HERE’S YOUR RUNDOWN
Happy National Devil’s Food Cake Day
Reed Moore looks at it this way: The diet can start tomorrow.
Today’s news: The wife of the Democratic nominee for Douglas County sheriff has been fired from the Omaha Police Department. A candidate for the Douglas/Sarpy Learning Community is indicted on nine counts of fraud. After six years on the job, History Nebraska’s executive director and CEO is leaving in July.
REED MOORE’S FEATURED STORY
Wonder Walls: A Guide to Omaha’s Freshest Murals
In the bleak early days of the pandemic, a simple desire to get out of the house led to a happy accident. Roaming the streets of Omaha, the Instagrammer known as @murals_of_omaha said, “I noticed we had a lot of great murals around town. I wanted to share the art and artists with others.” Today, the anonymous account’s 1,200-plus followers can peep the freshest public street art created by professional and amateur local creatives on walls all over the city.
By Lynn Sanchez. Published in The Reader.
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A federal judge has denied a request from 36 airmen to temporarily protect them from penalties for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Seventeen of the 36 airmen are stationed at the Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, and three are in Lincoln with the Nebraska Air National Guard. The request comes in the middle of a lawsuit over the vaccine requirement for the U.S. military enacted last August.
By the numbers:
- A precinct captain with OPD has been fired. Kathy Belcastro-Gonzalez was let go for what Chief Todd Schmaderer calls a “personnel matter,” but her attorney says it’s retaliation for reporting sexual harassment claims. Belcastro-Gonzalez’s husband is Greg Gonzalez, the Democratic nominee for Douglas County sheriff. Kathy’s firing comes just two days after Greg won the Democratic primary. Greg retired as deputy police chief in January to focus on his campaign, and Kathy was placed on administrative leave shortly thereafter. Schmaderer endorsed Republican Aaron Hanson, who will face Gonzalez in the general election. Gonzalez’s campaign calls Kathy’s firing “politically motivated.”
- The Malcolm X Memorial Foundation is hosting a four-day celebration honoring his life and legacy. The celebration will take place at 3448 Evans St., Malcolm’s childhood home. This year, the group will have image archives from The Omaha Star on display, along with guided tours.
- A candidate to serve on the Douglas/Sarpy Learning Community is indicted on eight counts of wire fraud and one of bank fraud. Brenda Banks, a Republican, is accused of misusing $202,000 in grant money that had been received for the nonprofit where she serves as executive director. Prosecutors say she used correction fluid to make the checks look like they had been used for legitimate grant-related purposes. Banks denies all allegations.
- A metro-area flight school is expanding to Eppley Airfield to accommodate the increased interest in piloting. Revv Aviation, based at the Council Bluffs airport, partners with UNO’s four-year flight program. The school’s chief flight instructor says the move will help students become better-prepared for flying in the real world.
- Amidst a drought exacerbated by the climate crisis, Colorado and Nebraska are going at it over water rights. Earlier this year, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts invoked a compact signed a century ago that allows Nebraska to seize land along the South Platte River to build a canal. ABC News profiles a handful of farmers on both sides of the border who hope a workaround can be achieved that pleases everybody.
- State corrections officials are showing off a new addition to the correctional center in Lincoln. The $125 million extension includes two 32-bed units for inmates in need of mental or physical health care, as well as a 384-bed unit for what the state says are its most dangerous inmates. The Nebraska Examiner’s Paul Hammel was there for the tour.
- History Nebraska’s executive director and CEO, Trevor Jones, is resigning at the start of July. Jones’ tenure has earned him fans and detractors. His fans say he was instrumental in pushing for the digitization of History Nebraska’s archives, as well as changing the nonprofit’s name from the Nebraska State Historical Society. Detractors say his management style was poor, pointing to his clash with the State Historical Society Foundation and subsequently creating his own History Nebraska Foundation.
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FACT OF THE DAY
From Harper’s Index
Percentage of U.S. adults who think
Russia is a Communist or Socialist country: 55
Source: YouGov (NYC)
To see the full Doonesbury comic by Garry Trudeau,
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