Posted inNews

While Fewer Nebraska Children Live In Poverty, New Data Report Shows “A Long Way To Go” For Racial Equity

In 2020 a little more than 12% of Nebraska kids —  or 56,828 children — lived in poverty, down for the eighth consecutive year since the state’s child poverty rate neared 18% in 2013. But a new report shows while fewer Nebraska children live in poverty, children of color continue to grow up poor at […]

Posted inMusic

Soul Connections

There are plenty of great club shows filling the early fall schedule, starting with the Blues Society of Omaha weekly shows that rotate among several venues this month. Thursday, Sept. 1, 6-9 p.m., Omaha’s own Nate Bray & The Soul Supremes perform at The Strut. Thursday, Sept. 8, 6-9 p.m., it’s the Brotherhood Tour featuring […]

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Omaha GED Classes Open Doors, Help Immigrant Parents Support Kids In School

This story was first published in El Perico, The Reader’s Spanish-English sister publication. Read the original story in English and Spanish. Patricia Paniagua drove home from Metro Community College in early May feeling nervous. After almost two years of studies, the 41-year-old mother of three had just taken an hour-long math test, the fourth and […]

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Omaha Opens Pandemic Rental Assistance to All, Regardless of Citizenship. Here’s How to Apply.

All Omaha renters hurt by the pandemic can now apply for emergency rental assistance regardless of their citizenship or U.S. legal status. The City of Omaha reversed its legal position last week Wednesday on who can receive the federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) money, removing citizenship as a qualification for the rental and utility relief […]

Posted inCulture

Hot, Hot, Hot

If you are an Eastern Nebraska blues fan, chances are that Lincoln’s Zoo Bar had something to do with your discovery of the music. Even if you’ve never made it to the club. If you went to blues shows at Omaha’s old Howard Street Tavern or Kansas City’s Grand Emporium, you felt the impact of […]

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OPD Officer On Paid Leave, Investigation Into Use of Force In Juvenile Arrest

An Omaha police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation to examine his use of force during the arrest of a young boy Tuesday, according to the Omaha police department. Social media posts and witnesses say the child was 12 years old. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said he placed […]

Posted inNews

OPS Board of Education Approves Proposed Stipends for Staff as Teacher Shortage Continues

This story is part of (DIS)Invested — a longterm Reader investigation into Omaha’s inequities. *** The Omaha Public Schools Board of Education has approved amendments to the district’s federal pandemic relief funds, including a proposal to put funds towards stipends for full-time staff and part-time staff in the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school year. At a nearly three-hour […]

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While Teachers Need Support Now, Programs Strengthen the Future of Teaching

This story is part of (DIS)Invested — a longterm Reader investigation into Omaha’s inequities. *** Editor’s note: At the time this story originally published in The Reader‘s June print issue, the Omaha Public Schools district had not allocated ESSER, or Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, funds toward teacher pay. The online story has been updated to […]

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“We are Tired, We Feel Used”: Ahead of Staff Exodus, OPS Teachers Demand Action From Board

This story is part of (DIS)Invested — a longterm Reader investigation into Omaha’s inequities. *** Adam Byers didn’t have “a fraction of the support” he feels he should have as a first-year teacher in his Omaha Public Schools classroom this year. That’s why he’s resigning from the district, he told the board of education in a meeting […]

Posted inEducation

OPS Board Approves Revisions to Code of Conduct to Address Serious Fights, Gender Neutral Language

Students in the Omaha Public Schools will have a revised code of conduct in the next school year. In an hour and a half long meeting at the OPS Teacher Administration Center Monday night, all nine members of the OPS Board of Education approved the second reading of the code of conduct. Under the revised […]

Posted inMultimedia

Building “The Good Life” For All Nebraskans, Not Just Some

Cammy Watkins and Maggie Wood believe honest conversations about equity and inclusion in Nebraska’s schools and businesses — and in everyday life — can help create The Good Life for all Nebraskans, not just some. They are the co-executive directors of Inclusive Communities, a nonprofit organization providing advocacy and education around diversity and equity in […]

