Why They Stayed: Homesteader Reality Tells Us Something About Nebraska

George Barnes stared hard at the camera in 1887, the day pioneer photographer Solomon Butcher showed up to take his family’s photo. Ol’ George had ample reason to mean-mug Butcher and homesteader life in general, you will learn if you glance at the sod house standing — barely standing — behind him.

By Matthew Hansen. Originally published in Flatwater Free Press.
Republished in The Reader.



Reed Moore’s Daily Rundown

Happy National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

Lights, bells, colors, characters — anything goes as far as today’s news is concerned: Huskers’ volleyball is headed to the NCAA championship match, Kellogg’s and its striking workers arrive at a tentative agreement, and some state and local leaders want the Omaha Housing Authority to take back its plan to lay off 18 workers


Harper’s Index Fact of the Day

Ratio of school psychologists to K–12 students in the United States: 1: 1,211 

Source: National Association of School Psychologists (Bethesda, Md.)


For nationwide COVID-19 case and vaccination trends, click here.


Around Omaha

  • John Cohen, a senior U.S. Department of Homeland Security official, discusses domestic terrorism threats during an online seminar partially sponsored by the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
  • UNO’s independent student newspaper digs into why alums of the publication are leaving Nebraska, contributing to the state’s brain drain.
  • To help with the downtown library’s move, the City of Omaha intends to hire a consultant.
  • Following winter break, masks will be optional at Westside Community Schools.
  • State Sen. Terrell McKinney, former state Sen. Ernie Chambers, and local labor leaders want the Omaha Housing Authority to renege on its layoff of 18 workers.
  • President Joe Biden posthumously awards a Congressional Gold Medal to the U.S. service members — including Omaha’s Daegan Page — killed in August’s Kabul airport attack.
  • Check out 1st Sky Omaha‘s final episode of season two, featuring guest appearances by state Sens. Terrell McKinney and Justin Wayne.
  • Kellogg’s and its 1,400 striking workers come to a tentative agreement.

Around Nebraska

  • “Last fall was miserable. This fall and winter unfortunately feels like a rerun”: The state’s hospitals struggle to keep up with climbing coronavirus cases, prompting health officials to urge people to get vaccinated and boosted.
  • Following Thursday night’s win against Pitt, Huskers’ volleyball is headed to the NCAA championship match.
  • “It seems like the deck is being reshuffled”: Winter weather like the severe storm on Wednesday, Dec. 15, might become the norm.

Reed Moore’s Presents a Film Review
2021 Omaha Holiday Buying Guide

You still have time, thanks to some awesome local businesses, writes Matt Casas.

Published in The Reader. Check out more local guides here.

As COVID-19 variants spread through the community, remember to get fully vaccinated, boosted and masked before holiday shopping.


The Daily Funny

Comic by Koterba. Support him on Patreon. 
To see more daily funnies, click the image.


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