the state's political boundaries will make one final push to change the process before it begins anew next year, but creating an independent commission to guide their work appears to be a lost cause. Barring any changes, the process that’s set to begin in the 2021 legislative session will follow the same rules that led to a bitter struggle between Republicans and Democrats during the last redistricting in 2011.

Every summer Kaneko provides students with the opportunity to engage with local professionals in STEAM + Creativity related fields to delve deeper into the design process and its real-world applications.  Students will engage with local professionals to learn about the principles and processes of design, creativity, and much more.  Each 5-day camp provides a group of 20 students a variety of exciting exercises and activities.

Katherine Scarpello, Education & Public Program Coordinator, stops by the KIOS-FM studios to chat with Mike Hogan about the programs, how they are funded, and one can get their children involved.

More information can be found at https://thekaneko.org/creative-camps/

Over the course of their 20+ year career, Grammy nominated quintet Imani Winds has discovered what audiences value most from their concerts: a sense of connection – with the music, the performers, the composers, the artistry and beyond.  The concept of connectivity has led them to program not only music from the traditional chamber music canon, but also concerts that reach beyond the usual boundaries of the recital stage.

On Monday, February 10th, at Presbyterian Church of the Cross, Imani Winds performs free of charge!  Executive Director of Vesper Concerts, Kristi Treu, joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the concert, the change to a Monday night, and the rest of the season on tap.

More information can be found at http://vesperconcerts.org/event/imani-winds-the-beauty-of-strife/

The Nebraska Department of Transportation has closed a stretch of Highway 275 between West Point and Highway 91 this morning as ice jams pushed Elkhorn River waters over the roadway.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said they are expecting one of its biggest spring runoff seasons on record and also has been keeping an eye on ice jams in the area.

Ice jams are not all that uncommon this time of year, but the situation near Scribner prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood advisory earlier this week.

The Nebraska Capitol's public wireless internet was turned off temporarily after a “critical security breach" this week. Sen. Mike Hilgers, chairman of the Legislature's Executive Board, says the Wi-Fi was shut down to protect the state's network and the private information held by state lawmakers and other state officials. Hilgers says state officials don't know who caused the breach and were still investigating. He said the internet service would return as soon as it's safe.

Do you use NPR’s mobile apps?  Join us at noon on February 13 for a design exercise to help shape what the NPR mobile team is building next (and, get a thank-you gift!)  

Sign up to participate at: https://forms.gle/MyfVXEQ7PxehDqQd9     

Lawmakers Consider Red Flag Bill

Feb 6, 2020

Nebraska lawmakers are considering a "red-flag" bill. The "Omaha World Herald" reports that the measure would allow authorities to temporarily seize guns from people suspected of being dangerous.  Supporters say the measure is designed to prevent violence against others and gun-related suicides. The legislature's Judiciary Committee advanced the bill yesterday on a five-to-two vote.

The Census is a vital tool for fair economic and political decisions.  The data collected have a direct monetary impact on every state including Nebraska.  In the past, communities of color have been under represented for a variety of reasons.  Tragically, that under representation has the hardest economic impact on the very communities that were not accurately counted.

Dr. Lissette Aliaga-Linares, Assistant Professor of Sociology & OLLAS Faculty at the University of Nebraska Omaha joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" in the KIOS-FM studios to discuss the issue and what can be done to fix it.

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. 

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