The Reader and El Perico Final Party! Join us as we say goodbye to The Reader and El Perico after 29 years. Saturday, December 16, 2023 6:00 PM CT at The Admiral 2234 South 13th Street Omaha, NE.
Posted inNews

Staff and Residents Impacted by Prisons Share Solutions in Omaha Nonprofit’s Short Film

Editor’s note: The Reader assisted Heart Ministry Center in the conceptual stage of this documentary, including providing the organization with trauma-informed reporting techniques, but was not involved in its production. Amy Holmes has seen how the people most impacted by incarceration can be the least heard when it comes to improving the system. “It’s a […]

Posted inNews

North 24th Street’s Ital Vital Living Juice Shop Has Taught Owner Imani Murray to ‘Pivot and Go With the Seasons’

Imani Murray started making juices out of her home in North Omaha in 2019 to educate people about healthy eating. That passion grew into Ital Vital Living, a juice and smoothie business she runs with her mom and sister at 2323 N. 24th St. Juneteenth marked the two year anniversary for the drive-thru brick-and-mortar shop […]

Posted inNews

New Recall Petition Filed as Frustrations Flare Over Vinny Palermo Omaha City Council Seat

An Omaha resident has filed paperwork to recall his Omaha City Councilman for failing to advocate for an emergency election to fill the seat of another councilmember currently in jail awaiting trial on fraud charges. Michael Pilypaitis, a resident of District 3 in midtown Omaha, said his representative, Danny Begley, is blocking an opportunity for […]

Posted inNews

The Reader is a Finalist for Five National Journalism Awards

The Omaha Reader is up for five national journalism awards from the Association for Alternative Newsmedia, including recognition for three stories reported and published in collaboration with local, state and national newsrooms. The Association for Alternative Newsmedia is a national organization made up of more than 100 independent news organizations throughout the country. The Reader […]

Posted inNews

Energy Efficiency Creates Healthier Homes and Saves Residents Money. Here’s How to Make the Changes in Your Omaha Household.

This story is part of The Reader’s Climate Beacon Newsroom initiative with Solutions Journalism Network. From March to the end of September 2023, we are pursuing solutions-oriented stories about climate change’s effects in Omaha. Bianca Johnson had one priority when she became the owner of her green-shuttered Northwest Omaha home in 2019. “As soon as I moved in, […]

Posted inNews

Omaha Pursues $1M Federal Climate Change Planning Grant

Omaha is on track to receive $1 million from the federal government to fund climate change planning and reduce greenhouse gasses in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area.  Marco Floreani, the deputy chief of economic development, told The Reader the City of Omaha submitted its notice to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to receive funding […]

Posted inNews

Updated Form Filed to Recall Omaha City Councilmember Vinny Palermo Following Fraud Charges

This story originally appeared in El Perico. This story was updated Thursday to include the updated recall petition filing form. A South Omaha resident has filed for a petition to recall Omaha City Council member Vinny Palermo, who was arrested Friday and faces nine felony fraud charges, including allegedly steering $93,000 worth of city contracts […]

Posted inNews

FBI Indicts Omaha City Councilman Vinny Palermo, Former Omaha Police Officers

Omaha City Councilman Vinny Palermo took gifts of airfare, luxury hotel accommodations, travel arrangements and other items in exchange for political favors, new federal court documents allege. Palermo also allegedly did not disclose a financial conflict of interest when he steered $93,000 worth of city contracts toward his companies, obtained a Payment Protection Program loan […]

Posted inTheater, Uncategorized

Our Newsroom Reported on Omaha’s Inequities For a Year. Here’s What We Learned — and What Comes Next.

It’s been more than a year since The Reader’s editorial team announced the start of our (DIS)Invested series in January 2022. When we first committed to the year-long series, we had big ambitions. We told you we’d refocus our editorial team to prioritize our reporting on inequity in Omaha through the lenses of housing, education, […]

Posted inNews

Soccer and Small Businesses: The Simple Foundation Invests in Omaha’s Immigrant and Refugee Youth

Before five o’clock on any given weeknight, the South Omaha building at 3003 Q St. is relatively quiet. Then the kids start to arrive. Some come by bus from North and South Omaha neighborhoods; others get dropped off by family or walk over from their homes at the neighboring Southside Terrace Apartments, Omaha’s largest public […]

Posted inCulture

November Notes

Some notable events hit at the beginning of the month. There’s a benefit for Lincoln guitarist Benjamin Kushner on Friday, Nov. 4, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at The B. Bar. Kushner plays with both Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal and Mezcal Brothers. Alt rock fans will recognize Kushner as a former guitarist for The Millions. Kushner is […]

