HERE’S YOUR RUNDOWN
Happy National Emo Day
Sadly, Reed Moore no longer can fit into those skinny black jeans.
- The Reader’s Ryan Syrek is not a fan of “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
- Omaha’s restaurant tax has shored pension funds up, but a state senator says it’s not enough.
- Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services misspent $4.1 million, according to the state auditor’s office.
Hot Snork-on-Smurf Action
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is all soggy bottoms.
Film review by Ryan Syrek. Published in The Reader.
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By the numbers:
- Wayne Hudson, the deputy police chief of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, is heading to Shaker Heights, Ohio. Hudson takes over as the city’s police chief on Jan. 9. He has been with Douglas County since 1994 and was a candidate for sheriff this year, losing the Democratic primary to Greg Gonzalez.
- Omaha’s restaurant tax has helped fund the long-plagued police and fire pension funds, but state Sen. Mark Kolterman thinks it’s not enough. Kolterman, the chair of the Legislature’s retirement committee, says the city should have changed charter language to allow more payments to be made.
- Last week, the Omaha City Council approved bonds for constructing a streetcar line. That approval came despite a heated debate with MUD over who will pay to adjust utility lines along the route. The debate is over whether the streetcar is an infrastructure project, in which case MUD pays for it, or whether it’s an economic development project, in which case Omaha pays for it.
- Dr. Luis Padilla is settling into his new position as president and CEO of the Henry Doorly Zoo. In his first one-on-one TV interview since stepping into the role, Padilla and the zoo staff offer a behind-the-scenes look at the trick to creating a positive and healthy environment for animals. (Zolpidem)
- A Lincoln fundraising event is forced to cancel because of safety concerns. Star City Pride was set to host a drag show at the Haymarket, but said in a Facebook post that “an extreme group” had posted misinformation and threats online. The cancellation comes days after suspected extremists shot up power stations in North Carolina, possibly to protest a drag show.
- Higher fuel costs are likely to increase heating bills again this winter. Experts say this year’s winter bills could be 15% to 30% higher than last year. Local utilities say the time to start conserving energy is now, with most suggesting 68 degrees as the ideal temperature for thermostats.
- A report from the Nebraska Auditor’s Office says the Department of Health and Human Services misspent $4.1 million. State Sen. Tom Brandt says the money was supposed to go toward weatherization assistance. That never happened. It’s not the first time DHHS has had spending issues.
- Jaime Parr is the next executive director of the Nebraska State Fair. Parr has been serving in the role on an interim basis since Bill Ogg resigned in October, and was previously the deputy director. She’s the fourth executive director over seven state fairs.
REED MOORE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT
- County Board: The Douglas County Board of Commissioners will discuss grant awards from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for various local organizations, such as the Latino Center of the Midlands and the Simple Foundation. The Board will also vote on allocating funds from the $1.3 million the county received from the Nebraska Community-Based Aid Grant.
- City Council: The Omaha City Council will vote on a $5 million TIF agreement to rehabilitate a historic building at 1218 Izard St. and expand it to include 172 new residential units. The City Council will also discuss an agreement with Douglas County on funding the Omaha Conventions and Visitors Bureau.
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, Dec. 20, and tune in here to the Board of Commissioners at 9 a.m. and City Council at 2 p.m.
FACT OF THE DAY
From Harper’s Index
Portion of U.S. workers who remain concerned
about COVID-19 exposure at work: 1/3
Source: Gallup (Washington)
Comic by Jeffrey Koterba. Support him on Patreon.