HERE’S YOUR RUNDOWN
Happy Hug Holiday
Reed Moore thinks Drew Barrymore said it best: “I wish I was an octopus, so I could hug ten people at a time.”
- The union representing security guards for Omaha Public Schools files an appeal with the state labor court over contract negotiations.
- State Sen. Mike Flood wins the special election in Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District by a closer-than-expected margin.
- The website Nebraskans use to file for unemployment benefits is the victim of a cyberattack.
REED MOORE’S FEATURED STORY
A String of Stinging Closures
From rising costs to staffing setbacks, restaurant closures see a sudden uptick.
By Sara Locke. Published in The Reader.
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The FDA’s vaccine advisory panel votes 19-2 to recommend that new COVID vaccines target Omicron this fall. The panel did not make a recommendation on what subvariant should be targeted. Dr. Peter Marks, who heads the FDA’s vaccine division, says the U.S. is on track to have a COVID outbreak this fall, as the virus evolves and vaccine immunity wanes. Marks also says another important factor will be more people spending time indoors, where it’s easier to catch COVID.
By the numbers:
- The union representing security guards at Omaha Public Schools is appealing to the state labor court. The union has been without a contract since July 2021, with negotiations at an impasse. The filing says OPS is not bargaining in good faith over wages, job duties, and working conditions.
- Westside Community Schools is establishing a stipend for student teachers, beginning this fall. District leaders are also working with Midland University to provide a program for paras and educational assistants, with more opportunities for non-classroom staff being considered.
- An armed group is stopped and confronted by Omaha police during the Juneteenth parade. The group, called the Black Agenda Alliance, says it wanted the same respect given to a group of armed people at the state Capitol that showed up in military gear to testify. The police department says it acted responsibly, calling the situation a misunderstanding.
- A rare bird is spotted in Sarpy County. Until now, the limpkin has never been spotted in Nebraska. A biology professor says the site where limpkins have shown up has been invaded by an Asian snail, and that may be the reason why limpkins are here. It’s unclear whether they’re here to stay.
- State Sen. Mike Flood wins the special election in Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District. He defeats his colleague in the Legislature, Patty Pansing Brooks, by a 53-47 margin. Both candidates will face off again in November.
- Evidence from former Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s corruption trial is released to the public. In the recordings, the nine-term representative is quizzed by federal investigators on whether he took illegal campaign contributions. Fortenberry, convicted of lying to the FBI, has been sentenced to two years of probation.
- Gov. Pete Ricketts is taking his Voter ID push on the road. The governor joins State Sen. Joni Albrecht in Wayne for a town hall on the initiative to place a voter ID law on the November ballot. He says he’s unsure whether they can get the requisite amount of signatures in time.
- The website Nebraskans use to file for unemployment benefits is down. The company that operates NEworks, Geographic Solutions Inc., was the victim of a cyberattack. GSI has since taken all of its state labor exchange and unemployment claims websites offline. User data does not appear to be compromised, but it’s unclear when the website will come back up.
REED MOORE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The Omaha City Council approves a redevelopment agreement with the Omaha Streetcar Authority for the proposed streetcar line. It also approves an agreement with the Omaha Design Foundation for preliminary engineering and design work. Contracts for the demolition of the W. Dale Clark library and the construction of the two new replacement branches are also approved. The Douglas County Board of Commissioners allocates its share of American Rescue Plan Act funds.
FACTS OF THE DAY
From Harper’s Index
1. Percentage by which hiring a CEO with a business degree
decreases wages for the company’s other employees: 15
2. Average percentage change in sales by
companies that hire CEOs with business degrees: –1
Source: Alex Xi He, University of Maryland (College Park)
Comic by Koterba. Support him on Patreon.