A Crisis With Consequences
The overstuffed and understaffed Nebraska prison system keeps inmates locked in cramped cells for days at a time, works a dwindling correctional staff to exhaustion, and cost taxpayers $31 million in overtime payments in the past two years.
By Natalia Alamdari. Originally published in Flatwater Free Press.
Republished in The Reader.
Reed Moore’s Daily Rundown
Happy Library Shelfie Day
Today’s news digs this celebration because it offers bookstores, libraries, schools and individuals an opportunity to display their reading preferences through a photo: Omaha’s mask mandate remains intact following a Douglas County judge’s refusal to issue an injunction against it, the state’s unemployment rate hits yet another historic low for the U.S., and the downtown library is slated to be demolished, with services moving to a new location, and replaced with a new Mutual of Omaha headquarters.
Harper’s Index Facts of the Day
- Portion of adults who believe that U.S.
crime has increased in the past year: 3/5
- Of regular Fox News viewers who believe so: 3/4
- Percentage change in the number of major crimes
in the United States in the past year: −5
Reed Moore’s COVID-19 Roundup
As announced in the Wednesday, Dec. 29, bonus newsletter, in light of the Omicron variant, Reed Moore will replace the “Thing To Do” section with a COVID-19 spotlight featuring coronavirus-related content. The Reader believes it’s irresponsible to promote events when hospitals are nearing capacity and some community members refuse to get vaccinated. As cases continue, The Reader won’t promote any events — be they concerts, plays, art-gallery openings or stand-up comedy — that don’t require
masks, vaccination and social distancing.
- Omaha’s mask mandate remains intact following Douglas County District Judge Shelly Stratman’s refusal to issue an injunction against it. Appealing the decision would probably be difficult. UNMC’s Dr. James Lawler says it’s “good news.”
- Case counts are back up in Douglas County, which reaches the highest number of patients in the hospital with the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.
- The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announces a hospital decompression program and plan for free, at-home coronavirus testing.
The percentage of Douglas County residents vaccinated moved from 63% to 64% Tuesday, Jan. 25. Reed Moore apologizes for the one-day delay in updating the statistic.
For nationwide COVID-19 case
and vaccination trends, click here.
- The downtown library is slated to be demolished, with services moving to a new location, and replaced with a new Mutual of Omaha headquarters. As Omaha residents criticize the plan, Mayor Jean Stothert says she’ll reveal “a pair of significant urban core development announcements” today, Jan. 26, that could include plans for a streetcar line.
- Five Westside school board candidates withdraw from the race, following controversy surrounding a text message, sent by Westside community member Joe Fulcher, asking people to vote for candidates who’d “give us a chance to get the critical race theory bulls—- (white shaming) out of the schools.”
- Together Omaha, a nonprofit seeking to stop local hunger and homelessness, is supporting those evicted from the “unlivable” apartment building near 25th & Jones.
- Nebraska Examiner takes a deep dive into the $44 million housing and retail campus slated to be built in Midtown.
- This is how the Ukraine-Russia conflict could affect Offutt-based air crews, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
- Latest in the Legislature: A Social Security tax exemption moves forward, Sen. Mark Kolterman questions the cost of Gov. Pete Ricketts’ proposed Colorado-Nebraska canal, a proposal to change how schools are funded is presented, and Sen. Terrell McKinney introduces a bill to develop innovation hubs for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
- The state’s unemployment rate hits a historic low for the U.S. — yet again.
- Indicted GOP Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s attorneys want his upcoming trial moved from California to the Cornhusker State.
- Public school advocates don’t like Gov. Pete Ricketts’ plan for spending $1.04 billion worth of federal pandemic relief.
- Read about the ongoing work to address the state’s prison overcrowding crisis.
- Happy News Literacy Week! Read about how Nebraska’s newspapers strive to serve communities with truthful journalism.
This Week in Your Local Government
Despite temperatures well below freezing, the Omaha City Council grows heated as residents object to Mayor Jean Stothert’s plan to demolish and replace the W. Dale Clark Library. The Douglas County Board of Commissioners also meets to receive a weekly COVID-19 update from Douglas County Health Director Lindsay Huse.
Read local government reporter Anton Johnson’s full article for The Reader here.
The Daily Funny
Comic by Koterba. Support him on Patreon.
To see more daily funnies, click the image.