(Originally published March 3, 2021)
The contract for deed or rent-to-own option is marketed as a way for people who can’t get a conventional mortgage to realize the dream of owning a home. But more often than not, buyers do not end up as homeowners. And most Midwestern states provide little, if any, consumer protection to prevent abuse.
By Steve Vockrodt, Midwest Newsroom investigative editor, and Laura Zeigler, KCUR community engagement editor. This story comes from the Midwest Newsroom, an investigative journalism collaboration including KCUR 89.3, IPR, Nebraska Public Media News, St. Louis Public Radio and NPR.
Reed Moore’s Daily Rundown
Happy National Anthem Day
Today’s news takes a look at “The Star-Spangled Banner” and its role in America from Fort McHenry to Jimi Hendrix and Colin Kaepernick: The University of Nebraska Medical Center will be a major player in the “Test to Treat” program announced by President Joe Biden during his State of the Union speech, the Henry Doorly Zoo shuts down its aviary because a nearby backyard bird flock has avian influenza, and conservative lobbying group Nebraska Family Alliance gets enough petition signatures to threaten the Lincoln City Council’s recently approved “Fairness Ordinance,” which, among other changes, bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Harper’s Index Fact of the Day
Percentage increase since August in Google searches
for “how to send a resignation email”: 3,450
Source: Google (Mountain View, Calif.)
Reed Moore’s COVID-19 Roundup
- A bill introduced in the state Legislature would make local health departments get approval from the state prior to putting in place a directed health measure related to an epidemic or pandemic. The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department is the sole county health department that can issue a directed health measure without the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ approval.
- The University of Nebraska Medical Center will be a major player in the “Test to Treat” program announced by President Joe Biden during his State of the Union speech, as Omaha health care leaders develop guidance for pharmacies to use nationwide.
- Programs serving individuals without food and housing should get their fair share of pandemic recovery funds, according to advocates.
5.8% of Douglas County residents are partially vaccinated.
For nationwide COVID-19 case
and vaccination trends, click here.
- In solidarity with Ukraine, the Bob Kerrey Bridge will be lit blue and yellow.
- The Omaha Planning Board approves Mutual of Omaha’s request for over $60 million in tax-increment financing — although TIF is designed for “extremely blighted” areas — to assist with the controversial construction of a downtown skyscraper.
- Front Porch Investments is tackling Omaha’s dearth of affordable housing.
- The Henry Doorly Zoo shuts down its aviary because a nearby backyard bird flock has avian influenza.
- In Case You Missed It: Conservative lobbying group Nebraska Family Alliance gets enough petition signatures to threaten the Lincoln City Council’s recently approved “Fairness Ordinance,” which bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as adding military personnel and veterans as a protected class on the city’s municipal code and updating other definitions.
- On the Campaign Trail: A lawsuit claiming the hog farm of gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen knowingly hired undocumented workers is dismissed. A judge denies a Republican challenge to get state Sen. Adam Morfeld off of the primary ballot. These are some races to keep an eye on, according to the Nebraska Examiner.
- Latest in the Legislature: Following projections of an uptick in state tax revenue, Gov. Pete Ricketts pushes for building the controversial Colorado-Nebraska canal costing $500 million. He also wants tax cuts and a new state prison costing $270 million. And hearings held on four voting bills prompt “baseless questioning of state’s election results,” according to KMTV. Reed Moore about the bills, and what people have to say about them, in the Nebraska Examiner and Omaha World-Herald.
- State attorneys general from across the U.S. — including Nebraska’s Doug Peterson — announce an investigation into how TikTok affects young Americans’ mental health.
The Daily Funny
Click the image to see the full Doonesbury
comic by Garry Trudeau, plus more daily funnies.