‘This is home.’

Amid housing shortages, investor spending sprees and widening wealth gaps, owning a home is becoming harder and harder for low-income people.
But in Omaha, help exists.

Story by Chris Bowling. Published in The Reader.

Reed Moore’s Daily Rundown

Alexander Graham Bell Day

Today’s news wonders if Mr. Bell — who is not without his share of controversy as he supported eugenics — was the first person to utter the immortal phrase, “Can you hear me now?”: Oklahoma attorney John Maisch, who battled beer stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska, dies at age 51, Derrin Hansen, coach of the University of Nebraska at Omaha men’s basketball team for 17 seasons, is fired, and toxic algae poisoning is a problem in Nebraska, where the state combats it with regular testing — not all states are so conscientious.

Harper’s Index Fact of the Day

Minimum number of birds killed each year in New York City
by collisions with glass windows: 90,000

Source: NYC Audubon

Reed Moore’s COVID-19 Roundup

  • The worldwide coronavirus death toll is now greater than 6 million.
  • As the pandemic enters its third year, state health officials look to the future of COVID-19 — because, they say, it’s going to be with us for some time.

5.9% of Douglas County residents are partially vaccinated.

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

Around Omaha

  • Hoping for a summer garden? You’d better plant those seeds in the next few days, according to NOISE writer Kietryn Zychal, who offers a list of North O orgs that can help you get a green thumb.  
  • Check out the latest episode of 1st Sky Omaha, including visits from The Reader‘s Leah Cates and Flatwater Free Press‘ Matt Wynn.
  • Major League Baseball’s lockout doesn’t affect the minor leagues that much, including the Omaha Storm Chasers, according to KMTV.
  • Derrin Hansen — coach of the University of Nebraska at Omaha men’s basketball team for 17 seasons — is fired.
  • Local author Harmony Banwo publishes her first book — and she’s just 13 years old. Click here to check out Shattered Windows.

Around Nebraska

  • In 2020, a Midwest couple’s beloved golden retriever named Zeus died of toxic algae poisoning — which is a problem in Nebraska, though the state combats it with regular testing. Not all states are so conscientious, according to a Nebraska Public Media article.
  • On the Campaign Trail: Read about the role dark money is playing in the Flood-Fortenberry GOP race. Here’s who’s running to represent Omaha’s District 2. There’s an unprecedented deluge of candidates running for state school boards.
  • Here’s what farming and agriculture experts are saying about the proposed Colorado-Nebraska canal.
  • Latest in the Legislature: A bill would make pipeline companies get rid of abandoned pipe and would let landowners reclaim easements on their property. CNN takes a deep dive into legislation in states like Nebraska that would let citizens carry concealed guns in public — without mandating training or licensure.
  • Ukrainians in Nebraska fear for those they love and are working to help Ukraine.
  • Oklahoma attorney John Maisch, who battled beer stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska — infamous for fueling alcoholism among its Native American community members — dies at age 51.
  • KETV takes a deep dive into the infamous AltEn ethanol plant in Mead.
  • “It could mean the death of our recycling center”: For the past decade, the Nebraska Environmental Trust has given grants to the Alliance Recycling Center. This year, the center is rejected for $95,000 in funding.

This Week in Your Local Government:
Sludge Cake Drama and
Douglas County Corrections

Presented by Reader government reporter Anton Johnson

Photo credit: Chris Bowling
  • Catalytic converter theft prevention: The Omaha City Council will vote on an amendment to the municipal code Tuesday that will help police track and regulate the sale of catalytic converters. Thefts have risen dramatically in the past year because of precious metals used in the devices.
  • Bio waste transport: A contract with DPS Construction to transport sludge cake biosolids received opposition from state Sen. Justin Wayne last week. Wayne argued a lower bid from Blade Masters Grounds Maintenance wasn’t fairly considered, and Councilmember Juanita Johnson expressed willingness to delay the vote Tuesday.
  • County Board: Douglas County Corrections Director Mike Myers will give a monthly update to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. The board’s ARPA Strategy Committee will also meet Monday, March 7, to discuss possible funding needs.

Every week, Anton Johnson picks noteworthy agenda items from the Omaha City Council and Douglas County Board of Commissioners. See the full City Council and Board of Commissioners agendas for Tuesday, March 8, and tune in here to the Douglas County Board at 9 a.m. and the Omaha City Council at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The Daily Funny

Comic by Koterba. Support him on Patreon. 
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