Unions Strengthen as Workers Rise Up

Around the country, the labor market is tightening — and nowhere more so than Nebraska, which leads the nation in lowest unemployment. In low-wage industries, in which immigrants dominate the workforce, labor shortages are forcing employers to the bargaining table, and empowered workers are banding together to demand change.

Story by El Perico and The Reader

Reed Moore’s Daily Rundown

Human Rights Day

Today’s news urges us all to treat every person with the right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness: In a unanimous decision, a federal court jury finds Chadron State College failed to support a student raped on campus, a third of teachers who responded to a Nebraska State Education Association survey plan to stop teaching at the school year’s close, and state employees knew Nebraska would foot the bill for deploying troopers to the Texas-Mexico border during the summer, according to correspondence acquired by the Omaha World-Herald.

Harper’s Index Fact of the Day

Amount West Virginia will pay prospective residents to move to the state: $12,000

Source: Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic
Development Collaborative (Morgantown, W. Va.)

For nationwide COVID-19 case and vaccination trends, click here.

Around Omaha

  • Check out NOISE Omaha‘s coverage of this year’s Girls Inc. “Lunch for the Girls” fundraiser, featuring a keynote speech by Dr. Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to go to space.
  • The Nebraska-based Scooter’s Coffee, which has locations throughout Omaha, is expanding to South Carolina.
  • Learn about Zuri and Me, an Etsy shop founded by Omahan Shinnice Preston to help her cope following infant loss.
  • Teenage suicide attempts and deaths are on the rise in Omaha.
  • As Omaha braces for winter weather, there’s a shortage of snow-plow drivers.
  • In 2013, a retired Omaha city worker died. Eight years later, the City of Omaha civilian pension fund was still doling out monthly payments, adding up to over $118,000. Reed Moore about the investigation here.

Around Nebraska

  • “This is a crisis”: A survey from the Nebraska State Education Association shows schools are short-staffed, teachers are more stressed than last year, student behavior problems are increasing, and a third of respondents plan to stop teaching at the school year’s close.
  • Remember how the state deployed troopers to the Texas-Mexico border during the summer? At the time, spokespeople said there was a chance Nebraska would receive a reimbursement — but, according to correspondence acquired by the Omaha World-Heraldstate employees knew Nebraska would foot the bill.
  • “If they have to pay $300,000, every time that they tell a rape victim that she’s going to have to fend for herself, instead of removing the perpetrator from campus, that’s going to add up over time”: In a unanimous decision, a federal court jury finds Chadron State College failed to support a student raped on campus. Nebraska Public Media reporters Elizabeth Rembert and Bill Kelly, who’ve reported on the case since it started, offer insight on what happened and what comes next.
  • The City of Lincoln will devote $6 million to build affordable housing.
  • Nebraska is jumping on the plant-based meat bandwagon, according to an Independent deep dive.
  • The Huskers’ bowling team has 13 national championship titles, from 1990 – 2021. Now, the team says, it needs a fan base.

Reed Moore’s Thing To Do: 
Drag Queen Story Hour at Urban Abbey
(or online), 3:30 p.m., Dec. 11

Cozy up for a playful hour of literary realness, imagination and learning while listening to special holiday stories read by local Drag King, Andrew Genius.
Event Pick by Lynn Sanchez. Published in The Reader.

As COVID-19 variants spread through the community, remember to get fully vaccinated, boosted and masked before going to public gatherings. Find more culture content here, and check out local guides here.

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