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Happy National Pack Rat Day

Reed Moore reminds us that this day is not to be confused with Frank, Dean and Sammy’s Rat Pack.

Today’s news: Truck traffic in Florence is being studied. New details emerge in state Sen. Julie Slama’s lawsuit against Charles Herbster. Gov. Pete Ricketts says he’s taking applications for the vacant Millard-area legislative seat.


Amid Floods and a Pandemic, Omaha Plant Store Finds Its Roots and Thrives Through Adversity

It started as a coffee shop. Then a coffee shop and music venue. Then a traveling terrarium and coffee-ground business. Then, finally, a plant store. But (drips) botanical elements owner Tres Johnson said his story isn’t finished growing.

By Regan Thomas. Published in The Reader.


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‘Rona roundup:

The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska is the highest it’s been in three months. It’s Nebraska’s fifth straight week of increases. Hospitalizations are also going up, with 69 last week and 55 the week prior.

Please, please, please. Get the vaccine if you haven’t already, and get your booster(s) if needed. Do it for Reed.

By the numbers:

This graphic is updated as of 8:20 a.m. on May 17. For the latest stats, click the image, which sends you to the Johns Hopkins site.


  • The Metropolitan Area Planning Agency says it is studying ways to take truck traffic off of North 30th Street. There are four options the agency is choosing from, including the option of not changing anything. The study will cost roughly $300,000 and is expected to examine local concerns, redevelopment in the Florence area, and the truck traffic’s impact on businesses.
  • Omaha Public Schools teachers speak out about poor working conditions at the school board meeting. Bridget Fogarty, the Reader’s Report for America corps member, has the details.
  • At its first official meeting, the Omaha Streetcar Authority selects developer Jay Noddle as its president and Omaha Public Works head Bob Stubbe as vice president.
  • An Omaha-based nonprofit is in the fundraising stages of building a mobile hygiene unit. Aspire of Life says it wants to offer a trailer with showers, restrooms, and a place to do laundry. The goal is to have the trailer up and running by December.
  • A stretch of Lake Street between North 34th Avenue to North 36th Street has been renamed to honor Rudy Smith Sr., the first Black photojournalist to work for the Omaha World-Herald. Smith died in 2019. Family and friends were present for the dedication ceremony.
  • Ahead of this week’s City Council vote on the Mutual of Omaha relocation and streetcar system, 3 News Now looks back at how we got here.


  • Charles Herbster is not going gently into the good night. Despite losing the gubernatorial primary, lawsuits against him are moving forward. Lawyers for state Sen. Julie Slama offered new details in a filing. (Trigger warning: Mention of sexual harassment and misconduct).
  • Gov. Pete Ricketts says he’s seeking applicants to serve in the 31st Legislative District, the Millard area. The seat became vacant due to Sen. Rich Pahls’ death. The appointee will run in a special election this fall. Tim Royers, who lost to Pahls in 2020, says he is running again. (If you miss the deadline by about two weeks, don’t worry, you still have a shot.)
  • Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, a group trying to get a legalization measure on the November ballot, says it’s suing the Secretary of State’s Office over a geographic requirement. Under state law, petitioners must get 5% of registered voters in at least 38 of the state’s 93 counties. The lawsuit, which is being filed by the ACLU of Nebraska, says that requirement dilutes the impact of urban areas. the New York Times about Donald Trump’s effect on Nebraska politics. While the op-ed was written before the gubernatorial primary, Genoways makes the case that Trump’s impact on Nebraska politics goes far beyond one election.


The City Council and Board of County Commissioners are meeting today, May 17, and reporter Anton Johnson is sitting in on the proceedings. Follow Anton at @AntonIsWriting for live tweets from the City Council, and to catch up on important Omaha government happenings. Tune in here to the Douglas County Board at 9 a.m. and the Omaha City Council at 2 p.m.


From Harper’s Index

Average value this year, to the tooth fairy, of a lost tooth in the United States: $5.36
Percentage by which this value has increased since the start of the pandemic: 33

Source: Delta Dental (Oak Brook, Ill.)


To see the full funny by Jen Sorensen,
plus more daily funnies, click the image or link below.



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