Posted inVisual Arts

Ofrendas De Corazón at the Benson Theatre

The Mexican American Historical Society of the Midlands, or MAHSM, will celebrate Día de Muertos at the Benson Theatre, 6054 Maple St., this Wednesday, Nov. 2. Ofrendas De Corazón runs from 7 to 9 p.m. and includes verbal ofrendas, poetry, music and dance performances from more than forty contributors to celebrate and honor people’s loved […]

Posted inCulture


Sunday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m., $35 GA to $600 VIP boothBarnato, 225 N 170th St #100, Austin supergroup Shinyribs is self-described as “a sonic melting pot of Texas blues, New Orleans R&B funk, horn-driven Memphis soul, country twang, border music, big band swing, and roots-rock.” The band is led by vocalist-songwriter-guitarist Kevin Russell, commanding […]

Posted inCulture

Dance-Floor Fix

A recent weekend of music at Lincoln’s historic Zoo Bar reminded me how much serious, national-level talent we have locally. Matt Cox & The Marauders played the early show on a Friday, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal played the late show that night and an early show the next. These are two of the best […]

Posted inEconomy

Nebraska’s Next Governor

Nearly eight years ago, in his inaugural address, Gov. Pete Ricketts pointed to the challenges Nebraska faces in creating jobs. “There’s a barrier to creating jobs here in the state. And it’s Nebraska’s high taxes. We must cut taxes,” Ricketts said. In April 2022, Ricketts signed into law a $900 million tax cut that lowers […]

Posted inNews

Competitive District 2: Voters Weigh Inflation, Jobs as Vargas Challenges Bacon for Congress

Araceli Guzman takes a breath and knocks on a door near 32nd Ave. and Martha St. in Omaha’s Hanscom Park neighborhood. The morning sun reflects off her wide-brimmed hat and neon green vest as she waits for someone to walk to the door, but she’s met with silence. Then she knocks again. Finally, the door […]

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 […]

Posted inNews

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. This story is part of (DIS)Invested — a longterm Reader investigation into Omaha’s inequities. Patricia Paniagua drove home from Metro Community College in early May feeling nervous. After almost two years of studies, the […]

Posted inNews

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 inNews

For Some Latino Omahans, Solving Health Disparities Starts in the Garden

Zoraida Llasaca (right) smiles with her daughter Grace (left) in their living room on July 7, 2022. Photo by Bridget Fogarty. This story is part of (DIS)Invested — a longterm Reader investigation into Omaha’s inequities. It’s 11 o’clock on a sunny June morning in La Vista, Nebraska, and four young women are admiring more than […]

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 […]

Posted inNews

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 […]

Posted inNews

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 […]

Posted inNews

“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

This story is part of (DIS)Invested — a longterm Reader investigation into Omaha’s inequities. 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 […]

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 […]

Posted inNews

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 […]

Posted inNews

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 inMovies

More Hunger, Less Games

Prequels are generally trash, movie musicals are often a mess, and villain-centric narratives are almost always disturbingly sympathetic to wretched ideals. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is a villain-centric prequel with enough singing to count as a quasi-musical. It’s somehow great? This is because it feels like Suzanne Collins wrote the […]

Posted inMovies

Law & Order: S’il Vous Plaît

Before the film starts, briefly flashes on the screen. At some point during the next 151 minutes, you will come to a one-word answer to that URL’s question. Maybe your stance will change, evolving over the runtime. Maybe you stubbornly cling to your initial reaction to the film’s first scene. Whatever you decide, you […]

Posted inMovies

What If John Wick Did Yoga?

John Wick’s only real personality trait is being mad about dog homicide. That is one more personality trait than exhibited by The Killer (Michael Fassbender) in The Killer. If the Calm app became a hitman, it would likely resemble the mantra-spewing, mindfulness-loving murderer at the heart of director David Fincher’s latest neo-noir joint. Watching the […]

Posted inMovies


Smarter people than me love Killers of the Flower Moon. I am a dumb idiot who thought it was a chore. Often when I dislike something that brilliant critics love, I read their explanations and think “Oh, right. That is a great point. Maybe I misjudged things.” Here, my reaction has been “We both watched […]

Posted inMovies

Outback Snake House

As it turns out, tending bar in a remote Australian mining village is not an ideal career move. To be fair, any woman who starts tending bar anywhere will very soon have a story about the grossest thing a dude told them to do for a tip. The brutality inflicted upon all service workers is […]

Posted inMovies

The Day the Game Stopped

Maybe a movie about how collective action by economically challenged folks sorta stuck it to “the Man” would feel a bit more refreshing if it wasn’t *zooms in* produced by Columbia and distributed by Sony? For all its earnestness, and said earnestness does abound, Dumb Money is largely toothless. Its villains are a cavalcade of […]