- The Reader, now a Climate Beacon Newsroom, hits stands with its March issue.
- The opening of the downtown Omaha public library is delayed again.
- Schools across Nebraska are impacted by false reports of violence on campus.
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The opening of the downtown Omaha public library is delayed again, this time to May. When the replacement for the W. Dale Clark Library was announced, the opening was planned for fall 2022. Structural issues with the historic Old Market building forced the date to be pushed back to March 2023.
GreenSlate Development, the company behind the Blackstone District, looks to secure $3.75 million in TIF to build an industrial site in North Omaha off 9th Street and John J. Pershing Drive. The price for the project is $23 million, but a principal for the developer says the dirt is “very bad” and the TIF funding will go toward making the land buildable. He says the hope is to complete the project by this time next year.
Bennington Public Schools announces four finalists for the superintendent job, with public interviews scheduled for March 6 and 8. Only one of the candidates is from the school district, two are from Nebraska and one is from Fallon, Nev. All interviews are open to the public but will not be streamed online.
A horse racing track and casino may be coming to Olde Towne Bellevue. Mayor Rusty Hike says the proposed $150 million facility would anchor an entertainment district, as would a $80-$100 million indoor-outdoor waterpark. The racetrack and casino would seat 5,000 and have standing room for another 5,000.
Plattsmouth breaks ground on a wastewater treatment plant today, March 3, while planning to decommission its old site in the next few years. The 2019 floods inundated the old plant, forcing the city to release raw sewage into the Missouri River. Up to 95% of the funding for the two-year, $67 million project was provided by federal and state sources. The city administrator says the project will help control water rates.
The Reader is hosting a pop-up newsroom at the South Omaha Library today, March 3, from 1-4:30 p.m. Members of our staff will be on site to discuss coverage, hear your feedback and discuss getting people involved with citizen journalism programs. We’ll have snacks and copies of our March issue.
- March 3: The Reader Pop-Up Newsroom
- March 3-April 4: Voices of Choice
- March 7-12: 18th Annual Omaha Film Festival
- March 12: Folklórico
- March 18: Art Battle Omaha City Championship
- March 18: Afrovibe Master Concert
- March 18: David Cross – Worst Daddy in the World Tour
- March 18: Omaha Symphony Gala in honor of Ree and Jun Kaneko
- March 20: Jillian Hernandez – Aesthetics of Excess
Be sure to get the updated booster shot before heading to any of these events.
Schools across Nebraska and the nation are targeted by false reports to police about school shootings, a practice referred to as “swatting.” The Nebraska Information Analysis Center’s director says none of the threats was credible and that an investigation of where the calls originated is underway.
The latest Business Conditions Index from Creighton University shows increased confidence in the state for the second month in a row, after four consecutive months of trending below neutral ground. Creighton economist Ernie Goss says he’s shocked by the reading and says he expected a downturn.
Caesars Entertainment unveils renderings of its planned Harrah’s racetrack and casino in Columbus. The racetrack will be a one-mile thoroughbred track, the longest in the state. Mayor Jim Bulkley says work has already begun on the racetrack. A temporary casino will open this spring. Work on the casino and a connected Marriott hotel is expected to be completed in the first half of 2024.
- Sen. Terrell McKinney proposes tougher standards for parole board members, requiring them to miss no more than three meetings per year, and preventing them from denying parole just because the state cannot provide a specific rehabilitation program.
- Sen. Suzanne Geist proposes expanding NEST 529 plans to K-12 private education, something that the U.S. Congress approved in 2018. Nebraska is one of 10 states that has not updated its standards.
- A bill allowing concealed carry of a firearm without a permit continues debate on the floor, with Sens. Justin Wayne and Mike Jacobson pushing back on the argument that the bill would increase gun violence.
FACT OF THE DAY
From Harper’s Index
Percentage of U.S. teens who have used a hashtag
related to a political or social issue: 7
Source: Pew Research Center (Washington)
Comic by Jeffrey Koterba. Support him on Patreon.