Posted inNews

How One Omaha High School Addresses Chronic Absenteeism

This story is part of (DIS)Invested — a longterm Reader investigation into Omaha’s inequities. *** Editor’s note: The Omaha Street School refrained from sharing students’ last names to protect their privacy. For the first half of her freshman year, Mercy had her routine down at Omaha South High School. She’d go to one class to be marked […]

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Omaha Public Schools Board Makes Masks Optional

The Omaha Public Schools Board of Education approved a resolution to drop the district-wide mask mandate at Thursday night’s board meeting, making it optional to wear masks in OPS buildings as of Friday. Teachers, students, parents and OPS staff sat in the Teacher Administration Center building, 3215 Cuming St., on Thursday to hear the board’s […]

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White Student Enrollment Slides in OPS, Nearby Districts

This story is part of (DIS)Invested — a longterm Reader investigation into Omaha’s inequities. *** When the pandemic shut down in-person and virtual classes for Omaha Public Schools in March 2020, Jenelle Emory would sit in her home with her daughters —  a first grader and a kindergartener at Adams Elementary — and walk through the packet […]

Posted inMusic

Fiery Music Forecast

Héctor Anchondo’s first trip to Memphis for the 2015 International Blues Challenge was the inspiration for In the Market for Blues, an Old-Market-based, multi-venue, multi-band event that has grown exponentially each year. The festival is now supported by the Blues Society of Omaha and a variety of sponsors. After a year off with pandemic closures, […]

Posted inNews

Price Tag for Library Demolition Increases to $1 Million, and Douglas County Board Approves Tax Levy.

The city will spend another $393,000 on the demolition of the W. Dale Clark Library after approval from the Omaha City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 27. The original $678,000 agreement with Cox Contracting was amended to reflect additional services requested by the city.  Jacquelyn Morrison, Mayor Stothert’s deputy chief of staff for economic development, said […]

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Prison system touts drop in staff turnover, while lack of medical workers remains a concern

This story was originally published in the Nebraska Examiner LINCOLN — The Nebraska Department of Corrections, long plagued by high turnover among protective services staff, is now projecting that the turnover rate among guards will be cut nearly in half. In a press release Tuesday, Corrections said it expects the turnover rate among custody staff — […]

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Plug Pulled on Multimillion-Dollar “Intersections” Project for South Omaha

This story was originally published in the Nebraska Examiner OMAHA — Developers have scrapped an ambitious plan that had aimed to turn a largely industrial 25-acre tract south of downtown into a multimillion-dollar wellness and sports complex.  A spokesman for Community Health Development Partners told the Nebraska Examiner that there’s a chance the “Intersections” campus […]

Posted inCulture

PHOTOS: Dinosaur Jr. Play Omaha’s Waiting Room

Dinosaur Jr., the seminal grunge rockers from Massachusetts whose hits like “Feel the Pain” and “Freak Scene” combine thick, feedback-laden guitar and infectious melodies, stopped in Omaha on Sept. 25 to play the Waiting Room. The Reader spent the night with the three-piece, which includes underground rock pioneer J Mascis and his recognizable Fender Jazzmaster […]

Posted inNews

More Money for Library Demolition and Vote on NOMA Facility: What’s Happening in Your Local Government on Sept. 27

Every week, The Reader picks out noteworthy agenda items from the Douglas County Board of Commissioners and the Omaha City Council. Visit the county and city’s websites to view the full agendas. W. Dale Clark Demolition: The Omaha City Council will vote on an amendment to the agreement with Cox Contracting for the demolition of the W. Dale Clark Library. The […]

Posted inMovies

How Dare Pugh?

Florence Pugh gets to make precious few films in her lifetime. Why did “Don’t Worry Darling” have to be one of them? Her generational talent is a resource more finite than fossil fuels, albeit requiring fewer dino deaths. I’d straight-up shank a stegosaurus to give her a mulligan on director Olivia Wilde’s wannabe speculative fiction […]