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Happy National Smile Day

Reed Moore is reminded of this Chinese proverb: “Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.”

Today’s news: Omaha’s construction activity is reaching all-time highs. Two people are dead and 20 injured after a car crash in Lincoln. Early voting is open in Nebraska’s first special election for Congress since 1951.


South Omaha Blaze Forces Residents to Evacuate

Smoke from a fire at the Nox-Crete chemical factory in South Omaha pours over Omaha as residents watch near 20th and Pierce streets. Photo by Chris Bowling.

A three-alarm fire ignites a chemical plant near downtown Omaha, sending thick plumes of black smoke cascading over the city as firefighters attempt to contain the blaze.

By Chris Bowling. Published in The Reader.


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‘Rona roundup:

Shanghai officials are moving toward ending a COVID-19 lockdown that lasted two months. Vice Mayor Zong Ming says full bus and subway service will be restored, as well as rail connections to the rest of China. The only services that will remain closed are cinemas and gyms. Shanghai recorded 29 COVID cases on Monday, May 30, a marked decline from over 20,000 per day in April.

By the numbers:

This graphic is updated as of 8:20 a.m. on May 31. For the latest stats, click the image, which sends you to the Johns Hopkins site.


  • Omaha’s construction activity is reaching all-time highs. The city’s annual “Building and Development Summary” says the planning department issued $1.15 billion in permits last year. It’s the highest yearly total in city records, and the second highest when adjusted for inflation.
  • Speaking of construction: WarHorse Gaming, a subsidiary of the Winnebago Tribe’s economic development arm, says it’s looking at a summer groundbreaking for a casino at 63rd and Q. The development, located at the site of Horsemen’s Park, would include both renovations to the existing complex and new construction projects.
  • Construction officials say the project turning 168th Street into a four-lane road is on schedule. Work on the stretch from Pacific and West Center began a year ago, and the road is expected to open this summer. Next on the list: 156th Street, just south of Dodge to Pacific.
  • Unlike the roads in Omaha, the road to Omaha is smooth sailing. The NCAA Baseball Tournament’s round of 64 kicks off Friday, June 3, with double elimination. The World-Herald has a rundown of what to expect.
  • As Omaha prepares its most serious attempt at reviving the streetcar, the Douglas County Historical Society is preparing an exhibit on the history of cars in Omaha. 6 News offers a sneak peek of what to expect.


  • Two people are dead and 20 injured after a car crash in Lincoln. The crash took place during an unsanctioned event known as “Americruise.” As the event was wrapping up, the driver of a Ford Taurus struck a Toyota Corolla, flipping the Toyota over and sending both vehicles into a sidewalk filled with bystanders. Both passengers in the Toyota were killed, and the Ford driver survived.
  • Early voting opens today, May 31, in the special election for Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District. The vacancy arose from former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s resignation. With just under a month to go until Fortenberry’s replacement is chosen, the Nebraska Examiner sits down with both candidates to understand what their campaign priorities are.
  • Nebraska Game and Parks is adjusting its operations due to a staff shortage. Officials say it’s the second season they have had to adjust operations. Pool, shooting, and other amenity hours have been reduced as a result.


The Omaha City Council is not meeting this week. Neither is the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.

Check back here next week for more coverage on what Omaha’s elected officials are doing (or not doing).


From Harper’s Index

Percentage by which Americans are more likely to
view the opposing political party as stupid rather than evil: 23

Source: Rachel Hartman (Chapel Hill, N.C.)


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



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